Living Coral – Pantone quilt challenge.

A2B46673-F6C9-4DF1-98A3-A46087958EBE.jpeg

A night shot to get in before the deadline

 

…and a day shot when at last after the wettest and greyish of June weeks the sun appeared

Quilt name: Coral Glitter

Size: 43” by 37”

Location: UK

Each year Pantone, the colour advisory organisation comes out with a colour of the year. I’m not entirely sure of the purpose of picking one colour but I guess the idea  is to promote Pantone and to get people excited about  a particular colour and how it can be used in fashion and styling. Anyway it’s the perfect  excuse for a challenge  to Quilters to make a quilt featuring that colour. Rebecca of Bryan Quilts and Sarah of No Hats in the House are hosting it this year.

This year it is Living Coral.

710E27B2-ACEF-4338-8F69-60CF847A4BBE

The last time I participated was 2015 when the colour was Marsala, a burgundy brown, no not the colour of a curry!

5B9186E5-72DF-4324-8DB3-0CB30705CF58

Since then the colours have been purple, bright green and a weird pink/ baby blue combo.  None really inspired me but I like coral so I thought I would go well out of my colour comfort zone and blend it with some other colours to make an improv curvy design.

As to design I’d always liked pointy shapes like diamonds, Jen Kingwell’s Glitter block (in honour of  which this quilt is named) and the periwinkle block. I was further  inspired by an unattributed  wood block design on Pinterest that appealed to me but I reworked it into curves and  different colours using fabric of course and it became this quilt.

I first sketched it out in TouchDraw, the poor man’s EQ software! It was very helpful in pinning down the colours. Also by fluke I extended the background and got  that large negative space to one side which made it for me as a design.

As you can see it’s pretty similar  although rather rough and  ready.

E197FC13-561B-4E36-B3E3-00ADF1A7F458

All the fabrics are Kona and the main colour is Curry, along with Nectarine, Green Tea, Bone, Mediterranean and Overcast. They have such nice names. Someone must have fun thinking them up. It’s interesting how the coral really brings the piece alive.

Assembly was frankly quite a headache. A range of methods were used from the inset circle method using freezer paper, improv curves for the very gentle curves and those that are more pronounced I fitted it up on the design wall. It was like a steps exercise class as I needed steps to reach my design wall and I was up and down, up and down….

D41D1E28-D412-4271-B8F2-42F3E964226E

It was also a little  bit like dressmaking as I pinned the pieces in place. It was assembled in curved pieces…

D8B8ABE7-11F0-4D85-A45D-F75F7D1BE17473D4EF5C-D8A6-41E5-89F1-7CCE93EDABE890CC848D-3503-40AA-A880-1FCC00C9582DB5F69EDE-AB80-4849-832A-0A55352BB55B

 

The final assembled quilt top was a bit baggy in places so needed a fair bit of readjustment to get it flat, well flatter! You can see the amount of flapping on the bottom section. For some reason the top section and the pieced middle were pretty good but it all went pear shaped, quite literally, in those bottom sections.

71818C70-F520-417E-B8A3-62E2B0C58856

As to quilting I just wanted something very simple but with bags of texture and went for match stick quilting, well not actually matchstick width, a  bit fatter than that but I was nervous that too much quilting might dilute the design.. I used a range of different coloured threads to match the fabrics in the quilt.

4F4BD12B-325A-462F-B364-6E5ED6F79DA1

One departure from usual was not to use double wadding which I would always do for a wall hanging  but have one layer as usual but use a layer of headliner fabric. This is the material which is a very thin foam  on one side and fabric on the other which is used to upholster the inside of ceiling of cars.  It looks as boring as this, even Felix is unimpressed.  …..

8AED0A95-0484-45FD-A785-3891D7ADE052.jpeg

But headliner is fantastic stuff, it’s cheap, it gives great structure to bags and 3d objects and I just wondered whether it would work for this wall hanging. Sewing through to quilt it was relatively easy but it does need pin basting. For some reason the usual adhesive basting glue I use just doesn’t cut the mustard. And it does make the quilt more unwieldy when you are wrangling it through a domestic sewing machine at the quilting stage. But overall it gives a nice firmness to the quilt, perfect for a wall hanging but not perfect for one that you want to snuggle up in.

its been a bit of a mad dash to get this finished. I thought I’d done that earlier today and even was so well organised I had taken outdoor pictures.

