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

Saturday, 9 January 2016

2016 Finish a long- quarter 1

I didn't do at all well in the last quarter of 2015, only managing to finish 2 quilts. So I'm going to continue with my fantasy and list much more than I can possibly finish. It is also a way of assessing my unrealistic expectations. I'm also going to try to use more of my stash this year, as  I can no longer fit it all in my cupboards and it is spilling out all over the floor.
So to begin with:


1) Value quilt

This is now quilted, just needs binding
2) Gnome Quilt
This is  taking a long time, mainly because of the paper piecing, but I'm working on it gradually
3)Triangle Quilt
This is coming on, again slowly but  I'll get there!
4)Siblings Together Trip around the world.
As if I didn't have enough to do, I started another quilt. I was given some fabric to make a quilt or two for ST, so I'm using some of it in this quilt ( half from my stash, half from the donated fabric)
5) Geese all round
I have enough blocks now, just need to make it into a top, quilt and bind it.
6)Retirement quilt
Just need to quilt and bind it!
7)It's a wonderful world.

I have enough blocks, just need to put them together.
8)Small map quilt
This ( sadly ) is not mine, but Alicia Merrett's. Mine needs to be finished.
Then there is my list of projects where I have the fabric/pattern but haven't started yet:
1) Second ST quilt
This donated fabric needs to be converted into a quilt.
2) Trajectory quilt
This one is for me. I have the Oakshott fabric, just haven't started yet.

3) Circles Quilt
I have bought some beautiful radiance fabric to make a circles quilt ( no picture)
4) Organiser bag
This is a pattern By Annie and I have the fabric, zips etc, just need to do it!

I have the fabric, just need to start.

6) Starry Sky quilt
I have the pattern and enough fabric in my stash.


2016 FAL

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2015 Sewing Review

2015 was my first full year of retirement, so it has been interesting to review my sewing for the year. This is more a record for me than anyone else but seems obligatory! So, I managed an awful lot of quilts, 16 in total, though some of them were 'Bee' quilts and I didn't make all the blocks.

Of the bee quilts, there were only two that had enough blocks, all the others needed considerable input from me in either additional blocks or borders etc. I only sewed 2 blocks for the WW1 quilt- the 1914-1918 block and one of the poppy blocks, though again it required a lot of additional sewing attaching glued on pieces or those that weren't safely sewn on. I also made my first mini quilt, which proved to be my most popular picture on IG.
It's also a chance to see them all lined up and realise ( except for the last 3 on the mosaic) that they are all either predominantly blue or pink ! Maybe 2016 should be the year I try to branch out of my colour comfort zone. Grace's quilt ( the last one in the mosaic) is like that. I would never have chosen the autumnal colours but in real life it is very pretty ( much better than the photo shows) and is only let down by my piecing and quilting.
Of course, I did a lot more sewing than shown here. There were innumerable bee blocks, another 6 sew together bags, one for me and 5 for my friends, some lavender bags and I knitted 4 hats as Christmas presents.
I was hoping to spend more 2016 making quilts for myself and trying to find my own 'artistic voice' but when I made a list of all my WIP's, there were so many I 'm not sure that will happen.

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Grace's Quilt Ta Da!

This is my second finished quilt in December and my second FAL quarter 4 finish ( original FAL Q4 here )  I haven't done very well this quarter in the FAL. I spent most of October sewing together this WW1 quilt which wasn't on the list :

And the rest of the quarter I have been busy with fun things like holidays and Christmas festivities.
Anyway, the result is very little sewing. I first started Grace's quilt nearly 6 years ago when Grace was Harri's girlfriend. They parted a long time ago and the quilt got shelved. I wanted to get it finished as I'm trying to reduce my WIP's to a manageable level.
Grace chose the autumnal colours because she didn't want a 'girly' quilt, though they are out of my normal comfort zone. It's also interesting to note that my piecing has improved considerably in 6 years! Originally, I was going to make this a double sided quilt and made a whole number of blocks for the back ( they are another WIP!!) but I quickly realised that it would be quicker and actually get finished if I chose a plain back.
 I quilted it with waves using a new to me longarm ruler, but I had loaded the quilt incorrectly onto the frame. I couldn't be bothered to unpick it and start again, so it is only lightly quilted. This was however a good learning experience, as I have now sorted out why it was incorrectly loaded and won't hopefully make the same mistake again.
As with Bright Bamboo, I bound it using a strips of the backing fabric with a small shot of orange dots.
It's not my favourite quilt, though the lighter quilting does give it a softer drape. I haven't decided what to do with it yet, but it will probably end up as a charity quilt.
Quilt Stats
Size: 69 x 72 inches
Top made in brick pattern using browns, yellows, oranges and greens  with Kona black
Back and binding : Bella extra wide backing in black
Wadding : Fabric Freedom 100% cotton from roll
Quilted on top with Fantastico 5027 variegated red with Wonderfil 80 in orange on the back.
Linking with Adrianne :

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Bright Bamboo Quilt- Ta Da!

