Wednesday, 16 April 2014

WIP Wednesday [lots of quilting]

It's been a week of quilting and basting. I've been working on four different quilts. I've set up my machine for free motion quilting and started off with my Skill Builder blocks. I was quite pleased with the result...

So I moved on to my Neon Stained quilt. I want to try lots of different fmq ideas on this one - some are working out better than others...

The third quilt is all hand quilting - when I get a few moments I'm quilting my Thread Along quilt. I'm using #12 perle cotton in white and mostly doing echo quilting. So far I've done the centre and just about made a start on the main blocks.

And the basting? Hexies. Two weeks after cutting the squares, I've basted 125 1.5" hexagons for a quilt for Mia.

It's amazing how much you can get done in a few snatched minutes here and there :)

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Free Motion Quilting

It's been a while since I successfully free motion quilted, but with a good clean (it's hard to clean your machine properly if you've never be shown how to before) my sewing machine appears to be behaving - for tonight at least. So whilst Daddy did bath time and tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Mia to take formula milk from a bottle), Mummy managed to quilt these two blocks...

Not bad for an evening!

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Finish Along [Quarter 2] - ever so slightly stupid...

So, once a baby hits six weeks old, everything clicks - routine, sleep, feeding.... right? And I get time to sew, right? Hey - can you see that pig flying pas the window? I know that the reality will be snatched sewing moments here and there, even if it's only just five minutes while Daddy changes the nappy. But that isn't going to stop me putting together a really stupidly long Finish Along list - I just never know what will take my fancy.

Arabella Hexagon Quilt: I started this just last week - you can see why in this post here - and needs to be gifted in mid-May, so I need to get this basted, quilted and bound.

Arabella Hexagon Quilt II: In boy colours. Apparently black and white are some of the first colours a baby sees so really this could be for a boy or a girl but is definitely more boy-ish

Mini Swoon Quilt: I started making 6" Swoon blocks before Christmas - I've made three and want to make 9 in total, but all the fabric is cut.

Neon Stained: I have lost count how many times this has appeared on the list. This quilt's success will depend on my inclination to do some free motion quilting...

Three Peaks:  ... This quilt is good friends with Neon Stained - it would be unfair to split them up. This still needs basting - maybe I'll have a massive basting session next week....I had planned to hand quilt it, but maybe I'll machine quilt it to get it done now (the quilt has never really had a purpose) and try out some different quilting ideas.

Hexagon quilt for Mia: Since Mia was born the weather has been crap, but there are mutterings that we will have a great summer (yeah right). But in preparation, I want to make a lightweight small quilt to go over her car-seat/buggy. I fell across some lovely fabrics in greys, pinks and turquoise and found a flannel to back it. I'm not going to use batting. I've cut the fabric ready to use for 1 1/2" EPP hexagons (that's huge for me) and now need to get stitching.

Thread Along quilt: It's basted! Need to get on quilting it now. By hand.

City Sampler: I have just finished the quilt top - all sashed and bordered. Now I need a large space to baste her and take some photos. This photo is still from mid January laid out all over my bed.

Sleep suit mini quilt: I love this sleep suit which Mia was given.
I had to include a photo of her somewhere!
I love the colours and the pattern. The plan is hexagons (again - are you seeing a theme here) and some embroidery I've designed in some kind of nine-patch layout... it will definitely have red binding!

Skill Builder Quilt: It was on the list for last quarter and I don't want it to feel unloved so I'll pop it on here to to keep reminding me of it. Maybe I'll get a couple more blocks quilted.

Aspen Frost Quilt: This is such an easy quilt - lots of chain piecing - I just need to get on with it.

Purple Crosses: this is currently a pile of blocks which were made for me by the girls of the Stash Bee. Over a year ago. I want to make a quilt for my Great Aunt, who I don't get to see very often. I'll be visiting home in June and taking Mia to meet her Great Great Aunt and it would be nice to have this finished by then. I have a fair amount of trimming to do, followed by my favourite - long seams - and then some as yet unplanned quilting.

Grey and Red Ferris Wheel Quilt: I don't know quite how this one will end....

Sewing machine cover - apparently my free motion quilting problems are because it's getting grotty.... so I need a cover.... I've started with some scraps....

Ok - I'm going to stop now. Some need to be finished, some are realisted. Some are totally unlikely! Linking up over with Katy!

Finish Along 2014

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

WIP Wednesday [Bees and Babies]

This week has been pretty productive - maybe we are starting to find that six-week routine - yep Mia is already six weeks old - the time seems to have flown by on one hand, but on the other it's like she has always been here.

