30 January 2017

17 in 2017 - January Progress

Meredith over at Pomegranate and Chintz has issued a challenge for 2017, the idea is to chose 17 UFO's and to work on each of them throughout 2017. You can read her original post here:

I have managed some progress on 3 projects from my list this month, the full list is here:

(If you click on any of the photos they should enlarge )

No. 2 - The Welsh Quilt 

I have put in quite a few hours of hand quilting...

I think it is easier to see the quilting from the back

There is a still long way to go but I am happy to have completed another border :)

No. 9 Happy Days 

most of my sewing time this month, was spent turning a pile of blocks into a quilt top ...

I am very happy to have this done and it is now off to my machine quilter to be basted so that I can hand quilt it.

No. 13 Goldfinch Silk Shading Embroidery

I am attempting to turn this picture of a Goldfinch

into an embroidery - so far I have part of a branch (!)

Thanks Meredith for the motivation :) I think focusing on only 2 -3 different projects worked well for me, we will see how well I do in February as I am about to start a new quilt tomorrow :)

21 January 2017

Happy Days Quilt - The Photoshoot ...

I have made my January deadline! Happy Days is now a flimsy :)  I persuaded my son and husband to stand outside so I could get a photo of the whole top - under protest I have to say as it is a very frosty -3oC here this morning!

I have loved every minute of this BOM  by Sarah Fielke and although I have been quilting for 20 years, I learned a few things and finally conquered my fear of paper piecing :)

This top is off to be machine basted and then I plan to hand quilt it, trying Sarah's big stitch quilting - it may take a few years (!)

Photos of each block are HERE the background is an old Martha McCluskey staples fabric, a small grey pindot on an off white, the rest of the fabrics are Liberty Tana Lawns which were a joy to stitch with.  The outer border is another Tana Lawn 'Juno's Garden'

16 January 2017

Happy Days Sarah Fielke 2016 BOM

I have finally finished piecing all the units for my Liberty version of 'Happy Days'

The 20  blocks...

The side wreaths...
and the setting stars...

The final layout

I have remade the top left block by replacing the outer pink with background fabric, it was just too bold, I thought it might be but it took a photo to convince me it was worth taking the time to redo!

Auditioning border fabrics

The quilt doesn't go together in rows and columns, we have to do some step piecing, it's slow going but so far so good.  I would really like this to be a quilt top before the 2017 BOM begins at the end of this month.

11 January 2017

17 in 2017 - Number 2 - The Welsh Quilt

Number 2 on my 17 in 2017 list is The Welsh Quilt

I was luck enough to be able to attend the 2010 Quilt exhibition at the V & A in London, I fell in love with the beautiful hand quilting on this Welsh quilt from their collection.

The original quilt was made between 1800 - 1850 and measures a whopping 235cm x 207cm, you can read what little is known about it on the V & A website

I wanted a lap sized quilt, so I did a lot of figuring out and came up with something around 59" x 66" 

I made templates for some of the triangles as they were very odd sizes! Here are my rough notes in case anyone else wants to have a go:

I cut a square and turned it into an octagon for the centre - finished 13” approx
narrow cream border finished 1 1/4” then turned it on point
once it was on point the whole thing including the blue floral setting triangles measures 22"
The next cream border is 3"
triangle border = 5” - rectangles not squares length approx 5 3/4” plus fiddling!
2nd triangle border = 3” - rectangles not squares length approx 6” plus fiddling!
last triangles border on top border only = 5”
final cream border  = 7”

The fabrics are mainly reproductions and all came from my stash including the backing. I am using a Hobbs Wool wadding which is a dream to hand quilt. I wanted to replicate the look of the beautiful Welsh wholecloth quilts on the back, so I chose a plain fabric. Part of what makes a quilt 'Welsh' is the fabulous designs they use for quilting, I struggled to see the quilting on the original and so made up my own stencils, using some of my British quilt reference books and the internet.

The piecing went together quickly and I started hand quilting in the Autumn of 2013 things were going really well...

