Sunday, 31 March 2013

Happy Easter!

I got mini eggs!  They really are the same colours as Coquette by Chez Moi for Moda from which I'm making my Bounce quilt.  see here



OK so maybe no blue eggs like in Coquette but I did also got a Roses Easter Egg - thanks Mary!  No sewing today - a walk in the woods in the rain instead.


All the giving out we did about the cold and as soon as it warms up and rains on us we want the cold back!


Saturday, 30 March 2013

Very Quick Baby Quilt

Have you seen Cluck Cluck Sew's Strip and Flip baby quilt?  It uses a jelly roll and is super quick.  I had this on my to do list for a while so today i decided to give it a try.  (I'm really procrastinating on cutting up my Bounce squares!  Still procrastination by making isn't all bad!)  




I broke into a jelly roll of Amelia fabric by Me and My Sister to finish off the Moda Bake Shop Jumbo Coins quilt I made for family as a thank you for letting us (and our two dogs) use their house in West Clare for a holiday last year.  WIP photo below.  I don't have a design wall.  I use the bed in the spare room!




I'm really regretting not taking any finished photos of this before I gave it away.  It used the same fabric range and the scrappy binding from the jelly roll was great.  So 3/4 of the jelly roll left and wondering what to do with it I stumbled across the Strip and Flip quilt and knew I had to try it.  I thought the Jumbo Coins was a quick and easy make but I have to say this is the quickest quilt top ever.  

I even managed to crank up the machine for full speed for the first time! 




 All 25 strips sewn together and held here by Gordon to whom I promised I would not show his face in the photo only the sewing.  I don't think he quite believed me from this pose - he's done a great job of hiding behind the first stage of the quilt top!




 The pattern advises to press seams open and not to the side as I usually do - another first.  Then make two cuts to the top and add a white sashing to the centre piece.


 Finally flip this piece around and sew quilt pieces to either side.  Really easy, fun and just so fast!  Look at him - still hiding!




I do like the scrappy look and am planning on using this for some Free Motion Quilting practice but I think the original design at Cluck Cluck Sew with the colours graduating from hot to cold and reversed makes a bigger impact.  If I make this again I'll rejig the layout.  Still very pleased and a brilliant design!


Linking to the small blog's link party at Lily's Quilts.  



Friday, 29 March 2013

Spring ColoursBouncing along


Well I missed out on WIP Wednesday update though I had lots done on my Bounce project so I though I'd share my progress today (pattern Miss Rosie's Quilt Co.).  It's not finished but I'm motoring along!  




 







  
As it's Good Friday today and Easter Sunday is rapidly approaching, the colours in this project are so spring-like they remind me of Cadbury's mini chocolate eggs that come out every Easter.   No actual chocolate until Sunday but I can have a visual feast  in the meantime.


All 28 squares were laid out in 4 columns by 7 rows on top of a beautiful quilt I didn't make but inspired this one for Gordon's Auntie Maura.  Layout photographed, now onto the next steps of assembly and borders over the weekend.  This project is really coming together now and I love it.


If Wilbur the lunatic Basset can contain himself and be on his best behaviour for a crust of toast from my mum, I can certainly be just as good and wait for chocolate mini eggs!  







Monday, 25 March 2013

A Dog's Life: Block 1 & 2



Wow, that was a quick weekend.  I can't believe Monday has rolled around again already.  I spent a good couple of hours on Saturday breaking the back of the stack of 252 squares and flying geese that needed to be sewn together into rows for my Bounce quilt.  More on that later! 

So Sunday dawned and I really had had enough of Bounce and decided to work on something for myself.  As you can tell from my blog title we're a doggy household and I just love quilt projects with anything to do with dogs.  I have had this project on the back burner for a while: "A Dog’s Life" by Lynnette Anderson.  



It makes a lap/baby quilt and comes in 4 parts.  It was originally a Block of the Month program and when I saw it while browsing Lynnette's website I knew I had to have it.  I searched all the quilt supply shops for this locally (Lynette is based in Australia) and I found it in Switzerland from Cotton and Colour (not that Switzerland is local but it is closer!) Lynette uses lovely muted colours with a lot of grey in them.  I like my colours just a bit warmer and so chose Nancy Halverson's Forever Spring collection.  My local quilt shop didn't have any of the red in stock so I searched the online shops again and luckily I stumbled on a shop in the UK called Quilter's Trading Post.  They had nearly all of the range and I bought a Fat Eight of each pattern they had.  I started in on block 1 and completed it before Christmas (see above).  Then I got distracted with other projects and since then it has sat in my plastic tub of stash.  Well it's been on my mind and procrastinating about finishing Bounce and the desire to do a "me" project allowed me to spend half of Sunday pulling fabric and patterns and just having fun.

