I’m not sure why but on Wednesday last week I suddenly decided to make my mother a quilt for her birthday. It had to be a quick finish as her birthday is today. Layer cake to the rescue!
I bought a layer cake of ‘Honey, Honey’ by Kate Spain quite a while ago. The prints are so cheerful and gorgeous, I absolutely love them. In fact, I decided while making this quilt that I have to try and find some yardage of some of the prints as I think they are p.e.r.f.e.c.t. I have yet to see a collection by Kate Spain that I don’t love but this one truly makes my heart sing.
Every now and then I pulled out the layer cake and wondered what pattern I should use to make a quilt. I put it back not being able to decide. Now that I knew I was making a quilt for my mother I had to come up with something. In the end I decided to go for big tumblers to let the fabrics do the talking.
A bit of washi tape on the ruler ensured that the angles were all the same. As some of the prints were directional I had to make sure I cut the tumblers the right way and I’m pleased to report I only made one mistake. As it was fairly early on I could swap that tumbler with one from one of the other rows and sort it like that.
The quilt was pieced with Aurifil 40wt (2021) and free motion quilted with my favourite Aurifil 40wt (4654). I did some big flowers, leaves and insects and added Little Miss Bossy-Boots’ and my name and the year. My fmq may not be perfect but, by Jove, I had a lot of fun doing it.
I love this quilt and I hope my mother does too (I might just steal it back if she doesn’t). The best thing? Kate Spain saw my picture on Instagram and wished my mum a ‘happy birthday’.
I have been on a steady course to finish WIPs since confessing to them all on my FAL 2014 list. Now, you may remember that I was rather overambitious when I put fifteen (!) projects on there but I thought it would be better to have a big range of projects so that I could pick and choose what I wanted to work on. It’s worked rather well as this is project number five that I’ve finished and number six is being worked on as you read this post.
Athea Spring, as I call this cushion, was made using the first templates I made available on my blog. They are drawn by hand and you can find them here. I made three different versions of this pattern and I love them all. They look so different depending on the fabrics you choose.
Réalt Glas is on my wall of minis in my sewing room, Spring is a cushion on my sofa and Bloom is destined to become the centre of a medallion quilt (but that won’t be done before Q2 of the FAL, I’m sure).
Right, back to my cushion. I quilted it in a spiral in the most gorgeous variegated Aurifil 40wt (no. 4654) which is a perfect match to the green solids in the centre. My spiral is pretty wobbly and there are a few jumps but all in all I love it. I did learn the hard way, though, that I should have gone the other way. Ah, you live and learn. This will definitely not be the last time I’m quilting in a spiral.
The back of the cushion is a shirt of my Dad’s which I kept after he died almost three years ago. I wanted to make a cushion or quilt for Little Miss Bossy-Boots to remember him by. However, when I saw how well it matched Athea Spring I decided to use it for this. I still have the back and sleeves of the shirt for a different project.
This was the quickest cushion back in the history of cushion backs and I wish I had kept a few more of his shirts.
I’ll be back tomorrow with an update on the EPP mini for Karie and, if you’re reading this Andrea, a tutorial for my Modern Churn Dash quilt at the beginning of next week.
Life here in Switzerland is still going in the slow lane. I have no internet, no phone and no tv at the moment and although I miss being connected to the quilting community I’m quite happy with the tv break. It’s funny how much more you can do when you’re not stuck to the laptop or tv (not that I watch very much tv in the first place).
However, I’ve been ‘stealing’ my mother’s wifi a few evenings last week and have been watching various courses on Craftsy, one of which is Ann Petersen’s Beyond Basic Machine Quilting. Yesterday evening I was watching her quilt fabulous feathers and was so inspired that I got my pencil and pad out and started practicing. This morning I sat down at my machine and tried to do it on a practice sandwich.
I used the Aurifil 50wt in 2024 that was already in my machine. It’s easy to see that the left side is easier for my brain to wrap itself around. My stitch length was also more consistent on the left.
I then decided to change to a slightly thicker thread and changed my top thread to Aurifil 40wt in 2150, a nice bright orange, leaving the white 50wt in the bobbin.
I love the thicker thread and am now itching to go and order lots and lots of different colours. Both these feathers were free form and I loved having a bit of ‘air’ between the fronds. However, I thought I really need to try them without space too and drew a circle on another practice sandwich. I was trying really hard to retrace my steps and keep the fronds together.
I first did the outside feathers and it’s fairly easy to see where I started in the top righthand corner. The inside was fine until I got to the last frond. Poor planning meant that my angle was off and it looks really messy. Alas, it’s only a practice piece and I don’t mind it one bit. After all, they do say that practice makes perfect and you learn from your mistakes. I’ve absolutely loved making all my mistakes and I now want to make a quilt that I can quilt with feathers in all shapes and sizes.
Ok, I’m off to watch the rest of my Craftsy course. I’m sure I’ll find more I need to try out soon.