Saturday, 18 November 2017

RSC 2017 Handquilting Twinkler Stars

Linking up with Angela's So Scrappy RSC 2017 to show the progress of my Twinkler Stars Quilt.


I am hand quilting a double row of fairly small Perle stitches around each star shape.
Pleased with the effect. I had already machine quilted either side of all the block joins so the quilt top is well anchored.  No rush to finish this quilt so I am enjoying stitching whilst watching television or at my Quilt Group meetings.

I have now been gifted 2 lots of wedge shaped scraps. The wedges come in pairs, a solid and a tone on tone pattern for each colour.  My friend Candy made yards and yards of pennant shaped bunting to decorate the reception area for her granddaughter's wedding last year.  She and her daughter are now turning the bunting into a quilt for Olivia.  So I have been given the scraps which are around 6" long, the wedge is approx. 3" (they differ slightly!) at the widest point of the wedge.  I don't want to leave them like this in a bag because I know they will just stay there forever.  I had wondered if I could arrange them into Dresden-style circles, but haven't tried playing yet. I would normally cut scraps into usable sized squares (1.5", 2", 2.5" ) but I would waste more than I would be using.
Any ideas on how best to use them? Suggestions would be very welcome!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Kaffe Fassett exhibition

I had a delightful day on Saturday, visiting a Kaffe Fassett exhibition held in a National Trust property called Mottisfont in Hampshire. My best friend Barbara lives fairly near Mottisfont and she had heard about the exhibition.  We have visited a KF exhibition together before and we both love his work, the super bright colours, the way he puts vivid pieces of fabric next to each other and so on.

So, my photos:

Loved this HST quilt, the blues were just beautiful!

Another lovely blue one. A simple design but the use of such lovely fabrics makes it special. Barbara's favourite, I think. I loved it too!
Another snowball-style design, this time in richer colours. Both colourways worked for both of us.
Loved this sign , the words printed directly onto the wall.  Kaffe was born in California but moved to the UK as a young man and our country has been his home ever since. I think this shows his love for his adopted country, why it appeals to him.

The centre of a very floral quilt, showcasing a particularly beautiful flower fabric - like a still life painting.
As he said in the previous sign, Kaffe is fascinated by fruits and vegetables.  They appear in a lot of his work, including this chair upholstered in his tapestry work.  Look at those lush fruits!

Probably my favourite quilt as it uses colours I love. Again, a simple design which shows off his gorgeous fabrics.

A close up of the centre:

Another of our favourites. There was such an amazing range of fabrics in this quilt, including some that almost appeared to jar with the rest of the colours ( look at the 8 pointy stars made from black & lime green stripes and mustard yellow) and the hot pink and turquoise ones ( the addition of the hot pink jumps out and somehow draws your eye to both the centre and the outer edges of the quilt).
The clever placement of stars and hexagons made your eye dart about, sometimes making you notice the stars more, sometimes the hexagons. We looked in detail at this quilt for a very long time!
As you can see one of Kaffe's roll necked cardigan designs was exhibited alongside the quilt.  There was a lot of his knitwear on show - again all using his signature bright colours.
And lastly, two photos of his Folk lore quilt, na├»ve style pictures and shapes appliqued onto a cream coloured background.

Lots and lots more of course but I couldn't photograph everything.

The exhibition was so well organised, displaying his work beautifully.
Groups of quilts, interspersed with knitwear, tapestry etc were displayed in a series of rooms.  One of the room guides told us that Kaffe had insisted each room was painted a colour he specified: so there was a sky blue room, a hot raspberry pink, a sunshine yellow and  a Spring green one. Wooden chairs in each room had also been painted to match the colour scheme of the room, although in a different shade to the wall colour. The original wall colour in each room was Britain's favourite - magnolia - and Kaffe said if the rooms weren't painted to his specification he wouldn't allow the exhibition to be staged.  How right he was, these marvellous pieces wouldn't have been able to shine to their best advantage. Clever man!
Barbara and I have struggled this year to see each other - it took until 11th November to make this happen. I had a special birthday at the end of May and Barbara brought my birthday present with her which I had to open before we went into the exhibition. She had gifted me Kaffe's lovely Autobiography "Dreaming in Colour".  A perfect start to a wonderful day.
I was then told the "back story" to the present. Barbara had been struggling to think of the right present to mark my birthday but when we decided some weeks ago to visit the exhibition at Mottisfort she researched Kaffe Fassett books. Because she knew I was such a fan she guessed I would probably already have at least one of his books so she phoned my husband to ask him to search my bookshelves.  Apparently this wasn't achieved easily because time after time she rang and I answered!  Eventually she managed to speak to John and he was able to search my bookshelves whilst I was out. Great story, makes the book even more special. I haven't started the book yet but have already enjoyed the super picture on the dust jacket: Kaffe sitting cross legged on one of his bright pink quilts, surrounded by colourful pots of plants, another bright pink quilt as a background and holding a bright pink flowered wreath.  Marvellous!


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Turning RSC 4 patches into blocks

I have turned last week's small brown 4 patches into Square in a square blocks.  I have been working on an old UFO and these will make a great border.

I used 2.5" stash squares for the outside triangles.

