Sunday, 10 May 2015

If at first you do not succeed...

I have learnt something important over the few short years that I have been quilting. If I start something and I don't really like it, continuing on will not make it grow on me.

I have been wanting to make an Irish chain quilt for a while now, and thought that a dark chain would look really dramatic with my AMH Folk Song fabric. Indeed it does look pretty dramatic.

Although the dark fabric looks black here, it is a peppered cotton and is in fact a dark charcoal (I think it might be called Carbon). Like many a super model I'm guessing, it photographs really well but in real life looks quite different. The result was way too heavy/dark for my taste.

This morning when I woke up and looked at the dark chain version, I knew that I couldn't love it no matter how much I wanted it not to be a waste of several hours of sewing. In version two I used Lecien Yarn Dyed Melange/Chambray in natural which I bought a while ago from Polka Dot Tea Fabrics for another project.

It is quite a different look but I'm much happier with it. I'm hoping that the chain effect will still be able to be seen when I have more of it completed. The melange/chambray is lovely soft material to work with and it looks like a linen without the bulk. This close up up might give you some sense of the textured look of the fabric.

Off I go now to spend some quality time with my seam ripper. Joy.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Flying farfalle {a finished quilt top}

After buying a bundle of Cotton and Steel and not loving it *gasp of horror all round*, I wanted to make something quick that I would be happy to give away. I remembered Flying Farfalle by Ashley at Film in the Fridge and thought the navy would look great as the 'farfalle'. I also decided to add in a few coloured ones for fun.

I think I'll end up giving it to a niece or nephew so I stopped when I thought it looked big enough for a little person. From memory it's 50.5"x 60" so I should be able to quilt it myself without too much of a wrangle!

Monday, 13 April 2015

2015 Finish-Along {Q2 list}

I wasn't sure about the whole Finish-Along thing to start with, but Q1 was ok so I'm joining in for Q2 as well :-)  I quite enjoy the 'keep the list manageable approach' so I'm going to continue only listing things in my Finish-Along goals that I have a shot at finishing.

1. This one must be a sure-ish thing? I have a quilt top, it just needs quilting!

2. I have nearly all the blocks for this 'Flying Farfalle quilt made, so hopefully I should be able to get this one finished and quilted too. 

3. I only have two blocks made for this flying geese project made with my precious Oakshott rubies. If I get this one pieced in time, it could be done in time as I'm hoping to get it longarmed.

4. I'm adding this as-yet-unnamed project to the list, just in case. I started making these simple blocks with some solids I have had laying about for ages. Not really sure where I'm going with it yet but it pays to be optimistic right?

Monday, 6 April 2015

Adrianne's stars {finished}

I found a sunny spot this morning and finished hand stitching the binding down on my star quilt. The block is one that Adrianne from On the Windy Side adapted, hence the name of this quilt!

I'm so pleased with this quilt, it's really soft and snuggly. I ditch stitched the blocks then hand quilted around the stars.

The hand quilting is by no means perfect, but it's good enough. I found a lovely backing fabric which echoes the stars on the front and has tiny little hearts in it. That Katarina Roccella is clever :-)

When I put this on my list for the first quarter of this year's FAL I didn't expect to get it finished because I had no idea how long the hand quilting would take. It didn't take as long as I imagined so I actually slip in with a finish this quarter!

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

Geometry 101

Many times I have acknowledged that maths is not my strong suit. I like to remind myself of this by producing new evidence on a fairly regular basis. My 'make a hexy a week' project is already running a little behind schedule.

To put these block sections together successfully, all the angles need to be running the same way. That didn't occur to me when I started stitching them together.

I have since learnt a couple of things. 
1. Lay the paper pieces out correctly first and mark the backs before you go anywhere near the fabric! 
2. There is a weird but inexpensive tool called a tailor's awl that is just magic for unsticking  erroneous basting. I suspect it will be used quite often over the next few months.

Wishing you all a relaxing and crafty Easter weekend!

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Projects projects everywhere!

I seem to have started the year by actually beginning every project I want to complete this year (or it feels like it anyway)! Not really the best way to work, I end up making myself feel all flustered and stressed. My design wall (aka the batting stapled up on the laundry wall) reflects some of the different projects underway.

I have also started hand quilting Adrianne's stars. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this but I do! There is something meditative about the process especially now that I don't drop the needle every three seconds. My stitches are not perfect, but I think it looks tidy enough for a first attempt. The pale blue variegated thread below is the first star I quilted, I cleverly began with one of the paler colours to lessen the effects of imperfection :-)

I recently bought The New Hexagon as a slow sewing project. There are 52 hexagons to make in the book which lends itself nicely to the idea of a hexagon a week for a year. I bought the accompanying mixed pack of pieces from Paper Pieces which will apparently enable me to make one of each of the hexagons in the book.

Some of the pieces are very small so I have decided to start with the blocks that have larger pieces while I practice my epp skills! 1 down, 51 to go :-)

Sunday, 22 February 2015

New projects

After the Gypsy Wife event which seemed to go on and on, I wanted to start a new project that was quick. I have a few long term projects on the go and this is not really fueling my desire to see something finished :-)

Introducing my new quick project. I bought a bundle of Cotton and Steel recently, not so much as result of the C&S hype, but more because I really liked the combination of sandy colours and greens. There was some navy in the bundle which I thought would be quite good used as an accent of some sort. Film in the Fridge's Flying Farfalle quilt popped into my mind so I set about to trial it.

I like it so far! I will see how it goes, but I did wonder if the navy might make it a bit too sombre. I have a plan if that seems to be the case  :-)

I've also made a start on Judy's Dilly bag. I love the name, I have an aunt Judy who we always tease for being unable to go anywhere at all without several dilly bags.