Friday, 19 May 2017

Really REALLY really love my quilting :)

I do. I am so in love with my quilting at the moment - I love my hobby ... and whilst I do not want to wish my life away, I cannot wait until I retire (in just 15 months) so that I can make even more quilts!

Since my last blog post, I have finished 6 quilts - 5 of which I'll share with you tonight (the 6th is a surprise birthday gift for next week ... Sshhhhh!) 

Baby quilts are so lovely to make - and these two were just dreamy. The first came together really quickly from a charm pack and a bit of sashing and was a gift for a colleague at work:

And this little darling is on her way to Ukraine in the morning with my dear friend Gerrie (chair of our North Wales link of Chernobyl's Children Lifeline, a wonderful charity I have been supporting for just over a year):

This next quilt, made with Moda Grunge fabric, was to match a rug in my friend's house - the rug:

I loved making this and I think I hit the brief - the quilt:

I finally finished my 'We should be sectioned quilt' which I started in September 2015. Mine was a 'seasonal' quilt which I started with Autumn and each of the ladies added their sections:

I tried different quilting on this including hand quilting but I still favour stippling as my go-to free motion quilting:

This was a wonderful quilting bee to be a part of and I love how we have all become good friends:

And finally, a leaving gift for a friend at work. He sent me a picture of a cushion his wife liked and I designed my quilt as a likeness - I won't lie - this was tricky to make - but I do like a challenge! 

I'd be lost without graph paper, being good at maths, pins and a spare bed to use as a design board!

Really loved this one:

And so did Wayne:

Yes. Love my quilting friends. Love my hobby. Love making quilts. Love giving quilts. 

Linking up with two ladies who also love making quilts - Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts and Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Friday, 21 April 2017

Star Wars Quilt :)

April has been a lovely quilting month - have enjoyed, and made the most of, the extra Bank Holiday days off work, being at home and having more time to start, make and finish some quilts.

My niece's boyfriend was 21 last week and I had always planned a Star Wars themed quilt for him (he's a huge fan) but hadn't thought of any specific pattern until niece suggested a character he loves called Boba Fett. Boba who? No, I hadn't heard of him either :) Here he is:

I was able to quickly draw up a pattern and decided that 4.5" squares would make a good size quilt and be an economical cutting size. I love Makower Spraytime fabric and their colours were an exact match for what I wanted:

The cutting took a lot of time but from then on in, it came together very quickly, I made 16 square blocks as I went along and kept referring back to my drawing for accurate placement:

I have recently discovered Aurifil Thread and, whilst I still use Guterman too, I really like quilting with the Aurifil - no breakages and the bobbin seems to last forever. I stuck to my favoured meandering / stippling free motion quilting:

I had bought the Star Wars and Janet Clare fabric in America last year and added some of the Spraytime silver from the front. I do like a tidy quilt back:

Hubby decide on the quilt name and at the last minute I drew a Boba Fett shaped label in freezer paper - think it turned out well:

Ta da:

Just have to share some silly photos of hubby and brother in law (and his delightful boxer dog - Buster) ... The front:

The back:

The birthday boy (man!) was thrilled - and that's what it's all about; it's why we make our quilts unique and enjoy every stage of making them.

Saturday, 25 March 2017

Charity Quilt - Siblings Together

This is my 3rd year supporting the great work of this charity - and being part of a wonderful 'online' Quilt Bee. Each month - mine was January - the Queen Bee decides on a block and the other bees make it, send it to you and you make the quilt from them.

For the tutorial of my block, please see this post:

A simple design and I just asked the bees to make scrappy blocks in red, yellow, green, orange or blue. A big block - unfinished at 18.5" - and with 12 of us in the Bee, it was always going to finish a good size. Bridgid from Australia joins in too so when she and one of the bees sent me two blocks and a newbie follower on IG asked if she could make me one too, I ended up with 16! Aren't they all fabby?

