Productive Quilting

You will know from my previous posts I have been following Pat Sloans Solstice Challenge, a block a week for 25 weeks from the Winter Solstice through to Summer Solstice. 

Well I managed to keep up and finally finished piecing it all together, made entirely from my stash it’s come together quite well. Some of the blocks were challenging and thanks to Pat’s tips I think I’ve got the colour balance right.  It’s certainly going to be a big quilt! 

In between making Solstice I also dabbled a bit with mini quilts which are very satisfying to put together as they are quick to do and great for practicing free motion quilting as you haven’t got the challenge of fitting large bulks of material through the throat of the sewing machine. Here’s two I made, both pattern’s are by Pat Sloan.

The butterfly’s pattern can be found in Moda’s Mini Marvels book and the sewing machine is called Let’s Go Sew and is available as a digital  download on Pat’s website.

My next challenge is to quilt the Solstice top! Not too sure how I’m going to manage that one on my machine, wishing i’d done a quilt as you go! 

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A little globetrotting update

Well I did exactly what I said I would do and dived straight in there and started free motion quilting without practising first! Gulp! shudder!

I didn’t sew over my fingers but did have a few choice words said when there were just a few tension problems on the back of the quilt. I persevered and did a lot of ripping but the end result was worth it!

It’s not perfect but it’s my first fully quilted project and I love it!

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Globetrotting

I’ve not been blogging much of late but I have been busy sewing! Thanks to the wonderful Pat Sloan I have been globetrotting around the world (metaphorically speaking) and taking part in Pat’s mystery online quilt BOM, which I now know stands for Block Of the Month!

With a new block issued each month and representing a different city in the world, I especially loved London, Pat taught those of us new to quilting how to construct the blocks and we in turn were in awe of the wonderful works created by the experienced quilters in the group.

I certainly learnt a great deal, not least the importance of fabric pattern! There I was fairly smug with myself for having chosen some wonderful colours that all went together I hadn’t given pattern a second thought. That is until I saw how some of my block designs disappeared into one another as the patterns fought side by side!

I resisted the urge to rip it all apart and reconstruct, instead decided to carry on as originally planned and then in years to come it will remind me (hopefully) of how far I have developed as a quilter. Quilter! dare I call myself a quilter at this early stage!

I’m now plucking up the courage to actually quilt it, I have a free motion quilt foot for my sewing machine which I have never used and really should practice first and watch some you tube videos but somehow I think I will more than likely just dive straight in!

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Lucky Girl Cushion

It’s been a while since I last blogged, everyday life, family and work has taken up a lot of my time recently with little spare for sewing, although I did manage to finish one of my UFO’s (unfinished object) a round cushion using the wonderful fabric from Jennifer Paganelli’s Lucky Girl line.

20140418-085245.jpgIt started off as a perfect circle but ended up slightly flower shaped!

It was the first time I have used piping cord and attaching to a circle of fabric was not easy. Learnt a few lessons, like you really need to use the right foot on your sewing machine, I believe, having read up on a few blogs after I had finished, that a zipper foot is the way to do it!

I was also given a really good tip from the lovely Jennifer Paganelli herself who said cut a circle of material then appliqué the segments on top, that way you get perfect points!
Instead I did it the hard way by taking the Quilters approach and sewed together each segment individually much like a patch work quilt hence the button, which isn’t just for decoration but hides a magnitude of not so perfect points!

20140418-083757.jpgThe button is another lesson to be learnt, I really should have sewed it right through to the other side as it then gives that plush pushed in look in the middle of the cushion, needless to say mine looks like it’s stuck on top!

That said I still love it and it’s really comfortable. It brings some lovely colour to my garden furniture, all we need now is the sunshine.

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A stitch in time

Well I did say I would post any useful bits of info I come across and today I have found two great links about stitches. I found a few I didn’t know about and some great instructions on how to do feather quilting.

The first link was courtesy of the Craftsy blog this has a great tutorial on how to do feather quilting using different methods.

The second is a free download on different embroidery stitches from Windflower Embroidery

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Satisfyingly accomplished

It looks as though spring might have finally arrived today! It’s been a lovely sunny day which gave me chance to re stain the decking and spruce up the wooden chairs.

Before I did all this I took the opportunity to photograph my first quilt in the morning sunshine. Yes this means I have finally finished it!

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Borderline

Second day back at work after our away from it all break and already it seems like it never happened! Why does it take so long to unwind from work but so quick to get back into the swing of it?

As a little light relief, tonight I decided to tackle the border on my second lap quilt, it seems its a day of seconds! I was nervous about cutting into the Tanya Whelan for Free spirit Delilah fabric. It’s too lovely to make a mistake with.

The colour matches perfectly and the traditional flowers contrast well with the more modern prints, overall I’m pleased with the layout and look of the quilt. Next is a good pressing and then the basting, never done this before so lots of scope for it all to go pear shaped, think I’ll leave it for another day.

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