quilt as you go

After all the excitement of THE BIG DAY life here at Coombe Leigh is beginning to return to normal.  I haven’t forgotten to show you photos – I’m dying to share – but as Rosie & Dan are away I can’t consult with them on which ones to post yet.  In any case the official ones won’t be ready for about a month :(

I began to unpack all the boxes we brought back with us from the reception earlier today – and had you been in my garden you would have seen my lovely vintage Liberty and other print napkins drying on the line above my cutting garden …

Rosie wants me to incorporate them all into a new quilt for her and Dan – a project that will keep me busy through the autumn months.  But first I wanted to start a new project for myself – something not pastel, floral and wedding related!  A couple of years ago I made my first full-size quilt using the quilt as you go technique and was fairly pleased with the result …

But now it’s time for another one.  I’m still planning on using the quilt as you go method – I don’t think I could manage to quilt a whole double-bed size quilt on my domestic machine and I’ve chosen the Turning Squares design by Erica from Kitchen Table Quilting that I found here in the Moda Bakeshop.  I think that it will lend itself very well to this method as it’s constructed in three separate rows that are then joined together to complete the quilt.

I’m going to use the same colours, and indeed some of the same fabrics, as my earlier quilt as I want to layer them both on my bed for extra warmth and snuggle-ability during the winter months.  But those months are a long way off at present and this afternoon I spent a happy couple of hours in my summer house beginning to cut out fabric strips.  The pattern calls for 2 jelly rolls, but I’ve decided to use just one and delve into my stash for the remainder …

And, now that the wedding’s over and I have more time to spare, as well as beginning my new quilt, I’m planning on taking a good look at Bustle & Sew as I’d like to introduce some changes to make it (even) nicer.  To help me do this, over the next few weeks I hope you won’t mind me asking for your thoughts to add to all my ideas for the future.  Meanwhile, the first definite change I’ve decided to make is to my logo.   The little Bustle & Sew bunny has remained unaltered since the earliest days – way back in 2009 – and I think she would benefit from a bit of a makeover – along with the rest of this website.   The BIG DAY might be over – but there are plenty of exciting times ahead for Bustle & Sew!

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Quilting as I go ……

by Helen on October 30, 2012

Before bringing you progress on my quilt-as-you-go project…. I have been watching the news updates this afternoon as images of the terrible damage being inflicted by Hurricane Sandy across the eastern coast of the USA are brought to us here in England.  These images of devastation and destruction are heart-breaking and will remain with me for a very long time to come.  My thoughts are with everyone affected by this terrible natural disaster. 

On a happier note, I’d like to thank everybody who left such lovely comments on my last post, whether about my e-zine quilts or that extremely naughty canine I happen to live with!  Unfortunately Ben now smells even worse – and doesn’t care a bit!  I left him with his Auntie Gillian in kennels this weekend while I visited Rosie in Bath, and upon collecting him discovered that he had been able to enhance his odour during a lovely walk around her farm on Saturday afternoon.  Thank goodness his grooming appointment is tomorrow as at nearly 12 stone (160 lbs) he is far too large to bath at home!  

quilt as go 001

 Staying upstairs in the workroom, keeping well away from the smelly one – I have made good progress on my quilt-as-you-go project for our bed, having quilted and joined the first two strips of six blocks.  Before quilting each strip I marked the boundary for the quilting along the top – so that I would have enough seam allowance to join the strips (picture above).  Then I stippled the blocks and stitched parallel straight lines, 1/2″ apart, along the sashing…. 

quilt as go 005

 I carefully joined the sashing of one strip to the blocks of the other – on the top only.  Before I joined them I trimmed to 1/2″ and then folded back the batting and backing.  Then I joined the tops with a 1/4″ seam, after which I pressed down the batting, trimming it right back so that it lay flat with the edges butted together.  I didn’t fuse the batting at all as there wasn’t much room – only about 1/2″ and now I am wondering if I will regret this?  Any advice gratefully received please! 

quilt as go 006

I trimmed one side of the batting, and folded the other side over to cover the join and tacked in place.  Then I flipped the joined strips over and completed the quilting of the joining strip.  All that now remains is to slip stitch along the folded edge to keep it in place – the two lines of machine stitching will take any stress or strain.  I am using strips cut from an old duvet cover to back my quilt in homage to my lovely neighbour Julie, who enjoys quilting, but never purchases any new fabric for patchwork.  Julie feels that patchwork and quilting are the best possible ways of reusing and recycling fabric and sees no need to buy new.  I am afraid that I am all too easily seduced by the wonderful fabrics available and whilst I admire her single-minded approach I cannot completely follow her example.   

quilt as go 004

Here are the first two strips quilted and joined with another strip ready to be quilted thrown over the bannister rail next to them.  Please ignore any wonkiness – I am not an experienced quilter and this is the most ambitious project I have attempted so far. 

I am enjoying quilting as I go and have discovered that it is ideally suited to my way of working because

(1) I don’t have to complete one stage before moving onto the next, so boredom is avoided

(2) I don’t have a large space to lay out big quilts so working on small sections is great

(3) I am not wrestling a huge quilt through and around my sewing machine, and

(4) any problems with inaccurate cutting/seam allowances can be resolved much more easily as I go along rather than discovering a major problem at the end.

Hmmmm… I think that maybe points (1) and (4)  reveal quite a lot about my make-it-up-as-you-go-along-and-if-it-doesn’t-fit-then-tweak-it working methods – my cover is blown!

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