Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sunday Stash #38

Just lately I have noticed ...

Tanya Whelan, Darla, Picnic Rose in Rose
Tanya Whelan, Darla, Rosie Dot in Pink
Lecien, Flower Sugar, Red Ticking Roses

 that some pretty floral fabrics ...

Tanya Whelan, Darla, Picnic Rose in Mint
Tanya Whelan, Darla, Rosie Dot in PinkImage  Tanya Whelan,
Tanya Whelan, Ava Rose, Dots in Grey

 have made their way into my stash.

Lecien, Flower Sugar, Little Floral, Turqoise
Lecien, Flower Sugar, Turquoise Blooms
Lecien, Flower Sugar, Raspberry Blooms

The challenge will be to incorporate these pretty fabrics, and make them blend, with the rest of my stash.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Green HST Quilt - finished

The Green HST quilt is finished.  Although given almost free license to create at my whimsy, this was a commissioned quilt and it will be going to a home where I know it will be much loved.  Do not be surprised to see it pop up elsewhere in blog land at some stage.

Finished quilt measures  70 inches x 53 inches

Although making so many HST's might seem robotic and probably makes me a little boring, I absolutely loved piecing this quilt.  Hunting through my stash for more green fabrics, hours of trimming back blocks, and  lengthy discussions with my son why each bird block cannot go in each one of the corners of the quilt; all were a part of the process that I enjoyed and will remember fondly.


The back of the quilt is also pieced and is well centered.  To ensure that the quilt top is centered on the quilt backing during the basting process, I mark parallel center lines on the batting, both vertically and horizontally, to indicate the mid point and the center lines of the backing.  When placing the quilt top on the batting ensure that the center lines of the quilt top match the center lines of the backing.


The quilt is quilted with straight lines, outlining both the horizontal and vertical seam lines of the Half Square Triangle blocks, and a diagonal line perpendicular to the diagonal seam line formed by the triangles. 


The machine stitched binding fabric is Full Moon Polka dot by Amy Butler from the Lotus range.  I still love seeing binding other than a stripe on the edge of a quilt. 

 Solid fabric is Kona Cotton - Ash
by Robert Kaufman

And to the new owner of this quilt a big big "Thank You!!" for giving me free creative reign and having such enormous faith in my ability to create something special for you.  I hope you love it.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Around the Block - February

I am trying to keep on top of the block swaps that I am participating in, and ultimately for me that means finishing the blocks as the envelopes with fabrics come in the mail box.  Once filed they may be forgotten!


Donna from Craftjunk asked for two 10.5 inch blocks featuring simple and fun geometric shapes.  Once completed Donna asked for the pre-cut border as provided to be added to each block.


These blocks will be used by Donna to make a quilt for her daughter who is turning 5 in April, and like most little girls that I know, her favorite color is pink.


 The layout of the above block is featured in
Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks Magazine
and is known as Daughter's Delight 

I happened to find this magazine at my local newsagent and could not resist.  It is a treasure trove of quilting ideas, and ideal for block swap inspiration.  All of the blocks in the magazine finish  at 12 inches, and most of them are relatively easy to re-size.

Are you sick of seeing Half Square Triangles yet again?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

It is a Family Thing Part 4

January 26 is Australia Day, the anniversary of the arrival of the First Fleet way back in 1788, and a day to celebrate all things Australian.  It is a family day of BBQs and roast lamb, the latter for me - roast lamb prepared by my MIL.


And just so you know that I will be in good sewing company today, this is what my MIL gets up to in her spare time. These star blocks are all beautifully hand pieced by my mother-in-law.  Her hand stitching is perfection and I can only hope to one day have the patience and time to piece with such precision. 


The diamonds are all traced onto fabric using a template, placing the template so as to fussy cut the desired image, cut using scissors, and a 1/4 inch seam allowance marked with pencil. My MIL can hand piece two star blocks in 45 minutes!  80 blocks completed, another 160 to go.


