Saturday, 19 April 2014

The library grows...

While avoiding quilting something I've been making more progress with my Star of Africa bee book blocks.  They have come from the US, Canada, Guatemala, Finland, Latvia, Germany, the UK, India and one from the Czech Republic which was part of a one-on-one swap!

I received them ages ago but didn't quite know what to do with them.  So glad I waited for inspiration to come as I loved setting them in the #booksforbabyquilt frames which really show them off I think.  Also I get to add cute fabrics to my stash and my blocks!  Win, win !

Anyway you have seen these 

And now you can see these !

So pleased with this project and thinking of a rough geographical layout (not to scale).

And then I looked at the quick demo block I had made and realised it couldn't represent the pride of Scotland and Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure 
Island!  So it is back to the drawing board and I will try and recreate Long John Silver - who else?

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Arrowhead Stars is now a quilt top!

I have put off doing my UFOs so successfully but each time I pick one up and work on it now I think why didn't I finish this - that wasn't so hard!

The answer could be one of many things

  • I am more confident in my stitching skills now
  • I am more competent in my stitching skills now
  • I have designed my quilt differently to overcome whatever problem it had
  • I have become more focused
  • I am cured of Startitis? - yeah you are probably right it isn't this one!
Whatever it is I'm not complaining.  I really had issues with this quilt as the blocks (half a very large star) were not the same size and there were issues with the bias seams which were everywhere!  

All my fault as my poor bee members had to contend with my design (based on the Arrowhead block by Wendy Hill from the Modern Block book) and few instructions on size.  I realise now that success is all in the detail!

3 arrowhead blocks..

My arrowhead star - too big to request as a bee block so I asked for half blocks

My original layout...

I have worked my way round it by coaxing those seams into meeting - bias can sometimes work in your favour.  I have turned some around so they don't meet - a design decision that one rather than a necessity - and filled the background with more triangles with a bit of bias stretch so they have become a harmonious quilt top!   

Have to say I like this design better than my original plan above which was to just have stars.   I also like the few partial stars in my background fabrics and might even call this quilt Eclipse.

Anyway my thanks to Emily, Susan, Cindy, Susan, Leanne, Rhonda, Diane, Jennie, Chrissy, and Sarah - I love it and hope you have got over the trauma!

And here is Eclipse!

May yet have to straighten that edge - thinking about it!

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

The cord arrived!

The cord arrived and I duly got down to work cutting it into strips as the backing for my borders.

This whole quilt was quilted in strips and added together so when I wanted to add borders to all sides I added the top pieced layer of the borders and then left it. 

It wasn't so difficult to add the wadding - just a bit boring ladder stitching it on by hand and I machine stitched the backing fabric right sides together.  

The join is a bit bulky but the backing fabric is a fine needle cord - lovely and soft and not slippery and shifty like that velveteen I put on the back of my basket sampler.

The whole quilt is quite robust but then I thought it could be a great picnic blanket or travel rug so robust will work well!

I bought the shirting fabric I used as the binding at the same time as the backing.  I love it !  It is smooth like lawn and 60" wide so not many joins -always a good thing! For some reason it makes me think of tigers!

So now the photos...

This quilt makes me giggle inside and smile on the outside!

It is 80" square. 

It is made from a whole host of blocks I received in the Wonky House Block Swap organised brilliantly by Jane @ Jane's Fabrics and Quilts. My thanks go to wonky house block makers Melissa Albertson, Miki Willa, Linnea Amodio, Leanne, Laura Ludwig, Christine Horlbeck, Sandra Rocca, Chiska Williams, Linda McKenzie , Peggy Bennett, and Helen who made a couple of extra blocks for me and there were many others who made trees, stars and four patches!  

I made the title in the border using the 'Just My Type' alphabet created by Kirsty @ Quietplay.  

I backed the quilt with a fine orange needlecord from Shaukat

And it is quilted using my Aurifil 28 mainly in the ditch but some extra details added to the blocks!

End of speech and overcome with joy!

Monday, 14 April 2014

Working away...

I started working again on this quilt, it is very nearly finished - I have added Quilt-as-you-go style some wadding to my borders and just need to add on the backing fabric!   Some orange cord!   Whacky quilt through and through!