164937A2-14CE-4734-B991-F4FBC3DD8900

Can you see the difference? When I looked at the original quilt in the top photo it didn’t look enough like  the original design on TouchDraw, crucially no right hand border and it looked out of balance. So nearly 4 hours later it looked much better but no outdoor picture as it was midnight here. The deadline is 5am UK time so plenty of time…..!!

UPDATE Snooked one in when the sun came out the next day. Nothing beats natural light!!

 

Siblings Together Bee 2 – Courthouse Corners

So sorry everyone in Bee 2, this one slipped me by, my excuse? It’s GCSE season in my household with the twins having some 40 plus exams between them. One of them has been working hard and diligently revising the other one hasn’t. I have one of each and I will let you guess whether it’s my daughter or my son putting the effort in and the other winging it!

For non UK readers these are mandatory exams for 16 year olds that the lead onto either further academic or vocational. I’m afraid I’ve been rather distracted…… we are 11 days until the finish line.  But Sue very gently nudged me. I don’t think it’s the first time…..

Anyway this is the June block for Bee 2.

The sharp eyed will note that one of those strips is thinner than the others. This was a cutting mistake…

Four of these blocks make a scrappy cross as pictured at the top. But just to say I only need you to make 1 or 2 at most depending on time, fabric and energy.

When looking for inspiration I often drop by Ashley’s Film in the Fridge blog. She has some great quilt designs which she doesn’t sell but are the type that are perfect for Bees. They are nearly always use scraps, all relatively straightforward but pack a lot of punch for the simplicity  of the  block.

I thought we’d have a go at Courthouse Corners

These are absolutely perfect for scraps of the thin variety, even better when you can sew shorter lengths together. I have even used a scrap strip set I used from the very first quilt I made from a jelly roll! As you can see I’d like blue/green colours of all varieties, prints, solids etc.

You will also need plenty of a bright white solid.

Please use a scant 1/4″ seam.

I made four so you can see the effect and they used a large amount of blue/green scraps I’m pleased to say. The first step is to make the centre.

This requires

3.5″ blue or green square

2 strips 3.5″ by 2.5″ strip

2 strips 7.5″ by 2.5″

Assemble them thus

Sewn together they will look like this and should be 7.5″ square

For the outer strips I’d cut to order 2″ coloured strips and a bunch of 2″ bright white strips. They need to minimum be a 7.5″ long up to 13.5″ long. I got through this amount for 4 blocks

Add to the 7.5″ square thus in the court step way rather than log cabin which takes more time ironing

The next set of strips go here

And then again turning the block 90 degrees then add two more strips….

And add the final strips to make the block

The block can remain untrimmed but if you are keen please trim to 13.25″. It should theoretically come in at 13.5″ but shaving it down a1/4″ gives some wriggle room.

As you can see I had help…..

Well the great thing about this block and other bee block I’ve done for Bee 7 my blue scarp drawer closes very easily now.

June blocks for Siblings Together Bee 7

C8385666-A9DD-4A7E-9FC7-DC4391570F73Sorry everyone that May didn’t quite happen. I know the Mama was very busy and she did try to send something out but it didn’t arrive with me and the others who were wondering. I’ve checked my junk  because it always surprises how many legitimate emails get lodged there but it wasn’t lurking there although what was was the next mini block drive for ST which looks great fun.

No worries. I am the mama for June so I thought I’d send the blocks out a little earlier than usual  so those who are raring to go can get stuck in.

Here are the blocks.  They will be great for using up blue scrap strings.

558C196E-97C2-451E-9DB9-70454CC3034E.jpeg

In terms of fabrics  you will need a bunch of blue strips around 1” – 3” wide. They can be solids or blue prints where the blue predominates. With each block can you please add a flash of red strip, preferably solid or reads as solid and red not pink or purple. And then to surround the block just a strip of bright white. I would love to have a minimum of three blocks please.

To make them, it’s improv all the way…

I used a 6.5” square ruler just to keep checking the strip square kept to 6.5”. Alternatively you could use paper and actually sew onto that as a foundation.  Your choice.  But what you do need to end up with is a 6 1/2 inch square block of blue strips with one red stripe somewhere in it. The strips can be straight or wonky again it’s up to you But I would like them, as mine have, go diagonally as opposed to straight up or across.