I went to Simply Solids last week for a free motion quilting class with Charlo from Quiltification (what a small world; she's in the other Siblings Together Quilt Bee) and whilst I'm very comfortable and competent in stippling, the class gave me the confidence to try 'new shapes' and I immediately put it to use on this quilt:

And here it is in all its glory yesterday in the morning sunshine in Wales - finishing at 72" square, I think it will make a great quilt for an older child:

I kept the backing gender neutral - a fabby bargain from Fabric Guild - beautiful fabric and I also used the off cuts for the binding:


Thank you to all the kind and talented bees for their beautiful blocks. And a reminder of why we give these quilts:

Linking up with Sarah @ Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Sunday, 12 March 2017

Gifts for 'Chernobyl' children 2017 ...

Please see these two posts from last year for the tutorials for a patchwork tote bag and table mat. The ladies who volunteered to help me make each of the 17 children visiting North Wales from Belarus / Ukraine a bag and mat were very kind and very talented.

Here are the lovely children (and helpers) with their bags last Summer:

They absolutely loved their gift bags - each contained a table mat to take home to their Mother / Grandmother, a patchwork bag, some sweets and either a tissue holder or wallet.

They were such a hit, Gerrie (chair of the North Wales Chernobyl Children's Lifeline), asked me if we could do it again this year. Of course we can - as soon as I put the request out on my Instagram for this year's group of children, I had a host of wonderful quilters ready to sign up again. 

The requirements are the same as last year - if you can make a bag and mat - great - if you can only make one - that's also fantastic. We have 22 volunteers this year and 14 children (aged between 9 and 11: 12 girls and 1 boy - and an older boy who is 14) so any extras will be gifted to the helpers and / or given to the children with siblings back home.

A nice size finish for a tote bag is 14" long by 12" wide with nice long handles (27") and a table mat 16" square or bigger would be lovely.

This year, I have varied my makes and I used a Moda Charm Pack (generously gifted by one of my dear IG friends, Katrina) to make two tote bags - one for one of the children and one for one of the helpers:

I have made a slightly larger table mat - 20'5" x 20.5" - which I quilted with Aurifil Rainbow thread (it's my new favourite now):

Nothing will go to waste - everything we make will be so gratefully received, I promise you.

Thank you all so very much - I will tag all my helpers for 2017 on Instagram  - please use the hashtag #ccllnorthwalesquiltbee - and I have created a link up so the bloggers can share their makes here:

Saturday, 25 February 2017

The absolute joy of quilting ...

I opened my blog to tell you about a Star Wars character quilt I'm making as a 21st birthday gift when I remembered I hadn't post about the FOUR quilts I've made so far this year ... Oops!

It's why I love my hobby - you get to make such a variety of quilts, bags, table mats, etc etc. And the first two months of the year have been creatively perfect for me and busy!

I take my inspiration from all over but for this quilt, my god-daughter's Mum sent me a photo of her bedroom:

And instead of keeping it simple - which would have been fine - I drew a stag on graph paper and decided to surround him with improv / geometric blocks ... as you do! It took some time and a lot of Kona Solid greys and was a biggie (for me) to free motion quilt but I got there in the end:

One of my best friends from school is 50 this year and so she just had to have a quilt too. She loves the colour blue ... I had a Moda charm pack and thought about cutting each square in half to make it go further ... and found an image on Google which I thought would be perfect ... 

I used some blender yardage I had in my stash and a little bit of vintage fabric and added some hearts in the corners of the borders for a bit of interest. Was so lovely to hand it over in person:

And the back:

I know many quilters extol the virtues (and patience) of their husbands / partners ... mine really is a saint! AND he helps me baste my quilts ... he has been asking for a quilt of his own for a few of the 7 years I've been quilting and his patience finally paid off. Along the way, the blocks decorated my sewing room walls for a few months though: 

Made entirely from scraps, the rainbow blocks contained all his favourite colours. He arranged the layout and chose the colour of the sashing and I think you can tell he was happy to finally get it:

And finally a 'proper girly' quilt. Made for hubby's cousin in Miami, she chose the colours - pink, blue, lavender and I designed a pattern to fit:

Another biggie to free motion quilt but lots of fun to make:

And now I can carry on with Bobba Fett!

Loving my quilting at the moment - hope you are too X

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.