Tuesday, 13 November 2018

November 2018 Bee Block Round-up

The bees have finished up for another year and in Stash Bee our final queen is Morgan (@cedacanthus). She asked for the Not Quite a Sawtooth Star in navy and yellow from Coriander Quilts. I really enjoyed making this block and I’m looking forward to seeing how the quilt comes together. You’ll notice that I raided my late spring garden for some of these photos. I kind of like the effect it gives.

October’s queen for Stash Bee was Velda (who I’m also in Bee Inspired with) at Freckled Fox Quiltery. Velda used a tutorial she came up with as part of a blog hop to make these houses in a sort of Halloween theme. I’ve used a pumpkin fabric but my cats in the attic are more crazy cat lady than scary black cats. I saw this Modern Fans quilt made using the same pumpkin fabric so I’m inspired. Maybe a Halloween cushion wouldn’t go astray.

The background fabric is Magic Castle Plans from Michael Miller fabrics and is one of the many many fabrics I have picked up at my local quilt store sales as it prepares for closing. The chain has now announced the closing dates for all but two of its stores and one of the remaining ones is my local. I’m pretty much shopped out now though and I desperately need to just sew it all up. Live in Australia or New Zealand? You can get the same bargains (50% off already discounted-for-Australia prices till Sunday followed no doubt by their next sale) at their on-line store. They have ridiculously poor photos but if you know any of the fabrics you might be able to pick some out that you fancy. Like castle plans.

Bee Inspired finished last month with Queen Kate from Smiles from Kate. She came up with a  tutorial for these simple blocks made using two 2 ½ inch strips. I had some batik jelly roll strips in my stash and they were just right for these blocks.

Signups are open for Stash Bee 2019 at the moment. I feel extraordinarily guilty about living so far away from the majority of bee participants any time I get a block that has been posted as a parcel instead of as a letter so I’m not signing up again. I highly recommend the experience if you’re on the fence about it.

We are all staying together again for a third year in Bee Inspired but we are shaking things up in 2019 and running activities rather than bees. This will work out better for some of us who have other commitments that take priority over bee blocks. We’re going to be sewing charity quilt blocks, making a mini sampler and running a couple of challenges. If you fancy playing along we’d be glad to have you and the schedule is here if you're curious. Follow the blog for further updates.

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

Making Progress #4

Tish from Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland revealed the design for the Fireburst Mystery Quilt last week so the top of I’ve been working on can be put together. This is it as of the weekend when I took some photos of my progress. I put mine together in an alternative way to the instructions and I ended up with quarters that then need the central strip between them. 

There’s still plenty of time to make one before the final round-up on New Year’s Eve. A list of all the different instructions can be found from this page. Naturally Tish has made umpteen different versions of this quilt so there’s plenty of inspiration.

Earlier this year I put my hand up to become part of a team to work on a Quiltcon charity quilt. The theme this year is small piecing (less than 1”) and we need to make a twin size quilt minimum 65” by 88”. This is the colour palette everyone is using.

I’m in a group of 4 (eeeek!) and since one of our group is going to be doing the quilting that leaves 3 of us to do the piecing. We’ve had some communication problems, or lack of communication problems, that meant there was little brainstorming done at the design stage and a quick decision needed to be made so we went with doing a sampler using traditional blocks. I was able to talk the others into using very wide solid borders so that means each of us is making four 15” sections.
I’ve been putting together blocks to be made into sections later. This is what I’ve made so far (excuse all the dangling threads).

 A hovering hawk

A block that was called the Amish block on Pinterest

I’ve put together four crosses and losses blocks to make ‘one’ because by this stage I was starting to look for quicker cheats to fill the space.

I have plans to turn these small plusses and 9 patches into one large section.

And a winged square because I could use the 8 at a time HST method by making it in two colours.


Wednesday, 3 October 2018

September 2018 Bee Block Round-up

The Modern Christmas trees block has been on my bucket list must-makes for a while now and making a couple of blocks for September’s Stash Bee Queen Dawn hasn’t changed my mind. These were a fun and simple block. 

The tutorial by Amy from Diary of a Quilter is really easy to follow and the technique couldn’t be simpler and has me thinking that there must be plenty of  other shapes that could be done like this. Amy already has the Modern Basket block which I’m definitely planning on making. 