Here are some process shots

CCE336E6-4D04-4355-8042-23ECB63E7EA486C6841E-0333-4D72-8FFB-099D2A427D6DF89F0C3D-BC89-44C3-8437-28EAAE382DE70B7C8EB2-60AE-406F-BE3C-C4735F1386D09C76E17C-6EA5-4F8E-8DCC-4FA0B2A0B975EE5DEC6A-77FF-4E91-823C-3294105C709D9B5527B0-3AFD-4E9B-9B8A-F50CFDC735F90983D9DB-D863-4DE4-B581-1A00E959F480

 

When you have your finished strip block, cut from bright white  fabric, 2 strips 1.5” by 6.5” and 2 strips 1.5” by 8.5” and sew as the picture below. Please trim the final blocks to 8.5” square. Use a scant 1/4” seam with these outer white border strips. I speak from bitter experience …..

2A91CD42-5D52-4C32-8F79-35E51CE60239

C8385666-A9DD-4A7E-9FC7-DC4391570F73

 

Any queries or issues don’t hesitate to get back in touch.

 

 

 

 

April block for Siblings Together Bee 2

Sorry this is a little late but real life tends to get in the way of doing the nice things in life and that’s what has happened this month to our mama. I usually have a quilt design for these sorts of occasions but not this month! But I had a bright idea. Bee 4 have together made this quilt top..

DA2A94D3-ECB6-482D-986F-27C3686F375A

 

Looks rather good doesn’t it?  The idea is that it would  be a quilt for an older teen probably a boy. Siblings Together always need this type of quilt because  while most/all of the donated quilts will suit the girls not so many suit for boys. As testament to this, when I was doing a photo shoot my 16-year-old daughter, unsolicited, said how much she liked it. Trust me unsolicited praise about my sewing is very rare in this house. At its best they say  ‘it’s okay’!!

As is often the case I had a few blocks over after making the quilt top. I’m always reluctant to put blocks on the back. It seems such a waste so  I thought I’d ask you to make these relatively straightforward blocks. The only tricky thing is I’m being a bit, or rather, very prescriptive on the colour used as it needs to be limey green/olive. Details are given below. If you don’t have any of the right colour fabric, no worries just use grey/ white. In fact you can see that the grey/white blocks far outnumber the green coloured ones and the quilt is better for it.

Details for making the blocks are here 

1E02D604-FFC6-4920-B114-1D9FD10ECA8D

Any problems please let me know

Mistakes, blunders and downright ugliness

What a great idea of Bernie of Needle and Foot to have a link up to do with all the quilting blunders we make to counter balance the beautiful  and successful  creations that fill most people’s IG and blog posts. I’m as guilty as the next person in showing the pretty stuff I have made but this time I’m going to let my mistakes shine through to show, as Bernie put it, quilting in real life.

Well real life quilting definitely goes on here.

Mistakes

Where do I start there have been sooo many but one I came across only the other day made me smile. I made this quilt for our lounge, its the perfect colours and is probably my family’s favourite quilt and is in constant use. I happen to see a picture of it on Pinterest and suddenly realised that there is a block in the bottom row, left hand side that is the wrong way up. I have looked at these pictures and the actual quilt a 100 times and never seen it.  Its even highlighted as it is draped over the sofa picture. But oddly while I would have changed it pre-quilting now its there I like the quilt  even more.

712643C0-17B4-43A9-9B4B-A0594EB0CA662CCEBC58-F735-4ABF-8B4A-FBAF53C19785

       Lesson learnt – some mistakes remind us a) we are human and b) its hand made and therefore won’t have factory made perfection. 

 

Blunders through the misuse of tools..

We all have a humble seam ripper, which in my case gets used very regularly. In fact I have bought and been given tens of the things over the years and yet at this point in time I could only lay my hands on three.  When I leave this house I’m going to find dozens of the things in a pile with all those missing socks…

Anyway for its usual purpose of ripping seams I speed rip by using the little red blob at the end and running up the offending seam.  I’ve sort of learnt when it doesn’t feel right and mostly get away without ripping fabric.  But on one occasion, when my brain had taken a brief holiday, I used the point of the seam ripper to remove papers from a  paper pieced mini quilt being made for a quilt show.  I wriggled the pointy end and pushed too hard and ripped the block across the centre as you can see.

img_4638img_4640

image

This wouldn’t have been so bad but I’d sewn all the blocks together with the papers still inside. And the blocks were small and it involved a major rework.  The smallest part in terms of time was making a new block, much more time consuming was dismantling the quilt to fit in the new block. It never lay as flat again…

    Lesson learnt – use the stiletto or darning needle, not something with a                           cutting edge to get those paper pieces out.

