Archive for category Patchwork and Quilting Projects – General
Remember I asked for some advice as to whether the foxes on the fabric I was using for the baby quilt really had to be upright which meant messing with the layout of the the design? Well, those pesky foxes have been tamed, turned on their heads, or sides and sometimes even on their feet and have become a quilt for my great niece who is due to make an appearance in June.
As you can see, I saw the sense in putting a narrow, plainer border between the centre design and the busy border.
I also used the same fabric for the back around the centre panel I’d already made from the leftovers of the foxy range fabric. I was quite brave as, although it looks plain white, it does have tiny spots on it. Brave because I usually try to hide my quilting – be it by hand (rare) or machine – as much as possible and the plainer the fabric the more obvious any mistakes.
I stitched in the ditch and round the borders because I felt it went well with the geometric design and, I cannot tell a lie, because it’s easier.
Here you can just about make out those little spots – even more easily if you double click on it.
I had to put the parasol up in order to get these outdoor sofa photos otherwise there were shadows, bleached bits and all sorts. This time last year it was almost constantly raining so I’m not complaining.
If you zoom in you can see that those orange and ‘grey’ triangles are not solid colours but orange with white dashes and white with black dashes.
I definitely think the foxes are fine dancing around the quilt and not forced to be upright. The only thing I’d change would be the colour of the binding as I would have liked to do it in the same orange as the triangles but they are a sort of burnt orange colour and I didn’t have anything in my stash that fit the bill, whereas the white with black flowers was to hand and I am trying to use fabric I already have as much as I possibly can.
I had to miss out the top row in this last photo but it looked lovely draped over the garden gate and the light was just right in this corner of the garden.
I won’t be sending the quilt until the baby is born because I want to put her name and date of birth on the quilt label but, never fear, I have displayed it in the sure and certain knowledge that my niece never has and never will look at my blog.
If you’re at all interested, the pattern I used was a free one I found here.
Continuing on with my baby makes, the main part of the quilt top is finished. It’s hanging on my
flannelette sheet design wall and, as you can see, I decided to stick with the original pattern design for this baby quilt and cast to the wind my concerns about upside down and sideways foxes. Any way up, this quilt will have some foxes standing on their feet and new mothers have more to worry about than making sure a quilt is always laid down in the right direction – laying the baby down in the right direction was enough to exercise my exhausted brain if I remember correctly.
I’ve tried to brighten up the photos a bit this time so hopefully you can now see those triangles are not grey but white with black dashes on. Although grey continues to be ‘on trend’ so I suppose it wouldn’t matter if they were.
It will have a 4.5 inch border and I happened to come across these two cottons which are very good matches for the other colours.
Some confetti spots on a white background
and some bright little triangles.
I made a panel of left over strips of the foxy fabric range which I thought I’d put in the centre of whatever I use for the backing and I’ve been laying out the possible options on my bed.
At the moment I’m veering towards the small triangles for the front (right of photo) and the spotted white to form a frame around the strippy panel on the back.
I’m just wondering whether to frame the quilt top with a narrower border of white confetti spots before adding the small triangles or letting them run riot right up against those wayward foxes as shown.
I’ll probably be doing this sometime today so I’ll show you what I decided next week.
Unless you have any thoughts of course.
An intermediate ’emergency’ post this week, bringing my total to three by the time my scheduled post is published tomorrow and it will only be Tuesday. Tialys overload! Sorry about that but it probably won’t ever happen again.
I wanted your valued opinions on a baby quilt I’m making. The recipient will be my (other) niece who is due to have a girl baby in June. I had some entirely different fabric in mind when I went to root through my stash but then I came across this little lot.
I like the pale green and I thought the orange foxes and small black details would give it a lovely, modern feel.
I chose this pattern from Craft Buds which uses HSTs (half square triangles) and also has a modern look to it so I thought it would be a perfect marriage of pattern and fabrics.
The triangles are made using a method which gives you four HSTs at once. You separate your fat quarters into three pairs, then place two 18inch squares of one pair right sides together and draw a diagonal line from corner to corner. Marking a quarter of an inch from each centre diagonal, you then sew down those four lines. Cut through the centre both horizontally and vertically and then cut each resulting square on the original diagonal mark. Confused? Just click on the above photo to see a much more comprehensive explanation.
