Tuesday, 29 March 2016

Whirly Gig Quilt

I hope everyone had a fun Easter break. I was lucky enough to have lots of visitors ( and subsequently lots of cooking to do).  The weather wasn't kind enough to do the planned walk up the Sugarloaf on Easter Sunday, but that was OK.
I managed to finish my Whirly Gig quilt which is another one for Siblings Together and probably my last make in Quarter 1 of the finish- a- long ( original list here ). I was donated a pile of fabric to make a ST quilt and I have used some of it in this quilt, along with scraps and my stash.

It's a very simple but effective pattern made from 2 strips of fabric ( 1 low volume and 1 bright fabric) cut into 4 subunits. I chose to set the blocks on point to give the blocks more 'movement'. I was able to make the blocks as leaders and enders which I find a very useful technique to get more made ( I'm quite a slow sewer, so every little helps!)
I backed it with an extra wide white dot on red , which I also used for the binding.
I don't prewash my fabric because I've never had a problem with dye running before and I like the fact that the dressing on the fabrics make them easier to sew with. I might have to reconsider with darker fabrics like this red although I always put 2 or 3 dye catchers in the machine when I wash my quilts. This time some, but not all,  of the lighter fabrics have a slightly pink tinge or look slightly grungey. In the overall scheme of things, it's not too bad as some of the fabrics have maintained a bright white colour, so it's only noticeable to me because I know what the original colour was. However, I have a large piece of the backing left, which I intend to use on another quilt back and I'll definitely be washing it beforehand.
Of course, sod's law dictated that the binding strips I had cut were about 4 inches short, so I had to insert this tiny piece of binding left over from my Bright Bamboo quilt.
I  try to use a new to me quilting pattern whenever I can, so I used a peapod design on this one. I'm not sure if I'll use it again as an overall pattern but maybe as a filler. I have a new roll of wadding ( Hobbs Heirloom 100% cotton) which is slightly thinner than my last roll but seems to crinkle more after washing ( good job I like the crinkly look!!)
Quilt Stats
Pattern inspired by this Tessellation Quilt  from Rita of Red Pepper quilts
Size: Approximately 64 x 64 inches
Fabric : Donated fabric and my stash on front, Riley Blake extra wide white spot on red on the back and for binding
Wadding : Hobbs Heirloom 100% cotton
Quilted with Glide in grey on top and Wonderfil Decobob in white in bobbin


Sunday, 20 March 2016

Retirement Quilt -Ta Da!

Another quilt finished! This one has more of  a history than some of my quilts and thus has provoked a lot more reflection than usual. This is my first ( and I have to say probably my last) hand pieced quilt. My last year of work was really difficult. I hated it, so much so that I had a calendar where I marked off every week until I could finish. The reasons for this were complex and I won't go into details as it's all water under the bridge. It was also the year we had our house fire and I was miserable. Anyway, to help keep me sane, I decided to EPP a hexagon star quilt. It took me a year to sew all the blocks ( perfect timing) and I sewed them all together, then promptly put it away for another 2 years. Partly this was because I didn't know what to do with it.

 Another concern was how I was going to quilt it. I wondered whether I should hand quilt it, but then reality kicked in and I realised that if I hand quilted it, it would never be finished. The pattern was inspired by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts mother -in - law's quilt. Hand piecing this quilt was the perfect antidote at the time I made it, but I'm not sure if I will ever repeat the exercise. It's not my 'natural habitat'. It was fun fussy cutting some of the stars though

I decided to use a beautiful piece of cotton lawn I'd bought at Malvern some time ago for the backing. Although it was wider than average I needed to add a strip to make it big enough. I was lucky enough to find some of Lu Summer's lime green Summersville spring at Lark cottons and used it for the strip and the bindings. It's such a perfect shade of lime green to complement the front which is much brighter and fresher than the photos convey.

In a way I'm glad I set it to one side. My FMQ skills have improved in the last 2 years and therefore I was able to do it more justice. I quilted a simple flower shape in the middle 'star' and scallops around the edging diamonds.

