Friday, 30 December 2011

Sweet Pea Block

Another rainy day at the bach – but it is good for the sewing! But what a shame 
for all those camping over the New Year break.

Another block is made - a flowery one this time – called Sweet Pea. It is from the
 same book – in fact all the blocks are from Yoko Saito’s “138 Original Applique 
Designs” book. This is another 10” one.

New Year New Project

This is what I have achieved today as we are away on holiday and it is raining. 
And the second block is prepared ready for hand stitching.

This is the start of a new project – oh dear should I be doing that with all that hand 
quilting backing up. But yes I should – this is a special quilt. I have a nephew getting 
married in May and his lovely partner Kate has asked if I would make them a quilt. 
So I showed her a big range of books  representing as many quilt styles and colours 
as I could muster. She poured through them putting a post-it sticker on each page 
that had a quilt that she liked on it and we worked from there. You can imagine how
excited I was when she chose an appliqué quilt and she wanted it made
in the taupe fabrics.

So here is block one – Mushroom Gathering  - 10” square. I have used my favourite 
Freezer Paper appliqué technique. Each block has a little bit of embroidery 
on it – in true Yoko Saito style.

It is taken from Yoko Siato’s book “138 Original Applique Designs”. As the name 
suggests this book is packed with appliqué blocks so we have chosen 18 of them to make 
up the quilt. The block sizes range from 10” squares to 20” squares and some 20” by 10” rectangles. They are placed in a slightly irregular layout taken from another of my Japanese Taupe books – this one by Hitomi Hanaoka.

So onward with these blocks as they are getting married in March! The hand quilting of the other projects will just have to wait – so much for that rule I made a month ago – whoops I didn’t even bring any hand quilting projects away with me!  But I will re-instate that rule when I get home.

Monday, 26 December 2011

Christmas 2011

I hope you have all had a wonderful Christmas. This is a block from a Christmas quilt that 
I made many years ago - 1994 to be precis.

My Blog posts have been rather lacking over the last week or two - sorry.
Just before we closed for the Christmas break we launched our updated website - and 
that turned into a rather larger than expected mission as they crashed the old site 
in the process. So the pressure was on to get the new site up and running before 
Christmas instead of at my leisure!! But it is almost done, but no sewing got done for
days and days and days.

But now I am back into it but don't have a lot to show as I have been preparing my 
applique pieces for sewing onto the 1800s quilt border. Can you work out how this will go together?

And I have been keeping to my rule of quilting before any other project each day.
So my Amish quilt is nearly done - I have worked on stitching the borders tonight and it 
is going well - a nice flowing cable that is easy to stitch in one direction without having 
to keep on moving and reorganising the quilt.

I have drawn the design with my Clover white marking pen that irons away when I am done
with it - what a wonderful invention from Clover. This is the stencil that I used. I did have 
a bit of a debate about whether to use a design with curved lines when the rest of the quilt
 was quilted with straight lines. After checking some photos of old Amish quilts I 
decided this would be fine.

I did sew on the binding first so I could get the final cable design properly centred.

If I don't get back before New Year's Eve have a great one - welcome 2012 in style.

Sunday, 18 December 2011

1800s Blocks All Together

Well I met the deadline that I set myself last week and got all my 1800s blocks 
finished and sewn together - well just.

I was surprised how big it actually was - one row of blocks went over each edge 
when it was put on our double bed and it still has borders to go on.

And I do love these little blocks and all the colours and fabrics reproduced from the 1800s.

It really looks like a scrap quilt - it has so many different fabrics in it - we have cut 
63 different squares for the blocks!!!

Now it is onto the borders which have some more quite simple applique. 

But first I should spend a few nights quilting - I have my Amish Bear's Paw and 
my Japanese Quilt Block quilt awaiting lots more quilting stitches.

I think there is a rule coming on - that I have to quilt for at least 30 minutes 
before launching into more applique!!! I find this a good way to get way
to get quilting done when I would rather be doing applique.

Saturday, 10 December 2011

1800s Quilt Progress

These are two of the final blocks needed for my 1800s Applique Quilt - I just need to 
make two more of this block in different colours and then I can out the whole 
quilt top together.

My plan is to get the blocks all joined up next weekend and then I can start on 
the applique border - no, not a vine - you will just have to wait and see!

This Block of the Month looks like it is on target to be released early in the New Year - the sample won't be quilted by then but that can be work in progress.

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Central 1800s Block

This is the central block of my 1800s quilt. 

Now I just have four more large applique blocks to make in a new design - my challenge 
is to get them done by the end of next week!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

From Vietnam to 1800s Blocks

Hi - we are home from Vietnam having had a wonderful time. The old clothes that I bought 
from the Hmong ladies are washed and have lost their smoky smell. They were definitely 
dyed with old indigo as my hands had a touch of the indigo blue from handling them when
they were wet - not that there was actually any doubt in my mind. 

This is part of a child's set of traditional clothing - dress and long sleeveless coat - the same 
as all the ladies were wearing. Under this they wore knee length velveteen trousers and leggings. The ladies were wearing and making the embroidered sleeve inserts, but this one is ribbons sewn on by machine. The colourful edge stitching on the jacket looks hand couched.

This is a Hmong jacket - isn't it a delight with its embellishments - embroidery, sequins, beads, baubles and metal pieces.

Now it is back to the 1800s quilt with all those blocks. I finished off one last night that didn't 
quite get finished before I left on holiday. And this is an idea of the layout coming up - but 
there are nine big blocks and they are not all the same as these two.

Thanks for stopping by - do leave a comment.