Monday 26 January 2015

over the long weekend

                                                           all-out scrappy                                        AMH + a few friends

Over this long weekend I wanted to tackle the overflowing scrap basket under my sewing table. I was going to sort my scraps by colour. So I dumped them all out onto the floor and began making little piles! There was one pile for the uglies, the rejected ones, and the way-too-small bits. And then there was a second pile for the ones I really want to use again & again... but before I had a chance to sort these out into their separate colours, I sort of got sidetracked! Again!!
I made a couple of trial quarter log cabin blocks, something I've been wanting to do for a while now, finished block size 12 1/2" x 12 1/2." {For some great ideas on setting blocks like these, check out Jayne's post here.} Not sure which version I prefer yet... the all-out scrappy look or the AHM + just a few friends version. Mr D. thought they were both pretty much the same! hm-m-m interesting! What do you think? Linking into 'Oh Scrap' here

Sew at Home Mummy

Sometimes not finishing things simply comes down to me losing inspiration. I messed around for ages trying to work out how to set the blocks for the 'classic meets modern' quilt, but nothing seemed right, so I put it away. However, finishing this quilt-a-long from last year was on my list {hey, you know, "The List" - see here for more details} so this long weekend I got it out again. This monthly QAL has been all about putting a modern spin on traditional blocks, and I wanted the setting & borders to reflect that too. I've pieced it altogether, added borders, sorted out the backing, and now it's all pressed, folded & waiting to go off to the quilter for some extra magic! So excited to be so near to crossing something else off the list! Linking up with Erin here - pop on over to see how others are progressing!

modern BB # 2

And then, really late in the day, I decided to make another block for the Moda Modern Building Blocks quilt. Good to get the two biggest blocks done now! Karyn (see here) has been busy with these blocks too. Our versions look pleasantly different, it's quite a lovely play with the lights & darks!

                                                       Don't you just love a long weekend
                                                     - heaps of time to do heaps of things!
                                        {here in Auckland, NZ it's Auckland Anniversary weekend} 

Sunday 25 January 2015

a family affair {WiP}

I chose from a selection of old tablecloths, tea tray sets & doilies from my mum & Mr D's mum. It was a bit scary cutting into some of them! Once Aunty Freda saw what I was making she wanted to add a couple too! We spent a lovely afternoon together going through all her own special collection. 
Rectangles cut at 10 1/2" x 9 1/2 " Log Cabin strips from Old New Fabric Collection by Lecien, cut 2" wide
Careful cutting of vintage fabrics was required - some were quite worn, some were different weights, & some of the fabrics shifted quite a bit. I selected parts that had quite a bit of white around the motif to keep the quilt light & bright, and would also allow for some added quilting texture
Single bed size quilt for babe Evie 

Wednesday 21 January 2015

gypsy caravan quilt {a finish}

recycled duvet cover used for backing

Late one afternoon this week I set myself up in the sewing room... fan on high, glass of wine waiting... and I'm pleased to report, everything went smoothly! The quilting on this takes a backseat to the busy fabrics. I simply did straight line quilting, using a neutral light grey thread, and then I used a very useful Denyse Schmidt stripe for the binding. Finish #2 , another quilt to cross off my FAL list!  Linking up with TGIFF here today @ Bolt to Beauty . Pop on over to see lots of other quilty finishes!

p.s. quilts are for giving
- and this one has gone already, to Gail-the-Midwife 
Hope she loves it!

more vintage inspiration {a WiP}

After making the last doilie quilt {see here for details} I then discovered that Jane Brocket also has a couple of lovely ideas of how to use vintage doilies. I had a quick look at one of her books yesterday and fell in love with one quilt in particular, 'Granny Takes a Trip' it was called! I can't remember all of her instructions-or why she chose that name- I was just flipping thru' the book sans glasses, but it seemed simple enough. While I have all mum's old doilies & tablecloths out of the airing cupboard, I thought I'd do a couple of trial blocks! I'm cutting them into rectangles and framing them log cabin style with strips from the Old New Fabric Collection by Lecien. Hey, this could be babe Evie's first quilt! 

Linking up with WiP Wednesday here
.. why not pop on over to see what others are busy working on too!

Tuesday 20 January 2015

pieces from my past {a finish}

anyone for a picnic?

My mum had a lovely collection of  doilies & hankies, but over the years they all ended up in the back of her airing cupboard! Not fashionable I suppose? and keeping them fresh & white without good old Napisan would have been tricky! After she passed away I always had the idea I would make something with them, just never too sure what. So they ended up in the back of my airing cupboard!
Then a few years ago, I spotted a quilt in an old NZ Quilter magazine, & figured I could do that... easy peasy! I compiled them into a quilt top, selected some blue & white backing fabric, layered everything up, and started to do some machine quilting. But it wasn't going going too smoothly, so I just left it!

On re-looking at that quilt recently, I remembered so many of the doilies from when I was growing up. And I realised I should actually get this finished! I've added more doilies, overlapping them to get a pleasing & balanced effect. Sometimes the overlapping was necessary actually- a few doilies haven't aged v.well! Then I did more machine quilting. It's minimal, just enough to hold it all together, way way too hot at present for anything else really! And now we are using it over the summer holidays. And remembering mum, xxx

p.s. Finish #1
yayee I can cross this first finish of the year off my FAL list! 

Saturday 17 January 2015

gypsy caravan {revisiting an old WiP}

                                                                                                 a starting point

Like many, I'm pretty good at starting a new project, but finishing it seems to be somewhat more illusive! So, this year I made a real plan {see my list here} It's a fun challenge for the next 3 months - hey, no pressure- but I'm finding it quite motivating and I'm actually sticking to the list so far!

