Wednesday 28 December 2011

Christmas Canasta quilt complete.

Hi there. I hope you had a great Christmas. We spent time at my parent's house and my brother was home from the U.S, there was lots of eating and relaxing which was great. I was in need of a few days rest. I'm not back at work for another week so there should be time for some sewing.

I made my brother a quilt for Christmas and I didn't finish it until 23.45 on Friday, I needed to get it done by Christmas Eve and just managed to get it done with 15mins to spare. Many thanks go to my husband who took over cooking duties for the last week while I worked on getting it finished. Note to self, start a project like this with more time to spare another time.

I would highly recommend the pattern which was the Natural Canasta Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman from oh Franson!
I did make a few mistakes which were frustrating but that was more down to me rather than the pattern.

Sorry about the photo quality, they were taken in a hurry on a phone.
I used fabric from a variety of ranges. I didn't realise until I started this quilt that there is a severe lack of fabric ranges out there for men. It took ages tracking down appropriate fabrics but I'm pleased with how this quilt turned out.

The original quilt is quilted in an all over free motion design. I wanted a more geometric look so quilted about a quarter of an inch around the seam line of some of the squares.
After spending so many hours together I've had to wave goodbye to the quilt as today it's off to it's new home at my brother's apartment in NYC.

Happy New Year!

Maria x
I've linked this post to Lily's Quilts Fresh Sewing Day. The button is over on my side bar. I can't work out how to put it here. Any help with this would be appreciated!
Tuesday 3rd Jan: Also linked to Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story, button on side bar.
Friday 6th Jan. Now linking to Amylouwho's Sew and Tell Friday. Again, button on side bar.

Friday 2 December 2011

A finish on Friday.

The cushion I made for the Duo QAL on flickr is finished. Hurray! The block is a concentric square design which was quick and easy to make.

I tried some new to me quilting patterns which include feather quilting, clam shell and pebble quilting. The hand quilting is in a variagated perle thread. 
The cushion has an envelope closure on the reverse and the back is quilted which helps to make it nice and squishy. It's great how reading craft blogs shows you new ways of doing things. A revelation to me was binding the edges as you would a quilt, I can't remember which blogs I read it on but thanks to whoever you are. It saves making a piped edging , I love it.

I made the cushion to match the quilt I made for Lily's Quilts Dead Simple QAL. I love the autumnal colours.

Here it is with the back of the quilt.

Now onwards and upwards. I decided, perhaps rather too late to Christmas to make a quilt as a Christmas gift for a member of my family. The fabrics are washed and ironed ready and I've decided on the design which I've designed myself but  I'm nervous to cut into the fabrics and get going in case my design doesn't work...............I'll show my progress soon.

I'm linking this post to Amylouwho's  sew and tell Friday, her button is in my side bar if you fancy popping over to see what others have been up to.
Also linking to Crazymomquilts Finish it up Friday.
Now also linking to Fabric Tuesday over at Quiltstory.

Monday 21 November 2011

November Rainbow Quilt

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet, the colours of the rainbow. The idea behind this quilt top was to make a rainbow quilt starting with red blocks at the top and graduating the colours down to violet at the bottom with no defined point where each colour changes.

I'm pleased with how it turned out especially as the fabrics were not bought specifically for the design.
Fabrics used were a couple of charm packs by Kaffe Fassett and Amy Butler and fabrics from my scrap bag. The background is made from various shades of plain greens left over from other projects.

The blocks are Windmill blocks made from half square triangles. I'll definately be using half square  triangles again, they are so quick and easy to make.

The photo I took of the whole quilt laying on the floor looked terrible so you'll have to imagine how it looks from these two photos. Unfortunately there are no quilt top holder upers here today to help! 

I've linked this post to Fabric Tuesday on the Quilt Story Blog, their button is over on my side bar if you want to pay a visit.
Now to decide on the quilting. Any suggestions on how to quilt it will be gratefuly recieved.

Saturday 12 November 2011

A finished quilt

Last night I finished sewing down the binding on my Lily's Quilts Dead Simple QAL. My original post about this QAL can be seen here.
I'm pleased with how it turned out apart from the placement of some of the squares in the final layout. I won't point out which ones though. I layed out the squares and labeled them but still managed to get them muddled up.

I wanted this quilt to be puffy and cosy so used a polyester wadding but chose a cheap one which I won't be doing again in a hurry as it wasn't great to quilt with.

I made a pieced back with some scraps from this quilt and some Kaffe Fassett prints which I recently bought. The quilting can be seen better on this shot.

The binding is a Mark Lipinski design print which I bought at half price! at my local quilt shop. I was so pleased to find a binding fabric in the sale section which was just right.

I've seen some gorgeous mini quilts on blogs lately and really fancy a go at some mini quilt usual there are a few finishes to see too first. Some discipline is needed round here at the moment.

Maria x
P.S I'm linking this quilt to Fabric Tuesday on the lovely Quilt Story blog. Click on the link in my sidebar to see what other quilters have been upto.

Sunday 30 October 2011

Bloggers Quilt Festival Fall 2011, My Entry.

I decided it would be fun to enter a quilt into the Blogger's Quilt Festival which is generously hosted by Amy of Amy's Creative Side.


I've shown the progress of this quilt before but apart from sewing in a few threads it's now finished. The quilt was started way back in 2008 when I decided to make a quilt in the style of Kaffe Fassett, I borrowed a couple of his books from the library for inspiration and chose this one. Unfortunately I can't remember the name of the book, the quilt was called the Postcard Quilt and if my memory serves me correctly it was inspired by a quilt in London's Victoria and Albert museum. It was made by Liza Prior Lucy and is a medallion quilt.

Image taken from the book, sorry about poor quality.

