Saturday, 27 February 2016

Ooops a Daisy!

Sewing is such a pleasant and relaxing pastime. I'm sure it calms the brainwaves. It certainly calms mine. And straight line sewing is the most calming of all. Just enough concentration is needed (seam allowances/not sewing over fingers) that my brain is occupied but it's mindless enough that I can go into a 'power down' mode. 

I've now sewn the sashing onto the blocks. I love how it makes the disappearing nine patch blocks pop. 

There will be 4 rows of blocks with the white sashing and I'll do a white border for each side. 

Happy sewing!

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Ooops a Daisy! Quilt

This one started out as a quick project. I made a Disappearing Nine Patch quilt for the back of the settee and really liked how it looked. 

I wanted to make a larger quilt using the same design and already had four charm packs which I thought would be suitable. I won't say what the fabric was however as I wasn't happy with it eventually.

It all began well. I wanted to get on with it quickly (first mistake) so just started sewing up the nine patch blocks. I admit I wasn't taking my usual care as I had a rare few hours to myself and wanted to get as much sewing done as possible. So I powered through. Halfway through I realised the charm squares were not all 5 inches. So my nine patch blocks were misshapen. It was my own fault as I didn't follow my own advice to check this first and to take care every step of the way! 

So I had a decision to make. Continue on and find a solution or unpick. I'd already used up about two hours of my precious time so, rightly or wrongly, I made the decision to finish the blocks. Of course now I was aware of the issue it was painful. The positive is I will never, ever again do this. I'll listen to my own advice.

I ended up with 17 blocks each of which I further cut into four and then resewed into the Disappearing Nine Patch blocks. Of course the discrepancies in the squares became even more apparent but I had committed to carrying on so carry on I did. As a solution I cut each, uneven, block to a 12.5 inch square. Now they looked less offensive to my eyes.

Now what to do with them. What started out as a quick project had turned into something more lengthy. All my own fault of course. I had intended to just sew them all together the way I did with the red quilt. But as I looked at the blocks I decided they'd look better with wide white sashing. I cut 3 12.5 inch by 5 inch strips and sewed four blocks together.

So now I am actually quite pleased with it. The Disappearing Nine Patch blocks will float in the white colour in a four by four row formation. My current plan is to quilt the blocks with a flower/daisy pattern and have something different in the white sashes. I'm also going to quilt it in two halves as it is much too big to wrestle into my machine. So it will be a good way to test the method for a sort of quilt as you go where you do all three layers then sew the parts together. 

Disaster averted though still very much Ooops a Daisy!

Jeg Elsker Dig quilt complete

I was aiming for Valentine's Day with this one but even I will admit that was being optimistic. Still, I got there. It's now complete and I am happy with it.

It turned out as I wanted and I'm happy with the applique. I machine sewed the applique using a zig-zag stitch and while it looks fine I think next time I'll try something fancier. I don't know why the zig-zag (or even worse the blanket stitch) disappoints me so much. But for this one it worked fine and I recognise no one is going to be looking that closely.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

Jeg elsker dig.

I have quilts planned in my mind like planes circling the runway waiting for permission to land. Lots and lots of them. As soon as one is complete (lands safely) I select another one! But every so often I get an idea that leap frogs over all those waiting projects. Jumps the queue of quilts. So it was with my Jeg Elsker Dig quilt.

I was drawn to a beautiful  heart fabric and just had to buy some. And of course I needed a coordinating fabric to go with it didn't I? Of course I did. This one is white with pale grey lines.

I want to make a quilt for my husband. I say this 100% sure that he has no interest in quilts but that's not going to stop me. As the fabric has red hearts and is quite romantic I wanted to design a block which is slightly less feminine. This geometric shape is a good compromise I think. It looks rectangular in this photo but is actually a twelve and a half by twelve and a half square block.

I'm going to applique a heart in the light fabric in the space at top right. The idea is to sew the blocks in sets of four, maybe two going in one direction and two going in the other. I'll play with that once I have more sewn up.

Oh! and jeg elsker dig is Danish for I love you.

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Trapezium quilt

Another finished project. My Trapezium quilt.

Things I am pleased with are:

1. it's my first attempt at quilt as you go and it went fairly smoothly. I liked that each square was a manageable size (15 inches which I cut down to 12.5 inches). It was also easy to sew the squares together despite the bulk. And of course the quilting itself was much easier.

2. I love the scrappy trapeziums and the straight line quilting. I quilted a quarter inch apart in matching Isacord thread.

3. I also love the quilted trapeziums. They are done an eigth of an inch apart in the Isacord thread. I'm going to use this on another quilt as you go project or if I feel more confident with manipulating the whole quilt through the machine I might try that way.

Not so pleasing:
1. I'm not sure I like the way the wadding and top lies. It looks better when the quilt is lying flat but hanging up it looks bunched.

2. I really dislike the back. With this QAYG method the backing is added at the end and as there were few places to quilt apart from in the ditch the backing is loose. That displeases me a lot.

Next time I would:

  • make the square I'm working with less than 15 inches as it was a little wasteful
  • quilt the backing at the same time as the front and work out a way to join them 

However all in all it is a good quilt and it was a great experience. It took me 27 hours and 30 minutes.

Valentine Quilted Coasters

A lovely quick project that has me in a romantic mood. I used spare charm squares and a stencil set with curvy hearts.

I glued the red heart to the cream square with a permanent spray glue however I don't think I'll use that for this type of project again. The glue is quite rigid when dry. It's good to experiment though. Next time I'll either use a less permanent glue or just pin the heart.

I then machine sewed the heart to the fabric square which has a smaller square (4.5 by 4.5 inches) of wadding pinned to the back. My very first attempt at machine applique and I really liked it. I usually hand applique and while I think that will always be my favourite I did enjoy seeing the machine stitches and I'm almost happy with the result. Next time I'll stay nearer the edge of the heart.

I finished it in the usual way I make coasters and used the red thread to do the border.

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Blue hexagon placemats

I made a table funner from a set of blue fat quarters and gingham fabric.

Now I'm making matching placemats. I probably only have enough of the fat quarter fabric left to make two placemats which is worth noting for future projects. Especially as the runner is not particularly long. 

I'm sewing 1.5 inch hexagons and will have them arranged in a central panel with the gingham at each side and also as backing.