…started quilting badly…

Work in Progress

Decided on how to quilt the big girls quilt and having finished the other one I was working on I cracked straight on!! Stitches and machine tested all good!!! Or so I thought!…

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No I noticed a few stitches were skipped! Being me I carried on hoping it would stop and I really wanting to feel like I was make some progress! Eventually I stopped in despair and turned to my trusty quilting Facebook group and a friend came to the rescue.  Turns out after refilling the bobbin something was catching! I must remember not to panic till I have re threaded it completely and cleaned it out and given it a new needle! 99% of problems solved by those.

With the stitching solved it was great I could crack on but again I rushed and didn’t properly mark my diagonal lines so ended up with a load of wonky lines.  Need to also look at the quilt from a distance as I missed this by not looking at it from a distance.

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Now to find my trusty unpicked… And then masking tape to mark the lines to follow!

…Playing with kids toys…

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I had a similar toy to this and loved playing with it and making the patterns which I think its why I bought it for my big girl.  Until now its not been a huge interest for her but she dug it out the cupboard and I couldn’t resist having a play with it too.

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There are some lovely EPP patterns here but I am slightly struggling to get past the primary colours.  Also to make something of a decent size would take me centuries at my current rate so thinking about speeding it up/ modifying the process of an impatient person like me.  They also all seem to make up a hexagon or triangle.  I enjoyed working out how to make more difficult shapes repeat.

 

…UPDATE…Sea for Sue quilt

Finished Makes

Well I gifted it! I was way more excited about giving it than finishing it.  It went down well and I got this amazing message which means so much.

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After I gifted it I also posted a picture on the UK Quilters United and I couldn’t stop smiling when I got 217 likes and loads of lovely comments! Made my Month!! And for something I had pretty much dismissed as just a Jelly Roll!

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…had a little family trip out to..

Day out

A fabric fayre in Great Bookham on Saturday afternoon! Husband and children took me as I quote “you don’t get to do much of your stuff.. and there is cake”.

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Obviously I had a lovely time looking at lots of fabric and discovered ‘The Eternal Maker’ which I’m sure I already knew about but their selection of modern fabrics caught my eye.  Especially some Jersey and after mentioning I don’t know how to sew that stuff it seems there is no excuse as they do a day course! Where do I book…… I would love to make clothes and lets face it jersey will be the most forgiving to my figure!

After being very good and having a look around the whole show I was again encouraged by the husband to by a pattern (fraction quilt by Lou Orth) I had seen on-line and stored (without knowing I could buy the pattern I was going to use as inspiration).  Again another quote from the hubby “well there is no time limit to it! It won’t ever go off! What is the problem?”…. Maybe he wants something!!!!

I got some Alison Glass fabric which I think itself looks like a quilt and I love the colours. some binding clips so I can leave my work in progress out and the kids won’t get hurt and so bobbin buddies as I realised I really do need to store reel and bobbin together to avoid waste.

Lastly, a half hexi template which was inspired by a tiling pattern photo I saw on the UK Quilters United facebook page (by Lyn Butler who is doing a foundation paper piecing pattern I will link to in due course).

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Facebook is also now showing me ads which I’m sure are for Quilts…

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… make progress..

Work in Progress

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I’ve decided what layout to go with for big c’s quilt so I did some chain piecing.  Starting or re-starting is the hardest thing sometimes but I’ve been feeling a bit down with everything going on so I chucked the girls in front of the TV for half hour this morning and cracked on.

I also know how I’m going to quilt it so keen to get going on that too.  Not sure on backing fabric or thread colour yet but I will work that out once I’m at that stage.

Keep going … don’t stop!

…Sown a Sea for Sue

Finished Makes

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The seed for this quilt was a bargain-ous £10 blue batik jelly roll bought second hand from another quilter.  After it arrived in the post it sat in the kitchen and on the table for quite a while.  I couldn’t face putting it in my studio and not doing something with it soon…  I didn’t feel so precious about this jelly role as it didn’t cost what some of my others did so I didn’t have the fear of wasting the fabric if I ended up not liking the quilt.  With the strips being a similar blue I decided that, having never having done a jelly roll race, I wanted to try one.  I didn’t want it to be too simple so I decided to get some contrasting yellow batik to go between each strip.

I wanted to alternate the triangles pointing up and down and add a few diamonds in too.  I really like how they are dispersed about the quilt but alternating the triangles pointing up and down is not really viable in the finished quilt.  Something to remember if I do another.

I’m not sure when I had decided that this was going to be for my Aunt Sue but I think it was early on.  She lives by the sea and has a kaftan in a similar colour.  I think likes quite strong colours and has several batik items… I really hope I have not got this wrong.  She like me has afternoon naps while possible so a smallish quilt she can keep warm under will be used.  Also I’m hoping the sunny colours will prove cheerful in the winter months when its most used.

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The quilt top really did come together very quickly once it was a long strip.  And boy was it long! Trying to pack it away out of cat and kiddy paws was a hassle…..I should be using my studio but I want to watch TV or be near the hubby when he is home in the evening.  After carefully trying to separate strips of the same fabric (though as its batik not too similar) I discovered that in about 3 or 4 places strips of the same fabric ended up next to each other.

