Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Tacking the group quilt

Here are Quay Quilters in my house tacking our group quilt. It will be raffled at our show in July.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Doing a runner 2

I've almost finished the two sided bedside chest runner I've been making. I learnt how to make the first one with friend Marion and the original is a project in Australian Patchwork and Quilting Vol. 8 No. 1. You will see there is a square in the centre on one side and strips on the other, then strips on the first side and triangle pieces on the the other and so on vice versa till all is complete. Stitching and flipping the strips on one side forms the qulting pattern on the reverse. I chose fabrics so that a single bobbin thread would be all right to show on both sides so I didn't have to keep changing. The wadding is medium weight vilene and it makes for very nice flat thin feel to the mat.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Quilting design

Here is the quilt design I chose for the quilt I'm making using Moda charm squares. It's by Helen Squire and was published in American Quilter. I enlarged it to fit my patches and finally sussed only that two templates, as shown here, are needed to mark out the design. I'm marking with fine felt tips (children's) on the paler fabrics and soap or chalk wheel on the darker pieces. It's nice to have a continuous pattern but quite a lot of turning and manhandling is is involved. At last too I can enjoy evening TV now I have some handquilting to do.

Saturday, 10 January 2009

Order restored

And you thought it would never all go back in. I had a very happy time filling up the drawers and putting a card in each one with a list of contents. Similarly I pinned a list of contents to the inside of the small wardrobe door. My tidy room was inviting me to sew something so I added some more strips to my bedside runner but perhaps I need another one for that new chest of drawers.

Friday, 9 January 2009

Chaos in my sewing room

I've had a very annoying chest of drawers in my sewing room. I liked the fact there were seven drawers so it was easy to allot different items and see them all but the runners had worn and the drawers were collapsed on each other. Finally I've got round to buying a replacement and today was delivery day. The new set has six drawers but they are bigger and glide in and out like a dream and the whole thing is on castors so easier to shunt round my sewing room, the only room in the house I constantly reorganise. To prepare I emptied the drawer contents out on the bed and emptied the wardrobe and some protruding items on bookshelves in order to clear a pathway for the new chest. I came across things I'd forgotton, others I'd lost and some I can't remember having at all! More for the to do list. The overflow was piled on the low cupboards in our spare bedroom. So tomorrow is putting it back together day.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Been shopping!

On the way to collect my husband's car from repair I just happened to pop into a local sewing shop mainly to buy threads to quilt with. The shop is very limited for space and they were having a sale to make way for new stuff so . . I bought 6 and 5 metres each of some coffee and aqua or blue fabrics to combine with some brown and aqua blocks from a recent swap and for backings. They were only £2 metre and good quality. Then for £5 metre I bought some red and pale gold fabric to back the quilt I've just bordered. I was going to use fine calico (muslin) but this adds a whole new dimension. It's now tacked together, over a table as crawling over the floor is not an option and I think this crumples the quilt anyway. I plan to hand quilt it. Oh and I also got some pretty multi-coloured print for children's or charity quilts.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Show & Tell at Quayquilters

It was our first meeting of the New Year and not many of us as there is a lot of flu and colds about and unusually for here there is snow on the ground as well. We watched a very full and informative video about stained glass quilting by Gail Lawther who specialises in this technique. I was itching to go home and try it but won't as there are other things to get out of the way first. There were several Show & Tells: Gillian has finished her jolly cobblestones, Anne her amazing purple twirlies, Pauline a Christmas angel down from the tree and Judi the first of a journal quilt challenge with exquisite blanket stitching. I should have a picture of Valerie with her bag made with her FQ that each of us received as our Group present but my camera is really playing up but in conversation it emerged that it may need new as distinct from recharged batteries.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Millennium Quilt: still crazy after all these years

