Monday, September 30, 2013

Hometown Wagon Wheels - The Official Finish Post

It's done.  And on the bed (with clean sheets no less)!  And ready to be loved.

One of the best bits about hopping into bed is seeing the pieced backing poking out :0)

HomeTown Wagon Wheels 80 x 80"

Pattern: Denyse Schmidts book - Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration.
Fabric:  Sweetwater's Hometown for segments and cornerstones, circle centre and cross light and dark grey homespun from Spotlight,  sashing Heath by Alexander Henry in grey, background Moda Bella?? Unbleached White

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Week that Was

The last week of the winter school term... including a birthday girl turning eight... is always going to be busy.

I concentrated mostly on machine quilting, Monday to Thursday.  Friday was my free day so I planned to do some relaxing and mindless sewing.  Unfortunately that same birthday girl decided to come down with a high temperature in the middle of Thursday night.  So I had company on my Friday off :0)

Thankfully she is all better now... and I've spent an industrious few days with my head down - pumping away on the pedal.

First up the Modern Sampler blocks for this week:

It is starting to come together!  How EXCITING!!!

I also finished my two Tokyo Subway blocks that were Septembers mission.  This is Block 14 - some are more interesting than others :0)

And I've been going great guns with the Reunion Playground quilt - only three more full blocks and the entire 4 charm packs will be gone.  I only need two more for the front - so I suppose the reject one will go on the back.  I have a fifth charm pack that will be used to create partial blocks to fill in gaps around the edges.  I've strayed from the instructions in the book with this one, as it was made with a layer cake (10" squares) in mind - having the extra set of charms meant I could upsize the quilt - and make it a generous size 88 x 80 I think.  Block placement is the most difficult thing about using precuts - there is always a conflict of either colour or fabric design, no matter where you put the blocks.  Just make it work people!

I was a bit remiss with my handwork focus this week.  Monday I finished the binding on the Hometown Wagon Wheels quilt.  Woot!  Hallelujah!  Nine months into the year and the first substantial finish.  That must be some kind of record.  Then I got caught up in watching The Block NZ... Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday... tired eyes on Thursday and Friday.  But I did manage to finish off the last piece of this flower last night.  Piece number 4.

What will I get up to over the next two weeks of holiday?? Not sure, but I'll keep you posted!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Sunday Stash

A couple of naughty packages from over the seas arrived on Friday. 

It all started with a particular fabric that I loved, and drooled over, but didn't buy.  Then I started thinking about it all the time, and decided to look online for it - but couldn't find it anywhere. Every waking moment was spent desperately searching. Of course, not knowing its name, range or designer didn't help. 

Then low and behold, Hancocks of Paducah had a sale, and what was on the first page I looked at... of course, the mystery fabric:

But you can't just buy one fabric... there is the rest of the bag to fill as well.  These ones fitted the mellow and useful for something bill.

I just like these birds, and my stash is seriously yellow challenged - doesn't this one look happy?

And who can go by a nice grey print - especially a Happy go lucky one.

Then switch to another day, another email.  Fabric Worm just has nice bundles... and I'm a sucker for a a lovely bundle of fat quarters.

This is two bundles of a range from Adorn-it.

And don't you just love these fun fish?

OK enough about the fabric.  What about progress this week?

This weeks Modern Sampler blocks - isn't this one pretty?

This has a rather Karitane Yellow tone to it... (somewhat of a NZ "in" joke - Karitane nurses used to be the newborn baby nurses - any yellowish green colour that looks like it could possibly come from the back end of a newborn is referred to as Karitane Yellow :0)

But it complements the surrounding blocks nicely.

And the killer teeny tiny half square triangles


Free motion quilting has been progressing well.  The triangle borders were treated identically.

I decided to try this triangle treatment for the narrow inner borders.

And even though I talked myself out of using the Baptist Fan template for the outermost border, when it came down to it - I just wanted to give it a go.  My "following a line" skills need to improve - but I've only done three fans... so there is plenty of time to  practice.

