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...


Saturday, 28 January 2012


...I don't like my daisies in the big blocks.

The centres are a right old mess, although they don't look too bad in the photo. Maybe I'm just too close to them and need to step back a bit.

I'm leaving it alone for this evening, and I'll see how I feel tomorrow.

I suspect that it will be back to the drawing board!

Thursday, 26 January 2012

A Pause for Thought

I seem to have done nothing at all this week, but then again, I've made quilting decisions and had a practice with my FMQ, so it's not been time wasted.

So tonight I've had a final session with a practice piece, and now I am ready to get stuck in quilting Mum's Quilt.

These flowers in the blocks, daisy chains up the sashing and borders, little three leaf motifs on the cream block backgrounds.

Actually, I might change my mind on the three leaf motifs - Joanna has been doodling ivy leaves, and they look a million dollars, so two or three of those in each cream block background might be the order of the day...

Sunday, 22 January 2012

A Small and Rather Meanspirited Rant

Google is a modern marvel, it really is.

I can find anything out about anything with just by typing in a few words.
I can look at any High Street or neighbourhood anywhere in the world as if I am walking down the road.
I can express myself by blogging all about my hobbies, words and pictures
I can 'meet' and talk to a wonderful variety of virtual friends from all cultures and corners of the world

And this is all FREE, gratis, no money changes hands - how about that!

But I have become used to being spoilt by all this FREE cleverness, so when Google decides to have a funny five minutes it is VERY IRRITATING INDEED.

For the last few days I have not been able to view certain blogs properly, or to see comments made on the posts that I can only see the top bit of, and I cannot post. I have logged out, logged in. Cleared my cache. Cleared my history. Cleared the thing where Internet Explorer remembers all your passwords and bits of information for form filling.

The result of this strip-down of information is that I still cannot see or comment on a number of blogs properly (it was QuiltSue's earlier this week; today it is Bilbo's) - and now I have to remember all my sodding passwords for every single site where I have an account or I am a member.


Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

The last few days I have been practising my FMQ.

I was very tempted to go for an all over meander for Mum's Quilt, like I did on Sure Steps, but I felt that the blocks would stand 'bringing out' with something else up the sashing and borders.

In fact, I had a plan to quilt a line of 'cinnamen whirls' up the blocks (there's got to be a proper name for these!) and then feathers all the way up the red sashing and borders - maybe slightly wavy like Trudi did here.

Then I actually had a go - and I now see that I will not be doing that. The cinnamen whirls look - well like you see on a dog walker's route when the dogwalker hasn't got any poop bags on them, if you know what I mean.

And the feathers - oh dear - as you can see here, these are for advanced quilter only!

Plan B, then, is quilt a big daisy in each block (with these little three petal jobs in the cream block borders).

Then a daisy chain like this up the red sashing and borders.

I can do those.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Sandwiching, Quilting Thoughts and Opportunistic Cats

I've been considering how to quilt Mum's Quilt - I had a doodle on paper, and chatted with mum and I think I am a bit closer to a decision. But I'll have to have a practise first!

Then this evening, I've spent time sandwiching the quilt. I piecing and pressing the back, then I cleared the kitchen (nothing's simple - I had to clean the damn floor first) and taped the backing to the floor.

Then I cut the big piece of wadding to size, put that on the backing and folded the spare and put to one side. Then the top - and once I'd positioned it to my satisfaction, I wielded the spray baste and stuck it all together, then safety pinned it too, just to be on the safe side.

Then I stood up and went to put the rest of the wadding away...

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

'Now How to Quilt it'

Yes, Sand and Sunshine (who made the above comment earlier), how indeed?

ASding have been hugely efficient, and the postman bought me a huge squashy parcel of wadding earlier today (how's that for service? I only put the order in on Monday afternoon). I've found a couple of curtain linings to join together which will be perfect for the backing - so once I've made the sandwich and wielded the spray baste, I'm going to have to make my mind up.