Linking with Angela's So Scrappy blog for RSC 2017

Sunday, 5 November 2017

RSC 2017 Using browns

This month's colour chosen by Angela on her So Scrappy blog is dark fabrics, brown and black.
I have very little of either colour but did make 4 x 5" strippy blocks and some 4 patches made from 1.5" squares.

I have also made a few 4 patches using pink, purple and orange:

Joining up with The RSC on So Scrappy blog.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Using new fabrics

The majority of quilts I make are Scrap Quilts so it is a fairly rare event for me to make a quilt almost entirely from new fabric.  But that is what I have been doing for the past few days.
I have been asked to make a quilt for a friend to gift to her sister's expected baby.  They know it will be a girl but didn't want anything too "pink and girly" so I have come up with this:

I haven't used tumblers in any of my designs before and I enjoyed making them.
The wide grey panel in the middle is where I will add the baby's name in large appliqued capital letters.

The colours haven't photographed very well, it's a dull grey November afternoon here.  In reality all the colours are more vibrant and contrast more.


Sunday, 22 October 2017

Pink Cornerstones

I make 4" Crumb blocks as Leaders and Enders.  They have been steadily building up in a tin for a while so I decided it was time to use them. I decided on making a 4 patch block and using white 100% Egyptian cotton as sashing with pretty flowered 2.5" cornerstones.  All from stash.  The Egyptian cotton is from a bundle I bought at the Festival of Quilts last year. Each bundle consists of pieces of white cotton, very long 6/7" strips or quite large pieces which I assume are off cuts from making bed linens.  Beautiful quality.

I started making the blocks a couple of weeks ago at my Patchwork Group but yesterday I really got stuck in and completed the top apart from the final border which I have done this afternoon. Although I had a tin full of Crumb blocks I still had to make an extra six to have enough to make 25 blocks.
The top finishes at 52" which will be a good size for a Siblings Together quilt.

Close up showing the sashing and cornerstones

I have seen a couple of ideas using 4 patch units made from 1.5" squares so made a few as Leaders and Enders as I constructed the quilt top.

Here's a lovely small scrappy pink star I discovered yesterday, hidden away amongst my Crumb blocks. I knew I had acquired it in a Swap and went through my Flickr page to find out its origin.  From Valerie in Canada, sent as a little extra in a Block swap I participated in back in February 2012!
As it's Pink month for Angela's So Scrappy RSC 2017 I thought I should include it. Really beautifully made.

And two more Roman Stripe blocks.

So a profitable weekend's sewing.  I have had a dreadful cold since Tuesday evening and spent a lot of time in bed feeling rotten but yesterday I really felt like sewing and it was great medicine!
Linking up with So Scrappy RSC 2017

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

64 x 1.5" pink squares = ?

64 squares sounds a lot, doesn't?  Not when you are talking about tiny 1.5" squares, especially when one block needs 49 of those 64!

So, Linking up with Angela's So Scrappy RSC blog to show you these 2 blocks:

And 2 more RSC blocks: a Blue 49 patch ( again 1.5" squares) and a Yellow 5" Strippy block:

Monday, 9 October 2017

RSC: Making a start on pink

Not much time for sewing at the moment but I did manage to make 4 Roman Stripe blocks yesterday afternoon. I had a pile of 1.5" pink squares already stacked together in my tin and a set of cream strips cut to the correct size.  So handy to have them ready for the odd few minutes of sewing time.

Linking up to Angela's So Scrappy Blog.

Sunday, 1 October 2017

Ready for mailing

Yesterday I finished the 6 Soy Amado blocks I have been making for Alison at

Four made from gifted log cabins which I have enlarged to make the required 12.5" square finished blocks:

And 2 made from orphan blocks:

The first block with the appliqued hearts was a block leftover from a quilt I made last year for Siblings Together. I had to add a little extra cream fabric so that the blocks would be large enough and I experimented with some matchstick machine quilting down the centre panel. I echo hand quilted around the hearts with a variegated pink Perle thread.

The blue and cream block began with the centre square block.  I added extra borders, medallion style, hand quilted in the ditch and sewed a deep turquoise button in the centre.

I'll be mailing these to Guernsey tomorrow.

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Happy in Pink

I have finished my latest Baby quilt, Happy in Pink. I am really pleased with it. I have been working on this quilt for the past couple of months in between using up lots of scraps to make RSC blocks of various kinds.

Each Happy block is different, but very pink and girly! Lots of fun looking through my scraps for the 5" centres and the various strips to frame them. I found a lovely piece of fabric in my stash which was exactly right for the backing.  Bought several years ago (the selvedge dates it at 2011) that I have auditioned SO many times for a quilt backing and it has never seemed "just right".  It was this time.  There is such a variety of pinks in the quilt, yet more shades of pink adds to the mix and makes a lovely backing.  Binding, again from stash, is a bright pink with tiny white dot which seems to bring all those pinks together.

My friend's daughter is now 25 weeks pregnant so if the baby if a girl, this is the quilt for her.
The quilt measures 37" square and is a mixture of machine and hand quilting.

Two close ups of some of the blocks:

And finally, the lovely backing!


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!