Hello everyone, we are well into Spring here, and the April issues of quilting magazines are hitting the shops!
In keeping with the Spring theme, I designed a birdhouse wallhanging for British Patchwork & Quilting (April issue).
One of the things I love about Spring is the sound of chirping birds in my garden. I had this cute birdhouse fabric in my stash, (Sugar Hill ‘Birdy in Pink’ by Tanya Whelan) and I drew inspiration from there. Can you see little birdhouses in the fabric? That got me thinking about the little birdhouses in my Woodland Friends quilt.
So a few template alterations later, and I had the basis of a spring-time wallhanging.
Before fusing any of the shapes to the Essex linen background, I quilted the background in a grid pattern, with calico behind the wadding. (The finished wallhanging is double backed, which means after all the other applique is complete, a pretty back of more cute ‘Sugar Hill’ fabric is attached.)
Satin stitch applique is one of my favourite ways to applique, and luckily I had a fat quarter of fabric with love birds printed on it. I simply cut these out, bondawebbed them to the birdhouses and stitched round them.
The lettering required a little more thought. I enlarged a cursive font of the word ‘sweet’, transferred it to fabric and got it satin stitched in place. I knew I wanted a contrast in the lettering of ‘home’ so I drew the words on with a water soluble pen and free motion sketched over them.
I’m really digging curvy corners at the moment, and shaping the top corners on this wallhanging removed some excess negative space which better balanced out the proportions of the design.
Some standard quilt binding and a few hanging tabs later and voila! A Birdhouse wallhanging to welcome Spring into your home!
The wallhanging measures 19.75″ x 16.5″ and it made front cover of British Patchwork & Quilting magazine. Woohoo!
We have had some decent summer weather here in Belfast recently, but alas I’m still surrounded in plaster dust and paint in my new house. So time out to enjoy the sunshine is rare!
In the meantime I’ll have to make do with dreaming of lazy days by the beach and paddling in refreshing tides.
So how about we transport ourselves to an exotic, pacific island and dream of soft white sands and azure blue lagoons!!
This is where my creative inspiration came from for my Blue Lagoon ombre quilt, in the August issue of British Patchwork and Quilting magazine.
This quilt is made almost completely from Kaufman Kona solids – always a dream to work with! There are 6 shades of aqua blues set against a crisp white background.
The block is an ‘easy to piece’ snowball or bow-tie block, and I used a coastal themed blue and white stripe from my stash for the binding.
There are so many Kona solids to choose from (their colour card is pure eye candy!) it was relatively easy choosing colours that would graduate from dark to light.
As always, I’m photographing my quilts out of season. Oh how I wish I could take my quilt to the clear blue ocean, squish my toes in the sand and take photos of my quilt against a more appropriate backdrop!
Perhaps when the quilt is sent back to me and sunny blue skies return, I will escape to my nearest beach (only 10 minutes away!) for a quilty photo shoot!
I’m always a little conflicted when we enter a new season and a new term. I love the colours and smells of Autumn, a feast for the senses, but I always grieve a little for the ending of another brief summer.
So continuing the Autumnal theme, I can show you my Autumn Boho Quilt.
This is a bigger quilt than I usually make, at 72″ x 89.5″.
For a while now I’ve been wanting to use my stash of large scale prints. I have a number of fat quarters and half metres from wonderful designers like Sandi Henderson, Anna-Maria Horner, Heather Bailey, Amy Butler to name a few.
What these designers have in common is their courage to use colour and pattern, even when it ‘clashes’.
So I kept the design large and simple – 17″ half square triangles with navy feature diamonds.
This is a great beginner friendly project. You can work from 20 fat quarters and a little yardage for the contrasting diamonds. The diamonds are important as it gives the eye somewhere to land among the busyness of the prints.
If you are a regular visitor to my blog then you will know how much I love scrappy quilts. I appreciate they are not to everyone’s taste, but if you like using up fabric, then why not have a go!
My advice is to be brave. Don’t worry when you look at a couple of fabrics together and think ‘they don’t go’. If you can push pass the ‘over-thinking’ & ‘trying to match fabrics’ stage you won’t be disappointed – the magic happens when you step back and look at the finished quilt. I even use fabrics that I’ve fallen out of love with!
I totally love the ‘boho vibe’ these loud and crazy fabrics give the quilt!
And you can find it in the September issue of British Patchwork & Quilting.
Didn’t that week go quickly? My feet have hardly touched the ground it’s been so busy here! I’m getting ready to make an important announcement next Tuesday, so it’s full steam ahead here.
In the meantime I can show you a quilt I made for British Patchwork & Quilting, using Tilda’s beautiful Cabbage Rose collection:
The Tilda Cabbage Rose collection is one of my favourites so far. In fact, I’ve thrown in a couple of greens from their Memory Lane collection too!
I’ve called this quilt ‘Garden Steps’, because of the combination of pretty floral prints and the Courthouse Steps quilt block.
The Courthouse Steps block works a little like a Log Cabin block. Cleverly, it’s the main block design which becomes the secondary pattern here.
Can you spot the blocks?
The backing and binding are more Tilda prints from other collections.
This was the first quilt I made in my new Sewing Room. It’s been an interesting journey re-orientating myself to a much smaller space. For example, learning the best way to photograph items and discovering where the light is best.
It was lovely working with pretty, colourful fabrics on a dull day!