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sawtooth star quilt

Sawtooth star quilt

by Clare Mansell

Today I’m sharing a quilt I completed just before Alice was born, but have only just got round to photographing. November is not the best time of year to photograph anything, least of all quilts, so it’s probably not shown in (literally) the best light, but it’s a long time till spring…

I’ve wanted to make a star quilt almost as long as I have been making quilts, but there is one big problem with star quilts which is that there are SO many ways of doing them. I spent hours browsing Flickr and Pinterest seeing patterns and I’d like them for a bit, then I’d see another and like it more. In the end I settled on the Sawtooth Star block and used the tutorial on Sew Mama Sew.

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Zoe & Ian’s wedding quilt

Zoe & Ian’s wedding quilt

by Clare Mansell

As I mentioned in my previous post we spent last weekend in East Sussex for Jim’s sister’s wedding. She was engaged for about a year before the big day and right from the start I planned to make her a quilt as a wedding present. So over the last 12 months I’ve done a lot of thinking about making her a quilt and quite a few sample blocks of quilts that I abandoned. Then a fortnight ago I announced to my husband that it just wasn’t going to happen and we’d have to buy her something from her wedding list instead, news that he took completely in his stride.

The day after I told him that I walked in to the Eternal Maker, saw a fabric that was perfect made firm and bold decisions about accompanying solids and the design I was going to do and walked out with everything I needed to make the quilt.

So then I had two weeks to make a quilt that I could have started 50 weeks previously. Gahhh!

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Improv baby quilt

Jamie’s improv quilt

by Clare Mansell

My first completed quilt of 2015! This project was a challenge of my own creation. I am currently on a fabric diet, I have a big fat roll of wadding and a studio full of bits of fabric and I tasked myself to complete this without buying anything. I succeeded, but what it saved me in money it cost me in time as I spent so long first thinking of an idea and then rumaging around for fabric for it, finding I hadn’t got enough and then repeating the process until I remembered this quilt I made 5 years ago for a baby when we lived in Cyprus and decided to repeat it.

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Orange and green Half Square Triangle quilt

orange and mint green half square traingle quilt

So this is my third half square triangle quilt in as many months, but it turned out very differently from the two before it after I was forced to deviate from my normal wadding choice.

Firstly I should say that I normally buy my wadding by the bolt, but since we have nowhere to store it at the moment I am buying it as and when I need. This lead to the rare situation of being completely out of it when I realised that I needed to finish a quilt quicker than expected. So I went to the Eternal Maker on Friday and bought some of their Eco wadding which is £11 a metre. Grand total for 1.5 metres was £16.50.

orangehst5_1600orangehst2

I didn’t get a chance to baste it till Saturday night and when I unrolled the wadding I realised that it was uneven thickness with a really large thread bare patch in the middle (you could actually see through it!) The Eternal Maker wasn’t open again till 10am on Monday so I was forced to consider other options…

In the end I went to Falcon Fabrics and found some poly-wadding which was £2.50 a metre, a total of £3.75, that’s £12.75 cheaper than the other stuff! I was VERY nervous about using it, but if you don’t try different things you will never make discoveries.

So the verdict? It was much puffier than the cotton wadding I normally use, which luckily worked well with the fact I made a square quilt intending it as a playmat. It was harder to baste successfully (a bit of bunching as I quilted) and the end result doesn’t have the weight or flexibility to fold neatly. I wouldn’t use it again for my own quilt, BUT if you are making as a gift it certainly helps cut the costs down a lot. The one thing I won’t know of course, is whether it beards later on…

orangehst6_1600

A few notes on the quilt itself… It is 40″ square, made from 10 squares originally cut at 5 inches. The fabric choices were based around the hedgehog fabric as this is a gift for a baby whose mother is involved in some local conservation work.

The rest is a mixture of Kona solids (School Bus, Pond, White and Ash) and some low volume from my stash. I backed it with grey gingham from Ikea (about £6 a metre I think) and bound it with Kona Orange which I *just* managed to do with a fat quarters worth. I would have preferred to match it with the School Bus in the quilt, but it was a case of what I had to hand at the time…

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Navy & Lime HST Baby Quilt

Navy & Lime HST Baby Quilt

by Clare Mansell

blue and lime half square triangle quilt

I’ve just finished my second half square triangle baby quilt of 2014. I’m finding that with quilts, I am increasingly drawn to simpler colour schemes and simpler patterns.

I used to buy quite varied prints and then I found I didn’t use them as much as dots, checks and stripes. This quilt is a classic example of how pairing those kind of patterns can look so clean and modern.

I’ve also noticed my eye has improved a lot since I started my Graphic Design degree. Nothing I can exactly put my finger on, but I’m bolder with colour choices and happier with the results.

lime and navy half sqaure traingle quilt
The chevron/stripe binding is everywhere at the moment and this is actually the first time I have done it. I love the result though, whether original or not!

blue and lime half square triangle quiltblue and lime half square triangle modern quilt

I backed the quilt with minky again. It’s expensive (I want to weep when I see American quilters talking about buying it for $8 a metre!) but it makes the quilt feel so snuggly and luxurious.

half square triangle baby quilt for boys

I sent it off to its new home on Monday, rather reluctantly I have to admit as this is one I would have happily hung on to.

half square triangle quilt navy and green

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