Saturday, 26 December 2009

The Quilting Cat

I'm making good progress on the aqua batik quilt, and have just got to quilt the borders, then it's done! I was saving it for the big reveal, but it's been pressed into use already ... :o)

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Autumn Table Runner

At last I have a finish, I've made a lovely little autumn-themed table runner. This design was on the Moda Bake Shop blog, and I fell in love with it. It uses fabric from the Gobble Gobble range by Moda. I've been practising my free motion quilting using Golden Threads quilting paper - if you click on the first picture to enlarge it, you can see the pumpkin quilting design more clearly. There are two rows of a continuous line design in the middle section, then I picked out the pumpkin motif and one leaf to march around the border. I did the border quilting after I'd cut and bound the scallops, but next time I'll probably do it after I've cut the scallops, but before I've bound them. I also got the bias slightly tight in a couple of places, hence the curly corner :o). Live & learn, I'll be more careful when I finish the square one off. This runner has Warm & Natural in it, it does make for a very flat and fairly thin finish, I don't think I'd like it for a larger quilt.

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Hair Straightener Bag / Mat

I had a birthday recently and was lucky enough to be given a lovely set of hair straighteners. That meant I needed to make another heat resistant bag for them, so here's my latest little bit of sewing. I still need to put a couple of buttons on it, but I'm happy with the end result. Now I just need to get a dressing table to put it on :o).

Sunday, 1 November 2009

Utility Sewing

Today's project was a liner for the log basket. This is something OH has been asking me to make for some time, hopefully now we won't need to hoover every time we move the basket. It took a couple of goes to get the design right, I started by making the side piece out of one long piece of fabric, but as the bottom is narrower than the top, I ended up with a lop-sided affair. Mark II is still slightly full, but it'll probably shrink when it's washed, hopefully no more than the extra fullness! There are all kinds of refinements I could make to the design, and would if I were making another one, but for now it does the job it was meant for, and that's all that matters! Back to the quilting ...

Saturday, 31 October 2009

Slow Going

I have been working on projects, but don't seem to have a great deal to show for my efforts. However, it's been four weeks since my last post, so it's time to show you what I've been up to. The blue batik quilt has been around for ages, but it does now look as if it might be finished this year! The motif I chose fits nicely together and gives a good all-over level of quilting. One day I'll count up how many motifs there are, I've done about half, but there are a lot more to do! I've been using the Golden Threads quilting paper which works very well, but does take a while to remove once the stitching's complete. The motifs on the dark whirls are sewn in a dark blue/green King Tut variegated thread, all the rest are in a pastel variegated Robison-Anton thread which has worked very well. If you click on the pictures you'll get a larger photo which hopefully shows the detail a bit better (and all the ends that need sewing in!).

The hand project has no deadline, it's just an enjoyable way to spend an evening, and it's progressing surprisingly quickly. I've now finished the central motif and all the rays, I reckon I've done about a quarter of it so far.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Quick Shopping Bag

It's my Gran's birthday this coming week, she'll be 93, she still lives alone and is an inspiration to us all. Her birthday pressie is all sorted, I've just renewed her subscription to the Radio Times, but it seems a fairly impersonal present. In a fit of creative inspiration this morning I found a picture of a shopping bag on t'internet, unfortunately there was no pattern, so I drew one up myself. I think my version has ended up a bit shorter than the original and the handles could also do with being a bit longer, but I'm pretty pleased with it. If I made it again it wouldn't take long at all, it's just two layers of fabric, no wadding or other stiffening, so it folds up neatly. The original design was just one layer of fabric finished off with an overlocker and with a pouch that it folded down into, but I wanted mine to look a little nicer and be reversible. Pink and green, of course :o).

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Linus Sudoku Quilt

This is the second of the Sudoku quilts that I've made, the squares were cut by our club chairman to make sudoku puzzles for our social evening in July (see this blog entry for the first one). There were six different puzzles, all in different colourways, and the cutting alone was a major project. The fabrics all came out of the Linus box, so wouldn't have been anyone's first choice, but it's an interesting study in how fabrics from a colour group can work together. I've pieced this one from scratch; the previous one had the nine-patches already assembled by other group members. I've taken the opportunity to play with what has become known in our group as "short-arm long-arming". You find yourself a suitable continuous line quilting design, trace it onto Golden Threads quilting paper (or baking parchment - Morrison's is apparently very good!), and then sew the design in rows as you would if you were using a pantograph on a longarm machine. I have to confess to being reasonably pleased with my effort, not too bad for a first attempt. The sewing itself goes quickly, removing the paper isn't quite as quick, but the end result is very effective. Amazingly, the impetus for us all to have a go at this has come from one of our newest members, a lady who has been quilting for less than a year, but who is completely fearless and so enthusiastic that everyone's dying to try their hand at it.

Of course, Fatcat never likes to be left out ...

