Quilting from Little things · Uncategorized

At the End of a Long Week

It has been a long week at work as I have been covering for the manager and there has been a lot to do, add to that, the absence of a couple of volunteers and I am exhausted. However there has still been time for a little sewing, on three projects no less; the RSC16, Fanfare and another star flower for grandmother’s flower garden. sometimes it is better to relax by ‘doing’ not just ‘sitting’

Looking a bit wonky on the inside of the fanfare block but now it’s time to stitch the centre and cover it up!

I wonder how busy everyone has been over at Kathy’s Quilts? Time to pop over and have a look

Quilting from Little things

Stars in Your Eyes

I am trying to finish off all the UFOs that are languishing in bags or boxes and this little dolly is one of them. Instead of making the dolly quilt ‘Peaks and Troughs’ I decided to make a section of the larger quilt that is paired with it – ‘Stars in Your Eyes’

The purpose of both quilts is to teach you how to do ‘L’ and ‘Y’ seams and I should have read the beginning of the chapter where it says ‘L’s are easier then ‘Y’s but I was entranced by the lovely stars on the full size quilt so bypassed the dolly to make a star – intending that it could become a cushion cover. The first lot of photos are over two years old which tells you something.

The first part was easy enough – strip piece five fabrics, fold in half and cut out triangles with the widest part of the triangle ruler on the fold line. When opened out you have diamond shapes to play around with, which I did

The next part involved making a diamond-shaped template for the inset piecing, cutting the fabric and then attaching using Y seams and that is where it started going wrong. I found it in a bag with only one piece set in, rather badly, and a second piece attached by one seam and the inner corner slightly chewed…..It was obvious why I had set it to one side for so long.

Still I had to finish it and it wasn’t so bad this time round. It definitely helped having a better machine and after one false start it was done. No great dramas; the key was ignoring the dots that marked a quarter inch seam and feeling where it was and then marking it. Also I left the needle down the whole time when repositioning the fabric contrary to Sarah’s instructions

On reflection it was on the large side for a cushion cover once squared off so I bound it as it is. A certain furry someone certainly appreciates it!

Now, where are those little fans for ‘Fanfare’ hiding…..

 

Quilting from Little things · Spring

Spring Cleaning

I thought drawing the spiral on the fabric in pen could go horribly wrong – even if it does have 2 sides! An easier and less fraught way is to iron it into place and reposition as needed. After that I put it on the glass table top and tacked it on with very large stitches; simple.

The second difficulty I had was doing the needle turn applique partly because the fabric glue I bought was useless so I used a quilting pin to hold the leaves in place. This didn’t really work as it didn’t hold it flat enough to the fabric. The ends of the leaves, I found particularly fiddly and I did not want to use the freezer paper method. The precision of this method doesn’t go with the naïve style of this quilt.

In the end I tacked the edges under and once the end of the leaf was attached to the spiral there was no need to glue it in place, I just held it with my thumb which allowed for some manoeuvring if need be. In the end I made too many leaves but I squeezed them on anyway!

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When it came to quilting, I had lots of embroidery thread but only a couple of spools of perle cotton. I am following Sarah on Facebook so I emailed her to ask if embroidery thread was ok. She kindly replied the same day and said that the stranded embroidery thread would split and to stick with perle. An order on EBay sorted that out.

I enjoyed the handwork for this project and remembered how much I used to like embroidery – I got grade A for ‘O’ level embroidery – don’t know anyone else who has it. Most people don’t know it exists!

This is a very enjoyable project for hand sewers just right for Slow Sunday Stitching, but not if you love your machine.

And the title? Originally this was on a page but I tidied up the page to change this to a link

Quilt-a-Longs · Quilting from Little things

Rebel With A Rotary; Quilting From Little Things

I have neglected my ‘Little things’ challenge as I have been concentrating on the RSC15 rainbow quilt. I started late and have a lot of catching up to do but thought late last night that I would try to get back to my original challenge.

Basting rebel with a rotary

Sarah Fielke’s little dolly is in red, white and blue and is reminiscent of a rebel flag, hence the name. I didn’t really want one that looked like a flag but the diamond shaped blocks made me think of a trellis so I decided to do a flowery theme. I used some fabrics that have been languishing in my stash forever – which is usually a sign that you don’t like them that much! Two of them originally formed a border for the Botanical Gardens quilt but I removed it as it looked better without them.

