Thursday, May 29, 2014

Little Daisy

I have been on a mission to finish some of my UFOs lately - there were far to many of them, although now I'm down to five! This quilt started with some 10" squares of Amy Butler's collection Daisy Chain I bought at the Festival of Quilts a few years back. I blogged about the finished top a year ago, and it has been lying around ever since (how do these things happen?) Well it's all quilted and bound now, and it's not too shabby, I think! :-)
I quilted straightish lines in the white vertical stripes, carrying them all the way to the edge. The narrow areas between got leafy borders while the wider areas, with the squares were quilted in floral chains (not quite Daisy Chains, but close enough).
The binding is a lovely bee fabric - I think the collection was called Flora and Fauna(?) - with so many flowers it's only natural that bees would be drawn to it, isn't it?
The backing is another Amy Butler design. From the Gypsy Caravan collection, I believe. So there you go: another UFO bites the dust, and I have a fresh new quilt to add to my collection. What could be better? I might deserve to start a new quilt now, I think...

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Spring vortex

Last spring I bought a charm pack of Novella by Valori Wells and just left in on the shelf to drool over. As you do. Once I managed to decide on some fabrics to go with it, the top came together quite easily.  But then there was the matter of The Big Move, and there was precious little sewing for some months, what with all the packing, unpacking and organizing.. Heard it all before? Sorry, I won't go on too much about it. What I was getting to is that around Easter I finally got back to sewing again, and quilting this was high on the list.
I had seen some examples of spiral quilting online and decided to have a go, using this tutorial. I did the first few rounds with a free motion foot and then switched to my walking foot and just went round and round and round for eeeever.
I did get into a bit of a spin at times, and looking at the above picture, you see why I ended up with the word "vortex" in the title. Looking back at the tutorial today I see that it wasn't a new idea. It must have been lurking in my brain all along.
I had fun going around in circles, although I could never keep mu lines straight - it's all wobbly, wavy lines, but let's just pretend that this was what I had intended all along. I definitely need more practice, so there will be more spiral quilts in my future. Since I learned a lot from my mistakes with this one, I need to put that practice to good use, right? One of the things I learned is that it is important to baste properly all the way out to all four corners. I learned this the hard way, having a bit of fabric shifting along the way. I actually had to unpick about 18 rounds (That's the equivalent of two episodes of Sherlock...) and smooth it out and do it again after getting some horrible tucks on the back. There are still some small ones, but I decided to put it down to experience, this being a practice quilt after all.
And here it is out on my new deck in the sunshine. A great new place to photograph quilts it seams. I love the spring feel of the colours so Spring Vortex is the name I came up with.
I used a piece of fabric I got from my sister for the backing. She had bought this online, thinking that the circles were tiny and when it arrived, didn't know what to do with it. It worked quite well with my quilt top, though, and the sweet little birdies kept me happy during all that unpicking.