Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fat Quarterly project

This is all I can show you for now of my project for the Christmas edition of Fat Quarterly. The deadline was 30 September and I made it in time. Just the pattern to write now. I love the simple Baptist fan pantograph I used along with an off white thread. Simple but effective. I also like the stripe for the binding.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Moda Modern Building Blocks Sewalong - tips - block 6

Moda Modern Building Blocks Sewalong
I started with a nice simple 18" block. I picked out some yellows similar in tone to the Bella Solids in the original and I made my first mistake - I picked out Fat Quarters that I'd cut into, and after cutting a few pieces of the darker yellow, I realised that I wouldn't have enough. So as the instructions tell you, my tip is to cut the largest blocks first and definitely only expect to use scraps for the 6" blocks.
I'm liking the grunge fabric in this block and will probably pull more out to add to the stash for this quilt. It also dawned on me that an old fashioned china graph pencil would be great for ticking off what you've cut as you could then wipe off the marks once you've finished the block.
For more information about the Sewalong which you can join at any time go to http://jersey-scrapper.blogspot.com/2014/09/moda-modern-building-blocks-sewalong.html

Friday, September 26, 2014

Home for the Holidays

Yesterday was busy celebrating Nick's 50th quietly and taking Matthew to the airport to see him off to University. Now how long will it be before I get any sign that he actually arrived in Loughborough? When he runs out of money? When he wants to be collected from the airport in December? I think I'll have to stalk his Facebook page unless he has already unfriended me.

I did manage to get a project for Fat Quarterly magazine quilted yesterday. Here is the small pile of fabrics from Doodlebug's Home for the Holidays line remaining from the project which I'm gifting to Jane to go with the stash she already has. She's using it for a bee quilt and my contribution will add more variety to the mix.

Today, I have the morning to myself before playing canasta this afternoon. I think I'll plan to piece and sew my binding to my magazine project ready to start hand stitching tonight. I also have some flying geese to piece and trim for my Schnibble and my improv block for the Bumbling Honeys Bee for Jo to finish.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

ST2 Snail's trail

For September's block for the Siblings Together 2 quilt Bee, Teresa asked us to make two snail's trail blocks using this tutorial. The request was for pastels and white. I was a little worried that I wouldn't have nay pretty pastels as usually my colour choices are bolder, however I found this lemon and mint grunge from Basic Grey that I won from a giveaway over at Blue Nickel Studios.
I have made a whole quilt from this block which was finished on New Year's eve 1999. So last millennium. My In Laws have the quilt now and was the only quilt I've had long armed by someone else. I have never understood how they quilted it so beautifully but the backing that they provided was short? Unfortunately I had to trim away some of the border quilting flush with the backing.

I love the secondary pattern these blocks make once put together. That's another one off my September to do list. I cut the fabric whilst supervising my long arm so they came together quickly.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Someone's paying attention

I asked my quilt model to hold up this quilt to take a photograph and I was told "I've already held this one for a photo". "Ah", I replied "but it didn't have it's binding on then". Perhaps my family do pay more attention than I think. Not long until Matthew leaves for university.

This quilt is for the charity Siblings Together and I hope to make a matching one from my other quilt bee. However I've just used the last of my Ikea Bitten so I will be looking for anyone going near an Ikea, very soon.

Once again, I use my steam a seam 1/4" tape to affix the binding to the back of the quilt and I stitched in the ditch from the front to stitch down the binding. As this quilt will be loved and well washed, I also sewed another row of stitching in the binding - a belt and braces job. I know I didn't plan to finish this one in September, but having prepared the binding for Matthew's quilt I was on a roll. One less for October.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Moda Modern Building Blocks Sewalong - fabric choices

Moda Modern Building Blocks Sewalong

I have been trying to catch up with client quilts and September commitments so I pulled out my pattern again last night. Fortunately I didn't have to look too far as I hadn't put it away. I am replacing the plain fabrics with patterned fabrics - but mainly tone on tone and the eggshell background with a selection of low volume fabrics, so my first point of reference was the last page of the finishing instructions handout.

My first pull of low volume fabrics was literally what I had to hand. However the requirements list says we'll need three yards of eggshell.
So next I looked in my basket of white fabrics and also picked out some very pale greys from another basket. That gave a lot more variety.
In the end I narrowed my choice by taking out the Sweetwater fabric and the cream and red print and I'm pleased with what I ended up with - a mixture of texty prints, some old favourites  and new purchases at FoQ.
 Next is my pick of coloured fabrics including lots of Basic Grey grunge fabrics from a prize from Blue Nickel Studios, bike tracks, pearl bracelets and Cotton & Steel. I have replaced the browns in the pattern with greys from Cotton & Steel and Zen Chic.
And I will add in some scraps from my scrap bags where possible. They are sorted into this big basket in a bag for each colour. I regularly dip into the bags to add fabrics to a project but the bags don't seem to decrease in volume. I have to finish my Avitrix quilt and there will be more scraps to add into the mix.

