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January 2010

Value Quilt

Value Quilt

by Clare Mansell

Second finished quilt of the year and it’s only January 18th – There’s no way I’ll be able to keep this pace up!

This quilt, like all the best ones, tells a good story.

Amongst the many fabrics in it….

• A good friend and colleague’s pillowcase that she gave me when she left Canada
• Some fabric my mother has had for at least 25 years, and has been everything from curtains to cushion covers in many locations during my life
• Some fabric that Jim bought and sent to me during his detachment to Kenya last year
• A lot of Moda from the Wee Play & Look & Learn range
• Some Ikea
• A beautiful 1970s print pillowcase that I bought in a thrift store in Medicine Hat and have been eeking out through many projects
• An old ladies floral nightdress, which I bought on impulse because I loved the fabric
• Some Amy Butler remnants from a skirt I made
• Some eBay finds of unknown origin
• Some fabric from a remnants store in Limassol that I think has been in the shop since 1970

I finished the binding on this using a method I saw on this tutorial. It’s different from the traditional method that I was taught (where you have a 45 degree fold at the start) and I think quicker once you’ve got the hang of it. Two things I would add…. Its easier if you finish off the binding between machining to the front and hand stitching to the back and I’d also ignore the suggestion in the video to “add a quarter of an inch” I found that gave me too much fabric and its easier to stretch fabric a bit than to hide excess.

By the way, yesterday’s comment about the weather has jinxed us. The coptic storm known as ‘El fedra el kebira’ which arrives every year within 48 hours of January 19th, arrived today. It’s chucking it down with rain and 14c – that’ll teach me!

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Long arm quilting

Long arm quilting

by Clare Mansell

I have just spent a great afternoon with Angela (above) her husband Frank and a rather awesome long-arm quilting machine. What a revelation! First of all, I think I can stop beating myself up about some of the beautiful stippling I have seen on quilts online, clearly most (if not all) of this has been done on a long-arm machine, not cheating exactly, but its never spelled out either! Still, I will have some flawless stippling of my own to show off later in the week!

The machine has given me lots of ideas of quilts that could be enhanced with elaborate quilting patterns, but also made me appreciate the simplicity of sewing machine quilting and simple lines. Angela has also pointed me in the direction of a good fabric store in Nicosia, which I will explore. One thing I won’t be doing however is purchasing a long-arm quilter, I dread to think how much of our ten cubic metre shipping allowance it would take up when we moved!!

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The 4 Day Quilt

The 4 Day Quilt

by Clare Mansell

When I started quilting a little under two years ago, my first quilt took 12 months to complete. During that time there were diversions for quilts which took weeks or months to finish but I always dragged my heels and expected some Elves & Shoemaker type miracle to occur with my fabrics overnight!

I’ve gradually learned that with quilts, great results come from hard graft and perfectionism (how I used to hate unpicking stitches!) But it’s still been a big leap to get to the stage, as I did last weekend, where I wake up on a Saturday morning and decide to make a quilt in a weekend, with no idea of design or fabric.

This quilt was made for a friend’s baby, and as she won’t be expecting it, I can’t show it in full as it actually has some applique on it which will give the game away.

It is a coin quilt, I didn’t have any charm packs, so I cut all the fabric coins from remnants in my stash and made the strips between from curtain lining. The backing is some gorgeous fabric from Moda. I wrestle with myself every time I use some, but fabric cannot be kept folded up and locked away forever! Oh and I have new labels too… check me out!

You may of course be wondering what happend to my value quilt that I started at the beginning of the month? Well I have finished the top and I was waiting patiently for my free motion foot to arrive from Pfaff, but then I was pointed in the direction of an expat called Angela with a long-arm quilting machine…. and tomorrow I shall be having my first lesson on it…. there will be photos!

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