Saturday, 31 May 2014

Quilting mojo - I love you

I've been quilting up a storm this week. It's half term and most of my course work is finished so I have been able to completely relax and spend lots of time with the frame.

First up was my tumbling blocks. I love making this, it was the first top I use my design wall for and I also got over my fear of y seams making it. I have been pondering ideas for ages and finally got a chance to play.

I used white aurifil and tried all sorts of feathers and then had a few of the blocks quilted more simply as a place to rest the eye.

Here is the best I could do of the whole quilt after it came of the frame.


And some detail pics.


It isn't bound yet, I am saving that for a few weeks. My guild is having an exhibition space at the festival of quilts this year and we need to pick entries soon. If this gets selected it will need a sleeve so I am waiting to bind until I know.

It's roughly 56x76 inches but I imagine it will shrink when it is completed.

And to see the quilting in more detail this is the back.


Next I loafed up my migraine top. I hardly ever name quilts but I had this named when I was designing it. I spotted this two colours together and just had to use them.


It is supposed to hurt your eyes, that's the look I was going for and so I quilted it in a simple zigzag to add to the effect. After the hours spent on the tumbling blocks, this was a doddle.

I have now got my third quilt of the week on the frame. This was from a bee I was in a couple of years ago. It's about halfway done now.


And the great thing is I have reduced my pile of tops waiting to quilt to just 4.

I've had a great week, hope you have as well.


Thursday, 22 May 2014

MQG challenge

Now that the London Modern Quilt Guild has joined up officially, I got to take part in their latest fabric challenge using Michael Miller fabric. Full details of the challenge can be found at their blog.

I really didn't know what I wanted to do with it but I was inspire by Susan's wonderful quilt as you go cushion. It's a technique I've always wanted to try so why not now?

I pieced a few strips together and then used the QAYG method to do a very wonky log cabin type of arrangement. I also went for wonky matchstick quilting which again is something I hardly ever do but wanted to give it a go.

Slowly but surely it grew but I didn't know what it was growing into.

Eventually I had a big enough piece and I was contemplating a tote bag, then the idea of adding words popped into my head. Now I have only recently finished my first quilt with words and swore to myself never again. I don't enjoy appliqué techniques. But the idea stuck and over a couple of days the words I wanted came to me.

They are all related to the work I've been doing on myself during my counselling course.

LOVE - love myself, something I haven't always been able to do

LIVE - live in the moment, the past is over and it can only hurt me if I let it

DREAM - I suffered insomnia for years, I cherish it now when I sleep well and have lots of dreams

With those thoughts in mind I have named this piece "Remember" and it is going to hang in my stairwell so I see if every day when I get up in the morning. To remember how important these things are for me and how hard I've had to work to experience them.

It's finished at 26x38 inches and I added some kona white for the words and the binding.


Sunday, 11 May 2014

More finishes

I have been attempting to take control of my stash and stop buying new stuff when I have so much in the house I can't even remember where it came from.

Using up some bits for charity quilts also gives me the opportunity to practice quilting on the frame.

I gathered a couple of mini charm packs I received in the goody bags at the last two fat quarterly retreats and sewed them together, I then found a jelly roll that I had absolutely no memory of and added all the pink strips from it to make this top.

When I quilted it I wanted to try feathers for the first time on the frame and just used the strips for guides. It's simple but effective. I added a stripes binding also from stash and it was done.

With the remaining strips from the jelly roll I went even simpler and came up with this.

I wanted to try large pebbles for the quilting. I've always found them awkward and thought the frame might help. It did a bit, but it still didn't feel very comfortable for me so I might not bother with them again. They do give a nice texture though.

I used the same binding, it was still out so why pack it away?

Both this quilts ended up at around 30x40 inches and are being donated to charity.

Both were on my finishalong list for this quarter so I feel very good at having finished them.


Thursday, 8 May 2014

Being productive

Last month I set myself 4 goals in this quarters finishalong. Even that seemed ambitious based on my last few quarters, but amazingly I've managed to complete them all already.

Pther first one was a quilt for my old mate Jim. It's very imaginately called, "Jim's quilt". I'm so good at naming quilts aren't I?

It came about last autumn as Jim was in hospital after having the most severe treatment for cancer I've ever come across. He had it in his hip, but despite multiple visits to his GP and hospitals it was undiagnosed for 18 months. Therefore by the time it was discovered the only option he was offered was a hindquarter amputation. If you like me don't know what that is, it means removing the effected parts of the pelvis to remove the hip and then because it is connected the leg (which was perfectly healthy) has to go as well.

After the operation while he was recovering we discussed what sort of quilt he would like, especially if he was in a wheelchair a lot. Being a grumpy git at the best of times he asked for it to say 'fuck off'! Being treated differently because of his disability wasn't someone he wanted.

One of his normal catchphrase is "it's all about me". It was obvious to me then what the quilt would be like,


I used Lu Summers porthole technique to create the words. It was fiddly but as I'm not a fan of appliqué it seemed a better option for me. The blue background is sketch, the rest of the fabric came from stash but I can't remember what it was and it was quilted with my trusty aurifil.

It's now with its new owner, that's his remaining leg in the picture. And for info, he's doing really well on his crutches and hasn't even used the wheelchair since he got home. I'm trying to find a good nickname for him on the "hoppy" theme but nothing has felt right yet. Suggestions?