Sunday, 19 February 2017

BLOG 335

BLOG 335

It has been a cheery week for me this week regarding quilting as I have been working in colour and that suits my cheery disposition very well! I have finished the colourful wall hanging this week and I am exceedingly proud of it and will hopefully use it as a jumping off spot for other work.

              Colour study

 For a while I have been doing some English paper-piecing on a good sized lozenge shape at Gresford and I have to admit that I hated every minute of it! So I passed on all the remaining papers from the pack to a friend so I didn’t have to do any more and joined together the papers that I had already covered. They were colourful too so there was some joy in that, but the size of 14” x 16” was good for nothing much really. However, in another aspect of my creative life, I had made some foxgloves using scraps of sheer fabric and machine embroidery and it occurred to me that they would sit rather nicely onto the patchwork background. And so, by marrying together two totally unrelated projects, a lovely cushion has resulted.

            Foxglove cushion



The size was still a bit of a worry as I could only get a good 12” square from the quilted piece. So I cut this square out and around the edge I added a neat binding, sticking the edge onto the back rather than turning under the seam. I quilted an 18” square with a crosshatch design using a decorative stitch on my machine and I appliqued the smaller quilted square on top of it. It worked very well and I was thrilled with the finished effect.

             Quilted and mounted

          In situ
I have had a rare outing as a teacher this week. I was invited to do a mini workshop at Quiltfest at the Royal Pavilion in Llangollen. I chose positive and negative applique based on my book Dual Image Applique.

               Workshop sample

             Quilt blocks

Here’s an outline of how to do it.

1 Trace the pattern onto the paper side of the fusible.

            Pattern and tracing

2 Iron the fusible onto the WS of the fabric

                Fusible on fabric

3 Make a small cut with cutter on the line so that you can get your scissors in and cut out the flower and centre circle to produce the frame and the fillers.


             Frame and fillers

4 Keep the backing paper on the frame and place it onto the RS of one piece of foundation fabric. Take the backing paper off the filler and place it back into the frame where it will fit perfectly. Press the filler gently with the toe of the iron, just enough to hold it in place whilst the frame is removed. Once removed, press the block more thoroughly.

             Frame on foundation

             Filler inside frame

               Press gently

             Remove frame

             Positive sample

5 Take the backing paper off the frame and place it onto another piece of foundation fabric and press thoroughly.

             Frame on foundation

            Positive and negative applique

And here’s what I have done with the samples so far. More next week.

             Quilt in progress

             Book cover



Sunday, 12 February 2017

BLOG 334

Blog 334

The ‘Stack the Deck’ blocks are continued here. They were organised beside my machine and I had the iron handy.  I joined the pieces together in the reverse order.


              First seam

              Second seam

              Final seam

And the block is completed! I had forgotten how quick this technique was. However, when I stacked my fabrics squares, I placed them ‘dark, dark, light, light’ and that has placed the darks together and the lights together, so obvious when you think about it! When 16 blocks (1/4 yard of each fabric) were laid out, a rather modern looking design had been created. The other problem that occurred was that I made the cut between 3 and 4 go from one side of the fabric across to the other which created a big chunk of fabric across each the 4 blocks. This only occurred on one set of 4 as I cut each stack in a different way. I should have bought the book on the subject by Karla Alexander so I had a better knowledge of it!!

                Lay-out 1

             Lay-out 2

 I then started to wonder if the effect would be different if I placed the fabrics ‘dark, light, dark, light.’ That resulted in a more balanced distribution of the fabrics as seen in the comparison below. They both work and they have been completed as Linus quilts.

          2 variations

          Quilting the cats

             Decorative seams

           Quilting the 9-patch

             Sewing the binding

                 Mitred corner

                Starting edge

                Finishing edge

 And there you have it, 6 quilts for the Linus project. I am glad I have got that out of my system. Slamming quilts under the sewing machine allows you to cover ground quickly but there is little joy in working at that level constantly. I am now returning to my creative pursuits and will make more Linus quilts later in the year.

            6 Linus quilts

 And finally, it must be cold. Here’s Willow as close to the fire as she can get without stepping on the hearth!


Sunday, 5 February 2017

BLOG 333

BLOG 333
 Another week and a couple more Linus quilts are underway. I found some tiny preprinted panels of cats which have been around for years so I thought that it was time for them to go. Spots were chosen in red and black to surround them, to make them bigger. As they don’t yet make a quilt-size top, more fabric was needed to surround them. I chose a bright blue as some of the cats have touches of blue on their backgrounds. This is waiting to be layered ready for quilting!

             Bordered cats

                Cats for Linus

I added a surround to the 9-patch quilt to make that an acceptable size too. This is waiting to be layered ready for quilting!

              9-patch for Linus

When I last went to Chester Ps n Qs, they were holding a 4-corners evening. This is when there are 4 demonstrators and you watch their demonstrations for 15 minutes before the bell rings to move you onto the next corner. They are inspirational and very popular and there is always a variety of techniques to watch. I was reminded of a technique that I haven’t done for a long time, called ‘stack the deck’ and I thought it would be an ideal method for the next Linus quilt. Here’s a brief method.

               4 fabrics

               Iron together

             9” squares

         Cut 1

             Cut 2

               Cut 3

             Label in sequence

And now to shuffle the fabrics: leave shape 1 as it is. On shape 2, take the top fabric and place it at the bottom of the same pile. On shape 3, take 2 fabrics from the top and place them at the bottom of the pile. On shape 4, take 3 fabrics and place them underneath.

              Shape 2

            Shape 3

            Shape 4

 Set up your sewing station with ironing surface alongside and you are ready to sew.  More next week!

            Sewing station