Category Archives: Quilting

2017 100 day project – completed!

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I was determined to get to the end of my #100daysofslowstitches project, and here I am.  It wasn’t the project I thought it was going to be, and I was pleased I had made the definition of what I could do broad, so I could change it as I went along.

My two main projects were completing 25 blocks of The Splendid Sampler, for my niece – quilt top above.  And I kept up with the Ice Cream Soda blocks (see the end of this post).

I started with embroidery and English Paper Piecing, and as the days went on I included machine patchwork and applique.  My thinking was, it might be done by machine, but takes ages, so it still qualifies as slow stitching!

The 100 day project I completed a couple of years ago was #100daysofnewrecipies, and that one really affected me.  I saw a huge difference in my cooking ability and confidence by the end.

This time, I think I’ve learned what I do and don’t enjoy stitching.

I wanted to make a sampler of embroidery stitches, but hated counting threads to get straight and even rows of stitching.

I enjoyed making a Sashiko sampler, because the lines were printed on the fabric, and the embroidery transfer from the Aimee Ray book worked well too (see my previous post for more).  I’d like to use more transfer embroidery on garments, as I prefer to make something that can be used, rather than purely decorative.

The project encouraged me to persist with techniques I was finding difficult – like teeny, tiny patchwork pieces – gah!  And push myself to improve my quilting skills (points, people, points).

It might sound obvious, but making the time to do something towards a goal, however small, is a really good habit to get into.  I hope it’s something I will continue.

So, I’m glad I did it, I’m thrilled I completed 100 days – and I will probably join in again next year!

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Dx

PS I loved this podcast from Elise on Starting The 100 Day Project

 

2017 Finish A Long

I’m joining Charm About You’s Finish-A-Long this quarter, and here is my list of projects I’m planning to complete –

Splendid Sampler lap quilt

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A Christmas present for my little niece.  I’ve made 20 blocks, so another five to go, plus sashing, a patchwork backing, and quilting.

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This one is done apart from the applique circles.  I finished the rest of the quilt a while ago, but it got too hot to have a quilt draped over my lap.

Lone star epp

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I have some beautiful vintage kimono and batik fabric which I want to do something special with, so I’m planning a lone star mini to frame.

Holiday bag

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Anna Graham’s bucket bag from Handmade Style, which I need to finish in time to go on holiday!

Charm About You

If you’d like to keep up with my progress, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.

5 favourite paper piecing tips

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Four months into the Ice Cream Soda quilt along (progress pictured above) and I’ve picked up quite a few English Paper Piecing tips.  Here are five of my favourites –
1. Clover Black Gold Needles
Until a few months ago, I thought hand sewing needles were much the same.  Oh no!  These needles glide through the fabric.  But they do have a tiny eye, so my next tip is …
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2. Clover needle threader
I’ve been using this one for months and it is so fine and the design helps to keep it in one piece.
3. Aurifil thread
Beautiful colours, fine and strong.  I use 40 or 50 weight for piecing, and the heavier weights are wonderful for applique and embroidery.  The higher the number, the finer the thread.  I got a little bit obsessed with the Aurifil and bought rather a lot.  Have stopped now!
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4. Templates
My dear friend Kathryn gave me a set of perspex templates for the Ice Cream Soda quilt and I am a complete convert.  They make it easy to cut several pieces at once, and fussy cutting is much easier.
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5. Sewline glue
Some quilters baste, some prefer to glue their fabric to the paper pieces.  I’m a huge fan of glue – it means I can get to the fun bit (sewing the pieces together) more quickly. Refills can be expensive and the cost of postage means the price varies widely on the interwebs.  If I can’t buy them locally, I check the price when I’m buying fabric online, and include them in my order if it’s a good deal.
If you’d like to keep up with my quilty progress, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.
Dx

Finished! Simple Sampler Corfu Quilt

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I started this quilt at the beginning of October last year, as part of The Sewing Directory Simple Sampler Quilt Along.

I hadn’t made this type of quilt before, and most of the patchwork techniques were new to me.  Kerry explains them so clearly, I really enjoyed the process.

The fabric I chose was inspired by a Corfu holiday,  and I’m so pleased with the way the blues, greens, pinks and neutrals have come together.  I’ve included some subtle metallics to represent the light on the sea and stone.

I planned to make a lap quilt and used the bonus partial seam sashing tutorial to join the blocks together.  When I realised how much bigger this made the quilt I decided to go further and add 6 extra blocks to make it into a small double bed size.

