Sunday, 2 August 2020

the magic of fabric

In a mad effort, I finally got back to sewing something this week. I've been trying to focus on finishing off older quilting projects when I go into my sewing room during these winter days… and so I picked up my string 'spiderweb' blocks, which I started, hm-m-m- well over 2 years go.
I'm using a pattern by Kathy from Material Obsession, her 'popstars' quilt, which is a lively colourful quilt in her book Material Obsession Two. And there is also a great tutorial here by Marit from quilt-it. 
My blocks are foundation pieced onto a thin calico, and it's a great way to use up small strips of fabrics. The extra stabling fabric keeps the bias from stretching, and while it's feeling a little heavy, I'm sure if I use a low loft batting, it'll be fine 🤞.

I actually had started out using a very different teal blue itty bitty print for the background 'star' sections and a greater selection of brighter strips too, but when I relooked at it I wasn't happy . . . so it was back to the drawing board.

There is one great Kaffe book on my bookshelf that I enjoy a lot, 'Passionate Patchwork' which was published in 2001. It features lots of vintage quilts, they really are quite spectacular. The next pic caught my eye, the gentle blues of the vintage plates, pillows & a quilt, pastels punctuated with a little warm red and a few darker shades.

I put my earlier blocks to one side and started again, using these pages as my inspiration. I also recalled seeing somewhere out in blogland a spiderweb quilt {sorry for no link but I can't remember where I found it}, where the background was a light spotty fabric rather than the all-out brights in Kathy's pattern, so I tried substituting a white & blue Kaffe spot for my background too. 
It looked great, and suddenly, I was back digging deep into my scrap basket looking for more pastels, excited to move forward with this. Here's a few progress photos . . .

I'm using Jodi's 'project planner' to get me back on track, you can find it here @ Tales of Cloth
- it's a nice feeling to tick a few things off

 I'm also making my blocks a little bit special by adding some pretty selvages too . . .

String quilts are a great stash buster, don't you think? I love that the rings have turned out just a little bit wonky, if you look closely you can see that they don't line up all the way round {Mr D hates the fact that they don't all line up!}. 
I love those great big pastel spiderwebs, and the soft blue dotty star too! 
But... the best thing is that it's a real snapshot of fabrics I have used in many different quilts over many years, resulting in a magic mix of fabrics happening right now. 

I made up nine 20" blocks using mostly 1 1/2" strips, not wanting to go too big with this as it's been sitting around for too long & I want to get it finished now. I notice there is some bulkiness at a couple of the majors joins, but I'm hoping they will ease out with the quilting. And so here's my finished 'spiderweb in pastel' quilt top . . .

For a glimpse at a few other quilters also doing things with strips just now, check out Chris' link here @  #afullenglish  and check out here at #em'sscrapbag where Emily is currently doing a series of strip busting block videos on her YouTube channel. Also pop over to  #bebquilttreasures where Beth uses new and recycled fabrics in her quilts. Julie from quiltdivajulie here on ig is mid flight making a bright version too, using different bright spots for her backgrounds, and it's looking great! 

Linking up this week with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here.
Until next time Linda

Thursday, 23 July 2020

"Dear Edward"

Just popping in quickly to share my latest read, 
"Dear Edward" by Ann Napolitano. 

A beautifully written novel about twelve- year old Edward, who is the sole survivor of a plane crash. The crash took the lives of 191 people, including Edward’s parents and older brother.
Now living with his aunt and uncle, Edward is faced with the daunting task of recovering physically, mentally and emotionally. This story follows Edward's coming of age journey, as he copes with the aftermath of the crash. Woven throughout "Dear Edward" are the stories of the other passengers on the plane, from the beginning of the flight until the moment of impact. It's a heartbreaking read, a masterful study in suspense, grief and survival. 

You may need a box of tissues handy.
Until next time Linda

Thursday, 9 July 2020

from my place to yours

On the design floor: When the scrap basket is overflowing I default to making a scrappy quilt. Every. time. I'm busy making making wonky, scrappy 11 1/2" log cabin blocks at present. 
I'm using lots of neutral strips and muddy medium fabrics. To avoid a really murky quilt though, I'm including light lights and a selection of dark darks too... so yep, it's a bit of everything really!
I'm using vintage blue/green for the center blocks, in a wildly scrappy quilt like this, it can be nice to have a little touch of continuity. 
Linking up with Cyndy for 'oh scrap' here. Still many more blocks to make yet, but here's a wee peek . . .

A little stash enhancement: Way back at the beginning of May I ordered an18 piece FQ bundle called Wildflower Fields Bundle, from Melanie from Meander & Make, I guess not that many planes flying back & forth between the States & NZ at present. 
However, some happy mail finally arrived this week! A sweet selection of florals & solids from various designers. I'm loving the peachy pink with gold combo! With a healthy scattering of neutrals, they could all work beautifully together {the 'moon goddess' quilt here caught my eye}.

From my Aunty: As some of you know, I've had a busy month helping my 94yr old Aunty downsize from her house to one bedroom. It's been a sad & difficult time for her, but we did have a laugh when we got to sorting out her wardrobes … so many vintage bits & pieces, and so many stories & so much history. 
She was in the RAF in England during the war, and at the end they were all given a section of parachute silk. Her mother stitched Aunty's section up into a delicate soft petticoat & matching knicker set . . .

