Saturday, December 24, 2016

All I want for Christmas is...

... a Swoon Quilt on the bed!

 I just wanted something bright and summery to match the lovely weather we have been having.  And the small fact that the binding is not quite finished yet was not enough to prevent the Swoon finally getting its time to shine for Christmas.  For all the angst I had putting it together - I now struggle to find those pesky intersections that just wouldn't match up making the blocks.

Beep Beep has been whizzing along...

This got to the stage where I had to think and assess what fabrics were going to go into the missing slots - pins in my design wall worked well to give the visual aid and make sure it was all looking balanced.

Until finally all the blocks have been constructed!  This may well be a new land speed record!

Do you know that there is only one sleep left?

My kids have the job of decorating the tree and I love that it has that "casual" feeling.  A little house means a little Xmas display.

And this little guy crops up every few years when I remember to bring him out at the right time of year.  I'm still surprised that the glue is holding him onto his rockers (repurposed coat hangers).

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy Christmas - hope Santa brings you all something nice!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Beep Beep Progress Already!

Stretching my fusible web scraps as far as I could meant there was enough for two more blocks - although I did have to choose the ones that were long and skinny.

I had been pondering how to use the stripe feature fabric, wondering whether to use it as a block silhouette or not.  Such a strong stripe was probably not ideal for this application - damn that directional fabric. I thought about adding grey sashing to the blocks, so that I could use the stripe as a corner stone, but then worried that the extra grey around the blocks would just look like a big grey mass.  Discussing this with a quilting friend - hey, thanks Charlotte :o) we threw around the idea of cutting the blocks down, so that I could add the sashing.  But that just sounded like too much work.  Brain wave... cut back some of the blocks (maybe three to make it nice and zen), and add a narrow border of the stripe, to make the block full size again.  Perfect!

While these fabrics may look like solids from a distance, they all have some sort of pattern.  I think it is going to be a great looking quilt!

Now I really do need to buy more fusible before there can be any  more progress.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

OMG it's almost Christmas

As the school year has rolled around to a finish, we have been inundated with school and work activities... more than I can ever remember.  I am so glad that it is now all done with for another year - even though while I have officially finished up at work until the end of January, I will still be making regular appearances to catch up with urgent work requirements.

Hubby has requested that I make a baby quilt for a work colleague.  So out came the books and patterns.  I have some good designs for boy babies, waiting for the right person - now that my own little boy baby is a teenager and is taller than me!  This little traffic sign quilt is perfect for a family involved with roading construction.

Of course I will be working with a slightly scrappier colour palette, although it all does hinge loosely around the green/red/orange/blue stripe.

And progress so far! I think this would be a great first project for someone new to applique. I have chosen a soft grey homespun as my background, which is hopefully a bit more forgiving and practical than a white background per the pattern.

I have now run out of fusible webbing... so off to the shop I must go before any more gets done.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Things to Think About

Pondering the next quilting project, I pulled out all the quilt tops that were waiting patiently for their turn.

I thought I'd do a bit of a vote, and see which quilt was the most popular to get to the finished pile first.  So check out the following, and feel free to leave a comment or send me an email to vote for your favourite:

Giant Star:

This one even has a gorgeous bundle all put aside for a backing.

There's a square in there:

Oh Eiko... I love you.

And this one has backing and binding!  This is the joy of finding fabric on special and just buying it.  It also shows that you never know what you're going to get until it arrives.  This fish fabric was described as a "feature fabric" - so I imagined the fish would be large.  I didn't expect them to appear in rows and be in this scale (ha! pun alert!)  But as the backing, I'm not too worried either way.

Rainbow Modern Sampler: OK, no backing or binding on this one yet, but with that rainbow gradient going on, I don't think it would be hard to find "something" amongst the stash.

Avalon Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman (will need to go and investigate what this one was originally called): now this one is not quite a top yet - but the finished blocks just need to be sewn together.

Right, time for some fabric.  My delicious little fat quarter purchases from The Country Yard.  I may or may not be a sucker for florals... This large floral is from Tilda - Flowercloud dark slate.