 

Blunder – using the wrong thread

This was an experimental piece to practice curves and using scraps for interest. I quite like the top but the quilting is just meh.

842DCFB0-CD9C-49C9-81D5-E5F556BDF1E8

It’s an underwhelming design and doesn’t really play to the design. Better would have been just vertical lines but what really detracts is using a  variegated thread. Against such a minimalist design instead of adding variety which was the intention, it just looks weird, as if it’s marked.

image

Funnily enough I used more or less the same fabric and thread to replicate the sea on this mug rug for a swap and it works really well. The variation comes across as sunlight glinting on the water.

73d57430-2445-4a0e-b9fd-1810fb6560f6

    Lesson learnt – either do a trial of quilting thread on a piece of scrap or be                   very cautious of variegated thread

 

Blunders – fabric bleeding

I don’t prewash fabric but I will if I ever choose to use a solid red again.

This quilt for my room looks lovely doesn’t it? Just fresh off the machine….that lovely wool batting giving it texture and warmth. The red prints contrasting nicely with the Oyster Kona fabric neutral.  Its a pattern by Sew Wonderful by the way using their Quick Curve Ruler which definitely lived up to its name.

image

 

It needed washing much sooner than I’d envisaged – blame the cats! Disaster – the deep red flannel backing bled profusely.

img_5042

It was madness not to prewash that backing although even after countless washes it still colours the colour catchers. And the quilt itself has a pink hue to the pale fabric. Jayne of Twiggy and Opal who makes beautiful and original, mainly solid fabric, quilts has had a similar issue but I won’t steal her thunder as she may well link up.

   Lesson learnt, prewash solid red fabrics and use light coloured backings for                quilts which have lighter fabrics on the front

Downright ugly

Generally when making a big item like a quilt for example I  spend a fair bit of time looking at what others have done with a similar design, copying effective colour ways or I will do a trial block so fabric choices get tested etc.   And also I am simply not dedicated enough to persevere with an ugly quilt! Of course I’ve made quilts that are less attractive than I’d hoped for and others that have turned out better than I expected  but in the main they have been attractive enough to gift or use.  But somethings I’ve made just look downright ugly.  Look at these….

image

These pouches are from a free pattern called Zola, a link to which was found on Bonnie Hunter’s blog. She had purchased a similar pouch at Disneyland and loved the fact it contained her hand sewing but made a little tray when unzipped, so useful on the many flights she does. I agree I love fabric trays, they are so handy to stop things rolling away. So I thought I’d make a couple and see whether they worked.

When unzipped they don’t look too bad as trays, although the fabric choice for the zip on the teal/aqua one is dire. But zipped the original design sort of falls over because the base has two parts so is inevitably unstable. I made a second (the teal/aqua one) with a one piece base but higher sides which makes the tray a bit more awkward to use and the third with 3 pieces on the bottom which sits  better.  I also like the colours more. As you can see this one is in regular use.

image

The other truly ugly one is here

A0B7D148-23A0-46AB-80F9-38E25C1E89D1

This is from the lovely Tiny Treasures tray pattern by Anna Graham Noodlehead. I’ve made loads of the smaller trays and they are really useful  and effective  so I thought I’d give the bigger one a try. But I didn’t read the instructions correctly and the leather handles were  ridiculously long. It’s funny how  small details can wreck a project because these designs are in fact actually very attractive and easy to do.

I tried to take off the handles but the rivets stuck firm, I even tried to shorten them as in this picture  with further rivets but they looked even more ridiculous.  It was just for my sewing room so no problems there, I just cut off the handles at the rivet point.

As you can see not only is it useful for holding quilty stuff but when it’s empty the cats have loved it as a cat bed!

FFAEF708-0AC2-467F-8687-2E45DF8328AF

F37B2A4A-35D6-4491-BB1A-C94E38E0F96E19550ABE-C0AD-4051-905E-032396CF3A72

 

    Lesson learnt – even ugly things have their uses….

