Friday 23 December 2016

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Just popping in to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2017!!

The last of my family arrive this evening and all the preparations are in full swing.  I hope you all have a wonderful time whether you celebrate Christmas or are celebrating in another way.

Thank you all for visiting me here and I look forward to seeing you all again in the New Year!

Wednesday 21 December 2016

The finished quilt revealed......

Earlier this year I shared with you some sneaky peeks at a quilt I was making for a friend's daughter who was expecting her first baby (my friend's first grandchild).  I am pleased to say that the baby, a little girl, has now arrived which means I can show you the finished quilt.

My friend chose the fabrics to co-ordinate with the decorations in the nursery.  I randomly pieced a central panel of fabrics adding a few little personal touches, such as an appliqued bee and heart as well as some pieces of ribbon. (Shown below before the quilt was quilted).

I then added a narrow darker border trim, followed by a wider border in a white on white print.  The central panel was free motion quilted using an open all over swirl pattern.

The outer border was then more densely quilted with another swirly pattern with the motifs much closer to one another.  Finally, I added a binding to match the inner narrow border.

All in all I was really thrilled with the finished quilt.  My friend really liked it too and I am hoping that her daughter and the new baby will love it as well!

Thursday 15 December 2016

My finished 'Winter Wandering' quilt....

I am really pleased with myself today as I have managed to get my new Christmas quilt which I made using the blog hop blocks from the Winter Wandering blog hop finished.

I didn't finish the quilt exactly as the pattern instructions indicated as I wanted to make sure I had time to piece the quilt together and also to have the chance to try out some free motion quilting in the sashing and borders. The smaller finished size suited me better too.

I am really happy with it and it is ready to hang up with the rest of my Christmas decorations.

The quilting included 'in the ditch' quilting with a walking foot around each of the blocks followed by some free motion quilting in the sashing and borders.

I didn't want to detract from the embroidery so I didn't quilt the centre panels of the blocks but, in order to hold the layers of the quilt together in these areas I added some sequins as snowflakes in a couple of the blocks and baubles on the Christmas trees in the block with the stockings.

I also added a cute little owl button to the block with the house.  These all helped to tie the layers in the centre of the blocks together.

If you would like to download the patterns for the blocks you can find them at the following links:

Block one and instructions from Ellie's Quilt Place here.

Block two from Bobbin here.

Block three from Gail Pan here.

Block four from Jubama here.

Thank you to the designers for each of their beautiful blocks.... it was a lot of fun to make!

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Finally finished my quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) quilt....

Earlier in the year as I was improving my free motion quilting skills, I decided to try and make a QAYG sampler quilt similar to the one which appears in the book 'First Steps to Free Motion Quilting' by Christina Cameli.  

The basic idea is to make blocks using solid fabrics and to practise a different free motion quilting technique on each of the blocks then, piece them together using a QAYG technique. In the book I think Christina makes thirty blocks but I only made twelve, so the finished quilt is a lot smaller.

I had made and pieced together all the blocks quite some time ago (before I moved house) but, I just hadn't got round to binding the quilt.... until this last week.

It is now finished and I am very happy with the finished lap-sized quilt.  To see the individual blocks in more detail, you can visit my FMQ Sampler Quilt 2016 page.

Friday 9 December 2016

My new Christmas quilt.... Block four complete.....

Over the last few days I have managed to get the last block of the new Christmas quilt I am making finished.  This block was designed by Jubama  and is the last block in the Winter Wandering blog hop.  It is a very sweet block and was a lot of fun to make.

I also managed to adjust the other blocks which (if you read my last post about this quilt) I had miscalculated and were a different size than they should have been.  Thank you to everyone who posted a suggestion how to adjust them so they were all the same size.  

In the end I did what several of you suggested and unpicked the borders around them, added larger borders and then trimmed them down so that they all measured the same. Now I just need to get some sashing made and the top pieced together.  I should still be able to get that done in time for Christmas!

Wednesday 7 December 2016

TAST Week Sixty-Seven: Raised Cup Stitch

This week's stitch for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is a really pretty little stitch called 'Raised Cup Stitch'.  It is exactly what it sounds like it is going to be and is a cute little raised cup.

It was quite a fiddly little stitch to embroider but it is worth the effort.  There is a base of straight stitches and the 'walls' of the cup are created by working another knotted stitch through these base stitches. Sharon's tutorial for the stitch is here.

I added three little pink 'cups' to the centre of one of my circles and I added three seed pearls to the centre of each of the cups.  It makes a pretty little flower.

Monday 5 December 2016

Poinsettia Table Runner

Those of you who follow my blog will know that since I have been trying to improve my free motion quilting, I found and now follow Lori Kennedy's blog 'The Inbox Jaunt'.  Lori recently hosted a Sunflower Sampler Quilt-A-Long, which was a lot of fun and I have already showed you the two Sunflower quilts that I made following along.

After her final post for the Sunflower QAL Lori posted about another quilt she had made using a Poinsettia as the central motif instead of a Sunflower.... perfect for Christmas.... and she encouraged her readers to have a go at the Poinsettia motif.

Her tutorial for the Poinsettia is here and, if you go and have a look you will see that at the end of the tutorial she suggests that these motifs would look great on a table runner.  Well, as I wanted to try the Poinsettia motif but already had the two Sunflower quilts, I decided that I would make myself a Poinsettia table runner for Christmas instead of another wall quilt.

As you can see, I quilted three Poinsettias in the middle of the runner, quilted in the ditch around the checked inner border and then added some simple loopy Holly quilting to the outer border.  I am really thrilled with my new table runner.... I loved quilting the Poinsettia design and it is all finished in time for Christmas!  Thank you Lori! 

Friday 2 December 2016

TAST Week Sixty-Six: Twisted Lattice Band

This week's stitch for the TAST Challenge hosted by Sharon Boggon at Pin Tangle  is a really pretty combination of stitches which results in the Twisted Lattice Band.  Sharon's tutorial for it is here.

The base stitch is a row of double herringbone stitches (one of my firm favourite stitches!) which I added to my sampler in a green cotton perle (8) thread inside one of my partial circles along one of the edges.  A top thread is then laced in and out of the base herringbone stitches.

I used a variegated silk thread to add the top laced stitches.  As the thread is fine, it has added quite a subtle touch of colour to the base.  I love the resulting twisted lattice band and, it was great fun to stitch!