I pick it up on and off over the next winter, until the arthritis in my hands and wrists go so bad that I couldn't hand quilt.  I was finally diagnosed last year with rheumatoid arthritis and have been relatively pain free for a few months now.  I have finished all the hand work I had prepared for Happy Days so I have picked up my beautiful Welsh Quilt again.  I am hoping that my hands will hold out, and I can carry on quilting.

05 January 2017

Down The Rabbit Hole Fabrics Take Two!

Well the first instalment of Sarah Fielke's new 2017 BOM 'Down The Rabbit Hole' hasn't even gone live yet and I have already changed my mind about my fabrics!  The pattern is wonderful and whimsy...
I feel that my original selection of fabrics although bright and cheerful didn't really suit the feel of this quilt. I have another pattern in mind that I think they would be better suited to, so they will stay together until I am ready to start yet another quilt (!)

Sarah's quilts are fun and challenging to do, this is a large intense appliqué quilt and will be a year long commitment (at least!) so I needed something that will hold my interest.  I have now got my quilting mojo back and am powering ahead with 'Happy Days' the 2016 BOM, to celebrate I decided to use the last of my Christmas money to treat myself to some new fabric.

I really want to try something different with this quilt. I admire the work of printmaker and painter Angela Harding I especially like her nature prints and cool colour palette.

I would like to make a quilt invoking this feel if possible, so after hours of trawling the internet, I came across a range of fabrics by Art Gallery.

I have bought a 4 yard cut of this focus fabric, I plan to use one full length in the centre of my backing and fussy cut the rest throughout the quilt. I absolutely love it! It is whimsy and fun and totally different from the fabrics I normally work with.

This is Moon Stories in Ash (NTF 67903) from the Nightfall range by Maureen Cracknell for Art Gallery Fabrics.

I have also ordered a FQ pack of co-ordinating basics from the Fat Quarter Shop in the US
I also found a local UK shop (Billow Fabrics) who sell 10" square packs in a mix from the Nightfall, Heartland and Hello Bear ranges.

I am thinking of using Robert Kaufman Essex Linen (55% Linen 45% Cotton) for the backgrounds, I have ordered small pieces from Cloud Craft here in the UK.
I am hoping these will play nicely, if not they will make great backgrounds for embroidery ;)
These are 'Steel' 'Grey' and 'White'

These are 'Rose' 'Natural' 'Grey' and 'Light Blue'

I will decide once all of the fabric arrives, I know I will use the linen for embroidery if not for this quilt.  

Can you tell I'm excited about starting this quilt?!

Now I really must get on with 'Happy Days' while I wait for all my fabrics to arrive. Some are coming from the US, so depending on the whims of UK customs they may not arrive in time for the start of the 2017 BOM. That is probably a good thing as I am hoping to have all the blocks pieced and a quilt top assembled before the end of January - wish me luck!

P.S. My only resolution this year is to keep better project notes, e.g. name of fabric and where I bought it - I always think I will remember,  but when I need more I never can!

02 January 2017

17 in 2017

Meredith over at Pomegranate and Chintz has issued a challenge for 2017, the idea is to chose 17 UFO's and to work on each of them throughout 2017. You can read her original post here: https://pomegranateandchintz.wordpress.com/2016/12/01/a-challenge-for-2017/

I often almost never feel guilty about my UFO's but I do think that it will be good for me to focus on some of them throughout the year. I will try to look at each of these in turn and either work on them or put the materials into stash. I sometimes stop working on a project as I am not happy with the way it is going, a couple of months in time out is usually enough for me to decide if I want to finish it our not.

These are the UFO's I have picked - we are allowed to start new projects too - so it's a win win challenge for me!

1. The Mellerstain Firescreen

2. Handquiting the Welsh Quilt
3. Remember When


4. Estonian Lace Scarf

5. Love Entwined

6. Embroidery Angel

7. Stonefields

8. Berry Cardigan
 9. Happy Days

10. Wedding Quilt

11. Baby Cardigan

12. English Paper Piecing
 13. Goldfinch Silk Shading Embroidery

14. Rowdy Flat Library Quilt
15. Down the Rabbit Hole

16. Fan Mandala Embroidery
17. Quilting Hoop Bag