Come back on 20 October to share your first four blocks - I will be making blocks 1,5,6 and 7 so I can make the B section. I will also post on a Monday with any tips I've encountered whilst making my blocks. Do leave me a link to your blog post about your fabric choices or a Flickr photo.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Fabulously fast and finished

Matthew noticed again that he'd already modelled this quilt for me, but now it's bound and finished. Matthew leaves for Uni on 25 September and I finished this a week ahead of that deadline. Phew.

This quilt hasn't quite made it to Matthew's suitcase yet, he's just working on the list of kitchen paraphernalia, which seems like a full set of everything for the kitchen. when I was at college, everything was provided, now it seems nothing is provided an Matthew  is flying. Perhaps we should have taken the car over. A friend of his is also going to Loughborough but by car, so I'm hoping they might add a box of china and saucepans as well as Matthew's saxophone.

Having added two rows of jelly roll strips as a border, I used all of the red strips and one yellow as a binding. what next? Moda Building Blocks or a Christmas quilt for Fat Quarterly? I might cut both and use the building blocks as leaders and enders.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

All zipped up

On Saturday I taught a day workshop on zippy bags. everyone had finished one before lunch and some went on to do Noodlehead's mani pouch - a free pattern on the Robert Kaufman website and others made a second zippy pouch.

First is my sample which I made up from two leftover blocks from Matthew's quilt along with red scraps from my scrap bag. I was pleased with how it turned out. The pouch is about 10 by 8 and I find the original pouch I was given at FQR is very useful for chargers and leads for holidays.

All of the ones made in the workshop were so different from crazy patchwork to log cabin in a cure Riley Blake Christmas line.

And here's Jane's mani pouch. So cute in those Christmas fabrics.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Making progress

Hooray, the Fast and Fabulous quilt started at Fat Quarterly retreat has been quilted and trimmed. I used some of the remaining jelly roll strips as a border, rather than buy any yardage, I also hoped that it would tone down the red.
 I will admit that I am no longer a polyester snob and am loving the Superior Threads So Fine that Carol recommended that I tried. I'm also loving the prewound bobbins. I realised I had no backing set aside for this quilt so I grabbed the remainder of my Ikea Bitten and it was just wide enough and just long enough. I thought I might regret using it but it all worked out okay.
I think tomorrow I will focus on sewing the bindings to the front of this quilt and the rainbow star quilt. If I can get both bound this week that would be two off my to do list. Progress is slow but steady.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What a beauty

And these photos don't do it justice, but I finished Sarah's quilt on Friday, which was a lot quicker than I dared hope.

Sarah combined two collections of fabric with a variety of white on whites for the background for a stunning quilt. Perfectly pieced and pressed with no wobbly edges to challenge me.

We decided on "Japanese Clouds" pantograph, a favourite of my clients for when you don't want to overwhelm the piecing. I also used So Fine for the first time and it also allows the piecing to shine.

And this is the pieced back - a masterpiece by itself. I don't know how Sarah can bear to part with this quilt. That's one project off my to do list and it's trimmed and ready for Sarah to bind.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Moda Modern Building Blocks Sewalong - helpful equipment

Moda Modern Building Blocks Sewalong
Even if you don't have your pattern yet, you can still piece the one on the finishing instructions as a tester. In the mean time, here's some equipment, I'll be using.
If you don't have a good square ruler, now may be the time to invest in the largest you can afford. I have the 20.5" ruler by Creative Grids (not pictured) and find it indispensable for trimming quilts. If your block isn't lying flat, press it and then lay your square ruler on top and the weight of the ruler and the steam from the pressing, will work miracles and make seams lie flatter.
We received a sample of Swatch Buddies from Janome at the Fat Quarterly Retreat and I'm starting with the fabrics I'm using for this project on one ring. You can get good deals from Amazon on large packets.
Have you made any of Lori Holt's design boards? These area boon when you're working on several different blocks at once. The wadding means fabric sticks to the board. Once I've pressed my pieces, I put them back on the correct board, ready to pin the next step.  I made four of these a couple of years ago which is perfect when working on four small blocks each month.

And the best and cheapest piece of equipment I use for any project is a sturdy paper shopping bag to store all the pieces for one project in one place. Return next week to link up to a photo of your fabric choices.

Friday, September 12, 2014

On the frame

I am panicking as a project I haven't even started has a completion date of 30 September for a magazine and it's not even started.  Thankfully they have just sent an e-mail with the deadline so it's now on my to do list. However I'm starting to panic as September is manic with evenings out and significant birthdays.

So I need to write down what I have to complete:

Client quilts in the house
Sarah's quilt is on the machine and I'd like to deliver it to our guild on Monday
Jane's Anchors Aweigh - finished apart from some issues I need to resolve which I wish I'd seen before the quilt was trimmed
Carmel's quilt which will probably now wait until October

To do on Friday
Sample and handout for workshop on Saturday

Due by 25 September
Matthew's quilt

Due by the end of the month
Christmas project for Fat Quarterly magazine
ST2 snail trails in pastels with white background
Stash bee - two circle blocks in a primary and it's complimentary colour
Mini quilt swap - this is planned but not started
First four Moda Building Blocks

Would love to get done this month but not realistic:
Binding on Siblings Together rainbow log cabin quilt
A Lovely Year of Schnibbles project - started but 160 small flying geese units!!

