Tag Archives: quilt

Non-secret sewing! Something for me (or rather, the cat…)

Hurrah! I’ve found something else I can show you which isn’t top secret!

Firstly, a little update on the chickens. The line-up has changed somewhat over recent months, we lost Priscilla (to a tumour) and Betty (fox) within a few weeks of another, which was really upsetting (softie over here shed a few tears…) and meant we were down to just two. It probably would have stayed that way – they were confined to their coop much more often due to fox-paranoia, and I didn’t want to cram more in and overcrowd them. However, a couple of weeks later my neighbour knocked on the door – “I can’t keep my hens anymore. I’ve found a home for two, please will you take the last one?”. Not being someone who could say no to a lonely, single hen in need, I took her in and Joan became the newest member of our family. Just a few days later the neighbour was at my door again with another chicken under her arm, saying the other person only took one, and just like that I was back up to four! Audrey, Myrtle, Joan and Beatrix.

Staying true to my plans of not overcrowding the ladies, we set about building them a new, larger run. Hubby indulged my mad idea of upcycling an old greenhouse, and thanks to friend’s dad donating one for free, we had a new weekend project. It took about 5 hours just to disassemble the bloody thing, and the whole project took about 3 weekends in the end, but I’m pleased to say my mad idea paid off and their new run is much larger, half of which is covered, and makes a lovely feature in the garden. Now I don’t feel so guilty if I can’t let them out to free range, and don’t have to panic when I see a fox in the garden (which is very regularly at the moment). Shout out to Jubilique and Louise who custom made the amazing sign which makes me chuckle every morning.

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Right, back to quilts!

It might surprise you to hear that in the years I have been quilting, I have never made a quilt for myself! Everything I make is commission based or goes into my Etsy or Not on the Highstreet shops. Although we had a guestbook quilt at the wedding – blocks for this are still (a year later!) in the hands of friends and family who didn’t sign it on the night (you know who you are!), so this remains a UFO/WIP for the foreseeable future. Actually, I started making the blocks for this so long ago that we’ve since changed the whole colour scheme of the house and it will no longer match anyway. Of course I’ll still finish it for sentimental reasons. Someday.

Earlier in the year we repainted our bedroom and I wanted to make something for the bed to bring in a splash of colour and cosiness. I had been hoarding quite a few of my favourite prints for a while, and back in June I had a spare couple of days before jetting off on holiday, and decided just to bash them all together into a super-quick (I literally pieced, quilted and bound this in a day and a half!) large-block quilt. Indigo and grey are my two colour obsessions so most of my favourite prints already coordinated, and thanks to a little bit of orange in our bed linen, I threw in some of that too for an extra pop of colour. There are a lot of Carolyn Friedlander prints in here, as well as Karen Lewis, some Cotton+Steel, Liberty and some random ikat and floral prints, to name just a few. A hodge podge of everything really. It’s not going to win any awards, but I am completely and utterly in love with it. Sometimes simple and easy is the best.

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Of course it never made it’s way onto the bed. After snuggling with it on the sofa one night, Kira claimed it as her own, and now it is rarely seen without a stripy cat atop it – she was quite put out to find it in the garden for photography so I couldn’t possibly move it up to the bedroom which is Norton’s territory (our cats are not buddies). At least my living room is indigo and grey too so it looks just fine there. And now I have an excuse to make us another!Collage3Collage4

Funny detail – I did a bit of a slap-dash job of basting this quilt and so the selvedge of the backing fabric made it through. Considered appliquéing over it, but I’m actually really amused by the irony of the ‘made by Ikea’ label on the back of my lovingly handcrafted item…!

L x

For more regular updates, follow me on Instagram – @lauradimplestitch

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Secret Sewing

In my head, it had been about six weeks since I wrote a blog post, so I was horrified to see it’s been double that! My blogging has really slowed down this last year, partly out of being busy with other things, but also because a lot of what I’ve been working on has been top secret!

Finally, I can reveal one of these hush-hush projects which I made way back in April now ,for this month’s Love Patchwork & Quilting mag. LP&Q have teamed up with The Cotton Patch to launch The Cotton Club, a new monthly pattern with a fabric kit you can buy to make the quilt yourself. It’s a fab idea and I was thrilled to be asked to design this bright quilt featuring hot and spicy Kaffe Fassett prints. It never gets old seeing your work in print alongside so many other brilliant quilters, so I was full of beans when my contributor’s copy landed on my door mat this morning.

