Saturday, 25 October 2014

Retreat still

Red Riding Hood block

Top done


Still more from last week's retreat. After completing the little people top minus border I opened up a kit I bought from Quilters' Haven a couple of years ago featuring Aneela Hoey fabrics, rather Scandinavian looking. The mindless sewing I'd hoped for didn't come my way as matching the two way directional pale grey print frames (more or less) proved tricky and there were a few miscuts and wails too but I learnt a lot so it wasn't mindless. I learnt about cutting slanted frames, that a 30 degree angle was involved and just how I needed to consider the direction of stripes when cutting. I needed to align them horizontally for one pair and vertically for the  other. I worked it out only to realise the pattern diagrams showed it if only I'd looked carefully. The blocks finish at 8" so this is a good sized child's quilt. Isla might want it.

Yvette with her completedred and white top

Mandy's huge piece; thank goodness she has a longarm


Suzy's leaf blocks

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Still with the U3A

Wreath shapes applied to wrong side of fabric,
paper side UP, sticky side DOWN.

Betty's pinwheel cut out.

Betty's pinwheels
We are on Week Two of making heart wreath runners based largely on a Jeanne Gentry project published in British Patchwork & Quilting. The members completed pinwheel blocks last week and traced the  heart wreaths (which I redrafted just to check how they worked) onto fusible web at home. Now we cut out the tracings roughly and applied the sticky side to the wrong side of the wreath fabric. We protected the ironing boards with a cloth and the irons with greaseproof paper. Then a teabreak to allow the fused units to cool; these again we cut out roughly and then exactly on the drawn lines, We took especial care with the central star as the cut out piece could also be used to decorate.

Doreen's wreath and discarded paper backing; note
the St John Star in the centre achieved by
placing the outer star points on the pinwheel lines.

Denise's, I think, all done and dusted
and a different star in centre as the inner
star points were placed on the
diagonal seam lines.

Maureen's wreaths ready to apply and the cut out stars can also
be used.

Back with the U3A

Class projects

Miriam with her log cabin quilt top, barn raising arrangement.

Miriam working on her quilt; you can see the vilene squares.

There is more from the Quilt Retreat but I need to catch up with more recent stuff too. I had packed my stuff for the U3A class before setting off last week along with a list of things I needed to add that were in my retreat bags. Pleased to say I didn't forget anything. Students brought in completed coasters and keyrings from the first day and coincidentally as often happens Miriam was assembling a whole log cabin quilt in this way (on gridded vilene) at the retreat. (See my 7th October post for more quilts possibly done this way.) Penny brought in a quilt nearing completion; she wanted to ask about the border. It is just the most super quilt.

Penny's hexagons

Monday, 20 October 2014

Quilt retreat

I am retreating with 14 others in a tranquil rural setting and getting a lot done and enjoying seeing the other projects here. First up I finished my Bonnie blocks stint but the photos do not give a true representation of the colours so I'll take them again. Next up was sashing and assembling owl blocks which I intended for a different quilt but which will now make a very nice Linus or child's quilt. Now I'm assembling Little People swap blocks which I should finish today.

My extra owls
One of Julie's blocks designed by Edyta Sitar

Julie's blocks made in batiks


Carrie's Magnum Opus; the fabrics are lovely

Lynda's Seven Sisters tacked for hand quilting

Lynda's scrap log cabin

Blog Catch Up ( more to come)

Bonnie Blocks

The two Bonnie blocks didn't materialise on my last post so here they are. Once I finished my owl Linus top I fished out my Little People from a transatlantic swap organised by I planned the layout at the end of my last retreat so the blocks were all labelled. I just needed to cut out the alternate rectangles and then sew sew sew. I shall give some thought to a choice of border. Black gingham comes to mind but I'll have to try it out. Other retreaters were entranced and chased up the original Kleine Meisje Quilts blog posts dating from February 13th 2012  which give measurements and ideas and embarked on an adventure of their own. Julie and Lynda are planning a group swap similar to the one  organised by Nancy (see above).

My quilt top, detail.

Little People quilt

Julie and Lynda's blocks; the purple dress lifts up and she has gone
"Commando" but her legs are separate from her body. A sad state
of affairs.

More from Julie and Lynda

Twins, one prim and proper, the other racier.

Julie's designer dress.

With heart

Heather's variations

Friday, 10 October 2014


I have always entered the magazine competitions and giveaways and today my ship came in. There was a big parcel awaiting me when I got home from Bonnies crammed full of Makower nautical fabrics. How exciting.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Whoo Hoo

A twenty something Aussie relative of my husband requested a quilt with cartoon owls and intimated she loves royal blue. Lacking any royal blue owl fabrics this is what I came up with, four each of three different blocks with royal blue sashing and border. The sashing posts are on the centre sides of the blocks rather than the corners which forms secondary patterns of stripy and royal blue crosses. I had bought a fleece back (royal blue of course) as she will feel the cold in Scotland where she is studying and sized the top to fit, 57X75". I find many projects drag on for various reasons and it's been good to get to the top stage within a month of starting sewing. I am going all American this Autumn and sending this top to my long quilter friend, the second in a month. Maggie brilliantly custom quilted my Gargantuan quilt but these will be simple Pantograph breaks between more complex projects. I have always been impressed by the skill of various longarmers but seeing the thought and precise detailing of Maggie's custom work has been a revelation.

Joining the sections

Top done. There is so much going on in the blocks I wanted the
straightforward blue frame and unmitred corners, just plain,
and unusual for me. May bind in the orange, though.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

U3A 6th October recap

In our class we are making heart wreath runners largely based on a Jeanne Gentry project published in Patchwork and quilting. There are several new members in the group and we focussed on how to make half square triangles and sew them into pinwheel blocks.

1. take two squares of each of two different fabrics

2. Draw a diagonal line on the
lighter squares.

A scrap of fabric acts as a
thread saver as you chain sew
the pieces

3. Sew quarter inch on either side
of the drawn line.

4. Cut along the drawn line

5.Press the cut units, pressing the seams all towards
the same fabric (usually the darker one).

6a Arrange like this

6b or arrange like this but be

7. Sew pairs of triangle units together

8. Press out to the same fabric

9.Sew the paired units together

Press again either open or to one side and you have a pinwheel block.

Back with the U3A 15th September

We had a very good turnout for the first U3A meeting of the year, only two avoidable absences and just a little bit of Show & Tell.
Our little handsewn project before we start on our main term's project is a Greek key key ring and a coaster or needle holder which we foundation pieced on gridded vilene, a technique I first came across in the work of Dorothy Stapleton. It is just as quick to do by hand as by machine. DS went on from traditional log cabin to piecing buildings and landscapes and her book is still available although she has retired from teaching.
As often happens once you start to think about something it pops up everywhere and there were several quilts at FOQ that could have been made by this technique; I don't know whether they were or not.

Made by a quilter from the Middle East
Detail of a quilt by Mary Mayne
Very effective quilt by Mary Mayne
Made by another Middle Eastern quilter
And another one I spotted

Key ring and coaster/needle holder projects sewn on gridded vilene