Tomorrow I’m off to the latest Patchwork in the Peaks quilt retreat, organised by the lovely Ms E of Busy Needle Quilting (hooray!!!), so I’ve spent a good part of this week pulling together everything I need to take with me. Fabrics for the group project, WIPs I want to work on, a bunch of fat quarters for our regular game of Dice Swap and, of course, quilts for Show and Tell. It was while I was going through my finished tops to dig out something for Show and Tell that I got somewhat distracted by an old quilt top that I keep meaning to quilt. It’s my Flumpagon quilt, and I thought that maybe I should take it with me, to try and get some quilting done during the retreat. Sounds quite a reasonable idea, doesn’t it? So this morning I decided to get to work to piece the backing, so that I could pack it with everything else. Somehow, the backing fabric was in three pieces, two of which were around 46″ x width of fabric, and one of which was 18″ x width of fabric. Ok, ok, I thought, this is do-able, I’ll just have to cut it up a bit and piece it cleverly together. Then I got started. And this was when my latent OCD went into overdrive! The backing fabric is made of beautiful coloured diamonds, which remind me of a harlequin pattern. At first glance, it looks kind of random, but it’s not; and being me, I realised that I was going to have to do a fair bit of pattern matching if the quilt wasn’t going to bug me horribly every time I used it.
And so I got to work matching up the diamonds. I found the pattern repeat and chose one line of diamonds to work across, and I matched up and pinned the point of every single diamond along that line.
Then, using an open toe foot, I slowly sewed along the pinned line, making sure to sew right through the intersection between the diamonds. This was repeated several times until I’d managed to cobble together a big enough backing piece from all the smaller cuts of fabric I had.
All in all it took a good 4 hours to produce a quilt backing measuring approximately 55″ square. There was a fair bit of unpicking, as well as some Very Bad Language, but in the end, I have to say I’m very pleased with it.
After all, can you see the joins??? A touch OCD? Maybe. But I’m currently suffused with that smug feeling of a job well done, so all in all I have to say I think it was worth it 🙂
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
For the longest time, Mum has wanted me to make her a quilt. And I was going to. Really I was. Then, just as I was about to cut up the fabric, I happened to ring her, and she just happened to mention she’d redecorated her bedroom, and all my carefully laid plans were scuppered.
But having got that far, the idea stuck. Mum deserved a quilt. I’d made one for Dad (out of desperation, when I had no clue what to get him for his birthday, and using the colours of our rugby team, Bath Rugby). I’d made one for my sister (for her 40th birthday). I’d made one for my niece, the beautiful Miss B. I’d made one for Mad Cousin Jude when she got married, and a baby quilt when she had little Jacob back in September. I’d made quilts for various friends, sundry babies, and several for myself, and yet no quilt for Mum. I felt like a terrible daughter.
And so, over Christmas, I hatched a plan.
I had a trip back to the UK booked for January, to spend a couple of days with Mum. A bed-sized quilt was out of the question in the time available, given my exhaustion following my pre-Christmas sewing frenzy. In any case I wanted to check out the new colour scheme in her bedroom before I made a decision about bed quilts. But, I wondered, could I make a lap quilt for her before my visit? Mum has a beautiful conservatory on the back of her house, and she loves to sit there and read in the morning, but in the winter it can be rather chilly first thing. A lap quilt would be ideal!
And sitting in my sewing room, in a box, all forlorn, were the remnants of the kitty camouflage quilt. This consisted of a stack of 9″ half square triangles, a tangle of unused jelly roll strips and a yard or so of border fabric that I’d decided not to use on the original quilt. All in warm colours that I knew Mum would love.
So what to do with half square triangles? A pinwheel and hourglass quilt, of course! And because the triangles were already pieced and squared up, it went together really quickly.
I pieced the backing from the leftover border fabric and some of the jelly roll strips, and I used more strips for the binding.
I quilted a large circular flower motif in each of the 12 original pinwheel blocks…
… and a smaller, travelling floral and leaf pattern in the centres of the secondary pinwheel and hourglass blocks.
I finished the binding last Monday evening, the night before I went to visit Mum.
And so on Tuesday I arrived at Mum’s, and I gave her the quilt – happily, she loved it! As did her dogs, Barley and Anna (although fortunately their fur blends in reasonably well with the colours on the quilt…) It’s already installed in the conservatory and has already been put to use on chilly mornings.
Quilt dimensions: 50″ x 66 1/2″ (127cm x 169cm)
Fabric for top and backing: Cinnamon Spice by Blackbird Designs for Moda Fabric
Batting: Quilters Dream Select Cotton
Thread – Isacord 0651 polyester
Anyway, I’ve now promised Mum a bed quilt before too long – to match her newly decorated bedroom, and to try and blend in with the fur of My Friend Samantha, her lovely, affectionate cat.
Looks like it won’t be a white quilt then!
Gosh, what a busy couple of weeks! The summer seems (finally!) to be over (hooray!), and it’s been rather cold and rainy over here, so I’ve taken full advantage of the Englishness of the weather to finally knuckle down and work on some quilts. And boy, have I been doing some full-on sewing!
