Finish!! – Quilted Jungle Panel

Just one week after finishing my Circus Panel quilt I was itching to keep on making stuff for the baby. So I quickly turned my attention to the second panel I’d ordered online, a jungle themed printed animal scene.

With the green flannel bed sheet as backing like the circus panel and my usual batting I happily basted and quilted around all the animals to stabilise the quilt. Then I decided to have just a little more fun than I did for the circus quilt. I changed colours and outlined the vines and leaves in green and the elephant’s ear in blue. I then felt inspired to fill in some of the big gaps with some more green leaf outlines even where they weren’t printed on the panel. I only did a few, but I quite like the effect it has.

It did mean I had quilted off the edge of the top so using the backing as a binding would have meant careful (or boring) unpicking. Instead I grabbed some dark green fabric from my stash to make a binding. I machine stitched it to the back before pulling it round to the front to also machine stich along the edge there. I’ve found it to be the neatest way of machine binding, which I definitely wanted to do so it had the durability to withstand regular play and washing.

After washing it occurred to me that I should have prewashed my binding fabric because it has shrunk more than the quilt itself (which was prewashed). Oh well. Live and learn.

Now both my quilted panels are rolled up and lovingly stored in a cupboard with the presents friends and family have given us for our new arrival so far. Fingers crossed they’ll all be being used by a healthy baby in about 4 months time.




Finish!! – Quilted circus panel

I’m trying really hard to not buy a ton of ridiculously unnecessary baby stuff too early. The compromise I worked out in my head was that I could start making stuff now because it takes longer than buying so I couldn’t make stuff at the last minute.

I like the idea of having a couple of non-precious quilts that can be wall hangings, play mats (dog free zones for the baby), or snuggle wraps when cuddling during the early months. I found a couple of sweet gender neutral animal themed panels online and couldn’t resist. They feel more like poly cotton than pure cotton, but they do look cute. I then spent ages looking for mint green flannel fabric for the backing but just couldn’t seem to find any (so frustrating). Eventually I ordered a king size flannel bed sheet in exactly the right shade. Everything got washed (I don’t normally prewash my fabrics but because of the different fabric types involved here I thought it might be best.

The quilting was simple and pretty loose. I wanted them to be soft and snuggly so I didn’t want to over quilt. My main issue with this one was how to manage the large empty space in the middle. In the end I liked the simplicity of the radiating lines idea. I then just outlined all of the carriages and animals.

I tried a new (to me) technique here of bringing the back fabric round to act as the binding. I felt it was safe to try on this occasion because the printed panel gave me confidence my top was square (ish) without needing trimming. Also, for once I hadn’t quilted off the edge of my top so it was easy to trim the batting to the edge of the top without also cutting the backing fabric. I’m pleased with the way it turned out. We’ll see how durable this binding method is once the quilt starts getting used and washed regularly. 





Back to (blogging about) quilting

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 😀

Postage Stamp – Progress and a recipient

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…

Taking stock

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. 

Japanese Sampler – Treasure purse sashiko block (Post 21)

One of the really pretty sashiko patterns in Susan Briscoe’s book is the treasure purse. It was a complicated pattern to transfer onto the fabric. Which sewing it I had to think a lot about the various junctions where lines of stitching touched each other.

It was fund to so though, and I like the final effect. I also like how the top of bag echos the shape of the ginkgo leaf. It helps to add some coherence to the quilt.


I’m really enjoying making a sampler quilt. It’s nice to have something without a deadline, where I can just concentrating on getting each piece exactly as I want it. I think it’s also really helping my develop my skills. I’ve tried so many new techniques of the past few months.

I can’t wait to see the finished version now though. I want to be able to check I haven’t accidentally made something that doesn’t hang together well. Just those inevitable nerves I’m sure we all get once we’re committed to a large project and know the end is still a long way off.

Japanese Sampler – Sashiko edge blocks (post 19)

My Japanese quilt is starting to take shape now. I’m beginning to get a feel for the layout and the balance between the pieced and sashiko blocks. This meant I know I would need a lot of triangle pieces around the edges to square of the quilt.

These were fun, quick little designs to play with now that I’ve done enough sashiko for this quilt to just enjoy getting on with it.

It was nice to have some quick and easy hand sewing to do in the evenings.

They’re coming along quite nicely now…

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I repeated the teapot pattern (on a slightly smaller scale in one of the sashiko edges.

There is a mountain above a lake, which was a really fun one to do.

The moon and clouds is a little abstract, but I’m hoping a crescent shape in the quilting might help bring it out more.

I did a cluster of five bamboo leaves, again just picking out of the central blocks and using it to frame the quilt.

The fan motif is another repeated pattern in the triangle blocks. It looks so different in outline form. It interesting how different styles can change the same motif.

There are a couple of blossom motifs around the edge to. An orange blossom flower with a couple of leaves is pretty. I also like the plum blossom, which normally appears as a circle of three, but I just did one for the edge block.