Tuesday 28 June 2016

new blocks-old idea

Today I've been making up a few new blocks combining checks & florals together, an idea I've wanted to try for ages. These are LeeAnn inspired 1/4 log cabin blocks. I'm trying to sticking to a limited palette and using an assortment of mr D's old work shirts, along with fabrics from my stash. It's a bit quirky, or maybe mismatched, anyway, I'm loving it so far...

... and I think I'll keep going!
Linking up to "sewcuteTuesday' here this week
and for show & tell with Lorna over here

Sunday 26 June 2016

'A' quilt from 'a' book

This weekend I have been busy finishing off another older WiP, this pretty pastel quilt which I had begun way back in July 2013.The pattern is one of Kaffe's from his 'Museum Quilts' book, and while I certainly haven't 'quilted the book' I have made a couple of quilts over the years from this wonderfully inspiring book.

Lately, I've been looking at many of the quilts in my books with 'fresh eyes'. We've all got very different stashes & different ways of combining colour, and I'm sure some of you will agree, using up the stash can be sew satisfying! If like me too, you love a scrappy quilt, and try & make your initial fabric decisions based on what you have available at home, then no two quilts will end up the same, even if they did come from the same book... and what better way to add a wee bit of individuality to our quilts!

border, backing & binding close-up

quilt stats:
binding is a Kaffe Marquee stripe in pastel, luckily I had just enough!
the allover loop pattern quilting was by Annette.
quilt measurements 170cms x 170cms
this quilt is off on it's way already to a new home!
Linking up with Cynthia here for 'oh scrap' 
and to needle and thread Thursday over here at myquiltinfatuation

a bit more #49
My daughter recently bought me another lovely new book
Mixing Quilt Elements by Kathy Doughty 
It's full of stash busting projects... mixing up techniques... and eclectic fabric combinations!

Thursday 23 June 2016

mainly amy {a finished quilt}

This week I've been spending a bit more time finishing what I've started...

I do enjoy working on a quilt when I have someone specifically in mind to give it too. While I sew, I think about that person, in this case a 'little person' named Claudia, and it sort of feels like the quilt is theirs already, do you know what I mean? 
Before the quilt disappears off to it's new home, I grabbed a small window of sunshine today and popped up to the village for a few last photos...

'mainly amy' is my version of a simple pattern from filminthefridge, made up of rectangles set in 'two by four' blocks- the fabrics & colour are the real focus! I used mainly Amy Butler fabrics, scrappy strips and fat 1/4's with chunks cut out of them. They are from her different collections over the past few years, going back to 2003 when 'gypsy caravan' first came out. Now & then I ran out of fabric, as you do, so I substituted something similar, which all just adds to its vintage-y charm I think!
Love that butcher's bicycle! {The lady butcher had bought it for her husband- a butcher too- but he didn't want it, so she puts it outside their shop each day}

For the backing I used a piece of Denyse Schmidt fabric from Spotlight. And lately I've been joining my pieces of batting together on the machine, using a long slow curve which I think I saw on a Jen Kingwell video somewhere, works well.

When it came to the quilting, I simply followed the lines of the blocks... I wouldn't win any prizes for my quilting {sigh} but it's functional, and the quilt is stabilized, and I think the fabrics still remain the feature.

{all pics taken with permission}

Linking  up for Needle & Thread Thursday here
and tgiff over here this week at whimsandfancies

Saturday 18 June 2016

take a bundle of 5" squares....

Last week I broke out my Cotton & Steele that had just been waiting for the 'right' project. I have a variety of different fabrics, small amounts from different collections in the C&S range, and they do all seem to co ordinate well together. I narrowed things down a bit, using a colour scheme of blues and orange, and the occasional 'pops' of jade.

I decided to try out the 'cut up 9 patch' idea, it looked quite quick & easy, perfect for some in-between sewing today. I had cut out lots of 5" squares earlier, and all that was needed today was to throw in the odd low volume lighter fabric and a few others that blended well. After making up the 9patch blocks, you slice & shuffle them around, and then sew them all back together into blocks again. I loved both Heather and Karyn's versions {see here and here} Heather's inspiring version is a development of Quilting in the Rain's Home Sweet Home quilt.


After making a couple of blocks up, I did wonder what was going on, but I checked in with Karyn who reassured me this was how it was supposed to go! It's an interesting pattern - only the very centres line up. Everything else doesn't... Glenys, don't look... you won't be happy at all with this!

I must confess I got a bit bored making these up, so I called it a day when I reached a reasonable size. Next up, making a decision about those setting triangles so I can get it all up off the "design floor"... hm-m-m- do I go light or dark?

