Saturday, 6 August 2022

log cabin in prints & plains


- on the design floor

- I've got a bundle of FQ solids that I've been trying to team up with my florals, 
sometimes blending, sometimes not so much!

There's quite a few things that I’ve really enjoyed about making these scrappy 14 1/2" log cabin blocks ... finding a few hidden treasures amongst the fabric strips & leftovers that I've used in other projects over the last couple of years ... love mixing up this scrappy combination from different designers & collections to make my quilt unique ... I’m super happy with the contrast of the multi-coloured prints vs the plains ... and finally, it feels great to finish a quilt top in a week!

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here
Until next time, Linda

Sunday, 31 July 2022

taming my {leftover} scraps

I ended up with quite a selection of leftover strips from my 'courthouse steps' quilt last week. So I decided that before I started anything new, I needed to sort & put my fabrics away... in a tidy manner... into my strip basket {one that is constantly full!}... a good plan, yes? 

And I'm sure you will all know where this is going 'cos, well, one thing led to another, and before I knew it, I was pulling strips out instead of putting strips in!  
And once I began sewing, I couldn't stop!

It's another value oriented scrappy log cabin quilt, very much along the lines of a PDF quilt pattern I recently purchased from Annabel 'picnic in the park' and further inspired by an amazing rendition by Rachel from stitchedincolor
I'm sewing these blocks together in full scrap mode, with no real plan yet - apart from making lots of blocks and using a little assortment of red centres as a bit of a traditional nod.

I’m super happy with the contrast of the prints vs the plains. And it makes me smile how something so simple as mixing in a healthy dose of solids has helped to tame all these multi-coloured scraps.

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here

Thanks for stopping by,

Tuesday, 26 July 2022

colour splash


Recently I sewed a few blocks in the courthouse steps style. They reminded me of this quilt by Lorena which had been on my mind for months {her quilt though, is all-solids and has the addition of quirky quarter square triangle centres}. I thought I could sew something sort of similar, but with more of a colour splash! 

I used a bundle of RSS fabrics, 'stay gold' by Melody Miller, and combined a little mix of solids to give the pretty prints room to breathe. When I started out making these 14" blocks I didn't pay much attention to fabric placement from block to block. Once I had the majority of them made, I was a little more specific about where each colour family landed to create a balanced quilt. 

I'm not sure why but, I seem to be using a lot of pink lately, not my favourite colour, 
so I focused on adding in more toasty browns and teal in my last few blocks.
What colour do you never use (or avoid) in your quilts?⠀

Until next time, Linda

Friday, 22 July 2022

courthouse steps: colour play

I've been super keen to have a go at spicing up this block,
the classic courthouse steps

This traditional pattern lends itself to lots of colour blocking & fabric play! I've had a FQ bundle of 'stay gold' fabrics by Melody Miller /Ruby Star Society, on my shelf for a while now, just not too sure how to best use it. This week I decided to jump right in and have a go with all that bright colour. These courthouse steps blocks are such fun to make, no pressure, just perfect for kick starting my sewing slump back into gear.

A few of my steps graduate in slightly different shades, because when I ran out of a particular colour or fabric I just swopped in another similar piece from my stash. I've seen lots of photos of vintage quilts with this same effect, so if it worked for them, I'm hoping it'll work for me too in piecing a more "modern" make.

Today's colour play totally inspired by Lorena over here or here and I'm super excited about all the fabric play happening over here on Leah's feed too, equally inspiring. 

Linking up with Kelly for NNT here 
and with Wendy for this weekend's 'peacock party' over here 
Have a lovely weekend! 

Friday, 8 July 2022

the colour blue

Today's post is brought to you... by the colour blue!

After a little break from sewing, I've been busy this week 'emptyingtheufocupboard'  … I sewed down the last couple of fans to my "Long Distance" quilt and added a little bit more surface texture to the top before I layer it up all ready for some big stitch hand quilting. 

I loved adding these little bright blue patches. They float over the background of the whole quilt, and are hand stitched in place, leaving the raw edges exposed for that yummy handmade touch. Perfectly imperfect   

I found that the 'long distance' quilt was a really simple way to tackle improv patchwork! It's a beautiful boro inspired PDF pattern designed by Anna Maria Horner that I purchased back in May 2019 . . . love the way Anna crosses over between patchwork & art in her patterns. My version measures 58” x 60”.


I'm also making progress on my Pas de Deux modern sampler blocks. 
My quilt is looking quite different to how I imagined when I started this BOM! It all began with an initial fabric pull, but as things have progressed each month, I have now narrowed down my palette to lots of different shades of blue, teamed up with assorted pinks darkening slightly to plum/rose and little accents of gold/citrus {see last progress pic}.
I ended up reworking a few earlier blocks, like these little 'evening star' blocks. My initial choices looked way too dark compared to the lighter shades I'm favouring now, so I mixed things up a bit by popping in some pinks and adding a few more different shades of blue … and it's looking more interesting     

Here's a few 'on the design floor' pics …

July's blocks are called 'still point'. It's quite a tricky ensemble, with the blocks utilising y-seams to create a flurry of dancing twists and turns. I decided to echo a few of the different shades of blue, while still trying to soften the transitions between the surrounding patchwork groups.

