Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Squares 2

Fabric Friday – A Winter Quilt Update

So what is this? I’m talking of Winter as we are going through some of the hottest days of summer?!

Well, it’s not quite as mad as it seems.

Back in October last year I announced a couple of “Winter” projects. Ya know, things that I was going to make during the winter.

One of them was to be a hand-sewn quilt made of some of my old shirts.

Now, don’t laugh, however it took me until April to find the opportunity to actually get around to cutting the squares!

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Squares 2

Anyway, as the hot weather hit this week I found myself looking for things to make that did not involve much effort and where I could sit in the coolest part of my home.

I had a route around and found these little squares and thought “NOW IS THE TIME!”. So I grabbed the needle threader, needle, some cotton and scissors and headed for the shade like any good pastey skinned, red haired and easily heat affected man would do.

For the first step I made up several quad blocks, pin basted them to squares of paper and then stitched them together.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (1)

The first thing that struck me was although the number of blocks was even (which pleases my organised side), the repeat of the pattern was offset (which did not please my organised side).

I therefore dragged out the other cut squares and laid them all out on the floor to decide on the overall pattern BEFORE I continued (probably would have been good to have had a plan to start with, but hey, who does?)

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (2)

I obviously added some extras to two sides of the original block in order to “even it out” (weird how I had to do that by making it an uneven number in the central block).

Anyway, layout decided I then stitched the extra blocks in place.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (3)

Yup, that worked. I liked how it had the nine darker squares and then it was almost as if the lighter squares formed a hashtag (#).

Next I decided to start blocking up the side sections. For no other reason than I could.

Here is stage one where I was pairing them up and stitching them together.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (4)

Once I had all of these pairs, I then started pairing up the pairs.

And finally stitched the lot together.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (5)

And then stitched that onto the central panel.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (6)

And then repeated for the side directly opposite.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (7)

By the way, something that often puts me off hand stitching is the threading off the needle. I have, in the past, invested in quite a few needle threader solutions but by fair the simplest has been that little piece of tin with the wire on it – you know the one I mean.

Anyway, I’m using a sort of blanket/whip stitch for attaching the squares together.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (10)

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (11)

Actually come to think of it, I don’t think it’s either. Ah well, it’s working. If you know, please jot it in the comments section.

Not even sure if it’s the right stitch to use – oh dear – maybe I should have researched this – hope it doesn’t all fall to bits!

*rushes off to check*

Hmm, Ok, so all of my books say that I should be using a whip stitch, which this sort of is, but I seem to have gotten into the habit of locking each one off by taking the needle back through the loop formed by each stitch – which is probably a very very short blanket stitch. Lol, anyway – lobs books to one side – onwards!

After making up the two side pieces and attaching those I made up the four corners.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (12)

I couldn’t stitch these in place until I had the pieces inbetween attached so I got to work on those, in pairs, then pairs of pairs then altogether as before and finally attached the two the corners.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (13)

And then attached the whole section to the main body.

Fabric Friday - Winter Quilt Project Update - (14)

So, my dear sewing chums, that’s about all I got done this week.

Over the coming months I will need to add the top section, and also there is another “row” of pairs to go around the entire outer edge of this larger block – and of course I will need to back it, complete a quilting pattern on it (that I have yet to choose) and then of course bind the edges.

This will hopefully be finished before Christmas!

Sadly today I have to down needle and leave it be for a few days. I am very encouraged by the progress though and can really see me hanging this on the living room wall when it’s done – or probably having it over my knees in the winter – I’m feeling the excesses of heat/cold more and more as the years go on – I’ll be for the knackers yard before you know it, lol!

Anyway, I hope that you have enjoyed the update – what WIPs have you got half sewn? I bet there are a few (like me) Lol! ;)

Right, I’d best sign off and make a cuppa before I tackle the ironing.

Take care and see you next week.

J :)



39 thoughts on “Fabric Friday – A Winter Quilt Update

  1. I adore the checks! This quilt will work all year round. In summer you could team it with a sea-side theme, and in the winter it could ‘ping’ with warm looking cushions on the bed and maybe a knitted wool ‘throw’. Autumn – all the autumn shades would suit this. Even Spring would work beautifully – a little fresh green and the additions of some Spring colours cushions would bring it into the new season.

