Wednesday 29 April 2020

Today's agenda: crumb blocks

This morning it was #crumbblocks on the agenda,
and I've gotta admit, mindlessly sewing scraps together is really rather therapeutic
- and lots of fun.

Crumb blocks are not a new idea of course, however, there are lots of different ways to go about making them. I enjoyed watching Chris' @afullenglish crumb block video yesterday. He gave quite a few tips about making these including ... trust your stash ... and be brave, go for it and cut what you’ve done in half! WHAT?!?! {the idea being that by cutting the block in half, you can introduce even more fabric combos} Endless potential!

And so, totally inspired by @afullenglish and @laurie3.14 I started out making one crumb block today - you know, just to see - and just kept on going! I've got another pile of scraps & offcuts all sorted, all ready to piece now too. I’ll soon have enough blocks to sew together for a whole new quilt top.

p.s. the scrap pile is no smaller!
Linking up with Kelly for 'needle and thread Thursday' here @myquiltinfatuation

Until next time, Linda

Sunday 26 April 2020

what are you sewing?

I'm trying to play sew a little every day, thinking that eventually I will finish something. Over the past week though, I've found it difficult to settle on just one thing - more so than usual - so I'm picking up projects & putting down projects as my mood suits.
Still, while not actually finishing anything, it does feel good to have moved a few things a bit further along. Here's a little peek . . .

I'm using a technique inspired by Anna Maria called raw edge embroidered appliqué and am adding in more details with embroidery embellishments. 

Today I focused on the large leafy area in the upper right hand corner of my floral collage, adding lots of kantha stitching and some simple backstitch along the finer stems. I'm wanting to fill in the seedpods with satin stitch, but I need to buy the right colour thread for those. 
Next, I moved onto the larger stem that winds its way up through the collage, using a feather stitch variation in pink & brown floss.  

I love how a large print can create a focus, or set a mood, and I hope my floral collage provides a great centre panel with which I can work with later, maybe into a quilt. This handy grey & white spot by Kaffe is one of my “go to” fabrics for backgrounds.

I am enjoying adding these perfectly imperfect stitches onto my #lockdownapplique project during some quiet time. Nothing beats working on something and creating such amazing texture with each stitch.
Here’s hoping your Sunday is full of slow stitching too. Linking up with Kathy for 'slow sunday stitching' here at kathysquilts.

I got sidetracked - as you do - wondering how a few borders would work. To me, the large floral bouquet invites smaller scale prints to connect and interact, so I'm going for a log cabin courthouse step look, using lots of greys, with a splash of pink & teal.

I can see straight away that I need to get more variety into those grey & black geometrics. NZ is moving to L3 on Monday and on-line shopping will be easier, so I predict a few 'add to cart' moments in the very near future!

And another happy mess on the cutting table
- because I am very easily led astray!

I also spent a bit of time this week joining up leftover lengths of batting and making up a scrappy back for my 'norah' quilt. And then I got a real workout crawling around the floor basting up the three layers.

I started with my usual simple straight line machine quilting yesterday to anchor the quilt layers. I'm using a neutral colour thread rather than the dramatic black perle cotton of the original Norah quilt, as I want to continue with the soft sherbety look for this quilt.
Loving looking at all the fabrics as I quilt this. There's lots of old special strips from many collections over the years, with some bits of fabric pieced to make up a row, and you wouldn’t know it from looking at the whole thing but it all adds to the charm of this quilt . . .and that's what quilting is all about to me!

So that's whats been happening around here lately,
- I'd love to hear what you are currently sewing too?

Linking up with Wendy for this weekend's 'peacock party' here at wendysquiltsandmore
and with Cyndy for 'oh scrap' here at quiltingismorefunthanhousework

Until next time, Linda

Saturday 18 April 2020

the norah quilt {a finished top}

The Norah Quilt
I joined in with the current Sewalong hosted by @sunnydaysupply
My giant log cabin style quilt is made up of lots of different width strips, from 2" - 4"
I added two more rounds today, bringing it up 58" square.
It's a real mix of fabrics from over the years
 in light-medium values 
and I added in a darker {or brighter} fabric now & then to help with contrast. 
Simple sewing & no maths to worry about!

