Archive for category Patchwork and Quilting Projects – General

It Must Have Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time

Some time ago, I dug out my wee hexies and started to think about what I would eventually do with them.

The fabric I’m using is a sort of 1940s nursery print with teeny, tiny, ditsy florals and spots and some mini scottie dogs.  I had a design idea in mind which would emphasise the childlike element and bought some handwriting practise fabric from Spoonflower.

I started joining those wee hexies into wee flowers.

The perfect substitute for my usual evening telly watching activity of crochet because my house is now full to bursting with blankets of both fabric and yarn.

I started making some hexagons with the handwriting fabric.

But the original design idea has deserted me completely.

I think I had some thoughts about appliquéing the flowers onto background squares of the handwriting fabric but those thoughts are lost in the mists of time.

Something will come to me eventually.

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Peacock Colours

Even though, due to the current worldwide situation, our international block swap – Footstyle Freestyle (F2F) – has had to adapt this time round, we are still determined to go ahead with it.

Instead of mailing out 3 blocks to the participant due to receive them that month, we are now making them, photographing them, putting them up in the gallery and waiting until we’re out the other side of this to post them.  Better safe than sorry and the post is doing strange things at the moment so we don’t want to risk all that hard work getting lost.

It was my turn to receive blocks from the others this month but I’ll just have to wait to see them ‘in the flesh’.  However, we each also make three blocks in our chosen colours for ourselves so there was nothing stopping me from making mine in the peacock colours that I’d chosen.

You’ve seen this churn dash one before but my eye kept catching on the ‘too different’ ombré effect on the left which made it hard to focus on the design properly so I took it out and replaced it with a piece of the same fabric that toned in a little better.

Before

After

This is a foundation paper pieced block by Carol Doak called May Flower

Spot the peacock in the centre

Lastly, one I made up based on the spikes in a hedgehog block I sometimes make but without the hedgehog face.

I haven’t seen the blocks the others have made for me yet – and I’ll only be able to see photos of them anyway until things are back to ‘normal’ – but I think these colours will make for a pretty dramatic quilt eventually.

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Adults Only Quilt

I haven’t really felt much like blogging lately but Kate’s post today has reminded me that, with social interaction being so limited or even non-existent at the moment,  blogging seems more relevant than usual.  So, I’ll keep on doing it.

Back in early 2015 I made this quilt featuring a handbag design.

This is a design from a book called More Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts by Pam and Nicky Lintott  which aims to help you use the pre-cut fabric packs that look so tempting but you are not quite sure what to do with after buying.  Or is that just me?
It has spent most of its life up until recently folded over a bamboo ladder that I use to display quilts that aren’t in use.
I rarely hand quilt – I’m not good enough at it – but as this was a fairly small project I decided I would quilt in ‘big stitch’ fashion and just go round the handbag shapes.
It wasn’t until recently when I decided to use this quilt’s reverse side as a throw to protect my chaise longue from cat claws that I realised what I’d done.
Readers of a sensitive disposition, avert your eyes now.

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Christmas in February F2F5

Organised again by Kate over at Tall Tales From Chiconia, the latest Footsquare Freestyle (F2F) patchwork block exchange kicked off in February with ten participants from different countries and Tracy was the first drawn out of the hat to receive three blocks in her chosen colours from each of the other nine participants.

Tracy picked red, green and brown as her colours using photos of cranberries and a Christmas pudding to help us and, having checked with her that she is hoping to make a Christmas themed quilt, I foraged for those rare pieces of festive fabric that I have in deep stash.

I made this Churn Dash because I wanted to feature the lovely stag and deer image in the centre.

F2F4BlocksbymeforTracey (2)

I love this foundation paper pieced banded star design and made quite a few for the participants in last year’s swap.  Tracy didn’t join us last year so I decided to make her one as there should always be stars at Christmas.

