Goodness, I can hardly remember when I last wrote a post for this blog. However, the cobwebs have well and truly been dusted off and I’m excited to share lots of new makes with you.
First, is a cushion I’d promised Little Miss Bossy-Boots ages ago. She’s gone off the pink and wanted more purple in her room so I bought some lovely Kaffe Fassett’s and made her a Dresden plate cushion. Everything was going really well until I decided to hand quilt it. Hand quilting is hard on your hands so I put it away for a while before finally finishing it yesterday.
I added some free motion quilted pebbles to the centre and some leaf shapes to the background. The cushion was pieced and quilted with Aurifil 50wt (2024); for the hand quilting I used some Perle cotton but the very fine one. Could it be a 12? I’m not sure.
Next is a quilt to go with the cushion. I’ve already started cutting the fabrics and I’m adding lots of other colours to the mix. This is going to be a big quilt that will, hopefully, last the Little Miss a long time so I don’t want it to be too restricted colour wise.
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.
I’ve appliquéd my Pantone Emerald challenge star onto the the grey Essex linen background as I know that I have to finish it soon if I want to actually enter it. It’s been slow going as I’ve been watching Downton Abbey (Season 2) at the same time.
I probably would have finished quilting by now if I hadn’t decided to tweak the pattern at the same time, snatching a few minutes here and there. I had to get the seam ripper and scissors out a few times as I had problems with a couple of the pieces not fitting properly. If you look at the small green star and the grey elongated hexagons you can see they are quite pouffy as I literally had to shoehorn the grey pieces in.
The fabrics I picked for the tweaked version remind me of spring flowers. Kaffe Fasset, Denyse Schmidt, Robert Kaufman dots and Kona Solids in happy reunion. I don’t know about you but I’m definitely ready for some sunshine and warmth. It’s not quite finished but I’m hoping to get the last apricot pieces sewn on this evening.
The apricot colour isn’t something I would normally have picked but I really liked how it coordinated with one of the colours in the Kaffe Fasset print.
Lying next to each other you can really see how fabric choice influences the perception of the stars. The hexagon shape which is so prevalent in the Spring Version sort of disappears in Réalt Glas. I love both of them. One last trial version to go before I put the templates up on the blog.
My cushion was quilted yesterday with a little help from Charles Wobblebottom.
Now I just have to finish the binding. Maybe tonight.