Monday, November 29, 2010

Bayou: Basting and Quilting

Another weekend has flown by and cannot believe that December is almost here.  It also seems to be that time of the year where my children are home more often than at school even though the Summer holidays have not officially commenced.  As an added bonus the warm weather is lagging a little behind (I really don't enjoy hot summer days and nights), with Melbourne exceeding average rainfall for the first time in 13 years. 


The task of basting my new quilt project was scheduled for the weekend, and was finished just prior to heading off to work on Sunday evening.  I have already shared the above picture on my Facebook page where my basting was referred to as Uber-basting : )  I do use A LOT of pins to ensure that the quilt sandwich remains stable whilst being  wrangled (carefully!) whilst quilting.


Quilting has commenced, and although I had planned to quilt lines parallel with the seams lines (because it would be easier as you can use the seam lines as a guide for stitching a straight line), I have instead opted to quilt straight lines perpendicular to the seam lines.  It is more difficult to keep the long vertical lines running straight but it will give this quilt the contrast it needs.


I have marked  lines with a Hera Marker 1 1/4 inches apart as a foundation to stabilize the quilt.  Once these lines are all stitched, I then stitch another (unmarked) line in between the foundation lines.  As a result the stitching lines are approximately 3/4 inch apart.

Now, back to the sewing machine, there is more quilting to be done.  Happy Stitching everyone!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Stash #79 Sanctuary by Patty Young

Sanctuary by Patty Young has arrived at Hawthorn Threads and on my veranda less than a week later.


Sanctuary by Patty Young features beautiful clean lines and comes in a cool (turquoise, lime green and grey) and warm color palette (chocolate, orange and raspberry).


The fabrics are of exceptional quality and are perhaps a little more lightweight than most standard quilting cottons ensuring they have a lovely drape and feel lovely to touch.  My preferred color palette are the blues, greens and greys, and my favorite print is:


These fabrics have much potential, and if you are looking for Sanctuary inspiration look no further than the Sanctuary by Patty Young Flickr Group:

Sanctuary-pillows1

Enjoy Sunday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Little Sneak Peek

A quick post to keep you up to date with what I've been working on.


A Day in the Country Solids

I've selected five  fabrics from my stash of A Day in the Country solids.  Strips were cut from the width of the fabric and arranged in a 6 row repeat.
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Aptly named  Bayou (a boy's name also meaning a slow-moving river or swamp), the quilt top and a pieced backing are finished.  Basting is scheduled to happen over the weekend.  Mmmm we'll see.


More pictures soon.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Make it Perfect - A Winner

A big THANK YOU to everyone who left a comment to win Make it Perfect by Toni Coward.


Unfortunately there could only be one winner:

Nikki :    Good one for stepping momentarily into the uncomfortable zone. You have a super cute skirt to show for your bravery!

NOVEMBER 22, 2010 4:19 PM

Congratulations Nikki!  Nikki has been contacted by email.

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Thank you also for your wonderful response to my new pattern - Alice




Alice - the pattern is available from my Etsy Store.  However if you do not have an Etsy Account you are able to purchase this, and all of my patterns, directly from my blog.

All Red Pepper Quilts Patterns are also available from the Red Pepper Quilts Pattern Store:


Pre-packed fabric bundles to help you get started making Alice have proven to be popular and only two one bundle remainsYou can find the listing here.    Sold Out

Once again, thank you for your interest and kind comments.  I really appreciate it!

Happy Stitching.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Alice - The Quilt Pattern

That's right, Alice is finished and I think she has turned out so pretty!  Who said blue and green should never be seen?


This was such a fun quilt to make, I've really enjoyed playing with my green/blue fabric scraps, and piecing simple blocks with a great effect.


And just like any other quilt, Alice deserves a fancy back.  The Owl fabric is by Australian fabric designer Saffron Craig, and was just the perfect size and color for the back of this quilt.


For binding fabric I have chosen a Kaffe Fassett Spot ~ an aqua dot on chocolate brown.  It ties in well with the back of the quilt,  and adds a bold frame to the overall quilt top.


And the good news is that I have written a quilt pattern for this quilt.

 Alice ~ The Quilt Pattern is now available from my Etsy Store


I have also prepared several scrap fabric bundles which will help get started making this quilt, and will provide you with a color guide for further fabric selection.  I know that choosing fabrics can be a huge hurdle in getting your quilt started.  You can find the listing for the scrap bundles here. SOLD  Starter fabric bundles INCLUDES  the Alice ~ The Quilt Pattern.


