Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Ginger Crush {A finished quilt}

I started the Ginger Crush BOM organised through Treehouse Textiles in 2015 and although I had finished it by about April this year, it took me a while to find a backing and get it quilted. I'm really pleased with the final product. The colours are quiet but not washed out and the simple quilting gives it a soft snuggly texture. It fits perfectly on my bed, just in time for those hot summer nights when you just want something light over your sheets.

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Gypsy Wife {A finished quilt top}

Well fellow Gyspy-wifers, it's November, so some of you might be finishing up this month! I'm really pleased to have my second version complete and ready for quilting. Without further ado, here she is:

And if any of you are curious about what Gyspy Wife#1 looked like after quilting, here she is:

I have a box of scrap fabric from the version I have just finished, so I have plans to make another Jen Kingwell pattern 'Bonnie Lass' from her book Quilt Lovely. I'm thinking I might have to call the new quilt 'Gypsy child' :-)

Thanks to those of you who have stitched along with me and left encouraging comments. Thanks also to the awesome Hydeeann who did all the quilty maths and created the very helpful spreadsheets to supplement the pattern. High fives all round!

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Gypsy Wife:Section 10

I managed to miss the first of the month, but I figure that as NZ is ahead of most of the rest of the world, posting on the second of October won't hurt too much as the rest of the world catches up :-)

I'm pretty excited that I have finally caught up with the QAL, sections 8 and 9 are duly complete and I am ready to start the last part.

I went a little off-piste with these sections as I needed to incorporate some errors (that big block centre right has two borders instead of one, and I have two heart blocks) but I'm happy with it.

I hope anyone who is following along is similarly happy with their progress, the end is in sight!

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Gypsy Wife Section 9

Hello fellow Gypsy Wife people! How did you get on with section 8? I've just got the star block to do and then I can move on to section 9. My aim this month is to get fully caught up with my own quilt along!

I was really pleased to finally finish section 6 and get a good large section of the quilt put together.

I've now got a little collection of 'oopsies' on my design wall. I.e blocks that have needed a bit of adapting because I read the pattern incorrectly and made them the wrong size, or out-takes from earlier sections. I stitched the heart block without paying attention to the rest of the quilt and realised that I would have two blocks right next to each other featuring that berry coloured AMH fabric, so I had to make another. I'm not going to waste the original though, I will find a home for it in the quilt somewhere...

To keep myself sane I've been pottering away on a completely different project in the background. I have started making EPP blocks using Lucy Kingwell's pattern Smitten. I am enjoying the pace and being able to pick up some quiet hand stitching whenever times allows it.

Monday, 1 August 2016

Gypsy Wife Section 8

Hi everyone!
How are you getting on with your Gypsy Wife??
I have finished section 7 but I still have quite a bit to do on section 6 so I am relieved to see that section 8 is quite a small section!

Three big blocks, a square in square and some strips - entirely doable! I started with From the Heart. Last time I made this block I felt the shape got lost a little bit because of my fabric choices, so this time I have kept it quite simple and gone for high contrast light and dark.

If you have just discovered this quilt along - welcome! Don't worry if you are ahead or behind, its a go-at-your-own-pace kind of affair. Check out Hydeeann's blog for lots of tips and her really useful spreadsheet which will help you keep on top of all those strips and pieces!

Happy sewing everyone. I hope that I can report that I have finished section 6 next month (fingers crossed!)

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Gypsy Wife {Section 7 construction}

Hi everyone, welcome to section 7 of Gypsy Wife!

I have been tied up with life lately, but I have finally found some sewing time. I hope everyone else is sewing along happily. In the interests of full disclosure, I haven't actually done section 6 yet but as this is a quilt-along where you go at your own pace, I consider myself to be leading by example and not keeping up with my own schedule!

Section 7 isn't very big but it does require a bit of engineering to get the parts put together. If you pay attention to the partial seams, it will all work out I promise. I took some photos along the way in case it is helpful to see the process more literally.

I'm just going to show you the parts in the middle with the partial seams, starting where my finger is on the pattern. The first three photos show you the order that I constructed this part. I started with the partial seam below the pinwheel block. I had already completed the part below the 3" square in square (see photo 2).

 Then I did the partial seam above the pinwheel block.

When I went to attach the section to the left, I decided to do two partial seams. I have put my ruler across the fabric to show you approximately where. I did one where it was supposed to be (just to the right of the dark coloured strips on the pattern) and I did one on that far left strip as well, sewing down from the top and stopping where my ruler is.

This meant that I could put that top block in (the 4" square in square with courthouse) then connect it to the piece on the right and everything lined up neatly.

