Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Not again...

So I had another go at working with the fabulous Anthology fabrics and, once again, I got it all wrong.  I want to get away from just putting patterned fabrics against plain old white or charcoal - the safe option - but what with the stripes going this way and that, everything seemingly having the same value, I have turned what I thought was going to be a fabulous block into some kind of dizzying vortex of dizziness.  Thank you for all your comments on my previous Anthology block and what I did wrong there.  I tried to correct those mistakes in this block but created a whole new set of mistakes - what did I do wrong this time???


Sunday, 29 May 2011

Put your sunglasses on...

I love each fabric individually. I love the block (from Sheila at bluepatchquilter's Mystery QAL). But all together this is not working for me. Is it because I've put together too many prints of similar scale prints and similar values? There's no contrast and the pattern doesn't pop in the way I'd like it to. Well, on the positive side, I'm trying my hardest to be brave with colour and pattern. As Dan (Piece and Press) told me: "Lynne, quilting isn't for wimps". Possibly my favourite ever quilting quote.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Yumma Lumma Ding Dong

Anthology Sweet Tooth Fat Quarter Bundle from Sew Fresh Fabrics.  http://www.etsy.com/listing/73031510/anthology-sweet-tooth-fat-quarter-bundle
Anthology Mod Charm Fat Quarter Bundle - also from Sew Fresh Fabrics. 

Carla's Quilt

Carla's Quilt, originally uploaded by Lynne @ Lilys Quilts.

Eight out of sixteen blocks made, two out of sixteen quilted.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Finally settled on three types of quilting

I finally settled on three types of quilting for the Ruby Star Rising quilt. Straight lines in charcoal in the picture frames. Squiggly lines on the wallpaper. Diagonal cross-hatch on the pictures. This could take some time... Thank you for all the suggestions, they really helped me to sort out what I wanted to do.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Mock up of Carla's quilt so far

I'm making a quilt for my sister's friend Carla. We settled on Ruby Star Rising after some gentle arm twisting on my part. I then came up with the idea of the quilt being a wall of pictures, framed with Kona charcoal on a Kona coral painted wall. I've taken five of the blocks and photoshopped them into a mock up of the quilt so far just to give Carla an idea of how it's looking.


I am going to quilt as you go on this one so I can quilt around all those frames individually without having to turn an enormous (100" square) quilt round and round and round. Here's one block I quilted already - I'm just wondering whether to add squiggly quilting on the red bits (to flatten them down because the quilting on the frames is making them pouffe up a bit) and diagonal lines (to suggest glass) on the picture bits. Any thoughts? Also, is "pouffe" actually a word and, if so, is it the proper quilting term?

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Name that Quilt

So I had a re-think on my quilt for the Brit Quilt swap and came up with this quilt:

Night and Day finished

And here is the back:

Night and Day (back)

The front of the quilt is heavily inpsired by one of my all time favourite quilts ever on Flickr, made by my friend Stephanie (Sleighd):

Circle tree quilt

Which had previously also inspired me to make these three tree wall hangings:


And this tryptich (is that the right word?) of quilts in a previous round of the Doll Quilt Swap:

I freaked a few people on Flickr out by making a mosaic of the world turning leading people to think I"d made four of these quilts:

Night and Day finished

Anway, what I was going to say was I had called the quilt "Night and Day" and then it occurred to me that, although the title fits, it's a bit boring and I bet you lot could come up with something more fun, funnier, more interesting etc.  All suggestions welcome.  

Monday, 23 May 2011

Final QAL post

Here is the final post for the Quilt-a-Long.  Join this QAL at any time. The starter post is here and the Flickr group to share your progress shots is here.  This is where I attach the backing to the quilted top.  I was surprised to find that this step was very quick and easy and I am pretty happy with the result.  Here was what I did as my final steps.

1.   Trim the batting so that it lines up with the edges of the quilt top in each of the six blocks.  Join the six blocks together sewing right through the quilt top and the batting.  I used a 1/2" seam allowance.  Once I pressed the seams open, they did not lay as flat as I would have liked so I sewed lines about 1/8" away from the seams sewing the seam allowances down.

