Sunshine quilt

Sunshine quilt

Thursday, 27 November 2014

Winter cherries

Summer cherries have turned into winter cherries, but the centre of the quilt top is finally done

There are 49 blocks,29 of which are cherries. As you can imagine the blanket stitch took a while!!
Here's a close up

Can you see all the blanket stitches - phew - they took a long time! I'm having a rest from it for a while. My plan is a seminole border using the same blues in a white background, but the way things are going I may never have time for this - we shall see!!

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Quilt in use

This is just a quick post to show you one of my quilts in use. I wrote about completing this quilt here.
I made the quilt as a wedding present for one of Harriet's friends. Harriet said the new owner really loved it and this is it in use. Just what a quilt is for in my opinion!Apparently it has gone on the honeymoon. I must admit I often take one of my quilts away with me - and they have proved perfect for holiday cottages with not enough blankets or dodgy sofas that you are not too keen to sit on!

Still a lot of quilting going on here - I am powering on to finish the centre of my cherries quilt. In this picture there is just one row, but now there are five with two more to go. What slows me down is blanket stitching the cherries - but I now only have about three more to go.

I went to the Quilt Fair at Duxford yesterday. It was useful in terms of stocking up on boring bits and pieces - cutter blades, needles, freezer paper etc - but the fabric was pretty uninspiring - all felt a bit end of season and scrappy. I have to say there is so much choice on the internet it's hard not to be disappointed when the real life fabric is not such a good standard.

Back soon with some pics of the cherry quilt and then on to a couple of playmats for Christmas presents.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Two quilts - one old and one new

The weeks seem to be flying past at the moment. Work is really busy which is good - but I am only just finding time for crafting and not enough time for blogging. But never mind - here I am with two quilts to show you - one old and one new.
Here is the old one

It's only my second quilt made for one of my daughters. It came for a visit to go in our washing machine as hers is a bit dodgy. I photographed it as it was drying with the autumn sun streaming through it. The pattern is Lisbon Tile from Jane Brocket's Gentle Art of Quilting which was the book that first got me started. I chose all the fabrics on various trips to John Lewis haberdashery while I was working in Southampton. Looking back at it now I am surprised how pretty it is. I am tempted to try this pattern again.

And here is the new quilt

This is for the new baby which my other daughter is expecting in January - a little crib quilt. This baby is clearly going to have very sophisticated tastes - none of your kiddy fabric here. This is made   from Carolyn Friedlander Botanics. It's reversible and has a Lotta Jansdotter pattern on the back and a small concession to childhood with a tiny blue pattern of ducks round the outside.

I quilted in one inch squares which meant it has shrunk a little bit more than expected - but for a first try it looks OK to me - and to use a phrase from one of Lynn Edwards book - we'll hope the baby isn't a sophisticated quilter yet, so it won't notice!!

Thursday, 2 October 2014

A crochet baby blanket

Although there is a great deal of quilting going on here I can't show you as the thing I am making is a gift. It's taking a lot of time but I hope the results will be worth it!

What I can show you is this

A big pile of crochet squares! There are about 55 there at the moment - but I need 63 so I am ploughing on - not helped by the fact that I seem to have developed crocheter's collarbone!! I think I am zooming on so fast with these the muscles in my right shoulder are really protesting. I crochet by holding the wool taut with my left hand and picking off the stitches with the hook in my right. So lots of little movement with my right arm and shoulder.

This is going to be a baby blanket. It uses Sirdar Snuggly 100% cotton yarn and this pattern. These Elmer squares are pretty solid and I thought this would be a good idea as there are fewer holes for little fingers to get caught in than traditional granny squares. My only worry is that the 100% cotton yarn will be a bit heavy, but if it is it can always be used as a mat for lying on.

As you can guess from the colours we don't know if it is a girl or a boy - but I think I have got all bases covered here! Once I have finished the squares - and my shoulder means I can't do any intensive crochet at the moment (!!!) my next job is to block them and then I am going to crochet them together.

It's a little bit of an experiment - but I hope it turns out OK! Fingers crossed.

