Sunday, 29 March 2009

Lovely day

Yesterday at Rocheberie Quilters was lovely. We're never sure how many people will turn up, and since this was the first Mystery Quilt Day, there was even more uncertainty. However, we needn't have worried, as there were over 50 people there, some making the quilt and others content to chat and do hand sewing. Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take any pohotos, but Jane did, so you can look at her blog if you're intrigued. Unfortunately, Jane had to leave early to take her daughter to a party, so didn't take any pics of the finished quarters. Here's mine so you can get the idea.

The little triangle at the top right hand corner is the centre of the quilt. I haven't joined the sections together yet, as I've decided to make the other quarters and mix the fabrics up to make the colours more even.
I have finished my Jelly Houses quilt, and took the instructions along to the meeting, and sold them for donations to Project Linus. Half a dozen people were kind enough to buy them. Thank you for that.

A few other people brought jelly roll quilts, one a lovely log cabin star, a Chinese coins and a rail fence. I'll look forward to seeing what people do with these strips of fabric!

Friday, 27 March 2009

Bag lady

I am currently preparing for tomorrow's meeting of Rocheberie Schoolhouse Quilters in Rugby, where all will be revealed! It's a Mystery Quilt Day, and members will be bringing along pieces of fabric cut in various shapes and sizes, ready to sew them together and make a design which will be a complete surprise. If anyone reading this is coming, be assured, the quilt is gorgeous! Jane and Chris have designed it and have cleverly asked people to bring sufficient fabrics in dark and light to make just one quarter of the quilt. That way, if they like it, they can make the other three quarters at home, and if not, they can donate it to the group, where it will be made up (with other people's quarters) for charity. What a fabulous idea! It means you don't waste time (and money) cutting fabrics for a quilt you hate, but gives you the opportunity to try something new and fun.
And the bags? There will be some areas on the quilt suitable for stitching or applique, and I have been volunteered to demo bonded applique. Just to show the technique, I decided to make some fun motifs for a future Linus quilt, and here they are.

This one has been blanket stitched around the edge.

This one has been satin stitched with variegated thread.

This one has been machined about an eighth of an inch around the edge - not a technique I've used before, but which looks really nice.

And here is my example, ready to go.
I'll take my camera tomorrow and see what develops.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Busy, busy

This week has been incredibly busy, as I have been out every night. There has been a committee meeting, belly dancing, quilting group, rehearsal, Poems and Pints evening, where I read two poems (and drank alcohol!) and then a hen night for a friend who will be getting married for the second time in a couple of weeks. Add to this teaching a workshop on 'Sizzling Strips' and you'll see why I've not kept up with my blogging - neither posting nor reading. Never mind. This week will be very quiet. Only dancing is on the cards, so I should be able to catch up with myself.

I was inspired by Cheryl's posting of a gorgeous stripey animal, to make a string dog. Here he is.

DH thinks his legs are a bit strange (AND that he looks like a cat!) but I don't care. My dogs are all a bit experimental, and I've learned lots by making them.

Here is Stripey with all his friends. He stands out a bit, but there we are, it's tough being an individual! I will make some more dogs before I start to join them together.

The class I taught for Piecemakers went very well. It's really a colour exploration and everyone felt that they had learned more about how colours went together, and the uses of light, medium and dark, so I was happy. In the afternoon, I realised we were short of milk, so nipped out to the local garage to get more.
On the way back I noticed this house having its roof rethatched, and thought it was interesting. Thatched roofs are so pretty, but I'm glad we're under slate!

Sunday, 15 March 2009

Finished x2

Since the safe arrival of our neighbour's new grand daughter, Eva, I have been busy trying to get the quilt finished. Her uncle is up from London, and will be able to take it to his new niece. After layering and quilting I found a piece of green hand dye which matched the inner border and completed the quilt.

The best bit is the lovely fabric on the back

- I really find pastels really hard to work with, and don't think this quilt works particularly well. At least it's finished, and nobody could hate it, could they?
While I was in a completion mode, I finished the binding on this Linus quilt. It's mainly Mile A Minute, with a central heart block and four corner blocks from my donated orphans store. Many thanks for those blocks - they work perfectly!
I have quilted it simply, with a heart in each block.

I used a freezer paper heart which I ironed onto each block and then free machine quilted round it.
As you can see, I wobbled a bit, here and there, but I don't think anyone will notice!

Wednesday, 11 March 2009

More dogs

My friend Dawn (a non-quilter, but a lovely person for all that!) called yesterday evening, while I was busy sewing. She said, 'I'm not disturbing you, am I?' as people do, so I said I was happy to be disturbed, but I was making dogs. She was intrigued (or at least made a good play at it) so I showed her my pack. 'Lovely,' she said. 'But why are you making dogs?' It's a bit like the 'why are you climbing Everest?' question, only with rotary cutters rather than crampons!

Anyway, here are my dogs so far.

I don't know why I started to make them with plain cream backgrounds - I think it was a piece of fabric which just came to hand - but I've decided it needs a bit of variation, so the rest of the dogs will have patterned backgrounds to give the quilt a bit of texture. One of them looks rather cat-like. Drat! Never mind, some people quite like cats, I hear!

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Woof, woof!

I have been busy layering up and quilting a Mile a Minute Linus quilt, and making a strippy quilt top for a neighbour's new imminently-expected grandchild,

and needed to do something a bit more exciting. I thought something a bit more interesting and child-friendly for Linus would be good, and spent a while looking for dog blocks on the internet. Then I remembered seeing some people and animal free pieced blocks in Roberta Horton's 'Scrap Quilts' book, so had a look at that. The dog was only on a quilt label, but was enough for me to be inspired and cutting fabric straight away. Here are my dogs so far.

The green one was first, a bit basic, but at least it was a start. Then I experimented with shaped faces and tail positions. If you fancy making some of your own, you can see that they are made of four strips. Top strip has the ear, second strip the head, third strip the body and tail, and fourth strip the legs. I'm off to make the next one -a red starry dachshund!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Jelly Houses

No, not houses made from jelly, but made from a jelly roll - or at least, half of one. I have made my jelly roll Christmas gift into a lovely top which measures a useful 44"x53".

I added a pink 1" border and then a blue 4" outer border. The blue border looks like it's the same as the sashing, but it isn't. I didn't have any more of the sashing fabric left (it was actually 'sky' left over from a panto set about 6 years ago, so I'm surprised there was this much!) so used the bright pink to confuse the eye into thinking the blues weren't too dissimilar. It worked, didn't it?!