Sunday, 17 September 2017

Linking to RSC 2017

As I didn't have any orange scraps to make more RSC blocks I'm linking to So scrappy blog with my trial layout for my Twinkler Quilt.  I have been making these blocks for the past six months or so and decided I probably had enough to make a quilt. There are Orange blocks in there!

 
I might change out some to the blue and pink blocks for some other colours as I have 30 Twinklers over.

Creating Soy Amado blocks

I didn't have any orange scraps left for the RSC 2017 Challenge ( totally cleared out last weekend!) So I turned to 4 unfinished Log cabin blocks made on a printed foundation calico gifted to me a couple of years ago. One of our Patchwork Group members was having to clear her home as she was going into care and everyone was given a bag of bits and pieces. I recently used some of the gifted Cute cats squares in my baby quilt called Happy Cats.

Two of the Log cabin blocks had been sewn together using a tiny swirly flowery garland machinery embroidery stitch. The stitches were minute and took me all Friday evening to unpick.  However, yesterday I turned them into Soy Amado blocks by adding two more rounds to each Log cabin. Struggled a bit to find suitable colours.  They aren't a perfect choice but I did use up more scraps.

 
These blocks need to finish at 12.5" exactly so I always make them much larger, around 14" which allows for quilting and trimming to size.
 
I have sandwiched them with batting and backing so they are ready for machine quilting which I'll do at my Quilt Group on Monday afternoon.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Trial layout

I finally had a little time for sewing this afternoon but decided to see how many blocks I had for a Twinkler Quilt.  I intend to make this a donation quilt for Siblings Together. The minimum size they require is 50" square so I worked out if I set my Twinklers 9 blocks by 9 that should finish at 54" square. I don't really enjoy making larger quilts, quite hard to sandwich together without getting lots of wrinkles so this size is good for me.

So a quick layout looked like this:


Adding this picture to Busy Hands, Finished or Not Friday.

All the blocks need trimming - horrid job so I'll tackle the blocks a few at a time. I probably should have trimmed them as I went along!
I even have 30 blocks left over, useful for swapping if I feel some of the blocks in this current Trial Layout are too similar.

I also counted up how many 5" String blocks I have made - 105.
I have made a note of how many of each colour I need to make to be able to sort them into sets of 4 for each block. Not too many.

It's amazing how these Projects using scrap blocks mount up.

Saturday, 9 September 2017

RSC Orange and others

I have been making a few blocks whenever I found a few minutes during the past few days.

First of all, so I can link to So Scrappy RSC Orange challenge
with these Orange blocks:

And other assorted blocks:

 
 And earlier in the week I made another Sailboat block for our Patchwork Group joint quilt :



I am enjoying making a few blocks for various different quilts and building up blocks to make  some quilt tops.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

7 year old's First Quilt finish

My 7 year old Granddaughter was very keen to make a little quilt so during the summer holiday she made this dolly quilt with my help:


I tipped out my box of 2.5" squares and she chose 20 and arranged them in a 4 x 5 pattern.
I was surprised which colours and fabrics she picked - I thought she would go for pinks and lilacs and was amazed at the ones she chose, especially the black tone on tone one and the white daisy on a navy background ( she liked that so much she added 3 of those!).

I showed her the basics of the machine and she operated the footpad whilst I guided the fabric. She managed really well. Border and backing fabrics were chosen from a more restricted selection from my larger pieces stash. Again she surprised me as she immediately wanted the borders and backing to be the same fabric. She chose the binding from the same selection.  We put the borders on together in the same way as we sewed the squares and rows together - I helped her pin the rows and showed her how they nested.

After I sandwiched the top, batting and backing she chose buttons from my button box and we drew a chart so she knew which button she wanted where on the quilt.  Then she learned how to sew on buttons, took quite a time, in several short bursts over several days but she did it. I trimmed and sewed on the binding and showed her how to hand stitch the binding down.  She found this very tedious and so I finished it off for her. I didn't want to put her off sewing by being pedantic about completing the project.

I have embroidered a label detailing her name, made with Granny and Summer 2017. 
This afternoon I am collecting her from school so I will hand it over to her then.  I hope she is as pleased and excited as I am about finishing her First Quilt!

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Linking up with So Scrappy Saturday

Angie has announced the new colour for September - it's orange, a colour that is extremely sparse in my stash so I have very few scraps to play with.  I like the colour and love using it in my quilts but find it tends to get used up and so, no scraps.