Well, that was a bit of a challenge, I had to unpick my first attempt! It wasn't the actual y-seams that tripped me up, I had muddled up my large & medium triangles, {wink wink} that's why the first is called a trial block, yes?
Still need to trim my blocks up, check that the orientation is matching, etc…but four down  only two more to go…and here's a little peep…

* EDIT: After a real flurry of twist & turns {and a spot of unpicking!} here's my finished blocks down on the design floor. Excellent instructions for this rather challenging ensemble by Rachel at stitched in color. I think I'll look at it for a day or so, just to make sure I've got everything orientated the right way now before I stitch it together …

And all the others so far …

Linking up this week's progress with Kelly with 'needle and thread Thursday' here
and with Wendy over here with todays 'peacock party'

Until next time, Linda

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

a spot of Wednesday morning quilt texture

Oh my, the temperatures have certainly dropped here in NZ this past week, two quilt weather for sure! I rummaged around in the cupboard, pulled a quilt out and popped it on the bed last night. 
And so now on the bed, I've teamed up my scrappy log cabin quilt with this 'Star Crossed' quilt {finished back in 2018}, from the book 'Utility-style quilts for everyday life' by Sharon Holland.

Love having lots of quilts around here so I can mix and don't match, and very much love the contrast between these two quilts!  

Here's a few photos of quilty texture in the morning sunshine …

Loving the wide borders in this quilt, 
 they add a nice contrast to some of the more playful elements of the star blocks.

I’m super happy with the contrast between the cream backing fabric vs. the scrappy patchwork blocks too
- I haven't used a cream backing for years now {wink wink}  

- a few detail pics of my scrappy log cabin quilt 

My 'star crossed' quilt has lots of elements that I'm crushing on just now … a gently muted palette, a few quirky vintage favourites mixed up with a few more 'modern' fabrics, a couple of ginghams, a plaid, and several different blending solids {years old} to break things up … all of which hint that this quilt was made from stash & scrap materials.

I do love to play with colour, cut fabrics up, & stitch them back together. I am not a machine quilter though, I'm not very good at it. And all those wide sashings & borders in this quilt equaled lots of -ve space, which I had no hope of filling with my limited straight line quilting. 
Sew sometimes, you need a little help to get that "finish" and so I sent this large quilt off to  Leeanne from quiltmekiwi.
I also tend to prefer not so dense quilting usually, but I think Leanne’s decisions were spot on with this quilt! And, I'm sure you'll agree, it is beautifully custom quilted. Thank goodness Leanne's not too far away to add some yummy quilty texture to my makes. 
Binding hand stitched by me! Finished quilt measures 62" x 88"

Linking up with Kelly for NNT here and with Wendy over here for this weekend's 'peacock party
Until next time, Linda

Saturday, 11 June 2022


Ah yes, it's the weekend. 
My post today is a real mixed bunch of sewing … reading … eating!

You may remember a couple of weeks ago, I had a yummy fabric pull and had started cutting … but then I just didn’t like any of the ideas! My design wall was full of trial blocks, strips, and squares oh my!

And then... My friend Glenys told me about the new quilt pattern from Emma @treehouse textiles, which I downloaded, the long weekend quilt. It's basically four large trip around the world blocks, each with concentric rounds of colour. 
I also checked out another idea @sewcraftyjess, where, back in 2014, Jess had made a giant granny square quilt, using large 5.5" squares. 

Fast forward to this weekend, and I decided to relook at things. I cut out a bunch of 4" squares and started getting some fabric combinations up on the design wall, and I did a spot of tweaking as I progressed  played.

Hope you enjoy my process & progress pics, makes for a much more interesting post rather than simply showing a “finish” {And, wink wink, you'd be waiting for ages between posts otherwise!}. Here's where I ended up this weekend …

Et voila …

It's a real mish mash of ideas & inspiration - but what a great way to put all my scraps to good use!
I'm off now to cut out a zillion white "sashing" squares 
Linking up my sewing progress with Cynthia here for "oh scrap". 

I also finished a great read, "These Silent Woods" by Kimi Cunningham Grant. For eight years Cooper & his daughter have lived in isolation, no electricity, no family, no connection to the outside world. And that's just the way Cooper wants it as he has a lot to hide. 
Suddenly though, everything about their safe haven is threatened. Beautifully written, this is a poignant story of survival, sacrifice, and how far a father will go when faced with losing it all. 
It is one of those books that has stayed on my mind for days after finishing, best read in ages ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Did someone say curry night? We love a curry night and tonight it's a chickpea, lentil & pumpkin Dahl. I kept the curry sauce quite simple, frying onions, garlic and ginger, and then toasting off the other spices before adding the tomatoes, lentils, pumpkin, chickpeas. Spinach was added just before serving. I mixed up some yoghurt with grated cucumber topped with mint, and served it all with steamed basmati rice and poppadoms. EDIT: the leftovers went to my daughter #mealsonwheels 😀😍😋

Happy weekending