Saturday, May 20, 2017

A Really Great Week

I've just had a really great week.  This month I was a bit light on my monthly goals... mostly because I wasn't sure how the clothing sewing was going to go and how much time it would take up.  With one dress down, I can put that aside for a bit, and now that I can focus back on patchwork goals, I feel a lot more settled.

Charlotte's mystery quilt appeared on Carol's Quilts blog, and I searched out a possible selection of fabrics... but still had to read through the instructions to work out whether what I had would meet the requirements.  It took a bit of figuring... but I think it has all worked out.

I started off with a feature fabric and bunch of possible team mates:

While I had intended to chop up the feature fabric, it then became difficult to slot the other fabrics into the necessary positions according to the requirements.  So I made an executive decision, and figured I'd use the feature as a border... and use the other fabrics as the main contenders, and listed them as follows:

I added this Denyse Schmidt fabric into the B section of darks... it gives me four good dark options, although I've left the stripe in there because (a) I don't know where else to put it and this seems like the best fit and (b) while I would like to use it... I'm not sure whether it will work out in the long run.  The down side of participating in a mystery!

And I got my month one's blocks finished.  Four four patches...

And four four patches with a half square triangle in one of the  positions.  Then I had a bit of fun spinning these around...

Okay, on to the rest of the week.  I've been buzzing through the Tillies Lane hourglass blocks, and sewing triangles to my Sugar Club blocks... enough that I have completed not one...

but two upsize blocks!

I left a comment on someones blog about the interesting variety of blocks on the design wall... so just for full disclosure, there are remnants of three very different projects littered all over my one at the moment!

Monday, May 15, 2017

New Things

I wore my new dress to work today.  Although it was a bit cold... I really need to buy a cardy or something warm that goes with it.

I have this scarf that is almost the perfect colouring... a bit more is more, but it looked OK.

And Me, excuse the odd photo angle... these things happen when you get your 11yr old to take your photo!  At least my eyes are open and I don't look cross... you don't want to know how many photos it took to get this to happen.

Righto... and onto other new things... my good friend Charlotte has designed a Mystery Quilt on another blog... Carols Quilts.  You can check it out here.

Now, I have been sneaky and checked out the Mystery Quilt (don't tell anyone)... so I know it's a good one.  Not too long (6mths) or complicated (squares, rectangles and triangles), and ends up with a mid sized quilt that you could easily grow to the size you want.  I've been waiting for the first months instructions, to see exactly what the fabric requirements are, and have pulled the following as a possible grouping.

It started with this fabric - Secret Garden by Sandi Henderson, Michael Miller Fabrics which I have had in my stash for ever!

It's quite a large print, and I am imagining just cutting it up into small bits

Then I found these that I quite like to go with it... not too samey/samey but a nice blend of blendy and contrasty.  Don't you love making up your own words?

From left to right:
Newspaper print... unnamed selvedge
Small dot... 11993 Daiwabo for EE Schenck Company
Stripe... unnamed selvedge but I wouldn't be surprised if it is a Stof Basic
Dark grey solid... pretty sure this is a homespun from Spotlight
Lighter colour small dot... same marking as darker dot above
Large multicolour dot... printing is actually half off the selvedge but its something about Habitat (a philosophy a refuge) by Benartex
Even lighter small dot... same as above
Neutral stripe... no markings but similar to a shirting
Green floral... Quilt Gate Mary rose collection
Green solid... either a Spotlight homespun or a Bella solid
Bird detail print... Field Notes by Blackbird Designs for moda

Now I need to actually read the instructions to see what fabrics I really need...

If you are looking for a new project, or just want a bit of low commitment fun, I really do recommend the Mystery Quilt.

I'm going to try linking up with Molli Sparkles Sunday Stash.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

Well, it all started with the two dress patterns I bought... then one lot of dress fabric purchased... which wasn't even cut out yet (I don't know that I had even opened the pattern yet), and I bought five more patterns through an online download provider... yes, FIVE patterns, on top of the TWO patterns I had already bought, and another two lots of fabric!

The two fabrics matched with these two patterns...

