I've been quilting since 2013. 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!

Wednesday 13 January 2021

Update...first in 8 months

 Time has really got away from me over the past few months.  I have started more projects and finished some, as well.

 A pineapple quilt made during the summer, but not quilted until Christmas.


A mini pineapple made during summer.

A hand applique project - design by Erin Russek called Home Again.

Below is a table topper I created from scraps.  I call it 'Crazy Test Card'.

A couple of small improv pieces

My favourite quilt of the year.  It started as a few improv blocks from scrap fabric and grew.


I have several projects in varioua states of unfinishedness...was it ever so?

Wednesday 13 May 2020

A Finish

Lockdown continues.  I have managed to applique the first eight small blocks I had prepared for the Home Again BOM.  I have started preparing another three blocks, but may wait until I have all of the last eight patterns before I continue.  I get into a groove when I applique and seem to be more effective working that way.

I have cut out the May blocks for the State Fair BOM and will probably start sewing them tomorrow.

I had intended to sew them today but got distracted by a small project I started some time ago.  I used Dye-na-flow to paint a piece of cotton.  The inspiration was poppies that I grew from seed in my front garden last summer.  The piece looked very dull indeed, but I thought I would see if I could do something with it.  I do like to finish things I start...even if it takes me a few years.. :)

Original painted piece - not very inspiring

 After quilting - an improvement, but I didn't really think it through

I have been sewing small improv blocks in between other sewing.  I started piecing what I intended to be a 20" square mini quilt, but when I got to 20" the scale really didn't work.  I kept adding blocks until I reached 100 and put them together into a quilt measuring 44" square.  I used Kona cotton and some Caryl Fallert fabrics from my stash.  I used some Tula Pink striped cotton for the sticks. 

This was the perfect lockdown project.

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Keepin' Busy

I thank God for patchwork and quilting.  It helps to distract me from all the awful news this pandemic is causing.  I started self-isolating two weeks before the lockdown as it was obvious to anyone how this was going, so I haven't been out in over 5 weeks (except to walk the dogs once a day). 

We are lucky to have a decent sized garden, so having outside space has been a blessing for us and the dogs.

I started and have caught up with the 'State Fair Sampler BOM'.  I'm now waiting for the May blocks.

I also started the 'Home Again' BOM.  I purchased the centre medallion pattern and the other sixteen small blocks are free.  I'm having a lot of fun with this.  I haven't done any applique for a while.  I have completed the hand applique around the medallion and have prepared the eight smaller blocks that have been published so far. 

The patterns are being published once a week, so I won't need to wait too long for the last eight patterns.

Once I have finished appliqueing the eight blocks |I have so far, I am going to start a lockdown quilt project.  This is being organised by the UK branch of the MQG.  We will be making our own version of 'Folksy', a pattern by Brigit Dermott.  I am planning a half size version and am thinking about the fabrics I want to use.

Keeping busy with sewing, gardening, the dogs, the house and Mike is keeping me sane.

Thursday 26 March 2020

The Saga that is Aerial

I finished binding this quilt this morning.  I had intended it to be larger, but because I wasn't enjoying making it, I called it a day earlier than intended.

I was really excited by the project when I started.  I used some beautiful Caryl Fallert ombre fabrics I have been hoarding and added some Kona Solids. 

The pattern blocks were foundation paper pieced.  I expect that most of my problems were caused by not reading the pattern.  I discovered I needed to leave about an inch and a half around the outside of each piece or they could not be sewn together correctly into the block.  When the pieces were trimmed, the backstitching I had done at the start and end of every seam was cut off so when the paper was removed, the stitches at the edges cam loose and had to be resewn.  When I sewed the blocks together the seams were bulky and difficult to press. I pressed the top with starch before sandwiching it, but I clearly didn't iron it well enough, because there was some creases that became evident when I quilted it...so I had more remedial work to do. 

Quite honestly, I am sick of the sight of it.  I will try to learn from my mistakes and...move on!

Thursday 5 March 2020

Three months since I Last Updated my Blog

I have made a reasonable start to the year.  I finished piecing my Amish with a Twist quilt.  It is sandwiched and waiting to be quilted.  It is over 100 inches square, so will be a big job.  It is too big to photograph in the bungalow and too wet to hang outside!

I took part in the Modern Quilt Guild mini swap.  I had a lovely swap partner, Vickie, from Illinois.  I made a mini from ombre fabrics in my stash and hand dyed some silk to use as extra pops of colour.  The design is one that I adapted from a Quilt Show demo by Alex Anderson.  I think the design would work in a lot of different palettes and different sizes.

I received a lovely mini in return.  It is a two-sided quilt.  I still need to take photos.

I made the Lavender Fields quilt (pattern by Jacqueline de Jonge) in about a month.  I  spent a lot of time on it...but the weather was SO wet and miserable!  It really helped the time to pass.

I used batiks from my stash.  I tried to match what I had with photos of the suggested fabrics on the pattern.  Where my fabrics were different I tried to go for a similar level of colour saturation.

I would strongly recommend the pattern.  It was much easier to piece than I thought it would be.  The centre of each block is sewn first and then the arcs are sewn onto the edges.  They fit together very well, partly due to the curved pieces being shallow.  It was important to stick to the directions as four identical arcs are pieced into four blocks to get the effect as shown in the pattern. 

I chose the pattern because I love batik blues and greens and the white space in the centre of the blocks.  Being able to free motion quilt the block centres gives the quilt more texture and interest.

Wednesday 6 November 2019

Recreating an old Favourite

I have always loved the Hearts and Crosses coverlet in the Quilters' Guild collection and have made two previous quilts with more than a nod to the original. 

This time I wanted to make a 'modern' version using the same dimensions as the original. 

When I look at the original (on the cover of the pattern), I can see that the maker sometimes changed fabrics part way along a strip.  How 'Improv'! I guess nothing is new.

I wanted to use Improv crosses (slash and Insert) rather than the Victorian style ones on the original.  I moved the hearts to the cornerstones.  Their appearance is more subtle than in the original.  I left the sashing plain as the quilt is already very busy.  The eye needs to rest somewhere!

So, what do I think of it, so far?  In retrospect, I think that using more pale strips would have been easier on the eye. I am not used to adding random colours to a quilt.  I am a planner and always coordinate the fabrics I put together.  I was determined to take a more carefree approach.  I found it difficult but will persevere as I think serendipity can be good, too.  If I had not been trying to mimic the original, I would have chosen to use my striped fabric in all of the sashing...but it is what it is!

I have finished piecing the top and now need to get ready for my least enjoyable part of making a quilt - the sandwiching!  I also still need to think about a backing fabric for the quilt. 

Tuesday 22 October 2019

Some Progress

Now the summer is a distant memory, I have been able to make some progress with my quilting and patchwork.  As always, I have several projects on the go.

I started a log cabin quilt at a workshop about a month ago.  I had a kit that had sat waiting for a couple of years.  The workshop seemed a good opportunity to start it.  Over 1700 pieces of fabric later, the top is finished.  Not sure when I will get around to quilting it, as I still need to cut 200 more squares to piece the backing.

I have finally quilted the Di Ford Hall quilt 'Rochester'.  I just need to hand sew the back of the binding...then, I will take a photo.

I finished free motion quilting a Hoffman digital panel.  I just followed the edges and veins in the leaves.

I still need to hand sew the binding on the little butterfly quilt.  I used some South African Shwe Shwe fabrics.  I tried grafitti quilting for the first time.  Next time, I need to have greater differentiation of the motifs.