Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Just popping in.....

This is just a short post this morning.  I thought I'd pop in and show you the completed embroidery which I teased you with a few snippets of earlier in the year.  This past weekend we were in the UK for a wedding and I had made a small embroidered gift for the bride and groom.  As they have now opened their gift and, I promised to show you the finished embroidery that I had made for them, here it is....

Most of the background is appliqué with machine finishing but some of the details (the leaves on the tree to the left, the grasses at the front and the bees) have been hand stitched. I framed it in a box frame and, I was really pleased with it and now I know they like it too!

Thursday, 20 June 2019

An update on my nautical quilt....

In my last post I gave you an update on the nautical quilt I was making using a pattern from the lovely book by Lynette Anderson called 'Nautical Quilts' and I had shown you the pieced central panel with the stitchery and appliqué that I had completed to that point.

So, what have I managed to do since then?  Well, the next stage was to add some more appliqué and stitchery to the empty sections of the central panel (across the top and to the right hand side).  These had to be added after the panel was pieced together as some of the appliqué extended over two blocks of pieced fabric.

Then a narrow border was added to the central panel, followed by a pieced border using strips of the same fabrics that had been used for the appliqués in the centre.

Next, I layered and basted the quilt into a sandwich ready for quilting.  I have to admit that since I have improved my FMQ skills the quilting now holds a great deal of excitement for me in the quilt-making process.  I love deciding how I am going to quilt the quilt top.  For this particular quilt it seemed to make sense to break it down into sections and decide how to quilt each of those sections.

I started with the middle section (I like to start in the middle and quilt out) with the sailing boat.  I quilted around the the sun and then a spiral pattern in the top half of the block like the wind in the sails.  I also outlined the boat and sails and then quilted some wavy lines like the sea in the bottom part of the block.  

Then, I was away for the weekend at my niece's wedding (which was really fabulous!) but meant I couldn't work on the quilt.  However, as I still hadn't decided how the rest was going to be quilted, I took a print of a photo I had taken of the top and doodled on it while I was flying to the UK to try out how I might quilt it.  This really, really helped and, when I returned I was ready to get back in my sewing room and get quilting.

I quilted a loopy loop pattern in the block around the bunting at the top.

I outlined the string of fish and gave them a pebbly background which extended down to where the seagull is.  To make the background around the seagull look a little different I added a spiral here and there too.

Next, I echoed around the compass and outlined the directional points.  

The lifebuoy was surrounded with pebbles and filled with straight lines.

The final block to quilt was the four fishes in the bottom, left corner.  These I quilted very simply.  Firstly, outlining the shape of each fish and then, with my walking foot around each of the squares inside and outside of the line of running stitches.

Finally, it was onto the border which I chose to quilt in a sort of chequerboard pattern.  I marked a grid and quilted densely in some which left the others free to puff up.  I transitioned from one side to another with a big spiral in each of the corner squares. 

The final step was to bind it using a binding tape which I made using a tape maker.  I then glue basted this in place one side at a time and stitched through from top to bottom in one go.

This is the first time I have tried this method of binding (which I read about in the book 'Quilts Made Modern' by Weeks Ringle and Bill Kerr) and, although a little fiddly, was a lot quicker than the usual method of sewing to the front, turning to the back and then stitching. 

Et voilà one finished quilt. 

Sorry if the photos are a bit fuzzy in places..... I use my phone to take them and I'm not much of a photographer!!  

Thank you for visiting 😃

Friday, 7 June 2019

Making progress with my nautical quilt....

Today I thought I would show you the progress I have made with the nautical quilt that I had started cutting the fabrics for in my last post.  

This quilt is from the lovely book 'Nautical Quilts' by Lynette Anderson.

I've been trying to work on it for at least a small amount of time each day and, I have been making good progress.  I started by piecing together the little squares of fabric you can see in the photograph above.  These form small joining sections between the larger appliqué blocks which form the central part of the 'All Aboard Quilt' from the book.

Next I worked on the bottom left section which was four little appliqué fishes.

To the right of these was the next block that I worked on which was an appliquéd seagull.  I joined it to the fishes block using some of the little joining squares which I had pieced together.

Next came an embroidered compass block and another appliqué block this time of a lifebuoy. 

They were also joined with a pieced section of little squares.  Next was my favourite block (so far) to stitch.... the sail boat.  It was lots of fun to put this together and add all the little embroidered details.

Once this block was finished I was able to piece together the rest of the central panel of the quilt. That's as far as I am for the moment but, I have some appliqué pieces all cut out ready to be added across the top and down the right-hand side.  This is such a fun quilt to make and I'm hoping to get to work on it some more over the weekend.

Hope you all have a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, 29 May 2019

What's new in my sewing room?

It has been a little while since I finished my last project but, I don't want you to think that I haven't been busy!!  Apart from the adventure that I went on and wrote about last time, I have had a complete Spring clean in my sewing room.

This has involved hours of folding and re-folding fabrics so that they are now exactly as I want them and a big re-organisation of my many quilting/embroidery books.  I am now much happier with how they are arranged.

It is just as well, as I have added a number of new books to my collection recently and, I needed to make some room for them without the shelves collapsing!!