This is what my fabrics looked like laid out flat.
I expect, unlike me at that stage, you can already see my problem. Those smaller foxes are directional and, because of the cutting method used by this pattern they were all over the place which, because the blocks are large at 8 inches square and the design of the quilt is geometric, just didn’t really look right.
Craft Buds had the same ‘problem’ – see her layout below – but her fabrics don’t have any ‘characters’ on them and it really doesn’t matter which way up a pair of scissors goes does it?
So, despite what I said to Cathy on her blog the other day about direction not really mattering as a quilt is viewed from all angles, in this case, I don’t think I’d be happy with the layout as originally planned.
See what I mean? Click on the photo for a closer look.
So, I then had to play with all the blocks to see if I could make a half decent design whilst getting all the small foxes to stand on their feet. Here they are, precariously clinging to a flannelette sheet on my makeshift design wall…….
……… and a distance shot so you can see the overall effect.
It will have a border around it – probably some tiny black flowers on a white background I have – but this is it at the moment.
HELP!! What do you think? Can you see any glaring anomalies in the new layout? Can you think of any other way I could do it? Or do you think I should stick with the topsy turvy foxes?
Also, what do you think of the colour scheme? Do you think it is ‘girly’ enough? I do have some soft, pastelly, birds, rabbits and flowers fat quarters which I’ve long had in mind for the next baby in the family but, if I used this pattern, I would have had the same problem with direction – although the prints in that range are much smaller so I could probably get away with it.
All opinions, advice and admonishments happily received.
p.s. Another title I possibly have to apologise for but I just can’t help myself.
The 2018/2019 Footsquare Freestyle (hereafter known as F2F3) has come to end with organiser Kate’s blocks for February being sent, received or in production.
I haven’t been showing you the three 12 inch patchwork blocks I made each month to send to the nine far flung participants in the colours they chose so I’ve picked my favourite one from each month to show you.
I was drawn out of the hat to receive blocks first and made one of my foundation paper pieced (or FPP) Hedgehogs as one of my own three blocks towards the quilt I will eventually make from all the blocks in my chosen colours.
Sue wanted blue and white and I made her an FPP banded star.
A Nell’s Star (or Charleston) block for Claire
A special request from Nanette for a hedgehog.
A Nova for Moira.
(A pattern designed by one of our participants, Esther.)
A Circle of Geese for Robin.
The only traditionally pieced block in this selection was for Esther.
Everyone, after the first couple of months, got a Zeppelin and this one was for Kathy.
Finally, Kate’s turn came and I stretched my paper piecing skills with this unicorn just for something a bit different.
I can’t tell you how much this block swap has once more challenged and encouraged me to do more patchwork. Working with colours I perhaps wouldn’t normally have thought of using and indulging in my new found love of FPP – it’s been a blast!
It looks like we might be going to do it all again for 2019/2020. If you’re interested, let Kate know in a comment on her blog here. Not sure? Have a look at the website she has set up especially for the F2F swaps – Footsquare Freestyle – 3 x 12 inch square finished blocks in whatever design you want just as long as it’s in the participant’s chosen colours. We need a minimum of 9 people – Kate and I are definitely in so another 7 and we’re off.
p.s. I’ve just realised my title sounds slightly ‘off colour’ but only if you say it slowly and, why would you?
A couple of years ago (could be more) I bought a pattern from Sew Fresh Quilts and made this dog cushion…….
………as well as this block which is yet to be made into anything.
I might make another cushion out of it and put it in the raffle at the upcoming old and disabled doggy fundraiser Christmas Fair, if I get the time. I think I must have done a similar thing with the first one as I can’t find it anywhere.
Flushed with stitch and flip success, I bought a more Christmas themed block last year but, unfortunately, my Mum suddenly became very ill and such things got put aside.
Looking for a new project to work on with my sewing friend on a Wednesday afternoon, I remembered the reindeer and we started searching through our scraps of brown, black and white fabric – actually quite difficult colours to find as brown and black fabric isn’t something I buy that often Anyway, we found enough between us and shared out what we had.
