Saturday, 31 May 2014

Sampler Quilt Love [May]

I didn't have an edition of Sampler Quilt Love in April, as all I'd managed to do was to cut out a few blocks - none had been pieced. But this month every now and then I pieced another block.

These are for my Architextures and Botanics quilt and are all from the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt except the last which is from Silvia's Bridal Sampler
Ribbons

Star of Hope with small design alteration cause I had a stupid moment

Star Gardner

Pinwheel 2
These are for my Uncle's quilt and all come from Silvia's Bridal Sampler
Gulf Star

Cut Glass Dish

Bow Tie

Pinwheel 2

The last two batik blocks were cut out at different times - I obviously like this combination of fabrics!  I did however, manage a Lucky Stars block - I figure that as each star is different this is a kind of sampler quilt too.

The two other sampler quilts I'm "actively" working on are the Dear Jane quilt and Michael's Hangover Blankie. I was disappointed not to get any blocks made for either of these two, but if you pop back tomorrow for Fresh Sewing Day you'll see I was working on a few other things instead.


Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Family [WIP Wednesday]

Last weekend was full of family and friends and Mia was centre of attention: on Saturday she was three months old, so here is the photo of her on her quilt to see how much she has grown.

On Sunday she was christened in a beautiful little lacy number and we had a lovely party with lots of friends and family, some travelling a very long way to spend the day with us. And Sunday also saw her laughing for the first time - a proper little chuckle!


And on bank holiday Monday we had a trip to a local English Heritage property, Belsay Hall - perfect time for the rhododendrons. 

Since then I have done a little sewing! On Tuesday I basted two quilts: the purple one made from bee blocks for my Great Aunt, Iris ...

And a blue one, which I'm going to quilt before adding some applique, for my Great Aunt, May.


And yesterday Mum bought a new camera and was looking for a camera case, so I've used some batik scraps and made one for her. When I make cases it's always a little bit of luck if the item fits, but this one is perfect - not so tight you accidentally turn the camera on as you force it in (like my camera case) and not so big that it just falls out in your handbag!


I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday and at the end of the month to Put Your Scraps to Work with Fairy Face Designs.
FairyFace Designs

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Three Peaks [finished]

Another finish!!! I'm on a roll. But the roll has just about ended. Nothing else is nearly done. Having shared my Neon Stained quilt with you earlier this week, it's now time to share the finished Three Peaks quilt with you!

Do you ever have quilts that have a quilty friend? Apparently I do, though I hadn't realised it until now.... back in 2012 I was working on two quilts at the same time and I finished them within a few days of each other - my Swoon quilt and the Oh My Stars quilt.

In 2013 I did it again, this time with a couple of quilts that had left me stumped for a while - Daniela's quilt and Steph's quilt.

And this year I've done it again, with two quilts that have progressed at about the same rate, and been unloved for about the same length of time - my Neon Stained and my Three Peaks Quilt.



I made the blocks for this quilt as a class at our Local Quilt Shop. It's called Three Peaks because it used a speciality ruler that had "three peaks"/triangles.

I only had a fat quarter of each of the greys except the darker one, and once I'd made all the blocks I could, and added a border, it was still quite a small quilt. The size was great for a baby quilt, but the colours weren't ideal, so I ignored it for it a while.

Then a few months ago I came up with the idea for the Arabella Hexagon Quilt and I knew I wanted to quilt it with a spiral, but having never done a spiral before, I also knew I wanted to practice. This quilt seemed perfect!


I learned a lot about spiral quilting - most importantly, that spiral quilting distorts the fabric really badly and that in order to avoid puckers on the back (and the front) of which there are several, it really needs to be totally rebasted half way through. Also, by picking a busy backing, the puckers are better hidden!

I haven't washed this quilt yet, but I can't wait to see how the texture changes!


This is another finish for my Finish Along goals. Out of the original fourteen (yep, fourteen) goals, I now have four finishes and a few more that are still realistic!

Finish Along 2014

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Lucky Stars [WIP Wednesday]

We are having gorgeous weather here. I'm pretty sure it will end tomorrow, but today was lovely! We went for a family walk in the park - so long as Mia has a chunky jacket on she now fits in her buggy. Which is good as she is now too long for her pram! Mia was all smiles today...


...and even had a good look at Mummy's sewing machine!

Of course, when Mia isn't helping Mummy, Mummy has been using the sewing machine. I've made up four more blocks for my Architextures / Botanics quilt
Ribbons from the Farmer's Wife

Star Gardener from the Farmer's Wife

A pinwheel block from Sylvia's Bridal Sampler

Star of Hope from Farmer's Wife with a slight variation cause I got my quilt maths wrong...
And another Lucky Stars block. This is January's block (I'm a little behind). I struggled a bit to get the seams to match up, but there are 16 meeting in the middle there!


Linking up with WIP Wednesday

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Bloggers' Quilt Festival [Neon Stained]

Hello and welcome! If you've headed over from the Blogger's Quilt Festival then it's great to see you here. I'm a brand new Mum, Mia is just 11 weeks old, and I sew to keep me sane. I've been obsessed by patchwork and quilting for the last few years - if you'd like to see some of my finishes, then there are links at the top of the page for 2012, 2013 and 2014 so far!

AmysCreativeSide.com

My second entry in this Bloggers' Quilt Festival is my Neon Stained quilt. I'm entering this in the home quilted category.
It's windy today and I was using an inexperienced quilt-holder-upper

If you are a regular reader then you will know a couple of things already about this quilt - it has been a WIP for years and I recently did an epic quilting job on it. For those of you who are new, here's the full story: In spring 2012 Sarah from Narcoleptic in a Cupboard led a quilt along for her quilt Stained. I had collected some citrus coloured fabric and this was perfect. The pink was a bit of a last minute addition. You can find all the info for the quilt on Sarah's blog.


After some epic cutting over the Easter weekend, and then a week off work spent piecing (heaven) I had a finished quilt top. I even got it basted fairly quickly. I added it to my Finish Along list. And then the next quarter and the next and the next....

I couldn't decide how to quilt it. I had two ideas: very dense straight line quilting or individual quilting patterns in each coloured block. Both had disadvantages. For the first idea I just couldn't decide on a thread colour. For the second idea my free motion quilting wasn't good enough. Since summer 2012 I have stippled a large number of quilts and did some other patterns as part of the Skill Builder Quilt Along (something else I haven't finished and that is on my Finish Along list).

For some reason I decided April this year was the month to do it and to go with option 2. I madly pinned lost of quilting ideas on my Quilting Pinterest Board and then picked out the ones I could feasibly attempt. I did a huge blog post dissecting the quilting a few weeks ago and I decided that there were some patterns I would never try again, others that I was really pleased with and lots I wanted to work on further.

I was quite pleased with the "wood grain" effect in the block bottom right
The square spiral (orange in the centre) gave a really dense finish I liked

My favourite was very dense matchstick quilting (pink block in the middle)
And I want to further develop the ideas where I've combined two patterns in the same block (green top left)
I want to try the "stringed circles" (yellow and green blocks at the bottom) again

The backing is a cotton fabric from Ikea. I quilted it with the same colour in the bobbin as the top thread so you can see the quilting (in all it's glory/gory) from the back.


I finally finished attaching the binding this afternoon! I added a corner of orange to black binding. This may be my favourite quilt ever. I love the colours and how bright it is and I love the dense quilting - this is a heavy quilt.
Fleck of orange binding in the bottom right corner
As well as linking up for the Bloggers' Quilt Festival, in a few weeks time I will also be linking this up with Katie as one of my finishes for this quarter. You can find my original Finish Along list here.

Finish Along 2014

My other entry in this Bloggers' Quilt Festival is my Thread Along quilt - you can find the post here. If you'd like to see my previous entries into the Blogger's Quilt Festival, you can follow the links below:
Bear Paws
Rhubarb and Custard
Pembrokeshire
Bubbles Baby Quilt
Farmer's Wife Quilt
Rainbow Incubator Quilt
Wilding Angels - my first quilt

Thanks for stopping by!

Blogger's Quilt Festival [Thread Along Quilt]

Hello and welcome! If you've headed over from the Blogger's Quilt Festival then it's great to see you here. I'm a brand new Mum, Mia is just 11 weeks old, and I sew to keep me sane. I've been obsessed by patchwork and quilting for the last few years - if you'd like to see some of my finishes, then there are links at the top of the page for 2012, 2013 and 2014 so far!

AmysCreativeSide.com
The first quilt I'm entering this time round is one that I finished just last night: my Thread Along quilt. I'm entering this in the original design category. The quilt is about 46" x 46" and was planned to be a quilt along over the course of 2013. However, I fell pregnant in May and this project took a bit of a back seat.

I created a block a month, in colours of the rainbow, each with a different embroidery, based on the events within a month, surrounded by a border of the name of the month in a variety of languages (I was a language student at university). I added a few traditional blocks - churn dash and evening star are some of my favourites - and did something a little different in the corners.



I had a final push at the start of this year and finished the embroideries. These are some of my favourite embroidered motifs.

This quilt has gone through a number of changes - I had plans to make the centre of the quilt into more of a clock face, but with so much detail in the month blocks, I decided that a straightforward Dresden plate was all I needed.

I had also originally intended to add buttons to fill some of the gaps in the embroidery, but I think the quilt is busy enough without that. If I change my  mind in the future, I can always add them when I own more than one yellow button...

The quilting was a bit a of a journey by itself. I had planned to hand quilt it. I made a start and got quite far, but it just wasn't doing it for me. And the basting hadn't been great, so I ended up with some very very baggy bits. I unpicked the lot.
Epic quilting fail
I replaced it with simple straight line machine quilting around the borders and the embroidery blocks. Although simple, this was all that the quilt needed.
Before I added the binding

I stepped up my game a bit from the simple quilting to my first attempt at a matched binding, and although it takes a little longer to complete, it was quite straightforward and I love the look. I used Debbie's great tutorial.

One of the things I especially like about this quilt is the fabrics I used. All are from my stash and include some of my favourites: Mama Said Sew, Art Gallery Oval, Floral and Natural Elements, Kona Solids, Painter's Canvas, Architextures, Pearl Bracelets, Flea Market Fancy, Comma, and a fair few which I have collected over the years and can't identify. All of the embroidery is completed in DMC threads.


If you would like to make your own version of this Thread Along quilt, then up in the top left corner of my blog is a link to the Thread Along page. You can find all of the embroidery designs, instructions for piecing the blocks and for finishing the quilt top. If you did make your own version, or even just did a single embroidery, I would love to see it!

And to top it all, this is one of my Finish Along Goals for quarter 2 so in a few weeks time I'll be linking up with Katie! You can find my original Finish Along list here.

Finish Along 2014

My other entry in this Bloggers' Quilt Festival is my Neon Stained quilt - you can find the post here. If you'd like to see my previous entries into the Blogger's Quilt Festival, you can follow the links below:
Bear Paws
Rhubarb and Custard
Pembrokeshire
Bubbles Baby Quilt
Farmer's Wife Quilt
Rainbow Incubator Quilt
Wilding Angels - my first quilt

Thanks for stopping by!