Now... if you've been reading about my blogging adventures for while, you'll know that I don't really sew clothing, or bags, or other things that aren't quilts.  Like many people, I used to, back in my late teenage years (I probably had a half and half mix of handmade and purchased clothing); and again when my kids were young I made polar fleece tops and pants to supplement their wardrobes.

Oh crap... what have I got myself into.

On Thursday, I figured I had put it off long enough, opened the first pattern, unwrapped the lunchpaper to trace off the pattern pieces (not required but something I wanted to do to keep the integrity of the original pattern), did my body measurements... and started tracing.  Friday I pinned out the pattern pieces and cut the bits out... only three pattern pieces so it's not like it took an enormously long time, but I wanted to do it carefully... so I took my time.  I sewed the shoulder seams and finished the neckline, then put it aside for Saturday, when I sewed the sleeves in, sewed the side seams, and finished the hems.  So I now have ONE whole finished dress!!!

On a bit of a roll (and while I still had the stretch fabric needle and normal sewing foot on the machine), I though I'd print out one of the downloaded patterns, and spent probably a couple of hours printing, cutting and sellotaping the pieces together.  Laid out the fabric to position the pattern pieces and realised that the fabric I THOUGHT was 60" wide was really only 42" wide... so there was NO WAY the tunic pattern pieces were going to fit.  GAH!  I suppose this is a bit of a warning about the Birch organic interlock knit fabric... although I am sure that I checked the measurements on the bolt and it was the wider width.  Oh well, lesson learned.  And check out this enormously wide selvedge!

That's almost 2" wide!

Enough fabric for the back, not the front or sleeve

Just a plain black denim to make the short pinafore pattern
 Righto... back to patchwork mode.

After selecting a mix of green scraps to make the largest block of this RSC quilt, I decided in the end to reduce the variety of tone in the scraps for such a large and important block.  I wanted it to read strongly as green... so swapped out the teal toned fabrics, and found more that were olive in tone to match what I had already found.

Sewn together and laid out with the other blocks... along with the rest of the carnage from the weekend.  I sewed another small green unit with 2.5" cut squares... and have another in the pipeline.

I don't think I showed a close up of the little Tillies Lane applique block for this month.  The large circle fabric was the border fabric from Nadia's first bed quilt.  It's fun to find some of these old scraps and get sentimental about them :o)  I think the other fabrics are from the Avalon Quilt that is laying dormant with the blocks pieced, but not sewn together.

I made a more neutral toned hourglass block, and relaid out the centre panel.

I ended up with Version One:

Or Version Two:

Do you have a preference???

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Tillies Lane - interim progress

The first week back at work after two weeks holiday is always a bit of a mission.  Getting back into school and work routines... bedtimes... yeah, it can all get a bit exhausting.  Even though I didn't always feel like sewing after work, I still spent a bit of time most days making the effort to do something, even if it was only messing around with fabric.

Before I got too carried away with this months Tillies Lane requirements, I really REALLY needed to know how things were looking... so for the first time EVER, I laid out all my blocks created so far!

It is amazing how lighting and camera angle can change your flash/colouring so much!  This photo below is definitely a bit yellow.

And I think this one is maybe a bit closer in colouring... but maybe a bit washed out.

What I really needed to know from this experiment was how the centre blocks were looking, and which backgrounds needed to be repeated in which spots.  This is the patterns centre arrangement.

And this is how mine is starting to look.  I started with the small nine patch layout being more random in colouring, similar to the pattern, but I didn't like it (you can see that version in the very top photo) .  I figured since this is going to be the centre of the centre, it should look amazing, although I'm still not completely finished with the colours yet.

I managed to get my Month 6 wreath block stuck down... and now halfway to being blanket stitched.

Sewing is nothing if you are not wearing your monster slippers.  You just need to remember to lift your feet extra high so that they don't catch on the fabric (and all the better to stomp with anyway).

Another little job accomplished during the week was sorting through some green scraps, for this months RSC colour - GREEN.  Funnily enough, I have plenty of green scraps, and enough pieces large enough to cut these 6.5" units.  The rectangles measure 6.5 x 13.5".  Getting sewn together might happen sometime during the week.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Goals for this month - part one

I finished up the hourglass blocks for last months Tillies Lane BOM.  Only 12 needed for last month, which is good, because I hadn't prepped enough... the reason for them getting finished a bit late.  They finish at 3" and are so cute and a great way of chipping into the scrap pile.  That wrapped up Month Five's requirements.