I have also started cutting out the fabrics for a project from one of my new books.  The book is called 'Nautical Quilts' and is by Lynette Anderson.  I really love this book and I am about to start piecing together a wall hanging called 'All Aboard Wall Quilt' which I think is really cute and will look lovely on my wall!!

I also have a new adventure to look forward to as I have signed up to go on my first quilt retreat.  It is being held by 'Busy Needle Quilting' the last weekend in September and I am really excited to be going!!

Quilt Retreat

Hope you are all working on some exciting projects! Until next time..... xx

Sunday, 26 May 2019

Since the last post.....

Since my last post I have had all sorts of exciting things happening here.  Firstly, I have to tell you all about the adventure that I went on with some quilting friends just over a week ago (although it already seems a longer time than that!!)  Through my blog and then through a workshop I attended at the lovely Cotton 'n' Color shop in Riehen I made friends with two lovely ladies living here in Switzerland.  Since that time we have kept in touch and have hoped to meet up again.  This dream became more of a reality when I moved back to Switzerland last year and, since then we have been planning a day together.  That day finally arrived just over a week ago and what a wonderful day it was!!  For me it started with a long train journey.....

When I arrived in Liestal I was met by Martina and Katharina and we went back to Katharina's beautiful apartment where we had coffee and some delicious treats that Katharina had prepared for us.

We couldn't meet up without a visit to the Cotton 'n' Color shop which was our next stop.  Of course I couldn't come away without a few bits and pieces.  I bought some lovely fabric and these lovely books and a pattern.

We then had a tasty lunch out in Riehen, followed by a tram ride into Basel for some sightseeing.  We took a ferry boat across the Rhine to see the Minster, which was beautiful.  The day passed too quickly and it wasn't long before it was time for me to make the train journey home again.  However, I took with me some wonderful memories of a fabulous day spent with friends and two beautiful handmade gifts.

This gorgeous sewing pouch beautifully handstitched by Katharina and filled with lots of delightful goodies.

As well as this pretty kantha-stitched drawstring bag made by Martina with a magnetic needle holder and a lovely cup which was printed with words that sum up how I felt about the day 'perfect moment'.  Thank you both for such a wonderful time and I hope that we can meet up again soon!!

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Time to reveal the front....

Now that the table topper quilt that I showed you from the back in my last post has safely arrived at the recipient's (my eldest daughter) home, I can reveal the front of it.

I had decided to appliqué a wreath of flowers into the centre square but, I thought it would be difficult to free motion quilt around them, so I quilted the background completely before adding the flowers. I then used the raw-edge appliqué method that I used to complete the 'Honey Bunny' quilt which I posted about here to finish off the edges of the leaves and flowers.  The flower templates that I used were also from a tutorial by Kellie Wulfsohn of Don't Look Now! (Kellie now has a shop called Cutting Cloth)  The tutorial is called 'Flower Garden' and is in my 'to do' folder as another project!!

Since I last posted, I have also been hard at work on another project which will be a gift.  It is a little landscape embroidery that I am making to celebrate a wedding.  I can't show you the whole thing yet because the wedding isn't until June, so it won't be received until then but, I thought that you might like a few glimpses of it.  Above and below are a couple of small sections showing the background quilting and some of the appliqué and hand details that I have added.

It has really been a lot of fun to work on.  I finished on Friday last and now I am excited to move onto my next project!!  

Hope you are all enjoying a wonderful weekend! 

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Time for a catch up!!

I see that it has been a little while again since I posted and I think it is time for a catch up!!  I have been a bit negligent with my blog posts and I have even thought seriously about closing my blog in favour of using other media tools to keep in touch with the quilting world but, I have blog friends who don't use other media and I don't want to lose contact with them so you'll have to put up with the sporadic posts instead!!

Now, what have I been doing since my last post?  Well, April was a busy month as I was travelling in the UK for part of the time visiting family and having cuddles with my cute little granddaughter who has just turned five months old.  I took with me the Honey Bunny wall hanging to put in her nursery.  I think she liked it!!

We also visited my Father-in-law and sorted through some of the legal paperwork and sorting out that accompanied the sad passing of my Mother-in-law in December of last year.  As it was really my husband who was involved with the legalities of this and, I knew that I wouldn't be attending some of the meetings, I took with me my improv quilt to bind.  I had managed to get all the free motion quilting completed just in time to take it with me.

Above is the finished quilt and below is a glimpse of the quilting from the back.  I was really pleased with how this turned out and I shall definitely be making some more improv quilts in the future.  They are really great for using up scraps of fabric!!

When I got back I started work on a new project which I am not far from finishing.  I have pieced, layered and basted the quilt top (which is going to be a table topper) and finished all the free motion quilting.  As this is a gift, I am only going to show you the back so that you can see the quilting.  You'll have to wait until my next post to see the front!!  I am very pleased with it so far!!

Since then, I have had my youngest daughter here to stay and, we had some fun as I showed her some basic hand embroidery stitches.  She wanted to make something for a friend and the stitching reminded me that I needed to re-start work on the beautiful BOM blocks from Gail Pan's 2018 i-stitch-club: Send My Love.  I managed to finish stitching the last February appliqué to it's background and start embroidering the first March block.  Now all I have to do is make the time to keep going!!

Well, I think that's about it for now.  Hope you all enjoy a wonderful first day of May!! Until next time 😄