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Latest Quilt

Sue’s Latest Quilt

An heirloom to treasure: this latest quilt demonstrates how to blend colours and choose a bold binding.Sue\'s Latest Quilt

Change of plan

I had a change of plan whilst sewing this quilt ( this often happens to me)! I thought that perhaps it would look better if I made some 9″ star blocks to go between the 12″ and the 6″ blocks.

So using some brighter red fabric I constructed several 9″ red & white blocks. The brighter red lifts the colour of the center panel and gives the quilt a fresher look.

…and here is the other brighter fresher red and white star.

Balancing the blocks

I have arranged the two new 9″ star blocks, around the side of the central panel. By alternating the blocks the difference of colour is spread across the the quilt. If you were to place all the same blocks together then you would shift the balance of colour!

Arranging star points

I deliberately wanted to use different stars in this project  so I was aware that when the blocks were sewn together the star points wouldn’t meet. This is because even though the blocks are the same size, the star dimensions are different. if you want to construct a star quilt like this but you want all your star points meeting then you will have to use the same star design in each of you same sized blocks!

Here is the first section of the quilt with the lighter stars added to two sides. I now need to add the other 2 strips to the remaining sides and again attach a red sashing piece along the perimeter, before I can add the 6″ stars.

More Squares

As I continue sewing my red & white stars quilt, I’m thinking all the time about other projects past, present and future.

This is quite normal for me, whilst I’m designing a project then my attention is full on that project, but when the design part is over and I’m making then whilst the practical part of me is piecing, the design part of me has shifted to another project.

Joining Inner Blocks

I have now joined the inner blocks of my star quilt and sewn a red striped border around the inner panel.

joined squares for red and white quilt

Smaller Blocks

The next stage is to make some smaller star blocks for the middle section. the inner panel has 12″ star blocks - However, the middle section will have 6 1/4″ star blocks. This one is just a simple five patch star block- but I love this block - it goes together so easily!!

Adding a Dewy Dream

This second block is called Dewey dream block and although it’s quite similar to the five patch block it looks quite different!!

red and white quilt square

different pattern for red and white quilt

20 Blocks Needed

I will need to piece 20 blocks this size to surround the inner panel before I can proceed to the next section.

I will continue to show you my progress as I piece the various blocks.

TIP

When piecing many blocks the same it is far quicker and easier to make muiltiple strips of the desired length , join and then cut them into the desired size.

Red and White Stars

Project Inspiration

Sometimes when you’re busy planning other projects, an idea pops into your mind and, if you’re like me, you just have to attend to it.

Jewels Will Wait

I was quite happily constructing my swirling blocks for a really bright jewel colours quilt when I felt I just had to make a red and white star quilt!

I don’t know why I get these sudden itches that just have to be scratched and I’m not sure where they come from, maybe it’s something I’ve seen or heard, I don’t know, but there you have it!

So for a short time these blocks that I have been happily constructing

will have to wait until I have constructed my red and white star quilt.

I have decided to use many different star blocks - almost like a star sampler.

This one is called Mosaic Star

However, this one isn’t even called a star it’s called A Cog Wheel!? Looks like a star to me!

I’ve cut out another star called Aunt Eliza’s Star which is a little different and I shall construct this one in both colour ways i.e red on white and white on red.

The Plan

I then plan to put the four stars together as they are 12″ square and add an inner border. I then shall make some smaller star blocks which I shall again surround with another border!!

I’m already looking forward to the finished item!

QUICK TIP!

When cutting fabric using a rotary cutter and a ruler, always leave at least one finger off the ruler ( i.e. on the board) to steady the ruler when you press against it with the cutting blade- it makes for less slips! and when cutting long strips cut a small way and then leaving the cutter against the ruler, slowly walk your steadying hand up the ruler until it is against the next section to be cut!!

Bear Camp Wall Hanging

Christmas Crafted Out!

bear Camp wall hangingHaving spent several weeks sewing for Christmas, I was really looking forward to moving on to something completely different!

So as soon as Boxing day was over - I was extremely happy to rescue my sewing machine from its’ Christmas hiding place and start a new project.

A Pleasant Surprise

This bear wall hanging was so quick and easy to make- it surprised me!

First steps were to cut out the appliqué shapes; trees, bears, lake etc and using stabilizer and a dense machine zig-zag stitch, and then I applied the shapes to the background fabric.

