Friday, November 30, 2012


This week I have attempted to recreate a vintage quilt - a rough hand drawn sketch of which has been in my journal since "before Pinterest" although a similar design can be seen pinned here.  

Sometimes I feel the need to challenge myself a little with a more complicated design: doing the maths, working out the "best" way to go about piecing the units, and the direction to press seams.  The "best" way for me in this instance means paper piecing, which isn't the fastest method, but it is the most accurate.  And accuracy is important if I want to sew together these blocks into a quilt top without frustration.  (Only the units with red solid/polka dot fabric have been paper pieced).

At this stage I have finished piecing these 9 blocks - as pictured, and have all of the units ready to piece another 7 blocks. I am glad that prior to commencing this project I spent some time working through the patchwork piecing process with a trail block, although I was still surprised by how much fabric was required to complete all of the blocks. Paper piecing is rather wasteful of fabric (particularly as I was being mindful of the fabric grain and the orientation of the polka dot fabric).
More soon.

Thank you for stopping by,

ps  If you should happen to know the name of this traditional block please be sure to let me know.

Fabrics used:
Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Coral

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt

I had my rotary cutter poised for a frenzy of fabric cutting when I realized that I haven't yet shown you these:
Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt

"Inspired by the graceful twirling skirts and old fashioned courtliness of New England contra dancing ... Denyse has created a timeless collection embodying exuberance of spirit and small-town charm."

Shelburne Falls is a Free Spirit collection for independent fabric stores due for release in February 2013. It is offered in three colorways - Lilac, Maple and Willow - for a total of 30 quilting cotton prints.

I purchased my bundle of Shelburne Falls fat eighths at the DS Sample Sale. This week I have been busy planning and working with these fabrics to create a vintage style quilt - progress of which I hope to show you soon.


Shelburne Falls by Denyse Schmidt will be available - February 2013:
Fabric colleciton no longer available.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Christmas Crafting

A little weekend sewing ...

A spur of the moment crafty project entirely inspired by copied from Lisa's Geometric Paintchip Christmas Tree design.
From paint-chips/paper to fabric this design works equally well; a traditional Christmas tree layout made from simple squares and Half Square Triangles.  My finished patchwork units measure 2 inches x 2 inches (finished mini quilt 18.5" x 20.5"), although any size block will work equally well.

I have jazzed my mini-quilt up with a black/white and text fabric background, and it could possible benefit from some embellishing ... mini lights, a little glitz and glitter.
Keeping the Christmas spirit alive.


Fabrics Used:
Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton Solids in:
Kiwi, Juniper, Jade Green, Clover, Lime, Peridot, Poppy, Papaya, Chestnut

Sunday, November 25, 2012

When in New York ...

A last holiday post.  I hope you don't mind.  

The wonderful colors of Marimekko! I love the bold colors and designs that are the brand Marimekko and was rather pleased to find the NYC flagship store - with the help of several enables - located on Fifth Avenue (23rd st).  The store is filled with fabric, clothing, housewares, bags and accessories.

My fabric purchases (again, I think I showed great restraint):

And very last ...

It is remarkable what you stumble upon when you decide to head off without a map:  an Orla Kiely store located just around the corner from Purl Soho.

 5 Mercer Street, NYC.

No fabric here, but loads of color and design inspiration.

Now back to my regular program.  It is great to be home!


Thursday, November 22, 2012

Liberty Lifestyle - Stile Collection

A Finished Quilt
Quilt making is a little like riding a bike, you don't forget.  Getting back behind the sewing machine this week has been without hiccup and it felt a little like I was never away.  I am a little shocked that it is almost December. 

I have enjoyed working with the Liberty Lifestyle - Stile Collection, and although the sewing was straightforward this traditional quilt has a classic and elegant look about it. 

I spent a little extra time on the quilting detail by stitching diagonal - edge to edge - quilting lines through the center of all white squares (cross-hatching), creating an on-point grid and an interesting quilt back:

I also pieced a scrappy binding with the leftover pieces of fabric, which I think it another highlight of this quilt:
And the finished binding - there's something about the edges of a quilt that I can't get enough of ... I have many more images just like this:

Just in time for Christmas ....
the finished quilt has been listed in my Etsy Store.  
The listing details can be seen here:  Modern Patchwork Quilt

With thanks to Liberty Lifestyle for giving me the opportunity to preview and sample the Stile collection.

Thank you for stopping by,


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Liberty Lifestyle - Stile Collection

It's great to be home again, and better still, to be back behind the sewing machine with renewed gusto.  Whilst away from home I really missed being able to sew - especially in the evenings - and by the end of our trip I was itching to stitch.  I am a creature of habit.

