Sunshine quilt

Sunshine quilt

Monday, 14 July 2014

A troublesome quilt!

You may remember I was waiting for supplies and time to sandwich up my colourful pinwheel quilt. I've been busy at work recently (which is a good thing since I run my own business!) so I had been waiting for a few free hours to get this big job done. Well the time I had identified came - but I started later than I wanted and it was a really hot and humid day. Doing the quilt sandwich was trouble from start to finish. I did actually achieve it in the end - and you can see I am starting the laborious process of quilting in the ditch here.

The whole process has been fraught with difficulty. Normally I manage very well using 505 basting spray and spreading out my layers on a big piece of floor. I don't know whether it was because the weather was hot, but the spray seemed to stick too firmly and then I had massive wrinkles right in the middle of this massive quilt. So I kept having to peel it back and smooth it down until I thought the wadding was sure to disintegrate.

I persevered and finally got it smooth. It's not the best job I've done but it's good enough.

And then I decided to quilt between the pinwheel squares without marking my lines. You would have thought I could manage to go between 2 points about 6 inches apart in a straight line - but OH NO. So I had to unpick a whole long row of quilting. Anyone who worried about quilt stitching coming undone need not have done. It took me ages to get all those stitches out. It's finally under the machine and coming together. It started off looking like a floppy mess, but as I am getting the (many) rows of quilting in it is starting to behave itself. I will show you the outcome in  a few days (I hope)

Friday, 4 July 2014

Scrappy quilt

For a long time now I have had a growing scrap box - almost too full to get the lid on! So I decided I needed to use this up. My first plan was to get some boxes to sort scraps into colours. And then I had to find some inspiration. As usual I turned to one of my favourite designers, Lynne Edwards and her patterns. In this book Stash Buster Quilts there is an intriguing pattern for using up small scraps in on-point squares - but it is pieced in four quarters and then joined together round the middle square. Here is my first quarter

You sort the scraps into colour teams and then follow her pattern for sewing them together. At the moment it looks a bit of a muddle but I am sure it will be clearer when I have finished all four pieces and sewn them together. I think I made a slight mistake choosing purple and blue to go so close together - but these are the colours I've got most of. I keep being tempted to cut into new fabric - but I have kept this to a minimum as I really want to use up my scraps rather than create a lot more new ones!

So far it has been good fun. My piecing accuracy leaves a lot to be desired but I don't think that spoils the overall effect.

I will keep you posted as it grows though I need to take a break from it and make some more cherries as I have run out of soothing blanket stitch for the evening - see here

Monday, 23 June 2014

Summer cherries quilt

As an antidote to the wild colours of the shadow pinwheel I'm calming down with the ordered demands of this cherry applique quilt. I showed you the first square earlier on - and now I am starting to put it together as a quilt.

Progress is slow - although I have enough cherries completed for the next row - but I'm really enjoying the soothing blanket stitching which is all in black. I have to work out a cunning plan to stop the little tail ends of black thread from the start knots on the applique showing through the white fabric - but I am pretty sure I can do that.

Incidentally we are having some hot weather in the UK at the moment which is unusual to say the least. We are all using the quilts which live on various beds to sleep under and they are proving just the right level of cover. They are all made from cotton with cotton wadding and are the perfect breathable layer. Here is someone demonstrating just how comfortable they are!!

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Shadow pinwheel - the top is complete

Well I've finished piecing the top and I am really pleased with it. So glad I didn't resort to a kit. I'm pleased with the colour choice and how the brights work together. But the sharp eyed among you will see I got one of the patches the wrong way round.Damn! However the good news is that I unpicked it with very little trouble and it is now correct. Just waiting for further quilting supplies. 6 yards of green Kaffe shirt stripes for the backing and a yard of purple and cerise dots for the binding from America. Then some Quilters Dream thin wadding and a can of 505 basting spray and I'm away. I waited to see if I liked the top before splashing out on expensive backing but the general consensus is that it is worth it!!

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Quilt inspiration

While I am ploughing on sewing together all the patches for my pinwheel quilt I thought I would just take a brief interlude to show you where my colour inspiration comes from.

This is a corner of my garden which is a bit of a vision in purple, blue, pink and green. This is the main theme of my pinwheel quilt and I can see why these are always the colours I fall back on. I love the easy way they go together and I recognise the way that the enormous variety of greens tone down what might be a rather lurid pink from the lupin on the left hand side. Another lesson for quilting from this picture might be the way the light brown of the fence seems to show off the foreground colours - and I would not have thought of introducing a beige fabric with the glowing greens and purples - must make mental note of this!

This picture also shows some good toning purples. I love the way the white stripy grass highlights the vivid irises and aquilegias in the foreground - a reminder of how white or very light colours can be used to enhance other colours. And then the final picture below - which proves that even nature gets it wrong sometimes - well I suppose it was my fault really planting a red and a pink so close together - each lovely in their own right but not so close together. More quilty stuff soon - nearly finished the pinwheel quilt top.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

A big scrappy quilt in progress

Not a wonderful photo cause it is from my phone - but this is pretty much the final layout for my shadow pinwheel. As you can see it covers all the free space on the bedroom floor, so I need to pick it up now and start sewing it together. Organising the squares has been great fun - like doing a massive jigsaw- but I'm pretty much happy with it now. I've made just a few adjustments since this picture. More to follow as I sew it together!

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

And now for something completely different

My last posts have been about my crazy coloured attempt at a Kaffe stylee quilt. Well I needed a break from all that improvisation to do something really controlled where I didn't have to make any colour choices. So I have started another project which is from Lynne Edwards book  Blanket Stitch Quilts. It's my version of the Cherry Ripe pattern. It is wonderfully soothing - nice easy bondaweb applique and then blanket stitch in black. The only colour choices have been which red and which green to use for the cherries!

I made up six of these squares and took them on holiday with me to do the blanket stitch. It was lovely - so easy - and I do enjoy a bit of hand sewing.

I then contemplated how I was going to make them into a quilt. I looked at the examples in Lynne's book and I preferred the ones where the cherry squares are broken up by something different, rather than just all cherries and sashing. I also wanted to use colours other than red and green to make sure the finished quilt would fit into the furnishings I already have at home ( not much red and green there). So I chose to alternate the cherries with a simple blue and low value 9 patch square. Here it is below

I've used just one blue fabric for each block.

I know this quilt will take me a long time to finish but that's OK. I'm in no rush. And I can keep it going alongside other more speedy quilts. It will be great for hand sewing in the sun ( if it ever stops raining in the UK!). I hope you like it!