Basically, I guess I have two broad choices:
  • An all over design - either a meander or single line loop pattern

  • Feature the blocks - with some sort of motif in each block then either meander the borders or a rather ambitious feather type quilting up the sashing/borders.
Lots of variations possible on the above, of course.

The all over design would blend all the elements in, but on the other hand, the blocks would feature more strongly with their own quilting - and if I was not feeling hugely confident with feathers (another new thing to learn) I could very happily stipple away on the sashing and inner borders, with something less dense on the outer border so it drapes nicely.

Hmm hmm hmmmm

Monday, 9 January 2012


Many thanks to all for the advice about when/if to do diagonal joining of strips for borders - most instructive - it looks like there is no definite 'right' or 'wrong', so as seems normal for quilting it is a case of taking soundings, mulling over, then coming to a decision for what works best for me.

In this case, because I've done diagonal joins on the sashing, inner and skinny borders (and I have enough fabric), I've done diagonals for the outer border - and I'll continue with diagonal border for binding strips to keep the bulk down - but otherwise in future I will be butting up.

So here is the top in all it's finished glory - all ready for the batting and backing fabric.

Not being remotely forward thinking, I realised that I have no wadding and put a panicky order to ASding, and a couple of hours later had email confirmation that it had been packed and dispatched - thank you, Ali!

And the backing? I'd better have a fish round my stash of old curtain linings to see what I can find...

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Final Border and A Question

I took the quilt top to mum's yesterday and laid it on the bed in order to see how wide the final red border needs to be, and we decided that a 5" finished border would do just fine (as opposed to the 4" border that is on Sue's design). Fab!

However, in the light of Bilbo's comment yesterday, where she said, 'Do factor in the effect of quilting.....any quilting causes the top to shrink slightly. OK, you are never likely to quilt as heavily as I would, but the more you quilt, the smaller the finished item becomes.", I've had a rethink.

I've decided to err on the side of caution, and add another inch onto the outer border - it can always be trimmed back a bit after I've quilted the centre section.

Which neatly brings me to a quick question - as the border is so wide, joining the border strips together in the traditional way with a diagonal join is quite wasteful of fabric, so is there any reason not to 'butt-up' the strips to do a straight seam?

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Second Border

Sue said yesterday, "Good heavens, you're really going fast on this one. Hopefully that's cos you're enjoying it, not cos you hate it and just want it finished."

No worries on that score, I'm steaming ahead because I'm having such a great time and just loving what I am producing from Sue's design. Hurrah!

In fact, it is so tempting to carry on, even when I'm at the end of my concentration span that I've had to learn to set a realistically achievable goal for each session and then do no more as know that pressing on after this point will only lead to mistakes and a session with Percy Unpicker next time round.

Next step, taking the top round to mum's tomorrow and measuring in situ to see how wide the final red border needs to be. Looking forward to that!

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

Making Progress...

...with the first border. Hurrah!

The second border is a skinny affair in cream - Sue has it as a finished 1" strip, but because I need to win a couple of inches all the way to make it fit the bed well (given that I have a rather ambitious plan to incorporate side pieces to the quilt to hang down the sides of the bed), I'll be using a 2" cream strip.

Once that's on, I'm going to take the top back to mums to put it on the bed to to measure how wide the final red border needs to be...

Monday, 2 January 2012

Sashing Strips and A Bit More Maths

I've put the centre sashing strips in Mum's Quilt this evening - and I'm delighted with how the red fabric brings the strips of nine patch blocks out.

I'm also very pleased that when I measured the block strips to cut the sashing, I was only ⅛" inch short of what the measurement should be in theory if you were really accurate with your seam work - i.e. the strip should have been 51 ½" and mine was 51 ⅜".

I have a tendency to over-egg my seam allowances a little so my blocks come out slightly small (these were pretty much ⅛" short over each 9" unfinished block) - something which I must work harder at - so I sewed very scant seems whilst putting the blocks together and this has paid off.

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