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, 30 June 2012

It's a Start

I'm using the variegated King Tut thread to quilt with that I used for Helen's Quilt, and I'm going with an all over medium stipple.

I like the look of this, although so much for my big words to mum on the phone this evening, 'I should think that I can get one of them done tonight, if I get cracking.'

No chance - my shoulders had had enough just doing this.

ASding - A Personal Recommendation

It wasn't until lunchtime yesterday that I realised that despite attaching the final borders to both of the baby mats, thus finishing the tops, I had run out of vital supplies needed to get them quilted, which I certainly want to get on with this weekend.

I made a frantic phone call to ASding, who had my order packed and dispatched in short order and it arrived here this morning by 9.0am. What brilliant service!

Not only were the stops pulled out to dispatch the same day, the parcel was sent out first class so I would receive it this morning, and I was only charged the standard postage and packing.

So a huge thank you to Ali for going well beyond the call of duty, and getting me out of a fix!

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Borders - Moving Forward

After my dithering about borders the other day, I've had most helpful advice from Bilbo (as ever) and also I trawled through some back posts of Maureen's from last year's Christmas Quiltalong to see how a pieced border looks

Which is, in fact, excellent, oh yes.

So tonight I've attached the skinny yellow border to both baby mats, and I've cut and pieced the fat green-and-beige border.

And that stripy fabric?  To be used as binding.

Oh, yes.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Auditioning Borders pt2

Both the baby mats are now pieced, and thanks to Sue and Elizabeth's helpful comments on my last post, I have decided on my skinny border - yellow - which I cut this evening ready for piecing and attaching to each top.

I'd love to do a stripy border too - although I've got quite a few bits and pieces of these stripy fabrics, I'll need to work out if I have enough...

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Auditioning Borders

Now I've pieced the butterflies baby mat, I can't resist trying out a few inner border choices.

Yellow for one and green for the other?  Or beige and yellow?  Or yellow and green?

Hmm hmm hmm.

Baby Mat - Flowers

After a marathon chain-piecing session on Thursday evening, I now have the other fifteen nine-patches completed, so here is the layout for the second baby mat.

Once this lot is together, I'm going for a plain thin border, then a pieced stripy border.

And the answer to the sashing dilemma is that I probably would in an ideal world, but it's not going to add enough aesthetically to justify the extra time that it would add to the project.

Monday, 18 June 2012

Baby Mat - Butterfly

Here's the first top ready to piece.

That's assuming that I don't change my mind about sashing.

Which I might.

A Moveable Feast

In the same way that running can be seen as not quite tripping and saving yourself from falling, over and over again, the baby mats lurch from not quite disaster and adjusting to the circumstances, over and over again.

It's probably call 'design evolution', or something, and I guess it's done all the time by quilters everywhere - but it still feels like quilting by the seat of the pants to this relative quilting novice.

So my baby mats have gone from being a quick to make, simple checkerboard design with background and floral patterns (oops! not enough background) to checkerboard with nine-patches and patterns...

...and from being floral patterns and butterfly patterns (oops! too busy!) to floral patterns on one, butterfly patterns on the other...

...and from being six by six squares to six by five squares (oops!  not enough butterfly fabric).

They will still look great, I'm sure, just not precisely what I had in mind to start with.

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Nine Patches

Twelve down, twenty four to go.

Next decision:  do I put a narrow sashing between the nine-patches and the patterned fabrics, or bung 'em together as they are?

Something to think about - but in the meantime, I am going to the pub.

Possible Layouts, and Possible Over-Ambition

I managed to find a few minutes in the attic room which were Domino-free, and took advantage of this to rearrange the Festive Mystery Quilt blocks into a couple of different layouts.

Here is where a digital camera comes into its own - how on earth can you compare layouts unless you have an image of each choice in front of you?  Not that I've quite decided on which I like best just yet.

And I'm getting stuck in to the baby mats.  I've gone for a slight variation on what I had first envisioned - I was going to struggle on fabric quantities by using just using a pale plain for the background checkers, but by mixing in these bold plains it will eek out what I have.

It'll take rather longer to get the tops pieced, but there you go - six down, thirty to go...

Friday, 15 June 2012

Stop Sniggering, Hobbit

At this risk of seeing all the experienced quilters nodding knowingly at the phenomenon known as UFO's that I appear to have succumbed to, I am starting a further quilt project.

