Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Like Buses!

So it seems that our Bee Blessed quilts are like buses at the minute.  We had been waiting a while for some finishes to come along and now there are lots coming along at once! If you missed them, other recently finished quilts are posted here and here, but today I can show this pretty starflower quilt.

Doesn't it look great?  I love how rich it looks with all the non-white solids we used for the backgrounds.  Very soon this quilt is being donated to a mother and her teenage daughter who are facing tough times just now.

As always, we couldn't do this without your help, so HUGE THANKS!  We have lots more lovelies to come as a result of you giving generously of your time and fabric stashes to make blocks for us, so keep your eyes peeled on this blog and Judith's.


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Mystery Medallion Quilt - Border 6

Well folks, my 300 2.5" squares are all stitched up now and here's what they look like on my Mystery Medallion Quilt.

It took a little longer than I thought to piece all those little squares together but it was worth it.

I wanted something special for the cornerstones of this border because this is the final border of the quilt - yay!  I decided on Le Moyne stars and a little bit of paper piecing later I had these four to finish off my quilt.

So, there you have it.  The full Mystery of the Mystery Medallion has revealed itself coming to life from my head into fabric reality.

My verdict:  I have LOVED every minute of thinking this quilt through, calculating the measurements, watching the borders grow and trying to think what would look good next when I didn't plan anything ahead of time.  My one uncertainty about the quilt top is actually about those final cornerstones and whether perhaps I should have made them in a white background instead of the red, but I'm not going to think about it too much.

So, as with all the other details for this quilt

Here's what I did

Border 6 - bringing finished size up to 62.5" square
Make 4 sets of checkerboard borders - each one is 3 rows of 25 2.5" squares
Make 4 Le Moyne Star blocks for the cornerstones - each block 6.5" unfinished

For the checkerboard borders:
Cut 148:  2.5" squares white fabric
Cut 152:  2.5" squares red prints

Layout squares in desired pattern and stitch to form 4 border units of 3 rows x 25 squares each.

For the Le Moyne Star blocks:
Make 4 blocks.  Download and print templates for paper pieced Le Moyne Star blocks (6.5" unfinished blocks) -  Take care to check the patterns are the correct size when printed.  You may need to turn off your scaling or adjust it to 100% to get it to print exactly.

Add a Le Moyne Star block to each end of the top and bottom borders.  Stitch the side checkerboard borders on first and then finish by adding the top and bottom borders to your quilt top.

If you fancy having a go at this Medallion Quilt design yourself, all of the how tos have been collated for you on the Mystery Medallion Quilt tab at the top of the page.  If you ever do make up a quilt to this design, I hope you will come back and share a link to your quilt pics for me to see.

Now, obviously while piecing the top is complete this quilt has a way to go before I can call her a finish proper.  I am still trying to decide if I want to spiral quilt this one, so think I will mull it over for a bit.  In the meantime I shall enjoy the fact that I have finally made a quilt from the red and whites I collected and I have my own medallion quilt too!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Two tops

I've been piecing quilt tops for Bee Blessed for the past couple of evenings.

I brought a nice little pack of trimmed, sorted and labelled woven blocks back from the last Bee Blessed meeting.  A bit of easy peasy stitching and pressing and hey presto

a scrappy woven block quilt top.

I also brought home one of the yummy layer cakes that we were generously donated a while back (we are getting to all the lovely fabric donations, promise).  So this morning before work I took this loveliness

and chopped it all up as per my Brick Layer Cake instructions.  Then, after work this afternoon I started my bank holiday weekend by happily stitching up a quilt top that I now don't want to give away.

I love these Kate Spain Good Fortune fabrics.  Until I opened the layer cake I hadn't seen all of these prints before.  You know how with a layer cake there's often a square or two you could live without, well, not this one.  I can honestly say that there wasn't one print I didn't like and it was also nice that the prints weren't bulked out with the addition of solids.  My photo doesn't do the colours justice, but trust me, it's sooooo pretty.

So there you have it - two quilt tops for Bee Blessed.  Since these are collaborative projects I may not be the person who finishes these lovelies off, but it has been fun to be a part of them.  Thank you for your part in them too whether that's by donated blocks or fabrics.

Now, for the rest of my weekend, there may be some Medallion quilt piecing in my plans (fingers crossed).

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Bee Blessed finish

I've been working on finishing off that Wonky Crosses quilt for Bee Blessed over the past week or so. The binding seemed to go on for ever!

I thought I would share a couple of finished pics with you since you were all so lovely consoling and commiserating with me over my spiral quilting trials.  In the end, the wibbles in the spirals have had the edge taken off by a good old tumble in the washer and dryer and it's not quite as bad as I thought.  I still would have preferred a smoother spiral but the quilt looks good nonetheless, I think.

the back

This quilt is intended for a gentleman recipient and we hope it will provide some comfort to him and his wife at a worrying health-related time.  Thank you to all of you who contributed wonky crosses blocks for us.

