Sunday, 29 January 2012


When I first started quilting and reading quilting blogs I couldn't understand how some people seemed to have so many projects on the go at once.  I foolishly thought that it would be easy to start a project and complete it before moving on to the next!

Before long I realised that sometimes you need to start something new- maybe something that needs to be done quickly (like a baby gift), maybe you hit a bump with a project and need a break (like my Alice Mixtape quilt) or maybe you just can't resist cutting into a stack of new fabric.

I'm currently doing my best to resist the temptation of the last of those.  I got some fab fabric bundles for christmas:

Echo by Lotta Jansdotter; Klona Brights Bundle (both from Backstitch); Modern Meadow by Joel Dewsberry in two colourways (both from Gone to Earth).

The temptation to start something with one (or more!) of these is enormous - but I am trying to be disciplined and finish at least one of my 2011 starts each month.  I'm making good progress on quilting my batik quilt so I'm going to try and hold off until it is done.

And anyway I've changed my mind about eight times already on what pattern I'll use for the Echo so maybe it is no bad thing to wait and ponder a bit rather than launch in and regret it later.


Wednesday, 25 January 2012

WIP Wednesday

Thought I'd join in with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced

I've made progress on a couple of things this week:

Somewhere over the Rainbow charm swap
Charms have been cut and posted to Emily

Batik Fire Escape quilt

Basted and ready for quilting.  Pattern is Fire Escape by Terry Atkinson.  Fabrics are a selection of batiks my mum brought me back from the US last year.

Alice Mixtape quilt

This one has been hanging around for ages but I'm finally making progress.  This is the quilt that taught me that you really DO need an accurate 1/4 inch seam.  It was the fifth quilt I started making. 

Quilt one corner points didn't meet but it was my first quilt so I wasn't that bothered - I was just so excited to have made it!

Quilt two was a sliced coin quilt and three and four were baby quilts using Oh Fransson's Charm square pattern - all of these are very forgiving as there are no points or seams to match up.

So for number five I chose Oh Fransson's Mixtape quilt as it looked fairly straightforward for a relative beginner.  And it all seemed to be going so well until I started joining the blocks into rows.  Because some of the blocks are rotated through 90 degrees I started to realise that there was a bit of variation in size but I pressed on regardless.  Then when I started to join the rows it became clear that the blocks did not line up nicely.  I unpicked a few and resewed without much success.  I got frustrated and dumped the rows in the cupboard.

However I then went through all the steps to check my seam allowance - it was not 1/4 inch (no surprise there)!  So I adjusted and checked and adjusted until it was.  And what a difference it made - my piecing has been so much easier and crisper.

So this week I decided that the Alice quilt should stop languishing and see the light of day - I love the fabric and the design and although I've unpicked a couple of the worse blocks I've decided that I'll just finish it and it can be a reminder of how far I've come over the last year.  And the funny thing is that now that the rows are joined it doesn't look nearly as wonky as I thought it would!

No progress
SCBU charity quilts - just need binding so really should sort them out
Bed quilt - all cut out, need to start assembling

Now I'm off to have a look at everyone else's  progress


Saturday, 21 January 2012

Resolved to sew 2012

I've mentioned a bit about my plans for 2012 but when I saw the fantastic giveaway over on Very Berry Handmade I couldn't resist the chance to win one of the fabulous prizes.  So here we go:

1) Keep sewing
This one is pretty much a given but between work, keeping the house from looking like a complete tip and two small kids (adorable but demanding) there are times when it seems easier to slump in front of the telly rather than get out my machine and start sewing (I sew in the dining room so everything has to be packed away before the next meal).  However the joy and satisfaction I get from sewing is such that I want to make time for it at least once or twice a week.

2) Join in
As I've said before, after a year of reading and enjoying quilting blogs and envying those getting involved I've decided to get involved myself, at least in a small way.  It is going quite well - I've started this blog, I'm trying to comment more instead of just reading & running and I'm taking part in the Somewhere over the Rainbow Charm swap hosted by the lovely Emily.