    I absolutely LOVE that you’re doing some hand sewing on this, as it takes it from ‘just another mass made throw’ (bought from a store) – to a much higher, more personal place which makes this a collectable and a vintage/antique of the future for your family. So much love is going into each and every hand sewn stitch, and this is something you cannot buy anywhere. Not only are you re-calling memories but you’re also making them.

    Oh John this is perfect. I love it. Very, very well done! ~ Cobs.


  2. Wow John amazing as ever. Yep I have a few wip’s knitting, sewing, crochet, unfortunately the children at church have introduced me to loombands so having a manic week with them both and loads of rubber bands!!! I miss my wip’s but childrens smiles are amazing. I crocheted a few quilts and the smiles I receive are the best payment ever. You have given me ideas for childrens quilts now I will have to make one for someone somewhere out of old childrens clothes. If not I will make one to sell at our coffee mornings, talking of which I have one in the morning got to go thank you once more for your brilliant ideas keep them flowing god bless. Maria mcr.


  3. enjoying your little missive’s LOL, I have got a few things on the go, 3 embroidery pieces and a cross stitch half done, bolero knitting for my sister which has been undone many times, waiting to restart and numerous kits in the bed drawer and boxes, never enough time and even trying card making, but love it all anyway. thank you for sharing x


  4. Why on earth would anybody do this by hand? How much could you have done in the same time using a sewing machine! Usually you are so great with machines and to get so much done in so little time. What a waste of time here.

    The piece itself is great idea for recycling and I do love all sorts of recycling. This is the perfect way to use ie the clothes the kids have grown out. To use up scraps or leftovers of fabric is always such a good way to make lovely things for next to nothing.

    Nobody should ever throw anything away as it always can be recycled one way or the other.


    • Thank you for the compliments but a waste of time?
      This for me is a personal remembrance of times gone by, not a rush job to get done in haste. With every stitch a new memory returns and I get to relive the moment all over again.
      I admire your commitment to recycling but this isn’t just about that amiable pursuit for me, it’s about memories.
      J :)


      • Hi John,
        maybe it is only me moaning about handsewing LOL I really admire you to do that, but for me it is really a waste of time. Especially when one like you (and me) has so many ideas and things to do…. I hate everything what keeps me away from doing stuff (like shopping or so:-) as I have so many ideas what I could try and make, but there is never really enough time.

        As to the recycling, this might be because I am German and we recycle stuff since ages. I am nearly 60 and since I was about 9 it was started to collect paper and glass for recycling. So as I was living in the UK I was shocked to see that there everything just goes into one bin and nobody cares. I know it has changed a little bit by now, but still not enough. And not only recycling… I shouldn’t really start on this LOL ….. everything what affects the environment.. only thinking about all that bleach what is used in households where it has not to be used at all, these hundreds of different room sprays instead of opening the window (about half of the population is allergic, no surprise to me)…. And all these plastic bags…. heavens sake… we have to pay for plastic bags in supermarkets since decades (as you do at Aldi and Lidl because they are German).I have in every bag one of these cotton bags in case one does some unexpected shopping. In each car we have one or two of these folding boxes. I got sick when I saw in the UK people putting 10, 15, 20 plastic bags into their boot. I could go on and on…

        In my times children used to be knitted on… meaning we had and partly our kids later as well had knitted jumpers, trousers, you name it. When we/they had grown out two old ones made one new one (… jumpers not kids LOL) and something like that. Not only for money reasons but for not wasting the wool. Some people – in my days as child – even made new clothes for kids out of their own old ones.

        Everything – even that what can be recycled – needs to be produced in the first place so everybody should think if they really need what they want. No, I don’t live a “poor” life or am a fanatic LOL but I try (and everybody around me or they get kicked :-) to as concious as possible. People need to use their brain and to appreciate things. But everything has to be new, always the latest phone, tablet or whatever. I know a life before all that( and you probably too) and it was sooo nice not to be forced to hear the boring conversation about their sexlife in front of you at the till in the supermarket. When people looked where they were walking instead of being busy with their phones and run into others. Does one need to check the emails while shopping? 30 years ago we didn’t even have emails. Yes, I do have a mobile phone. A basic one, this is my fourth phone (since 1996).

        One does not need everything what is available (what does a 7year old need not only a mobile phone but a smartphone for? We are still alive without having had that…) or what does not need to be replaced because it is broken. The English people have a nice say… don’t mend it if it is not broken…. so why don’t they act like that?