It is not the cat quilts which I have promised the boys for the past twelve months, but two baby playmats for my next-door-but-one neighbours, L & A who are expecting twins within the next six weeks or so.  Actually, the cats remain happy to sleep on (and shed hairs all over) the table mats, sofa, bed, spare bed, fabric stash crate, bath mat and anywhere else that is in favour currently, so I don't think that they are particularly deprived.

So 'brights' are the order of the day, and because time is of the essence I'm going for something pretty simple in terms of design.

I'm thinking of a checkerboard layout with the brights and pastel yellow/greens, then a skinny border then a stripy piano key border.

I think that the overall size of each of the two quilts will be six by six squares, plus skinny border, plus piano keys and will turn out to be about 40" square.

Does that all sound like A Plan?

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

However Quietly...

Honestly, I could have sworn that he was asleep two floors away!

I sneaked up to the attic room intending to have a play with the layout of the mystery quilt, but as soon as I turned round to get the camera out, there Domino was, daring me to move those lovely flippy-flappy blocks around for him to grab at...

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Christmas Quiltalong, June pt3

I know that I am stretching the definition of the quiltalong Saturday by a number of days, but I did feel I was on a roll with piecing my blocks on Sunday evening, and so I spent some time this evening finishing and pressing them.

But Domino cat was not keen on me playing with the blocks without him 'helping', so this is as far as I got with experimenting with layouts.

I love it!

But I need to see what else I can do with them before I make my mind up.  However, that is for another day - preferably when Domino is snoozing elsewhere!

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Christmas Quiltalong - June pt2

I've had a good session on the machine tonight - although I probably should have stopped before I'd chain sewed all three rows which will make up the block as some of the seams are a bit gung-ho.

I suspect that I may regret my cavalier attitude when I come to piece the rows together to make up the blocks.

I pressed the strips, then couldn't resist putting just one block together to see how it looks.

Fab - I love it!

I want to hurry up and get the rest of the blocks made up so I can play QuiltSue's layout game again.  I wonder how many variations of the quilt layout we can come up with?

First Running, Then Sewing

I have survived the race this morning!  I only took up running in the New Year, but I kept running  through the whole race (albeit at my own pace) with the other 6,999 participants, and was pleased to be cheered on in to the finish under my estimated time. Hurrah!

That's me just through the finish line complete with name on vest, medal and beetroot-face.

I didn't mind being overtaken by the Soldiers who had entered in teams of two, carrying stretchers, although not so good was being overtaken by Rupert the Bear, and also the guys pushing a sofa.  On the plus side, at least I beat the chaps in the gorilla outfits.

So I'm heading up for a soak in the bath, and assuming I can actually get out again, I will be seeing what you all did at the party at Paulette's yesterday - I think I missed some tasty nibbles, and a craft piece, so I'm going to catch up with all that as well as having a look at everyone's progress on their QuiltSue's Mystery Quilt blocks.

And I'm itchin' to get stitchin'!

Saturday, 9 June 2012

One Thing Leads to Another...

Well, I am not having a productive day here, people - in fact every time I look longingly at my units ready to make up in the revealed blocks,  I have another thing crop up that I need to do.

I won't bore you with the domestic detail of the day, but suffice to say that I have mopped next-door's kitchen floor prior to their arrival back from holiday tonight (do not ask); took the opportunity to use their super duper vac at my house to do the whole lot tip to toe; rearranged the furniture in the front room (does everyone not do this, or just my family?); routine clean of everywhere else inc. washing, bathroom etc etc.

I have got to the machine though, in order to reposition the 'Hazel' on my vest for tomorrow's race - all the while muttering that if I'd have checked the rules properly before I started the endeavour, I would not be re-doing the job now.

I haven't even been round the world to see what you are all up - something I will do now, and my Mystery Quilt blocks will have to wait for tomorrow - after all, once I've run 13k (8.5 miles), I'm not going to be up to much else than sitting quietly in front of a sewing machine, am I?

Christmas Quiltalong - June pt1

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Well here it is! Ding Dong Merrily on High! It's the second Saturday of the month and it is the Christmas Quiltalong! Hurrah!

 Today we are all travelling West nearly to the end of the map to Victoria in British Columbia, Canada where Paulette will be hosting - it's a long trip for us here in the UK, so I hope she has those pancakes and maple syrup ready for breakfast?

We've reached a very exciting stage in our Mystery Quilt that QuiltSue has kindly put together for us to make - we'll be assembling the different elements into blocks, and so we will finally see what we've been working towards!

If you haven't had a play with your block layouts and posting what you THINK that the blocks will look like, you've just got time to nip over Sue's to enter - there are rumours of a small prize too, so hurry up!

