Sunday, 27 November 2011

Cathedral Windows Quilted Camera Bag

Are you still looking for ideas for gifts to make?  I love the look of cathedral windows quilts but I don't think that I would have the patience to complete an entire quilt in cathedral windows.  That's why I decided to make a camera bag - not only is it really pretty, but there are enough layers of fabric to protect my camera.

To begin with you will need ten 6" squares of a light coloured fabric.  Turn under and baste a 1/4" hem all the way round.  Press with the square folded along each diagonal so that you end up with two creases to help position the folds.  Fold each corner in to the central point where the two creases intersect.

Then fold each corner in jto the centre again to make an even smaller square.  This is the basic cathedral windows quilting unit.  Repeat with all ten squares.

Take two of the squares, place them with smooth sides together and slipstitch along the edge to join them.  Repeat with all the squares to make five pairs.  As you can see, there is a square shape formed where  two squares join.  This is where you place the square of contrasting fabric which represents the glass of the cathedral window.  All the books suggest a 1.3/4" square for this stage but I actually find it easier to work with a 1.1/2" square.  You will need 27 of these pink squares.

Roll down the fold of light fabric along one edge of the pink square to cover the raw edge and slipstitch in place.  Repeat with the other three edges so that your pink square now has a curved frame.  For the triangle on either side of the square fold one of the pink squares in half along the diagonal and place with the fold along the edge of the light square.  Roll the edges down on the other two edges and slipstitch in place.

Take another pair of cathedral windows squares and place with smooth sides together on the first pair of squares.  Slipstitch along the edge to join them and you'll see that as well as the central square formed where two squares join there are also now a further two squares formed where the two pairs of squares join.

Continue sewing all five pairs of squares together and sew in the pink squares by rolling the fold of light fabric along the edges.   The photo on the right shows the cathedral windows strip with right side down.  This shows how the bag will be shaped - the bottom four squares will be the front of the bag, the next four squares where the camera is will be the back of the bag and the top two squares will be the flap.

Fold the bottom four squares up with wrong sides together and slipstitch along the edges to form the sides of the bag.  I used double thickness thread for this part.  Fold down the top two squares and with the camera inside to be sure of the fit, decide what type of fastening to use.  I used a button with a loop of ribbon.

Some of the techniques of cathedral windows quilting may be easier to watch on the video:

I really enjoyed making the bag - I always find hand sewing very relaxing - and I think it would make a really special and unusual gift.

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Hope to see you again soon.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Liberty and Silk Quilt

Sometimes quilts that I see in my mind don't look the same when they are on the worktable, but this Liberty and silk quilt has turned out just as I had hoped.

I had some Shells Liberty fabric left from a visit to London last year and it's so pretty that I didn't want to cut it up too much.  I decided to alternate 6.1/2" squares of the Shells with squares of silk.  I've used an ivory silk and a chocolate silk together and I'm really pleased with it.

To make the silk squares I began with a 2.1/2" square in the ivory and sewed a 2.1/2" chocolate square to two opposite edges of the ivory square.  Then it was simply a case of adding a 6.1/2" by 2.1/2" strip down each side.

I used 49 quilt blocks to make seven rows of seven squares, alternating the Liberty and silk squares to make a quilt that was 46" square after I had added a 2.1/2" silk border to it.

The only thing that I did find while making this quilt was that I needed to add the binding before I quilted it.  Probably terribly frowned upon, but the silk frayed so much that I decided that I was going to have a very narrow border unless I bound it straight away.

Of course, now there's the dilemma:  do I keep it, sell it or give it away?

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Hope to see you again soon.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Three Baby Quilts

Three baby quilts in a week and I still managed to walk the dog!

The first two baby quilts were commissioned.  This one was a number quilt using Fabric Freedom's Jungle Fun fabric.  One of those fabrics that's really bright and cheerful and could do for a boy or girl baby.  I used the same fabric for the backing and hope that it will be a quilt that gets used a lot.

The second one was also a number quilt but this one was in Magic Cats fabric.  It's definitely more blue than anything but has so many other colours in that again I hope it's one that could be for either a boy or a girl baby.  I love making baby quilts because they come together so quickly.  These two would have been really easy to machine quilt as they are only 30" square, but in fact I hand quilted them, outlining the numbers, because I find hand quilting so relaxing.

The third quilt was a complete change of technique.  I had been asked for instructions for a jelly roll quilt that would make up small enough to be counted as a baby quilt.  I decided to use one of the stripper rolls which are about half the size of jelly rolls - the one that I used contained twenty strips of fabric so I had to add one strip of fabric from my stash so that I could sew together seven panels of three strips each.

The finished size was about 43" square so still small enough to count as a baby quilt.  As you can see, this one hasn't been layered and bound yet.  Well there just aren't enough hours in the day!

Here are the video instructions if you would like to see how it was made:

Now I seem to have caught up with myself and I am going to indulge in a quilt that I have been wanting to make for a long time but just couldn't find the time.  It's using some Liberty fabric that I bought last time I was in London.  I think I want to team it with silk but I shall spend today happily playing with options to find the quilt that suits the fabric.  But first I had better walk the dog ......

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Hope to see you again soon.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Pieced Pansy Quilt Block

Here in the UK the days are getting shorter and shorter.  The  gardening shops are full of winter pansies so it was no great surprise when someone asked me for a pieced pansy quilt block.  When I looked around I realised that the vast majority of pansy quilt blocks are applique.  Those that aren't seem to be terribly complicated, so I decided to design a simplified version.

I decided that a yellow and black quarter square triangle unit would look good in the middle, so I placed a square each of yellow and black fabric right sides together, marked a line along the diagonal and sewed a seam 1/4" either side of the marked line.  Then I did the same again with the resulting two half square triangle units.

I ended up with two quarter square triangle units for the middle of the pansy quilt block, although obviously only one was required.  To separate out the pansy petals I used four strips of yellow fabric 2.1/2" by 5.1/2".

For the petals I cut four 5.1/2" purple squares, one 3" green square and two 2" squares.  Place these green squares in the corners of the purple square and sew along the diagonal.  Cut the excess fabric off and press the green flaps flat to make green corners to three corners of the purple square.

Make four of these petal patches and place them in the corners of the pansy quilt block with the larger green square on the corner.

Sew the patchwork pieces together in three rows and then sew the rows together.

I felt that this pieced pansy quilt block was much more simple to make than any others that I found, so I do hope you like it.

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Hope to see you again soon..

Friday, 4 November 2011

Quilts For Men

I find that men are usually the most difficult to make gifts for because they don't go a bunch on pretty bags or quilts, so I set out to make this quilt specifically aimed at a man both in terms of colour and of design. I'm really pleased with how it turned out and I think even my sons will approve of this one.

For this men's quilt (son, grandson?) I made eight quilt blocks and the finished size of the quilt is 50" by 82", a decent size for a single bed.

The Alabama quilt block is one of those that you build up from the middle rather than sewing rows together. The nine patch in the middle can be made with individual 2.1/2" squares but it's easier to sew together three 2.1/2" strips of fabric and then cut them into 2.1/2" strips.

Each nine patch unit uses two strips of dark, light, dark fabric and one strip of light, dark, light fabric. You will need eight of these.

The quilt block builds up really quickly now. Cut four 6.1/2" by 2.1/2" strips in cream fabric and lay them around the nine patch unit. Sew a 2.1/2" brown square to the top and bottom of the two side strips. Sew the strips to the top and bottom of the nine patch unit and then sew the two strips with squares to the sides of the quilt block.

For the next round you will need four 10.1/2" by 2.1/2" strips of white fabric and four 2.1/2" brown squares. Sew two of these strips to the top and bottom of the block. Sew a square to either end of the remaining two strips and then sew these to the sides of the block.

One more round of 14.1/2" by 2.1/2" strips in cream fabric and that's the Alabama quilt block complete. Do the same as above, sewing two strips to the top and bottom of the quilt block and sewing 2.1/2" brown squares to the ends of the two side strips. Isn't it a lovely uncluttered quilt block? You will need eight of these.

The video might help:

For the sashing sew an 18.1/2" by 2.1/2" black strip down one side of four of the Alabama quilt blocks and then sew another quilt block to the other side of the black sashing so that you have four pairs of blocks.

Sew a 38.1/2" strip of black sashing across the bottom of each pair of quilt blocks. Sew all the pairs of blocks together in four rows so that the quilt measures two blocks across by four rows down. Add one more 38.1/2" black strip across the top of the quilt so that there is a strip of sashing at the top and bottom and between each row. Sew two strips of black sashing down the sides of the quilt - these will need to be 82.1/2" long.

For the border of this men's quilt I decided that I didn't need any extra length but I did want some width so I put the border down the sides only. I sewed together a 2.1/2" strip of all four fabrics and cut across at 2.1/2" intervals to make strips of four squares.

After sewing these strips together end to end I sewed one strip to each side of the quilt and then added another 2.1/2" strip of black on the other side of the quilt border squares.

I think this makes a great uncluttered design for a man.

Thanks for visiting my blog.  Hope to see you again soon.