Tried and Tested: Clippings quilt pattern

I am currently working on this lovely pattern called Clippings which was published in Issue 28 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine. The pattern is for a giant block which finishes at 24 inches square. I wanted to turn my block in to a baby blanket so I added a 3 inch border.

Clippings WIP front

I didn’t use any wadding in this blanket and instead chose to back it in a cosy flannel fabric for a bit of extra warmth.

Clippings WIP back

You can see some of the sewing lines. In the centre where I did a bit of hand sewing with embroidery thread, just to anchor the centre piece. For the rest I decided to ‘stitch in the ditch’ using a red thread, around the dark fabric. Stitching in the ditch is usually done with a matching thread that will not show, but I wanted the thread to show, the red gives a subtle outline to the pieced design.  I love how it turned out, but it does require very careful stitching and concentration as any wobbling off will be very visible against the white background.

I just need to decide what I am going to do for the binding.

Fabrics used:
Top: Flappy Owl by Copenhagen Print Factory, Owls by Copenhagen Print Factory, Dot in Dots by Copenhagen Print Factory, White Every Day Organic Solids by Clothworks. Back: Twig Fall Tomato by Birch Fabrics.

Happy sewing,

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

Linking up with Bee Social and Sew Cute Tuesday and Freemotion By The River and Fabric Tuesday

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How to make a very easy flannel baby blanket.

organic flannels blankets

Flannel fabrics are just made for the winter months. Their soft cosiness is just perfect for snuggling up in. It’s lovely to sew with too (if you can stop stroking it for long enough), and perfect for whipping up a simple and quick baby blanket.

Organic Flannel Baby Blanket

This is so easy to make I hesitate to call this a tutorial.

Flannel Blanket Sewing SuppliesGather together your sewing supplies:

Fabric, I am using 2 pieces 75cm x 95cm to make a crib size, but you can cut the fabric to whatever size you choose. Just remember to cut 2 pieces.

You will also need pins, scissors, rotary cutter and mat, ruler, fabric marking pen, hand sewing needle and embroidery floss. Oh, and a sewing machine of course.  Continue reading

How to set pigment printer ink on fabric & Thank Friday It’s Finished!

Some weeks ago I shared with you a wedding anniversary photo quilt   I was making, and I mentioned that I had experienced some difficulty getting the printer ink to set on the fabric. I have now managed to resolve that problem and I wanted to share what I learned. But first it has been rather remiss of me not to show the finished photo quilt so here it is.

Wedding photo quilt wall hanging

Showing the close up first. You might have been thinking that photographs on fabric will be grainy and ill-defined, but actually you can get some very clear pictures by choosing a tightly woven fabric and making some adjustments to the photograph in a photo editor.

The background fabric is a white on white, you can just about make out the pattern if you squint. I chose the colour to tie in with the wedding theme. Similarly the red thread used to define and ‘frame’ the photographs, is a similar shade to the red in the bridal bouquet and bridesmaids dresses. I used a polyester wadding, so it can be washed without fear of shrinking. The backing is just a plain calico (muslin) fabric. For the quilting I obviously was not going to stitch through the photo’s themselves, instead I have stitched in the ditch around each photo.

This is a wall hanging. It’s finished size is 84cm X 71cm (33 X 28 inches). Here is the full view.

Wedding photo quiltSo back to the issue of getting pigment ink to set on fabric. When I began printing photographs on to fabric a few years ago I followed one of the many tutorials out there, which directed me to use a product called ‘Bubble Je Sett’. Bubble Jet Set is a liquid that the fabric is soaked in prior to printing, it then enables dye based ink jet printer ink to ‘bond’ with the fabric. This process also produces a fabric that can safely be machine washed without the photo fading away. This was the method I had used very successfully for years. Continue reading

Hand dyed fabric exploits

About 2 years ago I purchased a class form Craftsy called ‘The Art of Cloth Dyeing’ by Jane Dunnwold, and I have been totally hooked on dyeing fabric ever since.

This weekend I turned my bathroom in to my chemistry lab and began to play.

yellow hand dyed fabric

The top yellow pattern was made by continually folding the fabric in half until it could not be folded any more. The bottom yellow fabric was scrunched up in to a tight ball.

red hand dyed fabric

The top red fabric was pleated. The bottom red fabric was folded in the same way as the yellow above but the pattern here is much more pronounced.

blue hand dyed fabirc

The top blue fabric was made with a flag fold. The bottom blue is a pleat fold the same as the red pleated above.

