Zooming around

Zooming around

I’ve been rather slow to try online workshops. Going to workshops in real life has always been one of my favourite things to do, and I wasn’t sure meeting up virtually would come close to that experience.

But when I saw that Kerry Green was teaching applique at Crafty Monkies, I had to sign up. Kerry’s applique skills are wonderful, and applique is something I’ve wanted to get better at for a while.

I’m really glad to say that I loved it! The demonstrations are very clear and easy to see, and we had plenty of time to ask questions. I enjoyed being part of the group too, and it was so interesting to hear how people were getting on around the country – and abroad. One lady had got up at 4am to join us from the USA.

More on my Moon Phase applique next time. It’s almost finished, and I’m making it into a quilt block holder.

This week I ‘went’ to Brazil, to learn transparency techniques with Carolina Oneto. We learned about how to achieve a transparent, overlapping effect with colour theory, using English Paper Piecing to join the pieces. It was so much fun, and has completely converted me to learning online.

I’ve just signed up for some lectures and a class at QuiltCon (which is being run virtually next year) – only 98 days to go!

Asagao & Couching – Alison Glass Stitch Club

Asagao & Couching – Alison Glass Stitch Club

The focus this month in the Alison Glass Stitch Club was couching, which is all about laying thread on top of the fabric. Originally developed so all of a precious thread would be seen, rather than stitched partly under the fabric, couching is now used for all sorts of thread and yarn.

I have to say, I am not a fan! It just doesn’t appeal, but the beauty of this Club is that Alison finds so many different versions of a stitch, there is bound to be one for everyone. And I found two – Asagao, which is a Japanese weaving stitch, and embroidered daisies.

Asagao is made by first stitching a grid of cross stitches. I used the plastic templates from The Geometry of Hand Sewing by Natalie Chanin to mark out the grid. Then thread is woven between these stitches. I used a varigated Aurifil 12 weight and think the finished result is so pretty.

I sewed the embroidered panel into a pouch, as a gift for my eldest nephew’s fiance.

For the daisies, I had a pack of Paint Box Threads in Vintage, from Beyond Measure. It’s a gorgeous mix, with my favourite chartreuse giving a pop of colour. I’m not sure what the plan is for this one – I’ll just keep stitching it!

Kantha – Alison Glass Stitch Club

Kantha – Alison Glass Stitch Club

I was looking for some slow stitching inspiration earlier in the year, and heard about the Alison Glass Stitch Club on Instagram.

For 6 months, members are sent a pdf magazine. A different stitch style is featured each month, with articles, beautiful photography, project tutorials and plenty of links for further reading.

We looked at Kantha first. I’ve enjoyed hand quilting in this style before, but never made it the main feature of a project, and I absolutely loved stitching this.

Alison’s project suggestion involved stitching different coloured strips together, so it was great for using up some scraps. Some of the strips are pieced from several fabrics. Then the stitching is done in complementary colours over each strip.

My first project was to make a bed cover for Hetty – which she seems very happy with!

I didn’t want to stop there, so I made a cushion for my Mum in her favourite colours. It was a very enjoyable month, and exactly the inspiration I was looking for.

Footloose in the garden

Footloose in the garden

I enjoyed stitching the mini Footloose cushion so much, I decided to make the full size version as a birthday gift for one of my nieces. The colour palette is based on her sitting room – I think she has sophisticated taste!

The Papper Sax Sten Drunkard’s Path templates always make such neat curves, and the top came together very quickly.

The quilting is based on one of the designs in Jacquie Gering’s new book Walk 2.0. It’s a series of interlocking circles which make a flower blossom.

I wanted to make one large flower to cover the whole quilt, so used the lid of our laundry basket as a template. The quilt needed a bit more quilting, so I echo quilted each circle in a teardrop shape.

This was a lovely quilt to make, and my niece was delighted with it!

Mini Footloose cushion

Mini Footloose cushion

One of my friends made me a beautiful bunch of paper anemones earlier in the year. When I found out she was having an extra special birthday this year, I knew I wanted to make her something too.

I decided to make a cushion, and remembered I hadn’t yet made the Footloose quilt by Jenny Haynes (Papper, Sax, Sten). Sized down with Jenny’s mini drunken path templates, it is a perfect fit for a 14.5″ square cushion pad.

The fabrics are Alison Glass, with some Moda Confetti (Enid likes a bit of bling!), some gorgeous burgundy shot cotton, and a Cotton & Steel background.

I machine and hand quilted it through the centre.

The finished cushion. I’m delighted to say that she loved it – especially the gold dots!

Something fishy

Something fishy

At the end of last year South West Modern Quilt Guild had an improv workshop with Nicholas Ball. It was a great day – he is a fantastic teacher – and I decided to have a go at his fish design.

