Monday 29 February 2016

Gypsy Wife: a few more pics

Well, there's a lot of fun happening out there just now, have you seen? The Gypsy Wife 2016 QAL has started! We've all heard about it, we've all wasted spent time checking out everyone else's fabric pull, and we've all said we have too much else on, yes?

And I really wasn't going to join in, but... I am so enjoying playing with this pattern again!

Second time around though, I'm doing a few things differently! Making up the separate sections as you go rather than simply working your way through the book is so much more satisfying. Don't know why this didn't occur to me first time around! And it's so much easier to keep track of all those different sized ‘filler’ blocks by making them & putting them straight into a section! I'm also able to look at each section individually, trying to get a good sense of colour balance as I progress. 

I didn't have a ‘focus’ fabric last time, just went for the all-out scrappy look! I'm using ‘Tapestry Rose’ from the Hapi line by Amy Butler as my 'focus' with this version, and it's been really helpful to use as a guide for my colour scheme.

Fabrics are - so far- all from my stash, including Anna Maria Horner, Amy Butler, Jen Kingwell, Tula pink and a little bit of Liberty. Going for the scrappy look again, but selective scrappy!

finished 1st GW / new 2nd WiP

Oh dear, and what about those pesky long vertical strips? They gave me so much grief last time, and I'm still struggling to get them 'perfect'! Along with consistent ¼” seam and pressing ... the other thing I'm trying is not cutting them out from folded material, as sometimes you end up with a bow in them and we certainly don't need any more curves!
But the best trick I've found so far in preventing those strips from starting to sway is sewing one strip top to bottom and the next strip bottom to top, and to keep alternating ↑↓ as you add more strips.
EDIT: Great suggestion from Julielou to also try starching the strips before sewing, will give this a go with my next lot.

And there's a bit of a party happening on Instagram here, the gypsy wife quiltalong 2016
- pop over to see lots more pics!

Linking up this week with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here

a bit more #43
Saturday nite
and, just for a change, our bookclub all went into town
along to the annual Auckland Writers Festival  
to listen to Elizabeth Gilbert (of ‘Eat Love Pray’ fame)
She has a unique perspective on creativity, speaking about life, living in the moment and
"following the whimsical path of curiosity rather than staying with the uninspired safe course"

Wednesday 24 February 2016

(almost) wordless Wednesday

Linking up with Hydeeann & Megan
for Gypsy Wife section 1 over here

EDIT: and here's a peek at my section 2

Sunday 21 February 2016

stash attack

I'm always on the lookout for ways to use up my pre-modern stash 
and it's been my experience, many who receive some quilty love are so thrilled
- no matter what fabrics are used, yes?

This 'bricks' quilt was a pleasure to put together.
I loved rummaging around in my stash for as many blue stripes as I could find, 
I enjoyed the simple repetitive sewing,
and it was very satisfying using up some of those dated repro & vintage prints
along with some of my earlier 'hard-to-find' Kaffes

My inspiration was this gorgeous English Victoria & Albert coverlet made up of silk ribbons
and Kaffe Fassett's versions from his book, 'Museum Quilts'

There's something rather soothing visually about the simple geometry of rectangles
- and newly stacked firewood too!

My finished quilt measures 170cms x 140cms
and was machine quilted in an overall flowery scroll pattern
Linking up this scrappy quilty finish with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here 
and over here for Needle & Thread Thursday

a bit more #42

Sundays mornings around here have traditionally been all about baking for the following week.
The pressure is off to fill lunchboxes these days,
and admittedly, mr D. & I are trying to watch our waistlines,
but I do still fall back into that habit.

And this almond cherryberry cake was de-lish!

Thursday 18 February 2016


A text from Glenys had me out & about yesterday, op shopping.
She is down at Milford Sound but before getting onto the plane, she had spotted a little quilt
in a shop window.

- and look at that price!

-  the great 'colour co ordinated' displays around the shop caught my eye too!

This little quilt is set in 3x4 wedding rings. It's intact, maker unknown, and is hand quilted. 
There are a few stains on it, nothing a gentle wash can't fix.
The overall look is crinkly and certainly well cuddled!
I wonder which of Glenys' two grandsons is going to get this little find!

