Monday, 7 July 2014

Summer Garden quilt.

Many years ago, not long after I started quilting, I made my Mum and Dad a small wall hanging. It now looks rather tired and dated so I thought it was time I made them a new one.
 I used the quilt "Garden Party" from the book " Making Quilts"  by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession as inspiration and scaled down the size dramatically.   The original quilt is made up of a background representing the sky, the green bushy level and murky garden-bed layer.
For my background I used a colour wash method which was popular around the time I started quilting.

 I quilted the background with wavy lines using an aurifil  50 weight thread in light grey. I then applied flowers made from Dresden plates.

I had fun making the flowers with my new wedge rule, I can see more Dresdens in my future. I also enjoyed fussy cutting the fabrics.

This flower was machine applied, I left the points loose to add some texture.

It was a fun quilt to make and I quite fancy making a larger one at some point........after I've finished some other projects first of course.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Strip quilt detail.

Last time I said I would show in detail, the wonderful quilt top my strip bee friends made. After a year on the road it has returned home having been transformed into a beautiful quilt top.

I started with the row of wonky houses and then sent it off on its journey.
The first stop was with Fran who added a row of sweet little trees. I'm pleased that the houses look out onto a beautiful wooded area.

Next stop was with Jen who made a row of beautiful butterflies to flutter over the roof tops.
Jen designed the pattern herself. The wings are paper pieced and the sky made using a template.

Amy was the next to work her magic. Another talented lady who also used her own design, a row of beautiful roses for the neighbourhood.

The street is a very happy place, so, during its stay on the island of Jersey Sarah added a row of hearts. As Sarah put it, she included "a little bit of love shining down on the street".

Every street needs some kitty cat residents, the ones here even ride bicycles. They must be very posh cats as they come from Liberty no less!

Finally it was Julie's turn.She paper pieced some perfect little birds to fly over head, they even have their own house too, but as Julie pointed out she thinks the opening may be a bit too small for them to fly into!

I couldn't be more pleased with my new quilt top. Thanks so much to Fran, Jen, Amy, Sarah and Julie for all the hard work they put into it. It's been such a fun swap and I'm so glad you all agreed to join.

It's now up to me to finish it. I'm planning on hand quilting but must admit I'm rather nervous about sewing into their beautiful work, I think I'll start with my row.......
 Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Needle and Thread Thursday, links to both of these in side bar.


Monday, 23 June 2014

Strip Bees reveal all!

Almost a year ago I started an online bee. Six quilters from all over the UK and Jersey each made a patchwork strip which were then sent round the group with each member adding a strip until the quilt tops were complete.

This weekend we all met at Jen's for a wonderful get together where the big reveal took place. None of us had seen what had been added to our strips since we sent them off on their journeys a year ago.
Huge thanks go to Jen for hosting the weekend, as Fran put it on her blog, Jen turned her home into a five star hotel for the weekend.

First of all I must apologise to my bee mates for any photos of them which they may feel are less than flattering. I had limited photos to choose from as most of my pictures were out of focus. I'm told it was pilot error, it appears that in my exitement I didn't give the camera time to focus.

I started with a row of wonky houses.

 Here I am with my wonderful completed quilt top. I'm going to do a separate post detailing each row.

Here's Sarah from Quilt Candy about to see her quilt top for the first time.

Here's (a rather poor) of picture of it. 

I didn't manage to get even one vaguely in focus of Amy, from Cloud CouCou, with hers. She started with an improv. block which gave some of us quite a challenge when deciding what to add.
Didn't it turn out fantasically?

After the riot of colour of Sarah and Amy's quilts, Julie's (mackandmabel) was a more subtle, but just as beautiful quilt.
Here she is about to have her first look.

Our wonderful hostess, Jen of Glinda Quilts, was in competition with the sunshine when she revealed her quilt!

Last but certainly not least was Fran of Patchyrose. As with Amy I didn't manage to get one usable picture of her with her quilt.

Wow, what a riot of colour!

Thanks to all the ladies for agreeing to join me in the bee. I've enjoyed it so much and it was fantastic to meet you all at the weekend. Extra special thanks to Jen for opening up your home to us for the weekend.

I'll be back soon with more of we got up too.