A few people have observed that there is no ugly fabric if you cut it small enough. Tonya Riccuci has written an amusing post about the quilt she is making from donated ‘ugly’ fabrics here After making this mini quilt I am inclined to agree as I love them all together. I liked them so much I made a scrappy little border to finish it off which is not on the original quilt – a border goes with a trellis don’t you think?

To carry on with the  scrappy mood, encouraged by Angela’s quilt-a-long, I rooted out a little bag of left-over binding and found a yellow stripy one that was perfect to complete this little project

Binding

I must say that I didn’t take enough care with my piecing as it was late and it was intended for the cat! She has a habit of visiting me when I am sewing and sitting on the fabrics I am sorting through so I thought a little quilt for her to put on the desk (so that I will have something nice to look at too) might keep her out of the way. It is on the desk now and she has decided to sit on my knee!

A little label on the back to finish off. I never used to label quilts but I think I  will go back and label the others too as it is easy to forget the details

Quilting from Little things

Fanfare

I love these little fans, I almost feel like leaving them as they are but they are for the next challenge from Sarah Fielke’s book ‘Quilting from Little Things’; the dolly quilt called ‘Fanfare’. It is rated three stars and so far it has not been too difficult, I think that will come in the next few stages; applique and piecing the little blocks.

I had fun scribbling alternative layouts before I had made all the fans and then more fun as I played around with the placement using actual fans. The template is very small so I was able to get most pieces from my tiny scrap bag (the scraps are tiny not the bag…) which I keep mostly for applique. As I rummaged through the scraps, all the colours turning over and jostling for attention I decided to use all of the colours and have a different fabric for each fan blade

Piecing doesn’t take long and it was easy to draw on the seam allowance as a cereal bowl happened to have the exact curvature I needed to draw it. The squares for the background are cut waiting for their fans now all I need to do is attach them

I will have to put them on hold for a short time though as I am taking part in The Global Quilting Project. I am more than half way through completing the blocks ready to post to the other members of my group – The Balkan Puzzle – but more on that later!

Quilting from Little things

A Little Silhouette

What a sweet little dolly is this little silhouette. Rated 2 stars I would agree. I had practice on the smaller shapes for Spring and which was good practice before tackling this one as the piece is larger and the shaping more difficult. I was tempted to do a cockatoo instead but thought the plumed feathers on the top of a cockatoo’s head might be too fiddly

I really enjoyed the quilting and used different blues, getting lighter the further away from the eagle. I love the look of the close quilting lines and how they almost look like a landscape when viewed close-up.

I also loved the simple small squares of the background and am keeping a bag of small squares ready for another project – not that I have decided what it is – I just love the look of them

There was no real problem with this dolly as I had already completed needle-turn applique for ‘Spring’ but I would recommend that they are completed in that order if you are new to this type of applique

Quilting from Little things

Geese Around the World

Geese close-up

My first go at foundation piecing and I thought it was harder then the woodpile, even though they are both rated two stars for difficulty. The first part; attaching the inner patch and the ‘goose’ wasn’t too bad and I only used one strip of background fabric out of the four needed. I thought I was being very economical but for some reason attaching the last piece was harder – it must have been some thing to do with the angles – and I used all of the other strips.

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When I finished I thought ‘I won’t be doing that again!’ , but I love this little dolly quilt and it is the only way to get perfect piecing. Not sure that I will rush into making a Mariners Star but maybe in the future…

Quilting from Little things

The Woodpile

Forget everything you learnt about carefully selected lists of fabric, precision cutting, points that meet and parallel seams. The aim of the game is deconstructed piecing more commonly known as wonky log cabin blocks.

I found it really strange to let go and the first few seams were a bit too, err… straight. After a few tries I got in to the swing of things and thoroughly enjoyed it! Blocks are trimmed at the end and there are only two straight seams in the whole piece. I did sort of fussy cut the centre section which goes against the grain of the woodpile but I fancied having a flower in the middle – so I did. After all we make things to make them our way.

This is the first time I have made a log cabin block too and I will definitely try it again  There was quite a lot of hand stitching and I put more in some blocks than others for variety and interest – plus it gets a bit addictive!

Botanic gardens

Botanic Gardens Prep

The kitchen island proved to be the best place to trim the edges ready for binding. Its great for basting too; I used to stick my quilts to the floor to pin and baste but this worktop is long enough to baste even a fairly big quilt in sections. Just the right height and no more sore back and even sorer (is that a word?) knees!

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It was also perfect for cutting as the light was so good