Sunday, 27 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013 - Cara's Quilt

You been on Instagram lately? You completely green eyed of all those lucky enough to make it to Quilt Market in Houston? Me too!

Thankfully, Amy of Amy's Creative Side fame came up with the Blogger's Quilt Festival a few years ago so that all of us mere mortals wouldn't feel that we were missing out completely! I've only been blogging since earlier this year and didn't have anything to enter in the spring festival and to tell the truth I feel as if I'm aiming a little high entering this year but what the heck - it's only a little bit of fun.

Cara's quilt is only the third quilt that I've pieced by machine, second quilt that I've quilted by machine and third quilt that I've actually finished! Taking this into consideration I think that it would be silly of me to enter it into any category where the piecing/quilting would come under scrutiny but there is a category for Quilt Photographer and although I'm under no illusion that I'm a photographer (I take all my blog photos on my phone) I happen to think that the setting that I chose for my quilt shoot is pretty special so I'll give it a shot!
And I was lucky enough to get a pretty beautiful day!

Last year my brother decided that he wanted to start farming. Luckily for him we were bought up on a farm and although my dad had been renting the land to someone else for the last fifteen plus years it was possible for my brother to take over the lease. So when he asked my husband if he could help out with the hay making we all went up as a family and whilst Endaf and Anwen were helping load the bales onto the trailer (or maybe Anwen wasn't helping as much as hindering) Marged and I took Cara's quilt for a little walk around the farm.

We started in the fields

and used some props

It was a beautiful day, boiling hot and the sun was high in the sky and shining brightly - maybe a little too brightly for a quilt photo shoot but undeterred I soldiered on and looked for slightly more shady spots.

Over some logs under a tree

Hanging out at the stables

But the direct sunlight was still finding it's way to the quilt.

and on the grain silo (with my brother's home made gates)

But eventually I found some shade

Very old shed door

Very new shed door

And then went into some of the outbuildings

Like the lambing barn

and the old milking parlour

I really liked the light in the old milking parlour so I took so a close up shot

and found that the tap was really handy for holding a rolled up quilt!

Then went back outside and got another close up showing a little of the piecing and the quilting.

And after the love that I got for this prop last time we stopped to make a phone call on the way home!

So there you are - a little wander around my childhood home complete with quilt picture overkill!

The Stats:
Pattern - my own
Fabrics - Scraps made by miss-cutting fabrics for Anwen's quilt and an unloved cream polycotton sheet
Finished sizs- 57"x 57"
Pieced - by me on my twelve year old domestic Brother
Quilted - by me on aforementioned Brother. The bulk of the quilt was quilted using a crosshatch design that I marked out first. and then I added a little organic straight line quilting.
Backed - with more of the cream sheet
Thread - pieced using a multitude of different threads using up old spools
            - quilted using mainly Coats 100% cotton in cream with a little Gutterman in pink thrown in.

Please remember to pop over to Amy's and visit some of the other blogs that have entered the festival.


And although I actually finished this quilt way back in the summer I'm celebrating the fact that I finally got around to writing a blog post by linking up to 

Over with Jen at Quilter in the Closet this week 

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Let's be more realistic - FAL Q4

So after failing so spectacularly in Q3 I decided that I would be a little more realistic for my Q4 goal setting.

I'm sure that something else will crop up but here are the seven projects that I'd like to get finished before the end of the year, in the order that I intend to tackle them.

1. Anwen's quilt. Quilt top ready? Check. Backing ready? Check. Wadding cut and ready? Check. Binding ready? Check.

Just (ha) need to get this quilted and bound.

Please, don't look too closely at the piecing!

2. Birthday pouches. I'm really ashamed to say that three months after their birthdays Anwen and Esyllt are still waiting for their pouches! The main reason why I stalled is that the pen that I used to mark their names bled and I couldn't remove it. However as I was looking through my WIP ready to compile this list I noticed that the blue marks had vanished so I really should get on and finish these.

Oh, the shame

3. Cian's quilt. As soon as I was told that my cousin had had a little boy I got out an Apple Jacks charm pack and cut some solids to match. I've noticed recently that the main reason why I'm not 100% in love with the quilts that I'm making is because they don't have the same level of negative space as the quilts I admire on-line do so I'm going to add quite a lot of white in a D9P based design.

