Thursday 28 January 2021

A Christmas Quilt Story

A few weeks ago, I wasted spent a bit of time watching stuff on YouTube, as you do... It's like 'jumping down a rabbit hole' really. I came across this video and decided to make a practice block or 5 as the tutorial suggests. 
I dug out a few ancient festive uglies from my 'get this used up' fabric box and made 5 wonky trees. The fabrics were way to busy really but that was fine, they were just to have a go. 
The method wasted larger bits of fabric than I like (even though I don't like the fabric, I cannot waste it... there's no hope for me!!" I decided to make 6 more Wonky Tree blocks, with smaller rectangles to start with, I was much happier with those.  
So, now I had 11 wonky tree blocks.

 Remember I told you I can't waste fabric!! 
While I was digging about in my festive stash, I came across a few Orphan blocks that were also made to test out a block design or method, and also a plastic box of festive fabric scraps, mostly left over from the Festive Bauble quilt I made last, last year (2019) Eeeek, I was now going to make an Ugly Orphan Christmas Lap Quilt, how did that happen?

Scraps got sorted into sizes... and block book came out. 
I had to choose blocks with small bits...
All the units cut ready, traditional piecing, I love it!!
That centre unit is from a strip I cut wrong in my shop, you will see quite a few of them.

there you go, and it measured exactly the right size, 8 and a half inches, boom! 

Another... really busy fabrics and another little picture...

Too dark really but we will run with it, I don't do waste!!

I have to cover the sizes on either size as I keep getting muxed ip!

Triangles galore

And again, a perfect size... sometimes I do amaze my very own self!! With so many tiny units it's easy for the block to turn out a tad smaller than it should.

A log Cabin. A few Flying Geese units. Those pinwheels were already made from left over Half Square Triangles and there are lots of them...

I taped my Clover Design Sheet to my Quilty Quarters' wall (the baton is still waiting to be drilled up) and I started to play with what blocks and units I had at this point. I obviously need loads more...

days later... not the final lay out but getting there...

Lots of the units and blocks are sewn together here. It's tricky maths but the beauty of a scrappy project is you can add a little strip of fabric here and there to reach the right size for joining...

Top complete! I love it now.
Back was made using more stash fabric

Pinned ready for quilting...

Arty Farty shot of quilt sandwich.

Another arty farty Quilt Sandwich picture.

 You can see I was living very dangerously with that wadding/batting... I had joined two pieces together, remember the exercise was to use up stuff... it was really too small but I will deal with any issues later, if they crop up. Lots of pins will help.
The angle making legs look very thin!! I love that too, ha ha ha

Tiny strips added to get this cute picture up to the right size

Very simple Walking Foot quilting, done Lick-etty-Split. 
Quilt  crusts all trimmed up ready for the binding.

This is the quilting design. Very randomly done... 
Done is better than perfect!!!

The binding machine stitched on.
 I am now in the process of hand stitching it.
I'll post a finished picture soon.

Sunday 24 January 2021

Stitching News

Last year in March, the week after our Quilting retreat at Alison House, while we were still free-ish and my shop was still open but were all expecting the lockdown to be announced, Angela brought in a pattern that she wanted to make. 'Gossip In The Garden', I've helped a few customers with their own versions of this very popular pattern but Angela just asked me to please kit up all the fabrics she would need to make the quilt top and left it to me... Oooh heck, It's all very well choosing fabrics for folk when they are in the shop to agree or not... but this time I was on my own! Angela left saying that there was no rush and to contact her when the Kit was all ready... which I did... but it was quite a few weeks later as the Lockdown was a very strict "Stay At Home" and I am a rule follower!!! Angela eventually was able to collect her fabrics... 

Recently she sent me this picture... It's finished all ready!!! She does most of her piecing and quilting by hand so I am very surprised to see it all done... I guess she has had a lot of time though, with nowhere to go!! I think the fabrics are wonderful, of course I do. I suspect there were a few added from Angela's very own stash to0... Raise your trumpets please... we need a good loud Toot toot toot fanfare for this fabulous finish.

Norma sent a few pictures too. She's been working on the blocks for this project for over a year... I remember she was making them during the March Quilting retreat too. Each block made and quilted then joined together, apartment-ly.... During Lockdown Norma has been sitting on grandchildren and home schooling them... goodness me, my mind boggles!! ha ha ha
You can see the sashing strips used to do the joining better from the back... It's a huge quilt so Quilting each block was the only way Norma could proceed. It's a very popular method with my customers. Toot toot toot Our Norma, you have done a grand job, its a fabulous and finished, rather huge quilt.

