… are the perfect combination. At least when it comes to quilts.
See? Clearly I have no need to further extoll the virtues of the Hello Luscious collection by Basic Grey for Moda, but apparently I’m going to. I LOVE it. If it had a scent it would smell of jasmine, freshly cooking doughnuts, baked peaches in brown sugar and syrup and vanilla ice cream. Outside on a warm summers day with the smell of cut grass faintly in the background. And a Pimms for the grown-ups. Hmmm. Seems I’m getting distracted daydreaming about the Scottish summer (it’s June! I need a shaman to come and do a sun dance. we have plenty rain this year), so will move on.
It’s such an old collection now that’s it’s super-hard to find. If you have any girls in your life and you find some, even one charm pack, snap it up because said daughter will always love it. I stashed a few charm packs, despite having no daughter – I used 2 for this quilt.
Pretty colours and patterns huh? Not too babyish and will grow with a girl until – well probably forever. Definitely late teens. I did take out some of the greens and replace them with white squares (cut from stash). I’m not a huge green fan and although I like it in this collection, I felt the balance was slightly off for my tastes. And I feel the colours are so rich and well, luscious, together that they somehow can seem a bit “muddy” when all together – hence replacing the greens with some white. It definitely made the rest of the colours “pop”.
But after I made the quilt top I thought I had added a few too many white squares. 3 or 4 too many. I was on a deadline and really didn’t want to unpick. So I did a little applique heart using a lovely fabric from Cori Dantini for Blend fabric – So pretty… I have a quilt in the making in Cori Dantini fabrics, the colours remind me of a pack of refreshers, remember those sweets anyone?
And somehow that heart draws your attention to it and away from the slight white square imbalance. Or I tell myself that! I really like it, and it felt like a little special gift to the wee girl. A little hand stitchery in a variegated pink perle 8 cotton finished it off.
You can see the quilting on a few of these pictures; I did loop de loop quilting which I love on child quilts; actually I am beginning to love it on all quilts. Somehow the swirls and loops look fun and elegant at the same time. And it is a fun design to do – like when you are a kid, painting with bold flourish! Stippling is a much more restrained process; at least it is when you are trying to make it even and attractive.
Backing is a Tanya Whelan print from Sugar Hill which actually goes really well with the collection, although I was unsure when it was first picked out. This quilt was commissioned by my neighbour for her very precious first granddaughter – a neighbour whom I adore so much that I was willing to relinquish a bit of my precious Hello Luscious stash – and her really lovely daughter and son in law. The baby girl (who is a cutie) is called Rose, so we were keen to have roses on the back; Suzanne chose this from my stash. And her name on the front of course – again in the Cori Dantini print above.
Her parents gave this to her at a little party they held for introducing the baby (the baby’s family lives in Norway), and it was so great to see how much they loved it! Incidentally I took a little present I made for her room – a quilted cushion made with a California girl charm pack (fig tree quilts for Moda) and Summer Ride by Sarah Jane on the back (I just love this print with a passion!), which also turned out very sweet.
I was kind of sorry to see this quilt go, despite having no real use for it in my house, but I’m really glad it’s gone to such a good home where I know it will be used and loved by a darling family. Batting is Quilters Dream Orient, size approximately 46″ x 52″.
I think I am feeling the need for making some quilts for our household now! So much letting go. Of quilts. Yes, I think I am a batty catless cat lady who needs to get a grip 😉
Night night lovely creative folk; hope your treasure making is going well.
Hello lovely creative types, so… how best to gloss over my prolonged bloggy abstinence? How about we make up with a tutorial? You might not need one as it’s pretty simple, but you know, since I took pictures…
This is Liberty of London fabrics and linen. The pattern was actually born when i decided to make a thank-you present for my lovely neighbour who let me use her shower for 2 weeks whilst our bathroom was ripped out and replaced. I now have a hotel bathroom! I’m so tempted to hold dinner parties in it – it’s the nicest room in the house… Anyway, she is more traditional, so I made her this:
This is made with Kona snow cotton… and Liberty fabrics I actually bought at THE REAL LIBERTY OF LONDON SHOP. In London no less. I was slightly in heaven. But also a bit overwhelmed by all its beauty after this pilgrimage (the shop itself is just aesthetically gorgeous)… and by the prices. I felt I should buy something so bought a little charm pack of 36 2.5″ squares, although I had to add 4 more from stash to make this. I must tell you though they came from Alice Caroline Supply (http://www.alicecaroline.co.uk/) and are cheaper to buy from the website. But that wasn’t really the spirit of it all was it? My neighbour was suitably pleased.
