Friday, 31 October 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival

In my last post I mentioned entering the Blogger's Quilt Festival with a new quilt.  I put myself under a lot of pressure to start a new scrappy quilt and have it finished for today, only to realise by about Wednesday that it does not have to be a new or previously unseen quilt!  Once I made this realisation it was clear what my entry would be and that I would ease off the new scrappy quilt (which was unlikely to get finished in any case.)

My entry is the Scrappy Star Quilt which made its debut here three weeks ago and received a lot of positive comments, which I was thrilled about.

The quilt was a spontaneous creation.  I started organising my scraps into colours and suddenly the idea for the quilt came into my mind.  I made slabs of fabric in distinct colour groups, then turned these into half square triangles and then pieced the quilt.  It was both fast and satisfying!  I think it's my favourite quilt for a while.

I am a massive fan of scrappy quilts because they become like a memory quilt of previous quilts.  I love playing "remember that project" with this quilt.

I did lots of quilting with my walking foot.  I quilted the star shape many times and then quilted the eight points of the star individually.  It has given the quilt a lovely feel and texture.

I really hope that other people like my scrappy quilt.  Now it's time for me to peruse other people's quilts and start voting.  What fun!  A massive thanks to Amy at Amy's Creative Side for hosting a great festival!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival

I read a lot of quilting blogs.  I love them!  There are just so many creative and inspiring people out there and I am curious about what they make and interested in what they have to say.  This weekend I have seen loads of quilts in the blogosphere mentioning the Blogger's Quilt Festival which is being hosted at Amy's Creative Side and I have now decided to participate.

I have a fortnight to submit two quilts in different categories.  It's an ambitious prospect, so I think I will only manage one quilt (especially as I am away for a few days and machine-less) but it looks fun to be part of and is a way of sharing my quilting ideas with a group of like-minded people.  I am already wondering which category to enter and which fabrics to use (though it's seems likely I will enter the Scrappy Quilts category.)

Fall 2014 BQF Button

For me this is not about winning anything (I know that is not going to happen!) but I do believe that participating in something communal is rewarding for anyone taking part.  I am really looking forward to seeing all the projects of other people; it's a great time to indulge in my hobby alongside other people.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Back to blogging

It's been a whole week since I blogged.  That's quite a while for me, but that's because I have been busy working on my pattern, which is now written and the quilt is now finished.  It shouldn't be too long until I can show you it in full.

In the meantime I have still been working on other things.  At last weekend's quilting class we began preparing for Christmas and made adorable Christmas stockings.  I like making Christmas things with untraditional colour combinations, hence the zingy blue and green in my stocking.  As ever, a good time was had by all and we all made lovely things.  I will definitely be making more of these, though I am going to wait until November (I know it's only next week) before I start thinking about Christmas in earnest.

I have finished a girly quilt in pinks and low volume fabrics.  This is very simple, but I think it works well.  The backing is from my trip to Ikea and I love how this quilt is grown-up and traditional on the back but young and frivolous on the front.  Ikea has clearly gone for the "Cath Kidston" factor with this fabric and I think it's a winner.

The other great thing about this quilt is that it has generated lovely scraps!  I loved making my scrappy star quilt recently so I am now going about making smaller scrappy stars and piecing them together.  I like how it looks so far.  This should definitely be ready for next week's Friday Finish post.

Thanks for visiting.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Elephant and Spots: a finished quilt

I've taken a bit of a detour from my recent scrappy quilts to make this elephants and spots quilt for a friend's baby boy, but as I used fabrics which I've had in my stash for about a year I feel good about not making new purchases.

I started off making ten log cabin blocks but then I felt that it was just too similar to a recent quilt so  I then added the Battenberg blocks.  This means that I will be putting those four remaining log cabin blocks into another quilt soon, and there are still a lot of the elephant fabrics left to add to them as well.

For the quilting I kept it simple - tramlines.  They're just so speedy, but look good.  The binding is a red and white houndstooth, which I think goes really well with some of the elephant red and white check ears.  It goes nicely with the red dots on the backing.  I acquired this houndstooth fabric only this week.  A friend of a friend was getting rid of some fabrics (much of it scraps) and I took a lot of it off her hands (I'm good like that!)

Now I cannot wait to give it to my friend.  I meet her little boy on Sunday and I am really excited.  I hope she likes the gift.

Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Elephant quilt: A quilt in progress

Last week a friend had a baby boy and I am going to meet him on Sunday, so I need to get a quilt made.  I've had these elephant and dot prints by Birch Fabrics for a while and had been holding on to them for a special project.  These cottons are all organic and they feel fantastic; you can feel the quality immediately.

I'm putting together two different kinds of blocks, log cabin and what I call the  "Battenberg" block.  The log cabin blocks are finished and look cute.  I will work on the Battenberg blocks today and they will be made from all the elephant fabrics.

It's all rather simple, but I think it is going to look lovely.

Thank you for visiting.

Friday, 10 October 2014

Two Scrapisfaction Friday Finishes!