Then it was just a case of putting the 4" square in square in, then finishing those partial seams on the far left and right.

Then you can return to the top of this section, sew the 7" bordered square in square across the top, then finish that partial seam too. I forgot to take a photo of that step, but we're looking at the top of this photo now.

I can't get decent progress shots of this on my wall because the whole thing is behind a door, but here you can see section 7 finished and waiting optimistically for progress on section 6 to begin!

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Gypsy Wife Section 6

It's a little after June 1st but never mind! Time to box on with section 6 (or what I like to call in my head The Behemoth).

There are the grand total of 21 blocks in this section, not to mention a pretty good number of strips too. If you have not already downloaded the pdf that Hydeeann created with all the blocks and block sizes (both finished and unfinished) you might want to pop over and do that now!

Here is my previous Gypsy Wife, you can see section 6 on the lower left side and section 7 on the lower right side.

As far as the new version goes, I haven't finished section 5 yet. It still looks like this - a few holes to fill :-( 

Never mind, its a long weekend so hopefully I can catch up and get a few section 6 blocks ticked off the list.

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Gypsy Wife Crazy Anne block {the one I'm not sure about}

May 1st already! Can you believe it?

That means it is time to start a new section of Gypsy Wife. Today I'm going to show you how I made Crazy Anne, one of the blocks in this month's section (section five). Only I'm not too sure if I made the centre section correctly, so follow my lead at your own risk!

I began by making the centre rectangles (and this is the part I'm not sure about). I felt like I should off-set the two pieces at each end by quarter of an inch so that when I pressed the pieces open the diagonal went corner to corner exactly (see both pictures). When you see the picture of the finished block, you will be able to see why I am not sure if this is correct. The rectangle should measure 4.5" by 2.5" at this stage.

Then I laid all my pieces out to check that I was happy with the fabric placement and so that I could put the pieces together without muddling them all up.

I stitched the centre three pieces together, then I made the corner units. These are fairly straightforward, just follow the instructions in the pattern. Each corner block should measure 4.5" square at this stage.

Sew the top and bottom row together, being careful not to accidentally rotate any of the blocks as you move them to your machine, then stitch the three rows together.

You will be able to see in this picture that I didn't get sharp points in the centre where the star point meets the centre square. Maybe you are supposed to, maybe not? I'm not fussed, the great thing about Gypsy Wife is that it is such an explosion of colour and blocks that a few dodgy points go largely un-noticed.

Sunday, 10 April 2016

Gypsy Wife sections 3 and 4

If you have completed sections 3 and 4 of Gypsy Wife, you might be wondering how it all goes together. The diagram on p.34 of the pattern is kind of helpful but does require a bit of imagination!

You can go ahead and sew section 3 onto your completed sections 1&2, and you can also attach section 4, but you need to leave it partially undone. Yes, it's another partial seam, but they're nothing to be afraid of remember :-)

Here is a picture of my GW with sections 1,2 and 3 sewn together with section 4 lying in place at the bottom. We need to attach section 4 so that next month we can attach section 5 (simple seam), then later section 6 (simple seam), then finally section 7. Section 7 will be attached to sections 4&6, then across the bottom of section 2 (hence needing our partial seam). If that all seems confusing, don't worry, I'll post plenty of photos along the way.

For now, we're going to sew section four onto the bottom of the block that consists of sections 1,2 and 3. As far as I can tell, the HST block should overlap that square in square block you can see by about a 1/4". We're not going to sew all the way to the end though, just to that first orange pin. 

So there it is, attached most of the way across, with a couple of inches of open seam at the end, so we can attach the other parts later. 

If you are making speedy progress with this section (and maybe even section 5), then make a start on section 6. It has a lot of blocks in it so will keep you well occupied :-)

Friday, 1 April 2016

Gypsy Wife {Colour Wheel)

I can't believe it's April already! Time to start a new section of Gypsy Wife!
I have changed my mind about the fabrics in section one and two  a couple of times, and I'm finally happy with how it is looking.

Sections 3 and 4 are pretty straightforward. Hydeeann has posted some thoughts about working with HSTs, and I'm going to share a couple of tips today about the Colour Wheel block.

There is nothing technically difficult about this block, the trick is to keep an eye on fabric placement - it is so easy to rotate the pieces when you move them to the machine.

I sewed the large and small triangles together as per the instructions, then laid the pieces out where I wanted them. You can see from the picture below it is easy to get the layout wrong but also easy to correct.

Then I sewed the small triangle pieces to the large triangle pieces.

At this point it becomes a simple nine-patch. Up until this point, I pressed the seams open on the back. When I joined the rows I pressed to the side so the seams would nest together. 

