Third quilt down only one more to go, this arrow quilt was so much easier to make than it looked too, so glad my fears were unfounded! 

I saw this pattern in Love patchwork and Quilting magazine issue 20 and really wanted to make it as a gift this year, however, I was really nervous to get started on it as it looked like it would be quite complicated to make – especially with the problems I have encountered and had to overcome so far with the triangle quilts I have machine made.  
However, the time came when I could no longer put it off and had to face my fears. I couldn’t believe it when I got started – it really wasn’t as bad to make as I had thought it would be! I didn’t encounter any major problems with it at all, it ended up being really great to make.  

I did change the pattern slightly and used individual arrows throughout rather than the long strips at the top in the plain fabric, as a result I also made my own template and cut the arrows out individually, rather than the method they used. I also didn’t add the different coloured fabric strips onto the tops of the arrows.  For the fabric I opted to use patterned fabric for inbetween the arrows rather than just the white used in the magazine.  

 
 I also used a slightly thicker batting than I normally use as I wanted it to be a bit thicker, but this did make it a bit more difficult for quilting but I got their eventually with it. The worst part was the choice of backing fabric I used, I knew when I bought it it might put up a bit of a fight and it certainly did, with it being slightly silky it was slipping about with all the other layers no matter how many pins or tacking stitches I put in. But I got there eventually with it and never again will I pick a fabric like that for backing, especially when using thicker batting as that just added to the problems! 
Only one more quilt make to go, I will be so relieved when they are all finished and on their way to their recipients.  

   
    
 

I have been so busy with all my other makes I forgot about my mass of Christmas gift quilts I need to make! After a slight panic the first is finished – only 3 more to go! 

 I decided early on in the year that I would make quilts this year for Christmas gifts, by deciding early on I knew I would have plenty of time to get them made. Unfortunately I have been so busy with other makes I completely lost track of time and forgot about getting started on these quilts. After this realisation I had a slight panic about whether I would be able to get them all made, but decided to try and see if I could get them finished alongside with the board of other makes I need to get finished for Christmas! 
I decided to do a triangular one first, which after my last battle with a triangle machine made quilt was quite a brave decision! I battled through however and despite a few problems and a lot (and I really do mean a lot!) of unpicking and re-sewing and a few minor meltdowns I managed to get it finished and I’m really pleased with it – there are a few little bits in not 100% happy with where some of my points haven’t lined up completely but I think thats just me being over critical, and considering it’s only the second machine triangle quit I have done it’s come out really great. 
Now this one is finished I can get on with my other quilts, hopefully these go a little more smoothly and as I won’t be using triangles for these I think they will be a little less probmatic – although now I have just said that in sure they will cause me no end of stress! 

  
Triangle quilt details

1- Draw your triangle template; 4.5 inches long across the bottom and 4.5 inches high, meaning the sides were 5 inches long. 

  
2- Cut fabric into strips, 4.5 inches wide 

  
3- Take two strips of different fabric place right sides together and sew down each side 0.5 cm from the edge.  
4- Now take your triangular template and lay it across the fabric, with the base on one sewn side and the point on the other, cut down the sides, unpick the point and turn right side out – here are your joined double triangles!

   

   
5- Layout your triangles into the colour layout you want, I chose to do a random pattern of the different colours.

  
6- Cut out some singular triangles to form the straight edges at the top and cut some joined double triangles in half to straighten the side edges. 
6 – Start sewing the triangles together, working on the diagonal, place wrong sides together and sew down the seam. Once all the diagonal strips have been completed, sew these diagonal strips together. 

  
7- Layout your backing fabric piece, make sure this is a few inches bigger then the batting and patchwork pieces, next lay your batting on top, then place your patchwork layer on top. Pin everywhere to make sure it won’t move while quilting. You could also do a tacking stitch to really keep it together.  
8- Add your quilted detail, I sewed down the diagonal lines to create a diamond detail on the backing fabric. 
9- Bind around the edge by taking the backing fabric and folding it over to the front like you would when making a hem and slip stitch around. 

  

    
    
    
 

   
    
 

After falling short last time I’m back again to try and scale a bit more of this quilting mountain! Let’s hope I keep a tighter hold of the ropes this time! 

After the disappointing attempt at cracking on with my quilt last time I decided it was time to have another big push at trying to get it finished, and after 4 evenings of dedicated patch-working I have made quite a step forwards towards the completion of this project hand have got another 9 squares completed – to be honest I have actually surprised myself with how many I have managed to complete! My poor fingers are suffering slightly now from this however! 
This means I now have a total of 25 squares towards my quilt and as I am only doing it about the size of a single bed shouldn’t need too many more the complete it – hopefully only about 10 more! Think I might take a few days rest and do some other crafts so my fingers can recover before cracking on with these last ones!   I have got most of the paper templates ready for these last few so shouldn’t take me too long – hopefully.  My only concern is whether I have got enough fabric to do them all! 
  

From a quilting disaster to a quilting success, it’s amazing how one project can help to restore your confidence in your sewing!

After the quilted table top fiasco – which I still can’t bring myself to even look at let alone unpick l! I was reluctant to attempt to finish another quilting project incase that too turned into a disaster, however, I knew I had to get back on the quilting track before I put myself off doing it for good!, which would be silly as it was just one small hiccup (although at the time it seemed huge!).  After thinking for a bit I started to agree with the fact that you have to make mistakes every now and then as you wouldn’t learn how to fix your mistakes and get better otherwise! 
The project I took on to finish was the houses quilt I am making and have so far made the patchwork and appliqué front.  All I needed to do next was quilt it and bind the edges. 
 
For a backing fabric I choose a lovely Laura Ashley fabric I have had in my stash for a long time waiting for the perfect project for it! I thought the reds in the pattern were perfect to compliment the red on the front of the quilt and the white keeps the quilt looking nice and bright.  
  
Again with a mountain of pins I pinned the top, batting and bottom layers together and set about machine quilting them together.  I picked I nice bright red for the top thread and white thread the bottom, and decided to sew along the seams of each of the squares.  To do this I sewed along all the horizontal rows first, then did the vertical ones.  As a finishing touch to make the heart square stand out I also did a row of stitching a foots width away from the edge of the square.  
   

 

This time I made sure I checked the back early on and all was going fine, so I carried on and got it finished much quicker than I thought I would.  The next job was to bind the edges, I decided to use the technique I have used on my previous quilt makes whereby I use the backing fabric piece to form the binding rather than attaching a new piece of fabric.  
To do this I make sure the backing piece is bigger than the front and the batting, then you fold over the edge of the backing piece so it is in half and the edge of the backing piece will now be touching the edge of the front piece, and then fold it over again (it’s a bit like doing a hem!) so that it is lying on top of the front piece and pin, then continue this along the edges, folding at the corners and slip stitching the binding edge down as you go.
   

     

Instead of using pins as I normally do for binding I thought I would test out some binding clips I got with Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine, they are fantastic so much easier to use than pinning the binding I will be using these again for sure!
   

   

I was a bit nervous about how this quilt would turn out since it was the first time I had attempted to do a quilt fully using just the machine to sew it together and no paper piercing. Turns out it has worked out even better than I thought it would do, I really like the finished pattern as the houses look great and really stand out against the background.  Also I am really pleased that the quilting stitching has turned out really well on both the front and the back and although pretty basic with it just being down the seams it adds a nice detail to it and really finishes off the quilt, something which I was really worried about!.  All the fears generated by the last project are starting to fade away now! 
This is now all set ready for gifting at Christmas – long time away I know but I have quite a few more to make! 

From the year of the coasters and cushions to the year of the quilts!

know it’s only been a few months since Christmas but I have so many makes I do for Christmas I have to start planning early!  I have been thinking about what to focus on this year as last year I seemed to focus on sets of crochet coasters and cross stitch cushions for people – I lost count of how many I ended up making!  While thinking about this over the last few months I have seen some really nice quilts both online and in magazines that have given me a lot of ideas to make some quilts, so many ideas in fact I have decided that most people’s made present this year will be some form of quilt! 

