Here is another of my study avoidance projects. This time I decided to have a go at foundation piecing. Here is the pattern drawn onto paper and pinned to the carpet with the white polycotton on top so I could trace the lines onto it.
Once again I used up some of the fabrics from an earlier project, my Cathedral window cushion. I supplemented them with some fabrics I found at my local market. I even added in a soft woven fabric that I liked – it made me feel brave to use something other than guilting shop cottons.
This is the only foundation piecing project I’ve done but I really enjoyed it. It seemed logical and straightforward and it was actually a good way for me to practice sewing in a straight line.
I didn’t have a sewing machine at this point in time so the cushion was done entirely by hand. I think it might be one of the reasons I love my machine so much now. Lack of patience strikes again.
Here’s the finished article. 4 years on and it’s still holding together. It’s currently a seat cushion for our dining chairs (or the folding wooden garden chairs we’ve been using as dining chair until we have space for proper chairs).
I have a really really bad way of dealing with stress. It’s a subtle blend of procrastination and hibernation. I will find anything to do other than what I am supposed to be doing, or I’ll just go to bed for a while. However, this does mean that I can pretty much track the exam periods of my time at university based on the project I started in order to avoid revision.
One such project was this cushion cover
I had been fascinated with the Cathedral window pattern ever since I saw my Mum’s only foray into patchworking with a pink cathedral window cushion that she made when I was little. I just love the way a straight fold turns into a curve. I’ve always thought it’s a really clever trick. Cathedral window is a fantastic handwork project. I find it really useful to have a hand project on the go for when my husband and I are watching tv together of an evening and I get itchy fingers for sewing.
I used one of the leftover blues from Sophie’s quilt and added to the mix with some new fat quarters. This was while I was at uni so I didn’t have much space (or money) for a large stash. My projects tended to lead on from each other, slowly building up fabrics and using up scraps at the same time. It worked well while I was going through a blue/teal phase.
I was really really pleased with the cushion. I used it on my bed while I was a student and then it became a sofa cushion in my first home with me husband. A mealtime mishap with pasta bolognese meant that I needed to wash my cathedral window cushion for the first time. The tomato sauce came out beautifully… so did the blue colouring, right into the white background.
And that is how I learnt my lesson about washing fabrics. I wish I could say I now religiously wash fabrics before I starting working with them, but I am ridiculously impatient when I have a new idea and some new fabric to play with. Some stuff gets pre-washed, but sometimes I just can’t wait. It’s why I have so many different WIP’s, and why I don’t let anyone eat near my quilts anymore.
See you soon
I’ve been taking a look at some of the pictures of my past projects that have accumulated. Here was the first quilt I made as a present for someone. I’m really nervous about the quality of my work so I had to really psyche myself up for this one.
Back in 2008 a very dear friend of mine told me she was expecting her first baby. I decided to have a go at a baby quilt to celebrate the happy news. A quick recce of high street mother and baby shops revealed that washed out browns beiges and creams seems to be the entire colour range. I was rather underwhelmed it has to be said. My friend also said she wasn’t a fan of the muted baby colours. She wanted a bright quilt and left the design totally up to me. I knew she had always loved giraffes. A quick trip to The Bramble Patch and I soon had a selection of bright, bold fabrics and animal scenes
I sent this photo to my friend. It was the only clue I gave her about what the quilt might look like – I know, so mean of me!
7 months later and the pile of fabric had become this…
Ok, so it’s not a complicated quilt but I was really pleased with it. The animal scenes were all hand appliqued using satin stitch but the piecing and quilting was done by machine. As giraffes were my friend’s favourite animal I but that scene in the centre as a pieced square. I’m not sure that it worked particularly well but I wasn’t about the change it.
I wanted something that looked both random and rainbowy.
Soon after the quilt was finished Sophie was born. My goddaughter :). She’s now 4 1/2 years old. She’s about to start school and her mum and I are trying to arrange for her to come and stay with me for a few days. Looking back at this quilt now really brings home to me how quickly time flies. She far too big for a baby quilt now, but I hope she enjoyed it at the time.
Good luck at school Sophie!
To kick things off here in My Patchwork Home I thought I’d start simple with a little bit about me and my decision to start a blog.
When I was 15 I started making a patchwork quilt. 4″ paper squares wrapped in yellow green and blue solid fabric were painstakingly hand pieced together by me (and various friends who took pity on me) over the next seven years. Eventually I had a quilt the same size as a single duvet. I sewed a back on to it and then started putting the batting in as one might put a duvet cover on a duvet. Once it was more or less in place I sewed little crosses in the corner of all the squares to hold my ‘duvet’ together and then whip stitched the final edge closed. It was done. I had made a patchwork quilt.
A few months after finishing my patchwork quilt, as I began studying for my Masters Degree in 2007, my mother threatened to paint my bedroom duckegg blue. It’s perhaps a little presumptuous to call it my bedroom as it was simply the room I slept in when I visited my parents, but it was, notionally at least, my room. In what I can only describe as a belated fit of teenage pique (aged 22) I resisted my mother’s decorating plans for MY room and immediately set about making a bright red and orange double bed sized quilt with the deliberate intention of scuppering her colour scheme plans. 6 years on and that quilt is currently stuffed under my sofa, 90% quilted, 98% abandoned, utterly bereft of my interest and attention. I do still plan to finish it one day. However, for now the legacy of that quilt has been that it led me into the world of patchwork quilting and gave me a hobby that has kept me sane throughout the turbulent and chaotic years of finishing my PhD, getting married, moving all over the country and learning how to be an army wife.
In September 2012 we moved to Staffordshire and for the first time ever I saw a quilt that someone else had made. Until then my entire exposure to patchwork quilting had been through online blogs, YouTube videos, Google image search and various tutorials. The first thing I did when I knew we would be moving to Staffordshire was to google local quilting shops – I needed to know where my supplies would come from. What I found was the Staffordshire Patchworkers and Quilters Guild; a wonderful welcoming group of people who meet every month to listen to a speaker and look at lots of lovely quilts. I saw them, touched them, moved them, and marvelled at the textures and colours that were so different to the online images I was used to. Here I think my enjoyment of quilting became an addiction. My number of projects has skyrocketed in the last 12 months and I’m always thinking about the next idea or mulling over design choices in my head.
So 13 years after taking my first step on my quilting journey I am starting a blog of my own. It’s feels like the only way to say thank you to all the patchworkers and bloggers out there that inspired and nurtured my interest in the craft. To begin with my plan is to post a mix of my current projects and a record of my earlier creations (successes and failures). If nothing else it will be a nice way to keep a record of my fabric endeavours and possibly meet some new friends. If you do visit, please let me know you’ve dropped in by posting a comment. It would be lovely to hear from you.
Till next time