Thursday, 29 March 2012

Leopards and spots

I am supposed to be finishing quilts this year, not starting them, but can a leopard change its spots?  No, and I am still not the master of patience!  I see a new idea and just have to have a go!  So here are my Japanese X + scrappy blocks all done!
 The top three rows are joined together, and really intertwine nicely.  I'll try and get the others joined together later today, if I'm not distracted.  And it's likely I will be distracted, as I've started another Rebecca Collins scrappy triangle quilt!  My challenge group are making scrap quilts this year (not really a challenge for me, but definitely a step onto the wild side for some people!) and this is the next one.
We started off with 24 light 9" squares and 24 dark.  These were cut in half diagonally, and the resultant 96 triangles were swapped in the group.  So each person will have a similar fabric collection, and the quilts will be - well, we'll wait and see!  I have decided to make my blocks into these pinwheels. It was a bit challenging to work out the precise arrangement of components, but after a bit of reverse sewing, I got there, and am pleased with the way the blocks are looking.  Four big blocks are done, and there will be eight more to do.  Now, shall I finish my Japanese X blocks or make some more pinwheels?  Decisions, decisions!

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

London trip

Yesterday DH was going to London on business, and since his hotel room was sure to have a double bed, I decided to book myself a train ticket and go with him!  Since his evening would be free, we hoped to take in a show.  The weather was beautiful, fine and sunny, and made it perfect for me to wander and soak up the sights of the capital.  I made sure I called at the Half Price Ticket Booth in Leicester Square and bought us some bargain theatre tickets.  I only took this one photo of the London Eye while I was walking down to the South Bank.  You can see what beautiful weather it was.
DH had finished his business by 6 o'clock, so we had a bite to eat and then went to the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, where the smash comedy 'One Man, Two Guvnors' was playing.  We were lucky to get tickets, as the auditorium was full to capacity.  If you haven't seen this play yet, I can thoroughly recommend it, as it was hilarious, despite being based on the play 'Servant of Two Masters' by Carlo Goldoni, written in 1746.

This morning, DH went off to keep the economy turning, and I went to an exhibition by London Quilters.  If you're in London, this is running until 31st March and is well worth a visit.  The quilts ranged from the ultra modern to the very traditional, the complex to the simple, but all were lovely.  I have taken photos of my personal favourites.
This one, by Linda Seward, was my all-time favourite.  It's baskets, but with a twist.  All the bright colours and striped sashing are delctable.

This one is a great idea for using a jelly roll, and special fun for a child's quilt.
I love multicoloured scrap quilts, and this one is a stunner!

Can you pick out the block?  It goes from the turquoise circle fabric at top left, to the purple with white flower at bottom right.  This gives me food for thought for possible Linus quilts.

This quilt had been made from Dad's shirts, as a memorium quilt.  It's lovely, and had been carefully handquilted.

Normally dolly quilts aren't my thing, but this one had the name of a female member of the family under each doll.  The bottom right doll was little Sofia, and all the others were mum, ganrandmas and aunties.  What a super idea!

This quilt is courthouse steps - what a great choice to use lime green!
A little reproduction quilt, which I think is Dear Jane.
The star fabrics are selvedges.  (Maybe I should use some of my collection of selvedges in this way!)
Alicia Merrit is a member of this group, and here are three of her quilts.  The one on the left is a road map, and they are all stunning and beautifully made.
Tin men - looking good!

Rippling water and tree shadows in this art quilt.
And to end, a very London image!  Thank you London quilters for a lovely exhibition.  See you in two years time!

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Couldn't resist

I really should be layering up my MAM quilt - the backing and wadding are all cut and ready - but these Japanese X + scrappy blocks are addictive!  
 I ahve done 12 now, and am working my way through my 2" and 3.5" scraps.  I have to confess that with the corner triangles, and the fact that I have cut on-point squares from my charm squares to give some diagonal designs resulting in lots of bias edges, some of the blocks aren't quite 8".  Oh well, I'm not going to be exhibiting my quilt in the Japan Quilt Festival, so a bit of fudging will make everything OK! 

It's Mothers' Day here in England, so I have been having a lazy day.  DS and I went out to a tabletop sale, and I treated myself to this gorgeous blue and white dish.   I'm a sucker for blue and white, and the design on this one reminded my of the printed panels which are in old quilts of the early 19th century.

This is a panel from 1810, and the arrangement and flower styles are very similar.  Don't think I'm under any illusion that the dish is particularly old or valuable (it says 'Semi Nankeen Ware' on the back) but for £6 I've already had my money's worth in the pleasure it's given me. 
Happy Mothers' Day to all, mothers or not!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Is it pink?

I started to add the shocking pink borders onto my Mile a Minute, and then wasn't convinced.  There seemed to be a lot of red, and not enough pink.  Still, I decided to persevere, and here it is with all four borders completed.
Do the pink borders make it look pink?  Not sure, but it certainly doesn't not look pink, if that makes any sense.  Anyway, I've decided on backing and hope to layer it up later on.  Although after all that pastel work, I needed something a bit more interesting.  I came upon the Scrap Attack on stitcthedincolor site and saw these fabulous Japanese X + scrappy blocks. 

They are wonderful for using up scraps, and Amy has a beautifully clear tutorial.  Perhaps I'll just make a few more blocks before I start layering up.  What do you think?!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Baby, baby

I'm continuing to finish UFOs, although why on earth this little prem quilt has lingered incomplete, I have no idea. 

 I used up a set of scraps I was given from a layer cake or something which went together very well.  They're wonky log cabins, but with a heart hand quilted in the centre of each one, they don't look too wonky!

And here is the completed panel before it went to Paris as a welcome present for little Maelie.  It's a bit cutesey for my taste, but I'm sure she won't be too judgemental.

I just quilted it in the ditch and did a little hand quilting round each motif to hold the layers together.  Now I need to look for my next project to finish! 

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Scrappy bargello

I have made another finish - this time my Scrappy Bargello! It's a Bonnie Hunter design and has gone together a treat. 
 It's amazing that while the diagonals aren't continuous, the eye forgives that, and gives the impression that they are!  Such a great idea to use scraps and since it's for Project Linus, I've used a scrappy binding too!  Do you think that one day I'll manage to use up all my scraps?  Fat chance!

Sunday, 4 March 2012

Number 8

Judy, over at Patchwork Times, has pulled this month's UFO number out of her hat and it's number 8. This is my Mile a Minute top which is waiting for a border. Since I usually put a blue or red border on my MAM quilts, I have decided to use a shocking pink!

So, true to form, I'm not working on that, but have started something new. Well, we heard about the birth of baby Maellie, the grandaughter of an old friend who lives in Paris, and I decided to make her a quilt. I had had a panel for Christmas so got it out. It was all pastel and fairies, fine for a baby, but with 15 pictures, not very useful. Why, oh why, do manufacturers make panels with such strange numbers of blocks? If it's not 6, it's 8 or 15! So I made a nice M to make it up to 16.

I've sashed the blocks with pale green and used a lilac as a cornerstone. I plan another narrow green border then a wider pale blue border. I don't have a suitable pale blue in my stash so it looks as if I'll have to go shopping. Shame! It's a bit of a change for me to be working in pastels, but with the thoughts of the bright pink-bordered MAM quilt in the offing, I think I'll be able to manage!