Monday, 19 May 2014

Mam's Quilt

There almost wasn't a hand quilting category in the festival this year (it was one of the least requested categories when Amy asked for feedback but she kindly added it back in after hand quilters made their feelings known! *ahem*) so, to celebrate its resurrection and to show that hand quilting is alive and well, as well as in a spirit of 'use it or lose it', I've decided to enter one of my quilts.  I'm afraid it isn't a new quilt as I haven't finished any quilts in quite a while (I'm hoping that I'll have my hexy quilt finished by the autumn festival next year - that's not a promise!) but then I remembered that I finished this quilt before I started blogging.  I've mentioned it before as I entered it in The Great Northern Quilt show in 2011 so it will look familiar to some of you!

I'm entering this quilt in the hand quilted category:

Mam's red and gold quilt

Mam asked me to make her a lap quilt for the colder evenings and requested that it be red and gold.  Her only other stipulation was that it had to have a border of flying geese so I designed this quilt from the outside in - not something I'd done before (I think this was maybe the third quilt I'd made, it was finished some time towards the end of 2010).  I decided that I wanted the blocks to reflect the border so decided to piece Sawtooth Star blocks but added an economy block centre (or a square in a square in a square - I'm not very good with quilt block names, I'm afraid!) to add extra interest, both while piecing it and once it was finished!  I seem to remember having quite a debate about what to do in the corners of the borders as I didn't want the geese to come to a dead halt at the edge so, in the end, decided to reflect the centres of the blocks and let the geese fly round the edge.

The quilting simply outlines the main shapes in the blocks and follows the line of the border:

Mam's red and gold quilt

Mam's red and gold quilt

Mam's red and gold quilt
It wouldn't be my usual choice of fabric but love the way this glittery fabric sparkles in the sun!

The fabrics are quite traditional as that's what Mam likes - we spent quite a while choosing them from our LQS and stalls at various quilt shows - and they reflect the traditional nature of the quilt.  It's got a cream flannel on the back which I remember being quite a bargain in a sale somewhere and the wadding is Hobbs Heirloom 80/20, a dream to hand quilt through.  I used a YLI variegated thread to quilt and, having looked at the YLI chart, I think it was 'Pyramids of Giza'.

This quilt is a favourite with my two young nieces who like to either be wrapped up 'like a doggy' in it (like Archie does with his quilts) or play 'sausage rolls' with it (lie, outstretched, at one end of the quilt, get rolled up in it (like a sausage in a sausage roll) and then someone pulls on the end and out you roll!  Some people think that you need to be gentle with a hand pieced, hand quilted and hand bound quilt, I beg to differ!!

Quilt stats:

Name: doesn't really have one!  Commonly known as 'the red and gold quilt' or 'Mam's quilt'!
Design: Sawtooth Star variation - designed by me, with lots of graph paper and a pencil.
Pieced: by hand
Quilted: by hand
Wadding: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20
Backing: flannel/brushed cotton - lovely and cosy in the winter!
Size: 78" x 62"
Category: hand quilting

Thanks for popping in!

P.S.  I can't possibly blog without including a photo or two of Archie so here's one of him in the sun, taken this afternoon:


And here's one of him taken while I was taking photos of the quilt:
Can we go in yet?  You should be in there, sorting out my tea, not out here faffing!

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Catching up with myself...again!

Lily's Quilts

I thought I'd do a quick catch up post of things I haven't blogged about lately (or at all!) and so have made progress on since you last saw them - prepare yourself for lots (and lots!) of photos.  And very few words.  Well, that's the aim, at least!! *having reached the end of this post I can confirm that I completely failed at this!  No surprise there!

(I feel the need to explain that I haven't done all this in a month (or even two or three!), I've been slowly working on these projects for quite a while, making a little progress here and a little progress there but haven't got round to blogging about them.  Just in case you think I'm some sort of superwoman or something!  I know there are quilters who finish four quilts in a month, two months running, but I'm definitely not one of them!!  I wish I were...)

I've made progress with the hand quilting on my hexy quilt:

Quilting progress

I'm not sure how obvious it is in this photo but I've just got one quadrant left to quilt (upper left) and then the lines in this direction are done.  I've still got two other directions to do (see this photo) but I'm pleased with the progress I've made!

I've recently (yesterday!) finished the quilting on the Drunkard's Path quilt:

DP quilt - quilting finished!

I pretended I was the always wonderful Lynne and quilted a grid.  I marked the lines (3" apart) with a Hera marker and quilted them using Aurifil 2610 (medium grey) on the top and 5006 (aqua) in the bobbin - I've now marked (with a Sharpie) the point on the tension wheel where the tension is spot-on for quilting with Aurifil 50wt and Warm and White wadding as I think it's going to become my usual combination for machine quilting for the foreseeable future!   The quilt top was hand pieced (using Inklingo, an easy and wonderful way of printing pieces directly onto the back of fabric, for the Drunkard's Path units and my usual freezer paper templates for the sashing and cornerstones) and I just need to decide whether to add piping before the binding. I know the binding is going to be yellow and any piping will probably also be yellow but I don't know whether or not to have a double layer at the edge or whether the binding will be enough to lift it.   All opinions welcome!