Looking at it now, it does all look quite scrapalicious! 
Linking up with Cynthia here for 'oh scrap' 
and for show & tell over here at sewfreshquilts

Thursday 16 June 2016

weekly snapshot

what I'm currently working on...
  • is this busy jumbled up scrappy quilt, my favourite kinda quilt!
  • I initially wanted more of a real random look like this quilt here, but things just weren't gelling all that well. So I settled on Rachel from stitchedincolor's tried & true formula for her 'penny patch' quilt {tutorial here}. And after rummaging back through my stash I came across two large pieces of fabric that were perfect for this- AMH's 'social climber' and an old Denyse Schmidt floral. Both yummy fabrics, very surprised I hadn't used them all up by now!
  • Now my colour scheme is all worked out, it'll be quite quick to piece which is good as I have a bit of deadline for this project!

what I'm currently planning...
  • is to experiment a bit more. I made up a few blocks and - inspired by Heather and Karyn {here and here} - I bravely sliced them up, and then rejigged them back together again! I broke out my Cotton & Steel fabrics in blues & orange, with a 'pop' of teal. Stop by again soon to see more!

what I'm currently reading & about to read...
  • 'The Swimming Pool' by Louise Candlish. Initially this book seemed all about the one person striving to fit in with the 'right' set and I nearly didn't continue, but glad I did. As the book progressed it became addictively dark, and I was guessing right up to the end!

and what I'm currently loving...
  • is a good dose of 'culture' over the winter months! This week I'm off to the opening night of the fairytale opera, 'the magic flute'. I hear it's a brilliant production with a mainly NZ cast.

More Info AboutThe Magic Flute
*EDIT: opera + comedy = an amazing nite out!

Keep warm and why not do something just for you too this week!

Linking up for show & tell here at SewFreshQuilts

Sunday 12 June 2016

finishing my quilts

You know me, I can't just work on one thing at a time- but the result is I seem to go forever without actually finishing anything, and then suddenly wow, there are a couple of finishes!

Earlier this week I got 'the call', it was Annette from 'wild cotton quilting' to say my two quilts were ready! I had the bindings all made up ready & waiting, so I dropped everything I was working on, and this weekend I added the bindings. And now I've got two finishes to share, finally!

First up Kaleidoscope quilt, the vintage version
It's quilted in a loose meandering pattern which gives the quilt a lovely soft cuddly feel
without adding or taking anything away from the fabrics that are the feature of this quilt.

And another real finish, my 'improv moderne' quilt
Quite by accident, this quilt ended up with an interesting melding of different elements
... an eclectic mix of fabrics with improv style piecing,
traditional paisley quilting, a recycled sheet for the backing, and an old calico print for the binding
{here's the link if you want more details about my inspiration & process}

oh, and I had a little help today with this photo shoot...

- recycled sheet for backing

- close up of the paisley quilting

But, but, but... 
I've still got this little quilt top stack to deal to yet!

These are throw sized quilts, ones I can mange on my own sewing machine
A few are all layered up ready with backing, batting and pinned
and three are quilt tops only 
... oh dear, please tell me I'm not the only one with a quilt top stack like this :)

Linking up with 'oh scrap' here at QuiltingisMoreFunthanHousework
'moving it forward' here at Em'sScrapbag

Saturday 4 June 2016

Thursday 2 June 2016

out of the wardrobe {finally}

... somehow I deleted yesterday's ramblings!
So here, briefly, is version #2 of 'the lost post'

'Throwback Thursday' on the first Thursday of each month is a chance to link up a blog post about a project from your dark, quilty past. So I thought it was time to get this quilt out of the wardrobe for a bit of an airing.

It's a traditional quilt I made a while back, maybe almost 10 yrs ago. I remember buying the fabrics from Cheryl at 'allthingspatchwork' my not-so-local patchwork shop. They were a range from 'In the Beginning' and I think it was what we called a 'blended' quilt, where the colours all kinda merged.

But the overriding reddish-brown look of the finished quilt dominated too much, it just didn't do it for me, and the quilt ended up on the shelf in the wardrobe, unused. And I must say, over the following years, I tended to avoid using many brown fabrics.  

Revisiting older quilts can be heartening though. I can see real changes over the years in my colour choices and improvements in my piecing skills.
And, the good news is that this quilt isn't going back into the wardrobe! I'm gifting it to my 90yr old aunty, who earlier this week passed on several vintage pieces to me after cleaning out her cupboards. She can rug up warm with it while she watches T.V. sitting in front of her very old Conray heater!

AND, I'm also rethinking brown these days too. Little bits of brown are slowly creeping back into my quilts more & more, it seems to add a warmth, a good down-to-earth feeling.  Really, it's not 'just brown' is it? There's chestnut brown, creamy caramello brown, purple-y eggplant brown, tawny brown, cocoa brown...

... do you use the colour brown in your quilts?

Linking up this week with Lorna for 'show & tell' over here at sewfreshquilts
And linking up for 'throwback Thursday' here at quarterinchfromtheedge