Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Scraptastic Tuesday and My Scrap Vortex Quilt

Like many ( all ?) quilters I have a scrap problem. I'm one of those people who hoards even the tiniest scraps. The problem got so bad, that eventually I had to buy some storage bins for the scraps.

 
 
I  managed to sort them out into different colours, and even ironed some of the scraps, but that was as far as it went. I also have a drawer next to my cutting board where I put the scraps from my current sewing, in theory to be sorted at a later date ( usually when the drawer is so full that I can't stuff any more in ).
 


I have read about other people's organisation of scraps and am in awe. I start out with good intentions but rapidly become bored and abandon it half done.

Anyway, I felt it was about time to do something with at least some of the scraps.  I chose to make a quilt using Amanda Jean's scrap vortex method . This has the advantage that you choose scraps of the same size and build them up into slabs without making any more scraps ( a definite advantage).

 
I soon got very bored with it though which is why I've made a relatively small quilt. It is very time consuming, largely due to the fact that I mainly used what Amanda Jean calls snippets ( pieces of fabric less than 4 inches). Some of the pieces are only 1/2 inch square when sewn, which is a lot of seams.
 
 
I'm very pleased with the way it has turned out, it's truly scrappy but very bright and 'happy'. I backed it also with scraps and made the binding with the scraps from the backing.
 
 
 
The best bit for me was the quilting. I had so much fun and enjoyed every moment .I decided to improve my skills in graffiti quilting and just went for it. 
 
 
Sadly the photos aren't doing it any justice and some motifs worked better than others. I used a fabulous golden coloured Glide thread which sparkles in certain light. It was probably silly to do this on such a busy quilt but for me it was worth it.
 
Quilt Stats
Size: 52 x 62 inches
Front : made entirely from scraps
Back : Scraps of Riley Blake lime dots on white and Lu Summers Summersville Spring Garden Lime Juice.
Binding: Same as back
Wadding : Fabric Freedom 100%  cotton
Quilted with Glide in Military Gold on top, Wonderfil  Decobob in white on bottom
 
Unfortunately, this was a spontaneous make and it's not listed in my FAL Q2 list. I've decided I'm going to continue and try my hand at a few more scrap quilts if only to clear out those boxes. Though of course they just keep on filling up.
 
I'm going to donate this quilt to Siblings Together and link up with Scraptastic Tuesday.
 
 
 
 

Scraptastic Tuesday

Monday, 11 April 2016

FAL Quarter 2 2016

Well, I didn't do too badly in the first quarter of this year, with 5 quilts finished. My list was deliberately a fantasy list, so I'm going to be more realistic this quarter. So, continuing over from the last quarter:
1) Triangle Quilt

 
I have made a fair bit of progress with this quilt, but I've sort of got bored with it. I'm forcing myself to carry on and get it done.
 
2) Gnome Quilt
 
 
I've made progress with this one too. Just need to do a lot more blocks!
 
3) It's a wonderful world
 
 
No excuse for this one, all the blocks are done. I just need to assemble it.
 
4) Star Quilt
 
 
 
I have about half the blocks for this done, but it has sat in a cupboard for 4 years. Time to get it finished.
 
5)Siblings Together Quilt
 
Yet another quilt for Siblings together. I have enough blocks/fabric left from this quilt to make a second one.
 
 
6) Quilt for Juliette
I have promised to make a quilt for Harri's girlfriend. Haven't got a photo, just a few ideas and a colour scheme.
 
7) Trajectory Quilt
Carried over from last quarter.
 
 
 I think that's more than enough for 3 months!
 
 
  

Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Whirly Gig Quilt

I hope everyone had a fun Easter break. I was lucky enough to have lots of visitors ( and subsequently lots of cooking to do).  The weather wasn't kind enough to do the planned walk up the Sugarloaf on Easter Sunday, but that was OK.
I managed to finish my Whirly Gig quilt which is another one for Siblings Together and probably my last make in Quarter 1 of the finish- a- long ( original list here ). I was donated a pile of fabric to make a ST quilt and I have used some of it in this quilt, along with scraps and my stash.

 
 
It's a very simple but effective pattern made from 2 strips of fabric ( 1 low volume and 1 bright fabric) cut into 4 subunits. I chose to set the blocks on point to give the blocks more 'movement'. I was able to make the blocks as leaders and enders which I find a very useful technique to get more made ( I'm quite a slow sewer, so every little helps!)
 
I backed it with an extra wide white dot on red , which I also used for the binding.
 
