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, 25 September 2011

Sure Progress, Sure Steps...

Finding the time to quilt at the moment is a casualty of the ongoing necessity of having to earn a crust, however, at least I have decided on the borders for Scatty Christmas Stars. The main reason that this was a bit tricky was the quilt is pretty scrappy and I haven't built up a huge amount of coordinating fabrics in my stash as yet.

I must thank everyone for sensible advice and suggestions - isn't the Internet brilliant? - I settled on the grey/beige which I used in the stars as a skinny border, then yellow (a mustard coloured shirt from the charity shop) as an outer border.

I've cut, pieced and am halfway through sewing the inner border, so just the outer border to go and I will have my top finished - must check that I have enough batting for this, and decide on the backing fabric.

Also, I'm giving some thought as to how to quilt this, and copying taking inspiration from Sand and Sunshine, I would like to incorporate stars into the quilting - I think maybe in the railfence blocks and maybe something curvy in the stars to soften the angles....hmm....hmm

I did find time to finish the binding and sew a label for the Pick Four quilt - so here is SURE STEPS all set for sleeping under!

Hurrah, hurrah!

Isn't this a lovely design? Making this has been so much fun, from receiving my copy of Sue Abrey's Pick Four through the post, to taking part in the bloghop, to being able to put together the design with confidence, and having a light bulb moment with my machine quilting!

Thank you again, Sue, and I have my next Project from the book already lined up...

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Border Fabric Decisions

I took a very deep breath and held my nerve with the cutter yesterday evening, and trimmed Scatty Stars into a rectangle. Phew!

And now comes another tricky bit - choosing the border fabric. I'm closer to a decision than it looks from the picture here, as I have mentally dismissed some of these, but I still have to make my mind up.


In other news, as they say, I'm plodding on with sewing the binding on to the quilt from Sue's Pick Four.

A very enjoyable sitting-in-front-of-the-TV job - lovely.

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Christmas Quiltalong! September, pt4

I'm more caught up with everyone else now that I have the blocks all pieced - I do have Scary Cutting to do, but I'm going to come at that fresh on another day.

I'm surprised that I had to do very little wrangling to match up the blocks - some of the star ones from earlier in the year don't bear a great deal of close scrutiny, but somehow they are all together pretty well now.

Of course, now I'm having a dither about what to use as the borders. I'd really like to pick up the colour of the roses for a thin border, then yellow/gold for a fat border and grey binding. Or maybe not. Up for discussion...

Well, I've had a lovely QAL weekend, thank you to Sue and Cathi - and I'm having a great deal of fun seeing all the different versions of Scatty Stars coming together. I think that Cathi said something about a gallery of all the finished quilts, which is just a superb idea - I love it!

Christmas Quiltalong! September, pt3

Once I had decided to replace the original brown-green-brown connector blocks, Sue commented, "At least the railfence blocks are quick to do."

And my goodness, she is right! Half an hour at the machine last night, finishing off and pressing this morning - it really has not taken long at all to bang together these twenty blocks in from my pile of cut pieces.

The next step is to make sure that I am happy with the layout, and to get these into a single piece - and looking ahead, there is a Scary Cutting Alert, but I'll take a deep breath and cross that bridge when I come to it!

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Christmas Quiltalong! September, pt2

I'm STILL getting my replacement railfence blocks sorted out, folks. Good grief.

Although I am mighty pleased with my frugality - buying an outsize cotton blouse from the charity shop which yields about a yard of fabric - there is much to be said for a nice straightford yard-off-the-bolt in terms of ease of cutting.

Getting this far has taken about an hour and a half with the mat, cutter & ruler. So now I am having dinner, and going to see what everyone is getting up to.

Christmas Quiltalong! September, pt1

It's the second Saturday of the month, which can only mean that it is time for Sue & Cathi's Christmas Quiltalong!

I'm behind with my blocks, having decided to change the railfence blocks from those I pieced last month, but have the fabric and cutter at the ready.

And I have this month's instructions to hand, too, so off we go!

