Sunshine quilt

Sunshine quilt

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Two quilts - one old and one new

The weeks seem to be flying past at the moment. Work is really busy which is good - but I am only just finding time for crafting and not enough time for blogging. But never mind - here I am with two quilts to show you - one old and one new.
Here is the old one

It's only my second quilt made for one of my daughters. It came for a visit to go in our washing machine as hers is a bit dodgy. I photographed it as it was drying with the autumn sun streaming through it. The pattern is Lisbon Tile from Jane Brocket's Gentle Art of Quilting which was the book that first got me started. I chose all the fabrics on various trips to John Lewis haberdashery while I was working in Southampton. Looking back at it now I am surprised how pretty it is. I am tempted to try this pattern again.

And here is the new quilt

This is for the new baby which my other daughter is expecting in January - a little crib quilt. This baby is clearly going to have very sophisticated tastes - none of your kiddy fabric here. This is made   from Carolyn Friedlander Botanics. It's reversible and has a Lotta Jansdotter pattern on the back and a small concession to childhood with a tiny blue pattern of ducks round the outside.


I quilted in one inch squares which meant it has shrunk a little bit more than expected - but for a first try it looks OK to me - and to use a phrase from one of Lynn Edwards book - we'll hope the baby isn't a sophisticated quilter yet, so it won't notice!!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

A crochet baby blanket

Although there is a great deal of quilting going on here I can't show you as the thing I am making is a gift. It's taking a lot of time but I hope the results will be worth it!

What I can show you is this


A big pile of crochet squares! There are about 55 there at the moment - but I need 63 so I am ploughing on - not helped by the fact that I seem to have developed crocheter's collarbone!! I think I am zooming on so fast with these the muscles in my right shoulder are really protesting. I crochet by holding the wool taut with my left hand and picking off the stitches with the hook in my right. So lots of little movement with my right arm and shoulder.

This is going to be a baby blanket. It uses Sirdar Snuggly 100% cotton yarn and this pattern. These Elmer squares are pretty solid and I thought this would be a good idea as there are fewer holes for little fingers to get caught in than traditional granny squares. My only worry is that the 100% cotton yarn will be a bit heavy, but if it is it can always be used as a mat for lying on.

As you can guess from the colours we don't know if it is a girl or a boy - but I think I have got all bases covered here! Once I have finished the squares - and my shoulder means I can't do any intensive crochet at the moment (!!!) my next job is to block them and then I am going to crochet them together.

It's a little bit of an experiment - but I hope it turns out OK! Fingers crossed.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Finished quilt from earlier in the year

I finished this quilt much earlier in the year - probably in January I think - but I haven't been able to put it on the blog because it was for a wedding present and the wedding didn't take place till August. Here it is



It's a favourite pattern from Pam and Nicki Lintott and is the same as the one I have on the front page of my blog. It's easy to make with no fiddly matching of seams and allows you to focus on the colour choices. This one has all my favourite colours and some significant scraps from other quilts including some from a quilt I made for the bride's sister-in-law ( my daughter) and some from a table runner used at my other daughter's wedding. I quilted the central part of the quilt in a grid which you can see below and then free-motion quilted the border to include some hearts.


I think it looks lovely in the Spring sunshine here in England - hope it looks just as nice in the sun in LA!!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Quick and easy quilt Ta-Dah


This quilt certainly has been a quick finish - partly because it is an easy pattern and partly because it is quite a bit smaller than the ones I have been working on recently. I washed it as soon as it was finished and it has that lovely crinkly look that goes with the vintage material so well.


Do you like it? This was it on the washing line. After my colour running disaster with the blue batik quilt I bunged in a colour catcher and held my breath but I needn't have worried. It was fine. I used a scrappy binding as planned and the very economical blue spotty backing worked very well. In the next photo, with the sun behind it there is almost a stained glass effect.


You can just see the joins in the wadding - about a third of the way from the top running horizontally but I think that is fine. I just need to add a cross stitch label and I am going to applique a couple of red hearts on the back and it's done.

I quilted it in a very simple pattern here


But what I didn't realise was how hard it would be to get the middle of the quilt through my machine for all the corners. Several times I had to stand up and puuuuuull the quilt through the hole in my machine. A machine with a bigger hole will certainly be very welcome one day soon now! I've got my eye on a Bernina - but its ruinously expensive so is having to wait.

Anyway - I hope you like this quickie quilt - I am also hoping to get a pic of it with its new owner after the wedding!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Quick and easy quilt and a rant about prices!

