Sunday, October 27, 2013

Labour Weekend

I am officially the mother of a ten year old!  Goodness, I sure don't know where that decade has gone...

My parenting cunning-ness has developed somewhat, as I did manage to escape the "worst" of the birthday activities and visit with my favourite patchwork shop {The Country Yard} while they held their annual exhibition.  I had a few quilts to display - in fact, I had my own room!  {Which coincidentally had the perfect colour scheme... how I wish I had remembered to use my camera}.  I did come home with a few new lengths of fabric and a few new spools of thread... so now I have no excuses...

Today has been recovery day... a bit of this... a bit of that.

One of the spools was destined for this one... so I've been busy basting and marking, and finally a few stitches... 

Do you remember this bundle?

Well, I did some googling, and found a design I really liked.  After some detective work (thanks to Bonnie at Clothworks who helped with the pattern identification) I tracked down the pattern, purchased and downloaded it.  Perfect large areas to highlight the feature fabrics... plenty of smaller areas to use my accent solids...

Until I turned to the quilt assembly instructions... not quite the large areas I was expecting!  2.5" strips are just not going to work with my fabrics... I don't know about you - but these instructions scare me.

While I was hunting down the pattern, I drafted up one of the star blocks from "Modern Blocks" (you know the one with three different sized stars ), upsized the block to 50" and rotated four blocks.  It just looks a little bit too much like the Constellation quilt top I have just finished.

Somewhere between these two patterns I know there is a meeting point... I just need to work out how to achieve it.  Luckily tomorrow is a holiday so I have an extra day to play in my shed!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A few little blocks and a great big question?

I've just finished Block 66 in the Modern Sampler... getting ever so slightly closer to the 100 blocks required.

As the spaces fill up, it becomes increasingly challenging to find the best scraps to fill the spot.  I really like how this one combines the bright orange of it's neighbour with the more subtle tan colours of the surrounding blocks.

I've found it's not about making things too matchy (which is just as well), instead using colours that reflect their neighbours taste but still make their own statement.


OK - time for a vote, but a bit of background info first.  I've decided I should be organised for next year - as I know there will be major fundraising going on for school, and if I intend to donate a quilt (or two), I really need to get started on something sooner, rather than later.

This little Japanese doll inspired quilt on the cover has always appealed to me...

Obviously all these ladies are doing yoga...
 Although I had been bemoaning the fact that I don't really have any of these cute happy prints in my stash, on reflection, I do in fact have exactly that sort of thing in the form of a mixed selection of some Camille Roskelley prints and a Marmalade charm pack!

... I also have some more traditional prints - that I thought would make a more subtle vintage/antique inspired design...

Which bundle do you think would appeal more?  The Camille prints?  Or the Vintage prints?

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Sunday Report (more projects than hot dinners)

My mini goals for the week were:

1] to get the Modern Sampler Blocks for the week done.  CHECK!

Sorry for the strange angle - that's what happens when you put them in place at the top of the design wall and can't reach with the camera :0)

The yellow and green one at the top should have had some peach in it... but as my yellow had green accents, I went with green.  Maybe not the best choice now that it is in position, and reveals the sad nature of my yellow stash :0(
 2] Get cracking on my Tokyo subway blocks for October, block 19.  DONE!

While I've been puddling along, I finished off the last few seams of the Constellation quilt, sewing the giant nine patch together, and attaching the borders.

Now it is safe and sound in the pile of quilt tops/backs needing attention.  Note to self, this pile is growing!

I also fixed up this block...

It now looks much better!

One day when I was feeling quilty... but not really in the mood for sewing (it happens to the best of us), I put together a little bundle.  You know it's all down hill from here isn't it?

Anyway, it started with a yard of fabric I thought looked interesting... and has sat in the stash for ages...

Larkspur Meadow by Alexander Henry

The full monty
 And then some time later I came across another print in the collection, but only bought 1/2 metre

I LOVE this bird print!!

Well, it seems I have quite a nicely colour co-ordinated grouping here...