2.   Lay backing fabric out on the floor / table and lay the quilted quilt top on top. I bought a duvert cover from IKEA which is super soft and cheap too.  I cut open three of the seams and then laid it flat out and it was way big enough for this quilt.  Baste.  I baste with safety pins although I do fancy trying out spray basting, especially for smaller projects.

3.  I then straight line quilted along the seams lines, around each of the inner and outer circles and around the outside of the skinny sashing and these quilting lines seems to be enough to attach the backing nicely to the front.  I bound the quilt using offcuts from the duvet cover I used for the back which match pretty well with the duskier browns in the La Petite Ecole Layer Cake I used for the quilt.

And that's it.  We're done.  All finished.  Thank you all for quilting along with me - it's been way more fun than I ever would have thought.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Bring me sunshine

Firstly, if anyone comes here from British Patchwork and Quilting magazine, please leave me a comment to let me know and tell me a bit about yourself.  You might also want to go and join the Brit Quilt Flickr group for quilters living in Britain, where we get together, chat, have a laugh, tell rude jokes, swap quilting tips, favourite shops etc.  There is also a Lily's Quilts Flickr group for anything you make from tutorials or Quilt-a-longs on this blog which you can find here.

It's one of those cloudy / sunny / rainy / dry / rainbow kind of days here in the middle of England today.  So, sometimes we need to make our own sunshine.  Here is a sunshine block I made for Marit in the Ringo Pie Bee online bee yesterday.  Anyone gasping at the complication of this block just needs to look closer and see that it is a modification of the Big Little George block I showed you how to make here, paper pieced in three sections for each quarter of the block, pieced together into one block with the central circle appliqued on at the end.

In the summertime

I also designed and made another circle for the Amitie BOM which again uses the same basic bits from Big Little George but with the central circle pieced in this time.  Let me know if you have a go at either of these BLG variations.

Amitie BOM

Saturday, 21 May 2011

British Patchwork and Quilting

My mate Lizzie Allen just emailed me to let me know that I am this month's featured blog in British Patchwork and Quilting magazine so I immediately leapt into the car, drove into my local town, dashed into Smiths, bought a copy and read MY NAME IN PRINT for the first time (ever unless you include the picture of me in the Berkhamsted Gazette when I was at the castle fete, front row in the clown show when I was five).  How exciting is that???  Champagne tonight and maybe some cashew nuts.  Thank goodness they didn't feature the post where we talked about the "letter box" or "watermelon" as Rhonda called it in her podcast about me.  I'm not sure the ladies in the patchwork guilds up and down the country would have seen the funny side of that little debacle.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Blogger's Quilt Festival May 2011

Once again Amy's wonderful Blogger's Quilt Festival has come around and I've let it slip through my fingers this year because I wasn't sure I had something I wanted to put in the Festival.  Then it occurred to me that, rather than hang a quilt up in the main hall of the festival, I might hang a few minis up in the mini quilt room because, if I put them all together, they still wouldn't make one whole quilt.  I know most people pass that room by because it's on the way to the toilets but I always go in there because it's a bit quieter than the main rooms which are teeming with bloggers elbowing their way through the festival and the coffee's cheaper.

First let me introduce myself.  My name is Lynne but my blog is called Lily's Quilts because my husband likes to call me Lily.  I live in England with my Welsh husband and our four kids who are kind to me about my quilting but don't think it's very cool (except if I make something from Dr Seuss fabrics then they're all over it like a rash).  I'm forty something and look it but in my head, when there are no mirrors around, I look more like a supermodel - however, this is not reflected back at me in a mirror sadly.

This year for me has been the year of the mini quilt.  Why?  They're quick to make.  Fun to quilt.  It's a great way to try something new without committing to a whole quilt of it.  And you can hang them up on your walls just like pictures.  So here are the minis I've made and I hope Amy isn't cross with me for showing several small quilts rather than one full-sized one.  Amy, please feel more than free to delete the link to this post if that is the case.