Saturday, 26 April 2014

Friendship X and plus blocks:April

Yet again the time has whizzed along and it's time to show this months Friendship X and plus swap blocks.
I hope you like them Jane. I can't believe we have only two months left in this fun swap. 
 I posted previously about the paper pieced Mariner's Delight Compass mini quilt I made following the online Craftsy class by Carol Doak.
It's now finished and waiting to be hung on my sewing room wall.
I was planning on doing some kind of fancy free motion quilting but in the ending I went for straight lines which I think suits the block design well. I'm loving the Kaffe Fassett fabric I used for the binding, I think it frames it well.

Bye for now, Maria.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

We didn't mean to make her cry!

What do quilters do when a friend is poorly? They make them a quilt of course!
As I've mentioned before, a couple of weeks ago Jen was due to host a weekend get together of the Strip Bee girls but sadly for her she had an accident and was unable to host the get together. Jen has been left with an injury which, as she put it, has left her out of action for a while.

We wanted to get the quilt to her as soon as possible so decided on one 8.5 inch block each which I joined and quilted and made into a vertical wall hanging with the option of it being used as a table runner.
Jen likes pink so the only point we worked from was to use pink and purple.
Considering this I'm amazed how coordinated the finished quilt looks.

The top block was made by Amy. I love the little bee in the centre, so appropriate for a quilt made by the strip bees. I also love how she used the fabric with the pink chevrons.

Julie made the cutest English paper pieced flower. Notice how she and Amy have unintentionally used one of the same fabrics?

Fran made a gorgeous star. I love all the fabrics she used.

I made a version of a Dresden plate called a Dresden Daisy. I can see some more dresden plates in my future.

Sarah made a sweet economy block using Wee Wander by Sarah Jane, I love the adorable fussy cut fabric in the centre.

I'm pleased to say the quilt arrived safely with Jen and she's done a lovely post about it and the other goodies we sent here. She titled the post "They made me cry".
We didn't mean to make you cry Jen!

Friday, 28 March 2014

Friendship X and plus blocks: March.

The last Friday in March has arrived so it's time to show this months blocks for the Friendship X and plus swap.

This month I've gone with a slightly different fabric layout in some of the blocks with lighter fabrics for the X and coloured fabrics for the background .

I hope you like them dear swap partner, Jane.

A theme of friendship blocks seem appropriate for today's post.

As I've mentioned before, early last summer I put together a small online bee called the Strip Bees.
One of the group, Jen, makes beautiful draw string bags which she calls Pants Bags, so called because when she goes away she doesn't like putting her pants (knickers) straight into someone else's drawers so she keeps them in a pretty bag! Jen so kindly makes pants bags as gifts for friends and family and she so generously made one each for her online bee friends.
 Here's the beauty Jen recently made for me in a colour scheme I chose.

The back is beautiful too.

I don't think Jen will mind me mentioning this, but as I mentioned last time, the five members of the bee were today due to travel to Jen's home where she was so generously hosting a weekend  meet up where we were to hand over our completed quilt tops and have a fun weekend, but sadly whilst shopping for food for the meal she was to cook us Jen had an accident and is now in hospital.
I don't know if you'll be  reading blog posts for a while Jen, but I know I speak for all the bee members in saying,
" Get Well Soon and we can't wait to meet you when you're better".

Maria x

Monday, 24 March 2014

Some Paper Piecing.

Over the years I've dabbled in paper piecing, and whilst I've been pleased with what I've made, the process has not always run smoothly, so when I saw that Craftsy were having a sale, and that one of the classes on offer was Mastering Foundation Paper Piecing by Carol Doak I thought it would be a great chance to pick up some tips.

The class was excellent. Carol is an enthusiastic teacher who knows her subject inside out. She gives many tips which help to make the process easier and accurate. Carol starts off by guiding the student through how to make a simple Bird of Paradise blocks and then progresses onto more complicated patterns..
I jumped straight in with the most complicated of the patterns, Mariner's Delight Compass. I was delighted with how it turned out and its now waiting to be quilted and turned into a mini wall hanging for my sewing room wall.

Something very exciting is happening in a few days time.
The six members of the Strip Bees quilting bee are all meeting up to spend the weekend at Jen's house where the big reveal of our quilt tops will take place.

Here's the strip I started with. It's now travelled from Suffolk to Hertfordshire, Kent, Wales, Jersey and Birmingham having patchwork strips added along the way. We haven't seen what the others have added apart from a few sneek peaks so it will be a complete surprise.

I'll be sure to take some photos and do a post next week about what we get up to.
Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts.