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!

Friday, 16 June 2017

Sometimes It is Better NOT to Know

I got out my 'Daisy quilt' on Wednesday.  I haven't worked on it in AGES - because small pieces of fabric, needles and a naughty, nine month old puppy are not a good combination.  I am hoping to complete this prior to the Hawkinge Patchwork Group show in October.  I am working on the 6th border and it feels like the quilt is getting large, so I must be over half way? 

I took a look at the pattern, and so far, I've hand pieced 1836 pieces...

My jaw dropped when I calculated how many pieces I have yet to sew - another 4960 pieces!  The outer border alone has 2212 pieces, including 1540 elongated hexagons.  This is a wake up call.  I am now thinking it might be finished for the show in two and a half years time.  Sometimes it is better not to know.

The photo below is of the original Billings coverlet that Carolyn Koenig used as inspiration for her pattern in her book, Creating Heirlooms.

Happy quilting, all!

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

One Step Forward, Two Back

I've had a very unproductive week so far.  It is one of those weeks, where everything I touch seems to go wrong.  It is frustrating as I have a lot of projects I could be getting on with...but I feel like I have lost my confidence.  I know this is silly, but there you go.

Last week was good.  I managed to make good progress with the Etoiles Rouge block of the week.  I managed to do some catching up, by sewing and quilting 12 blocks - so I am now only 6 weeks behind.  I thought a while before taking on this project - not because I thought the piecing was beyond me, but because I was worried about quilting such a large quilt - there will be 49 blocks.  I have managed to quilt large quilts before with my tiny harp space, but it isn't fun.  This is the first project I have tackled as QAYG.  So far, I am happy.  There is something about knowing I haven't a huge quilting job to face at the end that is making the project more enjoyable.  I will probably wait until next week before sewing more blocks as I will then have all the block patterns for another full row. 


I have signed up for the International Miniature Quilt Exchange being hosted by the Quilt Show.  I have been paired with a lovely lady from Colorado in the US.  I think it will be fun and will give me the challenge of working on a small scale.

Happy quilting, all! xx

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Having Fun with Textile Paint

Three weeks ago I started a Textile Printing course for beginners- only 10 hours over 5 weeks, but a taster of a range of printing techniques.  The first week we made foam stamps.  In week 2 we worked with linocut and this week we started screen printing. It's all fun but messy (I seem to be able to get paint into places that should be impossible!)  It is so much fun, though.

I love autumn leaves, so decided to make a practice piece using a Sizzix die to cut out the foam for the stamp.  I discovered that acrylic blocks used for rubber stamps are great for self adhesive foam stamps.  The glue can be removed with surgical spirit, making the blocks reusable - unlike wooden blocks.



I applied Jacquard Textile paint in a variety of colours to the block with a foam brush and using a dabbing motion.  Once the leaf was dry, I used the cut out of the leaf as a stencil to apply a small amount of Lumiere Gold with a stencil brush.  Too much fun...even if I manage to get paint everywhere!

The border is a batik I've had in my stash for three years.  It is a fabric I have looked at many times and thinking 'What was I thinking when I bought this??!!!' It is SO ugly!  It is perfect for this, though...so it just goes to show how wrong I was!
Happy quilting!

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Fun with Scraps

I have discovered I have more fun playing with scraps than making quilts from patterns.  Maybe it is the serendipity of not knowing what I will end up with.  I wish I was super organised - one of those folk who plan everything out, choose all their fabrics, cut all their pieces and then progress in an organised fashion.

I have tried being organised with the pieces for the semi-circular flying geese border for the TQS 2017 BOM.  I chose all my fabrics and have cut them out...and they are presently sitting there is a box waiting to be pieced.   It is definitely more efficient to do things this way.  A lot of the time I don't have a pattern to follow from and make my decisions 'on the fly' - very inefficient.  Maybe the issue is that I can't discipline myself to plan, as I want to get on with the sewing.

Can good things come from chaos?  I'm not sure...but I'm having fun, and that will have to do for now.

I have a very large stash of scraps...and the stash keeps getting bigger and bigger.  I realised that I had only ever once made a log cabin block, back in the day when I took a Patchwork for Beginners course.  I thought it was time to have another go.  I didn't have a pattern, and only intended to make one block, so would use scraps.  As it turned out, I ended up making 4 blocks, and then using more scraps in a very simple pieced border.  The centre looked rather bare, so I delved into my stash of wool, cut out some shapes and appliqued them by hand.
The result is below:

 
Happy quilting!

Thursday, 6 April 2017

Jewels

It has felt good to finish a project.  This is only the second finish so far this year.  The quilt top was pieced last year.  I prevaricated about whether to all an additional border or not...and then, somehow, it just got forgotten.  Anyway, no extra border.  I'm not sure whether the flange along the edge of the quilt was worthwhile.  It meant that the binding was machine sewn to the back of the quilt, and I just could not get the mitres as neat as when the binding is machine sewn to the front of the quilt.  It is done and it's a bright, cheerful quilt.  I do like the pattern.  I adapted it from a pattern on the Moda Cookshop blog. 

I kept the quilting basic.  I used a ruler to quilt 3 lines around each jewel.  I then FMQ'd pearls between the first and second line.  Everywhere else I used a medium stipple stitch.  I used Hobbs Polydown wadding, which gave a nice puff to the coloured blocks.

I finished the third part of the TQS 2017 BOM, The Halo Medallion.  Month 4 and 5 involve a LOT of tiny flying gesse in semi-circles.  How bad can that be?  I guess I will soon find out.  I love the accuracy of foundation paper piecing, but at the same time find it a little tedious which is odd as hand applique doesn't seem to have that effect on me.   I wonder if it is because I have to concentrate when doing FPP, (otherwise I end up doing a lot of unpicking) whereas I find applique relaxing.


I am making very slow progress on the sampler quilt, applying little wool flowers and leaves to a border.  This may have been a big mistake, as I have no experience working with wool, let alone tiny wool pieces!  I am happy with the look, I just hope my sanity survives it!


Friday, 24 February 2017

A New Year, but Slow Progress




This is my first post since October due to flu and a new pup.  On January 1st, I made a list of projects still unfinished:

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

...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

I've decided not to do the 2017 Quiltmania Mystery quilt this year.

It is the 24th February and progress has been slow.  I have two finishes.  Carol's friendship quilt is finished and has arrived in the US OK.  I tried out a faux piping binding this time. 


I finished my second version of the Hearts and Flowers Quilt.  I really enjoyed making the first version in Moda Fig Tree fabric scraps and wondered how the same quilt would look in reproduction fabrics.  Again I have a lot of scraps, so didn't need to buy any fabric.






I made the melon blocks a little larger, increased the width of the middle appliqued border and added an extra star to each side of the outer border.  This version ended up a little larger than the original. In addition, I added a narrow flange instead of the piped border in the original.



I have also made a start on the TQS 2017 BOM.


...and a start on the QAYG Etoile Rouge blocks



Diamond Hill Block 1 (added March 1st)




Wednesday, 19 October 2016

This and That

I've had a difficult few weeks without much progress to speak of.  Instead of concerted effort at one project, I have flitted between them.

I have plenty of WIPs:

  • making a second version of my Hearts and Flowers design - this time in reproduction fabrics
  • a jewel quilt top that still needs an outer border
  • my Hertfordshire quilt has another border half done
  • started a Pine Valley Rambling Ways quilt - 2 blocks appliqued
  • restarted Phebe quilt by Di Ford with some painted appliques for the centre medallion