Thursday 31 May 2012

Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Siblings Together Quilts One and Two are now both labelled and posted off to the charity today.  Could it be that I haven't already posted hundreds of pictures of these quilts?:-)   I thought I'd post a couple more of Two, just so, this time, you get to see my toes braving the ridicule of a group of teenage girls while I tried not altogether successfully to do artistic...

This pic was taken by willing helper, Sprog 1

It's so difficult to take a beautiful shot of a quilt (well it is for me!)  Do you have an all-time favourite quilt photo - one of your own you're proud of, or someone else's?  This, by Katy Ginger Monkey,  is one of mine.  I think the combination of sumptious velveteen and concrete minimalism is utterly inspired.

Another couple of stops today on the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop -  Jodi from Tickle and Hide 
and Libby from Miss Beau Jangles  

Jodi makes beautiful children's clothes - like these linen pinnies - and lovely colourful quilts.  I'm looking forward to seeing her tutorial.    Check out Libby's New York Beauty quilt - and she has a great post and tutorial showing how she makes bead bags for the Beads of Courage charity.

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Circles Doll's Quilt

I'm  linking up to Fabric Tuesday today as I've finished the circles doll's quilt for my daughter's friend which I showed in progress yesterday.  Sadly, after all the glorious weather here the sun has gone in, as you can see from the dingy photos...

It is square - promise!

I left the quilting simple and bound it with binding left over from Siblings Together quilt 1.  This quilt was fun to make, using raw-edge applique to sew on a variety of circles, some fussy cut, cut using lids and cups as templates.  In retrospect I think it needed a couple more but I handed it over to its wee recipient and she was very happy with it, so that's good! 

There are lots of lovely circle quilts out there, like this at Purl Bee which uses a rather fiddly method to turn the edges of the circles or the tutorial here at Bijou Lovely for a completely different one, with circles arranged in a grid.

I think a random circle bed quilt would be fun for a child - perhaps with some colourful hand quilting.  Do you have a constant list in the back of your mind of things you want to try?  I've added this to mine which is getting longer and longer!

Fresh Poppy Design

I'm also linking up to the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop again (see the button in my sidebar) and have hopped over to visit Heidi at Fabric Mutt and Amy from Amy's Crafty Shenanigans where you can see how high they have set the benchmark for the rest of us with great tutorials for a Quiet Book for children travelling, and a frayed edge quilt.

I love Heidi's Watercolour Quilt and Amy's has entered a really clever mini in the Play competition.

Monday 28 May 2012

Circles Doll's Quilt - WIP

My youngest daughter's friend was admiring her doll's quilt at the weekend so I said I would make her one. The brief was just "circles"!   

Terrible photo and please pretend you haven't seen the especially dodgy quilting round the small blue circle.

I haven't decided whether to leave the space in between. I'd love to do free-motion "pebbles", but I haven't got an FMQ foot - and I still have to work out how to drop my feed dogs!  Next project maybe.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Done and dusted!

Siblings Together 2 came out of the wash nicely crinkly and lo and behold, the sun has come out!  Here it is:

Siblings Together 2 - now with bigger toes
It is backed with bits of an upcycled duvet cover in a kind of pale denim colour which goes really nicely with the Klona solids.  I really like this quilt - though it has some imperfections where the quilting isn't very neat or where I ran out of spool thread and the join isn't as tidy as I'd like. I'd show you if it was for me but it doesn't seem quite right to point them all out on a quilt that is a gift, so luckily I'm off the hook and you will never know!  It's not too bad and I don't think the teenage boy I've made it for would either notice or care!

Here's a pic showing the backing fabric and the nice labels that Lily and Laura put together.

Now that I've finished 1 and 2 and have only to post them off, I feel free to make a quilt for me!  On my To Do list for ages has been a quilt to cover the living room sofa (keeps the biscuit crumbs out of the cracks). I am thinking of using blue/green/acqua and neutrals for a stack of coins-type affair, with linen sashing.  I have virtually no experience of sewing with linen, but nothing ventured, nothing gained!

