Sunday, 3 September 2017

August ...

sometimes you see fabric that you just have to have ... like this Garden Notes range from Moda ... I just adore it!  

Lucy at Secret Garden Quilting wraps fabric up beautifully!
It's been a busy summer with graduations, weddings and WOMAD and I've not had much time to quilt!  I was beginning to feel a little frustrated about this and needed a quilting fix so I pieced this quilt top ...


and I felt much better afterwards!  I used a pattern called Garden Trellis from a Pam and Nicky Lintott book which I've had for years!  It went together beautifully and was so quick - just what I needed!  I've called it "A walk in the park"!

I spent a lovely wet Saturday tidying up my sewing cupboard ...

Before!

After!
I need to do some serious stash busting this autumn/winter!  I've got SO many patterns I want to use - beach huts, jugs, buttons, umbrellas, dishes - the list goes on and on!  So I've made a start on a quilt called Floral Bouquet ... using fabric from my stash ...

Think I got this fabric from John Lewis?
First time I've used this book!
So pleased!
This month in class at Cupcake Cottons I got going on my "Little House on the Prairie" quilt  ...

Steph is helping me to design it!


And finally, I can announce the "Flowers in the garden" quilt was for Velma's 80th Birthday!  Velma is a dear friend of my Aunty Pauline.  When my Aunty Pauline was unwell last year, Velma was amazing, so this is a little thank you gift and a Happy 80th Birthday gift!

Loving being able to make labels!


I've sadly not had time to make any little houses this month - will have to double my efforts in September!


Vanessa x









Wednesday, 2 August 2017

July ...

I turn up to class at Cupcake Cottons and I'm never sure what Steph has planned!  This month she had us all making these sweet make-up bags ...


Finally quilted "flowers in the garden" ...



and in August I will be able to reveal who the quilt is for!

July has been busy with graduations, WOMAD and Dan and April's wedding but I did manage to grab an afternoon of sewing with Jenny to make some summer bunting ...





I call it "cheats bunting" because it comes in panels and all you have to do is put the panel right sides together with some backing fabric and stitch around the triangles.  You cut around the stitching, turn the triangles out and press then stitch them to a long piece of cotton twill - simple!

Vanessa x


Sunday, 2 July 2017

June ...

not had a lot of time for sewing this month I'm afraid!  However, I have been back to Amsterdam where my quilting story began ... so lovely to revisit old haunts - particularly these two quilting shops ...


Den Haan & Wagenmakers

Birdblocks

Same lovely Dutch lady at Birdblocks!
And, of course, had to make some purchases ...



And it was so good to visit our old house ...


It looked just the same only not as many bikes outside!

I have, however, had another sewing day with Jenny and made this bag with the beautiful fabric she brought me back from Material Obsession in Sydney - did I say, picked for me by Kathy Doughty herself...




I wasn't really keen to start because I was nervous of making a mistake with the fabric - it would be a long way to go to get more - but Jenny made me do it!  Sometimes you need a little push from your friends!  Thanks Jen!

Jenny with Kathy at Material Obsession

Vanessa x


Thursday, 1 June 2017

May ...

things I've learnt so far about machine quilting ... 
* you really need to press and baste well!
* it shows up any sloppy piecing - help!
* it is SO time consuming! 
* and finally you need plenty of thread!

First Bernina quilt finished!

Love the way I can now make labels!

A close up of quilting!

So pleased with my first quilt made with my new Bernina!  It's far from perfect but I'm thrilled with the end result and I can't wait to get started on the next one!  I called the quilt "Beauty and the Beast" because the fabulous colours remind me of the opening scene in the new Beauty and the Beast film AND if you remember I've nicknamed my Bernina 'The Beast'!!! :)

Archie always appreciates my quilts!

Just to warn you, I'm going to be making another bag!  My dear friend Jennifer has brought me back some beautiful fabric from Australia.  Jenny visited Material Obsession and Kathy Doughty herself picked out some of her own fabric designs for me!  Sue, I haven't forgotten the fabric that you brought me back from Sri Lanka or the fabric you brought me back from Tanzania Poppy! I do have ideas for all these wonderful fabrics ...
Fabric by Kathy Doughty
My next project at Cupcake Cottons is a "Little House on the Prairie" quilt.  Very twee I know!!!  Well my Mum bought me this book for my birthday and I already had some of the fabric from Andover fabrics ...


