Tuesday, 23 August 2016

7th quilt finished!

Yesterday I finished my 7th quilt of 2016.  It's a Baby Quilt which I have called Strawberry Patch.

In the next three months I know of three babies on the way - one is due any day now.
So, I have been busy making baby quilts - four in the pipeline, one of which is Strawberry Patch.

Here it is:

 
The finished quilt measures 42" square and consists of alternate 4" Crumb blocks and 4" fabric squares.
I hand quilted in the ditch.
I love striped bindings and just had enough of this bright pink and white fabric to bind my quilt.  I literally had a 3" piece of binding left!
 
The backing fabric was a piece I bought at last year's Festival of Quilts. I love owls and couldn't resist this one. However, when I came to use it for the backing I discovered it was unusually narrow, nowhere near the normal WOF and once the selvedges were cut off  it was not wide enough to back my quilt.  So, I decided to put a pieced strip off centre down the length of the quilt.
I used some 10" squares of vintage sheet fabric I had bought many years ago at a Table Top sale at my NZ Group.  I have been steadily using these squares in my projects this year but still haven't finished them all.
 
 
 
And a couple of Close-ups to show some of the variety of fabrics I used up in this quilt.
 




I am pleased with it, it's really bright and cheerful. Stimulating for a baby I think and lots of opportunities to play "I Spy". 

So, if Fiona's baby is a girl, this is for her.
 

Monday, 15 August 2016

Kaffe Fassett excitement

I love Kaffe Fassett!  I have been a follower for many years: having been lucky enough to hear him speak,attend a couple of 'Show and Tell' type of evenings when he discussed various pieces of his work, visited two of his exhibitions (in London & York), and bumped into him on several occasions over the years.

As Kaffe is originally a trained artist he views colours and patterns with an artist's eye, so different from my view of the world as I am definitely NOT an artist. I love art and can appreciate it but I cannot draw or paint.  My cousin Paul is an artist - as was his father, my uncle - and years ago I marvelled at how he remembered our living room, how it had been many years ago, now altered and looking quite different.  Paul reminded me that he looks at everything very carefully - he "observes" and those ideas are locked into his head.

So, I was very excited to catch Kaffe's tour of his Gallery at last week's Festival of Quilts.
The collection of quilts comprised quilts and quilt tops that Kaffe has purchased over the years.
He picked out some which had been the inspiration for new quilts which are in his new book
Bold Blooms.
Kaffe walked us around the Gallery, pointing out the things in each quilt which fascinate and excite him and lead him to create a new quilt design.

For instance: Handkerchief Corners Quilt

 

 
 
The aspect of this quilt which jumped out at Kaffe - and his audience once it had been pointed out to us - was the high contrast between the rounds of the log cabin blocks.  The blocks have been assembled in rows to emphasise that: light, then dark as the outer row as you look along the row of blocks.
So, he ran with that idea to create High Contrast Squares:
 
 
 

Floral Octagons was inspired by a French quilt:
 
 
Lattice with Vases is another new quilt from his book "Bold Blooms":
 


Now a few of his collected quilts which particularly appealed to me:

Pastel trip Around the World
 
Pink Spider Web:
 
Satin Hexagon Quilt:
 
and a Close up
 
Pastel Lozenge:
 
 

 
Kaffe drew our attention to this quilt which he essentially sees as "grey" with the amazing small pops
of colour which bring the quilt to life.  He particularly loved the use of small scraps of striped fabrics.
 
And lastly the most amazingly coloured and busy quilt I have ever seen. 
 Kaffe says although he has studied this quilt endless times he still hasn't figured out how the blocks were constructed, what the pattern actually was. And I'm sure I couldn't. He described the quilt as "madness" but so appealing.  I agree, you could look at it for ages and still see new things which you hadn't noticed before.
 
Kaleidoscope: Wacky & obsessive with a swirling palette of colours:

And a Close up. Kaffe pointed out the symmetry of the flowered fabrics, the flowers cut in half and positioned either side of the torpedo-shaped detail:
 
 
Thank you for "Making my Day". Kaffe. I learned a lot.  Check out Kaffe's new book Bold Blooms
which features his glorious flowers so bright and cheerful.
 

 
 

 
 
 
 

 

Friday, 12 August 2016

Festival of Quilts 2016

I am very lucky to live near the NEC, the home of the Festival of Quilts. For the first 9 years of its existence I was a Quilt Angel, for some of those years a Team Leader. I enjoyed opening the packages, logging the Competition quilts, being part of hanging the quilts and getting the show ready for the judges and then the visitors. Now I enjoy being a visitor and seeing all the lovely quilts, galleries, personalities and looking round all the stalls. A little bit of Retail Therapy too!

Thursday was First Day of the Show and I took my sister. We always enjoy our day out together, marvelling at the quilts and marking our favourites in the catalogue.

Today, Friday, I went with my neighbour who is just beginning her quilting journey.  We bought basic equipment and looked at quilts as I pointed out some of the standard blocks. I enjoyed this as she was a great pupil, lots of questions and interest.

I also took lots of photos.

I was very excited to see 2 quilts made by my New Zealand quilter friend Jennie.
Firstly, "Labour of Love".  Well named as it took Jennie 4 years to hand sew this quilt.