All Day Di (Also known as Lady Lidl) Is cracking on with her PhD pile... you know the one... A box or pile of those Projects Half Done! She had forgotten all about this lovely cushion. Started only about 5 years ago, it is now fabulous and finished so... toot toot toot Di, better later than never eh.

Just Edna came to my shop for her pre-booked shopping slot, in September, with a very important project in mind. There's a baby coming, how lovely. The first block always takes a bit longer to make when you are not familiar with the making... traditional piecing usually needs a few more brain cells, don't you think?
 The second block took a while too though... a little bit of unpicking was involved... but the units are the right way up now. 4 blocks done so far, you can see there will be a fabulous secondary pattern when the blocks are joined together too.

Farmer Lynda finished her beautiful Table Topper.... She really enjoys all the preparation for sticky stuff , machine stitched applique. From all the tracing to the cutting out and sticking... like play school!!! Lynda has never done curved edges before so the Bias Binding had her worried. A little reassurance from my very own self helped a lot, so she says, I'll take that!! Toot toot toot Lynda, a fabulous finish and a new method learned.

 Thank you for sending me the pictures Ladies...

Friday 8 January 2021

Online Shopping?

Happy New Year everyone!
If you don't mind, and even if you do, I would like to talk about Online Shopping...
Love it?  Loath it? We have very little choice at the moment.
Personally, I'm not a fan and I know that I am not the only one. Choosing fabrics, colour and design, is very tricky online. I've spoken to a lot of disappointed customers lately.

I have a Patchwork and Quilting shop, did you notice that? My shop doesn't have online shopping options. I know... I know, I am probably a dinosaur... I like to think that I give/gave excellent customer service to my lovely customers, who mostly return because of that, not to mention the amount of stock I have for you to choose from!!
With all the Covid restrictions and lockdown months, my shop has barely been worth keeping. I have been very strict in only allowing shopping by appointment to keep us all safe and that has been very good, though it really restricted numbers.
Without online sales, my shop may not be able to survive. The fabric suppliers are on my case, they keep telling me to get online. I really don't want to. It's no secret that I struggle enough with Facebook, Messenger and Blogger, I'm such a computer numptie!!! Let's not even get on to how I can't even understand the TV stuff!

It is a fun addiction though, this Patchwork and Quilting malarkey. 
My shop was never about selling as much fabric as I could... It was always about enabling the addiction! Giving you as much choice as I possibly could for your projects.

So, after a few experimental calls, which have proven to be quite amusing and successful. I've decided to have a bash at helping you choose fabrics for your projects, and you would be able to help me by purchasing from my shop.
Video call Personal Shopping, by appointment! Excellent Customer Service!!! ??
Genius? Stupid? Fun? Whatever... I've already started!
I've had WhatsApp Video calls with customers, as recently as yesterday which were very successful. As I have to be in my shop to make this work, we need to do it by appointment, to make sure I am there for your Personal Shopping experience.

If you need fabrics or other Patchwork and Quilting paraphernalia that I stock, call me 07807530441 or email me  or send a WhatsApp message 07807530441 and we can take it from there.  We can decide on a time to 'meet' in my shop for your Personal Shopper Video Experience.

Stitching News

 Thank you for sending your pictures ladies x

Gail made this stocking for Jude, I could be a detective you know! 
Evidence is evidence.
It's one of quite a few stockings that Gail has made using this pattern from Kids Quilts.
Toot toot toot Gail, it qualifies as a fabulous finish.

Farmer Lynda is a real Farmer, who would have thought that?
She was gifted these fabrics for Christmas and having decided she did not want to cut them up she made two new quilted cushions, and yes, they have hidden zips in the back. Toot toot toot Farmer Lynda, 2 fabulous and finished projects.

This is Farmer Lynda's current project. An extremely cute applique pattern purchased a couple of years ago from a quilt show. This lockdown is helping lots of people to dig into their "why did I buy that" stash!! Have you done it too? I know I have.

2 Baby Gifting Quilts

Both baby gifting quilts are finished. Both made with pre-printed panels with both alphabet and numbers, they will be smart kids!!! Fully machine washable and machine dryable, as most cotton is, they can now, hopefully be used to death!! There's nothing quite like seeing a worn out, from good use, quilt a few years down the line is there.

One requested not to be too bright...

Beige bubbles fabric for the back.
For me that covers the 'neutral tone' requirement, ha!

This one turned out a bit longer so I could use up the picture squares.

Improvised piecing, but baby will notice neither my skill nor my cunning!

Balloon fabric squares? Well now, this was on the back of the Bunting I pulled apart to make the first quilt. So, both quilts are related, as are the dads and the little lads.
I'm quite please with how they turned out.
Toot toot toot to me for my fabulous and finished, cunningly thrifty, Gifting Quilts.
Let the wearing out begin!