I wrote about some of these blocks in a January post, and the others are –2017-03-09

  1. Folk Flower by Anna Maria Horner.  Creativebug
  2. Butterfly – Sew Magazine, October 2016 (You can get back issues of Sew Magazine on Readly, with a free months subscription using this link)
  3. Whippersnapper by Anna Maria Horner. Creativebug.  I’m very pleased with the placement of the little house on this one.

The back is a cream and black floral, with a stripe of cream Moda Zen Chic scraps.

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And I mustn’t forget the support of my little fluffy helper.  Hetty thinks anything on the floor belongs to her!

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Thank you very much Fiona and Kerry for organising the QAL.  I learned so much, and it’s inspired me to carry on quilting!

 

Ice Cream Soda BOM – fabric pull

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I love English Paper Piecing, but I’ve only used hexagon templates.  So when I heard about Tales of Cloth’s Ice Cream Soda block of the month club I thought this was a chance to try putting some more shapes together.

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Ice Cream Soda photo from talesofcloth.com

Kerry of Very Kerry Berry spoke at the South West Modern Quilt Guild last week about choosing fabrics for a quilt, so I’m using her excellent advice to help with my fabric selection.

I started with my ‘hero’ fabric, which is Kaffe Fasset’s Millefiore in orange (top photo).  It has lots of colours in it which can inspire other fabrics choices.  The next step could be to buy other fabrics in the same collection, but I like my quilts to have a scrappy look.  So I went to my stash of scraps and smaller pieces.

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These are the golds and oranges, with some mustards coming in too.

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Kerry suggested using some of these added fabrics as inspiration to lead to other colours. The flower print (bottom left) has the gold, but also grey and black, so I added some of those.

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Then I put a black and white filter on this photo of my whole selection to check the contrast.

I’d like some more dark fabric.  There is a burgundy in the Kaffe Fasset that I don’t have.    Also some more pale blue and paler neutrals.

One of the things I really like about the Ice Cream Soda quilt is that you can make a few flowers and see how they work together.  I plan to use the fabrics I already have for the first couple of months.  Although I do have a shopping trip planned with my very talented friend Nicola, and it would be rude not to buy any fabric then, wouldn’t it?!

More quilt blocks – and an app recommendation

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After deciding last week to make my sampler quilt bigger, I’ve been searching out some new block designs and making a few.

First is the Polk Block by Carolyn Friedlander (you can find it on CreativeBug).  It took me several hours to make with all those little pieces, but I love the result and I’ve used up some teeny scraps.  Always enjoy being thrifty!

Next I used Red Pepper Quilts tutorial for the Economy Block

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A Double Pinwheel

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Finally, this stripey one from Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine (issue 42)

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And that brings me to the Readly app, which I discovered this week and is my new favourite thing.  The app gives you access to lots of different magazines (back issues too).

I stopped buying magazines a few months ago because I found I only enjoyed one or two articles in an issue.  Then they just sat on the coffee table like a reproach, taking up room.  I have been happily whizzing through these electronic versions, bookmarking knitting patterns, quilting blocks and sewing ideas, and reading the articles that interest me.

You can get a free months subscription by clicking this link.

Thanks for reading – I’m planning some garment sewing for next week.  If you would like to keep in touch, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.

Simple Sampler qal – my quilt is getting bigger!

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My original plan for this quilt was a lap quilt to keep me cozy when I’m hand sewing.  Then Kerry published an extra tutorial for partial seam sashing, which I love and it fits in with the scrappy look of my quilt very well.

Partial seam sashing increases the size of the quilt though, and as you can see above, it’s getting close to double bed size.

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I noticed when I laid all the blocks out that I’ve used far more neutral colours than I originally thought I would.  It’s funny how the look of the quilt has evolved naturally as I’ve gone along.  And this means it looks good in the guest bedroom.  It brightens the cream, green, gold and grey colour scheme without overpowering it.  I like the quirky edge it gives – we were getting a little bit too tasteful in there!

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My plan now is to make another eight blocks.  I don’t want to repeat any blocks, so I’m on the look out for ideas.

So far I’ve made Anna Maria Horner’s Folk Flower and Whippersnapper blocks, both from CreativeBug.

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If you’ve got any ideas of blocks I could make, do let me know in the comments!

Links:

My blog post talking about the Corfu inspiration for my quilt

Simple Sampler quilt along