Tuesday, 21 July 2015

My Hand Pieced Mini Swap

A few months ago I joined a secret swap on Instagram. We had to make a mini quilt that was completely hand pieced.
I chose to make mine using English Paper Piecing.
I started with an idea that I drew on EQ7

I was hoping to make lots of different pieced hexagons and then appliqué them onto a background with gaps between them that I could do some big stitch quilting in. But after a little experimenting, I found that they were hard to appliqué, particularly if seams came right to the edges, so I reverted to joining the hexagons in the normal manner. I also restricted myself to two or three designs of hexagon to give it a little more unity.

It was fun working on a layout for these!

I got to do my big stitch quilting, too!

I procrastinated for a long time over the label, but once I hit upon the idea of an embroidered flower in the shape of hexagons, i enjoyed that too. I've had to cover up the name in the photo just incase my partner hasn't received it yet!!

I made her a few extras:

There's a Dumpling Pouch from a  Free Pattern, a needle case made mainly from scraps of Denise Schmidt fabric (her favourite designer) and a covered notebook. To make the notebook I backed some fabric scraps with Bondaweb, and then cut out the hexagons. I ironed them in place onto a tiny piece of linen and then worked a small blanket stitch around each to make sure they stayed in place. I finished it off with the wording and border and then used more Bondaweb to secure the design to the front of the notebook. 
It felt good to get all these posted off today. I hope she like what she receives!!

Monday, 6 July 2015

Triangle Baby Quilt Free Pattern

Today I'm delighted to say that I'm once again guest blogger on the Simply Solids blog. When Justine asked me to make something with any of their new range of fabrics I knew exactly what I wanted to make. I love the modern look of triangle quilts and the new Linea Tonal fabrics by Makower UK were perfect for this.

I have made a triangle quilt in the past, and I have to be honest, my points weren’t all that I’d hoped they’d be! This time round I used a few tricks that meant everything went together quickly and easily. 
This is a quilt that you can make in a weekend!
I chose 5 Linea colours: Teal, Yellow, Charcoal, Grey and Cream
They read as solids, but the tonal hatching design really adds depth to the quilt.
I have written up a free pattern for this quilt.You can download the PDF with full size templates, fabric requirements, instructions and layout diagram HERE

I lightly spritzed my fabrics with starch to reduce any stretch on the bias edges.

Print off the templates, cut them out and use them to cut your fabric triangles. Always place your quilting ruler over the template and use it as a straight edge for rotary cutting. Be careful not to shave any of the seam allowance off the template.
The next step might seem a bit of a pain, but I think it really made a difference to how my points turned out.
With a needle, I made a hole on the paper templates at the 3 seam intersections. The hole needs to be large enough to get a fabric marking pen through. I used a Frixion Pen. I then marked the 3 intersection points on the back of each triangle. It took me about 20 minutes to mark them all, and I consider it time well spent as I didn’t have to resort to my seam ripper later on!
Then you simply pin two triangles together lining up the dots.
I think the technique worked!

I did not press my seams with an iron until I had finished the whole quilt top. I just finger pressed, again to avoid distortion. You need to press the seams on the first row to the right, on the second row to the left, third to the right, and so on so that when you join the rows they lie nice and flat

When thinking about quilting this, I decided that the beauty of the quilt was in its simplicity and that should I should simply follow the lines of the triangles. I was very tempted to add more lines or just to straight line quilt it, but I’m pleased with how it turned out.
I used Architextures extra wide fabric for the backing and had plenty left over, so I used the remaining piece for the binding. I’ve never been able to that before. I love the effect!

If you want to have a go at this pattern Justine and Lisa have all the fabrics in their shop so hop on over and take a look. They are offering a 15% discount on all Linea fabrics until 15th July 2015. Just use the code: Triangles

If you're on Instagram and make this quilt, make sure you tag your photos #mackandmabelpattern That way I can see what you've made!
Happy sewing! 


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