I have sewed and quilted like a demon this week and both finished projects are from scraps, my favourite thing of the moment!  I said I was going to sew a "scrapisfaction" project once a month, but at the moment all I work with are scraps, so that makes me feel like an overachiever!

First up is the quilt I started at the weekend.  I put together the remnants from other quilts and stitched them together.  I wanted to make something for a boy and was pleasantly surprised by the quilt I made because the fabrics seem to belong together.  There's definitely a theme with this quilt because the only images belong to transport, and in a bizarre twist for me, there are no critters on this quilt!  I backed it with some cotton from last week's Ikea trip and found a nice navy blue spot to finish off the quilt; I think it works well.

This quilt was quilted on the front with a red thread to complement the many reds in the quilt.  The back was quilted in a light grey, which blended nicely with the blue backing.

Once this quilt was finished I quickly started the next.  I don't know what came over me, but I decided to sort the scraps into colours and then started working on ideas.

I suddenly had a brainwave to make some large half square triangle slabs of fabric and then to put them together in an eight star formation (not unlike my recent tablemats).

I am really thrilled with this quilt.  I love how the colours all stand out so clearly, although there are many different variations within each colour point.  I love the scale.  I think it looks wonderful laid on top of a bed.

I am pleased with the large amount of quilting I did to emphasise the star shape and I think the cute backing works well because it comprises the four colours I used on the front.  I used remnants from the transport quilt's backing for the binding, which made this quilt even more scrapisfying!  When I look at the scraps it's hard to imagine that you can create something so coherent from them.  It blows my mind!

Thank you for popping by.

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Sunday Stash #3 and a quilt in progress

This is just a quick post to keep you up to date with the different projects I am currently working on.

First of all, here is a sneak preview of the fabrics I am using in a future baby quilt tutorial that will be published online.  I cannot contain my excitement!  The patterns and colours are dreamy and I will get to work with fabrics from one of my favourite ranges, Far Far Away by Heather Ross.  In the words of Forrest Gump "that's all I have to say about that" (for now.)

Yesterday I was incredibly industrious.  I cut 99 5" squares, pieced them to make a quilt top and then basted this, meaning today I am ready to quilt and bind.  I wanted to make another quilt from stash and scrap fabrics, and was determined it would be for a boy, because I am aware that I seem to make baby girl quilts more often.  There is a imbalance in my stash in favour of girly fabrics, so it was difficult to put these fabrics together.  I felt I was scraping the barrel at times, but it is looking alright in the end.  There are lots of transport related fabrics here, and I think the pirate fabric matches this as well because of the connection to ships (tenuous, I know!)

I'm just going to quilt some simple tramlines and then this will be a quick project.  Today should be a satisfying Sunday.

Thank you for popping by.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Log cabin quilt: A finished quilt

I have worked like a demon to finish a quilt in three days and I am so pleased with the result.  These are not colours I usually work with; I think yellow can be tricky and yet I am in love with the yellows here and their interaction with the pink and green.  I think there is a really vibrant look to this quilt.

Log cabin is a favourite quilt pattern of mine, but I especially like it when you are not too strict about the dark and light effect.  I like to abandon the traditional to make the pattern more modern.  I'm glad that I put the different cats from Hello Petal by Aneela Hoey in the centre of each block.  I think it makes everything join together somehow.

This week I had a trip to Ikea and bought some fabric, Britten Nummer, which I have seen backing other quilts, but I am happy to join that bandwagon; it's modern and distinctive, as well as a really good price.  I think handwritten text on fabric works really well on the back because the cats on the front also have their names handwritten.  (I may have bought a few metres of this, so I have to use it up.)

I've loved working with these fabrics and am pleased with the overall result, but I am also happy to see this quilt go.  It is going on my Etsy store and is available for sale here.  Let's hope someone likes the colours and cats and makes a purchase.

Thank you for visiting.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Stash diving

I may have been sewing for only two years, but in that time I have amassed a fairly substantial fabric stash.  Even though I sew most days the stash keeps growing and growing and I keep needing more boxes and storage solutions.  Admittedly, it's a nice dilemma to have, but at the moment I seem to be developing a different relationship with my stash and I want to reduce it and enjoy working with all the beautiful fabrics I own.

My recent scrap quilt used scraps throughout, and I thought it was successful both as a quilt but also for getting the ball rolling at reducing the stash.  But now I'm looking at fat quarters and wanting to start on them as well.  Today I've started a log cabin quilt using these lovely fabrics.

The two white fabrics have been used in my Cathedral Windows quilt, but everything else is new and has been waiting for its day in the sun.  I've only made two blocks so far, but I love the way they have turned out and I know that it won't be long until they are a complete quilt to show on here.

It's quite a big deal for me to rely on stash for a project, but it is also quite liberating.  These fabrics are all nice on their own, but put them into a quilt and that's when they really get to shine.  I sometimes need to remind myself that I will get to enjoy the fabrics most when they are cut up and then pieced together.  Fabric is great but it's what you do with it that makes it cool.  Stash diving is a revelation.