Saturday, August 17, 2013

Log Cabin

20130814-P1280895.jpg So I have been itching to try and do some sewing. I decided to start with my £4 scrap bag from The Eternal Maker. It was great. So easy. It's the second time I have done this log cabin technique and once again I am struck by how easy and quick it is. I tried to just make it up as I went along but not paying too much attention to it. I ended up not using quite a few of the fabrics, they just didn't seem to fit the colour scheme that developed pretty quickly. I added in some of the 'bubble life' fabric by birch fabrics I bought as it fit in so well. I really enjoyed making them. I just need to make them into something now.

20130816-IMG_4743.jpg In the end I just decided to make 5" blocks and see what happened.

20130816-IMG_4764.jpg I got four out of it. If I had used all the fabric I probably would have got twice as many. Now do I just sew them all together or put sashing in or add bits to it? I have to think...

Peg bag After a think I decided to expand the blocks with bits from my scrap bag as I didn't want them to look like defined blocks. I also wanted it to look more chaotic and unmeasured so I tried to relax into it a bit and stop being so precise. I am pleased with the results... i think.

Tomoorrow I plan to quilt each panel then sew them into a basic bag shape so I can store pegs in it. We'll see how I get on.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Green Tea and Sweet beans


So let's talk sampler quilts. I have decided to buy the Green Tea and Sweet Beans Pattern Book by Jen Kingwell that I saw on sale at The Running Chicken. Karen looks like she had a lot of fun making this. She said it had taken ages. I think breaking it down into a block a month is the way forward. I will get to practice some great techniques. I love the modern fabrics Karen has used. Now I just need to do the same thing and somehow not let it become a train crash. I'm not sure about the border so I might not have one at all. We'll see. It's early days. Here is Karen's




20130811-P1280782.jpg Now I just need to pull together some fabrics which are bright but sort of match. Here are some I bought in preparation. I kind of think they go together.



What I bought

So What did I end up buying at the Quilt show? Well I was trying to go crazy, but of course I did go crazy. It didn't seem to matter that I have no time these days and that I have not made that much since having Penelope. But there were just too many lovely things which I never see in other places.

20130814-P1280889.jpg I thought I manage not to buy something at Sunflower fabrics but the lure of Liberty prints was just too much. There is no real plan for them. One I have already but I really love. I am hoping to do Posy gets Cosy improve quilt in old fashioned favs from the scrap bag and I thought these might go in it. As if I don't have enough already. Sigh...

20130814-P1280890.jpg I managed to get half way round without making any other 'big' purchases which is exactly what I planned. Just a few fat quarters to make me happy. More Liberty fabric because I am SURE I need more. I just loved those patterns. A fatquarter from Cotton Patch. Usually I spend a lot there so I was pleased at my restraint. The material is one I have and love and have used a lot so I was glad I found it. I kind of wish I had bought a metre. A bit of Stef Francis thread to thank her for giving me a free ticket just when it meant a lot to me. I love hand quilting with her thread, it's just such nice quality. Oh and lastly, the chicken is like one I have bought before and put in a frame so I was very pleased. Such a nice thing for £1!

20130814-P1280880.jpg This was the only thing I actually needed. I have been looking for some dark fabric to go on my Posie gets Cosy quilt. I don't really use a lot of dark fabric so it's been hard to find something I like. I thought this would be perfect. This project is churning away in the back of my mind. One day...

20130814-P1280879.jpg I've been wanting to make something for Penelope for ages. She's not really very girly, but I have this pink Liberty flowery fabric and I have always wanted to make her a flowery dress. The problem is she doesn't really wear a lot of dresses. They prevent crawling. I decided that this Oliver + S pattern would be perfect and I was looking online at where to buy it, then suddenly it was there at The Eternal Maker. It totally distracted me from buying loads of fabric which is so tempting as it's all so modern and lovely. I have decided that I have more than enough modern fabric really so I was very abstemious and just bought the pattern and a little offcut bag.

20130814-P1280895.jpg I thought I might try and use this up straight away. I might mess about and so some wonky improv logcabin stuff, just to see if I can do it. Maybe during a naptime if I can.

