I have finished making The Gerbera Daisy postcards, all ten of them! I prepared them for sewing before Christmas but with all the gifts I was making, they have only just got finished!
So I am now working on this half terms work, firstly A Green Man wallhanging, designed by our twelve year old daughter, who has been doing an art project at school on him. I showed my classes and they wanted to do him.
Then, Nine Patch blocks and Disappearing Nine patch quilt, very simple to do and great for charm packs. Then Double Wedding Ring, something I swore when I learnt how to do it over 20 years ago, I would never make it again, but with the new methods it is much simpler. The finished quilt is going to be our 20th anniversary present - got till September to finish it!!!
The final project for this half term will be landscapes both postcard size and also wallhanging, the finished ones will be very interesting to see, as all the classes will make them so different. That’s one of the great things about teaching is seeing how the same design is interpreted by everybody with their own colours and fabrics.
Once that is all done I have curtains to make for my sister and loads of ideas to play with - a dress for the Queens jubilee!!!!
The first part of the term has gone really well, the Disappearing Nine Patch class went really well and we have had fun with the landscapes (will take some photos when they are complete).
Got half of the Double wedding Ring quilt top made, the class on it went really well, just got to do the other half and then quilt it before September!!!
Started to think about what I will teach on the second half of the term, the dress wall hanging in red, white and blue theme will be for the first week back, all designed and the basic stitching done, just got to finish all the beading!!!! But other than that I really haven’t worked out what I will do – yet!!!
I have been knitting, only basic scarves but need them with this cold weather, once I have finished the last one then I will go back to my top in Sirdar Firefly, another thing I started before Christmas but got put aside for making presents and then teaching work.
Keep saying that I will finish off a lot of the half done pieces that litter the workroom, many are for us, cross-stitch horse for my husband – part of a series of four – the first one took 15 years!!!! Then there is a hexagon quilt for our daughter – only been doing it for 10 years!!!! I just keep starting other things – for presents or teaching and never seem to get round to finishing certain things. So, my aim this month is to finish my knitted top and also a lap size quilt I am hand quilting. This quilt is from a kit – it is a preprinted design that you quilt. I have always wanted to do a wholecloth quilted top but I wasn’t sure about designing it myself, this kit was a prefect way of trying one. I will let you know how I get on.
Almost there with the wholecloth hand quilted quilt!!! Just about 8” of the border to finish and then the binding to be put on. On my unfinished projects, I really haven’t got on well -so all still on the list waiting to be finished and then ticked off.
For the class we made rag quilt bags from jeans, for the ones I made to show them ‘how to’ I used a pair of my old jeans and two pairs of cotton pyjama bottoms that my daughter had grown out off. So, didn’t cost a penny, my classes have been going round the charity shops finding the largest pair of jeans to make the bags!!!
This week and for the rest of the term, I have started to teach a Soft Toy Cot quilt. For the design I thought of all my daughters first toys and then draw them up and appliqued them to make the quilts, it can be made in two styles. I have made a pink version and am doing (as demonstration in class) a blue one, these will be my twin niece and nephews 1st birthday present.
While sewing the cot quilts, I’m thinking about designs for Mother’s day postcards and also Easter ones and also what I will teach next term!!!
It’s finished!!! I finally have completed the wholecloth quilt, decided to bind it with a blue floral fabric rather than the matching fabric. It is now being used to cover my ‘rebounder’ when I’m not using it, makes a lovely accessory to the sitting room!!!! (Have nowhere else to keep it - the rebounder not the quilt).
Yes, I do know that I have a cross-stitch carousel horse to finish, number 2 in a set of 4, the first one took 16 years to do!! and yes I have a hexagon quilt which is half done. Promise I will get them done. Sometime!!!
The ‘soft toy’ cot quilts are all completed, the pink and blue version have already gone off for my niece and nephews birthday present. I made a third version, just using the small 8” squares, to show a different layout for the designs.
