I've now been quilting for three and a half years. This blog is my personal quilting diary, that charts my progress (and occasional regression) from the start. I use it so I can look back at my past projects...and hopefully see my skills improve!

Monday, 14 May 2018

Class with Di Ford

Last Friday, I attended a course laid on by Karen of Running Chicken which was taught be Di Ford.  We worked on the centre medallion of her latest quilt, Maling Road.  It was a fun day and Di was very generous with her time.  She covered needleturn, broderie perse and fussy cutting as well as telling us about how she approaches colour, quilt and fabric design.  She had several of her completed quilts with her - my oh my - real eye candy and beautiful workmanship.  I was particularly taken with the wonderful little details in all her quilts.  You can't really appreciate all the wonderful little touches unless you see the quilts up close.  The whole day was a succession of little treats and a great experience! 

I did think my hand applique was ok, but I now realise I have a long way to go, so much more practice is needed!  I do enjoy a challenge!

I also managed to buy a copy of her Bally Birds pattern.  She had the quilt with her - an absolute stunner!


Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Liquorice Allsorts

We've had a lot of snow here over the past couple of days, so I've had a good excuse to finish my painted whole cloth.  I am happy with it, but wish I was braver with the quilting.  It feels like a cheat when the painting only took about 10 minutes, but it took me two days to quilt it.  I have called the quilt ' Liquorice Allsorts'.

I think I may have a play with the Dye-na-flow and some Markal sticks I have, which I think would act as a resist if applied first?  We'll see.

Monday, 26 February 2018

Roll With It

On the back of trying out Dye-no-flow paints, I thought I'd try a larger piece.  The inspiration was the big lollypop with spiral design on them (that I used to see when I was little).  I used a pipette to apply the paint to the white cotton.  It was fun.  It is so much fun to make something without much of a plan!  I also painted another piece at the same time  - this time inspired by Bassetts Licquorice Allsorts.  I am quilting it at the moment. 

Thursday, 15 February 2018


Sometimes 'stuff' happens by accident.  I bought a Jacquard Dye-na-flow exciter pack at the Festival of Quilts last year.  It had sat on my shelf since then and I thought I'd see what the paints were like.  I cut  a 16 inch square of white cotton and squeezed the paint straight from the bottle diagonally in both directions.  Where the paint was still wet, it bled into paint on the crossover locations and gave an interesting effect.  It had been my intention to throw the test piece away, but I wondered if I could actually use it.  When the paint was dry, I heat set it with the iron and then appliqued on some circles.  I used ombre fabrics from my stash.  I free motion quilted in dark thread around the coloured areas but didn't worry about staying on the lines.  Lastly, I free motioned a stipple stitch using white thread on the white areas.  I cut my binding and splattered some paint onto it - again direct from the bottle.  The entire process probably took half a day.

I have several long term projects on the go that require precision and concentration.  This little project was pure joy - no quarter inches or straight lines to worry about.  It was completely free and easy.  It is so far removed from my usual 'plan every last detail' approach.

I hope I will make more abstract pieces in my future. Happy quilting!

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

First Finish of 2018

I have done very little free motion quilting over the last year.  Most of my quilts have been too 'busy' to merit anything other than basic quilting.  I know I was very rusty and needed a project that would get me using my fmq brain.

Last summer I made a feathered star mini quilt for a swap.  I was given a list of the recipient's likes and dislikes.  She liked quilts with lots of white space and modern quilting.  I kept the quilting very simple and used straight lines.  I enjoyed the process, but wondered what a large version with more traditional quilting would look like.

In the end, I chickened out somewhat on the design and went for a simple orange peel design for all the outside white space.  However, just the physical process of fmq was very beneficial and therapeutic.  Maybe next time I'll be more ambitious.

Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Time to Reflect on 2017 and Look Ahead to 2018

I wrote a list in February of UFOs, WIPs and new projects.  What progress did I make?

