Saturday, 30 April 2016

Finally finished: Forest Friends Charity Baby Quilt

I've finally finished the first of the Forest Friends quilts. This little baby quilt will be donated to my company charity auction in aid of mind, the mental health charity and the British Red Cross.

I'm hoping that with all the recent new babies in the office it will raise lots of money for these two great causes.

Forest Friends @ the Tower
As it turns out, a week's worth of tube journeys is enough to bind a 42" x 42" (107 X 107cm) baby quilt. I couldn't resist a quick photo of the finished product when I hopped off the tube at the Tower today.

I used some of the thread from the sewing box I inherited from my grandmother to handstitch the binding. It's basically invisible, which pleases me greatly. I bought these really great needles in this handy-dandy case, probably about 10 years ago. At the time I wasn't really thinking about stitching on the go in particular but I can really recommend them - so useful!

Supplies for binding on the tube
John James needle "pebble" and vintage MEZ thread

When it came to binding I noticed that I'd screwed up while I was basting and the backing fabric wasn't quite centred, leaving a gap on one of the edges. I can't believe I didn't notice this earlier. At first I thought I could just about get the edge into the binding but in the end I bit the bullet and hand-stitched a extra 2" of backing fabric the the edge. So annoying!

All fixed: backing fabric issues

Here's another photo of the finished product - will probably use this one for the charity auction.

FINISHED! Forest Friends charity baby quilt

I'm currently debating what to do about a quilt label. I could go all out and make an embroidered one (I particularly like the idea of using this gorgeous sublime stitching owl pattern), but I'm not sure if I can be bothered. On the other hand, it might encourage people to bid more if I offer to embroider the baby's name on it. What do you think?

Onwards to more forest friends - next up: finishing up Tiny's quilt.

Lots of sewing love,
me x

Tuesday, 12 April 2016

Forest Friends Take II

I've had a really productive couple of days at The Quilting Queen's house, resulting in

  • 3 pairs of trousers taken up
  • 2 shirts shortened for TQQ (she's a little lady at 5ft tall)
  • 1 office dress fixed (new straps)
  • 1 finished quilt top for Tiny, pin-basted and ready to quilt
  • 2 finished baby quilt tops (~110 x 110cm)
  • 1 handmade silk blouse almost finished (just need to hand stitch the cuffs and add buttons)
  • and various little bits and bobs finished from TQQ's box of ongoing projects
Phew! Quite pleased with our progress. Had hoped to get some of the quilting done on TQQ's gorgeous sewing machine but, let's be honest, that was a bit over-ambitious given all the friends I wanted to see and other things I waned to do.

Here's Tiny's quilt - pin basted and ready for quilting. The binding is ready to sew on as soon as the quilt is finished.

Tiny's quilt - Forest Friends v1.0
Ready for quilting

Here are the baby quilts. One of these will go to the office charity auction in aid of Mind and the British Red Cross and the other is for the next little baby that appears in my circle of friends (there seem to be a lot of those lately and I'm always behind in making gifts). I'm adding a scrappy binding to these, which is almost finished. I need to go through my box of scraps back in London to make up the full length that I need. Interestingly, TQQ and I have very styles when it comes to fabric choice so it's quite hard to find anything that works in her stash.

Forest Friends Take II
Finished quilt tops

I'm not sure which I like better - the scrappy quilt or the crosses. What do you think?

Much love,
me xx

Thursday, 7 April 2016

Finished quilt top: Forest Friends baby quilt

After my grand plans to finish off this quilt back in February, I  ended up on a pretty ... intense ... project at work for six weeks. Forest Friends languished in my living room for the duration. I've currently got a couple of days off and am spending most of them sewing with the Quilting Queen. I had my first go on her gorgeous new all-singing-all-dancing Bernina today. It's a whole new world of shiny computerised high-tech sewing. 

Anyway, we finished the quilt top today, found a suitable old duvet cover of my grandmother's to re-purpose as backing fabric and pin-basted it all up for quilting tomorrow. It's big enough for a single bed so Tiny can still use it when she gets a big girl bed in a couple of years. In the meantime it's good for playing on when it's folded in half. Here is the finished quilt top in all its glory:

Forest Friends finished quilt top
(also check out TQQ's gorgeous log cabin in the background)

I've also started work on the next project, which I'm planning on finishing before I head off to Paris on Tuesday afternoon. Given my plans to see various friends while I'm in town and looking at the list of other sewing project I brought with me this may be slightly over-ambitious...

Forest Friends - Take II

I'll just see how far I get by the time I have to leave on Tuesday. Now to decide how to quilt Forest Friends v1.0. Very excited about using the cool quilting attachment on TQQ's new sewing machine tomorrow!

Much love,
me xx