Sunday, 30 December 2012

Still Stitching.......and smiling!

Christmas has been and gone and so has 2012 (nearly). I think I might have said a year ago how hard I find Christmas now that I am on my own, but on the other hand it does make you realise it's all about the children. So you put your misgivings etc to one side and you get together with your families and the kids have a great time opening presents together and the general excitement of the day. Well that's what happened in my family anyway.
This past year I have tried to be more productive in my quilt-making and I think that's true to some extent. I definitely make more quilts to display my fabrics, although I never have the time to quilt them.........which reminds me I need to get back to my machine quilting!
There is one thing for certain............I have developed an addiction for pre-cuts! I love Bali Pops and now they are available in 5" and 10" squares too there are even more design possibilites. The hardest part is actually opening the packet and even now it takes me a while to do it, but I have played with all of them this year and am thinking I might turn my designs into patterns...........once I have quilted the quilts I've made of course!
So what does 2013 hold? I think I need to concentrate on using my time more productively (ie stay off Facebook etc) and work on my own quilts as well as display quilts.
Getting ahead of myself, I've already picked up the Sylvia's Bridal Sampler quilts again and have almost completed row C on both quilts, I have a couple of red and white quilts to make and then there is my Kaleidoscope quilt that I need to keep working on.
Wow that sounds a lot already!!
Best get on with it then............

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Free Motion Project Quiltalong

So here it is! My first attempt at free motion quilting.
I am following the Free Motion Quilting Project Quiltalong, just to give me some tips and guidance. This was created by Leah Day who originally started her blog to design a different type of free motion filler quilting for every day of the year; the Free Motion Quilting Project.
You can visit her blog
here. It’s such a useful tool!
I've watched the first couple of videos and am running a little before I can walk by combining the two at the same time.....

As I started, it was a bit jagged and my stitches very short as I had trouble moving the quilt sandwich around. Started to wish I had waited and bought some grippy gloves or something. I was having problems even doing the simple 'U' shapes......
It all looks rather amateurish doesn't it? But hey everyone has to start somewhere!
The next image is of me jumping ahead a bit adding a few extra wiggles before I was any good at doing the basic U's.
I reached the bottom of my ‘quilt’ at this point. So started again at the top practising some simple U’s which were a bit better this time.
This last picture shows me being a bit more adventurous again before I was ready, but I think I can already see some progress!
I was able to move the quilt around a lot better at this stage too. I’ve put my little 1” x 6” ruler in the images so you can see the scale of  the quilting.
I have taken a break as I finished stitching the fabric square I had sandwiched together and thought I would do a quick blog post before going to get some more calico.
I’ve kept my pieces quite small not only to keep them manageable but also because I am using up some wadding scraps. The wadding is Hobbs Polydown which is a 2oz wadding. I will also play around with some thinner wadding like Hobbs 80/20.

The main thing, as Leah says, is to practice as practice makes perfect!

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Here we go again......

Wow! How can it be that over two months have gone by since I last wrote a blog post? I really am going to have to try harder! It's not like they have to be long mega essays after all is it?
I have actually done very little sewing recently. I do actually intend to do some hand sewing every evening but somehow I manage to fritter away what free time I have without even holding a needle. Even if I try not to touch that big time sucker, aka my computer, I seem to be catching up on twitter on my phone instead.
I do like twitter at the moment though!

I have been playing with the new Bali Pops, Crackers and Snaps that I had in stock. One quilt top I want to keep under wraps a little as I might turn it into a pattern, I made that from an old Pop pack.
The other quilt I have created is so basic and likely already to have been made before so I don't mind sharing that, although most of the images for it are on my phone, so I have pinched one from there for now.
It's made with one Tiramisu Pop and one Tiramisu Snap which is a 5" square pack. When I made the quilt I used the left over Pop strips in the borders and thought I had enough bits left to mitre the corners......... but I didn't so I had to unpick one mega long seam and insert a couple more border bits and redo the border.
I was right to do so though and it would have bugged me if I had done straight border corners!
Ages ago I promised a picture of my completed layer cake quilt that I was making for the magazine. It was featured in the Sept 2012 issue and was also on the front cover. So here it is!


And I'm really excited to see it's being used in the publicity for the new Uttoxeter quilt show, the British Quilt & Stitch Village!