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Chevron Wentwrong Quilt

13 Aug

Back to quilting today!  Having been pointed to the Jelly Roll Race by a fellow blogger I was rooting around in the quilting tutorials on youtube and found this:


Another lovely quilting idea!  I thought this would be a very simple way to make a bed sized quilt.  I looked through my yardage and found that I had enough to whip one of these up for the spare room.

Simplified instructions:

  • Cut lots of 10″ squares – sorry can’t remember how many I did now.
  • Sew each patterned square with a contrast square right sides together all the way round
  • Cut across the bias and press seams open
  • Arrange how you want
  • Stitch squares together

Quilt top all done! I messed up in the arranging and didn’t get the Chevron pattern quite right, I realised this as I was basting: IMG_1519   But hey, only you lot know what I was aiming for so it still is an eye-catching design – I am not going to let that bother me! For quilting I did fat lines through the red zigzag and just a wide stippling in the squares.  It is a light quilting but effective.  I used a purple and cream polka dot for the binding. Here is the final project on the bed it was made for: IMG_2048   I am really pleased with the final make. I am not the only one… IMG_2051   n.b. strictly no cats allowed in the spare room.  As you can see, he is seriously contrite about having been caught in here. 

Over to you:

  • Have you tried making this type of quilt?
  • Would you have started over having realised the design error?
  • Does anyone else have cats who ADORE homemade quilts?!

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Jelly roll frenzy (race)

7 Aug

When I finished my Craftsy Block of the Month quilt one of my commenters called V from sometimesshesews.blogspot.com introduced me to the notion of a jelly roll race and provided me with this link to youtube as I’d never heard of it before.

So basically all the pieces sewn end to end in to one long strip then the long ends of the strips sewn together again, and and again and again until you have a quilt.

Erm , hello, I LOVE that idea!

The roll I used is sweet tooth by Benartex which is all sweetie themed – I do LOVE sweets! I bought it from the Missouri Star Quilt company – my Dad was visiting from the USA so got it sent to his address. Sadly I would not recommend this company at all, terrible communication and service. I digress…

Sadly I have nobody to race so I have called it a jelly roll frenzy. What brilliant fun! So quick! Sometimes it can feel like when you do anything labelled ‘sewing’ you actually spend a considerable amount of time doing other things like cutting, planning, pinning, ironing etc – this is just pure unadulterated SEWING! I simply loved making this quilt top! I think everyone should have a jelly roll in the cupboard so you can whip one of these babies up when you just need some mindless escapism at your sewing machine.

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I sashed with a pinky polka-dot and bound in a gorgeous sunshine orange. The backing was big fat magenta polka dots. I finally got round to watching the free craftsy course on creative quilt backs (need to review that) and used the technique to match large prints. Worked really well – can you see the join?

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More Craftsy I’m afraid… I recently bought free-motion fillers by Leah Day as one of my Christmas presents from my Dad -he got me a gift voucher for three classes. Again, must review when I’ve finished it. I found a lovely pattern in lesson three “independent designs” named “basic spiral”. I thought it looked like swirly sweets so it fitted with the fabric perfectly. Frankly the quilting leaves something to be desired and is a bit clunky but from a distance it has the effect I wanted.

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I love the finished article and am really peased with the size, this is just perfect for snuggling on the sofa. Sadly, I think the overall effect is a bit too little girl with the sweets and the pink. I am considering giving it away, but I really love it – clearly there is still a little girl very much inside and not even attempting to get out!

Oh, and I’m not the only one who likes it…

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Over to you:
Have you ever done a jelly roll race?
Have you made something which hasn’t turned out how you thought, but you love it anyway?
Any other little ideas like the jelly roll race I can try?!

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

**all views are my own and I get no affiliate income from this**

Quilting: you can’t cut corners

8 Feb

At the beginning of my sewing journey I found Craftsy and I really loved it. I adored that I could make all my errors in the comfort of my own home and replay the instructor again and again until I got it right.