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I used my favourite ever text print for the back, and now I almost love the back more than the front! I love how these fabrics play together. Need to panic-buy some more of this Carolyn Friedlander print. I can’t get enough of it…kfCollage2kf Collage3

Norton especially loves how they’ve styled my quilt for the mag, and can’t wait to get it back so he can roll all over the real thing. First though, it’s taking a trip to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts next weekend, so if you plan on going, stop by the LP&Q stall for a good look 🙂 See you there! L xx

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For more regular updates, follow me on Instagram – @lauradimplestitch

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Work in progress – a little HST quilt, just ‘cuz

DSC_0253 copygrey CollageCommissions have been keeping me very busy over the few weeks (not that I’m complaining!) and it feels like it’s been ages since I could just mess around on my machine and sew for the sake of sewing with no deadlines to work to or pressure to follow an exact design. This weekend I hit my stash and just pulled out a few fabrics to start playing around with. Grey, blue and yellow were the colours I felt drawn to, possibly on my radar due to the lovely little foxy quilt I finished recently. I fancied something easy as a warm up to spark my creativity for something more complex and HSTs (half-square-triangles for those of you who don’t know quilt-speak) were the order of the day and with the Nashville soundtrack on in the background (yes, it’s my guilty pleasure. Actually, I don’t even feel guilty about it!), I enjoyed churning these out by the dozen. I arranged them freestyley and whipped up a good few blocks in a couple of hours. Now I just need to choose a backing and binding and then I should have this little quilt finished in no time.

DSC_0266 copyDSC_0272 copyAnd, since these colours have inspired me, I thought I’d put together a little moodboard to see if they can inspire you too. I’ve found all sorts of lovelies on Etsy and Pinterest and particularly love that art print centre-right, both my fiance and I are prone to the hunger-rage…

greyblueyellow CollageTop row: Vintage yellow stool // Purdy grey pumps // Pretty nature photography

Middle row: Triangle studs // Antique chair // Cute art print

Bottom row: Grey knitted slippers // Porcelain poppy bowl // Styling with branches

 

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Back with a quilt-beast

Oh my poor neglected blog! I was doing so well with keeping up to date too.

The truth is I have been snowed under with work, and I’ve finally got some breathing space now to show you what I’ve been up to. I’ve mostly had graphic design work the last few weeks (which I can’t share), working for two charities as well as some work for my regular fashion clients.

But between all that, I have done LOTS of sewing and I’ve finally gotten round to taking some pics in the garden and am ready to share with you no less than THREE finished quilts over the coming days!

Oooh which one to show you first?! Eeenie-meenie-minee-mo…let’s go for ‘Zig Zag Wanderer

anna maria horner flannelThis is the first of two, what my fiance refers to as ‘honking big quilts’. And that they are, at a massive 70″ x 90″ they are my largest quilts yet (that’s all 6’4″ of him standing on a chair holding it up for the camera). These twin size quilts were commissioned by a customer in Canada and I am thrilled to be able to send them off to her at last.

Not only is this a beast in size, it is also made from the beautiful Anna Maria Horner ‘Folksy Flannels’ which make it very weighty and thick too. Perfect for snuggling under in the cold Canadian winters!

I’ve only worked with flannels a couple of times and have mixed feelings about it. I love the finished effect, but it can be a little harder work than usual.

Things I like about working with flannels:

  • They press beautifully flat
  • They ‘stick’ onto batting nicely which helps hugely with basting
  • They’re so touchable and oh so soft and snuggly!
  • They have a little give so you can ‘encourage’ your points to meet nicely 😉

Things I don’t like about working with flannels:

  • They’re slippery little buggers so you have to pin the hell out of them
  • They make my rotary blades and sewing machine needles very blunt, very quickly
  • They lint up my machine
  • They easily stretch out of shape
  • Super heavy to quilt, quite the work out (could be seen as a pro I suppose…)