Also on my To Do list are three Pay It Forward Gifts for Fiona, Kay and Caroline and I will be in touch to ask for your addresses.

Before I sign off, please hop over and check out Nik from Bold Goods and Alyssa from Pile O Fabric who are next up on the Let's Get Acquainted bloghop.  I love Nik's I-Spy Quilt and Alyssa's Color in Motion Quilt and the tutorials they have come up with for the hop (a baby quilt, and a children's book bag) are great.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

WIP Wednesday

Earlier this month I got inspired to make a tiny quilt by the beautiful colours on a Klona Swatchcard from Backstitch.  I've added sashing in natural linen round the edges, mitred to look like a picture frame, and wanted to show you what it looked like when I held it up to the light this morning

I love the way the light shines through the needle holes!   It's deliberately wonky because I didn't make any effort to trim the blocks to size, and a bit rustic because I'm making this just for fun and just for me! I have no idea what I'm going to do with it when it's finished though...

I'm putting my money where my mouth is today and have added a piece of fabric to my Trading Page!

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop

Today is the first day of the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop being hosted by Beth at Plum and June.  First up are Kelsey Sews and Billy Button Design

They are both lovely colourful blogs: please do visit.  I really like Kelsey's On a Whim Quilt here and Erin's Echo quilt with its awesome quilting.

The theme of the hop is novelty prints. Each participant can show off a make or tutorial so I'm looking forward to seeing what Kelsey and Erin have done.  I've just bought some fun fabric for when it's my turn in July. Here's a peek:

Catch of the Day fabrics by Hoodie

I have an idea for these which has been simmering away but I don't know if I can pull it off !  If I can and I'm really quick, there's also Ellison Lane's Summer Sewing Contest to think about.

First I just have to wash and tidy this:

It's the second quilt for the charity Siblings Together (also my second ever quilt), designed with an older boy in mind.  I quilted it over the last few days with meandering lines about an inch apart (I'm wondering whether to add more - what do you think?) and bound it in a scrappy binding made with leftovers from making the triangles.  Proper pictures when it's washed (and maybe the sun will come out too).  I'm linking up to

Fresh Poppy Design

Monday 21 May 2012

Saturday 19 May 2012

Siblings Together 2 quilt in progress

I thought about making some sort of border for this with the leftovers of the Klona bundle, but decided instead to push the boat out and get some more of the dark navy. I'm so glad I did.  I think any of the colours could have worked and resulted in some very different looks, but I like the navy as it's for an older boy and I'm trying to keep it as inoffensive and unembarrassing as I can!

All the family junk has been pushed out of shot except for the plastic bottle which I didn't notice:-)
Oh I love these colours! And did you notice that the clothes pegs match? Classy!:-)

The thing now is what to do with the quilting. If I was really competent and had a bigger sewing machine, I'd like to do the central panel with a meander, to soften all the triangles, but I'm not and I don't, so the plan is to straight (or wonky) line quilt the whole thing! What colour though? I have a lovely deep turquoise thread, but would that stand out too much against the navy? Perhaps I should quilt with navy, but would that stand out too much against the coloured panel? I think I'm going to have to have a trial run on some scraps and dither for a bit.

Friday 18 May 2012

Bloggers' Quilt Festival

Today is a good day for curling up on the sofa under a quilt and looking at all the beauties on show at the marvellous

Amy's Creative Side

I would feel very proud if I had made any of them so I'm a bit nervous about linking up, but on the other hand, I have just made my first one (apart from 2 dolls quilts and a mini, which I entered in the Modern Mini contest, and was then really embarrassed afterwards as it's not modern at all).

Maybe people who have already made 10s of quilts still remember how excited you are at finishing your first one. Or maybe that's just me! Or perhaps that feeling never goes away? Anyway, this is it:

This is my favourite photo because of the little fingers and toes, whose owners were being unusually co-operative.

