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Thursday, 14 February 2013

Quilt doodles

Perhaps one of the ironies of having a blog called "Quilting for England" is that I am actually not very good at the "quilting" bit.  More accurately my blog should be "Mainly piecing and the occasional bit of applique for England (and Wales)" but it didn't have quite the same ring to it.

My choices would appear to be:
     (a) change my blog name
     (b) live with the hypocrisy
     (c) learn to quilt, woman

I am opting for (c).

I am far better at being a "theoretical expert" - got the books, bookmarked the blog posts, noted all the top tips - than I am at biting the bullet and actually *doing* it.  One of the "top tips" I speak of was to doodle quilting patterns on paper before trying them on a machine.  I realised I had to get better at this, as with my first few doodles, I would get stuck at a point and not know how to get out of it.  If I can't doodle my way out on paper, there's no way I could quilt my way out.

I have been practising swirly doodles and I think I have finally found a pattern that I can do competently and always find a 'way out' for where I would move next:

My doodle is based on Judi Madsen's Feather Swirl Tutorial on Youtube - admittedly I was watching this in a popup window at the same time as my youngest was watching IgglePiggle - but I think I caught enough of it to work out how to do the basic move and then move onto the next space.

If you haven't read Judi's blog (Green Fairy Quilts) before, do pop over - but first fetch a cushion and pop it on your desk so that when your jaw drops at what this lady can do with a long arm machine, you don't injure your chin too badly.  Here is the link to a "Dear Jane" quilt which is one of my favourite quilts of all time - but if you read the rest of her blog, you will see it is fairly par for the course for Judi, who is playing a whole different quilting game to the rest of us. 

Judi has a book out in the near future which I will be popping onto my Amazon wishlist straight away - it is called "Quilting Wide Open Spaces" and is due out in the Autumn.
judi madsen book quilting wide open spaces FMQ

Totes amaze, as the yoof of today might say.

Saturday, 9 February 2013

First Q1 FAL finish!

Apologies for the fuzzy photo (my phone) and terrible light (evening) and thankfully you can't see the dreadful tartan carpet (previous house owner) - but I am so excited to have my first Q1 FAL finish that I just had to post it today:
figgy's zephyr dress sundress nani iro little letter nina village haberdashery kona braided shoulder straps
This is a sundress pattern called Zephyr by Figgy's which I got here from the Village Haberdashery, along with the fabric which is a floaty double gauze called Little Letter by Nani Iro.  The contrast yoke is Kona solid in Rose (yes nicked a smidge from my Pervalong bundle - but it went so nicely!).

My daughter is a bit of a skinny minnie so I added side ties to sort out any skinny waist problems.  I will definitely be making another one of these dresses so on my paper pattern I am going to adjust the yoke inwards a little to make it skinnier too.  The nicest parts of this pattern - curiously the parts I had been sceptical about before I started - are the braided shoulder straps and the button loop detail on the front yoke.  They really are very pretty little details.

This is the first time I have sewed with double gauze but I definitely will do again - it is easy to sew - not slippy as I had feared - and has such beautiful drape.

Also in FAL news I have completed my Dolce quilt top (also for the same daughter - she is having a lucky week) but in my haste I bundled it all up ready to send to be long arm quilted without taking a photo of it first.  Pah.  Here it is at the all-blocks-completed stage:
You will just have to believe me when I say it looks much better all sewn up. 

And on top of all this I am sewing down the binding on my Apple Crisp so - God forbid - I might get 3 of my FALs done on time?  Surely not. 

Updated to link to the Let's Get Aquainted link up at Bold Goods:

Plum and June