I am making a quilt for a wedding present for my daughter to give to one of her friends. It needed to be a simple pattern that I could make out of one Jelly Roll which would be big enough to sit under but not huge.
Here is my design




It's a really straightforward square in a square pattern. My daughter chose a Chloe's Closet Jelly Roll and with 42 strips I got 42 squares - just. You might be able to see a couple of the squares down the left hand side are a bit scrappy. I made the border out of some lovely Robert Kaufmann fabric I got out of a Craftsy reduced fabric bundle - 14 yards for some ridiculously cheap price and lovely soft fabric. I can highly recommend the Craftsy supplies section - even with postage to the UK I think it represents excellent value and a really quick service.

My daughter, who is resolutely non- crafty laid out the pattern and I think she has done a good job. It's not entirely random as it has the yellow through the middle, but it looks quite scrappy which I like. I'm busy quilting it at the moment and it is looking good. I've used a plain spot background which I got for about £3.50 a metre. So all in all I hope this will make a lovely unique present at a reasonable price. I also used some large pieces of wadding which I had left over and they have worked very well. I spray basted them and just overlapped them and you really can't see any joins. It's quite heavily quilted so none of the pieces should move now.



While we are talking good value - I had an email from QuiltHome in the US advertising 20% off Kaffe Fassett fabric. I was so pleased with my Shadow Pinwheel quilt I want to make another using these fabrics so I am collecting them. I just refuse to pay the £13.00 per metre typical of UK prices. Anyway I have just ordered 8 yards from QuiltHome that works out at about £6.50 a yard including postage. I realise I may have to pay tax but even so it is just so much cheaper than buying in the UK. It makes me a bit sad as I know we should be using our fabric shops in this country, but this is just too much of a difference to ignore.

Anyway - hope you like my quick and easy quilt - I've loved making it and I am very much hoping its new owner ( wedding in October and not ( I hope!!) a blog reader) will love it too!!

Just to add - I had about 5 inches left from several strips so I am going to join these with some fabric left over from my daughter's table runners at her own wedding and a few 1930's reproduction fabric scraps I have by me to make the binding - so not a scrap of that jelly roll wasted!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Scrappy quilt - first stage finish


This is the completed first stage of my truly scrappy quilt. You saw the first quarter of it here - we thought it looked a bit like a delta wing plane - but now it has all four quarters in place and as I thought the pattern has emerged much more clearly. I am pleasantly surprised by how it has turned out. As you can imagine the piecing was a bit tedious. I am convinced quilting is good exercise as I had to get up to my ironing board so many times it was like a workout. Initially I worried about the inaccuracy of the piecing. I found it was almost impossible to get perfectly accurate joins with rows of 21 squares at the longest point especially because there was such a wide variety of fabrics in terms of stretch. However once I got into it I realised the main thing was the overall effect which is not troubled by any dodgy joins!


What I love, and I hope you can see is that I really have raided my scrap bins. I haven't cut into new fabrics and you can see there is real mix of fabrics. I had to have a pretty wide interpretation of the 'light' team as otherwise I would not have had enough but I like the mixture of fabrics a lot. I also like how each one reminds me of where and why I bought/acquired it. For example the blue/white, pink/white dots were a gift from my daughter, the bottom middle dark pink was from my mug rug partner in Holland - I could go on for hours ....


All that remains now is to add the borders and quilt. All in all a successful project so far - all the better for the fact that I did not have high expectations of this one. Hope you like it!

Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Shadow pinwheel ta-dah


Well it's been a very long time coming but I have finally finished the shadow pinwheel. What started out as a bit of an experiment with a couple of layer cakes turned into my biggest ever quilt. I made a considerable dent in my stash too which I am pleased about. Everything about this quilt turned out to be difficult and it has required some perseverance to get it done. The final sting in the tail was the quilting which took ages. I decided to do narrow lines of quilting round the edge as I wanted it to have a defined border.


These just took ages - about 15 minutes to get round each circle - but I think the final effect was worth it. It gives it a great texture and a really defined border. Also the extra stiffness at the edge seems to make it hang well.

It's in the washing machine at the moment - it will be well used and will need to be washed so I thought since the weather is so warm I would start as I mean to go on. It's got 5 colour catcher sheets in with it just in case!!

So now I am working on a much smaller quilt - back to my scrap 2.5 inch squares which will be infinitely more relaxing than this monster. I'd love to know what you think of it. I know it's not everyone's cup of tea but I love the mix of saturated colour. Oh and as an afterthought - here's the back - Kaffe Fassett shirt stripes in green - reminds me of a deck chair!

later note: - phew washed fine  - the colour catchers were a kind of black colour after it finished washing - but the white remained white and everything else looks fine!