 
 
I don't prewash my fabric because I've never had a problem with dye running before and I like the fact that the dressing on the fabrics make them easier to sew with. I might have to reconsider with darker fabrics like this red although I always put 2 or 3 dye catchers in the machine when I wash my quilts. This time some, but not all,  of the lighter fabrics have a slightly pink tinge or look slightly grungey. In the overall scheme of things, it's not too bad as some of the fabrics have maintained a bright white colour, so it's only noticeable to me because I know what the original colour was. However, I have a large piece of the backing left, which I intend to use on another quilt back and I'll definitely be washing it beforehand.
 
 
 
Of course, sod's law dictated that the binding strips I had cut were about 4 inches short, so I had to insert this tiny piece of binding left over from my Bright Bamboo quilt.
 
I  try to use a new to me quilting pattern whenever I can, so I used a peapod design on this one. I'm not sure if I'll use it again as an overall pattern but maybe as a filler. I have a new roll of wadding ( Hobbs Heirloom 100% cotton) which is slightly thinner than my last roll but seems to crinkle more after washing ( good job I like the crinkly look!!)
 
 
 
Quilt Stats
 
Pattern inspired by this Tessellation Quilt  from Rita of Red Pepper quilts
 
Size: Approximately 64 x 64 inches
 
Fabric : Donated fabric and my stash on front, Riley Blake extra wide white spot on red on the back and for binding
 
Wadding : Hobbs Heirloom 100% cotton
 
Quilted with Glide in grey on top and Wonderfil Decobob in white in bobbin
 




 

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Retirement Quilt -Ta Da!

Another quilt finished! This one has more of  a history than some of my quilts and thus has provoked a lot more reflection than usual. This is my first ( and I have to say probably my last) hand pieced quilt. My last year of work was really difficult. I hated it, so much so that I had a calendar where I marked off every week until I could finish. The reasons for this were complex and I won't go into details as it's all water under the bridge. It was also the year we had our house fire and I was miserable. Anyway, to help keep me sane, I decided to EPP a hexagon star quilt. It took me a year to sew all the blocks ( perfect timing) and I sewed them all together, then promptly put it away for another 2 years. Partly this was because I didn't know what to do with it.



 Another concern was how I was going to quilt it. I wondered whether I should hand quilt it, but then reality kicked in and I realised that if I hand quilted it, it would never be finished. The pattern was inspired by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts mother -in - law's quilt. Hand piecing this quilt was the perfect antidote at the time I made it, but I'm not sure if I will ever repeat the exercise. It's not my 'natural habitat'. It was fun fussy cutting some of the stars though

 
 
I decided to use a beautiful piece of cotton lawn I'd bought at Malvern some time ago for the backing. Although it was wider than average I needed to add a strip to make it big enough. I was lucky enough to find some of Lu Summer's lime green Summersville spring at Lark cottons and used it for the strip and the bindings. It's such a perfect shade of lime green to complement the front which is much brighter and fresher than the photos convey.
 
 



In a way I'm glad I set it to one side. My FMQ skills have improved in the last 2 years and therefore I was able to do it more justice. I quilted a simple flower shape in the middle 'star' and scallops around the edging diamonds.

 
 
I haven't decided what to do with it yet. It's too pretty to give away ( except perhaps to my mother but the retirement home is very warm, much hotter than I like and a quilt is a bit superfluous ).
 
 
 
 
Quilt Stats
 
Size:69 x 67 inches
 
Front pieced with fabrics from my stash
 
Back: Japanese 40's by 40's superfine cotton lawn Miroto Great Flower Designs and Summersville Spring in lime green by Lu Summers for Moda
 
Binding:Summersville spring as above
 
Wadding: Quilters dream orient
 
Quilted with Glide in grey on top and wonderfil 80 wt in white in the bobbin
 
 
This is another finish in FAL Q1 ( my original list is here ). I'm doing rather better in this qua 

 
 


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

My first Siblings Together Quilt of 2016

The last few months have been very busy, mainly trying to sort my mother out, though that will be another blogpost when I've got a little more perspective. So, the fact that I've done 2 blogposts in 2 days is highly unusual for me!
I wanted to make some more quilts for Siblings Together again this year ( apart from the STquilting bee ones). Hannah sent me some fabric which had been donated to Leeds Modern Quilt Guild by Katy of I'm a ginger monkey. I selected 3 of the fabrics and added 3 of my own to make a trip around the world quilt.


