Three for the price of one…..sounds good to me!

Happy Sunday everyone!

Without further ado, I really need to welcome all my new followers this week, many of whom have found my blog via Claire, my wonderful cross-stitch friend in France. I know you are all waiting for the Mystery Stitch Along and I hope you can wait patiently for just a few more days 🙂 I’m very excited about it as I’ve never organised a SAL before and I know there are already several people signed up. Hopefully, Claire will correct me if I make mistakes 🙂

The SAL will be open to everyone, the more the merrier. I would absolutely LOVE IT if some of you could maybe try blackwork for the very first time with us. You have 12 days to sort out a piece of fabric to stitch on. Any cross stitch fabric will be suitable. My preference is for 14 count aida fabric but you can choose. My design is about 60 stitches square so make sure your fabric is big enough. Also, you will need some embroidery floss. Traditionally, blackwork was stitched in black, I bet you hadn’t guessed that already 😉 You can stitch in one colour, or if you prefer, a selection of colours. Some of Claire’s SAL members have used variegated threads and they look lovely too. We will be stitching with only one thread, unlike cross stitch where we would normally use two threads at once. I will provide the chart for my design FREE of charge. So, there is something for nothing! Don’t you just love that idea? I will reveal stages of the chart every Friday and there will be about an hour of stitching per week if you want to keep up 🙂 You can send photos of your work in progress to me (email address at the right of the page) and I’ll open, and regularly update, a stitchers gallery. So, watch this space……only 12 days to go!

A couple of my previous blackwork finishes are here and here so now you know what to expect 🙂

In the meantime, I declare another quilt finished 😀 Yesterday, I decided I would quilt whichever work in progress was at the top of the box of patchwork waiting to be quilted.

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I’ve named this one Picnic Pinwheels because the fabrics are the colours of the most beautiful flowers in the garden and the size, at 54″ square, is perfect for a picnic rug. I made the quilt top about a year ago at the same time as I made this one and this one. They are all from the same layer cake by Moda called Santorini. Not one scrap of the layer cake is left. I like to challenge myself to leave no scraps. I love the colours and the bold prints which I cooled down by teaming them with my most adorable Moda Bella solids.

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I know I make a lot of pinwheels but look at them. How can I cure this addiction? Do I really want to be cured? Nah! I think my Picnic Pinwheels could be the eye candy in my conservatory for the next few months. I’ll be spending a lot of time here, sewing in the glorious daylight, hopefully hand stitching the binding of many more quilts (still my favourite pastime ever!!).

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So, don’t forget to sort out your fabric and embroidery thread. Be there or be square a week come Friday 🙂

Have a wonderful crafty week! I’m linking to the Made It Challenge over at Woolhogs. Pop over and take a peek at all the goodies made by other bloggers this month 🙂

Avis x

Disappearing nine patch tutorial

The disappearing nine-patch pattern is perfect for a beginner quilter. In the tutorial below I have made a very scrappy version using lots of different fabric designs, but by choosing accent fabrics and simply arranging the blocks in different ways before you sew them together, you can achieve a very different look.

Here are some that I’ve made before. Can you tell they are all made with the same patchwork block?

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I had a day off yesterday which meant I had lots of time for patchwork. I’ve had the fabric for a while and some of you had great suggestions as to what I should do with it :-) but because I only had one day, I did something really easy. I still have plenty fabric left to try at least one more of your suggestions later. I chose the Disappearing Nine Patch block, which requires little preparation and thought.  It is ideal for left overs from layer cakes and, one day, I’ll make one with plain coloured fabrics.

I used seven different fabrics but you can use any number. The more variety, the better if you want a scrappy look, in my opinion :-)

Here are the basic instructions for making the blocks.

Cut twenty seven 10 x 10 inch squares from your fabric or use squares from a layer cake.

Cut each of these in half across and down giving  four 5 x 5 inch squares from each large square. You should have 108 squares altogether.

Then put them all in a box or bag and mix them all up. Choose nine squares randomly and sew them together to make a nine patch like the one below. Make twelve of these.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the clever bit! Cut each of your nine patch blocks down  and across the middle to make four new blocks like the ones below.

Then, all you need to do is mix them all up again and arrange so you don’t get too many of the same design next to each other. I like to put two little squares and two larger squares diagonally opposite each other to give a really scrappy effect.

I laid mine all out on the floor and swapped them around until I was happy with the arrangement. Then I sewed all the blocks in each row together and then sewed the rows together.

It is easier, when sewing rows together, to sew the 1st to the 2nd row, then the 3rd to the 4th row, then 5th to 6th and finally the 7th to the 8th. Then you have four rows. Then sew the top two pieces together and the bottom two together giving two halves of your quilt top. Finally join the two halves together. This way, you aren’t wrestling with most of the quilt a lot of the time.

My quilt top is about 39 x 52 inches at this stage. Make even more blocks if you wish or quilt and bind as it is to make a lovely lap size quilt.

Hmmm……This one is ready to go but…..

I’ve just got this one loaded onto the frame but I can’t decide how to quilt it so I’m taking a break and I’ll go back to it tomorrow. I know I’m going to use a gorgeous Nature Colors thread called Sea Foam 🙂

The colours are bright and fresh and the background is a buttery cream, not as light as in the photo. This is one of three quilt tops I made from the same layer cake. It is called Santorini by Moda and, yes, it was another bargain. I think I paid about ÂŁ18 for it. I cut the layer cake squares in half twice to get four 5″ x 5″ squares from each 10″ x 10″ square then made half square triangles with the cream using a chain sewing method. 

One of the others from the same layer cake is this one. I love pin-wheels and I like to separate them with sashes. This one has a white background and little squares from the same layer cake.

I have also made a disappearing nine-patch quilt top but need to take another photo of it! I can’t find it in my clever?? filing system! Actually, I wonder if it is still in the camera………..I’m off to find out!

Yey!! I found them. I’m including a couple of close ups as well.

And here’s how bright the colours really are……

anf finally…

So there we are, all three from one layer cake (not a scrap left), plus the white or cream. These were all really easy to put together.  Just need to get them finished now:-) I’ve just remembered, I also made my daughter a cover for her Kindle from her two favourite squares, so it was four items altogether.

My favourite part is hand stitching the binding to my quilts. I suppose it is the finishing touch. Does anyone else like binding?

Another one bites the dust!

Here is another completed project. I’ve had the top made for ages but managed to quilt and bind it today.

I have made two of these and a pillow. All from one Moda layer cake plus borders, binding and backing.

I think it will make a fab play mat 🙂

The layer cake had been reduced several times in my local quilt shop before I got my mitts on it! I love the bright colours and can’t really understand why other people had passed it by. Each to their own, I suppose.

I also liked the alphabet, numbers, colours and patterns.

I used matching pale blue yardage for the backing. It is covered in an animal alphabet and the characters are lovely.

This next one shows the backing 🙂

The binding is plain red from my stash.

I really enjoyed putting this quilt together.  I think it would make a great I-Spy game! I hope you like it too.

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