 

 

 

An oldie for a baby

0ADAF8E4-B452-4A46-BF3F-38722A820613I reckon the fabric for this very long-standing work in progress goes back around four years. When I cut out my first drunkards path quilt (below) I was left with lots of smaller drunkard path pieces. I couldn’t bear to throw them away so they just got stuck in a project bag and put in a drawer.

image

When rooting around for an empty project bag for some Siblings Together blocks that were coming in thick and fast  I decided It was probably easier to make up the contents of one of the bags rather than make a new project bag.

1A4354D0-DA90-44DD-90B8-405C348DFC832098C89B-5A3F-40B3-8AF3-A0B8AAEAFE05

 

One of the great things about baby quilts is that they are so very quick to make and finish.  And furthermore they seem to be universally liked as a gift, something I guess to do with the nesting instinct of a new mother.

73EB8B55-2C72-4342-AB24-683A8E3DBB1C

Yes it really was that messy!

It is perfect  quilt to give to Project Linus as it’s too small for Siblings Together and I know they actively collect for neonatal and paediatric wards. I made a similar cot quilt for them a year or so ago based on the Hungry Caterpiller story.

7878EDC7-CE5E-48D2-B65C-1155536E6F4F

I don’t know what the general view of the use of baby quilts where you live but here  in the UK the advice is not to use a quilt as a bed covering until the baby is 12 months for fear of cot death. This is on the basis that the baby may get too warm and babies that young can’t regulate their own temperature.

I remember being given a leaflet as I went home with the first of my premature twins with strict instructions that the room temperature had to be around 60°F with no more than two blankets covering them.  I had the thermometre ready to check the temperature and the requisite number of blankets and carefully monitored both for fear that any breach would lead to his instant death. I did worry as I tucked myself up in my 10 tog duvet in the same room and next to his cot that I would have been freezing with just two blankets but so fearful was I that I’d get it wrong I stuck to the leaflet.  Needless to say when the midwife came round the next day she discovered a baby with a  temperature that was so low he was on the verge of hypothermia and had to be rushed off to hospital to be heated up. I have been sceptical about health advice from the NHS ever since and you can see he was very warmly wrapped thereafter!

062A743C-D16C-4B46-9CAB-6EC9255EB6BB

Interestingly that same child, now 16, always sleeps with his window wide open in all weathers.  The neighbours, who can see his window from their house, were laughing that even when we had snowfall last Spring they could see it accumulating on his open window. So maybe it has had a lifetime effect!

Now whenever I gift a baby quilt to a friend I always tell them what the theoretical advice is and then let them make their own decisions but after telling them my own salutary tale…

B238D686-5873-40C5-959C-139D6F05D09C

 

Bold and curvy – Quilters’ Guild Challenge

6E2900E1-6072-4A20-80D8-61DCA5C3BC68

6C2204FB-69C2-497F-ACE1-794BBD1C3111

Spot the difference!!

 The Quilters’ Guild here in the UK is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. In some ways it surprises me that it’s only been around 40 years bearing in mind quilting as a tradition and craft  goes back many centuries. However for its’ ruby anniversary there’s been a challenge put out to members of all the specialist sections of the Quilters’ Guild to come up with a mini quilt based on one of the quilts in their  collection. The quilt in question is the one above, the Bloomfield Coverlet  (so in fact it’s not actually a quilt). And to cut to the chase my interpretation is just above.  I think we can say I’ve interpreted it quite radically…. (incidentally this is a wordy post so I have sprinkled in some outtakes of my photos of my mini with my assistants.)

The Guild’s specialist groups include miniature , traditional, contemporary and its most recent arrival modern quilting.

F106D6C0-1619-4820-874A-4041EE998607

I don’t think anyone could claim that the Quilters’ Guild were rapid in embracing modern quilting given the specialist group was set up in 2014 whereas modern quilting, according to a recent article in the Quilters’ Quild magazine, can be traced back to the early 2000s. And if I’m reading between the lines correctly the founders of the modern specialist group,  Helen Howes and Heather Hasthorpe, had their work cut out to persuade the Quilters’ Guild to set up this new specialist group. But they succeeded.

C5803B87-4CE4-44CC-A8B0-D614FE39F4B0

Needless to say this  acceptance of modern quilting as part of the Quilters’ Guild has been a runaway success. The Modern Quilt  specialist section  has numerous members all thanks to Heather and Helen who still play a huge part.

