25 March 2016

A little happy Tutorial - Super Speedy Stripey Quilt


Last Friday a customer came in to the shop, we got talking over a few bolts of fabric and she told me that she would like to make a baby quilt to give as a gift to a friend... actually two quilts as her friend was expecting twins.  She had however never made a quilt before and was looking for a little help.  Her criteria was that it needed to be very easy to make, quick and not too expensive.

This is not the first time I've had this conversation...... and it got me thinking.  A possible solution could be my Patchy Heart Quilt, but could there be an even simpler quilt, that would meet the criteria that we talked about, plus be just as pretty........never being one to shy from a challenge, I said leave it with me and I'll have a think and a play.   My Super Speedy Stripey Quilt is what I came up........


It was certainly speedy, I had this cut and pieced from getting home from work, to supper being ready (admittedly it was a box curry from the supermarket which Andy prepared...well popped in the oven!) TICK for speed.  The design itself it very simple and easy to piece, it's a simple combination of full width of fabric strips pieced together, so perfect as a first quilt.  TICK for simple.   It took 1.25 metres of fabric (3 Long Quarters* and a 1/2 Metre) for the quilt top, with the smallest amount of waste or leftovers.  TICK for cost.

* When purchasing fabric from us, the fabric is cut as a Fat Quarter, which generally measures 50cm x 55cm, it's no problem for us to cut a Long Quarter, which is the same volume of fabric, but it is cut across the whole width of fabric, so generally measures 25cm x 110cm.  If you require Long Quarters, please leave a note at checkout to let us know.


For mine, I chose a mix of fabrics from Lecien gorgeous collection Flower Sugar on white backgrounds for the quilt front and the most gorgeous pale grey Flower Sugar design for the back...isn't it pretty! (all of these are available here)


This quilt would equally work with solids, I like the idea of creating an ombre effect.  What is critical to make the design work is that the fabric you choose is not directional.  For newbie quilters, I would also avoid anything with a too obvious pattern, so ginghams, patterns in a row, etc....I mean there is nothing worse than a piece of fabric cut with the pattern going skew-wiff!  So plains, ditsy prints, pin dots etc get my vote!   The lovely binding fabric is this one by Pam Kitty.... Pam Kitty and Flower Sugar is match made in heaven...some of you may remember the Simple Star quilt I made last summer....


It's in the shop at the moment if you want to see it in person....the gorgeous quilting by the way was done by Trudi Wood.  Anyway I digress, back to the Super Speedy Stripey Quilt.... I quilted mine with horizontal lines, spaced at 1 1/2".  To do this I used my Hera Marker and quilting ruler to mark my first line at the halfway point.  I then quilted the lower half of the quilt moving downwards from the centre point.  I then quilted from the centre upwards....easy peasy!  It would also lend itself to some hand quilting.



So if you fancy making one, I have put together a FREE pattern for you, which you can find HERE.  If this is your first quilt, you may find it useful to read through how I made my Patchy Heart Quilt before you start.  You'll find lots of photo's and instructions to help you with piecing, pressing, layering and binding your quilt.  Have a go and if you have any questions, please do get in touch!


In other news, this week saw the launch of our brand new Monthly Subscription Club.....




Each month, memebers of the club will receive a gorgeous bundle of pretty 1930's style fabrics through your letter box. The monthly bundle will contain 10 different fabrics from a variety of our favourite designers, for example Bonnie and Camille, Darlene Zimmerman, Chloe's Closset, Judie Rothermel .... and fabric houses....Moda, Penny Rose Fabrics, Windham, Marcus Fabrics... all carefully chosen and cut by us in our unique and popular mini size pieces, (each piece measures 25cm x 35cm). Sounds good doesn't it...you can find out more and join the club on the website here.

We also had some rather gorgeous new arrivals from the Sommer Collection by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller


Sommer, the Scandinavian word for Summer, is a collection of designs inspired by Sarah Jane's love of beautiful Scandinavian summers. Featuring pretty flowers, swans, birds, bunnies and lots of fresh colours, it's a collection that is sweet enough for the children, but sophisticated and feminine for the ladies too.  It's been super popular, so I do not think it will be in the shop for long!



Obviously as is usually the case, I grabbed some to do a little sewing with.....



but more of that next time!

7 March 2016

1930s Farmer's Wife QAL ~ #49 Katherine

 ....and quick as a flash it's my stop on the Farmer's Wife 1930's Sampler Quilt-Along again!  My inspiration for my colour choices for this weeks block were taken from this pretty selection of Aurifloss.  I was restocking the Aurifloss shelves in the shop last week and I guess it was no surprise that these Spring like shades needed refilling.  Taking their lead I picked my fabrics, the pretty floral is Blossoms in Apricot from 30's Playtime by Moda and the gorgeous ginghams are both from Windermere by Brenda Riddle again for Moda.

One of the things I love most about this ongoing project is the number of techniques that I have used to piece my blocks.  For this one, I simply used quilty maths to work out the dimensions of the pieces, rather than using the templates provided with the book.

As you can see, I also cut the pieces as squares and rectangles......I have found historically the most accurate method for me when piecing HST and Flying Geese style blocks is to draw a line on the diagonal.......
... and then sew down it, press to set the seams, trim away the excess allowing a 1/4" seam allowance and then press open.  
This method whilst accurate, can however be quite time consuming....... but no longer......we recently had a delivery of Lori Holts Seam Sew Easy Seam Guides arrive in the shop, our first batch sold out super quick, but our second delivery has just arrived, so I grabbed one.  OH MY GOODNESS I squealed so loudly I'm sure you all heard....... no more drawing lines..... look......
You simply line up your corners with the seam guide, easy peasy right?!  I'm in love, the only very small negative for me so far is that I had to carefully unstick the front of the guide so that I could fill up my bobbin, but that very small inconvenience is worth it in my book and as I use Aurifil 50wt for all my piecing, as all fans of Aurifil will know....your bobbin goes on for ages!!!

Tempted....find the seam guides on the website HERE.

For more inspiration for today's block, hop over to Kerry's to see her version of Katherine and to drool look at all her amazing blocks! Or to read more of my Farmers Wife tips, take a peek at this post here and finally follow the hashtag #fw1930sqal to see everyone's blocks on social media.

See you next time (hangs head in shame, was it really 2 months since I last blogged, I really must try harder....I have bought myself a pretty book and new pens so that I can plan and write lists....lets be honest..... pretty stationery and list writing always helps.......why hadn't I thought of that before!)