Not only did I return home with a case heavier than with which I departed but also to find the arrival of a surprise parcel from Liberty Lifestyle.  This is the yet to be released Stile Collection by Liberty Lifestyle, a collection inspired by the Art Nouveau movement and more specifically the work of Scottish artist and watercolorist Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

There are 32 designs in the Stile collection:  eight different prints in four color palettes - you can see the full collection here:   Liberty Lifestyle.  (I have added several prints from the Bloomsbury Collection to my quilt top because I just can't restrain myself from fabric play).

I've kept the quilt design simple - an alternating nine patch block - contrasted with a fresh white background to highlight the colors and delicate designs of this fabric collection; a nice way to ease myself back into the rhythm of my crafty life.

This quilt top is ready for basting. 


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Purl Soho - NYC

When in New York ...

459 Broome Street
New York

As a quilter, knitter, and keen stash builder of both fabric and yarn I couldn't resist visiting Purl Soho.  Previous trips to this store have always been delightful and this time was no exception.

Spectacular rainbow displays of color, in the way of yarn and fabric, does make you stop and stare.  It's hard to choose:  "I think I'll take one of each, please ... "

Purl Soho also carries a large range of Liberty of London, Tana Lawn; pretty florals, both classic and seasonal prints.

As well as a great selection of books, magazines, notions (both quilting and knitting), thread, tapes, ribbons ...

... all displayed with attention to color and detail.  It does make a difference.

I spent quite some time browsing the store for goodies, and taking photos with permission.  The staff were friendly and helpful, knowledgeable, and happy to chat.  I think I showed great restraint with my purchases:
Four pieces of Liberty of London, Tana Lawn
Books and Letters from Windham Fabrics
A re-stock of Chicken Wire by Moda
and yardage of a tape measure bias tape which I like to use for packaging.

Purl Soho is readily accessible by subway and is located in one of my favorite neighborhoods of this big city, Soho.  Walking the streets of Soho and surrounding area is a great way to explore and discover the quaint cafes, studios, galleries and stores of this neighborhood.

Once Upon a Tart
Sullivan Street, Soho

Enjoy Sunday!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Paper Piecing - Part 2 - New Hampshire Star

Part 2 in a series of Paper Pieced Star Blocks from the book Sensational 9-Patch Stars by Carol Doak.

This is block is called New Hampshire and is block #29 in the above mentioned book.  The block consists of three different foundation designs.  I chose this block for it's dynamic look and used bold fabric placement for the largest point of the star block.

I chose this block for it's dynamic look and used bold fabric placement for the largest point of the star block to create movement.  This block was a little more fiddly to piece but if you adhere to and persevere with the paper piecing process, it is nonetheless accurate.  The 9 patch block comes together with ease; the seams match and the points of the stars are sharp.

Thank you for stopping by,

Relevant Links:
Paper Piecing ~ New Mexico Star (Part 1) 

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

DS Sample Sale 2012

Things have looked a little different around here lately, and in case you're wondering why there has been little action on the sewing front, I thought I better let you know that I've escaped from my sewing room.  My husband and I have crossed the Pacific Ocean and flew into New York City just before hurricane Sandy blew in.  Hurricane Sandy was so very devastating for so many. Fortunately we were in a safe area, never even lost power.  We were the lucky ones.

The purpose of our trip was for my husband to run the NYC marathon - something that he has been training for for many years, but particularly the last 12 months.  Of course we were disappointed that the marathon was cancelled but understand and concur with all of the reasons as to why the race couldn't go ahead.  We'll be back next year, stronger still.

Collecting race numbers.
Meanwhile, we've made the most of our holiday in NYC, and watched as the resilient New Yorkers bounced back; the subway resumed service (and my feet are ever so grateful), the power was restored downtown, and the empty streets came back to life.  We've ventured about, visiting all of our favorite places and more.  Today I want to share with you my day trip (1 1/2 hours each way by train) to Bridgeport, Connecticut - to the DS Sample Sale.  

DS Sample Sale 2012
DS Sample Sale 2012
The Denyse Schmidt Sample Sale is an annual event held in Denyse's studio. When Audrie (Blue is Bleu) mentioned that the sale was on whilst we were here and also offered to pick us up from the train station, I jumped at the chance to check out the space where all things DS happen.

There were DS Quilts Fabrics ....

... and gorgeous, gorgeous quilts for sale 

(see the quilt - second from the left?  It is coming home with me.  My first ever quilt purchase).

and more quilts ....

Denyse has a wonderful studio located in a quaint old, multi-storey factory, overflowing with natural light. To be in that space, surrounded by so much individuality and creativity has made me keen to return to my sewing machine.   Refreshed.

Whilst there I also got to meet some warm and welcoming quilters/bloggers including ShannonJen and Jamie.  Together with Audrie, we enjoyed a relaxing post sale lunch.  I couldn't have asked for friendlier hosts!

I had a truly amazing day; a highlight, and I am excited to be heading home this week with a little DS memorabilia and renewed enthusiasm.  

More trip highlights coming soon.