Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas!

The presents have been opened, the toys are being played with - everyone is happy and relaxed.  Xmas lunch is in the oven, and the Pavlova and fruit salad is waiting for afters.  It's not hot - but it's not cold... I think this one is going to be another successful Kiwi Xmas.

I thought you might enjoy this link to a little you-tube clip portraying the Nativity story... as told by children from St Paul's Church here in New Zealand.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Charm Square Baby Quilts... one more sleep :o)

I've been playing with different design ideas for the two cot quilts that I have been asked to make.  It is a hard task to make quilts for prospective parents, when you don't really know them, so decided to stick with simple and modern.  I bought a charm pack of Hubba Hubba by Me and My Sister Designs - randomly thinking that it would be a good range for a kids quilt.  I pulled out the three black designs, because they just didn't work for this purpose, and separated out the more boyish looking designs (blue, green and aqua geometrics) from the more girly pinks, purples and florals.

OK, what to do with them?

I've had a chevron design kicking around in my head since making my Hometown Wagon Wheels back.

And where I realise that I don't think I actually have a photo of the back of this quilt completely finished, but here is a progress shot - and I added a cream strip to the cream side, and a grey strip to the grey side, making it look like a patterned chevron between two different coloured solids.

Right, back to the baby quilt.

A bit of design work on my grid paper... I always saw this zigzag running vertically off centre...

and it was all going well until I tried to figure out how much fabric I would need for the side panels and realised that it wasn't very economic use of fabric... because my measurements had exceeded the width of fabric.  Poo.

It took a while but I figured that by rotating the chevron stripe so it ran side to side meant that the top and bottom strips could once again be cut from a single width of fabric, and I'd only need 10 charm squares  - back on track again.

A bit of a mock up on the design wall... finished size 40 x 48".

I went for a green mottle and a navy dot.  Practical and blokey... although my hubby is not keen, and thinks there is too much dark blue.

This is the more accurate colouring...

I needed 1 x 28.5" strip of navy (trimmed to 40.5" wide), and 1 x 5" strip for the navy triangle units.
From the green I needed 1 x 12.5" strip (trimmed to 40.5" wide), and 1 x 5" strip for the green triangle units.
Simple, go on... I know you have some leftover charm squares just itching to be used!

From my charm pack I had 32 charms left to create something magic for the girl quilt.  I had heaps of ideas, but in the end went with something very simple, and ordered another matching charm pack because of course, that one charm pack was never going to be enough.

I'm just making triangles and scattering the designs and colours across a 9 x 11 simple grid.  It will have all the spaces filled in with triangles (although I did think about making an asymmetrical arrangement but wasn't happy with how it started to look).

I hope to frame this with a plain 2" border, making it finished size 40 x 48".  Perfect.

I am all ready for Xmas this year... so no wrapping gifts on Xmas Eve like usual.  I hope you all have a wonderful time with family and friends... and receive something nice under the tree.  Merry Xmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Is it too early for a roundup post of 2014?

I remember starting this year feeling a bit low about quilting in general... remember the Fabric and Project Diet? - and the angst of how I was going to cope, but prepared to just manage and do my best.  This year turned into the year of doing things for others... quilts made for school fundraising, gifts for parents, a magazine submission that needed to be finished to a deadline, and a commissioned baby quilt, plus the quilting for Imogen's quilt that I've had for months and for a variety of reasons have only just started.  I tried to remain focused on just a few WIP's and have made terrific progress.  I also feel I have curbed my compulsive fabric buying tendencies... no, I'm not a saint and am not totally reformed.  I've bought things I've loved, but I've also not bought things that I've loved.  It is progress.

I start these holidays with another successful magazine submission that requires both construction and pattern writing, two more commissioned baby quilts and a toddler quilt, plus all the other ideas that are bouncing around in my head that have been waiting for the selfish ME side to return.  My WIP list is probably just as long as it was at the start of the year, and it is probably unrealistic to expect it to get any smaller.  After all, I do tend to start new projects :o)

Last week disappeared in a blast of school activities.  Dylan had his Year 6 graduation dinner as they celebrated their last year at Primary School.  He is now 11, and will start next year at college which runs from Yr 7 - Yr13.

The men in the family... I'm sure Dylan will get to be as tall as his father one day.

We also attended the school Prizegiving, where both Dylan and Nadia won Achievement Awards, which was a nice surprise.

I have really felt this year has been quite exhausting, and I am only just now (after almost a whole week off work) feeling like doing much, other than relaxing reading books.  I have quilt designs dancing through my head... and a solid list of things that need to be cleaned, which I am slowly psyching myself up to start.

For the boys baby quilt using just twelve charm squares plus additional yardage...

And the girls baby quilt... using the rest of the charm squares...

Plus pulling fabrics for the magazine submission...

And the quilting for Imogen's quilt continues.  I've got three applique blocks completely finished now and am working on the 4th...

I finished up the fourth Feathered Star block...

... and started compiling the rest of the components for the other five blocks.  In my head this project has progressed from an occasional filler project into something that I would like to get finished.

I would also like to get cracking with the Modern Wedding Ring project now that I have all the fabric to continue.  So once again - so many projects, so little time.  I am almost at that stage where I have so much going on in my head that I don't know what to do next, and consequently do nothing.  But I also know that quilting, like many things in life, is a matter of starting, having patience, working diligently, with the knowledge that one day it will be finished.

And on that cherry note... time for get lunch started for the bottomless pits that I call children.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

The Point of NO Return

I am officially well past the point of no return on Imogen's quilt.  Although I am rapidly approaching the "this is going to drive me crazy" stage.

 At the moment I'm concentrating on the applique blocks - spirals and pebbles inside the "somewhat straightish" frame that I quilted freemotion using the quilting ruler I purchased at FOQ.

Using the theory of quilting the same motif in the same areas, these triangles that flowed out into the border received the same design.

I am going to quilt something different in the area that flows through the stars - but I'm not quite decided yet.

As I am almost finished the quilting on the second (of five) applique blocks - I've got quite a while before I need to make the final decision :o)