I've made a (very little) bit of progress with my Christmas Cherry star (based on the Made in Cherry quilt by Sarah Fielke):

Cherry Christmas

One set of points is now joined together and I have the other three big triangles cut, just waiting for me to get back to them.  My friend, B, and I discovered (invented?!!) a really good way of cutting large QST triangles - I'll make a tutorial when I get a moment, if anyone is interested?  My aim is to be hand quilting this quilt by the time the Christmas films are on the telly - I want to be watching 'Miracle on 34th Street' and quilting this quilt, probably while also drinking a cup of tea and enjoying some chocolate!!  I've got a way to go yet as I'm adding rows top and bottom to make it an oblong quilt but I'm hoping that once the giant star is made I can get cracking with the rest of it...I just need to decide exactly what the rest of it will be!

I've also started knitting a shawl:

Summer shawl

I was in my LYS when I spotted some gorgeous crochet cotton (Katia Jaipur) and had to have a couple of balls.  Then I saw this pattern on Ravelry and knew I'd found the perfect project for my yarn!  I've come to a bit of a standstill with this as I need to join in the second ball but I know how I'm going to do it now, I just need to get round to it!

I've finished my sewing machine embroidery:

Sewing machine

I just need to turn it into a cushion, once I've decided on the fabric for a border (or two).

Edited to add: I've had a few enquiries about the pattern for this so have added a photo of the front of the pattern to my Flickr stream here.  Hope that helps you track it down!

These five projects make up my FAL Q2 list:

FAL Q2 2014 - the list

and I'm pleased that I've made progress on two of them since I took the photos for the list - I'm aiming to have the DP quilt and sewing machine cushion finished by the end of the quarter and to have made significant progress on the others.  Don't hold your breath, though!!

I've also made some 'Soy Amado' blocks for Alison:

Soy Amado blocks for Alison
They have a Hallowe'en feel about them now - not what I was intending!!

I used a fat eighth bundle and 75cm of orange to brighten it up (no idea of the shade but it's a Bella solid) and managed to make thirteen blocks with no waste from the bundle (other than what I trimmed off to square up the fabric) and very few leftovers of the orange (those that were left could be easily scrunched in my fist!).  I decided that the best way to go would be to cut all the fabric into 2.5" strips (which made the best use of the fat eighths) and make several blocks of the same/similar design.  That way I made maximum use of the fabric and the energy I had available.  A lovely friend bought the wadding (thanks, P!) and they were quilted using a variegated yellow ('sunrise') YLI machine quilting thread (40wt) on the top and an orange (1154) Aurifil 12wt in the bobbin - I needed to fiddle a little bit with the top tension to get the stitches nesting in the middle (or somewhere close to the middle!) of the wadding but these two different weights of thread played nicely together.  As you can see, one block is made from all the bits I had left after I'd made the other twelve blocks - it looks better than I thought it would!  Alison will be collecting blocks for quite a while yet so please consider making some for her - it's for a wonderful cause.  Visit her blog for more details.

A mystery parcel landed on my door mat a few days ago: I recognised the return address but couldn't for the life of me work out what Yvonne was sending me.  Turns out that she had stitched up the hexies I'd sent her and made me a cushion cover!  I didn't know that she was good at plotting but she really is!!  Here's what she made:

Hexy cushion from Yvonne

Thank you, Yvonne, I love it!  I didn't expect to see these hexies again but it's lovely to have them back and now when I look at them I'm sure I hear a faint Mutley chuckle - all that plotting must have been passed on to them!!

Right, I'm nearly caught up with myself!  Just a photo or two of Archie to go and then I'm done!!  ('At last!', you cry.  ''Very few words' my ar*e', you say.  Well, you didn't really expect me to manage it, did you?!)

In my attempts to show the size of the tiny maple leaves I made for Di (please see my previous post), I took a photo of one alongside Archie.  He wasn't impressed:

You honestly think I should be okay with this?  Well, I've got news for you.   I'm not.

'Unimpressed' doesn't really cover it!!

And being a pot washer isn't all it's cracked up to be:


In fact, sometimes it's so tough that you need to kip partway through a job!

We've also had a visitor who rediscovered why Archie loves that spot in the conservatory so much:

It's mine, all mine!!  Oh, don't I look handsome today?  Very distinguished!

That's me done (at long last) and I'm now thoroughly caught up with myself - that feels better!  Well done if you got this far (even if you just flicked through and glanced at the photos!), I hope to be back before this time next month but I'm making no promises!!

Thanks for popping in!

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