Sunday, 27 December 2020

December 2020

This year has been a strange one, not a lot of socialising, only one trip away from home that was not local. We have been keeping in touch with friends and relatives by phone and over the computer. All this means I have done a lot more sewing, and online shopping when I run out of supplies. Most of us may have a hard time with the Covid-19 restrictions without technology.

List of Sewing projects for 2020

11 Linus quilt (one using an over-locker)

2 tea cosies for the Bowls club

5 birthday presents

2 Secret Santa's

6 bags

1 table runner

2 T shirts

4 pairs trousers

2 tunics

1 shirt for my husband

5 wall hangings

Baby quilt for a friend

Finished 2 UFO quilts

1 shadow quilted panel (not made up into anything as I can't decide what to do with it)

Lots of facemasks

Several scrubs caps, bags and tabards for NHS

Lots of Christmas decorations using felt, fabric and/or beads

12 Christmas cards

These are the latest two Linus quilts, both very quick makes so I got both done over the last fortnight. 

Let's Go - Quick and Easy Quilts for Kids by Connie Ewbank

Take 5 Fabrics - Lockdown project from Creative Quilting

This is the pink one from a previous post finished with a beige binding. 

The last two quilts are not wonky on one side, I  skewed the pictures in Photoshop to try and make them straighter!

I have also crocheted a few more scarfs and a couple of wreaths, one not yet finished as it has a lot of units that need blocking!

Winter wreath

Secret Santa present

Cute Robin Christmas card - quilting group project

Today I sorted my scrap boxes into colours. This should make using them easier, as I usually end up tipping them onto the floor to sort out the colours I want. Makes a bit of mess to clear up too.

I have had an enjoyable year sewing and crafting. It has been useful having a hobby to while a way the days during the Covid restrictions, particularly lately when it has been so wet and miserable. I am now looking forward to starting an Attic 24 crochet along in the New Year, a nice way to spend a winter evening in front of the telly.

Saturday, 14 November 2020

November 2020

 Back into lockdown, so no golf and plenty of sewing. I made some mug rugs as birthday gifts for friends.

Mug rugs from The Patchsmith's Sampler Quilt Blocks
Amanda Weatherill

Patchsmith Patterns Rainbow mug rugs 
Amanda Weatherill

As our monthly quilting group have not had a meeting since the beginning of March, we (the Committee) thought it would be nice to set some challenges to keep our members engaged as a group. I love making Christmas decorations and wrote some patterns for a few. I did get a bit carried away with sampling them, here are the results. I have written patterns for all but two of them. Ideas came from looking  at pictures on Pinterest. I have a few more ideas for next year, if needed. 

I have also crocheted these baskets from a book with lots of lovely Christmas projects, it is called Christmas Stitchery by Jenny Chippendale and Kate Thorp. I have made lots of projects from this book, I don't think there is anything in this book I wouldn't want to make. The book appears to have been published in 1990, which is possibly how long I have had it.

 I have put several layers of wadding, a piece of beige felt and a Christmas present topper with added beads and frosted felt balls in each basket. I have made three of each and they will look lovely hanging on the tree. I also used a hot glue gun for the first time on this project.

While on the subject of Christmas. A friend gave me a Gail Lawther pattern as a present a couple of years ago. I have looked at it several times and never got around to making it up until now. I really enjoyed making this, it was a lot of sewing for the bias binding, but it went really well.

Bethlehem (25 inches square)

One of my friends had to clear her Mum's sewing room recently and asked me if I would like a box of pink fabric, some of which had been cut into squares. I said 'Yes please' even though pink is a colour I am not keen on. I like a challenge and working out of your comfort zone can be exactly that. This is the result, largely pink with a bit of beige (not a keen colour either). I am very pleased with the result and will be backing it with a pink and cream fleece with hearts on it, a very pretty quilt.

October 2020

Over the last 3 months I don't seem to have been so productive with my sewing, playing much more golf as the weather has been so nice. I have made another pair of trousers and a pull on top. I also came across a pattern I bought years ago for a Star Flower Bag by Lee Brown. This was all hand sewing so useful as a Saturday quilting group project. I was pleased with the finished bag, but felt it was a bit tedious to make, may just have been my frame of mind.

