It’s always fun to make baby quilts and right now I’m making the most fun baby quilt ever.
It all started when I took a class at Quilt Con Together. Jo Avery was teaching her Journey to the Centre of the Earth block. I’ve always been bad at improv and this seemed to be a compromise as you design the block and then FPP (foundation paper piece) parts of the block. It was fun but also very hard and I had to watch the class twice to get a hang of the technique. Once mastered, though, it was incredibly liberating. I made one 12.5″ block and turned it into a cushion.
As I was doing the triangles/spikes I thought they look a bit like monster teeth. That was it, my imagination ran wild and this is what it came up with:
Isn’t that a fun quilt? I tried very hard to not make the monsters scary and I really hope I succeeded. The first monster I did was the green one, then the orange, yellow and purple one. I have to admit that my favourite changes all the time but I think it must be the yellow one. He looks a little worried and quite shy, I think.
As I was deciding what colour to do the last monster (I had planned on making a blue one but realised it would blend too much with the background), I laid the blocks on the floor and Holly became the fourth monster, even showing teeth. She was actually meowing at me, telling me she was hungry and to get a move on and feed her.
In the end it was my daughter who said that the last monster should be purple and I think it was a great choice.
I’m waiting on some basting spray as I want to try spray basting for the first time. I always like trying things out on small pieces and a baby quilt is perfect in that respect. For once I actually know how to quilt this, I usually struggle with it and often quilt in the ditch or echo quilt, but this time I’m going to have a sort of grid in the centre and leaves in the border. The monsters will get a bit of quilting in the ditch to emphasise hair, horns, teeth, nose and eyes but might also get some texture.
Do you like doughnuts? I do, although since I’ve started reducing sugar in my diet the last couple of years I haven’t had many. However, I don’t really mean the edible kind but rather the quilty one. I’ve started sewing a new quilt which I call the positive doughnut (#SDpositivedoughnutquilt on Instagram).
This block is, I believe, called the Greek Cross, but to me it looks a bit like a doughnut. The difference is that the hole in the middle looks like a plus sign. I’m using blue and low volume fabrics from my stash. Sometimes I’m not sure whether I have enough of one fabric for a whole doughnut or the background of one quilt so to help me with that problem I’ve cut the pieces from paper which I can lay on the fabric to check. I’m enjoying these blocks tremendously as they are big (12.5″ unfinished) and easy. There are no corners and no points that need to match and no bulky seams. In fact, I believe this is the perfect block for a beginner or a quilting bee.
Since taking this picture I’ve made another three blocks which means I’m halfway there.
I’m thinking of writing a tutorial for this block but that won’t be tomorrow as I’m off to IKEA to buy some more of the numbers fabric for the back. TTFN!
Worst blogger ever, I forgot to take a picture of the quilt before I gifted it…
I did remember to put a label on it, though. I simply couldn’t think of a good name for it and I didn’t want to put the name in my head (Purple Sucks) on there as a lot of people love purple. So in the end it I named it The Purple Quilt. The Aurifil I used, purple 2581 in 50wt, shows up beautifully on the back.
Here’s a picture my sister sent me of it in situ:
Doesn’t look too bad, does it? It crinkled up nicely in the wash and I hope she’ll use it lots.
The next quilt is already in planning, although it’s only a mini for a swap I’m in. Templates have been drawn, fabrics chosen, thimbles sewn (I make my own leather thimbles) and the Aurifil’s ready. The only hiccup: my fabric is still in America. I’m hoping that it’ll arrive soon as I’m looking forward to this one.
Hello, anybody out there? This has been the longest unplanned break ever. What happened was simply life and a lack of creative juices. I suddenly had no urge to create nor any ideas. Instead I focused on getting fitter and concentrating on my yoga and running. It was lovely but now I’m ready to get back into sewing and the ideas are piling up.
I haven’t been completely idle but have very little to show for the last few months. I might write about the things I made at a later stage but first I want to show you the quilt I’m working on now.
It’s purple. I’m not naturally drawn to purple so when my sister asked me to make a purple quilt I was not really inspired. I pulled all my purple fabrics out and looked at them. Nothing. I decided to add some blue and pink. Much better. Then I started cutting them into 4.5″ x 6.5″ rectangles and suddenly I loved it.
The quilt is now basted and ready to quilt. I’m going to attempt to quilt some ivy or honeysuckle growing on this ‘wall’ but before I do, I’ll practice doodling the pattern on some paper first. It would be a shame if I had to unpick lots of stitches now that I’m finally enjoying sewing again.