F2F4BlocksbymeforTracey (7)

Despite having a lot on this year, I decided to go ahead and join in the swap again as I think I should be able to manage three blocks a month and I like to keep my ‘patchwork hand’ in.  I did say to Kate that I’d have to keep it simple this year but I couldn’t resist this pattern for little fir trees but, as it only makes a 6 inch square, I ended up having to make four of them to make a finished block of 12 inches which is, of course, why it’s called footsquare freestyle.   So, in effect, I made six blocks for Tracy rather than three. 🙄

F2F4BlocksbymeforTracey

Also, I made lots of stupid mistakes while putting this one together, including the final join.

Oops!!

Still, I’ve moved on to Sue’s blocks now as she is the recipient in March and she has asked for shades of true blue and brown.  I’ve made two and will start on the third today so I can get them off to the States sharpish.

I am next to receive blocks after Sue, I am ‘Miss April’ this year and I’ve gone for a dramatic colour palette reminiscent of peacock feathers.

Rather more dramatic than my neutral(ish) palette of last year which resulted in my lovely superking size quilt.

I’ve made one block for myself but will probably use April to get ahead with the blocks for the other participants in case I don’t have time later on in the year – I can always make my own ones up at the end.

My use of an ombré effect green fabric has made the shape of the Churn Dash a little more difficult to focus on but, if you squint your eyes a bit and/or look at it from a distance, you can still make it out and it shows the sort of colour scheme I have in mind.

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Distractions

I’ve been very distracted so far this year.  I’ve been seriously studying 2D needle felting as I’ve joined a paid online course and want to do well because I’ve got plans to do portraits of both my dogs.  I’ve put the 3D needle felted sculptures to one side at the moment although I’ve every intention of getting back to those once I’ve mastered the 2D stuff.

Before the course started I had a go at this snow hare.   Room for improvement but doing this sort of got me hooked which is why I signed up for the dog portrait course.

I started practising noses and eyes.

I sent a photo of this one to Mr. TIalys when he was in the U.K. and he thought one of the dogs had done something on the carpet!!💩

I progressed slightly although they look weird as stand alone features don’t they?

Both my dogs are mostly black and, unfortunately, the wrong colour fibre was sent to me so I couldn’t really make a start.  I did have lots of brown though so decided to follow the workshop for a Jack Russell even though I don’t have one, never have had one and don’t know anybody who has.  All good practice though.

Ooh, a bit spooky. Also this eye is too big really but I carried on regardless.

I’m counting this as a partial success as the ‘too big eye’ impacted on the rest of my markings and I made a complete mess of his chest hair but, as it was my first attempt, I’m trying to be kind to myself.  I am quite proud of the nose though.  Also, it does actually resemble a Jack Russell so it can’t be all bad.

I just put it in the hoop for ‘show and tell’ purposes. It will actually go in my ‘Progress Portfolio’ so that when I get better I can look back and laugh at my early attempts – she said, hopefully.

So, I’m going to try to replicate this photo of Stan which was taken before he had any grey hairs but is a favourite of mine

I’ve made a start by transferring the image on to some linen and, now that my 50 shades of grey (and black) have arrived, I will try to immortalise dear Stan in felt.  Of course, I didn’t think about ordering any red fibre for the bow tie did I! 🙄

My other main distraction – and reason for lack of blog posts – is the possible, well probable really, relocation back to the U.K.  Nothing to do with Brexit I hasten to add.  A difficult thing to achieve when our needs are many and varied including displacing multiple animals, a husband who needs commuting facilities, the need to be within a short drive of one of our daughters, the need (well, desire) for workshop space and a largish garden (very difficult to find in the South of the U.K. at a price that is achievable by people other than film stars and Lottery winners) .  To say nothing of the time it takes to sell property here in comparison to the U.K.   I am so sick of looking at houses on the internet and am dreading the whole thing.

