Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Half Square Triangles ~ Continued

I have had the pedal to the metal for most of the week in order to get this project happening and on it's way to bigger and better things.

This is unfortunately one of those secret projects which I cannot tell you much about.  Sorry!  I am very grateful though to have been given permission to show you some glimpses of progress and  share some snippets of what's keeping me from my regular schedule.

I do enjoy sharing the process with you, and at the very least I hope that these picture have infused you with color, and perhaps even hope that my enthusiasm for the humble Half Square Triangle has been contagious.

The quilt top is just about finished and this time I will be handing it over to the quilter for professional machine quilting. 

Experimenting (playing) with these colors has been anything but a chore and even brought with it some surprising results!  Let's just say I have discovered new favorite colors and color combinations.

I can hardly wait to show you much more of this quilt!  Thank you for being patient. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

How many?

The weekend involved much of what I had anticipated  - lots of sewing - although working my way through these little units was in fact more work than I had initally estimated.

A whole lot of repetition; stitching small batches of squares at a time, cutting, pressing and ...

... a whole lot of trimming.  Grit. Your. Teeth. And just get it done!

I am a fastidious trimmer and make oversize patchwork units/block and trim each and every one back to the exact correct size.  Patchwork piecing is so much more enjoyable when blocks and quilt tops come together without the stress and frustration of different size blocks.  The smaller the block the less margin for error, and these are particularly small blocks.  It is how I prefer to work whenever possible.

How many Half Square Triangles?  In excess of 600.  Call me a little crazy, I don't mind.


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sunday Stash #90

I have stashed a new batch of striped fabrics purchased from Whimsie Dots on Etsy.

If you have been following my blog for a while you may already be familiar with these fabrics.

They are reclaimed vintage bed linens (washed and re-washed) ready for recycling.  To refresh your memory here is a picture of the quilt made with my previous batch of striped fabrics from Whimsie Dots:

I really enjoyed making this quilt and have been toying with the idea of making another one just like it, or with some variation in the overall design.  

Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Recipe for a Weekend Sewing Project

Take 1 large bowl of of fabric -  like so:

add 1 large bowl of fabric - just like so:

Mark .. sew .. sew..  ✂ cut .. presss .. trim .. press.*

Repeat until both bowls are empty.

By the end of the weekend this bowl should be overflowing.  That's the plan.  Do you have any weekend sewing plans?

Happy Stitching,

* Whilst doing so you may notice threads, fabric dust, and trimmings almost everywhere you turn.  This is a completely normal part of the process.  Do not be concerned.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Patchwork Pillow Parade

Remember the Blogger's Party pillows?

Ever since these pillows were shipped off to the rightful winner I have been under considerable pressure to make some patchwork pillows for my daughter.  Regular reminders and subtle suggestions as to what my next project should be, her need for homemade pillows quickly made its way to the top of the list. Of course.

I am not complaining though and have used my daughter's request as an opportunity to play around with color and quilting designs.   I've had fun!  Such a simple design with just a select few colors (Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids) can be whipped up in little time.

The quilting itself takes a little longer.  I have cross-hatched the red pillow with straight lines just 1 inch apart creating a grid with tiny squares set on the diagonal.  The lines were marked with a Hera Marker (Clover) prior to pin basting.  The second pillow has been quilted with wavy lines which is a decorative stitch on my sewing machine, no line marking required.

For the back of the pillows I have cut up a duvet cover - my favorite Orla Kiely design - which is the same as my daughters bedding.  I have now "mastered" sewing in a zip, this being my 3rd and 4th zip effort.  The zip is at the center of the back of the pillow and is tucked under the overlap of the pillowcase.  I have  used the button hole edge of the duvet cover to tuck away the zip.  No fabric was wasted to make the back of this pillow!

Let's just say she was a very happy and grateful recipient!

Linking up today with many more Creative Spaces - here.

with my apologies for massive picture overload!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Well, almost wordless ... Robert Kaufman Kona Roll-ups in Classic and Bright Palette - keeping me from being idle today.  It's been a great day.  I am easily pleased.

