Monday, 11 June 2018

Connections / Improv

I do like a challenge and the Curated Quilts Mini Quilt Challenge really appealed to me. This is my entry which measures 12½" square.

It was so nice to use colours chosen by someone else and these were specified as cream, yellow, mustard yellow, navy, moss green and grey. I managed to use all 6 of them.
I was happy with the "Connections" theme and my connections are the green strips, and if "Improv" means that it's a bit random and you keep changing your mind every few minutes about what to do next, then it's definitely improv!

The hand quilted circles on the yellow/grey blocks were a last minute decision

and I couldn't decide which way to have the stripey binding so I cut it on the bias. I had to be careful not to stretch it as I sewed - I usually cut my binding along the grain of the fabric.

You can see all the mini quilts entered so far in the challenge by clicking on this link - 
Curated Quilts Mini Challenge
They look lovely all together on the page

Have Fun - Anita

Friday, 1 June 2018

Flowers - stitched lino printing

With lovely sunny days to tempt me outside in the garden there hasn't been a great deal of sewing. I did manage to finish this wall hanging of stitched lino prints.

Here you can see my original drawing, the lino cut and one of the prints on fabric before stitching.

I usually do the stitching in the evening without much of an overall plan - just whatever takes my fancy at the time. The fabric pieces are applied with fusible web. I use Steam a Seam 2 which has a very good hold and few stitches (if any) are needed to keep the fabric in place. All the embroidery stitches are very simple - straight stitch, french knots (lots of these!), chain stitch, couching and whipped stitch.

I sewed a tiny flange around to bring the three prints together - red around the purple flowers picture, purple around the orange flowers and orange around the red flowers. Then added a neutral border and "strange" binding.

You can read about adding a flange in this previous post.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

Happy Stitching - Anita x

Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Spring Quilt Festival, Exeter 2018

Rather belatedly, due to a lack of phone and internet for the past 3 weeks, here are some of the quilts that I enjoyed on a visit to the Spring Quilt Festival at Westpoint near Exeter.

The first exhibits that I wanted to see were by a group of ladies from Cornwall called the Textile Maids.
These three are by Chris Treweek and, from left to right, are called "Reflection in Holy Well Pool", "St Madron Holy Well" and "Summer Pond".

and this beautiful depiction of "24 hours at Goonhilly Downs" is by Margaret Pellow

By complete contrast these six small square wall quilts are by Radiance Quilters, a group of longarm quilters who challenged each other to showcase the back of their work alongside the front of a quilted pattern fabric. What an interesting and very effective idea.

This row quilt by Kay Edwardes is called Colourplay and looks such fun to make. The hand dyed fabrics are by Nikki Perrington.

The South West Quilters challenge was Reflections this year and I love this quilt by Annie Yeo called "Reflections on Childhood".

Finally, I adore all the wall quilts by Brenda Thomas - they are delightful. These are just two of the many that were on display:-
"The Dog Walking Year"

and "Green".

A great day out and a big thank you to all the people who take the time and trouble to exhibit their work.
Happy Sewing - Anita x

Thursday, 12 April 2018

Easter Exhibition at Cowslip Workshops

I thought you might like to see a few of the quilts that I liked at the recent Easter exhibition at Cowslip Workshops.

I love applique on pieced backgrounds and these two wall quilts are by Teresa Dunn:
Biscuit Tin Birds

and View from a Window

I thought this king-size blue and white bed quilt was very unusual - it looks very difficult to piece.
White Cliffs by Janet Beck

I really like the combination of shapes overlaid with stitching in this wall quilt by Sabi Westoby
Layers of Lily 

Finally this Star Quilt made by Parkhouse Quilters will raise money for the Merlin MS Centre in St Austell. 

The raffle will be drawn at their exhibition which is on from Thursday 14th to Saturday 16th June 2018 at the Parkhouse Centre in Bude.

Exhibition season is well underway - it's so inspiring to see other quilter's work - a photo can never do them justice.

Happy Sewing - Anita x

Friday, 30 March 2018

Stitched lino prints - Birds

I always like to have some hand sewing to do in the evenings - it stops me falling asleep in front of the TV! When I was lino printing these birds on cards for Christmas, I also did some on fabric for stitching at a later date. They are so relaxing and stress-free to do and yet never boring.

This small hanging is just 6 ½" x 13".

I sewed one of the lino prints to the back of the quilt.

After sewing on the binding I remembered a tip about sewing triangles into the corners for a hanging rod. Of course these should have been sewn in with the binding and hopefully I'll get it right next time. Nevertheless I went ahead and sewed them on anyway.

I cut two 2" squares and folded them into triangles. I would have cut larger squares for a larger quilt.

I placed them in the top corners, tacked them down and sewed the binding over the raw edges making sure that the stitches went through the triangles and  caught the backing. 

I'm chuffed with that - it makes a really neat finish. I would have used the same fabric as my backing, but I wanted you to be able to see my triangles. Triangles can also be sewn into the bottom corners for another rod to keep the bottom of a wall quilt nice and straight.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

Happy Stitching
Anita x

Friday, 23 March 2018

Curves and Circles

Sometimes when you're thinking about your next quilt project you have two new design possibilities and it seems a good idea to combine them in the one quilt. That's the way it's been with my Curvy Circles Quilt. (18" x 23")

The two thoughts were:

  1. Wouldn't it look good if I did a strippy quilt of circles and floating rectangles where the circles were placed randomly along the strips
  2. Instead of straight strips I could make them curvy.
That's when things started to get a little complicated as the circles couldn't be placed on the narrowest part of the curvy strips as they would be too small ........ there goes my very random idea!