Just need to decide what to do with it now :0)

I've also been thinking about this old project... sometimes things just need to fester for a while... or a year or so... before you come up with the right solution.  Not sure that I've solved this one yet, but it's definitely developing.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

A sort of almost finish and a sort of almost start

Firstly, a big thank you to everyone who has helped out with my problems with Google +, comments not working, and being a no reply blogger all of a sudden.  I switched back to my boring old Blogger profile and switched off the Google + buttons.  Sorry if this has mucked anyone up... but it was just too hard!  Transmissions should now be back to normal.

This week in the sewing shed... we have a sort of almost finish:

Free motion quilting has been occurring.  Enough in fact, that Lola's Medallion is fully quilted!

Although it looks enormous in this photo - it's only 69 x 69".  A mere baby :0)

I think you can see the puff in the applique elements in this one?  And you can also see the triangle pattern on the sashing much better than you do closer up - in fact, you hardly see it at all in real life.

The final decision was to do a ring around the rosy for the pieced corner stones... in the variegated thread that I outlined the triangles with.  Job DONE!

Here's a closeup of the baptist fan pattern after quilting, but before the markings were removed.  I used a Friction Marker... disappears with the touch of the iron.  There has been mixed reviews on this product - it seems to cause problems for those people who live in very cold climates.  I don't think I'll have a problem in Northland, and I'm unlikely to put my quilt into the freezer.

Now I just need to make a decision on the binding... I have the perfect brown... if there were enough!  Need to decide whether to wait and buy more - or throw in a different fabric or two and do a scrappy one.

I also bought a new book... (it's been on my wish list for ages... but I think I just really liked the green chair on the cover :0)

In the middle of which I had an A-Ha! sort of moment... rows of crosses... row of 5 big stars...

Wait a minute... I have something very similar.  This could be the perfect way to turn two WIP projects into just one... isn't that cunning!  I know I could run the world just given the chance :0)

I'd need to do some serious measurements... my blocks are bigger than the instructions - and work out how big the sashing would need to be, and how many of the modern cross blocks I'd need to fill the row... but it is do-able.

That eternal problem of having enough time...BUT - it would be working on an existing project... so it doesn't really count as being a NEW project does it?  So would it be a sort of almost start?

However the rest of the week - I really should focus on catching up with my Tokyo Subway blocks for October, and this weeks Modern Sampler blocks - which I chosen fabrics for, but gotten no further.

What are you up to?

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Last day of the holidays roundup

A little bit of binding...

Both in grey...

and a little bit of the stripe.

A little bit of backing (well, really a whole heap of backing) from Sew Fresh Fabrics.

 A little bit of piecing...

The last block for this weeks Modern Sampler blocks
 A little bit of quilting...

Can you see it?

What about the back?
 I do know that my great plans of doing the Baptist Fan pattern on my large Swoon quilt have been shot to the ground.  A] I'm just not that good at it and B] I'm just not that good at it I can't imagine going through this procedure for an 80 x 80" quilt.  Thinking cap back firmly in place.

The other open areas of Lola's Medallion are slowly being filled up too.  With a bit of stippling around the sketch...
I've never felt comfortable stippling, but I think I've finally got the hang of it!
 And a bit of a wiggle over the sketch...

I've learned that using the 100wt polyester thread means that if you're quilting over anything but white, it just blends right in.  Good for when you want the texture but not necessarily the thread to be the focal point.  I'm looking forward to throwing this in the washing machine and seeing all those yummy textures crinkle up.  I have fully quilted three sides of the medallion - just the outer two borders to do on the fourth side.  Running out of bobbin thread was not on the agenda!

In the stash department, I added these specials to my Sew Fresh Fabrics package - some Flea Market Fancy flower and dots - these are great to just throw into things to freshen them up, and some nice muted bike path dots.

and some new fat quarters from Spotlight...

Hand quilting is progressing somewhat slowly.  I have been using my flash mechanical chalk pencil to mark these quilting lines.  While it's tempting to measure out entire rows - I find the chalk gets smudged and disappears too quickly after a few hoop moves.  But I have finished this little corner...

And have plenty more to keep me busy!

I'm quilting these lines 2" apart - I can always fill in later if I decide I want it closer.