Sunday, 22 January 2017

A herringbone quilt for my Dad, Happy 70th!

Quilts photograph so much better in the southern hemisphere. Also, look at my Dad's cute feet.
I have (well, had) a whole stash of fabric that I was "saving" for something special. My Dad celebrated his 70th birthday in November, and as we had a holiday to Australia planned for Christmas- I knew just what to do with it. It would even travel in our carry-on luggage (in case our suitcases went walkabout on the way there).

My pal Rachel found this cool tutorial on herringbone quilts - kind of a quilt-as-you-go, with the panels of wadding acting as your base to sew your pieces directly on to (I explain that poorly- check out the link!). So there was very little stuffing around, and no puckering, with the quilt top and wadding. It worked a treat. I pretty much followed the tutorial exactly. 
Which way to sew it together?
It's always lovely piecing a quilt for someone you love to pieces.

Happy 70th Dad xxx

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Japanese inspired half-square triangle quilt

I made this japanese-inspired quilt for my pal's 40th. You can make all sorts of great patterns with the half-square triangle, but I really like the simplicity of this design.

The coloured fabric is full of metalic gold prints, which are quite striking against the white cotton.

The quilting is pretty straight forward - I stitched the ditch in straight horizontal rows with no overlapping. The backing moved around something terrible and it took several attempts before I got something passable. I think I need to be using more pins- especially with such a large (therefore heavy) project.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

To Orlando with love #QuiltsforPulse

I often feel a bit overwhelmed by all the negativity in the world. I do what I can to help- taking food to the food bank, defacing racist graffiti, recycling everything, and donations to charity- that sort of thing. But I've been thinking to try and put my QuiltyKilty skills to use.

My husband's workpal bakes, and raises money for different charities each month- "baking for a better world" he calls it. I've also been priveleged to meet Linda Macdonald, who started Malawi Underpriveleged Mothers after asking herself "but what can I do?" and collating a charity recipe book that went on to sell tens of thousands of copies. 

These ideas are great- do what you love doing and spread the good will ("spread" get it? like bedspread.. haha..oh ok, I'll get my coat). I've made quilts for charities before - like the quilt for Malawi Underpriveleged Mothers, and a split 9-patch for Alzheimers Scotland, so maybe I can "sew for a better world".

My lovely pal Emily from Brighten Up heard about my idea, and has been sending me scraps from her business to make quilts with. (If you need a lamp/ceiling shade, I would highly recommed Brighten Up, my flat is full of Emily's funky shades and they always get loads of compliments.)

So I made a scrappy rainbow quilt. Here 'tis:

I used loads of different techniques for the 9 inch blocks

I was struggling to think how I was going to sell or raffle it off and which cause it should go to. That same week there was the masacre at Pulse Nighclub, in Orlando, USA. I have LGBTI+ friends, and this act of hatred made me feel sick to the core.

It wasn't hard for me to make the choice to donate the quilt to #QuiltsforPulse, when my local fabric store Fabric Focus put a post on their Facebook group calling for rainbow heart quilts for the survivors, friends and family of the tragedy.
Kevin from Fabric Focus holding up my donated quilt
To keep with the 'rainbow hearts' theme I appliqued two patchwork rainbow hearts onto the quilt. And I've added a wee label on the back.
I hope it brings someone involved with the tragedy a little comfort to know that people on the other side of the world are thinking of them, and are rallying behind them- doing whatever they can do, even if that's just sewing.

If you want to get involved- visit The Modern Quilt Guild for details.

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Autumnal quilt

I made this quilt for my step-sister's 50th birthday last year. I didn't blog it. I should have, it's nice!

The patching was done using a Moda charm pack, I forget which one. To get the patches 7 x 10, to make a decent sized lap quilt, I needed to add some complimentary block colours in craft cotton.

The quilting was stitch the ditch- I wanted to keep it simple and let the colours do the talking.

The quilt's colours are quite autumnal. As there's nowhere quite like the Edinburgh Royal Botanic Gardens in autumn. We headed there to take some photos of it. We were trying to be a bit "arty" and capture the light and leaves. Not sure we really managed it.


The kids had a great time helping to take the photos.

A split 9 patch baby quilt

Our pals had a baby girl, so I did what I seem now to do for anyone's significant life event, and took to the sewing machine.

As much as I would have loved to spend hours and hours over the patching, I just didn't have the time. So I sewed a trusty split 9 patch. It went superfast- I think a night time and a morning, to put the whole thing together. 

Maybe it went fast because I didn't spend hours deliberating over the colours. It was good to finally some of the prize fabric that I won nearly three years ago. Three years! Blimey.

Fairy backing.

Using a Split 9 patch like this would make a really effective double quilt. Hmm.. that gives me an idea..

Monday, 28 March 2016

Reversible Autumn - Spring Quilt

My friend Kim and I decided to sew our pal Kelly a  quilt for her 40th. I had this lovely floral stash from Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow range that I picked up from John Lewis in the sale eons ago. Kim picked up a couple of charm packs in Australia at a quilt fair that she was itching to patch. So we decided to each make a different quilt top.

I chose a really basic subway tiles design. Kim was planning something more complex, and I wanted my side to be simple enough so that the quilting would work for both sides. The border gave me a bit of grief, I eventually settled on a navy blue, to make the colours pop.

Kim's quilt top arrived from Oz, and it was superb. A Half Square Triangle geometric design with sashing, in contrasting greens and browns. I thought it had a real autumnal feel- so very complimentary to my quilt top.

To quilt I followed the lines on the autumn side. A simple straight stitch on the diagonal, which gave the quilt top further detail. It's great when the quilting really adds to the patching design like this.

The quilt measured about 2m x 2m.

 Quilts look so happy hanging on the clothes line in the back green during daylight!

The patches on the spring side were random enough to be able to really carry the quilted diamond pattern from the autum side.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

2nd Quilty Kilty junior quilt

Quilty Kilty Junior has sewn again! It's such a good way of thinning out my stash (what a terrible thing to say- of course I mean- it's great to see her inspired and wanting to make her own gifts). She's going to have more projects finished than I have at this rate.

She picked out some bright print with cats on it, patched some star fabric to the sides to make it wide enough.

The fleece backing is actually one of those kid's blankets you get on long haul flights. They are an ideal size, and this is a great way to upcycle them (I get people to collect them for me now!).

There's still quite a bit of wonky stitching and puckering, but it all adds to the character of the quilt. This John Lewis mini sewing machine really is a great machine for beginner sewers, even those in Primary 3!

I'd say she did about 95% of the sewing; 20% of the pinning. It probably took 90mins all in to complete.

Lots of fun and a great project for the wee ones!