Monday, 24 September 2012

Basting and Quilting

I spent quite a few hours finishing my portholes quilt this weekend; just the binding to finish off today now; I have really enjoyed this quilt but I just want to get it finished and on the bed now...

Happy Weekend

J x

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Pillow Talk

PTS9 is starting up, sign ups are open until thursday, and I am torn- I have been watching the Pillow Talk swaps since I started quilting and I thought that this would finally be my year to join in, but the standard is so exceptionally high that I don't know if I can play with the big boys yet...

I know it is an international swap, but I have been looking online to see if I can read anything written by a previous UK participant, has anyone been involved before? What's it like?

I really want to play but I am not sure if I want to take part in another swap... and coming up to christmas too :(

So I am trying to decide whether I should just make a pillow for myself in a Parallel-Pillow-Talk-Non-Swap that way I...
1. get myself a pretty pillow
2. don't have to stress if I make a mess/ miss the deadline
3. know that whatever I make my partner will enjoy
4. not have to go shopping for the latest fabric.

It kinda seems like win-win to me, but am I just being chicken? Long story short; I want to join the Pillow Talk Swapping, but I don't want to do it right now. I have raided my pinterest boards to create a nice little mosaic for myself and my non-swap (I haven't included any links on flickr as I hate that part but if you want to link to the original posts they can all be found on my pinterest boards here... I wonder what my partner will choose?!

Rant over, I think I will pass for one more season. Sorry for a minimum amount of pictures in this post, but obedience class sucked up my evening tonight but some more Porthole Windows is on the cards for tomorrow.

J x

ps. I discovered Audible last week and downloaded my first ever paid audio book; Stephen King's Bag of Bones, it was great company during my many hours at the sewing machine (over 30!) so I am onto my next book tomorrow; Vanishing Point by Val McDermid.

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Porthole Windows Top - Check!

Just a quick update before bed with an update of my progress on my Porthole Windows Quilt top over the weekend...

On Friday, I had to go shopping for some extra fabric as I ended up making the top a lot bigger than I had originally intended (in fact I am currently expecting this to be my first king size quilt- quilting this is going to be a challenge!) while I was there I picked up fabric for backing and binding too.

I NEEDED more blue and green solid fabric and I NEEDED extra of 2 of my prints, I also intended to get an extra half yard of the other two prints, just in case.

Friday night I wanted to complete the bones of all of my reverse cathedral windows blocks, in fact I managed only half- but that was the most time consuming and awkward bit of the process for 8 blocks in 2 hours, so not too bad at all.

Saturday, I finished off all 15 reverse cathedral windows and started playing with the layout.

Sunday started with adding the borders to the reverse cathedral windows.

Before finishing some time this evening to piece the quilt top.

We don't seem to have had much sunshine today, but hopefully I will be able to take a full length photo of the completed top tomorrow after work (if there is any daylight left) in the meantime this is a quick shot of the folded top, with my chosen backing (navy) and binding (green with navy dots)

Now my pile of quilt tops is starting to build up; I need to get to quilting asap- plus I want to play with this one :)

J x

Friday, 14 September 2012

Reverse Cathedral Windows - A Tutorial

Today I have been working on a mash up of a video tutorial I found online for 3d Faux Cathedral Windows by QuiltBugs, but I have made quite a few changes, so to remind myself of the process I thought I would have a go at writing it out.

I have long admired Cathedral Window Quilts and one day I am sure I will tackle my own, with Hyena In Petticoats' tutorial but in the meantime I thought a version of Cathedral Windows using just the diamond section would make a great contrast to my portholes; I plan to use them in a checkerboard arrangement for my Porthole Windows Quilt.

To start,
cut 4 no. 5 1/2" squares (in white, for background)
cut 1 no. 8" square (solid, for frame)
cut 1 no. 4 1/4" square (patterned, for window)

Normally, to figure out these dimensions;
for the background fabric, you would take the desired finished block size, halve it and add 2/4" for the seam allowance.
for the frame fabric, minus a 1/4" seam allowance from the background fabric size and then double it.
for the window fabric, this is the same as a single background piece.
This would give you a block in which the diamond shape extends to each side, (minus seam allowances) thus when multiple blocks are aligned you will get a cathedral window style pattern. Unlike with my dimensions, in which the diamond shape is central and floating within the block.

