Lizzie, our illustrious chairman at Sprat & Winkle proposed that we have a project to celebrate and reflect the Queen’s 70th Jubilee. She suggested a cushion featuring our country’s flag – the Union Jack and that it be made using Foundation Paper Piecing.
Now this is a construction method that I have tried just once before and vowed never to repeat but after seeing a few versions of the cushion made up and having a copy of the detailed instructions, decided to ‘go for it!’
I used fabric purchased from the Sale rack at New Threads Quilt Shop and set aside an afternoon to make a cushion cover. The first rectangle took quite a long time and I did not particular enjoy the process. The second rectangle construction was quicker and by the third and final rectangle, I was loving the process!
I added a 2 inch border to the panel and some pre-made Red satin piping before completing the back in plain White fabric with a zip closure. I used a 50cms x 30cms feather-filled cushion pad and was absolutely delighted with the final project.
The following day I had another free afternoon so decided to make a second cushion cover, this time to send to my sister who currently lives in North Wales. I used the same fabrics but this time the backing is in the Red print fabric. I also used a new method to add a ‘flange’ to the perimeter of the cushion cover and was delighted with the ‘new to me’ method of finishing.
Now, for the third version I used different fabrics. I had found a small leopard print cotton poplin on eBay, available in Red and Blue colourways. Perfect. I repeated the method of binding the cover with a flange as this is my new ‘go to’ finish for cushion covers . When I took the cushion to the next meeting of Sprat & Winkle Quilters, this version of the Union Jack cover was the most popular.
Now on the hunt for other complimentary prints to use as I am ‘hooked’ on FPP! I have found some ‘Oriental’ theme prints and wonder how will they convert to this iconic British design?
I love attending the ‘Sewcial Retreat’ organised in March by Viv of Purple Stitches, Basingstoke. Each year we have the opportunity to join into a ‘Secret Sister Swap’. This year the project is to be a cushion cover. I received details of my ‘partner’ who had indicated that she would like an 18 inch square cushion in Blues and Aqua. She did not want a ‘Dresden Plate’ or WWII designs. That left me a lot to choose from!
I picked up a selection of 5 fat quarters from my local quilt shop – New Threads Quilt Shop based at Weyhill Fairground, Andover and then spent some time pondering what design to make.
I was reminded of the ‘faux’ cathedral window design (currently a quilt atop my husband’s grand piano) and decided to base the cushion cover on that. Using some 80/20 cotton/poly wadding, I quilted within the spaces around the outer patchwork pieces and added an applique heart to the centre space. I finished the cover with some medium size piping that I recycled from a new duvet cover (currently cut out as a toile dress). The backing is a plain Blue cotton (also from a new flat bedsheet) and has a zip closure. The finished size is approximately 16½ inches square.
Cushion covers really need a pad to show themselves at their best and I therefore added an 18 inch square feather-filled pad.
I am pleased with how this design has come out and hope that the recipient will be to.
For the year 2022 I have promised myself to finish off all those UFO projects in the ’roundtoit’ box! The best way to achieve this will be to alternate new projects with UFO’s. Let’s see how I get on.
When my sister and I visited the Caribbean in 2018 we took with us some hand sewing patchwork blocks to work on whilst the Cruise Ship travelled from one island to another.
I completed the quilt once we were home but that left some half-a-dozen ‘orphan’ blocks that I put away and promptly forgot all about!
I rediscovered the blocks around the 14th January and found that some had already been put together in ‘quilt sandwiches’. Around 3 or 4 had been quilted but the remainder were just the plain blocks. I added some 80/20 polyester/cotton wadding and calico backing before spending a few hours quilting in the same designs.
I put 9 blocks together using the method of butting the blocks and then joining with strips of sashing cut to 1¼ inches wide. As the backing calico sheets were not all the same and the reverse of the quilting left a little to be desired, I covered that with a large rectangle of Taupe/white check fabric that was a remnant from a polyester cotton duvet cover used for a dressmaking project. I used the same fabric as the sashing to make a binding for the quilt. The finished size is 24½ inches square. Then I added a sleeve and is now a colourful wall hanging for our cloakroom.
I still had 4 ‘bird’ blocks left and these were combined to make the front of a cushion cover. I used echo quilting on the plain sections so that the ‘birds’ were more pronounced. The 6mm thick piping is covered with bias cut check fabric (the same as the backing for the wall hanging). Backing of the cushion cover is plain calico with a lapped zip inserted for the closure. The cover is approximately 16 inches square and filled with a feather pad that I have re-purposed.
Conclusion: I am very pleased with the end results and have been inspired to make more blocks with the Drunkards Path dies using my Sissix machine. Watch this space for the next patchwork project that has already been named ‘Chaos’!
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…..