My list at the start of 2017
Works in Progress
Carol’s friendship quilt
Hearts and Flowers 2
TQS 2017 BOM
Daisy’s quilt
Passacaglia quilt
2015 Quiltmania Mystery Quilt
Hexi wallhanging
Gem quilt
Phoebe quilt
Rambling Ways
International Miniature Quilt Exchange
...and a list of projects to start
Waiting to start
Etoile Rouge 2017 BOM
Quiltmania 2016 Mystery quilt
Amish II Nancy Rink Quilt
Diamond Hill by Esther Aliu

So...what progress did I make IN 2017?

Works in Progress
Carol’s friendship quilt -FINISHED
Hearts and Flowers 2 - FINISHED
Daisy’s quilt - FINISHED
Passacaglia quilt - NO PROGRESS
2015 Quiltmania Mystery Quilt - NO PROGRESS
Hexi wallhanging - NO PROGRESS
Gem quilt - FINISHED
Phoebe quilt - NO PROGRESS
Rambling Ways - TWO BLOCKS DONE

...and my list of projects to start

Waiting to start
Quiltmania 2016 Mystery quilt - NOT  STARTED
Amish II Nancy Rink Quilt - NOT STARTED
Diamond Hill by Esther Aliu - ONE BLOCK ONLY DONE
What else did I make IN 2017?

Sampler quilt - half finished
Prim Log Cabin and wool scrap wall hanging - FINISHED
Roman mosaic test piece - FINISHED
Two Inktense bird table mats - FINISHED
Feathered star swap mini quilt- FINISHED
Two inktense postcards for swap - FINISHED
Prim crow quilt - FINISHED
Project Linus Gem Batik quilt - FINISHED
Large feathered star pieced and waiting to be sandwiched and quilted.

CONCLUSION - This was a worthwhile exercise as I didn't think I had done much at all this year.  I will try to review my 2018 plans each three months to see if this helps.

2018 Plans

WIPs and UFOs carried forward
TQS 2017 BOM - HALF COMPLETED - sewing machine
Passacaglia quilt - NO PROGRESS - hand work
2015 Quiltmania Mystery Quilt - NO PROGRESS - hand work
Hexi wallhanging - NO PROGRESS - hand work
Phoebe quilt - NO PROGRESS - mix
Rambling Ways - TWO BLOCKS DONE - hand work
Etoile rouge - 3 MONTHS DONE - sewing machine
Quiltmania 2016 Mystery quilt - NOT  STARTED - mix
Amish II Nancy Rink Quilt - NOT STARTED - sewing machine
Diamond Hill by Esther Aliu - ONE BLOCK ONLY DONE - hand work
Should I start anything new when so many projects are partly done? 

Priorities for 2018 - first 3 months

Sewing machine
Finish large feathered star quilt
International Miniature Quilt Exchange
Etoile rouge - 3 MONTHS DONE
Hand work
Hexi wallhanging - NO PROGRESS
Rambling Ways - TWO BLOCKS DONE

Review progress at end of March 2018

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Fun with Inktense Pencils

I signed up for a Christmas postcard swap with the FB group UKQU Postcard Swaps and made two.

I used my usual method of ironing the cotton to freezer paper before starting to colour.  This stops the fabric from moving while you colour or paint.  It also protects your table surface once you apply fabric medium and start to blend colours.  I trimmed and backed the pieces with Timtex and them free motioned  - I hesitate to say thread painted as I used the thread sparsely, using black thread.  Lastly I fused some white cotton to the back of the card and used a zig zag \ satin stitich around the edge.  I hope the recipients will like them.

I so enjoyed making the Christmas robin postcard, I thought I'd have a go at a wren and a kingfisher.  Once they were painted, I didn't really know what to do with them.  I decided to make table mats from them.  It is such a bonus when you can find coordinating fabrics in your stash!  These were a lot of fun to make and didn't take much time.  I completed the wren first and then decided I wanted to make a bit more effort with the kingfisher, so got my ruler foot out.