Thursday 28 August 2014

a change of direction

Using the stash has been my driving force this year, and now that I have organised it into colour groups it has certainly been easier to find things. And what I love about some quilts is that real sense of making do & apparent random use of fabric. Clare over here @  does this really well. But I don't always find it so easy! Take my current project, Diagonal Madness. I have to say it wasn't going so well working with the minty fabrics and so, after some considerable time starring at the design wall, I had a change of direction! This is my third attempt and it feels like things are finally geling a bit better now. Hope you have enjoyed reading about my indecisions & seeing just how I strayed away from my initial thinking on this! It's been fun!
Linking up with WiP Wednesday
and Design Wall Monday

a bit more #19
And then little Olive & I got very busy this week with the "rejected" squares!
She was on layout this time & I was on sewing.
We made little quilts, one for Pooh Bear, one for Ruby-Red-Shoes
and one for Rainbow Bright Dolly too!

Monday 25 August 2014

diagonal madness {the minty version}

What a brilliant weekend we have just had!  Little Olive & co are all well now and spent a couple of days up at Mangawhai, Glenys has put her house on the market, my sister went down to the bach... and Mr D. & I spent the most of the weekend in the garden. Now that the subdividing has been completed, we need to clear some of the section and move the fenceline, what a mission! Still, it will be good to get the new boundary lines clearly established, ready for when we too sell & downsize in the hopefully-not-too-distant-future.
I've been sorting & playing a bit more with these simple squares up on my design wall. Scrappiness isn't everyone's cup-of-tea I know, but it is certainly a good way to make a dent in that stash!  Other versions of this pattern seem to have followed Kaffe's orginal colours quite closely, rich striking colours like magenta, fuschia, terracotta, gold, rust, & turquoise... ha-ha, and I can see why now! All the hard work of mixing colours & adding value has already been done by him!
I think I must have moved every square a zillion times by now! I was a bit ruthless & pulled out the darker fabrics that didn't seem to work. And am much prefering this pastel minty version. I am making it big enough to fit a single bed and wondering now about checking with Olive to see if she thinks it could be ok for the new baby in January!

Friday 22 August 2014

diagonal madness {WiP}

My "Olive days" have been reduced this week because she has been sick. We started out the week as usual, but the vomiting bug took over... and understandably, she only wanted her mummy! Very tricky for working parents, juggling domestic days off, but we all coped & got thru' the week, sharing the home-time between us.

So I've had some unexpected sewing-time!
The starting point for this quilt was a Kaffe Fassett workshop I attended quite a few years ago now. I didn't ever like what I had done that day and so nothing ever came of it! But I have always loved the scrappiness & the strong lines -both diagonal & vertical- of this pattern, even more when I found similar vintage version of it in Mary Mashuta's book, Cotton Candy Quilts. I vaguely remember the colour receipe from that workshop... pick a colour {blue} Add other colours from either side of the colour wheel {green, blue, purple} And then throw in something "extra" {orange/gold}. I rumaged thru' my stash, selected & cut out squares from an eclectic assortment of fabrics, & began getting it all up on my little design wall. If you look closely you will see that there's a few areas where colours merge nicely, and then the unexpected brighter or darker fabric pops up ... hopefully helping the eye work out what the actual pattern here is!

*updated pic!

And sewing today has certainly been fun! It's also been a real lesson in colour, fabric & design that's for sure! I have been reshuffling fabrics, and throwing out fabrics, and standing back, and just looking at the wall a lot over the past week! Admitedly, I am using my more latest fabrics here, but what I am finding is that they are so lovely & vibrant, they all seem to be fighting for centre stage... "pick me, pick me"! I'm thinking about auditioning few of the fabrics waiting in the wings {the 'understudy'} just to calm things down a bit! Diagonal madness indeed!  - any feedback welcome here! Also in true scrappy spirit, if I run out of a particular fabric midflight, I am substituting. It's all still very much a work-in-progress and changing daily* at the moment but I'm slowly growing quite fond of it! 
What's on your design wall this week?

