27 March 2016

Washed and Delivered

I have finished the lap quilt I was making for my son and his girlfriend. It was a quick, easy pattern and the big stitch quilting went rapidly! I loved making it, it is has been washed and delivered and will be well used, as was my intention. I will definitely use big stitch quilting again, especially for gifts quilts, all the wonderful benefits of hand quilting in a fraction of the time I normally take!

A comparison with the Welsh Quilt which I am hand quilting, much bigger stitches and a lot faster!

20 March 2016

Liberty Love

I am really enjoying working with Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics for my version of Sarah Fiekle's BOM. I have cut into my charm packs for the setting stars...
and sewn 8 of the 24 needed...

I had more trouble with the main block for this month
I would normally hand piece a complicated block like this, but my main reason for joining the BOM was to learn and to challenge myself, so following the excellent instructions provided by Sarah, I pieced this one on the machine. I think the busy fabrics are a blessing, hiding my far from perfect points, but I don't plan on remaking it!

07 March 2016

Trying Something New ...

My son and his girlfriend have just moved into their first home together; I wanted to make them a lap quilt and started Bonnie's mystery quilt 'Allietare' but I wasn't really happy with my colour choices, it was too dull. I shortened the curtains they bought for the sitting room, so I was able to use a bit of the leftover fabric to chose a new scheme. The curtains are a lovely deep fuchsia colour.
I then used my favourite colour tool to pick a triadic scheme of fuchsia, golden yellow and aqua blue

I kept the design very simple, I pieced some blocks using the units I had already made for Allietare and cut 4 1/2" squares for the rest; the cutting and piecing went quickly
 luckily I had a 2yd length of the perfect aqua fabric for the border
I thought about sending it out to be machine quilted but I really wanted to hand quilt this one, I decided to try big stitch quilting for the first time. I marked a simple pattern of overlapping circles It was easy to make my own template - it is just a circle with a radius of 1/2 the size of my squares (2 1/4")
I found some Spagetti thread by Wonderfil in the perfect colour, it is a 12wt cotton and lovely to stitch with
I had some trouble finding the perfect needle for me, I watched several videos on big stitch quilting and each quilter seemed to prefer a different type of needle. I eventually settled on a sashico needle which I think works very well.

I am doing large running stitches instead of a rocking stitch as I would with normal hand quilting - it is certainly going fast!

02 March 2016

Four Seasons Shawl

I have finished knitting my first shawl and participating in my first KAL (Knit-a-long) I had so much fun knitting this, and I know I would be nowhere near finished if it had not been for the support and encouragement of the rest of the group. The pattern is 'Four Seasons' by Alana Dakos and started life as the 2016 mystery KAL on the Never Not Knitting Group.  I cast on on the 8th of Jan 2016 and finished blocking yesterday. My Ravelry notes are HERE
I used Rowan Fine Art Aran in colour 'squirrel' a discontinued colour I bought on sale; the finished shawl is heavy, warm and I am really pleased with how it turned out.