Bee, Myself and I #17

And on to a new phase of work in my selfish sewing.

Not the final layout, but you get the idea

It’s time to start quilting the Hatbox Quilt. Because of the design, there was no way I was going to do some generic overall machine quilting.

These beautiful fabrics deserve quilting that emphasises them, that makes a soft, cuddly and lovely quilt, that gives it the heirloom quality it deserves.

So, I’m hand quilting. I’m not a good hand quilter, but I can produce moderately even big-stitch quilting. Primarily it’s because I’m no longer dextrous enough for the little controlled movements needed for small stitches – the arthritis in my right hand has taken care of that. There is, too, the fact that I don’t care much about weeny stitches and lack the patience to execute them in any case! I actually like the texture bigger stitches give, a soft ripple and a play of light and shade. I’m using regular white hand quilting thread rather than perle cotton because I want the texture to stand out rather than the stitches and thread colour.

I’ve outlined the hatbox itself, echo quilted around it on the background, and done a little detail outlining in the design of the hatbox fabric itself, to give texture. It would be easy to go totally crazy and outline every detail, so I’ve been careful to hold back a little.

I’m not using a frame. These blocks are only 10 inches square, and with the extra backing and batting around the outside, 12 inches square. It’s enjoyable and gives a bit of swift gratification, because the job is done in a couple of hours. But the nicest part of holding the block in my hand to work on it is the backing. I’m using a beautiful soft Japanese voile, and it feels just lovely with the surface quilted. If all the blocks feel as nice as this one, it’s going to be fabulously cuddly!

Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button a fair way down in the left hand column.


Gallimaufry: one more step to go

Sorry, I’ve been off the radar for a week, and scarcely realised it.

All sorts of not very blog-worthy stuff has been going on which has kept me busy. Not so busy, however that I was completely unable to sew.

A pretty bit of dappled late afternoon sun illuminating those central blocks. A very satisfying end to the day!

The light was going so it’s not a great shot, but you do get some idea of how the quilting looks.

We’re in the final straight with this one. Just the binding to go on and the label to sew in and then Gallimaufry will be ready to go in the washing machine and then onto my caravan bunk 🙂  The binding is made and the sewing machine is threaded with the right colour and fitted with the walking foot. We’re good to go. I know, I know, I said it would be ready by the weekend.

However, I very foolishly picked up the Anemone quilt to do some stitching in of hexie flowers while I watched the last few episodes of Masterchef. Net result, two lots of addictions: the series and the hand stitching. I’ll show you the sewing results another time, and I’m glad to report that the right person won the competition – by a single point!

Tomorrow I’ll sew the binding on, and then spend some contented hours hand stitching it down, one of my favourite parts of quilt-making.

More soon – or at least, sooner than last time, I promise!

Gallimaufry: two thirds joined up

It’s almost done. I have 60% of it joined up.

I really, really like that narrow dark blue sashing between the squares. It puts a nice crisp edge on them, lines everything up, and is dark enough to throw everything else into contrast. Give me to the end of the week and I’ll have the joining up done and be ready to get the binding on.

There was a point halfway through making the blocks when I had a moment of doubt. Would it clash with the bird/seashell fabric for Miz Lizzie’s curtains?  I don’t think so, on reflection. What do you think? Even if it’s a little bit off, I love this quilt. Can’t wait to use it for the first time on our next trip. Sadly that’ll probably not be till October :-/

Hope the good weather holds so I can take the final photos outside. Then you’ll see what it really looks like…

Gallimaufry: let the quilting begin

Right, final (probably) layout.

I say probably because I don’t rule out wanting to swap a couple of blocks once they’re all quilted. In fact I can see two right now that I want to change. Funny how you can’t see it for looking in real life, but it jumps out at you in a photo….

I’ve cut batting and backing for the first row, and now I need to have a hard (but short) think about how this is going to be quilted. If I go with the cross hatching I did on the Blue Hour quilt, I’ll be running over some of the features that make the blocks interesting. On the other hand, it’s a much longer job if I come up with custom designs for each style of block. Perhaps a combination is the right idea: cross hatching on the simpler scrappy, snowball and 9-patch blocks, and something a bit different on the sunray, twister and bubbles blocks. The trick will be to keep to the same amount of quilting so that the blocks stay the same size in the end. Too much close quilting = smaller block.

Whatever I end up doing, I’ll have that gorgeous pale coral pink thread to work with 🙂

Gallimaufry, Lines 5 and 6

So, the blocks are done.

I have just managed to squeak all of them out of the dark blues I had, with a bit of creative cutting and splicing. Funny, I thought it was the lights I’d run out of first, but maybe I was a bit generous with all those lovely batik indigos.

This is definitely not the order in which they’ll appear in the quilt, but I’ve kept to the drawing sequence in completing all the blocks so I have the right number of each. Next post will show what I hope is the final arrangement of the whole thing, although as always I’ll tweak as I go along as improvements strike me.

How do you like my caravan appliqué? I couldn’t resist a bit of fun, and I particularly love those bubbly clouds… Miz Lizzie lacks the necessary windowsills so I can’t actually have teapots and flowerpots on display, but they do dress this little window nicely 🙂

Here’s the full set, looking a bit bottom heavy, but that will all change next time.

Bee, Myself and I #16

It’s Hatbox time again 🙂

Actually, if I’m honest, it’s slightly overdue, since I normally post about this project on the last day of the month. But what with the recent trip, and being totally obsessed focussed on the caravan quilts, I didn’t allow enough time to get the last two hatbox blocks done by the usual date.

However, here they are at last. These are absolutely the last two of the series, which I find I’m rather sad about, having got into a really good, smooth groove with making the other blocks.

Next month, I’ll show the final layout of all the blocks, and perhaps even the start of the hand quilting which is next on the menu for this quilt. I’m going to enjoy that, because I do like a bit of hand quilting, especially when the piece is not too large and heavy. Time to start building up my quilting calluses!

Lynn at Tialys is also making a hatbox quilt wall hanging, but started later and has fewer to make, so she’s finished her blocks and is on to the quilting part. Click through to her blog to have a look at hers, they’re all gorgeous, being made from Liberty fabrics. She’s in a later timezone than I am, so maybe wait a little before you go over there to give her time to get her post up.

Bee, Myself and I is a forum for ‘selfish sewing’; any stitchery which is purely for pleasure and not for anyone else. The original concept belongs to Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl. To find out more, you can click through on either her blog link, or using the button a fair way down in the left hand column.

Time to return to stash all the pieces that didn’t make the final cut.  

Gallimaufry Line 1

OK, this is definitely the last one before we head off.

It’s Line 1, the top row. As I make more blocks, it’s more and more apparent that there will need to be some swapping around of blocks to balance the balance of lights and darks. I like this row a lot, but it throws Line 3 out a bit.

I’ve chosen a cool pale blue homespun for the backing and back sashing, and I think I may use dark blue front sashing to give a clean visual punctuation to each block. When I get back, I’ll cut the backing and batting squares so I’m ready to go once the front blocks are finished.

Here’s the lineup so far. Just two more rows to go!