Thursday, 11 July 2019

Wonky Hexies Free Pattern

Did you know my Newsletter subscribers receive a free PDF pattern every month? So far this year, we have been enjoying my block-of-the-month Mystery quilt which came to an end in June. So we are now returning to my beloved pre-cuts and stash-busting patterns, starting with a variation on a theme... 

My Wonky Squares Wall Hanging pattern proved very popular, especially when I made it on Sewing Quarter, so I started to wonder which other shapes would work - and of course, I had to have a go with the good ol' hexy! I also returned to my partially-seamed hexies, a tutorial for which can be seen here. Add in the freezer paper technique used for the wonky blocks, and hey presto, I have a new pattern.

Now, I have to admit, I think there is a little too much white/negative space in the wall hanging for me - you may love the space to create beautiful free motion quilting designs, or maybe embroidered motifs. If it's not for you, then you can simply decrease the size of the sashings and borders as below, just taking an 1" off the width of the strips makes such a difference.

As the wonky blocks finish at a 9" square, there are so many possible layouts - I have had a play with a few below... 

In this one I have bordered the 9" blocks with blue strips to add a little more interest, then added white sashings and borders.

Who says the wall hanging has to be square, or this would make a gorgeous table runner. Add light blue sashings and inner border and then a wider white border.

Finally, my favourite, which I think I will just have to make into a quilt when I get a minute! I have added the layout below so you can see the white strips that offset the blocks to create this circle. 

You can obviously also play around with the colours - what about using all black and whites for a monotone quilt? Maybe different tones of the same colour? If you would like to receive this free pattern, subscribe to the Newsletter today - these patterns are free to my subscribers for a month before going on general sale.

On to something completely different - Sewing Quarter have been holding their Christmas In July event and I appeared last Thursday to make my EPP Snowflake cushion and a gorgeous Scandi quilt by Lynne Goldsworthy - you can watch these shows and catch up on my past appearances here.

Wishing you all a happy, sunny and creative week! Linking up with Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Quilting Concentric Circles Tutorial

As many of you know, I send out free monthly patterns to my Newsletter subscribers, and for the last few months we have been working on a mystery block-of-the-month, the Birds of a Feather quilt. 
Well, last month saw the grand reveal, and then I thought I would add a bonus email with instructions for a pieced backing, and then ideas for quilting. 

I then one step further and made up a quick video on how quilted my own version in a concentric circles design using my walking foot on my home machine.

Even though this design does take a while, especially on a domestic sewing machine, it is still possible (though I strongly recommend an extension table and quilting gloves) and the time and patience is well worth the effort! I love the texture this design creates and I think it accentuates the idea of the birds flying out of the centre nest. I'm hoping to put this quilt together as a kit soon, so watch this space!

Elsewhere at Sewmotion, I'm in the middle of Festival of Quilt prep madness, surrounded by kits, papers and patterns that all need sorting into boxes! I also came across some tickets for this year's show, so I'm holding a little competition on my Instagram page for a chance to win not only two show tickets, but also one of my new Hoop Art kits - visit my page for more details here.

Wishing you all a fun and creative week, linking up with Midweek Makers and Needle & Thread Thursday

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Valuable Lessons Learnt Making the Lisbon Tiles Quilt

For my latest appearance on Sewing Quarter, I was asked to make the gorgeous Lisbon Tiles quilt by Jo Avery of My Bear Paw, which was featured in a recent Today's Quilter. As you can see below, Jo made her quilt in rich red and yellow scraps from her stash. 

I was asked to make the quilt in pretty floral prints from Moda, so I sorted out the colours according to the brief, the yellows and greens were like for like in the quilt which was fine, however, the pinks and blues were to replace the reds in the original quilt, which is where my quilt went in a different direction.

Once I had cut all the fabric pieces, I got stuck into a few hours of foundation paper-piecing, surrounded by the usual mess, am I alone in this? With all the trimming and different pieces, I soon find myself getting very untidy! Anyway, as Jo suggested, I made a few blocks at a time - the whole quilt is actually made of just one block, four of which make the star. As I made each block I laid them out on the floor beside me, and soon realised this was going to be even more scrappy that Jo's. 

Even though I tried to go for some pattern and had the red stars in the centre and four corners, with the blue stars filling the rest, I still think something was lost in having so many very similar prints close to each other, in some cases the star is lost completely. I realised that this came down to fabric values...

Fabric values, along with hues and saturation, are all interlinked in colour theory, and come in very handy with planning a quilt design. Hue is what people mean when they say 'colour' - red is a different hue than blue. Value refers to the lightness or darkness of the hue, so you could have reds of the same hue, but one is of a lighter value than the other. Whereas saturation is the intensity of the colour and is related to the hue and value. Fully saturated colours appear brighter and clearer, while less saturated colours are milky or greyer. A fully saturated yellow has a much lighter value than a fully saturated red. 

So if we apply this theory to my quilt, you can see that there is one red hue that stands out more than any other as it is the most saturated, while the other reds used to make up the star design are less saturated and very similar in value to the neighbouring yellows, making the overall star design less distinct.

When preparing for the Sewing Quarter show, I decided to make up another block using identical red and yellow prints for the four blocks to make up a full star to show how being less scrappy would give you a whole different look. As you can see above, I used the same strong red and yellow prints for the star shape, but still went scrappy for the smaller pieces. While I prefer this layout, I also still love the scrappy version I made for the show, and of course, just had to quilt it in wavy lines!

If you would like to watch the Sewing Quarter show with the riotous John Scott, you can catch it here on their YouTube channel

Wishing you all a happy and creative week, linking up with Let's Bee Social, Midweek Makers, Oh Scrap! and Needle & Thread Thursday