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, 31 March 2015

Table Topper and FMQ

I didn't get around to posting last week, but I kept busy...despite gashing my middle finger with a rotary cutter.  I won't be doing that again, any time soon.  I ended up going to the hospital as it was still bleeding heavily 9 hours later.  Alginate dressings are magic and it is lucky I don't use that finger very often.

 Week 12 FMQ Challenge

On Thursday last week, I made a table topper at Kathy's Patch with the help of Jo.  For some reason, I struggled to work out how to position my triangles.  I bought a 60 degree triangle ruler a few weeks ago, so it was a bonus to be able to find a use for it!  Even better, I bought a reel of variegated King Tut a couple of years ago, and the topper colours were perfect for it.  I found quilting it on the shop Janome tricky as the foot bounces, whereas my Bernina foot doesn't.  I also had a bandage on my finger, so my FMQ wasn't as good as usual...or at least, that's my excuse!

I also made a small quilt, but cannot post about it yet, as it is a present.

Week 13 FMQ Challenge

So far, I've stayed on track and managed to practice every week. I bought this fabric a while ago, with a view to cutting it up and using it for brodeie perse...but I couldn't bring myself to cut it up, so I thought I'd quilt it instead. I outlined all the flowers, stems, leaves and butterflies first. The background stitch is one I haven't attempted before. I didn't want to distract from the flowers. Not sure what I will do with it. It is 20 inches square.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Weird Week - Nothing Quite Right

I've had one of those weeks!  Nothing has gone quite as I'd hoped.

Week 11 of my FMQ Challenge

This was an unmitigated disaster. In the past, I have used a thick cotton batting to back the work and this has been sufficient to stabilise the stitching.  This time, I used a wool batting.  The result is awful.  The work distorted badly and really pulled in at the edges, where the background had been stippled, leaving lines  radiating out from the hare that the stippling cannot hide.  I am teaching myself, so learning from my own mistakes.  I'm just glad this was a practice piece and it will serve as a reminder of what NOT to do!

New Project - Phebe by Di Ford

I've been looking at the pattern for this quilt for a long time, and now Mountmellick is finished, I'm missing it.  I have made a start preparing the appliques for the centre medallion, using wash away applique paper.  I am struggling with some of the tiny pieces, and will have to redo some.  I will also consider using embroidery or small pieces of ultrasuede or wool felt, if all else fails.  There are hundreds of pieces to prepare, and I want this to be a quilt I can be proud of, so if it isn't up to scratch, I'll redo.

Just in case I don't have enough projects on the go, I've started a small beading project as part of a Craftsy course in Bead Embroidery.  I'm really enjoying it, and it won't take too much time.  I need a bit of bling in my life!

Happy stitching!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015


I finally got around to photographing my finished Mountmellick quilt this morning.  It has been sitting folded up, waiting to be hung.  I see it already has some fold marks on it, so that will teach me not to hang it straight away!

Week 10 of my FMQ challenge

This week, I have made a finished piece, rather than an unbound practice piece.  The cockerel was drawn and coloured using Derwent Intense pencils.  I added two layers of wool batting just behind the bird and then thread-painted using a combination of Isacord and rayon threads.  I cut away the excess batting around the bird, then made the quilt sandwich using polyester batting. I echo quilted around the bird to make the trapunto stand out.  I know the quilting behind the small chicken print and the feather print would not show up very well, so used the feather border to FMQ free form feathers following the pattern on the fabric.  Having far too much fun!

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Week 9 FMQ and More

It has been a very productive week.  This week I have managed to finish the first block of the Quiltmania mystery quilt.

I tried out some thread painting with mixed results.

The first piece is of Monty, my Maltese.

The second piece is my granddaughter, Willow and less successful.  I will have another try at this in the future...trying to avoid the contour lines.  I think they are a distraction.  Live and learn!

It is now week 9 of my FMQ challenge.  My,  but time flies!I created a FMQ practice piece using plum coloured cotton, silver and gold metallic thread, turquoise and blue thread.  I wanted to try out Isacord's metallic threads and bought two spools from Stocks in Leeds. The thread was strong and has a good lustre, so I'm happy.  I hadn't tried feathers for a few weeks and I've always wanted to try hyperquilting.  I printed a block from EQ7 to give me the basic star shape.  I then made some changes to it.  This was the first time I have quilted feathers without drawing them out first.  My main gripe with this is that because I used blue and turquoise thread for the feathers, I'm not sure they show up against the plum background, as much as I would like. It was fun, though!  I also spoiled the overall effect in the middle of the piece by using a scribble stitch.  I may go back over it with a purple thread so it isn't so obvious.