Saturday 27 August 2016

Postage Stamp 2

Several months ago (January this year actually) I did a 2 inch postage stamp quilt that I really liked- such a great way to use up those scraps.
Only problem was it was rather small - 41" x 52", more a baby sized quilt. I've enjoyed seeing it laying around on a chair or bed, but since a friend of mine is soon to be a grandma for the first time, I thought it might make a nice quilt for her to either use or pass on to her son and daughter-in-law.

Here it is in the bottom left of the photo, with its newer larger sibling recently created.

So I thought OK, I'll have another go, using two and half inch squares this time to make it a little larger to go on a single bed. (This one is a 57" x 77" now). So I did some of the 16 patch blocks by hand at night, then as I laid them out on the floor, chose a little more carefully so that the oranges and reds were more scattered over the surface.

Another shot of some of all of those squares. So glad I didn't count them until I'd finished, not sure I would have kept going if I'd realised there were 824! Who am I kidding, of course I would have kept going. 
These things are definitely addictive! So I kept cutting more squares and adding to the blocks. I sandwiched it a couple of weeks ago and did the straight line quilting only a week ago. For the first white border I was keen to try some 'ribbon candy' I think its called. Scrap quits are great places to try new quilting I find. So I gave it a go. I'm quite pleased with the result, though corners will take quite a few more attempts until I'm happy with them.
I realised that in order to do the final border, I needed to make sure I knew where to put the frames for the quilting I wanted to do there.  So I actually put the binding on first - something I haven't done before on a quilt either. So having done that I'm debating about doing a more open figure eight kind of pattern in that final white border in the next day or so.

Still, its usable now and I have all those lovely reminders of quilts I've made in the past - lovely to glance at it as I go by!
One of my goals for August completed, so on to the next one I go - unless of course I get distracted along the way.
Until next time,

Tuesday 2 August 2016

August goal(s)

Yes, August, the eighth month of the year is actually here. I have posted various quilts along the way, but haven't always managed to post the goal and then the completed quilt in a timely way to link up with Red Letter Quilts, so here goes for August.
I have several quilts on the go (what else is new?) and as to what order they will get completed in I'm not entirely sure. First of all there's the 2 and half inch squares that began as me cutting scraps rather than putting them away - well, we know how addictive that can be! So I have quite a few all sewn up, but having made a 2 inch one of these - (likely to be given away as a baby gift) I realised I might want to keep a reminder of a number of quilts I've made and given away in the past and this could be a nice way to do it. So it may continue to grow yet.
Project number 1 - (for now).
Then there are these Amish type rolling stars that I've actually done half of - just need to stay focused and complete the other ones in varying colours. I like how they meet and create more space - Hmm, how will I quilt that? Oh yes, and I've remembered I was going to try another quilt as you go with a very narrow pale grey sashing on this one. Project number 2. 
Then I was making up a sample block for a friend who wanted to try a star and wasn't sure of the dimensions. Well, that led to me adding some more and then an alternate block to go with it. Not sure about sashing or quite what to do yet.... Project number 3:

And then I had some half square triangles that just didn't quite seem to be going together. I realised the one that I'd chosen as a feature and then tried to get others in the various colours, was the key one that was not really fitting in. Then as often happens, as I was tidying some corner where fabric was lurking, I found something that just made sense. Here's what I mean: 
The 'balloon' fabric - if you look closely you'll see that multi-coloured fabric is actually little hot air balloons, the one I was trying to match with blue, orange etc fabrics. Well, the one I found is the corners with 'rope' - how fitting is that for a hot air balloon? Needs to be tied down at some point, a bit like Project number 4!

Well, I could go on, Stretched Stars (Project Number 5) and I'd really like to make a Bookcase quilt for a friend (number 6) but I'd better not start anything else really had I.....

Until next time,

Hexie Dilemma

I wonder how many people are given 'leftovers' from others? I was recently given some hexagons, or more precisely half hexagons that the maker hadn't managed to co-ordinate together into a quilt. So I bravely (foolishly?) said, sure I'll take them on.
The fabrics were not at all my style and the colours were very varied. The maker had tried them in rows - but as I began to work with them I could see why that didn't work - there was just too much range in the colours. 
So I thought perhaps if there is a dark unifying colour around and between them, that might help, so I gave that an audition. (Ignore the beige carpet)

While that seemed to work for some, for others (particularly that purple in the corner) it didn't gel them together. 
Friends to the rescue! I asked a couple of my quilting buddies to help me play around with potential background fabrics. As is often the way, laying around was a soft colour that just seemed to work. So I used the soft fossil fern grey and then quilted with a loop all over. 
Here is the quilt laying in the back garden among the vegetables - of course.  It seems to work now - thanks friends. 
Here is a close up of the loops (we ditched the purple by the way):

And then I did a little peeping white with the grey for the binding and had fun putting a decorative stitch to help keep the white in place rather than just a straight line: 
But I still think I prefer the back, which doesn't show up all that well here, but is a soft white with a tiny blue flower - something I've had in my stash for so long I've forgotten when and where I got it but it just seemed right for this quilt. 
I showed the original maker when I was almost finished the quilting - she seemed pretty pleased with it. So, a win. Something I would never have taken on myself, I don't think hexagons are my thing, but I'm pleased that with the help of friends, we were able to take something that was likely to stay tucked away doing nothing to a quilt that I hope will bring pleasure for quite a while. 

Until next time,