Monday, 4 November 2019

SEW THE RAINBOW!

Travelling Quilt Bee 2019





A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to be part of a Travelling Quilt Bee it was an amazing experience for me, I made some great 'virtual' quilt friends many of whom I am still in regular quilty contact with, as well as being a great opportunity to try new things and develop my skills. This was largely due to the fact that back then I wasn't overly brave when it came to fabric choices, colour palettes or block/pattern choices and had a real tendency to stick to what I knew and whilst I still do that to a large degree, I've found that being part of something like this where you're making part of a quilt for someone else to their specific requirements, is actually rather liberating!

There are so many gorgeous quilts that come up on my Instagram feed (@thatssewkerry if you are interested) that have been made as part of Quilt Bees, a Round Robin and Travelling Quilt Bees, such as these below: 






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I really started to feel the calling again, having looked for inspiration and a group of like-minded people to join me, I set off on an adventure to create my own Travelling Quilt Bee - a daunting task as I've never been a quilt mama before or set up my own bee, but thankfully a well received plea meant that by the end of August I had 11 wonderful ladies set to join me for the next 12 months on a epic quilting adventure.

I wanted to try something completely different to the last one and to push myself out of my comfort zone, with this in mind I settled on 'Modern Rainbow' I wasn't sure what form this would take, but that's what I was aiming for. I'm not really modern when it comes to fabric choices or block choices so both of these together was definitely a challenge! I had bought the Aquamarina pattern quite a while ago, I take it out every now and again to look at and then put it away for 'oneday' so I decided this was the time. I had previously seen this version by Quiltmekiwi and just fell in love with everything about it, mostly because it is nothing like anything I've attempted before but also because it looks so clean, fresh and well modern!





With this as my inspiration I set off on my most favourite part of quilting - fabric buying! My intention was to source modern fabrics across the rainbow avoiding anything I would usually be drawn towards, I am very pleased with the end result although the same cannot be said for the bank balance or the husband.






One of the things I loved the most about this pattern was the fact that it is 90% foundation/paper pieced, which those of you who regularly follow my adventures on here will know is my most favourite type of quilt pattern, the other thing I loved about it is the giant New York Beauty element. With my rainbow set out and ready to go I had to decide on background fabrics, I knew I really wanted to include some kind of 'text print' - having said I'm not really modern in my fabric choices, I do have a slight obsession with low volume and text print in particular, but as for the rest I had no idea.






The rainbow fabrics are a mix of Alison Glass (all collections), Guicy Guice, Karen K Lewis and some Art Gallery thrown in for good measure and the background is More Paper by Zen Chic for Moda - one of my all time favourites that I really wished I'd bought several yards of instead of just the one (rookie mistake always buy at least 3 of the good ones!)I tested quite a few fabrics to use for the main background, again I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do with it, I had accidentally tried out Fairy Dust by Tula Pink from her Pinkerville range (another one I have several yards of) and as much as I didn't want to cut up my precious Tula, I couldn't seem to move away from it, so had to give in and take the plunge.






I really love the way the birds subtly pick out the colours around my rainbow and blend in rather than overpower it, I also fussy cut the same birds for the arrow heads trying to match each sections colour way so it all tied together - I really love the detail you can get in a quilt from fussy cutting.





A bazillion flying geese later I had the borders almost ready and set about fussy cutting some corner squares, again with the Fairy Dust birds to finish off the first border section.








It was then a super quick run to the finish with the outer border and my giant centre block/starting block was done and ready to travel for the next 12 months!

I am really pleased with how it turned out, there are a couple of mistakes that hopefully you won't notice (but I really do!) but I challenged myself and stuck to the original plan of trying something new and modern. It was very daunting and I can't say that I enjoyed the whole process but I did learn a great deal and I am happy with the progress I made in my own quilting journey. 

The hard part now is waiting to see what all the other lovely ladies make to go along with it and having to wait a whole year to get it back. The blocks went travelling on October 1st so we've already made one lot of blocks for the next person in our chain, but that is a tale for another day.


Happy Quilting
Kerry xx




Wednesday, 28 August 2019

X MARKS THE SPOT

Treasure Hunt 




Treasure Hunt Block Tutorial

12.5" finished block
This block is part of the great series by Blossom Hearts Quilts called The Bee Hive there are 12 blocks in the series, all completely free. The template for this block can be found here.



