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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Floridian vibes

My foray into making handbags had wained a little bit as I had been tempted by other crafty makes such as my Christmas runner and a flower cushion that is still at the petal making stage. However a post on the American designer, Jennifer Paganelli’s Facebook page made me go and have a look at “Hold it Right there Handbags“. Lots of lovely patterns for handbags!

The PDF downloadable patterns come with fully comprehensive instructions and the story behind the pattern. I liked the look of the Coconut Grove Handbag and thought it would be great to make one that matches my Sunhat. I can see me walking along the beach collecting shells, sunhat on, sarong tied around me and my valuables nice and safe in my matching handbag.

I was even more taken with the bag when I learned of the story behind the pattern. The designer, Suzanna McKeon tells of memories of a trip to Miami and how it inspired the bag. It seemed so fitting to make a bag with Floridan vibes as its a place where I’ve had a lot of happy times, it’s where my husband proposed and it has the wonderful beaches where I can go shelling.

So the Coconut Grove bag in Jennifer Paganelli fabric was born! This will definitely be accompanying me on my next trip to Florida.

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Flower power

I’ve had a bit of a thing about fabric flowers of late, they look so pretty and jazz up almost anything.

Determined to have a go at making them myself I trawled the Internet for tutorials to give me an idea. There are lots out there, from fabric roses to daisies to…well just about any kind of flower!

Then just as the mind was boggling with which one to try my favourite fabric store, Patchwork Paradise, uploaded a tutorial on an easy fabric flower make! Staying loyal to the ones who frequently get me to overspend with their tantalising fabric deals (they really are good deals and excellent service and no I’m not affiliated to them in any way!) I tried my hand at their fabric flower tutorial.

As you can see I got carried away and made flower brooches for my sunhats and beach bag

Next I want to try my hand at crochet flowers, although those of you who follow me on twitter @cruickshancraft will know that I haven’t quite got the hang of crochet, much to the amusement of my mother-in-law! She is trying her best to teach me but this pupil is hard work!

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Fabric Roses

I found this great tutorial today on making Fabric flowers on Ulla’s Quilt World. They look so pretty I think I might just be putting them on everything I make!

I found it a little bit fiddly but I think that had more to do with the tiny square of fabric I started with, a much bigger flower would be easier. I’m not sure my first attempt exactly looks like a rose but I think it still looks effective.

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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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Fabric joy

I hope you all had a lovely Easter, I’ve just returned home from a few days in Portugal which was a smashing get away from it all break and I’m delighted to see that the sun is shining! More importantly though on my return there was a parcel of fabric waiting for me!

The material I ordered for the borders on two quilts I’m making arrived and I can’t wait to start sewing again!

What do you think? Good choices or not?

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