First, fold the frame fabric in half, with the folded edge away from you, place the first of the background squares behind the frame fabric with the open corners matching (1) - in the original example this gives you 1/4" of the background fabric showing from underneath, but in my example it is much more. Then, place the second background square in line, on top to finished the sandwich (2) sew down the side indicated with a quater inch seam allowance.

Repeat for the other side (3) and press the seams aside. (4)

Next, align the 4 background squares into a 4 patch, with the unfolded frame edge facing up, (5) pin the top opening closed (6) and sew a 1/4 seam allowance to join the 4 squares together (7) be sure to align the frame fabric as closely as possible with the background fabric as you want to sew through all 4 layers at once.

Press the seams to the side (8) and flip over, (9) at this point the diamond will only be attached to the background along the central lines. 

Lay the window fabric on point, centrally, within the frame diamond, (10) fold and pin the edges of the frame around the window fabric; (11) sew these in place for your finished block! (12)

Hopefully, I will have a full set of these to share tomorrow.

J x 

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Fresh Sewing Day - September

I have been very lax about posting lately, and honestly I have kind of enjoyed the freedom it has afforded me, but at least it means I have plenty to share;

Jennie's Crab Shack Charm - (fabric won in a giveaway from Judith @ NeedlesandLemons) top done.

I love this fabric so much more than I ever expected to, I have ordered my batting, backing and sashing and may get a chance to quilt it this weekend. But we have a mad collie coming to stay with us for a few weeks and she arrives this weekend so I am expecting some crazy early days :)

Brit Quilt Swap - pieced, quilted, bound and posted.

It took me too long to get started on my swapping quilt, but

Portholes, portholes, everywhere - more blocks complete. (9 down, 5 to go)

I am still loving portholes, thank you Lucy, and am making some progress on my own porthole quilt, I changed my mind about how to finish of this top this week but I will share the details in a later post. I have a couple of blocks done and have the fabric selected for the rest, so now for the easy bit...

Brit Bee July - pieced and sent out
block 1
block 2

July's Brit Bee asked for some quiet, neutral tone-on-tone blocks with a small traditional zappy block to fit into it. For block 1 I kept it simple and I have long admired this block, but for block 2 I wanted something a little different, although this is not technically a traditional block (to the best of my knowledge) I wanted the zappy block to be a part of the larger neutral block; it turned out just as I had hoped.

Sizzix Workshop Pieces - pieced.

At the Festival of Quilts, I stopped by the Sizzix workshop, so I got to have a little play and cut these fabrics out; it was great to play with and I do love a drunkards path/ retro flowers pattern, but I am not really keen on this fabric so I don't know what to do with it? At least piecing these was great practice for this months Brit Bee, really helped me to get back into the swing of things.

Ok, so it's not really finished...

I still have all of these to put together; but it's a start :)

Brit Bee August - delayed, but pieced.

I got completely behind with this month's block as Chris and I had a holiday booked for the end of august to celebrate our birthdays but before we went I HAD to finish my Brit Quilt for the swap and it sucked up my Bee time, sorry Katy! But it is finished now and off to Katy, if she forgives me.

Brit Bee September - done, ahead of deadline.

Churn Dash blocks for Laura, I love these simple graphic designs that seem to be really popular at the moment but Laura's colour choices are always so exciting- these turned out really great!

So busy, busy, busy here, I am off to get on with my Portholes and order more yummy fabric!

J x

ps. in other news I have started playing foursquare, are there any other users out there?

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

BQS3 Finish

I have been a little lax in posting this summer, so expect a catch up post anyway, in the meantime one thing that does deserve an entire post all to itself is my Brit Quilt Swap. I signed up months ago without thinking too much about it and was matched with a great partner who had a lot of the same images in her favourites that I did.

You can see the progress photos on flickr in my Brit Quilt group, but my final design looked like this...

And in return I was sent this FABULOUS mini quilt from Hilly Filly...

AND I even received these lovely goodies too!!!

Thank you again Teresa for a perfect mini quilt!

J x