Welcome to Vicarage Quilts - thank you for visiting.

I offer several services: longarm quilting, patchwork and appliqué workshops and small items made to commission. In the past I've also made quilts to commission as well as Church or School banners for Walking Days and permanent display.

Please visit the pages listed on the right hand side to find out more and email me with any queries.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Christmas Gifts #3

Some quilty Christmas gifts made over the last couple of weeks.

Two small wall hangings using papercut designs cut out of bondawebbed fabric...

...it's interesting how the blue / purple border changes your perception of the colours of the outer border slightly.

Two reindeer cushions with a simple cut-out, appliqued and held in place with grid quilting.  I can't get pictures of these cushions that do them justice, they're just so plumptious in real life!  The back has a zip concealed under a flap for which I followed the tutorial on the Sew Mama Sew blog.  Cleverest way to put a zip in a cushion back I've ever tried; I'll definitely do it again.

I hope their recipients like them!

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas Gifts #2

I know, they're not exactly quilted items.  But, so cute!

I'm not a natural knitter, and I'm certainly not a fast knitter, but I did learn to knit on double pointed needles this year.  Although I abandoned my sock half way down the ankle (so many tiny stitches in thin wool!) I was able to use my newfound skill to make monsters instead - much more satisfying!

The little guy above is my prototype monster.  His arms, legs and ears aren't exactly childproof, as I stitched each one to him after I'd stuffed his body, and the ends of yarn do seem to want to poke out.  I'll have to keep him for myself: devastating.

Monster 2, named Fergus by his recipient is a much safer bet for little ones.  I inserted all his limbs as I made him, and tied each pair together inside his body as well as stitching them in place so there's no way any inadvertent amputations are happening.

So pleased was I with Proptoype and Fergus that I took them in to work and promptly received orders for more, hence this fella above for Debbie's grandson,

and two more for Sarah's children (who are older, and don't require felt eyes - they're past the button chewing stage!)

I was sad to see them all go so we had a farewell photo-shoot.

Bye guys!

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Christmas Gifts #1

On the frame ready to be quilted, two pram / car seat quilts for the new baby twins.

Last Sunday, the prospect of better light in the garden to take photographs tempted me outside - unfortunately, two minutes after this shot I stumbled and stood on Alistair a little tiny bit - oops - so they went in the washer and dryer before being sent off.  Happily, this means I know for sure none of the colours will run!

Two colourways from the same fabric line really can make two completely different looking quilts.  I hope the babies enjoy snuggling under them!

Friday, 7 December 2012

New threads

An exciting set of parcels in the post... lots of interfacing and a big box full of...

...lovely new threads!

This type of thread seems to work really well on my machine, and I'm really happy to have found a UK stockist, as previously I'd bought it at great (shipping) expense from the US.

So, I bought more than usual...

Like sweeties, but with less calories!  

I've already used one of the blues on a quilt for my mother-in-law for Christmas, and my Mum's chosen the gold for a quilt she's made for my nephew.  I'm making another couple of little quilts too for Christmas, which if I'm super-organised and go without sleep I may finish before Wednesday (the day the recipients' Nanna goes down to visit them) so look out for more pictures soon!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

A little quilt

I made this quilt just because - fun to do but now I can't quite decide what to do with it!  However, there is a spot on my sewing room wall where I think it would fit so maybe that's where it will end up.

It's a 'Piece of Cake' design from years ago, and it's quite big; the block without borders was 20". 

I quilted it in a hot pink thread, in an allover design of swirls and feathered flowers.  I'm not a massive fan of dense quilting around appliqué, although I know a lot of people really like the way that makes the appliqué pop.  I DO like the way it looks, but I think the density of the background quilting makes for a very un-cuddly quilt, and I do like a cuddly quilt.

In other news, new thread arrived last week, in thirteen yummy shades that are worth a post all of their own, especially as I sacrificed a nail getting the box open.  I probably won't show you that though!

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Button Brooches

Item: button brooch construction kit.  I like gathering everything I'm using for a project all in one place, it's much easier to take from room to room or out and about if it's neatly packed in a tin or bag.  I've got lots of lovely tins and bags just for the purpose!

The construction method of the charms on the calendar in my last post was devised initially for brooches, and they were smaller: button sized in fact:

Here are a couple on the Mothering Sunday cards I made this year, with a helpfully positioned ruler so you can gauge their size!

Gotta love macro photography.

I sell a few things through a local gift shop, Donna Marie's in Stockton Heath (go there, it's fab and Donna is delightful!) and after a while Donna asked me if I could make brooches with writing on?  Now, the writing would be teeny tiny on the original size of brooch, but on the size of the calendar charms it would work just fine.  This is what Donna initially ordered...

 ...and we've since done lots more in various colour combinations, plus lots more variations...

...Age brooches...

...Birthday boy and...

...Birthday girl.

Then, of course, if you don't put a brooch fasten on the back but add a ribbon loop and clip instead, you've got a keyring charm!

Saturday, 10 November 2012

In print!

Rather excitingly, one of my projects has been published in the December issue of 'Popular Patchwork' magazine, which went on sale yesterday.

I'm even on the cover - the 'Everlasting Calendar' there on the top left.

I made my original calendar over a year ago now, and we did a version of it in the January, February and March 'Stitch and Chat' nights I hold at the Vicarage each month.  I also gifted kits to several family members last Christmas so it was thoroughly tested!  I added a border to the version I eventually made for the magazine.

There is a little circular charm for each month of the year and the idea is that each month the relevant charm is turned to its embroidered side.  So, in the photograph above you can see that it was March, and the little baby bird is showing.

Here you can see all the charms on their embroidered side.  I loved making the charms, there was something very satisfying somehow about how neatly they came together.

Here they are before I attached them to the calendar.

They remind me a bit of macaroons!

I'm waiting now for my calendar to come home after being photographed for the magazine : I miss it!  In the meantime, I'm still making charms for another little enterprise: I'll blog about that soon!

Friday, 2 November 2012

School Banners

I'm currently working on a new commission for a school banner.  There's a long deadline, which is probably not an entirely good thing as I don't want the job to stretch out over too much time, but it's nice to have the space to plan at leisure: in the past I've always seemed to be working madly to finish before Walking Day!

The first banner I made for a school was for St. Benedict's.  They had a competition for the children to design the banner, hence the nice simple children's figures with giant kipper ties!

St. Bridget's was next: a more traditional design including all the school's symbols:


The largest school banner I've made was for Sacred Heart.  The brief was to design a banner with a heart made of angel wings enclosing four pupils representing the school's diverse ethnic mix wearing recognisable depictions of the school uniform.  Phew!

You'll have to excuse the pegs you can see at the top of the photograph: the wings and children are 3-D which made the banner terribly heavy so pegging it to the washing line was the only way to get a full-size photograph!  No oversize kipper ties for Sacred Heart!

I had great fun making the children, once I'd worked out the best way to do it.  I think the little girl was my favourite, although I quite like the hairstyles on the boys and the scrunchies on the big girl's bunches.

No people whatsoever on my current commission, so watch this space for updates!

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Low contrast quilt

A quilt made during my week off work as a two-baby playmat for a friend who’s expecting twins soon.  The nursery is beige and cream, so I decided to try a low-contrast colour scheme.  I also decided to use nothing but stash fabrics and even though it was a bit of a squeak, I did have enough - however, I need to restock on creams now!

Quilted using my current favourite freehand design.  It usually looks a bit more like contour lines but this time I wiggled more so I don't know what I'd call it... anyway, the babies should enjoy rolling around on it!