The pattern comes with two sheets showing the layout and the embroidery stitching for details like the eyes and flowers.  There is also a sheet showing the appliqué shapes to be cut for the dogs and cats.  I chose to use washable fusible glue sheets to hold my fabric to the background before stitching all around the shapes with a blanket stitch.  Needle turn method would be lovely but as this is my first appliqué project I'm going with the simplest and quickest method for me.

The fusible glue sheets come with a paper backing on one side and a rough un-papered side on the other.  To begin with I ironed the rough side to the back of the fabric prints I wanted for my shapes.  For the appliqué method I was using you have to reverse the appliqué shapes to trace on the back of the bonded material so first I traced the shapes to paper then I reversed the paper templates and laid them on the back of the material with the backing paper facing out.  I traced around the templates and cut out the fabric pieces.

Next I traced the layout pattern provided with parchment paper to give a semi-transparent image I could use to help layout the shapes correctly.  I removed the backing paper from my fabric shapes and arranged them on the background fabric as per the design paying particular care to what should lie on top.


 I then ironed it all down piece by piece and I think it looks great already.  Now I can embroider around the shapes with a blanket stitch to keep them in place as in block 1 and add in the details while I'm watching TV or have a few moments to spare during the week.  So glad I took a break from Bounce to catch up on this!

 

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Lonestar squares


You might have seen earlier posts where I described the Craftsy 2012 Block of the month free lessons.  I just love Craftsy and can't say enough good things about their quilting classes and instructors.  One of the classes I paid to sign up to is Magical Jelly Roll Quilts with Kimberly Einmo. 

Kimberly gives patterns and instruction on 5 different quilts one of which is Lonestar Strip Magic.  This involves picking 4 jelly Roll strips  2 of which to be identical or co-ordinating colour.  The strips are sewn to 2 other  strips and then diamond shapes cut at a 45 degree angle are created to make the star.  Kimberly's method is all straight sewing, no set in seams and I think the block looks great.  There is something about stars that everybody loves!

I decided not to do a single star with a checkerboard border as suggested in the pattern, rather, to make 4 lonestars and create a lap quilt for my Aunt and Uncle.  Their living room is painted a pale neutral grey with a red chimney and having some Bella Solids on hand I bought some beautiful red and cream fabric from my local quilt shop.  This was my mocked up design on Photoshop elements:


I eventually abandoned the checkerboard altogether and came up with this simple sashing.



I didn't get it done in time for Christmas last year but have plenty of time to baste, quilt and bind it for next Christmas!

Great design.  The biased edges gave me a little trouble and next time I'd use starch to keep them from expanding.  I didn't get one block quite right but I'm hoping it will be less noticeable after quilting which I'm hoping to do by hand.  Nothing handmade is every robot perfect and I like the result.  Here's hoping my Aunt and Uncle do too.

Boo to you!


Who doesn't love Halloween fabric?  I just love everything about Halloween and when I saw this fabric for sale on Fatquartershop.com I couldn't resist.  
 It's Boo Crew by RJR Fabrics.
 The dancing skeletons are so cool and I love the colour and expressions.  I really wanted to showcase the material and not cut it up too small so thought about using offset log cabin centre.  That wasn't working for me so I searched for images with the keywords halloween quilt and found lots of inspirational stuff.  Nothing there was quite what I wanted. 

After a few days of mulling it over I had an idea I wanted to do squares within a square on point.  I'd never tried it before but thought it looked really good and would showcase the material in the centre block.  Not knowing how to go about it I Googled some more and found a free Riley Blake design called Spooky Squares.  It was perfect for what I wanted.  The original pattern was a 5x5 block design which was a little too wide for me so I made mine a 4x4. 


While the squares on point look really great I have to say after 16 of them I had enough.  I hadn't discovered chain piecing when I made this and each block made one at a time took some time and there came a point when I knew I wasn't going to get it finished by Halloween.  Still I decided to carry on and finish the top and quilt it later, hopefully before Halloween 2013 comes around!



I ran into a little trouble with the sashing.  Not with colour choice this time around but size!  Oops one of my blocks was off and it was a struggle to sew the rows together neatly.  I also cut some points but I can live with that.  I realised after watching an episode of Quilty (free videos by Mary Fons for beginner quilters) that I should always cut my sashing and borders to size and then sew rather that just sewing them on and cutting the excess off later.  Any creep with bias edges will be pulled back in with properly cut and pinned borders.  Oh well, live and learn!

I also had a bit of difficulty with material quantity.  I had plenty of material for the squares themselves but borders and binding I miscalculated and ran out.  So I bought more material not in the same range as not available at LQS but a co-ordinating colour and the bright green neon squares - I love this in the quilt.  It really makes the squares pop out at you (not so nice as a FQ on its own!)

I had to rip out a border piece and replace with a piece from the backing material I had bought on sale after Halloween as I was so slow making this quilt top!  I bought this lovely print of Howloween by Deb Strain for backing and the colours co-ordinate so well a piece of it has going into the border. 


So top finished,  Backing fabric and batting on hand, I will surely get this finished for this Halloween, right?




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