On the brighter side, I’ve been doing some patchwork as the new round of F2F (foot square freestyle)has started which means, I will be making three blocks each month for the next ten months for me and the other nine participants in our chosen colours.  The first up is Tracey of It’s a T-Sweets Day and she has chosen Christmas colours – red, green and Christmas pudding brown.  I can’t show you the blocks I’ve made for Tracey as they are on their way to her now and I don’t want to spoil the surprise.

Hopefully, see you next time I take a break from the felting, foundation paper piecing and freaking out about moving.

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The F2F3 Quilt Finally Makes Its Appearance In Time For Christmas

Long, long ago, in July 2018 I made three 12 inch (finished) blocks in neutral(ish) colours and received three blocks in my chosen colour palette from each of the other participants of the collaborative quilting swap organised by Kate known as F2F  (which stands for Foot Square Freestyle) and this was the third one we’ve done.

Some time passed – well, let’s call it a year -and I decided that I wasn’t going to quilt it myself – not even as a ‘quilt as you go’ project as I have done before – because I wanted it to be enormous, big enough to fit my superking size bed and drape down the sides a bit too.

So I just (eventually) joined the blocks with ordinary sashing, added a couple of borders to get it to the right size and sent it off to Yorkshire for quilting by Fiona at Quilt Sandwich.

An indulgence but I’m never going to make a quilt as big as this again so it was a present to myself.

Sashed blocks laid on a different quilt in case this photo confuses.

I was so pleased with the quilting pattern I chose – ‘Hearts On A String’- as it has some interest but isn’t too dense and doesn’t overwhelm the blocks.  I also asked Fiona to supply the Henry Glass ‘Breezy’ extra wide fabric for the backing – she has a great choice of hard to find patterns in the extra width needed to back quilts without a join.

I asked Fiona to trim the quilt  so that it was all neat and ready for me to attach the binding by machine and hand sew it down on the back which I did in stages between cats taking residence on the ‘quilt in progress’ and my own fading resilience in the face of so much binding.

I had some Liberty of London fabric left from my Hatbox Quilt which hangs above our bed and, luckily, there was enough to make the binding which was perfect because the neutral(ish) colours went very well with the rest of the quilt and was also available in my stash.

The finished quilt is too big to be held up by my 6’4″ husband or even to be photographed on the washing line so here it is, in situ, just in time for Christmas.

Now at least Kate can put one finished quilt in her F2F3 gallery which is only fitting as I was the first one drawn to receive blocks so should also be the first one to finish.

Now, bring on the next one!

My girls are arriving today for the Christmas break so this is how I’ll end my blogging year – with a triumphant finish.

I hope you all have a wonderful time this festive season and thank you for following my posts.  I really value your input (I know I ask lots of questions) but, even if you don’t always comment, I sort of know you are out there and it’s great to think I am not just talking to myself which, I have to confess, seems to be happening more and more ‘in real life’.

So, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Bonnes Fêtes à tous.

❤x❤x❤

 

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ScrapHappy Christmas 2019

After last month’s rather cheeky (and violently coloured) scraphappy day entry –  the yarn I used for my anti-hunter, bright orange beanie could only very tenuously be called scrap – this time I’m back on good behaviour for this, the last scraphappy day of the year.

A selection of scraps were unearthed and I display the proof below (although some of these didn’t make the final cut.)

You might remember that, last year, I paper pieced a reindeer and made it into a Christmas table runner.

I bought another pattern from the same designer.

Now, I’ve made a scrappy gnome and don’t really know what to do with him.

Because a gnome isn’t just for Christmas is it?

Any ideas?  He’s 12 inches square.

 

 

Scraphappy Day is organised by Kate & Gun for anybody who wants to make new things from scraps of any kind – doesn’t have to be fabric or yarn.  Here’s a list of participants – both regular and occasional – if you want to have a look at the sort of things you can do with scraps.

Contact Kate (first name on the list) if you want to join in.

Kate Gun, TittiHeléneEvaSue, Nanette, Lynn(me), Lynda,
Birthe, Turid, Susan, Cathy, Debbierose, Tracy, Jill, Claire, Jan,
Moira, SandraLindaChrisNancyAlysKerryClaireJean,
Joanne, Jon, HayleyDawnGwen, Connie, Bekki, Pauline and Sue L.

