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

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

Curated Quilts: Flapping of Butterfly Wings (a finish)

Improv is not really my thing so when the latest Curated Quilts Mini Challenge was announced I thought I was going to sit it out. The theme is ‘Connections’ and like a dog with a bone I kept trying to brain storm ideas. Eventually I came up with this idea: in chaos theory small events can make big differences in outcomes and a common analogy is the connection between the flapping of a butterfly’s wings and the occurrence of a tornado.

That off centre section in the navy background is my attempt at a cyclone/ hurricane/ typhoon symbol. 

Note, also, that like a real meteorological map my quilted spirals are closer and more organic around the cyclone symbol? That wasn’t exactly intentional but more a product of the difficulty of quilting a tight circle. It gets better as it goes further out and the circles are larger.

The challenge colours are yellow, mustard yellow, navy, cream, grey and moss green. I made a moss green butterfly as well but I couldn’t fit it back into the mini within the size limitations I set myself. Finished size is 10 ¾ inch square.

I’m trying to keep track of the issue with Blogger and comment notification but so far there has been no fix and time marches on. They say they are working on it but in the meantime I won’t be able to reply – my apologies, it’s one of the best parts of blogging.

Happy sewing


Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Regatta Cushion – a finish (with faux binding)!

It’s taken me a ridiculously long while, but I have finally finished my Regatta Quilt Along project – this cushion.

I wrote about it when I finished the top back in early February. The QAL is being held by Roseanne over at Home Sewn By Us. This is a Quilt Along with a start date but no set finish, so you can pick it up whenever you like throughout the year. I decided on a seaside inspired cushion, so I downsized the pattern by making the strips only 1 inch wide finished and reducing the number. I love the stripe variation this pattern gives. The free pattern is by Block M Quilts and is available here. You can see a number of different versions on Instagram here (you don’t need to sign up to see them).

I took these photos on a bit of a dull day (finally some much needed rain) so I wasn’t sure if the lighting was going to be okay in them. As it turned out they were all fine so now I have a lot of photos of a cushion in various spots around my house, that probably definitely look extremely similar.

Except this one. I made an envelope backing (my favourite method) and used a faux binding. In this shot you can see the seam where the front and back meet.

And you can see in the others that I added a border around the central block after quilting and before trimming (yes, there is batting in there and you could definitely quilt it if you wanted to). I made the border size wider than I would ordinarily end up with if I was binding it, from memory I think it is ½ inch finished. The backing is sewn right sides together to the front section and then turned right sides out before stitching in the ditch.

Finished size is to fit a 16-inch square insert.

Happy sewing

I think this qualifies for UFO busting with Tish

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Pantone Challenge 2018 Neighborhood Quilt – a top!

This is the third year I’ve entered the Pantone Color of the Year quilt challenge (other posts are here and here) and I admit to being a big fan of the process.

Putting a quilt together using a colour you wouldn’t ordinarily choose is often a stretch but I’ve always been surprised at how much I like the finished result.

This year’s is no exception. I used the Neighborhood pattern from Elizabeth Hartman’s book Modern Patchwork.

It feels good to actually make something from the books on my bookshelf for a change and I will definitely attempt to do more of it, since I’ve got a stack of them.

I had the quilt magnetted (is that a word?) to the shed for at least half a day while I waited to see if the light would be just right for the photos. Eventually my patience was rewarded but I kind of like the ones with the dappled light playing on them too.

I was hoping that this quilt would suit my sewing room as a wall hanging so I taped it up on the wall and, yep, it got the big tick of approval. The quilt top finishes at 45 inches by 60 and is now placed somewhere amongst the others waiting to be quilted.

Many thanks to Sarah and Rebecca of No Hats in the House and Bryan House Quilts for making this possible. To assist in putting me into the right prize category - I'm in Australia.

Once the link up closes you get a chance to vote for your favourites so head over and have a look!

Happy sewing