Wednesday 31 October 2018

'goodnight moon' quilt

I've been faffing around with lots of different projects lately, including another old WiP

You may remember some tea towels I bought ages ago, hm-m-m way back in November 2016? {see this post} While out for a cafe coffee one day, I did a little thrifting in a nearby opshop, and found a lovely selection of tea towels. A lady had put her special collection up for sale, all Irish linen, each one with crotchet edging, and I couldn't believe my luck.

I had a little play with a few trial log cabin blocks, mixing up some bright scraps with the vintage colours of the tea towels. However, I hit a roadblock. Something wasn't gelling quite right, so this WiP got put away, and I moved onto something else, as you do.

Recently though, I re-found this little bundle of glorious teatowels. I needed to make a decision
. . . quilt? . . . or kitchen? I decided to have another little play.

I loved the look of this unquilted vintage quilt, and I was able to track down and purchase the pattern for "Goodnight Moon" by Sheena Chapman from from the berryquiltandco in Australia {see here for lots more of Sheena's creative work}.
It's a scrappy quilt with 12 identical blocks, simply turned in different directions to achieve this improv look, great for using up my scraps & some of my favourite fabrics.

I had to ammend the sizes of the components a little to make sure I was using the best of the teatowels and, unlike the pattern, I didn't deconstruct all of my log cabin blocks.

The biggest change I made this time around was deciding to use a peach/blue/teal colour palette. I think it helps create some continuity across the quilt, achieving a nice balance, something that was missing when I first started this project.

I used a real potpourri mix of fabrics, lots of quilting cottons, contemporary & vintage, and of course the linen tea towels.Those tea towels were a little bit tricky as the fabric seemed to shift easily as I sewed, and there are a few different weights with other fabrics I'd added, like the Liberties and some other unknown vintage bits I'd picked up along the way.

Once I'd made up more blocks, I laid everything out on the 'design floor' and had a little play with things. My main aim was for the tea towels to look as if they belonged & not stand out, but I hoped they would be an 'I spy' surprise when you looked more closely. 

I moved a few filler blocks around and added in a few other different ones, and checked that there was enough contrast happening using a b&w photo . . .

. . . but at the end of the day, you just have to jump in and sew. So I've been busy stitching away, determined these blocks would become a quilt, at least before another two years passes by. 

- the final border is 'decadence' by Katarina Roccella, art gallery fabrics.

Just waiting now on some more Kaffe blue spot for the inner border and then the quilt top is all finished. A perfect way to spend a quiet day... lots of fun to simply sew something simple.
And, I've got a couple of teatowels leftover to use in the kitchen too. Linking up with Lorna for 'let'sbeesocial' here at sewfreshquilts and with Kelly for 'needleandthread Thursday' here at myquiltinfatuation

Saturday 27 October 2018

wonky stars & dotty florals

Today I thought I'd share another unfinished WiP. I do find letting things sit & 'brew' for a while - maybe a week, a month, a year, or even two - can work well for me. On relooking at things, sometimes I've found fresh inspiration and different ways to finish up something that otherwise would be left lingering in the wardrobe. Sometimes, I simply pass it on to my girlfriend to see if she can breathe new life into it.
Hopefully, my processes & exploring the possibilities and lots of pics might help others get some ideas for tackling unfinished work too. And you know, if I get a few finishes then I can start something new, yes?

After attending a workshop run by Sally Smith at my LQS 'all things patchwork' some time ago I came away with half the blocks already made for a quilt . . . but I never got around to finishing up the rest of the blocks. Last week, I pulled all the remaining pieces out of the wardrobe and set about sewing the rest.
There was a sequence to piecing and things went together really easily, why I hadn't done this ages ago I'm not sure. I've teamed up the main floral, 'lilac rose' by Philip Jacobs, with lots of spots, mainly Kaffe ones. I've also got enough leftovers here for a scrappy binding, which is always a plus.

Sally's design "stacked stars" is pretty forgiving and I was able to trim each block down to a generous 15" square. There were 16 all together, not just the twelve I had originally thought. I laid them all out on the 'design floor' and shuffled a few blocks to scatter the colours around evenly.
And then I rotated every alternate one so that there was some playful movement happening, which is something that definitely wouldn't have occured to me all those years ago

And while it's not my most favourite finish, 
I know it's one my mum would have loved, 
and so for lots of reasons, it does feel good to have moved this WiP along a bit more.