For Mother’s day I made dog rose themed postcard and matching card. I made three, one for my Mum, one for my Mum-in-law and the third for my Step-Mum. Easter I tried to think of something different but after an hour of trying to draw first a chick then a rabbit, I finally gave up and went back to eggs, with years had flowers all round them.
At the moment I am working on Spring Fairy wallhanging, all in lemons and lilac, of the daffodils and grape hyacinth. She is beaded, embroidered and quilted. This is based on the Christmas Angel, I think I will possible design a Summer (pink and white of roses) Autumn (deep russet and golds) and a Winter (white and deep green). She is part of the coming terms teaching work.
Also looking at teaching a table/bed runner based on Dilys Fronk design and also a chenille bag to carry cutting board – have noticed that a lot of the class bring their cutters, rulers and boards in, in plastic bags!!!! And finally a bed cover using ribbons, lace and embellishments, all those bits that you collect as a crafter as they are too good to throw away but really don’t know what to use them for!!!!! That’s still in the planning stage!!
The Spring Fairy is all completed and taught. I have just got to find somewhere to put it, at the moment it is just sitting on the pile with all the other wall hangings!!!
I really have a problem with trying to find a space to put all my quilts and wall hangings. Certain quilts I keep to use, others are kept for teaching resource and then there are some I give as presents. So, they aren’t soo much of a problem, it’s more the wall hangings, I just don’t have enough wall space to put them all up!!!
There is also the problem of all the designs I want to try, not for teaching but for me but where am I going to put them all?
I was talking with my friend about Folded Star (Somerset) patchwork, I haven’t used it in years and on a whim I decided to make a cushion up with a strip of it across the middle, only took a couple of hours to complete and as soon as my daughter saw it, she decided it was hers!!! As it matches in with her room!!!
Half way through making a bed runner based on the Dilys Fronks Dual Image Applique, it’s half done as I will complete the squares in the class, showing how it is done and then make it up.
So far I have made a pin cushion sample and a cushion sample of chenille patchwork, as well as the cutting board bag that is decorated with chenille patchwork. It is a great way of using up fabric that I know longer really like!!!! My taste has changed a bit in the 25 years I have been making patchwork.
Over half way through the summer term, only four more weeks to go!!!
Finished the Dilys Fronks style runner, mine is for using on the bed but a couple of the class have made it as a table runner.
On table runners, I found a box with some unfinished class samples, the machine pieced hexagons got turned into a cushion and the paper-cut applique square also got turned into a cushion. But the Attic window sample I have turned into a table runner, it wasn’t long enough on its own, found a 1/2m of Clarice Cliff inspired fabric that I have had for years that matched the colours and with cream fabric, created the runner. I didn’t add wadding just a backing and then quilted flowers on the fabric on the cream squares in matching colours!!
Just spent a few days on a boat on the Ouse and needed an easy sewing project and decided to start another table runner using 2” paper pieced hexagons, got them all tacked and half the runner sewn.
The class wanted another ‘easy to carry around’ project, they have been making lots of small patchwork dogs – these use up 1½” left over pieces and they wanted something similar. Years ago I did a patchwork elephant, very similar and so I dug out the write up and shrunk it from 2” squares to the 1” and made one up and did a new write up. Now there is lots of elephants being made!!!
I have also been working on some small tea cup and teapot wall hangings, which I will be teaching and then there is the project to use up all the bits that of ribbon, lace and different fabrics that we save as are too good to throw away. More about that next month!!!
The final classes of this term are finished. For the final few, we have been working on a project I mentioned last month – cushion or bed runner that was made using all different fabrics and embellishments. I made a white cushion and then two bed runners!!!
Our bed runner has the ‘key’ fabric of cotton reels in all shades of pinks through to deep red, to this I have added lace, ribbons, silk and satin, buttons and beads, embroidery and quilting. Then the edge is made up of prairie points.
I was then going to make up a cushion in black/white and soft green, to show some of the techniques for our daughter, but on seeing our one – she wanted a runner not a cushion!!!
