Tuesday 29 December 2020

summertime reading


"Daisy Jones and the Six" by Taylor Jenkins Reid is such a good read. I fell in love with Daisy and couldn't put it down until I got to the end.

 It's a novel that transports you back to the music scene of the Fleetwood Mac era, about the whirlwind rise of an iconic 1970s rock group and their beautiful lead singer, revealing the mystery behind their infamous break up.
And it's a love story, where everyone remembers the truth differently! 

"The Survivors" is Jane Harper's latest book. It's a stand alone mystery, in which a small Australian town's secrets begin to totally unravel. 

"Kieran Elliott’s life changed forever on a single day when a reckless mistake led to devastating consequences. The guilt that still haunts him resurfaces during a visit with his young family to the small coastal community he once called home.
Kieran’s parents are struggling in a town where fortunes are forged by the sea. Between them all is his absent brother, Finn.
When a body is discovered on the beach, long-held secrets threaten to emerge. A sunken wreck, a missing girl, and questions that have never washed away..."

Sally Hepworth hits it out of the park as usual with this engrossing and brilliant psychological thriller, 'the Good Sister'.

Rose and Fern are unidentical twins and their dynamic is interesting, complicated and not necessarily the way it appears to others. Like layers of an onion we learn more and more and then it all smashes together in the most Hepworthiest way.
Fern has Sensory Processing Issues and is often overwhelmed by loud noises, bright lights, and pungent smells and Rose has always been her fierce protector.
As the story progresses though, I became quite concerned as to how things would pan out. I wanted a happy ending for Fern, but knowing that life doesn’t always give us what we want, I was compelled to keep the pages turning!

And, nothing to do with books, but check out this little chocolate prezzie we received. It was beautifully wrapped, and the chocolate has a very quilty texture! Made with only 2 ingredients- cacao beans & organic cane sugar, from the Foundry Chocolate Co. here in NZ. 

Love to hear about what you have been reading lately?

Monday 21 December 2020

a delightful scrappy finish

I was determined to get another 'finish' in this year, and this is it "Second Star to the Right". I seemed to have taken a long time to work through the quilting processes with this quilt, but I'm still loving it!

After piecing all those stars and agonizing about the setting triangles, I was ready to just- get- it- done! But I'm so glad I waited until the 'right' fabrics came along for the borders. 
There's something very appealing to me about the combination of the grey spot, the pink & white stripe and the Kaffe Guinea Flower wide border. It was a little tricky to decide on the binding material, but I think the Kaffe Aboriginal Dot in Orchid works well at containing everything.
And there are some delightful scrappy fabric combos within the stars too, lots of my favourite fabrics here.

I used a vintage sheet for my backing and chose a wool batting, which has given the quilt a soft cuddly feel. I had it quilted by Leeanne from quiltmekiwi in a 'Baptist Fan with a curl' pattern. The finished quilt measures approx. 60" x 54". To see the enlarged photo just click on any pic

Keen to start on something new now! 

Wishing you and yours a safe & healthy holiday.
I'll be back next year, and let's hope it's way better than this year!

Tuesday 15 December 2020

sewing it all together

This week I decided to have a go at the RAY quilt by Carolyn Friedlander, it's a free pattern inspired by the classic log cabin. Follow the link here to see other versions.

Those of you who stop by often will be thinking "hang on, where are all the blues?" Oh yes, this is a bit of a different colour palette from my usual I'll admit, but I'm loving the ivory & blush teamed up with a few darker colours. 
Sewing it all together was a quick & easy process. The hardest part was deciding on the order of fabrics. In the end I decided that my fabrics would playfully bounce back & forth between light and dark choices from the centre out, with just a little gentle colour transitioning from border to border.  Quilt top measurements approx. 57" (145cms) x 71" (180cms). 

I really wanted to use a pretty Outback Wife fabric as my starting point, but I only had a couple of snippets left... so I joined them, and added a little floral collage... perfectly imperfect!

     To see the enlarged photo just click on any pic
Until next time, Linda

Sunday 13 December 2020

blueberry crumble, yes please

Another scrap quilt all finished! 'Blueberry Crumble' was a fun make that's for sure. You will have seen progress photos of these crumb blocks over the year, and it feels good to be able to tick another WiP off the list. Totally inspired by Chris @afullenglish, gotta love his improv approach, with lots of recycled fabrics, corduroy, and that orange boilersuit fabric, oh my!

For my version, I used fabrics from my stash, including a few designer treats, a little 'outback wife' and Liberty, along with shirt offcuts and snippets of my mother's vintage apron. I used a vintage sheet for the backing and chose a wool/polyester mix for the batting. 