 

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A Christmas Dilemma

Yesterday I went to a Christmas craft fair and had my first vin chaud (literally ‘hot wine’) of the year so now I’m starting to feel a bit festive and realised I haven’t posted for a while so here’s a quick catch up.

It’s difficult, when you make things yourself, to buy things at a craft fair.  It’s easy to think ‘well, I could make that’ and some people actually say it and, having done a couple of craft fairs myself, I can tell you that it’s one of the most annoying things to hear.  I want to say, ‘yes, but will you?’  ‘Do you have the equipment you need to make it and, if not, are you going to go out and buy it just to make one thing?’ ( whilst smiling politely and saying worse things under my breath).

Anyway, I managed to buy a couple of things that I won’t make myself even though I could.

Firstly, this lovely wreath made out of loads and loads of pieces of Christmassy fabric.

I don’t have much festive fabric in my stash and, if I did, I wouldn’t be cutting it up into hundreds of pieces.  Sometimes, there are people with more patience than you and, since I know the lady who makes these, I was glad to support her.

One hobby I started but didn’t finish is needle felting but I really would like to give it another go one day.  So, I couldn’t resist this little mouse, complete with appropriate French attire who will go on my tree as I always like to buy at least one new tree decoration each year.

I usually harvest some mistletoe from a small tree at the top of our garden but, this year, it doesn’t seem to have appeared so this seemed a good excuse for another felty festive purchase.

Last time I tried needle felting, I couldn’t even make a round bead properly so I’ll be on the lookout for a workshop or something next year and maybe, next Christmas, I’ll be able to say ‘I could make that’ – though not out loud of course.

Anyway, back to what I have made myself.  Having dislodged the cats from my Nature’s Walk crochet squares which were laid out on the dining room table for ease of joining, they are now all joined and the first two rows that set up the edge for the fancy border have been done.  I think I’ll do the rest on my lap when the cats are outside.

They have now found another work in progress to impede so I still have another two sides of my F2F quilt to bind.  Look at that face – would you have the courage to move her off?

At least that’s forced me to try to finish the new shirt I’m making for Mr. Tialys’s Christmas present.  Despite having made this same pattern recently, I’m having trouble with the sleeves.  Last time, I set them in and finished the inside seam on the overlocker/serger.  This time I wanted to do a felled seam as it looks more professional.  The sleeve cap is quite large on this shirt, compared to the armscye, so it’s quite difficult to set it in without puckers anyway, let alone trying to fell the seams too, so it’s causing me some problems and I keep finding other things to do to put off tackling it.

(edit:  nothing wrong with the pattern sizing at all – it was me, matching the wrong notches!!)

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I commented on Kate’s post today about gift giving- although I sort of went off topic – and would be interested to know your thoughts on something.  I love giving hand made gifts to friends and family it gives me a lot of pleasure (and hopefully them) and also gives me a good excuse to make more things.  None of my family live nearby and most don’t appreciate hand made items anyway – with the exception of my daughters who are already drowning in blankets and quilts – so it’s generally friends who end up with the results of my efforts.  However, some (non-crafting) friends I usually go for a pre-Christmas lunch with have a ‘no gifts’ policy and have asked me not to surprise them with anything this year.  I only ever give them hand made things – not shop bought – and I’ve explained before that I don’t expect, or even want, anything in return. I try to give them useful things too – crocheted cloths or cleansing pads, fabric baskets, make up bags, last year it was knitted cowls, as I know not everybody wants blankets or cushions or even quilts.  This year I was going to give them little fabric baskets filled with foodie things – home made lemon curd, chutney, quince spread and bombay nuts.  But now I’m not 😞  I sort of understand that they might feel they have to reciprocate but, in previous years, I’ve been very insistent that they don’t.  Now I feel sort of offended.

