Saturday 28 September 2019

simmering over a solution

When I’m in a stash-busting mood I tend to look for a simple design, using a large variety of scraps.The 'wintersweet' pattern by Jo from Frankie and Ray had my name written all over it! It's made up in a scrappy mix of floral fabrics and combines two of my favouirte blocks, 9 patch and churn dash. Having the two different blocks mixes things up a bit, keeps your eye moving around the quilt, and keeps things interesting. Yes!

I had recently added a few new designer treats to my stash, some of AMH's conservatory fabrics - all of which seemed to work together seamlessly, without being overly matched.

I decided to use these new fabrics and started out pairing up fabrics that contrasted so that my blocks would still show up when they were all joined together. And I also made a few more blending combos to help with making it look not too chaotic or too busy. Well, these were my thoughts as I sewed.

It all started to unravel when I had to decide on the first border squares, see pattern pic below. I tried placing solid 5" squares around for the border, but it all looked flat. Next up, a selection of squares using the prints from the main part, too much colour, too confusing.

Usually I love gingham and florals together, so I tried adding a border of b&w gingham. But, what looked good in a small sample, did not look at all good over the whole quilt ... it suddenly began looking like a tablecloth ... out with the quick-un-pick, double fast!

Nope, it wasn't easy at all. Firstly, I had started out with quite a different fabric selection to the pattern cover. Next, I hadn't worked out a colour palette, not even a simple one to lock in a mood or theme. And then there were all those uncertainties I had regarding that first border.

I've spent some considerable time this week simmering over a solution. I chatted with my daughter about the issues I was having, and I looked online to see how others were combining these fabrics too, see here, here, here and here too.

As you can see, I ended up making a couple of changes to the original pattern. Today I made up five more blocks to give me a total of 30 blocks, set 5 x 6. Unintentionally going for all the colours in this one, it's still a bit wild and a bit busy, but I do love all the fabrics ... {wink wink} maybe just not all together!

Next up, border options, but that can wait until another day now.

Wishing you a scrap-happy weekend, hope your projects all go smoothly,

Wednesday 18 September 2019

wintersweet quilt - up on the design wall

Audtioning for the inner border in the above two pics. The pattern calls for 5" squares all around, however I'm quite liking this gingham too. Which do you prefer?

I've made some progress on my 'wintersweet' quilt this week and all the centre 25 blocks are now made. It's a bit different to Jo's original here, where she used a darker palette as a nod to the colder Winter months of the year, and included her favourite Liberty scraps.
I've chosen to make it in my usual scrappy, boho style. There's lots of blending and blurring, a little bit of fussy cutting, and I'm also repeating favourite combos . . . it's a happy collision of fabrics & colour!

Next up is the first border decision, and then it's onto the last 28 blocks for the final border. The finished size is around 72" square.

When I started, was thinking this could be a perfect pattern for some of those wild and crazy prints that you just don't know what to do with. However, playing with these bold, multi-coloured prints has been both frustrating & interesting all at the same time. I must have reshuffled these blocks around a zillion times now, trying to get some balance, hope this is it. I might need a low volume fabric fix after this . . .

Friday 13 September 2019

abstracts & florals

Who doesn't love a pretty nine patch . . . or a sweet churn dash block? I'm using a mix of these two simple blocks and lots of AMH florals & abstract fabrics to create this bright & colourful busy quilt by Jo from frankieandray.
Alternating the blocks provides visual interest, and I found some solid fabrics that graduate in colour which really adds a nice extra touch too. After the 25 blocks for the quilt centre are made, there will be a border of simple squares and then another row right around of more alternating blocks.

More photos of my stuff over here on my instagram feed.
Linking up with Kelly over here at myquiltinfatuation for 'needle and thread Thursday'
Until next time, Linda

Tuesday 10 September 2019

a delightfully simple finish

A delightfully simple quilt top finish to share this week,
my 'Bertha' quilt . . .

