Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Back to blogging

Was it really October 2015 when I last blogged?  The difference 19 months can make...
The reason I stopped blogging was because I wasn't doing nearly as much sewing and quilting.  The reason I wasn't doing as much sewing and quilting was because I was pregnant and I now have a lovely baby.

I did manage to do some sewing during my pregnancy and I am doing the odd bit of sewing now and then, but now that baby is in more of a routine I am finally getting a little time to myself on an evening and can get my beloved sewing machine out on a more regular basis.  Hurrah!

I can't possibly mention the many different things I have worked on and finished between my last blog post and now, but I will tell you about a big quilt I am currently working on.

I got a request from a family member to make a huge baby quilt for a friend having boy triplets.  The triplets' mum had seen other quilts I had made and was desperate to own one and use it as a backdrop to the many future photos of the triplets.

I am calling this quilt The Power of Three because I have based much of it around the concept of three.  I have pieced three different shapes in the three primary colours.  I have shadow-quilted these shapes three times.  I have quilted numbers 1, 2 and 3 as well as the letters G, H and J, which are the boys' initials.  The rainbow border also has three colour coordinated three shadow-quilted lines.

I like this quilt because it has all been made from stash fabrics.  I am further on with it than these photos suggest.  I have put a black binding on it to make the rainbow border stand out.  The backing fabric is a fun Space fabric which I think is vibrant enough to match the primary colours on the front.



Here's hoping you come back and see the finished item.




Monday, 5 October 2015

Big Bear, Little Bear Quilt: A quilt in progress

My last post was a Sunday Stash post in which I showed off some fabrics from the Lewis and Irene range Big Bear, Little Bear.  It didn't take me long to cut into these fabrics and I can now show off a pieced quilt.



I felt the prints needed to be seen and not cut up into too small pieces, as this would not do the print justice.  I decided to have some pieces cut into smaller squares and bordered by 2½" squares.  The larger squares are 8½" before piecing and I think this size works really well with these prints.



I have a lot of 2½" squares already pre-cut and stored in colour order.  It is so nice to have useful squares of fabric on hand when you want to make a quick quilt.  Many of these squares have also been donated by friends who know I find these squares so useful.  I did cut into some some new fabrics as well.


The browns, coffees and creams of the Bear fabrics are not my usual palette.  I felt that I needed to be brave and add some bright colours to this quilt to make it feel very autumnal and to make it slightly more boyish.  I love the blues, greens and additional browns I added.  I think it makes this quilt a more interesting quilt for a baby boy as it is less predictable than baby blue or cream.

This quilt is now ready to be quilted.  I have a light fabric for the backing and a nice brown for the binding.  Here's hoping I find time to finish it this week.

Happy sewing!

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sunday Stash #8

This weekend I just had to add these six adorable fabrics to my stash.  I popped in to Craft Den, saw these beauties and quickly had them in my possession!  They are Big Bear, Little Bear by Lewis and Irene and it was hard to limit my selection to just these prints as there are many more in the collection and they are all so adorable!


I don't usually work with browns and beiges as I think these can be tricky colours and I think they can look dated, but these look really fresh and modern and I can never resist critters and cutesy!  A work colleague is having a baby boy in the next couple of months and she has painted the nursery in neutral colours.  I think these fabrics could well make it into a quilt for her baby shortly.  They'll be stashed close by as they are definitely coming out to play soon.

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Liberty Squares Quilt: A finished quilt

It is so great to show off a finished quilt, it has felt like a long time since I worked on a big project and could boast a finish.  This quilt has been a lot of work to cut, piece and quilt and has been hours in the making but I am thrilled with it now and I am never parting with it!


All the top fabrics are Liberty tana lawn.  It is so freeing to put so many different prints and colours together in this haphazard way.  Providing you avoid similar colours being adjacent to one another, I don't think you can go wrong.  I love the mixture of dark and light, pastels and brights, as well as large and small scale prints.  Most of these fabrics are florals, but I am glad to have sourced some Liberty prints with animals in them.  It wouldn't really be a very "me" quilt if there weren't critters in amongst the fabrics!


I decided to have a go at "stitch in the ditch" quilting for two reasons; firstly, I need to perfect this type of quilting and to "skill up", secondly (and more importantly) my usual choice for tramline quilting felt like just too much work.  Stitch in the ditch meant half the amount of quilting I would ordinarily do.  I know that it's not a great job, but I don't think it's too shabby and I am definitely going to practise this again in the future.


The backing fabric is not by Liberty, but is a cotton lawn and goes really well with the front fabrics.  I bought the fabric in a sale and don't know which company produced the fabric.  The only thing I can say is that I love both the pattern and the feel.

