Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Watery Roses

It's been an awfully long time since we've had a quilty reveal, don't you think?  Let's put that right straight away then.

I've found it really difficult to settle down and make much whilst we've had the builders in (yes, they started in February, yes, they're still here).  One day though, (I think during one of the many long periods when they failed to turn up), I felt the urge just to make something simple and reached for the stash and my favourite colours of pink and aqua/green.  Simple squares were all that was called for.

I decided to have another go at free motion quilting.  I wouldn't say I have done a great job but it is not bad for a beginner and you know what they say, practise makes perfect, and it really isn't easy, especially on a large quilt.  The only problem is that I'm not sure I really like the look FMQ gives,  it doesn't look that vintage to me.  It also makes the quilt go very wrinkly which in my opinion, can detract from the fabrics themselves.  It was quite nice to do, though, it is indeed quite liberating and makes a nice change.

I used some fabrics which I haven't used in ages.  Amazing what you find in your stash when you look. I absolutely love this fabric you see in the centre of this photo.  It's a pretty old Amy Butler design, in fact it was already old when I first got back into sewing and started looking for it, probably five years ago, and I bought it after much searching, in a lucky eBay auction.  I have a skirt made from it and now only very little is left.  

It struck me that it is not dissimilar from one of her more recent ranges, the fabric you can see in the middle of the photo below (on sale in John Lewis, by the way).  I also really like this fabric but once I put them side by side, I much preferred the older one.  I really like Amy Butler, she's very talented and was one of my first sewing inspirations, and having met her, I can say what a truly lovely person she is.  I haven't liked her more recent fabric ranges as much, though, not as I've liked those from 5 or so years ago.  I think this is because they've had a more modern and graphic vibe in very bold colours.  Funnily enough, she has just reprinted her early Gypsy Caravan range.  Oh dear, there I go, warbling on about fabrics again.

Inside then, it is a welcome change on the bed from the eidy and thick furry flanelette quilt now the temperatures have improved.

I backed the quilt with one side of an Ikea duvet cover, a pretty rosy fabric, and a cost effective way to find backing fabric which is wide enough and doesn't break the bank.  The binding is a pink polka dot from The Cotton Patch and there is a name patch made from a patch of vintage embroidered table cloth.

"Where's my eidy?"  says lion.  

Oh ok, I'll make do with this old thing.


  1. Lovely quilt yet again! I'm so envious may I borrow few of your hours to get mine finished?

    I'm with you on the FMQ I think it makes quilts look like commercially made ones but then that is just my opinion.......

    I see your beautiful cat (don't know his name) finds it comfy!

    Will the building work be finish by Christmas........?
    Julie xxxxxxxx

  2. I love it, the colours are mine. I was hoping you may have added it to your shop :-)

  3. It's really beautiful! What a very privileged kitty!
    Jess x

  4. Beautiful quilt! I was looking at the intricate stitching pattern you used and the thought occurred to me that there might be a mile or more of thread in one of these quilts. :)

  5. This is just lovely! Don't be so hard on yourself you've done a great job! Hope you had a good holiday! Ada :)

  6. I love it!I really like the more simple quilts, just plain squares and I also like the crinkly look although I can see what you mean about it not showing off the fabrics so well. You've given me a great idea about backing the one I'd making, (I use the term 'making' very loosely as I only started doing this lark a couple of weeks ago and it's all by hand) with backing it with a quilt cover. What a good idea, I am going to dig out all my cupboards forthwith to see what I can cut up! I'm a bit ahead of myself but I want to be prepared!
    Enjoy the sunshine and I hope the builders are finished soon!

  7. Lovely quilt, Hen, and I really like your label!

    Totally with you on the FMQ front - I stopped doing it a few years ago and have been hand quiiilting since. I have done some really big quilts with quite detailed machined quilting...I drew the patterns on first. But the problem with the 'vermicelli' is as you say, you get quite a markedly 'tight' hand to your quilt. Mind you - it looks like you've done your quilting fairly big so it doesn't look so 'scrunched' - it is still a beautiful quilt. But I will not be fighting a double quilt under the machine any time soon!

  8. A very nice quilt and a very cute little cat. Richard from the Amish community of Lebanon,Pa

  9. Beautiful quilt in lovely colors.
    Thank for sharing.

  10. chulisima,estoy preparando una
    un saludo,des Barcelona

  11. Such a beautiful quilt. You really are a very talented quilter Hen.

    I always enjoy looking at your gorgeous handmade things :)

    Ruby x

  12. what lovely colours!
    well done on making this quilt and thanks for sharing!

