Monday, 28 April 2014

April Gypsy Wife Blocks

The QAL schedule for Gypsy Wife is suiting me very well at present. I seem to have limited sewing time but these little blocks are very do-able in short bursts. Well, unless you take forever to choose fabrics, like me :-)

Without further ado, here are my April blocks:

They look a bit of mish-mash of colours here, but I'm hoping when all the blocks are done, they will play together nicely. Otherwise they will be banished to the naughty step for a long time-out (also known as the Dark Cupboard From Whence There Is Sometimes No Return). That little one on the lower left is bothering me with its spidery attitude so there is a good chance it is up for a remix.

There are all sorts of fabulously colourful blocks appearing on Flickr, no two quilts will look even slightly similar. Link-up if you are quilting along - this month's giveaway is a $25 (USD) from the Fat Quarter Shop, a hearty New Zealand kia ora to them for their support.

Sunday, 20 April 2014

Gettin' down!

Yep, I've been gettin' down. On the floor.
I counted up the unquilted tops I have lurking in my cupboard. I hang them on hangers amongst my clothes so they are almost hidden, thereby not bothering me with their finish me demands. 2 baby quilts. 2 lap sized quilts that I dislike. 2 bigger quilts that I have booked in to get longarmed. And 2 that I have given myself a stern talking to about, and am planning to quilt over the holidays. Here is quilt #1:

I have a bit of an unconventional approach to basting *call it indecisive if you must*. I use basting spray - not too thoroughly mind, and pins, also not too thoroughly. I'm not sure how or why I have developed this approach but it seems to work well enough.

I baste on the carpet using a sophisticated pin-the-backing-to-the-carpet technique.

The floor space in my wee dwelling is not huge. I'm not complaining - I am grateful that I can live comfortably when lots of people aren't as fortunate, but as far as basting goes, it does sometimes feel like I'm playing solo Twister. I think this could be why I have a few too many unfinished quilt tops in my cupboard. Well that's my story anyway and I'm sticking to it!

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Gypsy Wife courthouse steps

My weekend was unexpectedly truncated by a day trip to Wellington on Friday for work turning into an overnight sojourn when bad weather closed Wellington airport. My colleague and I spent many more hours than can be considered pleasant at the airport waiting as planes tried to land and got diverted, until finally at 10pm they let us know they were giving up for the night. We finally made it back to Auckland around lunchtime on Saturday feeling a little crumpled and out of sorts!

As a result today was a quiet sewing day -  I could only cope with the thought of something simple so I spent some time making a few courthouse blocks as part of this month's Gypsy Wife schedule. These are not difficult to make, but it takes me sooooooo long to choose which fabrics to put together. My process is pretty sophisticated. I tip all the fabric I have earmarked for this project into a pile onto the floor and take it from there :-)

It's funny process. Sometime my selections work better than I expect,

Other times, I'm less keen on the outcome. I think this is due to the size of some of the pieces which kind of distorts the effect you had when you auditioned bigger pieces of fabric together. This block is only 5.5" and has some 1 inch strips in it.

I like this sweet looking block and am feeling quite smug about that little join in the lower right corner. I made myself slow down and pay attention to matching up the polka dots and am so pleased that I did!

Sunday, 6 April 2014

Small steps

I sneaked in a bit of sewing time this morning courtesy of daylight savings. Tricked into waking early I had a whole extra hour to factor into the day. I began by making the 'From the Heart' Gypsy Wife block from April's schedule. I just couldn't bring myself to make a red heart so I decided on a ginger spice version :-)

I love to trim HSTs so in the interests of fabric efficiency I stitched the diagonal seams with a very scant 1/4" seam allowance. This gave me just enough room for a bit of straightening up once all the pieces were put together.

I also made a modest start on my Sew Together pouch. The sew-along over at Quilt Barn has lots of helpful photos and the process is broken up into several manageable sessions. This suits me well although I secretly wish I could whip mine up as quickly as Liz managed hers. I got the outside piece quilted and the end pieces stitched together - I'm saving all those zips for another day!

I love to sew, but I also love being outdoors. It's autumn but it still feels like summer and the beach is still a great place to be.