The fish are made up of two intersecting curves, with a triangle tail. They are great fun to make, I enjoyed experimenting with making skinny fish and rounder fish. The background fabric is a mix of hoarded vintage kimono pieces, with some scraps, and the fish are metallic gold prints.

Putting the fish together was like doing a jigsaw, adding pieces of background to make them fit together. I quilted with curved lines, like waves, by drawing a chalk line first. The quilting thread is metallic navy (Aurifil Brillo) which is hard to photograph, but looks very pretty in real life.

Nick brought lots of his quilts from his book along to show us. It was great to see them close up, hear about his inspiration and how they were made.

Pollinate!

Pollinate!

My Pollinate quilt is finished! It’s taken about eighteen months to make, and I have loved every minute of it.

I was attracted to the pattern because of all the different shapes, which meant I didn’t get bored. In fact, I extended this quilt beyond the pattern, because I wanted to make more of the blossoms.

I did this by photocopying the plan and cutting and sticking it back together – not pretty, but it worked. This quilt is 73″ (approx 6ft) square, the pattern is for a 47″ x 58″ quilt.

My colour inspiration was a layer cake of Longitude batiks by Kate Spain. The rest of the fabric is from my stash, with lots of my favourites, Alison Glass, Moda Confetti and Grunge.

This is the first time I’ve used low volume fabrics in large areas of a quilt, and there are all sorts of prints in there! I went through my scraps and stash and used anything with a cream or grey base. Karen Lewis’ Wayside was released towards the end of making this quilt, so I added some pieces of that collection to the edges. Sarah Ashford very kindly gave me some pre-release pieces of the lovely text prints in her Back to Basics collection, so they are in there too.

The back is a mixture of golden yellow and chartreuse print squares, with cream bands to tone down the yellow! I quilted it with radiating lines from the centre of each of the six blossoms, with some additional lines where needed.

This lovely epp pattern is by Kitty Wilkin (Nightquilter), and I bought the pattern, templates and papers from Karen Tripp (DIY addict)

The 100 day project – update

The 100 day project – update

It’s day 89 of my project, 100 days of stash busting. It’s been going well – the finished projects are piling up, and the stash is decreasing. There’s certainly plenty of fabric left, but it does now all fit in the chest of drawers I bought to keep everything in!

I haven’t got anything completed to show you this week, so I thought I’d post a quick round up of all the unfinished projects I’m hoping to have done in eleven days time.

First is a Warm Hearted dog bed cover I started about a year ago. Every heart is a different print, so it’s a very scrappy quilt! I’ve got one more row to add, then pieces to the edges to straighten them. The pattern is by Tales of Cloth.

This is the top of my Up and Away Baby quilt. The pattern is by my lovely friend and fellow Guild member Sarah Ashford, and I’ve been taking part in the sewalong she is running on Instagram (#upandawaysal).

Next is the result of another sewalong, run by Karen Lewis for her Wire Flower pattern. Each group of nine people made nine flowers, then swapped them. I’m making a laundry bag with mine, and the reverse will be this gorgeous Liesl Gibson fabric which I’m quilting today.

Finally, I’m quilting my Oodalolly quilt – in stages because it’s quite big and I get bored! I’m quilting in between the lines you can see, and then across them to make a curved crosshatch.

I wonder if I could restrict myself to just a couple of works in progress in future!

Quilting suitcases

Quilting suitcases

Two South West Modern Quilt Guild workshops came together on this project. I made the suitcase mini last year at a precision piecing workshop with Kerry Green. After spending all that time on the piecing, I was too scared to go ahead with the quilting in case I ‘ruined’ it!

Then last month Sarah Ashford taught us Walking Foot quilting, and that gave me the confidence to take the panel out of the drawer and make something.

I quilted the suitcases in straight and diagonal crosshatch, and the back in a curved crosshatch.

Then I made a padded drawstring bag, which I’m going to use for in my suitcase for all the bits and pieces I take on holiday.

All the fabrics are precious Liberty and vintage Laura Ashley, so I kept with that theme and lined it with a piece of a vintage curtain which I’ve been hoarding.

I’m so happy with the bag, and it’s always good to take something out of a drawer and use it!

You can read more about the workshops on the South West Modern Quilt Guild blog.

Starry night

Starry night

After two years, I’ve finished my Ice Cream Soda quilt! It was a deliberately slow project, and I’ve enjoyed having some portable stitching to take out with me. I just had to pack supplies for a blossom or two in a bag.

The colours were inspired by a Kaffe Fassett fabric – you can see more about the fabric pull here. The background has tiny, uneven dots, which made me think of the night sky.

This is the most quilting I’ve ever done on a quilt, and I’m so pleased with the effect. I stitched through each of the points of the centre stars, in straight lines across the quilt.

The background is an interesting fabric which I bought in a destash and dyed pewter – it was white. It’s cotton with metallic threads running through it, which give a lovely crumpled texture – and a bit of sparkle too.