Wednesday 20 August 2014

WiP Wednesday

An old vintage quilt that I spotted ages ago was the beginning point for this quilt top.
Linking up with WiP Wednesday

Saturday 16 August 2014

sew vintage {a WiP}

a few test blocks first

no sashing ...

... and sashed 

Some time ago I spotted a photo of a curtain made out of cutter quilt tops. What particulary caught my eye were the segments of Puss-in-a-Corner blocks. So soft & pretty! so scrappy! Ever since, I've wanted to replicate something similar, and, more recently, to use up some of the vintage looking Japanese cottons I purchased at Amitie/ Australia.

It has seemed a little strange to be working with mainly light & medium fabrics! But I found that the more fabrics I used, the less important any one decision became. I'm using the measurements given in Amy Smart's book "fabulously fast quilts", a book full of time-saving methods to cut, piece & assemble quilts. For this particular block, Amy stacks & reshuffles complementary fabrics whereas I am stacking & reshuffling anything & everything! The finished blocks are 8 1/2" x 8 1/2". I've made quite a few blocks now but need to keep going to make it up to a reasonable size curtain quilt!
Then the big decision will be whether to simply stick with my initial plan and join them block to block, or maybe add sashing and borders with something vintage-y like the Kona Kale solid! What do you think?

a bit more # 18
Do you know what a "cutter" quilt is? No? well neither did I! 
So to find out I checked back to Kathy @ Material Obsession
A "cutter" quilt is an old torn vintage quilt top.
People reuse the selvegable parts to create something else
... pin cushions/bunting/teddy bears/Xmas ornaments/chair covers/tablecloths/
doll quilts/curtains ...

Sunday 10 August 2014

classic meets modern {catching up}

The good old sampler quilt... like many, it's where I started my quilting journey, way way back!  We were living in Christchurch for a year & I went every week to a wonderful old home in Merrivale for lessons. The lady there was set up in a large room, with tables lined up down the midddle & we all sat around looking thru' her many books, choosing our next block. She would help with advice and drawing up the patterns, & then we would go away and hand piece & hand quilt over the week. I was around 30yrs at the time, one of the youngest in that little group, but I loved going! That first quilt is of course very dated & faded now but I still treasure it.

Since then I've made more sampler quilts for family & little friends. I have found they are a good way to learn new techniques, to try out different colour combinations, and to use up that stash! 

row-by-row turtles for 4yr Jared

improv leftover blocks quilt for Olive

BOM Material Obsession/pretty in pastels

DYOS a little bit of pink

And the sampler quilt is still an old favourite of mine.
There are so many different ways to revive this concept ... Back in January I joined in with the "Classic meets Modern" QAL to make another sampler! Each month a very classic/traditional block gets a bit of a modern fresh spin added - be it in composition, style, or fabric choices. I have been very much focused with the gypsy wife lately but now that's finished, I thought I'd get busy this weekend and do a bit of a catchup.

wonky starflower

churn dash

I have also been wondering about different setting possibilities while I've been sewing
but there's still a few more months to go before I need to make the final decsion. 

Linking up with Erin  {click here}
Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Sunday 3 August 2014

Gypsy Wife {photo overload edition}

So glad to have got my scrappy Gypsy Wife quilt top together - I had a couple of panic moments for a while there! It gets quite confusing in the last stages of construction, there's a few funny almost "y" seam areas, but I  managed to keep all those vertical strips flowing nicely!
This quilt has certainly tested me and made a dent in my stash pile!

I ran out quite early of alot of my original fabrics, so had to find alternatives. You will see little bits of my stash throughout the quilt .. old"ish" bits & pieces from everywhere .. all mixed up together, including a few Anna Maria Horner fabrics, Denyse Schmidt,Tula Pink, and the odd Kaffe Fassett, plus a couple of very soft, very pretty Robert Kauffman/ London Calling fabrics which seemed to blend in really well with the original Japanese cottons.

Hey, and didn't the sun come out just as I was finishing the photo shoot!
Linking up with  Sunday Stash over @  and later in the week for WiP Wednesday with  Lee at Freshly Pieced

a bit more #17
for a stunning Gypsy Wife version using all AMH fabrics
and some wonderful hand quilting 
see Nicole's quilt here