30 March 2017

17 in 2017 - March Progress

This is my list for Meridith's 17 in 2017 Challenge


Mixed progress this month, Spring has finally arrived and I have been in the Garden :)

No. 4 Estonian Lace Scarf

I made so many mistakes it was laughable! I have ripped it out and will start over, I think I need to take a class in Estonian Lace knitting when I have time as I love the pattern

No. 7 Stonefields

I have a plan for the hexagons :)

No. 11 Baby Cardigan

Finished :)

No. 13 Goldfinch Silk Shading Embroidery

Progressing slowly...

No. 15 Down The Rabbit Hole

Centre lollipop flowers are basted ready to stitch...

I also started a DJ quilt :)

20 March 2017

None of the Above

Thank you to everyone who took the trouble to comment on my fabric choices for Dear Jane.  I decided to go to back to basics and look again at what attracted me to this quilt in the first place. I quickly decided that I really loved the warm antique looking feeling of it. I knew that as much as I loved some of my options on my previous post, they would not work for this quilt

Browsing a new book on colour selection for embroidery, I came across this picture

Who doesn't love chocolate covered marshmallows! One of my favourite quilts is this lap quilt I made several years ago, I loved the colours then and I still do

I also love this hand quilted one...

I think it is fair to say I like pink, brown and cream quilts :)  I have pulled all my pink and brown scraps

I have a big drawer full of ivory tone on tone and shirting scraps that I can mix in. I think I will use this warm cream for the sashing.  I have stitched a couple of blocks and I like the colours

I have a few more ready to stitch but I think this will work

16 March 2017

17 in 2017 - The Baby Cardigan

No. 11 on my 2017 list of UFOs is The baby Cardigan.  Strictly speaking it shouldn't really count as it's not my WIP !!! Just before she went on maternity leave, my embroidery teacher brought in a bag of yarn and a half finished baby cardigan; her mum had given up on the pattern and she didn't know anyone who could knit, I said I would take a look...

The yarn was a gorgeous eco baby cotton by Debbie Bliss and so soft

But the pattern, my goodness! It was a cute wrap style cardigan with rosebuds also by Debbie Bliss

The garment is tiny to fit a new born and each rosebud needs it's own bobbin of yarn or there would be lots of trailing yarn for little fingers to get caught in :( each row was taking about 30 minutes and I had to constantly check my tension.  We quickly decided that life was too short and I put everything back in the bag while I finished my surprise gift for her

Modelled by the gorgeous Ivy :)

The yarn was too lovely (and expensive!) to waste so we decided I would try and find a simpler pattern to use it.  I chose Playful Stripes by Alana Dakos 

What a joy it was to knit :) the finished garment is so wonderfully soft, and blocked beautifully

There was enough yarn for the second size so plenty of growing room!

I like the little details Alana has included, like the picot edging on the bottom and sleeve cuffs

I can't wait to see the gorgeous Ivy wearing it!

06 March 2017

My Love Affair with Jane

Shortly after I learned to quilt in the late 1990's I came across a newly published book by Brenda Papadakis 'Dear Jane' The book contains line drawings of the blocks in the Civil War Sampler quilt by Jane Stickle

It does not unfortunately contain any instructions, and for a newbie like me it seemed impossible.  A few years later finished quilts started appearing all over the internet, and through them I discovered the hand piecing method using freezer paper beautifully explained by Linda Franz in her 'Quilted Diamonds' books. I started piecing some blocks...

They were a bit too bright for me and I only made a few before turning them into a bag and gifting it to a friend.

I still wanted to make a full quilt and decided a few years later, that I would join a BOM using Civil War fabrics and fast machine piecing. I made about 60 blocks and then started seeing literally hundreds of Civil War Dear Janes appearing; deciding that I didn't want a quilt that looked like everyone else, I turned these blocks into a lap quilt, which is in regular use ...

Fast forward another few years, and I thought it would be a good idea to use low volume antique looking fabrics and started again in 2103...

However after a few blocks I thought these were too wishy washy and so put the fabrics back into my stash.

I still love the original quilt and I really liked hand piecing the small blocks, the problem was that the preparation for the method using freezer paper is very time consuming; the machine piecing/paper piecing method described in the BOM was not very accurate and ate fabric :)

I have for some months, been enjoying watching Frances's progress on her Dear Jane using the English Paper Piecing method; so when I saw that Simply Solids were offering a monthly package of pre-cut paper pieces without fabric, it seemed the perfect solution. I really like EPP as it is very portable and accurate.

The only problem was to pick a colour scheme.  I knew I wanted scrappy, so that I would not have to worry about running short and the fabrics had to be interesting enough to keep me motivated.

I thought about 1930's, I have a small collection of scraps left over from another quilt, but if I use these then I will have to buy lots more...

I have seen several beautiful two colour quilts, red and cream? - I have plenty of fabrics in these colours :)

or Blue and White? However lots of Blue fabrics don't play nicely together? I think I would have to stick to greyish civil war muted blues or go clear and bright...

This will be a very (!) long term project so maybe I should go with something I really love? I have quite a few pieces of  Liberty fabrics leftover from my 'Happy Days' and it wouldn't be that terrible if I had to go up to London to buy some more would it? :)

It's a dilemma! What would you do? Any advice from those of you who have a completed quilt?  I really would like this to be the final Dear Jane I make!