Another member who was in from the start was Kate Percival, who sadly lost her battle with cancer last year.  It was Kate who put forward the idea that to commemorate the 40th anniversary it would be a good idea if there was a Guild wide challenge. This was taken up and the result will be  a special exhibition of some of these mini quilts from the specialists groups, all with their own aesthetic, hopefully playing nicely together.  It should make an interesting display.

As it happens the Modern Group has always had an annual quilt challenge to make a 20” mini quilt based on a theme.  I’ve always taken part and an example is this one based on the theme triangles  which I can see from where I’m writing. But obviously this year we will follow the Guild challenge.

image

I don’t know what your reaction to the Bloomfield  quilt is but I don’t think there was universal excitement at the choice of quilt. It’s a bit of a funny one. Helen Howes wrote a very interesting piece about it to spur us on  We were also given access to a high resolution image so you could really go up close and personal.

It certainly wasn’t a quilt that set my pulse is racing. I’m not really a blue and pink person and even after over 150 years these fabrics are very vibrant as you can see from the close ups below. Neither am I keen on sentimental poems and the layout is a strange concoction.

DAC7A9A6-A423-4772-8D2D-641E3A31053D4500881C-3681-4891-9DBB-AEB1CC9768F3

There is very little known about why it was made but because a number of the passages relate to the death of babies and young children it’s been assumed that it was made as a commemorative quilt in honour of such sad losses. But I wonder about that. If you look at the  poems about the passing of babies such as the two below they don’t strike me as being sewn by a grieving mother. They come across as, quite frankly, rather callous! Along with many many women  I have had a miscarriage and trust me even though I have a strong faith I would certainly not be putting my loss in these terms!

0C97C2DD-79E4-488B-8A53-5304B8449884D36B99BD-9056-48C5-8BA5-C9E6923F98F5

I wonder whether they were sampler embroidery pieces perhaps done on a Sunday where sewing had to be religious. I recall going on a family holiday to a Christian Guesthouse  and every Sunday the table tennis room was locked! My brother and I were deeply unimpressed. But it would have been seen as a typical Victorian virtue and maybe in later years the maker came across these samplers and then arrived at this  rather piecemeal  layout. Scattered across the quilt, to fill in the gaps, are appliquéd  fussy cut flowers and birds. Which even with the kindest eye look a little, shall we say, unsympathetically cut. Perhaps there wasn’t much of that material and the maker had to make it stretch.

Coming up with a modern interpretation was surprisingly difficult. In the end I decided to take from the quilt the things that I liked and then try and imagine a more modern  interpretation.

3FFE02BA-4208-4B21-AEB0-B81080E55CFD

I like the circular nature of the overall design, its symmetrical, I like the darker parts as it gives a bit more depth and I rather like the red and white binding although it’s actually a fringe. I felt I had to stick with the main colours of blue, red/pink and cream as the design was going to be so different but I used a floral pink fabric to echo the flowers in the appliqué pieces between the embroidered passages and a balancing blue. And by sheer luck I had a red and white striped fabric in my stash for the binding. The text print (which replaced that other neutral in the picture above) was in lieu of the embroidered words  and of course what modern quilter doesn’t use text fabrics… I also chose a sentimental text print as you can see from the extract below.

0C60A0F0-A45F-4FC1-81B6-ECD802E31BB1

As to the design I love curved quilts and enjoy a bit of freehand curved sewing, in fact in a rather pleasing way it was Heather’s eccentric crosses  that taught me how to do this in the first place!  I had seen a design on Pinterest  that caught my fancy from a Fons and Porter magazine. I had no idea how to get hold of the pattern so just drew some curves….Because I wanted this to be symmetrical  I drew up a template out of freezer paper, cut the curves by hand and used that for the four sections which then got sewn together.

I wondered about introducing more neutrals  to give the quilt a paler background like the original quilt but in the end, taking my lead from the recent entries at Quiltcon, I chose big and bold.

47C52E94-74EB-451F-8B8B-2FCC190076B3

It will have to have a title if it’s going to be submitted for the challenge so I have chosen The Circle of Life.  It struck me that there is a sense of connection with the past quilter and previous lives let alone the rather morbid sayings in the original quotes representing birth and death. And of course it does contain a circle albeit a rather swirling one. I did toy with the rather facetious title  of Spot the Difference. Depending on how wicked I am feeling at the time I may choose that one!

