Saturday, 30 January 2010

More scrap use

I got a copy of Liberated Quilting 2 by Gwen Marston this week and it inspired me to use up all the little triangles I've been saving from binding etc.

They are so cute!

each of the nine patch squares started at 2 inches so they come out at about 4.5 once put together. I've no idea what I'll do with them but I have enough scraps for a lot more yet!

Thursday, 28 January 2010

Strings 2009 finished

I've finished!!

I'm so pleased with it, I've never done a string quilt before and it worked out so well. This includes fabrics from all the quilts I've made in 2009 so it is such a great memory aid. Seeing the different fabrics in it tells my quilting journey throughout the year. I even used some selvedges in it.

It is 44x44 inches and washed up without really shrinking. I quilted it very heavily for me anyway to keep all the seams secure.

I decided to do some of the blocks larger as I had some pieces from quilt background trimming and rather than cut them down to the smaller size I made them bigger.

Monday, 25 January 2010

String quilt quilting

I've finished quilting my String Quilt today. I've done it very loopy and fairly dense. The top measures 48x48 inches and I was onto my 6th bobbin! I felt it needed it though to make it nice and stable with the amount of seams in it. I really love this quilt, all my memories from my quilting journey so far are in it! Just the binding to do tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

Blue Crush

Hooray, I thought of a name for a quilt! I have only done this for a couple so far.

This is one I've been piecing on and off for the last few days. The fabric is from a Fabric Freedom Noodle which is like a jelly roll but with 50 strips. This was blue and turquoise batik. I have to say the strips were not cut very well, but I was able to trim my blocks as I went and it turned out ok. Luckily they were generous on the width rather than tight.

At the moment it measures 40x64 inches. I have quite a few strips left but don't want to do anymore blocks so I might put a scrappy border on. Will decide in the morning.

I love the effect of batiks, but these aren't my favourite colours. I have to make myself use a variety of colours, otherwise everything I make would be in autumn shades of green, yellow and orange.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Nothing new to show yet

So thought I'd show some more old stuff. This set of four cushions was made last summer for my Mum. They were a great way to practice making different blocks for the front and backs. I made the back in two pieces with an envelope style opening. They worked a treat and are really easy to get the cushion fillers in yet are nice and secure. The fabric was a moda layer cake so they all blended lovely.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Not much sewing going on

Been doing the boring housework stuff for the last couple of days.

I've started some pinwheel blocks using a strip roll but no pics yet.

One of my other finishes from last year was this bargello quilt, made using beautiful oriental fabric. I love bargello, I've played with it in needlepoint as well. I didn't do anything too fancy, I've got a book with some amazingly detailed patterns.

I quilted it with a straight line through the diagonal of each block which creates a lovely curving effect, but it was hard work. Due to the zigzag I had to turn it around so often to do each line I was sick of it by the time I finished.

I was really pleased overall though and now enough time has passed I've forgotten how painful the quilting was!

Monday, 18 January 2010

First 2010 finish

I've finished this quilt this evening and it is currently in the washing machine. The back has a couple of left over blocks from the front and I did the binding in a lovely dark forest green which I think works well with the colour scheme of the bali pops.

Overall I'm really please with how this turned out. I took the pattern from "Jelly Roll Quilts" and adapted it slightly as I didn't want borders. It measured 46x64 inches, but it might shrink a bit once it is washed.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

I really need to think of a name for this quilt!

I haven't been very good at naming my quilts so far - in my head this is just the bali pops quilt and I can't think of anything more imaginative! Rubbish or what!

I've completed the quilting today, just a wavy line with a loop every now and again across the width of the quilt. I've used this a few times now and it is it getting more comfortable each time.

I used a nice variegated green and brown thread on top which blends well with the batks and dark green on the bottom.

Friday, 15 January 2010

The bit I really dislike

Is basting my quilts. I just find it horrible but what can you do?

Even if I had enough floor space to work with, my back wouldn't cope with that, so I do it on my table. This has extra leaves so it opens out quite long so I can nearly always get the width of the quilt on together. It is also very old and battered so I don't mind in the slightest any scratched that get on it from the pins.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

First free motion quilting

I pieced this one block wonder last summer from fabric I bought cheap to see how it turned out. I didn't like the fabric at all and don't really like the end result that much, although it is better than the original. I was doing it to continue practising my accuracy with seams and because I love the effects that are shown in the One Block Wonder book.

I really do want to do another one some time, but it uses a lot of one fabric and I haven't found one suitable since that doesn't cost too much. I'm not going to spend £15 per metre on it.

I also did my first attempt at free motion quilting on it. It didn't turn out too bad although I had to unpick a few times when the tension went doolally. Only a few ruffles in the back as well so I was pleased with that.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

String challenge top

I've pieced together all my blocks for the strng challenge. The smaller blocks are 5.5 inch finished. I put in 4 larger ones as well as I had some bigger strings and it seemed a good way to make a dent in the scrap pile.

