Friday, 22 January 2016

Soy Amado Johannesburg Update

The first batch of quilts have arrived at the children's home in Johannesburg.

I am hugely, hugely appreciative that the end result looks like this.

But also a little bit sad in the sense that it is 'just' quilts and I wish I could do more.

I will continue to do this for as long as people send me blocks.

Which I hope you will.

Because I realise that in some ways they are more than 'just' quilts.

They are a representation that people around the world do care and we are all trying to help in the little ways that we can, with the skills we possess.

Thank you for helping me get this far.

Friday, 15 January 2016

The Fractal quilt

Hands down this is currently my favourite quilt.

Until at least I make another one.

It's definitely because I chose to see the pattern as a bit of scrap buster.

My usual plan of attack for scraps is totally random but this time I decided to see if I could get a bit of rainbow theme going on.

The low volume text fabrics were also scraps. The only yardage harmed was the grey text and for that I used a full yard.

With a few scraps left over for the next scrappy quilt.

Of course.

The Fractal quilt pattern is the last stop on the Fat Quarter Shop's Top 10 Videos of 2015 blog meanderings.

Initially, I did refer to the video which you can find here
You can also download the free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop here
Plus, you'll also need the kite ruler to cut the shapes and that can be purchased from here

The video was helpful but once I got the gist of it, I kind of deviated a bit from the instructions. As all the pieces are being sewn on the bias, theoretically, it could get a little wavy when sewing and the video recommends you starch each piece. So I didn't. What I did do, was use my walking foot to piece so you've got dual feed stitching, which I found really helpful in not getting any stretch.

Then really, you should pin,where you are sewing up to the centre dot (watch the video and then you'll know what I mean) but after a few blocks I stopped doing that. Reason being, I could feel with my nail where the join of two pieces of fabric met and I sewed maybe one stitch BEFORE the final dot and then secured off.

I know if you were pinning you would sew right up to and including the dot but that slowed the process down too much for me. By stopping one space before the dot, I knew for sure I hadn't inadvertently sewn into any of the other pieces and the Y seam behaved itself.

I also knew I was going to really quilt the top densely, so everything was always going to stay where it was meant to and we weren't gong to suffer a quilt disaster because I missed one teeny tiny stitch out in the centres of the Y seams.

On the back I used up two of the leftover hexagons and pieced it into Egyptian cotton off-cuts which are the most brilliant white and buttery soft. The off-cut bundles are very good value (at least they are if you're based outside the US and have no access to reasonably priced fabric) and can be purchased here

And then I heavily quilted the whole thing using clear monofilament thread on the front and white cotton on the back.
I really like the effect monofilament thread gives; great texture without the eye being drawn to the stitches.

I am so hugely in love with this quilt.

Oh and I should mention I made the quilt slightly larger than the one demonstrated in the video because I wanted to get the same balance of the grey kite shapes above and below the rainbow colours.

I actually contemplated selling this quilt because just how many quilts can someone have?
On reflection with this quilt, does it even matter.

If you'd like to see what other quilters have done with the Fractal quilt please have a look at the following:

I also need to tell you that if you make any of the Top 10 2015 Videos from Fat Quarter Shop and are on Instagram, you can use the hashtags  #fractalquilt and #FQSTop10 for a chance to win a Fat Quarter Shop $100 Gift Card. You have until 1 February.

A rainbow quilt with a rainbow.

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Saving the best till last

I am finally finished hand quilting my Emperor's Wheel quilt and I feel a little lost.

For the past six months, when I've had some spare evening moments, I've stitched away at it.

I've straight line quilted it fairly densely, which has taken time but been completely worth it.

I am reliably informed the quilt is being held upside down - oops

It's given it a fantastic texture.

I originally blogged about the piecing of the quilt here which gives details of the pattern I purchased from Chris Jurd. It's been a brilliant pattern to just use up all those random scraps and will definitely be a family heirloom.

I just need to find something else now to do in spare evening moments.

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

A self-indulgent quilt

Self-indulgent in the sense that I just wanted to cut up as many Anna Maria Horner fabrics as possible.
And also because I just bought her latest fabric line, Fibs & Fables and was itching to cut into it.

I started by thinking I was going to follow a pattern in a booklet I'd bought to accompany the Triangler ruler so I duly strip pieced two fabrics with different values and started cutting.

But by the time I'd done a fair amount of cutting, I'd gone right off the idea of following a pattern and just decided to play around with the triangles and see what I cam up with.

Which is how I ended up thinking this might not be a bad idea.

Even by my broad standards, it felt just a little too distractingly chaotic.
Solids felt too hard and restrictive so I went with a linen text fabric I found.

And sewed it all up to make this.

Then it was back to more random cutting to make it a border.
Because I felt it needed one.

And then it just felt balanced and finished so it was on to quilting it.

It feels rich and moody and luxurious and eclectic and I LOVE it.

The back has the left over border strips because I never work out beforehand the amounts I'll need.
It's too restrictive.
I'd rather guesstimate and then use any leftovers on the back.

Oops...missed a couple of parallel quilting lines there

And that's it.
My last complete quilt finish for 2015.

I think.

Friday, 18 December 2015

Soy Amado's 72-75 and an update

Instagram is making me lax. I post the finished Soy Amado quilt there and tell myself when I have a bit more time, I'll blog it.

That hasn't happened so a condenses post on the last four quilts now follows.

No. 72 - taken on the south coast cliffs of Guernsey.

And the back.

No. 73.

And the back.

No. 74 arrived this week in the post as a completed quilt. There was no name or address identifying the UK sender so whoever you are, thank you.

There is no back picture...because I forgot to take one.

And finally, to bring it up-to-date, No. 75.

And I don't have a 'behind' photo for this one either - slacking on the job.

I've reached my goal of a quilt on every bed for the home in Mexico City so a big thank you to everyone who either sent whole quilts or the mountain of quilt blocks I have slowly worked my way through.

Now I have a new goal: a quilt on every bed for a children's home in Johannesburg, South Africa. So my post box is flapping wildly now in giddy expectation of anyone who would like to send me 12 1/2" quilted blocks. Please email me if you'd like to join in, for my postal address.

Thank you.

(Linking up to Finish It Up Friday)

Friday, 11 December 2015

A rainbow quilt finish

It's a mixture of phone and camera pictures but hopefully you get the gist.

First off the back.

All the backing and binding fabrics are from my stash - the binding is a Jinny Beyer pushing 20 years.

And I've had to alternate the pics from outside: (theoretically better light but tipping down with rain) to inside: dry.

The background to the Geese is just a selection of light turquoise/blu fabrics with either text or some tonal additions. I didn't want a solid as the background as I felt that was going to make it too stark.

A shot of rainbow colour in the depths of a wet and windy winter.

Friday, 20 November 2015

A rainbow quilt

I've never made a rainbow quilt before.
They just seem too ordered and not random enough for me.

I thought I'd have a go though.
Just because I thought I should.

Fabrics were picked.

And the decision to go with a Flying Geese block was made, with much cutting ensuing.

And much boringly essential trimming with the Bloc-Loc ruler.

I sewed one row up and then pondered my next move.

And then over the past couple of weeks, I've slowly, slowly added to it.

Until today, when 286 Flying Geese units later,  I was finally done.

I enjoyed making it but I think I am hankering after a quilt with slightly more wild fabrics now.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday

Just need to decide what the pattern will look like and then cutting will commence.
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