The Gypsy Caravan quilt was already well underway, so I thought it was a good place to start. I had cut out the fabric & began sewing it ages ago but, for some reason, I stopped! I got it all out this week & got busy!
I used my little selection of Amy Bulter fabrics, mainly Gypsy Caravan, as a starting point.The name of this fabric range was my inspiration, plus I'd seen a few quilts out there using these fabrics. However, I really wanted to lift the tempo a bit, you know make it quite vibrant, so I infused a bit of variety by incorporating other fabrics from my stash. Now, in true gypsy style, this sure is a riot of colour!

Scrappy tactics included: 
I did control some of the piecing by ensuring the 4 patches had the darkest colour all going in the same direction.
And I repeated the large floral on cream & the light blue fabrics throughout to break all that colour. I also repeated some rows- mirror image kind of thing- to help get a bit of overall balance.
I notice now it's all together that in some places, colours and/or fabrics merged which I'm really happy to leave as is.
Linking up with Scraptastic Tuesday here and with 'oh scraps' here on Sunday. Why not pop on over to see lots more scrappy inspiration!  

Wednesday 14 January 2015

2015 Finish-Along Q1 list

The 2015 Finish-Along Q1 
Here's my proposed finishes for the first quarter of 2015!

  • Broken Dishes... yep it's alot of HSTs, but I'm finding that there's something rather soothing about simple repetitive chain piecing! My inspiration was a pic of an old well loved quilt made using feedsack fabrics, and I'm keeping it quite restrictive with my scrappy colour selection. This is one project I've been going back & forth on for some time now & I need to get it finished. 

  • I had a lovely collection of doilies & hankies from my mum, and I spotted a quilt in an old NZ Quilter magazine & I figured I could do that! I compiled them into a quilt top and started machine quilting, but it's not going smoothly! Am actually not too sure what to do next now!

  • Classic meets Modern... I still need to make a decision about the setting, then piece backing & layer it up for quilting. Oh and then do the quilting too of course! 

  • Well, what can I say... this quilt was well underway, I had cut into the fabrics ages ago but for some reason I stopped! I used  Amy Bulter's Gypsy Caravan fabrics as a starting point and added other fabrics from my stash to infuse some variety. I think I should get back to this!

  • Modern Buzz Saw, I guess it's a take on the old delectable mountains pattern. Now this is what I really want to get on with ASAP, but am just a bit busy with new babe Evie, and Olive, and making dinners for two households! But... I will get there! The plan : I've got a selection of cream & whites for the backgrounds, and am going to use predominantly pinks & indigo prints - with a sprinkling of other colours just to add interest. For the first border, I'll use that Kona Kale that I had already cut into long strips for something else then rejected them! 
That's enough for now, need to keep it do-able!

but wait there's more...
 I do have these long term, slow sewing projects which will simply roll on over into each quarter! 
{Do they count?}
  • Am wanting to try out Kantha quilting on this scrappy Stacked Coins quilt top. I need to piece the backing, layer it up & pin together first. And do a bit of research about this sort of quilting.

  •  Moda Building Blocks... I plan to follow the overall colour scheme, but am substituting some background solids with low volume neutrals, and using predominately AMH fabrics. I would like to make a few blocks each month. 

  • Lovely Lattices in Liberty... I've started machine quilting this, but it's slow going! 

  •  Green Tea & Sweet Beans... I've always always wanted to make this quilt! The fabrics are sorted and all bundled up ready to take to the beach for some hand sewing over my holiday. 

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side
Linking up with Adrianne  here

Monday 12 January 2015

slow sewing

So, I've eased back into the sewing mode very gently this year! Last week's Scrappy Stacked Coins renewed my enthusiasm! I enjoyed sorting thru' my fabric stash, playing with different combinations, the no pressure sewing... but it's time now for something completely different!

this first block is huge! 36"x 36" 

6" x 6" block

6" x 6" block

and another!

A few of us from the Monday Modern group are making the Moda Building Blocks Quilt, one block a month. Initially, I wasn't too keen, an all solid quilt doesn't really appeal, but then I started seeing a few that were quite a bit different and I was hooked! Have a little peek here for one spectacular finish! I've made a start this week, and am going to slowly work my way thru' the blocks, perhaps more than one a month, perhaps not!

Linking up with WiP Wednesday here

Sunday 11 January 2015

stash attack {a WiP}

just love that blue daisy on white, only had a 10" square of it! 

just caught the end of the late afternoon sunshine!

so hot here in NZ at present, fan blowing everything around...
but you can get the general idea of the finished top! 

Quilt Stats:
Scrappy Stacked Coins Quilt
1 1/2 metres purchased AMH Primrose in Sapphire, used as focus background fabric.{I ended up with some leftover too!} Cut 5 strips 5 1/2" wide x length of quilt. 
This used up heaps of scraps & sewed up quickly!
Scrappy strips cut 9" long & assorted widths
Scrappy tactics included - using a few blending AMH fabrics along with my own combination of older scraps to infuse a bit of variety. I played around with placement of the light/dark fabrics, and was also mindful of lining  up some of the geometric prints. And, to keep some sort of balance happening, I reciprocated the fabrics in the first and last rows but in reverse order!  
I'm wondering about how to quilt it now... I guess some initial straight lines to secure things, and then I'd love to do some hand quilting, maybe Kantha quilting style! 
{see last post for details re inspiration}
Linking up with Oh Scrap  here on Sunday

a bit more # 26
it's a girl!
babe Evie was born at home on Friday!
Mum, babe, Dad, and Little-now Big Olive all doing really well