A finished quilt

I have now finished the quilt mentioned in this post. I quilted it using big stitches and embroidery thread which makes an attractive pattern on the back. I wish I knew what the block used in it is called as I’d like to google it and see other designs incorporating it.

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This is the first quilt I’ve basted with a gun and I enjoyed quilting it much more than I usually do, mainly because I didn’t use a hoop. The tacks can be removed with scissors but I’d recommend using a remover designed for the job.

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The quilt is relatively heavy so I think the double bed quilt made from the same fabric will weigh a ton when finished.

Some pictures from a friend

Since I’ve started this blog, friends have been sending me pictures of quilts I’d given them. Having forgotten so many of the details it’s great to see them again. Here are some things I made for Hannah, my friend Dee’s daughter, many years ago when she was little. She is now a teenager!

This is a quilt made with Japanese fabric. I like how it looks as if the owls are peering at the turtles in their pools.

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This is a log cabin quilt made from a range of reproduction fabric called Kansas Troubles.

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And finally here is a kitty and a (very misshapen) tortoise, both made from scraps of much-loved fabric. I think the kitty is based on a Kaffe Fassett pattern. The original pattern probably specified a tail…

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Faceted jewels quilt: 1

I’ve now started piecing the faceted jewels quilt with the thirties fabric bought at the knitting and stitching show and the various pieces are stacking up. I’m impatient to see how the pattern appears, but it will be a while before I have enough pieces to put together the larger blocks.

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Traditionally quilts have been made using leftover or reused pieces of fabric, and I doubt that it was usual for quilters in the past to buy large amounts of fabric expressly for the purpose of making a quilt. Although things are different today, there is still a huge amount of satisfaction to be gained from using up every last scrap of fabric and converting leftovers from one quilt into pieces for a second quilt.

For example, with the faceted jewels quilt I have been using a quick method for piecing the flying geese which involves sewing a square to the rectangle along the diagonal and then trimming the fabric afterwards  (I try to avoid sewing bias edges as much as possible). This has left me with lots of triangular pairs which I have been sewing together to make half-triangle squares. I worked out that I’ll have 400 of these squares by the end, each measuring 1¾”. I’m trying not to think about having to trim all 400 of them!

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I’ve been sewing another triangular block in a similar way and have been left with several pointed right-angled triangles. These can be sewn together into a diamond and then retrimmed to make a 2½” quarter-triangle square.

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Some people go even further when it comes to scraps, utilizing even the selvedge (there are some great examples on google images). I particularly like this selvedge dress.

The knitting and stitching show

Last week I went to the knitting and stitching show at the Alexandra Palace and came away with an awful lot of fabric and a head buzzing with ideas. This show felt a bit calmer than the Festival of Quilts and the surroundings are more beautiful, although the downside is that there are only a small number of quilts on display.

Highlights included the Royal School of Needlework’s stalls (where they were displaying this silk-shaded budgie) and a winning quilt by Joy Salvage from the Festival of Quilts. Salvage’s quilt was awe-inspiring: besides the achievement of the hundreds of teeny-tiny log-cabin and pineapple blocks, the pattern was wonderful and the colours rich and lovely. The quilt had so many small pieces that it had been tied rather than quilted.

As for my purchase I bought some Kaffe Fassett solids with the idea of making some more quilts along these lines:

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Some brushed cotton in deep rich colours for a cosy winter quilt:

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And finally, some thirties reproduction fabric:

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I had a very definite idea of what I was going to use these 12 fat quarters for, but then I googled ‘thirties quilts’ and fell in love with this faceted jewels design. The pattern works best on a larger quilt so I realized that I would have to buy some more fabric if I wanted to make it…

Some Japanese quilts

A highlight of the Festival of Quilts is the stall for Euro Japan Links, a small company selling imported Japanese fabric.

This first quilt made from their fabric has a simple pattern which effectively showcases the prints. I think the red wave binding works well with the blue backing.

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This second quilt is simpler still as it consists of just one quilted panel of fabric.

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Finally I have a UFO (unfinished object) made from a Euro Japan Links pattern. It will be stunning when finished and hopefully it will be the subject of a future post.

Kaffe Fassett shot cottons

Although I admire Kaffe Fassett a lot, most of his fabric is too extroverted for me (Jean Pierre says is style is summed up perfectly by the Afrikaans word ‘bont’ meaning something like ‘bright and cheerful’). However, I do like his plain shot cottons and some of my favourite quilts have been made from these fabrics (including the one at the end of this post).

This quilt was inspired by various abstract quilts utilizing big-stitch quilting that I had seen at the Festival of Quilts. I find it very hard to give myself over to completely random arrangements, but the result is worth it. The middle section consists of some sewn together strips which my mum had given me, which I cut at angles and re-sewed.

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I absolutely love this next quilt. The design is incredibly simple, but I can look at it for hours.

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A group quilt

A few years ago me and two friends, Chloë and Lynda, decided to make a quilt for our friend Jean Pierre’s new daughter, Bella. We decided the theme would be chickens and we each made a chicken block and two other blocks for the nine-block quilt. We each quilted our own blocks and the quilt is backed with chicken-themed fabric.

Collaborating on the quilt was really fun and I love the way that all the chickens are different, reflecting our different personalities. I originally planned to use the block featured in this post for my section, but it just didn’t go with the rest of the quilt, so I made another one (embroidering instead of appliquéing the feet and comb this time).

The pictures below show the process and the finished quilt. My late cat Ben (who is much missed) also features, as he jumped up and sat on the first chicken block as I was trying to decide whether it should go in the quilt.

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