Over the past month or so I have been cutting many of my really tiny scraps into 1.5" squares so I knew I had a few orange ones.  However many of them are repeats but I did manage to make 2 Roman Stripe blocks.


I did quite a bit of sewing with scraps yesterday and a little more today and produced a few more Roman Stripe blocks. I am making sure I make pairs of the same colour because when they fit together into a quilt you need two pairs of different colours in each block - eg 2 pinks and 2 greens.


The single turquoise block pairs with another turquoise one I made earlier in the week.

I also made 2 x 49 patch blocks, green and yellow.  These are quite fiddly to make so I will only make single ones occasionally!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Inspiration from the Internet

One of my favourite pastimes is trawling the Internet for quilting ideas. I follow a lot of blogs where I get loads of ideas and they lead me to other blogs where I find lots of inspiration.  A while ago I found Angie's blog, Quilting on the Crescent, through the So Scrappy Rainbow Challenge blog.

Angie used 1.5" squares, all the same colour to create a 49 patch block, every square was a different fabric.  I squirrelled that idea away and then saw Cathy's Roman Stripe blocks ( based on a vintage quilt she spied on Etsy)  Those were turned into a fabulous quilt entitled Checkered Past.  I loved the idea of alternating 5 x 1.5" squares with calico strips.

That triggered a frenzy of cutting scraps, in some cases from a tiny scrap, to make a tin full of 1.5" squares.

So for the past two days I have snatched bits of spare time to churn out one blue 49 patch block, each fabric is different which was more difficult than I thought as although I thought I had lots of different squares cut I was surprised how many 49 actually is!  However, I have completed one Blue Block:

 
I also have a Green Block all laid out ready to sew.
 
Then I had a go at some Roman Stripe blocks, some I made Leader and Ender style between webbing the 49 patch block. Some blue, some green and one turquoise block.
 
 
A while ago I kitted out lots of Twinkler Blocks, again a super idea I learned on Cathy's Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting blog.  I had to cut some more small squares for the star points but have made all these, 18 blocks in all. Tomorrow I need to put all my Twinker Blocks together and see how many I actually have................... perhaps enough for a quilt?
 
Today's blocks:
 
I love using up scraps.  Thank you Angie and Cathy for your ideas!
 

Monday, 28 August 2017

Weekend windows of opportunity

This weekend is a Bank Holiday in the UK but when you are retired (as we are) it doesn't have the same significance.

We have never chosen to travel anywhere during Bank Holidays as we had no desire to be stuck in traffic jams. This weekend has been no exception!  For once the Bank Holiday has been blessed with beautiful sunny weather - they are normally a wash out! We have enjoyed the garden, eating some meals outside ( very few this summer) and I have done a bit of gardening.

On the sewing front I decided to sew for a little while early on Saturday morning and complete a few more Twinkler blocks which were kitted up ready to go.  I am linking these with So Scrappy RSC blog as they have neutral centres and star points. That counts, doesn't it?
I finished 8 before I ran out of 1.5" squares for the star points so  need to cut a few more as I still have lots of 8 x 2.5" squares pinned together ready to turn into blocks.





Baby Georgie made an appearance on Thursday evening so I have been busy embroidering the label for this quilt I made last year:


This is the label:

 
Ready to sew onto the quilt whilst I'm watching TV.
 
 
I also managed to pop over to see baby India and deliver my collection of hand made gifts. gorgeous baby, lovely family and today I received a beautiful photo of baby India lying on her Happy Cats quilt. That's why I make quilts!
 
 

Monday, 21 August 2017

More great quilts from the Festival of Quilts

Lots of photos of some of my favourite quilts at the recent Festival of Quilts.

And close up
 
And close up
 
The tiniest hexies imaginable - probably finished at 0.5"
 
My finger shows how small those hexies are!
 

I thought this quilt was very clever and beautifully executed. Called "Latinus Stupidii for Quilters" by Moira Neal, Cambridge.  It depicts shelves of plants created in various ways, all with invented Latin names. Each plant is made up of various quilting tools.
 
Close up of the rotary cutter flowers

Cactus using safety pins for the prickles


Collections of small quilts



Amazing New York Beauty quilt - all the points were perfect!

This one reminded me of strata and fault lines in Geology.
 