I also took on a commission to make a baby quilt for a friend. This was a very simple pattern that took me a while to complete due to circumstances beyond my control. I then decided to get my sewing machine serviced before embarking on the quilting as the tension had needed altering too regularly lately. I have used it a lot this year so it deserved a little TLC.

With the left over fabric I made a bag to keep it in.

I took a trip with a friend to Creative Quilting in Molesey and bought some fabric (a Nickel pack and strip roll) to make a small quilt I saw on Pinterest and liked the look of, it was called Round and Round by croskelly. I added the pale star in the middle and will add a 2.5 inch borders of the coloured stars and white. I should have enough coloured fabric to make a binding. 

September saw me doing a lot of crochet, as I bought a book for making crocheted wreaths. I am finding suitable wreath sizes difficult to source, so have not finished one yet. I have made this one using a stick from one of my garden shrubs, I found it in the greenhouse so it was nicely dried out.

Crocheted Wreaths for the Home
Anna Nikipirowicz

Most recently I have been working on Christmas decorations for our monthly quilting group. We have not had a meeting together since March, as it does not look like we will be having any before next year we thought it would be a good idea to try and get members involved in group and Christmas projects, via email and the blog.

I have made several of these trees over the years, most as presents. I have the original one but thought it would be nice to make myself another. The pattern came from Creative Quilting as a kit with fabric and instructions. you then add embellishments to suit, the fun bit. Now you can buy mouldable battery operated string lights you can easily incorporate real lights on them too. 

I recently bought a second hand over locker and made this scrappy Linus quilt using it. As it over locks the seam allowance as you sew, I used less quilting to attach it to the backing, as the seam allowances should not fray when washed.

Another useful project are face masks. I have made some for friends and family using these two styles.

Thursday, 30 July 2020

July 2020

Yesterday I dropped off 5 quilts and 3 crocheted blankets for Project Linus, all completed during Lock-down. This was the most recently finished quilt.

It consists of 9 patch blocks, the 9 in the middle are stack and whack pieces, the outer 18 blocks are the remainder of the centre fabrics with two shades of blue to give a chequerboard. I added a 10 inch strip to the top and bottom and a fleece backing with wavy line quilting in a variegated blue thread. This gave interest to the navy strips. Navy binding finished it off. With hindsight, a wonderful thing, I should have used a navy frame to add definition to the central section. Although I may think it could have been better I am pleased with the result, and think despite the amount of blue it may appeal to a girl as well as a boy.

I have also been making a few garments, mainly tops and trousers for myself. I did have a request from my husband for a summer shirt, this is the result;

It looks very smart when he is wearing it, better than the picture - it was on a square trouser hanger. I love the fabric, cotton cheesecloth, it was lovely to work with.

At the start of Lock-down I signed up to Pinterest and have spent some time browsing there. Lots of ideas for all sorts of projects are pinned, never going to get round to doing them all. I came across The Patchsmith  and decided to buy one of her books;

It makes 6 inch blocks, I thought they might be a bit small, but the two I have made so far are gorgeous. I have adjusted them to mug rug size and plan to donate them to the Lullingstone Quilt Exhibition tombola (region 2 QGBI). Hopefully this will take place at the end of September.

I think I will be making more of these blocks as they are quick to make, an afternoon each mat, so may be a whole quilt is possible.

Sunday, 28 June 2020

June 2020

Lockdown has been eased a bit, so back to playing golf and a bit less sewing. I have made another scrap box quilt, three in total for Linus. This one was stitched onto wadding squares, the blocks were stitched together with a very dark navy sashing (1/2 inch), then a backing added and quilted in the ditch either side of the sashing. A 1/4 inch dark navy binding finished it off. I can at least put the lids on my 2 scrap boxes, still got a lot of scraps to use up.