Tuesday, 6 September 2011


The ends are all buried, the binding is machined on, and I'm all ready to handsew it down to the back - then the final job will be to incorporate an embroidered label to the back.

Except I am still dithering on what to call it.

What do you reckon?

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Festival of Quilts 2011

With all the bloghop excitement, and making Stepping Stones from Sue's book (have spent an hour and a half this afternoon burying thread ends - Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz), I have quite forgotten to post about my visit to the Festival of Quilts.

I'm fortunate to live close to the NEC where the event is held, so a £4.95 train ticket, two local trains and three quarters of an hour after stepping out my own front door, I was striding into the Show.

About half the space is taken up with showing quilts - every last one of them was absolutely stunning (if not all to my taste). I started round this area, just appreciating the skill involved. Difficult to chose a favourite, but maybe it was this one.

Being rather mean in the purse department I didn't fork out for a guide book, but I was pleased to find myself loosely following a couple of ladies who had not only bought the guide book, but one of whom was not wearing her reading glasses so needed her friend to read out pertinent bits about each quilt. Splendid!

They had more stamina than me, so I peeled off for a cup of tea when I'd seen enough, before heading to the trade stands where stallholders were selling any and every kind of item you could possibly ever want in connection with your quilting hobby.

Anything from the 'essential' (fabric, cutters, threads) through to the 'nice-to-haves' ('designer' fabrics, sewing machines, Accuquilt Go!); to the 'you're-going-to-have-to-make-your-living-at-this-to-justify-the-spend' (computerised long arm quilting systems - think same cost as decent second-hand runaround).

I bought some thread and allowed myself a couple of metres of cat-pattern print, and paid a pound in the Quilters' Guild tombola which won me a pin cushion, but managed not to spend more than that.

And in amongst all that lot, I met up with Trudi on the Machine Quilting stand - which was just brilliant, and I had a go on a quilting machine whilst talking with her about our common other hobby.

My eyes remained saucer-like for the entire time - what a fabulous day!

Friday, 2 September 2011

'Pick Four' Blog Hop - Day 10!

Now here is a sad thing - it is the last day of the Sue Abrey Pick Four bloghop - boo! I did think that I might manage to have Stepping Stones finished for the end of the tour, but it is nearly - but not quite.

I've quilted three of the four borders, then it's just the ends to bury, a label to attached and the binding, and that's it.

You know, there is no stopping me with the FMQ lark - I would never in a million years have thought that it would this much fun! I think that my days of tracing round a template and sewing round the shape as I did on Helen's Quilt are behind me - quilting Scatty Stars holds no fear for me now!

So for this special last day of the tour, you need to nip over to another Hazel (which is really weird! But only if your name is Hazel, I suppose) at QuiltHaze who has some brilliant photos up, and of course has your last giveaway to enter for a signed copy of Pick Four. Draws are still open at Bejewelled Quilts, SewCalGal, Sew'n Wild Oaks , Sweet P Quilts and at Quilting Prolifically - but get a move on!

Thursday, 1 September 2011

'Pick Four' Blog Hop - Day 9!

I have been enjoying the Sue Abrey's Pick Four bloghop so much - I don't know what it is about seeing Sue's designs that the bloghopper's have made up so many different fabrics, but I find it fascinating! Today is no different - Trudi at Quilting Prolifically (not far up the road) has made the cover quilt in shades of mauve, and it looks fantastic!

Trudi is only safe from my kleptomaniac tendencies as she has not finished the quilting and binding, but I will be sure to keep my eye on it to see how it turns out.

Meanwhile, I have been quilting Stepping Stones, and here's a radical turn up for the books, I am THOROUGHLY enjoying myself with the FMQ! It is fab! It is fun! The results look great! Two sides down, two to go! Then today's pondering is how to quilt the cream corner squares.

But whilst I am busy pondering and being Mrs Smug, go to see Trudi's post - remember there is a signed copy of Pick Four up for grabs - and if you're quick, you'll be in time for the giveaways at Bejewelled Quilts, SewCalGal, Sew'n Wild Oaks and at Sweet P Quilting
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