What do you think?  I’d be interested to hear if  you think I’m being over sensitive.

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The Return Of The Quilt

My superking sized quilt has arrived back in France having been on a journey to Yorkshire via Bournemouth for its appointment with a longarm quilting machine.

It measures something like 98 x 88 inches and, although I could have done it myself using the quilt as you go method as I have done with my previous sampler quilts, I really fancied an edge to edge design for this one and there was no way I was wrestling that bulk under my domestic machine.

The light isn’t very good at the moment – bad weather has descended – and the backing fabric is a richer cream than you can see here with a sort of feather pattern but you can see the quilting quite well.  The design is called ‘hearts on a string’ and I chose it because it’s nice and ‘flowy’ and I felt it wouldn’t overpower the sampler blocks or make the quilt too stiff.

 There are so many patterns to choose from and it was difficult to visualise but I’m really pleased with my choice.

Here it is, on the right side of the quilt, across one of the blocks.


That’s all I’m showing you at the moment because I need to decide on binding and then attach it so I’ll save the big reveal until after I’ve done that.

I’m unsure about the colour of binding to use as the back of the quilt is a deep cream colour, which also features in a lot of the blocks, but there is quite a lot of charcoal and other greys on the front, especially in the border.  I thought about dusky pink but, as the pink is mostly a highlight colour amongst the neutrals and greys, I think it might stand out a bit too much.  Ideally, I want to use stash fabric so I’ll have to have a rummage and see what I can come up with.

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Waiting for Hermes

The F2F3 quilt is on its penultimate stretch.

You may remember that I had decided to send this big girl off to a longarm quilter as I’ve made it to fit our ginormous bed and couldn’t face such a mammoth quilting task.  This will actually fit our bed with borders hanging down either side instead of being more of a bed topper and I will never (as much as I ever say never) make such a big quilt again – I wouldn’t be able to afford it for a start. This will be our ‘forever quilt’.  In future there will be throws and baby quilts only – probably.

Firstly, I had to rid the back of loose threads.

This took quite a while although 27 of the 30 12 inch blocks were made by the community of very competent quilters who contributed to this quilt by way of Kate’s Footsquare Freestyle block swap so nearly all of the loose threads were due to fraying rather than untidy ends.

Once I got the back looking neat and tidy, I folded it up ready for mailing to Yorkshire for its ‘longarm experience’.

I chose this fabric for the backing

It also came in grey and I was torn between the two but I thought the cream would give a more gentle effect for the bedroom.

I chose a wool batting, which I’ve never used before so I’ll be interested to see how that feels and I chose a simple quilting design as I didn’t want to overpower all the beautiful blocks and also wanted a nice drape.

I’ve just been told that the courier company in the U.K. (the Hermes of the title) is in possession of my quilt so I’m hoping it will arrive here in France by early next week, if not before.  I am more excited about it than a grown woman has a right to be when it’s not even Christmas.

I’ve asked that the quilt be trimmed ready for binding as I quite like attaching binding and it will serve to ‘re-connect’ me with the quilt, especially as I always hand sew the binding down to the back.  This ‘re-connection’ airy fairyness of mine might prove to be less attractive than it sounds as it’s a bloomin’ big quilt and I might wish to be ‘disconnected’ sooner than I fondly anticipate at the moment.

I think my quilt might be the first ‘finish’ to appear in the 2018/2019 gallery which is only right and proper because my name was drawn first to receive blocks from the other participants when the swap started in Summer 2018.

Then I’ll be able to get on with this next project. If you remember,  I bought two panels with all the circular designs on them and asked you for your ideas about a different border and cornerstones a couple of months ago as I’m not overly keen on the border fabric in the pattern.

I have all the appropriate fabrics already to make a lovely border.

I’ve cut out the circles within squares and attached sashing between them.

Now, however, I’m in more of a dilemma because I really like it as it is and don’t know whether to continue planning a border or just to quilt and bind this for a wall hanging.

What do you think?

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