I wanted to show you the different outcomes you can get with hand dyeing even when using the same techniques. For some people this would be off putting, but it is this lack of uniformity and the organic nature of the designs on the fabric that I adore. Manipulating the fabric by folding creates a resist to the dye and can produce some stunning patterns.

It is this unknown quality that separates hand dyed fabrics from printed fabrics. A print will be repeated across a width of fabric and each print will be exactly the same. You can see from the photographs that hand dyeing produces a unique pattern across the entirety of the fabric. Whilst it is possible to control the variables in hand dyeing to achieve a similar result, each batch of fabric dyed will be inherently unique.

The fabric squares in the photo’s are 10 inch cotton poplin and I used procion mx dye, which is a fibre reactive dye for cotton, linen and silk. The dye will react differently to different types and weights of fabric.

All of the fabrics here were dyed with 1 pure colour, that is a colour that does not have any other colours mixed in to it. I will do another post showing some mixed dyes and adding colour using a technique called overdyeing (basically dyeing the fabric again in another colour).

If you fancy giving hand dyeing a try Colourcraft (UK) do a starter kit, which comes with 6 dyes and the auxiliary chemicals needed for dyeing, however you will need to buy a wash product such as synthrapol.

My favourite of the dyed fabrics is the blue pleat fold, which is your favourite?

Lisa at The Quilting Bird.

Block Lotto – August

I joined the Block Lotto this month. I am not much of a traditional piecer…hmm… I may have mentioned once or twice that I do not have the patience for all that precision seaming! But it’s easy to get stuck in the rut of familiarity, so I decided to challenge myself to do more complex piecing and the Block Lotto is a great way for me to do that and have some fun with it.

This months block pattern is called Little Windows.

Block Lotto Little WIndowsYou can see why they are called ‘little windows’. The lovely thing about Block Lotto is that guidelines and suggested construction is given for the blocks which makes it really easy even for beginner sewers or quilters.

The requirements for the block is that it be 7inches finished size, each window could be a fabric of my choice and the frame fabric had to be a black and white print. I used a black and white fat quarter called ‘Scribble Spot’ from The Henley Studio for Makower UK, for the windows I used the scraps from my Lilac Baby Quilt (which is still a work in progress!).  I really like the combination of fabrics, I think the compliment each other well.

The great think about the Block Lotto is that at the end of the month someone is randomly chosen to win all the blocks that have been made. All the lucky winner needs to do is sew the blocks together in a design they like.

They are also doing a quilt along sampler quilt which looks really great. It is half way through but all the instructions can be found on the website, so you can join in at any time.

If you are interested in finding out about the Block Lotto click the button.

Join me on the Block Lotto Blog
blocklotto.com

I am linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday , Fabric Tuesday and Needle and Thread Thursday.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

 

Free Dashwood Studio fabrics

I was able to attend The Festival of Quilts 2014 in Birmingham, which I was very excited about. Unfortunately I do not have any photo’s due to technical difficulties (I forgot my camera…what can I say). Anyway, I arrived home to find this waiting for me.

Dashwood Studio Fabric

This lovely fat quarter bundle is a fabric collection from UK based textile design company Dashwood Studio, click here to read about how much I love them. This particular fat quarter set called Retro Orchard by designer Wendy Kendall.

The fabrics are really fun and lively so I have designed a simple quilt pattern to really show off the fabrics.

But the best thing about getting this fat quarter set, is that it was completely FREE. Yes that’s right, I didn’t have to pay for it. I took out a subscription for Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine and got this lovely bundle of fabric worth £25 FREE. You can get your free fabric bundle too, the offer is running until the end of October for UK subscribers.

Support British talent.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird

 

 

 

Dashwood studio ‘Enchanted Forest’ fabric collection

Following on from my previous post about UK based textile designer  Dashwood Studio, which you can read here,  I thought it would be nice to have a closer look at one of the very scrumptious fabric collections.

Enchanted Forest Fabric

The ‘Enchanted Forest’ fabric collection has been designed by Phyllida Coroneo.

Phyllida’s colour palettes and bohemian florals are influenced by her love of interiors and fashion styling, photography, culture and the British Landscape. The Enchanted Forest Collection was inspired by childhood memories of the Somerset Countryside and the magical series of ‘The Faraway Tree’ books by Enid Blyton

Want to find out more about British surface designer Phyllida Coroneo? click here

Do have a look at Dashwood Studio and support British talent.

Lisa at The Quilting Bird.