Wednesday, 10 September 2014

The long awaited ABC quilt wrap-up

Hello lovely friends!  A long time ago now, I promised to post a final wrap up and link party for those people who stitched along with me and made ABC quilts from the book S is for Stitch.  I finished my first quilt for the wee man, and then in a moment of weakness decided to make one for Princess as well.  That has been finished too, and is hanging on her wall.  It is sugar overload - and there is no other way to describe it.

So - not the best shot, but you can see the log cabin pattern!

It is hard to take a good picture of the whole quilt in her room, so here are a bundle of close-ups!

M is for mermaid

For the binding, I used a thin stripe in sage green and cream that matches the spot fabric I used for the embroideries.  A Spotlight special, which was even better!

For some of the blocks, I added new designs - including M is for Mermaid, and U is for Unicorn.  Princess tells me that she doesn't like the mermaid's hair, because it looks like an ice-cream.  Right, because that's what I was thinking of when I did it?!

Q, R, V and W

This is first time I have tried hand quilting.  I machine quilted first, in the ditch of the blocks, and then I hand quilted with variegated thread in the middle of the first strip of the log cabins.  I ended up being a lot more consistent with my stitching near the end.  And, to be honest, hand quilting wasn't that painful!  I used this Sarah Fielke tutorial as a guide.  I may even hand quilt again ...

I, J, N and O

I used a mix of all sorts of fabrics for the log cabins, and then split them into blue/greens and pink/purples. Those of you with a keen eye for liberty lawn will notice there is even a few strips of my precious liberty stash included.

U is for unicorn - because every alphabet quilt needs a unicorn

And some Heather Ross wild flowers and briar rose. Princess doesn't know how lucky she is!

X marks the spot
For some blocks, Princess decided that she preferred the embroidery from the "boy" section of the book.  This included "X marks the spot" which is one of my favourite uses of an X block.  No xylophone here!

S, T and X

With the onset of Frozen, the snowflake has become a favourite too.

The quilt is on the wall above Princess' bed.  It is all very pink friendly ...

Yes I must replace those thumb tacks with a proper hanger at some point ...

This quilt was such a lot of work, but I have been very, very proud of finishing it - all the embroidery and then the blocks too.  The log cabins were made with 1.25" strips, so that the blocks finished at 8" once they were sewn together.  It was a labour of love, but I am pleased I did not rush it in the end.  Also, I have learned to enjoy embroidery (who would have thought, right?!).

So, if you have finished your quilt too (or even the top), link up and show me.  The link party ends on 14 September, so that will have to be the last date.  Hubby will randomly pick a winner, who will receive an unexpected treat - so make sure I can contact you.


    An InLinkz Link-up

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Shush goings on and 10 quilting confessions

My goodness my long lost friends.  What happened to August?  Which one of you stole it away and didn't let me write a single blog post??  I have been so out of touch with blogland that I was not even aware of the current craze to reveal 10 quilting confessions, until one of the lovely ladies at the Monday Modern group mentioned it.  Anything that involves a list is my kind of craze, so I though I would tell you my list, in between a show and tell of a few projects I have been working on.

The Tula Pink Prince Charming Gypsy Wife quilt continues (try saying that fast three times).  It's a love hate relationship.  I love looking at it.  I'm not loving making it quite so much!

  • I think I can do anything sewing related if I practice enough.  Don't take me the wrong way, I don't think that I will end up being great at everything.  For example, I will never practice FMQ enough to be as good as Angela Walters.  And I'm never going to produce haute couture clothing.  But I will give anything a go, and think anything is possible.  No talk of being scared of zippers here.  No siree.  Just watch a YouTube tutorial and give it a go.  The worst thing that will happen is some unpicking.  And the odd tantrum.  But I can live with that.
  • I've learned to really enjoy hand sewing.  I know, right?  Three years ago when I started, I would have NEVER believed you if you had told me.  But these things sneak up on you.  It's the same for other hand work like embroidery, cross stitch and English Paper Piecing.  Perfect for a tired night after work, in front of the TV.

Yes I keep making dumpling pouches.  Sneaky cute little things that they are.
  • I like pre-cut fabric.  Uncool right?!  But there is nothing like the simplicity of a charm pack or jelly roll for a quick baby quilt.  And all the fabric blends.  I'm fine with an easy fabric solution that looks good.  But don't think that means I reject yardage.  Nope.  I like that too - which brings me to the next point.
  • Fabric collections.  Yep, I'm the worst.  Give me fat quarter bundle of a whole fabric line and I'm happy, happy, happy.  I love how it all works together, and the effort that the designer has put in to balance feature and plain prints.  It's all good.  I do believe that the best quilts are made from mixed lines, and I have broadened my stash for this purpose, but a quilt from one line can sure be easy and satisfying.  Like Tula Pink.  Or Heather Ross.  I am an unashamed fan girl.  

And I've finally started some of the poster's for Hubby's zombie quilts.  Good things take time!
  • But while I'm on the fabric topic, I have to say it - I love low volume.  Not that I've managed to make many low volume quilts.  But I don't buy batiks.  It's important to leave those for the batik lovers.
  • Dense machine quilting.  Don't like it.  I admire it, and think it looks great on feature quilts (I'm thinking of Renee's amazing Tardis quilt - which I covet), little wall quilts, placemats etc, but I don't want it on a bed quilt.  Just not my thing.  It's too stiff.

I have started the Ginger Crush block of the month from Treehouse Textiles.  This replaces Citrus Sweet Love, but is completely different (in the best possible way).  I loved CSL but the journey was a long one, so I am enjoying the simplicity of this new project.
  • I am always on the hunt for the quickest and best way to do something.  Glue basting?  That's me.  Self threading needles for burying threads?  Yep.  Not burying threads?  Even better.
  • Machine binding.  Every time.  I sew the binding to the back first, fold it over, and sew down on the front.  I'm not going to change.
  • I've learned to appreciate the difference a new needle and rotary cutter blade make.  They're just easier to use.  I don't like the cost though. 

I'm keeping up with the Once Upon a Time sampler from Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery.  Stupidly cute.  But I'm probably just as proud of keeping up as anything else.  I seem to be slowly learning some stickability in my old age!

  • I'm a list writer.  I've done this for the last six months and it has been really good for me.  Since I've been back at work full time, a short list of goals has made me much happier about my achievements.  Otherwise I had a real sense of not getting much sewing achieved, which wasn't true.  A list is a good way of seeing what you have managed to do.  The List is VERY flexible though - I do not want it to make me feel bad if I can't get it all done.  So I am very inclined to move things to the next month if I can see it won't happen.  And adding things just to cross it off.  Heh.
  • I have slowly come to the realisation I do not like having too many projects on the go at once.  I do like a few, or else I suffer from boredom. However having many projects just makes me feel overwhelmed and like I am not achieving anything.  So I have had a real focus on finishing recently.
So tell me - what are your sewing confessions?  Your loves and hates?  Diversity is great - if we all liked the same things we would fight over the fabric.  Someone has to love the brown batiks, after all!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Howdy visitors.