I like to give the class a challenge over the summer holiday and this year I have made a box that looks like a cottage, their challenge is to make something similar, I have till September to see what they have come up with! Shreds, house, fire station!!!
So, it’s the summer break – but still lots to do, some bits to finish off, including the double wedding ring quilt and then I have Septembers work to start!!!!
Summer Holiday!!! But still creating.
I have put all the squares together for the Double wedding ring and am embroidering words around the edge before I machine and hand quilt it.
The machine quilting will have to wait till my Bernina 440 comes back from being serviced, I am using my 24 year old Bernina which still works great but it is easier to quilt using the 440. Before it went away I was making up nine-patch squares and free-motion machine quilting them. I rarely do anything but straight line quilting on the machine as I love hand quilting but I feel I need to get better at free-motion quilting and hopefully I can then get some of the 17 quilt tops in the cupboard quilted!!!
A few months ago I bought a Hoffman Bali pop called Watermelon, it is absolutely delicious!!! I have been really good and not done anything with it, even though I really wanted to! Till this week, I have made it into a quilt top using a pattern from Cosy Modern Quilts by Kim Schaefer. Just need to find the right thread to quilt.
The left overs have made a table runner for my Aunt – she asked for something bright and cheerful!!! Still a few more bits of fabric left, will have to work out what to do with them.
Both a machine pieced block quilt and a floral sampler quilt are designed and ready to be stitched, once I have got the fabric, both will be taught starting in September and going through to next June.
The six weeks school holiday disappeared so quickly, I didn’t get much of my own sewing done. Laura and I did a number of sewing projects together, she really likes all the Tilda Studio books and she made a list of bits she wanted to make, with help from Mum!!!
Laura also wanted a Rag doll – not a normal one but a ‘fashion’ one, that she could make modern and historical costumes for (mainly Tudor)!!! We had a look at a number of Rag Doll patterns but none where right, so I drew up one she wanted. The problem is I have also had to draw up the clothes patterns – so far she has PJ’s and dressing gown!!!!
During August and our trips away I did managed to get all the fabric I wanted for the two teaching quilts. For the machine made blocks design I have gone for Stonehenge range – looks like stone – I got this in Quilt Essentials in Cromford Derbyshire. While there I also got some batiks for the floral quilt. The rest of the fabric I got in Log Cabin in Brentwood. Was really wanting to do the floral quilt in colours other than my favourites of pink/lilac and purple but I ended up with these colours – as usual!!!!
The Double Wedding ring quilt is machine quilted and just the hand quilted hearts to be add – might not be completely finished in time for our anniversary but it will be mostly done!!!
October has arrived bringing with it Autumn and the feeling that Christmas isn’t too far away.
In classes we have begun the Floral Quilt, the first square is based on the traditional ‘Rose of Sharon’ design, and then the fifteen others are worked from there, using only a limited number of templates. I have decided to machine applique and then machine quilt my blocks.
The other quilt we have started is a Block one, using traditional Nine Patch designs. The projects are designed that they can be worked as two separate quilts or you can combine the designs and have some applique and others blocks, as both are the same size and quilt as you go.
Also thinking along the line of quick Christmas gifts and I am working on keyrings , bookmarks and jam jar sewing kit.
On the run up to Christmas, so almost all of the things that I am creating are either gifts or Christmas decorations. Although not everything is Christmas based.
I have created some fabric pumpkins to decorate our fireplace for the Halloween - they went really well with the Witch Quilted Postcard.
Two great gift ideas and they also use up little bits of fabric ( and I have loads of that in my box!!) are the keyrings and bookmarks. The other thing that uses small bits of fabric is a door stop based on the Patchwork dog (in the have a go section), be teaching that in the middle of the month, along with a Sausage Dog Draught Excluder!!! – again both are great for presents.
On left over fabric, I had some blue pieces spare from the Double wedding Ring quilt, were I had cut to many and I pieced them together to make a new cover for the chair in our bedroom.
Any spare time I have had has been used to make myself some new tops and to re-model some older (too big or out of fashion) items.
Opps, I completely forgot to do the diary for December