Wednesday, 9 April 2014

We didn't mean to make her cry!

What do quilters do when a friend is poorly? They make them a quilt of course!
As I've mentioned before, a couple of weeks ago Jen was due to host a weekend get together of the Strip Bee girls but sadly for her she had an accident and was unable to host the get together. Jen has been left with an injury which, as she put it, has left her out of action for a while.

We wanted to get the quilt to her as soon as possible so decided on one 8.5 inch block each which I joined and quilted and made into a vertical wall hanging with the option of it being used as a table runner.
Jen likes pink so the only point we worked from was to use pink and purple.
Considering this I'm amazed how coordinated the finished quilt looks.

The top block was made by Amy. I love the little bee in the centre, so appropriate for a quilt made by the strip bees. I also love how she used the fabric with the pink chevrons.

Julie made the cutest English paper pieced flower. Notice how she and Amy have unintentionally used one of the same fabrics?

Fran made a gorgeous star. I love all the fabrics she used.

I made a version of a Dresden plate called a Dresden Daisy. I can see some more dresden plates in my future.

Sarah made a sweet economy block using Wee Wander by Sarah Jane, I love the adorable fussy cut fabric in the centre.

I'm pleased to say the quilt arrived safely with Jen and she's done a lovely post about it and the other goodies we sent here. She titled the post "They made me cry".
We didn't mean to make you cry Jen!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friendship X and plus blocks: March.

The last Friday in March has arrived so it's time to show this months blocks for the Friendship X and plus swap.

This month I've gone with a slightly different fabric layout in some of the blocks with lighter fabrics for the X and coloured fabrics for the background .

I hope you like them dear swap partner, Jane.

A theme of friendship blocks seem appropriate for today's post.

As I've mentioned before, early last summer I put together a small online bee called the Strip Bees.
One of the group, Jen, makes beautiful draw string bags which she calls Pants Bags, so called because when she goes away she doesn't like putting her pants (knickers) straight into someone else's drawers so she keeps them in a pretty bag! Jen so kindly makes pants bags as gifts for friends and family and she so generously made one each for her online bee friends.
 Here's the beauty Jen recently made for me in a colour scheme I chose.

The back is beautiful too.

I don't think Jen will mind me mentioning this, but as I mentioned last time, the five members of the bee were today due to travel to Jen's home where she was so generously hosting a weekend  meet up where we were to hand over our completed quilt tops and have a fun weekend, but sadly whilst shopping for food for the meal she was to cook us Jen had an accident and is now in hospital.
I don't know if you'll be  reading blog posts for a while Jen, but I know I speak for all the bee members in saying,
" Get Well Soon and we can't wait to meet you when you're better".

Maria x

Monday, 24 March 2014

Some Paper Piecing.

Over the years I've dabbled in paper piecing, and whilst I've been pleased with what I've made, the process has not always run smoothly, so when I saw that Craftsy were having a sale, and that one of the classes on offer was Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing by Carol Doak I thought it would be a great chance to pick up some tips.

The class was excellent. Carol is an enthusiastic teacher who knows her subject inside out. She gives many tips which help to make the process easier and accurate. Carol starts off by guiding the student through how to make a simple Bird of Paradise blocks and then progresses onto more complicated patterns..
I jumped straight in with the most complicated of the patterns, Mariner's Delight Compass. I was delighted with how it turned out and its now waiting to be quilted and turned into a mini wall hanging for my sewing room wall.

Something very exciting is happening in a few days time.
The six members of the Strip Bees quilting bee are all meeting up to spend the weekend at Jen's house where the big reveal of our quilt tops will take place.

Here's the strip I started with. It's now travelled from Suffolk to Hertfordshire, Kent, Wales, Jersey and Birmingham having patchwork strips added along the way. We haven't seen what the others have added apart from a few sneek peaks so it will be a complete surprise.

I'll be sure to take some photos and do a post next week about what we get up to.
Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.


Friday, 28 February 2014

February Friendship X and plus swap.

It's the last Friday of the month so time to show the blocks I made for February's x and plus  friendship swap. 

