getting back to quilting

It has been nearly a month since my last post. Don´t know where the time has gone, but it was a busy time for me : my Mum was with us, had some challenging work at my daytime job and sorted out the garden before the summer heat arrives. Last Thursday (13th!) we have experienced 2 fairly strong earthquakes. One got me out of bed early in the morning at about 5:30 and the other one when I had my siesta after lunch. As our house is build on a rocky hill, we could really hear and feel the earth moving. Luckily nothing serious happened, only a few pictures in the house were hanging crooked.

The spring has come to an end : the first crop of figs is ripe on the tree (have to eat them before the birds spot them) and my favorite pot plants are in blossom – Agapanthus africanus alias African Lily or Lily Of The Nile. I just love the wonderful blue flowers. What a pity that they do not flower for a longer time.

agapanthus

fig (breva)

Also all of my orchids on the windowsill are full with flowers. They are so easy-growing plants and give so much joy with their long-lasting flowers in all the different colors.

orchids

Talking about WIP : I have finally finished the “Squirrel” quilt that I started last year in November. The collection I have used is “The Birds and The Bees” by Tula Pink and some solids I had in my stock. The quilt size is 48″ x 60″, I have pieced nine patch and log cabin blocks together. Quilted straight line with the walking foot in diagonal. There are 2 panels with squirrels that gave the quilt its name : Meet the Squirrels.

sq 1

My new project is with Kaffe Fassett fabrics. Somehow I can not resist his fabric designs and colors. Both packages have 20 different fabrics cut into 6″ strips – Happy and Blue; purchased at the Fat Quarter Shop. I have a quilt design on my mind, just need to do some calculating and hopefully I can start cutting later today.

kafee fassett fabrics

That’s for now, thanks for stopping, Barbora

As it is Monday I am linking up with Lucy over at Charm About You for Plum and June’s Let’s Get Acquainted Link Up!

Sunrise Quilt Finished

One quilt is finally finished and posted, it is free-motion quilted and the binding is stitched with the machine. I am happy with the result and really like the pink tone of the binding.  This reminds me of raspberry ice cream and hot summer. Just to comment : both day and night temperatures in our area have dropped a lot, the icy Siberian winds have reached the Med. No snow, but we have frozen puddles over night.

A short comment about threads:

  • for piecing I use MasterPiece from Superior Threads, a 50/3 ply, 100%  extra-long staple Egyptian-grown cotton, in a neutral colour (more beige than white)
  • for quilting and binding this top I used YLI Machine Quilting thread, a 40/3 ply-tex 40, 100% long-staple cotton, a variegated shade called Maui Sunset (red/pink/orange/purple)

Please find the listings for this quilt on Etsy and Dawanda This quilt is S O L D

So now it  is time to start quilting the other finished top. First choose a backing and prepare it, make a sandwich, pin, quilt …… and finish with binding … and take finally photos

Until next time, happy quilting, Barbora

Sewing Weekend – 2 Tops Ready for Free-Motion Quilting

Time is flying fast and I did not find spare time for writing the blog, but was nevertheless hard-working (or hard-sewing) over the weekend. I have finished 2 tops and they are now ready for free-motion quilting.

Last Friday my husband and me went to Alicante for the afternoon. And by this occasion we visited the local patchwork shop and I spent some money on fabrics (what else!?).

 

9 patch block variations 2012 :

Little Qpples by Moda in combination with white :

Next time some pics from my progress with free-motion quilting.

There is a lot of cold air coming, the temperatures shall drop well down, so this is and ideal time to sit behind the sewing machine.

Happy quilting, Barbora

Red Bird Baby Quilt Finished and Started Working on Rock Around the Clock

So one more quilt finished and listed on Etsy and Dawanda. SOLD !!

Baby Quilt

I hope you can see the little red bird that is hidden in the center block.

I am happy with the design: this is also a project that can be done in a “wonky” style. Instead of cutting all the fabrics exactly, you can cut and sew together improvisationally. Just think first about the block size and the finished quilt size, get out your scraps or chosen fabrics and go for it. Cut, piece and trim the blocks to your desired size, sew together, prepare backing, batting and baste. Quilt as desired and bind the quilt to finish.

