Sunday 29 November 2015

putting your own spin on things

The Emperors Wheel pattern caught my eye some time ago, it's one of Chris Jurd's paper pieced beauties, have you seen it? Inspired by Alison from little island quilting and her colourful version, I ordered the pattern. When it arrive I began reading, and rereading the pattern. I tried to visualise just how it all went together, but actually, I'm really just better off to simply get busy and slowly work my way through it. So last week I jumped right in and made a start. Here's a few progress pics...

a little 'mod corsage' centre block 

a spot of paper piecing

 it's a messy business (sigh!)

After a couple of days break, I came back to it and began playing with the composition slightly
- I remembered that branches do need to begin & end somewhere!

auditioning for the background of my centre block

Centrepiece all completed & background attached

The centre wheel called for a focus fabric, it sets the tone for the quilt and is a good way to feature a larger print. I substituted this with my little bit of improv 'mod corsage.' I also then toyed with adapting the pattern just a bit more. But things have a habit of changing along the way with me, does that happen to you too?

I really did enjoy making these 'flying geese' using the paper-piecing method, so I am going to continue now as per the pattern, 'cos as they say... 'if it ain't broken - don't fix it.' And, I can see heaps of potential for still making this 'my' quilt, putting my own spin on things by pulling fabrics from my AMH scrapbasket, playing with colour choices, and creating contrast. Next week it's onto the surrounding pieces... and linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' over here 

a bit more # 37
if you want to learn a bit more about creating your own 'mod corsage'
 Anna Maria Horner's online course at Creativebug 
live Febuary 2016
... I'm looking forward to it  :)  

Friday 27 November 2015

mod corsage {my latest WiP}

Needle-turn applique has never been one of my favourite techniques, 
but I really wanted a feature for the centre of a Chris Jurd quilt I'm attempting at present.

I love all the inspiration Adrianne shared in her QuiltCon post a while ago,
in particular, anna maria horner's mod corsage block featuring fussy cutting, appliqué and broderie perse.
I'm thinking a bit of improv 'mod corsage' could be perfect for my little centre piece! 

Keen to find out more about that form of applique called Broderie Perse,
I did a quick search and here's what I discovered...
Traditional Broderie Perse is harder today 
because large-scale florals with white backgrounds are rare, e.g. like the old chintz florals.

And I read, one of the secrets for success 
is to find a perfect match in the color of the background fabric that you’re going to use 
and the background of the printed motifs that you’re going to cut out. 

Also, one of the best ways to do contemporary Broderie Perse is to focus on black,
like in this little quilt made by Sujata Shah. It makes the most of matching black fabrics, 
with a strip of black background floral simply stitched above the vase... 

(reprinted with permission)

... and I had a little play with the black background as well!

Then I found a great tutorial here for needle turn applique 
- worth checking it out if you too want to give it a go! 
And here's an excellent link looking at all the different methods of applique, including Broderie Perse.  

So, armed with all this new info, I thought I'd give it another go.
Basically I'm just making it up as I go along here...
... not sure about the end result yet but really enjoying the process!

Linking up with Ad Hoc Improv Quilter
and with this week's creativegoodness linky party
- pop on over to check out lots of lovely inspiration! 

a bit more #36
For an excellent discussion titled 'what really counts as improv' see here

Wednesday 25 November 2015

how cute is that?

My quilty friend Glenys is awaiting her 2nd grandchild and has, of course, been busy sewing... making this gorgeous little quilt. She adapted it from a free pattern, 'Paisley Splash' that she found over here at Windham Fabrics. She used this Kaffe fabric, millefiore in pastel blues, for the elephant and has done some echo quilting while having a bit of a play using her new sewing machine. She just needs to add the binding now and then it's all done, all ready for the new little baby due in January!
... H-m-m- I'm guessing it's a boy!

Too cute! 
Linking up to WiP Wednesday here at freshlypieced

Sunday 22 November 2015

Green Tea {making progress}

Jen Kingwell's quilts all have that vintage-y, thrifted look about them that I am really loving just now! Green Tea & Sweet Beans is no exception. It's basically a scrappy sampler quilt put together in quite a unique way. Jen's version looks like nothing was bought especially to make her quilt, but rather, simply collected over quite a long bit of time.
I too, am digging deep into years of my scrappy stash. I'm trying to mix up all the fabric styles, contemporary with traditional, 30's, reproduction, vintage, Japanese, and a little bit of Liberty - along with an eclectic mix of spots, florals, stripes, text, etc.
Lovin' this, it's whimsical & very pretty, just perfect for what I want to be sewing some days.

4 1/2" Orange Peel trial block

Some 'slow sewing' now to finish the other 6 little Orange Peel blocks!

Whew, at last, a couple of larger blocks...

Tulip 12" block

Poppie 6" block

I've had a few questions about my progress, so I thought I'd share a little bit about how I'm going with things. I'm tracing & drawing up the templates on photocopy paper and then adding the 1/4" to each one. 

There is quite a bit of fiddly little piecing, and my construction process differs in some places to the pattern. Depending on the block, I'm using a combination of machine piecing, EPP, needle turn applique (a wee challenge!) and a little paper piecing, really whatever suits at the time.
For some blocks, e.g. Tulip, careful cutting out is needed, as some of the pieces need to be cut individually with the fabric facing up. I'm making my own bias strips for some of the stems, controlled organic (!!) and some knowledge of insetting y- seams is needed.

