Friday, April 18, 2014

An Easter Quickie

After a satisfying lie in this morning, reading and generally ignoring the world, I thought I'd make quick work of getting the butterflies sashed, and trimmed, and ready to assemble.  Not to be.  The endless stash run dry of white on white... progress so far...

Those of you who can count will realise that the original 9 block layout grew into a 12 block layout.  Rectangle quilts are much more practical for baby quilts, and it did help solve the placement problems I seemed to have with only 9 blocks and way too many fabrics.  Adding the purple and blues toned down the pink, yellows and oranges just nicely.

That's OK, because right next door were these cornerstones waiting to be blanket stitched and assembled.

After procrastinating about this all week long... I got this done also.  Looks like the borders are going to be 6" finished.  That solves one design dilemma. 

On my shopping list next week:
 * enough white on white to finish the butterflies
 * batting to finish the Japanese ladies

Hope you are all enjoying the start of your Easter break, and maybe getting some stitching time in?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Paper Piecing, Butterflies and Vines

After a bit of a crappy week, it's been a good weekend.

I talked Juliet from The Tartan Kiwi into letting me test one of her paper pieced patterns... can you guess what it is?

I also have a very good excuse for starting another small new project.  When hubby (who makes me breakfast in bed every single day) asks if I can make an acquaintance a baby quilt... well, of course I say yes, and I seem to have the perfect quilt pattern waiting in the wings.  Handily, I have a decent stash as well :0)

Yip - the butterflies:  four down, five to go...

This is just the easiest pattern... and yet so effective! 

I also put my head down and after fusing the last bit onto the B&B border, blanket stitched it all down.  Now, it's attached and looking fine!

The extra few leaves petals at the end of the vine fill up the space nicely.

I've got plans for a narrow dark green border and then a large print border to finish off.   I've been tossing up whether to do a pieced unit for the border cornerstones, repeating the heart motif, small flower and 2" squares... although I really can't be bothered doing any more applique or piecing... but I think it will just finish it off perfectly.  Plus I have some leftover units from the other blocks.  Along with a few more butterflies... I hope to get these cornerstones and borders completed over the next week.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Bits and bobs

Halfway there...

Some little birds

But whoops, there's a bit of a gap at the end.  Not so bad in itself, but the other blocks and borders extend further towards the outer edges.

The scrap paper from the fusible shapes does a quick stand in to see what a possible solution could look like...

Yip - I think this could work!  Tomorrow will be a bit more tracing and fusing.

Before I commit this scrap to the bin, I just thought you'd appreciate how close things were with the backing fabric for the Robot quilt.  I'd said that there might not be enough to cover both the borders and the backing... and I was almost right.  There was about 1/2" spare on either of the sides... reminder to self, don't do this again!

I had a weak moment.  A Fabricworm fabric sale email.  I clicked the link.  I was sunk!

Thinking that with overseas delivery, it could be that it wouldn't arrive until July... and then it would be OK.  But the package arrived in record time - about 13 days. 

But it's OK - 


... it's necessity fabric.  Have you ever come across fabric described in such a way on your customs declaration?  Little did they know, it is definitely necessity fabric... my precious!

And isn't it beautiful?  I am going to enjoy adding this into the stash cupboard.  In fact, it might call for some little bundles to be collated, fondled and photographed.  Watch this space :0)

And this little pattern made it's way into the bag as well.  Isn't it darling?  Pincushions and fiddley things aren't really my forte... so we'll have to see how this turns out.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Three steps forward, Two steps back

My plans for this week were to finish the bottom border of the Bluebirds and Berries BOM quilt, and sew the back and baste my Japanese Ladies quilt.

I'm pleased to report that the bottom border was finished, and has been attached!

The innner design is from Gail Pan's Bluebirds & Berries BOM as per the pattern, I've designed the blue applique border to enlarge the quilt to a useable bed size, using elements from other areas of the quilt.

All of the fabrics used (excluding backgrounds) were in the scrap department...
I've even nutted out the bulk of the top border... so I'm really happy :0)

The Japanese ladies backing/basting is another matter.

 I had a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel... sorry, the only Blackadder quote I know.  Unfortunately the weasel got away as the fabric I purchased for the purpose of backing this quilt was not long enough.  A bit of creative piecing eventually resulted in a piece big enough for the backing.

Did this really take me all morning?

This pinky toned fabric is just too cute.

After laying out all my pieces of batting, I realised there wasn't enough to cover the quilt.  So this has now been folded up and put away pending a shopping trip.  No basting today.

In other news, Saturday was stitch and chat day at my place... I knuckled down and bound this small quilt that has been sitting around for simply ages.  Does anyone remember it?

It disappeared off with Charlotte to be donated to the local maternity unit.

And today since I didn't end up basting, I reassessed my Seeing Squares progress, and decided to cut my losses... it's just not turning out how I imagined it... and turn it into a maternity unit quilt too.