Cutting:
A1 and A4 2 1/4" x 9 1/2" 
A2 and A5 2 1/4" x 7"      
A3 and A6 2 1/4" x 4"

4 of each is needed to make one complete 12.5" block.



Assembly:

This block is put together in 4 units very simply by foundation paper piecing.

I found it easier to write on each section the colour/fabric I wanted to use there, as all quadrants were a different colour. This was so I could get the effect I wanted for my X to repeat making a secondary square design across the intended quilt.




The assembly process is the same for all 4 units.

Unit 1

1. Place one A1 rectangle right side up on the back of the paper template (you will be sewing along the printed lines so need to see these at all times), place one A2 rectangle on top of it so that the right sides, or patterned/coloured sides are facing each other.







2. Turn the template over so the guidelines are now facing you and sew down the line joining A1 to A2.





3. Carry on in this way until all strips have been sewn together.






You will then have a unit that looks like this.







4. Repeat for the remaining 3 units and then trim down any excess so that all units measure 6.5" square.









Putting The Block Together:

1. Place the units into pairs and attached together, then sew the two rows together to form one finished block. Simply remove the paper on completion of sewing.







Finished block will measure 12.5" square which includes a 1/4" seam on each side.


Tuesday, 20 August 2019

SCRAP BUSTING

No Scrap Left Behind




This is something I actually started quite a while ago, the center or main body of the quilt is a simple Jelly Roll quilt but is a very effective and rather quick way to rustle up a fairly decent sized quilt in a couple of hours.

You will need a full Jelly Roll, unroll it and layout all the pairs of colours/prints so you can easily see what you've got to work with. Then sew every strip end to end so you have one extremely long, continuous length of fabric measuring 2.5" wide. Fold in half along the 'short' edge and sew all the way down one long(very long) side. Cut the short edge open along the fold so you can now open out your sewn jelly roll and lay it flat - it should now measure 4.5" wide. Repeat until your have reached your desired quilt top size/width.



It's dawned on me as I'm writing this that more pictures probably would have been useful - so I'll try to get a tutorial up here soon.

But back to Scrappy business and those border blocks. They are based on the concept of 15 Minutes of Play a brilliant idea by the fabulous Victoria Findlay Wolfe, she actually has an entire blog dedicated to it. 




It really is a great concept that is quick an easy, the results are practically instantaneous - something I particularly like! The idea is you start with a 5 sided shape, the wonkier the better, and then you add to each side almost in a Log Cabin style, growing your block one scrap at a time.

The starting shape doesn't always have to have 5 sides, as you can see from mine they all varied and each one took on a life of its own. 








No scrap was left behind, no matter how small! I found that this made the shapes, fabrics and colours far more interesting and really highlighted the 'scrappiness' of them.




I made 44 blocks in total all measuring 6.5" square for the borders of this quilt, then sewed them together in strips - 2 with 10 blocks each and 2 with 12 blocks each and attached them to each side making a happy scrappy border.




I then had the monstrous task of attaching the binding and finishing it off by hand, I wouldn't go as far as saying I enjoyed it but there does reach a point with sewing binding that becomes quite therapeutic.

This quilt was a present for my Gramps who turned 80 on Sunday, the scrappy blocks were made from fabric used in every quilt I've ever made for our family members, so he always has a piece of us with him.

If you follow me on Instagram you'll see a few more pictures of this quilt, along with all the other things I'm currently working on.

Feel free to get in touch, it's always lovely to hear from you all.

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx

Sunday, 11 August 2019

TIME FLIES

12 Months On

I can't believe it's been over a year since I last wrote a blog post! I was walking around Festival of Quilts a little over a week ago thinking it's been a good few months since I've blogged and I quite miss it, only to log on and realize it's actually been more than a year  - how time flies!

So much has happened since my last post it'll take all day to catch you up but in brief we got the dream house and said room is filled to bursting with fabric, we got married 6 weeks ago - can't say it's quite sunk in yet but I'm loving wife life,we've got 2 little fur babies keeping us very busy and 30 sleeps until honeymoon! And in between all of that I've been quilting up a storm.