I think Kate would have liked this quilt. She didn’t shy away from colour and as Helen said we should be making these quilts in memory of her as much as this vintage quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thread House Retreat Bee – March block

Yep another Bee block posted in the same month, this time for members of the Threadhouse Retreat Bee. This is not to be confused with any other Bee…. at least I’ve chosen a different colour way!

ED986822-A9B0-4E42-B4C0-C8B16F53EEDD

Now I hope you like these blocks, they are from a set of block cards given away  in a recent Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and designed by Lynne of LilyQuilts. Very fitting as Lynne was in on the Thread house team  from the get go before other commitments meant she couldn’t attend the retreats. I rather liked this 12.5” unfinished block.

As you can see it is really very straightforward. To ring the changes I would like shades of pink. No novelty prints please or purple or red. These are perfect for scraps. Please put the darker pink across the middle and lighter pink as the outer pieces like my blocks. When I say darker pink it doesn’t have to be a dark pink!  I have probably thoroughly confused you now. What I mean is when you choose your two pinks  which ever is the darkest of the two put across the middle.  The white needs to be a bright white so no creams and even Kona snow is probably too off white as well. Thank you. I would like 2 blocks please.

You will need the following for one block

From the darker pink

1 x 4.5” square

1 x 5.5” square

From lighter pink

1 x 5.5” square

from bright white  for background

4 x 4.5” squares

2 x 5.5” squares

09B73111-62BB-4E3C-8CF5-E4B601439B80

First make the quarter square triangle (qst) units of both the darker pink and lighter pink .

Use any method that you like for this particular unit but my method is to first make half square triangles (hst) using a 5.5” white square paired up with one of the  pink 5.5” squares.  I ironed the white square diagonally corner from corner and then put that on top of the pink square right sides together and sewed a quarter inch either side of the line. I then cut it up the middle and you have created two half square triangles.

0107C704-1329-4401-88B0-64E871F80DEE

You then iron one of these  two hst  to create a diagonal line and then place them right sides together  ensuring that the two are correctly positioned ( I used a pin as in the picture to ensure they are aligned). Remember the dark side of the hst has to be facing the light side of the one underneath. You may think that’s obvious. However I still got one of mine wrong!!

 

DBD8FBAB-600E-4420-BBB6-F1B67F829331

Then just sew 1/4” either side of the line and cut up the centre. Then trim them to 4.5” square.

32C2B2E8-6B3C-49E7-AF82-7244DA4E780F

Make the other qst from the remaining pink 5.5” square paired with a 5.5” white square. Now assemble the pieces as below and sew together. Please trim to 12.5”.

F188727C-E760-4DB0-AAF1-7E216853A779755D098A-1605-4F21-B75B-0FBB6F22AC55

Quick and easy, no? Many thanks and if there are any problems please get in touch

 

 

 

 

Bee block for March Siblings Together Bee 7

01FB6A89-91E2-4150-862D-E6B99E09CCEBJust a quick disclaimer to start with. I know it does get confusing for those who follow me on my blog and who are in other Bees but not the Bee for whom the design is intended. Trust me it confuses me as well!!    So to be clear this is just for members of Bee 7.  Obviously if somebody else wants to jump in and add to these blocks I’m not going to stop them after all any block for  Siblings Together is another step towards another quilt .

So dear members of Bee 7 here is your block for March. Frankly it’s a bit of a mash up of a number of blocks but I want this quilt  to be simple and  graphic but not just plain squares.

In terms of colour choice, on the basis that blue/green quilts tend to be the ones that are very popular with this age group I would like you to use any solid or ‘reads as’ solid in those colours. And because I know that many of you agonise over your fabric choices I’ve put some here that I think would be fab and others on the left where maybe it’s too much white and not enough colour.

B2E817DC-9723-45D1-813C-32B82B972E9CFurthermore for the colour element of this block you will need the best part of a fat quarter.

For the secondary colour can you please choose again something bright white, certainly not tan or cream but there could be a light pattern on it but I’d like a good contrast with the background colour.

Hopefully that helps and  I don’t come across too bossily!

So to how to make the block and given it’s a large one I only one block per Bee member  please.

you will need from the coloured fabric

2 x 17.5” by 4.5”

2 x 9” by 4.5”

4 x 2.5” by 2.5”

And then from the neutral

2 x 5.25”  by 5.25” square

Cut each square diagonally making 2 triangles per square and 4 in total from both squares

5 x 2.5” by 2.5”  squares

57323EC0-B742-40B6-853D-FF5F80819275

Use a scant 1/4” throughout.