Things don't always go too smoothly! Take today for example... after a couple of go's of unpicking & resewing the Day Lily block, I did end up finishing off my machine-pieced block by hand. I've been following the sequence in the book pretty closely over these last few weeks, and I may let things just simmer slowly for a bit now...

Day Lily 12" block
h-m-m- orange and pink could be my new favorite colour combination!

... but on the other hand, I'm really keen to put at least one section together! 
Linking up this week with 'fabric frenzy friday' over here
and with 'oh Scrap' here

Happy sewing! 

Friday 20 November 2015

it's not easy, is it?

It's not easy, is it... buying fabric for someone else? 
It's not just the decision making, which is tricky I admit
but also all the mucking around getting somewhere in a new environment.

Glenys has just come home from a trip over to Australia visiting her little grandson, and she went shopping just for me! I had been trying to source a pattern by Judy Newman, and sent her details about a shop that was possibly near her, Quiltsmith. She replied "no problem, I've got a spare day."
Long story short, she caught three buses, came across a couple of rather unhelpful bus drivers, tiki-toured around Sydney for half a day, helped a distraught mum, baby & toddler on & off a bus with pram, and finally found the shop! After a well earned coffee, she had a great time strolling around the shop, it was huge apparently, with heaps of fabric, heaps of variety! And she did some excellent shopping!

from the left, Aunt Grace by Judie Rothermel
a Downton Abbey pink (timely!) 
plus two very pretty unknowns, perfect for my GT&SB blocks

And these lovely vintage feedsack fabrics, charming in any scrappy quilt! 

my pick of the bunch!

Not sure how the $NZ is against the $Auzzie at present, but I'm loving all these little finds
and they will be great additions to my fabric stash! 

Wednesday 18 November 2015

WiP Wednesday

You can guess what I'll be doing in the evenings this week
while I catch up watching Downton Abbey
Linking up with WiP Wednesday here at freshlypieced

Sunday 15 November 2015

a finish, a start, and a-bit-more-of-the-same

Are you like me, and love your quilts being used on a daily basis? My "trippin' lightly round & round" is now finished, and off down to the bach at the beach, where it will really get that 'homemade' look & feel pretty quickly!

This quilt is a traditional design but with a minimal colour scheme to give it a bit of a modern twist. It has been folded up on the chair for a few months, waiting to have the binding stitched down. I have been a bit slow finishing off things in the past, but actually once I started hand stitching, I found I was really enjoying this final stage of quilt making! It's so nice to spend some time slowly finishing a project, looking at the various fabrics and the design...

scrappy pieced backing

close -up of machine quilting by Annette de Raat  

... and so nice to be able to tick this first project off my FAL Q4 list!

Earlier in the week, I made a start on a new project. Inspired by that lovely quilt in my last post, I'm trying to combine a few ideas here. I dug out some leftover blocks from a recent Modern Wedge workshop I attended and added some 'mod' broderie perse, and I'm playing with a pattern I've been wanting to adapt for sometime now. Something like improv doesn't come instinctively or easily to me...

... I will let you know how I get on!
Linking up here for quilty inspiration #8
and here for 'off the wall Friday' 

And just a little bit more GT&SB action before I finish up today. I'm mixing up many years of collected fabrics, sifting through my scrap basket and finding some long forgotten treasures! Lots of fun, and just a wee challenge to get them all to work well together!
I'm taking my time with this project, really enjoying each little step and making the most of those occasional moments just to sit & sew. Linking up with 'oh scrap' over here at 'quilting is more fun than housework'

two  6" Churn dash blocks

Kaffe meets Ms Kingwell!

two 8" Drunkards Path blocks

So lots of WiP's to share today, all in various stages.
Happy Sewing! 

Friday 13 November 2015


broderie perse...

nah, not my cup of tea at all - 
until I spotted a pic on Instagram
and fell in love with this quilt!

But what's really good for us here in NZ, 
is that her online course at Creativebug for 'Mod Corsage' will go live next year in Feb. 11 :) 
Her other bit of news is that she has developed 
a whole new collection of fabrics called Mod Corsage, to be shipped in May of next year 
The fabrics are all designed in a way that helps to build the components of this improv, floral quilt style.

Heaps of inspiration & great things to look forward to, yes? 
Right now though it's time for a little improv and play around here I think! 
{pic & info shared with Anna's approval}

a bit more # 35
pop over here for more broderie perse images

Monday 9 November 2015

some slow Sunday sewing

Just for a change...
I opted for some hand sewing today rather than machine
I began making up the hexi section of my Green Tea & Sweet Beans quilt

Enjoying each step of the process 
piecing teeny tiny seams
sifting through my fabric scraps 
and again

Taking my time 
feet up 
loving the sunshine

 Such a lovely way 
to spend a quiet sunny Sunday afternoon! 

et voila, one hexi panel - done!
Linking up this week here for 'slow Sunday stitching' and 'oh scrap' here

And here's all the blocks for my GT&SB project so far.
Also linking up with WiP Wednesday here at freshlypieced