Saturday, 21 February 2015

Blue Chequers - Ta Da!

I'm on a roll at the moment ( long may it last!), so I have another finish to reveal. I made this quilt with 4 patch squares that I had left over from my blue medallion. I made them to be the final border on Blue Medallion but didn't like it in the end. So, they've been recycled:

The backing I had also bought for Blue Medallion and it is a good match for the front. I wasn't wide enough, so rather than attempting a pattern match I put in a strip of Baby blue Kona.
I decided to quilt it with a simple swirl in each square. I've never used a pantograph or a groovy board, preferring to do the quilting 'freehand', so you can see how inconsistent I am!
I'm trying to increase my repertoire of quilting stitches, and this was a new one for me.
I used Kona Midnight for the binding except for one small piece of Robin's egg at the bottom, coinciding with the pale stripe on the back.


The Kona Midnight is a perfect match with the Lizzie House constellations backing fabric:
Quilt Stats
Size : 46  x 55.5 inches ( it's shrunk a little in the wash)
Front : 2 inch finished squares of a variety of Kona blue and green solids
Back: Lizzie House constellations with a strip of Kona Baby Blue
Binding : Kona Midnight and a small piece of Kona Robin's egg
Wadding: Left over piece of Quilters Dream Orient
Quilted with Superior Threads Fantastico 5006 which is a variegated blue and green on the top, Bottom Line #622 grey on the back.
I'm going to donate this quilt ( hopefully one of many ) to Siblings Together.
This is also another finish ( my third!!!) for first quarter of FAL 2015 with Adrianne and I'm also going to link with Scraptastic Tuesday.
It's my birthday today ( I won't reveal my age as I can't believe it myself). Mr Hare and I are going to London this afternoon, to take our lovely children out for a birthday meal, then we ( not the children ) are off to Le Trois Vallees for a skiing holiday.



2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Scraptastic Tuesday

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Eleri's Quilt -Ta Da

Two posts in one day, wonders will never cease! Again just a quick post with my second finish for the first quarter FAL 2015 with Adrianne. I had promised my SIL that I would make a quilt for my niece what seems like eons ago. I had a few false starts ( the dreaded quilting bee where my beautiful quilting fabric disappeared into the aether never to return!)
So, it was time to rectify the problem. I wanted something relatively quick, but that would also look pretty, so this quilt was born:

I seem to be going through a blue/green quilt phase at the moment! However, my excuse is that these are the colours Eleri wanted.
I quilted it very simply with my favourite wavy lines and added a navy and white stripe binding.
Unfortunately, I only had half a yard of this so had to add a small section of navy blue. The back is a lovely spotty green that I bought for this ages ago.
I'm very pleased with how it turned out.
Quilt Stats:
Size 70 inches x 78 inches after washing
Crosses from various blue/ green fabrics in my stash. Background 'squares' in mainly Kona solids again from my stash. Background fabric Kona white.
Backing fabric- Moda extra wide Dotty  in green
Binding- Michael Miller pirate stripe in Navy and a small piece of Kona Navy
Wadding - Quilters Dream Orient
 Pieced and top quilting using Presencia 60 in white, bottom quilting with So fine white

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Scraptastic Tuesday( on Sunday)

Just a quick post to link up with Nicky and Leanne for Scraptastic Tuesday. I have continued to add to my HST pile, which I'm doing as leaders and enders. This is a slow but steady WIP.

I also used up some of my blue scraps to start the #scrappylogcabinquiltalong on IG but have only managed 6 blocks:
I don't have enough long scraps to do any more of these, so I'll add some scrappy borders, and I'll have another Siblings Together quilt. There is a good post  by Mary over on Lily's Quilts and again here by Maria about this very worthy charity. Mary has put out a call for Home Sweet Home blocks, a variation of a nine patch, so I made a few from scraps:

That's all my scraps for this week!

Scraptastic Tuesday

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Blue Medallion Quilt- Ta Da!

My first finish of 2015. This quilt is for the son of a dear friend and the last of 4 that I have made for her family. The only stipulation was that it had to be blue to match his bedroom. At first, I was planning to make a very graphic paper pieced quilt and actually made one trial block. However, I fell out of love with it rather quickly and started playing around with drunkards path blocks using my sissix drunkards path die. After 4 blocks and all the curved piecing, I changed my mind ( thinking life is too short!!). I had wanted to make a medallion quilt (all those Marcelle Medallions and Gipsy Wives being posted on t'internet),  but didn't want to use a pattern. So, I combined the two and used the drunkards path blocks as my centre piece and basically winged it from there.