And I've got about 50cm of binding left to do.  This week is not over until the fat lady sings Sunday at midnight... so I will get this done before bed!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Oh Crap It's Wednesday Already!

Just where exactly did Monday and Tuesday go to?

My handwork focus last week was Flower Pots by Kim McLean.  I got bored with stitching the stem, and switched to something with a little bit more colour.  I'm appreciating that the pieces are pretty large (and colourful) - but there are still 36 odd pieces in this panel (not counting the pot pieces) - which means I've really only just stitched on pieces one to three.  But it is exciting!

I also got the chance to finish the last block for the week for Tula's Modern Sampler.  I really like this block for some reason.  And I've done the hard part for this weeks blocks - chosen the fabric :0)  This is the week of the teeny tiny half square triangles - wish me luck!

However, this week my primary focus is going to be machine quilting - (not on Janet, normal old freemotion quilting on my Brother) Lola's Medallion.  I finished the backing on Sunday (using Elizabeth Hartmans technique for pattern matching) and basted on Monday.  On a roll, yesterday I had a bit of a whirl with some McTavish style background filling.  While I don't think this is my Go-To style - it does look impressive once it's finished. 

So far, half of the applique centre is finished!  I'm using 100% polyester 100wt thread (Invisifill).  Although there has been a bit of breakage, it's going pretty well.  I upped the needle size and though the holes are a bit bigger than I would prefer - it does mean the thread behaves a bit better.  After all, it's nothing that won't disappear once it's been washed.  White fabrics can be notorious for being a pain in the butt to quilt.  At this rate, I'll have the centre quilted by the end of the week - then I need to decide what I'm going to do on the rest of it.

Although I have thought about my handwork focus for this week - I am yet to actually do any of it.  Hand stitching the binding on Hometown Wagon Wheels.  I can do it.  I have the technology.  I am on the home stretch with this one - I could get it finished this week (my first major finish this year), but I need to pull finger.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced and Lyn at What a Hoot (if I remember).

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Weekly Report - The Saturday Edition

I'm feeling quite chuffed with myself. FYI chuffed is a good thing :0)

It's only taken me from Easter (this year, which is not that bad) until now to get from a "lonely orphan block" to a finished quilt top.

Measuring in at 69.5" square is is not too small, and not too big... just right.

The cornerstone dilemma was solved thanks to a comment from Suz at Patchwork n Play.  The idea to form a cross that continued into the cornerstone was suggested first - but I just didn't have the fabric to play with.  In fact, I was hoping that I had enough to go around all four borders!  The second idea of a coloured square and a white circle really jumped.

Although I had plenty of leftover bits of fabric - none of them were big enough to cut four 7" squares - except the grey.  And once I'd decided that, the text fabric seemed an ideal match... it finally gave me a chance to repeat the fabrics from these earlier borders...

The way this triangle border sits with the cornerstone from the first border still irks me

A bit of history, this was the source of the original block - and I in fact bought enough white fabric to create the whole quilt.  Maybe in another lifetime...

It was from this magazine, American Patchwork & Quilting Feb 2011

An interesting side note, the hand quilting goes right through the applique pieces.

And finally I think this is the perfect quilt for this particular backing fabric

Now, a furry little visitor surprised me in my sewing room yesterday... a furry little visitor with dirty feet from digging a hole under the fence.  Thankfully the damage was not too bad (and she came to visit me instead of running out onto the road) - nothing a run through the washing machine won't fix anyway.  As Poppy is an "excitable widdler" - I was lucky that it is only dirt I have to worry about :0) and that she has quite a dainty footprint.

In other news, Blocks 46 and 47 have been completed:

And Block 48 has had it's fabrics chosen:

I haven't done any of the blanket stitch for Taupo Tiles due to this crisis situation which sort of knocks blanket stitch off my Focus List for the meantime.

As this is the third quilt top to add to the pile, I'm starting to think that I need to get my machine quilting groove on pronto, don't ya think?  Probably need to add it to the list.