Monday, 14 November 2022

Another small finish!

Today I have another small quilt finish to share with you.  When I unpacked after we moved house this past July, I came across a number of unfinished projects which I put aside to try and get finished.  One of these projects was a small quilt which had formed part of a Quilt-A-Long hosted by Lori Kennedy back in the Spring of 2017 to practise various FMQ motifs.

All that I needed to add to finish the quilt was a line of FMQ on the two side borders and across the top border.

I quickly managed to finish the quilting and then added a pretty blue print binding.

The majority of the fabrics I used were designed by Lynette Anderson Designs and should you wish to have a look at the original QAL blog posts by Lori just do a search on her website for 'Spring QAL 2017' and you should find the appropriate posts.

Nice to have this little quilt finished. Have a lovely week.  Until next time.... šŸ˜Š xx

Monday, 31 October 2022

A finish!!!

Yes, I am excited to show you my finished Metro Tiles Quilt!!!  This is a pattern designed by Gourmet Quilter which I have adapted slightly.  Partly intentionally and partly out of necessity!! I finished this earlier today and I am so pleased with it!  It used a QAYG method which I was not familiar with and there were a few learning curves but, I am really happy with the final quilt.  Here is the front....

And here is the back.... 

Which I am pleased with too as I love all the beautiful batik fabrics. Poppy thought it needed comfort testing!! (It passed!!)

I thought long and hard about how to bind the quilt as I wanted to used the same fabric that I had used for the 'grouting' between the tiles but I didn't have enough of it left to make traditional binding with it.  So, I decided to use some leftover grouting strips which had fusible web on one side.  

Instead of trimming off the quilt top as you would when adding traditional binding, I left the seam allowances of the border blocks in place but made sure they were an even width. Then I stitched a 'grouting' strip to the back of the quilt back. The right side of the 'grouting' (ie non sticky side) was placed against the back of the seam allowance of the outer edges of the border blocks. Then I flipped it over and fused the grouting in place on the front of the quilt.  

I then finished the raw edge with a zigzag stitch as I had for the 'grouting' in the rest of the quilt.  It gave me a nice finish on the front which matched the rest of the quilt and a lovely neat finish on the back.

So excited to have this quilt finished!!  Happy Halloween and until next time.... šŸ˜Š xx

Sunday, 23 October 2022

Another miscalculation and a lesson learned.....

As you can gather from the title of this post, I have managed to make another mistake with the border of my Metro Tiles Quilt.  I won't bore you with all the calculations that you had to read through in my last post but, suffice it to say that I have now learned the lesson not to try and make fabric calculations at the end of the afternoon when feeling tired!!

As I showed you last time, I had planned the original border for my Metro Tiles Quilt (a pattern designed by Gourmet Quilter) as shown in the photograph above and had then managed to miscalculate the length of the rectangular blocks and trimmed them too small.

As I had no more of the fabric (shown above) I was using for these blocks, I had to rethink the whole border and had come up with a nice design which I was happy with.  However, as I had only appliquĆ©d two of the new blocks, I had only laid out the border along one side of the centre of the quilt (photograph shown below).

It looked like it would work perfectly but, if you count the small appliquĆ© squares used there are five down that one side.  Now count the number of those small appliquĆ© squares from the original plan and you will see that I only have 16 in total.  I am sure you can see where this is going.... five for each of the four sides makes 20 so I didn't have enough!!  So it was back to the drawing board and a new design (hopefully the very last) has been decided on.  Here it is...

Actually, I think that this layout is my favourite of the three and, you will see that I was sensible enough to lay all the blocks in position this time round.  As I am really happy with this last layout, I am stitching it together as quickly (but very carefully) as I can before anything else changes!!

Thank you for visiting and have a lovely, creative week! Until the next time.... šŸ˜Š xx

Monday, 17 October 2022

Progress and a disaster saved.....

