Saturday, 25 September 2021

Another Bear Paw

 I just can't stop making these Bear Paw baby quilts.  The original tutorial is this one from In Color Order.  The borders on the tutorial are wider than mine are here so I didn't follow the tutorial completely.  This was a last-minute present, and I'm trying to use up fabric I have, so I used all fabrics that I already had.   The blues are very scrappy - some Charley Harper scraps with some other blue scraps off an old Toy Story duvet cover I bought in a charity shop and changed from single size to cot size years ago.  The backing is a lovely bird fabric that a friend gave to me. I often use up smaller pieces for backings but since this was last minute it was good to have a bigger piece.  The birds on the back also nicely matched the Charley Harper bird scraps.  This is definitely one of my go-to quilt blocks. Does anyone else have favourite blocks? I do need to try out some different blocks soon too!

Bear Paw baby quilt
Back of baby quilt

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Half square triangles

I've got a few quilts finished this year that I haven't shared yet so I'm going to start with this half square triangle baby quilt.  

I had this fat quarter of the Cotton and Steel tigers and another fat quarter of the Art Gallery Fabrics moons.  I really wanted to use them in a baby quilt so I decided a simple HST quilt was the answer.  This is made in the same way as the monochrome quilt I made in 2020.  It's just lots of 9.5" squares of fabric which are then sewn up into half-square triangles.  The longest bit is always deciding on the placement!  I think this has turned out really well and I love the colours and fabrics together.  

I couldn't decide what colour to bind it with and when I asked for opinions in our London Modern Quilt Guild group a few people suggested a lime green. Luckily i had leftovers of this Robert Kaufman Brussel linen in pickle. The lime green was such a good idea and it really works with the other colours. I absolutely love this shade of green, and the texture of this fabric. I'm tempted to get more but am really trying to use up fabrics I have rather than add more! 

You can see the last scraps of the printed fabrics on the reverse of the quilt, along with the very last of the green linen.  I had good fun piecing together all the bits for the quilt back, I like being restricted by the amount of fabric and trying to make it work.

There's not much else to say about it really, there's a good tutorial here for making a simple half square triangle unit.  I really like making half square triangles and it's always fun playing about with the placement.  

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

First small project of 2021

2020 contained a lot of sewing of small projects - pencil cases, drawstring bags and cushions mostly - and 2021 has started the same way.  I wanted to make a bag to wrap a book for a friend's birthday.  This one used scraps from different quilting projects, including the same yellow I used in the sawtooth star quilt I just made, which was for this friend's son, so it's nice to include one of the same fabrics.  Sewing with scraps is so satisfying, I love working out how to fit the fabrics together and having the limitations of the size of the scraps is fun.  I used the WeeBrawBag pattern as a reminder on how to do the bit for the drawstring to go through, but the dimensions are based on the size of the book I wanted it to contain.  I used some scraps of batting and then the lining as the backing.  I made each panel then decided to try out some hand quilting for the first time.  I used a 12wt Aurifil thread for this and I love how it looks. 

I'm going to try some new bag and pouch patterns this year as I tend to stick to the canvas pencil pouch, WeeBrawBag, and the Summer Madras Tote Bag (free pattern).  All of which are great patterns, it's just time to challenge myself a bit with some different patterns. So, if anyone has any recommendations please let me know.

Saturday, 20 February 2021

Sawtooth Star quilt

This quilt has been a long time in the planning.  I knew I wanted to use these fabrics together for a quilt for a good friend's second baby but changed my mind so many times about what pattern to use.  So I decided to go with one of my favourite quilt blocks - either the Bearpaw or the Sawtooth Star.  I had seen an outlined star block (I'm sure there's a better way of describing this but I can't think what that would be right now) on Instagram and thought this would be a great way to use these two fabrics together.

It wasn't meant to be a winter quilt, as the baby it is for was born in the summer, but last year, and this year, it's taking me longer to get big projects going than usual.  I love how the colours look against the slight dusting of snow.  My son was so excited by the snow he didn't even object to holding the quilt for me!  We did get more snow the next week, even enough to do some sledging, which hasn't happened here in years.  it was a nice break in the routine of lockdown!

I used Diary of a Quilter's Sawtooth Star tutorial as a reminder for the construction but of course, remembered to make the centre of each star the same fabric as the sashing. I am afraid I can't even remember what size I made the stars (edit: the stars are 12" blocks) or what width I used for the sashing. Usually I write it all down but I forgot with this one, I just made big stars then used sashing in between to get the quilt the size I wanted.  The grid quilting works well I think as I wanted to keep the quilting design to a minimum so I didn't cover up the lovely softness of the fabrics too much.  I wish I'd taken more photos of the quilt as I'm so happy with how it turned out.  The aim was for it to look calm and I think the combination of the colours and the hollow stars achieved that.

So, on to the fabrics I used.  The blue is a Cirrus Solid, 'rain' I think, from M is for Make.  The Cirrus solids are more expensive than most other solids but I love the texture of them and that they are organic.  The gorgeous rust brown star print is by Ruby Star Society from The Crafty Mastermind.  The yellow binding is fabric I've had since I first started sewing and I used it in the first ever quilt I made, which was for this baby's big brother! So I wanted to incorporate it in this quilt and it matched perfectly.  I meant to get a close-up of the binding and the backing as it all works together so well.  The backing is a gorgeous elephant print organic cotton by Birch Fabrics, you can see it in this Bear Paw baby quilt I made. I wish I'd taken more photos of this but never mind, I know it's being loved and used and that's the most important thing.