        So, enough now LOL
        Have a nice weekend and thanks again for your amazing blog… I love to read it
        Greetings from good old Germany


  5. It’s certainly looking good John, if only there were more hours in the day, I might just catch up then! lol xx


  6. Hi John

    What a lovely idea. I might do some piecing one day as I quite enjoy hand sewing!

    WIPs – a cotton crochet top. Only about 1/10th of it done (which is quite a lot of crochet as I am not the smallest of creatures!
    – one necklace and some beads waiting to be fashioned together, I have to get it all out to check if I have enough beads before I start as nothing bugs me more than running out partway through
    I do have to get a birthday card done for Mr before he gets home as today is his last day at work. 3 hrs to go…

    So I shall leave it here, I love your projects and the idea of getting a cutting machine for my paper and fabrics is growing. Have my eye on something A4 sized on C & C website if I can stop buying dies/ stamps/ fabric for a couple of months!

    Love WheelyBad xxx


  7. You have a great eye for putting fabrics together. It looks so coordinated and ‘designer’.
    I’m going to keep the old man’s shirts instead of sending them to the charity shop. I just hope that my efforts look as good as your work.


  8. What a fantastic idea of using checks! This would please the males of my household including the dog! I am the only lady. I always think pretty pretty for patchwork, but will go on the lookout for manly checks. I love hand sewing very much.
    Thanks john for another excellent lesson :)


  9. In my sons younger days he wore many designer shirts and when finished gave them to me for cutting up. For his 40th birthday I presented him with a quilt made up from all his shirts and included the designer tags, labels, buttons etc. He was absolutely thrilled with it…..as was I.
    Love what you have done too.


  10. I’ve been doing something very similar but with knitted and crocheted squares! I wouldn’t normally do it in hot weather but there is a deadline looming as the blanket us one of several destined for the charity Siblings Together


  11. As always, very inspirational. I’ve had a load of paper piecing just sitting waiting to be assembled, also a load of my deceased husband’s shirts which I want to use in a foundation design. Just need the ‘push’ to get started. Oh, and of course a 48 hour day. You obviously don’t sleep at night John as you accomplish so much. Thank you so much for your blog, I look forward to them. You have also given me encouragement to actually use my Brother ScannCut. Just need to pluck up courage to try cutting fabric and felt!!


    • I am just getting into foundation designs myself. What a great idea for your husbands shirts. Glad to hear that you are making use of the scan n cut.


  12. Wow what a keepsake! You will be looking at this quilt thinking – I wore that shirt on such n such occasion & that was when we were at so n so!!! What memories the quilt will hold!
    Thought you might like to hear about my ex WIP! I have just finished a quilt for our daughter & husband for their wedding present. Unlike yours this was machine stitched. I printed photos onto transfer paper, then ironed those onto squares of cotton. Straight stitching keeping all layers together but with a quilting stitch down part of centre 2 rows. I embroidered a descriptive message on the back, to say who had made the quilt, who for & why! (I have a Husqvarna embroidery machine.) it’s not perfect by a long chalk but I’m quite pleased with my effort! & I’m sure they will love it. It has been 2 years in the making because of waiting for photos & fitting in with general life! However it is no longer a UFO!! I am presenting it to them this weekend – they obviously know I am making it but don’t know it is finished!! They will be quite surprised!! I was going to send photo for you to see but can’t find out how to attach it.


  13. Looks good John. We go to a Quilting class at out local college (stopped for summer hols). The quilts we make are given to charities to auction off to raise money for them.
    So far we have made a Jacobs’ Ladder quilt, a “T” Quilt and an Interlinked Circles, we use the old Singer hand machines to join the blocks, and buttons sewn all the way through on the front to hold the backing on tight. When I find out how to load the pictures we took of the quilts I will send them to you to look at. The next one we will be doing is for Huntingtons’ disease. Take care xx


  14. Well done John, very impressed with your hand sewing there is certainly a lot there, I’ll look forward to sseing the finished article near Christmas – just a thought you could always send it off the Buckingham Palace I.m sure the Queen would appreciate another blanket for the state coach !! have a great day


  15. Hi John,
    Haven’t you done well this week. As I mentioned once before I have made 2 quilts out of shirts before. one out of my late father’s shirts and one out of my late father in law’s shirts. they have brought comfort and warmth to both my mother and mother in law.
    Hope you get the opportunity to finish them soon.
    Thank you for sharing


  16. I have some heavier weight fat quarters ,didn’t know what to do with them !!now I will make a winter quilt ,thanks for the idea xx


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