Overall, I’m really pleased with how it turned out, even if it did take an age to make and meant moving all my dining room furniture around to lay it out! I’m afraid I didn’t get any pretty pictures of the ‘making-of’ stages, but here are a few snaps I grabbed on my phone which were sent to my customer as updates of the process.

anna maria hornerShe’s a beast, but a very pretty one. The quilt, that is, not the customer! Hmmm, maybe I should name her ‘Beauty and the Beast’ instead? She’s leaving tomorrow for her new home where I hope she’ll be loved and snuggled by her new family over the years. Good thing it’s not winter time here or this quilt would have to be prized out of my arms! One day I’ll get round to making my own mega-snuggle-beast like this one, I don’t think a household is complete without one…

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Feature Quilt – “The Birds and the Bees”

Happy Friday everyone!

As promised here are some pictures of my finished ‘Birds and the Bees’ quilt, which is now available on the Dimple Stitch shop here. I thought I may as well turn this blog post into a feature and include some images of the ‘making of’ – hopefully you find it as interesting as I do to see other peoples’ processes….Image

Fabric Selection –

Firstly a little about the fabric. If you’re a regular reader you will have seen me blog about deciding on fabric before. I’ve eyed up Tula Pink’s collections in the past, and finally settled on this collection as soon as I saw the little animals (always a winner for me!). Her designs are almost like little stories, and it’s easy to be drawn into her whimsical world! I’ve been reading her blog too and she’s pretty kick-ass. This is a really interesting post about her fabric designing process in case you’re interested. I chose the ‘Wasp’ and ‘Mist’ colourways for this quilt, as I love the wintery shades but also simply because I had already done a few ‘warm’ coloured quilts, that I wanted to do ‘cool’ one this time.

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Choosing a quilt pattern –

Tula’s fabric designs are so illustrative and artistic, that I really wanted to show them off, so I knew the quilt would have to include large blocks, as I did not want to cut up the prints too much. I wanted it to have something a little more than just a simple square block quilt though, so I decided to alternate large blocks with smaller ones sashed in solid white, creating little ‘windows’. And so, I did all the maths (a whole lot of maths!) to work out the size of each piece (many, many pieces!), and then got to making!

Making the quilt –

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The first steps in making the quilt are to iron the fabrics and then measure and cut out all the pieces (which can be the most time consuming part of the whole process). Then, they get laid out on the floor (the only flat space I have big enough for a quilt this size) and jiggled around until I am happy with the lay out and balance of colour and shade. Once I was pleased with the layout for this quilt, it was time to piece together the ‘window’ blocks. All 21 of them….

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When piecing, I do them in a long continuous ‘string’ so that I do not have to cut the threads each time. It just saves a little bit of time, and keeps them all in the right order. I then added the sashing and had a finished block. 1 down, 20 to go.

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Once I had pieced together all the windows, I then sewed them to my larger blocks in a checker board design and finally had a finished quilt top!

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Now for the fun part (well, actually I find all of it fun). After basting the back, the batting and the quilt top together (ok, I take it back, I don’t enjoy that part) I can start on the quilting. After much deliberation, I decided to quilt it in vertical wavy lines, in a pale grey thread. The waves echo some of the shapes in the fabrics and it gives it a very organic feel. It also creates a lot of texture in the quilt and makes it all puckered and wrinkly and lovely!

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Next came the binding. I used to hate this part but now I really love it. It’s like the final crowning piece of the puzzle that sets the whole quilt off. I pieced the binding with a dark navy cotton, broken up by scraps left over of the quilt fabrics to tie the whole thing together. After pressing in half and rolling it up (this makes it easier to handle), I machine sewed it to the back of the quilt, adding my label, and then folded it over and sewed it to the front. Voila! A finished quilt!

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I am so pleased with this one, I just want to snuggle under it myself! I particularly love the back, it’s very simple but I think the polka-hearts are just so adorable that I’m considering doing a quilt based on this back design. Watch this space!

The final part of the quilt process is naming it. I always name my quilts after songs and considered a couple of different ones until realising that there is a famous song called ‘The Bird and the Bees’ which of course was the perfect fit. It’s a golden-oldie and is such a charming and cheerful song that it really suited it.

So, because this post isn’t long enough already(!) here is the song, to cheer up your weekend!

I hope that was interesting, if so I will do some more of these.

Thanks for reading!

L xx

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