The original quilt is charmingly wonky. You can see my early post from back here in June for more details about the pattern I used and about Bertha and her quilt. Deb's pattern is based on an 1899 quilt in #thequiltersguildcollection made in Keswick by Bertha, a boarding school house-mistress seamstress. And for more inspiration pop on over here to #modernberthamitchellquilt

Like many, making scrap quilts and working from my stash are my favourite kind of sewing. And, I’ve enjoyed exploring my scraps for this quilt. I chose a great variety of  pinks, blues, taupe & whites, some old, some new. I also included a few cheeky reds, which I scattered amongst the centre eight rows of the quilt top. 
I decided to keep this one simple like the original, and tried to use fabrics that were more tone on tone rather than all-out multi coloured florals. 

- down on the design floor

The chain piecing was delightfully simple and repetitive, which I really enjoyed, no calculations no tricky piecing. I completed the sewing in just a few batches over a couple of days. There may be the occasional missed point, however, I couldn't actually bring myself make any intentional uneven seams like in Bertha's quilt! 

My HST units finished at 6 1/2" and it all came together quite quickly. I chose to join these all up in a scattered values way, as a tribute to Bertha's quilt. I'm loving the random arrangement of this utility quilt, however, it would be so easy to use the idea as a jumping off point for any sort of light & dark play in a quilt. {Pop on over here and here to see lots more ideas}. 
The finished quilt top measures 60" x 72". 

My aim now is to actually get 1 or 2 completely finished quilts this month so I can join in with Erica from kitchentablequilting over on instagram for #septemberquiltfinishes . . . or maybe #octoberquiltfinishes!

Until next time, Linda

Friday 6 September 2019

"finding beauty in the ordinary"

I'm loving these low-key ordinary blocks, so restful.

Karen Lewis' book wabi sabi sewing is full of projects "inspired by the wabi-sabi ethos of finding beauty in the ordinary, repairing rather than discarding, and appreciating simple design".

Inspired by Karen's scrappy log cabin quilt and her ideas of using bits of this & that when we run out, I decided to make another quilt.  
I started out raiding my scrap baskets, using a selection of low volume scraps of mismatched fabrics, mainly in blues, white & creams teamed up with mustard and just a wee 'pop' of coral. 
I did run out of course, but a new infusion of low volumes this week prompted me to get busy making up more 12" log cabin blocks. And to add to the perfectly (im)perfect vibe, all my centre squares are different sizes. I kept going until I had 20 blocks, set 4 x 5., a nice throw sized quilt.
I'm planning on machine quilting in the ditch around the block seams, and then adding in free form hand quilted details to each block.

Linking up with Kelly here for 'needle and thread Thursday'
and here at alyciaquilts for 'finished {or not} Friday'
and over here with Wendy for this weekends 'peacock party'
Until next time, Linda

Thursday 5 September 2019

hexis on stripe

You may remember my friend Glenys and her box of hexis, see this post back here. Well, she's made up a large rosette with some of those hexis she was given. She wants to make a throw size quilt to be gifted back to the lady who gave her the hexis in the first place.

Today we pooled resources and started looking at background and border fabrics. I recently ordered the mushroom dusky pink & white Riley Blake stripe, too wide for my liking, but it looked amazing when we placed the rosette on top. And, we both loved the deeper rose 2" solid for the first border, but then the fun started.

We tried bringing in fabrics from both sides of our stash, modern and traditional, but it wasn't easy. We ended up digging deep into my really dated fabric baskets to find fabrics for another border, thinking 'something old' could be the best way to go. The 'birds and basics' fabric by Harriet Hargrave 2004 and 'blended traditions' by Marsha McCloskey were the running favourites, and then I found a couple more options.

Glenys is going to think about all these exciting choices over the next few days, and I'm looking forward to seeing what she decides to do. Have a peek . . .

 'birds and basics' 

 'blended traditions' 

But maybe . . . what about a Kaffe fabric?

or this French General one?

 I'd love to hear your thoughts too. 
Until next time, Linda