Sunday, 24 August 2014

Star blocks

I love star blocks, I return to stars again and again. When it was my turn to suggest a block for our block lotto at Monday Modern I made this one.

The pattern is from Clover and Violet but I saw it on Adrianne's blog (or perhaps it was IG). Adrianne later adapted the original pattern changing the proportions of the star a little and posted instructions for different sized blocks 12", 9" and 6" finished.

I was in the mood to make another star quilt so I have begun her adapted version. I'm loving the way it is looking so far!

I am continuing to make slow progress with Gypsy Wife. I have to concentrate when I am working on it so it's not conducive to evening sewing. Evening sewing now sometimes sees me practising hand quilting. I drew some lines to follow after my first free style attempts :-)

The back looks pretty bad. I'm not sure if the stitches are supposed to be the same size as those on the front but I have a sneaky suspicion the answer is yes.  

Monday, 18 August 2014

Ginger Crush

I have always wanted to try a BOM. In the sometimes crazy busy chaos of my work life, the idea of structure can be very appealing. I admired Liz's progress on Citrus Sweet Love and when it came to pass that Treehouse Textiles & Cabbage Quilts were offering Ginger Crush as another BOM, I signed up in a jiffy!

The quilt has pretty muted colours, quite hard to capture well in photographs. I am practising my handquilting because I think I will want handquilting on this quilt when it is done :-)

I'm not too partial to butterflies, so I replaced the applique butterfly in the top block with a little wonky star.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Gypsy wife {small scale crisis}

The problem with making a scrap quilt is that it's difficult to determine how many 'scraps' you're going to need, and if you're like me and have a rather eclectic fabric stash, not everything can be part of the #scrapiliciousness.
Here I am with Gypsy Wife to date:

I have made quite a few blocks for the other sections but I've now used up most of my original fabric 'scraps'. I promptly emailed Amitie to ask for me but unfortunately they have sold out of many. So, as of today, GW is on a break while I wait for the fabric Amitie did have to arrive. Then potentially I will have to source some other fabric depending on what I think I will need. I have a feeling the break will do us both good. Last weekend my brother popped in for a coffee while I had this on the lounge floor.
Brother: "So where exactly are you heading with that??"
Me: "Nowhere fast, that's for sure, it's tricky".
Brother: "It's pretty intense. What about a cat mat?"

In the meantime have a back up sewing plan. I found some fabric that I think will be a perfect backing for my Tula Pink hexies. So it's handsewing on the 'to do' list while I wait for the postie to turn up with some fabric packages.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Did I tell you about the time...?

Did I tell you about the time I decided I had to make a hottie cover immediately? And it had to have a unicorn on it. I used a 'pattern' from Spotlight which in retrospect was probably better described as 'very broad guidelines'. Not being one for reading patterns before starting, this only dawned on me part way through.

So once again I have made the skinny jeans version of something. A long time ago I did the same with a Kindle cover. Never mind, I wrestled the hottie in and I don't imagine I will be taking it out all that often.

I sewed the back flap on in the wrong order so it is a little unconventional :-) The good news is that it doesn't seem to have caused any functionality issues.

I was so taken by the colour combination I decided to use up the scraps by making a baby quilt (or perhaps a mini lap quilt). Here are a couple of shots of the quilt top enjoying some rare winter sun.

It's 40x48" so it shouldn't take those quilting fairies too long to quilt up when they turn up at my place. Cross-hatching I think - I must remember to leave the fairies a note and perhaps some scrummy afghans.

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Gypsy Wife {the July edition}

I made a bit more progress on Gypsy Wife today. I'm pleased with my decision to start working my way through it section by section, rather than the original schedule. It means I can keep a bit more of an eye of how its coming together. It's not easy though, it is a very different type of quilt to those I am used to making so it stretches me.  I don't have too much of a plan but I'm trying to keep an eye on value, and trying to not end up with pockets of similar colours in one area. Note that the last point hadn't really impressed itself on my brain when I put this part together and I've ended up with a green/aqua band. Still, unpicking is not my gig, so it shall remain.

I love the vertical lines that are in this quilt. Now that I can see some of them appearing I am happy! I have managed to devise a highly technical system to keep the strips in order when I am not using them. Exhibit A:

Yes, the trusty old safety pin has many uses. You can also see the notes that patient Liz made identifying which block goes where, which she then kindly passed on to me. As previously mentioned this pattern is a tad light on detail. And I can be a tad light on patience :-)

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Aerial {a finished mini quilt}

I finished hand stitching the binding on my Aerial mini quilt last night. Yippee.

I didn't follow the pattern exactly. Sometimes I had to redraw some of the lines as I was going (it's paper pieced) because I had miscalculated the size of the fabric needed. I was using some small Oakshott pieces I had in my stash, so the design process was constrained by the concept of 'available fabric'.

I used a grey Aurifil for quilting, choosing one that went best with the grey frame and quilted it at 1/2" intervals. I marked a few lines first with my Hera marker to keep things reasonably straight, then just filled in the gaps using my walking foot as a guide.

You can see the quilting lines are not perfectly straight. The Oakshotts were a bit shifty after I had taken the paper off so I decided to have the same imperfection echoed in the quilting. (Do you like the way I make it sound like I have some control over how my quilting works out???)

I even made a little dowel system for hanging so its ready to go up on the wall in my office. The cat quilt currently there is going on a break :-)

Sunday, 22 June 2014

The art of procrastination

So what do you do when you have a pile of marking and tight deadlines to work to? Procrastination activity of course! Late yesterday afternoon I decided that I just had to finish my Aerial mini-quilt so I stayed up late last night sewing the final few blocks.

That turned out to be a less than successful strategy for a couple of reasons, the main one being poor light and poor concentration meant my blocks wouldn't play together the way I wanted them to in the cool light of morning.

Yep, not only is that block in lower left corner sewn the wrong way hence interrupting my diamond, which I was initially quite partial to in the beginning, the whole thing seemed a bit busy.

Cue lots of auditioning (I'll spare you the eleventy million options I tried), and the eventual decision to make another larger block. That is, in fact, what the pattern suggests but I was paddling off in my own direction fairly early on ;-)

Much humming and haaaahing over my coffee this morning...

If you're bored with my indecision by now, check out those slippers - best slippers ever! I finally did make some decisions (this quilt seemed to give me quite a mental work out) and got the border on. But have I started my marking yet??