I have to look at all as an opportunity, even if it is not something I would choose if I had different options. Anyway the summer has been filled with custom creations, and the blanket from hell in particular gave me the option to watch lots of quilting videos and think about the direction I would like to travel in next.
For my birthday my son gave me some money and I bought some Kaffe Fasset shot solids for a wall hanging for myself which I’m working on at the moment. It will be my own, modern interpretation of a garden quilt.
I spent quite a lot of time watching Eleanor Burns. I love her zeal, and her back story, and the back stories to all those quilt. I was able to pick up a 1929 copy of Ruth E Finley’s Old Patchwork Quilts and The Women Who Made Them, look on Abebooks if you are in the UK, as they wanted £65 on Amazon. I got a couple of Eleanor’s books too and Christmas may well involve Bears in The Woods wall hangings. I also bought Marsha Radtke’s A Baltimore Album.
Thinking about tradition made me look to our own quilting heritage here in the UK. Did we have one? was it all borrowed? I bought another book Quilts of the British Isles by Janet Rae. It was an eye opener and I have been inspired by a number of the quilts, particularly the military quilts and am hoping to contact a local military tailor to see if I can have off cuts to make into a quilt perhaps for the Royal British Legion to auction.
At the back of the book is the a quilt, after the Glasgow School which I intend to use as the basis for a silk cot quilt. I want to hand applique and hand quilt it although I don’t intend to do needle turn applique – I thought a using the technique where you sew the pieces onto fuseable interfacing but using a silk gauze instead. I ultimately would like to enter it into some competitions but when all this will ever happen, who’s to say?
Oh, and by the way, if you like the paintings on the last two posts they can be found over here.
So after all the gardening of last week we have had a week of Siberian winds to keep us all safely tucked in doors. Over on the Quiltsy Team discussion thread there was some talk about the way we all work. I have to admit to being a bit of a flitter. Perhaps I have ADHD; I do and have always become easily distracted.
This week I have finished (well almost) a quilt that has been on the go since last summer (it’s the one above). It has changed quite a lot during that time. It was originally intended for my MIL who wanted something with mexican type colours so I found some hand dyed charm squares that fit the bill and thought they would work well with white. She wanted it as a wall hanging that could double as a bed quilt. Anyway when she saw the part pieced quilt she didn’t like it and now I have free reign to go and do something else for her. She’s a bit of a fuss pot so I’ll probably do my own thing instead of trying to work out what I think she’ll like.
Anyway, it is, like I said, almost finished. It is called Prairie Charm and has a red woven gingham backing with a printed white daisy on it and a chambray border. It’s quite simply quilted. I love the colours and would be inclined to keep it for myself but my quilts have to work for their living.
I also pieced a little blue and white one with charms called Spa by Deb Strain; it is the baby brother to the star bed runner. I’m waiting on a delivery to finish it. I was going to quilt it with celtic motifs but might change my mind about this, hoping to get it done tomorrow or Friday.
Anyway, being at a loose end I decided to start the special quilt for Arty Daughter and her beau. Not sure what I’m doing wrong but perhaps someone will pop along and let me know.
I am using layer cake squares to make 2.5″ strips to make 4 patch blocks and then cutting other layer cake squares into 4 5 inch squares to make HSTs with. My HSTs are bigger than my 4 patch blocks: is this right?
I sewed them together and got this:
Anyway, I’m off to post this on the Quiltsy Team blog in their Work In Progress Wednesday bit; it’s my first time – I hope it’s okay to ask stupid questions.
We have a wonderful history of traditional quilting in the United Kingdom wonderful Welsh quilts, wholecloth quilts and paper pieced quilts. Great information about these local traditions is held by the Guild of Quilters of the British Isles. When I have some spare money, I will be joining.
If, like me, the idea of of all those little bits of paper and fabric and those hand turned seams is a bit intimidating you might take a look at American style quilting instead.
I must admit to trying to do the little hexagons when I was a child, and it may be that I do have a lot more patience at this ripe old age but somehow I doubt it.
I started using precuts (mostly by Moda as these are the most affordable here) as I was not confident with scissors and cutting out, the fact that all that was done for me was a real boon.
