Saturday, 30 November 2013

November Round -Up

This month has been about making two Disappearing Nine-Patch quilts for my grandchildren for Christmas.  I've completed one and am almost finished hand quilting the other so have high hopes they will be ready for the big day. I've also started Lori Holt's Quilty Fun Sew Along and have completed the first four blocks, and I've managed a couple of blocks for my Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Sewing Baskets

I've been busily crocheting a baby blanket this week so not much sewing time.

However, I eagerly awaited the clue for the Quilty Fun Sew Along on Monday, looked out some colourful scraps and got piecing.  This week it was Sewing Baskets.  A bit of tiny, fiddly piecing was involved, but entirely doable following the excellent instructions in the book Quilty Fun by Lori Holt.  This block measures 24" x 6 1/2".

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Plodding On

This week I've just been plodding on with stuff.  My daughter has asked me to make a crochet blanket for a friend's baby, and she wants it by next Friday, so I've been busy crocheting away, but I've tried to do a little bit of sewing each day, just to keep up.

The Quilty Fun Sew Along block for this week is Courthouse Steps so didn't take very much time to make at all, and I loved choosing all the little colourful scraps to make it.

The Farmer's Wife quilt is supposed to be on the back burner for now but I couldn't resist making just one more.

#39 - Friendship

I made this block using stitch and flip corners and so there were some 'bonus' triangles left over.  I could have just put them in my scrap box but thought I could do something with them there and then.  I played around with them for a short while and then came up with this which I shall add to the quilt.

#114 - Bonus

I haven't a problem adding my own blocks to the quilt.  It's not as if it's for a competition or anything, and I think the original farmers' wives would have not wanted to waste anything, just like me.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Pretty in Pink Ta-daaah!

All finished and ready to wrap for Christmas.

I am so pleased with how this has turned out.  Ever since I started quilting just over a year ago I've been longing to make a pink scrappy quilt for my little granddaughter, but I've had to wait until I had collected enough scraps.  The scraps have come from old sheets, a shirt or two, oddments from friends and a few bits of old dressmaking stuff. I love this little patch of Alice in Wonderland fabric.

I added some Kona Snow and some pink spotty stuff from Ikea to tie it all together.

I used the Disappearing Nine-Patch pattern which is so easy to do.  Just cut squares, stitch them together, cut them up, turn them this way and that, restitch and then you have a pattern that looks far more complicated than it really is.  I wrote more about how to do this here.

My grandchildren love to sit and watch TV with a blanket on their laps.  At the moment they usually drag the crochet blankets I made for them off their beds, so I thought it would be a good idea to make them a quilt just for TV watching.  I've made this quite light weight as it has no batting, just a light fleecy throw, from Ikea, for a backing.

The quilting is a mixture of hand and machine.  I used the machine to stitch-in-the-ditch six inches apart across the length and width and then big-stitch-quilting a quarter inch in around all the white blocks using a pink top stitch thread by Guttermaan.  I would have liked a slightly darker pink thread so that it showed up a bit more, but I had to go with what my local shop had.

I finished it off by binding it with the pink spotty stuff from Ikea.  I must get some more of this 'cause I love it so much.

I've now started the hand quilting on the boy version of this quilt for my grandson, so as it's big-stitch-quilting it shouldn't take too long.

This week I've also made the next block in Lori Holt's Quilty Fun Sew Along.  This week it is Twinkling Stars.  I spy some more of that pink spotty stuff.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

A finish (of sorts) and a start

I've been sewing like mad this week and achieved much more than I thought I would.  Unfortunately, I've only photographed two things so the other bits will have to wait until I buy a new charger for my camera battery.  You see, I left the cord dangling out of the desk drawer where it is kept and Molly, the puppy, has chewed it!  It doesn't look very safe so I won't use it.  I've ordered a new one online so it should be here in a day or two.  Anyway, here's what I've finished this week.

I've turned this

into this

It's a Disappearing Nine-Patch for my grandson for Christmas.  You may remember that I've made a pink one, Pretty in Pink, for his sister.  That one is now bound and waiting to be photographed.  I was going to call this one 'Blue for a Boy' as it's made from blue shirts, but the orange seems to dominate, so my first thought doesn't seem to fit.  Any suggestions for a suitable name would be much appreciated.  

I've also joined Lori Holt's Quilty Fun Sew Along at the Fat Quarter Shop which started on Monday.  Each week we will sew a different block from Lori Holt's book, and a PDF is published every Monday to help you.  My book hasn't arrived from the US yet but I was desperate to make a start, so I managed to glean enough info from the PDF and the pictures on the blog to draft out the block on squared paper and work out the measurements for each piece.  This week was Apples.

This block will measure 9" x 11" finished.    I think it would look good with a little border round it and framed as a picture.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Flower Basket and October Round-up

There are several basket blocks in the Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt book, but none of them appealed to me.  Two of them have appliqued handles, so that's a 'no' from me (I know my limitations) and the grape basket is made up of 5 x 5 squares which makes it difficult to rotary cut as I'm not using templates.  So I decided to draft out my own basket.  I drew out a 4 x 4 block onto squared paper and took elements from other basket blocks I've seen.  After many attempts I came up with this.

Actuallly, this is how I do all my blocks.  Every block is copied from the book onto my squared paper pad and I work out the measurements and method of working for each one.  My scale is 1 tiny square = 1/2 inch and then I add on the 1/4 inch seam allowance.  Some of the blocks in the book are a bit too complicated to do it with this method, but I'm only making 50 blocks so I'm picking out the easier ones.

And here it is.  It actually took me less time to cut and piece this than it did to draft it out, but it was worth it in the end.

I've finished the big stitch quilting on 'Pretty in Pink' and only need to finish the hand sewing on the binding.
I've also made the blocks for the boy version of this one from old shirts so that will get put together this weekend and then will be ready for some hand quilting.

October was about getting Pretty in Pink pieced together but I've made a FWS block each week as well, so here's the collage for October.