The fabrics may look familiar as my MIL raids my highly guarded scrap bin regularly!  Naturally I supervise...

Monday, January 25, 2010

Progress...

The Green Half Square Triangle quilt, to be more appropriately named by its new owner, is coming along nicely.


It is now up to the quilting stage,  but not before two extra rows were added to the quilt.  I was not happy with the overall proportions of the quilt and decided it required two more rows to be added to the length of the quilt. So more Half Square Triangles were made and the quilt now measures 53 inches x 70 inches made up by 284 half square triangles and four bird blocks.

Quilt backing fabrics


The backing was pieced late Friday evening, batting soaked overnight, tumble dried the next morning, and the quilt was basted by Saturday afternoon.

So much of how well a quilt is quilted depends on how well the quilt was basted, and regardless of quilt size, each and every time the quilt sandwich goes under the sewing machine I am still nervous about the outcome of the quilt.

Sunday was spent quilting and thankfully no puckering, pulling of fabric, or tucks have been detected.  I really want to finish the quilting today.  Hopefully your day includes some happy stitching too!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Sunday Stash #37


Echino Solids by Etsuko Furuya

More linen blends!  These are Echino Solids, a Japanese import by designer Etsuko Furuya.  They are cotton/linen blend fabrics, medium weight and suitable for colorful home decorating, bags, cushions, skirts and quilts and more.


 Image originally uploaded by www.superbuzzy.com

Echino solids coordinate perfectly both in weight and with the unique colors of numerous Echino collections.

I purchased my Echino Solids Stash at Patchwork House in Hawthorn.  Sale now on  - 30% off all stock -  until the end of January 2010 both in store and online.

Friday, January 22, 2010

More Half Square Triangles

270 Half Square Triangle blocks
all stacked up  - courtesy of a helper.

It is back to Half Square Triangles for they are so versatile, make for really great quilts, and provide comfort piecing after an episode of curved piecing.  I can highly recommend them for their therapeutic benefits.


It is still a work in progress.  Although I had envisioned the overall look of the quilt, it was not until yesterday as the blocks were arranged on my design floor for the first time, that I could finally see the overall effect of the design and colors.


As I needed to get this off the design floor, some of the parts have already been pieced together, others are still in stacks of numbered rows.

And some of the stats for those of you interested:
  • 270 half square triangles
  • 18 rows and 15 columns
  • each block is 4 inches including seam allowances
  • the bird fabric is by Prints Charming
  • the solid fabric is Kona Cotton in Ash
  • and hours of trimming!

More piecing today. Happy Stitching!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

My Creative Space

The anticipated delivery of Linen blend fabric arrived today.  I think Aussie Post enjoyed a long weekend!


Purchased from Fresh Fabrics Australia on Etsy, it is unbleached linen/cotton blend (45% cotton, 55% linen) often used as a base cloth for hand printed designs.  It is a medium weight fabric which I do intend to incorporate into more of my quilts.


The mere mention of linen also sent a flurry of emails my way asking just where I purchase the linen fabric that I have used for quite a few of my quilts.


I don't often use pure linen as it is more difficult to sew with,  is expensive, and great care needs to be taken when washing linen.   A linen/cotton blend fabric is much more friendly to work with, and having pre-washed all of the linen blend fabrics in my stash, I am happy with how they have machine washed, line dried and ironed.  This linen is often known as Handkerchief Linen.


Linen Blend fabric in Hessian colorway

My local store for linen blend fabric is GJ Discount Fabrics in Brunswick.  They generally stock solid linen blend fabric in White, Birch, Chocolate, Hessian, and Red.  The ladies there are more than happy to take phone orders, and have been known to send the linen blend overseas, for more info email:  georgiagjs@bigpond.com


Linen Blend fabric in Birch

Linen and Linen Blends can also be found online in Australia at:
  • Duckcloth - 100 per cent linen in a range of naturals and colors
and of course, 

Online outside of Australia I have purchased Robert Kaufman Essex Linen.  This is at times available on Etsy.com (search for Essex linen) more often at:
The non-delivery of the expected parcel yesterday forced me to re-think the use of linen blend fabric in my current project.  The quilt that I am making is quite large (for my standards), and the use of linen in a large quilt, makes for a much heavier quilt.


