Wednesday 18 January 2023

Flying Geese Quilt - aka the magic snooze inducing quilt

 This quilt has magical properties. I know that might sound far-fetched but it is the cosiest quilt I have ever made and whoever snuggles underneath it is destined to fall asleep! I made this as a Christmas present for my husband who has long been asking for a ‘quilt of his own’.

The quilt block is called the Flying Geese, I assume because you could say it looks like wings. I wanted to use something bold for this quilt. I already knew I was going to use these bright pink and dark green fabrics so I wanted the design to be as bold as the colours. I did consider having a plain border, or sashing in between columns, but decided to keep it simple and use sets of four flying geese. There are so many tutorials online for making this block so if you wanted to have a go and haven't made it before then just have a look and pick the one that makes most sense to you. I used a no-waste method which means exactly what it says, there is no fabric wastage.

I started on this way back in April/May when it was intended to be a birthday present but, due to the thick fabrics, it took a long time to put it all together. I didn’t buy any new fabrics for the quilt front. The fabrics are: pink and burgundy fabrics - wool, left over from other projects; denim - an old dress; pale blue linen – very last of a Robert Kaufman fabric from the scrap bin at Ray Stitch; blue cashmere – belonged to my mum, made in a mill in Scotland; camel cashmere – belonged to my mum, also made in Scotland; dark green – the bottom half of a pair of Dickies (workwear trousers) that my husband cut into shorts. All these fabrics are quite thick as the intention was to make a very warm quilt to use when working from home. 

To make it even warmer I used 100% wool batting in the middle and bought a brushed cotton sheet in the Muji sale to use for the backing. I used a simple grid pattern to do the quilting. It looks really striking and, more importantly, is very warm and cosy. A real success – and I even managed to finish it in time for Christmas (just – I finished hand-sewing the binding on Christmas eve!).

I just realised I didn't blog at all last year so I'd like to do a catch-up post with the quilts I made in 2022.  I don't think I made a single item of clothing last year, hopefully, I can change that this year - I'd love to make a quilt coat and some trousers. 

Thursday 30 December 2021

Sawtooth Star quilt

A pink, blue, rust and cream coloured quilt with a star pattern is being held up by a child.  They are standing on grass, in front of a large Camelia plant.
Sawtooth Star quilt

This is my last quilt finish for 2021.  I'm quite amazed I got it quilted in time to send it up as a Christmas present.  It was a gift to my parents-in-law and I'm happy to say that they both really like it.  My mother-in-law likes to sew as well, and knits us all wonderful gifts.  It's so nice to be able to chat to her about sewing when we're up in Scotland so I really wanted to make her a gift as I know how much she likes my quilts.  I picked colours that I thought they would both like. It's hard to see here, I should have taken some close-ups, but the cream fabric has little ginkgo leaves on it (you can see it here)

I used this tutorial for the Sawtooth Star blocks and then just winged it with the border, putting it together and then seeing if I felt it worked.  

An orange, green and white checked quilt bakc is being held up by a child. They are standing on grass in front of a large plant.
Backing of the Sawtooth star quilt

I've had the quilt pieced for quite a while but just couldn't decide how to quilt it.  After much deliberation, I just went for straight-line quilting.  The back fabric is a gorgeous IKEA tablecloth I got in a charity shop. It's 100% cotton and is slightly brushed so it's nice and soft.  the binding is a mix of the pink and terracotta fabrics. I really like the effect of binding that is not just one colour and need to remember to do this more often.

The batting is Hobbs heirloom 100% wool batting which is supposed to be washable.  I haven't tried washing it yet but I did ask my fellow members of the London Modern Quilting Guild for batting advice and quite a few had sued this and recommended it.  I do feel very lucky to be part of such a friendly guild, and to have a community of fellow makers for inspiration and advice!

Wednesday 29 December 2021

Pescadero Crib Quilt for my newest nephew

A blue, yello and white triangle quilt is being held up by a child.  They are standing on grass, with a brick wall behind.  You can only see the child's feet poking out under the quilt.
Pescadero crib quilt

This is a very special quilt made for my new nephew.  I initially pulled these fabrics out with plans for another quilt but, when I saw them together, I knew they just had to be for a quilt for my nephew.  My aim was to make a quilt that was calm but at the same time I didn't want to make one just with whites or beige, I wanted it to be bright but not too busy.  The Pescadero pattern from Simple Geometric Quilting was just what I needed.  