20130814-P1280886.jpg It was at Oakshott that it went wrong. I had seen Oakshott fabric on the web so I knew I wanted to check it out as I am getting more and more into solids. It's lovely fabric and beautiful colours. I was beguiled pretty quickly. They had their "Amazing quilt" on display which is a free pattern on their website. It was just so lovely that I bought a little bundle of fabric. I ummed and ahhed, but Julia shook me and pursuaded me. Now that's a selling technique. I keep looking at the bundle. It's so perfect, I can't bear to open it. I think this might be an up and coming project as it's simple enough for me not to have to think too hard.

20130814-P1280887.jpg Then in the last few hours it all went wrong. I was doing so well. But I saw Karen from The Running Chicken's modern sampler quilt and suddenly I needed the pattern and some more modern fabric to go with it! Even though I had sworn not to buy anymore. I'll write more about it in a separate post.

20130814-P1280882.jpg Then I went back to The Eternal Maker and bought all the things I had resisted earlier. D'oh! It's so exciting though, the fabrics are going to be perfect. I am so fired up about this! Now I just need to work it all out so I do a block a month. If you want to do it with me...

Monday, August 12, 2013

Royal Festival of Quilts

20130810-P1280679.jpg So this year I made it. And it was ACE. So much to look at and take in. It was less busy than last time so you could really browse through everything. I saw lots of lovely things. I tend to like the quilts on the stalls as they are more simple. The ones in the exhibition were all amazing; so much effort and skill involved, but sometimes I wished they were simpler. I guess they wouldn't make the grade if they were. The historical stand had the best quilts as always but of course, no photos allowed. I think it all makes me realise that as much as I love all the modern bright fabrics and quilt designs, I still sigh happily when I see one that looks like it has come from Little House on the Prairie. Anyway here is some of what caught my eye. There was so much though. There is more on Flickr.

20130810-P1280684.jpg I'm quite into the idea of doing a block a month sampler. There is something very higgledepigglede about them which appeals to me plus you learn new techniques but don't have to slave over and over making them in one huge quilt. I like the colours in the above. I just need to hunt out the right pattern.

20130810-P1280680.jpg Not bad! A lot of work in that.

20130811-P1280779.jpg But this is the one which convinced me. I love the fabric choices (so much for being old fashioned). I love the amount of paper piecing involved. I have wanted to do a clamshell quilt for a while so this might be a good test. I am sold! Now just need to get started. More pics in a later post.

Oakshott Here we go. I am really taken by solids at the moment. There is something so simple about them. Oakshott fabric is so nice, it's well posh. It has a lovely shot quality to it. So I must make this quilt! The lady on the stall convinced me. She took me by both arms and shook me. I was sold. I reckon she sold tonnes of this fabric with the shake technique!

20130810-P1280664.jpg First time ever I didn't buy something from Kim at Worn and Washed! Crikey, I must be feeling ill. I decided that I hadn't touched any of the stuff I bought from her at Duxford so I should reign it in a bit. She had some lovely Liberty fabric though. Quite a few people are stocking it now. It's obviously IN bigtime!

20130810-P1280676.jpg The CottonPatch stall was amazing and bright as ever. It's so tempting! For once, I managed to restrain myself and only bought 1 fat quarter. But when they put bright basketfulls out like that it is SO tempting.

20130810-P1280677.jpg They had a lot of lovely modern quilts on display at CottonPatch.

20130810-P1280690.jpg There were some amazing things on display. These mini log cabins must have taken ages! They are so perfect. They gradiated out into a full rainbow.

20130811-P1280758.jpg They won a prize they were so good.

Applique I've been wanting to do a Baltimore quilt for a long time. I just need to find the right block patterns. I really liked this one. It's traditional which I think is the way to go, but I likt the use of slightly more contemporary fabric.

20130811-P1280765.jpg I love the border fabric. The whole thing went really well together. It was huge!

