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!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Checking in before the month ACTUALLY finishes

Sometimes I just don't know where the times goes.

One minute the month is only starting... the next, a small tummy upset seemed to unsettle the entire quilting world, and totally threw me off stride.  However, chipping away at the small jobs has actually resulted in some progress!

Deciding that I was ready to start quilting the new baby quilt meant actually finding a space to baste it, and freeing up my Brother machine to do the FM quilting.  Mini goals... first up I completed and blanket stitched the Tillies Lane applique blocks for this month, freeing up the machine so that I could change feet.

Using the scraps from the baby quilt was a nice touch I think.

I whipped up the three sections of the upsized sugar club block that was taking up half the floor, and got the baby quilt pinned out in no time.  A bit of dedicated stitching later... (a good ten days), I'm ready to start binding.

I used a white bobbin fill in the top and bottom... I'm pretty sure is is one of the Invisifil varieties... but of course, a lot of these threads have no identifying marks once they are started.  I like to call this my "Ronan Keating" thread... you quilt is best... when you quilt nothing at all.  It gives terrific texture, but the thread just melts into the surface, and is very forgiving.

With spirals in all the white areas, apart from around the elephant centres, which have pebbles.

A bit of echo quilting holds down the grey triangles, but the other coloured triangles were left unquilted.

And an interlocking boxes motif on the print fabric borders...

 ... and the same on the header and footer borders...

 So yay, the baby quilt is quilted!  I'm go glad you can see the quilting in this photo... because it sure never showed up on the camera screen.

Other progress has been a bit hit and miss.  With a couple of weeks off with school holidays, I figured there was plenty of time to get to some of the other projects.  Today I have finished up one of the Rainbow Scrap Challenge blocks using multicoloured fabric scraps (surprisingly I struggled to find these fabrics in my scraps!)

These are 3" cut squares:

And I've cut but not yet pieced a "catch up with a previous months colour" purple block, which has 4.5" square units.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

It's still the end of the month somewhere in the world, right?

The week leading up to the 31st of March is D-Day week in the Accounting world in New Zealand.  To say it has been a stressful few days (well, it's actually been stressful since January, it just gets more intense) would be an understatement.  Hence, sewing was a bit stretched out and patchy, and I needed the first day of April to get those last few pesky jobs finished.

VQR Sampler Blocks - Mosaic No 8 has been finished!  Woot.  Again, I used a quick spritz of spray starch to the pieces before construction, and it helped prevent distortion while sewing.  I chose to press all the seams open for this one, and it turned out relatively precise.

Goal for April... this paper foundation pieced block.  I see Monika has already snuck ahead again...

Tillies Lane:  I had a tiny bit of blanket stitch to finish on the wreath block, so that got finished up this morning.

April's blocks are this jug block, two petal applique blocks and 12 hour glass blocks.

My Tweets:  Goal for April is to construct the applique on Block 12 (really block 11 because I switched the last two block positions).  I really like this noughts and crosses background fabric... so cute.

Sugar Club:  Goal for April is to get this block finished, plus get the last square centered block upsized.  That will leave just one block left that will need to be upsized.

Starburst Cross Quilt: with the changes I have made to this one, I have another five blocks to piece.  We'll see how this goes, but would be "nice" to get this pieced.

Rainbow Scrap Challenge:  This month the colour is "multicoloured fabric"... so that will be interesting.  This could be the opportunity to choose one of the blocks that have larger pieces... and really go to town on the fabrics.

New Baby Quilt:  and just because there are never enough quilting projects... the baby quilt has been added to the list.  What sewing I have done this week has been on this, and really I have made good progress.

I've just got another multicoloured strip and a white strip to add to the bottom (to make it that much more usable rectangular shape), and I'm thinking I'll be ready to get to the quilting stage.  Have I mentioned that I really like this quilt pattern???  Ideal world... goal for April... get this finished.