Friday, 31 January 2014

Stormy seas

I'm in the process of creating a permanent sewing space in the snug at the moment.  Usually I would be sewing on the dining room table but with Mal at home more often now its a bit unfair, so I've engineered a space in the snug with some furniture moving.  The snug feels a bit empty and echos even though its such a tiny room, so it needs padding out with soft furnishings, and now my machine has a home I decided I need a mat.  My favourite quilt from last year was Oceania and I had some triangles left over so made this:

It's a generous size to fit my machine on, and I'm going to use a double layer of wadding to help deaden the machine noise.  I've also got loads of half triangles from the end of the strips that I cut the triangles from.  I've sewn them all together to make little rectangles, but I don't know what I'm going to use them for - they're only 2'' by 3.5''. Any ideas?

Linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday with Kelly

Monday, 27 January 2014


I know I should be finishing Wintersmith, but the draw of the next project was too strong (again - and I have the house to myself for a few days so can drape fabric everywhere)...

When I designed/made the Papillon quilt I intentionally only used half of the patterned fabric so that I would have enough left over to make a charity quilt.  The plan originally was to make something very similar, so I cut all of the fabric into 3.5'' squares.  But I have another idea...  I want to do a kind of pixelated look, with darker colours from the bottom right, and getting lighter towards the top left.

This is my first layout.

I've taken the photo then greyscaled it and blurred it to see if it would give the effect I wanted:

I think from these two images, I can see a couple of squares that I want to re-position (brightest pink in top half to be moved down). I'll leave it for a few days and think about it as well!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Elvish delight

No not High Elves or Wood Elves (sorry, Middle Earth reference), but Santa's Elves, who have been busy over the last few months preparing Christmas gifts....

Erin's Bag

A smaller version for my messenger bag (posted here), measures approx 8'' x 8'', all the fabrics are from my stash/left over from other projects.

Hollie's Apron

Made using the tutorial from Aesthetic Nest. One side is made from the last scraps of the Fairy fabric I used for Hollies bunting and bean bag, the other side is a patchwork of scraps left over from her Great-grandmother's quilt.

Christmas Table runners

Made from fabrics in a Moda Jelly roll, Joy by Kate Spain.  The blocks are 5'' x 10'' and the grey borders are all 2'' wide.  Really getting the hang of free motion quilting and machine binding with these ones, delighted with the quality of the finish.

Mum's knitting needle roll

More using of leftover fabrics to make some storage for the family demon knitter, based on this tutorial from Stitch Parade.

Friday, 3 January 2014

The quilts of 2013

Looking back on my first year of quilting, I'm so chuffed with how far I've come and what I've achieved.  There's been so much learning going on! I've really enjoyed the process and hope to continue develop my skills into 2014.  Here's the lowdown on what's been happening....

1. Baby Bleakley quilt - my first ever quilt (technically it's from 2012 but meh), so many things there I can do better now! Why I decided HSTs would be a good place to start I don't know, but they matched up really well.  It was here I learnt that it's much easier if you make the backing at least a couple of inches bigger than the quilt top.
2. Granny quilt - big blocks make a quick quilt! My biggest love with this quilt is the matching cushion (pillow) - I love the texture that the closely quilted lines give.
3. Oceania quilt - first try of equilateral triangles, and they matched up pretty well. The colours on this quilt are my favourite for the year.  I hand stitched the binding down and then went over it with a fancy stitch on my machine and it gave a great texture.
4. Christmas table runners - second free motion quilting attempt, starting to get the hang of it now! Also tried machine stitching the binding down and found that if you hand tack the corners first you get a much better finish.
5. Snowy Owl quilt - love the texture of the lines, but all those corners took forever to quilt!
6. Joseph quilt - love, love, love the bright batik jelly roll strips, and the pieced back, and the slightly wonky spiral... My favourite quilt of the year!
7. Papillon quilt - first attempt at free motion quilting and I did lots of looping and squiggles. Turned out really well with great texture and not too stiff, but I thinking I prefer my quilting more widely spaced.  However the pink and grey were a fantastic colour combination.

These were all given away as gifts... But hopefully for 2014 I might actually finish a quilt for me (there are a couple of quilt tops around that I'm planning to keep hold of)!!


It's important for a quilt to know who it belongs to.....

I've been experimenting with labels on my quilts as I've been going along.  My first attempt at hand embroidery didn't go well so I tried writing them with a fabric pen.  This was better, but I still wasn't convinced.

My sewing machine has a number of embroidery settings and after getting a hoop for it for my birthday I gave that a go as well. The results look very impressive, but the satin stitch is a bit big and grand for my quilt labels!

Ages ago the lovely Moira at Kettleboiler sent me some t-shirt transfer paper to try, after I commented on some ace labels she made for clothes.

Well I've finally got around to it.....

Not bad for a first attempt I say, I just need to experiment with the space and borders.  My favorite is the label for Oceania, there's 1/2" of white around the text and 1 1/2" patterned fabric border.  If I was really organised I'd sew these on the backing of my quilts (like Kelly suggests in her tutorial), but as I'm not I'll have to hand sew them on!

I also made some smaller labels for other gifts using some cotton webbing, and a couple of practice 'brand' ones.... (more on that another time).