I had previously posted photographs of my quilted cushion covers and panels to my sister. As I was panning to visit her I decided that this technique would be a good project to show to Catherine that she would enjoy and also make some panels of her own over the coming Winter months.
I prepared a panel of natural Calico and drew on the 4 squares in anticipation of the quilting. I pinned wadding to the reverse and prepared the sewing machine – my Brother 550SE (commonly referred to a ‘baby Brother’) with Dark Blue thread in the top and the bobbin.
I stitched the first couple of squares to demonstrate to Catherine the method and then it was down to her to finish the panel.
Inspired by the result of my ‘playing’ with changes to the starting point of the quilting lines on the previous cushion cover, I tried a new block outline. This was an unequal hexagon and by changing the starting points I produced some lovely curves.
Once I had completed the 4 blocks within the ‘hexagon’ I was left with 4 strange triangular shapes. I filled those with more straight line quilting so now I had a standard square shape that was outlined with 3 rows of border quilting.
To compliment this version of Navy threads on Natural Calico I decided to make yet another panel in the same design but with the colours reversed. So this time White thread on Navy Polycotton remnant from making Scrubs last year.
Way back in 2019 before the Pandemic I attended a Patchwork & Quilting class where we were shown how to quilt in straight lines to produce curves. This is a very simple method similar to those nail and string pictures that we used to make back in the 1960s. Now, nearly 2 years after that P&Q class, I have finally completed the original panel and converted it to a cushion cover.
I so enjoyed the project that I immediately set about completing another project that had been sitting in the ’roundtoit’ pile for a very long time!
Simple stitching can produce such a great result that I am sure there will be more straight line/curve quilted panels in the future.
Back in mid March 2020 one of the tutorials given was ‘Quilt as you Go’ patchwork. I completed a panel using a variety of Blue-toned scraps of cotton and poly/cotton and some cotton wadding. The finished size was approximately 18 inches.
Since that day oh so long ago the project has been in my ’roundtoit’ pile. One of my ‘resolutions’ was actually to get around to those projects! I have already completed the faux clamshell patchwork panel and I am pleased that I have now finished the second from the pile of cushion panels. There appears to be just one remaining but more of that later.
I used a remnant of polyester cotton sheeting for the reverse of the cushion cover plus a full width Aqua-coloured zip from my stash for the closure. Also in the stash was a new cushion pad that was just the correct size. Half an hour of stitching was all that was needed to complete the project of which I am absolutely delighted. Little things mean a lot!
Back in early March 2020 I gave a talk to the local Patchwork & Quilting group – Sprat & Winkle Quilters named after a local branch railway line. The subject was about Applique, Die cutting patchwork and Embroidery. I had many examples of work that I have completed over the years and at the end of the talk I gave everyone the chance to use my two die cutting machines. One of the dies used on the ‘Big SHot’ was ‘Drunkards Path’ which is a two-part die consisting of a 1/4 circle and an ‘arc’ which when sewn together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance will produce a block. The blocks can then be arranged in a variety of ways and I showed the faux clamshell arrangement.
Nine months later I have finally got around to quilting the sample and made up into a large 22 inch cushion. I am particularly pleased with the ‘echo’ quilting which was completed using a standard foot on my Brother 4000D machine. I simply used the edge of the foot as a guide to make quilting lines a generous 1/4 inch apart. The cushion now has pride of place on our Tan leather armchair.
I still make just a few handmade gifts for family and friends at Christmas. This year I admit that I left it quite late!
Firstly was a redwork embroidered cushion using linen from my stash, embroidery motifs purchased from emblibrary.com and finished with some red satin piping. I hand embroidered the running stitch circle enclosing the various motifs. This cushion was wrapped and posted to my pen pal in Germany. Apparently it arrived before the gifts that I had posted to UK recipients on the same day! But at least they did all arrive before Christmas.
