Thursday 24 December 2015

the best of 2015

Back in town briefly for Xmas day with the family... wrapping up the last few prezzies, getting the trifle layers done, last minute prepping for the turkey, and just a little bit of catch up blog reading! I stumbled across a new-to-me site, Meadow Mist Designs, where Cheryl is hosting a linky party highlighting your "best" 5 posts from 2015. It can be anything from your favourite finishes, or posts with the most views, to your best tutorials or best discussions.

Best of 2015 Linky Party

I've had a blog for just over 3 years now and love all the sharing of knowledge and inspiration! An added bonus for me has been that my computer skills have improved, and so too have my photography efforts! I have chosen to highlight my "5 best quilting photos" from this past year of posts...

First up- this pic was taken on our back deck
 'Fonthill quilt', maker unknown, quilting by Annette, binding by me

Tidying my cottons... all the pinks, old & new!

'Rail Fence' quilt  - this pic was taken at my sister's house, the 70's wallpaper my inspiration!

a wall of quilting cotton colour at Annettes, my quilter

and one last photo-
one of my favourite 'makes' this year,  'vintage spin' now all quilted & finished 

Linking up with Cheryl  here for the' best of 2015'


Tuesday 15 December 2015

taking a break

last 'bring- a- plate' all ready to go...
{quick & easy smoked salmon pinwheels recipe here}

a little beach-time EPP prep all done...

got a pile of books all ready...
Anna Maria Horner has done a great review of 'how to catch a frog' , see here

packed my flip-flops...

and now that only leaves one last thing to do -
"merry Xmas"
 from me to you...

Gone to the beach
- back in 2 3 weeks! 

Sunday 13 December 2015

bindings matter

Have you ever bought a quilt top?

I did, quite a few years ago now. It was a well constructed and colourful quilt top, a variation of Kaffe's 'Fonthill Quilt' pattern. I purchased it at an Auckland Quilt Guild show, but I don't know who the original maker was. I finally had it quilted by Annette and then it languished unfinished in the depths of the wardrobe for some time, not forgotten but not a priority. I always had every intention of finishing it... one day!

Binding is the last stage in finishing off any quilt, but I was a bit blocked here on just what to use. The fabrics in the quilt were all pre-modern - there were quite a few dark smoldering blues, dusky pinks, tone-on-tone batiks, vintage greens & mint-y greens, and an old fashioned lovely cheddar yellow! I didn't want anything that was too different from the era of these fabrics, and, while I loved all the colour, I also felt it needed something to lift the 'heaviness' of it all.

Bindings do matter, and I just needed to be clear on what final fabric statement I wanted to add here. Did I want the binding to stand out? or to be more complimentary? or to just quietly fade away totally into the quilt? 
So I liaised with my 'personal colour consultant' (aka my daughter) and we had a fun afternoon together auditioning a few fabrics from my stash. A scrappy binding was out of the question, I didn't have any of the original fabrics in the quilt...

- this was the closest fabric in my stash to any of those used in the quilt

Stripes have always been a favourite option of mine and so we looked at a few Denyse Schmidt ones that I had here on the shelf... and a couple of 'older' small floral & geometric prints... and then a Denyse Schmidt aqua dot that seemed to almost disappear totally...

... so, not an easy decision at all! 
We finally settled on a multi coloured Denyse Schmidt stripe. 
Have a little look...

I found a few useful tips & tricks for binding on Rita's post here
and check out this post for more great info on quilt bindings

-close up of backing

-close up of the 'twirling vine & leaf' quilting

I felt the stripe worked quite well in the end - it seemed to pick up all the lighter tones in the quilt, it shifted the focus slightly onto the mint-y greens rather than on all those darker blues, and it also helped to link up all that yellow somehow. You can see what I mean in these last few pics...

a bit more # 38
if you recognise this quilt as the one you pieced
- I'd love to hear from you! 