As an update to my questions re the guide bar on the quilting foot I have confirmed that the bar that came with my walking foot is indeed only intended for right of needle positioning.  It is however possible to purchase an additional arm (which extends to 4.5" wide if wanted) which can be positioned either left or right of the foot.  At another £13-15 on top of the £30 paid for the foot itself I'm not madly impressed but I probably will succumb at some point because I do love spiral quilting and really want to make it easier in future.  It's also very handy for other guided quilting too.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Money where my mouth is

As you know, a few weeks back I was encouraging you all to do whatever you can to give Alison a wee hand with her Soy Amado quilt project.  To prove that I'm prepared to do the very thing I was encouraging you all to do, I decided to take my pile of Bee blocks and turn them into a finished quilt for a child from the kids' home in Mexico City.

My second set of hipBees blocks are bright, fun and fresh and hopefully now they'll show a little bit of thoughtfulness from me and the bees and keep a child warm at night.

I'm pleased with the backing too, and all our Bee siggies are on there as a reminder of everyone who contributed to the quilt.  My thanks to my hipBee friends for their lovely blocks and for being supportive of my decision to donate this quilt to the Soy Amado project.

Now I just need to get it to the Post Office!

Oh, and I do believe it constitutes another FAL finish too!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Soy Amado

So excited to see the first of Little Island Quilting's Soy Amado quilts being put on a bed at the home for former street kids in Mexico City. Excited too because I see my red and blue log cabin blocks in there. Keep an eye on Alison's blog for more pics soon. The first delivery has been made and she is just waiting on more photos coming through.
As a long term project there is plenty of time for you to get involved and send a quilt or a few QAYG blocks for this lovely cause. Read here for more of my thoughts and the links to all the details if you are interested.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014

Mystery Medallion Quilt - Border 5

I spent a little time on Sunday planning the next steps with my Mystery Medallion Quilt and since planning isn't as exciting as actually sewing, I couldn't resist the temptation to go ahead and add the fifth border.

It's another plain border with cornerstones and although I hadn't necessarily set out to add another such border it does feel right to me to somehow separate the various patterned borders from each other.  I was a little afraid that it would be too boring to do this, but I think that by varying the plain border widths and the values of the fabrics used in each that it doesn't feel too rigid or restrictive.  Well, that's what I'm thinking anyway.

Of course, as well as being a variation to the scale of previous plain borders, this skinny one has been specifically sized to accommodate my plans for border 6, which include 300 2.5" squares.  See, I've been cutting already ...

These will form most of the borders but I'm still trying to decide what to add at the corners.  Maybe a wee star?

Anyway, while I decide, if you are interested in catching up on border 5

Here's what I did

Border 5 - bringing unfinished size up to 50.5" square
Single border with contrasting cornerstones.
Cut 4:  1.5" squares for cornerstones
Cut 4:  1.5" x 48.5" for border strips  (using 5 strips 1.5" x FWOF pieced together should give you enough to cut the four required lengths from)

As ever, you can find all the how tos and blog post links in one place on the Mystery Medallion Quilt Tab at the top of the page - and please let me know if you ever try out this medallion quilt, I'd love to see some other examples.

Monday, 3 March 2014

Modern Stitching Bee - March 2014

Time for the monthly Bee Blocks again!  I started this month with Di's blocks for the Modern Stitching Bee.  

Asking for jewel toned/ deep fruity toned crosses on a low volume background, Di's choice of block was very kind to us this month and, of course, the LV charm swap I was gifted was super handy when it came to having an adequate LV selection.

Di shared with us a picture of a quilt that inspired her to ask for these blocks and although the very mixed LV background of quilts isn't something I have absolutely warmed to just yet, this quilt really did look amazing.  I think the trick (for me) is to make sure there's a really marked contrast between the LV and the other design elements of the block.  Perhaps I can be converted yet?

In any case, I'm sure Di will have gorgeous blocks buzzing their way back to her very shortly and I look forward to seeing her quilt finish in due course.

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Bee Blessed - March 2014

For those of you curious to know what block we have chosen to alternate with the gorgeous heart blocks you made and sent us in February, well, here she is ...

Yes, it's Pippi!  We're going to have another go at Pippi since she was so much fun last time around.  Can you believe that was almost two years ago?!  To give you an idea of what we are thinking, here's my Pippi surrounded by loads of love -

If you fancy adding a Pippi or two to all of the fabulous hearts we received last month the instructions are here on Judith's original post.  There's no need to fear this improv style block as Judith's tutorial will lead you through the process very gently. I promise!  Please use a solid white for the background, keep Pippi nice and bright and go for a bright scrappy border.  

Have fun with Pippi's dress fabrics and perhaps you can give your Pippi a more svelte waistline than I managed with mine!

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