I didn’t actually take as much of a break from quilting as my absence on my blog would suggest. However, yes, the pace of my quilting definitely slowed down over the summer. Partly that’s because the summer is just not the time to be covered in huge hot fabric, but also because I was helping my husband recover from surgery and getting myself through the first trimester of my first pregnancy. It’s been a busy few months.
I have managed to get some patchwork and quilting done so I’ll be updating you over the next few weeks with my finishes and progress checks.
Welcome back to my patchwork home 😀
My postage stamp quilt is moving along nicely. Chain piecing makes it ridiculously quick and simple to assemble. It’s a real change not to have to think carefully about how blocks fit together or lots of different elements combining. Compared to both my recent Jigsaw Quilt and my ongoing Japanese Sampler, this is a bit of lovely light piecing relief.
It’s getting pretty big now: nearly the size of a double bed.
I thought I was basically done with the piecing (because I’d pretty much used up all of my prepared squares and was getting tired) when a thought occurred to me. About 5 years ago I asked my sister what type of quilt she might like. She said something bright with all the colours of the rainbow. Over the years I’ve never really had an idea that seemed right for her, so she’s not yet had a quilt from me. As I was looking at my postage stamp quilt top she popped into my head and I knew this could be her quilt. It will need to be a bit longer to work as a sofa snuggling Quilt because she’s taller than me. So I’ll dig out some more fabrics to add to the scrappy feel and piece up a couple more rows so it is the right size. I think a dark grey backing will suit the quilt nicely and will go with her home decor scheme (as much as a crazy multicolour quilt can co-ordinate with anything). I’m hoping to have it done for Christmas (not sure I want to commit to Christmas 2017) but we’ll see how it goes. I’m still on a high from finishing the Jigsaw Quilt in time for for Christening. Maybe that will see me through…
It’s been a very productive quilting year so far.
I finally finished off my red quilt after a 10 year battle with much learning about quilting. Appropriately this quilt is called ‘Learning Curve’.
I’ve completed one Quilt from scratch (Christopher’s Jigsaw Quilt)
I pieced and built a quilt sandwich with my Japanese Sampler Quilt.
And I also pieced the top for my sister’s postage stamp quilt. ((Photos in an upcoming post soon))
Given that my normal rate has been about one quilt per year, I’m feeling extremely industrious. Let’s hope the next few months keep going in a similar fashion.
This week I got another sashiko block done for my Japanese Sampler quilt. It’s a ring of bamboo leaves. It was quite a busy design and took a while to figure out the most order in which to stitch the pattern.
I really like the final effect. Getting close to being able to put the top together now…
Just like you can’t have a Japanese quilt without a crane, teapot or fan. You can’t have one without a kimono.
With a little bit of internet searching I came across a series of quilts that used a really pretty kimono pattern. Working from the photos I made up my own version of the block (I’m certainly getting more confident at designing my own patterns as this quilt goes along).
I did forget about seam allowances when cutting out the pattern though so I had to be mindful of that when piecing this block. I also forgot I was supposed to have three fabrics so it ended up with just two but I still really like it.
I think what I like most is that it was the right size! So this block can also go on the front of the quilt. Whoop
I’m not sure if ‘Set Squares’ is the right name for this block. I saw a picture online and I just wanted to see what it would look like in my Japanese fabrics.
So I made up my own pattern for the block and tried it out…
I like it. It might not be a traditional Japanese motif but this block was more about me experimenting with my fabric choices and just having the bravery to mix and match my own ideas. I fussy cut the flower in the centre square and had to be careful when cutting the outer triangle to make the black in the patterned fabric didn’t just blend into the black of my background fabric. I only lost one point with black-on-black so I’m happy with that. This block will make it on the front of the quilt. Whoop.
Recently my sister-in-law gifted me a huge pile of old towels. A strange present you may think, but she knows me well. I regularly use old bedding and linen to make dog beds, either for our dog Archer or for the dog daycare and boarding service he regularly visits. I combine them with all of the teeny tiny offcuts and threads from my sewing to make the stuffing for beds. Bigger towels are useful for making washable covers for the beds. This time however, I had a slightly different plan…
We’ve just redecorated our kitchen so I thought this might be the perfect time to make some new (co-ordinated) items for the kitchen. I bought a couple of packs of dark green fabric dye and chucked the donated towels and some of my old and grungy looking kitchen tea towels into the washing machine. A few cycles later I had a wealth of beautifully matching green towels. My old tea towels suddenly looked brand new and went straight back into the drawer ready for use. The donated towels came with me to my sewing room and emerged a couple of days later as a pair of oven gloves.
I also made a heat pad, which is really useful next to the kettle and for getting things out of the microwave. I made a couple of these while I was in the mood
I did then actually make something for the intended beneficiary of the towels. Archer got a nice new cover for his kitchen bed. It’s already been washed twice and it holding its colour really well.
I’ll probably make some more heat pads and another cover for Archer’s bed at some point soon.
This experiment with fabric dye worked so well I’m sure I’ll be dyeing more stuff again soon. It’s just such a fun way to create new fabric out of stuff that just looks too dull or stained to keep using. Great fun