I've made a few of these quilts and I love the way the pattern looks different depending on how you arrange the strips. I made this one in a regular pattern, which I haven't done before. So, although I've used a variety of different yellow strips, for example it's barely noticeable.

The back is scrappy: I used up some of the left over squares to make a strip down the side, which made it wide enough, and used left over pieces from previous quilt backs.


I quilted it with a simple loop, a pattern I hadn't tried before but was fun and quick to do.


To pull it all together, I used navy fabric with a strip of mustard to bind it.


I love how it's turned out! I hope it will make a girl ( it's definitely a girly quilt) very happy.

Quilt Stats

Size: 58 x 68 inches
Pattern: Trip around the world by Bonnie Hunter
Top: A selected variety of scraps
Back: My last piece of Ikea Nummer and Folie in blue by Lotta Jansdotter
Batting: Donated by LMQG
Quilted with Glide in grey on top and Wonderfil in white on the bottom
Binding: Navy XO by Cotton and Steel with one strip of Arrows in mustard by Michael Miller

This is my third finish  in FAL Q4 ( my original list is here)
I'm also linking with Scraptastic Tuesday

2016 FAL

Monday, 7 March 2016

Geese all round Ta Da!

At long last I've finished this quilt! It's only been about 3 years. It started life as my block for the disastrous Star quilting bee. The lovely fabric I sent out disappeared into the ether never to be seen again. I ended up with only a few blocks, so tried again a couple of years later with the lovely bumbling honeys quilt bee. Fortunately, they turned up trumps and I ended up with 27 blocks. I really couldn't be bothered to make any more as I'd lost the momentum, so went with a 5 x5 block arrangement, thinking I could always add a border. In the end, I just left it as it was, without the border.

 
The back I made with left over pieces from previous quilts, but I think it works well.
 
 
 
The blocks were difficult to piece together because of the bias edges and didn't line up as well as I had hoped, so I chose to do some very dense quilting to compensate.
 
 
It was great practice for my FMQ skills. I tried different filler designs in each 'star' and straight line quilting in the ' alternative' blocks.
 
 
 
I bound it in a dark navy to pick up the navy in the blocks. No surprise that the quilt is in my favourite blues and greens.
 
 

 



 
 
I haven't decided what to do with it yet. It's quite small but with pretty colours, so I'll think about it for a while.
 
Quilt Stats
 
Size : 58 x 58 inches
 
Design: Geese all round by quilters cache.
 
Top: Kona white background with assorted blues and greens
 
Back: Pieced extra wide Riley Blake spots and zigzag in aqua
 
Batting: 100% cotton from Fabric Freedom
 
Binding: A mixture of Sailaway plans in navy by Windham fabrics and Cookie book navy ghost saltines by Kimberly Kight for Cotton and Steel
 
Quilted with Glide in grey on top and Wonderfil in white on bottom
 
 
This is my second finish of FAL Q1  ( my original list is here)
 
 


Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Value Quilt Ta-Da!

My first finish of 2016, whoo hoo!!. This quilt is a gift for my friend Michelle and her husband and took me a year to make. That's not as bad as it sounds, as I made it as a leaders and enders quilt and also it is very big, roughly 96 inches square prior to quilting and washing.

 
It is made of HST's which are a mixture of scraps and fabrics from my stash. I'd never quilted a quilt as big as this before. I initially started off doing fairly intricate quilting and rapidly realised that firstly it wouldn't show up that much as the quilt is busy and secondly that it would take forever. So I changed to doing a simple loop that looks like circles. The bias edges were a bitch but somehow ended up OK.
 
 
I bound it with strips made from scraps left over from  a Riley Blake extra wide zig zag  in white and blue that I had used for another quilt. I added a small bit of left over binding from the Bright Bamboo quilt
 
 
I used Warm and White for the batting, as this was the only one available for sale that was wide enough.
 
Quilt Stats
Size : 88 x 87 inches
 
Front : 4 inch ( finished size) HST's from scraps and stash
 
Back : Extra wide  Architextures crosshatch in grey ( Carolyn Friedlander)
 
Wadding: Warm and White
 
Binding: White and blue zig zag and Groovy from Caleb Grey Design
 
 Quilted with Glide (40 wt) in grey on top and Wonderfil 80 in white in the bobbin
 
I'm really pleased with it and it is prettier than it looks in the photos.
 
Just got to label it before handing it over on Thursday.
 
Linking up with  :
 



Scraptastic Tuesday  
 
And also when the time comes with 2016 Q1 FAL:
 

2016 FAL