Friday, 9 March 2018

Mauve Masterpiece

Feathered Friend

Here's a preview of Rose's amazing hexagon quilt. I will show pictures of the whole piece when she has seen it. That is if I can get a a complete picture (it is massive). 

Rose asked me to do a bit more than the pantograph style she usually gets done at the quilt shop. So I gave it the full custom job with ruler work and freehand feathers. Rose thinks she might want to trim the bottom corners into a curve. So I deliberately contained the border design in a curved outline, then quilted a curly filler up to the edge, so that the feathers wouldn't get chopped off.

The hexagons were machine pieced, lots of 'Y' seams, and beautifully done. There was a bit of fullness in the cream background, probably due to the bias effect of the hexagon cut. I managed to 'soak it up' by trailing feathers all around it.

All in all, more than 25 hours on the frame, and I am pleased with the result.

The snow cleared just in time for our little jaunt to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia last weekend. Once again, I showed great restraint for myself, yet managed to encourage another quilting friend to buy a brand new Brother machine like mine! I should be on commission.

I did get this lovely wooden thread stand for my loft studio, a birthday present courtesy of my dear brother who joked...
"Surely wooden threads stand up by themselves!"

Next in the queue is another hexie quilt for Mary S. Hers was hand pieced into ten large diamonds. I played around with different layouts and found that ten doesn't work well. So I joined nine for the top and top stitched it onto this background.

Then I appliqued the tenth one onto the backing, which I also pieced together from various fabrics from her stash. I will do a fairly open edge to edge design on this one. 
Mary kindly gave me a huge amount of fabric which I will be sharing with Studio Quilters tomorrow. 

I think there will be an abundance of green quilts this year!!!!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

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Monday, 26 February 2018

Floral Fancy

Colour Co-ordinated

When Jean S bought my last piece of this gorgeous blue fabric from the Autumn Lily range from Blackbird Designs for Moda, I could hardly bear to part with it. But when I saw what she did with it, I was delighted! As it turned out, it was just the inspiration she needed for the border to finish piecing this gorgeous top for a quilt intended for her daughter. 
How pretty is this?!

Not all of the fabrics came from my collection, as Jean thought, but certainly the majority had. Many were by 3 Sisters or French General, both absolute favourites of mine, so it was an inspiration for me to quilt it. Technically, this piece was second in line to be done, but as I had to order thread for the first one, it happily jumped to the head of the queue!
This one needed to be quilted with my most feminine curled ribbon with petals motif and it showed up beautifully on my plain calico backing .

Now it is finished and perched prettily on the end of my chaise longue, I'm not sure I will ever be able to let her have it back!!!

While I wait for the thread for Rose's massive hexie quilt to arrive, I have plenty to keep me busy. My friend Mary, whose health is not too good, has asked me to finish off her paper pieced hexie project for her. In return she has given me her substantial stash!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

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Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Jamestown Landing

Good Housekeeping

I've resisted all other distractions over the last two days and have completed the Jamestown Landing project. Mind you, I was up 'til midnight yesterday and spent four hours hand stitching the binding today.

The thing with Bonnie Hunter's quilts (like a lot of American quilts, I suppose) is that they come out really big! I can't get far enough away from it to take a good photo!
The original design had a six inch border of blue strips in a piano key layout. I changed it to this three inch border using my little stash of one and half inch blue and neutral twosies and half square triangles. It has shaved off a few inches and I like it better, I think.
 It still finished about 84" x 96".

And I have done my house keeping too! 
These bits I sliced off to make the binding strip are all trimmed down to one and half inches ready to start replenishing that leader/ender stash.

Now I've just got home from Connecting Threads tonight with a bundle of part pieced scraps that were going begging. For some reason the triangles were all cut as quarter squares and the biases are on the outside. 

I've got my seam ripper out already this space!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

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Tuesday, 6 February 2018

Push Me - Pull You!

On Ringo Lake

Lovely teals, browns and pinks in this busy design - On Ringo Lake - the latest mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter. This looks like a complicated quilt to piece, even when you know what it is supposed to look like when it's finished. 

Karen made such a great job of it and it was a pleasure to help her finish it off. I gave it the 'hearts and flowers' treatment, (I knew she liked that design), in a teal thread which showed up best.

And talking of tricky piecing I have made huge strides with my own Bonnie Hunter project - Jamestown Landing. It has gone from a pile of small units to a large quilt top, in the space of two days, with only the outer border to add. What fun tearing off the backing papers!  (I even took all the shreds to the paper bank for recycling!)

I was careful not to stretch all the strip squares, but there was still a bit of pulling and pushing needed to get everything to line up nicely. It took a while for my poor flu-addled brain to work out the direction of the swirling background. I had nearly finished it before the penny dropped! Fortunately, the instructions and diagrams were really clear.

I prefer to assemble quilts in sections, rather than rows, as I think it is easier to align it accurately, and you only have one final full width seam to sew. In between each section I used 'leaders and enders' to start piecing the border (which will be different from the original design). 