I do like the unknown result of a jelly roll race.  So often you already know what its going to look like before you finish and I think that is why I can become bored with projects and don’t finish them.  If only I could make use of this ability to visualise for profit!!

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I opened up my walking foot to quilt as I decided I wanted to do some simple waves for the quilting.  I didn’t want to detract from the fabric and the simple piecing I felt meant it needed simple quilting.  I did randomly decide I wouldn’t quilt on the yellow.  I think because I didn’t want to dilute their colour at all.  Not having used a walking foot before I was disappointed it didn’t produce an even stitch as I had hoped.  It was better once i raised the feed dogs a little so it gripped the fabric better.  I think maybe the main reason for this also was the weight of the fabric which was not on the table surface stopping the fabric being pulled through! Now I understand why quilters rave about their table extensions and put their machine on a large table!!

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I wanted to do a label of dedication but for it to be subtle.  Turns out it might be a little too subtle.  I wrote free motion ‘Sea for Sue love Helen’ but you can hardly see it and the practice was much better.  I think it was the size of quilt on a small table pulling it and the fact that my machine doesn’t have a needle down position so occasionally jumps if I don’t ensure to wind the needle down before moving my hands.  It is my birthday soon so considering an upgrade or at least borrowing my mum’s machine for when I want to do an important project.  Also practice practice practice and yet again don’t just rush things!!!!!!!!

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Anyway let me know what you think of this quilt….. (photo not staged at all obviously! my house is always this tidy!!)

…Throwback Thursday…

Throwback Thursday

I am going to try and post every Thursday a couple of shots of something I created before starting blogging.  Really for my own record to remind me all of the amazing things I have actually already made or done!

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First is this quilt I made 2 years ago now. Its the quilt i am most proud of as its as close to perfect I have got.  I trimmed all the squares, chain pieced and ironed all by the book (well mostly).  It started with a charm pack which was … surprise surprise … a colour gradient in solids.  I raided my stash for as many other fabrics which would go. I had to go with my favourite shape ‘a square’ and thought I wanted to make a play mat…. baby girl might of been a twinkle in my eye… even then!

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And here she is now enjoying it… not being sick on it as I only let her lay on it for as long as the photo took!

 

… Have been busy doing lots of little bits…

Work in Progress

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I have seemingly done nothing this week but on reflection I’ve done lots of little bits. After my huge excitement at the National Quilt Championship and being very good not buying too much I was super keen to get started on the quilt for big C.  She loved the layer cake and on Saturday night I sat down to get started, opened the pack, looked and played with fabrics.  It contains 20 different fabrics (2 of each).  Mixed them up but it didn’t quite make me as happy as when they ran through the colour gradient.  3 of the fabrics didn’t do it for me and I have learned from experience if you don’t like the fabric don’t include it as you can’t take it out once it is sewn in and it is all you will see in the finished quilt.

Big C expressed a preference for HST so I set about designing.  Decided I would do the trick of sewing 2 squares all the way round the outside then cutting them in 4 across the diagonal to create 4 identical HST blocks – can’t remember what this is called.  I decided I would pair the fabrics with the next colour in the gradient I had and I would stagger the fabrics.  Little sketch done and a few late-night calculations of its finished size done, it was full steam ahead.  Sunday morning up early while the girls went off with Daddy to swimming and rugby, me and the sewing machine got busy.

Needless to say, I soon discovered the error of my ways.  Rushing into something means you make errors.  Having sewn half the squares and sliced them and dry laid out the pattern I discovered it was much smaller in one direction than I expected…..Doh!  Yes late night maths is not my forte… Needless to say I sulked for the rest of the day ….. and the next day.

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Having got over it I sat down with some graph paper trying to work out a way to best use the already sewn and cut fabric with the remaining stuff to get a quilt of the right kind of size.  After a few hours of thinking and playing I came up with this design.  It required me to sew the remaining squares with the colour the other side of it in the colour gradient and slice in the same way.

One evening I got down to sewing and slicing.  Its soooo satisfying to achieve something in the evening.  Once having all these pieces, I laid it out then had a play and asked big C what she liked and wanted to do… Now I have so many alternatives but just not 100% about any.

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Another thing I didn’t take enough attention of is colour saturation.  Taking a photo in black and white is really helpful as it shows the quilt in another way and show a design can be unbalanced by the tone of the fabric.

This week I have also planted out a couple of hydrangeas suffering in the heat.  Planted out big C’s pumpkin plants in the hope of growing one for Halloween and one to eat.  Re-doing a terrarium with a new succulent. And some general garden maintenance.

I have a workman in the house this week finishing the extension related items.  The extension was finished but there is a load of decoration and finishing bits left over mainly because I wanted the builders out and no more battling to get stuff done.  I wanted/ intended to do them but have realised I’m not going to be able to without spreading myself too thin until big C is at school and baby is at nursery.   The finishing off in typical me style has extended to decorating the front room as well, finishing the floor, maybe a replacement front door and the drive way.  All of which were on the to do list just not straight away! So I have been running round getting bits for this work too.

Anyway I will do a post before and after showing the front room in due course!

.. I also designed and getting our breakfast bar lighting made, finally & redid my pink hair!!!

Anyhow back to playing with big C’s quilt design…..

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OR…

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