I had always planned to make some cushion covers with the fabric left over from my Window on the Forest quilt makes, but hadn’t quite got around to it. I actually haven’t yet got around to finishing a 2nd version of the quilt itself either – the top is still waiting to be sandwiched and quilted after 2 months! Ahem…
Looking at the left over pieces of fabric, I had enough of the deer and fox fabric to get two fussy cut 6 inch squares, so it seemed obvious to make a couple of cushions that used the same central panel design as I used in the quilts. I wasn’t entirely sure I had enough of the other fabrics to make all the border pieces I’d need for two cushions, but I just squeezed it, with a bit of bias joining on one of the outer border pieces.
While thinking about the design and looking at the fabric, my eyes fell on a couple of scatter cushions on our couch, and it dawned on me that the colours of the fabrics would actually suit MY living room colour scheme of browns and duck egg! So I’ve decided that these two cushion covers will be for me – hurrah! Not only that, it also dawned on me that this might be a great opportunity to buy a little Kaffe Fassett shot cotton for the cushion backs – I’ve been wanting to try it for ages. I ordered up a half metre in this colourway, which is actually quite a brown grey, and the blue in it is just lovely, it co-ordinates perfectly with the blues in the Timber & Leaf fabrics. The fabric itself is so light and airy, I really am going to need to find a reason to use some more if it in other colours!
In half a day yesterday I did all the cutting out and piecing for the cushion fronts and got them pinned to some lovely silk wadding and a backing of quilter’s muslin. I machine pieced too, which is something I don’t usually do – so quick, but a bit soulless. I only had an hour or so spare to work on them today so have managed to baste one of them in a 2 to 3 inch grid. I personally always baste my quilts with tacking thread because I’m a naturally clumsy person and need all the help I can get! I recently tried hand quilting a very small piece that I’d used only basting pins on and I really didn’t get on with it. Hand basting with a needle does take a bit of time, but for me it’s worthwhile.
Looking forward to working on these again tomorrow – especially starting the hand quilting, which I seem to be looking for an excuse to do all the time recently – I think that is just because I have finally ‘got it’.
So I’ve just given my hands a little spa experience in front of the TV. After several days of sewing, they needed it.
The quilt top was pieced several days ago (which was when the picture above was taken) and yesterday, I put together the backing, inner batting and top to make the quilt ‘sandwich’ and basted it all together with hand stitches. I also started adding the quilting stitches yesterday and I’ve worked at it all day today to get it finished – which it is – yay! Tomorrow I’ll make the binding, square the quilt (where you trim it and make all the edges square and straight) and start adding the binding. I really enjoy adding the binding, I like the challenge of making my hand stitches as invisible as possible.
I’ve enjoyed realising this quilt design so much that I’ve ordered some more fabric to make another version of the quilt. It will look quite a bit different, but will be based on the same basic design.
I’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the actual process of making the quilt, which becomes a kind of personal ritual as you find your own way of making a quilt. There’s the really fun stage of designing and planning followed by the stressful cutting part. Then you bring the pieces together, which for me involved lots of hand sewing with the TV on in the background. This is also a stage that gives me a good workout as I have to run up and down the stairs to press each part as it is completed and pin up and baste the next part. As I have a tendency to leave something in the upstairs studio or in the downstairs living room (tape measure, scissors, pins, thread – sometimes even the pieces I’ve been stitching), I go up and down the stairs dozens of times a day in the piecing stage. Next comes the sandwiching, basting and quilting, which I tend to do in the studio over a few days with an audio book playing and finally, the binding, which will see me back in front of the TV, relaxing with my hand stitching.
Once the quilt is finished, I will then have to find a couple of smaller quicker projects to stop myself from jumping straight into the next quilt, which I know is what I will be itching to do – quilting can be addictive!
I’m definitely a wuss when it comes to cutting fabric. For one thing, I love the fabric so why would I want to chop it up and, for another, I am ridiculously clumsy and am not usually allowed anywhere near implements with sharp edges yet, here I am again, wielding two such implements: a rotary cutter and a big pair of fabric scissors. They’re both sharp; really sharp…
After spending the first couple of hours of the working day hopping about the internet and avoiding said sharp implements / prevaricating about cutting up the lovely fabric, I finally went to the cutting board and got on with it. Not too bad this time – only a couple of disasters:
- Mmm, didn’t buy quite enough of one fabric to do what I wanted to with it – thank you Celtic Fusion Fabrics for sending me a bonus fat quarter with my bundle – that will come in very handy
- Ooops! Musn’t forget to keep rotary cutter right up next to the ruler when cutting – when I don’t do this, rotary cutter wanders off in non-straight line and ruins one of the 7 inch squares I just cut that should have yielded 4 triangles. Back to mat and cut another square to make some replacement triangles from fabric I only just have enough of.
This quilt also calls for some ‘fussy cutting’ of fabric – something that horrifies my fabric magpie inner being – it is SO wasteful! I had to work very hard at concentrating on the job in hand and not letting my mind run rampant over possible ideas for using up all the offcut fabric. On the up side, the fussy cutting part of this is kind of the heart of the project design, so I really do need to get over it.
At least I can now start sewing the pieces together – bliss (note to self – do not question yourself about why you are spending hours cutting fabric up and sewing it back together).
I love looking at fabrics and yarns and often spend hours floating around the net looking at what’s out there. Apart from the simple pleasure of window shopping, you never know when inspiration will strike. I have recently discovered this shop, which has a great selection of fabrics, including Blend Fabrics.
Looking through the Blend fabrics Celtic Fusion Fabrics had in stock one evening a few weeks ago, I fell in love with Sarah Watts’ Timber & Leaf collection. The memory of it seemed to stick in my head until I woke up the next morning because I had an undeniable urge to make a quilt with it, and I was pretty sure how I wanted it to look. I rushed to turn on the computer, work out the amounts of fabric I needed for my idea and put in the order, quick sticks!
The fabric bundle arrived shortly afterwards and I’m planning to start the quilt next week. My idea is essentially to create a window in the centre of the quilt through which the forest creatures of the fabric can be seen. It looks brilliant in my head – I now just have to make it happen! Gulp…