Magical Diamonds

I like having an EPP (English Paper Piecing) project on the go at all times and I am constantly designing new ones in TouchDraw on my iPad. This summer I went off to Norway and decided to start ‘The Big One’, a quilt for me which Little Miss Bossy-Boots has named ‘Magical Diamonds’. It’s going to fit my queen size bed and I’m using some of my all time favourite fabrics, Denyse Schmydt’s Florence and Oakshott shot cottons in blues and greens.

Magical Diamonds

I wasn’t sure at first how to place the fabrics but then decided to use the Oakshotts as a sort of frame for the prints. I was so excited about this project that I started before travelling and ended up with two very quickly. Each segment is 10″ x 14″, so they’re quite big.

Once I arrived in our cabin in Norway I set up my little work station outside. I was blessed with the most wonderful weather.

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I continued sewing a little every day if I wasn’t reading or cycling to the shops or the beach.

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This is what they are going to look like: 48 of those segments sewn together like this. I’m still thinking about colour placement but as I have a few more – 41 to be exact- to do, I have some time to think about it.

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This, by the way, was my view while sewing. I have to admit that I was distracted every now and again. Especially when big boats were passing.

It was a most wonderful and relaxing holiday. I managed to sew five segments which was less than I had hoped for but I also read four books and cycled quite a few kilometres. Bliss!

 

Oakshott Lipari Blog Hop

Hello! Today is my day on the Oakshott Liparis Blog Hop organised by Lynne from Lily’s Quilts. I feel very flattered that I was chosen to be part of this and would like to thank both Lynne and Michael from Oakshott for letting me play with these beautiful fabrics.

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The Oakshott Liparis are absolutely gorgeous and can’t truly be described, they have to be seen. Each of the eighteen colours are woven with black thread to give a dark and rich palette. They are 54″ wide so go a lot further than regular quilting cottons which is great as you get quite a lot of fabric in a Fat Eighth bundle. Find out more about the inspiration for this collection here.

The minute I realised that I was going to be part of the blog hop I sat down and designed a quilt.

Persimon QuiltObviously there was no chance of making it with a Fat Eighth bundle so I thought I’d just miniaturise it and make a mini quilt. However, when the fabrics arrived and I started playing with them, I came back to the same colour combination again and again, blue, green and orange, red. I then found it difficult to cut the beautiful Liparis into small strips so decided to keep all the stripes at the same width and make the wallhanging quite big. Because it ended up as a wallhanging, not a quilt as planned it has a backing, some lush Lipari Marina, but no batting and no quilting. I was worried that the batting and quilting would make the wallhanging too rigid and that it then wouldn’t shimmer in the light as much.

This is what I ended up with:

Persimon Quilt 'Heaven and Earth'

The stylised ‘persimon’ are English paper pieced and then appliquéd onto the quilt.

Persimon Quilt 'Heaven and Earth'

This quilt/wallhanging is quite striking but easy to make. I will give you the measurements I used but it would be easy to resize from small to large.

You will need

8 Fat Eighths of Oakshott Lipari for the background, I used Stromboli, Lisca, Dattilo, Lentia, Porticello, Salina, Scari, Volcano Bleu

3 Fat Eighths of Oakshott for the ‘persimon’, I used Milazzo, Basiluzzo and Pollara

1 m of backing fabric, I used Marina

Persimon Templates

Thread for basting and sewing, I use cheap thread for basting and Aurifil for sewing and appliqué.

  1. Cut a 5.5″strip from each of your background fabrics and sew together. I went from deep red to blue to get my heaven and earth feel.
  2. Cut out the templates for the three ‘persimon’, you will need twelve of each shape
  3. Pin the templates onto your chosen fabric, cut out with a 0.25″ seam allowance and thread baste onto the paper template. P1020327
  4. Sew the small triangular shapes onto the big wedge shape, then sew the wedge shapes together to get a ‘persimon’. Pollara Persimon
  5. Lay the ‘persimon’ onto your background and pin into place. I ironed a line into the background about 8.5″ from the edge and centred my ‘persimon’ on it. Pin into place leaving the papers in.
  6. Appliqué the ‘persimon’ onto the background with small stitches starting with the inside. Once they are sewn on it’s easy to take the papers out of the small and big shape before pinning the outside down again and sewing around.
  7. Trim your top to get nice clean edges. Mine ended up at 25.5″ x 40.5″.
  8. Lay out your backing fabric and lay your top face down onto it. sew around with a 0.25″ seam allowance leaving an 8″ gap so you can turn it inside out. Press well and close the gap with a ladder stitch.
  9. To hang, I sewed a bamboo stick onto the backing.