Happy Stitching!
Rita

RELEVANT LINKS:
Alice Quilt - in progress

Monday, November 22, 2010

Book Review: Make it Perfect and a Giveaway!

As much as I am comfortable making quilts,  my experience with sewing anything outside of the quilting realm is limited. Very limited.  However, when Penguin Australia recently contacted me to see if I would be interested in reviewing a book featuring patterns for women's and children's clothes I hesitated, and then decided to take the small step outside of my comfort zone.  Just momentarily.
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Make it Perfect is written by Toni Coward who has a passion for creating unique and modern  clothing patterns from hip and fresh fabrics.  The book features 21 gorgeous garments for women and cute outfits for children aged 6 months to 5 years.


The book is beautifully photographed, and all of the patterns come with straightforward instructions, step by step illustrations and full-sized pattern sheets with a pocket for easy storage in the back of the book.


Browsing through the book the general indication is that some of these patterns are suitable for beginners - that's me!  Pictured above is the Make it Perfect ~ Tea Party Skirt, which comes with instructions for 5 different sizes.   I tried my hand at a Size 1.


This is my version of the Tea Party Skirt made with Heather Bailey  ~ Nicey Jane fabrics.  There was much to learn for a beginner garment maker,  including 1/2 inch seam allowances, gathering with a basting stitch, and tidying seams, but the instructions were well written and I had no problem finishing this little skirt in an evening.


If you would like a copy of Make It Perfect  I have one book to give away to one lucky reader.  To be in the draw all you have to do is leave a comment on this post.  International visitors are very welcome to enter.  Only one comment per person/email address will be eligible to enter the draw.

The draw will take place at noon (AEST ) on Wednesday 24 November 2010, at which time comments to this post will be closed.  Good luck!



Thank you to everyone who entered!

Entry has now closed - a winner will shortly be announced.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sunday Stash #78

A super delicious fabric stack!

It's a Hoot by MoMo for Moda

This sweet bundle of goodness arrived during the week packaged oh so nicely all in one shipping envelope.  Momo is back with a cheerful collection featuring birds and more specifically owls.  


The range also includes numerous excellent basic stash fabrics, for example the oval shaped dots aptly named "Eggs".


And there isn't much I don't like about these:


It's a Hoot by MoMo for Moda is now available from:


Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Alice - A Quilt in Progress

Struggling with quilt names has been sorted.  I am starting with A and will quilt my way through the alphabet.  That's the plan anyway. Therefore this quilt has been named Alice.


A simple design featuring blue and green fabrics, and log cabins alternated with four patch blocks. This quilt top came together rather quickly once I actually found some time to sit at the machine.  It seems exam week is almost as stressful for parents as it is for teens!


It's basted and quilting has commenced.  More pictures will surely follow.

Have a great weekend everyone.

RELEVANT LINKS:
Alice Quilt - A Finished Quilt and new Quilt Pattern

Thursday, November 18, 2010

New Solids by A Day in the Country

I am obsessed.  Obsessed with solid fabrics ... bet you didn't know that already.  Right?


I so love the colors and the range of different shades available for each and every color!  You do know that I've got a penchant for Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons, however this week I found a new range of solids at my local fabric store.  What's more, for once they were reasonably priced (for an Australian fabric purchase that is).


These solid fabrics are by Australian Company - A Day in the Country and are just what is needed in our local fabric market.  I certainly hope that they will continue to expand their solids range.

My next quilt is planned out already - it's churning around in my head anyway.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

What's new?

There has been a flurry of activity behind the scenes, including a much needed stash tidy up and then of course the commencement of a new project.  


A new quilt project means selecting a whole range of new fabrics which I do think is the most fun part of quilt making, running second only to buying fabrics!  I seem to have continued with a Spring theme when choosing fabrics, this time going with a green and blue color palette. So fresh!


And have spent some time working out an effective layout:


I have made log cabin blocks with a large center square and narrow strips surrounding the center to see the effect of changing the balance of this traditional design.  The log cabins are then alternated with a "square in a square" block (four-patch blocks framed with white fabric).

More pictures soon.

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Now for some housekeeping:
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Once again, thank you for stopping by.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Sunday Stash #77

November is my turn for sending out bundles of fabric to fellow Bee Imaginative Block Swappers.   Unfortunately I've tried hard to pretend that time was on my side, and now find myself bundling fabrics rather late.


