Tuesday, 15 August 2017

I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along Block 2

Here we are already with block 2 of the Christmas Quilt Along!

This one has been designed by April from JandABendQuilts you can check out her website for a full tutorial of the block.

This is my cute little Christmas Tree Farm: 

Fabric selected

I decided to go with the pieced blocks even though April has offered a variety of techniques for completing her block. 
 Eight little trees, cut and ready for sewing!

with matching tree trunks!

These little trees fit together like a charm.

Finished. I am quite taken with this block.

Don't forget to share your finished block to enter the prize draw. You can do this one of three ways but remember the deadline is August 28th 11:59pm EDT (US)
Here are the prizes for block 2 entries:

Good Luck Everybody!

The next blocks for the 'Quilt A Long' will be released on August 29th and hosted by Laura Piland at Slice of Pi Quilts and Jennifer Fulton the Inquiring Quilter. We have two released this week in order to finish the quilt in time for Christmas.

Saturday, 5 August 2017

I Wish You A Merry Quilt Along Block 1

Welcome to block one of the Christmas Quilt Along!

This sweet snowflake block was designed by Vanda Chittenden, the tutorial can be found over at her website Quilt in Peace.

Here is my version of Vanda's block. I have chosen to use a grey background fabric with a snowflake pattern to emphasise Vanda's design.

Winter Memories by Studio e
I had originally planned to do needle turn applique on this block, I love the clean lines of this particular method of applying layers of fabric to build a picture, which is why my printed template pieces have a seam allowance around them.

Realising however just how long this would take I decided to use fusable web and edge stitch the pieces down for this particular block.

Having cut out all the pieces for the block and placed them according to Vanda's instructions, I decided to pin them in place and remove the paper backing and press the pieces one a time.

This is a little tip I have picked up along the way and works like a charm. Instead of trying to pick apart the paper backing from the fabric at the edges, which can sometimes result in them fraying (especially around delicate areas such as points), I use a pin or a needle to score the paper lightly, this way the paper can be peeled from the centre of the piece, leaving the edges intact.

I decided to use a blanket stitch on my machine to finish the edges of the pieces.

A close up of the finished block, complete with blanket stitch edges.

This was such a lovely block to make, it was straightforward thanks to the detailed instructions provided by Vanda! 

By making your own version of the Snowflake block you can enter a prize draw for the 'Quilt A Long' in one of three ways. You must enter by 11:59pm EDT (US) on Monday Aug 14th 2017 to win the following prizes:

Good Luck Everybody!

The next block featured in the 'Quilt A Long' will be August 15th hosted by April Adams at JANDA Bend quilts.

See you there!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

I Wish You a Merry Quilt Along 2017

Nothing could be better than a brand new quilt finished and ready for Christmas right?

Join "I Wish You a Merry Quilt-A-Long" and find out!

Eleven designers have joined forces to bring together this mystery quilt along with free patterns for making 12 x 12" blocks.

The start date is August 1st, just follow the schedule below to complete all 12 blocks:

Date Block     Designer's name Blog Host / Designer
August 1 1 Vanda Chittenden Quilt in Piece Host & Designer
August 15 2 April Adams JANDA Bend Quilts Host & Designer
August 29 3 Laura Piland Slice of Pi Quilts Host & Designer
August 29 4 Jennifer Fulton Inquiring Quilter Host & Designer
September 12 5 Sherry Shish Powered By Quilting Host & Designer
September 26 6 Sandra Healy Sandra Healy Designs Designer
October 10 7 Sandy Maxfield SandyStar Designs Host & Designer
October 10 8 Olusola Ajisafe Alice Samuel's Quilt Co. Designer
October 24 9 Bobbi Bridgeman Snowy Days Quilting Host & Designer
November 7 10 Diane Lomax Cwilt Host & Designer
November 21 11 Kathleen McCormick Kathleen McMusing Designer
December 5 12 Laura Piland Slice of Pi Quilts Host & Designer

Also joining in hosting the quilt along only are: Abbie Danahy at Sparkle On, Becca Fenstermaker at Pretty Piney, and Karen Thurn at Tu-Na Quilts. Just visit any hosts website along the schedule and enjoy a different take on each block for inspiration and guidance!

A Facebook group has been opened to share progress, tips, tutorials, group discussions and your finished blocks for wonderful giveaways along the way. Or post on Instagram using #iwishyouamerryqal to join in the fun!

Techniques used for the blocks are, foundation piecing, paper piecing, applique and embroidery. Please don't be discouraged if you feel you might struggle with any of these, we are all in this together and will walk you through it step by step!

How you finish your quilt is up to you. Just keep in mind that there are 12 x 12" blocks, a perfect opportunity to use fabric scraps. There are no hard and fast rules but if you prefer to use sashing between the blocks 1 yard has been suggested plus another yard for a border. 4 yards for the backing, a twin size batting and 1/2 yard for the binding.

I hope you will join in with us as we begin this exciting journey together. August 1st.......see you there!

Monday, 1 May 2017

New bloggers Blog Hop 2017

About me

The view from my home in South Wales

I have always sewn. Since I can remember I have had a fascination for garment construction which has spilled over into other crafts. I feel privileged to have attended school in the ‘70s where needlework was part of the curriculum for girls (would probably be frowned upon nowadays though!) It’s a great shame that this is no longer taught to either gender!

I was also fortunate to have a grandma who was an extremely talented seamstress; her skills were second to none. Her technical ability to turn a pattern cut from newspaper into a detailed and well tailored outfit was amazing. If I have inherited half her skill I will consider myself fortunate.