 At the end of May, I decided to take part in the Lullingstone Quilt show challenge 'Two Fabrics'. The brief is to make a quilt 16 inches wide and up to 40 inches long. I chose silk and cotton, as that's what I had to hand. I like Jennie Rayment's textural blocks and have made several small quilts using her techniques. I chose three blocks to make from my silk and cotton. The cotton was a batik (chosen because it included colours similar to the plain fabrics) and hand-dyed voile and poplin, with a small amount of mustard cotton. The silks were from 'The Silk Route' Theme packs, so approx 10 inch squares. It is simply quilted in the ditch either side of the sashing, and around the silk shapes. I added some beads, buttons, sequins and embroidery thread embellishments. This is the result, which I was very pleased with. The colours are brighter than the photo, which seems a bit pink as the wall is painted in a colour similar to clotted cream.

Lullingstone Challenge Quilt - W 15 x L 39 inches

This is one of the garments I have been making since getting back into clothes making. I altered the neck opening, as I have made it before and found the neck V was easily damaged.

Loose tunic for summer wear

Here is a picture of the Easy Stack quilt I mentioned in my last post.

Lastly, this Crazy Paving quilt (started at evening classes with Nita Dodd) has been a UFO for 11 years, but is now complete. It uses a stack and cut technique, with 9 different squares of fabric that you rotary cut into 9 trapezoid patches. These are then arranged into blocks using one patch of each fabric. The finished are blocks are 10.5 inches square, so the fabric squares were probably 12 inches. I made three sets of crazy paving squares and used 27 in this quilt. The other three ended up as a table runner, which I use a lot. The quilt is backed with a pale blue cotton sheet (single) so no joins on the back. It is quilted in the ditch between the blocks and around the centre trapezoid in each block. I think the blue sashing and batik border set it off nicely. Except for the backing, all the fabric came from my stash.

Crazy Paving quilt

Thursday, 14 May 2020

May 2020

Seven weeks of lockdown, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, has given me a lot of time to get on with making all sorts of things. Since my last post I have been busy, maybe that's why the time seems to be passing so quickly. My last two projects in December 2019 were a charm square bag and a Linus quilt on a nautical theme.

I bought these charm squares a couple of years ago at Sandown, I had plans to make a quilt using them with a jelly roll I had, but decided I didn't like the colours together or the design I had come up with. The two jelly roll quilts I made for Linus appeared in my previous post.

Charm square bag W18 x H13 x D9 inches
This Linus quilt uses 10 nautical themed squares, I bought these years ago at a quilt show. I have made several quilts using different themes with these picture blocks. The Jags are from 'A Passion for Patchwork' by Lise Bergene, full of lovely projects - bags, cushions, table runners, hangings, quilts, etc. I find it an inspirational book.

January 2020 saw these projects completed;

 A Linus quilt using up the remains of the charm squares as pinwheel blocks I saw this design in a library book 'Little Quilts' by Sarah Fiekle and Amy Lobsiger. As I started with 5 inch squares for the pinwheels, my quilt was larger - 8.5 inch blocks. I ruined 2 star blocks trying to satin stitch the sharp points, so I decided to use one of the patterns on my sewing machine, a vermicelli style stitch instead. It did the job and cut out the frustration of satin stitching sharp points. I enjoyed making this one and will use the pattern again.

I made several smaller projects during January, including

A tea cosy for the Bowls club

A collapsible thread catcher as a birthday gift
A humbug bag as a birthday gift
Tote bag
The tote bag is one of three I made from a series of panels a friend gave me last year. I used an old curtain and it's lining for the rest of the bag, and backed the pieced panel with an old sheet. Three repurposed bags.

In February I decided to do some clothes making. I had a previously used Burda blouse/tunic pattern that I felt needed altering to make construction easier. I made a blouse with the alterations, it turned out very well. I also had a pattern from Tilly and the Buttons for an Orla blouse, bought because I liked the shaping used in this garment. I made a toile for this one as I had not used this make of pattern before. It needed some minor alterations before using a V&A fabric - seaweed - to make it up. Again a successful outcome. I also made another T shirt from a McCalls pattern that I have used several times. I am really enjoying making clothes, especially when they come out well. I also made a table runner from a pattern I bought last summer at Sandown from a company called OliVen, I liked the unusual shape.

