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!

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

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Hearts and Flowers

I had fun with this one...using scraps from the Dashing Hearts quilt.

I love applique, so drew out the motif for the medallion centre and looked to carry on with plenty more applique in the melons border and the floral border.

I decided to add some piping between a couple of borders.  The jury is out.  I'm not sure if I like the piping or not.  It was tricky to FMQ up to each side of the piping.

I decided to embroider the stems instead of making bias stems.

I have always liked the Ohio Star block, but never pieced it before.  I used foundation paper piecing to ensure the blocks were as perfect as possible.  Using left over jelly roll strips made them straightforward and quick to make.

Adding yo yos and buttons added to the fun.  I found some perfect buttons on eBay.  I really like the way they look in the centre of the Ohio Star blocks.

The quilt finished at 42" square.   It would be easy to make a much larger quilt from this design by increasing the size of the melon and Star blocks.
 The quilting was very simple on this one - mostly stipple.

I have started writing up a pattern for the quilt.  That should keep me busy for a few days!

I'm off to the festival of Quilts Thursday and Friday with the lovely ladies from Hawkinge Patchwork.

Happy quilting, all!

Monday, 18 July 2016

Dashing Hearts, My First Quilting Pattern

After receiving positive feedback for my 'Dashing Hearts' quilt, I have put together a pattern that will be available on Craftsy.

IIt may look complicated, but it is a fairly quick project.  I completed the quilt, including the quilting in about a week.

I am excited, but a little anxious, as this is completely outside my experience and comfort zone.  Below are a few photos. The quilt finishes at 36 inches square.

It incorporates some of my favourite things - Churn Dash blocks, yo yos, and applique.   I was able to incorporate an on-point central block.  This is something I haven't tried before.

Making the quilt was such fun!  I used Moda Fig Tree fabrics.

Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Flowering Urn Quilt Finished

I am happy to have finished my Summer Wall hanging.  The quilting on this is a little boring with crosshatch in the centre and stippling in the outer border, but I wanted the applique to be the star.  I thinkthe effect is what I was after, but it was a big yawn to quilt. 

I have an idea for an autumn coloured wall hanging and I hope the quilting will be more interesting on this one.  I'm not sure when I'll be able to start it...not for three weeks at least. 

Happy quilting!

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Slow Progress

Making slow progress. Lots of embroidery to do - tendrils, bird feet and bird eyes...but the sun is shining, so no contest! It is looking a little sorry for itself, as I've handled it so much while hand appliqueing. Once embroidery is done, I will launder it before adding the wadding and backing. Happy quilting, all!

Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Working on my 'Summer' Wall Hanging

A long time ago, I attempted to make the Flowering Urn Quilt by Rosemary Makhan.  Unfortunately, I did not have the skills and I gave up.  It isn't like me to give up on a quilt, but at the time, it was easier to put it in the bottom of a storage box and forget it.

I want to have a different wall hanging for each season of the year - to hang in my sitting room.  I have a Spring and a Christmas wall hanging, so summer and autumn to go. 

I love the Flowering Urn pattern, but don't have room on my wall for the whole quilt, so will just add two borders to the centre block and it should fit just great.

I decided I would hand applique the quilt.  Sometimes it is nice to be able to sit and be sociable while sewing.  Although I have done some hand applique over the past two years, I had never appliqued onto a piece 30 inches square before.  I didn't realise it would be tricky to sew on such a large piece of fabric.  I think in future, I will think twice about undertaking appliquing such a large block.

I wanted the colours to remind me of summer.  I also have a considerable stash of batik fabric, so thought I'd use some bright batiks.  I also decided to use a white background fabric (instead of my usual first choice of cream) to give the batiks a bit more pop.

There is still quite a lot of embellishing to do on the block.  I haven't decided whether to machine or hand embroider the leaves and bird wings.  I still need to embroider the bird legs.  I used a white sequin topped with a small black seed bead for each eye and a double strand of embroidery floss for the tendrils.

The next border is pieced, and then the outer border is appliqued with more birds, pomegranates, leaves and roses. 

I also need to get around to quilting my Sutton Grange quilt.  I've made a start on it, but there is still plenty to do!

Happy quilting, all!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

A Couple of Finishes

I have finally managed to finish a couple of quilts over the last couple of weeks.

