MY FIRST BLOGGER’S QUILT FESTIVAL

When I first became obsessed interested in patchwork and quilting, the creative world I found myself in was one inhabited solely.  The pleasures of piecing and pressing would take me away from my mundane job and afford me an escapism that, up until then, my life had been lacking.  Once I began reading and following quilting blogs, I realised how many more like me there were.  It was a revelation!  At first I took a back seat.  I read incessantly, bookmarking and pinning things I liked, but never really engaging fully.  All that changed when I started this blog.  Of course, the intimidation was there; other blogs, blogs that I admired, had hundreds of followers, their sidebars were overflowing with sponsors’ badges.  How could I match that?  I soon realised I didn’t have to.  This little piece of the internet was mine, and I was happy to share it with as many or as few people as wanted to.  I guess that, like many novice quilt bloggers, I’ve admired past festivals from afar, never really thinking that I’d enter.  Amy’s words on the main festival page, “This Festival is for everyone – young or old, beginning quilter or advanced, any style or genre, everyone is welcome, and encouraged to participate with us!” let all know that this festival is for you, for us, and I’m excited to be entering for the first time.

I’ve decided to enter my Dinosaur Quilt into the Scrappy Quilt category.  You can find out more about the making of this quilt by clicking on the tag in the side bar.  It was a labour of love, and the first I shared the construction of with an audience larger than my partner and our pug Samuel.  This quilt was born out of a combined obsession of dinosaurs and fabric.  Despite my supposedly mature age I’ve never really grown up and probably have more books about dinosaurs than I do quilting.  Being able mix these two worlds in such a way was thoroughly enjoyable, resulting in a special quilt that will stay with me.  I stepped up my free motion quilting on this quilt and embraced the idea of negative space; both equally important lessons learnt.

Dinosaur Quilt 38" x 50" Quilted by: Me

Dinosaur Quilt
38″ x 50″
Quilted by: Me

The whole experience of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival is something I’m enjoying immensely.  I hope you’ll jump in feet first and check out all the other amazing entries.  There are so many great things being made each and every day and this festival is an awesome way for those things to be shared and admired.  What a creative bunch we are!

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A DINOSAUR QUILT

The dinosaur quilt is finished!  You can read more about this quilt here, here and here.  After much to-ing and fro-ing between different quilting designs, I finally sat down to tackle it last week, deciding upon a wiggly woven lines pattern that I found on The Free Motion Quilting Project blog.  My impatience got the better of me and, despite telling myself I wouldn’t, I quilted the entire thing in one day, taking about 8 hours in total.  Although not a huge quilt, measuring approximately 38″ x 50″, the design is quite close so my arms and shoulders really got a work out, although the texture of the finished quilting made it worth it.

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I’m so glad I get to keep this quilt.  It really is a showcase of the fabrics that I love, particularly my precious Heather Ross, whose colours seemed to compliment the dinosaur backing beautifully.  I also found the perfect thread to use.  This King Tut thread passed through my machine effortlessly and, when coupled with these needles, made even and stress-free stitches.  I recently switched needles after reading a lot of recommendations online and they’ll be my go-to needles for all future projects.

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The binding continues the dinosaur theme, though I didn’t have quite enough fabric.  I added some solid black sections which echo the sashing and the pops of black on the quilt top.

T-Rex seems pleased with the finished product, though I bet he’s just glad to have something warm to see him through the coming winter!

I’m ending this post on a cautionary note.  We all know that free motion quilting uses a lot of thread.  I was almost caught out this time.  I’d ordered the thread online and, rather than play it safe and buy 2, settled for one, 500 yard spool.  It quickly became obvious during the quilting of the last quarter that it was going to be close.  Thankfully, even after winding 5 bobbins, I had enough, though only just.  This is what was left; a paltry amount on the spool and a ball of trimmings.  I won’t be so daring next time!

A DINOSAUR QUILT, BASTED.

I thought I’d share this picture of the dinosaur quilt in all its basted glory.  Today has been the earliest I’ve had any time to work on this, so I’m happy to have it done.

When basting, I use spray rather than pins as I find it gives me better results, particularly with free-motion quilting.  I use the largest, flattest surface I can find and tape my pressed backing to it.  The wadding is put into position and affixed to the backing, working from the center outwards.  I repeat this for the pressed top, making sure not to distort or stretch the seams. Finally, I trim the excess backing and wadding to about 2 inches on each side of the top with pinking shears.  This method gives me a quilt sandwich which holds together well, with no puckering or bunching.