I haven't decided what to do with it yet. It's too pretty to give away ( except perhaps to my mother but the retirement home is very warm, much hotter than I like and a quilt is a bit superfluous ).
Quilt Stats
Size:69 x 67 inches
Front pieced with fabrics from my stash
Back: Japanese 40's by 40's superfine cotton lawn Miroto Great Flower Designs and Summersville Spring in lime green by Lu Summers for Moda
Binding:Summersville spring as above
Wadding: Quilters dream orient
Quilted with Glide in grey on top and wonderfil 80 wt in white in the bobbin
This is another finish in FAL Q1 ( my original list is here ). I'm doing rather better in this qua 


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

My first Siblings Together Quilt of 2016

The last few months have been very busy, mainly trying to sort my mother out, though that will be another blogpost when I've got a little more perspective. So, the fact that I've done 2 blogposts in 2 days is highly unusual for me!
I wanted to make some more quilts for Siblings Together again this year ( apart from the STquilting bee ones). Hannah sent me some fabric which had been donated to Leeds Modern Quilt Guild by Katy of I'm a ginger monkey. I selected 3 of the fabrics and added 3 of my own to make a trip around the world quilt.

I've made a few of these quilts and I love the way the pattern looks different depending on how you arrange the strips. I made this one in a regular pattern, which I haven't done before. So, although I've used a variety of different yellow strips, for example it's barely noticeable.

The back is scrappy: I used up some of the left over squares to make a strip down the side, which made it wide enough, and used left over pieces from previous quilt backs.

I quilted it with a simple loop, a pattern I hadn't tried before but was fun and quick to do.

To pull it all together, I used navy fabric with a strip of mustard to bind it.

I love how it's turned out! I hope it will make a girl ( it's definitely a girly quilt) very happy.

Quilt Stats

Size: 58 x 68 inches
Pattern: Trip around the world by Bonnie Hunter
Top: A selected variety of scraps
Back: My last piece of Ikea Nummer and Folie in blue by Lotta Jansdotter
Batting: Donated by LMQG
Quilted with Glide in grey on top and Wonderfil in white on the bottom
Binding: Navy XO by Cotton and Steel with one strip of Arrows in mustard by Michael Miller

This is my third finish  in FAL Q4 ( my original list is here)
I'm also linking with Scraptastic Tuesday

2016 FAL

Monday, 7 March 2016

Geese all round Ta Da!

At long last I've finished this quilt! It's only been about 3 years. It started life as my block for the disastrous Star quilting bee. The lovely fabric I sent out disappeared into the ether never to be seen again. I ended up with only a few blocks, so tried again a couple of years later with the lovely bumbling honeys quilt bee. Fortunately, they turned up trumps and I ended up with 27 blocks. I really couldn't be bothered to make any more as I'd lost the momentum, so went with a 5 x5 block arrangement, thinking I could always add a border. In the end, I just left it as it was, without the border.

The back I made with left over pieces from previous quilts, but I think it works well.
The blocks were difficult to piece together because of the bias edges and didn't line up as well as I had hoped, so I chose to do some very dense quilting to compensate.
It was great practice for my FMQ skills. I tried different filler designs in each 'star' and straight line quilting in the ' alternative' blocks.
I bound it in a dark navy to pick up the navy in the blocks. No surprise that the quilt is in my favourite blues and greens.


I haven't decided what to do with it yet. It's quite small but with pretty colours, so I'll think about it for a while.
Quilt Stats
Size : 58 x 58 inches
Design: Geese all round by quilters cache.
Top: Kona white background with assorted blues and greens
Back: Pieced extra wide Riley Blake spots and zigzag in aqua
Batting: 100% cotton from Fabric Freedom
Binding: A mixture of Sailaway plans in navy by Windham fabrics and Cookie book navy ghost saltines by Kimberly Kight for Cotton and Steel
Quilted with Glide in grey on top and Wonderfil in white on bottom
This is my second finish of FAL Q1  ( my original list is here)