Twelve bundles of fabric strips have been rotary cute, all in a red/white color palette with a splash of orange and pink, and they are just about ready for shipping.  One bundle for each swap participant.  All fabrics are from stash, which in itself is always satisfying.


The plan is for each fabric bundle to be sewn into a large scale log cabin block.  I've made two log cabin blocks myself to gauge how much fabric to send.  The blocks measure 15 1/2 inches as they are.


My vision is to eventually join these large blocks together separated by a wide strip of white sashing fabric.  Eventhough log cabin blocks are a traditional design I do imagine that the overall look of the quilt will be modern, simple and fresh. 

Thanks for stopping by, and as always enjoy Sunday!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Inspiration

I usually find myself finishing one quilt project and starting another without hesitation. There are however,times when I do struggle with "what's next?"  So today I thought I would share with you  a source of  inspiration (and thereby also answer an often asked question).

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When I am in between projects I sit back and enjoy some quiet time surrounded with quilt books and magazines, focusing on color rather than details of the design.  One of my favorite inspiration references are a selection of Japanese books and magazines.
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ISBN 4-529-04203-0
Not being able to read the  Japanese written text means you really need to visually absorb all that the images represent.

Pictured on the left is one such Japanese publication.  Titled Kaffe Fassett Fabric Collection (ISBN 4-529-04203-0)* it features the work  of well known textile artist and author, Kaffe Fassett, the master of color!

This is a soft cover "book" in the usual  style of Japanese publications, with feature photos of the projects at the front and detailed patterns with  written instructions and small drawings/measurements at the back.   Much pattern information can be obtained from just the pattern drawings.

And some snippets of color to share:
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Images from Kaffe Fasset Fabric Collection (ISBN 4-529-04203-0)

Included in this publication (besides quilts) are a variety of household projects, including bags, cushions, place mats, pincushions, oven mits, and curtains ...

Image from Kaffe Fasset Fabric Collection (ISBN 4-529-04203-0)
 How I love the idea of this lightweight and colorful window dressing!

Kaffe Fassett Fabric Collection is one of my most well thumbed books, and although I've not (yet) made any of the projects in it, perusing it, and most of Kaffe's  other books, have certainly helped shape my eye for color.  Kaffe is a wonderful color and design teacher, both through his books and as a lecturer.

Image from Kaffe Fasset Fabric Collection (ISBN 4-529-04203-0)

Color -  It is right there for you; be sure to make time to really take it.

*This Japanese Kaffe issue has been in my library for a number of years, and a quick search of the internet does not uncover any information regarding it's availability.  It is presented by Yokota & Co Ltd, without a publication date.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Finished Citrus Quilt

Well, it's all done and I am pretty pleased with how it has turned out.  How versatile are those Half Square Triangles?


I've really fallen for this mix of colors!  These citrus colors contrasted alongside the fresh white fabric, make for a traditional quilt with a contemporary feel. Working with these fabrics has brought the feeling of Spring sunshine right into my home.
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Quilt Measures 55 inches x 71 inches.

The back of the quilt features a 14 inch wide strip of patchwork using printed fabrics that complement the quilt top  (together with a splash of blue), and those readily available in my scrap bin.  The solid background is Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in White.


As you can see the quilt is quite heavily quilted, with diagonal lines outlining the Half Square Triangles, but only through the lower half of the block (the solid white fabric).  Three lines run in both diagonal directions, as well as two horizontal quilting lines on either side of the seam line.  Four large bobbins of thread, and approximately 7 hours of stitching (and yes it does get tedious, but the effect it is well worth the effort).


Solid fabrics really show up quilting detail, and I do love the look of the closely spaced quilting lines, especially if  it doesn't result in tucks and puckers (Phew!)  The quilting is really prominent, and has become another feature of the quilt.

For binding fabric I have used a Kei Honey Comb in a Spring Green colorway,and as usual it is entirely machine stitched.  I decided to time myself this time to see just how long it takes from cutting binding strips to the finished  binding.  The binding on this quite large quilt took approximately 2.5 hours of solid work - include all the usual distractions that occur, and your looking at all that I accomplished  just last night.  Some nights are like that.


I have updated my Etsy Store to include this quilt.

You can find the listing here.  SOLD


Thank you so much for stopping by.  Your visit and comments are eagerly read, and very much appreciated!