Friday, 8 August 2014

Sea and storms, a new idea for cushion making


Yesterday I had a wonderful day at the Festival of Quilts at Birmingham. It is an enormous quilt show, with huge numbers of traders, teachers, artists and visitors. For someone who works alone most days, it was even a tiny  bit too much, a little overwhelming. Do you feel that way sometimes in big crowds?


3D zoo animals at the Festival of  Quilts 2014, I didn't write down who made them,
 if you know, please tell me so I can add the name


 But I met some lovely people and got lots of ideas, bought a tiny amount of fabric ( Ha!) and saw lots and lots of beautiful quilts made to such a high standard, with enormous skill and artistic flare, until in the end, my head was full to the top!

Pidgeons in a Garden by Chloe Redfern



 

               One of my favourite stands was that of a quilter called Janet Clare. I bought her book called Freya and Fred, a gentle story about a little girl and her dog, with lovely ideas for little quilts, all in soft colours and with beautiful photography too. I can't wait to make some of the things for the youngest little girl in our family.


I also bought her charm pack of little squares, smaller than a normal charm pack; because I loved the sea and sailing theme. The fabric range is called Hearty Good Wishes by Moda.

Then I met a lady called Paula Doyle from Green Mountain Quilts who was so kind and showed me her amazing method for making very small blocks using one inch squares...sooo small and would be fiddly if you didn't use her method and so easy to control if you do! Her quilts were stunning, do look at them here.




Freya and Fred by Janet Clare











Then I had a brainwave, a light bulb moment and thought I could combine the charm squares with the method and, hey presto, I would have perfect seams, all matching, no more slipped points for me... hooray! And then I thought I must share the news and show my first tutorial ever. 


So here I go, please be patient if I have missed bits out, it reminds me of my student nurse exams which one would fail if you sent the patient home in your essay without taking the intravenous catheter out!

       You will need:

  •  A tiny charm pack or 42 squares cut to the size you want to use.
  • A piece of iron-on  Vilene about 24 x 24 inches
  • A large piece of baking parchment to cover your Vilene square
  • Extra matching fabrics for the sashing and back of the cushion 
  • Sewing machine, threads, iron, a travel iron is great here for size, and maybe stuff to clean the iron if you touch the Vilene glue with it.
Method:

Spread out the Vilene, glue side upper most( it feels more bobbly then the other side, that's the glue bobbles). Arrange your squares in pleasing pattern, leaving a tiny gap between each one.

Squares on the Vilene
Just touch the centre of each one with the iron tip to anchor it, then cover all the squares with the baking parchment to protect the iron and press the squares onto the Vilene until they are glued down.


Moda Squares ironed to Vilene

Trim the Vilene around the edges of your squares

trim the Vilene
Fold the right sides together along the first little gap between one row of squares. Pin and stitch a 1/4 inch seam through all layers
fold the right sides together along theVilene gap

Here you can see the stitching

stitching the seam

Complete all the 'little gap' seams in one direction.

all the seams in one direction complete

Press carefully so all the seams go in one direction, use the parchment to protect your iron. I can't tell you how many times I have glued the iron to the ironing stand! Paula cuts open her seams here to press them flat, but I left them closed as I lost my nerve with the scissors! This is what the right side looks like:

right side

Now pin the seams in the other direction and stitch down with the first set of seams facing towards you to stop them rucking up and turning over.

stitch with the seams lying towards you

Press on the right side, a seam iron helps here to flatten all the seams. Now look at that! Every corner perfectly matched! Hooray! Pure magic isn't it? Now you can add some sashing around the edges....

sashing added
and some embroidered letters which Janet teaches you how to do in her book. I have added the name of the fabrics as it goes so well with the theme of the cushion If you layer the piece with wadding and a backing fabric you can do a little quilting, I did a big grid like a fishing net...


Now the piece can be made into a cushion, a wall hanging, a bag or whatever you wish.....It is too dark here now for the final ta dah photo of the cushion, so please pop back tomorrow and I will have added it then.



If you have glued your iron to the Vilene, this cleaner is excellent, I have bought many tubes and I'm not showing you the plate of my iron...


Faultless hot iron cleaner

I just wanted to say thank you to Janet and Paula who made my day special and whose talents have been behind the  the design of the fabric and the  Vilene method for making this cushion, although the tutorial is written by me.

Here is another quilt from the show which touched me deeply. there has been so much bad weather,so many storms, so much loss and sadness due to the  damage throughout the world, this quilt says it all:

Deluge  by Hilary Richardson
It was quilted in straight diagonal lines like heavy rain. Here is Hilary's inspiration:

Hilary's caption beside the quilt at the Festival of Quilts 2014

If you have been able to follow this tutorial then I am really pleased as it is the first I have written and I hope my patient goes home in good condition ( see above!). If you can't make head or tail of it, I will try again, just leave a comment about where I lost you...

It is raining heavily here, we won't be flooded as we live on a hill,
 I hope you are all safe and sound too,
Kind regards,



















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Thank you for all your comments, I love to read them and will visit your blogs too if possible. Comments are so encouraging and I love knowing that quilters from all over the world are visiting the blog.
Happy quilting everyone!
Sue