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Cot Quilt Progress

I've done some work on my hand quilting project, I've completed about half the central motif. I'm really enjoying doing it, I can't wait till I can wash the blue out and see what it really looks like, but I suspect that time is a fair way off!

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Secret Garden

I've not posted to the quilting blog for a while, I've done a little sewing in the meantime, but not made any notable progress on anything. So here's another of my older quilts.

This pretty quilt was made several years ago for a friend from one of my online groups. I pieced the top and another of the members (BilboWaggins) quilted it on her longarm machine, using Hobbs Heirloom Wool wadding (wonderfully soft and cuddly). I don't have any closeups of the quilting, I was very remiss with my photography, maybe someone else has some better pictures? I have another top just like this lurking in my cupboard, I must get it out and quilt it one of these days. The reason I made two identical tops? I loved the fabric and I had so much of it that I didn't have to buy much more to do the second!

Monday, 31 August 2009

New Project

The eagle-eyed amongst you might have spotted that I bought a Sandie Lush pattern at Festival. Those of you who know me probably thought it was a present for someone else - it isn't! I hear gasps of astonishment all round, a HAND quilting project??? Yup, that's the plan. One of my good quilting buddies has made the most exquisite cot quilt and raved about how relaxing and enjoyable it was to make. She helped me choose the pattern at Festival, and now I'm set to go. One little teeny bit of information she didn't mention - just how long it takes to get the pattern from the paper onto the fabric LOL! My arms really ache from doing it all at the window (it's taken several sessions over 3 days), next time I do anything like this I will beg, borrow or steal (or make!) a proper light box. I've marked it up with a washaway pen, fingers crossed it disappears when I wash the quilt. PS - don't hold your breaths for any updates on this quilt, it's one thing to say I'm going to hand quilt something, it's another for it to get done :o)!

Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Quick Project

I made a quick little gift bag today, I'll be making more of these, it was so easy. I probably should have used brighter, more fun fabrics, but I think it's very cute even so. The pattern was in the Moda Bake Shop, they have loads of fun projects using charm packs, layer cakes, jelly rolls and honey buns - and just occasionally yardage! It's hard to gauge scale from a picture, but this little bag is about 7" square, perfect for little girlie gifts with a personal touch.

Monday, 24 August 2009

More Festival Goodies

I bought a few more bits on Sunday, a friend made a gorgeous bag out of green batiks, I'm not sure yet if I'm going to make a bag or a small quilt. They're not all batiks, but I think they all go well together. And I'm sure there are a few more in my stash :o). The roll of pink fabric is from the Worn & Washed people, they're recycled flannels that I intend to make into a raggy quilt.

Saturday, 22 August 2009

Festival of Quilts 2009

It's Festival time again, it seems to have come round very quickly this year. We had fun hanging the quilts on Monday and Tuesday, I had Weds off, then I did a couple of workshops on Thurs and Friday and today I had a mooch around the show itself. I've bought a few bits and bobs, but I think I've spent more on the carpark than anywhere else - it's actually more expensive per day than the show tickets. I need to car share more next year!

The results of a fusing workshop with Laura Wasilowski - it needs straightening up and quilting, but I'm very pleased with what I got done in an afternoon.

My other purchases, one of which is a present for a friend (who doesn't read my blog :o))

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Strippy Quilt - Update

I've had another fantastic day sewing with my good friends, and have made some progress on the strippy quilt. I'm really pleased with how this quilt is coming along, and I'm even going to have a go at some free motion quilting in the border. Wish me luck!

I also added some sashing to a nine patch that was started at a Linus evening at club last week. It's based on a sudoku puzzle, there are six quilts in different colourways, unfortunately a couple of the squares got turned around on this one so it isn't quite a sudoku anymore, but I don't think anyone will notice if we don't tell them ;o). The edges are a little wavy, but hopefully it'll quilt out - don't you just love that urban myth? I'm sure it'll look fine when it's done, and it'll make a child somewhere very happy. If you'd like to know more about Project Linus, click on the link.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Strippy Quilt Progress

I've managed to do quite a bit more on the strippy quilt this week, and now have the main bit of the top together. I'm pleased with how it's coming along, just need to make some decisions on the borders now.

Saturday, 1 August 2009

Quilts don't have to be Square!

I made three of these hippos, one grey, one blue and one mauve. They were great fun to do and I got the last one done in just a weekend! They're made from fleece, which is very easy to sew because it doesn't fray. They have a thick polyester wadding (a couple of layers if I remember correctly) and the mouth opens. They're great play mats for littlies and were very popular with friends with babies - hence the three. I'm afraid the pictures aren't very good, but once something's given away, you don't have the option to rephotograph it! These were all made about 8 years ago.