I’ve earmarked tomorrow for quilting and binding, so mint tea and biscuits breaks will be long and often.

A DINOSAUR QUILT…STILL A WIP…WITH SOME MINGLING

Unlike the dinosaurs, who in all likelihood had no idea about their impending extinction, I know for certain that the end is coming…for my dinosaur quilt that is.

It took me so long to decide upon a quilting design.  Should it be straight line or free motion?  Edge-to-edge or here-and-there?  Well, after much research and hair-pulling, I’ve finally decided on a design; something with curves to contrast all the straight lines of the piecing.  The quilt is destined to be basted on my next day off and then it’s peddle to the floor to get it finished.  My hands haven’t been idle; as well as planning the design of two other quilts, I’ve also made the binding, using a black, scale-like print from Bundle of Jungle by Laura Berringer which fits the theme perfectly.

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Keeping me away from the sewing machine is the Small Blog Meet over at Lily’s Quilts.  With this being a relatively new venture for me, I’m so excited to see what everybody else is doing, and to find out it’s not just me who is fabric crazy!  If you have 50 or fewer followers, visit the site and join up too.

 

A DINOSAUR QUILT – WIP

After much arranging of blocks, the dinosaur quilt top I’ve been working on for a few weeks is finished.  More than any of my other quilts this really has been a labour of love, owing to the awesome backing fabric I’ll be using, as well as all the bright and bold colours of the fabric.

I love the fabric in this quilt.  Most were pulled from stash, like the precious Heather Ross pieces that only gets cut into for the most special of projects, but a few were purchased during several of my fabric hunting expeditions as I felt they’d really work in this quilt.  The sashing and larger solid blocks are Kona coal, and the little bits of black in each coloured block is a great, pebble print I got from a local fabric store; it just screamed dinosaur to me!

The top measures 40 X 52, so it isn’t huge, and shouldn’t take too long to quilt.  I’m leaning towards an edge-to-edge free motion design for the quilting, with a preference for something with curves to contrast with the angular nature of the blocks.  I have a few ideas, but I’d love to hear what any of you think might work.  I’m waiting on the wadding to arrive, then I’ll baste.

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BEGINNING WITH DINOSAURS

Hello and welcome to Quilts From The Attic, where there are dinosaurs.  Not real ones of course, though that would make for a very interesting blog.  Alas, the dinosaurs I’m writing about today are fabric, or rather, I’m writing about fabric with dinosaurs on it.

I’m getting a little ahead of myself…let me explain.

It started not with a big bang, but fabric, and the fact that I can’t get enough of it.  I’m a quilter see, and my attic has been invaded, taken overadorned with the stuff.  I’ve always been creative, taught by my grandmother to sew and mend socks.  I was fascinated with the contents of her sewing box and wanted to make sense of seams and slip stitch.  About 3 years ago, needing a new creative direction, I happened upon patchwork and the quilting of it, and the rest, as per the extinction of the dinosaurs, was history.

I can count the number of quilts I’ve made on one hand.  The last two were gifted as wedding presents.  I love the process; the fabric selection, the cutting and piecing, and the satisfaction of that last inch of binding being sewn into place.  Along my past quilting journeys, I’d document with photographs and notes, jotting down ideas for next time.  A lot of my inspiration comes from the many wonderful quilt blogs that already reverberate through the blog-sphere.  Favourites include Red Pepper Quilts, Diary of a Quilter and Oh, Fransson!  So, it’s in good company that I embark upon my own blogging adventure and write this, my very first post.  If you’re still with me you may remember something about dinosaurs.  This is what I was talking about…

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This Dan Morris Timeless treasure fabric has been siting in my stash for a while.  You see, as well as my unhealthy obsession with fabric, I never really grew out of my dinosaur one either.  So, in a kaleidoscopic collision of creativity and geekiness, I’ve started to make a dinosaur quilt.  I scoured the web for inspiration yet was left somewhat unimpressed.  The majority of people who’d made dinosaur quilts had done so for children.  I wanted to make this for me.  I wanted it to be modern and manly!  The answer came in this tutorial from Oh, Fransson!  I’d found the perfect block!

I’ve since pulled fabrics to match the colours of the dinosaurs, a mixture of patterns and solids, with some black thrown in for contrast.  The plan is to have different sized rows of different sized blocks, something akin to dinosaur scales or plates.  I’m pressing on with the blocks and hope to have the top pieced by the weekend.

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