Bit of wobbly hand-quilting action going on there.
But I wasn’t thrilled to be honest. I thought that the patchwork border got lost round the sides of the cushion. Amateur. This is what it looked like before it became a cushion – I thought it would make a pretty mini-quilt or wall hanging…
See what I mean? So I was a bit disappointed. Anyway, I thought I would try and fix it with an extra row of sashing:
And certainly you can see it better. but if you decide to make one, you can decide on how you like it! So, for many folk, that will be it as it’s quite simple construction and with a little experience it’s straightforward to work this out, but as sometimes it’s nice to work from instructions, here goes! This is for the Liberty and Linen cushion. Clearly you can make it in anything you like – a moda mini-charm pack and white solid would be nice.
To make the patchwork cushion front, you will need:
A 10″ piece of Linen (44″ wide, I’m assuming your solid comes as 44″ wide)
Forty 2.5″ x 2.5″ Liberty or patterned fabric squares
24″x24″ square piece of batting (I used cotton)
24″x 24″ square piece of cotton backing fabric (this will be on the inside of the cushion, so it doesn’t need to be too nice)
1. Cut the linen fabric into four 2.5” x 44” strips.
2. Strip 1: cut into Four 2.5” x 2.5″ squares Four 2.5” x 4.5” rectangles One 2.5” X 13.5” rectangle
3. Strip 2 : Cut into One 2.5” x 13.5” rectangle Two 2.5” x 10” rectangles
4. Strip 3: cut into One 2.5” x 22” rectangle One 2.5” x 18” rectangle
5. Strip 4: again cut into One 2.5” x 22” rectangle One 2.5” x 18” rectangle
You should now have linen cut into:
4 x (2.5” x 2.5) squares
4 x (2.5” x 4.5”) rectangles
2 x (2.5” x10”) rectangles
2 x (2.5” x 13.5”) rectangles
2 x (2.5” x 18”) rectangle
2 x (2.5” x 22”) rectangles
6. And your 40 Liberty 2.5” x 2.5” fabric squares (either buy as a mini charm pack or cut these)
Photo shows my cutting in progress. If you think you’ll get confused, label each pile’s measurements with a scrap of paper. I started to arrange my Liberty fabrics in a rainbow.
Now arrange your layout as you like it. If you are going for random, this will be easy, you won’t need to lay it all out, you can just start sewing! But I did this:
In the centre, the top two squares will be the top two points of the star, the bottom two will be the bottom points of the star etc. The 4 in the middle will be aa 4-patch which makes the centre of the star.
I think of a rainbow (unsurprisingly!) when thinking about which colours go together. Red – orange – yellow – green – blue – dark blue/indigo – violet/purple – red to enable the colours to meld in a natural way. Obviously orange is made from red and yellow which is why it’s in between them etc, so it works better than red and green next to each other for example, when green has no red in it. Anyway, have a play around until you like it.
Making the patchwork star centre
(BTW I’m not generally a big presser until the end out of sheer laziness, but with this, given it’s going to be a centrepiece and small, I pressed at almost every stage. It keeps everything neater, there’s no doubt.)
1. Sew your centre 4 patch, first by sewing 2 squares together, then the second 2 together, then join them as a 4 patch. Press.
2. The star points are flying geese rather than HSTs – much easier. You are aiming for this:
This is how you do it:
Draw a diagonal line in pencil joining opposite points on the wrong sides of each of your eight squares reserved for the star points.