This little stash of 1 1/2" twosies started off as leaders and enders and now they will make a nice little dotted border. 

I love it when a plan comes together!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

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Thursday, 25 January 2018

Blue for You

Rows of Inspiration

The first rows in our 'Sew a Row' challenge at Connecting Threads last Saturday.

First off the frame this year, though, was this Batik Beauty, expertly pieced by Jean Hall.

I'm not always a lover of batiks - they can sometimes look a bit grungy for my liking. But this selection (a Bali Pop set purchased in the States) had lovely soft tones and enough pink to cheer me up in the loft through a dismal rainy week until it was finished. 
My flowers were in full flow as I meandered across this large quilt and it was quite a whopper at about 82" by 104"! And I loved the border she added to extend it. These on point 9 patches were just right and, set against my 200 thread count calico/muslin, they look really crisp and classy.

The sew a row project, referred to above, is sure to be fun. 
We each started off with a bunch of fabrics of our own choice and constructed a row of houses in whatever style or technique we wanted to use. Then we passed them on (with the spare fabrics) for someone else to produce a row of trees to be added to it. We are going to do this once a month for seven different themed rows, but without letting anyone else see them. Then we will each get our original row back with all the secret ones and put together and finish off a quilt to donate to Project Linus.

I have to say that my houses (5th row down) were the simplest construction compared to everyone else's. But there was no way I was getting into foundation piecing on a one day workshop - I don't need the stress! And It leaves the way clear for the next person to bring their own creativity for the next row. Having said that, I got stuck into the trees the very next day and I'm really pleased how they came out.

This project has inspired me to start something else along similar lines and I've actually cut into some of my precious Edyta Sitar blues......... I can't reveal too much because of the 'closed bag' requirement, but now I have another project on the go next to my Jamestown Landing quilt! 
Meantime, my next task in the loft is to quilt Karen's 'On Ringo Lake' ........ the latest mystery quilt from Bonnie Hunter. It was quite challenging piecing for a comparative beginner but she has done a marvellous job and in record time! Karen's colour choices strayed more towards deep pink as opposed to the coral that Bonnie had recommended to mix with teals and browns. But I think it's gorgeous and I can't wait to get it done for her so she can show it off!

Busy, busy!!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

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Monday, 15 January 2018

Quilt in a Day!

Many Hands Make Light Work!

Twelve rows for twelve quilters! 

Here is the outcome of our Saturday sewing at Studio Quilters. Many, many evenings worth of 'mindless piecing' went into producing these scrap strip squares and I had a stash of well over 200. With the help of my friends we made just a little dent in the pile with this snazzy top I designed.  I gave everyone a row to assemble, then we put it all together. Now it can go on the pile for quilting and then we can send it off for the African orphanage or Project Linus. 
Such a great way to use and lose some fabrics I don't like. They get a whole new lease of life when you throw in some zingy brights! 

Other distractions, earlier in the week, diverted me from my Jamestown Landing mission. First I was led astray by a little bag of Japanese fabric scraps and produced this 'bargello' strip which will probably find its way into this year's Studio Quilters' challenge.

Next, I was beguiled by one of my all time favourite fabrics - vintage Laura Ashley 'Clover' ! Ann Kelner gave us this little project to hand sew at Connecting Threads. I had to rework it by machine when I got home and now I have a sweet little needlecase.

She gave me the leftovers too - there is definitely another Laura Ashley project on the cards!

So, after that quick pink fix, it was back to the blues. 1680 individually cut triangles now sewn into 210 'broken dishes' units! I think I could finger press for England now! 
Thank you Margaret - for helping me spin the seams on the back!

Next job is to assemble the larger star blocks and tear off the backing papers on the neutral strip squares. Then it will really start to grow.
It's going to be messy but fun!!

Happy Quilting Everyone!

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Saturday, 6 January 2018

Wrapped up the old year!

Happy New Year Everyone!

One last task for 2017 - Elise asked me to make her a pin cushion (!)
Of course I couldn't just leave it at that....

She chose the fabric while she was here - a lovely 'ditsy' print from the 'Songbird Gatherings ' range by Primitive Gatherings for Moda. So, after she had gone, I set about making the pincushion.
It is cathedral window and mostly hand sewn. (I know! ... took me a while!)

Then I made her a scissor-keeper and a needle case to match. All in all just over a fat quarter with 3 charm squares.

On New Year's Day, I popped down to HobbyCraft to get the pins, needles and scissors to go with them and a nice box to start off her sewing kit. They purported to have a sale on, though it wasn't up to much! I don't know who their fabric buyer is, but they have an appalling selection; neither fashionable nor traditional in my view.

As the New Year begins, I am continuing with the 'Jamestown Landing' quilt from Bonnie Hunter's String Fling book.  

This week I've made the remaining 140  2 1/2 inch half square triangle units (making 840 in total), and now I'm ready to start assembling it. 

I'm looking forward to tearing off all the paper foundation squares and putting it all together. This one has been on my 'Must Make' list for quite a while.

Oh and Evie liked her  'Puppy Paws' quilt!

Happy Quilting Everyone!   

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