The pattern is available here
I must say, it was a different prospect to the dog as those antlers are formed of quite small pieces. Accuracy is not my strongest point when titchy bits of fabric are concerned and I found trying to keep the seams and resulting larger pieces straight quite challenging which is a euphemism for ‘I undid seams lots of times, had to re-cut fabric on a few occasions and swore a lot’. No fault of the pattern at all, I must say, but I find working in somebody else’s workroom a bit weird. For this reason, I’m not that great in lessons or workshops – too many distractions. I like to have my own things around me and to work at my own pace. Also, we only meet once a week for a couple of hours and, often, the project we’re working on goes ‘off the boil’ for me.
Anyway, after a few Wednesdays of plumbing the depths of my Anglo Saxon vocabulary, it was done.
But what to do with a pieced reindeer head I hear you ask. I’m big on blankets around the place but not so keen on cushions or wall hangings – although I have been known to succumb now and again.
Remember the table runner for my coffee table I made from a Tim Holtz fabric selection recently?
Well, I thought I could make a more Christmassy one using the same quilt as you go method as before but with the reindeer head in the middle and various strips of leftover Christmas fabric either side, thereby using up some scraps – and some of my friend’s too as she had lots more than me.
First I bedecked his antlers with some festive bunting. Not at all because I was trying to hide the fact that my piecing left something to be desired. As if!
Then I joined scraps of Christmas fabric in strips of varying widths on to the backing and batting.
Then I quilted it some more using wavy lines across the width and used a double fold binding stitched down by hand on the back as I do on quilts.
So, I don’t think I have any more Christmas scraps left now – I used up the smaller pieces on the binding. Result!!
It will look quite festive at Christmas on the coffee table – at least the glimpses of it under the usual covering of bucks fizz glasses, mince pies and chocolates – once the morning’s over it might get worse 🤣
Oh, and I found a felted bead in my stash of ‘things’ – I don’t know where it came from, but I knew exactly where it could go.
Joining in with Kate & Gun’s ScrapHappy Day Challenge which focuses on using up your scraps of fabric/yarn/paper/wooden offcuts/anything leftover. More details and list of participants here.
Now I must go and convert more tea towels into aprons for sale at the Twilight Retirement Home for Dogs Christmas Fair on Saturday 24th. I know how to have fun.
When the new session of the F2F block swap started (details here), I decided to make a scrappy block every month in the colours each participant had chosen – partly so I’d have something to show on Scraphappy day if I’m honest – which I always try to be with you dear readers. I made a couple of blocks with random scraps then changed my mind and decided to make the same paper pieced block for each person plus one for myself using the remains of the fabric used for them or similar colours from my scrap bin. I confess the scraps are quite big scraps (more like small remnants ) as anything too small wouldn’t work for the design I’m using. I’m still putting it forward for ScrapHappy day this month though because the fabric was all leftovers and because I haven’t had time to make anything with smaller scraps as I’ve been in a bit of a dressmaking frenzy which will be the subject of a future post. I hope Kate and Gun will forgive me for using biggish scraps instead of littleish scraps. (‘Littleish’ – now there’s a word you can really get your tongue around. Is it even a word? If not, it should be.)
On a side note, if you think paper piecing is wasteful of fabric – what about dressmaking? I can’t believe how much goes in the bin and most of it’s no good for scrappy stuff being too thick or thin or whatever.
Anyway, I have adopted a paper piecing pattern called Zeppelin which you can find on Craftsy here as a free downloadable PDF. It doesn’t have too many pieces which is good when you have to make quite a few of them and I like the clean lines and contemporary look of it.
I started in July with Claire’s colours of turquoise, grey, black and white.
Then, in September, Nanette’s colour choices were blue and blush pink.
I parted with some of my precious ombre fabric for this one.
Moira chose browns and creams with duck egg blue as a highlight in October.
Earlier on in the swap, I was ‘Miss June’ and later made one in my own neutral(ish) palette of greys, creams, and vintage pink.
