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Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

It’s been a while

I’m back!!! Well not sure how often I’ll post but it’s been so long. A lot of stuff going on and I’ve managed to stick with the quilting. Not as much as I’d like but this little fella was knocked up in a few evenings, as a Christmas present for my niece who happens to be my god child. She loves the American Flag on anything, clothes, pencil cases, shoes, you name it. I think it’s a fad. You know kids.

It wasn’t rocket science and as usual it’s far from perfect but I love it so much I want to keep it for myself. Here’s phase one that my sister kindly held up for me.

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And here it is completed on my niece’s wall that myself and a friend recently painted perfect blue stripes on. (Side note: It’s actually easy to paint stripes on a wall. Good masking tape. Paint the edges of the tape and the wall the original colour to stop leaks. Wait for it to fully a dry 24 hours then do the stripe colour. Remember to take off the tape while the paint is wet. )

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It’s held up with pegs, simple wooden ones. Just prize them apart. Nail one piece to the wall and reassemble the peg with the other piece. Bob’s your uncle.

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TOP SECRET: I’ve started a new Quilting project a few weeks back and got some direction and guidance from fantastic friends at Just Cotton. I can’t reveal much and it’s going to take me an age but I’m committed to completing this quilt. Stay tuned. Here’s a sample, not a lot but it might get your spidey senses tingling.

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Richies mum asked me to make some quilted cushions for a rocking chair in her hall way. Of course, i obliged. This is going to be a quick post. They took no time at all and have built my experience and I needed the practice. I got one pattern here and the other one here. Go have a look and try them for yourself. They are easier than you think. I’m jealous now and want them for myself.

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Here’s the backing. One is a crazy chicken fabric because Cathy has a few chickens and I thought they were kind of apt.

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Two friends of mine, Barney and Donna, asked me to be a God parent to their son. The beautiful and playful Ryan was born last November. Not only did I have the fine responsibility of being a god father, I planned to have a Quilt ready for his Christening in January. However this wasn’t to happen since, as always, I didn’t give it the time it deserved. I finished it a few weeks ago and delayed it further by not sending it until last weekend, to their home in England. Now that they have it, I can post about it.

This is only my second quilt and I can’t believe how well it has turned out. I didn’t want to just give a baby sized quilt to Ryan. Sure, it would be perfect for him now but I thought one a single bed size would be used longer and possibly become an heirloom for him in his later years.

I’ve a load of photos of this project and will do my best to minimize the amount I post. Hopefully it won’t look too cluttered.

I started off with a Moda Fabric Jelly Roll, I picked up randomly. Like a magpie, I was drawn to the bright rainbow colours. I’d seen striped quilts on other websites and loved the idea of them so Jelly Roll striped Quilt it was to be.

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I had double the amount of each colour so I joined them together to make a 4.5 inch width by jelly roll length blocks. No forgetting to iron the seam as I went.

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At first, I thought the colours would look good joined together but (a), the quilt wouldn’t be long enough and (b) it was too fussy looking, so I decided to break up each block with white fabric between each colour.

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This made the quilt slightly too long, so I took out a few of the dark blocks. Here’s a shot, minus a few colours the blues and purples of rainbow towards the end.

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Once I had all the blocks joined together I added a white border around the perimeter.

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I laid it out on the table and something wasn’t right. It was too feminine for a boy. But at the same time I wanted to retain the colourful display of the fabrics. What better way to harden it up and also add a personalised touch, than to add a large varsity letter on the front. Penny from Just Cotton wasn’t too keen on this but I went with my instincts on this one. I just copied a letter from the Internet an drew it in chalk on blue fabric.

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Then layered it onto white fabric and cut out about half an inch around the edge. I know it doesn’t looked ironed. I ironed the fabric afterwards. That won’t happen again.

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Next came the Niggly bit of sewing them together using the cross stitch on the machine.

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I liked how this turned out so I pinned the letter to the centre of the quilt and pinned down the edges and used the same cross stitch to bind it to the quilt.

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I bought an Egyptian cotton flat sheet for the backing and layered the wadding and quilt on top. Then cut it to size. Looking good, don’t you think.

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As usual, I pinned them together and started on the actual quilting. I was looking for a perfect design to this and needed it done quickly so i went for diagonal lines crossing, given the square diamond affect. Thank god for disappearing fabric pens. I used one to draw the lines on the top layer and just followed the lines with the machine. The lines fade over 24 hours or so or you can wet the ink and it will fade. Don’t forget to quilt from the centre.

