Triangles Into Squares

We are almost at the end of January and this is my first post of the year! How are the resolutions going? Along with many of you, I am trying to declutter and get more organised.  Cupboards have been cleaned, tiles scrubbed and bags (and bags and bags) have been delivered to charity shops across Sheffield.

All the sorting and tidying has unearthed a rather unhealthy amount of unfinished projects….so I thought I would make start on finishing these rather than adding new projects to the pile!

First on the list is this bundle of half square triangles……

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I made these a good few months ago when I was in my *triangle phase* (thankfully I am now through that one now) , they are made mostly from an unknown Moda charm pack with some Amy Butler, Riley Blake and a splash of Liberty. Once made up I struggled with the colour and layout, there was just too much colour, pattern and points! So I bundled them all up and forgot about them until my tidy up.

When I looked at them with fresh eyes I did like everything, apart from the triangles. So I sliced and diced them into 2 1/4″ squares and stitched them back together…

Squares together jan 14

 

 

And a close up of my not-too-bad-at-all seams (just don’t look at THAT one at the bottom)…

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My plan is to quilt it with a layer of batting and calico back, and then turn it into a 50cm square cushion cover. I may even have a go at free motion quilting if I can find a simple design which will work. If you have any ideas please leave a comment below or on my Facebook page (see right), I would be most grateful.

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Free-Motion Raw-Edge Appliqué Made Easy

If you *like* Little Red Monkey & Co’s Facebook page  you will know that last night I did a somewhat foolish thing.  I cracked open a bottle of wine during an impromptu sewing session.  You know the sort where you empty your entire fabric collection – including the scrap box – all over the living room.  I was inspired by a fab tutorial found on Comfort Stitching, no idea how I stumbled onto this blog (may have been the wine distracting me from online grocery shopping), but I am glad I found it.  So out came my fabric,  large helping of wine, and I was off on my free-motion-embroidery journey.  I didn’t expect it to work, i really didn’t.  Maybe it was the lack of expectation, maybe it was the wine making me carefree about that needle cm’s from my hands.  But it turned out alright……I was that pleased I made it into a cushion.  Little M has claimed it – he is my number one fan after all 🙂

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The Festival of Strings – My Entry

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My first string-pieced quilt, made for my Mum for Mother’s Day. It matches her newly decorated bedroom perfectly! It was my first attempt at machine stitched binding, a little wobbly in places but I much prefer it to hand stitching binding on, just a little more practice needed. My quilting can best be seen from the back, two rows of stitches around each square set off the pattern perfectly.

I am including this quilt in The Festival of Strings.  A happy coincidence that I chose to make a string quilt at just the right time 🙂

Christmas Stockings, Gift Bags and Crochet – A Little Behind Schedule

The thing with christmas is it sneaks up on you. Well that it how I am justifying to myself that fact that I have not even done and made half the things I planned too. Either that or I must be the most unorganised person ever (most likely!). There are a few reasons why I seem to have run out of time though. A fabulous long weekend in london with my family seemed to take up a whole week (time warp maybe?), we went to the theatre to see Mama Mia, did sight-seeing and shopping. All great fun but very expensive – how do people afford to live in London? We have also spend time visiting family in Bristol, and managed to squeeze in a trip to @Bristol, a hands-on science museum which my little boy adored. I thought it was pretty good too though, especially as we were able to make our own stop- motion animations using lego men etc. I can see why they have “adult only” evenings, fighting with a 3 1/2 yr old over who gets to press the camera button is not a good look (this was obviously with my own child and not someone else’s)!

Now I am playing catch-up in a race against time (and night shifts……at christmas I know! If anyone is ever thinking of becoming a nurse please take this into consideration!). I have finished my little boy’s quilt, I will try and get some photo’s taken when the sun comes out! I am not completely happy with it, I don’t think I will use the sandwich method again, but you live and learn.

I finished a quilted christmas stocking last night, I am very pleased with it. I used this brill tutorial by Fabricworm which I thoroughly recommend. It is just the right size for a stocking I think, I can fit a few little surprises in there for him 🙂

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And I also made a little gift bag for a tiny but very special gift for a friend. Again using a great tutorial.

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But the thing with blog-reading is I alway seem to get distracted……….This is amazing…..I wonder if I have time to do it?

Project Christmas has Begun….