Solids left over from Marged's quilt.

4. Oakshott quilt. I've lost count of the number of times I've read on-line that Oakshott has to be seen in the flesh to be fully appreciated so I held off buying any until I'd had the chance to see some with my own eyes. That chance came at the Fesitval of Quilts where I made a beeline for the Oakshott stand and fell in love!

It took me quite some time to decide on which collection I was going to go for but eventually decided on Impressions and limited myself to a charm pack. I then scurried of to the Simply Solids stand and the lovely Justine (along with Lu and Nat) helped me choose Essex yarn dyed linen in Flax for the background. I have a plan and have already started cutting the linen. I see very simple piecing and simple straight line quilting in the hope that the Oakshott will shine!

All though this shot has given me another idea for a quilt design.....

5. House quilt. This quilt hasn't progressed since my Q3 goal setting post. Well that's a lie, I did cut the wadding and backing whilst I had the floor clear to cut the wadding for Anwen's quilt. I'm stalling as there's a very large blank canvas on this one and there's no way that the piecing (or the lack of it) is going to hide and quilting mistakes. Must. Get. This. Finished. Before. Baby. Turns, Eighteen.

6. Liberty Bag. I may have mentioned before that a quilt shop (sells quilts not fabric!) in the town where I work sometimes has some vintage Liberty for sale. I have told Jen, the owner, that she's not allowed to put any more out in the shop as my husband is very close to killing me for spending all the housekeeping on fabric. She won't listen. I think that this comes from a sample book. It's home dec weight and just big enough for some fussy cutting which I'm going to pair with some cream sketch and hopefully turn into something that resembles a bag. I've ironed some interfacing onto the sketch and now need to bite the bullet and start cutting the liberty.

7. Kaffe Snowball.I was lucky enough to get a last minute bargain and found myself at a workshop with Kaffe Fassett and Brondon Mably over the summer. I learnt quite a lot about the use of colour and the design process when it comes to making a quilt. I'm ashamed to say that at the end of the workshop I rolled up my flannel design wall and this quilt top has been squashed into a carrier bag since the workshop. I really should take it out and make some progress.(although I'm not holding my breath on this one)

So there we have it. Seven goals. I'd like to think that I'll get them all done and dusted before the end of the year but as the post title says let's be more realistic. My real goal is to make some progress on each of these projects but I'll be really upset with myself if I haven't finished Anwen's quilt and the pouches before the year's end.

Linking up to Leanne at She Can Quilt for the

she can quilt

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Goals - Setting and Missing

Well hello there! I'm not sure that I remember how to do this blogging business. I could go on about life getting in the way yada, yada, yada but I'm sure that you don't really want to hear it so lets get straight to business shall we?

Today's the seventh of October and the last day that I can link up with Leanne over at She Can Quilt with our finishes from Q3 of the Finish Along. You might remember my goal setting post from three months ago where I listed 18 projects that I wanted to finish during the quarter. Ha ha. Ha ha ha ha ha!

I have made progress on some items but only actually finished three - and only one of these qualifies for the FAL as I hadn't started the other two at the start of the quarter.

The list of shame - 

1. Anwen's quilt. Not finished :-( 

I really am struggling to decide on how to quilt this. I think that the main problem is that it's double sided and I really couldn't decide which side to make the front. Soooo.... I've 'unbasted' it and am going to turn it into two separate quilts - one for Anwen's bed and the other as a rather large lap quilt.

Anwen has decided that she want's me to finish the one with her name first and after a lot of deliberation has decided which vintage sheet she would like for the back.

She actually went for the blue sheet at 9 o'clock (not the pink one she's pointing at)
I'm determined to get this one done before the month's out so I'm going to set it as my October goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes over with Shanna at Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa at Sew BitterSweet Designs.

2. Get Shirty. DONE!

Can you see those dark clouds rolling in?
I decided yesterday that I had to get at least one qualifying finish for Q3 so starting quilting during afternoon nap time, got some more done whilst Dadi took Marged for a two mile walk and then just about managed to finish the quilting and attach the binding to one side in time to finish the binding in front of Downton on +1.

