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The Clearing at the end of the Fancy Forest.

14 Nov

I finally completed Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Forest. It was a bit of a marathon but if I am honest I enjoyed every bit of it.

I have never liked piecing, probably because I was never inspired by the resulting blocks that were mainly traditional in style. I make a lot of quilts but they need to interest me. I like appliqué because it paints pictures with fabric. Elizabeth Hartman patterns allow me to do that whilst at the same time nailing the art of piecing.

I used Boundless botanicals from Craftsy for the animals and I think the bright, clear, varied colours add to the design. I liked the colours on the original but I love mine.

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Most people seem to do an overall pattern for the quilting but I decided I wanted to give it more of a custom look so I quilted leaves on the background and then went back and worked on each colour on each animal. Once I had decided what I was going to do I enjoyed it immensely.

A couple of owls.

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Swirly Bunnies

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Fireflies (or butterflies)

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I thought with all those seams and all that to-ing and fro-ing I might have a problem with squaring up the finished quilt. I was wrong. It was perfect. Just straightened the edges and bound it.

It wouldn’t win any competitions but as I wouldn’t dream of entering one ever that is academic.

So if you were considering this pattern but are a bit frightened of it, don’t be. Organisation is the key- not forgetting an accurate quarter inch seam of course, but that applies to most piecing.

Which one shall I do next?

Happy Stitching.

 

 

Farmyard Frolics with McKenna Ryan

28 May

If you follow my blog you will know that I finally braved a McKenna Ryan pattern in December 2012. I admit it was daunting before I started but it was one of the most rewarding quilts I have made. It was called Chrissie Down Under.Chrissie Down Under

 

Lately I have been trying to find another one to do but have failed completely. Not one to give up easily I decided to stock them on my web page and at shows so here are the ones I have chosen. I love the farm ones best I think.

Back to the Farm Back on the farm copy Storybook Farm Storybook Farm copy Next Favourite – Beach Walk Beach Walk copy In Full Bloom In Full Bloom copy Bella GardenBella Garden copy More birds with Fields End Fields End copy Then some Christmas ones When Friends Gather copy Once upon a Star copy

Journey to the light copy I also have a few singles of seaside subjects.

Whether you use traditional satin stitch as I did or follow McKenna Ryan’s own method you will definitely end up with an heirloom. It won’t be finished in an afternoon but then you wouldn’t expect it to be.  If you are up for the challenge take a peek at my website www.nsaaquilting.co.uk

Or come to Harrogate in September or Exeter in April.

Branching Out With Butterflies.

20 Jan

I have repurposed one of my quilt kits to give it a new focus.

I have taken my mixture of butterflies and fossil ferns and transformed it from this single bed quilt.

Butterfly quilts

To these combinations of cot quilt and baby bag.

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The fabrics are still amongst the prettiest I have seen in the years I have been quilting and this way there is no need to lose out just because you don’t need a single bed quilt. There seems to be a steadily growing if  imported trend for baby showers. What better than a set for travelling. You won’t get one of those at Mothercare and there is little chance of anyone giving the identical gift.

The only problem might be actually giving it away.

Crazy Patch Flower Power

15 Dec

I have just received the contrast fabrics for the Gypsy Chique panel that I used to make the bag in the last blog.

They are, predictably reflections of  60’s fashion.

Paisley was popular in those days but translates well to the modern day.

paisley black

Matching butterfly themed fabric.

flighty black

The same fabric in another colourway.

flighty cream

And of course the panel.

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I decided to use them in a crazy patch quilt top as this is a good way to showcase fabrics.

IMG_0097And there you have it.

Find the fabrics here.

And here at the bottom.

Gypsy Chic and a Carousel

23 Nov

Loralie Designs has started reissuing older fabric designs and one I have been using this week is one called Gypsy Chique (sic). I decided to make a bag using no sew fusible web. I have never used it despite selling it on my website.

First  cut out the figures from the panel fabric leaving fabric all round. Then iron it onto the fusible web and cut round the shape accurately.

Back View

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Front View

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Cut 4 pieces of cream fabric and two of wadding and make up pockets for the front of the bag. Put two of the cream pieces right sides together and a piece of wadding on top. Stitch through all layers, turn and press. Quilt through all layers in whatever pattern you like.

Arrange figures on the front of the pocket and fuse.

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Cut four pieces the same width as the pockets and a few inches higher depending on the size of bag. Take one piece and a matching piece of wadding and quilt. Repeat with one other piece and two pieces for the sides and one for the base.

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The other pieces are for the lining.

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Place one pocket piece on each of the matching front/back pieces – wrong side of pocket to right side of bag front/back. Add sides then base to make a bag shape.

Make the unquilted pieces into a matching structure without pockets  or wadding for lining.

Place lining wrong sides of lining to wrong side of bag. Pin or baste.

Cut 2.5″ strips of matching or contrasting fabric and stitch together to make a piece long enough to go round the top of the bag. Fold in half lengthways and press. Place strip with the raw edge against the top of the bag and stitch. Turn inside and stitch again either by hand or machine depending on the look you want.

Cut two 2.5″ strips of fabric for each handle. Cut a piece of Rigilene Polyester the length of the handles you want. Sew the handles right sides together and turn and press. Thread the Rigilene inside, distribute the gathers and stitch to the bag.

Voila one large bag perhaps for shopping.

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You can of course make a smaller one with one or two figures on the pocket.

As for the Carousel in the title. Just a new fabric from Loralie Designs.

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If You Want To Get Ahead Get A Hat.

13 Sep

The latest pattern we are working on features hats of different ages.

I can’t claim any input into these as they were drawn and traced off by Daughter number one. I did try to master the software but my flat pack mentality intervened.

I did do the stitching but that, with a good pattern, is the easy bit.

The advantage of this pattern is that you can let your imagination fly. If you like ribbons and beads they can transform the finished hat into something beautiful.

I tried the patterns out in three colourways.

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Details:

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We took these patterns to the Harrogate show and they, together with the shoes, went very well.

Here is a link to my web page if you want to buy.

http://nsaaquilting.co.uk/product.php?cat_id=1&sub_id=3&pro_id=1011

http://nsaaquilting.co.uk/product.php?cat_id=1&sub_id=3&pro_id=1012