Friday, 31 January 2014

blue and brown and cream quilt

Blue and brown quilt

Another quilt which started life as a Church project.  This time lots of enthusiastic square cutting which did not progress to much sewing together.

Again the abandoned bits (this time squares) came to stay with me. As the squares had interesting variations on the definition of square (due to being multi cut with scissors who's sharpness is in some question) I went with strips.

I was pleased with the overall effect but muddled up my counting and made a whole panel more than I needed for the double bed size top.

I quilted it with large flowers, not easy to see here, and brought the back forward to do the binding. This quilt was also given as a gift to a good friend.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Flower quilt

You may find some of the fabric in this quilt familiar as the floral prints used for the flowers and boarder have made an appearance before in a postage stamp quilt.

This is due to me benefiting from a Church project which did not reach a conclusion.

The idea was for a group of ladies to make lots of paper pieced hexagons and then flowers for a quilt.

Enthusiasm for the project was sadly short lived and although all the hexagons you see here were cut, not all were pieced and only a few of the flowers had been constructed when the project was abandoned and the fabric consigned to a cupboard.

Years passed and the bag rediscovered during a tidy out at Church and I was asked did I want to take the bits.  The alternative to my saying yes was them being thrown out.  So they came home with me and continued their life in my cupboard instead of the one at Church.

After languishing a few more years I pulled it out and puzzled what to do.  A fair bit of unpicking for a start to change the design to something that would use the bits already cut and not require more, I am not a paper piecer.  It became evident that the paper pieces and hence the shapes had not all been cut to the same size, getting them to fit together was a bit like doing a jigsaw puzzle.

Once I had the big flower and the four small I appliquéd them onto a blue sheet then I quilted round the flowers and quilted the same flower shape onto the blue. An edge with the same floral material and I was done.  I am quite pleased with the finish and gave the quilt as a Christmas gift to a woman with a heart as warm as I hope this quilt keeps her. 

Friday, 24 January 2014

Bits and scraps (quilt)

I have mentioned before that I hoard, and keep "stuff" and abhor waste.

Well cutting strips for logcabin from shirt pieces left bits and scraps which would not go into the young women's quilts.  The girls inclination was to throw them away regardless of size.  However, week after week I would not let them and popped the scraps into a bag.

They thought I was crazy..well there is that possibility!

A few weeks after their quilts were finished (see post entitled more obsession sharing) I had a a surprise for them, a finished project of my own.

A quilt made from bits, a bits-a-quilt.  I did just use the blue and white from all three quilts, the tartan and yellow jarred a little as there was not much of that. (No it did not get thrown away either it will turn up later I promise).

Blue bits quilt with pale binding
The girls were suitably impressed that you can make quilts with lots of bits which can look as good and keep you as warm as one made using BIG pieces.  I will admit none of them (so far at least) have gone on to make a bits-a-quilt of their own however, one inspired friend is in the process of making her interpretation on the theme.

Bits quilt with dark blue binding

The quilt originally had a light blue binding, which you can see to the left.  However, due to a lot of use that was starting to wear out so I added a second edge binding.

I had to use something different as none of the the original material was left.  So this time I went with a dark blue, it makes quite a difference to the look of the quilt.  Happily I do prefer the darker edge and my quilt has lots more years use in it still.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Celtic Knot dragon box

Dragon Celtic Knot

This is a box made out of bits of skirting board.

The dragon knot is from a quilting book, Celtic Quilting by Gail Lawther. As it combined two of my favourite things I wanted to use it.

The box top came first, mainly because the idea to make a box did not happen until after the dragon was finished.

I used one of those grinding multi tools to do it (I did use a chisel to remove some of the big areas at the start).  I rather had fun doing it.

The carving in profile
Deciding part way that it was to be the lid of a box was not the best way to proceed. I had not left sufficient thickness for hinges.  My dad was giving me a hand with the carpentry for the box, making mitred corners ext.  However hard we tried it would not close properly with hinges.

Frustrated I put it to one side then inspiration struck, a cloth hinge, a lining that was also a hinge. My dad was a bit doubtful that would work but it was worth a try.

Material hinge

Well it did work, it opens and shuts just fine and the glue is holding well.

It is certainly unique and I am pleased with it. Not sure that I will try it again, but then again I might.  

