Procrastination rules – apparently ….
I’m sure I never used to be this bad at getting things done! I was doing some fabric shopping online earlier – so many lovely fabrics, so many sales :) – but a quick look at all the fabric I already have that hasn’t been used yet made me feel guilty so I deleted my shopping basket. Am I the only one who dreams of winning the lottery just so that I can go on a fabric shopping spree??? Fancy cars, a big house, exotic holidays?? Well, yes, but only if the first two of those can be filled full-to-busting with bolts of delicious fabric!
I had a sort through my quilts folder earlier – I keep a ring binder of sketches and pages of graph paper with ideas for quilts and blocks – and took out all the ones I’d printed off sites like moda bakeshop etc so that I could look again at all the ones that I’d designed. Most of them go back to the start of 2011 and are still no more than bits of paper!
At least I managed to finish one of them recently- this is the bunnies quilt that I designed for my daughter, Charlotte, who is bunny-mad! I started this one back in Feb 2011 using some fabric that I won from the lovely Sewing Directory – it was a layer cake (I think) from Makower, of their Teatime range. Here it is, all finished:
There are 16 blocks in this quilt, each one made up of 16 pieces. I came up with the block design while I was looking at some cross stitch designs and thought it looked easy to piece – squares, rectangles and triangles, easy peasy right? But nope. This is the second time I’ve made a quilt with this block – the first one was cot size (below) and that was tricky too. I can’t quite remember how I made this one, I think it must have been on the machine, but I’m not 100% sure. When I came to make Charlotte’s version, though, I had a complete nightmare with the piecing. I made a couple of blocks but they ended up totally different sizes, so I took them apart again Let’s face it – if the first 2 blocks are as different in size as these 2, it’s difficult to feel confident that they’re all going to slot together in the finished quilt, isn’t it?! I decided the only chance I had of producing something remotely quilt like was to bite the bullet and piece it over papers – so I did. Loads of them!
When I came to add papers, I found I’d managed to cut some of the pieces quite – how shall I put it? – economically – so some of the seam allowances were a bit minimal. Definitely not your regular quarter of an inch, anyway. I think because I had a limited amount of fabric I skimped a bit and of course some of the pieces ended up being cut on the bias – oh, it was a disaster waiting to happen! The papers certainly helped tackle some of that though – and because I sewed all the pieces together by hand, I felt I had a lot more control of the piecing – more than I think I would have had on the machine anyway – I haven’t had a sewing machine too long (3 years?) and I think it does still run away with me a bit – bit like a runaway horse (whoah, there Jenny Janome!)
So, this is the back of the paper-pieced block – I had a lot of fun actually, doing all the sewing by hand. (I’m still working on my little houses from scraps that I started back at the beginning of 2012 and love being able to sew them together by hand – I’ve fallen way behind, though – don’t expect a finish on that one til about 2015!!)
Still not quite big enough, though. Luckily, I managed to track down some fabric in the same range so I could add a border – ideally, I really wanted the quilt to drape over the sides of Charlotte’s new bed. I don’t usually mind whether my quilts have borders or not, but I’m glad that I chose to add one here – it kind of finished the quilt off for me.
It’s been a long haul, but I’m really happy with the finished quilt – and Charlotte is too. There’s not much that beats the satisfaction of having an idea and then seeing it come to life like this, is there?
For 2013, I haven’t signed up for any challenges or quilt a longs – one thing I do want to do is challenge myself, though, and maybe you’d like to join me? I’d like to see more of those little design ideas in my folder come to life next year – and along the way, I’d really like to improve my piecing skills and learn some new techniques. I’ve been quilting a little while now, but my piecing is still not as good as I’d like – even joining 8 inch squares (as I was doing for some simple patchwork blankets this Christmas) I can’t guarantee to have the seams all matching. So, I’d really like to work on my technique this year and have some fun in the process. Wonder if I can manage a quilt a month? We’ll see.
I’m working on a design for my son at the moment – with monkeys. It’s still at the design stage, but won’t be anything too complicated as the fabric’s the thing. Hope to have some instructions up soon and maybe we can have a go at it together.
Happy New Year everyone – and Happy Quilting.