Lay one of these patterned squares, right side down onto one of the 2.5” x 4.5” pices of linen, with the bottom end of your diagonal line towards the centre of the fabric (it won’t be in the centre). Make sure your edges line up nicely.
(if you are using directional prints then be careful with this step, you could easily end up with your fabric upside down. Ditto with getting the two fabrics mixed up – I did this and had to change my layout – rather than unpick…)
Sew along your pencil line.
3. Now before you cut off the excess, it’s worth folding down the right side to check you are happy.
4. If you are then you can go ahead and trim that excess piece on the wrong side – both the linen and patterned. You’ll end up with little triangles of scrap for a tiny project. Press.
5. Repeat the process on the other side of your linen rectangle as shown in the picture. Don’t worry that there is a bit of overlap, that’s in the seam allowance when you sew them all together. Press.
6. And you have one side of your star!. Do this with all 8 points onto your four 2.5” x 4.5” pieces of linen.
7. Now take your top row star points and sew a 2.5” x 2.5” linen square onto either side. Repeat for the bottom two star points.
8. Sew your side star point pieces to the centre 4-patch…
9. And then sew the top and bottom rows on.
10. Press everything.
Is it looking lovely yet?
Adding the sashing
11. Sew one 2.5″ x 10″ rectangle to one side of your star. Trim off the excess (I always make sashing bigger and trim in case my seam allowance isn’t always perfect). Repeat on the other side. Trim excess.
12. THEN sew the 2.5 x 13.5″ pieces along the top and bottom, trimming the excess linen afterwards. Press.
Making the patchwork borders
13. Sew your top 8 liberty squares together and put to one side. Repeat for the bottom eight squares. Now make the left side and right sides which will both have 6 squares. Press.
(somehow I managed to sew 9 squares on the bottom row! Doh! Had to unpick after all…)
14. Sew the sides onto your star block first and then press, before sewing on the top and bottom pieces. pin your patchwork strips to the linen first to ensure it reaches the full length, and match up the seams at the corners as best you can. Press.
Now at this point you can batt, back, quilt and bind and use as a mini quilt or wall hanging which measures 16.5” square (above). Or you can add the outer linen border to finish your cushion as I did.
Adding the final linen border
15. This is exactly what you did before. Sew the 2.5” x 18” linen strips onto the sides of your star block and trim the excess.
16. Now sew the final two pieces, the 2.5” x 22” rectangles to the top and bottom and trim the excess. Press everything…
And Ta-Dahhhhhh! You’re done!
17. Now, make a quilt sandwich as normal. Lay the cotton backing fabric face down, lay over the cotton batting, lay over the patchwork piece and smoother everything over to ensure there are no wrinkles. I pinned with safety pins (it’s not worth getting out the gun for such a small piece I found) to baste.
18. Quilt as you like – straight or hand quilting on this would be lovely! I machine- quilted with an overall stipple…
19. And then did a little decorative hand quilting with perle 8 cotton in a red colour.
My back is Heather Ross Unicorn in Purple from Far Far away II – and I LOVE it.
Your cushion cover will measure about 19.5″ square.
Add an insert (go a bit bigger, maybe 22 – 24″ square, as you can see from the picture above, mine isn’t full enough at 20″ square, I’ve ordered another insert) … and enjoy your new cushion!
Well I hope this makes up for the absence. Actually, I Firefox has crashed so many times when I have attempted a blog post, I’ve lost 3 already, and this one crashed at least 15 times. I kept saving as a draft and wrote most on Word and copy/pasted. Anyone else having trouble? I’m either going to have to abandon Firefox (likely) or Tumblr (less likely). As a plus, I have a few posts to share when I resolve this. Meanwhile, hope your creative mojo is mojoing away.
