Wednesday, 24 September 2014

Quilt as you go tutorial

Funnily enough I have had 3 requests for help with quilt-as-you-go techniques via email & twitter this week! So I thought I would do a quick post outlining two different methods. This enables you to quilt blocks as you go along, and then put them all together at the end. It avoids the need to cram great big quilts through your sewing machine!
The method you choose can be determined by the result you want to achieve: do you want sashing as part of the design or not!
Whichever method you choose, you want to avoid quilting all the way to the edges of your block because you will need to pull the edges back a little to put them together.
Quilt as you go with sashing.
This lap quilt utilises sashing as a technique to sew your blocks together.  There are other quilt-as-you-go methods that do not use sashing but I use it here because it adds a uniformity to the design.

For the front sashing – you will need 1 inch wide strips, and for the back you will need 1 ¾ inch strips.
Fold the back strip in half and press lengthwise. Pin the raw edge of the strip to the back of your block, and the front strip is pinned right sides together to the front of the block (see picture).
Sew an accurate ¼ seam so that the back sashing, the block and the front sashing are now stitched together.
Fold the front sashing back and press.
Now pin the raw edge of the front sashing to the next block front sides together (as in picture). Sew with an accurate ¼ inch seam (the backing fabric in this picture is white!).
Now lay the two blocks flat with the right sides up and press the front sashing flat.
Turn the blocks over and sew the back sashing onto the back of the block using a ladder stitch as seen in the image.
Continue sashing the whole quilt.
Quilt as you go without sashing.

This method does not use sashing. I didn't want sashing to distort my log cabin so this method was perfect.
First, trim your squares to your required size (remember the seam allowance!).
Take your two blocks and place them face down. Pin the backing and the wadding back out of the way.

Now place the blocks right sides together, sew the front pieces together with a ¼ seam and press the seam flat (as shown in the picture below).
Trim the wadding carefully so that it will lie flat.

Now lay one piece of the backing flat. Turn the second piece under with a scant ¼ inch seam and pin in place.

Slip stitch the pinned seam in place keeping the stitches small so that they will not show.
Continue using this method to sew the rest of the row. Then continue and sew the rows together.

So now you are done!

There you are - two different ways of putting together your blocks once you have quilted them! I hope you find this useful and it gets you having a go!!!

Monday, 8 September 2014

It's always Pimms O'clock!

Well I have been a little lax on posting (again) but things have been a bit of a whirlwind! The shop has been keeping me busy, and I have now been on create & craft for over a year now and that fills any 'spare' moments I may have. I am now working for Simplicity, Tilda, Singer Sewing Machines and now Brother too. There is of course a little time left for sleep :)
But the last couple of weeks have been spent preparing for our engagement party which we held in our garden on Bank Holiday Sunday.
Here are some pics of the party, which kicked off about 2.30pm with a vintage tea party (with Pimms in those tea cups!) in the summer house and was followed by a bbq into the early hours!
Paul took most of these pictures, which is why they are stunning... and why he isn't in any of them!
My best friend Sarah Trude (Erms) created the stunning floral displays as a surprise gift!
 We have been working hard to get the summer house, patio and new beds looking fit for visitors, and we just about made it! And the rain held off too.
 Capt Jack is patiently wondering where his glass of Pimms has gone!
Even the swing was suitable decorated!

 And the guests began to arrive!

My friend Nicola made us this stunning engagement cake! There is a better pic further down. This dress was my first attempt at making a dress - and it was moderately successful. The fit could have been better but it was so flowery that I don't think anyone noticed!

 The stunning cake by Nicola from Cambridgeshire Sugarcraft in Yaxley. Friends Lucy & Carol also contributed home made cakes which went down a treat! I really do have talented friends!
 Not a bad spread - largely due to the help on Sunday morning supplied by Sarah Trude & Julie Fernandez as they helped me check that the Pimms was ready!
 And a sneaky shot of Sarah sorting out the sarnies!
 A BBQ shot - the fire pit was a crowd pleaser after the bbq had gone out!
 My girls! 3 Sarah's and an Amanda!

And finally, one shot of the engaged couple together (all be it slightly fuzzy!)
We were so busy keeping everyone fed and watered that we hardly saw each other. But it was a lovely day - and everyone seemed to enjoy it. Now I am forever asked the question "so when is the wedding?", to which I reply "it took us 10 years to get engaged... we don't like to rush onto things!"