Friday, July 31, 2015

A little Catch Up

20150731-P1420162 Birmingham looms. It is the biggest quilt show I have ever attended. It is a beast. It is brilliant. I love the NEC. Can I say that? It's just a great venue to cater for all those people and yet not be claustrophobic. And there are some secret loos that are never busy. It is ace.

We are enlarged to a party of four this year. Me, Mumple, Maggie and Rachel. It is going to be epic.

It's a good time and a bad time for it all to happen. Bad because I have just lost my job. Good because I just got my redundancy through and reckon I deserve some quilting treats to make up for it! So let's shop!

It's also a time to take stock of all projects on the go and all ones planned for the future. I always feel like you should finish off some projects so you are allowed to buy new stuff.

So lets talk about what's cooking...

20121228-IMG_2481.jpg Existing Projects
Star quilt
I still need to sew the final blocks together. Then find the last white sheet Rachel gave me for the backing. I think I have the wadding in the cellar somewhere perhaps. Not sure. It's too big to lay out here though and too big to get through the machine unless I put the sewing machine on a bigger table so I'll have to do it by hand. It's currently sitting in a bag in the cellar and I worry about the damp getting to it. I also worry that I don't like it anymore; it's so... flowery! It just needs to be finished.

20150731-P1420153 Jitterbug
I have been sewing my stripy borders. It's all cut out and I have sewn half of them. I do a little bit everyday at pootime. I will finish it! It's next on my list. I need to finish it so that I can wash it. I think it will be much nicer scrunchy.

20150731-P1420178 Postage stamp
Just quilting it. I need a binding for it though so I could use some Liberty stuff I find at Birmingham or just use a plain grey. It involves some kind of purchase.

20150731-P1420173 Penny's jolly little sofa quilt
I just need to bind it. I might use cheap yellow binding from the cheap craft shop. We have two other yellow sofa quilts which get a lot of use. I'd like to add this one to the fray so then I can wash them all on rotation. They get some harsh use. Penelope loves her quilts!

New projects!
Medallion quilt
Saw this in my Liberty Love: 25 Projects to Quilt and Sew Featuring Liberty of London Fabrics. It could be awful and fiddly and a bit of a train crash or it could just be splendid. I saw Kate from MisforMake's version and was totally sold. I love it. She always posts really nice instagram pictures of it all scrunched up. I think I would like my own scrunchy version. I ordered the big solid border fabrics from MisforMake, the rest can be done with scraps and fat quarters, but I might keep my eye out for some bits. I think it will be purples, yellows and turquoise just like hers. I might even use my treasured Lizzie House fabric. Can I bear it?

Posie Improv Quilt
I need to start this using all my lovely scraps of Liberty. I think I have everything I need for it. Maybe just another nice fat quarter of Liberty from a bargain stall or a nice peach or green solid.

So really I don't need anything much at Birmingham. But that's quite nice in a way as then you can just wonder around. Things I wouldn't mind looking out for though...

A dresden plate template - You never know...
More Kaffe Fasset shot solids - A good place to see the entire range
The Shuttle - Always a bargain
Petra Prins - It's tradition. I have to visit
The Eternal Maker - I have never managed to walk past without a purchase
Fabrics Galore - Always a bargain
The discount Liberty stall - I forget its name. It's ace.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Neutral half squares done

I love a quick project. This one has come together so swiftly. I was worried that I wouldn't like it. I just couldn't quite envision the end product nor be sure that the colours would really go together. But when I held it up today I realised that I love it.


I am really into the improv log cabin blocks. I love the strips of colour; the peaches and purples; the dark spots of colour and the mix of neutrals. And I just made up the quilting. I love it.


I love how the colours combine whichever way you fold it. I worried that the prints would look out of place but I love how the Denyse Schmitt fabric fits in. It's my favourite print of hers. The Kaffe Fasset shot cotton is mixed with chambray and Oakshott fabric. All very similar. The Kaffe Fasset has a beautiful softness to it though and a great set of colours so I think it wins over the other fabrics for me.


Here is a view of the whole quilt. I did minimal quilting as I didn't want to make it stiff. I just went diagonally down the triangles and randomly round the log cabins. I used all of mum's scrap offcuts of wadding for this – 5 or 6 strips glued together – so it needed a bit more quilting that I really wanted.