For May (Month 6) I have another large wreath applique, a small applique, and 24 hourglass blocks... I've chosen the fabric already for the large block... so heres hoping for a quick finish.

During the school holidays, I had a catch up with some quilting friends.  One of my questions for them was whether to add an extra row of small blocks to the base of this quilt.  The answer was... make a visual decision.  So I draped it over the bed to work out whether it needed an extra border... I reckon it did!

I just had to take a photo of this tape measure... I've carried this little sewing kit around for years, and never opened the tape measure... it is only 24" long... too cute!

So another border it was... I figured I had enough fabric to add plain borders to the top and sides, and decided to go with three small blocks along the bottom in a wider border.  This border will hang nicely off the bed, so it's not like you will actually ever see it laid out like this.

 And I found the perfect backing fabric... an extra wide text fabric with a variety of greys. 

 Goal for this month is to get it all sandwiched together!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

More of those baby steps

Monika had rushed ahead of me in our VQR Block exchange... so I needed to catch up.  Putting it off until the end of the month didn't help :o)

Some determined sewing Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning meant two blocks were ready to be exchanged.

My block

Monika's version

My block - but these are my colours, are they not?  Oops, forgot to take a photo of Monika's one :o(

And a little bit closer to see those yummy fabrics

And a little bit closer on this block too!
Linking up with Lyn at What a Hoot!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Fabrics, Books, Cutting and Sewing

Well, it's hard to know where to start. 

Needing binding fabric was a good excuse to travel about an hour south, to visit with my Mum, and spend some quality time shopping during these school holidays.  We had great fun, and bought all sorts of really important things... like new school bags for the kids, and a new dressing gown for Nadia.

I did find some fabric which was suitable for the baby quilt binding, as well as some new fat quarters and some fabric for a new tunic dress pattern I had bought earlier.  Which leads me to the packages that arrived in the post...

I really liked the look of these Tilly and The Buttons patterns and decided that the confident beginner level sounded do-able.

And who can go past these adorable sausage dogs in their jumpers??

So after much ahming and ahing I finally chose this sort of aztec print knit fabric, which will hopefully turn into the longsleeve tunic one day.

And a fat quarter special was like choosing lollies at a candy shop...
Could be the sausage dogs will have spotty jumpers?

 I have no idea whatsoever what I will do with this particular print, but somehow it is fascinating... I'm sure there will be a perfect project somewhere.

And finally the binding fabric, plus a couple of half metres of fabric on special.

Today the binding got machine stitched on... so now I'm all ready to tackle the hand stitching, and attach the label.

I also had a book delivery... so have spent a few hours browsing all the lovely pictures.

I really like Amy Gibsons quilt block cookbook.  The idea being that you add a bit of this... and a bit of that, depending on what you like, just like cooking.  Elements of the blocks are interchangeable, for example, you might not like the corner units on this block... that's OK, choose one of the other layouts.  Easy.

As well as having a range of blocks, there are some suggestions on how to set them.  I really like this one as it used only 6 blocks... and is quite unique.

The By the Bundle book uses fat quarters in all the quilt designs.

Photographs throughout the book highlight the spectacular Australian scenery... and the quilts really do make themselves at home.

This one just took my fancy.

And there are some quite interesting designs inside.  This would be a good scrap challenge wouldn't it?

 I have done some sewing... just in case you were wondering.

Working through the purple scraps I cut some of the hourglass blocks for Tillies Lane.

And finally got a whole block finished!  Although I have started piecing three other units, I didn't have enough fabrics cut to finish them off!  Very poor planning.

And the purple cutting also resulted in another block layout...

Which got sewn together and rotated :o).

And a second multi-coloured block got pieced.  This had 4" cut units.

So yesterday the quilt was starting to look like this...

And today it is looking like this!

Remember, this is the pattern layout:

I know there are still heaps more blocks to sew, but I wasn't sure how it was all going to come together, and now I am much happier with how things are progressing.

I really need to review my goals for this month, as focusing on the baby quilt has meant that other projects have been ignored a bit.  Oops, well, these things happen.  Still, there is another week to go until the end of the month, and never say NEVER!