And now to my new project: I have a stash of red/orange batik fabrics that I bought some time ago, always thinking what to do with them.  Actually my very first big quilt was a sampler with batiks in blue/turquoise/yellow and I made it for my parents :

Whilst working on the Red Bird Quilt I found an interesting pattern on Quilters Newsletter. It is 9 patch block wonky variation of a classical London Stairs Block.

from Quilter Newsletter

Instead of making each 9 patch block in various color combinations, I decided to “rock around the clock”  and use one solid for the entire quilt and a different color for each “circle”. Before starting with the quilt I got on my computer and drawn the design. With 20x nine patch blocks, each of them 9″ square when finished, making the quilt size 36″ x 45″. I found a matching solid fabric in ebony, got out the batiks, cut 3,5″ wide strips and started piecing. Referring to my quilt assembly diagram I arranged the first 6 rows with units on my design wall and sewn them together. After taking a close look on the finished part I decided to add-on each side 2 more units.

In the end this quilt has not only 20x nine patch blocks but also 18 blocks of 2 units x 3 rows and 4 units x 2 rows for the corners. The quilt size is now 48″ x 57″ and has altogether 304 units. each 3,5″ square. On the picture you can see the unit and block distribution.

Wonky London Stairs design

Once more : it is important to cut and piece exactly. Square up your finished units to 3,5″ and the 9 patch blocks to 9,5″. Check your seams if the they are larger or smaller, redo if necessary. Otherwise the blocks may not join properly and your top is out of scale.

More on progress next time, please feel free to leave a comment, Barbora

Nine Patch Block Variations Or Red Bird Baby Quilt

Quilt Design

Thinking about what could be my next project I saw some nice nine patch quilts on the internet. This inspired me not only to work with a classical nine patch block, but also with some variations. Nine patch blocks are easy to sew, versatile and so a right choice for beginners. With these blocks you can check (and practice) your exact fabric cutting, sewing skills and pressing. Chain piece using 1/4” seam allowance throughout the project.

You can always alternate the size according to your needs : divide the finished block size by three and add 0,5” seam allowance to each cut square.

Sit down and think about the finished quilt, which block type you fancy, what are your favorite colours. Make a drawing, use your color pencils and start cutting.

Fabric choice

I used my favorite colors orange, pink and turquoise. To complete the palette I decided to integrate also some purple hues.

Go for your favorite shades, use solids and don’t be afraid to use strong colors. You can opt for a patchwork fabric designer collection (with matched colours) or just use your stash.

Nine Patch Block Variations

Cutting diagram is for a finished block size 6” square

Block A
Cut 4        2,5” x 2,5”     Light Turquoise
Cut 2        2,5” x 2,5”     Orange
Cut 1        2,5” x 6,5”     Orange

Block B
Cut 4        2,5” x 2,5”     Dark Turquoise
Cut 4        2,5” x 2,5”     Pink
Cut 1        2,5” x 2,5”     Dark Purple

Block C (is basically a Log Cabin)
Cut 1        2,5” x 2,5”     Light Green
Cut 2        2,5” x 2,5”     Light Purple
Cut 2        2,5” x 6,5”     Light Purple

Block D
Cut 1        2,5” x 6,5”     Dark Turquoise
Cut 1        2,5” x 6,5”     Light Purple
Cut 1        2,5” x 6,5”     Yellow

Block E
Cut 1        2,5” x 6,5”     Light Purple
Cut 1        2,5” x 4,5”     Orange
Cut 1        2,5” x 4,5”     Light Turquoise
Cut 1        2,5” x2,5”      Yellow

Block F
Cut 1        2,5” x 4,5”     Dark Turquoise
Cut 1        2,5” x 2,5”     Dark Turquoise
Cut 1        2,5” x 4,5”     Light Green
Cut 1        2,5” x 2,5”     Light Green
Cut 3        2,5” x 2,5”     Orange

Calculation example for a finished block size 9” square
Cut all squares                     3,5” x 3,5”
Cut smaller rectangles     3,5” x 6,5”
Cut larger rectangles        3,5” x 9,5”

Assembly

Chain piece the units row by row together, press seams open. Pin the rows together, check that the seams match and piece, press seams open.
Check the block size : 6,5 x 6,5”, trim if needed.

Arrange the blocks randomly row by row. Use your design wall or distribute the blocks on the floor to overlook the quilt design. Rearrange pieces till you are happy with the colour distribution and sew together.

So this is it ………… finished quilt top. Now prepare the quilt sandwich, give the quilting pattern an other thought and you are nearly there.  Cut stripes for binding and your quilt is now finished!!

Why Red Bird? Wait for the next post, untill then Barbora