But don't have enough - if it were cotton I'd use some other one but I haven't anything in the same weight so it is on order at Shaukat who are usually quick off the mark!

Then I started working on these Star of Africa bee blocks!  At last!

I have been wondering how to put them into a quilt that would do them justice.  Above was my first thought but it wasn't really doing it for me!

Fortunately I came across Ayumi's Books for Babies quilt pattern in her Patchwork Please book and I formed an idea!  

But I wasn't satisfied with that!  I wanted the books to come alive and characters to appear to come out of the books!  Megan,  {LucyandNorman} has been making fairytale blocks using Ayumi's pattern and appropriate fairytale printed fabric and ping the light bulb went off in my head!

I didn't need to recreate my bee mates creations {what I had been thinking} just find some printed fabric that suggested the book or country characteristics!

May helped with that as she sent me some Moomin fabric with her block..

The others I have made I have to admit stumped me for finding appropriate fabrics - nonetheless I tried to bring out something of the block or the country in colours and patterns!

Ganesha from Veena in India

Krisna from Tina in India

Krtecek the mole in a one on one swap with Di {Quiltova}

And Tatuana from Irene in Guatamala!

And now again I'm eagerly awaiting fabric so I can get the others done!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

2nd FAL finish! And it's still only April!

I have been accused of being 'on' something, {it's not true} but everything seems to be working out well in my quilting world at the moment!

Baby bear was finished last night!   All my meander quilting is done {even though I had some unpicking to do}, I ditchstiched the paws so they stand out a bit too! Then I quilted round mama bear's paws and in the border quilted {mama bear says Round and Round the garden}  - the rhyme came back to me as I was quilting so I guess that is now the title of this quilt!  Did you do that one with your kids!?   

I chose navy metro circles for the binding and pieced in a bit of pink where mama bear's paws were!  Done that with binding before but not in a while. Glad to see I still can!  Was up late handstitching down the binding....

But I wanted to finish it and now I know why !

I met the young man who will receive it at church today!  I even held the wee mite while he slept and hiccoughed.   So I was right to persist and will add his name to the border so his sister knows it belongs to him!

The back 

Time to move again - from Tops for quilting - to - Quilt Finishes 2014!  Yeah!

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Rite of passage

A lack of fabric and re-order on one project meant a re-focus on another yesterday!   Baby bear was dragged out of the cupboard and worked on till I got to the border ..... What colour to make it?

I really wasn't having much success so I called in the think tank aka Helen and she came up with a few suggestions, one being aqua!  I trawled through my stash and found an aqua print left over from my Millefiori quilt.   

Call me odd if you like but I really like to put a bit of fabric from one quilt into another one - it sort of connects them to each other.   It usually happens because the fabric is still lying around or still in my head and I think oh yes that will do - well it was true today too!  It does do!  Thanks Helen you really helped unstick this one!

Mama bear is watching her baby bear keeping him from wandering too far and he is excitedly running up and down, hither and thither (don't get to use that phrase often enough) making poor mama bear dizzy!

I love the fact that this quilt is my own design, it uses up the tiniest of scraps that most people throw away, and features a few special fabrics in the paw squares saved for a special purpose!  

If you made the wee HSTs while making other blocks then it wouldn't really take that long to complete.  It may become the go-to design for a baby quilt for me.

I love the border where I will quilt in the personal story of anyone it is gifted to and there is a baby coming along in my church family who might just want a quilt...all the more reason to finish this off don't you think?

And why rite of passsage ?  Well this quilt comes off my ufo list and moves to my tops to be quilted one!  Think it will get done quite soon...

Friday, 11 April 2014

Baby bear gets bigger!

Well in truth baby bear hasn't grown up but my little quilt has!

I started off using up some of those tiny HSTs you get left with when making larger HSTs or X+ blocks and such!  

I joined Fiona and Lucy's Bear Paw group on Flickr !  And then stalled at only six blocks because I'd used up all my wee HSTs.

I always meant to come back to this project and started saving little triangles in anticipation!  I even received some from Catherine!

Well yesterday evening I opened up my jars and revisited it...after all there were six blocks done and I thought I only need add three more for a cute little baby quilt!

So here it is for now!

Thinking I'd like to add a border all round with some mama bear paws pieced in - watching her little cub playing as every mama should!

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