Hello…..yes I am still here! I have taken a bit of an unplanned break from blogging, mainly because I haven’t done much “making” of late for one reason, then another, and then another. But I have been doing a lot of blog reading, thinking and planning ready for project christmas. Number one on the list is a quillow for my little boy. For those that have never heard of this before (which was me up until a few weeks ago), it is a quilt which can be folded up into a cushion/pillow. I am following a tutorial posted by A Cuppa and a Catch Up with a little bit of modification, mainly the cushion pouch on the back rather that the front, and so far it is going to plan, although any thoughts would be appreciated. I have pieced together the top as above, I am going for the “suit all ages” look, with the hope that he will grow up loving and using it for many years to come. I also have the material to make a stocking for him for christmas day, an advent calender panel to do and some christmas decorations to sew. Oh, and a free motion embroidery class in a few weeks to attend and the harrogate quilt festival if I can talk my mum into coming with me (Hi mum)…….must crack on with all this!

Appliqué – My First Attempt

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My first attempt at an appliqué block. I am pretty pleased with it. The stitching took forever, but once I got the hang of it I did speed up a little. My (YouTube) research lead me to do this…….

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(It looks pretty don’t you think?)

Using paper underneath the fabric to help it move, thus keeping the stitches even. I quote “…you can buy stabiliser paper but ordinary paper will work just fine…” All was well until I tried to remove it. Let me tell you this did not happen in the video…

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It is going to take me forever to get it all out. So is it the paper? The stitch? Or just a bad idea? I would appreciate you help here. It all looked so simple on the video 😦

Its another block to add to my experimental quilt/sewing machine cover, it’s going to look lovely!

Tiny Denim Friendship Stars

I have had a strange few weeks. I haven’t been able to settle on a project. I have flirted with paper piecing, water colour and trying out quilt blocks for my “experiential quilt”….more on that to follow. I have shared a few photos of these on Facebook and twitter (please feel free to follow either, I put up links to new blog posts there too).

Tonight I have started a new project. It is to make a cover for my sewing machine. I have wanted to do one for a while to protect and prettify ( did I make that word up?) the hard case. It is kind of a practise for my “experimental quilt” too, the plan for that being to use blocks and techniques that I have not used before. This is going to include my first go at free motion quilting on a proper project! So the sewing machine cover will be my practice piece to hopefully minimise mistakes on the quilt.

Anyway, here is my first go at tiny (3″ finished) friendship stars. Made from contrasting denim.

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Admittedly they are a little wonky, but I am very pleased with them. I thought they were going to look awful right up until the last seam press. I got a lovely surprise when I turned them over. And they will fit in perfectly with the wonky houses I intend to do!

I feel quite rebellious tonight, I pressed my seams open and I used steam! They turned out much better that the traditional “press to the dark side”. I like the neatness of it. Which method do you use?

Its monday so I am linking up with Handmade Harbour, why don’t you join me…..

A Quilt Back Reaches The Top!

I made a back for My First Fabulous Quilt using scraps from my blocks and a grey bed sheet. I basically sewed small pieces into squares, cut the squares into quarters, swapped them about a bit and rejoined back into square blocks. I then had a glass or to of wine (not a great idea when your supposed to be concentrating!) and thought that I could go one step further and make pinwheels. So I did a bit more cutting and sewing, decided I preferred them as diamonds, and made the blocks as you see them now. I made it up to the required size using strips of the grey.

When I showed this quilt back to the the teacher of the quilt course, she thought it was too good to use as a back, and recommended that I make it into a quilt, using parallel quilting in the large grey areas. She then informed me that the tool that I thought was some sort of screw driver (there are a lot of tools with my new sewing machine) was in fact an aide to quilting in straight lines! Here are the results…..

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My Fabulous First Quilt

I am really proud of this quilt. As I mentioned the title it is the first proper quilt I have made, although I had a little practice making this. The fabric is bright and slightly psychedelic, but in my defence I had never chosen fabrics to put together in a quilt before.

I made it during a two day workshop run by Running With Scissors. The excellent tutor was Janet who is currently setting up The Yorkshire Modern Quilt Guild.

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This is my tacking before I quilted it on a domestic sewing machine…

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This shows the binding and the back of the quilt….

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And finally the quilt in use during an afternoon snooze….

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Apologies for the poor light in some of the photos, it hasn’t stopped raining all week an I could not wait any longer to put it up!