Saturday, 29 June 2013

Mrs Beasley's Sampler Quilt

I love quilt books and magazines and one of my favourite magazines is written by Leanne Beasley of Leanne's House.  It is called 'Vignette'. I have just received the latest issue of this beautiful magazine which features a fabulous quilt project in it which I have decided I simply MUST make!

It is a sampler quilt designed by Leanne  (Mrs Beasley) which starts in issue 10 of 'Vignette' and continues over the following three issues (11, 12 and 13).  In issue 10 all the cutting instructions for the sampler quilt are given, so I recently spent a very productive afternoon deciding which fabrics I was going to use for the quilt and then cutting out all the pieces and sorting them into labelled bags so that I know which pieces are for which block.

Leanne also gives some great tips and ideas on how to journal your quilt.  I liked this idea and, I have started my journal by sticking in a small square of each of the fabrics that I have decided to use.  It is a useful thing to do because I can see that it will help me to keep track of which fabric is being used for what.

The fabrics I am using for the quilt are all Tilda fabrics, similar to those which Leanne suggested.  Only Block One is featured in issue 10 of 'Vignette' and the finished block pictured looks lovely, so I am VERY excited to see how the quilt develops!

PS: Leanne has also added some very useful hints and tips for making the quilt on her blog, so do take a look if you are thinking of making it.

Thursday, 27 June 2013


Today I thought I would frame my 'Daisy Embroidery' as per the latest instructions published by Bronwyn of Red Brolly.  I have all the instructions printed out and this month they include a list of all the fabrics that will be needed to complete 'Le Jardin' Quilt as well as a diagram of the quilt layout.
My dilemma is which of these fabulous Tilda fabrics should I use?
I'll post a photograph of the block when I have eventually chosen and pieced it together!

Sunday, 23 June 2013

New Placemats!

So, Summer is officially here and, we have had some very hot weather, as well as some impressive thunder storms.  In light of the start of the Summer season I thought I would give my table settings a bit of a lift and sew some new placemats.  The only ones I currently have are very old and not really suitable for Summer as the fabric I used to make them is decorated with snowmen.  This is fine for Winter and even Spring (especially this Spring!) but they are just not suitable for Summer.
I raided my fabric supplies and found some really cute fabric designed by Terri Degenkolb of Whimsicals which I thought would look nice made up into placemats.  The fabrics I used come mainly from the collection called 'Buttons & Blooms' but I also used a couple that I had from the collection called 'Winterberry Lane' which combine with the others perfectly. 
They are a very simple design which I just made up myself. I managed to complete one of the mats but the other five are not quite finished.  I just need to hand stitch the binding on the back.
Whilst I was cutting out the fabric earlier in the week I had enough to cut what I needed for a matching table runner.  Here are all the strips waiting to be pieced together.  Hope to have the time to get that done this week!

Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Daisy Embroidery

I have had so much fun completing the second embroidery block of 'Le Jardin Quilt' designed by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly Designs and offered FREE on her blog as part of the Girls Own Stitching Club.
This is how the completed embroidery looks.  Isn't it delightful?  I love the delicate daisies and I can't wait to make it up into a block for the quilt. I really enjoyed practising the different stitches.  I always like to have some hand stitching to do side-by-side with a quilting project.  Hand projects are easy to carry with you to do when you don't have much time or access to your sewing machine. Working on two (or more) projects, one by hand, the other by machine seems to me the perfect combination!