It was machine quilted in a straight line matchstick pattern by Leeanne from quiltmekiwi. The finished quilt measures approx. 58" x 48", a nice throw size. Linking up with Cyndy for 'oh scrap' here

To see the enlarged photo just click on any pic
Until next time, Linda

Thursday 10 December 2020

let's chat about quilt backings

I've had another little rush on finishing things up, you know, before the end of the year. Backings & bindings have been at the top of my 'to do' list around here this month. And as I stitched away adding bindings to my latest quilted quilts, I began thinking about why we chose what we chose for our quilt backings. 

For years I've used sheets as backings as I had spare ones here and I had a few {new} vintage sheets given to me from my Aunty Freda. Using a sheet creates a nice wide backing, it's a no-sew solution if you have run out of steam following making the quilt top, and can also be ideal for use with longarm quilting machines.

I do love a scrappy back too and I've found piecing up fabrics together that I probably wouldn't use otherwise has been a good way to deal to the 'old-ish' stash. Usually I've tried to link the back to the front in some way, either with colour or style. 
I've found, however, that you can end up with lots of seams, and a wild range of colours, and it can be time consuming. 

Occasionally, being able to see the quilting has been a priority and so I've chosen something a little more tone-on-tone for the backing.  And I have bought wide backing fabric from time to time, usually if there's something that matches my quilt beautifully. and if it's 'on special', even better!
Some quilt backs do have their own story. Take my recent 'patch action' quilt top {scroll back to my last post to see}. It turned out to be a good size, so I’m now thinking maybe I could use it as an unexpected eclectic backing for one of my other quilts! 

And more recently, on a quest to get a softer, cuddly finish, I've found myself interested in the feel of the backing fabric, so I've been trialing a few cotton sateen and voile fabrics. 

Fern by Amy Butler cotton sateen

However, if I'm honest, I focus on my piecing & my chosen fabrics for the front, so the backings have usually been an afterthought.  

I haven't seen much written about quilt backs out there either, but I did stumble across a great post by Katie from sewkatiedid on creative backings, with lots of great ideas, {wink wink}some of her backs look like fronts! 
This post by Rachel from stitchedincolor is also a very good read. And this older post from Debbie at A Quilter's Table here is interesting too. Inspiration can be found over on Instagram too, exciting to see quilt backs getting some love, check out these links  #partyinthequiltback #quiltbacks
And recently, Leeanne from quiltmekiwi asked a few questions about our backing choices, which I've reposted with her permission …

♡ Is the back of a quilt important to you?
♡ Do you like to look at the back, check out the quilting, check out the backing fabric?
♡ Do you like the back to match the front?
♡ Do you like a pieced scrappy back?
♡ Do you like to camouflage the quilting with a busy backing fabric?
 Looking forward to reading your tips & thoughts in the comments below. 

Anyway, here's one of my latest finished quilts... scrappy finish #4 is my 'trellis' quilt with great quilting by Leeanne, a messy back featuring a delightful 60's fabric gifted to me from my daughter's MinL and for my binding, a pretty pastel by AMH. Finished quilt measurements 44" x 60".
To see the enlarged photo just click on any pic. 
Linking up my latest finish with Kelly for 'needleandthread Thursday' here and with Wendy here 

- lots of favourite fabric snippets in this quilt

- full reveal of my scrappy backing

 Until next time, Linda

Tuesday 8 December 2020

a little patch action

I've been busy piecing my patch quilt this week, it's a bit of an adventure with some different patch action. I started out sort of following the picture of a vintage quilt from Roderick Kiracofe's book "unconventional and unexpected", see here for more details.

There's quite a mix of fabrics in this quilt top, including Liberty, solids, ginghams & AMH. 
I found the trick to making a fun {but not visually overwhelming} scrap quilt like this, was to have a few 'rules'. I included a few longer strings of the same {or nearly same} blocks. I also added some solid fabrics, which help to give a bit of a break from all the busyness. And, adding those larger 4patches helped create some scale contrast. 

I went off in my own direction eventually though, as you do! 
Nothing like a detour and a finished top - or quilt back maybe!

- checking my light & dark contrasts 

The book "unconventional and unexpected" is a real favourite of mine. I've made two other quilts inspired by the vintage pics in my beautiful book. There are no instructions, just heaps of lovely improv quilts. First up, my version of vintage 'flying geese'...

And then I also joined in with Sujata Shah’s @therootconnection  #uanduqal back in April 2019 and made my 'overlapping octagons', from page 51. I used a variety of prints and had a go at having 'red' as my new neutral. I tried to have some corner squares with bolder half square triangles to help define more of the octagon. Another fun quilt to make … 

To see the enlarged photo just click on the pic
Until next time, Linda