Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Bedroom soft furnishings and "Done in a Day Quilt" stash-buster quilt TUTORIAL

Bedspread in spotty fabric of pale mauve's, pale blues, creams and whites on a soft turquoise blue background - pure cotton 
Made extra big to allow for shrinkage after washing 
Also made matching curtains (fully lined of course) - you can see them folded at the top ready to hang.

"Done in a Day " Quilt
For a surprise ............I pieced coordinating fabrics in cotton in random strips - I made it up as I went along, balancing stripes and colours as I patched and sewed. 

It is a 'quilt as you go' style being pieced directly onto fleece and then bound with plain blue cotton - I think it made a nice topper for the bed .......what do people think?? 
Took me a day to do as no backing involved or extra quilting - which can be done later - this was done for speed! 

So a really quick quilt - from scraps to quilt in a day!! 

I took the spotty fabric into my sewing room (where the stash seems to mulitply) and grabbed a piece of fleece + 6-8 bits fabric - half yards and longer (no fat quarters) 
My advice set a time limit and do not dither in fabric choice just rip and sew and don't be too fussy so keep strips simple i.e. no more than 3 pieces fabric! 

Piece of fleece or strip some oddments together - this determines size of quilt
A small piece = baby quilt, bigger single, double etc 
I just used what I had in my stash - so no delays in shopping trips or added costs!
My piece of fleece was about 40" by 60" so strips of standard fabric would span the width 
Enough oddments fabric - the more variety the better - just be sure they are all a similar weight and content and the colours match or clash well! 
i.e. in my case all cotton and to coordinate with the blues n mauves spotty fabric
but approximately a half yard of 6-8 fabrics - if you run short just tear up a strip off something extra for end pieces
Plus enough for binding
Tear these oddments into strips 2"-6" wide - either before you start - I did it as I went along - this means less wastage or leftovers
Make sure some will go across width of quilt - others piece into sections 
(for pieced sections have some but not all with a middle and two matching ends, the rest three different fabrics) You can have more pieces if you wish but it will take longer to make - and more decisions of what to use where
Ditto the greater the variety of fabrics the more difficult the decision making process - you want this to be fast and snappy) 
Cotton, pins and usual stuff 


I started in the middle, with the 3" focus spotty strip then cut/tore strips of fabric as I sewed, tear across width of fabric and pieced bits together where necessary. I had some pieces asymmetric others I guessed the central section and worked my way to each end - the slight off-centers of pieced blocks add a certain charm and folksy appeal without it being too rigid.
Its meant to be slightly off-set and out of kilter - so throw the 'rule book' out!! 
I did not match each piece perfectly but made sure roughly a similar amount of each colour/pattern fabric was on each side of the middle strip. 
Balancing a full strip with a pieced strip 
No pieced strip has more than 3 joined strips fabric - this keeps it from being too busy! 
I made sure a stripe was not with a stripe so striped, floral, plain fabrics alternated. 
Just keep stepping back and double check there isn't too much of one colour/pattern on one side or the other 
The speed you make it stops the dithering of choice of which fabric to use - so set yourself a deadline to piece the top in one day!
Just start in the middle of your fleece, make sure your seams are same width across to keep it parallel 
Flip and sew - I pressed each strip as I went and double checked they were even width and not going wonky and I worked both sides at the same time adding a strip or two one end then did the other - its easier to keep it colour balanced 
Make sure you have a full c 6" strip for the final strip at each end 
 Square up quilt sides and trim with rotary cutter or scissors (double check widths are the same at each end) and measure - use those lengths for binding 

BINDING - tear lengths of fabric into 6" wide strips = to sides and width +2"-3" (measure middle of side/end)
e.g. if quilt 40"x 60" strips should be c 64-66"x 44-46"
Fold strip of fabric in half lengthwise and press 
These can be all different fabrics or the same colour 
This will make a double thickness binding - which will last longer and be more sturdy for everyday wear and tear and help stabilise the edges as there is no backing fabric as you are using fleece which is stretchy

Align the raw edges of the binding strip with edge of quilt (right side up) 
Sew along edge - repeat with each side - do sides then ends 
Fold over binding to the back
Trim the ends to c 1" and tuck in
Either hand stitch or machine sew down 
You can mitre the corners or do simple fold overs (tuck raw edges in and hand sew ends) 
Snip off all loose threads
Press and your done! 

NB: You can add additional quilting if you wish or add appliques of flowers / animals whatever on top
I was going to add flowers but not sure if she would like that or not 
If you add embellishments it will take another day to finish it off 

With the scraps left over I made a matching cushion cover. This was pieced in rows, (row of blocks then a  strip),  then layered with batting and backing - then intensively quilted - first in the ditch then in random rows some v close together others further apart - still enough left for another cushion or matching baby quilt 
Lets hope they like everything!!!!!!!!!!
See what feedback I get if they want another cushion cover or baby quilt to match ...or not :-( 

This is for my son Lucas and his partner Karen - for their bedroom in house  they recently moved into - and of course they have no curtains to fir the huge windows!
 Mother to the rescue ................ 