  13. Good evening from New York Hen. It's grand that your builders' schedules have at last provided you with enough time on your own to have some quilting fun, exploring shape, pattern and color.

    I grew up with hand made quilts and somehow will always think better of them than I will of machine made quilts. Luddite? In this category, yes.

    All the same, this latest quilt of yours does reveal your marvelous sense of color, value, pattern and technique.


    I can see that the judge with the fur coat agrees.


  14. Your quilt is lovely!! I agree about the FMQ, but you did a great job!

  15. Another beautiful quilt, love the colours and the backing fabric is pretty too.
    Linda O xxx

  16. A beautiful quilt, Hen. The colours are wonderful together.
    How do cats know just which quilt or rug to lie on in order to show their own extraordinary coat colours off to best advantage? Tell puss he made a great choice for a photo venue!

  17. Yet another lovely quilt Hen, I like the simple squares :) x

  18. I love your quilt! It looks so pretty in your bedroom, very summery!

  19. I think it looks beautiful! I actually quite like the FMQ look although there is no way I'm going to wrestle a big quilt onto my sewing machine. I think the slightly 'shrunken' look it gives, especially if used with cotton batting, does make it look slightly vintage as it looks as if it's been washed loads of times. I'm in a minority I see but, there you go.

  20. Beautiful! There is nothing prettier than a simple patchwork quilt. I'm just practicing my free motion quilting too!
    Happy sewing

  21. Love the quilt! It is playful and the colors are lovely.

  22. Beautiful quilt, I love your choice of materials.

  23. Helen, your quilt is so dreamy and simply yummy!! you've done a lovely job with fmq and i personally love the crinkly look..it gives it a snuggly vintagey look that i love!! It looks fabulous on your bed :))

  24. FMQ- I really am not at all sure about it either...what I really dislike are quilts that have been quilted to death with computerised machine quilting, so the fabric gets lost in the quilting and the quilt becomes quite rigid it has been stitched so much. Hand quilting just gives a lovely finish, though I wouldn't be without my sewing machine for piecing and some swift quilt/wadding/backing securing..I also get rather bored by too much machining.
    I feel for you over the builders.We had 16 weeks of it a few years back, by the end I was ready to kill.

  25. It's beautiful Hen! I love that AB print as well, and agree on her current lines. I like the prints, but there's a lot of Navy, and I really don't like that color too much. But I buy them anyway... :D lol

    Pretty, pretty...

  26. Love your fabric choices. The quilt is so lovely. You must have the same builders we had a couple of years ago when we were remodeling our kitchen. Wouldn't show up until afternoon, worked for an hour and left. Lucky I still have any hair left as I felt like pulling it out.

  27. Your quilt is lovely, and your bed looks nice and cosy.

    We have left a note on the cat blogosphere website so that the gang come and visit Lions new website.

    Julie and Poppy Q

  28. I love the wrinkly effect! For me it enhances the fabrics, but there you go- it's all taste. Love the colour combos as well, very summery!

  29. Hen, your previous photos are beautiful. I hope you had a most fantastic time!

    This quilt is just so pretty. I with you on the FMQ. I've been practising doing it, but I do think hand quilting is so much more 'quilting' imho. LOL

    I do hope your builders are finished by Christmas my dear!! You've been so patient!

    have a most splendid weekend Hen.
    Thankyou for another inspirational post my dear :o)

    Love n hugs,
    Donna xx

  30. Hello Hen

    Did I really read that right...a beginner???? If that is what you can turn out in such a short amount of time as a beginner then I'm looking forward to seeing what you'll do in six months!!! phew!!! its lovely and I like the crinkled look of the fabric.
    oh,yes and
    I'm doing my first giveaway and its open to everyone-do pop in if you have time :-9

    Keep well

    Amanda :-)

  31. Gorgeous quilt, congratulations

  32. It's gorgeous!!! So coZy!!

  33. I see you've mastered the fmq!!
    I didnt know you had builders in too.
    I have been totally un-craftlike whilst they've been here, we are nearing the end, how about you?

  34. omg, your kitty looks exactly like one of mine! beautiful blog girl :)


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