Saturday, 25 February 2012

Quilting swap - update

My quilt block swap is going really well, and I'm so excited about it. There are five of us at present...

Ellie will be doing houses
Lala will be doing shops
I'm doing churches :)
Gem is doing florists
Cartier is doing cottages

This is going to be lovely. There's lots of time, so please do consider signing up - you'll end up with such a lovely mini quilt/wall hanging, and I'm certainly not advanced, so would love to inspire someone fairly new. Scroll down for more details, but please do join. x

Sunday, 19 February 2012

A quilting bee ... sort of ... anyone interested?

As you know if you read my blog regularly, I've become more and more interested in taking the plunge and beginning to do my own quilting. There's been a long path to this. But I'd love to share it with others and I'd really love to organise a swap, which it seems is really popular in quilting circles. I'm not confident enough yet to approach real quilters (whatever they look like :) ), but I'd love to do something along the lines of an American quilting bee. I got this idea from a library book about just that - 12 women who produced 12 quilts together over the course of a year, despite living hundreds of miles apart.

The thought of a quilt is too frightening for me at the moment, I think. But I thought a nine-piece wall hanging may work. Especially if it's on the theme of what I've been making... houses.

These houses are wonky because I made them very quickly, and just freehand - without patterns, but it was while I was having fun with them that I thought a mini quilting swap may be nice. My idea is if I could get a group of nine of us, we'd each produce nine houses, or schoolhouses - each to the same end 12 inches square. Then, all would be mailed to me, I'd divide them into nine and mail them out again. I would ask that return postage is included when the nine are sent, maybe through a pre-stamped envelope.

I could take a look and decide on houses patterns - there's a lot of tutes and free patterns out there for houses. So each person would make the same pattern, and the end result would be a collection of nine different houses. I think it would be pretty special. I hope a few of you agree.

I'd set up a Flickr group so we could all keep in touch over progress. I think it would be a lot of fun. I'd set a 3 month time frame. I'd love to go on a journey, and develop my basic skills with others on the same journey, and I think we'd all learn a lot. So there's many reasons I want to do this, despite not really having the time. But honestly, the houses come together so quickly, and I'm happy to organise.

So... is anybody out there interested/willing to sign up?

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Adventures in quilting - part 2!

Remember my post here (for those of you lovely readers who've stuck with me a long time!).Well, I've had a sudden burst of renewed enthusiasm to finish my long unfinished project. For those of you new to this, I've always loved house and schoolhouse quilt designs. There's a long history of them in the States, and I'm fascinated by them. I was so thrilled when I found this tuturial on the Quiltville blog (I love the woman and am so grateful to her for publishing it) and I determined one day I'd do it, when I got good at quilting. Then I thought, I might as well jump in with both feet and just get on with it - after my button quilt (which is very simple in comparison.
So I did 37 houses, and back when I did my original post and...  left it! Not good, but I'm told this happens a lot with large quilts.

Yesterday I picked it up and determined to finish the last five houses (you need 42), and above you can see three cut and ready to be stitched. Here's two laid out, so I know I haven't missed anything:

I love the flag stitching method... though I'm not a quilter yet, so not sure if that's the correct term, but it looks like mini flags!

And I did it. I achieved my five extra houses:

I'm determined to keep going and get my quilt top done (hark at me, I'll be a proper quilter one day!). I know each block isn't perfect, but it's not meant to be. These include lots of fabrics that have been given to me, or I've found in special places and they go back years, so it's just as it's meant to be - a real memory quilt, mistakes and all. And because it's just for me, that's just fine.