I knew that work would take me to Aberaeron and Cardigan today and as both towns have some beautiful spots where a quilt shoot would be possible I bundled the quilt in the car and hoped I'd get a spare minute in which to take a pic. On my way home I was thinking to myself that it was getting darker earlier everyday and before long after work quilt pics would be impossible. I suddenly remembered that I hadn't taken a picture of Get Shirty! I pulled into the next lay-by, threw the quilt on a hedge and took a few snaps before the light completely vanished. Hence three terrible shots of a crumpled quilt that don't show any of the quilting detail.

Although you can't see it in these pictures I've used three different quilting designs in the four main areas (clockwise from top right) stipple, stars, flowers and loop de loop. I also tried a different quilting design in each of the squares including pebbles, checkerboard, organic fmq straight lines and a square stipple.

I used a cream Coats 100% cotton for the front and am happy with the result but regret my choice of bobbin thread.

You can see the quilting a little better on the back
I used a variegated Gutterman sulky in blues and greens. It was far too dark and shows all my quilting imperfections! I think that a lighter aqua/lime variegated thread would have been better or even maybe a lilac to match the border.

This quilt was only ever supposed to be a practice quilt and will be keeping me company on the sofa until I one day manage to make myself a liberty quilt - hopefully my quilting skills will be vastly improved by then.

3. House quilt. Haven't touched this in ages. No reason why not just need to get my bum in gear. - untouched

4. Nephew's quilt. Done!

My first nephew!!!!!!
And received. Proper blog post to come.

5. A quilt for another baby due at the end of July. Nobody knows what colour (pink or blue) this baby's going to be so I haven't even bought the fabric yet. - Baby boy Cian has arrived and I've got a charm pack to start on.

6, 7, 8 & 9 Osian's, Elisa's, Rhys' and Megan's quilts. I think getting even one of these done during Q3 is a long shot but who knows? Yeah right!

10. Mum's quilt. Before the end of the year? Although her birthday is in October. - I bought her some flowers.

11, 12 & 13 Zig Zag quilt, impromptu along and distribution. These have all moved way down the list. Main reason for this is that they don't have recipients, they're just designs that I'd like to try. Nope - not touched them.

1. Charms cut for Zig Zag quilt        2. Fabric for impromptu           3. Inspiration for distribution

Oh, so only 13 quilts on the list. Completely manageable! (boy do I make myself laugh!)

On top of this there are a few other projects I'd like to get under my belt.

1. A few zipper pouches. Anwen really liked the way I'd appliqu├ęd the butterflies onto Cadi's Quilt and as her birthday is coming up and I have some of the Cocoon fabric leftover I thought I'd make her a zipper pouch. Her friend had her birthday a few weeks back and is still waiting for a pressie and another friend has her birthday two weeks after Anwen. I thought that it would also be nice for Cadi's two sisters to have something to match their sister's quilt. So that's five pouches in total! - I've cut the butterflies out for the applique! 

2. A new bag for me. Done and blogged (but doesn't qualify for the FAL)

3. After moving things around a little at home the little table that used to hold our printer is now next to my corner on the sofa. It was a thrifty find when we first moved in together and the top has seen better days so I thought a little something quilty might do the trick for tarting it up. I might even drag something out of my ancient UFO pile for this one. It will also give me a good opportunity to practice making bias binding and sewing it onto a circular mini quilt. Not even looked at it.

4. Shorts for Anwen. I now have the pattern and the fabric. This is one make I hope to get finished before the end of the week. Autumn's here - this might find it's way on to next years Q2 list!

Hoping to turn a thrifty old skirt into a pair of shorts with the aid of a free (to me) pattern 

5. Shorts for Marged. I seem to have been neglecting Marged recently so depending on how Anwen's shorts go I might try making a pair for Marged out of some fabric from my stash. See as above.

So there we have it. A very disappointing quarter. All that's left to do now is link Get Shirty up to 
she can quilt

And Anwen's quilt to 

Here's hoping for a much more productive fourth quarter!