Friday, 14 June 2013


Why does it always seem that the last project you have been working on is your favourite?  I just couldn't wait to share with you my latest finished quilt project.  Here is 'Ingrid'.
She is a pattern from the book '3 Times the Charm: Book Two' by Me and My Sister Designs.  I love her!  The fabric charm pack that I used to make her is 'Sunkissed' by Sweetwater and I love the feel of Summer that it gives the quilt.
Usually when the quilt top is finished, the blocks lend themselves to a particular quilting design but, with this quilt, I didn't get a distinct image of the quilting I wanted to complete.  In the end, I decided to quilt it using an allover dense channel quilting.  I used a squiggly (technical term!) line rather than a straight line and I am very pleased with the result.  I achieve the squiggly stitch by using a stitch called a 'running stitch' on my machine and then adjusting the stitch width and length settings. Not all machines may have this stitch. However, a nearly identical look can also be achieved by selecting the 'three-step' zig-zag stitch on your machine (most machines have this utility stitch) and then changing the stitch width (decrease) and stitch length (increase) settings. It is best to experiment with your own machine until you get a look that you like.
Three-step zig-zag stitch normal setting (below) and adjusted (above).
This quilt is going to be just perfect to decorate my garden furniure over the Summer months... just need a little more reliable sunshine!!

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

New Books!

I just love quilting/sewing books and I have quite a number of them (too many to count!)  Some I have bought because I like the Author's designs, some because I know that they contain a specific quilt pattern that I'd like to make and others, just because I like the look of them.  It is just wonderful to leaf through the pages admiring the creative talent of the designer and drawing inspiration from the images and projects.

This morning I walked up to the village to collect my post from the post office and these two fabulous books were there waiting.  The first is called 'Stitch it for Spring' by Lynette Anderson and the other is 'Tilda's Seaside Ideas' by Tone Finnanger. Both gorgeous books filled with lots of inspirational ideas. Irresistible!!
I know there are lots of free quilt patterns and information available on the internet but there is something so very magical about browsing through a book!

Friday, 7 June 2013

Block Two: Le Jardin Quilt

There has been lots going on here since my last post so, I have not had much time to get to my sewing machine to finish my next quilt project.  However, I have had the opportunity for a little hand stitiching and have started Block Two of 'Le Jardin' Quilt.  This is the Girls Own Stitching Club project set up by Bronwyn Hayes of Red Brolly.
Block two is a really pretty daisy design.  These little embroideries are simple and fun and if you haven't embroidered before you really should give them a try! The instructions Bronwyn provides are very comprehensive and she has wonderful tutorials for all the stitches used.
I'm off now to get some food supplies in.  Hopefully that will mean that I have some time to play at my sewing machine over the weekend! Hope you enjoy the weekend where you are! 

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Finished 'Bertha' Quilt

It has been a very busy, very wet but, very enjoyable week.  My sister was here visiting from the UK, my youngest daughter graduated from school and is now on holiday with her friends and, my son returned from his studies at university for the Summer.  Once my sister was on her way home and, after getting some of the necessary household chores finished and out of the way, my thoughts returned to sewing.  I set about completing my 'Bertha' quilt.

I layered and basted the quilt top ready for quilting but, I wasn't sure what design I should use.  So, I looked at the pattern book ( '3 Times the Charm' by 'Me and My Sister') for inspiration.  The book has three versions of 'Bertha' pictured and one of them is quilted with a sort of undulating pattern.  When I looked at this more closely, I realised it was similar to a machine quilting technique that I had recently seen demonstrated on an online quilt class that I had purchased from Craftsy.  The class was Machine Quilting by Wendy Butler Burns.  I was very excited then to try out my newly learnt technique on my 'Bertha' quilt and I am so pleased with the results.
This is the finished quilt.
This is the back, which shows the quilting more clearly.
I am not very confident at free-motion machine quilting but, this technique  is completed with a walking foot and the machine settings as you would normally have them for straight line quilting.
I then added the binding.  I decided that I would try out another new idea I had seen from another Craftsy class I had taken taught by Camille Roskelley called 'Pre-Cut Piecing Made Simple'.  In this class Camille shows her hand binding technique which is almost invisible.  Here is how it looks. I am delighted with the results.
This afternoon I am looking forward to finishing the other quilt top I started from the book '3 Times the Charm Book Two'.  It is called 'Ingrid' and I can't wait to see how the finished top looks!!

Hope you enjoy your afternoon whatever you are doing!!