Friday, 22 May 2015

Pretty sewing time.

I mentioned previously that I was feeling the need to do some pretty sewing, so last weekend I did exactly that.

I was surprised when I realised that this cushion was started just over a year ago! It has sat around for ages waiting to be turned into a completed cushion.

The design is by Tacha Bruecher from the book Pillow Pop complied by Heather Bostic.
The little Union Jacks measure 4.5" by 2.5" and were quite fiddly to make but I do like them a lot.

The colours in this cushion inspired me to make another in similar spring / summery colours. 

This one is my own "design", if you can call it that as it's very simple.
I thought I'd  positioned the squares in an alternate pink and green pattern and it wasn't until the day after I'd completed it did I notice those three pink squares in the bottom left corner and also the predominantly green ones in the row above!

I couldn't resist this cute owl fabric by Michael Miller.
These two now sit side by side on our living room sofa but
 things do look best displayed in threes so I think I really did ought to make another...........

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Sewing for Boys

I really feel like I need to get my hands on some girly fabrics and do some pretty sewing!
 Apart from quilting a girl's Siblings Together quilt most of my sewing time over the last few months has been with more masculine fabrics.

I've completed three boy's Siblings Together quilts and I made my husband a quilt for Christmas.
For his work he goes to car racing meetings in the UK and Europe and he often sleeps in a motor home or tent so I decided he needed a quilt to keep him cosy. He was rather alarmed when I first suggested it as I think he imagined a flowery number but I assured him it would be manly!

I went for a St Louis Sixteen Patch in a variety of masculine fabrics. It's been put to good use during his last couple of trips but spends most of it's time all bunched up, hence the creases. Why do men have the inability to fold anything?!

Here's the pieced back looking more creased than the front.

My most recent boys quilt is another for Siblings Together. Mary, one of the members of the ST Bee asked on Instagram for people to send her Home Sweet Home blocks (from a tutorial by Jera of Quilting in the Rain), which herself and a couple of  friends would make into quilts for boys. She received a huge amount of blocks as well as binding, wadding and backing fabric from generous quilters from far and wide. So many in fact that she needed more volunteers to put them together......hence another boys quilt to add to my list.

One of my least favourite parts of quilt making is making the binding. Luckily for me it was donated, by whom I'm not sure, but whoever you are I'm very grateful!

 The blocks for this quilt were made by so many people yet they have all come together to be given to one child who will hopefully gain some comfort from it.

Back soon with some pretty sewing !

Thursday, 30 April 2015

It's not EPP!

I recently finished hand piecing my "Jazz hands quilt" and before I start hand quilting it I need to finish hand quilting my Strip bees quilt. Although I enjoy hand quilting sometimes I fancy a change and like to have more than one hand work project on the go at once. I'm sure you know what I mean.

So here is what I've been up to so far.

The blocks are from the digital version of "Hexagons, Diamonds, Triangles, and More" by Kelly Ashton. I think the book intends for you to machine piece the blocks but I've used the book's templates and hand pieced them. For Christmas I received a gorgeous book called  "Wild Blooms and Colorful Creatures" by Wendy Williams which combines fabrics such as cotton, linen and wool to make beautiful quilts, cushions and bags, the main design feature being wool felt applique. I used this book as inspiration for the applique in the centre of two of the blocks.
I think I'll use the blocks in a new medallion quilt which I'm planning.

I've still been busy making quilts for Siblings Together. The latest top was made from fabrics donated by Mary, Julie, Catrin, Carol, Julie and Sonia along with some I had left over from a quilt I made for the charity a couple of years ago with fabrics donated by Moda. The design is Rail Fence.

As the quilt o metre in my side bar shows we're now up to 50 quilts with many more in the process of being made. If anyone would like to help in anyway do get in touch.

Bye for Now, Maria

Monday, 16 March 2015

In the Pink.

I started this quilt back in 2013 at a sewing retreat. The pattern is from a book by Pam and Nicky Lintott which I borrowed  from the library but I can't recall the title. Whilst I really like the pattern and individually I like most of the fabrics I'm not overly keen on how I positioned the fabrics together in the centre of the blocks. I also ran out of the light border fabrics and had to use a different one in some areas which I don't think looks great either.
I don't agree with giving dodgy quilts to charities but I decided to donate it to Siblings Together as I think the faults I see in the quilt probably don't bother other people and the overall look of the quilt is OK. 

 Believe it or not I bought the backing fabric especially for this quilt but didn't work out how much I needed and wildly under-estimated the quantity, consequently I had to piece quite a big panel to make it big enough.

