One of the first projects I decided on for my 100 days of stashbusting was a quilt for the garden bench. Looking through my patterns and quilting books was frustrating. I have a lot of fabric, but it’s mainly in fat quarters so not enough of anything to make most patterns.
Jera Brandvig‘s Quilt As You Go Made Modern provided a solution, as her Red Square quilt uses 14 fat quarters. I certainly had those! I chose blue prints, with a single golden yellow piece in each square.
I went a bit more scrappy as I went along.
I enjoyed making this quilt. It comes together quickly, and of course you don’t have to quilt it when the top is finished. I did take a break part way through, when I realised I had to make an extra 5 blocks to make the quilt big enough to stay on the bench. It’s a lot of stitching, and I had had enough at that point. A week or so off with some slower projects, and I finished the quilt in a couple of days.
“a free art project that takes place online. Every spring, thousands of people all around the world commit to 100 days of exploring their creativity. The idea is simple: choose a project, do it every day for 100 days, and share your process on Instagram with the hashtag #The100DayProject. “
100 days is a long time and I was in two minds about taking part again. It certainly is a rollercoaster ride of “love/ hate/ please don’t make me do this anymore/ maybe this is good/ I did it!”
The thing I love about the project, and what keeps me coming back to it, is that if you do something for 100 days, something will happen. I’ve always learned a lot, even if it’s what I don’t like doing.
I thought about trying free motion quilting, but decided that might be too difficult – as I can’t free motion quilt at all! Maybe next year.
The day before the project began, I thought ‘I’m always complaining I’ve got too much fabric, why don’t I do 100 days of stash busting’. It will be interesting to see how much of my stash I can use, if I do something with it every day.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Today is day 31 and so far I’ve completed a quilt top, almost finished a quilt, made some gifts, worked on an epp cushion cover, sewn some really tiny quilt blocks, knitted most of a cardigan for my niece, and made her a sweatshirt. I’m delighted to say there is a considerable dent in my stash already!
I’m also not buying any fabric or yarn during the Project and I haven’t wanted to. Which if you know me, is quite something! I think I’m finding it so satisfying to see the fabric drawers emptying, I don’t want to add to it.
My Christmas present to myself this year was Kitty Wilkin’s Pollinate English paper piecing pattern. I’d been tempted by the gorgeous images on Instagram and when I saw the kit was selling out fast in the UK I jumped on board.
I’m enjoying the process very much. There are plenty of opportunities for fussy cutting and experimenting with colour, but once I’ve done some cutting I can sit and stitch without too much thought. Ideal over the Christmas holidays!
I haven’t decided on a final layout yet, and the beauty of the pattern is you don’t have to. I’m making a large colourful rosette – as in the pattern illustration. And I will have low volume piecing around that, but I’m experimenting with some smaller colourful flowers too.
I’m using Longitude batiks by Kate Spain, Moda Confetti, Alison Glass, and anything else in my scrap bag that looks good! I have one more ring of the large rosette to go, and it is already 40 inches across.
Of course, I had to invest in a couple of project pouches from my good friend Sarah Ashford to hold all the pieces!
I’m always trying to use my fabric stash, rather than buy new supplies, and one stashbusting project I’m very happy with is the Vintage Home quilt by Jo Avery.
The plan with this one was to use my Liberty scraps, and I do think they look pretty. I haven’t managed to keep up with the block of the month aspect of this one, but I’m probably two thirds of the way through the piecing, so not bad at all.
Jo published the quilt layout a couple of months ago, and it’s good to see where everything will fit. I’ve got two big blocks to make – the suitcases and sewing machine – the lamp and candlestick. I’m not a fan of applique so I’m planning to piece the letters for Home Sweet Home, and substitute a dog (of course!) for the cat.
For the back of my quilt I’m making a patchwork of the leftover Liberty fabric. I’m looking forward to emptying that box of scraps!
I’ve admired Emily Notman’s work for ages, so when I saw she was teaching at the gorgeous Make at Monteray I booked myself a place. Emily uses mixed media and embroidery to build up her beautiful landscapes. It’s a different style to anything I’ve done before, so I was excited (and a bit nervous) to give it a go.
We spent the first part of the morning printing on white cotton fabric with ink, paint and bleach, using household and found objects. I was surprised to find I loved doing this!
Then we made mini landscapes, to practice the techniques. Which are secret – shh!