So I've made a start ... I'm designing my own medallion quilt using some ideas I like in the book and also some traditional blocks like flying geese, bears paw, log cabin and I'm hoping to edge the quilt with prairie points!

Can you see little Laura Ingalls running towards the cabin?
I turned up at Cupcake Cottons last time expecting to continue with this quilt but Steph decided that we would all make cushions instead ... which was absolutely fine with me as I've been wanting to make another of these 'quilt as you go' cushions for ages.  So we picked some fabrics and away we all went ...

Perfect colours for our dining room
Sadly, I have only managed to make two little houses for my scrap quilt this month ...


Oh and I wanted to show you my latest tapestry ...  I stitched this last year but it went terribly wonky and I struggled to find anyone able to frame it.  I ended up searching wonky tapestry framing on Google and it brought up a blog by Andy Parks at Petersfield Framing Studio. So I took it down to the Studio the next time I was visiting Poppy.  Andy said he had seen worse - think he was only being kind!  Anyway, this is the end result and I am absolutely thrilled  ...


And finally just wanted to share Poppy's beautiful crochet ... it's so neat!



That's all for now!

Vanessa x











Sunday, 30 April 2017

April ...

my favourite month - especially exciting when this box arrives ....



my Bernina 770QE and I've nicknamed it "The Beast"!



I felt so nervous to use it and I wasn't sure where to begin ... SO ... decided to take a deep breath and just make some little houses ...


and a table mat ...



as you do!  This pattern came from Teach Me to Machine Quilt by Pat Sloan.  It's a brilliant book to get you started with free motion quilting.  I think I have many happy sewing hours ahead!

I've got two quits which I've pieced and are all set to baste and machine quilt ... 



I've had this Pam and Nicky Lintott pattern and Moda fabric called PotLuck for years!  The fabric is so bright and cheerful ...


The second quilt pattern came from Popular Patchwork, March 2013!!! And the fabric is called Padstow Range again by Moda ...



I've basted Potluck using two planks of wood and I'm hoping for no puckering on the back!



I'm now in the process of machine quilting - it takes longer than you think!

Vanessa x



Saturday, 1 April 2017

March ...


 and another bag making day with Jennifer ...




I have taken my medallion quilt to a long arm quilter to have it partly quilted.  When I get the quilt back, I will hand quilt around the appliqué.  Spent a day preparing the quilt - removing all the threads from the back (what a tedious task) and pressing and preparing the backing!  Note to self - in future keep the back of quilts tidy as you go along!


And now I'm working on some free motion quilting!  One of my New Year's Resolutions (of which I had many) is to crack free motion quilting on my machine!  I've had this Moda layer cake called Noteworthy since 2014!  I just love the design with all the little notes written over it! 



Before Christmas I pieced the quilt top using a pattern by Sherri McConnell from her book 'Fresh Family Traditions'.  



It's a simple pattern which was ideal because I wanted to be able to quilt the quilt myself and also I wanted to still be able to read the notes on the fabric!  The first thing I did was to stitch in the ditch all over the quilt to secure it.  This was a tip I got from Steph at Cupcake Cottons!  This took me ages because I kept having to check the back wasn't puckering up!  I need to work on my basting technique!


Once stitched in the ditch, I free motion quilted a doodle design - block by block.  It is the first time I have free motion quilted such a large quilt.  I took my time and did a bit each day and my stitching gradually improved...




It's not perfect by any means but I am pleased with the end result.  And I know that I'll improve, the more I do.  Next month I'm going to make another quilt which I've had planned for years and have all the fabric for!  Again, it's a simple design which will piece really quickly and then I will be able to spend my time free motion quilting it!

And finally, as you know, I go to a class once a month at Cupcake Cottons.  Steph calls our class the Friday Flanges!  This month we made bags as some of the girls hadn't made a sewing bag yet - hard to believe I know!  As I have made several .... I used the same design to make a beach bag ...




I made the buttons myself using a gadget my friend Jennifer told me about ...



It was so easy to use!  I ordered the button maker by Debbie Shore from The Pattern Den and I have to say how impressed I was with the service - I got an individual confirmation email from Diane telling me she thought the button maker was great,which I thought was a lovely touch!

I am totally bagged out now, so it's back to proper quilt making for me!

Vanessa x

ps:  March houses ...