And so I found myself surrounded by my stash of solid fabrics and it wasn't long before the Kona Cotton Solid in Ash was put to good use. In terms of color Kona Cotton Ash is quite a good substitute for a linen fabric, maybe a little more grey than expected.


I have finished the rotary cutting and have enjoyed some chain piecing with more to come.

Thank you for all your comments and emails.  I do hope that some of the information here may be helpful.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Going Green

A new project.


The rotary cutter has had a workout.


I can't wait to get stitching.

Just waiting for the postman...  He seriously knows I need the parcel with the linen in it.  Where is he today? Tuesday IS parcel day after all.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Finished Gobstopper Quilt

Finished Quilt measures 49 inches x 49 inches

The Gobstopper Quilt is quilted, has its binding firmly stitched in place, and has been delivered to my Etsy Store.    - now sold.


The story behind the name of this quilt is one where I asked my 15 year old son to suggest a name for this quilt.  His immediate 15 year old boy response was "The Circle Quilt".  I asked him to perhaps think outside of the square, and promptly named it The Gobstopper Quilt - his favorite candy purchased by his Gran as a treat.


The backing for this quilt is a vivid red fabric with large white polka dots.  I think it works well with overall bright and cheerful theme of the quilt.  This backing fabric is one that I insisted on washing before use, but found that there was no color run at all.  Red fabric is notorious for bleeding into other fabrics, none was noted, the rinse water ran clear.  Nice!


It feels great to have this one finished.  It is satisfying to know that those nasty curved blocks can be tackled by machine, and actually come together as a full circle quite well.  I definitely will make another quilt with curved piecing.


This quilt is now available for sale in my Etsy Store.  Feel free to ask any questions you may have. - SOLD

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday Stash #36


Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics - very classic and traditional British fabrics, 100% cotton, finely woven, lightweight, soft and durable with the most lovely drape.   These fabrics are ideal for blouses, skirts and sleepwear, but of course for use in special quilts.  


Liberty fabrics are expensive, and therefore somewhat limited in my stash.  Slowly I am building up my own Liberty collection, purchasing the occasional fat quarter.  I have a feeling a pink quilt is in the planning stages in my head.

My collection of pink Liberty was purchased at Patchwork on Central Park.  A good selection is also available online at Calico and Ivy and  Purl Soho.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Gobstopper Progress


Adding borders posed much less of a problem than the piecing of the circle blocks.  Half Square Triangles are my favorite block, so easy to construct, versatile, and adds so much impact to a quilt.

I have been down on the floor, basting this quilt.  Although I do find this part of the process a chore I do take my time, ensuring that the backing, batting and quilt top are all perfectly smooth and aligned.  A well basted quilt is tantamount to a quilt without puckers, tucks and fabric distortion.   Excess fabric cannot be "quilted out" as you go along, believe me I have tried!


I use pins, lots of pins.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bee Imaginative - January 2010

I am participating in the Bee Imaginative Block Swap which is starting this month.

First up is Kerri from Lovely Little Handmades, who is building her own village of mini houses in the spirit of this quilt made by Ingrid Press. 

Originally uploaded here.

Kerri's choice of fabrics is the fresh and modern color combination of red and aqua, and included some much sought after Gnome fabric by Heather Ross.


The finished block measures 15 1/2 inches square and the background fabric is Kona Cotton in Snow.



To see more of Kerri's little gnome village go to the Bee Imaginative Blog or the Bee Imaginative Flickr Group.