Wednesday 28 October 2015

Green Tea & Sweet Beans {week #2}

I feel like I've made some progress this week with a few more new blocks for my GT&SB quilt...

Garden Path 6" block

Having lots of fun mixing up my stash for this project,
little bits of modern, Liberty, vintage - love how they all play together!  

a cute bundle of  Liberty- lious 10" squares - I'll cut into them next time! 

1st applique flower block

I've got a 1/4 yd of this pretty 'Betsy' tana lawn Liberty 
so I'm planning on scattering bits of it throughout the quilt

Along with machine piecing, I'm doing needle turn applique 
- h-m-m-m- it's been a while since I had to do itty bitty leaves like these, 
guess I'll get better by the time I've  made the 20th one, yes?!?

Double Pinwheel 6" block

So not a fast finish by any means, but very enjoyable watching it slowly grow. 

What are you working on this week?
Linking up with 'oh scrap' here and WiP Wednesday over here 

Wednesday 21 October 2015

WiP Wednesday

I've had Jen-Kingwell's 'Green Tea and Sweet Beans' pattern for some time now, but I'm not a big fan of applique so I haven't jumped in! Like many though, I have been following Lucy's progress over the year with her GT&SB quilt. Whenever I see a new post I think... enough sitting on the sidelines!

3 1/4" x 3 1/4" Propeller block

I decided this would be perfect for using fabric scrap pieces from many a past project so I dug out a selection of itty bitty prints from the scrap basket this week. And a couple of weeks ago I grabbed an online opportunity here @ westwood acres fabric and ordered their special starter pack, a little 'stash enhancement' to help kick this new project off. I also kinda like the idea of this quilt being jam packed with little bits of Liberty fabrics, and I've added them into the GT&SB basket too. So, I've had my fabrics all sorted for a while now, it was just a matter of when to actually start! 

This week, while recovering from a very nasty flu' bug, I finally began making these little blocks of 'pretty'. It's great having a slow project that I can come & go on as time permits and as the mood takes me. Loving the change of pace & scale.

6" Wedding Chain bock

6"x 6" Lozenge block

and here they all are so far together up on the design wall...

This week I'm linking up here with Lee for WiP Wednesday
and over here for 'oh scrap'

Wednesday 14 October 2015

meet my quilter {a picture post}

Lately I have been trying to do more quilting on my quilts, combining straight line machine quilting with hand quilting, and I really like the finished effect. But despite practicing, I still struggle with fmq. and my larger quilts are quite difficult to manouvre around a domestic sewing machine, as I'm sure a lot of you will know. And so today I popped up to Annette's with a couple of my latest WiP's all ready for quilting, and it occurred to me that some of you might be interested in meeting her.

Here's a little bit about Annette of Wild Cotton Ltd. 

Annette began quilting in 1997 as a hobby. She started out making two quilts for her boys, got nearly finished but began wondering if she was actually doing it right. So she attend an applique class and discovered she was indeed on the right track after all.

Annette's very 1st quilt

How did you get started with machine quilting?
I was getting RSI in my hand from hand quilting and I moaned & groaned for 2yrs! Malcolm said if we're going to pay that much for a machine, it has to pay for itselfI have been professionally quilting now since 2006.

Can you talk me through the quilting process?
I use a Gammil Quilting machine, it's computerised and I do mainly edge to edge quilting. I program in the pattern and details, it takes a while to set it all up. Malcolm is my 'technical support person'. We've both done classes in the States and he's learnt how to pull the whole machine apart, oh and maintain stuff!

measuring up the quilt

deciding on thread colour

deciding on quilting pattern

What's your favourite part of quilting?
I enjoy all aspects of quilting, it's my passion! I get to fondle fabric on a daily basis!

What sort of threads do you use?
I use two different brands from the States, one 100% cotton and the other is polyester because of the range of colours available.

such a gorgeous array of colour! 

What sort of batting do you use?
I only stock what I like using, from 100% cotton, wool blend, and a polyester.

55yr old golly

What are working on for you at the moment?
I attended a 'Millefiori" class by Chris Kenna in January at Symposium, Palmerston North, and so I've been steadily making this low volume version.