The quilt was made for the charity Siblings Together, which you can read about here - another reason why this quilt is very important to me.   The coloured fabric in the middle was donated by Patchwork Queen.   I thought that I could probably manage a quilt based on HSTs and started off with a star in the middle because I felt this sent a positive message. I cut what I had and laid it out in two early designs - at that point I asked for advice from fellow Bloggers!  The most popular one ended up like this - part Star and Chains, part one version of Star of Bethlehem, part Swoon.  More details are here. Because I wasn't making the quilt for me, I really didn't want to mess it up - this made it a great learning experience.

I'm now on to my second quilt and looking forward to the one after that:-)

If you are visiting from Amy's thank you very much for coming over to take a look.  Now I'm just off to do some visiting.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Fabric Trading

Are you desperately looking for an out of print fabric, or missing just a tiny amount that you need to finish that great quilt-in-progress?  Or trying to make a quilt composed entirely of kitten/fruit/kitchen utensil print fabric?

Or possibly you've been having a destash?  Are you looking at a piece of fabric and wondering how you could ever have loved it?

I was lying in bed last night wondering if there was an uncomplicated solution to these problems, that was blog-based and didn't need to be hosted.   So... I thought that I would propose the following idea and wondered if you might let me know what you think?

First, add a Fabric Trader page to your blog.  It can be empty right now but any time you are looking for, or offering fabric add a picture or description to the page and say whether it is Wanted or Offered fabric. 

Consider, and mention (maybe in the picture caption), whether you prefer:
  • a direct trade - fabric for fabric
  • whether fabric would be traded for the price of the postage (locally only, or internationally),
  • whether to trade fabric for something (small) made by the recipient, 
  • or if you would just be willing to send fabric free, gratis and for nothing out of the kindness of your heart (or the desire never to see it again). 
No items for sale - this is just for trading.

Then, add a Button to your blog to show that you are a Fabric Trader  (I'm a Fabric Trader, Twisted Fabric Trader! - sorry, silly Prodigy reference).  The button will link to your Fabric Trading page.   As it happens I have one here!   (You can try it out in my side bar.)  For a good tutorial on how to add a button see this.

<a href="YourFabricTradingPageURL" target="_blank"><img src="" alt="Fabric Trader" width="125" height="125" /></a>

All you have to do now is change the button HTML where it says YourFabricTradingPageURL.  Put in the url of your own Fabric Trading page so that anyone clicking the button is directed there.   (No reason why you should use this button, you can always design your own lovely!  Just make sure it points to your Fabric Trading page.)

Now you can mention in a post each time you add something to your Fabric Trader page.  Or, you can just let visitors check by clicking your button.

If you are offered a trade you don't want you can just explain thanks, it's not quite what you're looking for this time!   And if someone has sent you something, you could always credit them for their kindness in your blog, and perhaps give them another mention if you post pictures of your creation. 

Do you think this would work, or have I somehow have missed a similar scheme?

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Siblings Together Quilt 2

One of my daughters was off school with a cold yesterday. I should have been working so it wasn't ideal but when she said she didn't feel well it did occur to me that this would mean a day of sewing - hooray!  Do you think that's terrible ?:-)

What with the terrible hardship of a day stuck at home and all I got the squares cut at the weekend sewn into HSTs and auditioned different layouts for a new Siblings Together quilt for an older boy:

before abandoning these layouts and going for a semi-random one.

My lovely Backstitch Hurricane Sea Bundle has been waiting for a good project since I was lucky enough to win it a while back in a giveaway offered by Betty at Anything Goes.   (Check out her amazing quilt for Siblings Together with its fluffy backing.)

Backstitch is run by one of my cousins (she wasn't involved in the giveaway at all - no fixing!), but I can truthfully say that I am enjoying working with these Klona cottons - I think they are very slightly thicker than standard patchwork cotton which made it easier for me to cut them and get a good crisp seam.  They don't seem to fray much either and the colours are wonderfully vibrant.  I'm thinking of sashing and binding the quilt with the leftovers from the same bundle.

Sunday 13 May 2012

This weekend...

...there was, unexpectedly, some sunshine, which meant I could show you some more toes (and yet more quilt - I promise this is the last of it for a while):

Then, as expected, this happened:

and it was just the excuse needed to spend an afternoon turning this:

into this:

I hope you had a good one too.

