Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Stash #131

I enjoy working with environmentally friendly organic fabrics and I am always on the look out for new organic fabric prints and designs that suit my style of quilting: ~  Colorful ...

Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabrics, Mod Basics, Organic, Ellie Fam
and it usually involves a dot or spot design!

Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabrics, Mod Basics, Organic, Dottie Color
The recently released organic fabric collection Mod Basics by Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabrics is a versatile range of fabrics that will blend well with a modern stash.  The range includes a selection of colored dots on a cream back ground (as pictured above) as well reverse print range with cream dots on a colored background (as pictured below):

I have a long standing love for dots and spots, especially Kei Honeycomb dots (Japanese imports) which feature a similar color and dot arrangement.  For the sake of comparison the Jay-Cyn Organic Dottie range sports a larger diameter dot, with Kei Honeycomb in blue pictured in the bottom left hand corner (below).

By the same designer and for Birch Fabrics but from the Commute collection is this print ~ Bike It:

Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabrics Commute, Organic, Bike It
I have a soft spot for fabric with bicycles!

Jay-Cyn Designs for Birch Fabrics Mod Basics and Commute are available from:
The Quilted Castle - Mod Basics  and Commute 
The Fat Quarter Shop 

Enjoy Sunday,

Friday, February 24, 2012

Flea Market Fancy Progress

My Flea Market Fancy blocks are coming along nicely!

These twinkling star blocks are machine paper pieced and rather slow going, but for the sake of accuracy it is a technique well worth the extra effort.  I drew up my own foundation papers for a six inch finished block, and have since discovered that this same paper pieced design/pattern is available in, and featured on the front cover of this book:

by Nancy Mahoney

This star block is a traditional pattern from the 1930's and isn't unlike a Kaleidoscope block.

I have set up my work area for better work flow; moving the ironing board alongside and at the same height as the sewing machine was definitely a step in the right direction for efficiency.  The rubbish bin for threads and used papers is right at my feet.  Coffee within easy reach.

There are many blocks already at various stages of completion with good intentions to work on creating more on the weekend.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Flea Market Fancy ~ Legacy Reprint 2012

Flea Market Fancy. So this is where it all started.
Way back then, when my children were still - children - in primary school the release of Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt sparked an interest in fabric and quilting.  I was surrounded by crafty family and friends (and their fabric stashes and projects) but crafty was just not my thing.  I had dabbled a little, but not with commitment.

And then Flea Market Fancy came along.  The bold colors and simple designs drew me in completely.  Katie Jump Rope also be Denyse Schmidt followed thereafter, and I was committed.  I am a Fabricaholic.  There, I said it.

By popular demand Flea Market Fancy ~ Legacy Reprint is back!  Legacy reprint is a selection of 21 prints from the original range. The hues are refreshed, and the collection includes new colorways of several designs, including two additional grey prints, which I adore!

As much as I like to work on just one quilt project at a time I have had to cut into my Flea Market Fancy fabric stash (and these are still just blocks which goes some way to explaining the mismatched seams).


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Whit's Knits: Colorblock Hand Warmers

Last weekend I took a brief sewing hiatus - just a short break in sewing continuity (no need for alarm!) - and picked up sticks.  The knitting sticks.

The pattern is Whit's Knit: Colorblock Hand Warmers, a free Purl Bee project the details of which can be found here.

The Yarns:
Madeline Tosh Merino Light
Silver Fox, Antler, Alabaster and Napoli

The Colorblock Hand Warmers Pattern is a simple and quick knit and does not involve shaping; it is an ideal pattern for beginner "in the round" knitters, and a fun knit also for more experienced knitters.  I really enjoyed the color play, substituting two of the four original yarn colors with yarn from stash.

For more pictures and all the details check out my Ravelry page:

With thanks to my hand model who enjoyed this photo session as much as I did.  Effortlessly.

Now it is back to the sewing machine for me.

Thank you for stopping by,

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Stash #130

It's no secret that I enjoy recycling vintage fabrics including vintage sheet fabrics.   If at all possible I like to squeeze a little piece of recycled goodness into most of my quilting projects.

This bundle of recycled vintage sheet fabric arrived earlier this week.  As you can see I am again collecting striped fabrics in every color of the rainbow with a view to eventually create another version (or variation) of the In a Spin Quilt.  The dainty floral fabrics could not be resisted!

These fabrics were sourced and sold by Jeni through her Etsy Store ~ (In Color Order).  Jeni's store is regularly updated with new goodies and I have had the chance to enjoy Jeni's excellent customer service on numerous occasions already!

I also enjoy scouring the net for artisans who are hand printing their own unique designs on fabric. 

Leslie Keating is the driving force behind the Melbourne based Maze & Vale.  Leslie uses natural fibers upon which to screen print her own designs using environmentally friendly inks and fine cottons (as well as linen blends).

Maze & Vale screen printed fabrics and handmade items are sold through Leslie's Etsy Store ~ Maze & Vale.

Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Paper Piecing ~ Colorado Stars

I enjoy Foundation Paper Piecing and have over the years made several projects using this technique, including the Spot On Quilt way back in 2006, and more recently the Geese Around the World Doll Quilt Paper Piecing involves the use of a foundation upon which fabric pieces are sewn in a particular order; it is a great technique for accurate seams and sharp points.

I do find Foundation Paper Piecing confusing, and each time I attempt this technique it seems that I need to re-learn the basic steps.  Once I have re-acquainted myself with these steps it again becomes quite procedural and structured.  

It does not come without the occasional error :  Oops no seam allowances! - Unfortunately doing is still the best way to learn (as does reading the instructions before trimming the units).

This block is called the Colorado Star and it is from the book titled 50 Fabulous Paper-Pieced Stars by Carol Doak.  It's a book I have had in my quilt book library for quite some time and have photocopied foundation papers for numerous blocks, but until now have not sat down to piece any star blocks. 

The book includes a detailed step by step tutorial with photographs, as well as a presentation by Carol Doak demonstrating her paper-piecing technique on CD-ROM.

Some of my own foundation paper piecing tips:
  • Cheap A4 paper is perfect for this task.  I used 70 gsm paper weight.
  • Cut fabric patches larger than necessary to assist with easy placement.
  • Use a 90/14 Needle and shorten stitch length to 18 to 20 stitches per inch.
  • Use a dry iron to press. 
  • Don't remove foundation paper prior to sewing units into a block.
There are several great foundation paper piecing tutorials including Quilter's Cache - Practice Paper Piecing (great for beginners).  Also the current Fat Quarterly (Issue 8 - Paper)  has a detailed how-to, taking you step by step through the process of  foundation paper piecing.  Fat Quarterly Magazine is available from Fat Quarter Shop as an instant download.
    Paper piecing is a little fiddly, time consuming, and so very messy,  but well worth this end result.  Crisp lines and matching seams make for happy stitching!


    Tuesday, February 14, 2012

    Gingham Galore ~ Two Finished Quilts!

    As promised, here follows a gingham update together with a warning for another picture heavy post:

    It certainly was pedal to the metal this weekend!  Thankfully both quilts basted and quilted really easily and without problem, and my sewing machine played nice.  The few hiccups encountered along the way were operator error, brought about perhaps by lack of sleep.  Self-inflicted.

    Thank you so much for all of your comments on my previous post featuring the start of these two quilts!  I loved reading all of your comments, and have been spurred on by your enthusiasm.

    Several readers wondered how well the gingham would fare during the washing and tumble drying process.  Upon hearing these concerns I immediately threw all caution to the wind and soaked the finished quilts in a tub, spun the quilts in the washing machine to remove excess water, and then tumble dried on a "crease guard" and "gentle" mode.

    Both quilts emerged from the tumble dryer wrinkly and crinkly, but in cozy and comforting way that really suits the style of these quilts!  The images seen here are post washing, and I must admit that the crinkle factor has been played down somewhat by the use of a warm steam iron. 

    There was no color run, or noticeable fading.  I am really pleased with how well the gingham, vintage linens and quilting cottons endured this process; so much so that I've been back to Spotlight to stock up on a little more gingham! 

    I have used a striped fabric to bind both quilts, a black/white stripe and a red/white stripe.  And yes, I do still machine bind all of my quilts.  I've had A LOT of practise machine stitching the binding.  It is a technique that you get better at and becomes effortless over time.  I am just about there.

    Both quilts have been backed entirely with Little Apples (Round and Round in White Linen) by Aneela Hoey.

    These quilts have been listed separately in my Etsy Store.

    You can find the listings for the quilts here and here.

    Thank you for stopping by!

    Sunday, February 12, 2012

    Sunday Stash #129

    Well, I did warn you ....
    More gingham!

    Small and large scale gingham in:

    Grey (love!)

    100% cotton and fine quality gingham by Kokka.  This really is a lovely quality woven fabric; light weight and surprisingly soft to touch.

    A versatile stash addition suitable for so much more than just patchwork and quilting, although that is of course the purpose of my stashing.

    Enjoy Sunday!

    Friday, February 10, 2012

    The Gingham Phase

    Earlier this week I ventured out to my local Spotlight Store (I gather it's much like an US version of a Joann's Store), in search of maybe finding some of the more recently released Denyse Schmidt fabrics.
    I did find some DS fabric, but nothing that needed to come home with me.  As I made my way out of the store the section of gingham fabric caught my eye ~  100% cotton, woven fabric in an array of colors that immediately set my head in a spin!  Why had I not seen these before?

    The team member at the cutting counter eyed me with curiosity even asking what I had in mind.  Huh?  A quilt, of course!

    Since then I have enjoyed the fabric play, auditioning prints, retiring some and calling upon my vintage sheet fabric collection for dainty floral prints that work well with gingham.

    I had such a wonderful time creating the first quilt top that a second followed soon after!

    We'll call this the gingham phase, and I hope you'll bear with me as I ride out this creative whim.

    I am busy working on completing the second quilt.  Basting, quilting and binding are yet to commence.  More pictures soon.