 
 
 
There was an exhibition of small quilts made by pairing quilters from three countries: The Netherlands, UK & Switzerland. Each pair sent four fabrics to their partner and the partner could add three more fabrics of their own.  The theme for the quilts was CLIMATE.
And the finished quilt.
 

And the finished Polar bear quilt.
 
This one was entitled 'Lost Paradise".
 
This quilt was made by 35 people showing the names of women killed by their partners or ex partners.  Very graphic and thought provoking:
And a close up
 
Finally two entries in the Quilt Creations category:
 

 
My camera started playing up at this point and I took some on my mobile phone.  I haven't downloaded those yet. Perhaps another post as some of those include photos of some of the winning quilts from each competition category.

 



 
 
 
 

 

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Neutral string blocks

I'm linking with the Rainbow Scrap Challenge 17 on the SoScrappy blog.
I follow the blog each week, enjoying the marvellous blocks people make from their abundant scraps.

I haven't been sewing along with each month's chosen colour but I did make some blue String blocks last month as that was the colour choice for July and I am building up a stack of 5" String blocks which eventually will be sewn into a quilt top.


This month's colour is Neutral and I never have many neutral scraps but I knew I had a few (not many variations though) but I managed to make 10 blocks this afternoon.  I already had 6 neutral blocks so with today's haul I will have enough to make 4 neutral coloured diamond blocks for the quilt.

Here they are:

 
I now have 96 finished blocks.  I need more yellow, orange and purple ones, all colours I don't have many scraps for.

Two more little gifts

I haven't made a Taggy for ages but just finished a little one for India made from 2 different
flannels and pretty ribbons:

 
 
I also made a drawstring bag for her Mummy which I thought might be useful for Amy to keep together her essentials like mobile phone, car and house keys etc which she can pop into her Baby Bag when she goes out with India. I'm always amazed at how much 'stuff' Mums carry around with a new baby so the little drawstring bag might eliminate the need for a handbag as well as the Baby Bag!
 
 
My collection of handmade gifts for the new baby are now collected together ready to wrap:
 
 

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Crochet baby blanket finished

In an attempt to keep scraps down to a minimum by using them up I decided to make a striped crochet baby blanket.  I had almost a whole ball of grey left over from the striped baby cardigan I knitted recently and a friend gave me leftover balls of navy, red and white yarn. As I was about to pop them in the cupboard I had a change of plan:  why not crochet a baby blanket?

All made up as I went along.  I think I made a 100 chain before starting the double row of dc, using the four colours in turn and repeating the pattern of navy, grey, red, white.
The white ran out first but I managed to find an excellent match in my bag of yarn leftovers so then continued until the red came to an end. By this time the blanket was almost a square of a useful size and I had enough navy to crochet a border all the way round the blanket.

It finished at 29.5" x 31.5".  Not a perfect square but near enough to 'look' square until I measured it.

Another part of my gift for Amy's baby who was born a little early on Thursday. A baby girl, called India Reyna, such a pretty name. Can't wait to hand over all my gifts whenever that might be.


A close up:

 
The colours aren't completely true to their real colour.  The navy isn't as black as in the photo and the red is proper pillar box red not the rather orange shade of red it appears here.
 
I'm pleased with the blanket, soft and colourful, and drapes beautifully.  Just right to tuck around a baby in the pushchair or car seat. Hope Amy agrees.

Friday, 18 August 2017

Festival of Quilts 2017

I spent two full, busy days last Thursday and Friday at the Festival of Quilts at the NEC, Birmingham.

As always there were wonderful Competition quilts, such amazing work on display. I marvelled at the artistic skills as well as the sewing skills of the quilt makers.
I had a problem with my camera so didn't take as many pictures as usual but I will share some with you now:


 
 
Two photos of a very intricately pieced quilt. Great colours, all swirling around the quilt.



I loved this Pineapple quilt.
 
Again, wonderful piecing. I loved how the corners connected into striped squares.
 
 
The following photos were of a quilt called Some Memories, each block depicted a holiday , each one a different scene, country, year the holiday was taken.
 
This is Opua in New Zealand
 
 Another NZ scene, this time with kayaks and, like the previous one, edged with Maori patterned fabrics.
 
Interesting to see this quilt as we had NZ friends with us, and they loved spotting the NZ holiday blocks
 
Again lots of small piecing.

 
 
 
Lots more photos to share, but off to friends for a meal.  Will come back tomorrow with more pictures.