Till the next time,
Edited: you can see how it looks with a fuller cushion insert and in the sunshine here:
My craft fair went amazingly well, I’m so thrilled! In fairness, the tiny school PTA had asked a variety of wonderful craftspeople to come, and had used social media brilliantly to advertise and people came with money and expecting to buy stuff, which was great, none of that “expecting something for nothing”, not that my products are expensive as I’m only trying to fund my crazy sewing habit. Almost everything sold, the cushions and liberty pouches proving very popular. I had another commission though which I’ve just finished:
Angus’ mother lives in Australia but her mother lives locally, so after seeing the caravan cushions (in the last post) on facebook, she got her mother to come and buy three for her daughters! But then begged for one for her son, so here it is.
The stars fabrics are local shop basics, but designer ones are: Boat cabin is polka dots in Navy by Makower, boat stripe fabric is from Pirate Matey by Riley Blake, Flag is from Space from Makower, First full flag is from Going Coastal by Emily Herrick and the third one is also from Pirate Matey from Riley Blake.
I really hope she likes it. I wonder if I should have made the little tug a tiny bit smaller – if I make it again I think I will do that.
Raw-edge applique is a fun and quite easy technique, where the black thread looks like a child’s drawing and adds a whimsical air. If anything I struggle not to be too neat! I probably should have been less neat here. I think if you do free-motion quilting it’s pretty straightforward. Even writing with the machine was fine – I’m not saying it’s perfect but it’s fine enough I think. One thing I found was that unlike with free-motion quilting, I had more control doing this WITHOUT dropping my feed dogs. Just in case anyone else struggles a bit with their line sometimes and that rattatat-tat of the needle going so fast and all over the place!
These were the other caravan cushions she chose (the three on the right):
It has been reallly fun to make pictures with fabric – not something I do much of. I might need to do a bit more experimenting!
Well, a few more things to sew up – it’s always so difficult to say no!) and then a well needed rest for me I think!
Before you get a bit creeped out that I hardly know you and yet am blatantly hitting on you, pyjama-d, hair in scrunchied bedhead-pineapple and all, Hello Luscious is the name of this beautiful collection of fabrics from Basic Grey for Moda fabrics. I love it – as you can see by my “buddy icon” quilt picture.
So… yeah. I realise I am making, and nowhere near finished, a 1400 1” hexagon quilt, and that really all hexagony activity should be being poured into said quilt if I’m ever going to have it finished this decade…. but do you know how frustrating it is to have these cute little fabric hexagons all over the house and not have them in something holdable to admire? Frustrating enough for me to chop into one of my precious Hello Luscious charm packs and take as a holiday project a couple of months ago.
This is hello Luscious:
Isn’t it lovely? Lovely enough fabric goodness for you to ignore the fact it has been a WHOLE MONTH since I said hi? I was trying to gloss over it, but hey, let’s now just skip past it like nothing happened.
I must be getting much faster at making hexagons, because in a few evenings watching films with the hubster in a holiday cottage, I had about 80 little hexagons, with which I was uncommonly delighted… and no idea what to do with them.
So one day on return, whilst Kiddo was in the bath, I started playing:
This is the carpet outside the bathroom, and although it’s really lighter than this picture, I think it would be a great base colour for a quilt or project with this collection, don’t you? I decided I’d use them to finally cover the huge 26” square reading cushion I have on my bed, which sadly limits the background to white. I’d need 280 hexies to make a 26” square front by sewing them together patchwork style, and a charm pack only gives me 168, so I settled on applique.
Kiddo got out of his bath and carefully made them all into a snake, so we both played around for ages. A free-floating hexie pattern like above? Or three stripes like below?
Or sew them together into a thick strip?
I actually had decided on 3 stripes, but then once I got it onto a white background it just didn’t look as good, so had to change plans. Well you know what they say about mice and men and their best laid plans. So I whip-stitched them together into this 3-ply strip as above.
My hesitation about applique-ing hexagons is I never like the “stuck on” look that you see if you machine sew them onto a background with a straight stitch. And these are too small (1” sides) for a zigzag, it’d be all stitch and little fabric I think. I might be wrong…?
So I hand-stitched them on to a square of fabric with a piece of poly batting behind it. it didn’t take long, whilst watching a film. And I was really pleased that they didn’t look “stuck on”, even though I didn’t try to have invisible stitches etc. They looked lovely! Phew.