You can't really see the quilting too much. I think you can often lose the patchwork if the quilting is too dense.


I love the binding. I have been hoarding this soft fabric from RayStitch thinking I might do some dressmaking with it, but I caved in. I decided to create smaller 2" binding rather than my usual 2.5" and to be honest I think I could have made it 1 7/8" but I hate it when you have to constantly tug and stretch it and it makes the corners harder.


It just fitted in so perfectly with the colour scheme. It's a brownly green, perfect against the solid greens in the quilt. I always like a pin stripe border so this is great.


Because it's also quite neutral it fits in really nicely against the tan stripes and neutrals. Exactly what I wanted. A few bits of tasteful colour and the rest looking a bit like the saturation had been taken out of it. I used to many precious fabrics. The swirly pattern on the right was one of the first fabrics I bought with my mum and Maggie Wise. I think I made them choose it all for me as I had no idea. I really love it.


Just one more shot of it. Oh how I love it. I really shouldn't have used it as I was planning to use it for my Tova Dress one day. Let's hope RayStitch have some more! To be honest, I just don't feel so excited about the dressmaking side of things. Probably because I have never really made that much.


With the quilting I tried to work my way round the log cabin in a spiral, but I am easily confused. You can see here where I had to cross over myself. I thought it was a mistake but now I wish I had done it more. All I knew was that the last quilt I quilted had 10 lose ends to bury per block and I am still getting rid of them! So this one had almost none.


Here are some details. I love all the colour combinations.


And the stripes and pattern ration worked out perfectly. I kept trying to separate the patterns but in the end I just had to do it randomly as I didn't have enough space and time to lay it out. A lot of this quilt was done during pootime. Pootime is the new naptime. You are banished for ages whilst her highness consults the winds and concentrates on her poo. SO I immediately start sewing madly until she comes to find me. It's not ideal, but I'll take what I can get. So small projects I can dip in and out of are best at this sort of stage.


I didn't have quite enough backing fabric I used up the green fabric I bought in Liberty thinking I was going to use it as the skip blocks in my postage stamp quilt but chickened out in the end. I am really glad I did as it was far more perfect for this quilt. It was expensive fabric but I think it is well worth it as all the solids are some kind of special interweave or percale now. It's going to wash so well and be beautifully soft.

So two projects were realised here. My version of Brooke's lovely quilt and this stripey backing by Jaime. Now back to finishing two more WIPs and making y bag for Birmingham!

Friday, July 03, 2015

Neutral Half Squares

Afternoon sewing
It has been very warm and muggy here, almost too warm to muster any effort for activity. Oh how I wish there was aircon. I really wanted to finish my simple half square quilt that I started last friday though. I didn't want it hanging around. It was suposed to only take a few hours. So I sewed my log cabins from the scraps. It was very fulfilling. I had based it on this beautiful quilt that Brooke made. I wanted it to be a bit bigger though in order to show off the fabrics more. Unfortunately it's a bit too big to display properly!

I am a bit sad now that it's not smaller, but hey ho. I have put it away and will take it out tomorrow and see how I feel about it. The great thing about it is that it was very cheap to make AND it was all stuff I bought at Birmingham last year so I cannot be accused of being a hoarder.

I bought 10 fat quarters for £1 each which is amazing in itself. They were from The Shuttle. I think they are cotton Percale as they have that lovely smooth sheeting feel to them. I love percale. It goes really soft with washing. I just need to find some backing for it. I am going to rummage around through my stash. Whatever it ends up being, it needs to be cheap so as to keep with the theme. I feel like I have got something out of my head that has been taking root since I saw these fabrics at Birmingham. I'm really glad they weren't a useless purchase. I was worried at the time as I really like to go with projects in mind and buy specifically for them. But overall I am pretty chuffed. I just need to work out if I like what I have made.

Here are all my colours together. Bold choices for me. I am not really a green person. I love the dusky purple with the peachy colour though. The patterns are all precious.  I love them so much.
Two prints from Wildwood by Elizabeth Olwen which I bought from The Village Haberdashery
Two precious Denyse Schmidt prints and some Heather Ross Far Far Away fabric

I think it's time to finish the border on the Jitterbug after this.