Miniature quilts The miniature quilts are always my favourite. They are just SO small and perfect. I have no idea how people do them. This was so tiny. How can they stop the fabric from just fraying. What size seams must they have? The mind boggles.

20130811-P1280788.jpg I love the giant rickrack in the centre and the colours and the spots. I also like the random little squares in the border. It just felt warm ad cosy.

20130811-P1280776.jpg I thought the colours and the applique on this quilt was great. There's more in the flickr set. I took loads of pictures! Some would say too many, but I was excited. It was a great weekend. I'll do a separate post on what I bought in the end.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Crochet roll

Crochet roll I made a new crochet roll! It's all yellows and oranges, my colours.

Crochet roll It's not as neat as the last one. But it only took a long naptime. Something to do during some extra long ill naptimes. Perfect for a rainy day in.

Crochet roll I love the Pink Chalk pattern. It's so easy to use. I never tire of it! Just what you need when you have no brain power and little time. All the bigger projects are languishing at the moment as everytime I get them out I make a mistake then I have to put them away again.

It also only used bits from the stash. I was thinking I might never use these Amy Butler fat quarters I was given, but it all worked out nicely. A birthday present for under a fiver!

Crochet roll I quite like the fabric now I have used it. I was thinking of getting rid of it as my love for Amy Butler fabric seems to have declined, but now I see it finished I am pleased it is so bright and jolly. It reminds me of the very first knitting needle roll I made.

Crochet hook roll I'm sorry to see my weird yellow button go, but it fitted perfectly.

Crochet roll I made loads of mistakes as usual, but I did manage to get the pocket the right height so you can see the sizes of the crochet hooks. Now I just need to make myself one as my needles are just stuffed in a jar. Typical. The ill sleeper has decided not to sleep today so there will be no sewing, just a lot of grizzling and playing with plastic toys which play the same tune over and over and over again. Joy.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

A Wallis Baby Quilt


After making the iPad holder, I decided to try my hand at making a small baby quilt with the scraps. It's a really tiny quilt, best for a moses basket or cot I expect. I just don't have the gumption to make anything bigger, plus I really hate making 60° quilts. I love how they look, but I find them so hard to line up as the material is always so stretchy. I am sure my technique is terrible.


It took me weeks and weeks and weeks to do each of the smaller triangle units. I was grabbing a minute here, a minute there. You really can't leave a baby to amuse themselves can you? In desperation I started using the sewing machine during nap time which is never ideal as it's enough to wake up the delicate sleeper. She needs to harden up to the sound of sewing sooner or later! I am glad I am getting the use out of the 60° ruler I bought. It's really great. You can see I cut long strips to begin with. I really starched the fabric first to minimise stretch.


Stupidly though I should have done open seams. I just couldn't get them right so there are terrible lumps where all the points meet. It's a lot of fabric. Then when I came to sewing them, the minute I removed the pin the top layer would be dragged a little bit by the machine and nothing would quite line up. Jeeez. In the end, I just had to be cool about its wonkiness. I am sure most people have wonky quilts up close.


I couldn't decide what binding to do. Spots or solid. In the end I chose solids because I felt the quilt was already quite busy. I think the big print fabric needs to be shown in bigger swathes really. It was also the first time I have quilted 1/4" either side of the ditch rather than in it. I like the star pattern in creates in the middle.


I'm not 100% about my pink backing, but I thought it would pick out the pink of the girls dress. I think I need to get used to it. Let's just hope it's a girl! Stupidly I totally forgot to tape down the backing before I basted it so the whole back has a crease in it. It's so small and yet I get a huge crease. How could I have been so dense? Sometimes I amaze myself. Going backwards is for losers though so I left it. My mum would be horrified. She is a great unpicker of things. I have seen her unpick massive double bed quilt tops just because she thinks the balance is wrong.


And of course, no quilt is complete with a few tags.


So you might think I have just slagged this quilt off, but it is only because I wanted it to be perfect, specially seeing as I have lost my mind since having a baby. All in all I wanted it to be tasteful, not too garish and contemporary. I hope I succeeded in these things. Next I might make a log cabin version just to use up the very last bits. Waste not want not.