EDIT: I found out who pieced my quilt
- Juliet Taylor

Thursday 10 December 2015

vintage spin

I have a finish to share today, my scrappy "Vintage Spin" quilt

- mr D asked if I'd lined up the spots first!?!  
duh, I'm more of the 'perfection-is-overrated' school of thought! 

- close up of  'loop-de-loop' quilting

The edge-to-edge machine quilting was done by Annette de Raat
Crossing goal #2 off my Q4 FAL list
For a few more details about my fabric choices pop back here
and over here to see Megan's version too.

this week I'm linking up with 'scraptastic tuesday'
* needle & thread Thursday
and tgiff
- pop on over to check out what everyone else has been busy sewing!

* EDIT: many thanx to Kelly at NTT  here @ myquiltinfatuation for featuring my quilt! 

Wednesday 9 December 2015

scrap sorting & storing

We've lived in the same house for over 42yrs now, the kids have come & gone, & come back, & now gone again, both sets of parents have passed on :( and there has been a constant stream of newly acquired, but old, items wanting needing to settle in... somewhere... anywhere! Of course I've donated things, and sold things, it's more the sentimental things that remain an issue. And storage is proving to be a much bigger problem than I ever imagined around here!

My sewing space is no exception.
It's not easy sharing a small single bedroom with two desks+computer+shelving unit+sewing machine+stash! Ah yes, that stash! In my defense, you know you do need a lot of fabric to make scrap quilts, my very favourite kind of quilt! I mix my stash & scraps together, sorting by colour, then fold and store them in these little white baskets, and then they go onto the shelving unit, easily accessible and visible...

All my neutral fabrics get thrown into this basket...

And as I sew, those little cut off bits & pieces get tossed into this basket under my sewing table...

I even have a little place for those very precious Liberty snippets...

So I thought I had my 'sort & store system' working quite well here! But lately though, I've been migrating further out into the floor space with my baskets of scrappy fabrics, books, and WiP's, making things really kinda tight and very messy in this little room!

While having a storage shed provided a temporary solution to this doubling up of household 'stuff' {and it was all outta sight, outta mind}, it's been an expensive option. The inevitable had to happen, and this week we've been v. busy decluttering, detaching, and finding new homes for all sorts of things. The good news is that the storage shed is now e.m.p.t.y! 

And, I now have a new-to-me but old shelving unit that will be perfect for my sewing overflow of  WiP's, finished quilts, & books, thereby making more room on the bigger shelves for my precious scrap baskets ...

... oh and guess what? I can finally see the carpet again!

So, not a new topic I know
but it's interesting reading about how others make their sewing spaces work {big or small}
... I would love to hear about your storage solutions.

The book Sunday Morning Quilts has lots of practical ideas too on this!
Linking up with Cynthia here for 'oh scrap'

Sunday 6 December 2015

same pattern different result {update}

I'm loving this pattern, it's Chris Jurd's Emperor's Wheel, and uses foundation paper piecing for the New York Beauty blocks. I took a couple of goes to get the hang of thinking back- to- front, but it's so exciting to see the finished effect! 
Pop over here to see another version of this quilt, so colourful, and it's the one that really got me started on this particular little quilty journey! It always amazes me, how two people can use the same pattern and get such different results!

playing with fabric placement
- hm-m-m- I rather like this b&w pic! 

I have used a selection of AMH fabrics, mainly the softer pastel ones along with a little Kaffe, Amy B., a couple of oriental fabrics, and some basic neutrals. I was really trying to achieve a quiet contrast without it looking too out of control!  
After quite a bit of trial & error with fabric placement, the top is all pieced together now. And I had a wee challenge, to use as many fabrics from my stash as possible. I ended up piecing some small bits together to get the required size, but I'm sure they won't stand out. Making a few final border decisions is the next step, but here's a few more progress pics meantime...

 I do gift a lot of my quilts but this will be one I'm keeping, it has so many of my favourite fabrics in it!
Wondering now just what to call my version of this quilt, any ideas?

Linking up with WiP Wednesday here
and with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here
- where there's lots of scrappy inspiration to see each week!