Sunday, 31 January 2010

Quilt Inspiration at Ely Cathedral

This week, the boys and I have been on a day trip to Ely Cathedral.  Can you guess what I was thinking when I saw this wonderful floor in the cathedral?:

[caption id="attachment_84" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="A quilt in the making?"][/caption]

I'm not sure my triangle piecing skill are up to scratch just yet (!) but will certainly file the image away for future reference.

Obsessed, me?!

Wednesday, 27 January 2010

More Jacobs Ladder Blocks

I've made 9 more blocks:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="221" caption="Nine more blocks made"][/caption]

Thought it might be a good time to lay all the finished blocks out together to see how the whole quilt was shaking up, and here's how it's looking:

I'm pretty pleased with how it's turning out and can't wait to see how the finished article will look!

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Good and Bad

I have been beavering away at my Jacob's Ladder quilt and have assembled 12 more blocks and got several units partially made to turn into more blocks:

When I compare these to the previous set of blocks, they are much tidier and I think I have used the light/dark contrast more successfully (I think to start off with, I was using too many brights rather than lights). The fact that I am improving is, of course, good news...the bad news is that the first six or eight blocks I made might not be good enough to put into the quilt :-( I am not going to scrap these outright but rather use them to practice my quilting technique.  I have a sample pack of eco-friendly wadding from The Cotton Patch, so I might make up a mini-quilt to give each of these a try before deciding what to use in the full size quilt.  I like the feel of the cotton/bamboo wadding the best but will see how they all sew, and wash.

Moving back to the improvements in piecing, I can summarise the reasons for the improved accuracy below:

1. I have got a bit more confident with the rotary cutter, especially at cutting strips

2. I have worked out how to use my quarter inch foot properly!!  When I first had it I was lining the edge of the fabric up with what turned out to be 3/8 inch rather than 1/4 inch.  Only 1/8 inch difference but it soon adds up over several seams.

3.  I have learned the correct method for pressing seams - no steam and press on the right side - the opposite to what I was doing!

I am continuing to voraciously consume any quilting books and magazines I can lay my hands on, so hope to continue with the improvements until I manage to make a perfectly, perfectly square block.  I will do it, I will!

Monday, 18 January 2010

Mini Morsbagging and More Patchwork

I have had a session of mini-Morsbagging this week - that is, a session of making mini Morsbags, rather than a mini session of making Morsbags :-) Having unwrapped last week's Layer Cake, I couldn't quite bring myself to part with the woven Moda ribbon that tied it up, and thought it would make some handles for a little Morsbag, so I made a couple using the ribbon as handle, plus a couple more while I was in the mood.  Here they are:

Just the right size to take a paperback and some sunglasses to the beach.  Ha ha, chance and fine thing spring to mind!

Jacob's Ladder

I have made five more blocks for my Jacob's Ladder quilt:

Of course, it would have been six blocks, were it not for this "Whoops!" block!

I thought about unpicking it and sewing the units together again, the right way, but thought this might distort the material and mess it up, so I'm just going to keep hold of it, maybe use it in the backing or something.  It's a bit of a bugger, cos I think it's the neatest block I have sewn so far and it's got a couple of my fave fabrics in to boot.  Must pay more attention.  Must pay more attention.  Must pay more attention.

I have got four more four patch units ready to pair up with some half square triangles too:

Stay at Home Quilt

For those that saw this post, I conducted a poll amongst friends and family and option 5 was definitely the overall favourite so this is the one I went with.  Having looked at what I've done so far, I am sort of wondering whether to stop with one more border and turn it into a quilted cushion cover, rather than keeping going to make a full size quilt.  This is because (a) I want to get practising some actual quilting soon so a full size quilt isn't my first quilted project and (b) cos it looks so nice against the green of our new sofa:

I will wait and see what next month's magazine brings - if the border looks impossibly hard I might just put a plain border round and call it a day!

Monday, 11 January 2010

Birthday Layer Cake

I have been a lucky birthday sewist this year, receiving a Moda Layer Cake (Vine Creek) as well as a lovely book, "Layer Cake, Jelly Roll and Charm Quilts".   I have chosen a quilt to make from this selection, but haven't had the courage to cut into the fabric yet...

In other news, I have been feeling guilty about not making any Morsbags since before Christmas (especially as, in the last week, a good friend plus my sister in law have both made their first bags!) so I knocked a couple up this week.  After mainly concentrating on patchwork just lately, it was nice to start and finish a project in one sitting!  The green bag is made from pretty heavy curtain fabric which my old sewing machine would never have coped with, so it was great to hear the Pfaff sew through with barely a murmur :-)

I've made a decision about the Jacob's Ladder quilt, I am going with variant 5, but haven't actually sewn it yet.

And I have finished a second flower for my Grandmother's Garden Quilt.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Decisions, decisions

I have now made up my half square triangles ready for the first border on my stay at home quilt.  As suggested in the magazine I have played around with different layouts and taken all I have to do is decide on one!  Eeek.  I think I am favouring number 5 or 7 but would love to hear what other people think...

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="Alternative 1"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="Alternative 2"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="Alternative 3"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="Alternative 4"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="Alternative 5"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="Alternative 6"][/caption]

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="Alternative 7"][/caption]

Monday, 4 January 2010

New Year Update

Well, it's just a few days into 2010 and I am making good progress on my quilting projects.

Jacob's Ladder

I have now made up six full blocks of this quilt (only 43 more to go lol!).  Here's a pic.  If you squint your eyes, you can see the pattern emerging with the light/dark blocks:

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="First six blocks for Jacob's Ladder Quilt"]Jacob's Ladder Quilt[/caption]

I have various other part completed units ready to sew together for this quilt:

However, I have now received the next issue of Popular Patchwork, so will be making a start on the first border for my stay at home quilt before continuing with the Jacob's Ladder.

Grandmother's Flower Garden

I have made the first flower for Grandmother's Flower Garden.  I have decided to stick with single ring flowers.  The photograph isn't the best quality I'm afraid.  I will have to leave the papers and tacking stitches in until the hexagons are sewed to other hexagons.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="500" caption="First flower in Grandmother's Flower Garden"][/caption]