She didn’t quilt, I don’t know anyone who quilted. It hasn’t been as popular here as across the Atlantic. Ironic though since it was Welsh that settled in Pennsylvania and influenced the Amish.

What I'm working on

  • Dear Jane - The quilt designed by Brenda Papadakis
  • A Quilt for Remy - A gift for my new great-niece living in Canada.
  • Pinwheel Quilt - My first quilting project
  • Designing my own fabrics and having them printed with Spoonflower
  • Designing my own quilt patterns 
I realise this post is short and sweet but my quilting journey has just begun. I know that by joining in with this blog hop and meeting new friends that my confidence will grow. I enjoy reading other blogs and realise that everyone has something different to offer. I hope I will soon find my place and contribute more.

Other bloggers in this hive also posting today:
Sandra from Sandra Healy Designs (@sandrahealydesigns)
Sherry from Powered By Quilting (@poweredbyquilting)
Liz from Savor Every Stitch (@celesta)

None of this would have been possible of course if it wasn't for the dedication of our lovely hosts:
Beth from Cooking up Quilts (@cookingupquilts)
Leanne from She Can Quilt (@shecanquilt)
Yvonne from Quilting Jet Girl (@quiltingjetgirl)

Be sure to pay a visit for some inspiration and sponsored give-aways.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

A Quilt for Remy

We have a new addition to our family. My nephew in Canada and his wife have a new daughter, Remy. What a perfect opportunity to design a unique gift! After some time playing around with ideas I thought I'd combine the Welsh and Canadian flags.
At least I know what all of this means...

My saving grace was that I didn't have to draw the dragon. My son, Michael, very kindly allowed me to use his drawing that he gifted as a papercut to his friend's son.
I love the expression on his face
I am slightly disappointed that the finished quilt will be square but any other layout looked odd; maybe it's to do with the mathematics, who knows? But hopefully it will look like this :)

I have been practising with techniques, needle turn appliqué is a favourite of mine but difficult to perfect.

This is going to take some time but the end result will be worth it I think.
Practice maple leaf #1

Practice maple leaf #2

Practice maple leaf #3

Practice maple leaf #4

However... being the indecisive person that I am maybe I should try a different technique - just to be sure.
Fusible appliqué
Using fusible web and machine blanket stitch made the whole process quicker, but the results are disappointing. If you look closely at the stem, there are escaped threads! How will this withstand multiple washes?

I have decided to go with the needle turn appliqué. It will take longer, but I'll be happier with the result. Hopefully.

Friday, 14 April 2017

Dear Jane oops.....

I think its important that we sometimes show the out takes, the add ons at the end of television shows that makes the characters human. The 'oops' moments!

I wonder how many 'oops' moments Jane Stickle had during the making of her quilt. Did she cover them up? Are there any secret blocks that started life in another form? Its that moment when you take your eye off the ball or let your mind wander and not be present that such incidents occur! I was only two blocks in to my quilt challenge and had two back to back unfortunate circumstances.

 Incident #1:

How could this have happened? I was so careful. I might just get away with it. Although the seam allowances are so tight.....I might not.

Incident #2:

Spot the difference?

I was never going to get away with this one! I chopped the seam allowance off all the way round! Why for goodness sake?? It's a rookie error and sparked an eye rolling reaction when I realised what I'd done.

But like everything else in life that doesn't quite go to plan, its about getting back on the horse. So I did. The moral of the tale is simple.....concentrate!

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Dear Jane.......

It's quite humbling don't you think when a quilt such as Jane Stickle's comes to light? A labour of love sewn with only basic tools unlike the ones we have at our disposal today.

Thanks to Brenda Papadakis and her reproduction of the quilt we can appreciate Jane's time, effort and expertise and how these are embedded in each of the two hundred and twenty five patterns that make up the quilt.

I want to join in with quilters around the world as they also emulate this wonderful quilt, putting their own spin on it and experience first hand how satisfying it will be to complete something so labour intensive and mathematically challenging so, here goes......wish me luck!

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Pinwheel continued

This is the fun part, making decisions about which blocks look best alongside each other. It can also however drive you mad! There are no rules here just whatever is easy on the eye.

Decision made.....
Join the blocks

I love the way the red stands out so I have decided to put on a pale cream border

Top completed.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Valentine Banner

I've been making a Valentine's Day Banner, just for fun!

Love these pretty reds in different prints. I think this project will be quite theraputic.

Very basic sewing, trimming, cutting notches.......

Stuffing and trimming.....

Button and bow.....

Sewn together....

And on display!!


Friday, 27 January 2017

Making a pinwheel

I had in my stash, a jelly roll of Mid-Winter Reds by Minick & Simpson. I love the colours in this collection and decided to scour the internet for inspiration. I happened upon A Quilting Life. Now I can combine two of my favourites, Mid-Winter Reds and pinwheels, it wont get any better than this.

Unlike Sherri however, I decided to use the darker beige colours too, I felt it added more depth to the quilt.

One down 35 to go!

All done!

Monday, 2 January 2017

The first post!


This first post is a dedication to my ‘team’, My oldest son Michael the Graphic Designer who created my shop and Craig the Computer Science graduate who made it happen!! A great big thanks to you both for your patience, knowledge, silent tutting, and eye rolling while I got to grips with the 21st century.

This is all still very new to me but part of the excitement is learning along the way, making mistakes, and learning some more.