Now I am in full swing for Christmas gifts sewing. These are the first to be completed but the descriptions will not be posted until after Christmas Day as I know the recipient regularly visits this blog.
I made two Bargello patchwork blocks using a Fabric Freedom jelly roll that I knew matched one that Antje had shown in her correspondence with me. I bordered the blocks with strips from the jelly roll to give larger blocks as I wanted to make this a LARGE bag. I used a contrast lining of Blue background Lewis & Irene print that I had been keeping for a special project. I added a small zip pocket to the lining, plus a slip pocket as I always find such things very useful. The carrying handles/straps are made from strips from the jelly roll and are extra long so that the bag can be carried over the shoulder.
The second item made using the jelly roll was a patchwork project bag. I utilised some of the remnants of the Bargello patchwork for one side and made a ‘quilt as you go’ diagonal patchwork for the reverse. The zip closure came from my stash and I added a pretty tassel to the zip pull as that little something extra!
To complete the project I added a key fob using yet another strip from the jelly roll. The parcel was posted off to Germany on Monday 6th December. I hope that it arrives in time and that Antje is pleased with the gift.
At a meeting of our local Patchwork & Quilting Group, Lizzie demonstrated these really useful project bags. The bag can be made out of scraps of whatever you have to hand. You could use an orphan block for the back or piece both the front and the back. For my initial project bag I used some scraps of Batik printed cotton that were left over after making my tiered skirt ‘Montana’ dress by Style Arc.
Additional requirements for making the bag are Bosal® foam wadding (or car headliner foam as used in bag-making), PVC (I used some clear vinyl purchased some time ago from The Range), a zip for the closure and binding 2¼ inch wide for the outer edges.
Following Lizzie’s comprehensive instructions I was easily able to complete the first bag in a couple of hours, including the quilting of the front and back sandwich with Bosal ®. My finished bag measures 14½ inches wide x 12½ inches high, plenty big enough to take A4 sheets of instructions etc for projects.
I was so pleased with the result that this morning I made another bag. This is slightly smaller as I used whatever remnants that I had to hand. The bag measures 12½ inches wide x 10¼ inches high and is still large enough to take an A4 sheet.
The zip pulls on each bag have been finished with a couple of coordinating tassels. I love that look!
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.
I read from my Kindle every day and like to keep it safe in a padded case. The original case has fallen apart so now I needed to ‘run up’ a new one. I had two scraps of fabric remnants from other projects which were just the right size to make a new case. Using some wadding from an old ironing board cover I quilted the remnant of face fabric. I started with a diagonal grid but then went ‘off plan’ and completed one of my favourite designs where straight lines turn into curves.
I was making up the construction as I went along and having completed the quilting I then stitched the outer to the lining right sides together leaving one end open to turn through. However, I forgot to stitch the sides together before turning right side out and thus have had to hand stitch them – not my favourite pastime!
The flap was finished by turning the lining fabric to the outside, folding and top stitching in place. I also popped in a hair bungee to use as the loop for the button. The button is infact two buttons stitched together which is a favourite method to give additional interest to a plain button.
Now I can rest assured that my kindle is snug, safe and sound in its own padded case.
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.
On the final day of the Sewcial Retreat we had a demonstration by Susan from Canada who talked about QAYGO – Quilt as you Go. Whilst I have made quilts using QAYGO in the past I was interested in learning about Susan’s technique.
Basically you use a random Log Cabin method and quilt each piece as it is laid down on the wadding. As I had completed all my projects and had a large bag of scraps available I spent a very happy time making this panel using Blue-themed cotton prints. The piece is large enough to make a cushion front or tote bag panel. As soon as I have a ‘gap’ in my dressmaking I will make up the panel into something as a memory of a lovely weekend.
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…..