Thursday, 31 July 2008

Five down and none to go!

Hooray! I have managed to just sneak in under the bar and complete Peg's challenge to complete 5 UFOs before the end of July. My green and yellow baby quilt is all finished, and I am very pleased with it.

I have decided to call it 'Run, rabbit!' as the chasing rabbits make me think of the old 40s song,

'Run, rabbit, run, rabbit, run, run, run.

Don't let the farmer catch you with his gun.

He'll get by without his rabbit pie,

So run, rabbit, run, rabbit, run, run, run!'

There are green rabbits running ound the centre, rabbits quilted in the large white spaces

and then rabbits quilted all round the borders. I cut several rabbit shapes out of freezer paper and ironed them lightly onto the borders. Then I machine quilted along the top edge of the rabbits in one continuous line, and then went back and did the underside. Then I was able to pull the freezer paper off, iron it onto another side of the border and so on.

I also put a reason for the rabbits to be running. It's not the farmer, but the fox!

Monday, 28 July 2008

Four down, one to go and a quilting SOS!

I have finished quilting my house quilt, and although maybe the blue at the top still looks a bit strange, I think the recipient will be delighted with it.

I quilted some leaves round the bottom of the pots to try and link the green and blue better, although I don't think they're very effective. I'm just pleased that that's another one out of the UFO box and it'll look fine on a bed!

Meanwhile, DS has been making a baby quilt for a friend of his who is pregnant. Like the rest of us, he started it some time ago, thinking, plenty of time, plenty of time, and suddenly was panicked to hear that she had gone into labour! What do you do in these circumstances (and in the middle of a move from London to Leeds) but ask Mum for help. I had originally agreed to quilt it, but now a little parcel appeared containing the quilt so far.

He had chosen a theme of coffee and cream, and the effect was to have the cream gradually melting into the coffee (or vice versa). I just added the last couple of rows, put on two borders, quilted and then attached the binding.

It's now on its way to Leeds to have the binding secured and the label put on. Then it'll be a great gift for a sophisticated baby!

Friday, 25 July 2008

Shakespeare returns!

This isn't a recent quilt, but it has returned from London and I love it so much, I wanted to share it. It's been displayed on DS's wall for the last few years - very appropriate for a house of stage managers and theatre professionals I thought! They were also pleased, because it brightened up a rather drab rented house in Wood Green.

It's made using Heat and Bond, and is a technique used by Therese May. She used it to make just faces, but I wanted to do something special with the technique. I spent a while trying to think of a recognisable image, and finally came up with old Shakey here. I used some of my collection of fabric with writing on it, including some with Japanese, to signal his world-wide influence.
I wanted to machine quotes about sewing round the border, but surprisingly, although Shakespeare seems to have lots to say on lots of issues, he doesn't say much about the needle arts. However, he does have the best things to say, and one quote I love is this, 'The spinsters and knitters in the sun.' How I aspire to be one of those! I sewed it along the bottom border.
And the title of the quilt? It had to be - 'I love my Willy!'

Monday, 21 July 2008


I have been busy adding applique to improve three quilts. First I have finished the leaves on the houses quilt, and think it links the blue and green sections adequately. It's a bed quilt for a little girl, and I think she will love it. The left hand side is needleturn and since it was going pretty slowly, I decided to try and speed things up by doing the right hand side leaves by the freezer paper and spray starch method. In the end, I made a couple of yo-yo flowers, which looked like screwed up pieces of fabric, but in any case, they were too large to blend with the leaves, so I decided to leave well alone.

By this time I was in applique mood, and decided to add something to the green and yellow baby quilt. These jumping rabbits seemed to be the answer, and definitely improve this quilt. They are Heat and Bonded and zigzagged.

By this time, I was on a roll, and with my Heat and Bond out, decided to continue to embellish. I had had a Linus quilt donated, which was not really in very child-friendly colours. I thought a nice lorry would set it off nicely. This is the result.

The lorry's turned out great, but I don't think it's made much impact on the quilt! Any suggestions?

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Ugly fabric swap

In the spirit of 'one man's meat is another man's poison', Nik organised an Ugly Fabric Swap at Rocheberie Quilters on Saturday. I was quite excited about this (I don't get out much!) and thought it was a great opportunity to get rid of some of the fat quarters which lurk in the deepest recesses of my stash. I managed to find 7 Uglies, a cutesy one with seed packets, a leering teddy bear one, some sick-making florals and a sludgey one with grasses and seed heads on it.

