London(e) Star

Hurrah, I finished my London Star cushion cover and I’m really pleased with it. There are a few things that niggle at me but I won’t share what they are as I don’t want anyone to study the picture too carefully and find the flaws. I quilted it by following the star shape twice. I thought about continuing to echo quilt but liked the way it looked now, so I stopped.

I learned a lot from making this project. First, designing your own block is daunting but a lot of fun and once you’ve started you see quilt blocks everywhere. I’ve got a few sketches in my little notebook but before I can sit down and translate them into fabric I have to finish a few WIPs.

Second, think about how to iron the seams before you start sewing and stay consistent. Because I only thought of this as a trial piece I didn’t really care and ironed some seams open and some not. It makes it all a bit awkward.

Third, I realise that I’m not a fan of white as a background. After my Summer Luv mini quilt and this cushion cover I can honestly say that it will be quite a while before I sew with white again. Cream or light grey I would use anytime but not white.

Fourth, I really, really want to make a whole quilt with different size London Stars. Again, I have to finish a few things before I can think about that but when I do I might try to write a pattern. Biting off more than I can chew? Probably, but if I don’t try I can’t succeed, can I?

This cushion cover is coming with me to Switzerland next week and will be given to someone special.


London Star

I’m really chuffed today.

One of the classes I took at the Fat Quarterly Retreat was the Designer Challenge where Katy and John got us to think about shapes and design quilt blocks. Most of my drawings were just blah but when we had to think about stars I designed a block that I quite liked. When John said he hadn’t seen anything like that before I took a quick  picture before handing over my drawings.

Back home I couldn’t get my star out of my head and decided to try and sew it up. I sat down, did the math and got it all wrong. When I sewed up the parts that make up the block they ended up way too big. Back to the drawing board….

I decided to actually cut out the components and go from there. I had to adjust my measurements quite a bit but plodded on too stubborn to give up (one of my most prominent traits according to Master). I’m so grateful I did as this is what I ended up with:

Do you like it? I love it. It’s not quite like my drawing but I think I actually prefer it like this. There are so many tiny pieces it takes forever to cut them all out but I think that time is worth it. Now, my math still didn’t quite work the way it was supposed to and the block ended being 11″ rather than 12,5″. Mmmh, not sure if I should just leave it at that or try again. This block will be turned into a cushion for a special person. One day I may even go back to it and make a quilt. Would be fun, wouldn’t it?

We are Family

I just have to show you the lovely portraits Little Miss Bossy-Boots made of us.

From left to right: Little Miss Bossy-Boots, Aron the dog, Me and Master.

While Little Miss Bossy-Boots was busy drawing I took the time to start and finish (!) a small project. My sister showed me a picture of some birds she wanted to make. Guess what, I thought they were so cute I had to try making one myself. They are incredibly quick to make and a great portable project as they are sewn by hand. I love the idea of getting a branch or two in the garden and make lots of birds for Little Miss Bossy-Boots’ room.

Summer Luv

On the train back from London I was thinking back to the fantastic three days that I had just spent in the great company of such creative ladies and gentlemen. I thought of all the things I had learned and the fact that I would have to try them out independently (ie without a teacher holding my hand) to really internalise them. I’m the kind of person who has to use my hands to learn, I write things down to remember them. I can’t read a pattern and understand it, I have to get the materials and make while I read the instructions. I’ve always been like that to a certain degree but it has become more prominent in the last eight years and is probably down to the flippin’ chemo.

Anyway, long story short, I was thinking about the portholes technique and especially about the flower template that Lu gave us together with the circles and heart. In my mind the flower became more abstract and suddenly I could see a picture in my head of three very stylised flowers in bright colours.

What do you think? I realise I could have appliqued the flowers onto the background and it would have taken me half the time but I love the more refined look that you get with the portholes technique (who am I kidding? it’s still something I made). I tried to keep the shapes as simple as possible to practice. The colours were chosen for their zing, I wanted the whole quilt to really pop. I’m very happy with it even though the coloured fabrics show a little through the white and I didn’t bury my knots at the back (as it was only supposed to be a trial piece I didn’t think it would matter). It finished at 12″ by 16″.

I put a picture up on Instagram and it seems I have two takers for this mini quilt. However, as I haven’t got any of the ladies’ addresses I might just hang it up in my room for a little while.

Next stop, finishing my double circle of flying geese. I just hope I remember enough to do it without having to bombard Lynne with too many questions. Watch this space….

Edit: At Di‘s suggestion I’m linking this mini quilt up to Ellison Lane Quilts‘ Summer Sewing Contest. Just for fun 🙂