 It’ll be a sweet quilt for a little someone, somewhere, someday!
Linking up with Kelly here @ myquiltinfatuation

Until next time, Linda

Friday 17 April 2020

the norah quilt

My latest little obsession is the Norah quilt sewalong hosted by @sunnydaysupply. I’m going for a giant log cabin rather than the off-set centre. I chose darkish colours for my centre unit, to add a bit of drama! I decided to use a wide mix of fabrics in light-medium values and am adding in a darker {or brighter} fabric now & then to help with contrast.

It started out nice & easy. However, things got just a little tricky as the strips got longer & longer. After re-reading the instructions, {wink wink} I'm now sewing slowly, pressing as I go, and letting the machine do the work {so that the fabrics are not being stretched or pulled}, all in an effort to keep it straight & square. Not perfect but sew far, sew good.

As it grew, I started to relax and have a little play. Once in a while, I popped in a fabric from my centre unit to carry that out into the quilt. And as the sides got longer, and I needed to join my strips, I used a different but similar fabric occasionally. I'm also altering my strip widths from 2"- 31/2" as I progress. Oh, and I'm keeping all my cut off strips to join up together for a scrappy binding later on.

Simple sewing and no maths to worry about, 
I think I'll keep going tomorrow for another few more rounds.

Until next time, Linda

Thursday 16 April 2020

quilts on beds

I love this, Glen @quiltswissy is sharing some quilty colour for walkers out on their daily lockdown walks to enjoy. It's day 21 of her Porch Quilt Show, her idea on how to use her quilts to bring surprise and joy to our locked down neighbourhoods. Check out her blog for more treats here.
And suz from allthegoodonesaretaken shared her quilts from 2013, the year she decided to use what she had. Such a lovely trip down memory lane. 

So, I thought I'd brighten up your day too - just a little - and share a few of my early quilts. If you are like me, memories flood back of what was going on in your life with each quilt.
When you can’t get together with your quilty friends, or you live down a long drive like me, sharing quilts virtually is the next best thing. Our weather has suddenly changed now so hanging my quilts outside isn't an option at present, but I think everyone loves . . . a quilt on a bed.

First up 'Pinwheel Rosy' quilt,
made in 2018
145cms x 145cms & machine quilted by Sandy Mayo.

1/4 Log cabin quilt
made in August 2015- my version of a vintage handkerchief quilt
machine quilted by Annette de Raat

'daisy days' quilt made back in 2016, I loved making this one
machine quilted by Annette de Raat

'Bricks' quilt
made in 2016

Why not have your own virtual quilt show and share a post or three too - it's sew interesting to look back and see our choices over the years, how we've changed and sew on and sew forth.

Hope you enjoyed this eclectic mix of finishes
kia kaha Linda

Wednesday 15 April 2020

'Fresh From the Clothesline' quilt

Another one of the quilts I recently sent away to Leeanne from quiltmekiwi to add her quilty magic to was my 'square-in-a-square' quilt, aka "fresh from the clothesline' quilt. You may remember me making this one some time ago, hmm-m-m- way back in Feb 2018!

This quilt was inspired by the work of Sheena Chapman and a photo of a vintage 30's quilt, made up of florals and shirtings, in a gentle palette. I do love Sheena's work, it's improv in style, scrappy & vintage-y, she makes combining unco-ordinated fabrics look so easy, and she kindly gave me the measurements for her blocks.

I enjoyed using a combination of vintage and new fabrics to create this pretty quilt. I wanted each block to showcase one bright vintage fabric along with a variety of low-mid volume background fabrics. And you know me, I love any project that uses up my scrappy stash fabrics.

The original quilt didn't have sashings, but I decided to add four vertical rows into my version. And, of course wouldn't you know it, I didn't have enough of any one fabric to do all the sashing. So I mixed it up and used two different low volume fabrics, a Kaffe grey spot and a Jen Kingwell's 'behind the scenes' grey print.
I used that wonderful Phillip Jacobs 'tree peony' fabric for my outer border.{see back here for early details}

And many thanks to Julie from quiltdivajulie for the name suggestion, {you possibly don't remember suggesting the name!} 'Fresh From the Clothesline' ... brings to mind freshly laundered quilts out there blowing on a clothesline, using quilt designs with a nod to the past.

Fast forward to today and this quilt has now been all beautifully quilted in an edge to edge 'orange peel' pattern. I love it!
Unfortunately with the nationwide lockdown, Leeanne will have to hold off posting it home to me. Can't wait to get the binding on this quilt and hang it out there on the washing line for a real life photo shoot!

a close up of the backing . . .

and I've got my binding all ready to go . . .

Stay safe, kia kaha Linda