The first is an old embroidered tablecloth.  I started quilting this one last October.  Initially the quilting was done using a matching Wedgewood coloured thread.  I found that the quilting underwhelming and the motifs were very difficult to see, despite using two layers of batting - one layer of Hobbs Tuscany wool and Hobbs Polydown.  What did I learn?  I should have used trapunto!  The two layers did not allow the quilting to 'pop'.  I used a dense scribble stitch as background quilting.  I found that the coarse weave of the linen top made it difficult to get the effect I wanted.  I put the quilt away for 5 months, but I HATE giving up on a project.  I finished the quilting and used Jacquard Fabric Paint and Derwent Inktense pencils to colour the motifs. I used a different finish at the edges.  I folded the backing cotton to give a quarter inch hem that met the edge to the tablecloth exactly and slip stitched it down.   Lastly I hot-fixed some crystals to add a bit of bling.  I'm still not delighted with the quilt, but feel that I have done all I can with it.

My second finish is a Spring Colours wallhanging.  I am creating several wallhangings using seasonal colours for my sitting room, so I can change them regularly to suit the season.  This was a quick and fun project to sew.  The pattern is by Susan Briscoe and was published in Issue 6 of Today's Quilter magazine. 

I made some minor changes to the pattern.  The original used 2.5 inch jelly roll strips,  I cut each of my strips in half lengthwise, so I have three quarter inch finished strips instead of 2 inch finished strips.  I also decreased the width of the outer border from 7 inches to 4 inches, so that the finished quilt would fit my hanging space.

I have had a Moda Folklore jelly roll sitting in my stash for some time and was beginning to despair of finding a pattern I liked enough to use it.  Susan based her design on the 19th century Hearts and Crosses Coverlet in the Quilter's Guild of the British Isles collection.  I admired the original for ages, so was thrilled to see Susan's pattern! 

The quilting was very straightforward, but time consuming, as I stitched in the ditch over every seam.  The sashing was quilted on my mechanical Bernina 1008, using a Westalee ruler foot and ruler.  I used a variety of fills to give some light and shade in the triangles.  I used Hobbs Polydown batting and am pleased with the 'puff' it has given to the quilt.  I had a few little scraps left, so incorporated them into the binding.

I am SO tempted to make more of these.  There are so many fabrics that would work with this design - scraps, autumn colours, Kaffe Fassett brights or pastels or shot cottons, Christmas fabrics etc.  Increasing the width odf the sashing and adding some applique would also work.  My quilt finished at 58", but as the measurements are given at each stage in the project, it could easily be made larger or smaller.  I LOVE this pattern.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Started Quilting

I managed to get Sutton Grange sandwiched with Hobbs Tuscan Wool and a white on cream cotton backing.  All the stitch in the ditch is done, so now the fun starts.  FMQ is my favourite part of making a quilt.  I haven't managed to get too far, as yet, but have started adding feathers to the melon pieces.  Happy quilting, all!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Five Weeks and Counting - This Flu is the Worst!

Despite still suffering with a hacking cough, I have managed to get the last border on my Sutton Grange quilt.  I am not adding the final cable border, as the quilt would be too big to fit in my hanging space.  62 inches is the maximum size I have for hanging - between two wall lights.

It has been so much fun.  Hand applique is SO relaxing and portable.  Now I need to think about how I am going to quilt this.  It is a 'busy' quilt, so there isn't enough room for large quilting motifs. Lots to think about! Happy quilting, all!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Sutton Grange Progress

I am making slow progress with Di Ford's Sutton Grange.  I haven't had the greatest start to 2016.  I lost my beloved little dog in January.  Sewing has been slow due to decorating and more recently two weeks of flu.  I managed to finish the drunkard's path border.

I'm really enjoying appliqueing melons for the next border.  One side is done...three to go.

Happy quilting, all!

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

No Sewing Just Sorrow

My dear little dog, Monty passed away last Friday.  He was 13 and a half years old and had been on medication for his heart for the past two years. 

I don't feel like sewing at the moment.  Here is a little thread painting I did of him a year ago, followed by a couple of photos of him taken when he was in his prime.

He was a real character and is very much missed.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Starting Sutton Grange

I bought the Sutton Grange pattern from the Petra Prins stand at the Festival of Quilts last August, but have only now started working on it.  I have decided to try not to buy and new quilting cotton in 2016 - or more realistically, I will only buy a metre when I have used 5 metres.  That's the plan.

Di Ford's pattern calls for broderie perse in the centre of the medallion and around the dresden plate.  I did try a couple of motifs from my stash, but wasn't happy.  In the end, I painted a stylised rose onto white cotton, using Derwent Inktense and Jacquard gold metallic textile paint.  I repeated a smaller version in each of the four corners of the second border.  Once the paint was set permanently, I appliqued the roses to the quilt.  I used some half inch hexagons to replace the broderie perse around the dresden plate.I've had fun adding some beads and French knots to the flowers.

I haven't really done much needle turn applique in the past year.  I've been rediscovering the pleasure of hand work.  Happy New Year, all! xx