I did a bit of light hand-quilting along the inside edges of the hexagon strips and just on the outside. I think the whole cushion could take more quilting, but actually I rather like it as it is for my bedroom.
..and – yay, my reading cushion is finally covered. Although I keep glaring at the hubster when he uses it and makes it all rumpled. Although I can’t tell him that we are not allowed to now actually USE the reading cushion any more. So I continue to glare, a little huffily, and no doubt he continues to shrug and think, well, she’ll tell me what craziness is going on in her head at some point… 😉
Until the next time (which will be sooner, I promise!),
ps. if you’re making your own hexagon quilt and need to calculate how many hexies you will need, this calculator below is fabulous. Mine are 1” hexies, so the paper piece has sides 1” long – and you need a 2.5” square of fabric to make for each one (4 from each charm square).Good luck and enjoy 🙂
A year ago little Emily was born, and I made her a quilt in Sophie by Chez Moi for Moda. In fact here it is, hurriedly photographed on our uninspiring then-driveway before bundling into the car to go meet the new wee princess:
You are just going to have to trust me that it’s very sweet when next to a baby instead of thrown over a chair on a driveway
Anyway, she’s one all of a sudden. Yeah, I did mention it was a year ago, but you wouldn’t believe how fast that year has gone, not to mention I am in denial that time is passing this quickly, whatever my grey hairs are saying. And I rather suddenly needed to think up a present. I can’t tell you how much I love this wee girl, she’s just too adorable for words, so I felt like making something special.
Having decided on a freemotion embroidery cushion, I looked to the web for inspiration, feeling too short of time to think up a design – and saw this beautiful cushion which I shamelessly copied (well a little shame, but isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery?)
It looks like it is made by a German artist, but couldn’t find her name. The link is here; she seems to have a shop of other lovely things:
It’s been years since I did any freemotion embroidery (I did some bags with birds on very similar to the above and sold them for charity), so wanted simple but effective.
I had a 26” x 26” cushion inner from Ikea – these are a great size for a reading pillow in bed by the way – and another moda charm pack in sophie, to match Emily’s baby quilt.
I cut a 17” square piece of white fabric and chose some charms to cut into 2.5” squares, which I used to cut into the bunting flags. One charm square for the little bird, a scrap for the wing and a scrap of black felt for the dot of the eye. I used wonderweb to fuse the pieces to the fabric and then rougly outlined everything on the machine a couple of times using black thread. Trying to be imprecise goes a bit against the grain, but it was fun, and gave it a “drawn on” effect (as it should be apparently).
Then I sewed two strips of 4 charms with 1/4” seam allowance, centred it, sewed to opposite sides of the picture and trimmed the excess. Next I sewed two strips of 6 charms and did the same to complete the “frame”.
I added Emily’s name in pink – I used an alphabet die in my BigShot with Steam-a-seam2 fusible web, but could have printed the “emily” in Times New Roman font as big as would make the letters about 2” tall, traced it onto the Steam-a-seam2 BACKWARDS, ironed it onto my fabric and cut it out. A bit faffy but worth it. I hand stitched round to secure so as not to lose the neat lines.
This is the finished cushion cover lying on my rather rumpled bed. No idea when I will learn to stage my photographs. Although you can’t see in this picture, I backed the front with 100% cotton batting and quilted a straight line round the inside of the big white square 1/4” away from the edge of the charms, and another line all the way round but this time within the charm “frame”. If that makes sense. It’s just to secure it anyway. An envelope back using a pretty wildflower print:
And it was all done. It looks quite pretty on the little sofa in the corner of my bedroom. Who says pretty bird pictures are just for little girls? Good thing for her that it has “emily” well and truly stitched on.
And the reaction? Emily’s mum loved it. Ooohs and ahhhs from the other mums. Emily toddled off precariously to empty the contents of a kitchen cupboard onto the floor, pretty much oblivious. Emily’s 4 year old big brother said “But it’s the wrong ‘E’”.
“It’s art,” I said. “It’s modern”.
