Tuesday, 25 June 2013

The Maze Quilt...............a few years in the making.

This is the Quilt I recently finished  for my son David's Birthday. It's a good thing he is patient. I started this quilt a while ago OK I admit it was a few years ago.

I  have had a few hangups along the way.  Trying to quilt it myself wasn't working for me, it was just too big for me to swing it around on my sewing machine. I was hoping to quilt around the maze so there was no hope to do that on my machine.   I ended up getting a lady to long arm quilt it for me she did an amazing job and I'm very happy with the results.

After the quilting was done, I needed to add a binding. That took me a while, trying to decide on the way I want to finish the binding, also what fabric to use.  I was thinking I would use the green that I used in the main quilt, but I didn't have enough of it.  So I spend forever looking for it or a match to the green or grey.  I was never happy with what I was seeing.  I also came to the conclusion that I didn't want a binding around the outside of the quilt  as it would take away from the maze effect.  I wanted it to be when you looked at the quilt you knew it was a maze. 

I ended up finding the knife edge binding. I love the look of it as it doesn't take away from the green hedges at the edge. I was able to find the instruction how to do it on the internet.

This is a 72" by 96" quit; bigger than I thought I should make it when I first started making the blocks.  But once I got going on the animals I couldn't stop.  The pattern I used for the paper pieced animal was Animal Kingdom  by Margaret Rolfe. I love this CD-ROM pattern as you can make the animals in many different sizes. I made them different sizes and then enlarged some of them even move by adding the boarder.  Once I got the animals done then it was time to make up the maze.

 I laid out the animals the way I wanted them to be on the maze. ( As you can see some of the animals had a little extra boarders on them, too fussy so I removed them.) Once everything was where I wanted then we found a computer program that would design mazes we plugged in the width of the strips I wanted a finish measurement of 2" thick. It designed the maze around the block measurements we had entered.

Once the maze was the way I wanted it with the animals placed in the pattern. I printed it out and went to work with a highlighter to decide how long the strips would be that I would work with.  I wanted it to be the longest pieces possible so the line would keep a straight look.  There are very few small pieces on this quilt my smallest would be 2 1/2" by 2 1/2" the biggest green piece was 2 1/2" by 32" and the grey biggest piece was  28".

I worked in section across the quilt once I finish across the width of the quilt then I work on adding those sections together, in the picture you can see that I have already added two sections together. I had to wait to add the bottom left corner piece in until the next section I did this throughout the quilt so you cannot see how they were joined together as I didn't want to have visible joining lines showing.
You can't see any visible joining lines in this picture and binding it underneath so it doesn't detracted the maze.  

The trick when picking fabric for the maze quilt is not to use fabric that has a directional pattern to it. 

The sheep is one of my favourites as I used the extra fabric from making my wedding dress. I didn't have an embroidery machine so I did the writing free hand quilting. The chicks are just cute in the middle of the quilt. Trying to find their way to the Mother Hen. The Cheetah because of his movable tail.
This was such a fun quilt to work on, I love to come up with ideas for quilts that I haven't seen before.  It was so much fun piecing it together.  The paper pieces was fun as well, and I smile when I see it on my sons bed as it brings back so many good memories about working on it.  Even if it was a few more years then I had planned.

Oh I just about forgot there were two mistakes in this quilt when it was done up on the computer I didn't notice them until I had finished piecing the whole quilt top together.   I picked out the wrong colour strip on it and resewed it, as I couldn't leave that one mistake in as I would always see that it was wrong, and it would drive me nuts.  You cannot see where I ripped it out and then resewed it which I'm very happy about.  If you compare the finished quilt and the smaller sections that I have together you can see the mistake before and after.  The other mistake, I truthfully can't find it anymore and I'm not planning on looking for it as it is best for me to just forget about it.

 UPDATE: That was what I was going to do, forget about it, but my Dear Husband just pointed it out to me. When I asked him if he remembered that I fixed the other mistake. I made the mistake of showing him the picture of before and after. Oh have I mentioned he an Engineer. lol

Thursday, 6 June 2013

It Might Be Raining............a bit.

Well it's raining today and dull out.  The poppies opened up some anyways so I had to get out there and take a picture.  Now they are hanging down pretty low in the flower bed with all the rain, I still think they look great. Hopefully they will hold up to all the rain we are to get over the next few days.

Monday, 3 June 2013

The garden is the reason I'm not sewing.

I have been spending a lot of my time outside in the garden. I love this time of year - seeing what has come up  and what has not.  I seem to have lost a lot of hostas, which is funny as they have been there for years.  All there was to show where they had been, were indents in the garden. I dug around in the indents - no little shoots coming up - in fact, there were no roots at all.

So needless to say, I had to replace them. I have never counted all the different hosta varieties I have, I also can not tell you the names of very many of them.   I can tell you I was sad to see that my Elvis Lives was one of the ones to mysteriously disappear.   My theory is the #$@%#% SQUIRRELS dug them up.  They are always digging around in the flowers beds.

We won't even go into the amount of Lime Ricky, Coral Bells that they have killed over the years, because they insist on digging them out no matter what bed I plant them in. I have a dream that the two I planted this week will survive to see the end of the summer. (Who knows I might be able to post a picture at the end of summer.)

I take so many pictures this time of year. I have so much fun trying to capture the colours of
Spring and the colour of early Summer.  Everything looks great and not too over-grown or tired looking.

I have Spring Bulbs like  the Orange Fritillaria  (don't quote me on the spelling)   Purple Allium.

One of my favorite is my Tree Peonies. I have this beautiful pink one that had 30 flowers on it this year. I also have a bold yellow one that had about 5 on it.

My Pink Poppy
and Lupins that the Bees love.


Bachelor Buttons and of course ants.

Annuals that I have no idea what their names are
but I love the splash of colours from them. 

Hopefully over the summer I will keep up with the picture taking.