Archive | October, 2018

Confessions of an Elizabeth Hartman Addict

28 Oct

I used to be addicted to appliqué. I didn’t enjoy piecing. I couldn’t understand why I would want to construct a traditional pieced quilt. It just wasn’t me.

Then I found Elizabeth Hartman. I first saw her Fancy Forest quilt online and kept coming back to it, thinking it wasn’t really something I could do. Than I discovered it wasn’t paper piecing as I had first thought and decided to give it a try.

Just in case I didn’t enjoy doing it I searched my stash for suitable fat quarters with which to try it out. Bearing in mind the quilt , even the small one calls for two groups of five different shades of the same colourway that was not an easy thing to find. In fact I had the choice of one range of fabric and this is what I produced. Very Harry Potter I think.


I also practised some ruler work on it which didn’t improve it much but I had proved I could be accurate enough to tackle Elizabeth Hartman. That was only the beginning.

I then went on to do the flamingos and to paraphrase the song, it was so nice I did it twice.




Then came the dachshunds. I put this one in the window of the shop and you would not believe how many people wanted to buy it. Admittedly they are quite cleverly designed.

IMG_0177I had a few quilt kits that had not sold and they involved a lot of 2.5″ strips so the next one was a no-brainer. I give you unicorns.



Finally I sent for a big box of fat quarters and made a Fancy Forest more after the Elizabeth Hartman style. It is about to go on the frame for quilting. I might need to look at it a while before I decide how to quilt it. An allover would be easiest but I am not sure how that could be achieved without losing the integrity of the animals. Thinking cap time I think.


My advice, if you have been contemplating any of her patterns is to go for it. You need to be organised and have lots of plastic bags to put each animal into and you need an accurate quarter inch seam then it’s a doddle – doddles being relative of course. If you are the type who wants to make a quilt in an afternoon stick to panels. It takes time but is strangely therapeutic and think of the sense of achievement when it’s finished. I will post a picture if finishing happens in the near future. I think it could take some time.





Giraffes and More Giraffes

23 Oct

I disappeared for a while but I’m back now, for the time being anyway.

I opened a shop which takes up most of my time but I thought some of you might like to see what I have been doing in the interim.

I bought a longarm quilting setup and for someone who was used to the limitations of a Grace Frame and Janome 1600P it is a revelation. Instead of making do with overall meanders as the easiest way to overcome the lack of space at the end of the quilt I can now do anything I want. Instead of putting up with flimsy rails bending and distorting the quilt I can now produce quilts that are square in all directions.

The best way I found to practise, because practice is what it is all about, was to use panels. That way I hadn’t spent a long time making a quilt only to be disappointed in the result when quilted. I have also done a lot of quilting for Project Linus although that in itself, whilst good practice was at times depressing.I will explain later.

This is me practising pebbles. Not too shabby.

























Then there is the matching quilt. More pebbles. Should be good at them by now.

I also did a version of that one with borders and with a denser, polyester wadding.


IMG_0160No pebbles but lots of meandering. I wanted something cosier for a baby with this one.

If you just like the giraffes but bigger how about this one.

IMG_0210That made a very useful playmat. Nobody’s floor is really clean after all and babies chew everything.

These panels gave lots of scope for bringing out the characters of the animals and pebbles, don’t forget the pebbles.

Luckily giraffes are in this year but people do tend to want to buy the finished article when I want to sell the panels. Unfortunately they are not for sale. I like them too much and have invested too much time in them for which no-one would want to pay.

I was going to comment on the quilts I have been finishing for Project Linus but experience tells me I will upset someone because they will not actually read what I write. So all I will say is that if you are thinking of making a quilt, whatever the charity, make it as if you were going to give it to a member of your family. I personally will not be finishing any more. I will make them from scratch. If I am going to spend hundreds of pounds of my own money I want the result to be acceptable. I will use good fabric, make sure no selvedges are showing and that I have finished all the seams properly. More emphasis on quality and less on quantity. Enough said.