This was finished last night and has been made for my secret partner in the Brit Quilt Swap - a new Flickr swap for those quilters living in Britain.  It's my first time playing with scrappy and value.

Brit Quilt Swap

The hard lesson I have learned about scrappy though is that each one of those scraps has a story behind it for me - a gift from a friend or family, a piece from a favourite layer cake, which turns the quilt into a little story book of this year's quilting and so gives the quilt more meaning for me than a quilt made from fabrics bought for the purpose.  It's going to be difficult to give away.  Here is the back of the quilt.

Brit Quilt Swap - back

The next quilt was made as a teaser for the QAL I hosted earlier this year.  That dresden is about 25" across and those circles are pieced in.  Lots of people joined in the QAL and it was so much fun for me.  The QAL quilt is made from six of these big babies, is designed to be made from a layer cake plus yardage and instructions can be found on my blog starting here.  I have to slip in here too that we here in Britain are so proud of Aneela and her fabrics.  Sherbet Pips has been a hugely popular fabric line and remind us all of those endless days of playing with our kids in the park, wondering how long before we can go home and have a nice cup of tea.

Angel quilt anyone?

I made this mini for my Mum's 70th birthday - she asked for a Family Tree quilt.  I used shot cottons which give the tree a lovely shimmer.  Our names are FMQed onto the leaves.  There are some leaves without names but my sisters are going to have to fill those because I've had four kids and, fabulous as they are, that's enough now.

Family Tree quilt for my Mum

This mini comes up at about 22" X 30" and is called Double Fat Jack because it is a union jack made from two fat quarters plus a bit of yardage.  Instructions can be found on my blog here.  This was made the day before the Royal Wedding which was a day of fun and celebrations here in England (I know you know that of course) but it was a good day to be British.

It's the Royal Wedding Tomorrow!

This mini is called Big Little George because it is a big block  but a little version of the Georgetown Circle.  We had a little mini week long QAL on the blog for this and instructions can be found starting in this post here.  One day maybe I will make a proper Georgetown Circle but for now, I have made a mini one.

Big Little George quilted and bound and ready to hang in my kitchen

This mini was a fun way of playing with a lovely bundle of blenders from Sew Fresh Fabrics and making a variation on the big dresden QAL pattern.  I cut each leaf using my dresden ruler then added a skinny charcoal strip between each one and pieced the inner and outer circles in rather than appliqueing them so the circle just floats there.

A mini QAL quilt

And finally here is the quilt I made for my secret partner in the Doll Quilt Swap on Flickr.  It's my kind of little homage to the wonderful ladies of Gees Bend but doesn't come close (for me) to anything they made.
It's quilted, I'm done, I'm happy

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit my blog.  I am going to see as many quilts in the main hall as possible and will also try to visit back to any commenters on this post, which always makes the Festival more fun to me.  If you haven't entered the Festival yourself or haven't taken a look round it before, now's your chance.  It's a great way to meet new bloggers.  Click on this button to find out more:

Amy's Creative Side

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Brit Quilt Swap

It occurred to me a few months back that it would be fun to have a Flickr group where quilters living in Britain could get together and chat and so Brit Quilt was set up and we are now up to about 120 members. Out of that group came Brit Bee and then the Brit Quilt Swap.  We also have a chatroom (located on the right of my blog) and chats can be set up from the Brit Quilt, Brit Bee or Brit Quilt Swap Flickr pages - just advertise a time and date on one of those pages and then come here and have a chat.  We had one on Sunday evening for the Brit Quilt Swappers which was hijacked by my 12 year old son telling her we were all losers and weirdos and that it wasn't cool for people our age to use words like LOL.  So be it.  We think we're cool, to the extent that patchworkers ever can be cool.

So, on Sunday night the Brit Quilt Swap kicked off with partner allocations flying around the UK.  We have four mamas (those are the people that sort the secret partner allocations), 40 bebes (those are the people that make and swap the quilts) and one Uber Mama - that is of course me - Mrs Big Fat Bossy boots.

