Saturday, 30 August 2014

Teacher Thank You gift

At the end of the summer term, DS helped prepare this quilt for his main teacher. As she was expecting her first baby at the time, we made something the whole family hopefully could find useful. We may have gone a bit over the top in the Thank You gift department.

We made the quilt in black, white and green, as we don't know if the baby is going to be a boy or a girl. Using a home dec weight fabric from IKEA, which DS coloured in, we created a rather unique looking quilt.

Many of the blocks had small messages, like this one.

I almost like the backing as much as the front, but then the written numbers just seemed perfect for a teacher!

All nicely rolled up.

It hadn't been possible to pull this gift off, if it hadn't been for Debbie, who managed an impressively short turnaround for the quilting it on her long arm! This is the fourth quilt she has quilted for me and I'm continuously very pleased with her work.

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

My take on Festival of Quilts 2014 - part 2

This second post contains the more geometric and I guess modern quilts which caught my eyes at the Festival of Quilts this year.

I believe the following quilts were all submitted in the main competition; although not sure which category. Seeing quite a bit of overlap between the categories, it seems that what's modern to one person is traditional to another one. Perhaps time to have different types of categories. Categories that actually mean the same thing to all quilters.

The full quilt seen at a distance means you can't really see the awesomeness properly.

Here's a detail of the clever quilting. Suddenly the piecing is less important.

This one looked like a photo of fields from above.

These two felt like a pair and were hung next to each other.

There was a special area with a few of these city plans.

 This one was in the Fine Art section, and my favourite there.

One by Catrin in my Modern Insta Bee. This was in the Modern Quilt Guild stand.

As were these two.

I believe this was hung on the back of the Quilters Guild exhibition. A shame it was "hidden", but probably not considered traditional enough to get a space inside the stall...

Monday, 25 August 2014

My take on Festival of Quilts 2014 - part 1

Despite being at the Festival of Quilts for two days, I definitely had quilt inspiration overload. With so many fabulous quilts seen in such a short time, it was really hard to properly appreciate the awesomeness of all of them.

Having taken quite a few photos, and now scanning through them at home, here are some of the ones which caught my eyes.

I liked this one because of the attention to detail.

Close up:

The full quilt:

This was different as it had dimension to it.

From the side:

This quilt remind me of fantastic skiing holidays. Also loved the clarity.

This one was fun and made by one of the people I follow on Instagram.

This one felt fresh and different. I usually don't like coral and aqua, but this stood out.

Blue and fish can never be wrong!

Here a quilt by an online "friend" commemorating World War 1.

This was submitted in the "In my garden" category. Wishing I lived in a country where these little fellows lived in my garden!

Just because it was large and eye catching.

Geometric and woods, lovely red colour.

Finally, who can resist Super Mario?

I'll make another post with some of my favourite geometric quilts.

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Modern Insta Bee - third month i.e. July

For July, Isobel asked us to help her make a very special quilt for a close friend of hers. Isobel picked the Stacked Windmills, and was also kind enough to send out fabrics for the blocks. The only fabric I had to find, was for the middle block.

As I had limited fabric to make the real block in, I carefully made a test block in red, white and blue fabrics. The pile of my blocks for the "Oh Dear Nina" quilt is growing.

With potentially 36 half square triangles and LOTS of points to get neat, this is a rather fiddly block, thats for sure. Promising myself to be extra careful with the points, press more often and to be sewing straight, I set off and made the block in the proper fabrics.

Gorgeous colours! Having seen most of the other Bee blocks, I can confidently say this is going to be one stunning quilt!

At the end of July, Isobel had eight blocks and published the below photo.

To see the progress, please pop over to her Instagram feed.

Thanks for letting me be part of your Hugs Quilt, Isobel. Hope it provides some comfort to your friend during her difficult time.

Lots of love
/ Nx

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Pattern testing - the Click Quilt

I was lucky enough to be sent a copy of the Click Quilt, a pattern created by the multi talented Tracey over at TraceyJayQuilts

As I was going on holiday, I packed my tiny sewing machine (28cm x 23cm x 12.5cm / 11"x9"x5"), the pattern and lots of cut out shapes for the blocks. 

As an added bonus, when we arrived in Cornwall there was a parcel full of lovely batik fabrics waiting for me. These were all from Susan over at CanadianAbroad. She had asked on Instagram if anyone could find a use for batiks she had left from a project.

As there were some lovely purples in the mix, which I wanted to use for the blocks, I 'had to' go and get a new rotary cutter, cutting mat and ruler (the others were left at home). The lovely Coast and Country quilt shop, or locally known as "Sally's" were just around the corner, so this was easily rectified.

This Tula Pink block was one of the first I made. 

No matter how lovely Tula's fabrics are, it just didn't really work for me with the same fabric in the block. I wanted the quilt to have more contrast and interest. Saying that, this block is definitely staying with me as it'll be a lovely cushion cover.

I managed to make ten blocks using some or all batik fabrics.

I also made 30 blocks in various purple fabrics I had at home and some from Festival of Quilts in Birmingham earlier this month. Unfortunately, it was dark by the time I managed to get the three terrors to bed and had time to lay it all out. Apologies for the not so good photo. I'll take some better photos when we are back home and the children are all back to school and nursery. 

The verdict: This pattern is great and perfect for showing off fabric (I went for the 12" block, there's a 8" template too). Add to that very fast to chain-piece and a result which looks way more complicated than it is. It is a bit less fast to cut out the shapes, but once its all done, you are on the home stretch. I didn't have access to the acrylic templates. Instead I had the paper template, cut out without the 1/4" seam allowance. I then just added the seam allowance when cutting out the fabric. This stopped me from slowly cutting off the template….

The number one tip: Do NOT cut out your blocks on folded fabrics! You need all blocks facing the same direction.

To see more of these lovely quilts, go to Instagram and search for hashtag clickquilt.

I am definetly keeping 13 of these blocks (12 plus Tula), but the rest are likely to end up in our block swop in the Facebook group UKQU Block Swop. Please feel free to join the group if you are in the United Kingdom. Deadline for the Perfectly Purple swop is end of September.  Any design, 12" square finished size, purple and lilac (no appliqué). More info in the group files.

The Click Quilt: Patterns and templates are available in Tracey's shop. If you like to follow Tracey's quilting adventures, please visit her blog or follow her on Instagram.