✂ ✂ ✂ ✂

And whilst you are here please be sure to check out my previous blog post (if you haven't already done so) for your chance to win a bundle of fabrics:

There is still time to enter; you have to be in it to win it.  Click here to enter the Giveaway!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday Stash #89

No introduction required:

Fat Quarter Bundles of Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey were available from Fabric Worm and Fat Quarter Shop for just moments before being sold out! I happened to be in the right place at the right time.

 Yardage available in April!

✂ ✂ ✂ ✂

You will be happily surprised to see that the patchwork fabrics are now on the ground floor.  Yay!  Awesome renovation and a huge range of fabrics ... and the staff are so friendly, nothing is ever too much trouble. 

If you are a RPQ Facebook Fan you may have already seen these fabrics this week.  I stocked up on some great basics. As you can see - lots of dots! 

From top to bottom:
  • Lecien - Color Basics - aqua dot on tomato red
  • Yellow Check and Yellow Dot are both A Day in the Country fabrics.
  • Pink and Blue fabrics with white polka dot Essentials by XLN Fabrics*
  • Tanya Whelan - Delilah - Dots in white
  • Essentials by XLN Fabrics - White polka dot on Black *
* Essentials by XLN Fabrics are very much like Kei Honeycomb both in print and quality, and very reasonably priced.

✂ ✂ ✂ ✂

And finally a big THANK YOU for all of your very kind comments regarding the baby quilt made last week.  I thought I would answer some of the questions raised in the comments section right here:

I use 100% cotton batting (Matilda's Own) for my quilts.  I am a long time fan of 100% cotton batting because it is a natural fiber with a low loft (height) which makes it easier to work with, and has great stability.  Cotton batting makes for a thin quilt with less bulk and a beautiful drape ~ and that's just how I like my quilts to look.
I have recently trialled a wool/cotton blend batting which is also a low loft batting, but I wasn't too happy with how thoroughly the wool/cotton fibers were needle punched to the scrim, and have therefore reverted back to the trusted cotton batting.

Dense quilting does affect the texture of the quilt but it doesn't overly detract from the drape of the quilt.  My experience is that once the quilt has been washed and used regularly it becomes more and more supple and  drapes gracefully.

The baby quilt is made from 2-patch squares for which I have made up my own block size; the squares are not the same size as the pattern detailed in the book:    Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration by Malka DubrawskyYou can readily adapt this design to any block size:  make a square of any size by sewing together two equal size rectangles; in this case, sew together two rectangles measuring 2.5 x 4.5 inches.

This is a traditional and  versatile block, and layouts can be varied and blocks tessellated to create a completely different  effect:

Have no hesitation getting your own copy of the book - it has many projects that are colorful, clever and functional.  My quilting book library wouldn't be complete without it!

Signing off from a lengthy post,

Friday, March 18, 2011

A Zig Zag Baby Quilt

A friend is having a baby and what better gift that I can make than a baby quilt?

I have thoroughly enjoyed making this baby quilt; sitting down today to finish the piecing as well as quilt and bind it.  It isn't big -  24.5 inches x 28.5 inches - and is made entirely from fabrics salvaged from my scrap bin (except for backing and binding - which are from stash).  Even the batting is a scrap from a larger quilt.  It's truly satisfying to know that saving all those bits and pieces is worthwhile even if it is a messy task to search through the scrap bin!

This baby quilt is very much inspired by a pillow as seen in the book:  Fresh Quilting: Fearless Color, Design, and Inspiration by Malka Dubrawsky.  This is a wonderful resource if you're ever in need of  colorful inspiration!

Pictured below is a snippet of the Zig Zag Pillow from Malka's book.  I have adjusted the pattern to make up my own block size and number to make the baby quilt. 

Zig Zag Pillow by Malka Dubrawsky from the book Fresh Quilting
I particularly wanted to try out the zig zag quilting lines seen here and I have used a walking foot rather than free motion stitching to quilt the lines.  I love how it has turned out, and how the quilting lines have made the overall design more obvious.  Quilting a zig zag design is very manageable for a small project, any larger though and I would strongly suggest using free motion stitching to quilt the zig zag lines.

The yet to be born baby is a little boy and although I have used some floral and pink prints I do think this baby quilt is gender neutral.  The quilt backing is a solid fabric in yellow (which really accentuates the quilting lines!), and I have used a blue fabric with white polka dots for binding.

