Thursday, 31 October 2013

My scrap Pinwheels are now in a quilt

For the past few weeks I have been sewing triangle scrap pairs into small HST units and then turning those into pinwheel blocks.  Sometimes I have made these units in a leader/ender scenario and other times I have sat at the sewing machine churning out the HSTs and pinwheels.  As they piled up I thought of Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran with their "Parts Department".

But a few days ago I had enough "Parts" to start constructing a quilt. In true Gwen/Freddie style I have made a Medallion Quilt, using the pinwheels to make a centre panel and also borders.  The small HST units I also pieced into narrow borders.  As the colours were predominantly Autumn shades I just used two other fabrics for alternate borders:  an apple green with a yellow spot and a bright yellow with a deeper yellow spot. I hope these have helped to give this rather "busy" quilt a sense of calmness.

Again, like the dynamic duo, Gwen and Freddie, I let the "Parts" lead the design.  The black and cream and jazzy coloured pinwheels seemed to lend themselves to a dramatic centre panel and then I chose the borders as I got to them.  Good fun.

And here it is!

It measure 41" square.
I was given the scrap triangles by Wendy, a lady who makes (and gets others to make) hundreds of Project Linus Quilts.
On Monday I will see her at a Patchwork Group meeting and will hand over the finished quilt top so Wendy can back it and quilt it on her quilting machine.  I hope I see it before it is given away to the Linus organisation.
Lots of work in this one - I can't imagine how many hours sewing - but I am pleased with the cheerful quilt I have created from scraps most people would have thrown away plus some solid scraps and polka dot yardage from my stash.
And to finish, a couple of close ups of the pinwheels and HSTs:

I have also finished hand quilting my Rainbow Quilt so I hope to showcase that one next week.

Linking up with Maybush Studio's Brit Thursday Linky.

Friday, 25 October 2013

Preemie Quilt top from Scraps

Lots of sewing this week but only one photo.  I guess you are all tired of my endless sewing of scrap triangles! 
All week I have been churning out 3" blocks from my paired triangle scraps.
When I tired of making pinwheels I arranged the HSTs differently to create a sort of  diamond effect.  I expect there is a name for this sort of block but I don't know it.
As a change from churning out little blocks I decided to use some of the diamonds to create a small 15" x 20" quilt top.  I sewed 5 diamond blocks together into each row.  What doesn't show up in the photo is that two blocks in each of these rows are the same, a red on cream patterned "neutral" with a wine coloured fabric. Pretty.  I interspersed these row with a rabbit fabric and added a narrow pink border to bring it up to the size my local hospital prefers for their baby cots.  The babies lie on the quilts and the quilts are washed in a washing machine on the ward every day so they get a hammering!
So next job is to sandwich and quilt.  a nice easy project with a quilt of this size!
Linking up with Clare's Thursday Brit Sewing Linky.

Thursday, 17 October 2013

My Quilt books

I saw a photo on another blog a few days ago which showed some of the quilt books the blog-writer owned.
It set me thinking of my own collection of Quilt books.

Over the years I have amassed quite a collection, many bought myself and a lot gifted to me.
I have loved reading through them all, lots of them many times and I like to dip into them when I am looking for a particular idea or method of sewing or piecing.

This is the corner of my sewing room where I keep my books, ring binder files of Quilt ideas cut from magazines, my sweet jar of Perle cottons and plastic tubs of cut scrap squares and strips of various sizes.  As you can see, I use a bedroom for sewing so there is a wardrobe and bed in there too.

Close ups of the book shelves:

However I realised that actually there are 5 I use all the time. And here they are:

Sorry, for some reason the photograph as turned itself sideways en route from my Flickr Photostream to my blog!

Most of these books are never back on the bookshelf, they are on the bed with half-finished projects beside them.  In fact, I had to gather them up and return them to the shelves for these photos.

I love Gwen Marston and Freddie Moran books.  Their quirky style, wonky blocks and their liberated block ideas sit very happily with me.  Also, the use of so much colour excites me.  Freddie Moran's view that the more colours in a quilt the better and her wonderful notion that RED is a neutral colour are just great! When I first started quilting back in 1997 my use of colour was very restrained: three or four colours in a handful of different fabrics, in pale or quiet ( not as interesting as the recent craze for Low Volume!) colours were used in my first quilts.