As a result this year will now be known as the year of the quilt for me! I am still finishing off a quilt for myself and would like to get most of it ready before starting any more but I can still plan out what I will be making for these gifts so I can start getting the fabric and other bits I need together – I already have quite a bit of fabric in my stash which I can use.  I am really looking forward to doing these quilts as they are going to be a bit different to what I have made previously.  
Now it’s time to get cracking and finish my own quilt off before I get distracted doing all these new ones!!

Squares and triangles are taking over the place, all good though – it’s all in the name of patchwork

As well as having a box starting to burst open full of granny squares wanting out, I am now starting to fill up my patchwork box with competed patchwork squares! However, the good thing is the sooner it fills up the sooner I can put the quilt together and get using it as it is needed very soon with all this cold weather!

I have been using some other shapes for these to keep all the squares different, I hope I don’t run out of ideas before I have enough squares made!

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Quilt update – slowly getting the pieces together

Since I am having an enforced break from my crochet blanket while i wait for some more wool, I have decided to get some of my patchwork squares started.

I haven’t got a planned pattern but I am going to put designs into a 20×20 cm Square which can then all be but together at the end when I have enough. I was just going to use mini squares and triangles, but I had a few ideas using some other shapes so have now also got mini triangles and a few other shapes are going to sneak their way in as I go along too!

I focus on each square one at a time, and decide what layout to do and what fabric to use before tacking the fabric to the templates and then hand sewing together. To make sure all the finished squares are the same size I lay the paper template out for the next square on top of a previously made square.

I have got a few squares made so far, and I am really happy with how they are coming out and how well all the colours are going together.

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The make I thought would never end…

It’s a momentous day in crafting here; I have finally managed to finish off a project that has been on going for the past year. It has taken me so long to do that I didn’t think I would ever get it finished!

I made my first patchwork quilt a few years ago as a gift for a friend’s little one, just using a square pattern in different shades of blue. I was very impressed with the end result, so impressed in fact, that I decided to embark on the task of making one for myself. I don’t think I fully realised the commitment I was taking on at the time! However this project was great for using up all my odd bits of fabric, something that was starting the take over the house!

As I had already done a quilt using squares I decided to try something different and use hexagons, with a different colour of fabric used on each full round of the quilt. I used a paper hexagon template and tack-stitched the fabric around it to retain the hexagonal shape until it was sewn into the quilt.

 

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Once I had enough to start sewing together the quilt I picked my centre hexagon and then stitched another hexagon one to each side, this time in a different colour to form the next round. I hand stitched them together by placing their right sides together and sewing down the seam.

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I would have needed hundreds of paper templates for the whole quilt; so instead, I attached a few rounds of hexagons together and then recycled the inner templates, keeping in mind to always leave the outer ring intact. I continued adding rounds to the quilt until at its widest point it was the width I was happy with. I then squared off the quilt by using hexagons to infill the corners.

Once I had stitched all the hexagons together, I needed to assemble the quilt front onto a backing fabric with some wadding in between. I used a king sized flat sheet as a backing sheet as this was the size of quilt I wanted. I then tack-stitched all three elements (quilt front, wadding and backing sheet) together so they wouldn’t move as I sewed them together. Next, I machine-sewed the three pieces together. I machined a straight line out from each edge of the inner 6 hexagons, which were attached to the initial central hexagon, to the edge of the quilt. This probably could have been completed by hand, but I found it just too big to manage in this way.

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Once the three elements were sewn together I hemmed around the edge by folding the plain backing sheet up on to the quilt so that there was a plain edge the whole way round.

Finally… The quilt was finished! I am so happy with it – it has come out even better than I initially thought it would. It’s perfect for the upcoming winter months and it will definitely brighten up a cold wintery evening.