3) Expand my quilting
I've made several quilts now and in general I've been quite please with the results but I want to challenge myself in 2012.  So my main goals in this area are to try and get to grips with free motion quilting and to move on from using a single collection of fabrics in a quilt.

4) Build up my stash
Not exactly a hardship this one!  Until now I've bought fabric as I needed it and generally used precuts or FQ of a single collection.  So I don't really have a stash and although I've got a reasonable scrap bucket I couldn't pull together enough coordinating fabrics to create a quilt.  So I want to start buying individual fat quarters or half metre cuts that I like in the hope that by this time next year I could create something from my stash that is a combination unique to me.  And for that reason, much as I adore the Summersault and Premier Lord bundles, my choice of prize would be the voucher from Fancy Moon.

Well done if you got to the end!

Thanks again to Very Berry Handmade and all the fantastic sponsors

Monday, 16 January 2012

First finish of 2012

Yeah - finished my first quilt of 2012

Not the best photo (a bit washed out) but I was so busy this morning that I forgot to go out and take a photo and that is the only time we get decent light in our garden at this time of year!

The pattern is Windy days by Sarah B Designs and the fabric is Meadow Friends by Deb Strain, with Klona White and Jade (backing & binding) from Backstitch.

It is my first attempt at pinwheels (and only the second time I've made half square triangles) so I was chuffed by how it turned out.

It is for the new baby of an old school friend so it will be winging its way off to Scotland just as soon as I can get to the post office!


Saturday, 14 January 2012

Joining in

Well my main resolution for 2012 (quilting wise at least) is to join in more with the online quilting community.

I've been so inspired over the last year by the wonder quilts posted online and I've been helped by tips and tutorials (the majority of the quilts I've made so far have been whole or in part from free patterns that generous bloggers have provided.

But I've been a bit selfish, as I seldom comment and I feel a bit bad about that - so my aim for 2012 is to leave comments and get involved in a couple of projects online.

First off is the Somewhere over the Rainbow Charm Swap hosted by Emily of Strawberry Patch

I was too late for the first round but luckily Emily decided to run a second round - yeah! I've been greedy and grabbed two spots so here are my contributions

 I love them, although I was surprised about how much I worried about other swap members' reactions too them - luckily comments have been positive so far.  The other fabrics posted so far look gorgeous and I'm really excited about what a lovely quilt they are going to make.

In the meantime I'm busy working on a baby quilt for the new son of a school friend.  At the quilting stage so will hopefully post soon.


Thursday, 12 January 2012

Taking the plunge

Well after a year of avidly reading quilting blogs I decided to jump on in and start one of my own.  I'm not expecting to post that regularly or to be widely read but I've had so much inspiration from other bloggers and have been beginning to feel like a bit of a parasite - taking and not contributing anything.  And if nothing else it will be a record for me of how my quilting has (hopefully!) progressed.

So to start - a little  bit about me and how I got into quilting.

I'm 37, married and a transplanted Scot living in Cambridgeshire.  I started quilting in October 2010.  With two small children and a busy part time job, I was beginning to feel I never did anything that was just for me.  I used to cross stitch but just didn't seem to have any enthusiasm for that anymore.

So I bought a copy of Making magazine hoping for some inspiration and that issue happened to feature patchwork & quilting.  I was amazed at the designs & fabrics and thought I would have a go at the simple charm pack quilt project featured.

So I bought my fabric online and away I went - I loved it.  Ten days later I had a quilt - it wasn't perfect (my 1/4 in seam left a lot to be desired!) but I was still amazed by how good it looked.

Pattern - Issue 2 Making magazine
Fabric - Birdie by Me & My Sister

Since then I've been hooked and over the last year I've made 7 quilts and spent countless hours drooling over fabric and reading blogs.

So there we go - the start of my quilting journey.  Hopefully I'll be back soon with my hopes & plans for the year ahead.