Friday, 26 October 2012

Ups and downs

Why is it that sometimes the things you thought would be straightforward turn out complicated and vice versa?

That has certainly been the case with my sewing this week!

But before we get to that how about a little finish?  I made this little quilt for a work colleague's new baby girl:

I decided that there was nooooo way I could justify buying more fabric so I searched through my stash and found a bundle of five pink fat quarters from Modern Meadow by Joel Dewberry together with a yard of the pink dogwood I bought in John Lewis when I spotted it for £5 per metre.

So I googled 'baby quilt five fat quarters' and that led me to I'm a ginger monkey and a gorgeous little quilt.  So a few calculations and a decision to throw in some cream as all the Modern Meadow prints were quite large scale and off I went.  I was pleased by how well it came together.

It took a bit longer to finish than hoped because of my sewing machine going AWOL but once back I quilted it in about an hour!  My free motion quilting is definitely getting better (on small items, at least) - I gave stippling a go for the first time on an actual quilt and although there are one or two sharp turns I'm pleased with the effect.

It will be packaged up and posted off tomorrow.

Talking of FMQ that was also my down this week.  I finally got round to making a start on quilting my Mum's Twiggy lattice quilt and it was a bit of a disaster.  Buoyed up by how much better my FMQ has been I was feeling pretty confident, particularly as my plan was to quilt a handprint on each block so I thought I wouldn't have to worry about getting stuck in a corner or anything like that.

Unfortunately I failed to realise the different the weight of a massive quilt would make!  At 83" square it is the biggest quilt I've made and the weight of it made it hard to manoeuvre and as a result my quilting was jerky and basically a mess!  Ah well that is overconfidence for you!  I will unpick, regroup and rethink how to roll & support the quilt to allow me to move it more easily!

On the plus side I made a zip pouch that turned out much better than expected!  No photos (again) as I finished it last night and completely forgot to photograph it until mid afternoon by which time it was too dark.
I'm not great with zips - I put them into the cushions I made as teacher gifts and they turned out ok but my previous attempts at pouches were not great.

However it turns out that some good instructions can work wonders.  I used Oh Fransson 's Perfect Zip Pouches pattern and it was great.

Other news - I offered to make my aunt a quilt from some of my uncle's shirts.  We are a close family and it is difficult being the other end of the country and not being able to offer more support during this difficult time.  So I asked my mum to float the idea and once she had explained what I meant and that it wouldn't just be the shirts 'cut up and sewn together higgledy piggledy' (to quote my aunt) she was keen on the idea.

So these arrived last weekend

And after some thought and surfing I have decided to make a version of Smokey Mountain Stars by Bonnie Hunter.

I'm planning to reverse the light/dark because the shirts are predominantly pale blue so the stars will be lighter and I'll use dark blue/navy for the background.  I'm wondering about adding a couple of fat quarters into the mix - possibly rust red and gold to pick up the colours of the top shirt and the yellow in the second from top.

Right I'm off - J is away visiting his best mate this weekend so I can sew as long as I want without feeling.



  1. at least you attempt FMQ. You're a brave lass in my eyes :)

  2. What a wonderful tribute to your uncle. I'm sure your aunt will be pleased with the outcome. Bonnie Hunter's patterns are always perfect for scrap quilts. Be sure to share your progress.

  3. I love your baby quilt, love it too when you can pick up a £5 bargain in John Lewis! Will be interested to see what you do with the shirts as I have promised my husband a quilt from his business shirts now that he is officially retired!