Sunday 30 April 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.

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!