Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the news, views and inspiration doing the rounds of the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do join in the sharing by clicking on the links and using the comments box at the end of this page. There’s an email subscription box too if you’d like to keep track of my blog posts week by week.
It’s been a funny old week for me. My husband has been away for six nights on a business trip – to the Caribbean would you believe! He arrived home safely on Friday morning – it was -1ºC when his plane landed at Gatwick, the day before he’d flown out of Antigua after enjoying a swim in temperatures nearing 30ºC!
Seven days and six nights home alone…! I coped but I wouldn’t like to have to do it too often. For a start I struggle to eat properly when I’m on my own – so tempting to have a few slices of toast rather than preparing vegetables and
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share 🙂 Bring along a project or two and enjoy some of the inspiration and general conversations being shared by the Worldwide Quilting Community. Do leave a comment in the box at the end of this post. Right at the end of the page (past the Comment box) is an email sign up button – if you sign up you’ll not receive any advertising spam just a notification each time I publish a blog post. Thank you!
I had a fruitful sewing day with friends on Thursday. I made most of the blocks for my latest version of ‘Dashing Stars’, the quilt pattern written by Viv Poon especially for the Beginners Course run in her shop Purple Stitches. I’m
Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and share in some of the inspiration to be found thanks to the generosity and kindness of members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Do leave links of interest and the thoughts you’d like to share in the comments box at the bottom of this page. Thank you!
My apologies for the late arrival of this edition. I spent Saturday teaching the first session of the Beginners Course at Purple Stitches. One class in the morning and then a repeat of the session in the afternoon for a second class! Isn’t it great that a whole new bunch of people want to learn how to make a patchwork quilt? 🙂 I thoroughly enjoyed meeting these new-comers to our craft and the day sped by in a most enjoyable way, but phew! I was talked-out and fit for not much at all in the evening! Hats off to those of you who teach more than one whole day a week!
Like my students I have some homework to do to keep up with the class – we meet again in a fortnight. I completed just two blocks yesterday so need to make the remainder of these blocks in five more colourways. This afternoon I cut out the remaining fabrics so I’m all set to make examples of the next two blocks, a Churn Dash and a Sawtooth Star ready for the second session of the Beginners Course. Now I’ve got all the pieces cut and carefully packed I shall take them along to Thursdays sewing day with the aim of completing my homework and preparing for the next class 🙂
At last I can return to the second Square-in-a-Square quilt and get down to quilting it. I’ll be using Aurifil 2110 40wt thread. It’s a very pale yellow and blends well with all the warm summery colours in the quilt top.
There have been loads of interesting and inspiring blog posts to read this past week. Here are links to just a few:
Rachel has found some very neat solutions to a downsize in her sewing space. Moving to a Dutch townhouse from an American farmhouse has brought to light many differences in the way everyday living is conducted on either side of the Atlantic!
Sharing skills is one of the ways we build up our Worldwide Quilting Community. Jayne has been demonstrating hand quilting at a local show for several years. In her recent post she shows some of the quilts she’s taken along (some more than once – well it does take a long time to hand quilt a quilt!). I’m particularly intrigued by her version of the ‘The Long Road Home’ quilt – the pattern is by Paula Barnes.
It’s that Worldwide Quilting Community thing again 🙂 Reading Alyce Blythe’s email newsletter I was intrigued by a link she had provided under the heading ‘How to Quilt Wavy Borders’. I clicked over to HollyAnne Knight’s blog and found lots of helpful tips in her tutorial. A good article to keep Pinned for a rainy wavy day 🙂
And on her own blog page Alyce is sharing the beautiful boxed set of twelve 50wt Aurifil threads she has curated under the name ‘Mini Masterpieces’ – in honour of her latest book. The thread collection is lovely and is definitely on my wish list.
Switching blocks from a horizontal grid to an angled, ‘on-point’ layout can really transform a quilt. Amy Friend was playing with her spider web blocks, took the plunge and cut into them to set them on point. The finished quilt looks so much more dynamic than the original.
Suzy has some wisdom to share re. attacking our mounds of WIPs (Works In Progress). There’s some sound advice – even down to throwing away projects we no longer love! Steady…..!*!
Don’t forget to add your thoughts about the links in Saturday Quilting Bring & Share to the comments box right at the end of this page. And just under the comments box is discreet little ‘subscribe’ email notification sign-up box – fill it in and you’ll receive an email each time I publish a blog post 🙂 (This isn’t an ’email list’ so rest assured you will not be receiving any messages direct from me!).
You might like to sit down and take a few deep breaths as I am announcing another finished project :-O I know! That’s three in three weeks! But don’t worry, normal slow progress will be resumed very shortly!
The finish I’m sharing is this very cute cot quilt commissioned by a friend for her Granddaughter’s first birthday. My friend found the cotton pillow cover with the Snoopy picture on the front and the saying, ‘Sleeping is an art’ printed on the back. The rest was up to me 🙂 I just happened to have some scraps of the text print ‘Friendship’ backing fabric lying around. It looked so good with the Peanuts cartoon style and as friendship is a key theme running through Schulz’s little world the fabric seemed the perfect choice for the background of the patchwork blocks. Fortunately the bolt was still available at Purple Stitches so I bought another metre to use for the backing of the cot quilt too 🙂
It took me a little while to plan the quilt. Obviously the Snoopy picture needed to be the centre panel. I thought bright cartoon-like flowers would make a good border for a girls quilt. I hope the blocks look like flowers? With the help of my daughter we chose fabrics with bold colours that worked well with the bright red of Snoopy’s dog house roof. These are mainly 1930’s repro fabrics with ditsy patterns.
I spent some time with squared paper, pencil and eraser figuring out block design and size. It was a bit tricky trying to stretch the design into a rectangle (I guess it’s no surprise that patchwork blocks readily create square quilt tops but often need a bit of persuading to arrange themselves into a bed sized rectangle?). The most suitable finished block size was six inches. I cut the Snoopy panel down to 22″ by 18″ and spaced the two styles of flower blocks (Snowball and Eight-Point Star) around it using 2″ borders and either 1″ or 2″ sashing strips.
The ‘Snowball Flower’ blocks are each made of four Snowball units. I made a test block as I have a history of issues with distorting Snowball corners. The test block is by no means perfect but it did help me to develop strategies to improve accuracy:
Draw the diagonal stitching lines on the little corner squares with a very fine marker pen rather than an ordinary pencil.
Switch from a general needle plate on my machine to a single-hole needle plate. I found the machine needle was pushing the fabrics down into the machine at the start of the stitching line causing them to get a bit ‘chewed’ and the stitching line to shift away from the central diagonal I was aiming for. This didn’t happen when the single-hole needle plate was used.
I could have starched the fabrics to further reduce distortion but I was reluctant to do this as I wasn’t planning to wash the quilt before handing it on to my friend.
Having figured out these strategies to improve accuracy I thought I’d share them with you and also write a Snowball Flower Block pattern that you are welcome to download and use.
To complete the quilt I pieced the back and used Quilters Dream Green wadding (I really like the smooth texture of this polyester wadding made from recycled plastic bottles). I machine quilted in the ditch around the Snowball Flower blocks, echoed quilted the Star Flowers and then used black thread to follow the outline of Snoopy and his roof. I finished with a bit of free-motion meandering in the white background surrounding Snoopy. Finally I machine stitched a double binding around the quilt.
I really enjoyed designing and making this bold and bright quilt. I hope it proves a long-term winner with it’s young recipient and her family.