This week I was determined to get a bit more sewing done and the week started very well with me finishing off all the appliquĆ© edges on the remaining blocks for my version of the Metro Tiles Quilt (a pretty design by The Gourmet Quilter).

I then started putting the rows together.  Successfully adding the next row (with five blocks)

and the next (with three blocks) and then the final block in the bottom right-hand corner which completed the centre section of the quilt.

This is a QAYG pattern so each of the blocks has a different backing fabric and the finishing of the raw edge appliquĆ© is the quilting as well. 

I love how the backing and the quilting look.

So far things were going very smoothly and, now that the centre section was complete, I was excited to get the border pieced and added. You may recall that I had already started planning and had finished fusing the appliquĆ© pieces for the border of the quilt which I showed in a previous post. 

When I had laid the pieces out previously I knew that some of the rectangular blocks would need to be trimmed down slightly depending on the final measurement of the centre section. So I pulled them all out ready to trim up.

I measured the centre section of the quilt across in three places and determined that the border length that I needed was 39.5 inches (excluding the corner squares). There are three appliquƩ blocks in each border piece (again excluding the corner squares) and, using the pattern measurements these are 4 inches square. Therefore 3 x 4 = 12 and 39.5 - 12 = 27.5. Then between the appliquƩ blocks there are four rectangular blocks, so 27.5 divided by 4 = 6.9 (round up to 7) so each rectangular block should be trimmed to 7 inches long.

I set about busily trimming all the blocks (and here please bare in mind that these blocks are cut from the background fabric shown above and which I had only just had enough to cut the border blocks from) only to remember when I had finished them all that I had altered the width of the border from that in the pattern.  My appliquĆ© blocks weren't 4 inches square but 3.25 inches square. Meaning 3 x 3.25 = 9.75 and 39.5 - 9.75 = 29.75 which divided by 4 = 7.4 (round up to 7.5) so now all my rectangular blocks were half an inch short!!! 

Some cussing and pondering later I came up with an alternative for my border!  I couldn't cut more of the background fabric but I did have some scraps of the batik fabrics that I have been using and also of the cream fabric that I had been using for the backgrounds of the appliquĆ© blocks.  Here is my alternative....

I am actually really pleased with it as it introduces more of the colours from the tiles in the centre section of the quilt.

It does mean that there are a few more appliquƩ raw edges to finish off but I have been quite enjoying that process and it will keep me out of mischief for a bit longer!!

Have a lovely week! Until next time....šŸ˜Š xx

Monday, 10 October 2022

Sometimes you need a break....

Sometimes it is important to step away from a project in order to give it your best.  This is what I have been finding with my Metro Tiles Project. (This pattern is designed by The Gourmet Quilter).

There is quite a lot of work involved in producing each of the blocks.  The appliquĆ© shapes are applied using the fusible raw edge method and in the pattern it is suggested that they are finished using free machine quilting.

I chose not to finish the edges in this way as I wasn't sure I would get the finish that I liked, so I have been finishing mine using a narrow zig zag stitch.

This is time consuming and requires a lot of patience, so I have been having breaks between finishing each of the rows of blocks.

It also means that if you have to stop and start, there are ends to stitch in, so as I hope you can see from the photos above, I have been trying to minimize stopping and starting by occasionally stitching over areas twice.

The alternative (where stitching over isn't an option) is creating lots of ends which need to be stitched in and looks like this.....

I have now finished all the blocks for the next row bar stitching in the ends, so I am making good progress.

Those of you who follow my blog will know that I have been keeping my creative juices flowing when I am not working on my Metro Tiles Quilt with a new to me hobby of Art Journalling.  If you are interested to see my latest pages, I have written a separate blog post here.

In other news we picked a most enormous cooking apple from our garden.... it weighed in at 546g/1.2 lbs!!  

Hope you all have a creative week. Until next time.... šŸ˜Š xx

New Art Journalling Pages.....

This morning I have written two posts as I think not everyone wants to read about Art Journalling pages on a blog primarily about stitching.  So, here are my latest pages....

