Thursday, 21 August 2014

Small design board!

I have a design wall but more often than not it is full! How dare it! Or sometimes I am working on a smaller project and it would be good not to lose the positioning when I move it to the sewing machine. Because without a doubt I drop a piece or transpose a couple!

So when I saw this tutorial by Lori Holt to make a small portable design board I couldn't resist making one! This tutorial is not new so how come it took me so long to find it!! 

I got a foam board from the dollar store, found a piece of scrap wadding and a couple of jelly roll strips for the pretty binding. Within an hour I had a 20" square portable design board.

The tutorial is great and they are so simple to make. I got a bit carried away with the glue gun so I have some splodgy messes on the back, but hey, who is going to see those! 

I made the large size first as I was about to make some large blocks, but now I am thinking I might need a smaller one too! And here is my first block on the board. It will be 16.5" when all sewn together so my board sizing was ideal.

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Flowering Lonestar Pattern Giveaway!

Last week I posted about a quilt pattern I had been testing for Melissa at Sew BitterSweet DesignsThe post went up whilst I was away from home and I didn't know at the time of writing that I would be lucky enough to be able to give away a copy of the pattern.

Melissa launched the new patterns on Monday, you can read about it here, and see a variety of stunning quilts made using her pattern. It's quite amazing how a change of fabric or colour alters the pattern There are endless possibilities with this pattern.

This is Melissa's Flowering Lonestar. I love the bright fabrics against the grey background and her quilting is just stunning. 

If only I had picked a simpler quilting style I might be able to show a finished quilt but I am still quilting it! So here's some pictures of the quilting so far.

Pictures of the quilting on the Flowering Lonestar

The giveaway: CLOSED NOW

To win a copy of the flowering Lonestar pattern just leave a comment, anything you like.

And Sew Bittersweet Designs followers get a second entry, leave a comment letting me know how you follow Melissa.

If you'd like to follow me too, comment here how you do and you'll get a third entry.

The giveaway is open to anyone since it's a pdf pattern, good luck. Please make sure there's some way I can contact you, in case you win. I'll draw a random winner next Wednesday, August 20.

Linking up with:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced  

Monday, 4 August 2014

Flowering Lone Star

** Update: I was away when this was post published and didn't know that Melissa was so kindly allowing me to giveaway a copy of the pattern. Come back later in the week for a chance to win! **

I have followed Melissa at Sew BitterSweet Designs since taking part in the Lovely Year of Finishes last year. She put out a call for some pattern testers a little while back and the pattern was a lone star. I love stars. So I just had to give it a go.

The last time I did a Lone star pattern it involved several tiny ones (6" stars) encompassing a slightly larger one, and it was foundation pieced (picture here). This time the lone star measures almost 50" and is just pieced!

It didn't take me too long to decide on the fabrics, these just sort of jumped out at me! Some bright,  yummy Kona solids.

The pattern was well written and really easy to follow. The hardest part of it was cutting all the pieces. The fun bit was then to decide on the actual layout. I arranged the pieces in different ways, consulted with my kids but when I didn't like their choice (the top left pic) it confirmed the layout I wanted to go with.

The final star looked like this:

The next step were the y-seams. I am not a fan of y-seams. The pattern explained well how to do it and they worked, with a lot of starch and a heavy iron! I just didn't like doing it! 

Flowering Lone Star
I knew I didn't want to do any more y-seams so to avoid that I pieced some stars using HST instead using all the colours from the front. I placed the stars in the corners so they would be in the white space on the front to help determine my quilting pattern. 

Back of the Flowering Lone Star

Basted and ready to quilt. I struggled with how to quilt this. I attempted a variety of ideas but was stomped because wanted to match the thread to the front and also to the back. I read a lot of well known FMQ blogs and books and most will say they use the same thread top and bobbin. But I didn't want to do this and it gave me a lot of grief. I eventually got the tension right which meant that my dark top thread doesn't show (too much) on the light backing fabric. If you look too closely little dots can be seen on the back, but I can live with that. 

So to start with I did some simple straight line quilting on the large lone star. I haven't yet decided if I am going to do some more quilting on the star or leave it as it is.

I am quite heavily free motion quilting in the white space corners. I outlined the star from the back and then pebbled out from the star points. I have then done a maze filler pattern in the remaining area.

I am happily quilting but it's taking me much longer than I thought it would, as these things often do. 

Melissa is launching her pattern today and I had hoped I would have finished the quilting to show off her great pattern. But sadly it is not finished. So here is my quilt as it stands at the moment.