Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Grandmother's Garden

Started mid 2014 and finished at last!  The fabrics are a mix of homespuns, chambray and peppered cottons, and it measures 84 inches (2.15m) by 71inches (1.8m).

The quilt was sadly ignored for long periods as I hate to admit I got a little b o r e d with it. The lack of variety in shapes and the strictly solid colours can do that. But I love the look of antique quilts made of solids, and this was inspired by those antiques...so was keen to finally get it finished.

It was hand pieced - English Paper Pieced with 1.25 inch hexagon papers.

The quilt was layered with a thick wool batting and Big Stitch hand quilted in a hoop. I used Aurifil 12 wt thread and Foxglove Cottage ''embroidery/redwork" size 10 needle. I did try a few different needles and found this needle and thread combination quilted up the most easily and quickly for me. 
The quilting design is simple - just zigzag rows across the whole quilt.

The Australian Summer is not a great time for hand quilting but I took advantage of a few cooler evenings to rush through the last of the quilting and the binding.

Trimming the quilt ready to bind

There were a few hexagons left over so I made a label patch and appliqued it to the back.

The thick wool batting was chosen with winter in mind - planning on a warm bed cover. But for now it's hanging on the wall - and freshens up the room no end!

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Works in progress

It's been a few months - well and truly time to stop lurking and update progress.
And what has prompted a return to posting?
Have you read Barb's  latest great post, and her plea to all quilters to "put yourself out there" - especially the hand quilters? Susan - more quilting please 😊 
Another inspiration has been Meredithe and her "17 UFO's in 2017" - will be fun to follow her progress ....but am not setting myself any schedule. Good to see Carole will be joining her - such a super beautiful list of sewing there.
Then if you want to see a truly accomplished 2016 review check out Kyle's smilebox - just makes me itch to stitch. I added a page to my blog - my 2016 finishes - a modest list compared with some but I enjoyed making them so much. 
On that note -  a BIG thank you to these and many other inspiring bloggers that I follow - and may we have another super blogging year 📝 

Here are some UFO works in progress:

Grandmother's Garden
I started in mid 2014 and am now hand quilting it with big stitches but there has been a Summer pause in proceedings as it is just too hot to quilt in the hoop, especially with a thick wool batting! 

Chapman Coverlet
Started middle of last year - I had a red central fabric selected but wanted to put it into an octagonal frame. First I stitched on pieces of the black stripe fabric. Then I made a bias strip and appliqued it over the seam to frame the red centre.

There are many, many more 4 inch blocks to be hand appliqued -  then joined by machine in rows around the medallion centre.

Hexagon Star
Started early last year - a portable EPP hand stitching project that is not too large as they are half inch hexagons. I had the centre done in August and am gradually adding borders. 

It's a bit tricky turning corners with hexagons - they have a geometry all of their own!  It will have irregularities but I quite like that - just trying to mirror the corners and sides. I'm finding the free downloads of hexagon graph paper and some colour pencils very helpful.

Here's one that's new to the blog -
Forget Me Not - a cathedral window quilt.
I have quite a few old doilies (not embroidered by me unfortunately) that are treasured but unused, many are damaged or stained with age. I was also kindly given some doilies with Forget-me-not flowers on them - hence the name came to mind as a way to honour the embroiders too. 

Forget-me-nots in my garden in Spring

Forget-me-nots embroidered on doilies

I have been in awe of the huge cathedral window quilts on a few Dutch blogs I follow - often with carefully selected window colours. My cathedral window quilt has 'windows' made of squares cut from my vintage doilies and linen. I needed to research the technique in books and blogs - found that there are quite a few ways to do this, and ended up with a combination of methods that suits me. I machine stitch the invisible part - joining the linen blocks together - and then hand stitch the doily windows. Hopefully the pictures will give you some idea what I'm on about. 

A start - getting addicted
I cut linen squares of 9.5 inches. Then I followed the method in this excellent tutorial and they end up as approx 4.25 inch squares. These are joined together as in pics below.

2 inch doily squares are placed on the linen blocks (see picture below) ready for pinning with applique pins. The loose edges of the linen blocks are rolled over the doily squares and then hand stitched/hemmed (as in top picture).

This is part of my sewing room - quite a few other UFO's in there - but not 17 I'm sure...hehe