Finished Quilts

Monday, 25 November 2013


I'm cutting to the chase with this post.  I have finally finished the wee man's quilt (now that nearly every one of his friends has one made by me it was only fair!) - WOOP WOOP!  I had planned to venture outside and attempt some arty photo shoot but the light is rubbish today and I'm no Kelly, so with no further ado...

I am so chuffed with this quilt I could burst!  As mentioned previously, the blocks were made for me by my lovely Bumblie Bee friends last year and once I'd got my head around it, the top came together really quickly.  I've only ever done straight line quilting before so the circles were a wee bit of a challenge but only really making sure they were actual circles and not diamond or rhomboids (love that word!).  There are four different thread colours used for the circles so the bobbin and thread was changed for each circle (I only got the order wrong once and didn't rip it out #naughty). A few of the circles were unpicked to correct over wonkiness or filthy little puckers.  I felt it important that it was the best I could do.  I am so glad cos I just LOVE how the quilting looks...front and back....

I've never pieced a back before and I am loving this too.  It shifted a bit during the quilting process and required some remedial attention but I'm probably the only one who will notice that.  I f*cked up royally with was a little parsimonious with the backing so it was only fair that I learned my lesson!

The binding is the left over green and orange fabric from the front and it works really well.  I took my time putting it on and the corners are pretty chuffing brilliant.  Hand sewn down too. #justright

The wee man is suitably bored with it although he does have a favourite owl.  It will be doing on his big boy bed when I can persuade Laughing Boy that he's ready for one. And the wee man will know that it was made with love by lots of people.

Thanks to the Bumblie Bees for your fabulous work
Thanks to Tanya for helping me with the block placement
Thanks to Sue for telling me to just get on with it
Thanks to Catherine for the circles tute
Thanks to Carly for the advice about the stitch length #genius
Thanks for all the IG love through the process
Thanks to the quilt goddesses for the invention of the seam ripper and for being good to me...

managed to finish the circle...just!

Edited to link up with Celtic Thistle Stitches New to Me in November for my circle quilting

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

to the left, to the left....

I'm on a roll with the wee man's quilt #finally.  I pieced the back and made the sandwich over the weekend.  The binding was made yesterday lunchtime and the quilting expedition started in earnest last night....and then stopped in a proper strop!

I'm doing concentric circles and used a 12" bowl as my starting circle template.  I also decided to use four different thread colours, grey, blue, lime and orange - alternating them every circle. Look, I've proper thought about the quilting and everything.  It's not FMQ but it's not straight lines either. 

All went well with the first circle, it was slightly wavy but I could live with it.  I just need to slow down a bit.  Thread change, onto next circle and fitting my quilting bar to the walking foot - cue filthy sweary words and fists railing at the sky.  The quilting bar only fits/works to the right and not to the left, which is where I needed in order to follow the starter circle.  I mean, what a stupid design flaw.  I tried putting it to the left but it kept jumping up and was useless.

I decided to wing it a little but soon stopped when I remembered that circles shouldn't have corners!  To be fair, the kinks happened when I got a little carried away with my needle speed.  Some of the circles were actually quite smooth and evenly spaced.  But I grumped out last night and grabbed the seam ripper. (oh, and ordered an adjustable quilting bar!)

So today I am mostly doing this....

I found some nests so perhaps ripping is the way forward

Friday, 8 November 2013

what took me so long?!

The head down charge through bee blocks continued this week. First up: JoJo's QATWII block.  She asked for blue, that's all so I pp'd myself out with this.....

thank you Kerry for the fabric!
I am pretty chuffed with how it turned out and it goes well with her other blocks:

pretty cool huh?
Just as I was about to post these off to Rachel, I decided to finish Rachel's block and send them on to her at the same time...

got to love a +x block!
And what a riot of richness her final quilt will be...

I still have a fair pile of bee blocks to get through but I decided I needed a little sewing that may stay in our house for a while and dug out the FQR Kinky Bee blocks that I received during my stint as Bee Mama wa-a-a-y back in September of last year.  The request was for bento box blocks that would be used to make a quilt for the wee man.  I have fretted about these blocks since getting them back - how to get them all the right size before starting mainly. And they have been taken out, played with and put back so many times.

Anyhoo, this week, I dug them out and sewed them up, sorting out the sizing as I went.  In total it too an hour and a half to go from blocks to this...

#love - thank you my bee buddies
What the heck took me so long?!?!  I've made quilts for 5 of the wee man's friends but nothing so far for him.  It was so straightforward in the end.  The seams pretty much match up and everything!  It's around 48" by "58" and will be sandwiched this weekend. I'm going to back it with this (bought from fabricworm a long while ago:

photo courtesy of
And I'm thinking concentric circles for the quilting - fmq or walking foot?  advice please! I want to get this done and done before Christmas.

Finally, to top off a pretty productive week so far, I made cakes for that toddler group - a banana and chocolate bread for the littlies and an iced gingerbread for the grownups...

 The gingerbread is absolutely delish.  I have no idea about the banana bread (plah!).  Both recipes were taken from my new favourite book...
It's ace!  I have many bread making books but this one has gotten me making really, really nice bread.  I can't recommend it enough!  The wee man adores the scotch pancakes recipe too.  #goodtimes

Saturday, 2 November 2013

running to keep up

I'm not a natural runner - my chebs are too big for a start... there's a health and safety issue right there.  Anyway, I feel that I am having to run and run to keep up with my bee obligations.  Just as I clear one lot, a whole other bunch thud onto my to do list (or rather start shouting that they're late!). It's one reason why I opted out of the current round of Pillow Talk. 

But I have been tempted by another bee after an invite from the lovely Joan.  She was one of the first quilters I had contact with when, a few years back, we participated in a fabric swap organised by Sew Mama Sew.  He work is impeccable. I was stoked when I found out that she was part of the QATWII bee and even more pleased when she invited me to join the Friends with Additions bee she is mama of.  It's a kind of travelling quilts bee, which I think will be real fun as well as a challenge.

I chose Yoshiko Jinzenji as my inspiration and pulled together this inspiration mosaic
Friends with additions inspiration mosaic
cool huh?
Then came the design and making of the starter block.  I used her cipher quilts as a kick off point and designed my own paper piece templates in EQ7, chose some bright fabric and came up with this...
pigpen cipher knew?!
It says "enjoy the journey" - which is appropriate in many ways.  I'm stepping into new territory with this kind of design but what better way to start a new journey than with quilty friends.  It's also a call to arms for my bee buddies, who have already expressed a little trepidation with my inspiration mosaic.  Don't stress, just enjoy :). And, my quilt block is about to head off to Switzerland for the first stop of its global journey.  I am really looking forward to seeing it come home as a completed quilt top.
Another little make this week that kind of snuck its way in after I couldn't find anything nicer in the shops was this little peasant dress made as a 4th birthday gift for my niece, Grace May...
got to love the foxes
Thank goodness the wee man decided on a 3 hour nap that day!  I'm hoping she (and her lovely mum) will think that the upside down foxes on the back and one sleeve is an innovative design feature #oops.
Back to the bee block grind!