Sunday 26 July 2015

scraphappy Sunday

It's a wet grey day here in Auckland, NZ today, so I put on some music, and got happily sidetracked in the sewing room for a couple of hours! I don't think its unusual for quilters to accumulate large stashes of fabric just so they have what they need on hand for that next scrap quilt, do you? Take Rita from redpepperquilts for example - to create the wonderful "scrappy" look she's so well known for, she uses many, many different stash fabrics, rather than just fabrics that have solely been rescued from the scrapbasket. 
And that's me too, this year I'm trying to focus on sewing with what fabrics I already have, scraps and stash too! Hey, how about you... do you cut into your existing stash for a scrappy quilt too?

I've had a little collection of fabrics sitting on my shelf for ages now. They are a selection of Suzuko Koseki fabrics, soft to touch and very pretty all tied up together in a bundle! But no point in just looking at them! And besides, we have close friends who are expecting their first grandchild in August, so I need to get a wriggle on!

First I drew up my templates using this drunkards path tutorial. I've been wanting to make a Drunkard's Path quilt for a while, you know how some things niggle away quietly in your mind. It's a traditional pattern, with lots of possible settings.

variations of Drunkard's Path

Then I spent some time cutting into my stash... mixing everything up, 30's prints, stash basics, recent modern prints, along with those precious Japanese ones too! I'm simply teaming up the lights with darks here in the 'rob peter to pay paul' variation, lots of repetitive chain piecing, using the 3 pin method, and trying to keep a sense of scrappy serenity
... if that's possible!

I've really enjoyed piecing this, I think I'll keep going and make it a bit bigger!
Linking up my latest WiP with Julie over here at pinkdoxies
 here for WiP this week
and with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here where you will find lots of scrappy inspiration! 

Thursday 23 July 2015

chez granny

The Digital Quilt by Louise Saunders
{printed with permission}

We had a lovely day with Olive yesterday. The museum was first up, at her request! Lots to see of course, but of relevance here was my first look at Louise's quilt up close & personal. She is part of our Monday Modern group and it was a lovely surprise to come across some of her work at the Auckland Museum. This quilt is composed entirely of images designed on Photoshop and printed as a single piece of fabric, then quilted.

Back home here at granny's place and Olive got very busy, rescuing this little pile from the top of the waste basket...

and with a little bit of help, voila...

Olive's WiP #1

A little later on things went very quiet, and I went looking.... there was Olive in the sewing room carefully placing fabrics of her choice together, using my cutting board as her boundaries! She had a lot fun! {Hm-m- m- not sure where we are going with this, perhaps I could introduce the 'scrap vortex' idea to Olive?}

Olive's WiP #2

We also had a bit of real 'quiet time' - listening to some fun literary nonsense, Olive's treasured Roald Dahl CD collection of wonderful stories!

And me? I'm taking some timeout from playing with fabric this week class, book club, Volunteer work, gardening
and, of course, lots more nonsense playing with Olive, & baby Evie too!

Sunday 19 July 2015

her small world...

My friend Glenys is embarking on her version of this sweet scrappy my small world qal
It's just her thing really, lots of little intricate piecing, perfect!

She made a great start on the low volume background, so it was all going good. 
We agreed the scrappy palette meant that she wouldn't have to buy new fabrics, 
her scraps and stash should work beautifully for the buildings and other bits & pieces.
But I think it looks like it's all just a bit overwhelming right now...
... watch this space!

*update: hey Glenys is on a roll now, here's the latest pic she sent through to me 
I suspect it's a bit addictive once you start this! 

And I found a couple of useful links here and here with more info about this QAL if you are keen too!
Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here

Friday 17 July 2015

jumping the queue {a finish}

close up of the lacy quilting 

I wasn't going to finish this quilt off just yet, lots of other things to deal to first. But, my daughter spotted it, and - you know where this is going to go don't you? - we know someone who really needs a colourful quilty hug just now! So I re-organised things, and jumped this lapquilt up to next in the queue. Probably in just a bit too much of a rush I think, look what I did...

 I was just 2" too short! 
*note to self - remember the old 'measure twice, cut once' rule next time! 

This is the second HST values quilt I've made recently, they are fast becoming yet another of my 'go-to' patterns for using up all those scraps! You can use value - the lights & darks -  in a predicable and repetitive way like here or, you can play a little more and end up with something a bit more scattered like I did on this quilt! {click here for more details & inspiration about this quilt} The machine quilting is in an allover lacy pattern by Annette de Raat, and looks very pretty on the all-solids backing!  

I found a few interesting binding links, there's lots around. This one here is a machine-binding-tutorial and seems do-able but I haven't tried it yet, and this one has some excellent binding tips for attaching the binding. Which do you prefer to do... to machine stitch both sides down or machine then hand stitch to finish off?

Linking up to tgiff over here this week

Monday 13 July 2015

values HST quilt {a WiP}

If you pop by from time to time you'll know that I love scrappy quilts and, like others, that I often have several projects on the go at any one time! There's been a few trial blocks up on the design wall for quite a while now, and I've added this to my FAL Q3 list because... I keep coming back to them... and looking at them... and wanting to do more with them!

my focus fabric - a Kaffe floral

the initial trial blocks looked very dark all together - 

- so I added in more lights 

 - hm-m-m-maybe needs just a bit more blue now methinks!

definitely still very much a WiP but I'm excited!  
-here's how far I got over the weekend

EDIT: I thought I'd post later about the details & inspiration for this quilt top but here's a few links meantime -
For a couple of interesting reads about using values, check out Rachel's post from 'Stitched in Color' here and Katie's post from 'Sew Katie Did' here. And I've found Jane Brocket's book great, it's full of colourful inspirational quilts, and she has a great talent for mixing it all up!

