With the weather being so miserable these last few days, I’ve been somewhat hibernating and am glad to have a hobby like patchwork to keep me occupied.
I finished the applique on the second of the cushions and then got on with the quilting. I decided to have a go at free motion quilting on my fairly new Bernina – as a long arm quilter I find quilting on a domestic sewing machine, something of a challenge. Moving the fabric instead of the machine takes a bit of getting used to! Actually it went reasonably well, though I didn’t manage to avoid eyelashes from the bobbin thread showing on the tighter curves even though I had a fiddle with the tension.
For this cushion I just free motion quilted the border then did a wiggly line around the tan large squares and a X through the smaller tan squares.
And here they are in situ – at last!
When I was in New York in the autumn, I paid a final visit to City Quilter which had announced the closure of its physical store and tracked down Gotham Quilts which is a small location in the heart of the garment district. While browsing the mainly modern fabrics, I found myself drawn to some precut packs of large hexis using Tula Pink fabrics.
I’d always vowed never to do hexis but with precuts, modern fabrics and no need to arrange them in Grandmother’s Garden layouts, I’ve succumbed.
I’ve been sewing them into strips while working on the split stars quilt, using them as starters and leavers so I can constantly chain piece. And now have quite a pile -
I’m quite sure about the layout – I’ve been inspired by some of the designs in Carolyn Forsters book but think I might applique them at different heights onto a dark background so they float. It may just end up as the back of another quilt – for the moment I just need to finish up sewing the hexies.
So I’ve spent the last couple of weeks putting together four patches using the fabrics from the stars for a border for the split stars quilt.
It always amazes me how long it takes to add borders to a quilt top but yesterday I finished it! And I realised this the first “serious” quilt I pieced for a quite a while and feel inspired to do more.
The quilting though will need to wait until my quilt studio is lined out and I can get my quilting frame up – I want to use this top of experiment with some modern quilting.
After some months of distraction since the lap quilt including working on the split stars quilt, I finally got round to starting to make some cushions for the sitting room. Once again I turned to my copy of Pillow Pop which has some great designs.
This is my first choice – I’ve decided to make two cushions with different design on the front and the back so I can swap them around. As they come out as quite large, I don’t need more than one for each corner of the sofa.
For the other side, I decided on this design -
As it suggested using blanket stitch for the applique, I decided it would easier to use bondaweb rather than sew on the applique
Here it is all stuck in place and ready for the blanket stitch which will be a bit of an adventure as I’ve not used that stitch yet on my new machine.
In the summer, I fell in love with these fabrics at Sew & So’s and just had to buy them.
My first plan was to make some cushions for our sitting room but then I remembered a quilt I made a few years back from fabric I’d bought in the States -
And thought it would be nice to make the pattern again in these fabrics. As I wanted a slightly larger quilt, I made the large blocks wider and added a couple more blocks to each row. Obviously this resulted in several more trips to the quilt shop for more fabric but I was very pleased with the result.
But I still need to make some cushions!
Sew & Sos were able to provide me with just the right grey background for my 16 split star blocks.
so I spent a productive couple of hours last week putting the split star blocks on their points interspaced with grey blocks.
This has resulted in a 40″ square which I’m going to add some borders – a plain grey border, a 4 patch border using some the fabrics I used for the split stars and a further grey border. I hoping the result will be fairly dramatic but not too busy – and there will be lots of “negative” space for quilting!
A couple of years ago Amanda Hall from Monkey Buttons came to our quilt group to give a workshop on some of her designs. I chose to make the split stars using some layer cakes from Zen Chic.
As the cutting was quite complex and the making of the block was rather time consuming, I didn’t make a lot of progress at the class and the project had become one of those UFOs lurking at the bottom of a box. And if I’m honest, I wasn’t very happy with how the blocks turn out – you need to be really accurate.
So it seemed about time to get on and finish it – I thought it would make a rather lively statement on the bed in our shepherd’s hut.
Each of the blocks needs two backgrounds and fabric for two half stars.
With some careful cutting I’ve managed to get enough fabric to make two half triangles so the star is truly split .
So far I’ve made 16 blocks and they have not got any quicker to make! I’ve also realised that I get quite bored making lots of the same block even using different fabrics so rather than make another 14 which I think I need to make the quilt big enough, I’m going to put the blocks I’ve made so far on point on a dark grey background and go from there. But I don’t seem to have the right grey in my stash and will need to wait for my local patchwork shop (Sew & Sos in Bungay) to open after the holidays.
Well it’s taken longer than I’d thought it would but I’ve now finished my bag. I really enjoyed the variety of the applique and the odd bit of patchwork.
One of my friend’s have suggested I might like to give it to her for Christmas – fat chance!! I think it will make a great workshop bag.
I’ve been struggling over the last couple of months to make much progress on my projects. I finished my log cabin quilt a while back but haven’t yet got it loaded on the quilting frame.
I know once it’s on I’ll want to get on with the quilting and that will slow down my various sewing projects. Currently I’ve 3 on the go and that’s 2 too many! Two are applique projects that I fell for at the NEC
And this is the other
Some how I always think applique won’ t take long and it does!
Oh and then there’s a bed quilt project on the go. Net result is non-existent progress on any of them. I keep hoping I’ll have a good quilting day one weekend and get one of them cracked but at the moment that’s not to be. All in all very fustrating!!
So I’ve completed 50 log cabin blocks (which actually came together much quicker than I’d thought they would) and am contemplating the layout.
Simple furrows which I quite like
Off centre barnraising, which again looked ok
Not so inspiring, I thought
Or this – the whole quilt seemed to go very flat
On balance this was my favourite – good old barnraising.