The Moda Bakeshop gives some great inspiration and projects are graded on difficulty and I have been very inspired by the tutorials I have watched by the Missouri Star Quilt Company and their video tutorials. Jenny Doan has a wonderful way of making it seem simple and achievable. It’s a great starting point.
I have made things I would never have imagined I could achieve and Free Motion Quilting has become something of a favourite after intially terrifying me.
I now belong to a wonderful group of quilters on Etsy, mostly from North America, all different and inspirational. Please visit the team shop, not necessarily to buy but to be inspired by their talent and creativity
The light is still not quite right to photograph this to reflect the lovely colours but I will include the swatch in a moment. I have used a single charm pack from Moda designed by Bonnie and Camille called Ruby. This was my first attempt at cutting into the patches (four patch blocks). I have pieced them randomly without much attention to the overall design and I like it. Next time though, I will be planning more carefully and piecing with purpose!! All over pinwheels would be particularly suitable for a boy I think. The panel here looks quite Cath Kidston in colour whereas the palette is actually fresher and more modern looking, see swatch below right.
Anyway, the panel is approximately 26.5 x 26.5 inches. I’m trying to work out how I got there but next time I’ll write it down as I go. The charm pack yielded 10 4 patch blockswhich were cut on the diagonal to give 40 triangles which were sewn back together to give 10 squares – I used 9 blocks to create a square quilt top.
I’m waiting for my backing and binding fabric to arrive but I will be using the one pictured to the left (the aqua coloured with apples/cherries) to create a deep 8 1/2 inch border, it will also be used as the backing fabric. The quilt will be bound in the same aqua colour but a solid version.
I will be using Warm and Natural cotton batting again (if it ain’t broke …) as I have been pleased by the finish of Hannah’s quilt and it was quite easy to hand quilt.
and the border will be echo quilted on either side of the border fabric and then have the lovely ducks (left) to further decorate it. It will be approximately 35.5 inches square when completed and will be for sale in my etsy shop.
I have been quiet for a little while because I have been busy finishing things, cleaning things, cooking things and eating things not necessarily in that order.
At the end of November I had the brain wave to make something I hadn’t attempted before for the main Christmas present for my daughter Hannah. She has wanted a traditional quilt for a long time and I was actually looking to buy her a handmade one but the ones I liked were out of my price bracket. So I decided to make one. I took some advice from Ros as to whether it was feasible to complete by Christmas and then set about looking for fabric.
I started with ebay – my starting place for most things in life if I’m honest – and was suddenly immersed in a world of baffling new terminology: fat quarters and fat eighths, jelly rolls and charm packs, layer cakes and honey buns. There are more but it’s all just a bit baffling still. Definitions can be found here, at the Moda Bake Shop.
The idea of precut fabric really appealed and anyone who has witnessed me wielding a pair of scissors will understand why. That line, the one you’re supposed to stick to, is there apparently only to serve as a punctuation to my wiggly cutting. The idea of precut anything is very appealing.
I chose to make a single bed size and worked out that I could make one with a jelly roll (4o 2 1/2 inch strips, 45″ wide) and two layer cakes (packs of 42 10″x10″ squares). I found some I liked on ebay from a seller in Redruth which meant I wouldn’t have to wait for it to ship from America. I chose a pattern called Full Circle shown below:
Once the bundles arrived and I could see what I was dealing with, I worked out a design, in Excel naturally:
The finished quilt is actually a little different, the dividing grid is all butterscotch, with black squares at the intersections and the outside border is red. I have a few pieces of fabric left over but not much.
I decided to make the whole thing in cotton so the batting (or wadding), the backing fabric and the thread are all cotton. This means that it should all shrink at the same rate (it will shrink a bit Hannah). I ordered Warm and Natural batting from Amazon: for their biggest size it was about £20 which compared very well to all the quilting sites.
Actually starting to sew it was quite scary; I suppose I was scared of making a mess but there is nothing like a looming deadline to focus the mind.
It was edged in black cotton bias binding and all hand quilted with echo quilting and heart designs.
It is, I hope the first of many as I’m more than slightly obsessed now, in fact I have two quilt tops waiting for edging fabric and batting. There will be more pictures if the light ever gets any better. Patience is a virtue 🙂