 
 
 
She also showed her quilt called "Melinda", a quilt for her Grandma, Melinda, who had breast cancer. Jennie said" Despite surgery and being "patched up" she was still beautiful in body and spirit. The background is pieced in blues and greens to represent water as at times a cancer diagnosis can feel like drowning.
 


I had seen this quilt in NZ, didn't know it was being entered in the Show, so it gave me a lovely feeling to see it and know who made it!

Another NZ Quilter is Juliet who blogs as 'The Tartankiwi'.  She gave the heads up about the quilt she had entered in the FOQ this year, called "Hunted".  Lovely to see the actual quilt, Juliet!

 
 
 
So many other quilts I loved, so here are a few of the ones which caught my eye:
"Bullrushes" by Hilary Beattie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
"Walled Garden, Broughton Castle" by Australian quilter Dorothy Clee:

 
 
"Never Again" by Anne Hill:  This was a wool applique quilt.
 
 
"I want to live here" by Laura Armiraglio:
 
 


"Rainbow Lorikeet" by Helen Godden:
 


Lots more, but I need to finish here and get to bed, ready for tomorrow, my last day at the Show, looking at everything I haven't yet seen.
 
 

 
 

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Strawberry Patch

I have made another baby girl quilt using 4" Crumb blocks interspersed with a variety of pink fabrics.
I made a similar quilt earlier this year and I have used the same design again, this time featuring a lovely strawberry fabric I bought in Spotlight. Originally I used the fabric as the backing for another baby quilt but as I had a sizeable chunk left I decided to showcase it in this new quilt project.
A few 4" patches of Strawberry Fabric and used to make the outer border too.  Still got some left which should be enough for another border in a similar quilt which I am sure to make sometime soon!



Some of my favourite Owls fabric in this photo - only scraps of this fabric left now!

 
Another of my favourite fabric in several blocks in this picture.  Can you see the pink fabric with little French buildings on? I bought this for a quilt I was commissioned to make a couple of years ago.  Again, only scraps left now!
 
 
 
I was awake early this morning so I was able to assemble the quilt and it is now ready to quilt. 
The owls fabric I had in my stash (not the Riley Blake owls in the 4" squares) was bought at last year's Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.  It wasn't very wide, nearer 40" so I had to add a pieced strip vertically. I think I will hand quilt this as I did the last one.
 
 
This was a fairly quick project as the Crumb blocks were all in my tin and it was just a matter of choosing the ones I thought were most suitable. My pink scraps were all stashed in the same drawer, so it was quick to cut the required 4" patches from them.
 
 
Here's the whole quilt.  I love it!
As The Beatles said: "Strawberry Fields for ever!"
 

Saturday, 23 July 2016

Seeing stars

I have been making some more Wonky Wishes Star blocks (Bonnie Hunter style) and today I sorted them into piles according to the neutral fabric I used for the centre of the star.

I now know how many more blocks I need to make in order to have enough for another Girl's baby quilt.

Here are the piles of blocks:

 
Some piles have 3 blocks, some 2 and there is the occasional single star block.
 
Here are two lots of 3, showing the different arrangements of colours using the same centre star fabric:
 

 
 10 more blocks needed.  I love making these blocks - very satisfying use of scraps.
 

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Linking to #scraptastictuesday

I ran out of time yesterday when I was writing my blog post about one of the baby quilts I am working on.

I have also taken a new photo of the quilt showing a little of the pretty backing fabric.


 
I have probably had the backing fabric in my stash for a couple of years.  I am using it for this quilt as it is a very pretty white and pink fabric with cute little cat faces in red, just dotted here and there. It is a good quality cotton, very smooth and silky so I think it's perfect for a baby quilt.
 
Fabric details: lizzie house for Andover Fabrics 2013.The fabric was a perfect size for the backing (no piecing required!) and I even have a sizable chunk leftover for future baby quilt projects.
 
I am linking this "quilt in progress" to #scraptastictuesday on mrssewandsow.blogspot.co.uk

Saturday, 16 July 2016

In the pipeline

I have had a busy week sewing - really enjoyable and productive.

I know of three babies due: one in August, one in September and one in October. None of the mums-to-be want to find out whether the baby will be a boy or girl so I am hedging my bets by building up a stash of baby quilts!  I have two "Boy" quilts already stashed away so I am in the process of making three "Girl" quilts and another "Boy" one if I have time.

I was recently given a copy of the Lynne Edward's Book "Scrap quilts to use it up" and a pattern in there prompted me to make this baby girl quilt.


I have given the top a deep top border as I will applique the name of the baby on there, like I did with my last finished quilt for Harry.

I also have two more quilts in the process of being made. One is ready to sandwich and the other has 34 out of 48 Wonky Wishes stars made.

On Thursday a few of my Patchwork Group delivered the 2 Group quilts to our friend Win who is now in a nursing home.  She was so delighted, she was absolutely speechless and almost in tears! 

Here's a close up of part of the appliqued quilt we made for Win's daughter who is also in an nursing home.

 
Everyone in the group made at least two of the blocks, each one is different. It is such a colourful quilt and we know it will brighten up Eileen's room.  Both quilts were hand quilted, each of us doing some of the quilting.
 
So lovely to know quilts you have made are appreciated. This morning I had a free pedicure from Jo (I made Harry's quilt for her to gift to her friend's baby) as an extra Thank you.  Jo really was delighted with the quilt so it was smiles all round.