Using the 2.5” squares make up a checkered square as below.  Please trim to 6.5” square.

3E3F0191-BBF5-48A4-8198-6F142E6F1612

Now sew the white corners on this checkered block thus.

 

Trim this block to 9” square and then add the coloured borders on as follows

 

Now do a final trim to 16.5” square. I know these larger sizes are tricky to size so feel free to leave the last trimming as I have a 16.5” square ruler for this.  I’ve allowed some wriggle room here so the actual square will be closer to 17”. This is because I find the bigger the block the greater the margin error! That might just be me!

I hope that is clear. Any problems please let me know.

Dressmaking Adventures

x Jenn S Nowood Hill copyI once made a good chunk of my clothes. This was in the heady days in the 70’s when fast fashion and cheap imported clothing had yet to hit the UK. It was also what many women did to extend their range of clothing and it was genuinely cheaper than buying.  As a consequence a fabric shop and full haberdashery was typically found on most UK high streets. I even made my first work wardrobe when I started at a big UK corporate as a graduate trainee. Now that would certainly not happen today.

Although I wasn’t especially talented I had a mother who was and with her help the clothes generally fitted well. I only wish I had more pictures of what I made….. but the picture above survives and shows me wearing a blouse made from a perfect ‘made to fit’ pattern drafted by my Mum with even variant collars so I could ring the changes. Paired, of course, with the ubiquitous flared jeans c 1976?

As an aside please forgive the very non pc name of our cat back in the 70’s.  It could be worse. In the same batch of photos my Dad had compiled having  digitalised and labelled old prints/negatives was one of his childhood pet dog.  This dog was also black but his name started with an N…. I was genuinely shocked! My parents assured me that this was a completely normal colour reference in the 30’s and even my mother’s rather genteel girls school had n… brown as the colour on their uniform list. How times, mercifully, have changed….

Well inspired by bloggers like Kate I’ve been tempted to get back in the saddle and I signed up for the kimono class that Kerry did at the recent Threadhouse retreat.

26558BB8-B728-4CB1-9BC8-B73ADD1F3D41

Its a pattern by Sew Over It and a great choice for an open class, simple (only 4 pieces) and  fits any size. I chose to get it printed rather than construct it from A4 PDF sheets but at £10 I might try cutting and pasting next time. Bella is helpfully holding the pieces down. I cut out the medium pattern size which worked out fine. 

5613FF64-8606-4A54-BAFB-75287546BFF7

It needs a flowing fabric so that was a bit trickier than cotton us quilters are more used to but all, under the expert eye of Kerry and masses of pins, very doable. But I was a bit taken back by the price of viscose fabric. Branded would cost around £16 per metre and I needed 2.5m for the longer version. It was a far cry from the £2/3 cost of fabric to make the blouse in the picture above from the 70’s. Ok some 40 years have elapsed but with the help of Google on average there has been a four fold increase in prices since then so on that basis today it would still only cost me £8-£12. In fact not wanting to waste money on something which was experimental I only spent £15 on some drapey viscose which looked and felt fine.

1424EE32-FFCD-4535-8004-1FDD337E24AB

We were advised to wash the fabric first but I forgot…..but I did cut it out at home using our island unit and a rotary cutter and cutting board  which proved quick and easy and it was certainly easier than cutting it out with scissors on the old dining room table at home.

21410695-FB6F-47DE-82E6-713DAEA61F9C

The class was great fun, mostly seeing everyone’s else’s creations and fabric choices. Kerry got us to sew French seams which worked beautifully other than I  had a real mental barrier about sewing wrong sides together and had to unpick more than I should have done.

3939B484-FC8A-4347-AEB0-0D32F488F95F

We had 3 hours which for an experienced sewer would be ample but it took most of us longer but as you can see it got finished and I really like it. It skims more than clings which is good for me. I chose to curve the front rather than leaving it straight as it looked a bit like a house or lab coat! It’s too cold at the moment to wear it but on a nice day where a cover up is needed this will be perfect.

789C042C-BB2B-4518-A01F-AFBF11D05F52

I might even make another and I may even splash out more £ on the fabric or go sheer….. maybe even something braver inspired by the wonderful Great British Sewing Bee on BBC now which is similar to the Great British Bake Off in concept but so much more visual and fun….I shan’t be applying for the next season though.