First up – block 3 of my Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Sampler quilt – I’m really trying to stay on top of this one! I love the fabric and I find myself loving the blocks too, even if baskets aren’t really my cup of tea. Here’s block 3 – now that it’s finished, I’m a quarter of the way through the quilt. Block 4 is now on its way, so watch this space!
Next, I started putting together some blocks for the Molli Sparkles Broken Herringbone Quilt Along. I rummaged around in my stash and came across these Stonehenge 2 1/2″ strips, along with some textured black yardage.
I can remember buying them on sale a while back, with some grand plan for them, but I’ve totally forgotten what it was, so they have now been re-allocated to this new project! And very beautiful they look too – a little like stained glass windows. I’ve put photos of all the blocks so far onto my brand-spanking-new Flickr page, but here are a few of my favourites,
So far I’ve made 10 blocks – and I’m hoping to make at least another 6, which should get me a good sized lap quilt. They are scarily addictive! I’ve also been drooling over other peoples’ photos of their blocks, and am already planning this quilt in about another 10 colourways, if I ever find the time…
I even have some finishes to report! Firstly, I finally got round to quilting and binding my Ricky Tims Convergence quilt for the quilt show. I made this quilt top at the last Patchwork in the Peaks Quilt Retreat, and it’s been sitting in my cupboard for the past 6 months, waiting for me to pluck up the nerve to quilt it. And now it’s not only finished, but also the proud recipient of my first ever hanging sleeve (thanks to a great tutorial from Blue Moon River Quilts, and to the lovely Marianne who sent me the link!)
I’m calling the quilt Sakura, which is Japanese for cherry blossom. I love the way it turned out, and although it’s not perfect, my free motion quilting is getting better every quilt I make – maybe I’m deceiving myself, but by the end of this one, some of the flowers even started to look a bit like the cherry blossoms they were meant to be, rather than the mutant clover leaves they looked like at the beginning 🙂 All I need to do now is add the obligatory label, haul myself down to the DIY store to buy a wooden hanging rod – et voilà!
While I was at it, I also whipped up a baby quilt for Mad Cousin Jude’s new baby boy, did some more work on my Challenge Quilt, started binding my mahoosive purple and pink stars quilt for the quilt show, made a stack more hexie flowers, and quilted my red triangles quilt. I even managed to fit in a weekend away at the Ste. Marie aux Mines quilt show, including a class with the wonderful Marti Michell, where I made this beauty… But more of that in a future post…
Phew! What a lot of sewing! I have been busy, haven’t I?! Makes me quite exhausted just thinking about it all! Time for a cuppa, methinks, before getting back to the machine – 2 more new babies arrived this week, so no rest for the wicked, and all that 🙂
Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.
Well, for the first time in ages, I finally have a quilt top finish to report! It’s my Flumpagon quilt (hexagons with elephants…), and I’m loving how it turned out.
I started this quilt a while back, when the Fat Quarter Shop was having a sale on patterns, and this little cutie by Lori Holt of Bee in my Bonnet caught my eye. It’s her Cherry Blossom Table Runner – just beautiful!
I decided that it was also the perfect excuse to buy some fabric I’d been drooling over for a while – the Madhuri range by Riley Blake Designs, it’s gorgeous, full of bright colours and beautiful patterns, but most of all, elephants. And this would be the ideal project for it. After all, who wouldn’t want an elephant themed table runner??? So I was seriously excited when my order arrived!
The first hiccup came when I looked at the pattern – the table runner dimensions were given as 36″ x 64″. That sounded awfully large, so out came the tape measure and I measured the table. It’s actually 40″ x 54″. Oh dear…
So what to do? Ok, I could have just made the table runner shorter, but even so it would have been almost as wide as the table. The dimensions were all wrong. So I did what I always do in such situations. If in doubt, make it bigger…
Instead of the 17 blocks Lori put into her table runner, I made 23, and set them as an almost-square, instead of a rectangle. Then I added my borders, a skinny pink one to match the setting blocks, and then the elephant one. It ended up measuring 49 1/4″ x 52 1/4″, and here it is. It’s so pink and lovely!
It was also lots of fun to make. Ok, so matching all the points drove me to distraction, and I had to creatively add some cornerstones to the borders due to how the elephant fabric had been cut. I had ordered the right amount of yardage for once, but the top and bottom of the elephant fabric was cut right through the middle of the elephants. So I had nine lines of elephants marching across the fabric, and two half lines of elephants… This was meant to be a Flumpagon quilt, not a flump massacre quilt, so a solution had to be found. It’s not ideal, but oddly enough, I kind of like it 🙂
Here is the fabric I have set aside for the backing and the binding – the red is for the binding and the diamond one for the backing.
And finally, here it is being examined by Chief Quilt Testers Mr. Boy and Mimi Bubba…
All I have to do now is decide how to quilt it, and decide whether I can bear to give it away. And that will be another story entirely 🙂
Linking on up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.