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 July 2014

Work in Progress

I've had a very productive couple of weeks in the sewing room.  At the moment, designing and making teddies for the Hugglets Teddies Festival in London in September is my priority, but I am nearly finished piecing my Spools quilt.  The pattern for this is by Fig Tree Quilts and it is 68 inches square.  It is not quite big enough for our bed, so I have purchased some additional fabric to add an extra border, making it 80 inches square.

Spools Quilt so far...


Just need a few more hours in the day!

This is Chlotilde.  She is one of my original designs and will be going to London with me.  She is made from German mohair that has been aged to give that old, preloved look.  I hand knitted her an angora cardigan and sewed on a mother-of-pearl button.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Favourite Blocks

Last week was a good one for finishes.  I made up my two hand quilted silk blocks into cushion covers.  I added piping around the edges to give a nicer finish.  I also finished free motion quilting my sister's quilt and my oriental quilt.

I don't consider myself a great piecer, so have veered more towards applique just recently, but there are some blocks that have been calling to me lately.  I particularly like the look of hour glass, broken dishes and spools blocks.

I have lots of scraps from a jelly roll and other projects, so thought I would make them up into 9 inch double hourglass blocks.  These are much easier than I thought and like them a lot.  I've decided that I want these blocks to be in citrus colours.  I seem to have had a lot of green fabric left over, so more orange and yellow blocks are needed to break them up.  I have some much brighter yellow, green and orange fabrics to add some extra interest and value to these when I get the time.  I'm not sure what I'll do with these yet, but I just like the the look.

I have also just started making some spool blocks.  I am using a Moda Honeysweet jelly roll for these with a plain cream background.  I have started with making some of the delicate peach fabrics, but there are stronger shades of red and brown to come.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

For a Much Loved Sister

I finished a quilt for my sister this week.  She moved from the UK to Canada about 30 years ago.  She asked for a quilt in red, white and blue and preferably with a UK flag on it. The quilting used 1800 metres of thread.  I found the free Amy Smart pattern here:


I sewed some fabric photos of members of our family onto the back of the quilt. I hope she will like it.

The instructions for Part 4 of the Di Ford Mystery Quilt arrived this morning.  Just waiting for the fabric pack to arrive.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Can an Old Dog Learn New Tricks?

It's confession time.  I have hand quilted a baby quilt and a cushion cover before...BUT and it's a BIG but, I used a hotch potch of running and stab stitches!  The front of the quilt looks OK, but the backs are awful.  It is time to 'bite the bullet' and learn the hand quilting stitch properly.  I have a 16 inch square of off white silk, so thought a small project would get me going.  I have used a Sandie Lush Durham design.  The silk is nice and thin, so it was easy to trace the pattern onto the material.  I tried to use a hoop when I quilted the baby quilt, but the weight of the quilt in the hoop was really unpleasant, so I ended up quilting it hoopless.  I am finding the hoop OK for this small, light project, but think I might prefer to work on a frame for larger projects.  I don't want to invest in a frame until I know I can do the quilting stitch!

I started yesterday and put in about two and a half hours.  I am trying to learn to use the rocking motion.  I started off flicking the needle into my face several times, (luckily I wear glasses) but am now getting more control.  I want to learn to quilt in all directions, so have also been practicing stitching away from myself with my thumb...so if I buy a frame, it will be easier.  I am pleased with my progress so far.  The back of the project looks much better than previous projects.

The stitches are very large, though.  I'm only getting 5 stitches to the inch, so hope with regular practice, I'll get the stitches smaller. If not, I guess I'll be doing 'big stitch quilting!'

I'm going to try to practice at least an hour a day.  I love the look of hand quilting, and I have a couple of reproduction look quilt projects on the go.  I hope I will be proficient enough to make a decent job of hand quilting them by the time they are ready.

I'm also busy making teddies for Hugglets, in London, in September....no idle hands here!