I still need to make one in Sue’s colours – I missed making a ‘Sue Zeppelin’ in July. Her choices were similar to Nanette’s but with white instead of blush pink to go with the blues but, eventually, once I have a Zeppelin in all nine participants’ colours, they will make a small quilt or throw which will be quite a nice souvenir of the 2018/2019 block swap.
The four scrappyish Zeppelin blocks so far flung against my design wall. I say, ‘design wall’ though it is just a flannelette sheet held in place by books on my bookshelf – but you get my drift.
Wondering what ScrapHappy is? Have a look on Kate’s blog here and join us once a month – or less if you can’t come up with a duplicitous way round it like me – well, let’s call it a ‘compromise’.
Do you ever have those times when you’ve not even thought about a a new project but, all of a sudden, something pops into your head and you have to start on it there and then despite having numerous others on the go? Of course you do.
Ages ago, I kept spending loads of money with a company called Massdrop (are they still going?) until I realised the error of my ways and unsubscribed. However, I will always be grateful to them for my stack of beautiful ombre fabrics
and my thick felted wool ironing pad thingy which is in constant use.
Anyway, one of my impulse purchases from them was a stack of fabrics from Tim Holtz called ‘Eclectic Elements’ which has languished in my stash ever since as I couldn’t imagine any of them in a quilt and keep forgetting about them when I need something a bit ‘quirky’ in a craft project.
I decided (all of a sudden as previously mentioned) I needed a table runner for the coffee table in the living room.
My décor – such as it is – in there is not really something calling out for my usual selection of quilting fabrics so I thought these would work being more subdued in tone.
I took out the blues as they definitely don’t ‘go’ with anything in the room and added a couple of toning fabrics from elsewhere in my stash.
The ‘Suchard Chocolat’ piece was in the original Eclectic stack but I had already sewn it in to the runner by the time I’d thought to take a photo because it’s my favourite piece and I used quite a bit of it as the central strip. My second favourite is the butterflies which might be moths – must put my specs on to read the teensy writing, something I’m finding myself saying more and more often these days.
I was intrigued by a method I saw here where you cut out the backing and batting to size, cut your strips of fabric and lay one centrally, right side up, across the backing and batting. Then, you lay the next strip right side down on top of the first and sew a quarter inch seam, then press seam open. On the other side of the first strip, repeat with another strip and carry on like that, alternately in each direction, until you reach the ends of the runner.
I had this red and cream floral fabric in my stash which I think coordinates well with the other fabrics and also with the room it will be used in which has a red theme going on but not a bright red.
So you have, effectively, sandwiched and quilted the layers at the same time – a sort of alternative ‘quilt as you go’. You can leave it like this or add some further quilting – which I did, using a very French makeshift template.
I bound it the traditional way with a double fold binding and some plain red from my stash.
I’m surprised how much the quilting pattern showed up once the runner was in position – especially here where the sun was shining right across it.
Oh look, there’s blue in my rug – I could have left the blue fabrics in after all.
I would be drummed out of Instagram for not plumping up my sofa cushions before a photography session. Still, let’s call it ‘keeping it real’ this time and be amazed there’s not a dog or three draped across it.
So, not a ‘pretty, pretty’ table runner one often associates with quilting projects but I don’t think that would have worked in this room so I’m quite pleased with it.
Now to get back to whatever it was I was supposed to be doing when this popped into my head.
Can a person get addicted to a crochet pattern? If so, I’m on my way to rehab. Remember these two Little River Blankets? (pattern designed by Emma Varnam )
The one on the right is made with Scheepjes yarn from the original kit and, to be honest, is still my favourite due to the softer feel of the cotton/acrylic mix and the more carefully planned out colour scheme which the pattern provides. The one on the left is made with 100% cotton yarn and I made the colours up as I went along.
All the yarn came in cute little 10g balls and, in the original, only one row is crocheted with each ball. Even so, I still had some leftovers from both projects
Perfect for yet another version using the scraps and enabling me to participate in ScrapHappy day this month.
I am breaking the rules with this one due to the limitations of using scraps and am having to change colour part way through a lot of the rows. I’m just trying to keep some sort of blending going.