And look what I got instead!

A modern art bright in funky colours, a batik piece in blue and lime green, a very useful cream background fabric, a little panel to make a Linus prem quilt, a rich brown check, a Christmas fabric and the piece de resistance - the yellow fabric with the giraffe doing the washing up in rubber gloves!

This was actually Nik's fabric (thanks Nik!) and she bought it because of the attractive flamingoes. When she got it home, she realised that it had all kinds of other animals on it, and the giraffe was just too much for her! One woman's step too far is another woman's delight!

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Slow going

I seem to have had the usual amount of sewing time recently, but have very little to show for it. I'm machine quilting my reproduction quilt, which is very boring, not to mention hard on the arms, as it's so big. It's supposed to be wine glasses, but some of them are a bit strangely shaped as I'm doing them by eye!

I think they'll be OK when I've done them all.

Then I've been adding some applique to my houses quilt, to softern the blue top.

I'm just going with the flow, and adding leaves where they look good. Some while ago I bought a Clover yo-yo flower maker, and might have a go at making some flowers to add to the vine.

I've also added a border to the green and white quilt. I didn't have any yellow which was soft enough, but luckily Beverley came to the rescue (she's more of a pastel person then me) and gave me this perfect border fabric. I'm not sure the border actually works, but I think once it has a green binding and is quilted it'll look better.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Three down, two to go!

In true Master of Patience? fashion, I have been getting a bit bored with my challenge to finish 5 quilts by the end of the month. Despite Peg kindly trying to keep me motivated by giving me a second award, I got a bit distracted.My excuse is that we are having a Bag Day at Rocheberie Quilters in September, and I had offered to demo an easy bag I had made a while ago. I had one example (the one which I showed in my first blog entry) but decided I needed another. Why cut up good fabric when I had a piece which had already been cut up previously? My curved flying geese had ended up in the UFO box, and would make a great bag!

Here is my sample just before I sewed it together,

and here is the bag! Luckily I had some of the navy fabric left for the bag base, and more of the green/blue batik for binding and handles.

Some buttons which came out of my button jar added the perfect embellishment, and the lining is another piece of blue/green fabric with yellow. Couldn't have been a better match if I'd been out and chosen it specially.

Another UFO out of the box, a reduced stash and a bag to show my green credentials at the supermarket!

Sunday, 6 July 2008

Two down, three to go!

I have finally finished my second quilt in Peg's challenge. It's a Chaos Crumb quilt in pastels, to show how good this block looks in restricted colours (for those who find scrappy just too scarey!).

It's a very dull and wet day here, so the photo looks a bit dull too, but you can just see the flowers quilted on the white spaces. It's a cot quilt (I've just found out that one of my colleagues is pregnant with her first baby! Congratulations Katharine and Mike!) as I seem to be needing quite a few of these this year!

I've also put the borders on quilt number 3. These houses were the result of a block swap. You made up a block, put it in a bag with the pattern, and then passed it round the group. When the bag gets back to you, you've had the chance to make 10 blocks you might not have tried before, and got enough blocks for a quilt. I loved these houses, but they have been languishing in my UFO box for several years! I orginally put the green border all the way round, but felt it was too heavy, so added blue at the top. I'm not sure it's working completely - maybe I need something to soften the transition. Any ideas? I'll try and get it layered today (we won't be doing much in this current weather!) and can easily add any improvements then.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Quilting, quilting

I am gradually quilting my next challenge quilt. I decided to do both hand and machine quilting on this one. The Chaos Crumb blocks had stretched a bit, so I have done some hand quilting along the strips - not all of them, just 5 in each block - enough to hold them down but still retain a bit of snuggle.
In the white parts I found a great machine quilting motif in '60 Machine Quilting Patterns' by Pat Holly and Sue Nickels. Looks really good, but is very easy - just my kind of deal!

You do the centre small petals first, then the bigger ones and then add the three part leaf at the end. Here is my effort. I didn't mark the whole thing, just measured from the centre of each square where the tops of the small and large petals would go, marked it in red washable pencil and then went for it. The beauty of this method is that since no two flowers are exactly the same, they all look great! Well, I think so!