Sunday 26 August 2012

Stuck for Superlatives

When I finished this...

...I knew I just didn't have the heart to do it justice when it came to the quilting.

All that work and it had switched from a labour of love to loathe.
We'd spent too much time together and needed time apart.

And as there is one long-arm quilter in particular out there in quilty blogland at the moment, whose work I just hugely admire, I wanted it to go there.
However, I realise from a quilting perspective it is a challenge; there are no large areas of negative space to go wild in, just over a thousand tiny pieces.

How do you quilt it?
What bits do you quilt?
What bits do you leave untouched?

So I packed the quilt top off and it flew thousands of miles to the amazingly gifted Krista with the only brief being 'do what you want.'

I woke up this morning to see this:


and this:


and this:

Insanely amazing quilt WIP

I need to contain my excitement for a little while longer as when Krista has finished it, it'll hang in a quilt exhibition she is involved in.

After that though, it'll be with me in the autumn and I can't wait.

Thank you very, very much Krista.

I am back in love with the quilt.

Friday 24 August 2012

Yee hah!

My interpretation of the Camelot Quilt is finished.
Well, the top is.

If you want to see close-ups of the individual blocks they are here, here , here, here and  here

From start to finish it has taken me two months. In that time I've worked, been on holiday, made another quilt and had a steady stream of guests to stay: to illustrate that it is doable if you find little moments of time to work on it.

And by that I also mean the entire quilt top has been hand stitched, including sewing all the rows together. It's been a very portable project that has gone everywhere I have gone -much to the chagrin of mu daughters with their 'that's sooo not cool mum' comments as I have stitched away.

But I beg to differ. I find the whole quilt top cool; very, very sooooo cool and I have really enjoyed the challenges of each different block.

For those of you who have already purchased the quilt pattern I'd be interested to hear your thoughts . On my part, I think it wasn't exactly the cheapest quilt pattern I have ever purchased. You essentially get 20 double-sided photocopied pages of hand-written drawings. There's also a mistake on Block 4 shape E. It says cut 12. Don't. Cut 8.

However, on the flip side, it did make me realise that it is relatively easy to hand draft different blocks which is what I ultimately did to make an extra four and thereby move towards my preferred option of a rectangular quilt shape. Also, by buying the pattern it kick started my interest in drafting my own designs which I doubt I'd have done previously. So, it all irons out in the end.

But that's it now, I'm all Cameloted out save for the quilting which I am going to do slowly by hand.
So, who would like the tea-stained, pencil marked copy of my Camelot quilt pattern as I know I'll never want to make it again? If so, please leave a comment and I'll post it to one random person anywhere in the world.

And on a different note, it has just started raining. So if you read the previous post you'll know that means Lilly Pilly and Meg's Garden random drawing time.

The Lilly Pilly pattern is going to :

and the Meg's Garden is going to :

I'll email you for snail mail addresses.
No pressure but I expect to see results ;-)

Saturday 18 August 2012

And here's one I made earlier...

Like several years ago 'earlier'...

Pride of place above Daughter No. 2's bed

But as much as I loved making them...

And this one is above Daughter No.1's bed
...I know I am not going to make them again.

Yup, I did use some batiks and I think, in moderation, and mixed in with other genres of fabric they are fine

So if you want either of the two patterns...

...just leave a comment for either Lilly Pilly or Meg's Garden.

I'm thinking this isn't really a giveaway more of a clear out therefore my clear out rules are different.

I will randomly pick who gets what dependent on the weather; next time it rains - I'll pick.

Random enough?

Both these patterns are by Kelli Wulfshon from here and are well written and fun to make.

PS. The five day forecast shows no rain ;-)

Tuesday 14 August 2012


Sometimes friends unexpectedly find themselves looking for a new house for themselves and their children.
And sometimes a quilt seems to be part of the equation.

So that's what I've done.

