big plus quilt solid fabric

Three quilts, three cushions and a table runner are the makes I'm showcasing today, that I've demoed recently on Sewing Quarter. All finished, despite the fact I didn't always photograph them once I was done. I did manage to take pictures of the interesting aspects or features I wanted to share though so that's good!

This Big Plus quilt is deceptive, the pieces are big and the quilt is a single bed size. The pattern comes together really quickly but you have to keep the columns organised so the pluses fit together correctly.

 big plus quilt solid fabric straight line quilting

I like the simplicity of the shapes created by the pattern and the way the colours play together. In keeping with the modern design, the quilting is diagonal straight lines in purple thread. It gives a bit of contrasting movement but ties in with the geometric theme and straight lines of the patchwork.

big plus quilt solid fabric straight line quilting

I struggled to take a good picture but here's my standing on a chair in the garden one, finally managed to capture the whole quilt after lots of shots! The pattern is from the book Go Big, Go Bold by Barbara Cain.

big plus quilt solid fabric

And the same perspective shot of my next quilt finish, a more traditional Bear Paw quilt. I had fun playing with the fabric for this one and chose to make the 'claws' paler so the central squares in the blocks and the cornerstones in the sashing would stand out.

bear paw quilt cornerstones

I also decided not to add cornerstones except in the centre (ironic?!). I like that they're sort of floating there and it gives the quilt a less fussy look with a simple background border. The straight line quilting in the sashing strips also creates a plaid effect, which works nicely.

bear paw quilt

Bear Paws are beautiful blocks and there's lots of scope for playing about with the design and layout, see the Baby Bear Paw quilt I made for more inspiration.

The next project I only have an 'in progress' picture of, it is a table runner made up of three starburst blocks, with sashing stripes in print fabric between them. I think this is a fun way to do sashing and definitely will use this idea again. Clearly I'm developing a love for floating pieces in my work! The starburst was creating using the Creative Grids Starburst ruler by It's So Emma.

starburst patchwork quilting table runner william morris fabric

I also made a cushion that I didn't photograph. It is a Greek Cross block. When I can I like to do things differently, try new techniques or styles. It may just be something small, like the quilting on this cushion. My friend and co-tutor Alison (a long arm quilter) often talks about offsetting shapes and patterns in quilting. It worked well angling the square and I echo quilted it just for emphasis.

echo quilting

And another cushion but you can see the completed front this time! The pattern is from the book Lovely Little Patchwork by Kerri Horsley, though the original has an ice skater in the centre and I swapped it for another embroidered template from the book.

quilted cushion with embroidery lovely little patchwork

How cute! And much more seasonally appropriate for the UK right now. I used back stitch, satin stitch and french knots to complete the embroidery. The thread colours match the fabrics and I wanted to give it a slightly retro feel so added in some peach for the basket. I am obsessed with the Sublime Floss and the fun Mingles which mixes plies of two colours.

vintage style duck embroidery

The final quilt is Tree of Life, a traditional block that usually has appliqué or hand sewn elements in the trunk section. I took inspiration from vintage quilts and simplified the construction. Set on point, without sashing, the blocks and scrappy binding look really pretty. Helped of course by Tilda prints and pink dots!

tree of life quilt Tilda fabric

I quilted straight lines, diagonally across the centre and then echoed the triangle shapes to the edges of the quilt.

tree of life quilt

Finally the last cushion I made was this appliqué boat block taken from the Creative Grids book Creating Waves by Lynne Edwards, using their 2" Wavy Border Ruler to make the sea and borders. It is a fun design and although I didn't make full use of the ruler (it can do double borders and other interesting designs), the borders create an interesting look that's very simple to do.

creating waves boat cushion wavy border ruler

I have more to show you but I will save those makes for another post. Before signing off, last weekend I spent the evening with my Dad and I want to recommend the play Queens of the Coal Age. Funny (laugh out loud funny), poignant and thought provoking, it's so well written and the staging is excellent. It's on at The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester until 28th July.

Queens of the Coal Age at the Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester

Love the banners they put up outside the theatre, also note the quilt inspiration in the ceiling of the building.

Then after the play, coincidentally we walked through the Great Northern Warehouse where there is an exhibition of Stanley Chow's 'Great Northerners' - one of whom is Maxine Peake, who wrote the play we'd been to see! 

Maxine Peake by Stanley Chow

It's a small world :)