In the afternoon we assembled our main pieces using our printed fabric, combined with lace and other fabrics. And we began to embroider the landscapes – I’ve got a long way to go with this one.
Those little green chips are sequin trimmings! Joy!
It was a lovely day. Karen provides such a great experience – with delicious biscuits and cake too. I always come away feeling like I’ve had such a relaxing day, as well as learning new techniques.
Make at Monteray is near Exeter in Devon. Workshops always get booked up very quickly and a long time ahead, so if you see something you like, go for it!
This is my second quilt from Animal Quilts. I knew I wanted to make the butterfly as soon as I saw it, and thought my sister would like it for her birthday. She agreed, and chose the dark purple (Grunge Fig) as the inspiration colour.
I used scraps of Alison Glass, Grunge Spot, Moda Lustre (the cream), and Harvest Moon by Dear Stella for the black (the pattern is tiny hearts). The background is a map print which my husband found in a remnant bin when he was working away (yes, he is amazing).
Quilting was a challenge. I was so happy with the piecing and didn’t really want to quilt it at all. I stitched in the ditch around the wing patterns, and the flowers, then echo quilted around the butterfly. I would love to be able to free motion quilt this kind of background but don’t have the skills. One day!
For the flower border, I used the Flower Power cushion pattern from Love Patchwork & Quilting issue 49.
Juliet’s instructions are brilliant and it went together very well. There were a lot of pieces though and the downside for me was making one section and knowing I would have to make another the same (mirrored) for the other wing. I’m delighted with the finished quilt, and my sister loved it, so well worth all the work.
For Hetty fans, I thought you’d like to see what she was up to while I was taking the photos. Always ready to help!
I’m a member of the South West Modern Quilt Guild, and we are holding our first exhibition this month – exciting! I thought I’d share a few pictures from the hanging day on Monday.
I was very much looking forward to seeing the blocks from our Rainbow Challenge. This was Charlie’s idea, and we were all thrilled to see her idea of a ‘quilt’ made from the mini quilts come to life.
I spent most of the day climbing up and down ladders – you can see my Sunflower cushion in the centre here –
This is Mary Emmens‘ mini version of her Caernarfon quilt. It’s paper pieced, so a completely different construction to the full size version which I made at the beginning of the year.
And I had to share this corner. Kerry’s mini quilts are on the left, my Highland Cow, and Fiona’s Hare. Sarah’s Trellis Blues quilt is on the right.
So that’s a very personal view of a small part of the exhibition. Apologies to everyone I haven’t included here – all the quilts are amazing! The exhibition is taking place at CICCIC in Taunton until 27 October.
I thought I’d have a little break from blogging back in May – and here we are 4 months later. Hope you had a good summer!
We’ve had a lovely few months, and have just come back from a couple of gorgeous weeks in Corfu. As well as beautiful weather and a very relaxing time we…. saw The Durrells being filmed! Watched the Philippe Starck designed Sailing Yacht A sail by! And looked after a bellydancer’s dog for the afternoon!?! It was memorable, to say the least.
In slightly less exciting news I made a new beach bag for our trip. I fell in love with the crazy birds from Quilting Row by Row a while ago and added them as a panel onto the Market Bag by Anna Graham.
The birds are made from Moda Confett and Grunge/Grunge spot, with metallic Essex linen as the background.
I made the bag a couple of inches deeper than the pattern, and included pockets for sun cream and sunglasses. And a zip pocket for the villa key, to keep it safe! The bag is denim with a quilting cotton lining.
The bag was perfect for our beach trips. It held everything – to the point where it got a bit heavy so we rolled up our towels and carried them separately. I think it will get plenty of use when I go to quilt guild meetings too, to carry my show & tell quilts.
This month on the Vintage Home quilt along the blocks are egg cups and a commemorative mug – great timing with a royal wedding next week!
Jo included an embroidery design for the mug which is lovely, but I wanted a cross stitch design to go with the caddy’s I’ve already made. I found a Queen Bee pattern by The Prairie Schooler, Inc here.
The mug took quite a while, so it was good to contrast that with some quick and easy egg cups.
The bird fabric (far right) is a new one. I know, I wasn’t supposed to buy any fabric this year, but apparently I have no self control. None. Pretty isn’t it?!
Looking forward to next month – I wonder what it will be?!