Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Scrappy Shirt Tails

I have a quilting angel......... a dear friend called Sandra who lives in Georgia & spoils me by sending me wonderful surprise  packages of recycled shirt fabric. 

Inspired by a quilt in one of Bonnie Hunter's books, I started making these star blocks, quilt as you go method. But........ you know me, after about 7 or 8 of them, I just got bored and  started playing with the fabric & making a mixture of different blocks, whatever took my fancy at the time.

Union Square
Sister's Choice
Ohio Star

Some are traditional & some just made up to fill the gaps where required. Not much maths has been involved in this process as I tend to get it wrong!
Beginnings of a layout
Planning another row to be added on the right

Of course, quality control has to be monitored at each and every stage!

Progress so far

For the "Quilt as You Go" sashing & backing, I'm recycling a cotton double size duvet cover that I picked up at a local charity shop for £2......good value or what?
The back
I'm trying to be as accurate as possible, but there are already and no doubt will be more missing points off stars, geese loosing the tips of their beaks etc, but I'm not too fussed about this as, after all, quilting is meant to be fun and not stressful. 

Whatever you're making, enjoy the process, 'till next time, happy stitching :)

PS. Apologies for the formatting on this post.....blogger's just not playing ball tonight!

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Scraps & Strings

Do you follow Bonnie Hunter on Quiltcam? Recently I've been watching & learning how she paper pieces scraps & strings onto paper & finally gave in to try some myself as I have a fair size tub of scraps accumulating.

Of course Lucy was there right in the thick of it helping pick out some strings and quite a mess was created!

Having experimented with a few sizes, I finally chose to cut phone book paper to 3.5" wide x 10.5" long for my strip piecing. Once trimmed & paper removed I added 1.25" black strips to each side & cut the points with my Companion angle ruler. Neutral triangles were cut with the same ruler from 3.25" strips & added to each side, the block was then trimmed down to 7.5" square.

The blocks are then joined together, either in rows or units of 4, which ever way you prefer to work....

Initially I was starting to use just the repro scraps but then decided to follow Bonnie's advice & mix it all up, even using smaller crumbs joined together to form a strip and odd left over half sq triangle units, 4 patches, whatever, you name it, in it goes!

If you just fancy mindless sewing to use up those odds & ends, this is a great project. I'm really enjoying the process and the end result :)

Since starting this, I've discovered that Bonnie has a free pattern for this (minus the black) on her blog here

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Hand Quilting

Where have I been you may wonder?
Well, remember these above? That became this below

I decided I wanted to have a go at hand quilting baptist fans on this scrappy repro log cabin in order to keep this quilt as traditional as possible.
I used these washable fine tipped markers and some circle templates to mark the rows of fans I didn't trust my skills at doing these freehand

Loving the look of these fans & the texture they create
Almost done......
Ta dah, all finished!
 and washed (the marker washed out perfectly)
 Look at all the texture, love it.
Here it is in all it's glory, this quilt finished at single bed/generous lap size, which was big enough for my first big hand quilting project.

Small Quilts

In between bouts of hand quilting I've managed to keep up with the Small Quilt Talk group monthly challenges set by Kathy Tracy:
April's challenge - Contrary wife block
May's challenge was a beautiful Sweet Pea pattern that Kathy designed and published the free pattern on her website here

..........and my interpretation of June's challenge, Flowerpot applique from her book, Remembering Adelia. A bit different to the original pattern, I admit I got just a little carried away doing my own thing here! lol
Here we have a possible layout of how I'm planning on joining these together "Quilt as You Go" method to make one large quilt. As I've mentioned before these little quilts are very good practice for improving my machine piecing and hand quilting. Odd orphan and play blocks are being used as fillers.

Hopefully it won't be so long before my next post, in the meantime, keep on stitching :)

Thursday, April 04, 2013

March round up

As explained in my previous post here my 1st new project for March was cutting into the beautiful Oakshott cottons.....

Next up was the Small Quilt Challenge set by Kathy Tracy, to use our ugly fabrics to make a small quilt, I chose this drab repro fabric that I've never liked and added red, blue & yellow  to brighten things up

Still enjoying making these small quilts, especially the hand quilting part of it! Got carried away and made another one for fun.
This one is a gift for my Mum's birthday and is winging it's way to France, hope she likes it.......

March also saw the end of the log cabin blocks, I ended up making 80 in total and now have a completed top. I'm thinking about hand quilting this one with baptist fans, do you think that would look ok?

.........and finally, whilst i had all these repro scraps lying around, I just couldn't help myself and started making some scrappy stars, so this is my final new start for the New FO challenge for March, all in all, another busy month!

8.5" & 4.5" scrappy star blocks

We have a new arrival at work......

Meet Jantho, born on 1st April, the latest addition to our Sumatran Orang utang family.Baby & mum Annette are doing well :) To read all about it click here

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Playing with colour

Well, I've finally cut into the Oakshotts and am really enjoying playing with these beautiful cottons, they feel and look divine.

The 1st 3 blocks so far:

Here's a closer view of a couple of them:

These 18.5" blocks are very improvisational, I start off with a general plan as to how I would like it to be, but the block evolves under construction and ends up being quite different to the original idea!
Well, that's 3 done......only another 27 more to go!
Happy in stitching :)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

February catch up

1. Well February went by so quick & I missed the New UFO link up party as I just haven't really felt like blogging, would rather be sewing! So what did I get done?

I did actually get the Sue Spargo Bird Dance BOM started & need to crack on with this as this is only as far as I've got, Feb's kit has arrived & before long the March one will be on it's way!
2. A lot of 1.5" strips were cut in preparation for these........
I've been wanting to have a go at making some of these scrappy log cabins for a while & inspired by Kathy at Inspired by Antique Quilts post here, decided to dive in and make some. These are not as small as Kathy's but fun to make, we have 40 so far.
All the scraps left over & too small to make logs are cut into 1.5" squares & made into scrappy 4 patches by being used as leaders and enders. A few others have also been trimmed to make these mini flying geese which are a mere 1.5 x 2.5 inches. All this is really good practice for me as machine piecing has never been my forte!

3. and finally I played around with some old recycled shirt fabric for some mindless sewing........
...............which is going to evolve into a baby quilt of some sort, after adding some applique to this background. So what did you get up to in February?

Keep on stitching :)


Monday, February 11, 2013

On the horizon

Something's going to be created with this......

.......inspired by this amazing quilt with kind permission by Marianne. Currently sketching out some ideas but hesitating to cut into these stunning fabrics .........

This is a commission quilt for my friend who lives in a modern art deco-ish type house, she has a monster of a bed & we've calculated that 30 x 18 inch square blocks will be needed to fit nicely.......this is going to be a long term project!