Thursday, 31 July 2008

Houston Stars blocks

Here are the blocks for the Houston Stars quilt - mine have a Christmas theme_- on my new Cheryl Ann design wall which I am thrilled with. It has really helped me complete the last few blocks for this quilt. The blocks are to be quilted individually then joined. Some rejected blocks will be used for backs and I've cut up various Christmas scraps - lots of ugly fabrics or ones I shan't use - for the backs. I used the design wall to lay them out mirror image fashion though the end result will be hideous rather than designed but at least I'm cutting and using rather than buying more.


I have been making the final braided fillers for my Houston Stars quilt, designed by Gwenfai Rees Griffiths and featured in the British Patchwork and quilting magazine. I'm very pleased with the effect. The strips of scraps from the quilt didn't look very promising but the braid mounted up quite quickly and I was amazed at the transformation when the sewn braids were cut and trimmed. I love the pleasant surprises of patchwork when everything magically comes right and lots of different fabrics look good together. The photos show the different stages from cut strips (1.75 inches by 5.25 inches) to the completed braid, the trimmed version and placement on the top.

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Carnival Ride swap blocks

At the same time as I was was making the Quay quilt featuring the Carnival Ride block I was taking part in an internet friendship block swap (Pick'n'Mix an offshoot of the British Quilt List). There were 19 of us and every three weeks it would be the turn of one member to specify what she would like to receive in the way of blocks. At the end of the year it was time to complete a quilt and exhibit it at the Quilters' Guild Region 2 Show at Hever Castle - more about this later. This was in 2002 or so and my blocks have still to be made up. As we went along however I made lots of extra blocks, often giving the recipient a choice and I also made their block in my colours (mine was a water theme). The Quay Quilt was a useful source of block ideas and for Brigid I made a Carnival Ride block in her choice of colours - blue and sage green. The extra ones are shown here.
Extra Autumn blocks , a topic requested by three members, appear in my quilt for this year's group exhibit at Hever, still to be quilted. Eek! I have managed to sandwich it though since posting a photo of the top on Wednesday 4th June.

Monday, 28 July 2008

Carnival Ride Finale: Samples

The samples show the sewing sequence. Note that half the small star pieces are joined to the diagonal line of the background piece and half to the horizontal/vertical line. The cushion illustrates the clockwise drafting, the completed block the anti clockwise. This isn't quite the end - more examples tomorrow - nothing if not thorough!

Sunday, 27 July 2008

Carnival Ride 05: basic shapes

The drafting generates just 4 templates, a large star point, a small one and a background piece and a mirror image background. It's important to be consistent in how you lay them out, that the star points are aligned to form the pattern (cut 8 of each) and that you have four background pieces cut one way and four with the tenplate other way up.

If you prefer you can foundation piece using 8 triangles - one corner square as shown divided diagonally and with a seam allowance drawn all round.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Carnival Ride 04: drafting the small star points

If you worked round in a clockwise direction to draft the large star points you now work in an anti-clockwise direction to draft the small star points, putting your ruler on a centre side and alternate diagonal point to draw four of them and on a diagonal point and alternate centre side for the the other four.
The block is now fully drafted.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Carnival Ride 03: more drafting

Still working in the same direction, here clockwise, place your ruler on the marked diagonal star point and the alternate centre side and draw a line stopping when you meet another drawn line. You will now have 8 large star shapes, four pointing to the centre sides and four pointing to the diagonal.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Carnival Ride 02: starting to draft

Take a sheet of paper the finished size of your block - this is 16" - and divide vertically, horizontally and diagonally as shown.
If you measure from the centre point where all the lines cross to the centre side, that is the length of your bigger star piece, here 8" [On a 12" block it would be 6"]. Measure from the centre along the 4 diagonals and mark the 8" point as shown.
Now place your ruler on each centre side in turn and on the alternate diagonal 8" point and draw a line stopping as soon as you meet another line. Here I am working my way round and drawing in a clockwise direction - you can do either but you need to be consistent. At the end of this step four of your bigger star points have been drawn.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Carnival Ride 01: inspiration & quilt

I belong to a group, Quay Quilters in Faversham, where members present a block or technique one evening meeting a year. Originally it would always be a quilt block but as the quilting world has moved on many of us have done a demonstration or little talk. This year I thought I would go back to basics, especially as we have some new quilters with us this year, and do a session on drafting. We used to sell Quay Quilters' tea towels at our shows and in 2000 I decided to do a quilt based on this, drafting and making the blocks. Some looked quite tricky but on examination proved much more straightforward; one of these was Carnival Ride. Here I show the tea towel (or pot cloth as we called it in my native Lancashire), the depiction of the block and the quilt I made which remains very special as this group has been very special to me. It is not a traditional design; Judy Martin is the designer.

Saturday, 19 July 2008

Changing over the quilts

This is a favourite quilt, heavily hand quilted made following a pattern by Mary Hickey in Quick & Easy Quiltmaking ISBN 0875965768. It's essentially 54-40 or Fight blocks with one colourway with half square triangles in the corners and the other colourway with four patches in the corners. This creates the optical illusion of curves. It's on my bed for the month of July.
It's interesting that the quilt shop quality dark triangle in the corners has faded while the Jo-Ann's $2.99 floral border fabric remains relatively pristine . . .

Friday, 18 July 2008

School quilt

Our Quayquilters' quilt group meets in a primary school where the artwork is wonderful. This time there was an Indian theme. The children had made a quilt heavily embellished with beads and other decorations and also practised feltmaking and created lovely paisley teardrop shapes from their pieces.

Sewing through the generations

My grandchildren came to stay last weekend and DGS is very keen to practise sewing since he has started it at school. We had a very nice evening together; we read, little sister was in bed and my grandson sewed his name.

Thursday, 10 July 2008

Summer break in Germany

We had a very nice break houseswapping in the Mosel Valley in Germany - lots of wine, trains, boats and barges. No sewing hardly, but I found this tile pattern a possible quilting infill idea.

Charity Top Quilted & Bound

This is the quilt that came to me as a rumpled mess which I then started quilting and made worse. I stopped, unpicked, unbasted and pressed, gluebasted and quilted in a trellis pattern in the centre and in a serpentine stitch in the border. I'm pleased with the tidy result. I made single fold binding using a bias tape maker and attached it to the front. I'll leave it to the quilt's originator to hand sew it down.
To see it as it was look at the posting on 16th June 2008.