Friday 11 May 2012

Fresh out of the wash and still in one piece!

I hope you're not sick of this already.   Probably it seems as if I'm jumping up and down on the spot shamelessly shouting "Me! Look at me!  I made a quilt! Me!" but I am so happy.  Look!  I made a quilt! 

This is the first full size one I've made and I can't be too insufferably smug because it's full of bits that aren't very professional.  Some of the points don't meet up and it would have been a lot more classy if I'd given more thought to the direction of the prints.  The most annoying mistake I made was somehow to include a small lump of coloured fluff in between the backing and wadding. It shows through and looks as if a spider has crawled in there and died.  My husband suggested I do key-hole surgery on it, but I think it will have to stay there.

It was a great learning experience because I am not naturally organised or meticulous, but the quilt is going to such a good cause and I wanted it to be right.  If I'd been making it for myself I would have cut all the corners (and probably all the points), but I really had to buckle down and try and do it properly. 

Geeky details: The quilt is approximately 55 inches square.  The coloured star was pieced from fabric very generously donated by Patchwork Queen who sent me this lovely package - I picked out some and all the rest has gone off to Trudi Quilting Prolifically for her Siblings Together granny squares.  I quilted it in the ditch round all the stars within stars and then round and round the rest, with organic (ie wonky) lines.

The binding is a Riley Blake stripe which, of course, I now wish I'd ordered more of.

 I just noticed the cat hair...

I used the calculator here to work out the amount of binding fabric needed.

You're only spared further artistic shots of it on a beach, or hanging over my clematis, because it is foul weather and the forecast is awful for the whole weekend!  I might just have to take a few more pictures of it before it goes off to its new home, though.

Have a great weekend.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Quilted and bound!

A rainy day - no gardening and the Siblings Together quilt is quilted - sew, lift foot, turn, heave, bundle, turn, drop foot, sew etc, etc!

 I have never quilted a real quilt before - I found it very (very) hard.    At one point I had most of the quilt held under my chin while I used both hands to guide it - good thing only the cat was here to see.  My machine, which is quite basic, coped admirably except that I had to unpick one quilting line which ran round the whole quilt as the tension had gone horribly wrong.  I don't know why - I changed the bobbin and it was okay after that.  Not only is it quilted but the fabric for binding arrived from Utah yesterday and it is actually bound.  

I machine bound it using this tutorial where you stitch the binding to the back, flip it over to the front and stitch again.  I really want to jump up and down shouting how marvellous this method is - no hand sewing, no trying to stitch in the ditch and catch the binding at the back without being able to see it.

I'd like to post a pic of the whole quilt, but I'd better wash it first and make sure it doesn't fall apart.  Please keep your fingers crossed for me.

I've also quilted the Backstitch Klona Swatch Card mini quilt with wavy lines; much easier than the other one! I don't mind the fact that it's bumpy and irregular and I love it just for the colours.  If I get round to it any time soon, I think I will bind it with natural linen.  The fabrics are in the same order as the swatch card, so I can still use it for colour reference.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

It was a busy day yesterday and I actually have more than one work in progress!  I quite liked the fabric box I made, flaws and all, so I've started cutting fabric for another one, though this one is going to be smaller (and not quite as flawed, hopefully).

I got the Siblings Together Quilt out on the living room floor last night and basted it in front of the tv (wow, that was hard on the knees!),

and I was looking at this:

which suddenly seemed to want to be turned into this:

a little colour box miniquilt which I'm making without worrying about cutting the squares to size, or lining them up particularly.  I'm using it as an opportunity to practice joining scraps of wadding,

getting my tension right, and doing QAYG -  also just for the hell of it.  Did you notice the gold square?  

Obviously that's not in the Backstitch Klona Swatch Card!  The colours come in groups of seven, all except for one of six but in a flash of inspiration I remembered a bargain bin scrap of gold metalic silk and used it to fill the gap.

So I'm linking up to

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

 If you are visiting from there Hello!


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