I did see 'quilty' potential in her blouse and her green & white striped skirt though. I must pop back to LeeAnn from niftyquilts blog soon, she uses recycled clothing bits & pieces in her improv work, so inspiring. 
And Aunty's {new & never used} vintage sheets will be perfect for quilt backings, and of course she had heaps of doilies. Here's a few things I've washed so far and made a special 'from aunty' shelf in the sewing room for . . .  

Our son & his wife live in Melbourne, and it was heartbreaking to hear the news yesterday, 
they have gone back into sudden lockdown for six weeks.
To all, stay safe, sending hugs & love your way. 


Sunday, 5 July 2020

#lindaslogcabin - a solo sewalong

Hello, hello. I decided to hit the overflowing scrap basket under my sewing table again and see what I actually had in there. As I sorted, I tossed up for ages about maybe making an all-one-designer quilt from my AMH strips & strings. Nah, been there, done that! 

Then I looked around at the mess surrounding me on the floor. Little scrappy strips of fabrics all tossed together, a real mix of designer, bark cloth, gingham, and a healthy dose of Denyse Schmidt fabrics, lots of cream based neutrals and muddy mediums. I loved the look, add in a few darker fabrics and it's a quilt just waiting to be made! 

And so off I went… making wonky, scrappy 11 1/2" log cabin blocks, with a palette very much inspired by Jolene from blueelephantstitches
I used my favourite shade of vintage blue/green for the center blocks. In a wildly scrappy quilt like this, it can be nice to have a little touch of continuity between the blocks.

Of course there are several layout opportunities, 
here's a few I faffed around with while I pondered my final decision. 

dark with light

light with dark


this way creates rows of mini mountains

fields & furrows

Love small patchwork piecing, the repetitive kind. 
Cut, stitch, press, trim … again and again.

and steadily sewing along, with four more today . . .

Aren't scraps amazing fun!
Thanks for stopping by, Linda

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

the easiest one in the book

With a little clash of pattern and some strong colours to stand out amongst the others … this little quilt top is done. The finished size is 126 x 162cm (49" x 63").
I've had Brigitte Giblin's "Feathering the Nest 2" book for ages now, the quilts are delightful. Her designs are inspired by vintage quilts, with a little more colour here & there. 
'Quilt dos a dos' is Brigitte's back to back quilt. The front is a scrappy combo of hourglasses, HSTs and squares and the back is the strippy quilt. They must be the easiest quilts in her book! And just perfect for what I feel like sewing at present. 

I decided to make the strippy quilt using an eclectic mix of fabrics from my baskets, including Liberty, checks, Kaffe, and anything else that I thought would create depth and interest. And with those sashing pieces cut in long strips, I’m hoping it will look like some wild striped wallpaper, adding to the handmade vintage feel.

Until next time, Linda

Monday, 8 June 2020

on the design wall

One nice outcome of all of this extra time at home - I have had more time to sew. If you stop by often, you will already know that I tend to flit from one project to another, and I also start new projects before finishing things too, as lots of ideas continue to bounce around in my head.

Now & then, I am also trying to pull out and make a little progress on some of the other ideas from the past few months as well. Quilts I started 'just because', not for the end result or to use up the fabric, but for the pleasure of making, and making what I love.
I remembered when & why I started each one of them, and how much I love the creative process of making a quilt - the fabric choices, the cutting out, the piecing, and the moment when it's all up on the design wall, so close to looking like a real quilt!

Here's a peek at what's happening around here, on the design wall & on my sewing table.

On the design wall is my next batch of 'flea market fancy' quilt blocks. Probably my favorite part of making these is the chance to play with different fabric and colour combinations. It’s like making a mini quilt with each block.

And then there were six . . . 

On my table – my cutting and prep station for a few more blocks.

As you can see in the below pic, my 'wagon wheel' blocks are still up there on the design wall. Even though they’ve been put to one side slightly, I’m keeping them out so that I keep working on a block or two occasionally. I’m still really enjoying these blocks, that pink fabric is so pretty, and it would be fun to get this UFO done.

I did manage to get my 'sidewalkchalk' blocks up off the design floor and all together. Loving this random scattering of colour and values

I was tempted to add a few embroidery stitches to this simple quilt, in keeping with the vintage crazy quilt that originally inspired me. However, I decided not to, as my version was always intended to be a more 'modern' rendition.

I did decide to add a little extra embellishment to my 'blueberry crumble' quilt top though . . .

. . . and true to form, I'm still starting new projects! I felt the need to make something just for fun yesterday. I received a small bundle of fabrics from treehouse textiles during the lockdown, a pretty selection of mainly Liberties & assorted plaids. So, with my new fabric bundle in mind, off to my fabric scrap baskets I went, throwing all the shapes and sizes into a pile on my cutting table, mixing and matching colours.

More on my progress with these triangles later in the week.
Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here
Oh, and I guess you want to see a full pic of my whole design wall, this will make you smile!

{wink wink} what is it they say about cluttered workspaces?

until next time, Linda