Sunday, 29 August 2010

Tennessee Waltz - Finished!!

Phew, it's been a long job this one, it's a big quilt, but it's finished now. I've spent most of today slip stitching the binding and sewing in ends, it was a close run thing but I've managed to get it finished in August, so kept up my one finish per month this year. An added bonus is that this one is off the UFO list. It's the same size as the Aqua Batik Quilt, I haven't measured it exactly, but it fits the king size bed nicely. So, down to the technical details.

It's made from batik fabrics, apart from the white on white, and I'm hoping and praying that none of them run when washed, or the bright white background will become mauve :o). The backing fabric is another white on white, an extra wide fabric so the back looks like a wholecloth quilt. I'm really pleased with how the quilting has come together on the back, though I'll probably never use it with this side up. As usual nowadays, the quilting designs were drawn on Golden Threads quilting paper and sewn as accurately as possible. The wadding is Hobbs Polydown, I wanted a lightweight wadding because of the size of the quilt and it had to be white because of the white background fabrics. If it wasn't for that consideration I would probably have chosen Hobbs Heirloom Wool. I used a variety of threads, King Tut Temple in the white areas and on the back, a King Tut variegated purple for the small amount of quilting on the inner border, Robison Anton pastel variegated on the border and an invisible monofilament for the quilting on the star blocks. The quilting design is Chantilly Lace and the pattern for the quilt itself is in a book by Sue Bouchard dedicated to the Tennessee Waltz design. It's part of the Quilt in a Day series, but I can assure you this is not a quilt you're ever remotely likely to make in a day LOL!

What else can I say about this quilt? I started it at a workshop with Sue Bouchard who was over from the States 2 years ago at the Festival of Quilts, so it's apt that I finish it in the same month as the show. I wouldn't even like to hazard a guess as to how many hours have gone into it, suffice to say many days' worth, with quite a few of those days in the last couple of months. My friend Quiltsue helped me choose the fabric along with her friend Helen, so thanks to them for the great colour choices (Sue did the workshop with me and made Raspberries & Cream which you can see she finished in June last year, beating me by far, but making the smaller version!). The fabric requirements in the book were a bit on the generous side, I thought it was a shame to have so much left over, so decided to put an extra row of blocks on. Unfortunately, it's not a design where you can add just one row of blocks, so two extra rows it was. It's amazing how quickly a quilt grows when you do this :o).

Here's a quick snap of it to whet your appetites, I'll upload some better pictures tomorrow when (hopefully) the sun will be shining.

Friday, 20 August 2010

Festival of Quilts 2010

I went to the first day of Festival of Quilts at the NEC yesterday, it was absolutely heaving! Hopefully that's good news for the traders. The quilts on show were amazing, the standard this year is very high and if you can go and have a look, do, it's well worth it.

I didn't take many pictures because I've found in the past that I'm just taking pictures and not looking at the quilts, but I did snap a couple that caught my eye. The purple one was made by a lady in our quilt group. The other two I particularly liked, but didn't photograph, were Philippa Naylor's wholecloth quilt and Ferret's Phoenix Rising, both that I had the honour of hanging.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Christmas Quilt Along

Houston, we have a problem ... I was hoping to join in this month, but the fabric I ordered for the christmas project I have in mind hasn't arrived, the customs men have struck again :(. So today I received the ransom note, just to add insult to injury. It should be delivered on Tuesday and I'll be all set to go on the next Quilt Along day, I can't wait.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat and I have to confess that I've used it as an excuse to have a very lazy day. Next week is going to be very busy, so I'm resting up and making sure I don't come down with anything before then. And now we're about to have a thunderstorm, so I'd better turn the PC off post-haste.

I hope everyone else enjoys their quilting day, I'm going to use my previous post as my nominal christmas quilt for now :o).

Friday, 13 August 2010

Frosted Memories Quilt

My SIL was 40 this year - she won't thank me for announcing it to the world, but I've been there already, so I'm allowed, hee hee :o)! Unfortunately I didn't realise until about a month before her birthday that it was the big 4-0 this year, which meant that I needed a quilt fast. So, a fairly simple patchwork design was the answer, my bro said she liked autumn colours and a friend had recently made a gorgeous cuddly quilt in brushed cottons from a range called Frosted Memories by Holly Taylor which I'd fallen in love with. A quick surf of the web and I found what I was looking for, then ordered it from the States and kept my fingers crossed (you would have thought I had enough fabric in my stash, but you'd be wrong :o)). Anyway, the fabric arrived in good time and after paying a hefty ransom to the customs men, I got cracking straight away. I used EQ6 to design the quilt, with input on colour placement from OH. And this is what I came up with. Probably a bit more winter than autumn, but she says she likes it, and my bro approved the design beforehand.

In reality the colours are a bit more subtle that the EQ6 picture.

For the moment I'm afraid there are no pictures of the finished quilt, because I was in such a hurry to get it done and posted that I forgot to take any of it!! My brother has taken some and promised to send them through when he has time, so I'll post them as soon as I can. In the meantime I'll tell you that I used Quilters Dream Cotton Select (mid loft) as the wadding, to make a lovely soft and cuddly quilt which is 100% cotton. I quilted it with a King Tut thread called Pharaoh's Tales which picked up the red and green nicely. I used my favourite method with the Golden Threads quilting paper and did a fairly large all over flower design. I made the label on my embroidery machine that doesn't come out very often. My brother and SIL live in South Africa, so it's too hot for a quilt for a lot of the year, but the winters feel cold because the houses are all built to be as cool as possible. So whereas at the end of a long winter we think 10 degrees is balmy, in the subtropical climate that they live in, it feels darn cold, and the quilt should get good use in front of the telly during the cooler months.

I learnt the hard way with this one that it's not good to rush a quilt, I had plenty of fabric for the backing, but managed to sandwich it crookedly, and then didn't even notice this faux pas until I'd got the binding on. In the end I took the binding off again and trimmed half an inch off one side, and restitched, but what an idiot. This crisis delayed the posting for nearly a week, hence the final scramble to get it off and the resultant forgotten photos. And the good news is that it arrived on the morning of her party, so all's well that ends well :o). Happy Birthday dear SIL!!