Pink quilt top – finished!

At last, I’ve finished my first larger-scale machine stitched quilt top. I think the colours look better in real life, the sun must have gone behind a cloud when I took this. Its only predecessor is a c. 12 x 24 inch sample I tried with a fat quarter bundle as my first ever experiment with quilting. After that, I took refuge in hand sewing! As mentioned in previous posts, this is a long way from perfect; I would say that only 50-60% of the corner actually meet, and the sides aren’t the same lengths. I measured the top as 53 inches wide but the bottom as 54, and the sides are 53 1/4 and 53 3/4. But I did the best I could and must plough on! There was fair amount (ok, lots) of use of the seam ripper, but on the plus side I think I use the machine better  than I did.

Next step is to make the back, which I think is just going to be big squares. I mostly couldn’t get the same fabrics, just one fat quarter which was part of a bundle I used for the front and must have been duplicated, but I’ve got a lovely butterfly fabric. Some I bought online turned out not to look so good in the flesh (one had a blue/lilac background I completely failed to notice in the picture on ebay), so I’m going to end up with as big a stash as I had before starting this, and one of my motivations was to decrease the stash! I haven’t decided what size to make the squares, because of having to make the back bigger than the front then trim it down after quilting, and I’m painfully aware that the quilting lines won’t be equal on back and front. But most of all, I’m nervous about the quilting itself: not so easy to use the seam ripper when there’s wadding involved. So I’m going to practise on smaller pieces just to get a feel for how the machine works and which stitch to use. Also, my mother-in-law is interested in helping and would like to see how my machine operates. I also have to establish where to buy larger pieces of wadding. One step at a time. On the plus plus side, my attempts at needle-turn applique with the flower shapes got better after the first two.

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Red fox and other woodland animals

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This is the latest block, using a new ‘woodland animals’ fabric I got on e-bay, with three of my three favourite blenders almost all I have left of the dark orange leafy one which is now discontinued (another e-bay purchase I haven’t seen anywhere since). I actually finished this over a week ago, but between concentrating on the pink quilt, doing no patchwork at all at the weekend, and having a sudden surge of enthusiasm for my cable knit jumper and cross stitch cushion cover, I find I’ve backed off this project a bit. Ironically, now autumn is starting to kick in I’m keen to get on with the jumper, which is in a natural brown undyed wool, meaning the autumn quilt is being neglected! But they say a change is as good as a rest, and I’m going to get back on the case tonight and choose fabrics for the next block. It’ll be nice once autumn starts to feel more properly like autumn, instead of having darker evenings and mornings, overcast skies and falling leaves, but a horrible hot humidity that means I’m still in sleeveless tops and wishing for some air. Soon, soon…