Waving table runner - the edge is a bit too wavy, room for improvement
On to March, another productive month. Before we went into Lockdown, I made an Orphan block quilt from blocks picked up at our last Quilt group meeting. I was quite pleased with the result, as the blocks were all shapes and sizes. Despite my efforts to try and make them all the same size, I ended up with six at 12 inches square and six at 12.5 inches square. Instead of joining them with sashing I bordered them with 1.5 and 1 inch strips respectively, in two alternating shades of turquoise. A useful method to make the size difference less obvious. 

Orphan block quilt for Linus
I also made a small wall hanging from some hand dyed wool felt squares and stranded cottons from 21st Century Yarns. Again I have had these for a couple of years, I had even worked out what I wanted to do with them. I had used stamps and metallic paint to print circles and flowers on to them. I then used the embroidery thread and lots of beads and sequins to embellish them. I stitched them on to a piece of acrylic felt to give the hanging more body. It's a bit OTT, but I love it.

Felt wall hanging
 Come Lockdown, when I was not tidying up the garden, I was sewing again. I made three more Linus quilts, two from my scrap box and one from a batik panel.

Batik bird quilt

Postage stamp scrappy quilt

Scrap quilt
I also made a small contribution to PPE by making 12 scrubs hats and 8 scrubs bags, as well as 20 crocheted ear savers.

Scrubs bags

Scrubs hats
I made a rainbow hanging for the front window. The pattern was downloaded free from Creative Quilting (Molesey). Neighbours have commented on how nice it looks.

I did a bit more clothes making, a tunic and two pairs of trousers. I made toiles for the two styles of trouser, as I never can get trousers that fit comfortably at the waist. The adjustments I had to make have resulted in two pairs of well fitting trousers. I will definitely be making more now I have the fit right. I also finished a second Easy Stack quilt from the Paula Doyle workshop I did with Linda Seward last summer. It looks very nice, when I have a decent picture I'll show it.

Lastly, when watching the TV in the evening, I have been crocheting blankets for Linus in an effort to reduce my yarn stash. After three blankets using a Closed Shell pattern, it has gone down a bit.

Next job is to sew some face masks for use at the supermarket.

Friday, 10 January 2020

Last post 2019

We recently had our windows replaced, so no heating on during the day, plenty of layers though! As a result of the 'clearing space' exercise I had to do in the workroom, I decided I have too much stuff of all sorts. I filled two bin bags with 'rubbish' and I managed to finish some UFO's, four quilts - three Linus and one workshop. I also made two from a jellyroll I purchased in 2018, these have all gone to Project Linus. Technically all these are coverlets as they are only two layers - patchwork top and fleece backing - so easily laundered when given to children.

Large T-shirt and medium Tea pot quilts

Fruit Punch - front and back

Jellyroll Jam quilts (45 inches square)
The workshop I did with a friend, was Paula Doyle's Easy Stack technique, tutor Linda Seward. I have another one on the go using a four patch block.
Easy Stack workshop quilt using the Bright hope block
I also sorted out my personal quilt collection. I have made so many over the years, I have been quilting sine 1987, that I decided those that have never been used should go to Project Linus.

Quilts donated to Project Linus

A quilting friend had a significant birthday this year, so 21 again! C is a Quirky Quilter, so we had a group project to make a rainbow of cushions to mark the occasion. They look a lot better than in the photo. I am sorry I didn't photograph them all before I put the pads in as it shows the designs better.

My contribution

The rainbow for C
Another Quirky had a birthday recently, as a present I made a jellyroll bag in nice bright colours, with a turtle fabric lining. E monitors turtle nests on the beach in Florida where she lives part of the year.

A nice big bag for sewing projects

A zipped pocket and an open pocket for small bit and pieces
I love making this bag, all the Quirkies have one now. I have just started making myself another using charm squares, it makes a slightly bigger bag to the jelly roll 4 patch blocks used in this one.

I also ran a workshop at the Surrey region HQ for the WI, making Christmas decorations. That was a fun day, everyone seemed to get on well with the projects on offer.

WI workshop- offered projects

Some imaginative block placements in the folded circle hangings
WI ladies efforts
The triangles were the most popular project. They were the simplest to make and a versatile unit, as these projects demonstrate.