Notwithstanding a minor burn injury caused by not having my arm far enough away from the iron whilst folding the binding for this quilt, I’ve finished my sampler quilt for the workshop I am running at Quorn Country Crafts in Loughborough on 17th April. As you can see, it’s a nine 10×10″ panel quilt-as-you-go with contrast joining strips featuring continuous line free motion quilt patterns that I have adapted from my tangle patterns.
I finished a mammoth quilt last week, the first I have designed using a Layer Cake – Blackbird Designs ‘Autumn Lily’ by Moda. For the uninitiated, layer cakes are usually forty two 10×10″ pre-cut squares of fabric from a coordinating collection. I augmented this with a lot of calico to make a relatively inexpensive throw for the bed – it reaches over the sides, but only goes 2/3rds of the way up the bed by design (and by the fact that I would have needed more patterned fabric!). Each block in the above photo is just under 10″ square for a sense of scale, and the finished quilt size is 110″x67″ (roughly 3m by 1.5m). Each square has been quilted, and the repeating motif is my own continuous line quilting design.
I spent yesterday afternoon having my first play with Electric Quilt 7 – a quilting software package that I purchased last week to aid in production of quilt patterns, as well as designing my own quilts. As all the reviews I looked at have said, there’s a steep learning curve, but the help screens and tutorial videos do help you get to grips with what is actually an unintuitive interface (at least at first). It does have the benefit of being able to import photos of the fabric swatches, and Moda are kind enough to provide these as a download via their website.
All of which leads me to mention I spent this morning writing a pattern for the quilt, for those that are interested in downloading it!
[Please note: for those resident in EU countries other than UK, please request the pattern by email so I can manually forward you a copy as an attachment. This is to comply with the recent changes regarding VAT.]
Following on from my speedy success with my first overlocked (serged) quilt, I popped into Quorn Country Crafts for some spare overlocker needles, and I left with some woolly nylon spools, the needles, a layer cake and another jelly roll of fabric; oh, and an offer to talk to me about leading some quilting classes later on in the year.
For the uninitiated, a layer cake (in quilting terms) is made up of 42 10×10″ squares of coordinating fabric. There’re many different ways of cutting up these squares, but it does also allow for larger squares to be used in patchwork quilting. This is my first layer cake quilt, and I’ve kept to straight lines so that I can use my overlocker for all but the quilting.
Here’s the interim pics – trialling the quilt-as-you-go overlock technique I’m developing – and I’m pleased to report success!
The overlocker/serger has been flying away over the last couple of days. Buoyed by the success of my thread catcher, I decided to attempt a quilt using only the overlocker to make. Including making up my own design, working out how to quilt as I went, and all the ironing and cutting and hand-stitched binding, it has taken 14 and a half hours. I think that’s pretty fast! Feature fabric is a Fabric Freedom Noodles Roll (FJ-1/11 Sherbets), alongside calico sashing. The finished size is 44″ x 60″ and I used the majority of the jelly roll.
And the title? Well this made up pattern/technique does not have matching corners – which is just as well, as it’s fairly tricky to line things up on the overlocker as pins and overlockers don’t get on. So I know some quilt purists who would shudder at the thought of this, but I reckon it’s turned out ok! The alternate title is the noughts and crosses quilt… and it’s Quilt No. 011.
I started this year’s Christmas Quilt earlier in the year, but it stalled, and as has started to become traditional, I spent a week in December finishing it off. I didn’t follow any particular pattern, being guided by the sizes of fabric pieces I had. After designing and cutting a stencil for the swirl and spending two days doing all the quilting on the calico border alone, I am so glad it’s finished. The overall quilt size is 56″ x 71″ (142cm x 180cm). The centre blocks are from fat quarters, with the borders added and mitred (finally got the hang of that!). There’s approximately 1 km of sewing thread, with 400m of quilting (I know this as I used exactly one 400m reel of the variegated gold/brown thread!).
I’m looking forward to the arrival of my ‘what do I get a man who has just about everything’ Christmas present, which after much thought is going to be …. an overlocker 🙂
I’m also going to be hosting a sewing/stitching/quilting session in the studio on Wednesday afternoons in the new year, so keep an eye on my workshops page if you’re interested in joining the group.
Here’s my happy-accident Christmas Quilt that I’ve just finished, my ninth quilt. I started it early this year using a January sale jelly roll, with a hiatus during studio construction and starting the new business. Unfortunately, the lone star pattern I was following wasn’t followed closely enough, and I completely ballsed up the strip cutting. Hence the single lone star in the middle, and the hash borders – which by happy accident have worked nicely. Given everything outside the centrepiece is completely made up, I’m pleased with the outcome. I still haven’t quite mastered the layering of backing, batting and top sheet, especially on my own which is why things are a bit baggy in places. That may settle a little after a couple of washes. Mind you, after 22 feet of hand sewing the binding on, which took 4.5 hours, I’m pretty good at that! Now to find somewhere large enough to display a 6’6″ square quilt… that hasn’t already been bedecked with decorations…
[Fabric includes Moda Elegance Jelly Roll 32530JR]