Bit by bit I became more adventurous, colour crept up on me and then I saw some American Quilt Shows on TV in New Zealand.  There I met Freddie Moran, and that led to Gwen Marston.  I was blown away!  I even did a One Day Workshop with Gwen In New Zealand when she came to the Quilt Group I belong to out there.  I have never looked back!

I probably always liked the idea of Scrap quilts and using Freddie and Gwen's ideas I was able to make one Scrap quilt after another.

Then through blogs and Flickr I met Emily Cier's Scrap Republic book.  Her use of colour and scraps excited me too so that book is also in constant use.  I am currently working on two quilts based on projects in this book.

So, if I had to limit my collection of Quilt books to just a few those five would be an absolute must.

What are your favourite Quilt books and why?  I would love to know.

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Triangle scraps being turned into Pinwheels

Linking up with Maybush Studio blog on her Brit Thursday Sewing Linky.

I have been continuing to turn my bag of gifted scrap paired triangles into HSTs and then into Pinwheels.  Quite a time consuming task but I am doing bits at a time.

I have now sewn all the paired triangles into HSTs and they are all trimmed to 1.75".  Most of those have been turned into Pinwheel blocks, with about 8 more left to sew into Pinwheels.  Some of the finished Pinwheels have also been trimmed to a scant 3" block.

This is what they are looking like:

The top row are waiting to be sewn, the middle row need trimming (not 4 Pinwheels there, but 4 PILES of Pinwheels!) and the bottom row ARE trimmed!
As I was congratulating myself on being so productive with the bag of gifted scraps I suddenly remembered a previous bag of paired triangle scraps the same lady had given me several months ago.  At the time I had lots of projects on the go and decided to put the bag away in a drawer.  And then forgot about it!
So, a couple of days ago I looked it out and was a bit non-plussed to find this bag 2 or 3 times the size of the previous one!  Oh my goodness!
Here it is!
The triangle pairs are literally stuffed into the bag! 100s of them!

For the past hour I have sewn paired triangles together and am now off to press them.  Then I will put all the piles into plastic bags until next week.  Of course I have barely put a dint into the stack of scraps in the bag.

However we have our granddaughter for the weekend, so no sewing can be done then.

I have also finished hand blanket stitching the I Spy bubbles to my Freckles Quilt.  That's now ready to be sandwiched.

And I have done a lot of hand quilting on my Rainbow Beeline Quilt.  It's looking great, the rainbow bands of colour being embellished with a row of largish Perle cotton stitches.

So a lot accomplished on the sewing front this week.  Hurrah!


Saturday, 5 October 2013

A bits and pieces sort of week

A busy week: lots of gardening, a couple of sessions with our little granddaughter, a great talk by the author of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, Rachel Joyce, a mind blowing concert in Coventry Cathedral by Harry Christophers and The Sixteen, two Patchwork group meetings and a little sewing at home. 

Oh, and I have just returned home from a first read through of Mother Goose, the radio pantomime we are recording this year for Radio Warneford, hospital radio station for Warwick Hospital.  I have been a member for over 16 years and a Duty Producer for many of those years!  Now I'm also the Fairy Queen! Until Christmas, anyway.

Phew!  So, a few moments to catch up on what I have been sewing this week.

I have been continuing to hand blanket stitch the I Spy freckles on my latest version of Emily Ciers' Freckles Quilt.  There are 25 circles to stitch around and I am working on number 20.  I love blanket stitching, very restful and soothing and good to do whilst watching TV.  Tonight I shall be glued to the TV watching Strictly Come Dancing, quite a long programme so I should be able to complete a few more circles this evening.

This is how it looks at the moment:

I have also continued to work with the HSTs I made from the paired triangle scraps I was given.  All sewn together, mainly sewn as I used them as leaders/enders as I pieced my latest Beeline Quilt.  I am now slowly working my way through the pile, trimming them to 1.75".  Hope to finish this task this afternoon whilst I listen to some lovely Classical music on Classic FM.
Here's my cutting board, all ready and waiting!

And I managed to sandwich together my Rainbow Beeline Quilt at the Patchwork group I went to on Monday afternoon and started the hand quilting with Perle Cotton at the Patchwork group I attend every Thursday morning.  I have decided to match the Perle Cotton to the particular Rainbow band. On Thursday I managed to complete all the red section.  Using a larger stitch than I do with normal quilting thread so it sews up quite quickly.

During the past few weeks I have been trying to link up with Clare's blog Maybush Studio, but I am probably a bit too late this week.  Perhaps next week?

Off to have a quick sandwich before I tackle those HST blocks!