28 June 2014

All Change

I've had this wall hanging in our bedroom since we moved back to our house over 3 years ago, so time for a change.  This doesn't have a label on the back (tut,tut) but I think I made it in 2003 in a quilt group workshop called Watercolour Quilts, by a local tutor, who had a shop in Bournemouth, now long gone.

This uses little squares of a print fabric, a busy floral and towards the outside edge of the circle shape using the wrong side of the fabric to give a subtle shading into the background marble fabric.

Here's a close up to show what I mean

The squares of fabric were put onto a gridded iron on Vilene, which once happy with the arrangement and ironed on, was then sewn along the rows and columns using the grid as a guide. After the borders were attached it was then quilted. I did some free machine quilting here.

Here's the back

Look at that, more floral!  This was a piece of Laura Ashley fabric that I had a remnant of, left over from a skirt I made once. The quilting isn't that brilliant from the back, makes the quilt a bit poufy and it has hung very well in spite of that.

Time for a change and another wall hanging with another technique taught by the same teacher, but I did write on the back of this quilt so I know this was made in 2004. The fabric that I used was a collection of Flower Fairies and the techniques was a faux stained glass, which was foundation (paper) pieced.

And a close up

The star inner was made from four quarters, though I had to be careful with the placement of the fairies in the triangle pieces that made the square in the middle. After the star was made I made a border and the red stripe in between the purple fabric just gave it a bit more lift.  The cornerstones were from blocks of Flower Fairy pictures which were placed here and there in a fabric and fussy cut.  From what I remember I liked and bought a fat quarter collection a few years before and this quilt seemed to just suit this nicely.  No fancy quilting here, just plain in the ditch quilting as the fabric seemed to do all the work that anything fancy would have been lost in this. Not showing the back to this one, it's a plain medium purple.

Both the quilts are 18 inches square and they are hung with a wooden dowel rod through a sleeve. The are tie back hooks on the wall to put the dowel rod onto, so makes changing over easy.

So here it is hung in place.

26 June 2014

New Ironing Board Cover

I've had a little Ikea ironing board in my sewing room for some years and having got my new fabric decided to give it a treat.  I bought some extra padding from Dunelm Mills to cut to shape.  It was then to Fabric Land where I got some bias binding and narrow piping cord.  The ironing board's mesh base had slightly bent out of shape so after knocking it back it was ready to be covered.

New felt on top of the old one.
The cover with a layer of calico underneath, and this really loud acid yellow bias binding

Looking better now.  Sorry this photo is dark I had to shut the door to take the picture.

Back on the work top in my room.  The 'cake liner' is kept handy to protect the cover and the iron when I use Bondaweb.  Looking really tidy now.

25 June 2014

This and that

A bit of catching up on the blog from other things than sewing the Tubix quilt over the last couple of weeks.  I'm posting some photos that I took in Exeter the Saturday before last of quilts that took part in Loch Lomond's Chinese Whispers challenge in this year's show. Unfortunately I can't link this as this year's show was the last one.  In essence quilt groups were invited to the challenge and a small group from the Exe Valley Contemporary Quilters made 11 quilts and the first one was to be made from a photo (that all the groups were given). Without seeing the photo the second person was to make a quilt from the first one, then the third person made a quilt from the one the second person made, and so on. 

I think you may be able to see the thoughts behind the quilts. The first person was given a photo of the River Clyde in Glasgow with its Millenium (Wonky) Bridge from which the first quilt was made, which turned into a city at night, country at night and the tree then became landscapes, then turned to Japanese influences to garden design, to a large flower at the end. It was fascinating to hear the stories of the quilters some of whom were there and some with their descriptions read out.

While at the day in Exeter I showed some wooden block stamps in this post here. I had a bash at using them on some oddments of hand dyed fabric.

This is the first time I've used these and quite impressed by the clarity of these Colouricious stamps as they are cut quite deep.  These are just playing about samples at the moment.  They clean quite easily too with some soapy water and toothbrush.  I think there may be a few more stamps joining these two soon!

Last week a quilt that I've had for a long time got its summer wash (hand wash in the washing machine) as it's not needed on the bed with the summer weather.  I took to opportunity to take photos

This is getting old now and maybe time for a new one, but it's still wearing well.  This was from a birthday block swap that ran from 2000 to 2001 when 17 of us joined the swap so it became an Official Birthday Swap and I received mine in March 2001 and the quilt was finished in 2002 so the blocks were by other people with my theme of Dutchman's Puzzle and I joined with sashing and made the Flying Geese border.  Its still a favourite of mine.

Oh yes, this is what happens when you read a blog of someone who has a shop.  I like this blog, Angie Quilts, and she often shows what her customers make and in this particular post I was drawn to this ironing board fabric here  (see the mouse pincushion photo at the end).  I left a comment about the fabric and there was a small quantity left, just over a metre, so a quick phone call and a purchase was made! It arrived in the next day's post!

Time to tart up my little Ikea ironing board.

Tubix Quilt

A little while ago, a blogging friend, Sue from Quilt Times, posted about a quilt that she had made and wanted to publish a pattern (the post is here).  She asked for volunteers to test the instructions for the pattern and I decided to have a go, along with a few others.  I've now finished the quilt top so will share with you what I've made.

This has taken me about 3 weeks, from choosing the fabrics to making the quilt top.  I've used Moda Bella Solids and it took quite a while to choose the right light/dark shades.  Sue's original quilt has orange and light pink blocks for which I substituted green and blue. Although the instructions are in yards and the smaller amounts are eighth yard (4.5") (ie the pink and purple blocks) the minimum cut of fabrics one can get here is quarter metre (9.75") which means more fabric so by swapping the colours around with another background fabric I'd have enough to make another quilt!