So this week I finally finished sashing my City Sampler quilt- but it's so large I can't photograph it yet, so I will have to leave you on tenterhooks for a few more weeks until I can get it basted.

I can show you a baby quilt I've made - it still needs to be basted and quilted, and the plan for the quilting is circles, which I may practice on another quilt first - one where mistakes would be less noticeable than a quilt with so much negative space.

And I am UP TO DATE on all my bee commitments. At least I will be once I make it to the post office. These three sets are for the Siblings Together Bee 2: January for Dorothy - I find improv really difficult so I admit, I had been putting these off, but they went together really quickly and I like them now.

February blocks were done ages ago - but only because I was Queen and needed to make my models...

March for Sarah - I really enjoyed these blocks.

And April for Penny. I've made these blocks before and they are great - so much easier than they look using this tutorial from Moda Bake Shop.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Arabella Hexagon Quilt

I have a finished quilt top to show you today! Last year, just after I found out I was pregnant, friends had a baby girl. I had put off making a quilt for them because I knew my hubby was going to visit them when baby was about three months old. However, an early pregnancy symptom was total lack of interest in a needle... so I never made a quilt for her.

Roll forward to this week and I realised we will be seeing the same friends at a wedding in mid May. Can I make a quilt with a small baby? Yes I can.

The design is my own and I've made notes while stitching it up to turn it into a pattern. I am still on a bit of a hexagon kick but this is totally machine pieced. I cut the fabric during short naps on Thursday and pieced it Friday and yesterday.

The background is a slightly mottled pale green and the hexagons are all from my stash and include some Art Gallery, Architextures, Pearl Bracelets, Kona Solids...

I know how I want to quilt it, but I need to buy some backing and binding still. And looking at the photos it needs a bloody good press...

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Finish Along [Q1 wrap up]

Just the one finish for me this quarter... but it was the most important!

I finished the quilt for Baby Mia before she was born!

You can read all the background to this quilt in this post here. It is hand pieced using English Paper Piecing technique except for the border and hand quilted with perle cotton, and the fabrics are all from my stash except for the borders.

And since I posted my finish I can now show you a picture of it complete with recipient (apologies for regular readers who have seen this picture before). This is Mia at 1 month old nearly two weeks ago.

The other quilts on my FAL list have had varying degrees of attention.

I finished the top of my Thread Along quilt, and managed to get it basted last week, but the hand quilting has not yet started.

My City Sampler quilt top is half sashed. I don't have a photo of that progress, but it has progressed, honest!
Laid out on the bed - the only flat space nearly large enough....
My Neon Stained quilt, Three Peaks quilt, Aspen Frost quilt, and Skill Builder blocks remain untouched, not helped by the fact that two of those projects require FMQ and my machine has been refusing to free motion quilt. It has just come back from the sewing machine doctors so fingers crossed.

I shall now spend a week contemplating my nap time sewing for the next three months! I have no idea how nap times will pan out but everyone keeps saying that from about 6 weeks we should find a bit more a routine... I'll believe it when I see it, but will probably plan a list with that rose tinted ideal in mind!

Finish Along 2014

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

WIP Wednesday [more hand sewing]

I hope you're not getting bored of the same project week after week.... 'cause the thing with hand sewing is that it takes a while... but these Wednesday posts are a good way for me to make time to keep track of what I am achieving in the five-minute slots I get when Daddy changes nappies!

This week I've moved back to English Paper Piecing after last week's embroidery. I've completed my fourth block of the Patchwork of the Crosses, and next I'm going to make some of the joining sections and put some together so I can see how it's going to look (I hope I like it). Each of the blocks is surrounded by low volume honeycombs/elongated hexies and then at the corners are different blocks combining a splash of colour, low volume and grey. It will all make sense when I do it - maybe next week I'll have that to share with you.

I've also completed the final month's blocks in the Get Your Hex On Bee. I've been really bad at photographing the blocks for this bee, so December and January blocks will remain un-photographed, but these are the February blocks for Lora.

Also this week I finally basted my Thread Along quilt, so I can make a start on the hand quilting; I cut up six fat quarters ready to make a hexagon quilt for Little Miss Mia - I want a small light quilt for her car seat/buggy; and I spent some time making my Mum's Mothers' Day present - an album of baby photos - this is one of my favourite pages!

And I'm trying to plan a baby quilt using equilateral triangles - challenging my baby-addled brain!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.