Sunday, 22 February 2015

Copied Cathedrals

A few weeks ago I wrote a post about various methods of achieving Cathedral Window blocks, and showed some samples ready for a class I'm teaching.

A friend, Janet, saw the post and decided to have a go.  I saw her blocks yesterday and realised this was a method I hadn't covered either in the previous post, or as a class sample!

Janet's blocks (pinned together *very* roughly by me) inspired me, so I decided to copy:


I had a pack of a dozen batik charms from Plum for Christmas sitting on my work bench, and the black from the cars quilts was still there, so I had a play this afternoon

I drew, with my trustie Flixon pen, 5" circles onto the batik, and cut them out, then placed each one on a black square, and stitched them together, all the way round

I cut out the black circle too then cut a 1" slit in the batik near the edge, and pulled the fabric through.  I shaped it and pressed it, then drew a 3" square in the centre of each circle (the best fit of an edge to edge square)

I pinned the strips together making sure I matched the lines back and front

I stitched the seams, then pressed the petals open.  Can you guess the " deliberate" mistake?  Yep, all the frixon marks have now vanished! 

Luckily the frixon pen leaves a slight scratch mark on the batik - usually a pain but this time it was an advantage so I was able to stitch the rows together, then press the new petals open too.

I rather like the scollopd edges but I hadn't thought it through and and some of the turning slits are at the edges, so I had to press over the outer petals too - luckily I rather like it like this too

Not sure what will happen to this next, but for now it's a very pretty sample for my class.

Thank you Janet, and thank you Plum

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Message for Meg

I was recently contacted by a lovely lady called Meg who wanted a label making for a quilt she's made: her first quilt, for her first grandchild who is currently under construction.

She sent me a few emails, including a pic of the lovely quilt, and came to see me yesterday, (the quilt is even more gorgeous in real life) and we sorted the wording and colour for the embroidery, and can now sit back until the baby arrives so I can amend the name and the date

Unfortunately I've managed to lose her email address - so Meg, if you are reading this, can you message me and let me know if you like this!

I spent much of Thursday in an enormous shopping centre with Niki - she lost a bracelet a few weeks ago, and we have been replacing the various charms with the insurance money.

We did see some sewing related stuff - this lovely sweatshirt in Uni Qlo

And these sewing machines in the window of All Saints

Friday, 20 February 2015

Brother Feet (and Janome Feet)

I have a Brother sewing machine (actually, I have a *few* Brother sewing machines, we shan't discuss the quantity - look at your hand and count the fingers, shhhhh!)

This means I have A LOT of Brother feet, and over the years they have been mixed up and their original purpose lost or forgotten.

I spent an evening sorting the feet, and cross referencing with the manuals and with this very helpful site, Sew4Home.  Although they refer to Janome feet, they look the same to me, and there is a lot of information about the feet here, here and here - with large detailed photos too.

So I started with a pile of feet looking something like this (this pic 'borrowed' from the  Sew4Home site)

And now I have two compartmented boxes with all feet (bar one) identified by name and, where applicable, letter which will hopefully mean I get more adventurous rather than just using the standard foot for virtually everything.

I'm posting these pics here to make it easy for me to remember what foot goes where, but hopefully it will help others too.  If you click on the pic it will enlarge, but if you need a better photo of any of them just let me know.

Oh, and top left - any ideas?  It's impressed with the letter J, but is nothing like the J beneath it!

Another useful blog post is here

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Copious Cars

Several years ago, probably before I even started this blog, one of the girls wanted to make a quilt for a boyfriend, a boyfriend whose hobby was cars (driving them, taking them apart, fixing them, putting them back together: you get the picture!) He was a handy chap to have around, helping us through the trauma of buying a few cars, and even diagnosing and fixing a starter motor problem over the phone having been woken by the phone call!
Anyhow, he was a lovely lad, and the daughter showed an interest in fabric so I encouraged it and bought some suitable fabric. While I waited for her to start I bought a bit more, and by the time she finished with him there was *cough* quite a lot. We'd cut the fabric into 8" square with a plan to add in black squares as make a vanishing 9 patch, but I now see it would have been HUGE!
I found the squares and joined black to both sides of a few, to make an offset square (LJ7R) design

And even quilted it,
Although I wasn't very happy with the quilting - but as its black the rucks don't show too well on the photos, so I don't need to show you!
There were some more colourful fabrics that were going to be the centre on the 9 patch, and therefore the little squares in the V9P, and they didn't really go in the mostly black layout, so they became their own quilt:

With a bit of echo quilting

And there was still more fabric, so the final one just has a thin sashing to break up the blocks

And I spray basted this one which made a lot of difference to the quilting (centre of each block and each sashing)

Not sure where these are going, but it's very satisfying to use up some old fabric!

(number 3 is just as bright as number 1, but I guess the light was going by the time I took the photo

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

While I was Quilting

Yes, I actually did some quilting! Every few weeks I meet with ladies from a couple of local churches, and we chat and sew. For a few sessions we have been joining triangles and making squares, now we are joining squares to make strips.
So far there are five strips added to a fleece blanket. Some of the sewing is less, um, *sturdy* than ideal, so I have decided to quilt this one for added stability.

I'm using a variegated thread, and quilting free range lines at roughly 1/4, 1/2 and 3/4 into each strip. 

It looks red and green here, but there is yellow and blue there too

While I was quilting, I had the embroidery machine going too: lots of button key rings for the craft sale at the Richmond & Kew quilt show later this year.

