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!

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Part 2 of the Di Ford Mystery Quilt Finished

I just finished Part 2 of the Mystery quilt. It wasn't all plain sailing.  The first border I sewed was too long, so I carefully unpicked all of the little squares and triangles, remeasured everything drew the seam allowances on the back of the appliqued circle squares and resewed.  Perfect!  I guess my quarter inch isn't as accurate as I thought it was!  Some of the circles aren't dead centre, so I may take them off and reapplique them.

I really love the little touches in this quilt.  The little hexagons in the corner of the border are adorable.  That Di Ford is a great quilt designer!

I have just found and joined two really great Facebook groups - one for those making the Mystery quilt and one for those making quilts from Di Ford's Primarily Quilts book.  I no longer feel alone!

I've also started quilting my oriental quilt.  I'm using a Superior gold metallic thread.

I really wish I had more time to play and learn FMQ.  I really enjoy it, but I MUST improve my setup.  My sewing machine is higher than I would like and it reduces how well I can see what I'm doing ...and it makes my shoulders ache.

Only 10 days until our holiday - 14 nights cruising the Mediterranean - can't wait!

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

A Spring in My Step

After a stressful week I find I have actually made quite a lot of progress?!

I am needleturning the circles for the border of my Di Ford Mystery Quilt.  I LOVE Perfect Circles and spray starch.  I think I have tried just about every method possible for creating these, but Perfect Circles and spray starch works best for me. Once they are sewn on to the backing fabric, the fabric will be cut into little squares and sewn to little triangles for the border.

I am preparing the appliques for the 4th block of the Wedding Sampler quilt.  I have about a week to complete this block if I want to stay on my 'one block a month' schedule .

I made a reversible pinafore dress for my new granddaughter.  It will be a while until she grows into it.  I love the soft, sunny yellows.

I started and finished a quilt top this week.   I have very little idea of how to FMQ the central panel.  I NEED inspiration!
I fell in love with the wisteria in the central panel.

The photo of the wisteria above was taken in my garden last year.  The plants growing over the trellis were all cut back this winter and the trellis and bench replaced. I think you'll agree, the bench had seen better days!

I love my garden at this time of year.  I took my camera outside and took a couple of quick snaps this morning.

I'm off to my patchwork group meeting in Hawkinge this morning.  I hope to finish needleturning those circles!

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Cushion Fest

I have been busy making cushions this week.  The first is a 12 inch cushion made for my darling little granddaughter Willow. 

The photo was taken by Mike when Willow was 9 hours old.  I drew an ellipse around the image and feathered it, then added Willow's name and date of birth.  I printed the image on photofabric.  I used an embroidered and cutwork, vintage hankie as a starting point for the front of the cushion.  I added a layer of satin underneath, then a layer of wool batting and a layer of calico.  I attached the photo using hearts sewn in an oyster Sulky rayon thread.  I attached the hankie to the backing using a crosshatch stitch, again in rayon.  I then freemotion quilted a rope border, some feathers and filled in the gaps with a stipple stitch.  I haven't decided whether to add any further embellishment such as beads yet.

I made up a second cushion cover using the pattern I created - this time in a blue, red and cream colourway.  This cushion went together much faster and more easily than the last one.  I think I must be getting to grips with 'y' seams now.

I'm really glad to have the second cushion cover.  One on its own looked rather odd on the sofa!

Yaaahhh!  The fabrics for the second part of the Di Ford Mystery quilt have arrived from Holland...so I am busy making little circles.  I think I have tried just about every method possible for making these.  The method that seems to work best for me involves using the Perfect Circles templates and spray starch.

I'm also preparing the applique pieces for my April block of the Antique Wedding Sampler quilt by Di Ford.

I have a pile of blocks that I need to turn into a runner for the bottom of our bed.  I find it is too hot to have a quilt on the bed at this time of year, but I get cold feet!

Busy, busy!  I LOVE having several things on the go!

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

A Toe in the Water!

Sometimes it's nice to do a small project and have some quick gratification - especially when you really have NO IDEA what you are doing!  Last week. I had a play with EQ7 for the first time.  I designed a cushion cover in two colourways.  This is the first proper patchwork design of my own.  I have made it up in reproduction fabrics - red, greens and cream.  The cushion cover finishes at 16 inches.  I decided to go for some feathers to complete the traditional look - so much fun! 

Please excuse the untidiness that is my sewing table!  I couldn't wait to take a photo!

Having never created a pattern in EQ7 before, I was suspicious about whether or not the rotary cutting instructions would be correct...oh, bliss, they were!  I will have more faith in future.

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

A Finish at Last and Playtime

I have finished the nursery wallhangings with prairie points all sewn on. I don't think I would add them to a bed quilt as they create quite a lot of bulk at the back of the work. Not a problem on a wallhanging, but I don't think I'd like it on a bed quilt.   Please excuse the poor photos.  They were taken early in the morning.  The light is quite harsh.

About 16 months ago, I bought a copy of EQ7.  It has sat unused on my computer ever since.  I have spent a few hours playing with the program over the past two days.  I haven't the patience to start learning to use the software from the beginning, so just jumped in with both feet and had a go at designing a 92 inch quilt and a 16 inch cushion cover.  I've had a lot of fun and the best part is playing around with different colourways.  It's like having a great big 'Pick and Mix'.  I expect I've created every quilting faux pas in the book...but ignorance is bliss!  I realise I am just scratching the surface with this program, and I have an enormous amount still to learn.  I want to teach myself how to draw applique blocks next! 

Medallion quilt in bright batik colours

Medallion quilt in traditional colours

Cushion design in bright batik colours

Cushion design in bright colours

I have started piecing the cushion design above in reproduction fabrics.  I can never have enough cushion covers!