I did ask her a couple of curly questions too, things I've always wondered about... 
What if you don't actually like a quilt?
I like all of the quilts, 'cos it's fabric! Some of them are not to my taste but they are all lovely. I'm getting the chance to fondle the fabric AND get paid for it! 

Have you ever unpicked?
Oh yes. I'm a professional 'unpicker' especially if I'm not happy with what I've done and it's for a paying customer.    

Can we see some of your quilts?

This is my "girlie" quilt... only got boys in this house!

- all my scraps, the original is on my bed.

... and I see you have a few 1930's quilts on the shelf there, which is your favourite one? 

I'd say this one, "Simplicity"  because it's got antique hand quilting on the flowers
and a scrappy binding. 

Wooden cotton reel collection - from my mum, Malcolm's mum 
and then {a pause} I bought some on Trade Me!

And finally, any tips for us when we bring our quilts to you for quilting?
Well, ensure your backing is big enough (hey, I know I have been guilty of that one!) 
I've noticed that some people, especially beginners, haven't learnt how to do a few things properly - I talk this through with them when they come to pick up the quilt. Also, I've noticed they may have been taught "how to make a quilt" but have no idea about that final process of adding the binding, so I give them a quick lesson.

Thank you so much Annette, it was really great getting to know you a bit better!
Linking up with Lee for WiP Wednesday here 

Happy quilting! 

Sunday 11 October 2015

stash enhancement

A little treat for me in the post this week- a long overdue bit of stash enhancement!
First up, from the Fat Quarter Shop, a couple of Tula Pink fabrics...

a few "pretties" from the 
Fig Tree Quilts Farmhouse Collection ...

a fat quarter bundle of 12 different neutral solid fabrics, 
which will be perfect I'm sure for adding interest to a quilt background, sometime

oh, and a couple of weeks ago 
I grabbed an online opportunity here @ westwood acres fabric - and that arrived too!
A little bit of Liberty, a selection of neutrals, greens for stems & leaves, a few retro fabrics, 
a real lovely mix in my special starter pack ...

... a starter pack for what? I hear you ask.
Well, more about that very soon! 
Linking up with Molli here for Sunday stash 

Hope your week is off to a good start too!

Thursday 8 October 2015

2015 Finish - Along {the last list}

Here's my last list for the 2015 finish-along Q4. I have never really been one to make smaller items, sewing quilts are my passion, so things do take some time in my part of the woods. And finishing off my WiP's is where I really do tend stall... maybe lost motivation? maybe no deadlines?
So 'a list' is all good! And I'm making my list quite do-able this time -  the days are longer now, lots of gardening reconstruction requiring my attention, Xmas is getting nearer, etc.

  • My trippin' lightly round & round has now been machine quilted - thanx Annette - all it needs now is the binding. Gosh I'm so slack sometimes! 
  • The Greenfields quilt needs finishing too. I need to make up a scrappy backing, then decide how to quilt this, and then just. do. it! Oh, and then there will need to be a binding decision, and actually get that sewn too!  
  • And I'm really tempted to add my 'vintage spin' quilt top in here too... this is what I really want to be getting on with finishing RIGHT NOW! All I need to do is make up a scrappy backing, quilt it (somehow), and binding - so just a little bit of work love needed here actually!  

Still, I've never been a one-at-a-time kinda quilter, 
so I guess we shall see just what else I get up to over the next quarter as well! 
Linking up with Adrianne here 'onthewindyside'

Wednesday 7 October 2015

retro rail fence quilt {a finish}

Some WiP's proceed at a cracking pace
others linger longer, so it's really nice to celebrate a 'finish' , yes?

Busy few days painting this week out at my sister's house, but while we watched paint dry, I thought I'd take a few pics of my retro Rail Fence quilt. The spare room is next on the list for painting, but in the meantime it's the perfect location for a photo shoot of my finished quilt... check out the 1970's wallpaper!

Quilt Stats:
 I used Sujata's free form rail fence design from her Cultural Fusion Quilts book
Annette de Raat machine quilted it in an overall stippling pattern for me
and I finished it off using Amy Butler's Hammock Stripes for the binding
For more inspiration check out  cultural fusion quilts here

and this week I'm linking up to tgiff  over here at quiltmatters