I had wanted to add a stem to the page with the pink flower shown below but unfortunately it didn't work very well and I thought I would have to throw the page away.  

However, I painted over the stem and added some new details which covered the mistake and now I am pleased with the page. 

Most of the inspiration for the pages comes from Vicky Papaioannou of Clips n Cuts but some are just pages I have seen on Pinterest.

Hope you enjoy looking at them, I have certainly had a lot of fun making them!

Sunday, 25 September 2022

Not much sewing since last time.....

It has been a busy couple of weeks since my last post.  I was away for just over a week visiting family and was due to travel back on Monday, 19 September but as that was announced as the day of the funeral of our late Queen, Elizabeth II I decided to stay an extra day.  I was pleased that I had as it meant I could watch the coverage of the day with my Mum.  I did think that the various services and ceremonies were entirely fitting for such a dedicated Monarch and, I think that the Royal Family can be happy in the knowledge that they did the very best for her.

Needless to say, I didn't have much time to work on any of my sewing projects but I did visit a craft fair with my sister while I was away and added a few very helpful additions to my craft room which I have since put to use on a couple of my art journal pages.

I have managed to complete three new pages since my return, which I am very happy with.

I also had a very nice day out at a Quilt Guild Regional Meeting yesterday where there were a couple of very interesting talks and lots of lovely show and tell projects to look at.

Hopefully this coming week I will have some time to work on my stitching projects and will have more to show you next time.

Until next time.... šŸ˜Š xx

Sunday, 11 September 2022

A momentous week....

It is actually quite hard to comprehend the events that have taken place between my post last weekend and today.  Here in the UK we have said goodbye to one Prime Minister and welcomed his replacement and then within the space of 48 hours we were saying a final farewell to our dearly beloved Queen.  I am deeply saddened by her passing.  Like many people in this Country I have never known another Head of State.  My thoughts go out to her family and especially to King Charles III who has some very big shoes to fill.  Long live the King.

So, what have I been doing in my sewing room?  Well, at the beginning of the week when everything was 'normal' I spent most of the time I had in my sewing room auditioning the background and backing fabrics for the remaining 'tiles' in my Metro Tiles Quilt a pattern designed by The Gourmet Quilter.

I also chose the appliquĆ©s for the final tiles by pinning photocopied pictures of them to the backgrounds I had chosen.  As you can see, I did have some help!

Then I set about tracing, fusing, cutting and fusing the shapes onto the backgrounds of the tiles.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will notice that I didn't end up with quite the same selection of appliquĆ©s as those I had originally chosen.  Neither did the layout stay quite the same.

Once I had the shapes fused onto their backgrounds the order needed to re rearranged so that the more open designs and the more solid designs were more balanced throughout the quilt top.

Then I had to decide whether I wanted to add a border or not.  I decided that I would like to if I could but I wasn't sure if I had enough of the overall background fabric that I used for the setting triangles.  I was one piece short but, I improvised, so if you look at the border very carefully you will see that one of the pieces has the fabric cut in a different direction to the rest.  This is not a mistake, just the only way I could stretch the fabric to make the border!  I am pleased that I have and I don't think it will notice too much!!

Anyway, the border appliquĆ©s were fused on Friday after we had had the news that the Queen had passed away.  It was a strange day marked by an overwhelming sense of loss.  Tracing, fusing, cutting and fusing all those tiny pieces was a tremendously calming and reflective activity on a day of great sadness.

I lived in Windsor for a number of years.  I used to walk my dogs along the Long Walk (shown above) and I remember the excitement of state occasions. It was lovely to be able to walk through the town and see the pomp and ceremony.  Here are a few photos I took of one such occasion.

The Queen was in the first carriage although you can't see her very clearly.  I know the town (like the rest of the Country) will be in mourning now but it is there in St George's Chapel that Queen Elizabeth II will be laid to rest, may she rest in peace.