And even a smidge of sewing.  What I love about this star block is the lack of commitment required. I can make progress without even really trying. Cutting two fat quarters simultaneously sets me up to make two blocks.  Then with a little bit of sewing, I have the block units pieced.

Then with a little bit more time... or another day... those little units get pieced into a pretty easily put together nine patch.  So as one gets finished...

Another gets to the pieced units stage...

And this little skerrit of space provides the visual "this is how it's starting to look"

Don't forget to vote!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

One step closer - but not quite a finish

Even though my quilting progress the last couple of weeks has been mostly FM quilting... which doesn't translate well to impressive progress shots... I started to get quite excited when it appeared that I was approaching the "last corner".  I even made a bit of a schedule, hoping that I could finish that last corner and head off to my LQS to attend their monthly stitching day on the last Saturday of the month.  It all worked out, with the last few stitches done on Thursday and Nana agreeing that she could look after the kids for a few hours.  Woot!  The perfect opportunity to not only buy binding, but maybe even get it sewn on and the hand stitching started.

I love it when a plan all comes together.

The Country Yard even had the perfect binding fabric - a slightly darker grey than the Bella solid background, with yellow, orange and red stars... picks up the bright colours on the front...

And settles down the colours on the back.

OK, yeah, I was well and truly sick of this spiral quilting by the time I was done - this quilt is about 80 x 80" with a lot of background.  But it is a great filler pattern, giving a comprehensively quilted feel, without being too heavy - and still allows good draping.

Progress on the hand stitching will happen in slow bursts.  Summer time in Northland is not the greatest time to sit with a quilt on your lap.  I also have a bit more hand quilting to finish on a couple of stars - although nothing that would stop the quilt from being used.  I haven't made it to The Country Yard for a sewing day since July... it was great catching up, and seeing what everyone was up to.  Checking out the shop samples, and buying a bit more fabric of course, because what would a trip to a fabric shop be without a little bit of buying?

As I look at this basic quilt layout, I wonder if this scattered block idea would work for my odd bundles of fat quarters that I am determined to create something "useful" out of.  I have a granny square block playing around in my head... along with a million and one other ideas.  With this making it's way off my quilting pile, it is also time to think of the next project that needs quilting.  Oh yeah, and then there's Xmas which seems to be hurtling towards us at an amazing rate of knots.

The change in overnight temperatures from winter to summer meant an ideal opportunity to change the quilt on the bed.  Does anyone remember the Made in Cherry sew along a few years ago?

The difference in lighting and flash... I think the true colours are somewhere between these two photos.  Maybe slightly more towards the top photo...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Fabric, Designs and Festivals

First up is a bundle of goodies that made their way home with me from Festival of Quilts.

None of these fat quarters seem to have any writing on their selvedges... but I seem to be a sucker for that yellow green colour at the moment.

Another place had bolt ends for sale... this one just read as "handy to have in stash"...

And so my mind goes back to what to do with a smallish bundle of fabrics...

I've always liked these somewhat random wedges...

And this totally improv quilt also appeals for some reason even though I have never sewn anything improv... and don't really know if I want to.

Both of these designs are from this book:

This neutral based and irregularly designed quilt from Tula's Modern Sampler book has also been a favourite.  Although it does remind me that my rainbow version is still sitting unquilted :o(

And this Elizabeth Hartman design uses 8 x 1/4 yards, plus 8 solids and neutral background.

All something to think about while I focus on what I am really supposed to be doing (which is actually housework... but you win some/you lose some).

And now for a few more quilts that caught my eye at the exhibition:

I don't know whether it is the design of this one...

or the scrummy fabrics... or the hand quilting...

This little wall hanging was just perfect.  Colourwise and designwise.

These quilts are just magic... and I particularly like the hints of aqua fabric in the background position.

  Oh yeah, and that quilting!

Simple, bold, modern.  With a nod to traditional.  My kind of quilt.

And this little star was 4" I think... hand pieced:

Which just blows your mind when you see the quilt full sized.  Thanks to Charlotte for being the "comparison" to put it into scale.

I am always drawn to the blue quilts... even though this one did start to make my eyes funny after a while.

OK, that's me for a while... back to that pesky housework.