This is an overdue blog post, but although I may have been quiet on the blog front, I have been sewing at quite a rate of knots, and there are projects in various stages all over my sewing room! I do post mini updates on Instagram and Facebook, but I have finally sat down to note my progress over the last 2 weeks.
First up, I have completely finished my large heart quilt, having stitched down the last of the binding this afternoon. I did make a bit of a rookie error when it came to quilting it though, which meant that it is not quite perfect, but finished is better than perfect, right? I wanted to fill the outside of the heart with all over quilting, but keep the heart itself very simply quilted, in order to showcase the beautiful prints and highlight the heart. I decided to stitch in the ditch around the heart, and then did the outside quilting first, and that was my mistake. I should have started from the middle outwards, to smooth out any potential extra fabric, but as I'd already done it, I ended up fighting folds in the inner heart :-/ I was definitely not going to unpick all that stippling, so I just rolled with it, and apart from a few smaller tucks, I just about got away with it. It really doesn't show when you are just looking at the quilt, and probably it looks far worse to my critical eye, but I was a bit frustrated with myself. It's still beautiful though, and I love that the soft quilting in the heart means it drapes around you (like a hug) and the stiffer edges define it :-)
My friendship braid quilt is the last in the binding queue, and then I have 3 basted quilts to get working on. I managed to baste all 3 in 2 hours 10 minutes the other day, which I thought was quite impressive. On the topic of basting, I'm a spray baster, but if you are a pin baster, and you've had any hiccups lately, Allison over at New Every Morning patchwork and quilting has gathered together lots of helpful tips, after she had a basting crisis this week - https://patchwork-quilting.co.uk Isn't it great to be able to share tips with quilters all over the world, and I am forever grateful for all the help and advice I've managed to find online whenever I am a bit stuck! :-)
I particularly love the blue quilt on the bottom of the pile, and one of the fabric lines has this beautiful wording on it - 'Sewing mends the soul', which perfectly sums up how I feel about my quilting, and is one of the many reasons that I love to sew. I am very aware now of the fact that we are going to be getting a little bit more freedom again from tomorrow, and whilst I am thrilled about being able to see friends and family again after so long, even if only outside, I am already plotting as to how I can maintain a healthy amount of sewing time. I've tried to make sure that I have had some sewing time every day over this latter half of lockdown, and it's really become a part of my routine now, so hopefully I'll be able to keep that excellent habit going once busyness returns ;-)
I can be a bit of a sucker for a fancy ruler, or any equipment that makes life easier/quicker, but sometimes I find that I actually don't get on with them myself at all. One of my better buys though has been this Creative Grids Stripology ruler, which has made making binding and sashing a breeze. If you are cutting the width of the fabric, you do need to fold it 4 ways to fit in the lines, so do make sure you have a sharp rotary blade, but other than that, you just line it up and cut along the ruler in the slots at the correct intervals. It's so handy, and definitely one I'd recommend. The red binding is for my daughters quilt, which she has so nearly finished now, and the blue one was for the heart quilt. Hopefully if I keep busy this week, I shall have more binding to make for the next batch of quilts :-)