Thursday, 30 April 2015


I finished something!

And I was only two days late.

Last time I showed you my #UKminiswap mini quilt it looked a little like this.

I'd asked on Instagram whether my partner would prefer to have the rainbow hexies or vintage hexies on their mini. The hope was that I would post progress shots of both in order to keep my partner guessing but who was I kidding? I'd left it to the last minute and only had time to make the one mini.

I started by basting my background fabric and my backing fabric to some wadding, I know that this might sound strange but I feel that when I'm hand appliquéing having a bit more body to the background fabric makes it easier for me to keep things straight. I then used a glue pen to place the hexies before appliquéing them down.

I was mainly inspired by this pin on my partner's Pinterest board and Nicole's recent activities. As much as I love Nicole's method of appliquéing the hexies I felt that doing it by hand would give me a bit more freedom to be creative with my quilting. I started quilting by adding one line of hand stitches around the flower using Aurifil No12. As much as I love the effect of hand quilting with Perle No8 I find the Aurifil much easier to work with whilst still giving a similar effect.

I then left the mini for a couple of days as I really didn't know how do carry on with the quilting. I half fancied doing some FMQ but since getting the frame I haven't attempted any FMQ the traditional way and didn't fancy spending hours reverse stitching so close to the sending deadline. In the end I decided to stick to straight lines with my walking foot using the hexies as a guide.

I also used a Hera marker to show where I needed to turn the quilt. After I'd added five lines of quilting I felt that it needed a little something extra. I had a tiny bit of a variegated Aurifil No12 in blue and added a single line of stitches around the star but not to the 'shoots'.

I love No12 and my machine deals with it really well, my only regret is that I didn't use a different colour. I think that the shade of blue I used and the fact that it's variegated makes the stitches look like I've marked the quilting lines with a washable pen and not bothered to wash it out. I really need to get more colours in this thread! (I only have three different colours at the moment, unfortunately I've not been able to find any UK stockists)

Before even starting on the quilting I'd been head scratching about the binding. On the sign up form for the swap we were asked for our favourite designers and/or fabric lines. Out of all those listed by my partner I only had one print! And that was the bias stripe from Scrumptious. I love a stripy binding but wanted the mini to have a more definite frame so toyed with the idea of adding a 'flange'.

I posted the above picture on Instagram and hoped that my partner would choose for me. Unfortunately she didn't comment but the majority vote was for the Dark Violet Kona at the bottom. This is what my gut had told me to go with too but I still liked the idea of adding a flange. Mainly as the quilt was quite simple and I though that it would add an extra little something.

In the end I decided to go for the Dark Violet but added a C+S Netorious in Plummy flange.

I followed Julie from Jaybird Quilts' tutorial and found it quite easy, however, if I was to add a flange again in future I think I'd start with 0.75" instead of 1" strips as I'd prefer it if the binding was wider than the flange.

So there you have it, my finished mini.

And I really must say I rather like it.

I love the way the dense(ish) quilting around the hexies makes them poofy.

I love the extra touch of the hand quilting. And that by carefully trimming the quilt I managed to keep that tiny bit of blue stitching there.

And I love that I managed to add a star to the quilting without actually quilting a star.

I added a label and to make it a little more 'me' I wrote it in Welsh.

Made with love

for ********
by @patshyncatrin.
Catrin Lewis
April 2015

Pity I ruined it by forgetting my first name!

I've had to cover the recipients name as although I posted it last Friday (the 24th - six whole days ago) my partner still hasn't confirmed that she'd received it. I really hope that this is because it's being held hostage in her local sorting office and not because the idiots have lost it. Or worse still, my partner has received it and doesn't like it so hasn't bothered to post on instagram!!!!!

I really, really, really hope that isn't the case as I loved this mini. It's my favourite make so far - a simple design where the quilting is important as the piecing (although there wasn't any piecing in this one, you know what I mean, right?) In fact, I'd say it's the most 'me' thing I've made so far, maybe not such a good thing considering we were supposed to be making to our partner's taste! Luckily I've already got number two ready to go and I'm keeping the next one. All. Mine.