The binding is from stash -  a simple pink and white stripe which is sweet for the front and goes beautifully with the back.


I am so pleased that I cut up some of my most recent (and most limited) Liberty purchases.  Alice and the Mad Hatter both make an appearance in this quilt.

 Quilt Stats:

Finished dimensions: 57" x 75"
Number of 2½" squares: 1064
Over 100 different Liberty tana lawn prints included


This quilt is staying with us.  I love it and it seems to be a hit with Brutus, too!

Thank you for visiting!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Liberty Squares Quilt: A quilt in progress

In an earlier blog post I showed off some Liberty fabric purchases from the Festival of Quilts.   Normally I squirrel these fabrics away and save them for a suitable project, but this time I didn't stash all of the fabrics away.  Instead I started cutting some of the prints into 2½" squares (what else?) and adding them to other cherished Liberty fabrics.

Working with tana lawn is a real joy.  Believe it or not, it has been a pleasure to cut up 1000+ squares - the feel of the fabric, the colour combinations, the patterns.  I reckon there are over 100 different prints included here.  It surprised me that I have so many different prints, but it has been an opportunity to remind myself that I am very fortunate to have such a wide selection of such a quality fabric.  In this quilt I have now used up some prints from stash and I don't know if I will be able to get hold of them again.  That doesn't feel sad, in fact it feels really satisfying.  I am going to keep hold of this quilt for me and knowing that there are some fabrics making their "last outing" will make me treasure this quilt more.


This quilt is now ready pinned and ready for  and quilting.  Let's hope I can get that completed speedily so this quilt is keeping me warm very soon.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

The end of summer

It was the first day back at work for me today after what have been lovely summer holidays.  It's always a struggle to get out of bed after having six weeks off and I will miss being at my sewing machine during the day, but September always comes around and it is time for me to start earning my next summer holidays.

I have three small projects to show you, and in typical fashion they are all pouches/pencil cases.  I continue to love making this little gifts, and now I know how to use my zipper foot they look better than ever.

First up is a little ballerina pencil case for my niece, Ava.  She's four and attends ballet class.  She has to push the furniture to the sides of the living room "to practise".  She takes her ballet very seriously and I loved making this simple gift and filling it with colour pencils.


The next one is for my friend Di and it has lovely Liberty prints.  Di lives in Australia and a couple of years ago I made her a Liberty quilt.  She recently got a new teaching job and I thought this would be a nice best of luck gift.  She's a classy lady, so it always has to be Liberty for her.


I included a strawberry fabric on the inside to remind her of English strawberries.  I always try to put a memory of home in there somewhere.  I hope that it will encourage her to come back to the UK!


The final one I made last night.  At 9pm I was supposed to be getting ready for bed and having an early night before returning to work.  That didn't happen!  I decided that I needed a new pencil case.  I opted for the most part for purple fabrics.  I do love purple accessories!  But I just included a couple of other colours to personalise it.  The cats had to be in there, as well as the red ladybirds.  They really are my talisman.  I also included one of my favourite Liberty prints, Ros, for good measure.  I think the pencil case was worth the last minute effort.




Sunday, 16 August 2015

Sunday Stash #7 - Festival of Quilts 2015 purchases

A trip to the Festival of Quilts always means I return home with Liberty fabric.  This year I was more restrained as I already have a large stash of Tana Lawn, but I made some great purchases nonetheless.  
I knew beforehand that I would buy some fabrics from the range inspired by Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland.  I bought two fat quarters of Suzy Elizabeth, which has tea paraphernalia (tea pots, crockery, cutlery).  This is a good fabric choice for me.  I also got three scrap pieces of Gallymoggers Reynard.  I love these fabrics, but I knew I didn't need a lot of them.  I will fussy cut them and add them to the right project at some point.


I bought more scrap pieces of fabrics I have already but which are now in new colourways.  Here we have Strawberry Thief, Mauvey, Wiltshire and Ros.  These are already firm favourites in my stash and it's nice to add new variations.


I also purchased some scraps which are entirely new to me.  There are a couple I know like Tatum and Isle of Wight, but there are three others I don't know at all and I haven't discovered their names yet.



I also purchased this large piece of fabric, but I've never seen it before and haven't managed to confirm its name.  (If you know, please let me know in the Comments.)  It's a child-like print with lots of critters and flowers.  I love it because it's cute and it also has ladybirds.  I might use it to back my Scrappy Snowballs and Squares quilt.


I know that there is still a lot of Liberty fabric here, but I still believe I was self-disciplined and only bought what I *needed*.

Happy Sunday!