"Hello Miss Kitty" Quilts - hand quilted

Myla's "Miss Kitty" Crib Quilt 
Hand quilted - whole-cloth with peach backing 
I just folded the front fabric over to the back and hand stitched down 

Emily's Bed Quilt - with contrast binding
Hand quilted with pink backing and contrast double thickness binding 

Here both together - Emily's has a pink backing (as she likes all things to be PINK), with contrast borders; whereas Myla's has a peach backing in a very similar colour
So they are easy to tell apart - so no fighting as to whose is whose - when they get older! 
I quilted these in November 2011 and only just finished them off !

Baskets Cachepots ......

I made two pots/baskets/cachepots - not sure quite what to call them!  But one is 'Negatif' the other 'Positif' as one is predominantly black whereas the other is mainly white - hand crocheted in a funky nylon fabric 'yarn' 
I left all the ends tied but hanging loose on the inside - so you can have a clean finish (the white Negatif one) or raggedy look by turning it inside out (black Positif one)

Hard to do in that they hurt your hands as its 'hard crochet' ie has tight tension to make a stiff fabric and sturdy pots

Quite pleased with them :-)

UFO's as in Unfinished Objects ..................

The Chinois Chrysanthemum Tree Cushion 
Hand quilted and beaded with contrast border in cotton sateen 
This was an oddment of fabric I had - just loved the unusual combination of colours the grey, lavender, pink and powder blues, with the terracotta!
Finally finished this off - think I quilted it a couple of years ago and then beaded the following year and now finally made up into a  cushion. 
Only thing is I don't have the right size pad to go in it! 
Feel such an idiot - I could make a wider flange on the edge - then could put in a 20" " or 18" pad ......

Beaded center of the bigger terracotta flower - dark and paler blue beads plus all the hand quilting 

Orange beads in smaller flower - also hand quilted 

The Birds Cushion 
Hand quilted birds and flowers on a buff cotton sateen curtain fabric 
Birds and flowers in greens and rusts 

Detail of the quilted main bird

Detail of the quilted larger flower

Detail of quilting of one of the smaller flowers 
 I also quilted a lot of the tree stems and leaves 

This fabric was given to me by a friend and I had quilted it several years ago and its been languishing in my pile of 'things to finish off' for ages! Years - mea culpa!!!!
Today I am trying to get through some of them and of course start some new things as well! 
Clearing the decks and getting WIPs out of the way ....... for the next pile of WIP's/UFO's - LOL 

Monday, 14 January 2013

Mongolian Hat - II

A Mongolian hat in Alpaca and wool blend 
Would match the Tapiz Coat 
In honey, red, blue, green and greys

Similar to the first Mongolian Hat except it is smaller and of course the colours are in a different arrangement as never make duplicates. 

Shawls .................. Lambswool, Shetland wool and Peruvian Cotton

Red Dragon Tail Scarf
7' long asymmetrical scarf in pure lambswool in a lovely brick red colour 
Has an inner curved edge and dragons teeth edging on the outer edge and finished with a red tassle on the pointy end 
My own design 'Dragon Tail Scarf' 

Scarlet and darkest air-force blue shawl 
This is the Juliana Pattern and I rarely use a pattern as everyone knows - but had been wanting to try this one out for ages 

The red is a  really bright pinky scarlet and the blue an inky indigo blue with a lot of grey in it - I had thought it was grey till we had some sunlight! Our weather has been so grey and dark it has been difficult to see colours properly! 
The shawl was meant to be a scarflette to go with a new red and grey dress ......well it didn't quite end up like that - LOL 
It ended up much bigger than planned and the colours are wrong for what I ahd planned - anyway will add some big tassels on the ends and say its done - then put it up for sale ..............?

Peruvian hand dyed mercerised cotton in greens and golds - Auracania 4ply cotton 
The Sprout pattern was the basis for this shawl/scarf but I changed the pattern ( a lot) and added three and four leaf clovers on the trim 

Trying to think of a name ............ Lucky Clover? 
This cotton is a fine 4ply - fine and silky a beautiful quality cotton from Auracania which has been hand dyed in Peru 

Christmas - been and gone

Part of my Christmas window - vintage Christmas table cloth and angel 
The red vase is a vintage German ceramic as well 
Plus holly from the garden 

Ah - time flies when your having fun .................. well this Christmas has been a bit dire .........poor hubby was ill with flu before Christmas ....I didn't feel too great either (well haven't felt at all well for several months) ...... and I thought I had a broken leg on Christmas Day - so feet up and bags of frozen peas ....then Boxing Day it was even worse and could not walk at all .so more frozen leg and then a trip to A&E ............... X-rays etc ............... but seems no fracture but just 'badly damaged' and 6 weeks to recover ....................... some way to spend Christmas and New Years!! So all plans to visit family up in Scotland and help them have been shelved 

The lovely rose in Christmas bag from my good friend Marianne took centre stage in my big window

As a consequence I hardly put any decorations up at all - some holly where I could on Christmas Eve and managed a few lights around the windows ................. 

My festive lantern as usual and sadly that was about it - apart from a  string of white lights in each window 
Sorry folks but that was all I could manage ..................