So, as in life, my quilt is a compromise, which to my eyes doesn't quite work. Nevertheless I do like the curves and I do like the colours. The colours make me think that perhaps it's leaving certain ones out that makes for a better combination, rather than what we put in. I was going to say that I've left out two colours which are next to each other on the colour wheel - red and orange, but actually they are both there in very tiny amounts. Before I start a new scrappy quilt I hunt around in my small scraps, which are in a wicker waste paper bin .... and yes that does get a bit confusing at times :), and I lay them all out to see which to reject. Taking a photo sometimes helps.

This post explains how I do the circles and the floating rectangles - 6 minute circles - design 1, but this time I did the 6 minute circles by sewing with invisible thread and zigzag stitch and I used Steam-a-Seam-2 to attach raw edged small circles inside the larger ones, sewing them on with the same zigzag stitch.

I machine quilted around all the shapes and hand quilted with horizontal lines around the circles.

I've not sewn curves much except as in drunkard's path, so didn't anticipate the problems that I had with these serpentine curves - all the time thinking that there must be a better/easier way. In the end I unpicked my wobbly sewn seams and settled on the method below. This is an example using just two fabrics.

I drew my curves on cardboard using three evenly spaced straight lines to guide me. I drew some positioning marks across the curve. I cut carefully along the line as I wanted to use both halves of the cardboard as templates.

I put one of my pieces of fabric (pink) on some fine sandpaper to stop it moving about, and marked the curve. I used a Frixion pen and I copied each of the positioning marks onto the fabric.

I marked the other fabric (cream) using the other template.

I cut the curve of the pink fabric adding a seam allowance and I snipped into the seam allowance along the inside curve.I left the other fabric uncut.

Then I folded the seam allowance under being sure to have the pen mark along the folded edge and I tacked it down.

Finally I pinned the pink curve on top of the cream matching up the positioning marks.

The curve can be sewn by hand or by machine and the cream fabric in the seam trimmed once the seam is sewn.

Some of the seams that I sewed over were quite bulky and I remembered reading in Di Wells' blog about using a "Hump Jumper". It's so annoying when your sewing comes to a halt, the stitches mess up and you have to keep lifting the foot and adjusting the fabric. I made myself a hump jumper out of cardboard and it actually works!

Many thanks to Di for that tip!

To satisfy myself that both my ideas are good ones I'm now going to have to make two more small quilts:
  1. A random strippy quilt - no curves
  2. A precisely pieced circles and floating rectangles quilt where all the circles are evenly spaced and are placed at the widest part of my curves
This photo edited pic shows how a random strippy might look.

Mmmmmm - less circles methinks.

Well - back to the sewing machine then ............ goody - Anita x 

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

Friday, 16 March 2018

Jo Colwill at Flowerpatch

It was wonderful to have Jo Colwill of Cowslip Workshops come to Flowerpatch Quilters' March meeting. Jo is a member of Flowerpatch - a founder member no less, and regrets that she is so busy with her Cowslip Workshops teaching that she rarely makes it to our meetings. She came along this time especially to talk about applique which is by far her favourite patchwork sewing technique and at which she excels - I'm sure she will say that it's all down to practise.

We were each given a kit to make a daisy pin cushion similar to these below.

But first Jo talked us through some of the applique quilts and cushions that she has made.
Her most used and favourite way to do applique is needle-turned where you draw the design on the back of the foundation fabric.
This is a detail from her quilt 'Dancing with Daisies'

and here is the beautiful centre of another quilt - with a detail, which has really tiny applique pieces.

In contrast this is Jo's colourful quilt of large daisy flowers - I love the daisy quilting between the flowers.

Her fun cushion 'Run Rabbit Run' uses raw edge applique.

These flowers, which are on two other cushions, are also raw edge applied.

Finally Jo showed us a large quilt in very different colours and this is one of the blocks of freezer paper appliqued tulips. I love their vibrancy.

It was lovely to see such diversity and Jo was so helpful to all of us as we endeavoured to sew tiny stems and neatly turned leaves and petals for our pin cushions. I, for one, find this very difficult, but not so all of us as this is the pin cushion that Iris L. has since finished and she enjoyed the applique sewing so much that she put a daisy on each side!

Thank you Jo for a super evening.
Please do visit Jo's Cowslip Workshops website - it is a delightful venue.

Update a couple of week's later - I persevered and did finish my pin cushion - I love it!

More excitement on the evening was to see our "Over the Rainbow" charity quilt finished. 

This has been quilted by Sandy Chandler on her Gammill Longarm Quilter so even the back looks absolutely stunning. 

I was lucky to be able to visit Sandy at work so here you can see our quilt on the machine and work in progress. Sandy did a hand-guided design of daisies.

You can read a bit more about "Over the Rainbow" in a previous blog post.
The quilt is being raffled in aid of Guide Dogs for the Blind - a most worthwhile cause.

Flowerpatch's next meeting is on 12th April when Lesley Coles will show us how to design patchwork blocks. Please bring along a pencil, ruler and coloured pencils. Lesley calls the evening " Making the most of your Scraps and Stash" - sounds like great fun.

I'm linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts - Finish it up Friday

Happy Stitching - Anita x