I've never done one of these before, but its been so easy and fun. Pulling all the different fabrics is like a trip through my quilting journey this last year. Scraps from every quilt I've made is in it.

Now I need to get on and finish it, I've got a little pile growing of unfinished tops and I must get on and tackle it.

Monday, 11 January 2010

My first bed size quilt

I'm getting on great with my string blocks for the string challendge being held over at, I'm really enjoying doing them and seeing the piles of scraps go down.

The first single bed quilt I finished last year was a disappearing nine patch made from a moda scrap bag.

I had treated myself to a new sewing machine with a 1/4 in foot so this was a great way to practice getting my seams and corners to match. It went wrong in a lot of places but it was better than my previous efforts. I added a couple of plain borders and used my new walking foot for the straight line quilting.

I pieced the back with some leftover from the scrap bag to finish it off.


Sunday, 10 January 2010

First finish

Last april I decided it was the perfect time to start working on patchwork in earnest. For some reason I had always been putting it off.

I had scraps from my hand sewed log cabin left over so I decided to do a version of a coin quilt. I had to get some extra fabric for the borders and binding.

I also used the machine to quilt it. I didn't have a clue how to do it and my old machine didn't work very well, but I managed to get a wavy pattern done. I was pleased with how it turned out. The coins are not squared off at all, they somehow went a bit wonky.

The worse part though was the binding, I was trying to follow instructions I had in a book but totally misunderstood so I didn't fold it first. It means it is large and empty.

It amuses me though, when I look at it so I haven't ever been tempted to fix it.

Friday, 8 January 2010

The good thing about hibernating

is you get lots of sewing done. Much better than tackling the snow and ice.

I pieced this top in the last couple of days from a selection of charm squares. Nice and easy.

I've also done a couple more firsts today. I joined my first online challenge at Loft Creations and also added my first button to this blog which links to the details. I've been working on string squares since the new year to try and get my scraps under control so Stephanie's challenge is perfect timing.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Yuck yuck yuck

This isn't supposed to happen in London - or only for one day at most a year. Go away you horrible weather!

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Still not finished

I started this early last year when my itch to start quilting couldn't be postponed any longer. I have had a sewing machine for a long time, but I was never confident with it, so in my wisdom I decided to handpiece.

I had been collecting fabrics I like for a long time and these autumn colours are my favourites. I've always known my colours, and as a dark redhead these are the ones I like to wear as well.

I made my blocks okay and loved playing with the various pattern that can be achieved with log cabins but I stalled with the thought of hand quilting. The heavyweight curtain quilting disaster I think put me off.

My lovely blocked are still in the trunk waiting to be finished. Part of me wants to get on with it by machine now, but I did so much by hand it would seem a shame!

Ah well, I'll leave the decision for another day.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Working out what fabric not to use... using completely the wrong thing and trying to make a quilt from it.

I haven't ever taken a photo on my very first attempt at a quilt, it is still wrapped up in the bottom of the cupboard. I had two heavy cotton curtain fabrics which I tried to to make an Irish Chain wallhanging from. I managed to piece it okay, but when I tried to hand quilt it with the same fabric as backing it didn't work.

Over the last 15 years I've tried on and off to get on with it but it hurts my fingers so much it hasn't got very far.

I've learnt that lesson now!

Sunday, 3 January 2010

When you haven't got a clue what you are doing...

You end up making a total mess of the first patchwork you finish.

This little hanging was finished about 7 years ago and I made such a mess I didn't do any more until last year. The coloured squares were from a sample book and were about 1.5 inches.

I was pleased with how I put the colours together, but nothing matched. I had never heard of a 1.4 in foot or anything to help with accuracy.

The edging and backing was a heavy weight curtain cotton! I didn't have a clue about how to finish it all off and I hadn't heard of binding. The quilting was done after I had sewn the front and back together so it all went a bit wobbly!

A lot of lessons have been learnt since then but overall I'm still pleased with it.

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Using up scraps

I only started quilting last spring, but I am already being swamped with scraps. I've already use quite a lot on some little bags but it doesn't seem to make a dent in the pile.

I have been inspire by the wonderful quilts on and have started a string quilt. Until you get a number of blocks completed and lay them out it is hard to tell if they are going to look okay but I've now finished 20 6 inch blocks and when put out on the floor I think they blend together really way, even though there are really random fabric in there.

Friday, 1 January 2010

Love Fireworks

One of the things I love is a firework display. I'm lucky enough to be able to get to two great ones each year. From a flat just behind the London Eye I can get to see the New Years Eves display in warmth and comfort.

New Years Resolution

Finally taken the plunge into the blogsphere. I've been a browser of lots of others that I have really enjoyed for a long time but have always been hesitant to start. We shall see what happens or whether this first post is also my last!