A new quilt – the Mirabelle Quilt

I loved Moda’s Mirabelle fabric as soon as I saw it and when I saw this picture on Fig Tree & Co’s blog of their quilt Hugs, made with Mirabelle, I couldn’t wait to do make one for myself.

Hugs quilt by Fig Tree & Co

I have to admit, that I’ve not bought the pattern. I’m doing my own version of it using a Mirabelle Layer Cake and some Bella Solids fabric in shade 182 Porcelain.

Watch this space for it’s progress!

Sea Turtle Wall Hanging

I miss blogging. I miss having the time to write about my love for craft. I miss having the time to actually do any craft, let alone write about it.

That’s the problem with having my own knitting and sewing shop. One the one hand, it’s great that I am surrounded by the materials I love to use and it gives me lots of inspiration, but there’s all the extra stuff that comes with running your own business, which means I don’t actually get much time to knit or sew and use the lovely things I sell.

I have to say that the knitting has really gone on the back burner. Last night I finished a pair of socks which I started back in January. I’ve just not been feeling the love for them.

I am much more in the mood to sew and I recently made this sea turtle wall hanging to give to my husband for our first wedding anniversary at the end of May.

sea turtle wall hanging

When I saw this as a kit by Toni Whitney, I knew that I had to get it as it instantly reminded me of our honeymoon. Unfortunately the kit, which came from the USA, sat in customs for 3 weeks, which meant I didn’t start it until 10 days before our anniversary. Of course, I had to try and make it without my husband seeing, so I couldn’t do it at home. I had to either go around to my Mum’s house or make it during quiet times at work. That wasn’t easy and he did cotton on to the fact I was up to something towards the end!

All the pieces were cut out and stuck on with bondaweb and then I’ve done some free motion quilting over the top to hold them in place. It was the first time I’d had a serious attempt at free motion quilting and it was a bit of a challenge. I used both my Mum’s Bernina and the Elna 760 sewing machine which we sell in the shop and I have to say that I found the Elna easier to handle for some reason. The stitch regulator on Mum’s Bernina was actually quite jerky and I didn’t like it. I suppose I might get used to it with A LOT of practice, but overall the Elna was much better.

I got it all finished except for the binding and a little bit of quilting, so I just had to wrap it up, as it was to give to my husband on our romantic surprise night away which he’d organised. (We had a wonderful time staying at Tidwell Farm, in South Devon and would highly recommend it!) He loved it, regardless of its unfinished state.

I’ve also got a second quilt on the go (no where near finished the first one I have to admit). This one is pieced from a Fig Tree’s Mirabelle fabric layer cake and it’s certainly progressing faster than the Raining Cats and Dogs Quilt!

Quilt Show

Last Saturday Mum and I made the annual trip to the Quilt Show at Westpoint in Exeter. I love this show. It’s a nice size and there’s usually an excellent quilt exhibition alongside some nice stalls. It’s also a really nice morning out with Mum.

Even though I own a fabric shop, I still managed to find some fabric and a bag kit to buy!

fabric purchases

Sunday was a wet and miserable day, so a perfect day for staying in and doing some sewing. Unfortunately it was one of those days when nothing went right and I don’t really have anything to show for it, apart from a drawstring project bag to put the socks I’m currently knitting in. I am trying to make a cover for a recipe folder and ended up unpicking the pieces so many times as I tried to make it fit, that I am just going to start again!

My Sunnyside Cushion

I finished my patchwork cushion this week! I love it. It feels so fresh and summery to me.

sunnyside patchwork cushion

It’s made with squares from a Moda mini charm packthe Sunnyside collection – plus some 2.5″ squares of plain white.

sunny side cushion back

The backing fabric and piping fabric is also from the Sunnyside collection.

This is the first time that I’ve ever done piping on something. I found it a little tricky to do, especially around the corners so it’s not perfect, but I do think that cushions look so nice with piping.

Now I must get back to the socks for my husband.

A successful day all round!

Last night I sat down to carry on with F’s socks whilst he watched the rugby. I tell you, I nearly binned those socks. I was at the point of turning the heel and there is something about short row shaping that I struggle with. I don’t know what it is, but it is probably my biggest challenge with knitting. It made me quite grumpy!

It took a couple of attempts, but I did manage to do turn that heel and knit a few more rounds in the end. I tried it on F’s foot and it does seem to fit well, so I am relieved. Now I have to work out a cable pattern to do on the sides.

Today, after a successful shopping trip, I spent the afternoon at my parents, and whilst F watched more rugby with my Dad, I did some sewing. Mum taught me how to do foundation piecing and I did a log cabin block.

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Log Cabin Block made with foundation piecing

Mum’s only recently tried this technique herself but has been raving how neat and accurate her blocks were with it and she loves it.  I wasn’t sure about it at first. It took me  a bit of time to get my head around what I had to do, but I think I got it in the end and I was really surprised at how quick it is to put a block together. I will definitely give it another go.

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The back of the block, where you sew on the lines in order.

 

Once I’d done that blog, I started to make a cushion using a Sunnyside Mini Charm Pack. I’m so ready for Spring and Summer to arrive, that I wanted to make something fresh and summery, and this charm pack really fits the bill.

The front of the cushion is made and if I get time tomorrow, I will get grab some fabric from the shop for the back and then make a piped edge. We’ve got friends coming for lunch though, so I’m not sure if I’ll manage to do it or now.

Winter’s Lane Table Runner

Winter’s Lane is my favourite fabric collection in the shop at the moment, however we don’t have much left. So I thought I’d make something quickly with it, before it all goes. I decided on a table runner after seeing a similar one on Pinterest.

To cut the wedge shapes, I used a 10 degree wedge ruler.

table runner progress

I finally finished it last night, sewing the binding on by hand last night, in front of the TV. I’m really pleased with it. The photo below doesn’t show the colour off to its best, but it goes really well in the room.

Moda winters lane table runner

 

Quilting programs and apps

I want to make a sampler quilt and I have a bundle of fat eighths from Bonnie & Camille’s Vintage Modern fabric collection and another bundle from the Etchings collection by 3 Sisters.

Vintage Modern Fat Eigths

 

moda etchings fat eighth

 

However my dilemma is will either of these bundles be enough to make a whole quilt, and if so, what colours should I use in which blocks.

A way to visualise the quilt beforehand would be helpful in this scenario, so I’ve been looking at what computer programs and apps there are which would do this for me.

Electric Quilt is one of the most popular programs by all accounts. It’s not particularly cheap and only available on PC at the moment (I use a Mac) however a Mac version is coming this year. (The reckon end of January on their blog, but no sign of it yet) It looks like it can do pretty everything though, so might be worth the investment, especially if I want to design my own quilt patterns for resale. I can’t see that they do a trial version which is a shame, because I’d love to try it out before paying such a large amount of money.

QuiltPro is another popular program and they do have a Mac version already. No trial version, but you can get a refund during the first 30 days if you don’t like it.

I’ve just read about an iPad app called Quiltography. It’s a fraction of the price of these other programs and seems pretty comprehensive for an app! Don’t think it would help me calculate if I have enough fabric in the bundles to make a quilt though, and I have an original iPad and I find that many apps these days won’t run on it, so I’d have to invest in a new iPad if I want to run this app!!

Does anyone have any software recommendations? If so, I’d love to hear from you.