Wednesday, 27 March 2013

{Super secret} Progress

Remember these solids I showed you last time in their strip pieced blocks?

This is what happens to them next. No doubt experienced quilters know about this technique for making triangles quickly, but for me it was a revelation!
First you stitch a solid piece of fabric top and bottom to these blocks like so:

Then you cut your triangles to size aligning the bottom of the ruler at whatever measurement you are using to the bottom of your fabric. When you cut the top, you trim just a little below your stitch line so that the triangle pieces come apart at the top.

And hey presto! Triangles in pairs. I guess this only works if you are using the same solid between your triangles, but it beats painstakingly stitching pairs together one by one like I did with my Tradewinds quilt!

Friday, 22 March 2013

A thing for solids

I have two projects I am working on at the moment. I seem to be completely unable to work on one thing at a time. Apparently I also seem to have developed a bit of a thing for solids.

I have started making flying geese units with my Oakshott rubies. I love these shot cotton fabrics - they absolutely shimmer, especially in the light.

I have used one of the new Sketch fabrics as the background for these (mist) - it's a lovely soft blue grey. The neighbour's cat couldn't resist getting in on my photoshoot.

The other project I am working on is my super secret entry for the quilt competition Helen of the Little Craft Store is organising. I'm pretending its a secret, but actually I'm just not very far along with it. I can however, reveal that the pattern has some quite cool tricks for speedy piecing. It all begins with strip piecing.

In the back of my mind I am trying to think of something to make for our Monday Modern quilt challenge. We are all making small quilts (30x40") that demonstrate a twist on traditional quilting.  Once again, I am playing around with the idea of using solids. See what I mean about a thing for solids?

Saturday, 16 March 2013

Miami Vice {a quilt top}

It has been very hot here in Auckland so I haven't wanted to spend much time with my sewing machine. I have however, been happily sewing together 16 patch squares.

In my head I call this my Miami Vice quilt because of the colour palette. Once upon a time I bought some Oakshott shot cottons but when they turned up I was never really in love with the colours. First I tried some hexies:

But I wasn't really feeling the love. So everything went into the cupboard until I saw this quilt over at Red Pepper Quilts. I like the way the colours look together now, so as far as the top goes, it is a happy outcome.
I am tempted to back the quilt with this lovely fabric but its voile. Which gives me the fear. Big time. 

Will a can of 505 basting spray and a million pins do the the trick? Or is it going to slip and slide and cause a lot of bad words around the place?? Adrianne told me that she backed a quilt with voile and that it went together ok. Mmmm. Will keep you posted.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Flying geese for Shelly

Shelly asked for flying geese for her bee block. I haven't made flying geese before, but they didn't seem to cause any trouble - yay! The geese are not all the same size so I think her blocks will look really interesting when they go together.

Here are the six blocks I have made so far for our Monday Modern group - still a few people left to have their turn, which I am very happy about - I have enjoyed making all these blocks and I'm always excited to see what the next person has chosen!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Monday Modern bee quilt

I haven't thought of a name for this quilt yet, but let me present to you the completed bee quilt made by my Monday Modern group! I love the way this has turned out - even my mother, who I thought might scrunch up her face when she saw it, really liked it.

I wanted a quilt similar to this one over at Red Pepper Quilts, but more colourful. It is hard to capture the true colours of this quilt - the background is much darker in real life. It is a shot cotton so it really shimmers as you move it around in the light.

I made this wonky star to break up the plain back. I saw a star like this made by June a while back (she's a Modern Monday member) and thought it was quirky and just what I wanted on the back. Both the shot cotton and the Denyse Schmidt fabric on the back are really soft. I just did random straight line quilting trying to avoid quilting through a completely vertical 'slice' because I quilted in a dark thread to match the background. The photo below is a truer representation of the colour.

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Open wide pouch

Our Monday Modern group decided that we should all make zippy pouches for this month's homework. We used this great pattern from over at Noodlehead.

I have to say, my sewing mojo seems to have abandoned me of late - simple things seem to go wrong at an incredible rate. However, this tutorial is great - next time I won't try and make do with an invisible zip and I think things could go much more smoothly. My pouch has a front and a rear view :-)

Friday, 1 March 2013

The one where I had trouble with points

After a long and busy week at school and university, I thought that  paper piecing a little block that I quite fancy would be a satisfying way to unwind. Unfortunately, I like my points to meet. As perfectly as possible.
Here is the naughty block, that, even after several attempts, had points all over the show. It's trying to look all cute next to the flowers but no one is going to be fooled.

Here it is in close-up. 

I'm hoping someone who is a paper piecing expert (Kristy??) might give me some tips. The problem seems to arise when sewing the parts together. I tried pinning and not pinning. Swearing and not swearing. There is a limit to how many times I am prepared to unpick. Maybe paper piecing and I aren't meant to go together?
The pattern is called Dancing Stars from Amy's Creative Side - I was inspired to give this a go when I saw Carla's lovely blocks. There is clearly nothing wrong with the pattern, it's just a case of user error!