This is it so far, unwoven in ends and all. The blue I’m using to create the unifying ripple every 7th row and the eventual edging is the only new yarn I bought for this version. The 7th row should have been the 5th row but I forgot and didn’t want to frog it so decided to keep it at every 7th – who will know? Or care?
I think the reason I’m addicted is the pattern is easy, though not totally mindless, so perfect for getting something useful done when I’m Netflix bingeing in the evening. It also keeps me from having a glass of wine or falling asleep – the two usually go together.
A double whammy from the scrap department this month. I made these two blocks for Kate’s newest quilt project for Ovarian Cancer Australia. Their colours are teal and cream and Kate likes to indulge her love of puns when naming the quilts. We’ve had ‘Tealed With A Kiss’, ‘Signed, Tealed, Delivered’ amongst others in the past and this one will be called ‘Go Teal It On The Mountains’. So, Kate and some of her readers of the patchwork persuasion are making blocks with a mountain theme. For some time now I’ve had a stash of of teal blues (and similar) kept specially for these projects. The blocks are assembled, quilted and finished by Kate and then auctioned to raise funds. You can read a bit more about it on Kate’s blog here.
This first block of mine was just a case of joining strips really.
I found the original idea online here
My second block was foundation paper pieced, a method I have come to love.
Free pattern found on Craftsy here
Kate asks for 12 inch finished blocks and this one was only 7 inches but I found this useful guide on how to enlarge and reduce paper pieced patterns here
Here’s another little scrap
Joining in this month with Kate and Gun’s Scraphappy Day for some inventive uses of scraps and interesting blogs. If you want to use up some scraps and show what you’ve done with them – could be paper, yarn, fabric, leather, wood, whatever, just let Kate know here and she can add you to the list of participants even if you don’t want to do something every month. Find more details on Kate’s blog here
Inspired by Cathy’s big, beautiful hexie quilt top in progress she showed us recently, I ferretted around in my workroom and unearthed my box of hexies started a few years ago. I had bought some thin card pre-cut hexies along with some fabric ones and, filled with the enthusiasm that is always evident at the start of a project, I started making them.
Then I stopped.
Although I did put one ‘flower’ together.
As you can see, this range of fabrics is very retro – it’s Chloe’s Closet for Moda called ’30s Playtime’ but there have been many variations of these so I don’t know which one this was. They are all along the same lines however.
Then, probably the year after or maybe later, I bought a jelly roll of ’30s Playtime’ which is a different variation but near enough to make no difference. I haven’t unwrapped it yet but I’m hoping there are more pups and bunnies.
I think I haven’t progressed much with the hexies because I have no clear idea what I’m going to do with them. I know, almost certainly, I will never have the patience to make a whole quilt with them. So, my question is, do you think I could join the ones I do make into a row – or however many rows I have enough hexies for – levelling that row (or rows) off to make straight lines – then make the rest of the quilt top with the jelly roll strips, inserting the hexie rows wherever they look right?
I also have some larger fabric hexies – just waiting for their paper/card inners – so the rows of hexies would be slightly different sizes.
Any ideas? Please! I have searched Pinterest without much joy as everybody else is obviously far more patient than I am and have mostly made quilts out of hundreds of little hexie flowers or similar.
Now for the second question.
Have you ever used double gauze fabric in quilting?
Double gauze has 2 layers of very thin gauze fabrics fused together, to create a soft, full bodied fabric. I have some in the perfect colour for backing my F2F blocks which are all in neutral colours with a sort of ‘dirty’ pink – let’s call it ‘vintage’ pink – as a highlight.
When I get around to putting the blocks together, I will be using the ‘quilt as you go’ method for construction which, for the non-quilters amongst you, who probably aren’t reading this anyway, means I will make a wadding sandwich with the top and backing squares and quilt them individually, then join with sashing.
So, as you can see, my hedgehog block is sitting nicely against the colour for display purposes but I just wondered if any of you have any experience of this fabric in quilt making or in any other sewing projects.
Thank you muchly for any ideas, suggestions or general comments. I know I can count on you.