Black and White and Red All Over Quilt – finished!

Thanks for the lovely comments about my #SewRedOctober post. Here (just a few hours before October ends) is more detail about my Black and White and Red All Over quilt.

It feels like ages ago I started this quilt (definitely before Easter holidays) and it was finally completed this month!

red october 3

I followed the free Craftsy 2012 Block of the Month class to make the blocks (summarised here) and then watched Leah Day’s Free Motion Quilting class. The course started for absolute beginners, and there was an episode where you see a real beginner get feedback on her errors from Leah. Leah’s style was very much “that’s good enough, who will notice, don’t waste time redoing things” which I really liked, and do you know what? She was right! Looking at my snuggly quilt here I can’t see the many mistakes I made, and if I can, I don’t care!

I couldn’t decide between quilting the whole quilt (as I had especially bought some super wide quilt-backing fabric) and quilting block-by-block before joining them together (to make the blocks easier to handle). In the end I did a bit of both; I free-motion quilted the blocks onto squares of batting, and when they were all done I joined the blocks and did some basic quilting to attach it to the backing.

red october 4



I loved doing the stippling and wandering stitches, and the geometric echo quilting seen above; Some of the stitch designs needed lots of thought and careful travel stitching. I have to say my favourite finished block is the Circle of Geese block (top right in image below) even though it was SO time-consuming to quilt. I love the bold swirls (escargots actually) combined with the october 5

Once all the blocks were quilted, I cut them to size (the white borders cleverly disguise the fact that the original blocks were all slightly different sizes!), joined with some black Pearl-Bracelet strips, and then laid the new quilt top on top of the backing fabric. I had to lie at the top of my stairwell to do this as it was the only place big enough to lay the quilt flat. The back isn’t perfectly smooth, but since I was only doing simple outline quilting I don’t think it matters too much.

Finally, I bound the quilt with more of the Pearl-Bracelet fabric, finishing it all by machine because some of the quilting was already visible. Ta-da! One finished quilt, prefect for snuggling up under as the weather gets colder.

Other posts in the series:

Part 1 – Slashed Blocks
Part 2 – Half-Square Triangles
Part 3 – Nine-Patch Blocks
Part 4 – Star Blocks
Part 5 – Dresden Block
Part 6 – Hexagons
Part 7 – Log Cabins
Part 8 – Foundation Piecing
Part 9 – Foundation Paper Piecing
Part 10 – Curved Piecing
Review of the Blocks


Sew Red October

The twitter sewcialists came up with a plan to sew something red during October, and this fitted perfectly with my sewing plans. I knew I wanted a long-sleeved Tiramisu dress for autumn/winter and (in the summer) I picked up some heavy ponte (style) red jersey. I extended the sleeves (by holding my arm on the pattern/fabric and seeing where it should end up) and cut a narrower midriff october 1

I should have made more adjustments, as mid-way through sewing it I remembered that this is a very stable knit. With little stretch. Ooops. So this dress fits but is a bit snug and cosy, especially around the bust (hence the need for a vest top underneath!). I can wear it, but it doesn’t have the comfort I was wanting from a jersey dress (it feels like wearing a woven). Not a disaster but not perfect (and at £9 I can live with that) but I think I’ll have to get some more heavy jersey to make another with a little more october 2

I also rustled up a pair of pyjama bottoms (using a pair that I had made from an old M&S pair, since my pattern has disappeared). Pyjama bottoms are so quick and easy to make, and they are great for using crazy cotton prints… such as this red and white circle print I had left over. [Warning: dodgy camera-phone pictures taken in bad light*]


And what is behind those pjs? It is my Black and White and Red All Over quilt!

pj quilt

This was completed in October so it sort of fits into the #SewRedOctober theme. I am loving snuggling under this on the sofa as it is huge! More details of my new quilt to follow soon.
red october 3

* Apologies for the bad camera-phone pictures of pjs. I had misplaced my camera remote a few weeks ago (it was found in a pile of fabric, of course). Then I found it and set up my tripod to take pictures. I got 3 shots taken before the camera battery ran out. Found battery charger as storm arrives with grey skies.

Meanwhile, while trying on the red Tiramisu dress, my dinner splashed it. Quick! Dress thrown into wash and air dried. Dry dress tried on again a few days later to actually wear it. Making a craft project and I drop a pen on my lap. Quick! Soak stain and hand wash it. Dress dries but now I am feeling cursed and decide those pictures will have to do (with a bit of editing to distract from my unflattering face pose!) if I want to get the post written in October.