Cutting out the white fabric was done in one afternoon, but the other colour blocks were cut as I went along and sewed working two colours at a time.  I tried out one block to see how it went together, but once I'd done the construction, I then worked my usual production line way laying out the pieces ready to join together.

I made all the colour blocks pressing away from the white fabric square in the middle, but that didn't work out when joining with the white squares so asking Sue about pressing it was soon sorted and I joined the rows.

The photo above shows the rows sewn but not joined to each other.  I didn't take another photo before the borders were added on.  That took another couple of afternoons and the photo below shows the quilt now hung in front of the wardrobe doors with the binding (in red) pinned around to check the length of the binding. 

Now the difficult decision of what fabric to buy for the backing, after that it'll be quilting.  I've quite enjoyed how this has gone together, the block construction is easy.   The tricky bit was getting the contrasting shades of the fabric right, but then she did say the longest part of making the quilt was choosing the fabrics. Looking at the photos it doesn't look too bad.  The size of 58" x 70" works out too.

Another lady has made a smaller version in Sue's post here, which is brilliant, but it'll be interesting to see what the other testers made.

24 June 2014


I am having a go at scheduling my blog post so forgive me if this seems as little odd.  I'm typing this on Wednesday (18 June) and hopefully this should appear on Thursday (19 June) if it works, fingers crossed.  This will be another blogging skill in my toolbelt following the Beautify Your Blog posting by Erin at Sew at Home Mummy.

I sent out some postcards to 3 ladies in the latest BQL postcard swap on Tuesday.  Two in the UK and one to Germany.  Here's the photo

I made 5 postcards in total last month, see my post here, so I have 2 to spare!  Let me know if you want one.

I hope it works!

It didn't! But I now know where I went wrong! So hoping it will appear tomorrow morning!

16 June 2014

Last Week

I've been doing a fair bit of sewing last week, more of that later, though I did take myself out on Tuesday afternoon, when the weather was far too nice to be indoors and went to Compton Acres.  This is a landscaped garden in Canford Cliffs in Poole and I hadn't visited there for years.  There have been many changes but the main areas have remained the same, the Italian Garden with the water lilies just starting to flower, the Woodland Garden, the Rock Garden and the Japanese Garden.

There are quite a few sculptures within the gardens
The bronze girl really does look as though she is running through the geraniums

Glass sculptures in the rock garden
One of the sculptures made by Zimbabwean artist along the sculpture path.

Here are some photos of the Japenese garden

I remembered when the children were younger, they enjoyed walking over the steeping stones across the pond and seeing the large koi. There were some koi, but a smaller than I remember.

On Friday I went to embroidery class and I have now finished my landscape picture.  It will need a good press and it'll be framed at class next month. This is how it looks for now with the mount frame placed over

On Saturday I went with friends (both called Jenny!) to Exeter for the area day at Clyst St Mary hall. All was well on the roads and got there early, so time for a coffee at a local garden centre.  There was a disappointing turnout, but it was good to catch up with other regional committee members in the Quilters' Guild.  There was an interesting talk in the morning about the Chinese Whispers project undertaken by a local group of Contemporary Quilters for the Loch Lomond Quilt Show last month. The photos are still on my camera as I didn't use the iPhone, so will share those in a later post.

The speaker in the afternoon was Jamie Malden of Colouricious, who does workshops and You Tube videos and sells Indian block stamps.  She had so many pieces where dyeing and stamps have been used just so much came out of boxes! Some to be looked at after the talk and some handed around and so much energy!  She designs the blocks and is in contact with people in India who carved the designs, so it keeps people in work and also does tours there too.  I could not resist buying a couple of blocks which are made a hard wood and have a lovely solid feel to them and they came in a lovely bag. Watch out for some block printed pieces some time this week.

Lastly, what I've been working on this week

Making lots of blocks, they are now in rows.  I will update on the quilt's progress soon.

09 June 2014

A Local Quilt Show

Winton Piecemakers are a local quilt group that meet in Bournemouth and this last weekend had their exhibition in Kinson Methodist church, so I went along there yesterday afternoon.  The lady that runs the group, Mary, teaches techniques to the ladies in the group so they would be working on a particular pattern, but it's their colour choices for that make the quilts individual. So it's quite an interesting exhibition to see.  Sorry took a wonky pic here but what you can see are the Jelly Roll strips
Worked into blocks of squares and the 3 quilts are in bright colours, dark batiks and pastels, so look so different. The quilts were draped over the chairs not hung up as they were limited by the space in the church, hence the wonky pic trying to get as much of the quilts in as I could.

Some were hung in the windows and with the light shining behind gave a stained glass appearance to the quilts.

Some more quilts were hung from the balcony at the back of the church

This was a lovely star quilt, gorgeous colours in that.

There were several of the hexagon boxes like the one  above with some Somerset Folded Patchwork to decorate the tops.

The money raised from the exhibition is to go to Great Ormond Street Hospital and also to Hope and Homes for Children. 

03 June 2014

Feather Cushion Has a Twin

After making one cushion I had enough of the fabric strip sets to make another, together with the paisley fabric for the back. All finished this morning

First one on the left, second on the right. Not quite as densely quilted as the first as I found I was running out of matching thread, just about made it to the end of the quilting.

Bit of a change for the back too as I joined a strip of the blue paisley to the edge of the cushion back. Adds a bit extra to a simple envelope cushion back.

Definitely a pop of colour to a beige settee and just a bit bright!