I’ve decided that it’s about time I finish the half made quilts that I have packed up and decided that it was time to get on with the Mirabelle Quilt. I started this quilt 2 years ago and the top has been finished for over a year! The backing fabric and wadding have been cut and it’s been ready to go for ages.
So yesterday whilst it was quiet in the shop, I sandwiched the layers and pinned it with curved safety pins.
And today, using the Elna 760 and quilt in the ditch walking foot I got started.
Progress was a bit slow as I had to keep stopping to serve customers, but the main thing is that it underway and I will keep it at the shop to work on in quiet times. I’m determined to stay on top of it and get it finished as soon as possible.
I have to admit that I’ve never tried EPP (English Paper Piecing), so I thought I would give it a go this week, using 1″ hexagon papers and a mini charm pack which contains fabric squares that are 2.5″ square.
The fabric is from Moda’s new Bee Creative range (which is selling fast!) and perfectly suited for a hexagon/honeycomb effect I think.
The hexagons measure 1″ down each side and 2″ across the diameter, so a mini charm square fits quite nicely. I’ve also punched a hole in each paper as I read somewhere this was a good idea to help you pull the papers out afterwards.
I am using a Sewline fabric glue pen to hold the fabric onto the papers as I sew. I didn’t fancy tacking all the hexagons. It would take to long.
I’m thoroughly enjoying the hand stitching and think I will be turning this into a cushion of some sort. Watch this space to see what they become!
I made up my Japanese rice bag the weekend before last, using the kit I bought at the quilt show. I love it, although I don’t know what I’ll use it for 🙂
I thought I would show you the baby quilt I put together this week.
It was the quickest quilt I’ve ever done, because there was no piecing. This is a complete quilt panel. I simply added wadding and backing, quilted it and bound it.
The quilting was a mixture of straight lines around the boxes and then some free-motion quilting around some of the animals and lilypads.
I also did some quilting in the blue border area using Mum’s new Parrs-Reel Ruler which she bought at Westpoint at the weekend. Unfortunately the photo here doesn’t show up. It took a few attempts to get it right at first, but I did get the hang of it after a while.
If you’d like to make this quilt, you can buy the Paul and Sheldon quilt panel here.
This past week, I’ve gone all Japanese, and not just because I love sushi! Sometime ago my husband bought me a book on Sashiko, a type of Japanese embroidery, and I bought some a couple of sashiko kits which I hadn’t started until this week. One is a cushion and the other is for a tote bag. I thought the bag would be nice project to take to Knit ‘n Stitch, especially as one of the group members has done some sashiko and I could ask for help if I didn’t understand what to do.
It is actually easier than I thought it was going to be, especially using a pre-printed cloth kit and I’m really enjoying doing it.
Then today, Mum and I went to the Quilt Show at Westpoint, Exeter as we do every year. It’s a small show but I quite like that as it’s not too tiring.
As well as the usual stallholders, there is a quilt exhibition. I wasn’t wowed by the quilts this year to be honest, except for some by a quilter called Kay Bell. The quilting was amazing. All free motion machine quilting. It was pretty darn perfect. I took this close up photo of a quilt called Swooning. She used Camille Roskelley’s Swoon pattern for this quilt. I almost didn’t recognise it at first because the colour and fabric choices and quilting made it look so different.
As far as purchases went, they were all Japanese related from a business called Japan Crafts. I bought some plain blue fabric for some more sashiko embroidery which Mum suggest I turn into a wall hanging with the patterned blue fabric forming a border. I also couldn’t resist a Japanese fabric charm pack and kit to make a traditional rice bag. The stallholder threw in a free pattern to make a larger bag too with the charm pack.
Mum splashed out on a Parrs Reel Ruler kit. This is a new free motion quilting system with a special foot that fits most machines and a slotted ruler allows you to quickly and easily quilt your projects. You can get all sorts of different rulers to create different shapes. I’ve only had a quick play this afternoon, but I think with a bit of practice could really help us with our quilting.
I thought I would share a couple of small sewing projects that I have completed this past week.
First of all was this Lil Red doll made from a Moda Fabrics panel. Lil Red is a new collection of fabrics featuring Little Red Riding Hood.
The panel includes the doll, her shirt and cape, quilt, pillow and Mr Wolf.
She was very quick to make and I enjoyed myself!
The second thing I made this week was a tote shopping bag which folds into a pouch.
This was a pattern my Mum devised a few years ago and I thought I would make a new bag using some of the new Aria fabric by Kate Spain. I love this fabric range and was dying to make something with it.
My husband is lovely. 🙂
For Valentine’s Day this year he gave me a lovely yarn bowl which he’d made himself. It is fab and a perfect present because of the love and thought he put into it.
Teddy is finished and I’m so pleased with him 🙂
He’s knit with Sirdar Touch yarn, which is unbelievably soft. He mades Ted so cuddly. He’s quite a big ted actually, especially as I only did the small size too!
The pattern is a Sirdar pattern, which you can buy as a downloadable PDF if you want to make your own.
I’m now making him a tank top from a ball of the new Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino Tonals yarn, an ideal way to see how this new yarn knits up I reckon.
I’m terrible for starting new projects before I’ve finished other ones and I’ve got two new knitting projects on the needles.
This is a new yarn called Evie from Sublime and I’ve started knitting a top from the accompanying pattern book. The yarn is lovely and soft being 94% cotton and 6% nylon and is available in very summery colours.
I’ve also partly knitted a teddy bear using Sirdar Touch yarn. This is a yarn that came out just before Christmas and you would not believe how soft it is.
I love Moda’s Candy Packs – they are mini charm packs containing 42 2.5″ squares. I find it very hard to resist slipping one or two into my stash every time we get a new set in at the shop.
I’ve used them to make a couple of different cushions in the past – one using the Sunnyside collection and one using Aspen Frost. However I had a spare Mistletoe Lane mini charm pack which the designer, Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs, gave me and I’ve been wondering what to do with it. I didn’t want to make another cushion.
Then I came across a mini quilt which Anne Sutton had made with a Mistletoe Lane mini charm, as part of the Moda Love Blog Tour. This tour saw all the Moda fabric designers make something using the same quilt pattern and using either a layer cake, charm pack or mini charm. I just loved how it looked, so as the weather forecast was awful for this weekend and my husband was out with the boys on Friday night, I borrowed a sewing machine from work (my own is in storage in preparation for our house move) and got started.
This is the basic pattern – some half square triangles mixed with whole squares and obviously the larger the precut, the larger the quilt.
It’s been quite a while since I did some quilting and it was nice to be able to complete the whole thing in the weekend. I still can’t get my machine quilting as smooth as I’d like, but I guess I just need to practise more. I must also remember to alter the stitch length to 3.0 as I forgot at first and had to unpick a lot of tiny stitches!
You download the free instruction sheets here on the Moda website.
I make another one with a Canyon mini charm which is more summery 🙂