Wednesday, 22 October 2014

WIP Wednesday [stipple]

Back in January I wrote a post called "Beaten" about a Christmas Jelly Roll Quilt. I had chosen wool wadding for the first time and discovered in disastrous manner that wool wadding and spray basting are simply incompatible. I shoved the quilt, with the small amount of puckered quilting, in a suitcase and exiled it to the top of the wardrobe in disgust! Needless to say it was not a Q4 finish for 2013. Well, it's Q4 again for the Finish Along and as this is a Christmas Quilt (in fabrics which came out and were purchased just before Christmas 2012 - Joy by Kate Spain), the quilt reappeared on the list.
This was last year - you can just about pick out
the single line of unsuccessful quilting

Whilst I've been off on maternity leave, I've been sewing with a great group of friends each week in a village hall - and village halls mean lots of space for basting. This week was my last opportunity to baste before I go back to work (there's a couple of weeks off in between - I don't go back just yet). I bought curvy safety pins and we had a group basting session (is it just me who thinks that would sounds rude if you're not a quilter?).

A certain someone has been a bit of a monster the last few days - refusing to nap and being awake for long periods during the night. She must be exhausted (I am). But today she napped. And instead of doing what I had planned to sew, I got out the Jelly Roll Quilt.

Mia napped for two hours and I stippled for two hours. She is a happy baby and I am a happy mummy, because after just two hours I finished quilting it. I quilted a basic stipple in all of the red sashing, leaving the stacked coins unquilted. It feels like a bit of a cop-out to stipple a quilt, as I know I can do other designs. But this quilt was so large, that tackling anything else seemed daft, and it was nice to do something so mindless for two hours.

The photographs are rubbish today - there are three reasons for that: I've lost the charging lead for my camera, so I'm using my phone; the weather is horrid; and Mia had just woken up so I was rushing. This is the quilt in my living room. Taking up most of my living room.

And this is the only photo I managed to take with the dying camera, and the only one you can see the quilting in.

Ad the backing fabrics I picked up in the post-Christmas sales last year:
Next up is one of my least favourite jobs - trimming the quilt.... and then the binding - which was made this time last year.

On a non-quilty note, I went to the dentist today. First time in 9 years. How bad am I. It's not that I dislike dentists, I'm just lazy and nothing hurt, so I didn't bother going... but whilst I have a maternity exemption still, I decided to use it. Despite the long gap, my teeth are asolutely fine. Which is good. My husband's teeth disintegrate when you look at them - it's a family trait. Let's hope Mia takes after Mummy, not Daddy!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Red Zippy Pouch [a finish]

I'm dropping by today to tick of my second finish for Quarter 4 of the Finish Along. On my original list I had 10 zippy pouches. This was one of them! It started with this embroidery.

And it became this: the front...

The embroidery is a line drawing I found on Pinterest - it links through to a French blog.

...And the back

I've been having a go at graffiti quilting this weekend - taking different quilting motifs and joining them together with pebbles: feathers, spirals, random loopy bits... lots of pebbles.

The fabrics are from my [diminishing] stash: a red Robert Kaufman blender on the outside and the lining is one of those great texty fabrics that come in bundles from Sew Me A Song.

I mostly used this tutorial to make the zippy pouch, but cut the front and back and linings to 11.5" x 8.5" and boxed the corners at 1.5"

Come the beginning of next year (!) I'll be linking up!

Finish Along 2014

Monday, 20 October 2014

Mix Tapes [a {lovely} finish]

What started as a "I'll just try one block" has now ended as a full lap quilt that will hopefully bring comfort to a young lady waiting for a new heart. Today I finished it.

That one block, quickly became two and ended up as 15. I was making them because I liked them. Until my sister-in-law told me about Chloe. It will be her who gifts this quilt. I originally thought I wouldn't be able to make this many blocks because I would be limited by my stash of text prints. In the end I had enough text but struggled to find fabrics that worked as the reels. Some of them are better than others!
I had absolutely not intended the F to be visible!
For the front I added a Kona Black border to the mixtapes and then brought it up to size with the quilters' favourite Ikea print!

For the back I decided to piece a mega-sized mix tape - I upsized the original pattern and then rounded the numbers up and down so I wasn't cutting too many eighths of inches. It made my head hurt a little bit... but I'm glad I persevered and it was a great way of personalising the quilt.

But because I was so pleased with the back as well as the front I was loathe to quilt it because by doing what was right for the front of the quilt, I would "damage" the backing... In the end I decided to focus on the front and use light grey thread across the back in the hope that it blended in. I stitched in the ditch round the black border and the mixtapes, then created another border on the two widest Ikea borders, which I filled with free motion pebbles. You can just about see how lucky I was when I positioned it with no regard to the back  - one side lines up with the pink/purple seam and the other with the purple/Ikea seam!