I managed to finish two quilts before the end of December- the children had gone back to London after the festivities and my Mum is being shared out amongst my siblings, so I had some time to myself. Bright Bamboo is the first of these finishes ( original FAL quarter 4 list here ) :

The blocks were made by myself and my fellow Siblings Together Bee members and aren't they fabulous! I asked for bright solids and they came up trumps.
I used some fabric I've had forever from my stash for the backing and I think it continues the bright theme beautifully.
I quilted it with randomly placed straight lines and I was very unsure about the quality of my quilting, solids show up every tiny glitch. Thankfully after washing these are not noticeable!!
I couldn't find anything I really liked in my stash for a binding ( now that is a surprise as I could open a shop with all my fabric ), so ended up using strips of the backing fabric which I think works well.
Another quilt I'll be sad to part with as it's so bright and cheerful in this rainy gloom.
Quilt Stats
Size: 57 x72 inches ( it shrank more widthways with the dense quilting)
Blocks made by Siblings Together quilt bee using this tutorial : http://areformedheathn.blogspot.co.uk/2013/12/tipsy-tutorials-random-bamboo.html#.Voj7XF7nkcB
Backing and binding : Groove by Caleb Grey Studio for Robert Kaufman
Wadding donated to Leeds MQG and sent to me by Hannah ( @hannahlib on IG)
Quilted using Aurifil 50/2 2000 on top and Wonderfil 80 in pale yellow in bobbin

This is my first finish for FAL quarter 4 and I will be linking up with Adrianne.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Monday, 14 December 2015

Scraptastic Tuesday ( on Monday)

I know, I know, I haven't written a blogpost for ages. Life has been busy, some good , some bad. I spent ages in October sewing together blocks sewn by local school children on the theme of the First World War and turning them into a quilt. I don't have a picture of the finished item ( was promised them by the organiser but they haven't materialised). To say I'm peeved is a gross understatement. I spent hours and hours on this quilt, all as a volunteer and I haven't even had a mention in  any shape or form ( the teachers who organised and supervised the children to make the blocks all got paid for their services )

The finished quilt looked pretty good, I'm pleased to say, but I won't be doing the second one, the organiser can find another mug.
The good bit was nearly the whole of November on my hols with Mr Hare in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Cambodia. Despite the heat ( 35 degrees C) and humidity ( 80%) we managed to enjoy ourselves.
The bad bit is that my poor, demented mother fell and broke her hip at the end of October and everything has gone downhill ever since. My sister held the fort whilst I was away, but she is now living with me until I can sort out a residential home for her ( her choice). Living with someone with dementia is a trial in so many different ways and my mood vacillates between extremes. I feel guilty most of the time because she can't help it, but she is incredibly trying to live with and we have the same conversation 50 times a day. Anyway, this all has severely curbed my sewing time, much like having small children must, though I thought that I was long past that.
I have managed to make a couple of scrappy Christmas stockings. When I was at the Simply Solids sewing retreat in September, Shevvy was making these for sick children in St Thomas's hospital and I volunteered to make some. I didn't know then what was going to happen!
I have also managed to sew together the blocks from my month in Siblings Together quilt bee. These are perfect for using up small scraps and  it will eventually be a lovely quilt!

Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday
Scraptastic Tuesday

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

FAL Quarter 4

This year seems to have flown by. This quarter is always a busy one, with the festive holidays and Mr Hare and I are planning a 3 week break in November. I managed 4 out of 8 of my list for quarter 3, so not too bad and realised that I am going to abandon 2 of the listed projects ( Abergavenny map quilt and a Hazel hedgehog quilt). My list for this quarter is far from comprehensive but I'm going to persist in listing too much ( why break a habit when there are no penalties!). So..

1) HST quilt
This is now a top and just needs quilting and binding. I was waiting for the backing to arrive which it now has.
2)Grace's quilt
This is now quilted, although very lightly and I'm not very happy with it. I managed to somehow load it incorrectly onto my longarm and didn't discover this until I'd quilted the first section. I was too lazy to undo it all, but it will make a good charity quilt. It just needs binding
3)Handcrafted Triangles

This is a slow burner which I'm enjoying but obviously has a long way to go!

4)Geese all round.
No further progress with this one
5)Map quilt
Although I've abandoned my plans for an Abergavenny map quilt, I started a small scale map quilt in Alicia Merrett's class at FOQ. So I would like to finish it
The batik strips are not staying in, unsurprisingly, they are just a guide to mark the roads until I've finished the houses and fields.
6) Retirement Quilt
This quilt top is my only EPP quilt so far and it took me a year. I need to quilt and bind it

7) Siblings Together Quilt

I'm Queen Bee this month, so when I get all the blocks I hope to finish this one this quarter.
8)It's a wonderful world
I really should do something with this!

9) Gnome Quilt
As if the above weren't  enough already, I have started another quilt for the daughter of a friend. She is obsessed by garden gnomes. I'm hoping to finish it before she finishes university!
It's a lot of fun and out of my comfort zone, which I think is good.
This is more than enough to be going on with!
Linking with Adrianne.

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side