Hopefully I'll get around to writing about the little extras I added to the parcel. I enjoyed making them almost as much as the mini itself.

Linking up with Shanna and Melissa as this was my April goal for ALYoF.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

And with Amanda at Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday as I finished this on Friday. Last Frday but still Friday ;o)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Finish Along 2015 Q2 Goal Setting

I'm not sure why I'm bothering to enter the Finish Along as last quarter I only completed one item from my list! I suppose it does make me blog about the few finishes I manage though so here we go again.

1 & 2. UKminiswap Quilts

I've made a tiny bit of progress in that I've appliquéd the hexies onto one version and added a tiny bit of handquilting so all I've got left to do is to applique the vintage sheet version, quilt and bind both, make at least one handmade extra and get it in the post. Hey, I've until the 22nd (eight days) so completely doable, right?

3. Kaffe Snowball.

I've very nearly finished the quilting on this one, after MONTHS of procrastination when it came to deciding how to quilt it I went with a simple stipple.....

I have to finish the quilting on this so that I can take the Juki off the frame to quilt my mini quilts.

I went up to the attic this morning to take a new picture of this one and actually ended up finishing the quilting. I even managed to trim it!

I already have the binding ready to go so there is hope that I can finish this one.

4 & 5. Heart cushions.

Same old story, took the girls to birthday parties empty handed with the promise of a gift one day. Two months go by and the girls are still waiting!

I need to finish pressing the half-blocks, turn them into blocks, sash them, turn them into tops, baste, quilt, sort out backings and then turn them into cushions.

6. Irish Chain Cushion.

Same story as above. I've been using these as leaders and enders whilst piecing the heart cushions. As soon as the heart cushions are finished I'll concentrate on this.

7. Siblings Together Home Sweet Home Quilt.

You may have noticed that Mary, Jo and Susy put a call out for these great Home Sweet Home blocks. They were hoping to get around 150 blocks so that they could make five quilts. So far the have received over 270! I made six blocks and instead of sending them to the girls I asked them to send me 24 of the blocks that they've already received and ordered some fabric from Jude's fab sale as a backing. I need to turn these blocks into a completed quilt ready to send in July.

Linking up with Adrianne at On the Windy Side

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

April ALYoF Goal - UK Mini Swap

March was a washout. I did get some sewing under my belt, but not much and I didn't touch my March ALYoF goal (my Kaffe Snowball quilt). I did actually start quilting it last night and with a little burst whilst the youngest two were napping this afternoon and another little half hour after they'd all gone to bed I'm over a quarter of the way through quilting it.

So you'd think that the logical option would be to set this same quilt as my April goal....

Maybe not. I did say at the start of the year that I wanted ALYoF to help make sure that I got at least twelve items finished this year. If I keep on rolling over the same project then that definitely isn't going to happen!

So what is my goal for April? Well it's something that I have to finish before the end of the month. In fact it has to be finished by the 22nd of April at the very latest as that's the posting date for the #ukminiswap taking place on instagram.

I'd love to say that I just need to add the binding but....

This is what it looked like waaaay back in January when I wrote my FAL Q1 goal setting post and it hasn't really changed much. So I just need to appliqué the hexies onto my background, quilt it, add hanging sleeves (really must try to remember that one), bind it and label it! Oh, and before I can quilt it I have to finish quilting March's goal as my sewing machine will be up in the attic until I do!

I've already bought a few small extras to go with my mini quilt but would really like to add a little something handmade like a pincushion or a needle book - that might be pushing it a little though!

Yep, so that's my goal, not just to finish my mini but to get it in the post (anyone else tend to have things ready to go, hanging around the house waiting for you to remember to post it?).

Linking up for hopefully not the last time this month with Shanna and Melissa.