Wednesday, 29 September 2010

The last leg of a sewing marathon

I'm determined to get this quilt layered up before I have to move back into the university accommodation on Saturday.  I won't have the space to do any layering there unless I sweet talk the staff into letting me use the dining room tables.

So, marathon sewing sessions it is.  I've been sewing non stop every night after work and I've turned my lovely pile of dog eared strips into 80 beautiful bear paws.  Here's a selection of them:

Whites and reds



Light blues

I'm not sure which group I like best but they've all exceeded my expectations. The background colour is Moda's Bella Solid in Stone and it seems to be doing a fantastic job of setting off the Rural Jardin fabrics.  Sashing tomorrow night and then I'm getting close to the finish line.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

The wounded return

Last Christmas I made some stuffed toys for my twin nieces.  They were as adorable as the girls and I was sad to let them go - you can see them here.

This week I was handed them back by my sister and they look like they've been through a war!

Here's "Quack Quack" returned to me minus both wings and with a footprint on his back.  Bunny faired a little better with only an exploding arm to show for his battles with the terrible two.

At least I know they've been well loved, the twins took them everywhere (which explains the variety of stains). Time for some emergency surgery!

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Jelly teddy bear paws

This week I've started work on my Rural Jardin quilt.  I thought I would share a bit of my process so you could see what's going on between posts. 

I knew I wanted to do a bear paw style block so first I figured out how to split it up into strips.

Then I drew up the pattern in Photoshop to see if it was going to work with this fabric.  This step can be a bit of a faff but I'm still a bit too new to this to jump right in.  The photoshop version can be seen in one of my previous posts.

I cut all my strips and started dog earing them all to get the points.

I'm almost done with my points, only the 2 1/2" squares left to do.  I just love how they look all stacked up together.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Mill House Inn finish

I enjoyed making this quilt tremendously.  There is something lovely about the balance of patterns, colours and values in the Mill House Inn line.  Quilt number one is quilted, bound and ready to go.

Due to a slip of the mind and a silly cutting error I now have the blocks for a twin for this baby which is why the progress bar still isn't full.  It will be a mirror image with the same backing and binding.

I think they would look adorable in a room with twin beds or draped over two sofas in a living room.  I just need to get some of the marks off that I used for the quilting and then I can find them a nice home.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Nine tenths preparation

For a lot of things in life it seems like the work is nine tenths preparation and a tenth actually getting done.  Since I managed to get home from work a couple of hours early today I thought I would put the time into getting some prep done.

To prepare for my return to university work I've given myself a much larger desk.  The great thing about the mix and match table tops and legs from Ikea is that I just needed to buy a new top and recycle my legs which works out a whole lot cheaper.

So here's my brand new desk with the old table top on top so you can see I've pretty much doubled my work space.  Very handy for textbooks.

In preparation for quilting at university (I'm determined to squeeze it in somehow!) I've bought some new feet for my sewing machine.  I've been using my mum's very swish quilting machine for the past year and when I got my basic machine out I realised that it wasn't that well equipped.

On the left is a quarter inch foot so that I don't have to stick a mark on my metric machine and on the right is a free motion foot.  As a bonus my machine is designed for dress making so has dual feed as standard which meant that I didn't need to buy a walking foot.

Time to break them in on my block swap stars!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Christmas block swap

The strip twist quilt is halfway through the binding process and I think I'll take it to work to finish off in my lunch break.  Next project is my second block swap from the Missouri Star Quilt forum.  I finished all my cutting out this evening and I am ready to piece:

As you can probably tell the swap is Christmas themed this time using white or cream fabrics and contrasting coloured fabrics. We're going to be making simple star blocks using Jenny's fantastic jelly roll tutorial:


If you want to join us you can sign up until September15th on the forum and then you have until November 1st to get your blocks done.  We have an international bunch of people joining in this time with large chunks of the US covered, Australia, Canada and me flying the flag for the UK.  I'm excited to see what I get!

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Verna quilt plan

I haven't been at work for the last couple of days because I've been a little ill so I've been trying to get some things crossed off the to do list.  I didn't want to go near any actual quilts due to the unpredictable bouts of vomiting so I've been working at my computer.

Here's the plan for the Bella Snow and Verna layer cakes I've got stashed away.

 It should be quick and simple so hopefully another quilt I'll get done before I have to leave it all behind.

Harrogate Quilt Show

This weekend I took my mum to the quilt show at Harrogate.  We found some bargains, ogled and some gorgeous quilts and took a class in Trapunto and Italian quilting which was interesting but a little rushed.  Here's a pick of the quilts from the competition:

I love the 3D effect of the shelf in the quilt on the left and the quilt on the right got me into the Christmas mood  so I bought a pile of Christmas fabric. 

The quilt above shows that you don't need fancy patterns or bright colours to make an impact. 

The class we took was only an hour and a quarter long so we didn't get to finish our blocks but we were sent away with all of the bits and pieces to finish off our butterflies.

I'm kind of liking how it's turning out but I have no idea what I'm going to do with him.  Maybe a cushion cover?

Friday, 3 September 2010

USPS excitement

I came home from work to a big pile of USPS flat rate envelopes.  They're fairly hefty when they're stuffed to the gills - I could barely get through the door!

After some frantic ripping and excited bobbing around (I can't sit still when I'm excited) I discovered my lovely fabric purchases from Missouri Star Quilt Company and Fat Quarter Shop.

This is what happens when you're bored at work and have an active internet connection!  First up is the lovely yardage from Fat Quarter Shop.

The top two are from the Rural Jardin range by French General and the bottom is a Bella Solid in Stone (both from Moda).  I bought the jelly roll at my LQS a couple of weeks ago but I was too late to get enough yardage for backing and she doesn't stock any of the plains which is why I went on an internet spree.  

I came up with an idea and - with some fancy photoshop jiggery pokery - this is what my quilt will look like:

Well, at least this is what it SHOULD look like.  There's no way my points will line up that cleanly!  Next was the package from the Missouri Star girls.  I love their packages because they always have handwritten notes in them.

It's a layer cake of Bella solid in Snow which is going to be put with a Verna layer cake that I've had sitting around for ages.  I'll wave my photoshop wand and try and give you a preview of that quilt too.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Laying out the Strip Twist

I stitched all my jelly roll strips into sets of 4 ordering them dark-light-dark-light in each set.  These were then cut into 8.5" squares and then cut in half diagonally to make the half square triangles.

A couple of hours on the living room floor in front of the Great British Bake Off and a lot of rearranging got me this layout.  I think it's just about balanced but the dark red is very dominant so it a long time to get it evenly spread through the pattern.

What do you think?  Are there any dark or light patches that stand out for you?