The design evolved organically. The first round ( after the border) I made impro  triangles which meant I could even up the size of the quilt so that the round after wouldn't have any half blocks. Despite my misgivings about circles, I decided to continue the circular theme and put circles as corner blocks. I used Claudias tutorial  to sew these and found them reasonably easy ( I didn't want to use appliqued circles). I had only a limited amount of the Kona  blue solid so used low volume fabrics for  alternative rounds.

( the quilt is flat it's just lying half on and half off a rug)
I was intending to make the churn dash blocks go all the way round, but ran out of the pale blue solid. I found that my Kona colour card was useless to try and match up the colour to order some more ( of course I hadn't noted down what colour it actually was!). So I improvised and made more of the drunkards path blocks. I did have to add a border of the pale blue solid round each churn dash block so they were the same size as the other blocks. I eventually found out ( by ordering Kona baby blue and robin egg ) that the colour was baby blue.
Having made the quilt top, the next challenge was the quilting. I'm fairly new to FMQ on a longarm, so this was like an apprenticeship piece. They say that to become an expert at something you have to put in 10,000 hours. Needless to say, I have a long way to go!
As this was for a 15 year old teenage boy, I didn't want to use feathers or flowers, although it's said that non- quilters don't even notice the quilting. I kept it reasonably simple.
I did a different quilting design in each of the solid borders and left the churn dashes, geese and squares unquilted, but stitched in the ditch around them.
I quilted spirals in the circles and pebbles around the circles and the flying geese.
I used simple straight lines around the churn dashes and the squares.
I choose a plain black for the back, thinking that a teenage boy may prefer it as the top.
Apologies for being so longwinded but I'm going to list what I learned from this
Firstly, having constraints like not enough blue solid fabric actually lead me to what I think is a better design overall.  Stitching in the ditch is really difficult! I found that I did improve ( in all aspects of quilting) with practice. Quilting is very forgiving- once the quilt is bound and washed those minor imperfections seem to disappear.  If you use a different coloured thread on top and bottom , it does show through. Black fabric picks up every bit of fluff in your sewing room and you spend hours picking it off! It took me 12 hours to knot and sew in all the threads because you can only move side to side on a longarm and  I didn't want to sew across the solid borders. Although I like the look of dense quilting, it does make the quilt very stiff and I prefer a softer finish.
Quilt Stats
Size :75 inches square
Front in a variety of Kona blue solids and blue prints from my stash plus some low volume fabrics
Back in Bella black extra wide quilt backing
Binding in one of Lizzie House's constellation fabrics ( can't remember what it is called)
Wadding: Quilters Dream Orient
Quilted with So Fine black on the back and Fantastico ( Superior Threads) 5006 which is a variegated blue 


2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

FAL First Quarter 2015

I 'm not sure what is the best approach to listing my WIP's in this first quarter of 2015. I'm coming round to thinking there is no point listing everything, as there are too many. So I'm just going to to list some of them.
Firstly, my blue medallion quilt.

I'm about half way through quilting this, so hopefully should finish it soon.

Secondly, despite having a long list of WIP's , I have started a new quilt.
I've made half the blocks for this and over the next few days , hope to have them all finished.
Thirdly, my leader and ender HST quilt.
I have another 70 of these to do, but they are slowly getting done.
Fourthly, my Trajectory quilt for together @ do.good stitches.
I should have enough blocks to finish this by the end of January, so I also hope to finish this quilt in this quarter.
Fifthly, I have signed up for the #ukigminiquilt and I'm in Donna's group.
I have yet to finalise a design, although I have narrowed this down.
I also have four quilt tops waiting to be quilted.
These are
6) Graces quilt
7) Triangle quilt
8) Scrappy blue quilt
9) Wonky Stars Quilt

I have many more WIP's  I could add, but can't realistically finish in the next 3 months. This should give me the incentive to get some of these done!.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Red x and + quilt- Ta Da!