In the rest of the background I did half a cross-hatch. There was no way I was wrangling the quilt through the machine again to do the other direction... the black area caused me some bother. I had planned on more pebbles, but thread colour caused me some problems.

In an ideal world I would have used black thread on the top and kept with the light grey thread on the back. In the real world this resulted in black spots in the back and light grey spots on the front, quickly followed by the seam ripper. I didn't want to use black on the back as it would detract from the mega mix tape, and I didn't want to use light grey on the front as it would show up that my pebbles aren't the neatest. In the end I gave up on free motion quilting this section and dug out a nice bright pink perle thread and decided to quilt a single line both sides of the black border. I think it works though you can't really see it in this picture...or any of the pictures I took.

I actually bound it before I did the hand quilting: Kona black with a hint of Kona candy pink.

The fabrics in this quilt are many and varied. The big mix tape on the back is Kona in the following colours: candy pink, candy green, thistle, mulberry, regal. The reels are Tula Pink. On the front... Comma; Kaffe Fasset; Noteworthy; Happy Mochi Yum Yum; Dreamin' Vintage; Tula Pink, Kate Spain; Oval Elements; Architextures; Botanics; Cotton and Steel Basics; Rosalie Quinlan; a range of Kona solids and a bunch of other fabrics I can't remember. The final quilt is 60" x 60" before its washed. The pattern for the regular sized Mix-tapes is from Issue 10 of Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine.

Can you believe - I even added a label!

This was my goal for October for A Lovely Year of Finishes

A Lovely Year of Finishes 

Finish Along 2014

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Zippy Pouch [Color Me Retro]

I made a zippy pouch! You may have noticed on my Finish Along list that there were a fair few zippy pouches to complete. I've been making good progress on the embroidery that will be on each of them, but I couldn't find a perfect tutorial online for the right size pouch, so having made approximately three zippy pouches I decided have a go on my own... but no way I was jumping in and ruining some hand embroidery by getting my measurements wrong, so today I had a play. I mostly used this tutorial by Very Berry Hand Made, but I cut rectangles measuring 11.5" x 8.5" instead of using the pattern pieces and just boxed the corners by 1.5".

The fabrics are all Color Me Retro by Jeni Baker - I really love these fabrics, but they don't often feature in my quilts, so this was a great opportunity to use them in a way that I will enjoy them regularly. I also used this project as an opportunity to practice my graffitti quilting. I'm hoping to use this type of quilting on another of the zippy pouches.

It's a shame I picked such busy fabrics in a way because the best view of the quilting is from the back, which is now hidden!

So now for the biggest decision - what shall I use this pouch for?

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

WIP Wednesday [embroidery and mix tapes]

Did you see the post on Sew Mama Sew today? It was by Cheryl Arkison and was about why it's good to have a long list of WIPs. It's like she read my mind - this is exactly my mentality and why I have so many different projects on the go - and I love it! I haven't counted my WIPs recently but ther are 35 on my Finish Along List so I'm pretty sure I have more than her...they will all be finished one day. Probably.

But for today I've been working on three WIPs: advent calendars for the bairns - the embroidery is done - now I'm turning the pockets horrifically boring job!

A mini quilt for a friend's birthday

And some mini Mix Tapes for #IGMiniSwap

Also this week I basted the regular sized mix tapes ready for quilting: the front...

...and the back.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Monday, 13 October 2014

Baby Quilts: Trellis

As I mentioned in my Quarter 4 Finish Along list, everyone we know seems to be having babies... so I need to be making some baby quilts. I have a couple in the works which are slightly more complex than they probably needed to be, but today I knocked out a whole quilt! It helped that a teething little madam slept for 4 hours!

I picked the fabrics on Saturday, drafted the block, made up a test block and did the cutting yesterday, and pieced the rest of the quilt today. I'm pretty chuffed with myself.

The central fabrics are from Makower, and the rest are Kona solids. In hindsight the colours maybe have too high a contrast, but contrasts are good for babies, so I'm not going to dwell on it for long.

And to finish up the post, Mia playing peekaboo with her quilt!

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Mix Tape Progress

In September this project finally found a cause. I'm finishing it off as a large-ish lap quilt for my sister-in-law to gift to a 13 year old girl who has just been put on the list for a heart transplant. What was originally a single mix-tape block from Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine has become a 60" x 60" quilt!

I've sized up the front with Kona black and Ikea Britten...
I convinced hubby to help with the holding up!

...And the back is a giant mix tape! I've appliqued "Chloe" and the reels and this morning I've added more Ikea Britten to bring it up to size.

But I decided to crop him out of this one!

I'm hoping to baste and quilt it this week! I'm still tagging this as a "mini quilt" because that was how it started...may need to review that!