So I kicked around a few ideas in my head and took a look around my partner's pics, mosaic etc and started heading down the route of scrappy.  Having organised my stash and scraps into 10 IKEA tubs over the weekend, made this job a whole lot easier and a whole lot more fun.

Here is where I have got to so far:

Here's the thing

Here's my initial sketch for each quilt block:

BQS idea

Here's my first little triangle all pretty and pieced and proud and pointy and pinned to the pinboard.

BQS a start

Then came a few more.

Scrappy log cabin triangles
And then a trial layout.

Scrappy log cabin triangles

But here's the thing.  I love this so much that, unless my partner goes mental over it, I am going to keep it for myself and make something different for her.  I know that sounds horribly selfish but I made a quilt in another swap, sent it off all happily and never heard a thing from the person it was made for and it made me very sad.  

If my partner yells "knickerbockerglory" from the rooftops when she sees this, then I will be thrilled and she can have it with my big hearted blessing because it was made for her.  If she's kind of blah about it, that's cool too and I'll have a re-think for her and hang this on my kitchen wall and shout 'knickerbockerglory' from my rooftop (well the velux window just below because I'm scared of heights).

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

The Lovely Dresden

Hello from Down Under! I'm Cathy from Cabbage Quilts (Australia) and I'm thrilled to be posting over here on the gorgeous Lynne's blog. When I saw Lynne's lovely dresden QAL I said 'Oh yes, please may I make one of those! A bright one!'

This little quilt was made for a friend who loves pink, so we started off with lots of yummy bright pinks, sitting on a Jacobean looking black and white background......and a punch you in the eye black and white centre!

Next up a mini border with a mini dot...

After which the pinks needed to come back, mixed up with more black and white and surrounding the centre twice.

Then adding to the fun with some freemotion, circular quilting over the centre in black thread (a little wonky yes!)... 

...and some zig zag quiltyness on the dresden petals in pink thread...

All finished off with a nice fat binding.

Here it is languishing in the sun under the shadow of my clothesline! 

I do apologise for the amount of pink in this post, and I thank Lynne for being so kind to allow me to take over her blog for one post (I promise I will give it back now)! For my next project I just have to try making Lynne's Big Little George, what a stunner! xo

Monday, 16 May 2011

OK but what is it?

I made this block for Lisa (Shiner's View) for her month in Fresh Modern Bee 2. She asked for windmills, whirlygigs or other twirly things so I designed this. But what is it? I've had a few suggestions over on Flickr but I'm still waiting for the perfect name for this block. If anyone is interested in making it, let me know and I will get a pdf of it sorted. It's paper pieced in four pieces then rotated so it's on point, corners added and trimmed back to 12.5" unfinished. Anyway, suggestions for a name for the block please - they don't have to be funny although I always do like funny.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Rainbow Double Flying Geese Circle on White with a dash of black

This rainbow block is another one to go with the rainbow tree from yesterday. I'll let you know what it's for as soon as I can. This was the first quilt block I designed myself and I still love it. It's quite a fiddle to make but I am quite quick at it now and, because it's paper pieced, I love how pointy it all is. The template for this block is off my blog at the moment because it is supposedly going into a book coming out at Spring Market but I have had nothing about that book for months so, if it's been shelved, the template will come back onto the blog. I have a 10", 12" and 16" version of it. You paper pieced each of the 24 segments that make up the block then assemble each triangle, then into squares, then into half the block and then that final tricky middle seam.

I was telling the ladies over on Flickr that I accidented on a version of this block someone had made once. The person who had made it did not credit it back to me, said the pattern was badly drafted and the finished block lacked the wow factor usually associated with paper pieced blocks. I have to say, I disagree. I think it does have wow factor and, if you're a competent paper piecer and regular piecer, you can put it together quite quickly. I mean, I wouldn't want to make a whole quilt of them but an occasional one now and then is fun.

