Sunday, 29 September 2013

Cutting and deleting

My Stardust project is really stretching me. I'm not a natural at scrappy and I literally spend hours deciding which two fabrics to put together to make the stars. Amitie sell starter packs for Jen Kingwell quilts so, thinking this would help, I bought one. It was a great idea in some ways, the pack included lots of small pieces of fabric and there is plenty of variety in colour. My stash largely consists of useful background/binding/backing fabric and completely useless bits of fabric that have proven to be difficult to use (aaaah the joys of being a novice).

The one drawback was that the helpful person who made the pack didn't sort the fabric into pairs for me, which would have saved me hours of angst and sorting and resorting. Haha - uptight? Me?? I went ahead and put the sashing around a couple of the keepers because I just couldn't visualise how it was going to look.

This has helped me make a few decisions. I realised that while I want to embrace my inner scrappy (buried very deep apparently), I want to keep the block backgrounds quiet quiet low volume. This means that a couple of previously made blocks have been stood down from the current squad. Even though I have made nine blocks, only six have their place guaranteed.

This last one is currently under review (possibly because I made a mistake with the nine-patch in the centre). We shall see ...

Friday, 27 September 2013

Monday Modern quilts at Highwic

It was my turn to be the overly-helpful volunteer at Highwic this afternoon which I thoroughly enjoyed. I let the other volunteer tell me what she knew about the house before I set off with my camera. She recounted how the original Mrs Buckland gave birth one month after arriving in New Zealand. The journey via ship can only have been a nightmare. She went on have 10 or 11 other children before she died and Mr Buckland married her companion and fathered another 10 or so children. Not sure if he felt solely responsible for trying to increase the European population of NZ, but he certainly did his part!

It was difficult to get good photographs - those early settlers weren't big fans of natural light!

The sons of the house slept in the attic. Check out the lovely concave curve of the mattress. I remember the beds in my grandparent's spare room had that same curve. As a child I loved it and could never understand why the grown-ups complained about it.

The women had a room of their own to while away the hours doing handcraft and reading. That big book in the centre is the bible. 

Here are a couple of my quilts - in the ballroom no less! I loved this room. I know not everyone is a fan of wood panelling but I think it is beautiful.

The kitchen is a lovely light room. The team who set the quilts up did a wonderful job - there were little quilt surprises everywhere. Below is a picture of Glenys's quilt on a chair tucked under the stairs:

And not a quilt photo obviously, but something about this rocking horse made me laugh out loud. The exhibition runs until 4.30pm this Sunday, so you still have time to catch it!

Thursday, 19 September 2013

Charity quilt WIP

Although I planned to make a quilt featuring stars for my charity quilt challenge, at the eleventh hour I changed my mind. I saw this pattern by Cluck Cluck Sew and thought it looked quite fun.

I found it a bit of a challenge getting the blocks to look balanced with the bundle I had, so had to raid my stash for a few extras. It is looking a bit more intense than I imagined.

I quite like it though. It never fails to surprise me how fabric kind of takes on a life of its own when you start cutting it up and things often turn out differently to how you imagined they would. Or is that just me? Ready for quilting woo hoo!

Sunday, 15 September 2013

More starburst blocks

I had to go to Wellington for work over the weekend, but managed to make a couple more of my Starburst blocks this afternoon after I got home. The introduction to this pattern reads "this is a simple quilt to make and a great one to whip up for a loved one". I really enjoy making these blocks, but they don't exactly fit my idea of simple as far as construction goes, and "whipping up" suggests a couple of weekend's work - definitely not my experience so far!

This is a quite a different (and scrappy) look from anything else I have made so far, so making it feels like an act of faith. I have no idea how it will look when I put it all together, so fingers crossed I won't hate it! I have to make 25 blocks and I have made six to date, so it is definitely a long term project :-)

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Baby plus quilt {finished}

Thanks to everyone who made helpful/encouraging comments when I posted about my ditch-stitching frustrations. As many of you pointed out - now that it is all done, the wobbles are not too noticeable.

I really love this quilt - pity I only made it baby sized! (It's around 30x40 inches) The overall effect is soft but vibrant at the same time. I really like the depth that the low volume background gives it - I think there may be more textured backgrounds featuring in future projects.

The back is also really cute. Look at those little fairies - irresistible!

This is my challenge quilt for our Monday Modern exhibition that is coming up. We were challenged to create a baby-sized quilt that represented an idea or ideas about modern quilting. I wrote in my blurb about the influence of the internet and how you often get to observe an idea being created and then reinterpreted by others. I think the idea for this quilt was first developed by Ashley who took her inspiration from the Marcelle Medallion quilt (Alexia Abegg). Then different versions of it started springing up on Flickr or blogs. So my quilt represents a very modern process rather than a design element.

If you are local you might want to check out our little exhibition - its on at Highwic Wednesday 18th Sept until Friday 29th Sept. Our little group have set up a roster so that we can take turns at looking helpful and/or shooting icy looks at any children with chocolate on their fingers. I must go and buy some white gloves so I can look the part ;-)

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Monday Modern charity quilt challenge

Helen (who used to have the Little Craft Store in Pt Chevalier) wanted some help using up the last of her fabric so she has challenged our group members to make charity quilts which will be donated to needy children in South Auckland. She brought two boxes of fat quarters to our last meeting and told us to pick what we needed. Talk about feeling like a child in a candy store! I was instantly drawn to select from my favourite colour palette. Aah, my pretties...

The only problem is that I wasn't really thinking 'child's quilt' and now that I have the fabric on my sewing table I feel a bit short on inspiration. Any ideas my quilty friends? I have to be able to complete it before Christmas so no suggestions that involve 1000 hours of paper piecing. Or stitching in the ditch for that matter :-)