The problem with leaving too long between posts is knowing where to begin. So, I'm going to skip my holiday in Chile and Argentina in November and move straight on to sewing  and my latest finish ( and my first finish of Quarter 4 of FAL 2014). I seem to have lost my sewing mojo lately, maybe related to not being able to sew for 3 weeks whilst away and maybe related to preparing for Christmas. In an effort to try and rekindle some interest, I've signed up for the #ukminiswap and I'm in Donna's group . This is my mosaic:

I seem to be obsessed with circles at the moment but I've put in some alternative inspirations. There is also plenty of inspiration on my pinterest  board and Flickr.  I have enjoyed trying to find out more about my partner and thinking about what to make. It's a bit daunting however, as this is my first swap. Still, I've got plenty of time to prepare!
I've also arranged with Sue to take over her Amitie mystery BOM. I now have 3 envelopes of fabrics and patterns to be getting on with.  It's going to be fabulous, but at the moment I just don't have the wherewithal to get started.
When I came back from holiday, Annelise had turned up trumps and sent me some more of the thread I was missing which she had bought for me in Houston. So I was able to finish my Red x and + quilt .
The picture really doesn't do it any justice because it is really beautiful ( if I do say so myself!)
There is however one dodgy block, which I still used because I really didn't want to make another one:
If I'm completely honest, I don't mind the lime green quarter bock, it saves it all from being too matchy, matchy. I quilted it in  a very simplified version of one of Angela Walters pattern. The front is so busy, I didn't think it needed anything too fancy.

Quilt Stats
Size 76 x 85 inches
Front : x  and + plus blocks made by FQR bumbling Honeys and myself using and fat quarter bundle of Oakshott Ruby reds , fabric scraps in reds, greys and aquas with low volume fabric for the background.
Quilt back in extra wide botanics in grey
Binding in Kona cotton Pomegranate
Quilted in Superior Threads Fantastico ( red on red) on top and white So fine on the back.
This will be my one and only finish of this quarter. My original Q4 list is here:
Linking up with Katy FAL 2014
Finish Along 2014

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Scraptastic Tuesday and WIP's

Sewing has been a great distraction for me in the last few weeks. My niece's funeral was a week ago and that was obviously a very difficult time. Emotionally, I feel like I've been put through a wringer but it must be so much worse for her parents, siblings and of course her partner. Carlton, her son, can't express his feelings in the same way, but he isn't 'right' and will need a lot of help.
So I'm going to talk about my sewing which has helped me through all this.
Firstly, I started to quilt my red + and x quilt.

 I got about three quarters of the way through and ran out of thread-arghh!! It was a freebie variegated Fantastico thread from Cottonpatch, that they gave me when I was on a quilting course there.Unfortunately, it did not have a number on it that corresponded to any of the numbers on the Superior Threads website. I ordered what I thought was a match  from Cottonpatch but sadly it wasn't right. However, Liz  came to my rescue and arranged for someone who was going to Houston ( jealous, moi?) to see if they could pick me up a match. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. This has put paid to any more quilting until the thread arrives.

Instead of quilting, I decided to use up my blue scraps from my Medallion quilt to make another top. I had made tons of 4 patch blocks that I was going to use as a border but didn't like them in the end. I only had to make a few more to make this top:

I've been debating whether to make it any bigger ( it's 4ft x5ft) but I really can't be bothered, I want to move on to something else.
I also quickly ran up this pegbag for Madlen.

I used this tutorial but changed the opening ( using the opening on a box of Kleenex tissues as the template). The DS fabric ( deco weight ) was in a bundle of scraps that were given to me by the lovely Claudia at FQR 2013.

Since the clocks have gone back ( something I hate: why can't we just stay in British Summertime) ,I've also been working on a draught excluder for my French Doors. I started this about 2 years ago and it's been half finished in the cupboard ever since. Mr Hare has been making comments about how he'll have to make one, a not so veiled hint! I've made the inner bolster, just have to insert a zip and ends into this:

I bought a ruby red bundle of gorgeous Oakshott cottons for my Red + and x quilt and I used some of  what was left to make this bolster ( so I'm assuming this counts as a scrap buster!)

Next, I'm going to move onto a table runner and place mats, again for Madlen. I'm still trying to firm up the design but I think I've got it sorted out.

Linking up to Leanne and Nicky for Scraptastic Tuesday.