Friday, 20 June 2014

Sewing bliss

Finally some sewing this past two weeks and some finishes - but computer problems (leading to purchase of new PC and further delay while it is set up) has meant this post has been delayed: my apologies.  I hate being so clueless about the technology but so dependent on it too.

I quilted my small Double Irish Chain (blogged about here) with a walking foot: a diagonal grid through the floral squares only, to emphasise the green plaid squares which make the chain, plus a stylised flower in the empty spaces.

It's a small quilt (45" square) so it didn't take too long.  I like to make class samples without free motion quilting, as so many ladies  aren't confident with FMQ.  I include myself in their number and am determined to get to grips finally with the subject (attending many classes in the past has not made me into an accomplished free motion quilter, probably because I just haven't practised enough).  I am following Amanda Jean of Crazy Mom Quilts current guide to FMQ and have picked up some useful tips in the latest post (here), particularly on the best way to tackle meandering/stippling.  Great machine quilting sampler in today's post too.

I also managed to finish the handquilting of my Giant Dahlia (last blogged here) and to get the binding on.  I am so happy to have finished this UFO, and I have quite enjoyed the hand quilting which followed the piecing lines, like a giant Spirograph (anyone remember that from their childhood?  I was obsessed for a while, drawing endless interlocking patterns with toothed plastic cogs and wheels).

I wanted to have quite a narrow binding and of course it had to be a  bias binding because of the curved outer edge of the quilt.  I never do bias bindings on my quilts so it was odd to have to think about a completely different approach.  How wide should I cut the strips and should I try a doublefold (so I could slipstitch the folded edge as I do with the usual straight cut binding) or would the doublefold pucker and twist?

In the end I cut the strips 2" wide, joined them on the diagonal and folded the binding in half exactly as for a straight binding.

It went on perfectly, though being so skinny it was a bit tight in places (maybe I'd cut 2 1/4" strips next time).  I am really pleased with the finish though as it doesn't take the eye away from the pieced middle.

No idea what I am going to do with the finished quilt: it is definitely a display quilt rather than a bed or sofa quilt but it is not something that would be easy to hang on a wall.  It could go on my dining room table but as that is where I sew ....

I'm glad to have finished it however and to have learned a few new skills along the way.  Plus it ended up being made entirely from stash fabric and a backing bought in a sale - another cause for celebration.

A little glow of pride too, as I have a quilt featured in the current issue of Fabrications:Quilting for You.
This is my Summer Medallion, renamed Tea for Two for the article.

The quilt is my own design and I have also made it in a reproduction red/blue/brown colourway which will be shown in more detail in Part Two of the pattern which is in the next issue of the magazine which comes out on 7th August.

A couple of other WIPs have been progressed this past week too, but I will save them for next week - just a glimpse of one for now.  Such bliss to be sewing again.  Hope you have managed to spend time with your fabric recently.

I am linking to Crazy Mom Quilts today.  Such a relief to have finishes to report amid the chaos.


  1. Your quilts are beautiful! The Dahlia quilt is something I could only aspire to's amazing. I love your work.

    1. Thank you so much, Beth; so lovely of you to take the time to leave a comment. The Dahlia quilt was easier than I thought it would be - hand piecing has its merits even if you are wedded to your machine like me most of the time, so if you ever get a chance to have a go, do try, you will surprise yourself, I'm sure. Alison