“It’s wrong,” he said, and busied himself playing with one of Emily’s OTHER, not-wrong gifts. Pah. I’m going to spell his name wrong when I make him one.
Yeah, I knew you’d get it. Maybe only those with such a need for the aesthetically pleasing that they wander through blogland searching for it, really get it as we do. Liberty Tana Lawn is quite honestly the diamond of fabric – silky soft, so bright and pretty your heart aches, and such magnificently classic prints that I swear they will NEVER date. Never.
Are liberty fabrics expensive? Oh, you bet they are. But did I say they will never date? So, an investment then. And that’s what I’ll be telling the Hubster when he works out how much Liberty has suddenly entered this house.
And then the Dresden. Such a pretty block, and so classic. But they can look a bit old fashioned… I must say I didn’t really think I would ever make one – and I probably wouldn’t have, had they not appeared in blogland with bright, fresh colours and a clean modern feel. And a few years ago I saw Jo from www.mybearpaw.com ‘s lovely dresden pillow in the flesh and it helped change my view that Dresdens weren’t modern:
I even got myself an EZ dresden ruler last year , but had never used it. So when my sewing friend Alison had had a hard week, I invited her over for our first (and hopefully not last!) sew-therapy session. I knew just what I wanted to do. I bought a Liberty charm pack fromPickClickSew on Etsy and added a few more prints from my stash until I had 20 x 5” squares. With the Dresden Ruler I cut 2 wedges from each square, so when Alison came over we each had a pile of 20 wedges ready to get started on. And we did.
I used instructions from this marvellous and easy tutorial from the amazingly talented Elizabeth Fransson:
She made this black and white doll quilt, rather than a cushion, but the principle is the same of course.
I used Essex linen in natural for my cushion back, cut to 17” square. In fact Alison and I both decided on linen for our cushion backs, so with identical fabrics and linen, you’d expect the cushions to be very similar wouldn’t you? But whilst I decided on a rainbow effect, Alison went for a scrappier look. Also once we’d made the dresden plates we had to decide on how to applique them onto the background linen; she chose to zigzag hers on the machine with white cotton, whilst I hand stitched mine on, and added batting and a bit of handquilting too. They did end up looking quite different! This is Alison’s:
The zigzag applique made a kind of outline effect, which is really pretty. Amazing how all the fabrics just look great together. Her cushion front was finished well before mine!
…at which point mine was still pinned to the background, and was being handstitched. I had made the inner circle, but hadn’t appliqued it on yet, so the inner circle is small and raw-edged in this picture below:
… and then after a couple of hours watching a film, I’d stitched on the dresden and inner circle, added some cotton batting to the back and lightly handquilted with perle cotton – just a simple running stitch around the outside, and either side of the inner circle. It looks surprisingly like it’s pieced onto the background, it really doesn’t look like applique.
It’s taken me almost a week to finally decide on the back – and I decided to splash out and use this lovely piece of purple liberty which I had. It would be so easy to cut corners or scrimp on fabric and then end up with something I don’t love as much as I would have; I’m not making more of these for our house, so it might as well be as close to perfect (in my eyes!) as it can be!
I went with an envelope back, very simple to do of course – cut 2 pieces of fabric which when overlapped will make a 17” square to cover the cushion front, like 17” x 14” and 17” x 11”. I pinned mine to cotton batting as the Tana Lawn is very lightweight fabric and I wanted to match the weight of the front. There is a significant overlap as you can see, otherwise the cushion gapes, especially without a button closure, but you can have a smaller overlap and add a button, poppers, whatever. Double hem the two edges which will be in the centre, lay the big piece over the smaller, or however you want the back to look when it’s finished, and pin together.
lie the cushion front onto the pinned together back, right sides together, and pin:
Sew all round with 1/2 ” seam allowance, then zigzag the edges to prevent fraying.
Unpin, turn out and:
View of the bit of very simple quilting:
You can’t really see the envelope back – benefits of choosing a busy print:
My piano and my Liberty Dresden Pillow. Ahhhhh.
Whatever you’re up to this weekend, hope you’re having fun!