Don’t Be Scared

It really was a lot easier than it probably looks - the only tricky part was making sure the shapes were applied in the correct order and trying to make sure that where one shape partially covers another the fabric remained flat.

Appliqué done, I added side and top and bottom borders.

Dark Backing Fabric

As this is a wall hanging, and the backing would be against the wall. I chose a dark backing fabric that I was unlikely to use for anything else. I cut backing and batting slightly larger than the finished top and sandwiched the batting between the other two pieces.

Machine Settings

I set my machine stitch to 26 and machine quilted around the appliqué shapes. I then lowered my machine stitch to 24 and quilted diagonally across the borders.

Almost done!!

Next Steps

I then made some bias strips from some mottled black fabric, sewed them together and attached them as the binding around the quilted wall hanging, neatly slip stitching the binding down on the wrong side.

Decide How You Will Hang Your Project

Finally, I made a sleeve and attached it to the back - so my wall hanging can be hung, where we can all enjoy it!

These projects often look quite daunting - although I really wanted to sew this - I’d been putting it off for ages - because I thought it would take a long time.

Have Fun and Create

However, I was really surprised at how quickly it all went together and of course- once it started to take shape it was such fun!!!

Sometimes the hardest part of starting a new project is - starting it!

Happy New year!!

Sue

The Bear Project

This is my after Christmas project….I’ll tell you all about it in my next entry…Sue

A Stocking Filled with Love

Everyone loves Christmas stockings from toddlers to teenagers, even adults love to receive a Christmas stocking full of carefully thought out treats!
Just think of all the small treasures you can pop into a stocking, not just chocolates and sweets or toys and money. You can pop in anything small that your loved one would like.

It’s the Thought that Makes it so Special

Maybe some jewellery, or some beads, some buttons and ribbons for the sewing enthusiast, some pens or pastels for the arty person, some  tennis balls or golf balls and tees for the sportsman, CD’s for the music lover.
All sorts of different items can be hidden inside a stocking, and wouldn’t it be so much more personal if you made the stocking yourself.

Here’s How
Stockings are quick, easy and fun to make, you can use Christmas fabric or plain fabric in Christmas colours i.e red, gold and green.
There is so much fun to be had trimming the stocking. Ribbons, bells, pom poms, braid, buttons etc all make great trimmings.
You could even make a selection of stockings and then re-trim them each year to make them different!

Here are some stockings I made earlier on, they didn’t take long.

All you have to do is fold your chosen fabric in two right sides together and cut out a stocking shape. then choose some other fabric for the lining and again fold in half right sides together and cut out a stocking shape. You now have four stocking shapes.

Sew the lining stockings together rights sides together and then sew the outer pieces together right sides together.

Turn the stockings rights side out and put the stocking lining inside the stocking wrong sides facing and taking a narrow seam ( 3/8thsof an inch) sew around the top of the stocking through all thicknesses.

Next, from a contrasting fabric cut a strip approx 3 1/2 ” wide by the circumference of the top of the stocking plus 1/2″ and join the two ends together taking a 1/4″ seam. Turn under  1/4″ and sew.

Attach the strip to the inside of the stocking( right sides facing the lining) and stitch taking a narrow seam. Turn the contrasting strip to the outside forming a cuff.Ready for Hanging

Ribbons, Braids and Pom Poms

Then trim as desired with ribbons, braid, bells pom poms etc!

You could make one for each member of the family then trim them all differently!!

Have fun!!Choose Your Trimmings

Festive Fabrics

Every year the fabric designers work really hard to create beautiful Christmas fabric for you to decorate your home with.

Designer Quilts

The top designers also design fabric panels for you to quilt and hang around your home during the festive season.

You Can Do It Too!

It is great fun to make something festive for your home and there are so many wonderful fabrics, ideas and patterns out there, it is sometimes difficult to choose just one project to work on, so why not make a couple of projects and give them as Christmas gifts to you friends and family.

Made With Love

We all love receiving hand made gifts, particularly Christmas hand made gifts.
I made these table mats and matching table runner from a Christmas panel, it was simple and fun and they would make a great Christmas gift.
christmas fabric quilts
This Is What You Do

All you have to do is cut out the panels, cut some backing fabric slightly larger than the panels, ( I chose a dark green with gold stars) and then sew the front to the back sandwiching some wadding in between. Either by hand or machine quilt through all three layers and then attach bias binding around the edges! Really quick & they would look great on a white tablecloth or even a plain white sheet!