In this first wild flush of attraction – imagine me running through the flowery meadow oozing joy whilst holding hands with Mr Craftsy and gazing lovingly in to his eyes – I thought participating in Amy Gibson’s free class Block of the Month would be super easy. It’s not like I’m entirely new to quilting and piecing. I’ve completed smaller projects like baby quilts etc and know some quilting techniques; I’ve even done a bit of free motion and didn’t sew my fingers together. It’s just this would be my first large scale patchwork quilting project. Confidence was high, I repeat, confidence was high. Dear readers, I know you can see my folly.

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The first issue was my general approach to long tasks. I was the kind of kid who’d be set a big homework project to complete over weeks and weeks and would start it the night before. I have not grown out of this awful habit. I watched the videos each month very dutifully, I just didn’t actually do any sewing. Finally I bought the fabric at Creative Stitches in Exeter in September and I started cutting the bits in October thinking I’d be whipping up this quilt in no time. I laughed in the face of these weaklings who aren’t hardcore enough to crank out projects in long gruelling sessions like me – ha ha ha. Oh dear. Quilters I can hear your echoing laughs…

First major quilting discovery
It takes bloomin’ HOURS to piece stuff together!
Yes. What a naive fool I was. These blocks are really HARD! I was decidedly less smug already. After all my faux quilting bravado do you know how I finally finished it? I started doing a couple squares every now and again. Yes, quilting brought me what umpteen years of education had not.

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So now to the quilting…
Second major discovery
It takes bloomin’ HOURS to quilt a 20 block quilt!
Researching and praticing the techniques before you even get near the quilt top is not included in above equation. You are also absolutely terrified you are going to utterly ruin the work you’ve already done!

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Dogwood technique blogged about here

Third major quilting discovery
the bloomin’ thing can’t fit properly in the sewing machine!

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So you think ‘ah I’ll do a bit of echo quilting around that square with my walking foot’ like Amy suggests. BUT that means you need to rotate the thing 360 degrees – so at some point the biggest bit of the quilt needs to be rotated into the ‘throat’ of the sewing machine. I’m there stuffing the thing in, then it is so wedged I can’t actually sew. If force fed geese are unethical then the same protections should apply to sewing machines! Utter nightmare. On a more positive note – seriously good upper arm workout! I was ‘feeling the burn baby!’ It took me weeks to quilt the thing, again I was reduced to doing little and often.

Which leads me to…
fourth major quilting discovery
I bloomin’ love my finished quilt!

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Taking in to account all of the above I was ready to be much less enamoured with the finished item, frankly I thought I’d be sick of the sight of it, but I really do love it! I snuggle up under it and feel so proud of the journey I’ve been on with this project! What’s more, after all of the above moaning, I am missing having a ‘big’ project going on that I can dip in and out of… I think I want to start another one! Dear quilting friends, is this how it begins?

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Here it is adorning my favourite sofa in the lounge, ready to snuggle in to!

Tell me what you think:
Have you ever done a really big project like a large quilt?
Did you participate in the Block of the Month?
Are there any ‘discoveries’ you’ve made in a project which took you totally by surprise?

Leave a comment, I’d love to hear from you!

Linking up with Finish it up Friday

Stashbusting baby quilt

31 Jan

Being married to a Frenchman means we have lots of friends and family in beautiful South-West France. He is from a gorgeous little county called the Gers (It’s pronounced ‘jers’ not ‘grrrs’). Two of our best friends from France have just had their second daughter, called Nell. She was due on the 28th of January and actually arrived on her due date! Knowing she is a Gersoise this will almost certainly be the first and last time she is on time for anything! I spent the weekend crafting a cot quilt for my newest friend, and imagine my glee when I found the legendary Handmade Jane had also departed in to the land of the quilt for one she loves; if it’s good enough for her it’s good enough for me!

This also counts towards my stashbusting pledge and I will be proudly linking this post up with the linky party. The focus this month was less than a yard and, as I’m a metric girl, I went for less than a metre *here’s hoping I’m not drummed out of the sewalong for fraud*. I am pretty proud that EVERYTHING came from stash and remnants of other projects, even the batting!