 This quilt was made using templates which I didn't fancy so I adapted the design to use rotary cut fabric. My quilt isn't an exact copy of the one in the book, I just used Kaffe's as inspiration.

The quilt required lots of different fabrics, I bought a few but many were scraps and the purple inner border fabric was retreived from a friends rubbish bin!

This was the first time I had attempted such a large quilt and it spent long periods of time lonely and forgotten in a cupboard until the urge would strike to work on it again.

 I'm proud to say that I quilted it on my domestic sewing machine. When I started the quilting it felt like a very daunting prospect, trying to wrestle such a large, heavy quilt through the machine was quite a struggle at times. I soon realised it was best to concentrate on a small area at a time and try not to look at the rest of what needed to be done . 

After a while of quilt photography, which wasn't easy on a dull breezy day, some quilt photography hysteria set in!
Thanks to husband and ten year old son for help with taking the photos.
Thanks also go to Amy for hosting the quilt festival, I was planning on visiting and commenting on the blogs of all  the other entrents but as the number of entries now stands at 345   I don't think I'll quite manage it, but I'll visit as many as I can.

Tuesday 25 October 2011

Duo and Bloggers BOM Quilt -A-Long.

A couple of finished quilt along blocks to show today.
First up is the block I've made for the Duo QAL run by Rachel of Contented and Rhonda of Quilter in the Gap. The idea is to make a quilt using a concentric squares pattern on which to practice hand and machine quilting. I decided to make one large block to make a cushion to go with the quilt I'm making for the Lily's Quilts Dead Simple Quilt QAL.
Although I say it myself I think I'm not bad at twirly wirly free machine quilting but would like to have a go at some other free motion designs so this block will be my guinea pig block.
I included the light green solid fabric as a background for hand quilting which I plan to do in variagated orange perle thread.

My second block was made for the Blogger Block of the Month QAL run by Jackie of Canton Village
Quilt Works. Each month block instructions are posted on the blogs of Jackie's merry band of helpers, Sherry at A Quilting Life was the first to go, here is the block I came up with using her instructions. Just noticed some of the points are not too great!

Thanks go to Sherri and Jackie. The next block is up today so I'm off the Jackie's blog to find out where to go for the instructions. By the way there is a flickr group for the QAL here.
Bye for now, Maria.

Thursday 6 October 2011

Cushion number three.

I've shown two of my recent quartet of cushions. Today it's time for number three.
It was inspired by two images I found on flickr, this one and this one. 

Take a look at the fabulous green walls in the background of the two flickr images I've linked too. They set off the cushions much more effectively than my dining room carpet!
Bye for now, Maria x

Monday 3 October 2011

Picking a Palette

Lynne at Lily's Quilts posed the question "Interested in a dead simple QAL?" Well, yes I thought actually I am. The idea is to make a simple, quick easy quilt where the interesting thing is the palette rather than the pattern which is a squares design. Lynne suggests that you pick a colour palette perhaps from a site such as design seeds, or you make your own palette, and then make the quilt using your chosen palette.
 I've never seen a site like design seeds before, I'd recommend a look, it's fabulous if you love colour.

I've gone about it slightly differently. I found that I didn't have the fabrics for whichever palette I picked on design seeds, and I'm trying to use fabrics I already have not buy new ones! Whilst rummaging through my fabrics I found a half metre of an Amy Butler fabric from the Love range which has a beautiful palette of colours. Why come up with my own palette when Amy's already done the work?!

Luckily I found fabrics in my stash which matched the palette and I'm really pleased with how they look. Left to my own devices I wouldn't have put this selection together.
I've decided against the pink as although there is a small amount in the pattern I don't like it with the other fabrics.
I've been too impatient to wait for the tutorial on Lily's quilts so I've jumped the gun and started sewing my 5" inch squares together.

Bye for now, Maria.

Thursday 29 September 2011

String Quilt Cushion.

Today it's time for cushion number two. I love this one. Its from this great tutorial by Ashley at Film In The Fridge. Like the last one it's great for using up scraps.

String Quilt Cushion.     

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Cushion (or pillow) number one.

Pillow or cushion? I suppose it depends on which side of the Atlantic you live but to me it's a cushion. Anyway, we could do with a new dining table and chairs but as the table is used for homework, as an occasional sewing table etc and I would be paranoid about damaging a new one we gave our old set some TLC and I made some new seat cushions.
I fancied trying some new patchwork techniques and thought it would be fun to make each one different.
The first is the Mod Mosaic Pillow from a tutorial by Oh Fransson! This is a great, fun method for using scraps and I would recommend giving it a go.

Mod Mosaic Pillow, design by Oh, Fransson!

 It's hard to see the quilting properly but I quilted it in random free machined square and rectangle spirals.

Back soon with another of my new cushions.
Maria x

Sunday 25 September 2011

Still here.

It's been over a year since I wrote a post on my blog. I felt that I was taking too much of my time fiddling round trying to take great photos and deciding what to write etc. Well inspiration has struck and I've decided to have another go. It doesn't matter if my photos aren't perfect or what I write isn't perfect or witty. It's not a competition between blogs, just a bit of fun.
I've still been blog reading and apologise for not commenting either.

Well here goes............................
Many moons ago I showed the progress of a quilt I called my "Kaffe Fassett Quilt". It was inspired by a quilt from one of his wonderful books but I can't remember which book and it has long since been returned to the library.
Well after about three years it is finished apart from hand sewing the back of a small piece of binding and tying in some ends.


 A long time ago I also showed the progress of a storm at sea quilt. Well, that fella's now on the wall. Unfashionably it's made from batiks but I love it. I love how the blocks have a circular effect even though they are all straight lines. I quilted lots of circles which add to the effect.

It's not really wider at the top then the bottom!  
Ok, that's it for now. Hopefully back soon with cushions!