And in Bee Inspired this month we have two Queens. Irene asked for 16 inch log cabin blocks made up of 1 inch strips (tutorial here) in whites and off-whites

And Janice requested house blocks using Sandra from mmm! Quilts pattern (free!).

I made a second one on behalf of Kate from Smiles from Kate who is out of action for a while at least. We’re all hoping she makes a speedy recovery and in the meantime we’re taking it in turns to make angel blocks.

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 19 September 2018

Bloggers Quilt Festival 2018 ++ Celestial ++

It’s time for the annual Bloggers Quilt Festival hosted by Amy from Amy’s Creative Side.

This quilt is Celestial that I made for the Modern Plus Signs Quilts book hop (you can find more details and photos here) and then gifted to my Dad who was thrilled with it and proudly sent me a photo of it on their bed.

I used 9 blocks to make a 72” square version and quilted it with a simple grid two inches apart. It gives great texture. I was really impressed with how it looked on my spare bed so this pattern is definitely on my to-do list for myself.


Wednesday, 12 September 2018

Happy Go Lucky Progress


The Happy Go Lucky Sew-along is winding up and I have finished the blocks set out in the pattern. I’m going to be making it wider than the original so I still need to possibly add in a few more blocks. Sharon’s been giving us alternative blocks every week as we go through so I’ll be heading back through those to pick out some extras.

To finish up we made flying geese and sawtooth stars. I’ve always dreaded making flying geese and so I lashed out and bought an EZ Flying Geese ruler. You can make geese from 2 to 6 ½ inches finished with this tool and everything is cut from a strip of fabric, cut the corners off and the pieces fit nice and snugly together for simple sewing. And they turn out perfectly.

Along with the hera marker I think this is a great little tool. Have you got a favourite?


Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Making Progress #2

I feel like I’ve joined all the sew-alongs at the moment. I’m doing three, which is more than enough of a juggle for me! First one, and the one that has really got away from me is the Firefly Quilt. The pattern is by Pen and Paper Patterns and was the Patterndrop offering for July. I was immediately and irresistibly drawn to this pattern because of the glowing effect the firefly bodies have and the way they seem to swarm on the quilt. I’ve never seen a firefly, apparently they live in some forests on the east coast of Australia but not here in the west. I’ve made one test block and the rest are sitting in a pile at cutting stage while I try and keep up with..

The Happy Go Lucky Sew-along. This sampler quilt is designed by Sharon at Yellow Cat Quilt Designs. I’ve been running one or two weeks behind all the way along with this one. I’m going with a spring green background which I bought thinking it was mint (the quilt store was a little dark and it was a rainy day). I stalked the Instagram feed of Joanna Figueroa of Fig Tree Quilts for inspiration on colour schemes before I started since she seems to be a big fan of this shade of green. Other fabrics are from my stash including some charms from the Blush Metallic collection and Grandale by Australian designer, Keira Job and mini charms from the very lovely FrontPorch.

And last but not least is the far more relaxed pace of Tish’s Fireburst Mystery Quilt-along. I changed my mind about fabric selection several times before finally settling on a scrappy version. This gives me the added bonus of being able to make the larger size and I don’t need to go shopping for it.

Not that I haven’t been shopping! A local chain of fabric/craft supplies/window treatments stores decided to close its bricks and mortar stores and go on-line. This is most upsetting since they sell (a limited selection of) good quality quilting fabric at much reduced prices for Australia and they often discount beyond that. Anyway they announced they would be closing their stores back in March with the last store due to close at the end of July, and gradually their stores have been closing one at a time. Here we are in August and my local branch is still open with no closing date although the ‘for lease’ sign and the fact they’ve sold off a lot of fittings says they will. Anyway, with the idea in mind that I’ll no longer be able to just pop down there I’ve been attending every sale. They rotate stock through the remaining stores and bring in the stock from closed stores so there’s always new stuff coming in. What’s a girl to do? I’ve been buying and I need to use it! Scrappy is probably going to become my style for some time to come!

Anyway, I’m liking the way this is coming together. It’s a bit of a first for me, using a scrappy low volume background on anything bigger than a bee block. There’s still plenty of time to join this one, since the final parade is not till New Years Eve.

What’s your limit on sew-alongs?

