Tuesday, 31 July 2012

Reveal 1: Joshua's Quilt

So we got some sun at the weekend. I just lacked a husband to hold the quilt up - he had to work all weekend. So I dug around and found some pegs, and then waited for the wind to stop for a few seconds - and here it is:

The finished quilt is 58 x 40" and each churn dash block is 9" - it's quite large for a baby blanket, but he was quite a large baby and he'll grow into it. The fabrics are a total mix from my stash: Tilda, Aneela Hooley, Backyard Baby, Art Gallery, Flea Market Fancy, pearl bracelets...

I wanted to echo quilt the churn dash blocks. But very quickly new that I would get sick of sorting out the thread ends, so instead I gave grid quilting a go. In the past I've struggled with  puckers and pleats where the lines of stitching meet - theoretically my machine doesn't need a walking foot. I was very careful and apart from a few tiny pleats, I'm happy with the result. And it looks fine on the back - you just have to trust to it when you're sewing.

And I love the backing - it's bugs in jars from Backyard Baby.

I've bound it in another fabric from the same range.

We won't be able to give the quilt until we get back from holidays so I'll use the time to embroidery a small quilt label to go on it.

Monday, 30 July 2012


I finished three quilts last week. That means I can start three more. Right?

This weekend was about Dresdens. Not something I've done a lot of before. I started on Saturday witha  new Jelly Roll quilt. It's from the Jelly Roll Dreams book and is called Pac Mania. Here are my first four blocks all together (the background is cream, not grey).

In the finished quilt there won't be any full circles only three quarter circles (which look like the things from Pac Man - hence the name). I'm using a Ruby Jelly Roll, and those are curved seams! So far I'm 11 blocks in and no pleats in my seams! I need 36 blocks in total so there is still time!

And then yesterday I started the Sew Intertwined QAL with the centre Dresden. Check out the tutorial because this technique took away all of the Dresden issues I've had in the past. I haven't bought my background fabric yet, so I've just sat it on some cream fabric from the jelly roll quilt.

The fabrics are part of the Cats Amore range from Benartex - but I've avoided the cat-ty prints. Except the pink. Which is from Moda.

I'm off to do some more curved seams!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Picking Colours: Hexagons

I have some hexagon papers! And I'm going on holiday. And I want to use them. But I don't know what I want to do. Possibly a cushion. Possibly a table runner.

First step: pick colours: christmas colours? rainbow? blues and greens and greys inspired by the Pembrokeshire Coastline? None seem to be quite what I want.

So I'm having a browse on Design Seeds and this caught my eye

And here are the fabrics (possibly with a few extra texty prints):

And here is the plan (I still haven't learnt to colour in neatly)! It may grow...or shrink....

Stay tuned....

Edited to add: I totally forgot to mention that the hexies are quite tiny - the sides are only 3/4" each! I do like small!

Saturday, 28 July 2012


It's been a big week here - in quilty terms anyway!

SWOON is finished!

Don't  you just love that red and white stripe binding?

OH MY STARS is finished!

Archie gave it the seal of approval before I had even finished sewing on the binding!

The hand stitched binding on these two quilts comes in at 680 inches!!!

JOSHUA'S QUILT is finished!

I love the backyard baby fabric for the banking!

But you only get sneak peeks - these quilts are so big, that I still haven't figured out how to photograph them properly - hopefully it will be beautiful weather when we visit my parents (and their large back garden) next week and then I will be able to share the full picture with you. I would love it if you popped back!

Out of the ten finishes I listed for the third quarter Finish Along, three are now done!

By the way - did you see the Olympics opening ceremony yesterday? Some of the imagery went a little over my four-year-old nephew's head - even with the help of an ice-lolly!

Because of all of the hand stitching in that binding, I'm linking up to Handmade Parade!

Thursday, 26 July 2012


Yesterday I had planned to continue sewing on the binding on my Swoon quilt. Plans don't always come to be. Linda came over with a couple of quilts she was struggling with, so we did a deal. Hand stitching binding isn't my favourite thing in the world, so Linda took over that and I moved her quilts forward.

First up was a quilt all in greys.

We layered it up last week, with polyester wadding and a shiny cotton fabric. All that meant was that when Linda tried to straight line quilt it, it moved and puckered and was generally unhelpful! Her machine is smaller than mine and she was struggling to get the quilt through the harp spaceon her machine. I tried one line, got cross with the puckering, and pulled it all out and went for an all over stipple - it seemed to be easier and the layers moved about less. Except for the part when it folded on itself and got caught  up on the back and I had to unpick a load. And the time when the thread has a not in the middle of it straight off the reel. You live and learn. But I will never use polyester wadding again (I think I've said that before - but I've now said it Linda too!).

Second up was a quilt we layered on Sunday. It's a pre-printed children's panel for Linda's cousin's great-grandson, Frankie, who was born a couple of weeks ago.

Linda had quilted along the lines with a wiggle-y stitch and she convinced me to do the binding for her. I used my machine to stitch it on to the back and then top stitched it on the front. This went much smoother.

And I only have a quarter of the Swoon binding left to stitch.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Desperate Housewives block

A bit later this month, but my two blocks for July Stash Bee are done.

This is not my normal colour scheme - it's my least favourite colour combo. I love blue and orange individually and in other combinations. And me and grey are gradually getting better acquainted. But together? So I was pleasantly surprised by the result. It went together ok too - just had to be careful to trim up at each stage and pin carefully!

I love the block - it was designed (and named - fab name) by our Queen Bee for the month, Jess from the Elven Garden and you can find the tutorial here - and a picture of what a whole quilt with this block would look like! I think I may be revisiting this block in the future.

Monday, 23 July 2012

Festival of Hexagons and Sew Intertwined

Everyone loves new projects, right?

First up, the festival of Hexagons - what a fab project for the summer - I already have some papers cut and some fabric picked out for a wonderfully seasonal Christmas project to stitch on my Summer holidays - watch this space!
Festival of Hexies
And have you seen the new QAL over at Sew Happy Geek?
Sew Intertwined QAL
Early this year I decided I wanted to make a quilt for my Mum and Dad's next door neighbour. She and her husband used to babysit us when we were little. When I was home in Marhc I asked her what her favourite colours were - green and purple. Just last weekend I finally found the fabrics!

And then I saw the Sew Intertwined QAL and it was perfect. Link up is the start of September - I may not be finished by then, but this is definitely a new project on my list.

Do you fancy joining in?

Sunday, 22 July 2012


Have you seen all of the polaroid inspired blocks around recently - like this one, and this one? I really like the idea of an I-Spy quilt using this idea, but my stash isn't the biggest, nor my fabric the best for this type of quilt. Then I came across this Flickr group.

You make as many polaroid blocks as you fancy, send them off, and get back the same number in return! How simple is that! I've been through my stash and pulled out 25 prints that would work, and I'm making two blocks from each fabric - one for me to keep and one to send off. I plan on raiding Linda's stash later this week - she has far better fabrics for this than I do!

If you want to join in, there's still time before the blocks have to be sent - check out the Flickr group for all of the information!

So as well as making up the blocks, I've been making binding - metres and metres of it.

The darker blue roll is now attached to the Oh My Stars quilt ready to be hand sewn down. The red and white one needs to be attached to Swoon and the turquoise one needs to be attached to Joshua's quilt, just as soon as it's quilted - I did get it layered up today with some help from Linda.

In other news, my nose is getting in the mood for the Olympics and could have won gold in the marathon three times over the amount it's been running today! Joy!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Quilty quilty quilty

When I have had time to breathe this week I have been quilting quilting and more quilting! Swoon was quilted up last weekend and today I finished quilting my Oh My Stars quilt top. I quilted it the same way as Swoon - a tight stipple in the background, leaving the feature fabrics in the stars to jump out of the quilt. Here are some more sneaky peakies!

I plan to get both quilts fully bound by next weekend, and then take them down to Mum and Dad's in a week and a half to get some full photos in the back garden: they are way too big to photograph indoors.

Now to do some piecing!

Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Sneaky Peaky

On Friday I started quilting Swoon and on Sunday I finished quilting Swoon.

In order to cut down a little on cost, I backed the quilt with a good quality white sheet. It should have cost £60, but as a slight second cost only £13. The reason for the slight second, was a small mark, that will eventually be covered by the quilt label.

I did all my quilting in red thread, back and front and I love the look of the back - here are some sneak peaks - I'll show you more once it's bound!

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Jumping in - FNSI July

On Thursday I posted my third quarter goals. There was quite a bit of quilting on that list! So I took the opportunity of yesterday's Friday Night Sew In to make a start. And I jumped right in with quilting my Swoon quilt. At 90"x90" it isn't small, but my machine, and me, seem to be coping ok - though I seem to be going through needles pretty quickly - must pick up more tomorrow.

It's difficult to photograph well, but here we go:

I'm doing a small scale stipple in all of the red areas. I'll leave the patterned pieces in the Stars unquilted and this really makes those beautiful Happy Mochi Yum Yum fabrics pop!

I started again this evening with a new needle and I've only done an hour more quilting and that has been the life of another needle. I'm not sure I should be going through them that quickly.

Although this picture is quite dark and doesn't show the colours at all well, you can see the quilting in it! I'm using a red Aurifil thread for the quilting, back and front - the back is a good quality white sheet, so you'll really be able to see the pattern of the quilting from the back. I hope I don't regret that choice!

Today and tomorrow is a small quilt show at our local quilt shop - I have, of course, been inspired with a new project and have, of course, taken the oppotunity of 10% off to buy the fabrics for it - it's only a small project - honest - watch this space :)

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Finish Along: Quarter 3

Last quarter I signed up for the Finish Along hosted by Rhonda at Quilter in the Gap. I planned to finish three quilts, and eventually finished two of them. Ironically it was the two quilts that were furthest from being finished that got done - the one that just needed quilting (and also the smallest) remains on the WIP list.

Sign ups are now open for Quarter 3 and I am going to be far more ambitious. I've been thinking about which projects to list for this quarter and couldn't decide, so I'll list them all. I found that the accountability was really useful, so you never know - one person finished 11 projects last quarter! So here goes

1. Farmer's Wife Quilt

All 111 blocks are made and I've already made a start on the sashing, but this is really not my favourite of quilting, so I really need a bit of a kick up the butt. My Local Quilt shop is expecting a delivery of new batiks soon, so I'll be able to pick out some beauties for border and backing.

2. Swoon

This is fully pieced and basted (courtesy of my Mum and Dad's living room floor). I have a red thread and after the success of quilting my Ambrosia quilt, I am ready to tackle FMQ on this monster. I also have a gorgeous red and white stripe fabric for the binding!

3. Oh My Stars

This is in exactly the same state as Swoon - I just need to tackle the FMQ- I'm thinking stippling in the background areas to really make the stars pop!

4. Mini Swoon

This is the quilt that beat me in Q2. I need to baste, quilt and bind it. I'm going to go with straight line quilting on this one.

5. Steph's Quilt

This is Steph's 21st birthday quilt. She will be 22 on 6th October. If I finish it this quarter, it will be done in time for her birthday. So far I have 16 of 64 blocks....

6. Joshua's quilt

I finished piecing this last weekend and I ordered the backing earlier this week - I'm going to echo quilt around the colours.

7. October baby's quilt: After I heard that Paul and Carrie were expecting at the start of October, and they had a green colour theme, I pulled loads of green fabrics from my stash. The plan is a 35 block Farmer's Wife quilt - I'm missing those little blocks. So far, one down, 34 to go!

8. and 9. Hexagon jelly roll quilts

I'm making two matching quilts using Papilon by Moda by two very special ladies as Christmas presents - you can read about my nightmares here! These aren't my normal fabric choices, but they are so elegant and beautiful!

10. Daniela's quilt
Daniela use to be my manager. Shortly before she left to go back to Germany, I took her along to our local quilt shop and she picked out some fabrics for a double bed quilt. Back at the end of June I made a start on this quilt. It's from a Turning Twenty book, which starts with 20 fat quarters, uses simple cutting plans, and makes a quilt. I started with 36 fat quarters! This is the design.

And these are my fabrics - like the quilts above, the patterns aer delicate and pretty, and although totally different to my normal bright and bold colours, this quilt will absolutely stunning when it's finished - really English and pretty.

Tomorrow is Friday Night Sew In - I guess I'd better make a start!

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


A few months ago we decided that a couple of very special people would be receiving quilts for Christmas and both of these two lovely ladies independently said that blue was their favourite colour. We settled on Papillon from Moda, but only the blue colour way (not the coral fabrics). It'a really delicate duck-egg type blue, combined with light browns and splashes or gorgeous corally red. My local quilt shop cut me two custom jelly rolls of just the blues (underneath) and creams (on top).

And I picked a quilt design from a Pat and Nicky Lintott Jellyroll book which results in Hexagons.

I got the fabric, and put it carefully in the cupboard for later in the year. Last night I had a dream. It was Christmas Eve and I hadn't finished the quilts! So tonight when I got home from work, I pulled out the fabric and I have made a start.

And I will be adding these two quilts to my finish along list when I post it later this week - these two quilts WILL be finished in time for Christmas!

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Whipped up in a weekend

Started cutting on Friday, completed quilt top on Sunday! My sewing mojo is back (though the hayfever hasn't gone yet)!

The finished top is quite large for a baby quilt - 60"x42", but then Joshua weighed in at over 12lb. It's a bit big as a quilt, but it will make a good play mat.

I can't get any batting till next weekend, but I've ordered Bugs in Jars from Backyard Baby for the backing and a blue fabric from the same range to bind it.

What with the British Summer already turning into Autum, the outside prints weren't great, and Michael had turned off the auto focus as well. So I took some inside ones too. Hopefully we'll see some sun soon and I'll be able to get some photos that show the colours better.