Monday, November 12, 2018

Bequest Makers Tour - Briar Hill Designs

Have you seen the very talented and amazing Fabric Collections by Briar Hill Designs. Caverly and Julia are the duo behind this design team.  Caverly is the artist and Julia is the quilt designer which makes for a perfect pairing.  Bequest is their second range for RJR Fabrics which is shipping now.  I am excited to be sharing with you today something I have made for the Makers Tour.

For all those Floral Lovers then you will just adore this range in all the Blue and Whites making such a complimentary colour palette to these fabrics.  With large florals, small scale leaves along with geometric prints, this range has it all.  The Watercolour styled designs make this range fresh all the while giving it that vintage country feel.

In the words of Julia and Caverly...

"A Bequest is something given or transmitted from the past. An heirloom. A legacy. An antique. We used these precious items as our inspiration behind these 20 blue and white prints. Each of the print names go along with our theme: ‘Hope Chest’, ‘Looking Glass’, ‘Loom’, ‘Music Box’, etc. We had such a blast naming them."

Deciding what to make will certainly be the hardest part.  After lots of thought I decided to make one of my Confetti Cushions to showcase these stunning florals.

Getting to work on cutting out these fabrics and then piecing was great fun, taking in the bespoke nature of these prints.  With such a beautifully co-ordinated colour palette all the hard work is done and all the the colours and prints just work so well together.   

Bequest is hitting stores now, so you can get making in plenty of time for Christmas.  You can follow along with all the Makers involved in the tour here: 

November 12th
Jemima Flendt @tiedwitharibbon

November 13th
Julia Wentzell @briarhilldesigns

November 14th
Jacquie Schluter @jacquiesews

November 15th
Stacey Lee O'Malley @slotstudio

November 16th
Wendy Mierke @sewknotcrochet

November 19th

November 20th
Carla Peicheff @cpeicheff

November 21st
Jen Orme @lilmaisydaisy

November 22nd
Shannon Fraser @shannonfraserdesigns

November 23rd
Jess Zimmerman @coralbunnyandlo  

Happy Quilting
Jemima x 

Friday, November 9, 2018

The story of the making of an Aerial Grove Quilt.

It was a long, long time ago when I decided to make an Aerial Grove Quilt.  I fell in love with this pattern by Carolyn Friedlander from her book - Savour Each Stitch back in October 2016. I was smitten - I knew after reading the book from cover to cover that this was a quilt that I wanted to make for myself.   

First part was getting to choose all the fabrics I was going to use for my Needle turn "squircles".  I went through my Liberty fabric stash and pulled out all the ones that made me so happy in a Rainbow colour way.  Cutting up this many Liberty squares actually took a while - to cut, press and then fold back up all these fabrics.  It also made a wonderfully beautiful mess in my sewing room.

Next up was deciding what fabrics I was going to use for the backgrounds of this quilt.  I wanted the quilt to go on our Bed, so although I had picked some very girly Liberty fabrics I then decided to try to make it more something also that my hubby would love on the bed too.  As a big lover of Denim and Chambray fabrics I had the perfect variety of lots of different prints and types of these Denims and Chambray's left from projects that I had already made.  So, so far - I used the Liberty fabrics from my stash and the Denims/Chambray's also came from what I already had.

Some of the Denims and Chambray's I used are below
Gertrude Made Essentials - Texas Denim
Gertrude Made Essentials  - Chambray

I then spent the next year hand sewing all the squircles into place.  The pieces even came on our Family Cruise in December 2017 to Vanuatu.  I had already basted down the Liberty squircles so this made the strips very portable and easy to take with me places when I had a chance to stitch.  

Early in 2018 I had finally finished the hand sewing of all those squircles and began to piece together the strips and background pieces of Denims and Chambray's.

I began to build the quilt out using all the pieces of the Denims and Chambray's I had chosen to use.  I was aiming for this to be quite large and worked it up to be 2.2m x 2.2m so big enough for our Queen size bed.  I knew very early on that I was going to Hand quilt this quilt.  So I also cut the pieces for the blocks with this in mind so that I could use lots of smaller blocks to create the hand quilting design rather than leaving fabric pieces in larger squares and rectangles. In between the Denims and Chambray's I placed a few background blocks in Liberty fabrics to draw cohesion from the Liberty squircles that were in the centre.

Next I sent the Quilt off to my Long Arm Quilter.  Because I knew this was a project that was going to take me a while to work on I had the quilt Basted.  This would save me not only basting such a large Quilt myself but then I would not have to deal with the weight of the number of pins I knew this quilt would need for hand quilting.  

The next task was to collect up all the Thread I was going to use for the Hand quilting - this was the easy part - Aurifil 12wt.  I chose about 8 different blue 12wt Thread colours and then matched each the fabrics to one of these colours so that I knew which fabric would be matching to which colour thread.  

With all my tools ready for Hand quilting - I then started what I knew would be a long and rewarding process.  Over the years I have hand quilted many quilts - I love hand quilting, I find it relaxing and such a worthwhile way to add such a beautiful texture and feel to your quilt.  

If you have wanted to give hand quilting a go or already love this part of quilting and would like some extra tips - here is a Blog post I wrote all about  - My Favourite Hand Quilting Tools.  Here you will find some helpful tips and tricks. 

I used a variety of different Masking tapes - 1/4in, 1/2in and 1inch tapes to help create the spaced lines which went horizontally, vertically or diagonally randomly throughout each background block. 

Once I could see the finish line almost in sight for all the hand quilting, I then went back to my Liberty stash and found some Binding that would go perfectly for that finishing touch to the quilt.

Aren't Binding Babies ever so cute - always the perfect way to store your Bindings and  so very helpful when it comes time to sew the Binding onto your Quilt.

The Backing I choose to use for the Quilt - well that took a long time to decide what to go with.  My first initial though was that I wanted to use Liberty.  I knew that was an extravagant way to use this fabric and it was for the backing so I tried to work through other options.  I looked at Widebacks, lots of different Chambray's and Denim options, I tried looking at yardage of regular Quilting cottons that I thought might work.  It wasn't working for me.  I had spied this Liberty Betsy in Denim from Ava and Neve and then just could get this out of my head to use this.  While it certainly was a luxury - I figured that this was going to be our quilt, all the fabric for the top had come from my stash and mostly I knew I would have regretted not using it.

Within the first 10 seconds of opening up the package of the yardage of this Betsy I knew I had made the right decision.  This Liberty was going to hand quilt up a dream, be so soft and have a much lighter weight to the overall quilt - especially as I had used the Denims and Chambray's on the front which are a little heavier than regular quilting cottons.  I was in love!    

So all in all this quilt took about 2 years to make from beginning to end.  Certainly a wonderful journey in hand sewing and hand quilting.  

Happy Quilting
Jemima x 
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