There were so many gorgeous quilts on display at FOQ this year I couldn't possibly pick 1 favourite but this one really was so beautiful to see in real life  - it was huge! I don't do a great deal in solids, I'd really like to get better at that and actually have a few things in the pipeline that are going to be predominantly solid based, but I am such a sucker for a good print, especially if it can be fussy cut!





Everything about this quilt was just gorgeous, the actual quilting of it was breath taking and certainly something to aspire to. It's one of the many things on my list to practice and improve on, I'm good at free motion embroidery and have got years of experience in doing that, I just need to get my act together and modify those skills to use in a quilting capacity - she says.

There were as always far to many quilts to take photos of and inspect as closely as I would have liked - I'm seriously considering going for 2 days next year, but here are a few that caught my eye.







A whole range of styles and techniques, some of which I have tried and continue to use and some that I've only admired from a far but are definitely on my wish 'to do' list. I liked all of these for different reasons, colours, shapes, design they all offered something unique and were all so very different. I'm considering entering something in next years show, I might start smaller though with a more local show maybe to build up my confidence as this would be completely new to me.

When the Aves Quilt was all the rage I signed up to that and have all the patterns for it, they are all beautifully saved in a folder on my computer and that's as far as i got with it. I've followed a few people on Instagram who have been religiously sticking to the block a week program and some of them are really good, but this one at festival was on a whole other level! Not only is the quilt gorgeous as it is, but the secondary pattern of the kingfisher is just something else.








Breathtaking right? 

Those of you who are familiar with my work and me will know that I have a serious problem when it comes to fabric, I didn't disappoint at Festival and my usual trick of saving from the very next day in my special Festival only pot worked a treat again! I bought far to much to list in this post but will definitely be referring to those purchases in future posts - and yes I'm going to work really hard to make sure there are more frequent posts - this year!  

I hope you've enjoyed hearing from me again and if you're new thank you for stopping by, I hope you will do so again.

Happy Quilting
Kerry xx

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

UPDATING TUTORIALS

CAPITAL 'T'




Capital T Block Tutorial

18" finished block
All seams are a scant 1/4” unless otherwise noted

Cutting:
Background Fabric
(1) 6 1/2"
(1) 6-7/8" x 13-3/4"
(8) 3-1/2" x 6-1/2" 

Feature Fabric

(1) 6-7/8" x 13-3/4" 
(16)3-1/2"

Assembly:

This block is put together in two simple units: A and B

Unit A

1. Place the two 6 7/8" x 13 3/4" rectangles with right sides together, lightest of the two fabrics on top. Lightly draw a straight line 6 7/8" from the short edge dividing the rectangle in half and forming two squares. Then draw two diagonal lines through the center of the two squares, sew a 1/4" away from the diagonal line on both sides.



2. Cut the rectangles apart on the drawn lines creating four half square triangle components. Press the seams to the lighter fabric. The finished units should measure 6 1/2".






Unit B

1. Lightly mark a line from one corner to the opposite corner on the wrong side of the sixteen 3 1/2" squares of the feature fabric.

2. Take a 3 1/2" feature square and place it, right sides together, on top of one of the 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" background fabric rectangle matching edges and making sure that the diagonal line runs as shown. Sew on the marked line. Repeat with the remaining seven 3 1/2" x 6 1/2" background rectangles and seven more of the 3 1/2" marked squares.

3. Cut 1/4" away from the sewn line as shown. Press the seam toward the focus fabric.





4. Take the remaining eight 3 1/2" feature fabric squares and place them on the units created in Step 3, right sides together, so that the marked diagonal line is as shown. Sew on the line.




5.  Cut 1/4" away from the sewn line as shown. Press the seam toward the feature fabric. One "geese" unit is completed. This unit should measure 3 1/2" x 6 1/2".







Putting The Block Together:

1. Join two of the geese units (B) created together as shown. Press seam away from the point of the geese. Repeat with the remaining six geese units to create a total of four new units. These units should measure 6 1/2" square.




2. Join the top and bottom Block rows by piecing two right triangle squares with one of the geese units as shown. Press seams toward the right triangle squares.





3. Create the middle row of the block by joining the last two geese units with the remaining 6 1/2" background square. Complete the Capital T Block by joining the three rows as shown. 




The complete quilt Block should measure 18 1/2" square which includes a 1/4" seam allowance on all sides.