I am concentrating on Sarahs' quilt first and hoping to do some cutting out of other projects whilst supervising the machine. I really need to focus on just one project at a time, but that's not in my nature. Several projects will take less than a day, but I think on Sunday, I'll tackle Matthew's quilt and hopefully get the piecing finished and load it onto the machine. Then what should I do? An easy finish such as a Bee block or two or the Christmas quilt?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Rainbow log cabins

And that makes four quilts finished in the last week - well at least they're quilted. Three can go back to their owners but this one is down to me to bind. It's been made up of 14" log cabin blocks in a rainbow of colours. I love the fabrics that everyone's used and there are several repeated motifs which ties everything together - spots, stripes, stars, 1930s cute fabric, sketch, text etc. I've just realised the rainbow doesn't work this way up, but never mind. I'm going to use the same plan for the second Siblings Together group I'm in to make a pair.

I bondawebbed the label to the corner of the backing so it would be permanently affixed. To make it easier to place, I quilted from the bottom up.

You can't beat Ikea's Bitten for a backing. And I think I do have enough left for a backing for a second similar quilt. I wonder when I can stock up on some more? The pantograph is Allium by Hermione Agee and the thread is Cleopatra by Superior Threads.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


And here's Susan's pretty batik quilt which I quilted with a Handiquilter pantograph called Flutterby. It's no densely quilted so as to not detract from the pretty panels.
I'm surprised the quilting doesn't show better in this photograph as it's a bright blue thread called Aswan by superior Threads on a brown backing.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Flowing floral

This is Judy's quilt and I love the yellow dot she has used for the background. I am envious and wish I'd chosen yellow for Matthew's quilt. You can't see very well in this photo but the blocks aren't just squares. I used a pantograph called Flowing Floral which is a new one and which turned out really well using Shekels by Superior Thread as my thread.
And here's the pretty blue backing.

And here's my quilt model who has just two weeks before he leaves for Loughborough Uni. He has upgraded his 50cc motorbike to a 500cc. that's a whole lot more power. He has booked his test for the bigger engine for next week.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Moda Modern Building Blocks Sewalong - getting started

Welcome to the start of the Moda Building Blocks Sewalong. If like me, you've seen photos of this lovely quilt popping up over blog land and have been tempted to make the quilt, then you're in the right place. My pattern arrived last week from Sew and Quilt but I'm finishing off another project before diving in.
So what do you need to do to join in?
1. Purchase the pattern, this is not available as a download. I've seen it available at:
Sew and Quilt where's it's currently sold out
Fat Quarter Shop who are also doing a kit which starts shipping in November
Simply solids who are doing a monthly kit
Fig Tree are doing a lovely kit combining solids and some small prints from their new range.
2. Download the assembly and finishing directions at Moda Fabrics. This will also give you the fabric quantities to enable you to:
3. Assemble your fabrics so you can share your plans in a linkup on Monday, 22 September. We will then start making four blocks every four weeks with a link up here on the Monday for you to share your progress.
4. Grab yourself the Sewalong button on the right.
8 Sept    Start of sewalong
22 Sept  Share your fabric choices
20 Oct   Share your first four blocks - I will be making blocks 1,5,6 and 7 so I can make the B section
17 Nov  Share four more blocks - I plan to do blocks 4, 9, 14 and 18 to complete block D
15 Dec  Share four more blocks and we'll have done a third of the blocks - I plan to do the remaining 36" block - 2 along with blocks 25, 36, and 43
12 Jan  Take it easy over Xmas and do blocks 23,38,40 and 41
Come back here next Monday and I'll show you how I'm organising myself for this sewalong.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Moda Modern Sewing Blocks Sewalong

Come back tomorrow for the start of the sewalong.

FNwF update

I have made good progress with the fabulously fast quilt started at the Fat Quarterly retreat. All of the four patch blocks are made, half of the diagonal rows are sewn together and the rest is on my design wall ready to be pinned and sewn together. It looks even more red in real life!! I am using the leftover jelly roll strips in blue, cream and grey to make a scrappy border and the remaining red strips will be sewn together for the binding.

I also finished a customer quilt on Friday which needs to be trimmed and ready for delivery on Wednesday. A family party was organised for two weeks time and it was  lovely to catch up with those that I only usually see at funerals. it's not as if we live very far from each other on an island 9 miles by 5 miles.

Friday, September 05, 2014

September goal and FNSI

As I want to finish the Fabulously fast quilt for Matthew to take to University, it has to be my September goal. I don't yet have the pattern to finish it, but I can see where I'm going and I have all of the strip sets pieced and cut into 2.5" chunks. So now I have to sew together the four patch blocks. I should work out today whether I need some more of the background fabric as the shop isn't open Sunday to Wednesday.
So I'm planning to work on this quilt this evening for Friday Night with Friends. But first I need to finish quilting a quilt on my long arm.