Here are many of the blocks we've made so far. We agreed to send them in batches so I haven't received all Jane's blocks yet.

  Recently Sonia from Fabric and Flowers UK posted a photo on Instagram of some fabric she had left over from a project and wondered if anyone would like to buy it. My son is learning guitar and keyboard so I thought he would love a cushion made from it for his room. I'm pleased to say the cushion got a huge hug when I gave it to him and it's now in good use. I have more of the fabric left so more cushions to come, eventually.

Back soon with an adventure in paper piecing.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Friendship X and plus swap : January blocks.

The last Friday of the month has come and gone which means I should have shown this months blocks in the Friendship x and + swap.
In previous months myself and my swap partner Jane have chosen three colours from our palette from which to make our four blocks. 
As we've discovered that there are a possible 20 colour combinations from the 6 colours we've now decided to pick two 3 colour combinations each month in order that we can use as many of the combinations as possible in the quilt.
This month we chose:
Dark Green, Yellow, Red.
Navy, Light blue, Red.

I must just point out that the navy polka dot fabric looks lighter in the photo than it actually is. 

I'm now all set to start February's blocks.
If you'd like to see what fabulous blocks the other swap members have come up with the the Flickr group can be found here.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Christmas Trees Wall Hanging.

Last year I bought the book Modern Holiday by Amanda Murphy. I particularly liked the Holiday Forest pattern but it was rather large for what I was wanting. Luckily one day I was looking at one of my favourite quilting blogs, The Sewing Chick, and it's Author Tessa Marie had made a mini version which she achieved by using the templates at the size printed on the page rather than enlarging them as in the instructions in the book. The original quilt features a fabric strip top and bottom with some pretty appliqued snow flakes which although beautiful I decided not to include.
Unfortunately I didn't manage to finish it in time for Christmas but made sure I finished it now rather than leaving it until just before Christmas this year.

I went with fairly classic Christmas colours, all luckily from my stash.
 I'm now going to do that thing which I think most of us do which is to point out a couple of faults with it! If you look at the smallest trees they ended up with a variety of different sized trunks, I don't know how I managed that as they all came from the same template, but hey, they wouldn't all be exactly the same in nature either would they? The other problem is this quilt suffers from wavy edges disease but luckily it looks worse in the photo than in reality.

Now for the quilting. I recently purchased (in a sale of course) the Craftsy class "Free Motion Quilting a Sampler" by Leah Day. It's a great class where Leah demonstrates a variety of free motion quilting designs. What I like is Leah gives yous permission to cross over your quilting lines and uses travel stitching where you quilt over your quilting to reach the next area you want to quilt.
The large tree below uses the Paisley pattern from the class. I must admit I didn't practice the designs first but just went for it whilst repeatedly watching what Leah was doing in the video.    

The blue sashing uses Spiral Chain, again I watched the video a few times and then just went for it. I really enjoyed this design and can see myself using it again in the future.
The small trees use Pine Needles, rather appropriate I felt.

Overall I was pleased with the quilting and it was great to learn some new designs from the Craftsy class. I'm looking forward to trying out some new designs on future projects.
Linking up with I Quilt Thursdays at Pretty Bobbins

Saturday, 11 January 2014

It's finished now son.

Way back in mid September of last year I wrote a post titled "Where's my quilt Mum?" about a quilt I was making for my son. The poor boy was wondering when it would be finished. At that point the top was pieced and it was waiting to be quilted. Well, being the quicker worker that I am,  nearly four months later it's finished and in use! I explain the block design I used here

It's difficult to get a decent photo when it's breezy and your quilt holders arms are aching waiting for it to blow into the right position.     
I bought a lovely soft flannel for the back but surprise, surprise I didn't order enough so I added a panel of wonky cross blocks to make it big enough.

The breeze didn't drop long enough for this one and that's a shadow bottom left, not a dirty mark!

I did some straight line quilting as requested by my son, he didn't want anything more complicated. I did offer.

For those of you, who like me,  love to see quilts made from more girly colours here's a quilt top I made started during a recent sewing retreat. It's now in the queue to be finished. 

Bye for now,