Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Raggedy Friends is finished.....

Last year Kaaren at The Painted Quilt gave us Raggedy & Friends as a free BOM... (it is still there on her sidebar) (Kaaren is the lady we have been making blocks for as she has recently been diagnosed with cancer - see button top left of my sidebar)

Two friends were having a clean out of their Country fabrics and I new that was exactly what I wanted for my quilt.  The quilt started and finished as a learning quilt.....

I have long admired redwork stitchery and started doing this BOM as a way of improving my backstitch and also learn to piece smaller blocks......and last week I practiced and practiced my Free Motion Quilting.....
and did my first hand -quilting around the stitcheries

Now there are loads of mistakes.... and I have learnt lots through this process..... but I love this quilt... it is soft and cuddly, warm and snuggly and it's staying at my house.....

There was enough fabric to piece the back
(I made the back in March - and stitched the date into it then)
finished with a scrappy binding using the same fabrics

I filled it with practice FMQ (4 bobbins later)

the quilt measures 142cm x 170cm (52" x 67")

I think this is my favourite block.....
(my first efforts at hand-quilting)

ooops... still some loose threads....

gotta love a rolled up quilt....

This is another tick off my UFO list and goes towards Sew It's Finished and OPAM
yay, yay, yipppee yay

I did say it was a learning process..... so some of my lessons:
  • Don't use too flimsy a fabric for doing the stitcheries on
  • Have one stitch meet exactly at the point of the previous stitch
  • Do use a stabiliser on the back (my red threads do show through)
  • A loose weave fabric does loose it's shape thus making it hard to have good points
  • You can do FMQ on a small domestic machine (I don't even have the longer shaft)
  • I still need more practice but I am getting there
  • not sure about hand-quilting - need more practice
I wonder if you learn lessons by making mistakes too?  What are they?


Well.... you know by now I am celebrating 200 posts/1 year of blogging this week.......

I have this pretty little charm square pack for one of you lovely readers.....

this is the range of fabrics in the pack

I purchased it here at Jane's store.... good prices, good service and arrived quicksmart at my house

So if you think you would like to make something pretty leave a comment and tell me your best stitching tip
~ I'll chat to Mr Random on Monday ~

I hope you can spend some time in your happy place today


  1. Hey Fiona, your Raggedy Friends quilt is fantastic! I've been following Kaaren's blog for a while but haven't had the time to make her gorgeous quilt. Weaveline is great to use as a stabiliser on stitcheries and when you are doing redwork check your thread to see if it is colourfast :o) My block for Kaaren will be winging it's way across the ocean today. Have fun today! toni xxx

  2. Your quilt is beautiful - those stitcheries are so good and it looks like a real cuddly quilt.
    Use some spray starch particularly on those loose weave fabrics and they will hold their shape. Best Press seems to work well, and you can apply 2 or 3 light sprays (better than one heavy spray) until the fabric has enough body to hold its shape.

  3. Fiona your quilt looks unreal,my sewing tip would be when doing big projects such as quilts make sure you have a few bobbins already wound in the colour you are using.

  4. Your quilt is gorgeous and I do love a scrappy quilt especially with redwork. My tip would be: when you want to hand quilt straight lines use paper masking's inexpensive, comes in different widths, no tracing marks to get rid of and just peels off without residue when you're done. My other tip is: stitch what you love and leave the rest to someone else. Love the Moda fabrics.
    Thanks for this great giveaway and a big congrats on your 200th.
    Michelle xx

  5. Absolutely love the quilt , you did a fantastic job of the FM and it looks great . As for a stitching tip , a great tool when quilting is freezer paper , draw out the shape you want to quilt and iron it on and presto and instant template that will stay in place long enough to quilt around either by hand or machine and can be reused .I always use iron on interfacing when doing stitcheries , it helps hide the threads well.Congrats on the year of blogging !
    hugs Sheila.

  6. I love the quilt..the homespun fabrics and the small piecing in the did great on the quilting too. I like the hearts.
    Since I'm stitching on my second quilt...what helps me is wearing a pair of the magnifying glasses. I can see the end of the previous stitch better when back stitching....when I first started quilting(not so long ago), I made templates of all my pieces, drew around them on the fabric and cut them out....I love that now I can use the rotary cutter, it is so much better. Also, I like chain sewing when putting a bunch of the same pieces together.
    Mama Bear

  7. Beautiful quilt - your stitching looks amazing and all those little pieces of fabric - well done on getting it together, oh and helping the friends destash too.

    Now all you need to do is Enjoy it on these cool winter nights.

  8. Didn't want to enter a contest but just say--- I love your quilt. Yup, you should keep for yourself, that's for sure. Looks like lots of love and care went into that quilt.

  9. I really love how you did her designs into a quilt. You picked the perfect fabrics and shades for them, love it.

    One of the things I like to do with some stitcheries is to use a piece of batting under the stitching. That way the design shows up nicely and gives a bit more dimension.


  10. This quilt is charming! I love homespuns, and your redwork stitchery goes perfectly with them! LOVE IT! And your hand and machine quilting is great!

    My tip is that I like to free motion quilt barefoot! I get a better control of the foot pedal without shoes on!

  11. Love your quilt - it has turned out so well! I reckon every quilt is a learning experience; it doesn't matter how many quilts we make, there is something new in every one, so relax and enjoy the journey. That very pretty fabric you are giving away has my name on it - literally! - as my middle name is Grace.