Quilts Without Panels
If you would prefer to make some table settings without a panel, then these ones below, I made really simply.
Quilts without panels

This Is What I Did

All I did here was decide on a central square, border it in the candy sticks and mistletoe fabric, and then again cut some backing & wadding slightly larger than the front and copying the border fabric I quilted candy sticks in the centre of each place mat ( two in the centre of the table runner- which is the same width but much longer…the length of your table.

Here To Stay Is The Snowman

Then for these place mats and  table runner, I just used one piece of gorgeous snowmen fabric for the place mats, backed it as before and quilted a star in the centre of each one and bound them with bias binding. For the table runner which is considerably larger, I used the same design fabric but in a different colour, adding a little of the fabric I used for the place mats, in order to tie the two together. I again quilted a star in the two red areas, and then I used a snowman stripe fabric around the runner and then bound the table runner with bias binding as I had the others.

Snowman Quilt

Make A New Tradition

It’s always lovely to receive a gift that you can bring out again and again, year after year.  Every time you use, or look at the gift it reminds you of the friend who gave it to you  bringing back all your shared happy memories!!!

And that’s what makes handmade gifts so special!!

When Money is Tight

This  uncertain economic climate means money could be tight for us all, so instead of spending a lot of money on Christmas  gifts this year,  you can make something special for your friends and family.

Gift Ideas

Here are some lovely original gifts that won’t cost much, and if you start now, you could very quickly have several gifts for different family members.

Hand Made with Love

Hand made gifts are always a pleasure to receive because the receiver knows that the gift is original, and that a lot of thought and time has gone into the making.

Christmas Cushion

This Christmas cushion for example, it would make a lovely gift, it costs next to nothing to create and it is an original design.

This was a lot of fun to make.

I started by cutting a square and then appliqueing a different Christmas picture in each corner, a candlestick, snowflake, star, tree etc. I then attached a check strip length ways and width ways to divide up the cushion.

I cut two pieces for the back to create a simple envelope opening.

I made some bias strips and encased the piping cord. Because I didn’t want ugly seams inside my cushion cover, I made French seams, (sewing wrong sides together first, then turning and sewing right sides together, making sure I encased the piping.

All I had to do then was to pop a cushion pad inside the newly constructed cover.

Baby Books

If you have a baby in your family then a padded fabric book would make a lovely present!

This was also very simple to construct.

I used Paddington bear for this book , but you could use any lovely children’s fabric. cut out several pictures all the same size to create pages. sandwich some wadding between each set of pages and join right sides together leaving an opening for turning. Press. slip stitch opening closed.

Construct four sets of double pages, three inner pages  and one outer. lay the inner pages inside the outer page and stitch through the centre thus creating a baby’s soft book that will  keep through the generations. It won’t tear or break and it can go in the washing machine.


Watch for More Gift Ideas

There are lots of other gifts you can create in time for Christmas and over the next few weeks I will be writing more about them.

Lavender Lovelies

Harvest Your Lavender

I have Lavender growing in my garden and every year I harvest the flowers, and hang them to air dry.
When the flowers are quite dry I strip them off the harsh stems and store them in bags, keeping them until needed.

Using Your Lavender

I usually tuck some dried lavender into small bags and use them as drawer fresheners or I sew ribbons on to heart shaped bags and hang them on pegs on painted wall shelves.

I also used some of this Lavender in the oven gloves I made earlier on.

Sleep Problems Too!

However, I’ve not been sleeping very well lately, so I thought I’d make a small flat lavender pillow to sleep with. I first made a small bag from scrim/ loosely woven muslin, and tucked the dried Lavender heads in. I then

chose some lavender Toile de Jouy. It only took minutes  to make a small pillow, I tucked the lavender filled muslin bag inside and slip stitched the opening closed.

Sweet Dreams

I have it on my pillow every night now and as soon as my body warms the pillow the wonderful calming scent of lavender is released. It is so lovely going to sleep with the gentle scent of lavender; and yes since I have been sleeping with the Lavender I have managed to sleep better.

Perhaps, if you’re not sleeping well, you might try it.

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