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.

Quilt-As-You-Go

Quilt-As-You-Go

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.

Hetty being supportive, as always
The 100 Day Project

The 100 Day Project

I’m taking part in The 100 Day Project for the fourth time this year. The Project is

“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. “

I first took part in 2015 with 100 days of new recipes and loved it! In 2016 I tried a drawing project but gave up pretty quickly, then in 2017 I completed 100 days of slow stitches.

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.

If you like to follow along, I’m dottie_doodle on Instagram.

Vintage Home Quilt progress

Vintage Home Quilt progress

My Vintage Home quilt is starting to look like a quilt! It was lovely to reach the stage where I could sew most of the blocks together – this is about two thirds of the quilt.

I swapped a puppy block for the cat, to reflect our home. This sweetie is from Lori Holt’s Vintage Christmas book.

I’ve also added the giant suitcases block, the candle holder and table light.

I love the way the lampshade is constructed.

So I just have the sewing machine and Home Sweet Home blocks to do, and the centre of the quilt top will be done!

Jo Avery’s Vintage Home BOM, published in Today’s Quilter
Pollinate quilt

Pollinate quilt

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!