Monday, 22 September 2014

Finished quilt from earlier in the year

I finished this quilt much earlier in the year - probably in January I think - but I haven't been able to put it on the blog because it was for a wedding present and the wedding didn't take place till August. Here it is

It's a favourite pattern from Pam and Nicki Lintott and is the same as the one I have on the front page of my blog. It's easy to make with no fiddly matching of seams and allows you to focus on the colour choices. This one has all my favourite colours and some significant scraps from other quilts including some from a quilt I made for the bride's sister-in-law ( my daughter) and some from a table runner used at my other daughter's wedding. I quilted the central part of the quilt in a grid which you can see below and then free-motion quilted the border to include some hearts.

I think it looks lovely in the Spring sunshine here in England - hope it looks just as nice in the sun in LA!!

Monday, 1 September 2014

Quick and easy quilt Ta-Dah

This quilt certainly has been a quick finish - partly because it is an easy pattern and partly because it is quite a bit smaller than the ones I have been working on recently. I washed it as soon as it was finished and it has that lovely crinkly look that goes with the vintage material so well.

Do you like it? This was it on the washing line. After my colour running disaster with the blue batik quilt I bunged in a colour catcher and held my breath but I needn't have worried. It was fine. I used a scrappy binding as planned and the very economical blue spotty backing worked very well. In the next photo, with the sun behind it there is almost a stained glass effect.

You can just see the joins in the wadding - about a third of the way from the top running horizontally but I think that is fine. I just need to add a cross stitch label and I am going to applique a couple of red hearts on the back and it's done.

I quilted it in a very simple pattern here

But what I didn't realise was how hard it would be to get the middle of the quilt through my machine for all the corners. Several times I had to stand up and puuuuuull the quilt through the hole in my machine. A machine with a bigger hole will certainly be very welcome one day soon now! I've got my eye on a Bernina - but its ruinously expensive so is having to wait.

Anyway - I hope you like this quickie quilt - I am also hoping to get a pic of it with its new owner after the wedding!

Monday, 25 August 2014

Quick and easy quilt and a rant about prices!

I am making a quilt for a wedding present for my daughter to give to one of her friends. It needed to be a simple pattern that I could make out of one Jelly Roll which would be big enough to sit under but not huge.
Here is my design

It's a really straightforward square in a square pattern. My daughter chose a Chloe's Closet Jelly Roll and with 42 strips I got 42 squares - just. You might be able to see a couple of the squares down the left hand side are a bit scrappy. I made the border out of some lovely Robert Kaufmann fabric I got out of a Craftsy reduced fabric bundle - 14 yards for some ridiculously cheap price and lovely soft fabric. I can highly recommend the Craftsy supplies section - even with postage to the UK I think it represents excellent value and a really quick service.

My daughter, who is resolutely non- crafty laid out the pattern and I think she has done a good job. It's not entirely random as it has the yellow through the middle, but it looks quite scrappy which I like. I'm busy quilting it at the moment and it is looking good. I've used a plain spot background which I got for about £3.50 a metre. So all in all I hope this will make a lovely unique present at a reasonable price. I also used some large pieces of wadding which I had left over and they have worked very well. I spray basted them and just overlapped them and you really can't see any joins. It's quite heavily quilted so none of the pieces should move now.

While we are talking good value - I had an email from QuiltHome in the US advertising 20% off Kaffe Fassett fabric. I was so pleased with my Shadow Pinwheel quilt I want to make another using these fabrics so I am collecting them. I just refuse to pay the £13.00 per metre typical of UK prices. Anyway I have just ordered 8 yards from QuiltHome that works out at about £6.50 a yard including postage. I realise I may have to pay tax but even so it is just so much cheaper than buying in the UK. It makes me a bit sad as I know we should be using our fabric shops in this country, but this is just too much of a difference to ignore.

Anyway - hope you like my quick and easy quilt - I've loved making it and I am very much hoping its new owner ( wedding in October and not ( I hope!!) a blog reader) will love it too!!

Just to add - I had about 5 inches left from several strips so I am going to join these with some fabric left over from my daughter's table runners at her own wedding and a few 1930's reproduction fabric scraps I have by me to make the binding - so not a scrap of that jelly roll wasted!