Linking up with Kelly for 'needle and thread Thursday' here 

Sunday 21 October 2018

sunday shopping and just a bit more ...

I don't often buy whole ranges of fabric, I prefer to personalise my projects by putting together a scrappy mix of fabrics from all over the place, however . . . this range caught my eye, 'English Garden' Rifle Paper Co. Cotton & Steel. No plans as yet. But it's so pretty.

This weekend I changed a few quilts around and put this 'leafyrosy in pastel' quilt on the bed. I needed to give this one a good shake out, it had been folded up for far too long.
It's interesting to look back at my different fabric choices. Like many, my tastes have evolved just as the variety of  fabrics available has dramatically changed.  
It's a well known Kaffe pattern but I didn't have any Kaffe fabrics, so I used a selection of fabrics available here in NZ at the time.

And finally, this 'star' quilt fell out of the wardrobe while I was looking for something else . . . I've only got four more blocks to make up, but I'm not too sure of what I actually did to make these!
I went to a workshop years ago, and there was a definite sequence to sewing the components. Anyways, I'll have a little play and hopefully things will work out. Then I can cross another old WiP off the list. Surely someone will want a dotty floral quilt, yes? 

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here

Sunday 14 October 2018

slow Sunday stitching

All the components are sorted for my 'tulip' quilt now - the improv blocks are made, the borders are all ready, and I've made the binding.
Spending some time today slow stitching, doing some needleturn applique, enjoying the process, one tulip after another . . .

. . . and then I'll be ready to stitch everything together.

If you are a scrappy quilt lover, these string pieced tulips are such a great way to use up some fabric snippets. I've used mainly Anna Maria Horner little leftovers for this, some of her earlier fabrics, with lots of those {everso} useful neutrals.

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here
and with Kathy for 'slow sunday stitching' here

Thursday 11 October 2018

how does your garden grow

I've started to work through a few unfinished projects lately. Ones where I can either bust out a few pesky scraps or maybe breathe new life into fabrics that I'm out of love with because they’ve languished in the wardrobe way too long.

You may remember this WiP from back here, these string pieced tulips have been floating around for some time now. I took a while to decide which way to go with these, red backgrounds or scrappy neutrals, and I had no idea even how to set them.
Not so long ago I spotted a quilt pattern in one of my old Quiltmania magazines no.90, "brooklyn follies' by Sheena Chapman. Her "new york beauty" blocks alternated with improv pieced blocks, something a bit different and it looked very effective.

So I decided to give it a go, and here's how it's all looking up on the design wall so far . . .

I've still got those three blocks on the left to finish up, with some improv narrow blocks inbetween, but I'm very pleased with how this is going. And, I'm thinking I need to add one more final outer border, something quite neutral. Oh, and I'd really love to add some green wide ricrac for a couple of the tulip stems.

My tulip garden is steadily growing,
and I'm so happy these string pieced tulips are getting a new lease of life

Linking up with Kelly at myquiltinfatuation for 'needle and thread' Thursday

Monday 8 October 2018

my 'Ms Bouquet' quilt

This quilt started out as just a vague idea - an adventure in improv - using a large floral for the centre panel and it grew from there. I didn't know where I would end up, but wanted something like you see in vintage medallion quilts where random strips are added, linking the colours one border at a time. Of course, once I got started, things changed with every round!

A few quilt stats:
Fabrics included a quirky selection from my stash of vintage, ginghams and modern prints 
I used an "Outback Wife" floral as my starting point, hence the name "Ms Bouquet"
The backing is an old cotton duvet cover and I used a 'basic grey' fabric for the binding
Machine quilted in an overall swirly flower pattern by Sandy Mayo
and I have been slowly adding a few bits of extra big stitch hand quilting, using no.8 perle cotton
I'm a pattern follower not a pattern maker, but enjoyed dabbling with a little improv
{see back here for early details}
Quilt measures 66" x 60"

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' over here