Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Sunday, 27 February 2011

Knitting Project

Whilst we are on the subject of handicrafts, here's one I prepared earlier.

Much, much, earlier.

I've come to a bit of a halt with it because knitted as in the pattern, the jumper has a crew neck, & I would like it to have a V-neck. I know that I can do this, but I also know that I will have to think about it a lot, & concentrate like mad.

Prevarication is my middle name, so in the meantime (& in the intervening - *ahem - several years) I have knitted the back, one sleeve & about a quarter of the second sleeve.

It would be really good to get this finished whilst (a) it is still cold enough to wear it and (b) whilst long-line jumpers remain even vaguely fashionable.

So in between QAL block sewing, this is what must be finished!

Monday, 21 February 2011

Project 1 - Finished!

There you go! Scraps of fabric, two shirts from the charity shop, small outlay, LOTS of most welcome help, a month and a half - and here we have four mats and a runner all pieced, quilted and bound!

I do feel rather that I have graduated to being A Quilter!


NB Unexpected snag - dining table not big enough for all four mats plus runner...sigh...

Monday, 14 February 2011

Mats nos. 2 & 3...

...are finished - just the binding on the final mat and the runner to handsew now!

Sunday, 13 February 2011

This Month's QAL Blocks Finished

I spent some time this evening rejigging a couple of the seams on the star block that I did yesterday, then made the other one.

The sharp eyed will see that I've swapped the yellow & cream blocks around for this one - a particularly inspired idea, I thought, from Scrappy Quilter, one of the ladies who took part in the Christmas Quiltalong yesterday.

I had a fabulous day - if a bit frantic! I'll know what to expect next month & hopefully I'll not try to shoehorn my quilting into an evening AND try to keep up with what a couple of dozen other girls are up to round the world at the same time!

Back to sedate hand-stitching the binding on the mats and runners until next time!

Saturday, 12 February 2011

Just for Bilbo...

Block measured against the cutting board.

I reckon it's about 1/8" out over 9 1/2", which I thought was within tolerance levels.


Christmas Quiltalong! February, pt4 - final

...and now I have completed my first block - hurrah!

One seam I'm not happy with and I may redo tomorrow, but for now, I'm quilted out.

I'll have a look around and see how the others are doing, but that's all from me for my first QAL session.

I've really enjoyed myself, and I'm looking forward to next month already - many thanks to Cathi and Sue for today!

Christmas Quiltalong! February, pt3

I've just finished squaring up my half-square triangles - trimming them to 2 3/4" square, and now I have 16 jigsaw pieces.

Then when you put them all together - a star - brilliant! I'd better get busy with the machine to get this lot together.

I'm just topping up the sherry, and putting dinner on - I'll have a look to see how the other bloggers are doing while I'm at it...

Christmas Quiltalong! February, pt2

In the spirit of the Christmas, I have a glass of sherry here, and I will have a piece of Christmas cake soon too, when I've earned it!

I know that I am a novice here, but even I haven't really spent all day long since this morning just cutting out this fabric for the first two blocks! The sun has been shining here, and I couldn't resist popping over to the allotment to enjoy a little of it (and I have carrots and parsnip to have with tea, but more about that when I get round to it on the allotment blog)

But now I have a proper run for the next few hours I thought that I'd better update before I start some serious sewing.

I might just pop round to see how all the other QAL bloggers are doing first...

Christmas Quiltalong! February, pt1

So this is a new one for me - organised by Sue and Cathi, the Quiltalong is a day of quilting each month for 10 months, working on a quilt that the girls have designed. It'll mean that the quilt is ready for Christmas, & they are sending out instructions for anyone who wants to take part for each step of the quilt each month.

There is a central sign-up point, so everyone who is taking part will be able to visit each others blogs to look at how they are doing during the day, so I'll be posting a few pics as I go.

Because it is a Christmas quiltalong, I should be eating mince pies & listening to 'Carols From Kings', however, given that this is the first sunny day for what seems like months, I'm not tempting winter weather back just yet!

