Thursday, 4 April 2013

Happy Easter

Well as I write this I'm looking at the snow falling and deciding that today is not the day to start on the gardening! 
Instead I've finished off my latest journal quilt and over the Easter weekend I had fun playing with some Japanese wrapped patchwork blocks - as well as machine work I like having hand stitched projects that I can work on in front of the TV.

April journal quilt

The verse for my April quilt was "April brings the primrose sweet, scatters daisies at our feet" - well not yet but it's early in the month so let's hope.

The background is a piece of self dyed cotton which I machine quilted to add texture and to suggest grass.
Not the best of photos but you get the idea! I decided to try out a different edging technique to finish of the quilt - I marked the edges using a removable pen and then worked a zigzag stitch all around - I made it fairly narrow and also shorter - but not as tight as satin stitch. I then used my cording foot to apply a toning narrow silky ribbon on top of the first line of stitching before trimming the piece to size.

The flowers were from a piece left over from a previous piece - I ironed them onto bondaweb and then trimmed around them. I originally planned to iron them down and then stitch around them but after cutting them out - and before removing the backing paper I left them on the base - after a a couple of day i noticed that the petals were starting to curl up and I decided I liked how this added a three-dimensional quality to the mini-quilt. I therefore left the backing on and then stitched them on using a toning thread and a small cross stitch at the centre of each flower.

Japanese wrapped patchwork bag

In some ways this is a bit of a cheat! I had made a whole series of these hexagonal blocks a while ago and sold some as coasters. I then saw a picture of a bag made using paper pieced hexagons and thought about how I could do something similar with the hexagons i had made.

I stitched them together in three rows of 6 and then joined these rows together. I then stitched it into a tube and then formed a base by stitching the sides of the hexagons together - think star. I then used one more hexagon block to form a tab. I was lucky enough to find some lovely multi-coloured cord in my favourite haberdashery shop which had the same colours in it as the fabrics i had used and made a chunky plait to make the strap and to make a button loop to form the fastening. I'm really pleased with it and the colours make it very springlike and cheerful.

This then inspired me to try out another block - but that's another blog!

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