I’ve started to sew Martha the Giraffe and I’m really upset. Despite having coloured in the templates and knowing exactly how I wanted her to look I managed to use the wrong fabric for her mane. I really wanted Martha to have a purple mane but instead her mane is orange. What a dimwit.
She still looks cute but I just feel really disappointed with myself. I’m going to continue as I don’t think I have the patience to unpick her ear and the mane. I’ve added a different orange print for her inside legs and am hoping that that will help me love her again.
Goodness, I can hardly remember when I last wrote a post for this blog. However, the cobwebs have well and truly been dusted off and I’m excited to share lots of new makes with you.
First, is a cushion I’d promised Little Miss Bossy-Boots ages ago. She’s gone off the pink and wanted more purple in her room so I bought some lovely Kaffe Fassett’s and made her a Dresden plate cushion. Everything was going really well until I decided to hand quilt it. Hand quilting is hard on your hands so I put it away for a while before finally finishing it yesterday.
I added some free motion quilted pebbles to the centre and some leaf shapes to the background. The cushion was pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50wt (2024); for the hand quilting I used some Perle cotton but the very fine one. Could it be a 12? I’m not sure.
Next is a quilt to go with the cushion. I’ve already started cutting the fabrics and I’m adding lots of other colours to the mix. This is going to be a big quilt that will, hopefully, last the Little Miss a long time so I don’t want it to be too restricted colour wise.
Life here in Switzerland is still going in the slow lane. I have no internet, no phone and no tv at the moment and although I miss being connected to the quilting community I’m quite happy with the tv break. It’s funny how much more you can do when you’re not stuck to the laptop or tv (not that I watch very much tv in the first place).
However, I’ve been ‘stealing’ my mother’s wifi a few evenings last week and have been watching various courses on Craftsy, one of which is Ann Petersen’s Beyond Basic Machine Quilting. Yesterday evening I was watching her quilt fabulous feathers and was so inspired that I got my pencil and pad out and started practicing. This morning I sat down at my machine and tried to do it on a practice sandwich.
I used the Aurifil 50wt in 2024 that was already in my machine. It’s easy to see that the left side is easier for my brain to wrap itself around. My stitch length was also more consistent on the left.
I then decided to change to a slightly thicker thread and changed my top thread to Aurifil 40wt in 2150, a nice bright orange, leaving the white 50wt in the bobbin.
I love the thicker thread and am now itching to go and order lots and lots of different colours. Both these feathers were free form and I loved having a bit of ‘air’ between the fronds. However, I thought I really need to try them without space too and drew a circle on another practice sandwich. I was trying really hard to retrace my steps and keep the fronds together.
I first did the outside feathers and it’s fairly easy to see where I started in the top righthand corner. The inside was fine until I got to the last frond. Poor planning meant that my angle was off and it looks really messy. Alas, it’s only a practice piece and I don’t mind it one bit. After all, they do say that practice makes perfect and you learn from your mistakes. I’ve absolutely loved making all my mistakes and I now want to make a quilt that I can quilt with feathers in all shapes and sizes.
Ok, I’m off to watch the rest of my Craftsy course. I’m sure I’ll find more I need to try out soon.
I’ve appliquéd my Pantone Emerald challenge star onto the the grey Essex linen background as I know that I have to finish it soon if I want to actually enter it. It’s been slow going as I’ve been watching Downton Abbey (Season 2) at the same time.
I probably would have finished quilting by now if I hadn’t decided to tweak the pattern at the same time, snatching a few minutes here and there. I had to get the seam ripper and scissors out a few times as I had problems with a couple of the pieces not fitting properly. If you look at the small green star and the grey elongated hexagons you can see they are quite pouffy as I literally had to shoehorn the grey pieces in.
The fabrics I picked for the tweaked version remind me of spring flowers. Kaffe Fasset, Denyse Schmidt, Robert Kaufman dots and Kona Solids in happy reunion. I don’t know about you but I’m definitely ready for some sunshine and warmth. It’s not quite finished but I’m hoping to get the last apricot pieces sewn on this evening.
The apricot colour isn’t something I would normally have picked but I really liked how it coordinated with one of the colours in the Kaffe Fasset print.
Lying next to each other you can really see how fabric choice influences the perception of the stars. The hexagon shape which is so prevalent in the Spring Version sort of disappears in Réalt Glas. I love both of them. One last trial version to go before I put the templates up on the blog.