Friday, 20 January 2017

Friday finishes - finally

Hi everyone - hope you have had a good week.

I have been buzzing around this week on all sorts of admin and general catching up, so the only actual sewing I managed to do was to make 3 plain white housewife pillowcases out of an old sheet (which had worn out in the middle) and sew on a button!

I cut the pillowcases out a few days ago, and rather than start on any 'pretty' sewing I thought I should clear these out of the way first. I cheated a bit in that I cut the pieces making use of the sheet's hems so I didn't have to hem the open edges, but I did finish the sides with french seams so there shouldn't be any loose threads.

No point in photographing boring white pillowcases, so here are pictures of two finished quilts I promised you in my last post. I also thought you might be interested to learn how I chose to quilt the tops, bearing in mind that I still haven't mastered free motion quilting: will 2017 be the year I finally get to grips with it?

Back in late October, when life was just normally busy and not as complicated as it was to become, I resolved to finish some WIPs. I had a turn out, and was horrified to find quite so many tops - with backing fabric set aside - just needing to be quilted.

I think I counted twenty, which doesn't include some nearly finished ones which are waiting for borders or similar. I was so ashamed I could not face making a to-do list, but sorted out suitable sized waddings from what I had available and made a start.

I chose which tops to tackle first based on how easy they would be to finish - hoping that a few quick finishes would encourage me to carry on. The Madras Plaid quilt featured in that late October post has been quilted but not yet bound, as I have misplaced the fabric I wanted to use, so I cannot claim it as a finish just yet.

The following two finished quilts have been utility quilted with simple cross-hatching.I finally managed to get the binding stitched down over the holidays, so this post is a catch up.

I like the spacing of straight line quilting generally to be determined by, or have some reference to, the block structure. This small quilt (41" x 55"), which uses the Anvil block in a straight set, is diagonally cross-hatched. I wanted to avoid stitching through the diagonals of the HSTs as I feared they wouldn't line up properly because of the sashing. So I chose to put the diagonals through the centre of the floral squares in the middle of the blocks.I then put another line of quilting in between to give me an evenly spaced grid of lines 2 1/2" apart.

I thought I had already blogged about this quilt but cannot find a post so it must have all been written in my head! Briefly, the quilt came about because I had a stack of leftover pink and cream 2" HSTs from another project and wanted to use them up. The Anvil block uses eight HSTs so it seemed a good choice, and I used a blue/grey floral which I had in my stash and which is one of the very first fabrics I remember buying, over 20 years ago!

The number of HSTs determined the number of blocks, the amount of floral left after making the blocks determined the width of the border, and I put a narrow sashing between the blocks because I didn't want to have to butt up all the seam allowances which are always a bit bulky with so many HSTs. The blocks measure 6" so they are quite dinky, and I had just the right amount of a softly brushed pink floral in my stash for the backing. Very satisfying using what I had; even the wadding was a leftover piece from another quilt.

The other finished quilt (61" square) is also based on Anvil and uses Fig Tree fabrics, again left over from a previous project. This time the 8" blocks are set on point which gives a rather different look, and as well as narrow sashing I have used a cream tone on tone fabric for the setting triangles so the blocks 'float'.

I discover that I blogged about this top way back in March 2014 (see this post). I'm a little shocked that it was quite so long ago...

This time  I quilted a grid using the lines of the sashing and the 'verticals' of the HSTs as a guide, but because the blocks are set on point the effect is again of diagonal cross-hatching.  The spacing is variable however as it is closer on either side of the narrow cream sashing which is 1" wide, then spaced at 2" because that is the finished size of the HSTs in the block.

Here's a glimpse of the backing fabric which is a gorgeous caramel colour, not at all what I usually use but Fig Tree fabrics somehow always appeal.

Linking to Crazy Mom Quilts: I really love her finished quilt and am so envious of the FMQ. Looking forward to a weekend at my sewing machine: too cold here for much else though  we don't have snow on the ground, just very heavy frost.
Hope you stay warm this weekend and have fun.


  1. Wow, nice quilts! I really need to get some of my stack of tops done, and I haven't mastered free motion quilting yet either. The diagonal quilting is a great finish, and is similar to what was done (by hand, of course) on many antique quilts. You are inspiring me!
    Sylvia at Treadlestitches

  2. Your fig tree quilt is amazing. I LOVE it.