Saturday 29 August 2020

hexistars revisited, again and again

6 pointed stars... found in a box... long forgotten... some discarded... some new ones made

As a person who often has many projects on the go at once, a once favourite quilting quote of mine has been that "some quilts do benefit from being in the cupboard box for a year or more". But if it's been in the box for so long that I have actually forgotten about it, and that after seeing it again with fresh eyes, it still doesn't come together, well, what's a person to do? 

Full disclosure here - these hexistars have been hanging around for a very long time! I started this project back in November 2016, and I can't even remember my original vision for this quilt. 

The stars I had made were entirely from stash, a 'mix and don't match' look using lots of favourites, old fabrics, some Liberty & everything in-betweenwith the occasional designer treat thrown in. It's a happy combination of scrappy crazy colour, checks and low volumes. 
I do know, I had always wanted to keep the background setting fabric the same, which I felt would help bring the whole quilt together. However, I've changed my ideas for the borders & setting triangles each time I've relooked at this WiP over the years. 
I'm guessing now, that maybe, I just wasn't ever that much into it all along! 

But, I've still got 20 completed hexistars here, enough to make a throw sized quilt, and big enough for a donation quilt. Bearing in mind that I'm determined to use what I have on hand in the sewing room, I've been faffing about today with setting triangles and borders... again... and instantly, I knew which way to go, can you guess?

option #1

option #2

option #3

I hate to waste fabric and effort, and so I do try to get some result. I'd love to hear how you work out what’s worth spending your precious sewing time on? And also, what do you do if it's not coming together as you imagined?

Linking up with Wendy for this weekends 'peacock party' here
Until next time, Linda

Friday 21 August 2020

This week: making masks not quilts

The wearing of face masks has been strongly encouraged recently here in NZ while out & about doing essential shopping/doctors/etc. I think keeping up with handwashing & the social distancing are both a priority too. However, while no guarantee, it's looking increasingly like wearing a mask would be much better than wearing nothing.
I really resisted making a mask {sigh, sweet denial!}. I have played with a few different patterns over the past month, with varying success, and today I tried out a 3D fitted mask pattern. 
The pattern and tutorial from Maria the midnight baker was easy to follow. I lined each one with a soft lawn fabric and I'm happy with how these turned out. I made two adults ones and two child sized ones. Just need the family's approval now ! 

And I also splashed out a week or so ago and ordered a Liberty mask from Florence and Mary which arrived today. It's a pretty mask with the addition of a molded nose wire . . .

On a roll, I then had a go using another 3D mask pattern from I made the 7-12yr old mask first and then the adult size one, where I added a thin pipe cleaner for the nose wire. 

After I'd made one or two masks, I found this an easy sewing project. 
And, somehow it gave me a teeny sense of control in a world gone crazy just now.
EDIT: The new masks got the family tick of approval too, check out these pics . . .

Johnny also got very busy using up the cut off bits of mask fabric!

Reposted from @kimkenn5o

Just reading latest info, 
seems like a three layer design to provide extra filtration is now recommended when making masks
- seems like I'll be back making more! 

Stay safe outside your home, Linda

Tuesday 18 August 2020

a scrappy finish #3

And so here's a splash of quilty colour to brighten up your Tuesday. 

I'm still slowly dealing to the UFO's in my cupboard during lockdown and here's another recent finish, my 'stars & stripes' quilt. Grabbing a bundle of Rifle Paper co. florals and some cheeky stripes, I starting making up a pile of bold sawtooth star blocks very much inspired by an early quilt @treehouse textiles. I threw in a few extra fabrics from my stash to create more interest and the quilt top came together quite quickly. {see back here in March 2019 for early details}. I used a selection of blue fabrics to make up a scrappy pieced backing and a teal Alison Glass fabric for my binding. I had it quilted in an all over meander pattern by Leeanne from quiltmekiwi 

It's a small quilt, throw size I guess, finishing at 50" x 60". Lately, I've felt the need for a distraction from everything that's going on, but haven't had the inclination or the mental energy to work on anything too intense, and I've found making a smaller quilt just perfect. 

It's also a great way to try out a pattern or learn a new technique, or use certain fabrics without too much outlay, and often a smaller quilt doesn't require as much time to make. A small quilt is perfect for gifting to a new baby or to use as a wall hanging, adding a splash of colour to brighten the home décor. And it's so nice not to have to wrestle with a huge quilt top if you are using your home machine to quilt it. And, adding the final touch, that binding, is such a quick process with a smaller quilt! 

If, on the other hand, you really want to throw yourself into something amazing and a bit more intricate than a small project, check out these 'dearJen' quilts here and over here on IG. . . a puzzle of beautiful 6" blocks and skilled piecing . . . a real labour of love!

Love to hear your thoughts on what size quilts you like to make. Stay safe, Linda

Sunday 16 August 2020

a scrappy finish #2

And this is my second - just finished - scrappy quilt, my vintage 'square in a square' quilt. I started piecing this quilt back in Feb 2018, and it went together quite quickly,{see back here for early pics and inspiration idea}. 

The inspiration vintage 30's 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. And then I added that wonderful Phillip Jacobs 'tree peony' fabric for my outer border.

You may have seen snippets of this quilt already, most recently when I had it quilted in April by Leeanne from quiltmekiwi in an edge to edge orange peel pattern. 
The binding for this quilt actually started out on another quilt, but I had a change of direction and I unpicked it all and replaced it with something else. I sewed the binding, a Denyse Schmidt pink & black stripe, onto my quilt yesterday, and I think it frames everything perfectly!
The finished size is 62" x 54".
The fabrics in the center squares of this quilt were mainly 10" vintage squares that I had collected a few years back. I recently spotted some more 'vintage' inspired squares at Treehouse Textiles in Australia, so I purchased a small bundle . . . you know, for if  when I want to make something vintage-y again!   

Sadly after 102, Covid-19 free days, here in New Zealand we have another Covid cluster. Unfortunately it is centered in Auckland where I live, and so we are now back in Level 3 lockdown until at least 26 August, whereas the rest of New Zealand remains in Level 2.  

Still three more quilts waiting in the 'binding pile' so {fingers crossed} I should have plenty of time to tackle these finishes! And make a few more masks for the family. 
Stay safe, Linda

Friday 14 August 2020

a scrappy finish #1

Hello hello, I'm happy to share with you all a few quilts that I have now finally finished. I've been slowly dealing to the UFO's in my cupboard during lockdown. You will have seen glimpses of these quilts over the past year or so, and all have been on the 'binding pile' for a while now.
First up, my Carolina Chain quilt which I started back in early 2019. I made all the blocks and even assembled the quilt top. However, it wasn't until March this year that I finally had it quilted in an all over gentle meander pattern by Leeanne from quiltmekiwi

One thing that this quilt has taught me . . . well, reinforced actually . . . is that I do love a scrappy quilt. I love a zillion different fabrics all mixed up together in the one quilt, a real riot of colour! And I just love that Jennifer Paganelli blue border fabric #hardtofindfabric

Linking up with Kelly for 'needle and thread Thursday' here
and with Wendy too for this weekends  'peacock party' over here
 - and maybe pop back soon to see my other finished quilts.

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