Not sure which way up the triangles look best

I just took a layer cake I had been given and then added in some more of my own fabrics to get a more eclectic look going.

Half square triangles came to mind. A couple of things worth noting if you use either of the two quick ways for creating HSTs.
If you use this method

you will end up with two HSTs that look like this:

And if you use the method where you put two squares together (right sides facing) and sew a 1/4" all round the square before cutting it across the diagonal, corner to corner twice (sorry, can't find a video) you'll end up with HSTs that look like this with the fabric patterns on the diagonal.

Worth noting as on the diagonal might not be your cup of tea.

I quilted it with a variagated red thread. Yet again, my machine doesn't seem to be enamoured with variegated threads (I'd love to know why) and although it did the job, the whole time I was quilting the machine sounded sluggish and loud. I adjusted the tension, changed the needle, rethreaded - nothing seemed to improve the situation.

No lasting damage to the quilt -  just wasn't and isn't a smooth process using variegated thread.

But in the great scheme of things it's not really that important.

Because quilts to me are not about prize-winning perfection.

They are all about turning a house into a home.

Sunday 12 August 2012

And the winners are...

And can I just say, I loved the variety of answers. I was clearly living in a shallow world when I posed the question because I was thinking I'd have a quilt shop built next to my house with no till so everything was free. But then a lot of your answers were serious so my sensible answer would be to take religions out of the equation because I think they build barriers and misconceptions, and wars have been fought over them.

Anyway, back to trivia; the five winners:

No 1. 


No. 2

No. 3


And finally, number 5

As soon as I have your snail mail addresses, I shall pass them on to Empress Mills and your goodies will be on their way.

And because I can't do a post without a picture(s) here are some from the last few days. I feel very lucky to live in a corner of the world that has all this on my doorstep. When the sun shines it is hard to beat.

Oh look, a solar powered Queen who, when she gets enough sun does a royal wave.

Thursday 2 August 2012

An amazing thread giveaway

** Giveaway is now closed**

I love discovering new to me quilting stuff.

I'm always looking to see what is out there. And then I found Empress Mills who have the most amazing selection of threads that I have come across. And they are manufactured right here in England by a family-owned company in the north of England and incredibly well priced. What's not to like?

So I ordered some.

Here is a comparison between a well-known 50s weight cotton quilting thread (left) and a 50s weight Empress Mills cotton quilting thread (right). It sews fantastically even.

And it wasn't just thread I discovered but loads of zips and 220 count Egyptian cotton fabric that you can use in quilting as regular fabric, use to embroider on or even dye and loads and loads of haberdashery stuff.

I realise I am probably beginning to sound like a paid advertisement for Empress Mills at this point but I can assure you I'm not - I've just become a regular customer who is empressed. Sorry, couldn't resist that.

Empress Mills would like you to be 'empressed' too so are offering the most incredible giveaway.

FIVE of you who leave a comment will get the following package sent to them:

4 x 50s weight 100% cotton thread
2 x 120s weight polycore machine quilting thread
1 x Smoke invisible thread
1 x Natural invisible thread
1 x bundle of Egyptian cotton fabric

You have four chances:

Leave a comment - if you could rule the world for just one day, what one thing would you change?
Second comment if you already follow - just type 'follow'
TWO bonus comments if you blog about this. I think Empress Mills deserve some blogland exposure so if you can help them - thank you.

The giveaway will stay open until Sunday 12 August 8pm Little Island Time, after which I shall use Mr Random Number Generator thingy to draw the five winners and then Empress Mills will send out your package to you. Giveaway is open to anyone anywhere in the world.

However, if you are not lucky, Empress Mills still has an amazing offer for you.

If you buy 4 x 50s 100% cotton thread or 4 x 120s polycore machine quilting thread, you'll get the 5th for free PLUS a free fat quarter of the Egyptian cotton fabric. Just pop the code 'ALISON' into the coupon code box at check out. Oh, and they ship worldwide.

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