Ready for posting together with wishes of a safe and healthy arrival.


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Thursday, March 17, 2011

From Little Things ...

Some rather delicious fabric arrived today and I couldn't possibly wait another day to show you.  Such a welcome distraction!

It's quite an impressive stack of fabric, don't you think?  This is the full range of Sarah's Fielke's (The Last Piece) fabric collection.  It is called From Little Things and is printed by Lecien (Japan).

The colors are refreshing and vivid, and the designs are fun and original.  What I particularly like about this collection of fabrics is that it also includes some really good basics, and hereby I mean the dots and stripes.   Simple geometric designs complete a fabric range and are great for combining a variety of fabric collections together.

 I have picked out  numerous favorite prints (above), not an easy task. 

Purchased and available from Patchwork Orange (Aust.)

For me, it is back to the sewing machine!  There's much to do.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

A Log Cabin ~ Block Swap Quilt

Finished Quilt measures:  49 inches x 66 inches

Here is the finished Red & White Log Cabin Quilt made from blocks that have been pieced by fellow Bee Imaginative block swappers. It is the combined effort of some amazing people; clever quilters as well as bloggers.

Block Details (all measurements include seam allowances):
  • Center Square (white):  3.5 inches x 3.5 inches
  • Log strips: 2.5 inches wide
  • Sashing (white):  2.5 inches wide
  • Blocks:  15.5 inches x 15.5 inches ~ make 12 (+ extra blocks for the back)
And ... I've used a few of the extra blocks on the back of the quilt.  A quilt back pieced with solid color fabric always makes a feature of all of those intersecting quilting lines.  There's just nowhere to hide those lines.  It is a busy quilting grid although I don't think that I've over quilted it.

Kei Honeycomb fabric in Black used for binding is becoming a bit of a standard, and easy go to option, at the end of a project.  It does frame a red/white combination quilt rather nicely. 

I couldn't possibly sell this quilt; it is definitely one that I want to keep and treasure.  A big thank you to everyone who contributed to the making of this quilt:
Alissa - Handmade by Alissa, Amanda - sasikirana handmade, Ashley - filminthefridge, Elizabeth - ohfransson, Heather - alamode fabric, Jacquie - tallgrass prairie studio, John - quilt dad, Julie - jaybird quilts, Kate - one flew over, Kerri - lovely little handmades, Nettie - a quilt is nice,  and Ryan - I'm just a guy who quilts.

Happy Stitching!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Red and White Log Cabins

Remember back when these fabrics - all from stash - were sent out to fellow Bee Imaginative block swappers?

Well, over the last few weeks these red and white strips of fabric have been transformed  by the Block Swap members and returned to sender as log cabin blocks just as requested.  The blocks are big, measuring 15.5 inches square and they are all just beautifully pieced. 

I have spent some time today piecing the blocks together into a quilt top, and was pleased to see that my vision of this quilt was coming to fruition.  Red and white is always a safe option, and combined with a log cabin design makes for a traditional and classic look.

There's so much to love about this quilt top!

I am looking forward to making the backing this weekend, not so much the basting, but definitely the quilting.

Have a great weekend,

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fabric Stashing

When it rains it pours (literally today);  the postman knocked twice to deliver fabric goodies.

From top to bottom:
  • Sugar Pop by Liz Scott - Mod Buds in Pink
  • Sugar Pop by Liz Scott - Mod Buds in Aqua
  • Robert Kaufman - Metro Living - Circles White
  • Robert Kaufman - Metro Living - Circles Carrot
  • Alexander Henry - Monkey's Bizness - Pirate Grid Old Red
  • Alexander Henry - Moneky's Bizness - Pirate Grid Corn

And from Lecien's  My Folklore fabric range:
  • Bouquet in Burnt Orange
  • Wall Paper Blooms in Sunset
  • Bouquet in Natural
  • Flower Border in Natural
  • Birdies and Ponies in Natural
  • Flower Border in Sand

The solid fabrics pictured above are Robert Kaufman Kona Solids, all of which I've been cutting into, arranging and re-arranging today.  Unfortunately it is one of those behind the scenes projects which I can't tell you much about ... sharing will be limited to tiny snippets - just teasers really.  But it will be worth the reveal at a later stage.  

I hope you've had a great day!