It's a pretty block - I'm looking forward to seeing the different versions appear on IG!

Hydeeann is hosting a linky party for sections 1&2. Follow her instructions below if you want to join in :-)

Sunday, 13 March 2016


Lately I've been hankering for a slow hand sewing project. I saw some lovely versions of Smitten by Lucy Carson Kingwell on IG and I decided that this could be the project to satisfy that itch.

On Friday I diligently recycled some card stock at work and photocopied some sets of the templates (the pattern is for hand piecing but I wanted to EPP). After cutting out enough pieces for one block, I hastened to order the rest online. Careful cutting out with scissors is evidently not my thing :-)

The first block took ages and I think if there was a prize for the most awkward way to put it together, I would have won a huge trophy. Hopefully I can remember some of the things I discovered along the way when I get to the next one.

I'm using a bundle of Cotton and Steel Lucky Strikes for this project. I wanted fabric that would mostly eliminate the need for fussy cutting and I've always really liked the unusual colours in this particular collection. I'll add in a few low volumes and anything else that catches my eye from my stash. In the meantime I'm going to make some of the smaller hexagons so I can use some of the card templates I already have until the rest of the paper pieces turn up.

Sunday, 6 March 2016

Ginger Crush {A finished quilt top}

I finally finished sewing together all the parts of my version of Ginger Crush, a BOM by Emma (Treehouse Textiles) and Cathy (Cabbage Quilts).

The depth of colour is hard to capture with the camera, but you get the general idea here. It has lots of lovely little details and was fun to sew because of the variety of blocks. The pattern had very detailed instructions so it was a breeze to follow.

Now I'm pondering quilting options. In the pictures of the original it has lots of chunky handquilting accenting the colours in places which I really like - I'm just a bit daunted because it's quite a big quilt. Plenty of time to ponder options though...

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Gypsy Wife Section 2 {Pershing tutorial}

Yay, it's March 1 - that means time to start section two of Gypsy Wife.
This post is dedicated to the Pershing Block.

I have to be honest and say that this block is probably the most difficult one in the quilt - only because it has lots of components and you need to keep your seams very accurate. I estimate it took me about 2 hours, but there were cups of coffee and photographing included in that time, so it might not take you that long. It also looks great when its done, so it's totally worth the effort!

If you are worried about your accuracy, you could try paper piecing the block. There is a pdf you can download here courtesy of Julie Hirt- 627handworks.com. Just check when you print it out that the square in the centre that includes A1 and E2,3,4, 5 measures 3" before you start sewing so that it comes out the right size.
EDITED: I had originally written  3.5" as the center size, but I forgot that seam allowances aren't included. The correct size when measuring the centre block is 3"

A couple of tips before we crack on.
I pressed all the seams open for this block. I also pressed each little component as I went. This really helps with accuracy.

Work slowly and pin pin pin. Pinning can be tedious, but so is unpicking, out of the two, pinning seems the lesser of two tedious tasks to me :-)

Right, let's start!

Start with one of those little square in square blocks that you might be becoming familiar with. It should measure 3.5" when you are done.

Follow the cutting instructions for the next set of corners. When you sew these on, make sure they are centred by finding the mid-point of the edge and lining it up with the point made by the centre square. I have stuck a pin in here so you can see what I mean. I usually just fold the piece in half and finger press, but I have marked the fabric with a pen so you can see it.

Once I have lined up the centres I flip the pieces over and sew from the side you can see below. That way, I can keep an eye on that point in the centre.

After you have added the four corner blocks, the whole block should measure 4.75"

Now you will follow exactly the same process for the next round. When you have put these corners on, the block will measure 6.5"

Now you are ready to make the little units that go along the edges. The trick to remember here is that you are always sewing one of the shorter edges. It is easy to get them muddled up. Also, you are working with bias edges so handle them gently.

In the picture below I have flipped that floral piece in the centre over to the left. You need to offset it at the bottom 1/4". You can just eyeball the quarter inch, but if you know your eye isn't completely reliable, measure it with your ruler and mark it. I have made a mark where my pin is pointing.

Press the seams open and lay it in front of you right side up. This time you want to make sure the offset is at the top edge where the pin is pointing.

In the picture below I have trimmed the top one. It should measure 2" in width. (the width of the coloured triangle plus seam allowance).

Attach these units matching the points as best you can. Pin pin pin :-)

When you have attached these units, they should measure 2.5" from the seam line.

Almost there! Now it is just a matter of attaching the corner triangles using the same method you have used throughout. The block will now measure 9.5".