So I've signed up and await instructions of how to make the first two blocks...

Friday, 11 February 2011

Finish Mat no.1!

I finished machine sewing the binding on the last mat and the runner this evening, and had a play with a needle catching the binding in on the first mat.

I thought that it would take longer, but an hour later, here's the first finish - hurrah, hurrah, hurrah!

So a couple of quick pics and bed - it's late.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Binding III

Now I have three mats with the binding stitched on, pinned, and ready to hand-sew the binding to the reverse.

Reverse view of binding pinned to mat:

Front view:

I'm not going to get these done quite in time for the weekend, before the first of the Christmas Quiltalongs, but I won't be far off.

Oh, and I think that I win this week's prize for merrily machining away the longest length of seam with no cotton in the bobbin...

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Binding II

A far more satisfactory session this evening - although I did have to concentrate very hard indeed and to view the binding tutorial video a number of times!

So I've sewn the first mat border on entirely, and just have to do the hand sewing to catch the border in onto the other side.

This is pinned on the back - but not only is this what I would consider to be pretty damn neat, the other three corners look just the same!

I love it when a plan comes together!

Monday, 7 February 2011


Oh dear - not home & dry just yet!

Looking at the runner again, I decided that it's far too busy with diagonal quilt lines, so I've sat with the unpicker tonight & taken half of them out, & I'm happier with the slightly more simple look - the back view is clearer:

And having a first go at binding, although I have my binding strip pieced & pressed & ready to sow on the the quilt, I've come the the first corner and got stuck - back to the video tutorial for me!

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Completing Quilting!

Following a good day of quilting today I have now finished all four mats & the runner – hurrah!

I trimmed the edges & I am now ready for binding – & I’m all ready to have a crack at that thanks to Bilbo, who sent me this link to a Youtube video made by www.connectingthreads.com of ‘how to bind a quilt’.

Pink seemed like a good colour to set the mats/runner off, so I bought a pink shirt from the charity shop yesterday & I’ve cut a whole load of 2 ½” strips ready, but I’ve done quite enough for one session, so that will have to wait for another day.

Wednesday, 2 February 2011

Mat No.2

Ok - I'm on a roll now!

I'm not saying that the unpicker has not come out tonight, because it has, BUT it has not had quite as much use as it did last night.

There are also a couple dodgy seams where I have caught the thread up underneath, which I may re-do, but that's enough for this evening.

Of course one of the reasons for this burst of activity is that it is the Christmas Quiltalong very shortly, and I really would like Project 1 out of the way before starting on the new one.

Next learning curve: binding the edges....

Tuesday, 1 February 2011


I bought a reel of thread yesterday - cotton, 50wt.

'Normal' sewing thread seems to be 100wt, and poly/cotton, or polyester, but there are different weight & types of thread available for all manner of applications. I know this because the haberdashery dept in our House of Fraser has a particulary useful leaflet produced by Coates telling you all about the differences.

Of the range of about a dozen different types of thread, they only stocked two or three different sorts, so I got the best nearest to the 40wt (as recommended by the girls) in pink, to match the mats/runners.

So this evening I have completed quilting the first of the mats.

I went for super simple - quilting parallel lines across the existing seams to make squares, & well, blimey - that was difficult! Even with the the Gang of Four passing on the world's best advice.

Gems noted & acted on included 'to mark straight lines use masking tape....just plonk it on your fabric, sew next to the line and reposition it - doesn't leave any marks on the material'


'choose a fancy stitch, a simple one with a wave or extended zig zag works best. That way you're following the seams but not worrying about hiding the stitches in the ditch, and also if you wobble a little it's not obvious'

I am not telling you how many times those seams have been re-sewn, but I am now reasonably happy.

The idea is to quilt each mat in a slightly different way - & if each one is as bloody difficult to get right as this one has been, I think that by the end I will be able to say to say I have completed a good chunk of my quilting apprenticeship!
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