Saturday, 26 September 2009

Quilt SOS

Last week at our groups sewing day I got talking to a lady called May. She is a fairly new quilter and has only been coming to our group for a relatively short time - about a year or so. She is a really nice person - will do anything to help anyone . Anyway we were talking quilts ( what else ? ) and she mentioned she had put some blocks together with sashing and was ready for the border stage. She had hand-pieced 24 Grandmothers fan blocks in lovely pastel shades of mainly lilacs and pinks. Then she had toddled off to a quilt shop for sashing fabric. She duly bought 2 metres of expensive fabric ( I think on the advice of another lady ).. She set them together with sashing and then took a look at it. She HATED it.

The green she felt was too dark and overpowered the pastel colours of her blocks. She also did not like the way she had set them together. She confessed she felt like throwing the whole thing away. Argghh - can you imagine all that time wasted - not to mention the cost of the fabrics as well. A couple of us told her to bring the quilt into our next meeting and we would see if we had any ideas. She did and here it was. The green is much stronger in real-life..

Some-one suggested a nice lilac ric-rac sewn down the middle of the green to take a bit of the greenness away. She liked that idea but it didn't solve the problem that she hated the way the blocks were facing. May said it reminded her of those well-known mints with a hole - lol !

What about splitting the sashing strips and adding something paler said I. She liked that idea too. Maybe she said. Ok said I " would you like me to do it ? ". May said she couldn't possibly expect me to do that. To which my good friend Elaine ( who knows me very well ) said - " Go on May - can't you see Andrea is just dying to get her hands on it ? LOL ). So as May could not face doing the job the quilt top came home with me.
I have unpicked, trimmed ( as the sashing strip fabric had frayed a bit ), re-jigged and re-sewn and just about got it done. What do you think ?

A close-up of some of the pretty fabrics.

I like it much better and I think May will too. Anything was better than see it go in the bin - all those hand-pieced blocks. Couldn't see it happen. A few days well spent I'd say. I quite enjoyed the challenge. And the thing is I know May and indeed any of our quilting group would do a similar favour for anyone else - that's one reason I love being a quilter.
Back to my own stuff xx

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Hand Quilting !

We had our sewing day on Saturday and I used my new basting gun to get my 3D hexagon quilt ready for hand quilting. What I did was quickly pin the 3 layers together and then used the microstitch. Took a bit longer to do than I thought but no hurry. And ever since I have been hand quilting away. The little tacks do not get in the way at all and I am really enjoying quilting this. Honestly I could sit all day doing this - if only . . .

The other ladies in the group were quite interested in this and a couple of them may be investing in one themselves. It seems we all hate basting generally.

Besides this I have finished a couple of smaller items. My quilt group has a small exhibition coming up and we all make a cushion for a raffle. I used up some of the little blocks I made from those hundreds of squares I cut for the quilt I didn't make !! Here it is - turned out well enough.

And I got a little top quilted that has been hanging around for a while. These were leftovers from something else too. This will probably go to Project Linus.

Click for a better look. Do you see a member of our family here ? This is Gizmo and he is a leopard gecko. He is about 6 years old now and belongs to Jess. Having said that guess who cleans and feeds him ? Always ends up to mum. . . . The cats are not allowed in Jess's room at all but they know he is in there in his tank. Occasionally if the door is left open for a minute they sneak in and make a beeline for him. When he moves he makes a scuffling noise on his special sand and then the cats scarper - lol ! They are such babies ...

Here he is again. I never thought I would be able to handle him but he is a sweet little thing and always licks my hand and occasionally even nods off when I stroke his head.

And a nice bit of post today -

Great start to the day. I have jarred my back a little so think a bit more hand quilting is in order - yesterday I had the choice of cleaning or quilting. I made the wrong choice it seems as I was hoovering up the stairs and overstretched and felt my back "go" - knew I should have sewn instead - lol..

Jess and her boyfriend Danny have been away for 5 days to Disneyland Paris and are due back today - looking forward to hearing their adventures. The trip was a present from Danny for her 19th birthday. I have started his quilt but am having a bit of a fabric issue - photos soon.

One last thing my cousin Sarah has just launched a quilty Chat room through her blog. Great idea - spread the word !
Take care xx

Saturday, 12 September 2009

My bit towards the economy

Here is what I spent my pennies on at the quilt show

If you have been reading for a while you will know I am having a little dabble with cross stitch. And that I have 3 lovely cats. Guess what kind ? A back and white, a grey and white and a tabby - lol. This will NOT get started until I have finished the other cat cross stitch I am working on. I don't want cross stitch UFO's as well as quilting ones. The aida is for yet another project I've seen. Help . .

Didn't go mad on fabric as I have so much but these were very nice and found their way into my bag.

Love this book - the fabrics are unlike anything I have in my stash and not sure if I would ever think to buy them but WOW - the quilts are amazing. I think this book will be a firm favourite.

And a question for you. Has anyone ever used one of these microstitch things to baste a quilt ? Apparently the little tacks cause no problems when hand-quilting ( or so I've been told ) time will tell. I'm going to try this out next week.
And there is a bit of a story about this last purchase. I saw this wonderful plaid bundle soon after I got there and really liked it. But it was a bit expensive and I didn't want to part with my money so soon after getting to the show. So I decided to have a think about it. Towards the end of the day I was still thinking about it and just thought I'd have a little mosey towards the stall and see if they had still got them. There was ONE bundle left - not just on the stall but that's all the stall holder had left in the world - lol ! This one sure had my name on it :-)
I am mainly working on stuff for swaps that I can't show. Still doing some on my Quilt of the month - from a few posts back. However today I am starting a new quilt - hurray !!
DD Jess's boyfriend Danny is 21 next month and I have decided he needs a quilt to mark the occasion. He is such a lovely lad and she has been with him for 2 years now and he is a big part of the family. He is here more than at his own place. I have a pattern and fabric chosen and more importantly - a free afternoon. A new blade for my rotary cutter is in order ( there is a fair bit of cutting to do ) I have a piece of beef for pot roast in the slow cooker - bring it on - lol !
Have a great weekend xx

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Quilt show photos

The title says it all. Here are some that caught my eye - you can tell I'm a traditional quilter I think - lol ! All photos should click for a better look.

I've shown this one twice and don't know how to get rid - never mind xx

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Ready to quilt

Finally I am at the stage to show photos of the UFO I plan to hand quilt through the winter.

This was my Olympic challenge from last Summer. The middle is all sewn by hand. I love the Olympic Games but like many quilters don't like to sit without doing something else. So most of this was pieced whilst cheering on our athletes. It was last shown on my blog looking like this

It is a pattern called 3D hexagons and each hexagon is different - basically a charm quilt. Each fabric is from my stash - I bought no charm packs for this. I think there are nearly 600 fabrics here.
Once this bit was done it has sat for a year waiting for attention.

So I appliqued the edges onto some lovely marbley fabric I have had for a while. I love this fabric and talked myself in and out of using it quite a few times - silly woman lol ! I used long strips to applique onto and then mitred the corners and trimmed the back.

Then by far the worst bit was removing the papers ( It is English Paper Pieced ) I had paper and thread EVERYWHERE. . . .

Next a couple of borders and here it is.

I was going to baste this today but have decided to wait for a couple of weeks. We have a Finishing Off day with my quilt group coming up and I have high hopes of persuading a couple of my friends to give me a hand. I want to baste it with thread and this takes ages. I may bribe them . .

Some of these fabrics I have had in my stash since I started quilting ( about 7 years I think ) and are quite ugly to say the least. When I first started stash building I wasn't as choosy as I am now and this shows in some of these. But it's all good fun and I am really looking forward to quilting it and remembering the fabrics - where I bought them, which other quilts I used them in etc. It will a nice record of my stash. I may even make another during the next Olympic Games in 2012 which will be held here in UK - then again - maybe not !!!!
I have also been working on stuff for swaps but of course cannot show that yet.
I am hopefully off to a quilt show tomorrow and have a bit of cash burning a hole in my pocket . . hurray xx