Sunday, 19 November 2017

BLOG 372

Blog 372

1 Trim all the squares to 10 ½”. Use a square ruler, laying its diagonal line along the centre diagonal seam of the block.  Cut on 2 adjacent sides and remove the excess fabric. Rotate the block and place the trimmed edges along the marked 10 ½” line on the ruler. Cut the remaining two sides.

             Match the diagonals

              Cut 2 sides 

             Align edges and ruler
Once the blocks are trimmed they are ready to put together. There are two possible layouts and the second one is the most interesting for this project.

            Not like this 

            Like this

My joining strips for the Xmas side is the reverse side of one of my Xmas fabrics; this one is cut at 1”. The strip for the other side is cut at 1 ½”.

                 Xmas strip 1” strip

                Alternative strip 1 ½” strip 
2 Place the 1” joining strip RS down along the edge to be sewn (remember I am using the reverse of my fabric!). Pin this in place. AT THE SAME TIME place the joining strip for the other side along the same edge with RS together. This means that the strips are sandwiching the block. Sew a very accurate ¼” seam to attach these strips.

               Pin RS together 
            Add second strip

             Accurate seam2 Open out the 1” seam so that it covers the sewing line and place this RS down along the correct edge of the next block. Pin this in place and sew with a very accurate ¼” seam.

            RS together on next block 

            Accurate seam 2 
3 On the WS you will see that these seams have pulled the raw edges together so that they meet in the middle. Press over the wider strip to cover these edges and turn under a small seam allowance so that the line of stitches is covered. Hand stitch with an invisible stitch to close the seam. Place it back into sequence. 

            Raw edges together  
            Cover the seam

              Turn under and hand sew

Repeat this process to join the second pair of blocks to each other. Then use the longer strips to join two squares to two squares to finish the cover ready for binding.


Sunday, 12 November 2017

BLOG 371

Blog 371

1 Lay the large Xmas triangle onto one side of the wadding so that the right angled edges lie along the edges of the wadding. Accuracy is important. Pin the edges to secure.

              Accurate placement
2 At the same time, lay the other large triangle (from the alternative colour scheme) onto the other side of the wadding, lining up the edges on the opposite edges of the square. There will be an overlap of the fabrics right on the corner.

3 Place the first Xmas strip (longest) along the edge of the Xmas triangle with RS together and pin it in place.

            First strip Xmas
4 Turn over the wadding and pin the first strip from the alternative colour scheme onto the other side in the same way. Pin through all the layers from this side and remove the pins for the seam on other side.

First strip alternative
5 Use a marker to draw a diagonal line on the lighter of the 2 long strips, going from 1 overlapped corner to the other. Sew along this marked line to attach both strips through the wadding, removing the pins as you go.
6. Flip the strips over onto the wadding, on both sides, so the RS is visible.

                Flipped Xmas strip

              Flipped alternative strip
7 Add the remaining strips in the same way to complete the square on both sides: i.e. place RS together, sew and flip. Remember to use the correct coloured thread in the bobbin as this will be seen on the other side. (EG I used gold in the bobbin to show up on the Xmas side when I sewed the strips on the alternative side … and red in the bobbin when I sewed the Xmas strips).

…. And this is a jigsaw I found time to complete this week. I can’t tell you how much pleasure I get from doing a jigsaw, I could never walk past one without trying to fit a piece. They are sometimes time consuming and fiddly but the process is very relaxing and satisfying, better than social media!!




Sunday, 5 November 2017

BLOG 370

Blog 370
I attended a wedding at Willington Hall this week. The daughter of my best friend was getting married and it was such a lovely and happy occasion! The selected colour theme was maroon and gold and I offered to make a signature quilt to mark the occasion.  I only made this offer 2 weeks ago, so I had a bit of a rush to get the necessary fabrics together. I have made myself a signature quilt before for my Silver Wedding anniversary.

              Silver wedding quilt
I also made one a few years ago for the bride’s mother on the occasion of her 60th birthday.

          60th birthday quilt

I love star quilts but I don’t like to repeat a pattern too often so I used a traditional 8 pointed star and left a space in the centre to take a signature. I think cards or guest books are the place for sentiments, messages and comments and the bride agreed that it should be just a signature quilt. As I will be machine embroidering all the names, I was heartily glad!

            The pattern
I cut all the pieces out to make sure that I had enough fabric and placed them into bags. This is very organised for me!


I draped a signature quilt behind a table and placed two baskets on top of the table, one for signed blocks and the other for unsigned blocks. I also put up a notice to let people know what was going on. It caused much interest!

           Invitation to sign
Signing on fabric can be difficult so I decided to use water-erasable markers and I also fashioned a square of sandpaper to put over the top of the square to stop the fabric from moving too much. It worked remarkably well.


                Signed blocks

            Gold stars

              Constructed stars


Sunday, 29 October 2017

BLOG 369

BLOG 369

This project would make a very personal and novel gift for Christmas, especially if you are aware of the everyday d├ęcor used by the recipient. Side 1 will be made using colours similar to those everyday fabrics. Side 2 will be made using Christmas fabrics so it could be on display for the short festive season. (I have simplified this project to use only 3 fabrics but the samples below show 4 fabrics)





Samples 1 and 2

Requirements for cushion
14” square pad
2 large buttons to cover
16” square of fabric for both sides 1 and 2
Fabric requirements for reversible cover
Cut the following fabrics for both sides:-
Main fabric A: two 11 ¾” squares. Cut each of them on one diagonal to give 4 large triangles.
Fabric B: four strips 2 ½” x 16” and four strips 2 ½” x 9”
Fabric C: four strips 2 ½” x 12 ½” and four strips at 2 ½” x 4 ½”
Joining strips (contrasting fabric):
Two strips: 1” x 11”, two strips 1” x 22” and two strips 1” x 44”
Other requirements
Low loft wadding: four 11” squares (mark a diagonal line on one side with a permanent marker)
Thin elastic: ½ metre
Sewing machine: threaded with neutral colour on top. Prepare 2 bobbins with threads to match the fabrics used for the large triangles.
The Block (one of four)





Blocks front and back
Next Thursday Rog and I will be attending the wedding of the daughter of our best chums. I have heard in detail about the preparations for many months and next week it will become a reality. My part in all this is to organise the signing of blocks for a signature quilt. The bride-to-be was delighted when I suggested it so the project has required some detailed preparation on my part … but as usual it turns out to be a last minute rush! This is a sample of the block I have chosen to prepare and I will be using maroon and gold fabrics with calico. My outfit has been purchased and the accessories have been bought. Rog too is all prepared …. but I won’t be sitting next to him!


            Signature block


                 Style icon


Sunday, 22 October 2017

BLOG 368

Blog 368
Here is the sequence of work this week on my Welsh quilt. I cut the rest of the pieces from the black felt to give some sort of form to the project. This showed me just how much I have yet to do! However, having worked the longest outer borders first meant that I felt that I have broken the back of this project. And there is still the fervent hope that all the pieces will fit together easily in the end!!

               Quilt layout

Having already done samples for some of the repeated sections meant that I knew what I was doing and I didn’t have to make any further creative decisions. I could happily motor on!

              Repeated sections
With reference to the design I drafted on graph paper, I continued to flesh out the rest of the sections. I added the appliques and detail and covered them with the painted fusible ready for to take the layer of sheers. Here’s the progress to date. I will cover all the remaining sections before slumping at my sewing machine to do the extensive stitch work with black thread. Only then will I start the soldering process. I am loving this quilt …. a lot!

             Sequence 1

             Sequence 2

             Sequence 3

                Sequence 4

             Sequence 5