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Little blue dragon

Little blue dragon
Blue dragon close up
I promised more dragons, here is another one.  Having made a dragon for my friend I wanted one for me! The image is from a black and white line drawing which was among many which started each chapter of a book I once read.  Regretfully I can not recall the title or author of the book nor the illustrator.  It was fun to do a small embroidered project as whilst the stitches are still small it took less time to finish that the nativity trio (hopefully to become a quartet at some point) and I can have it on display all year round.

If anyone recognises the image and knows who the illustrator is please add a comment with the details so credit can be given where it is due.

Monday, 13 January 2014

Anyone with ability

Dragon gate

may vault dragon gate ...that is apparently a Chinese saying which basically

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

More obsession sharing (quilting)

Some years ago, quite a few if I think about it, our Church building was to be extended.  Whilst the work was carried out we had to hold our meetings elsewhere.  A place for Sunday services was arranged but other arrangements had to be made for any weekday.   This included the meetings for the young women (12 to 18).  Three kind members offered their homes as meeting places.  

The girls had expressed an interest in making quilts so I was asked to facilitate that.

As mentioned in an earlier post (a matter of perception) log cabin is my default, so graph paper to hand the three girls intending to quilt worked out designs.  The material was provided from the offcuts and faulted pieces from a local clothing factory.  Mainly from shirts as can be seen in the fabric choices.

Lisa and the "make do" ironing station
Heather at the sewing machine

We were not speedy as talking was as much a feature as sewing so we were back in our own building for most of the making process.  No ironing board we used towels piled onto a table top and a travel iron.  Sewing machines on loan from the local community education organisation.

Katie, multitasking

The quilts did however progress, I can admit now with a bit of help as I added a row or two to the log cabin every week or so after the meeting. They were all quite pleased to see their designs grow.

Katie, Lisa and Heather with  logcabin quilt tops

The girls were never making theses quilts for themselves, they knew they were destined as gifts although it was not till they were almost done they knew who for.

They would have burst trying to keep it a secret otherwise.  Each of the ladies who had opened their homes for meetings were either elderly or had a medical problem. the quilts would be for them.  The names were written on a bit of paper and the designer (Katie, Lisa and Heather) chose a bit of paper and the recipient for their quilt was revealed.

We invited the three ladies to one of our meetings for a meal which they though was as a thank you, they were all surprised and delighted to be presented with a quilt as well.

Margaret and Katie
Lisa and Ann
Sadie and Heather

I wish I had better pictures but this was before the digital and they are a little blurry on occasion but at least there are pictures of both the young women and the recipients. Sadly Sadie is no longer with us but she used and loved her quilt and had many years use of her gift after this picture was taken. Heather's daughter's middle name is Sadie, quilts can both acknowledge friendships and relationships and forge them. 

Lisa and Heather went on to make patchwork cushions, Heather a baby quilt for her "bottom drawer" which was used for her son and lately she is part of our current quilting group making quilts for her daughter and for a friends son.   

Monday, 6 January 2014

A little retrospective (quilting)

looking back at 2013 and all the undone in self defence I have needed to take a look at the things formerly achieved.  Recalling the finished items and successfully completed projects reminds me I can do more than plan and procrastinate.

This little quilt was started as a group project at Church.  Each sister was to complete two blocks. One appliqué and one embroidered.  The plan was initially met with some enthusiasm but sadly it did not progress with the same measure of effort.

Mary's quilt
Of the twelve patches that made it to the quilt three of the appliqués and of the embroideries are my work, one of each type is my mothers.

One of the Sunbonnet Sues was made by an American missionary.

Two other patches were started and I finished them off and the last of the twelve, well in recounting if not completions, was made by our branch pianist.  An elderly lady called Mary.

The last finished was the book with bookmark (second patch up from the left) which has Mary's name on it as I had decided to finish it as a lap quilt for her in appreciation of years of music.

Mary moved away to be closer to family and sadly died several years ago, I do not know what happened to her quilt.  I hope that it is with one of her grandchildren and that it reminds them of her when they look at it.  I have one less than perfect photo, which when I look at it makes me think of Mary and her music. 

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

First day 2014

And I look back at 2013 and think of all the things I planned on getting started or finished in 2013. Having looked I try and decide which of them I will get started or finished this year.

Yes very often they are the same things as last year, life events get in the way, either mine or other peoples.  Weddings, births, baptisms, special birthdays and graduations all pop up and insert themselves into my things to do plan.

I was therefore happy to finally get the advent calender finished last year. So wish me luck this year with getting things finished!

You will know if your wishes worked as I will pop any successes on here (amongst the already done things I add as the mood strikes me).