 Oh, and my little old Bernina is just zapping along beautifully with all these HST's! 

Linking up with Cynthia here for 'oh scrap' 
and with cooking up quilts for the 1st time!
and with Lee for WiP Wednesday
pop on over for lots of ideas & inspiration - maybe grab a coffee, you may be some time!

Sunday 12 July 2015

a little shopping and sewing

A little shopping...

 I succumbed and ordered a small selection of AMH Loominous 
from mad about patchwork in Canada
I think  I'm +ve they will blend nicely with lots of things! 

and the latest little bundle from Amitie stash club arrived this week
a pretty selection of 10" squares to add to my stash
Linking up here with molli for sunday stash 

and there's also been a little bit of sewing too...
Here's a few pics of my Bonnie Hunter's Leaders & Enders project
It'll take a while, but so easy and another great scrap buster idea!

I leave a pile of cut out scrappy tumbler shapes beside the sewing machine
all ready to chain piece together WHILE working on other projects
I'm sewing a light & dark tumbler together - 

- and eventually I'll end up with a pile of joined tumbler blocks.
And then it's just a case of repeat,
this time sewing the pairs together, you get the idea I'm sure!
p.s. sometimes I do make up more than one pair at a time 
he-he, I'm keen to get a few more finished to see how they all go together!
{For more explanations & more ideas also see here}

Happy sewing! 

Friday 10 July 2015

off the bookshelf...

... off Olive's bookshelf that is!

one of those special moments!

This book is a favourite of mine and has been around on the bookshelf for a while now, 
but Olive only just discovered it this evening! 

The Quiltmaker’s Gift.
'The Quiltmaker is independent and she has scruples.  
Ultimately, it is her clarity, determination, and vision 
that overcome the resistance and the greed of the king 
and help him discover a more joyful way of living through giving'

There are also a couple of other books with quilt patterns from the storybook
traditional patterns, lots of lovely inspiration
with a little bit of history about each block

- read more about the books here

Wednesday 8 July 2015

broken sewing machine

There's been a bit of a hiccup here in the sewing room...  

... My regular machine, a Janome memorycraft 6500, has gone in for a long overdue service. It was sounding terrible, and the bits in the bobbin case seemed to be rattling & jamming an awful lot. Mr D. has been able to sort it a few times for me, but I've known for a while now that it really needed to be looked at properly.

So, I'm back using my trusty Bernina Minimatic at present!
And, it's like meeting an old friend again!
I have had this machine for years, it's a good basic one, it just goes & goes! I'll just need to check the 1/4" for my seams so I'm consistent on my WiP's, but other than that, it should be all go again!

BUT while I messed about with sewing machines  
I put together my list - small this time-  for the 2015 Finish-Along Q3  
2015 FAL at On the Windy Side  

1. My log cabin quilt needs backing, quilting & binding.
I decided to get Annette @ Wild cotton to quilt it for me, it's really quite big!

2. The Daisy quilt
well. it needs the last few blocks to be made, then quilting, & binding
(I've got the backing already, a cute daisy fabric from Spotlight) 

3. and, I'd really like to spend some time playing with these scrappy HSTs!
I've got about 8 blocks together as a trial and I love them!

This FAL idea is actually working well for me too 
I find I'm more focused on improving my start : finish ratio!
and I AM actually getting things finished, 3 outta 4 ain't bad for that last list! 

... oh, and along the way this time, I'll be doing my leaders & enders tumblers
but no 'finish' expected there! 

Tuesday 7 July 2015

in the sewing room this week

Here's a quick glimpse into the sewing room this week, just a few WiP's to alternate between, you know how it is... as the time permits & as the mood strikes me! First up, my 'Beige & Red liberated log cabin' quilt, I'm busy stitching down the binding, almost nearly a finish!   

Thanx to info from Maureen, I'm joining in with Bonnie Hunter's Leaders & Enders challenge too! I thought I'd get busy & try & catch up using scrappy darks & lights... I'm only a few weeks behind after all!

And a little bit of stash fabric play! {I just discovered a great read over here written by Audrey about making scrap quilts & what feels good & right to you!}

... oh, and I'm still making more daisies!

Happy sewing!
Linking up with Lee for this weeks WiP over at Freshly Pieced

Sunday 5 July 2015

just in time

I picked up my Buzz Saw quilt from the quilters this weekend. {For more details & inspiration see earlier post here} It's a slightly more modern take on an old traditional pattern from the book 'fabulously fast quilts' by Amy Smart. I found a free tutorial here for the Buzz Saw block to give you an idea of how it's constructed.

close up of the 'interlocking circles' quilting
by Annette @ Wild cotton here in Laingholm, Auckland

I added a row of 'rejected' 1/4 blocks 
across a section of the backing for added interest 

Aware that the deadline for my FAL list for this quarter was almost upon us {the closing date is tomorrow Monday 6 July}, I decided to try & finish this quilt today... this FAL is very motivating, I use to leave the binding until forever! I didn't have enough left of any one fabric to use for the binding, so I pieced together the leftover strips I did have for a lovely scrappy blue binding. I managed to get it all stitched down... just in time... so here are a few night-time pics of my #3 finish. Linking up with Adrianne for the 2015-finish-along-q2-finishes.


a bit more #33
And here's an interesting piece from the history of toys and games...

Wood Buzz Saw Toy
The sound of the whirling disk lends this folk toy its common name of “buzzer”, although it appears in English literature as early as 1686 under the general name for spinning toys, whirligig. The scalloped edge of our buzzer identifies it more particularly as a “buzz saw” toy. In past times the edge was often sharply cut into a sawtooth pattern, but a buzz saw with any shaped edge will produce an impressive loud, whizzing noise when it reaches full speed.