Sunday, 24 April 2016

Online Quilt Group - Mini Quilt BOM

This year I'm participating in a mini quilt block of the month, one of the many free patterns included with Online Quilt Guild membership. Three blocks are available so far, each one three inches square. This month's block is a log cabin:

I'm using mostly Daysail by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. It's all scraps left over from this quilt and the backing of this quilt. I'm adding in other fabrics where I need to, such as for the dark blues in the log cabin block. Here are all my blocks to date:

This is a very manageable BOM. The little blocks don't take long to make and store easily with the scraps I'm using. It's fun! There is another BOM going on at the Online Quilt Guild too, but I think one at a time is enough for me. :)

Have you heard of the Online Quilt Guild? It's like a regular quilt guild, but all online. There's a Facebook Group for chatting and sharing photos, lots of patterns, and a friendly community. 

There are also patterns from a different guest designer each month. This month is Kristin of Cute Quilt Patterns. She makes adorable baby quilts with dimensional elements. I'm the guest designer for July. I really encourage you to check it out.

Tell me, have you participated in a block of the month before? What did you make? I'd love to have a look. :)

Bye for now,

Hope x 

Friday, 8 April 2016

A 'Hearty' PB&J Pillow

In my last post I promised a look at the first version of my Heart Spin Mini Quilt, which I was making into a cushion cover. This version was my test piece, where I made sure the pattern came together well and experimented with seam pressing. Here it is:

The design has quite a different look in these PB&J fabrics by Basic Grey, don't you think? I mean, it's obviously the same pattern, but isn't so... sweet?

I opted for an all-over meander in a variegated thread. I planned from the first to make it a cushion cover and I think an all-over design in a smallish scale is a good way to add a bit of stability to the patchwork, which will get pulled around a bit with use. I added some feature stitching on the hearts and around the edges of the background too.

Though I am very happy with how this cushion cover turned out, I'm not pleased at all with how long it took me. I changed my mind about how I was going to make the cushion cover twice - after I'd already started it! So I unpicked, then sewed, then changed my mind, and unpicked and sewed... and finally ended up going with my initial plan. So silly!

Here is the quilt 'pre-cushion', so you can see it flat:

I think this is my favourite version of the quilt so far. Basic Grey are one of my favourite fabric designers - I just love the slightly worn and comfortable look their fabrics have.

Do you have a favourite fabric designer? Let me know in the comments.

Bye for now x

Sunday, 20 March 2016

Heart Spin Mini Quilt - A New Pattern

I have a new pattern available! Meet my Heart Spin Mini Quilt - and prepare for lots of pictures. ;)

Finishing at around 14" square, this little quilt uses 2.5" mini charm squares and just a little yardage. It's quite a quick make. Instructions include pressing directions that allow seams to nest, making it easier to get them lined up. I also made sure to construct it in a way that keeps the sides of the heart smooth, so if seams don't quite match up there shouldn't be any jagged edges to the heart shapes.

For the hearts and border I used Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camille for Moda. I didn't have a mini charm pack, so I cut my own 2.5" squares from the ends of a jelly roll - cutting two squares from two of the prints to give me the required 42 squares.

The background is a solid from my local quilt shop, and the binding is from Gardenvale by Jen Kingwell for Moda. It took me a while to choose that binding, but I'm really happy with it. To rest my hands, which get a little sore at times, I chose to bind it all by machine.  

I was in a bit of a sad mood when it came time to quilt this mini, so to cheer myself up I decided to have a bit of fun with free-motion quilting. I find it both relaxing and absorbing, and the concentration required took my mind off my mood and cheered me up immensely. Does quilting have that effect on you too? I didn't plan the quilting out in advance, just went with a few different designs as the mood took me. It's such a fun way to quilt! 

The quilting is done with Aurifil for the most part, but I tried out an organic cotton thread by Sew Easy for the pink stitching around the inside of the border. It is a bit thicker than the Aurifil 50wt, which means that it stands out a little more and is great for feature stitching. It went through the machine beautifully and is nice and smooth. 

Organic is something I am gradually moving towards with both my thread and my fabric purchases... but that's a topic for another post.

So that's it! I hope you love it as much as I do. It is such a fun little quilt, I want to make more. I already have another one waiting to be turned into a cushion cover. It's actually my first version of this quilt, made to trial pressing and construction. I'll show you that next time and you'll see what a difference fabric makes to the feel of this quilt.  

