Sunday, 9 December 2018

Chunky Cut Christmas Quilt

My Christmas fabric stash
(and I should own up that there's a bunch of Lori Holt Christmas fabric somewhere too).

I'm not quite sure how I ended up with so many Christmas fabrics but a restless Friday afternoon, knowing I had a Saturday night with a few sewing hours ahead, I decided it was time to reduce that stash a little bit.  (Yes, I should have been doing something more useful with my WIPs, but you know how it goes ....)

I made this pull which I think work fairly well together, look suitably festive and should make a bit of a dent in that Christmas box.

A super quick, chunky pieced sectional quilt planned out on squared paper and off I went, cutting and stitching the sections.

It required a little attention, but not too much brain power which was handy since I don't have much of that right now.

Eh voila!  Some Christmas stash busted and a big happy, no nonsense Christmas quilt top all ready to be quilted when I finally get some 505 for basting.  There's no way this will be finished for this Christmas, but that's grand, that wasn't really the plan anyway.

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Scrap Vortex Finish

I have finally managed to bring all those scrap vortex bits (and their gazillion seams) together in a whole quilt top.  It was a bigger feat than I had anticipated and in spite of having enjoyed the 'leaders and enders' approach with which the quilt started, I have to admit I fell out of love with it a bit when it came to making all of those scrappy sections fit one another.  You wouldn't think it takes much, but when the scraps you're working with are quite wee, then any trimming can potentially render them unusable.  So, there's a bit more thinking and head scratching involved than perhaps I had energy for.

Nevertheless, I did get there and had a final flimsy measuring 54" x 61.5" , which isn't very big really but big enough for this one.  I even managed to reduce that B&C stash a bit more by adding a full B&C backing (IG destash 3m piece of Happy Go Lucky).

Don't panic over the falling out of love thing!  That was quickly rectified by some super quick wavy line quilting and a B&C red gingham binding (Vintage Picnic, I think) and now I'm all heart eyes for this scrapilicious little lap quilt.

Someone else likes it very much too - she's been using it as a mat to spin on!!

Saturday, 10 November 2018

Tiny Tote's Tote

Super quick Christmas stocking filler for my little whirlwind.  She enjoys carrying a tote bag on the crook of her arm, especially Granny's one which is usually full of fun things for CT.  I was going to make her one for her birthday in the summer, but Granny kindly bought her a pretty pink handbag so there was no need.  Little missy loves the bag but it's got a curved, zippered top which is awkward for her little hands and less well defined fine motor skills, and the way it is designed also makes it quite tight for getting things in and out of.  So, I thought that for Christmas I'd resurrect my initial simple tote plan.

Aside from a nice little contrast band in the feature fabric for the handles, there's nothing "extra" on this tote.  No pockets, zips, closures for little hands to become frustrated by when filling it with all the teacups, toy frogs, pussy cats and pretend kitchen utensils a girl could want!

I was tempted by a lovely contrasting print for the lining but decided on a solid pale pink instead.  With her visual impairment, a patterned print lining can make it a little harder for CT to find what she's looking for in a bag so although not aesthetically my preference, this one will do the job much better.  I'm hoping that she will have lots of fun with her tote bag for a long time to come, or until she trashes it and mummy is 'forced' to make a replacement - how sad ;-)

Saturday, 3 November 2018

Strippy Heart Quilt - Ta Da!

Here's the finished Scrappy Heart Quilt.  I need two tall, willing volunteers to help me get a proper shot of this quilt but since none are currently forthcoming, I'll have to make do with a floor shot.  Sadly, this doesn't show the quilt at its best but hopefully you can imagine its better than it looks.

I experimented with an echoed continual curve when quilting this heart and kind of regret it.  I feel I could have done better and am worried that it washed and dried a little oddly because of something to do with the quilting.  But, it's too massive to unpick and re-do, so I'm hoping that with time it will wear in a little crinklier perhaps, instead of just looking creased like it does now :-(

I know it's very hard to make out from the picture, but it is bound with a green print from B&C Vintage Picnic to finish the quilt.  I'm glad I chose it as it's actually a little more subtle than I thought it would be, whilst still adding a colour boundary and doesn't vy for attention with the heart design itself.

Another finish in the bag and soon to be gifted!

Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Strippy Heart Quilt - Flimsy Finish

The Strippy Heart Quilt is now all pieced and it's rather large.  Took both of my men standing on the lounge chairs to hold this one up.  Not boding well for the quilting wrangle!!  But, let's forget that for a minute - isn't it pretty?

Remember that little pile of 2.5" strips I started with and wondered if it'd be enough?  Well, I had plenty for the low volume with a little to spare, but was about 60" short on the coloured prints.  Not too bad and not a problem given my healthy B&C stash to supplement from ;-)

I could photograph this quilt top from many angles and still not get it's best vantage - think that's just down to its size.  Although, it's big, it's not the biggest I've ever made but at 76.5" x 84.5" it's still going to be a doozie to squish through the machine.

I got the top all basted and only then discovered that the backing I thought would fit, doesn't.  So need to sort that before I tackle the quilting - gives me time to get my brave pants on!!

I might just love this one a wee bit!  (But I say that about them all, don't I?)

Saturday, 20 October 2018

Strippy Heart Quilt - progressing

A wee bit of progress on the Strippy Heart Quilt to show you -

The top 8 rows and the bottom 12 rows.  Honestly, I have no idea why I decided to work a bit from the top and then from the bottom up.  Doesn't seem like my logical self, but no matter.

You can see that this quilt is not difficult in the complex sense, but it does require close attention to your cutting lengths and being organised and labelling everything so the rows don't get mixed. 

I've been enjoying it.  It takes about half an hour each time I pick it up to get into a wee rhythm with the laying, deciding, cutting, and piecing but I'm getting there.  Mostly, I just let the fabrics sit randomly as they come off the roll but now and again it does need a wee tweak (turn the strip upside down, piece in another 2.5" width, or skip a bit) just to ensure that there aren't too many occurrences of the same fabric in the same area or touching.  It's not an exact science and I promise, I am being much more hands off than usual! ;-)

This section is rows 1 -20 - I think it's growing really well!!  I think there are just 10 more rows to piece before there's a flimsy but my little strip rolls of fabric are getting to look awfully small - I wonder will it stretch?

What would you say is the dominant colour of this quilt as you look at it so far?  When I had it laid out on the bed for the pic I was surprised by how green it looked, but on the actual photo here I think maybe it's the aqua, or maybe not. Perhaps it's actually reasonably well balanced and scrappy?  What do you see?

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Strippy Heart Quilt - Making a Start

I'm back to show you where I'm heading with this little 'quilt in a pile' I showed you last time.

First off, I should tell you this quilt is totally inspired by a photo I came across on Pinterest a long time ago and has been floating around in my head ever since.  To give credit where it's due, the inspiration for this make is known as the Have a Heart quilt by J Michelle Watts and there is a jelly roll friendly downloadable pattern for it here.  Please do have a look if you're interested.


As you can see from my sketch above, my original plan was to make a similar quilt but in a much smaller size as a wallhanging for my living room.  I fattened up the shape of the heart a little, drafting on squared paper, and then blocked out a squared off outline to allow the quilt to be made from scrappy strips.  

Of course, I haven't actually had the time to make my lovely wallhanging yet, but now that I want to make a gift quilt, the drafted design is quite easy to upgrade to a more suitable quilt size.  The maths was not difficult but there was a LOT of counting those wee squares to multiply them up.  I like that sort of thing, so was very happy to do it myself, but if you don't you could always buy the original pattern.

The first thing to do was to get piecing all those scrappy strips of Bonnie and Camille fabrics together.  These will be the focus fabrics for my heart.

I just kept piecing pairs together, then pairs of pairs together and maybe a wee addition of a strip in a different colour to keep the same colours from meeting.  Not too much thinking, just kept stitching ...

 ... and repeated with the low volume fabric cuts which will be the quilt background,

rolling them up into a continuous piece as I went.  I didn't press my seams at all and still can't make up my mind if I should have done as I paired up the pieces.  It would have made it quicker when it came to measuring and cutting, but it was no big shakes to press out a length, then cut it to size after.

Here were my two continuous rolls when I'd finished piecing.  Still not convinced it looks enough for the whole quilt, but I guess time will tell if I did the calculations correctly!

The next stage is to work to my list of cutting sizes to make up each row of the quilt.   It takes a bit more concentration late at night than I was hoping for ;-) but I am quite excited at seeing how it will actually come together!

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