The quilt o metre has now gone up to 19 finished quilts with lots of activity still going on with people making many more.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

More Sewing for Siblings Together 2015

Most of my sewing time in recent weeks has been taken up with sewing for Siblings Together.
I've had the machine in my sewing room set up for machine quilting this quilt whilst I've taken over the dining room piecing on my other machine.

I recently purchased the Machinger's quilting gloves and I'd highly recommend them, they grip the fabric making it easier to move when free motion quilting, I also find them comfortable to wear. I purchased them online from Eclectic Maker who provide a super quick service which for me comes high up the list when choosing which of the many online stores to buy from.

This is the project which has taken over the dining room. I had some fabrics, which were donated by Moda, left over from the quilt I put together for the Siblings Together Bee a couple of years ago. I asked the lovely quilters on Instagram if anyone had any fabrics that would go with them which they would like to donate so I could make another quilt for the charity. Unsurprisingly I was sent some fantastic fabrics and I've started to put together this rail fence quilt. 

Mary and Hannah are both putting together group quilts using Home Sweet Home blocks from a tutorial by Jenna from Quilting in the Rain. People from all over the UK and abroad are sending them both blocks for them to turn into wonderful quilts. These are the blocks I put together for them.

The quiltometer is now up to 16 completed quilts with loads more in the process of being made. If anyone would like to join in please have a look at my last post for how you can get involved.
Bye for now, Maria

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Siblings Together 2015

Anyone who may have stuck with me over the last couple of years may remember that I've been involved with making quilts for a charity called Siblings Together.

The charity works to keep children in England who have been separated by the care system in contact with their Siblings by arranging, amongst other things, residential camps where the siblings can meet up and spend precious time together.

"Sibling relationships are the longest lasting in most people’s lives. Allowing these to wither for children often already deprived of parental support is a real injustice to looked after children, and is likely to result in huge costs to society from the impact on life outcomes." 
 Quote taken from the Siblings Together web site

 Two years ago after a chance meeting with the charity's director, Delma Hughes, Lynne of Lily's Quilts put a call out on social media, primarily on Flickr, for donations of quilts to be given to the children attending the camps as a snuggly keepsake of their time spent with their siblings.
The charity even has a Siblings Together Quilting Group page on their web site.

This is a copy of a letter sent from Delma to some ladies who sent quilts to the charity.

The 2015 camps will be happening in the summer and Delma stated  above that 90 children were attending the camps last year and they are hoping to increase the numbers this year. A group of us have come up with the idea of trying to get 100 quilts donated this year. There are three quilting bees on Flickr making quilts and some people are also making extra quilts. I'm sure there are individuals beavering away making quilts too.

Would anyone reading this like to help? It would be fabulous if you could.
You could help by:
  •  Donating a quilt
  • Donating one or two blocks to a group quilt
  • Offering to put together a group quilt
  • Donating some unwanted fabric for someone else to make a quilt if you have fabric but not time
  • Offering to make a quilt with donated fabric
  • Donating fabric for backing or wadding.
  • Spreading the word on social media or to quilting friends or guilds.
  • Any other way you can think of.
The link to the Flickr group is here. This is where details of quilt sizes etc. can be found and people can chat about group quilts, fabric offers etc. and post pictures of quilts too. There may be a Facebook page in the near future too.
I've just finished this quilt for Siblings Together which I made with a lovely friend.

I finished this quilt top last year and plan to get it quilted in time for this years camps.

These are group quilts I put together. The one the right was made with fabrics donated by Moda.

I hope I may have inspired someone to get involved. The quiltometer in the side bar is the brainchild of Mary and will be updated regularly.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Still here.

I can't believe it's been five months since I last posted here so I thought it about time I gave anyone who might be interested an update about what I've been up to sewing wise. There isn't a large amount of stuff to show but I'll do it over a few posts. 
First off is a wall hanging I made for my parents for Christmas.
As inspiration I used a Craftsy Class called "Magical Blocks: Out of the Box" by Kimberly Einmo. The sampler quilt made in the class is a large bed size quilt but I made mine wall hanging size using my own layout with the original as inspiration.

I forgot to take photos before I gave it away and then forgot to take my camera when I visited at the weekend so these are rather poor phone photos.

The picture below shows more details of the quilting. I quilted different patterns in different areas of the quilt. It turned out fairly well but there's always room for improvement.

I have more to show when I get round to taking pictures of it. Here's hoping for some dry weather at the weekend and for a willing quilt holder to be available.
Bye for now, Maria.