And whilst you're doing that, I have to run the vac round and do some cleaning - but I have some Christmas music on to get me in the mood - so let's get ready to paaaaarty!

Friday, 8 June 2012

Oh, B*gger!

You know that I'm taking part in the 13km Great Midlands Fun Run on Sunday?

And you know that I sewed my name on to the front of my vest...

...and the back, thoughtfully remembering to leave a gap for my competitor number?

Well I've just read through all the rules and regs in the leaflet that they sent, and buried deep in the small print is that the competitor number has to be worn on your front.

So, I either wear my vest back to front, or I wield Percy Unpicker tomorrow and move my diagonal 'Hazel' to read flat across the front of the vest at the bottom, to leave room for the competitor number.

Why didn't I check this before??

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Mystery Quilt Layout? pt2

Because I clearly have too much time on my hands, I have been contemplating further the conundrum of what the QuiltSue's Christmas Quiltalong Mystery Quilt blocks will look like.

As there are different quantities of each unit type, there's more to the layout of the block than just choosing nine squares and bunging them together - you have to select the units in proportion to how many there are in total or you are going to have a load of one sort left over.

Of course that would give you an interesting layout nonetheless, or as Joanna said 'I'm wondering if we should have done a version of '52 pick up' ... and see what design that made.' which gave me the absolutely best laugh out loud moment of the day.

So I went back to a bit of head scratching and I now think that there will be two block types - because it just wont work to use - say - four unit B and four unit D in each block as that's only one unit A background, and you'll have loads of backgrounds left.

Similarly, if you use - say two unit B and tow unit D in each block, and five unit A backgrounds, then the block will be terribly unbalanced.

So, I'm guessing on two block types which each use four or five unit A backgrounds then a combination of B and D.  Then any leftover unit A backgrounds are used as corner posts.


So if you want a good giggle, do head over to Paulette's on Saturday to see how many miles away I am from what the blocks really look like!

Mystery Quilt Layout?

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Well this is a fine game!

For the Christmas Quiltalong this year (every second Saturday of the month), QuiltSue has designed a mystery quilt for us to make, and she has been dishing out the instructions in instalments via the monthly hostesses since February (Lesley has all the instalments to date on her blog, should you want to play catch up).

This Saturday (when Paulette will be hosting, welcoming us all to British Columbia, Canada), we will be putting the block elements that we have made up until now together into blocks, and Sue has challenged us all to see if we can guess the layout!

I had a play with the block elements this evening.

Easy, I thought, this is how it will be...

...or this...

...or this...

But actually, this is very difficult, because we have fairly even numbers of the 'unit B 4-squares' and of the 'unit D half square triangles' BUT same and half again of the 'unit A background pieces', so we need to use more of them than the others....

Then there are the 'unit C hourglass strips' - now surely they have to be sashing?  but still I have plenty of unit A backgrounds left to play with....

I know that the blocks will be 9" finished, and the overall quilt size, but not how many blocks that includes, or what in the way of borders are planned.

I have a headache now - thank you for this glimpse into quilt block design, Sue, but I think that I will leave it to the experts in future!

See what everyone else has guessed by coming to the Mr Linky party at Sue's, and to see what the real deal is, be sure to drop by to see Paulette on Saturday!  There's a rumour of pancakes and maple syrup a giveaway, which if I know Paulette, you are not going to want miss - see you there!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Not Just Quilting Pt2

You know that I said it was too hot to do any quilting last Sunday, and I knocked up that little green skirt instead?  Well today it has been very cold and very, very rainy.  I'll be quilting later, but first I did a bit of non-quilting sewing.

I wanted to customise a vest top to put my name on front and back - I will be running in the Great Midlands Fun Run next Sunday (will it be 28 degrees and blazing sunshine like last week?  or will it be 9 degrees and belting down with rain all day long like today?) and I hope people will cheer me on.  I need all the help I can get - the 13km course will be quite a struggle.

I didn't let the fact that I've never done any appliqué before put me off, but in hindsight, spending a little time on researching the technique would have been a wise move, rather than bombing ahead doing what I thought made sense.

Round one was the small name on the back, so I printed out my name to the right size - leaving room above for my competitor number - and made a sandwich of the vest, appliqué material and the paper, zigzag sewed around the letters then ripped the paper off and carefully cut round the letters.

What a faff.  Not a great result either - with the inevitable occasional snipped thread where I got too close, and frayed fabric where it didn't get close enough.

Round two was the larger name on the front.  I learned my lesson and cut the letters out first then pinned in position and zigzag stitched round them.

Much better.

Just got to get round the course now.
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