Finished Quilts

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

the lessons motherload!

OK for quilt #3, I decided to do lots of different things and not to worry if I got them wrong.  This was going to be the "learn those lessons" PDQ quilt.  One of my first fabric purchases was a "happy campers" jelly roll (lots of strips of fabric 2 1/2 inches by 36 inches) and I decided to make a kind of coinstack quilt (cos it was an easy option!).  So I cut the strips into 8 inch blocks and sewed then together in strips, then used Kona Essex linen to sash them. 

I really enjoyed making the binding out of the cut blocks- it was my first time : P.  I ended up being one block short - d'oh! I quilted in straight lines because, seriously free motion quilting scares the bejesus out of me.  I mean I've tried it but I guess practice makes perfect and I definitely need more practice.  The guidelines for the quilting were initially made using some cute masking tape I found on esty but then I realised that I could mark the rest of the lines using my ruler (the tape didn't seem to like getting mucked around). 

I backed it with a funky orange check:

which you can see wasn't exactly ironed before it was used - there's a lesson right there!  And so I finally finished it and Laughing Boy reluctantly agreed to help me photo it:

It was windy that day!

The fabric on the front and the back reminded me of picnics so a picnic blanket it became and it is now in the possession of the fragrant Mrs Russell and her gorgeous family. 

So lessons included:
  • ironing is really a must when it comes to quilting.  This is a particularly hard lesson for me because I. Don't. Iron. Fullstop.  It's Laughing Boy's job but I haven't quite managed to convince him to help me out on this one!
  • it's not just ironing but it's ironing properly - setting the seams, making sure that no fabric is "lost", ironing! pah I hate it - if I'd known about this before I started......  now it's too late!
  • the quilt sandwich is a tricky beast - use more quilting pins!
  • it's a b****r getting a big quilt through the small neck of a sewing machine
  • it's ok to make mistakes - esepcially while you're learning
  • I didn't realise how much joy I would get from cutting the quilt to shape in order to add the binding -  maybe I should get out more?
  • handsewing on binding is real fun (see last bullet!)
Note to self: get out more (maybe to the Festival of Quilts in August!)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Lesson Learned #4

For quilt#2, I again chose the road less travelled - a completely hand tied quilt.  Inspired by this book

and this quilt in particular

So I bought some blue linen fabric (dead cheap from abakhans in Preston), washed it and realised that it had shrunk a lot so I wouldn't be having an bedsize quilt. I added a piece of cotton between the linen and the batting (pretty thick stuff) to minimise the batting poking through the knot holes.  The worst part was marking out the spots for the knots  - bo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-oring!  And so the knotting of about 1500 french knots began.

It became quite addictive, although it took about 4 weeks to finish.  I was proper chuffed when I'd finished (my facebook friends were bombarded with photos!).  Then came the BIG challenge - what the heck was I going to back it with?  Initially I looked for fabric that was similar to the one in the book but thought it might eb worthwhile doign something al little funkier.  This is when I discovered the all encompassing thrill of shopping for fabric, internet style.  And also when I started to be a fabric addict - Laughing Boy is convinced I have a monthly direct debit set up with!  Close but different shop:-p.

Anyhoo, this brings me to Lesson#4:  don't sweat the fabric choice so much.  I bought so many different fabrics and drove myself crazy.  Every cloud though - I started a greta fabric stash!  In the end, I just went for it - success?

Note to self: learn how to take better photos!

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

cherri pie !

Bought this today....

Fair to say I pretty much want to make everything in it.  I really like the use of solids.
Note to self: much add to stash!

I absolutely love this one:
The book itself is clear and easy to follow, with top tips and basic quilting info.  Good job, Cherry

Tuesday, 13 July 2010

lessons learned so far #1, 2 and 3

I'm new to the quilting game so have been learning plenty of lessons the hard way over the past few months!

Lesson#1: Accurate cutting is actually quite important if you want things to look right. Quilt #1 was thrown together in (unusually for me) a freestyle," just wing it" kind of fashion.

this meant that it wasn't exactly straight, anywhere! 
Note to self: don't use the fabric folds as a cutting guide!

Lesson#2: basting a quilt is really important, more than a couple of safety pins is required!

Lesson#3: it's much better to work with colours and fabric you actually like!  At least my SIL makes use of this quilt as a cover in their travel cot.