You could of course also quilt and bind it the traditional way.

Persimon Quilt Heaven and Earth

The Oakshotts look different in different lights, they are absolutely fascinating. I’ve hung my  ‘Heaven and Earth’ wallhanging over my bed and I love how goes from very dark to shimmering like a jewel depending on the time of day.

Persimon Quilt Heaven and Earth

I’ve absolutely loved working with the Oakshott Liparis!

5 May     Allison Dutton       allison-sews.blogspot.com
10 May   Nicholas Ball         quiltsfromtheattic.wordpress.com 
12 May   Helen Purvis          archiethewonderdog.blogspot.com
17 May   Lynn Harris            thelittleredhen.typepad.com
19 May   Kitty Wilkin           nightquilter.com (Now moved to 2nd June)
24 May   Jessica Skultety      www.quiltyhabit.com 
26 May   Karin Jordan           www.leighlaurelstudios.com
31 May   Elisabeth Vaughan  sharksdinner.com

Hello Fabric!

I used to love buying fabric ‘just because’ but now that money is very tight (the joys of being a single mum) I only buy fabric for specific projects and mostly use my stash. It’s been great, actually, as I realise that there’s always more new fabric that is going to be my favourite and it’s nice to see your old favourites used and out ‘in the wild’.

I’ve signed up for the handpiecedminiswap2 on Instagram as I really enjoyed the first round. It was organised by Jo from A Life in Lists and specified that you had to make a mini that was completely pieced by hand. However, you were allowed to machine quilt and bind. I didn’t; I did everything by hand and had a total blast.

Lantern

I did a little bit of hand quilting around the lantern and added a scrappy binding. I really loved it but I have to assume my partner didn’t as she never got back to me to tell me that she had received it. She also didn’t reply to Jo’s email either. It’s very sad when you put in many hours, design a mini, hand piece it and then nothing. Not even a ‘it’s arrived’. Nada.

This swap wasn’t a complete disappointment though, as I was given the best mini from Paula from Mud, Pies and Pins who’s been a real life friend for the last fifteen years and who lives only a few minutes from my house.

Paula's Mini

She used some of my all time favourite fabrics and even though we were talking about the swap every time we met I never realised that it was for me. Sneaky! And can I just say “Jackpot!”

Anyway, I was talking about the second round. My partner likes fabrics that I haven’t got so I decided to order some Cotton & Steel from Westwood Acres. I chose Bandana by Alexia Abegg as I really love the colours and prints. Some half yard cuts fell into the basket too. Compared to prices here in Switzerland they were a real steal. Service was fantastic and so quick. It was my first time ordering from them but it definitely won’t be my last.

Bandana

I can’t wait to start stitching with these gorgeous colours. And did you see those two bits of fudge in the middle of my circle? I think I need to order more fabric in the hope of getting more as they were absolutely yummy.

The Purple Quilt

Worst blogger ever, I forgot to take a picture of the quilt before I gifted it…

The Purple Quilt

I did remember to put a label on it, though. I simply couldn’t think of a good name for it and I didn’t want to put the name in my head (Purple Sucks) on there as a lot of people love purple. So in the end it I named it The Purple Quilt. The Aurifil I used, purple 2581 in 50wt, shows up beautifully on the back.

Here’s a picture my sister sent me of it in situ:

Kristine's Quilt

Doesn’t look too bad, does it? It crinkled up nicely in the wash and I hope she’ll use it lots.

The next quilt is already in planning, although it’s only a mini for a swap I’m in. Templates have been drawn, fabrics chosen, thimbles sewn (I make my own leather thimbles) and the Aurifil’s ready. The only hiccup: my fabric is still in America. I’m hoping that it’ll arrive soon as I’m looking forward to this one.