Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Rainbow Scrappy Quilt: A finished quilt

If you listen to the Chris Evans Breakfast show on BBC radio 2 you may have heard him invite people to share their Smug Zone stories.  I am definitely in the Smug Zone with this quilt because I am so pleased with how it has worked out.  This is definitely a quilt I am holding on to.

The backing fabric I've chosen is by Lewis and Irene and is called Without the Rain we wouldn't have Rainbows.  This is a gorgeous fabric in its own right, but I think it's perfect for this quilt on two levels; firstly, it has rainbows on it which is the theme of this quilt.  Secondly, the writing is in French and I love foreign languages, and as this quilt is staying with me, that feels rather apt.

I used lots of different coloured threads for the quilting, though they were all Aurifil.  I decided to make the most of the rainbow aspect and quilted in colour zones with matching threads.  I did not overly think the quilting.  I just decided to use the walking foot to follow the lines and sometimes just made a 90° turn as the squares met.  As a result lots of the quilting does resemble stairs, which I like because the backing has images of the Eiffel Tower.  I've been up the tower twice and on both occasions I remember there being a lot of stairs to climb.

After umming and ahhing about whether the pink squares belong in rainbow I decided to use a bright pink fabric for the binding.  I've decided that my rainbows definitely include pink and I think this particular pink goes beautifully next to all the different fabric colours.  The fabric is Dimples by Makower which they have in lots of different colours and which I think makes a beautiful binding choice.

Quilt Stats:

Finished dimensions: 41.5" x 62.5"
Number of 2½" squares: 520
Approximately 100 different fabrics included

I'm really pleased with the reception that this quilt has had both with friends and people online.  My next post will include a grid of where to place your own fabrics if you wish to make a similar quilt.

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Rainbow Scrappy Quilt: A pieced quilt

The rainbow scrap quilt is now pieced.  I had spent ages putting the fabrics in the correct order, but in the end I moved some fabrics around and I am pleased with the final placement.  I am very short-sighted, but this ended up being an advantage with this quilt because I kept taking my glasses off and even my blurred vision could make out the rainbow effect.  If it looks like a rainbow when I'm not wearing my glasses, I must have got the placement right!

This quilt is fast becoming a favourite of mine and I am savouring the time I spend on this project.  I loved how I could see the rainbow coming together with each row that were pieced together.  

This quilt has lots of different fabric prints in it, which is a reflection of my stash: solids, near solids, stash builders, florals.  But there are still lots of novelty prints, especially with animals which I always seem unable to resist.  Some favourites to mention here are: Socks the Fox by Patty Sloniger, Chicken Party by Creative Thursday, some Briar Rose prints by Heather Ross and Wee Wander by Sarah Jane Studios.  Is there anything nicer than combining your favourite fabrics together in a quilt? 
I think not!

I made a mid-week visit to Craft Den for the backing and binding and I love my choices.  I'll share them with you when the quilt is finished.  Tomorrow I'm going to baste and begin the quilting.  A lovely sewing weekend awaits me!

Monday, 22 June 2015

Rainbow Scrappy Quilt: A quilt in progress

Not so long ago I made one of my zippy pouches in rainbow scraps.  I found putting the rainbow order together really satisfying, so it was only a matter of time before I would be inspired to make a baby quilt with rainbow colours.

It took two days to cut out all of the 520 2½" squares but by Sunday evening I was ready to start piecing the squares together.  It took me quite a while to arrange the fabrics into the correct rainbow order and I decided to take poetic quilting licence and include pinks in the rainbow, even though technically pink is not present in a rainbow.  (That does make me wonder whether pink is a colour or not, but I digress.)

My husband rarely comments on my quilts until they are completed.  He says he cannot imagine what they will turn out like until they are finished, but he commented on this quilt off his own bat when he saw the squares on the bedroom floor and he says he can tell it will be lovely when it is finished!  High praise, indeed.

Better photos to follow later in the week.  Have a happy sewing week!

Friday, 12 June 2015

You guessed it - zippy pouches!

Lo and behold this week I've made another couple of zippy pouches!  These are for two student teachers who have had fantastic school placements with us and who we are preparing for their "proper" teaching jobs in September with lovely stationery.

There are so many pluses for me when I make these pouches.  First, I get to raid my stash and reacquaint myself with fabrics I may have forgotten.  Then I really love finding a perfect zip colour and then there is also the joy of finding a beautiful thread.  Ah, happy times!

They are both receiving their gifts at a meal out on Sunday.  I'm glad that they look distinctive and they complement their personalities.

At least I have something to show off for a Friday finish!

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Scrappy Dresden Plate: A quilt in progress

My aim to finish a quilt last Friday just didn't happen.  The quilting is done, the binding is on but I just didn't manage to sew in all those thread ends!  It does look lovely, and I could have posted a blog post with photos, but I would prefer to show this quilt off when it is completely finished and at its most beautiful.  Hopefully it will be finished soon.

At the weekend I attended a sewing class and I worked on a scrappy Dresden plate.  I have seen a few of these on other blogs and love the effect that is created but also the opportunity to use up scraps and fabrics from stash.

I purchased a template ruler, which was a good buy because it is straightforward to use and you cannot get your angles very wrong as a result.  I love the fact that in quilting someone has created all the gadgets to make your sewing easier.  I have not been sewing and quilting that long but I do appreciate that people must have been making complicated patterns previously without such tools.  I'm just grateful that I can enjoy my hobby with a little more ease.

You can either make the ends pointed or keep them circular.  I like the pointed effect.  Though, as you can see from the photos, I forgot to sew the ends into the point on one of them.  (What a bird brain!)  I'll have to rectify that but at least you get to compare the two options. 

I love the colours and fabrics I have put together in this.  It has a spring feel to it, but I think it could be lovely for a boy's quilt and I have deliberately avoided including distinctly feminine fabrics.

My intention is to make another Dresden plate and then sew these to a white background.


Thanks for visiting!

Monday, 1 June 2015

Back to my bestie

Anyone who reads my blog or spends time sewing and quilting with me will find out pretty quickly that my all time favourite fabric range is Wee Wander by Sarah Jane Studios.  I truly adore it!  It might be approaching two years since it was first introduced, but I still think it is as fresh as ever and I use my stash of these fabrics selectively.

In March I finished a quilt top which uses each of the fabrics in the range alongside white, and then I put it away for a while so that I could look forward to spending time with the fabrics again.  I know this sounds crazy, but think of me like Charlie in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory who nibbles a bit of his precious (and limited) chocolate in order to savour it.  This weekend I decided it was time to savour more time with this fabric and begin the quilting.

 As ever I am using my walking foot for the quilting.  Usually I use the seams to keep the quilting lines straight and this usually ends up being about a quarter inch from the seam.  This time I decided to quilt in that way but also close up to the seams as well.  I love the tram tracks look I created on the squares which are making up the sashing.

For the foundation pieced stars I wanted to emphasise the star shapes.  I have done this by quilting just inside and outside the seams.  I love the way in which this makes the shapes stand out and it also creates a nice texture.  As ever, I am quilting with Aurifil thread.  I opted for white throughout to add to the crisp feel of this quilt.

The backing is a fabric I've only recently discovered, Holly Hobbie by Spectrix in Pretty Flowers White.  I think it is ideal and has the right blues and a touch of green to match the front.

There is still plenty of quilting to be done, binding to add, ends to sew in.  But surely I can manage a Friday finish!

Today I'm linking up with Lily's Quilts.