Friday, 31 July 2009


This is one of my all-time favourite quilts, and one I found very hard to give away. I made it for my brother's then girlfriend's 30th birthday, so that would mean it was made about 10 years ago. I actually have enough fabric to make another one the same, it's a job that's been in the back of my mind for a long time, and you never know, I might get round to it one day! This was the first quilt I made that I designed myself and uses some of my beloved Africa fabrics. You might even recognise the zebra print in the centre of the orange stars - they appear again in Nic's quilt (note to self, if I do remake this quilt, I'd better check I've still got enough of this one!).

Monday, 27 July 2009

Flowers for Mum

I promised a while ago to post some pictures of my other winning quilt, this one was made for the Margaret Every Challenge two years ago. The main challenge fabric was the butterfly fabric used in the border, I also cut some of the butterflies out and appliquéd them around the flowers. We also had a small piece of the ribbon fabric, which I used as cornerstones in the first teal border. This range of fabric was sold in aid of Ovarian Cancer Research, by Blank Textiles and the quilt is called Flowers for Mum because it was made in memory of my mum, who died from ovarian cancer in April 2004. The teal colour wasn't easy to match, but in the end I went with a bright fuchsia pink, (don't forget you can enlarge any photo by clicking on it).

The flowers were foundation paper pieced, the rest was rotary cut and pieced. I did use a commercial pattern, but enlarged it, which involved a lot of Hard Sums - it was quite a challenge to get the pieced border to fit! The wadding is Quilters Dream Cotton Select (mid loft), which gives a nice soft drape, but does hold the creases if the quilt's left folded up for any period of time. The quilting is done in a silver metallic thread as all the fabrics have silver highlights. The back is simply pieced, I had a metre piece of the ribbon fabric left, which I framed with plain white to make it big enough. I even managed to centre and square it pretty accurately.

I also entered this quilt at the Festival of Quilts last year, it was up against much stiffer competition this time, so no prizes there, but I enjoyed seeing it hanging in a major show (not a very good photo I'm afraid, I should have used the flash).

Sunday, 26 July 2009

Current (one of!) Project

This is what I was working on yesterday, our group is doing a strippy quilt, mainly to demonstrate different techniques to the beginners in the group. I've got a bit behind with mine, I was working on the appliqué yesterday and today am going to crack on with the final strip. I wonder why I ground to a halt after finishing the pieced strips??? :o) . I need to put some orange centres in the flowers, the appliqué looks a bit nothingy at the moment, but hopefully once I've done that and quilted the background with some more flowers, it'll come together a bit more. The fabric behind the strips will be the sashing and borders.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

Sewing in the Conservatory

When it's a gloomy rainy day, there's no better place than sewing in the conservatory and now that I've got my Sewezi table, it's so easy! The forecast for tomorrow is pretty grim, so no guesses what I'll be doing. I may even have something to show on the blog soon ...

Thursday, 9 July 2009

Sunday Sewing

I had a couple of quilting buddies over on Sunday, we had a super day chatting and eating, but we also got some sewing done. I will try to get a photo of their efforts, but I spent the morning making up a cushion kit that I bought on my last visit to the Bramble Patch and then the afternoon starting another quilt (not enough of that to show yet).

I've also spent a fair amount of time working on Nic's quilt, here's the latest. I've finished the outer borders and am now adding some flying geese going in the opposite direction to an inner border. I've got half way round this border, the end is in sight!!

Saturday, 4 July 2009


I trundled over to the Bramble Patch yesterday to get my picture taken with the cup, and to receive my prize of a £25 gift voucher. I had a lovely day, and will be putting my prize money towards a Bramble Patch workshop soon. They raised £2,300 for cancer support, you can have a look on this link to see some pictures of the show. I wonder what next year's fabric will be like?

Tuesday, 30 June 2009

New Fabric

I bought these gorgeous hand-dyed fabrics and threads last weekend at a local exhibition where I was trading. You've got to support your fellow traders you know ;o). The fabrics are dyed by Laura Kemshall and you can buy them online here.

Friday, 26 June 2009

Silk Necklace

I had a fun evening at my local quilt group last night, we had a lady called Mary Day come and demonstrate silk dying and show us how to make a silk necklace. Here's my version, I thought I should break out of my green and pink phase, though I did rather covet the green and turquoise ones some of the other ladies made :o).

Thursday, 25 June 2009

It's a Winner!!!

I'm absolutely thrilled, the Bramble Patch phoned today to say that I'd won the Margaret Every Challenge Cup for the second time (first win was 2 years ago, will put the details of that in a separate post). Here's the winning quilt again, it's extra special because this is a viewers award.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Monday, 22 June 2009

Update on Nic's Quilt

This quilt is a slow and ongoing project, the top went together really quickly about 5 years ago, but then I hit problems quilting it on the machine, so now I'm doing it by hand, hence the delays! I've been outlining the flying geese, and am now working on some quilted geese echoing the pattern in the next border. I probably need to do at least two rows of stitching to see the detail, but I'll consult my quilting chums before making any decisions. It's a huge quilt, so it's going to take a bit longer to finish ... sorry Nic!

Here are a couple of earlier shots of the full quilt, taken last December