And it's made me stop & think too... I wonder where my quilts will all end up one day?

Tuesday 16 February 2016

why a design wall mum?

My daughter asked me this week why I use a design wall
and I had the perfect example to show her why...

... as I've been busy with a little bit of playing
- Victoria Findlay Wolfe  style!
Only, of course it's taken me a lot longer than the '15 minutes of play' prescription!

I'm using her new fabric line, Mostly Manor, for my latest project.
I was a bit scared well, certainly hesitant, about pairing up the brights with the stripes,
but I kept thinking "just cut it up & just try it."

There's a little bit of fussy cutting on some of the 6 pointed stars,
trying to make the most of the pattern.

hm-m-m- fussy cutting gets a bit tricky when you've only got little fat 1/4's to select from :( 
{but I did find some excellent tips here}

It's a pattern I purchased from Somerset Patchwork in Australia a few years ago
Along with the fussy cutting & improving my 'y' seam techniques,
I'm also playing with the values a bit, just trying to make it 'more me'

and auditioning for the background triangles
something soft maybe...

I love how the edges of some of the hexi-star blocks here blur into the setting units
and it's hard to see the actual complete hexi shape

but on the other hand,
maybe I'll stick with the bright n' bold look ...

For ages I've spread stuff out on the floor and we've all carefully stepped around, or it's been spread out all over the spare bed... sound familiar? While my design wall is quite small, my sewing life has improved dramatically with it and I couldn't work without it! Now, I enjoy putting things up on the wall, looking at my WiP's for a few days, moving things around, and taking my time about making that final decision.

And how about you... do you use a design wall?

Oh, and my daughter & I are still poles apart about the final decision on this one, but that's ok
She's having fun now too moving everything around up on the design wall
and I shall keep moving forward with this,
making more hexi-stars until I run out of those yummy fat 1/4's in my stash!

EDIT: Ah, now I think we may be slowly getting somewhere!

Linking up with Em over here for 'moving it forward'
and here with Cynthia for my regular 'oh scrap' catch-up!

and I'm sure I'm not alone with this, but I do miss my WiP Wednesday date
over with Lee at Freshly Pieced
- the weekly deadline really helped me to stay on track with a few WiP's!

Linking up this week somewhere new- 'WiP's On Wednesday' over here

Wednesday 10 February 2016

Kaleidoscope quilt {the vintage version}

After all that indecision for those corner triangles on my scrappy Kaleidoscope quilt, when I finally made up my mind, I didn't have quite enough fabric in my stash, gr-r-r-r-r. Usually running out of fabric simply opens another creative door, but once I'd decided to use just the one fabric throughout, I had my heart set on using that plaid.

While I waited for more fabric to arrive, I made the binding-  ah yes, it's definitely going to be the yummy cranberry red!

Then the long awaited parcel arrived today from Material Obsession.

And so, with Sol3 Mio on full volume here in the sewing room - and no dinner organised 4 tonight -
I started getting the rest of it all together.

This is a simple Kaleidoscope block, and the ruler makes it really easy! What I find constantly fascinating is how heaps of interesting things start to happen as more fabrics are added! This design is created with two blocks, both have the same pieces but the value placement alternates. I find it's most obvious if you look at the darks... they create either an X or a + in the center, can you see them?  

And then ... while I ended up choosing the plaid, what happens if you start playing with those corner triangles even more? Pop over to Ann's here to see - she's using different fabrics for her corner triangles & creating little tulips, and she hasn't worried about the 2dary circle effect so much.  Maureen over here is also busy with her version of these blocks, she is playing with 4 strips for each of her wedges. Hm-m-m-m- I can see my blocks are quite 'controlled' by comparison! Might just have to let loose a bit and make a 2nd one now   J

All ready now for basting, quilting & binding.
Linking up this week with 'Scraptastic Tuesday' here
and with NTT over here at My Quilt Infatuation

a bit more #41
I've also been busy baking
using up all those yummy Black Doris plums that are around at present,
the ones with the tarty red flesh
I used Annabel Langbein's vanilla plum cake, it makes enough for one cake now... 

... and one for the freezer too!