Hey, what say, if the book doesn't come out, we have a little QAL for this block. I'll draft up a big version and take you all through it step by step and we can all make double flying circle mini quilts to hang on the kitchen or sewing room wall. Ooh, you could make it in Christmas fabrics for the centre of the table at Christmas. Wait a minute ... there are 24 traingles ... could we do some kind of advent version or am I getting ahead of myself here?!

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Rainbow tree

I still love the new one-click feature on Flickr where you can blog a pic in one click, it's so slick, what a great trick. And here's a little rainbow tree, no it wasn't made for me, it was made for someone else and I can't think of anything that rhymes with else. DOH.

I made the block with a new pioneering technique which I made up all by myself (although usually when I say that, the more experience quilters sigh in exasperation because, in quilting, there is no such thing as a new idea and this is probably an old idea called Mcwhipperting or something).  Anyway, if you would like a tutorial on how to achieve this effect of little pieces nearly touching but not quite, let me know and I just might DO DAT TING.  What shall I call the technique?  Ooh I know - my maiden name was McLaren (and I used to add "like the racing cars" because I thought it made me sound cool and glamorous) so maybe I will call it McLarening.  So, if anyone would like a tutorial on this revolutionary pioneering technique called McLarening, let me know and make your comment sound like Dr Seuss if you can, like a man, in a van holding a pan.  You can probably do better than that.

P.S. The tree was inspired by this block made by Rachel Stitched in Color which in turn was inspired by this pincushion which was made by Corey Little Miss Shabby who, for my money, is one of the most talented people out there right now.  I hope she reads this and likes me more.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Having fun in the mystery quiltalong

There are a few of us know all making a quilt to Sheila's secret master plan - each week (or is it fortnight?) instructions for a new block appear on her blog, bluepatchquilter, and we all make along with her. I foolishly re-sized the first one but need to re-make it in the proper size or the quilt won't fit together. A classic case of me going off and doing my own thing thinking I'm Mrs clever la-di-da-smarty-pants and finding out, yet again, that I am now the dunce of the Mystery Quilt Flickr group. Anyway, it's a lot of fun - why not do what I'm doing and make the quilt with no pre-plan of colour scheme just Kona charcoal to pull it all together and whatever pretty fabrics come to hand as I go along. Could end up looking fabulous.  Could end up looking rubbish.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

guest post by summerfete

So here I am!
Thank you Lynne for allowing me 
to guest post here on Lily's Quilts
My name is Clare a 30something
I live in England and have been
mumbling web-logging
for 3 years under the guise of summerfete.
To tell you the truth 
I began blogging to prove to
myself and others that I'm more
than just a girl struggling to conceive.
My discovery of patchwork began on a trip to
New York early September 2001.
We never made it to NY, we diverted to Cape Cod,
where we found our sanctuary
and I found patchwork quilts!
The children haven't materialised
but the quilts have.
I like to think that my blog is an honest reflection
of who I am as a person...
...genuine, a little bit silly,
but with good intentions!
Mainly I like to hand sew,
you know what they say about
a mechanics car?
Well its a similar story with a 
dressmakers daughter.
I muddle along!
I was that girl at school
who could thread a sewing machine .
I do love to paper piece
mainly for the flexibility,
and the fact I like to make my own templates,
more for frugal reasons
rather than any super intelligence.
Recently I have been trying out 
a simpler colour palette,
as I like that patchwork can be just as stunning,
without costing a fortune.
I've also been getting to grips with the machine!
Now for the juicy bits!
I REALLY love gardening
I'm not keen on meat.
I don't drive..loser right?
I watch the biggest loser.
I don't wear make-up.
I've been around the world.
I'd love to be an artist.
I got married in lavender.
I like different.
If you like different
do pop on over to
where I shall be turning the  above patchwork
summer of love
into a quilt!
Thank you Lynne
to you and your readers
for taking the time to peruse my
Clare xx

ps. don't press the undo button too many times or you will delete your whole post!
Oh happy day!