  12. Your quilt is lovely! The best hand stitching tip I can give is (can I explain it in words???) Take a thread ( 40 cm long) bring ends together and thread needle. Take needle through fabric from back to front, then when making first stitch put needle through loop in the back. (Get it??) This prevents the need for a knot at the end of the thread! Good luck!

  13. I sometimes feel like every time I take a stitch I learn something from my mistakes. Your quilt is lovely and it is difficult for those of us who haven't had the intimate experience of making it to see any mistakes you have made.

  14. The quilt is really lovely Fiona and I am not surprised it is staying with you! What a good idea to try all the different styles of stitching etc...

    As for tips on careful of your fingers! ;-D

  15. I love your raggedies quilt. It has turned out beautifully! What a great learning quilt. It is still on my to do list I am afraid.
    I try to follow the tips you have mentioned and I like to use an embroidery hoop, make sure the needle is sharp and I 'strip' the threads by separating them and then put them together again before threading the needle. (just something I was taught when doing smocking-it fills the stitch better apparently).
    I love three sisters fabrics so please count me in!

  16. Hello Fiona,

    I just have the stitcheries to do on this quilt so you have motivated me. I think every quilt is a learning project, because each quilt is different. I loved your quilting which suited the fabric and style of quilt perfectly. I think the trick is to take your time with something new or else it will end up in the sewing room in a box in the furtherest corner.
    Happy days.

  17. Your quilt looks wonderful, and you did a great job with the quilting.
    My tip for stitching is run your needle (carefully) through your hair every now and again. The natural oils in your hair make your needle glide through fabric. I used to do this with nappy pins when my kids were little and thought I'd try it when hand sewing. It really does work.

  18. Your quilt is beautiful! I have that pattern printed but that is as far as I have gotten. I had a few baby quilts to do as gifts. Hand quilting just needs practice, the more you do the better it gets. I am afraid to try machine quilting. I love the charm squares and the name is appropriate as Grace is the middle name of my new grand daughter.

  19. Wow Fiona, the quilt is gorgeous, so soft and cosy looking. Its the sort of quilt that will get better with age and you cam wrap it around you on chilly nights.

  20. Fiona, that quilt is beautiful, it makes me want to have a go at it. I honestly don't think I am qualified to give any tips as I have only just started quilting and stitchery, so I am reading all your comments to get some tips for myself!! Linda x

  21. Beautiful quilt!

    This tip will probably leave most if not all of you thinking "yeah, we knew that", but I've just found out. When starting a row of machine stitching, I wind the hand wheel so the needle goes into and out of my fabric. This way, when I then put my foot down, the thread doesn't come out of the needle, magic! It's the end to my frustrations at the machine. Probably not actually...

  22. I adore the warmth of the Raggedy Friends quilt. I just want to snuggle up with it! And I think the back looks like one of those modern art paintings; I love it!

    Congrats Fiona on 200 posts and on your 1st Blogiversary! It's amazing to look back at all you've accomplished, isn't it? It's also cRRRazy how time flies when you're having fun!

    Let me at the giveaway too, btw! I don't have any words of stitching wisdom except maybe: YOU CAN DO IT, SEW GET TO IT! (That's a Michele quote right there, hee hee!)

  23. I love the quilt! The colors are perfect. You did a great job on FMQ!!
    I can't believe you have only been blogging a year...and 200 posts...I better get busy....LOL Congrats! And many more post to come I hope!!

  24. Hi Fiona ... well .. your finished quilt is just beautiful ... and the quilting and hand work is just wonderful .. and ladies the fabrics feel as good as they look ... and it really is very snuggly ...

    and ... Fiona .. my tip to you is ... you had better keep a very close eye on this one .. cos I just might take it home with me next time I see it .. haha!!!!

    huge hugs and congratulations on 1 year of blogging ...

  25. I love to drop by and visit your blog's always interesting! Love the new quilt..the colours are so inviting to snuggle under.
    Thanks for a chance to win..that's always NICE...and my best tip is a simple one... wind a few bobbins before you start to quilt... there's nothing sooo frustrating as having to wind during your quilting time. Congrats on your milestone! Cheers

  26. Your quilt is beautiful Fiona, I love the redwork and you have done lovely quilting!

  27. Beautiful quilt...I love the country fabrics!
    My tip is be willing to try other tips and methods because you never know when you'll find something wonderful ... and if it's not for you then use what you're most comfortable with.
    Such sweet colours in 'Grace'.

  28. I am so surprised to read this because I see we are very similar! I started my raggedy as a learning quilt too! My first stitches were so uneven. And the fabric that I bought for the stitches was way to flimsy. I am using it but have since learned to get something much better!

    I am anxious to get mine done. I have about 5 more stitchery designs to do. I am thinking about backing it in flannel as it would be soft and cuddly.

  29. What mistakes? I see a beautiful quilt. The fabrics are gorgeous and go perfectly with the stitcheries. It looks so snuggly! My biggest mistake is *coffs and mutters* Even after twelve years of patchwork and quilting I still don't read the instructions proplerly. A generous dose of spray starch will help with flimsy fabrics. That was another lesson I learned....Spray it outisde, so that way I don't have to mop the floor afterwards! Pop the blocks in a box first before you spray, if the day is windy that way you don't get it all over yourself....Yep! Another lesson learned! lol

  30. Love it...well done...I can see a fabric in there that I used for the dress of an Annie doll...that fabric must just speak to Annies!


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