It's Twelfth Night and my Silent Stars Christmas quilt has come off the bed till next year and I've put on my New Year quilt which was made to mark the Millennium with 2000 different squares, 1.5" finished. I made blocks 4 squares by 5 and the quilt's inner section is composed of 40 by 50 squares. I would probably have been defeated by this project had I not been living in Kuala Lumpur for a year with no job, cleaners and lots of meals out! Bliss - I pieced like crazy. I started in the middle with yellows, reds and pinks alternated with squares with white backgrounds and then moved out to different colours and darker background squares. Black and white patches were pieced into 4 patches and dotted over the surface of the quilt. Plain squares were sited alternately in the outside row - 90 different ones. I'm ashamed/proud to say I sourced at least 1000 squares from my stash; others were acquired by 2" square swaps. Maggie, a fellow Crab & Winkle, suggested the exact shade of blue for the border strip and I used foundation pieced crazy blocks for the outer border, sourced on the net. It's completely hand quilted. If the centre represents the last 2000 years the crazy border represented the future as yet without form. The black and white fabrics are dotted with red, turquoise and parchment patches signifying conflict, environmental issues and scholarship respectively. In the event the blood red patches reflect the path we are taking in this 21st century. Let's hope the new leader of the free world will be able to redirect us. . . .

Monday, 5 January 2009

Border issues resolved

I decided to go ahead with the red floral border and found a brown print for the inner strip. I had intended this to be .5 inch finished width but absentmindedly cut the strips one inch but prefer this so all's well that ends well. I plan to mitre the corners and have attached the first border to make sure my measurements were correct. I'm going to use a Mountain Mist batting that is half cotton and half corn.

Sunday, 4 January 2009

BOD 6 & Border Issues

I'm desperate for some hand sewing to do in the evenings so have decided to sandwich a quilt I'm making for a friend but prompted by a comment from my quilt group have decided it needs a further border. Also at 70inches square it's neither fish nor fowl. Anyway the Moda Country Paths fabric I used for most of the squares seems extinct now and I am trying to shop my stash and came up with this red/pale gold fabric I've had for a long time. I supect it's curtain material as it's very wide. I keep debating about it as I walk past. I'm tempted to go for it! I'll add a narrow brown strip between the setting squares and red border.

Saturday, 3 January 2009


Here is the fifth block of the day - I hope I've sorted the date on my camera now. Today I've disassembled Christmas. The tree is down and out in the garden, I've cleaned my living area very thoroughly, taken off the Christmas cushions, cut up my Christmas cards for shopping lists and used pinked motifs for present labels. In the sales I bought half price cards for next year and my first 2009 Christmas present - I find the present buying a nightmare but am determined to get ahead this year (I say this every year). In the afternoon I cut up the wadding and backings for my 4 Snowball quilts. Although I drew outline plans and sketched out some straight line walking foot quilting I have decided to practise free machine quilting on the first two at any rate. The recipients will be young people I expect to use and wear out these quilts and treat them quite casually and as I also have my Moda charms top, the HoneyBee applique, a batik mystery and two Twisted Sisters tops I shall have to focus my handquilting efforts and accurate walking footing efforts quite carefully.

Friday, 2 January 2009

Sewing again: BOD 4 & doing a runner!

Today it was taking up the reins again. In the afternoon it was the log cabin quilters. Our latest project is a double sided log cabin table runner; squares and triangles on alternate sides are covered by strips stitched and flipped to form the quilting. The sandwich filling is medium weight vilene which gives a very nice texture to the finished piece. Friend Marion taught me this technique and pattern and this will be my third version.
I've drawn my pattern shapes on both sides of the vilene cut to fit my bedside chest. I placed a square on point in the centre and on the other side stitched and flipped strips. Before doing the next step I sewed round the outside of the square which made a guideline on both sides. I trimmed the strips.
Fran made a cushion but just stitching and flipping on one side.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year! Bod 3

Grandchildren gone back home today but no sewing done apart from adding a label to my Silent Stars quilt. Here is the third Block of the day made earlier. My camera is a day ahead.
Happy New Year everyone!