I love the combination of the two different types of triangle, and the two shades of yellow.  The brighter yellow is a Kona cotton and the more golden shade is Makower linen texture in gold.  I can't remember what the white is.  The blue is gorgeous and soft, it's a Habitat duvet cover I bought for the sofa bed then didn't use. So far I've used it for the quilt back on my New Mexico Quilt as well as this quilt and I still have enough left to back a quilt I'm making for my son.  My son is so good at helping me hold up my quilts to photograph them! I won't lie, he does moan about it sometimes but then we always end up getting lots of silly photos with him poking his head over the top or out the side so he likes that.

A golder yellow and tiger print quilt is being held up by a child.  They are standing on grass, with a brick wall behind.  You can only see the child's feet poking out under the quilt.
Quilt backing

As you can see, the party is really on the back with this one too.  I used up almost all of this gorgeous Leah Duncan print, and bordered it with a bit of pink and more of the gold.  It's lovely and soft as it's filled with wool batting so hopefully, it will be cosy in the winter and cool in the summer.  I am so pleased with how this one turned out and sewed it with lots of love, thinking of my nephew in another country and hoping I would get to meet him soon.  I was lucky and we did get out to see my brother and his family in October, before Omicron!  I'm hopeful we'll get out again sometime in the early new year.  

This was my second make from Simple Geometric quilting and one of my aims in the new year is to try out some of the curve patterns in the book.  I made two quilts with curves way back when I started quilting but I haven't done one in a good few years and I've lost my nerve somehow.  Which is silly really so it's time to get over that in 2022 and get back to some curves!  

Monday 27 December 2021

Triangle Bear Paw baby quilt - gifting to friends.

A geometric quilt being held up inside a room. you can see the feet of the person holding it. The quilt is white, peach and blue and has triangles on it. The room has a wooden floor and children's drawings on the wall. There is a christmas tree.
Bear Paw baby quilt

I'm back with another Bear Paw quilt!  I can't seem to go very long without using this quilt block, there's just something so pleasing about it.  Excuse the poor lighting in these photos, it was too wet outside to get any photos (there has been a lot of very dreich weather recently here in London and my son is now learning all the Scottish words to describe this type of weather, for example, this morning's rain I would describe as smirr, which is quite a nice rain, light and soft.) Anyway, enough about the weather, and back to this quilt.  I made this for a friend's new baby.  This friend is very special to me (as all friends are!) and, during all the lockdowns and almost lockdowns of the past year & a half, our weekly walks in the forest together have made it all so much more bearable.  So this quilt is one way I have of showing that love and appreciation.  As another aside, isn't my son doing a great job as a quilt holder-upper?!

A geometric quilt laid out on a wooden floor. The quilt is white, peach and blue and has triangles on it. There is a christmas tree visible in the left hand side of the frame.
Bear Paw baby quilt

Once again I used this tutorial from In Color Order as a starting point. It's just a great, clear tutorial, and one day I'll try it as intended i.e. scrappy.  The triangle fabric, a Cloud 9 organic lawn if I remember rightly, was one I bought when a friend did an Instagram fabric destash.  I knew I wanted to use it in a quilt but to be honest the lawn fabric was a bit tricky to work with. Maybe a quilt in all lawn would be ok but mixing it with the different weights of both Kona solids (peach, green and white) and the Cirrus solid (blue) made it a bit harder.  I knew this before I started as I had the same issue with my Queue for the Zoo quilt last year, made with a Liberty print.

Close-up of part of a quilt, it is white, peach, green and blue.

You can see the colours of the print a bit more in the photo above, it's a very peachy pink and the dark green is really lovely.  I had fun trying to match this with solids and bought two different Kona peach/coral shades to get the right one.  I love pink though so I know the one I didn't end up using will get used soon anyway.

A quilt laid out on a wooden floor. The quilt is white, peach and blue and has triangles on it. There is a christmas tree visible in the top of the frame.

The back of the quilt is just pieced together. This is something I really enjoy doing.  I had a small amount of the triangle fabric left and I wanted to use it all up so I started with that and just cut and stitched as I went.  It's really good fun to get a bit improv like that, especially after following a block pattern for the front of the quilt.  Spending time coming up with a design, and then sewing it up for loved ones, is such a nice way to spend time, it's time to be solitary and reduce stress whilst also being social somehow as you're thinking about the person/people you're creating it for.