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Recycle and Reuse

Two and a half years ago my lovely friend Jackie game me a fab bag perfect for taking a rotary cutting board to classes
Sadly it's been seriously abused since then - too many cutting boards and rulers inside, and back and forth to class sometimes three times in a week.

Before it was totally trashed I retired it and made a boring replacement from upholstery fabric, but didn't want to just throw away the original one, so it's been sitting on my work bench for a few weeks.

Today I removed the seams and cut the patchwork and the lining into 4 big rectangles . . . And made these:

Thank you again Jackie!!

Saturday, 14 February 2015

Beautiful Batik

Lisa got me a FQ pack of batiks a while ago, and I've finally decided what to do with them! I added some extra yardage, and sizzixed (is there such a word?) a whole load of tumbler blocks. As husband describes my hobby - I cut it up and sewed it back together again!
And now they look like this:

And all quilted proper like too!

And it's going to be bound with a wiggly edge following the curve of the blocks - I love lazy Saturdays!

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Fabulous February

Oh my gosh - February is pretty darn fabulous this year, and we're not even half way through!  At the very end of January (so able to be enjoyed in February) I received two surprise packages (blogged about here) then on Monday this week I received back my consequence quilt and I cant even begin to tell you how delighted I am

And this morning I woke to an email telling me I had won the instructions to this bag from Emma, from Liz's blog: Moments which ties in perfectly with a recent donation of fabric!

Where to start?

OK Richmond and Kew quilters - we all, all 13 of us, got our Consequence Quilts back.  I didn't get photos of anyone else's but they are all fab, and really diverse.

Mine, of course, is the best!

Just look:

I contributed the fabric together with very vague "any design - what is your favourite?" request.

Sue H made a row of these 1/4 log cabin type blocks, saying " I liked the effect this block gives although its very simple"  She's added some almost solids: great fabric choices Sue!

Julie made a row of crazy log cabin blocks with gorgeous (and prefect) flowers in the centres.  " I chose this 'crazy' design because I wanted to try something new (for me) I used strips to make it, without a pattern. Hope it works!?" - oh yes, it works!!!!

Ruth made a row of these "square on point in a square.  I loved the colours"  She added some calming greens too which work really well, as do the blocks

Sue B added a row of pinwheels with a lovely salmonny spraytime tying them all together.  She wrote "I like playing with half square triangles.  Also I think pinwheels always look fun and playful" - I was hoping someone would do HSTs - lovely to look at but I'm not a fan of making them!

And Hilary must have read my mind for my other 'hoped for' design.  She wrote "I love working with bright colours and wanted to introduce some of me own patterned fabric.  the curves in the block 'Drunkard's Path' contrast with the other blocks"  I had hoped for a few curves, but got prefect drunkards path portholes!!!!

In case you didn't realise, I am really chuffed with my returned strips!!  I'm eager to add some sashing and getting this finished!  Thank you all

And the bag - its this lovely every day tote - a PDF with loads of idiot proof photos
Thank you Emma and Liz

Good job I've got a week off next week - guess what I'll be making!

Sunday, 8 February 2015

A Few Finishes

Its been cold here for a while so I've spent more time than usual watching TV with a quilt on my lap - no, not slacking, but finishing the binding by hand.

That means I actually have a few finishes to show:

My Rainbow floating charms (or LJR7 ) quilt

And the first of three quilts from shirt fabric

 I've also finished another dozen named fleece jackets

And I've finally done the Magna Carta 1215 2015 embridery panel

In other news I've had three creative classes this week.  Hopefully you can see photos if you click on the SLIKstitches Facebook page, please let me know if the link doesn't work for you.

In short we have a nearly finished baby changing bag from Monday, a cushion made from our transfer paints fun in January, a proggy owl and some faux cathedral windows from Chertsey and a great two hour session with kids dipping in and out of all the craft resources boxes at church yesterday

Friday, 6 February 2015

Clocks and Consequences, and Giveaway Given Away

I have done some more work on Plum's Consequences Quilt.  I can't show you now, but she will get it back on Monday so I can show you properly then.

The pixelated image of most of it looks like this!

My Christmas pressie from husband was delayed in the post, and was then cancelled by the suppliers, so it all took a bit longer than planned, but finally a box of clock parts arrived!  And now I have this gorgeous, enormous clock on my kitchen wall

And can I hear a Yay! and a Yippee?  I finally got a reply from the giveaway winner, so the scissor case is on its way to Margaret (aka Priscilla Precise) in South Africa, via her daughter in London!

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

A Lighthouse, and Lisa

Do you have a favourite Lighthouse?  I confess it's not something I have given much thought about, but some people do! - And there is a genetic link, so who knows what is waiting in my future!

My Father asked me to make him a Lighthouse quilt.  It came about because he's seen a quilt of lighthouse blocks (I guess a BOM type) and really liked it, but couldn't get the kit.  My mind started playing with some ideas, and I  bought a variety of fabrics that I thought would work,  but then his plan evolved -  I was handed a book: Pacific and Northwest Lighthouses . . .

. . . And told his favourite lighthouse was Cape Flattery in Washington.  The book had a photo with far too many angles

And another that shows it's actually a distance from the sea, both vertically and horizontally

So I needed more inspiration - so my next visit was, where else but Pinterest!

OK, so the area looks beautiful, but nothing much to inspire me, until I see this piece of art

So far, this is what my version looks like

(Yes I know the buildings are floating at the moment, sand fabric on order)

And an update on Lisa - she's renting a room in a a shared house in Melbourne, and spending her days looking for work . . .  and crocheting granny squares

(And she sent me this photo - her room mate Ryan trying to work out the best arrangement of the squares!)