Next I made a scented hanger in Christmas printed cotton that I then filled with a sachet of Christmas scents. The aroma was so strong that even when wrapped there was a powerful clue as to what was contained.
The final gift for a neighbour was a padded coat hanger cover and co-ordinating fabric scented hangers. The fabric came from a stash of fat quarters that I bought several years ago. The scented hangers were ‘essence of Provence’ which I thought was a good choice to match the style of the printed cotton fabric. The cover is made so that one can put items inside. An ideal storage for co-ordinating jewellery, scarves or tights for whichever garment is on the hanger.
Projects #73-74-75 All these items were completed by 16th December 2020
recently attended a Sewcial Retreat arranged by Viv of Purple
Stitches, a Patchwork & Quilting store based in Basingstoke. This
is the second time that I have attended the Retreat which is held at
a the VOCO Oxford Thames hotel on the outskirts of the city.
time I was joined on the retreat by my good friend Pat so was able to
share the journey and accommodation.
of the activities is a Secret Sister gift making and sharing. This
time the project was a pin cushion and having checked out the
instagram feed of my selected partner I made the pin cushion in her
favourite colour and featuring her favourite pet – a cat.
Jackie was delighted with her gift as was I with my reversible Bicornu pin cushion.
Whilst at the retreat I was able to make three garments and undertake a new technique – ‘Quilt as You Go’ more posts later…..
I am in the home straight of preparation for classes. I have completed the final sample being the above 12 Blade Dresden Plate block. I have chosen these ‘chunky’ blades and only 12 of them so that students can achieve a patchwork block quickly. If like me, they find themselves ‘hooked’ on this block there will be time to try more intricate blocks with many more blades.
For this cushion I again visited my Green-themed scraps. I am particularly pleased that once again I ‘fussy cut’ the butterfly motif on the centre. The patchwork was appliqued onto Natural-coloured calico and backed with some 2 oz polyester wadding. I echo quilted around the block before adding some coordinating narrow piping. I used a 16 inch polyester-filled pad for the cushion cover which has an envelope closure and measures 15 inches square.
As I gradually worked my way through the list of samples required for classes I took a little time out to make a couple of basic items that will go into my stash for gifts.
I have made a 16-blade Dresden Plate cushion cover and yet another padded coat hanger cover with concealed pocket. Both items are enjoyable to stitch and make use of remnants of fabric (of which have masses!!).
The cushion cover with patchwork takes a little longer but I am delighted with the end result. I especially like the fact that I ‘fussy cut’ the butterfly for the central circle.
For sewing the the coat hanger cover, I now have this down to a fine art and if I exclude the additional zipped patch pocket on the reverse, this project now takes less than one hour to complete.
Materials requirement is minimal – one wooden coat hanger, one Fat Quarter, same of wadding and a long zip (taken from my stash). I have ordered more plain wooden coat hangers and intend to review my FQ collection so that I can get a head start on Christmas gift-making!
OK, I promise this is the last Dresden Plate block for a while. However, I have scheduled in to teach a class for this lovely patchwork block so there will be a few more appearing next month as I prepare the class materials!
None of these patchwork projects were in my September Sewing Plans and now I have only a few days left to complete what I should have been sewing! Outstanding are 2 dresses and covers for the chair in my sewing room. So far I have only managed to cut out one dress which will take a couple of afternoons of sewing therefore I will have to be philosophical and accept that none of my plans were set in concrete and it is of no great importance that the plans have changed.
On to tell you a little about this particular version of Dresden Plate. I found a picture on Pinterest of a similar 20-blade block worked in shades of Green and finished with a dramatic Red Bow. It looked like a Christmas wreath. As I could not decide on fabric for the large bow I have opted for a smaller version set on a well-padded centre.
The cushion is piped with some ready-made Ruby Red satin piping and has an envelope closure on the reverse. The cover measures 15 inches square and is well-‘plumped’ with a 16 inch pad.