There were two issues with sewing this quilt with scraps.  One being that my size of scrap were a bit small for the block size needed.  So I ended up with heaps of the smallest unit... not so many of the bigger ones.  Second, it was all turning out a bit wild.  I can do wild, and it looks OK at this size, but I'm not sure how a bigger version would turn out.  Maybe it needed more solids to balance the prints.  But this was not going to happen out of a scrap project.  Something to think about if there is a second attempt at this pattern.  This size (which must be 24x24") is just fine.  It still needs basting and quilting... a job for another day.  And it means that the big pile of bits that has been congregating behind my sewing machine has been cleared away... making room for something else.

Now I'll have to think about what I want to get done this coming week.  Hmmm... what shall I choose?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

A show, a pattern, a quilt, a bed and a sunset

Armed with camera and a little spending money, I attended the Whangarei Guilds exhibition yesterday, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  So much so... that I completely forgot to take any photos!  Not the first time this has happened... and unlikely to be the last.  Leeann who blogs at Quilt Whangarei already has photos up of the challenge entries (showing very imaginative re-purposing of shirts) and I'm sure she'll have the other exhibition photos up soon.

I bumped into a few old friends and had a great time catching up... as you do.  I also took the time to find out a little bit more about a particular pattern, from Kerry who has an online shop Tulis Textiles here in Northland, selling batiks, patterns and specialty rulers (amongst other things).  My bucket list includes a double wedding ring quilt - although I don't think I have the patience or stamina for the truly traditional version.  This pattern and ruler should make it do-able... when I'm allowed to start something new again of course.  My brain is already whizzing with possibilities.

I also visited with all the merchants, and carefully chose only two fat quarters.  Yup, just two.  Aren't I good?

On the finishing front, I put the last few stitches in The Robot Quilt binding, attached a label

Did a bit of personalisation for the new owner... a little boy...

who is going to turn four next week.

And the final, outdoor photo.  I'm very pleased with how this quilt has turned out - and super happy to have found a purchaser, with all money raised going to fundraising efforts for my sons snow trip later in the year.

With the end of the month rolling around tomorrow, it was time for a new quilt on the bed.  This one has not been slept under yet - and in fact, the binding still has just over a side to be stitched down... but all good things take time.  I've been consciously try to increase my speed slipstitching the binding down... and along with stitching in the afternoon as opposed to the evening, I have been getting better (the robot quilt only took a few days!).  So really, I should put this on my list to get {completely} finished by the end of the April.

My Gypsy Bandana Craftsy 2012 BOM Sampler quilt, experimentally straight line quilted on Janet (the handiquilter frame)

The view out the window this evening... glorious - although not sure the camera has really caught the moment.

No that's not a UFO - it's the reflection of our light pendant
OK, that's me all caught up with my adventures.  Plans for this week include working on the Bluebirds and Berries panel, with the last bit of vine almost stitched down, then the applique elements will need to be blanket stitched.  I hope to baste the Japanese ladies quilt this week... so it'll be another busy one, down in the Sewing Shed.  Have a good week!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Shock! Horror! A Wednesday Update!

The quilting on the Robot Quilt is finished and a bright green solid binding has been attached by machine, with the final hand stitching left to do.  I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

We have a stipple in the background - and an organic echo around the rockets...

the stars and the robots.  The robots also got treated to a spiral in the eye department...

and the zigzag chests got a bit of definition.

The border has an Angela Walters square pattern - if you follow it from the mid right, it exits at top left, and then onto the next one.  This is one of my favourite border treatments.  It certainly did wonders for the slight wave I seemed to have in this quilt.

I've also been amassing possible new projects for when the project diet is over.  I'm not sure that the whole diet thing is going to work.  A bit like a food diet... we all know what happens when the diet is over - you put the weight back on and then some.  I think I will probably finish this year with even more projects on the go compared with the beginning of the year.

I really like this free download - Starburst Cross Quilt from Sew Crafty Jess.  I have the perfect bundle for this... and it's on my one day list.

I've also signed up for the Sugar Club with Amy Gibson.  A new pattern each month... and I can just see these made up in my Bonnie & Camille stash left over from the Japanese Ladies Quilt.

On a bit of an Amy Gibson marathon... don't you love this Tuileries pattern?  Not sure about what I'd use exactly, but a bit of scrap management, a few low volume's maybe... this one needs to stew for a while.

Now I'd never make this one in pink, but it sure is a great graphic quilt... and pretty simple too.  This was a free download from Forth Worth Fabric Studio.  Imagine blues and greens... or teal and stone... yummo...

And while I don't want to sign myself up for any more charity quilts in a hurry... wouldn't this one be a terrific option?  I might just need one for myself...

So that's my Wednesday happenings... what's going on at your place?