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Finally it came to the binding. I cut 2 inch strips of blue to match the letter. I was stupid here. Should’ve been 2.5 inch. Turned out a little tight. I’ve become a pro a joining the strips up. I find if you go over the edge of each end it’s easier to visualise a line from corner to corner.

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I’ve even managed to do more than one at a time.

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Right, we’re just about there so stick with me. I added the binding to the edge with the machine and hand stitched it to the back. You heard right. I used a needle and thread and my very own hands to do this. I’m so happy I did. The finish was perfect. So here it is. In all it’s glory. Hope you guys like. Any questions I might not have answered please feel free to contact me or comment here.

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I had to put it on an old sheet to stop it from getting dirty.
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As some of you know, I’ve taken up Quilting. My first very amateur project is here. And I’ve had lessons from the lovely Penny in Just Cotton.

Last Saturday I joined Penny’s Social Quilting Club that happens the first Saturday of ever month. While there, I got on to the new project. Where’s the second project? That’s tightly under wraps at the moment. It’s completed and I’ll post about it soon, but it’s a gift for a God-Son of mine and I haven’t sent it to him yet. His mother sometimes reads this blog so I don’t want to let anything away.

I’ve come leaps and bounds on my quilting, especially with the guidance and expertise of Penny and also from the rest of the group that come to Just Cotton. Each of the ladies there have given me positive feedback and input into my projects. I have to say, that I think Quilting isn’t only a skill and they are highly skilled but they are Artists as well. The work that they churn out is fantastic. Check out some pics of their fine artwork here.

Well last Saturday I went to Penny, with the idea of creating a table runner. Penny said, I’d get most of it done in that day. She gave me her pattern and regular instructions. I chose fabric that would match the colours in our kitchen, which are Light Grey, White and Pistachio shaded Greens.

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This design changed as I progressed.

When you do a Quilt, you create layers and put them together, and then do the quilting. Not so with this project. You assemble the layers and quilt the fabric directly on the wadding and backing fabric. This made it quick and simple enough.

I was surprised to have nearly completed it by the end of the session. I decided to go back to Just Cotton, the following Monday to finish it off and that left only the binding that I did at home during this week.

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Is it arrogant for me to say how pretty it is? I think the colours really blend well together and with the rest of our kitchen decor.

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I said before in this post how I was looking for sewing and specifically Quilting lessons. I finally got a beginners lessons from someone quite wonderful.

I’ve been searching google Ireland for lessons and places to source good quality fabric. I found one 20 minutes away from me and that’s Just Cotton. This is a home run fabric store with a huge amount of fabric, books and notions. But it’s more than that. The owner, Penny, also arranges for other sewing or Quilting enthusiasts to come together professionally and socially. And from the biggest teapot I’d seen there, it kinda confirms the social element of Just Cotton.

When I first went out to Just Cotton I was amazed how big a studio it was. My pictures don’t really show it but images on the Just Cotton website will show you that. After meeting Penny in person, she kindly suggested that she could help me with developing my skills further. So yesterday I went back out to Just Cotton and she thought some more of the basic skills I’d need for my future quilting projects. One of which is in full swing. I’ll post about that when it’s completed.

I arrived and relaxed in Penny’s company instantly and we got straight down to making some panels. I learned how to perfect the joins between fabrics. In that time other visitors and buyers arrived. They too seemed very comfortable, and relaxed with coffee or tea, while they pursued the fabrics and items they needed.

We stopped for a quick lunch and got straight back into binding for a beginner. My multi tasking skills were put to the test. I discovered that sewing on a machine and chatting at the same time is something a man needs to work on. It wasn’t all work though. We did manage to chat, mostly with me stopping and penny urging me to continue. And we got to know one another by exchanging stories. I’m much more at ease now with quilting than I was and I gained experience that YouTube just can’t teach you. Plus I made a new friend and Penny has suggested I come along to her Saturday morning sewing social club, whenever I like.

If you are looking for fabric, especially in the midlands. Check out Just Cotton and most importantly try to visit. Much better to see and feel the quality of the fabric than just buying it online.

Some of the quilts on display are more artwork than anything else.

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Some of the fabric selections available.

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Landscape quilting.

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The panels I made.

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