Here is the project:

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Quilt top
First was to decide my phrase for applique, which is obviously in French:
‘La Petite Nell’ which translates to ‘little Nell’ (you knew that!)

Make your lettering – I created the letters on publisher then used the ‘flip’ function to get them as a mirror image and printed

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Lay bondaweb on top of letters and begin tracing:

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Remove cat:

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Finish tracing all letters:

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Iron letters on to the back of the fabric and cut out:

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Choose your fabric. I selected a vibrant yellow, pink and peachy fabric 100cm x 110cm of quilting weight cotton (£5 pm on sale when I bought it).

Remove cat:

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Place the letters in desired place on the fabric:

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Peel the paper backing off and press the letters to adhere them:

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Now it’s time to sew!

Zig zag stitch around the lettering. You can see the settings I used on my Janome DXL in this photo:

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Basting
I learned this from the Craftsy block of the month (love Amy Gibson!).

Lay out the backing fabric face down on a hardfloor and use masking tape to hold it taught without stretching it:

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My pink polkadot fabric is left over from an apron I made my cousin’s wife

lay out your batting/wadding:

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note my backing is barely big enough as it’s a remnant!

lay your quilt top on top then start safety pinning through all three layers. Seing as I’ve done a bit of National stereotyping of the French in this post I thought I’d do us Brits too:

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Yep – obligatory cup of tea!

Once it is pinned to death it is time to start quilting!

Quilting
I decided to use that dogwood free motion quilting technique I was raving about the other day. Yep, I dropped those feed dogs and held my breath!

Yes it took me hours, just marking out all the bloomin’ boxes was enough! But I really like the design so it was worth it!

Binding
I was delighted to find I had enough of the fabric used for the applique to bind in the same material. I used this tutorial for making a continuous method – I always use this and it works every time. I pressed the tape in to binding using my 1″ clover bias tape maker. Then I bound the quilt using my quarter inch foot as my best friend:

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Finished item

I am really pleased with it! It isn’t perfect (the quilting certainly isn’t!) but it is the best I can do at this point in my sewing career:

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You can see the quilting a little clearer in this photo:

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I also got a cardmaking kit at the Crafting festival last weekend for just £1 so whipped a little card up to go with it (cardmaking not my thing!):

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Cards are a much bigger cultural thing for us Anglo-Saxons so I always try to include them for my French friends!

Here it is folded up just before wrapping:

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Isn’t sewing such a lovely hobby that you can create something from those simple fabrics which oozes so much love and caring? I just love to sew gifts for people. Have you sewn anything for someone you love? I’d love to hear from you!

Delicious double dogwood design

24 Jan

Shamefully, I am still working on the Craftsy class block of the month which I should have finished a long time ago. Sorry Amy. I have a big post brewing about this whole project but here is a little one. As I experimented with some free motion quilting techniques from the interweb I wanted to share one I really enjoyed and had a great ‘two way’ effect which I haven’t seen before.

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I found it on oh, fransson it was shown on a finished project this week and I liked the look of it and then saw a great tutorial on how to actually do the technique. The tutorial is from 2011 and I’m sorry if it is old hand now, but it’s new to me! This may be really standard in the quilting world, but I thought it was pretty ace that from a distance it looks like a circle technique but close up they are actually little flowers! How cool is that!?

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I also like that there is a clearly defined block to do each design in and that there is a one way ‘route’ so I don’t end up in a random place with no way out (hello spirals and stippling!). I practised a little, not as much as I probably should, before heading on to my quilt block. I couldn’t be bothered to draw out the squares so used a block which was pieced squares. I did mark the middle of each square so I knew where to begin each design. I chose one of the drunkard’s path blocks as I thought I wanted to continue the ‘curvy’ theme in the quilting. Here it is before the quilting:

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Here it is afterwards:

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I loved doing it and I love the finished effect – quilting win. It is a very forgiving design – frankly it needed to be for me – so all my errors aren’t that noticeable. Well less so than with some other designs:

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Have you tried the Dogwood technique? Do you like it too? Do you know any other of these ‘two for one’ quilting techniques!? I’d love to hear from you!