You can purchase the PDF pattern now at Craftsy or Etsy, or through my Pattern Store

Happy sewing!

Hope x 

P.S. Did you know that if you purchase through my Pattern Store you can get a discount on purchases of two or more patterns? Simply enter code MORETOLOVE at checkout. 

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Heart Spin - A New Pattern Using Charm Squares

I am so excited to introduce to you my newest pattern - Heart Spin. This lovely heart quilt is charm pack friendly. One 42 piece, 5" charm pack will give you all you need for the hearts and border, and you'll need just half a metre (or a very accurate half yard) for the background.

My inspiration for this quilt was the Card Trick block, though the construction is quite different. As many have noticed, the Card Trick block looks a bit like four hearts. I took that a bit further to make the hearts more obvious. I'm really pleased with how it's turned out. 

I've designed this pattern to be beginner friendly, including lots of illustrations and tips as always. The quilt finishes at 35.5" square, and would make a beautiful wall hanging, child play mat or even a table topper.

Go check out the pattern now over at Craftsy, or head to my online store where you'll find a special offer when you purchase two or more patterns.

Happy sewing!

Hope x

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Queen of Hearts

I'm happy to report that I've completed one of the items from my Q1 Finish-Along list!

A couple of people mentioned that the quilt reminded them of Alice in Wonderland, and since then I haven't been able to not think of that whenever I look at the quilt. So, I've called it "Queen of Hearts".

The backing has something of a romantic feel about it, don't you think? It's a Timeless Treasures print I bought from Hall of Fabrics.  

I was a bit lazy with labeling, choosing to write the name of the quilt on one corner hanging pocket, and my name and date on the other corner. Somewhat lacking in detail perhaps, but it will suffice. 

Looking back at my original post about this quilt, I see that it is over a year old! Unable to decide whether to make it a cushion cover or a wall hanging I let it sit in a cupboard being neither. I am so, so happy to have it finished!

You can see all the Finish-Along participants' finishes here: Quarter 1 Link Up.

Rhonda's [Quilt] Ramblings

Bye for now x 

Friday, 15 January 2016

2016 Finish-Along - Q1

In keeping with the purging, finishing and tidying urges I wrote about last time, I've decided to participate in the 2016 Finish-Along and get some WIPs completed. There are lots of hosts this year, but I first read about it at Elven Garden Quilts so head on over and have a read if you're not sure what it's about.

My Quarter One goals are as follows:

Etchings 'Spot On' Quilt 

I'm about half done with the quilting. I need to decide on what I'm going to quilt in the borders, sashing and spots. The binding is cut out ready to go. 

ZigZag Love in Black and White

This mini just needs binding. It is actually quilted and trimmed, but it's too dim for photos today.

That's it for the first quarter. I will be working on other things I'm sure, but these are a couple that I have been wanting to get done for ages and need the extra motivation to finish. So, by the time March is over I'll (hopefully) have these two projects finished and in use. Much better than having them sitting in a cupboard!

Wish me luck... ;)

Hope x

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Purging, Finishing, Tidying...

Happy New Year! It's not too late to say that, is it? I'm pretty sure six days old qualifies as new.

I've had a little break - from pattern writing, blogging, Instagram... all that computer stuff. It's been a time of getting rid of things I don't need, use or want, tidying and reorganising, and finishing tasks that have been left far too long. Oh, and for relaxing. :)

I tackled my overflowing scrap bin most recently, a regular 'waste paper basket' that I drop all my trimmings, off-cuts and thread ends into. I swear that bin is like the TARDIS - bigger on the inside. Once the contents were spread out on the floor for sorting it was hard to believe it all came from one little bin.

Anyway, I ended up having to re-think my scrap storage system. I had been using plastic sandwich bags - one for each colour - but now I'm using four 10 litre ice cream tubs instead. Much better! Easy to rummage through and plenty of room.

I'm not done with the purging or tidying. I have an overwhelming need to get all the extra stuff OUT of my space, and give myself more room to think. I'm gradually doing it everywhere in the house - except for hubby's study!

It feels wonderful! Perhaps you'd like to give it a go? As habits and happiness writer Gretchen Rubin says "Outer order contributes to inner calm". I'm really finding it to be true.

Bye for now x