Wednesday, 22 August 2018

August 2018 Bee Block Round-up

I was last month’s queen for Bee Inspired and I didn't post a round up so once again there are three blocks to show you this month. August’s queen for Stash Bee is Kerry at lmnop864. We made the very scrappy crossroads block using the tutorial by Lori Holt from Bee in My  Bonnet. I made mine using mini charms I had on hand so I was able to bypass the cutting and collecting of scraps. The finished block size is 16 inches.

Jan from Cocoa Quilts was queen for July and we made her red and white Merri-mints blocks. I love a red and white quilt and this should be a good one. The tutorial is from Moda Bakeshop, available here.

And in Bee Inspired this month we have Queen Karen from Tu-na Quilts Travels and Eats. We made Wanta Fanta blocks from the Blossom Hearts Quilts Bee Hive series. The block goes together quickly and easily and there are some very effective versions of this quilt around.

Bees are great for the experience of making single blocks without the commitment of a whole quilt, the trouble is it just adds more quilts to my list of ‘wouldn’t mind making someday quilts’ and that’s huge already!

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Modern Waves (Storm) – a Finish!

I’ve had this quilt up my sleeve to show you for a little while now. I made this for my brother who’s a keen obsessed sailor so when I was picking a colour scheme I decided to go with a stormy sea theme. I’m guessing but I think the colours are silver, slate, dark blue, indigo and charcoal.

I love the simple graphic nature of this design by Initial K Studio and we all love this quilt – my brother, my niece and me. Luckily, I can make one for myself as well and I’m definitely going to! I have fabric pull possibilities lying around the house as I tap this out and it’s just a matter of slotting it somewhere on the to-do queue.

It’s a really simple quilt to make, suitable for a beginner, and the instructions are really well written and set out. The pattern is available here.

The quilt finishes at 60 by 72 inches and is straight line quilted 1 inch apart.

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Letters from Australia – a top!

A little while back I saw a blog hop featuring the ‘Bush Gum Blossoms’ line from Amanda Brandl Designs

Amanda specialises in Australiana fabrics and her designs feature Australian birds, animals and plants. 

This line reminded me of the May Gibbs Snugglepot and Cuddlepie series of kid’s stories from my childhood and I’m a sucker for my own personal nostalgia so promptly bought a fat quarter bundle.

When I was rummaging through my stash to see what else might work with it I came across a yard of chocolate brown solid and a charcoal text print and went to work to make the You’ve Got Mail quilt by Missouri Star Quilt Company. 

The tutorial shows how to make it using a layer cake and there is a charm pack version as well, Love Notes.

The quilt top finishes at 40 by 48 inches and is made up of 4 inch finished half square triangle units. 

Finally, in an already photo heavy post - the real thing.

Happy sewing

Wednesday, 27 June 2018

June 2018 Bee Block Round-up

I have two blocks to show you this month for  Bee Inspired since I didn’t post a block round-up last month. First up this month’s queen is Jen from A Dream and a Stitch. She asked us to choose a block to make up in tertiary colours that she can turn into a mini. When I posted my Stash Bee Geese Trails block from Piece and Press for March on Instagram Jen said it was on her list of makes. I know my own list is huge and it rarely stays the same between morning and night so I made her one. I used a different pattern this time around, the Circle of Geese from Piece by Number, and increased the size by 133% so that it turns out at 16” finished. I wasn’t intentionally going to place the geese in rainbow order and that’s just as well because somehow the plan I did have went awry anyway.

The second block from last month is for Velda at Freckled Fox Quiltery. It’s a cake block from a free pattern by Patty Sloniger (link to download page here). Velda wanted us to make our favourite cake and for me the most important ingredient is chocolate. My other inspiration was an ex-work mate who likes to cook and always says he makes his dishes with love (somehow he makes it sound slightly unsavoury) so I put some love in as well with the printed heart fabric. I’m calling it as red velvet cake with a chocolate Smarties frosting, giving me a good excuse to buy Smarties for photo styling!

And in Stash Bee Em from Moonlight Sewing asked us to make improv single colour squares with a couple of strips of the adjacent colour on the colour wheel, then add white triangles to the side and add the central colour to the corners (tutorial here). I definitely prefer the efficiencies of a planned block but I love the way this turned out, it’s so citrusy!

Happy sewing

Linking up to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter