Monday, 1 April 2019

Hearts and babies

I mentioned in my last post, Here, that the craft group that I, along with a friend teach each week, had been making a bag and quilt for a little girl aged 4 who had open heart surgery.
The quilt my friend and I put together is now completed and will be popped into the bag this week and given to the little girl.
Here's how the quilt turned out:

We had fun piecing the coloured blocks to co-ordinate with the rainbow blocks. And also the 'fun' of doing the calculations to cut the set in triangles! Phew, lucky my friend has taught maths. Anyway, I left the quilt with my friend all pinned in rows ready to be joined up. After completing the appliqued hearts, she very promptly (within a couple of days) passed it back to me. It was then up to me to find a backing - a sheet I had picked up that is proving to be very useful and versatile because of its large circles. 

And here's just a close up of the stippling around the hearts and the spineless feathers. 

When I mentioned to my friend that I would likely quilt spineless feathers in the white border she said: "Oh, couldn't you do hearts?" I answered truthfully, "Well, spineless feathers are much easier and I think they look rather like hearts anyway". She hasn't seen it other than a photo yet but she seems fine with it (thank goodness).  Looking forward to seeing how the recipient and her Mum like what our lovely group has put together. 

Then I went on to complete a quilt begun a couple of months ago in anticipation of a friend's grandchild to be born in April. As things often do, it didn't work quite to plan in that I hadn't quite completed the quilt and the grandson made his appearance a little early! 
I had fun with this one which was one that Sarah made Here, that she called 'Place Your Bet'. I adapted to make the size a little smaller (50" by 43") and was very pleased to have all the fabric on hand in my stash. 
Its a simple quilt that comes together quite quickly:

Again you can see the spineless feathers in the border, but also in the body of the quilt this time too. I think I may have to find another 'go to' pattern for variety's sake, but this one is really so easy. I don't know how you learn new patterns, but I spend some time doodling on paper first of all before giving the pattern a go on some real fabric. Then I progress to a quilt. Mine is all done on a domestic machine, my Janome that I'm very happy with. 

The pattern on the green I think of as loop de loops but they also remind me of the start of a musical clef. The backing was also another sheet I had been given, this time very suitable for a new born, with cute teddy bears and balloons. 

So this one feels like a win on many fronts - using up some scraps, a U.F.O. now completed, a gift for a friend's new grandchild and I'm feeling freer to move on to a new project, unless I really should sandwich and quilt up the 3 tops I know are lurking in my sewing room.....Oh and the table runner I need to complete to give to a couple getting married next weekend. Oh well, its all sewing that's what counts. 

Until next time,

Thursday, 28 March 2019

The clever women in the craft group that I, along with another friend teach each Tuesday, have been making some scrap blocks. We wanted bright colours as we are making a quilt and a bag (to put it in) for a four year old little girl who has recently needed to have open heart surgery. Isn't it lovely and bright?

A heart was appliqued on (which also helps to tell the front from the back) and it co-ordinates with the hearts on the pocket inside. 

You might also be able to see that the handles are made from the 'Very Hungry Caterpillar' fabric that was around a little while ago. 

So I'm still working on the quilt itself, so will show that a little later, but for now I think this is a very cute bag for a 4 year old!

I've also completed another quilt this month, hey I'm on a roll, this is my 5th item (4 quilts, one table runner) so far this year. You'll have to excuse the terrible background, no helper and I seem to have lost the crop ability on my photos (will explore that a little later). This has been mailed off to a friend who has been diagnosed with a rather horrible disease for which there's no current cure (motor neurone). I can't imagine what that journey is like, and it seems like such a small thing to send some care in the form of a quilty hug. 

Here is a close up of the squares and some of the quilting - spineless feathers, that I had fun with. 

This is a great pattern to use up scraps. The green I had only a metre of and the cream backgrounds are actually 2 different fabrics, but so similar the eye doesn't initially notice. And as for 2 and half inch squares, doesn't everyone have some of those? Hourglass blocks are great to bring out a secondary pattern to otherwise quite ordinary squares. I'm sure I'll be making another of these soon. 

I hope to be posting again soon, pictures of the finished quilt for the little girl.

Until next time,

Monday, 11 March 2019

2019 and labels

It seems remarkable to me just how long it has been since I posted a photo or wrote about any recent quilts I'm making. However, I have been doing a bit of an inventory of quilts - their photos and labels and so when I realised that last year (2018) I completed 24 quilts I felt a little better. While there were 2 or 3 that had been in progress for some time, most were begun last year. Also quite a few were baby quilts, so their size made them manageable in more ways than one.

I find baby quilts hold my attention for long enough, are a good size to work through my domestic machine and give me a great sense of achievement once they are completed.
This panel recently completed and now ready to be given away, is a case in point:

It was a panel that a friend gave me and so really the borders were the only parts to piece and then it became a question of how to quilt it. I did some lines on the rabbit body parts and then had fun with a leaf type shape after some tighter stipple around the characters themselves. My 'go to' clef type shape is so versatile in terms of the size it can be adjusted to, that I find it a really useful quilting shape to use - especially for borders.  

I also received some lovely background type fabric in January and paired it with some batik I had on hand to create this table runner:

Since I'm keeping this one, I'm pleased I like how it turned out. Starting with the churn dash blocks then put on point and adding the cream set in triangles, it came together quickly too. 

I was a little surprised to realise that from the 24 quilts I made last year, only 2 have stayed with me. This one that has so many small scrap pieces it serves as a lovely reminder of previous quilts made:

And the teddy bears which, who knows, may one day be a quilt for a future grandchild?

I don't know whether anyone else is a little tardy with their labels, but I know that if I need to gift a quilt then it has a label straight away. If a quilt is 'in waiting', that is I'm not quite sure who it's for as yet, but I anticipate giving it away sometime (as the quilt above), then its label doesn't seem to get made or sewn on straight away. 

As an ex-librarian who likes to keep a good and true record of all my quilts, numbering and photographing them, this can be a bit of a problem. While my record keeping of the numbers is quite good, and then often the photos, it seems the actual label making lags far behind. As a consequence, some quilts that are here at home may have a number recorded on paper, but no label to match - until this week. I now feel very satisfied that any quilt residing with me is now duly labelled and I have done the old fashioned print photos and file them in an album too. 

I know that electronic records are wonderful, but there's just something pleasant about being able to thumb through an album and recall quilts that I've made - for inspiration and satisfaction. 

So finally, the most recent quilt completed, labelled, ready for a friend's 60th birthday:

Some colourful strings, paired with a cream that allowed me to have fun with the quilting. Hope she likes it! And hope I stay on top of those labels for this year. 

Until next time,