Friday, 15 March 2019

A productive week.....

I hope you have all had a good week!  Here it has been wet and windy on and off for most of the week which, has meant that it seemed a good idea to spend a lot of time in my sewing room (well that's my excuse!)

Flushed with the success of my 'improv' pieced cushion which I wrote about recently, I thought I would try a slightly bigger project using more of the techniques from the book 'Artful Improv' by Cindy Grisdela.  At the beginning of the week, I pieced together a wall quilt using three different techniques from the book.

I am really pleased with the results but, I haven't decided how to quilt it yet, so it is still a work in progress.

While I was making up my mind how to quilt the improv quilt, I decided to start another project.  This was a free pattern from many years ago (2009) called 'Honey Bunny' by Kellie Wulfsohn of Don't Look Now!  (Kellie now has a shop called Cutting Cloth.)  It has been sitting in a folder all that time waiting for me to make it!! 

The pattern uses a technique for raw-edge appliqué which I haven't used very much as I was never very confident to try it. However, since learning to free motion quilt, I now feel I have the skills needed and, I thought I would make it.  The original pattern was made into a small cushion but, as I have made a couple of new cushions recently, I decided to make it into a mini wall-hanging instead.

It was a lot of fun to make and I really loved quilting the back ground with this all-over swirly pattern.  In fact, I liked it so much that I may quilt my improv quilt with it too!!  The bunny wall-hanging is perfect for Easter or, I may send it to my Granddaughter to hang in her nursery!

Thank you for visiting!

Sunday, 10 March 2019

Another new cushion.....

Following on from my last post when I showed you an 'improv pieced' cushion that I had made, I thought I'd share another cushion that I have made since then.  It is not 'improv piecing' but it is a 'modern' style.

The pattern is a pattern by Suzy Quilts called 'Modern Fans'.  It is a little on the tricky side as it has curved piecing but, Suzy walks you through these with her online tutorials of how to best approach curved seams.

As I was unsure about sewing the curved seams, I thought it best to start with one block and make a cushion to test out how I felt about them before I launched into sewing a whole quilt top.  With this in mind, I used the same solid fabric colours that I had used for my last cushion so that they would coordinate nicely together.

Cushions are also the perfect size for practising free motion quilting, so before I made the pieced block into a cushion, I quilted it using a mixture of straight-line walking foot quilting and free motion quilting.  Overall I am very happy with the results and I now have two new cushions to decorate my home!!

Thank you for visiting and until next time 😃xx

Friday, 1 March 2019

Something I had been meaning to do.....

Some while back (at least over a year ago, before I moved back to Switzerland) I started taking an interest in modern quilts/quilting.  I think this probably coincided with experimenting more with my free motion quilting as, modern quilts often have more negative space than traditional quilts, leaving lots of space for free motion quilting.

As I love quilting books, I of course added one or two modern quilting books to my collection.  One of these was a delightful book called 'Artful Improv' by Cindy Grisdela which I read from cover to cover and then put to one side meaning to try some of the techniques and ideas.  However, life took over, we moved home, other projects (baby quilts) took priority and I still hadn't tried any of the techniques.

That is until the beginning of 2019.  I had pulled this book out and put it on my list of projects to make in 2019.  I still had some quilting to finish on the last baby quilt which I showed you in my last post but, the idea to try some of the techniques from the book was still there.  Earlier this week I was browsing on the internet (as one does) and found a delightful pillow project on Pinterest, which reminded me of the style of the projects in 'Artful Improv'.  Well, it wasn't surprising as the pillow was a project made by Cindy Grisdela and is a free project from the publishers of the book C&T Publishing.  It felt like the Universe was speaking to me and I just couldn't resist trying the improv piecing and making the pillow.

I even had some similar green fabric in my stash to that which Cindy had used when she made her version.  It was a really fun project and Cindy's instructions are clear and easy to follow, so I didn't have any trouble with the improv piecing or sewing the curves.

The pieced pillow top was nice but, I knew that some quilting would bring it to life.  I added some wavy lines using the walking foot on the machine (as Cindy had done on her pillow) then I just couldn't resist adding some free-motion quilted bubbles.  

The construction of the pillow was a straight-forward envelope back, so that didn't take long and I am now the proud owner of a pretty little improv-style pillow!  I am really thrilled with it!  Now I am keen to try some of the other techniques from Cindy's book!!

Tuesday, 19 February 2019

A busy but very enjoyable few weeks!

It has been a very busy few weeks here.  Since I last wrote, we have had quite a number of visitors which has kept me out of mischief!!  It has meant I haven't had as much time for stitching but there are times when that has to take second place!!

We had a lot of snow at our Chalet but the sun came out after the snow had fallen and it was a beautiful Winter Wonderland.  It is always such a joy to be snug inside looking out at the beauty and to go out and breathe in the pure, fresh air.  Makes you feel good to be alive and very lucky!!

Among our visitors were my eldest daughter, her boyfriend and some other friends followed by my son, his wife and my cute little grand-daughter.  It was fantastic to spend time with them all and to have lots of cuddles with Sophie.

Before they arrived (well, actually on the day they arrived) I managed to get the second cardigan I was knitting for Sophie finished.  Luckily it did just still fit her (she has grown a lot since I last saw her).  

The house felt very empty after they all went home so, I have been filling my time with finishing off the quilting on the last of the four baby quilts that I pieced before Christmas. 

This quilt was for a friend's daughter and I used Tilda fabrics and quite simple piecing. I wasn't sure about it when the piecing was finished and it took me a while to decide how to quilt it.

In the end I quilted alternate blocks with straight line quilting and the blocks in between with an orange-peel pattern.  As soon as I started the quilting, it made such a difference to the quilt.  It really brought it to life and by the time I had finished it, I was really delighted with the end result.  Now the quilt is on it's way to it's new home.  I hope they will like it!

Here are the four finished quilts.  I have been really pleased with how they all turned out and was very happy to be able to practise my free motion quilting.  It is something that you need to keep practising!!

I have also been working on a little quilt from a pattern by Suzy Quilts called Mojo Minis.  This is a very different style for me but it is exciting to try new styles and ideas.  I have been hand quilting it and, after all the free motion quilting, it has been nice to get back to some hand work too.  It is not finished yet but, I'll show you more next time!

Thank you for visiting! Until the next time..... 😊

Thursday, 17 January 2019

A special quilt......

As those of you who follow my blog will know, I have recently been working on a number of baby quilts.  Two of which I finished just before Christmas and which you can read about in my last blog post here. I also mentioned the quilt that I am writing about today in the same post as the first project I would be working on for 2019.

Today I would like to share with you my first finish for 2019.  It is a quilt which has a very special meaning for me.

Towards the end of 2017 I lost a friend.  Someone who had been very supportive to me when I had my own children small.

In 2018 I learned that her daughter was expecting her first child and I was determined to make a quilt for her.  I knew that her mum would've liked that.  So, this is that quilt.

A precious baby boy was born earlier this month and, I hope that this quilt will wrap him in the love that I know his grandmother would've given him if she had still been here to see him.

I quilted it strip by strip using different FMQ designs.  I am delighted with how well it has turned out.

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Hello 2019!!

Hello and Happy New Year 2019!!  It has been a while since I wrote, so I do have to warn you this is quite a long post as I have lots of news to catch up with!!

Sophie Lila a few hours old

The first and very exciting news, was the birth of my first grandchild.... a beautiful baby girl, Sophie.  She is the sweetest little thing, born at the end of November to my son and his lovely wife and, weighing in at 6lbs 10oz.  She has already grown a lot since then and, we were lucky enough to spend time with her, as well as lots of other family over the Christmas period.  It was lovely to see everyone!

Sophie Lila 2 January 2019

The second piece of news is not exciting but rather sad, as well as welcoming Sophie into the World we also said 'good-bye' to my mother-in-law on 9 December.  She passed away peacefully at the marvellous age of 90.  As one light comes on, another goes out.... the natural circle of life.

Margaret on her 90th Birthday in March 2018

My news perhaps explains an absence from here and also a little bit of a lack of stitching. However, I did manage to finish a few projects at the end of 2018.

Two finished quilts

The first things I managed to finish were two of the quilts that I showed in my last post.

Sophie's Quilt

One of these was a gift for little Sophie and the other for a friend of my youngest daughter on the birth of her baby brother, Elijah.

Back of Elijah's Quilt

Elijah's Quilt

I also knitted a little cardigan for Sophie which you can see here on top of her quilt.

Sophie's Quilt and Cardigan

I made both quilts in neutral colours as I didn't know whether the babies would be girls or boys when I started them.

Third quilt nearly finished...

You may recall, that I completed piecing four quilt tops in October 2018.  As you can see, I managed to quilt and finish two of them, the third I have nearly completed and above is a photo of the quilting I have completed to date. This quilt I know is going to be for a boy and, will be the project I work on first in 2019.  The fourth quilt is all basted and ready for quilting to start and, will be my second project to start work on in 2019. Here is the pieced top.

Fourth top ready for quilting...

Well, I think that has just about caught you up with all my news but, I just wanted to leave you with this photo of some of my favourite finishes in 2018.  

Selection of my favourite finishes in 2018

I wish you all every happiness in 2019 and look forward to seeing all your beautiful creations as well as making some of my own!  

With my very best wishes 😊 xx

Monday, 29 October 2018

It is starting to feel like Winter.....

Good morning!  I hope you all had a lovely weekend.  Here, it is finally starting to feel more like Winter is coming.  We had a cold and wet weekend and, I can't see the tops of the mountains yet but I am fairly sure there is snow up there.  I am not complaining!!  We really needed the rain as it has been dry for weeks and, as I have previously posted, we have been making the most of the beautiful weather by being outside and that doesn't work very well for getting quilt tops pieced and projects finished!!

However, over the cold and wet weekend, I did manage to get the last of four baby quilt tops which, I have been working on since I last posted, finished.

I had already shown you the first of these here but now I have three further quilt tops to show you.

One of the hardest parts of the whole patchwork and quilting process for me is choosing the fabrics.  I always procrastinate about which fabrics to use and planning these quilts was no exception.  I am happy with all the choices in the end though. Sorry the photographs aren't great, the light isn't brilliant here this morning!

Over the next few days, these tops will all be layered and basted and, then the quilting can start!  That will bring with it more procrastination as I decide how to quilt them all.

I will probably choose to do a mix of walking foot and free motion quilting but before that can start my poor machine will need some TLC.

Then there will be some sketching and doodling, followed by some practise.  I will finally get them quilted..... promise!!

In between times, as I am to become a glamorous grandma (is there any other type?) very soon, I am working on this little project too.

Thank you for coming to visit..... look forward to seeing you soon!