Friday, 23 January 2015

Spring chicks and a hyacinth inspired quilt

Hello and thanks for dropping in to see what I have been making this week. So far I have finished the hen and chicks baby quilt and here it is, a crib size measuring 93 x 80 cm and 36 1/2 x 31 1/2 inches. Just right to tuck around a new baby in the buggy or car, or to use as a play mat. Some of my customers hang this size quilt on the wall too. 

Hen and Chicks quilt by Green Star Quilts
Just to finish last weeks tutorial, I have quilted around the shapes very close to the edges and then free motion quilted with a wandering stitch over the white areas of the quilt.

And just a few ta dah moments.....

detail from Hens and Chicks quilt by Green Star Quilts
I love the egg yolk yellow of the chicks against the blues of the other squares... 

backing fabric for Hens and Chicks quilt by Green Star Quilts
The backing fabric is a turquoise blue with white polka dots. I use a lot of spotty fabrics as I like the retro look they give....

 Hens and Chicks quilt by Green Star Quilts
and it gave me a chance to look in our box of vintage Britton's farmyard animals to find the right livestock for the last photo...I do so love this bit, finding the right thing to add to the photo....

Hen and Chicks quilt with Britton's farmyard livestock
Does it make you think of Easter somehow? Hummmm chocolate eggs, now there's a welcome thought! 

Also this week my indoor hyacinths are in full flower. I would love to tell you that I am super organised, planted the bulbs before Christmas, kept them cool in the basement and brought them out when they started to flower.... I would love to, but being super unorganised ( and honest), I missed that bit out completely, went to the market, bought two pots, planted them into a bowl with extra compost and hid the plant labels! 

But the colour of hyacinth blue is so special and I have so many scraps in the sewing room, so I have started a hyacinth blues and greens quilt which will be a wall hanging for my kitchen. 

Here is the block... The white stars remind me of snowdrops with pointed petals...

Hyacinth quilt block by Green Star Quilts
This is the quilt so far... can you see that I have broken some random squares into smaller ones to add interest...

I'm not sure how big it will be in the end but I have enjoyed using 3 inch squares of my favourite scraps and the pile is getting smaller amazingly. It is a bit of a jigsaw puzzle on the back to get all those seams to butt up together without gaps... well there are a few I have found...

Hyacinth quilt top
Here are some of the fabrics used:

Hyacinth blues and greens in 3 inch squares
I wish I could say that no hyacinths have been harmed in the taking of this last photo, but yes, the right hand one did fall off and the stem broke, the other two flopped over in sympathy and look a bit sad.... oh well, off to the market again to buy the next two pots...

Hyacinth flowers and quilt top
It is freezing here in Lincoln today, no snow, but foggy and so very cold and I can't wait for the real spring to come. I will show you the (hopefully) finished quilt next week and also tell you about the monster king sized one which I am making over the next month. 

Happy sewing to you all this week,
Kind regards,

Friday, 16 January 2015

Bondaweb your chicken and quilt it

Here is the tuorial about how to use Bondaweb which is a fabric glue on a dissolvable web with a paper backing. There are other makes of a similar product, but this is the one I find easiest to use.

First draw your hen and chicks, just a simple shape is best to start with. Look in children's books, birthday cards, magazines for shapes and inspiration...

Pattern for hen and chicks by Green Star Quilts

Put your bondweb sheet over your pattern with it's paper backing uppermost. The glue side feels bumpy, the paper side feels smooth. Remember that your finished fabric shape will be the mirror image of your drawing, so turn it over if you want the hen facing the other way. Trace  round all the pieces of your pattern through the Bondaweb with a pencil.

Bondaweb tracing

Bondaweb shapes drawn out

Carefully cut around the shapes leaving a tiny margin at the edges. Handle the Bondaweb gently to stop the backing peeling off. Place your Bondaweb shapes bumpy (glue) side down on the back of your fabric. Iron carefully with a hot iron, no steam, and protect your iron by using baking parchment over the shapes just in case you have put one down glue side upwards, in which case it will stick to your iron.... trust me, I have done this loads of times!

Bondaweb shapes ironed onto fabric
Allow to cool down from the iron's heat, then cut your shapes out with sharp scissors on the pencil line.
Fabric shapes with Bondaweb backs

Peel the backing paper off the back of the shapes

paper backing is peeled off the shape

Now you are ready to place your shapes on the main fabric of the quilt, positioning them where you would like them to be on the finished quilt top.

Fabric shapes ironed onto quilt top
Iron them down carefully, using the baking parchment between your iron and the fabric. This helps to stop the pieces moving and protects your iron. Add the hen and chicks wings by repeating the ironing method.
Now your pieces are ready to be stitched down. I use free motion stitching but if you are not confident you can use a straight stitch slowly on these simple shapes.
When your hen and chicks are stitched down, you need to add some legs...

Chick with legs by Green Star Quilts

Now you are ready to layer up the quilt top with the wadding and backing fabric and quilt the whole top. 

I will show you the finished quilt in the next post. Have you been able to follow this tutorial ? I don't write many and hope I haven't missed out anything! If you are still bemused by Bondaweb and your pieces are stuck to the iron, do leave a comment and I will answer on the comments page...

I hope this is all helpful, I love this method and use it on most of my quilts,
Happy stitching this week,
Kind regards,

Sunday, 11 January 2015

A Noah's Ark quilt for Phoebe

The New Year is well underway and I am only just back in the sewing room. Bed has been the best place for me, with a horrid cough, and a desperate need for a new nose which doesn't sneeze all the time..... so this is a very late greeting of Happy New Year to everyone who reads my blog. 

Bridget commissioned a first bed size quilt for Phoebe and I have just sent it off to her in time for the Christening. This is the first Noah's Ark quilt design I have drawn and made and I am really pleased with it. It brings together my farmyard animals with their wilder cousins, with the ark in the middle. 

Noah's Ark quilt detail by Green Star Quilts

I decided to have one of most of the animals so there could be most species as the quilt is smallish. Choosing the fabrics and colours for the animals is always fun. I try to get the colour roughly right but don't worry too much about horses being flowery or cows being starry, although it is important to make the zebra strippy. 

Noah's Ark quilt detail by Green Star Quilts
When everyone is in place, I stitch round each animal and add some detail about feathers or muscles. The eyes for everyone are added last. When all the stitching is complete, then the top is layered with the wadding and backing fabric.

Noah's Ark quilt detail by Green Star Quilts

I love doing the free motion quilting which makes the animals stand out more. Here is the finished quilt which is already sold. The binding is a scrappy one made of two different fabrics, pink with spots and pink with white stripes:

Binding detail from Noah's Ark quilt by Green Star Quilts

 Phoebe's name is on the bottom:

Noah's Ark quilt by Green Star Quilts

Sheri asked me how I applique shapes onto the quilts and I wondered if you would like a blog about it? Just leave a comment and I will take photos for a blog post  as I make the next quilt which has chickens on it. Then we can do it together.

Urrrrgg, sniff, cough, I hope none of you have this cold too, but if so those tissues with Aloe Vera in them are wonderful!

Happy quilting in 2015 to everyone,
Kind regards,