Tuesday 27 April 2021

utility scrap quilt

"Flowers on her Fence" is finished. This quilt is all about capturing the idea of walking home alongside fencelines all overgrown with wild flowers. Simple yes, and yet a picture so memorable from my days walking home from the school bus stop many years ago - back when our road was unsealed, the pony club hadn't been filled in with high-rise housing, when the corner four square shop sold glass bottles of milk, and we'd never heard of sliced bread!  

You may remember not too long ago I pieced this quilt, inspired by the talented artist Heidi Parkes {see here @heidi.parkes}. I used an early Yuwa floral as my focus and added a mustard solid in two shades, all fabrics from my stash. I was super excited to team the cottons with assorted denims from a denim skirt {an op shop find} and my husband's jeans, creating a little depth and dimension. 

I recently asked Leeanne from quiltmekiwi to quilt it for me. We emailed back & forth, and also had a couple of phone conversations {and a photo I'd drawn red lines all over} to clarify just how I wanted the quilting to go in relation to the quilt... the magic of collaboration!
Yes, it’s organic (a pleasant word for wonky) but I’m very happy with the results and it fits in with the true utility scrap quilt tradition. 

I love how the lines of quilting bring those open spaces to life. From the front you mainly see lots of irregular quilting lines, going horizontally and vertically within the big rail fence blocks. I like that the quilting does not distract at all from the simple patchwork, but adds heaps of texture and subtly compliments the front.
Looking at the back, the eye easily discerns the larger rectangle patterns, adding interest to a much simpler side of the quilt.

I like to piece a scrappy backing for most of my scrap quilts too... it feels like I'm using up even more fabric, ones that haven't quite made it into a quilt top, like this selection of older toile fabrics from my stash.
For my binding I used a length of dress remnant from years ago. It seems to pick up the rosy reds, the denim blues and the gold really well and gives the feeling of all those wildflowers still continuing to spill over the fence. 
Finished quilt measures 52" x 59".

Until next time, Linda

Saturday 24 April 2021

binding day

It was binding day today for this quilt, the last of my recent throw sized quilts. Once the binding decision was made, it didn't take long to get it all stitched down, et voila... a little finish to share.
This is my version of  the 'sidewalk chalk' quilt. If you follow the link here to see other versions, you may notice that many have gone down the all-solids path. It was a fun and fast make, a great way to sew “random with a plan” with just the right mix of planning and surprises.

I had it machine quilted a while back in a vertical edge-to-edge pattern called 'ripples' by Leeanne from 'quilt me kiwi'.  For my binding I used a multi-coloured Kaffe print 'persian garden' in rust, which might seem like an unlikely choice, but I think it works. The finished quilt measures 47" x 53". 

Linking up this little finish with Cyndy for 'oh scrap' here 

Until next time, Linda

Thursday 22 April 2021

full on crazy patchwork

The sun is shining and my quilt top is finished. 

I've always loved the humble nine patch. I added to my little pile of blocks this week, they were fast & so much fun to make. And I ended up with 42, definitely enough to make a quilt with. 

There's lots of Liberty bits in this, the simple shape goes so well with timeless Liberty - traditional and modern at the same time! I've also padded things out just a little with Outback Wife & AMH fabrics, and teamed everything up with co-ordinating geometric prints for added contrast.  
Once I decided on how I was going to set my blocks, {i.e. not to add in any fabric for the alternate blocks or any additional borders, see this earlier post} I set to joining them all together today. 

But as we all know, the choices really didn't just stop there. There were lots of ways I could have joined the blocks all up … I could have alternated the warm & cool blocks or gone with the iconic checkerboard layout by switching between 5 & 4 darker square blocks (both of which I did do in a few random places).
And of course, {wink wink} don't tell anyone, but things may have got slightly muddled when I moved the blocks one by one from the 'design floor' up to the sewing machine! In my defense, I was hurrying as the three grandchildren were coming over - its school holidays here in NZ - and I wanted everything up off the floor before they ran riot!  

… however, and I was finally very definite on this one, today I was always aiming for that full on crazy patchwork look.  

- in the late afternoon sunlight

Full on crazy patchwork, inspired by Karen Lewis
Linking up for this weekend 'peacock party' here

Until next time, Linda

Sunday 18 April 2021

Anna's Stars quilt

Thanks to everyone who took the time to comment on my last post about the nine patch quilt. I faffed about making decisions, but moving forward by adding in the extra Liberty blocks {in the hope that the addition = just the right mix} seemed too big a jump, that and not wanting to waste precious fabric either, so in the end I followed my instincts, more about that next time.

- Johnny took the quilt for a wee test drive this afternoon! 

Well, that only took two years! Back in April 2019 I started making my 'Anna's Stars' quilt, aka 'Quilty Stars' by Emily of QuiltyLove {the pattern can be found here}. They are nice big 16" blocks, easy sewing.

Usually, I tend to sew more by colour rather than by collection or one-designer. This time though, I used all Anna Maria Horner prints, a scrappy selection from my stash, from lots of her different collections. I did throw in a rogue b&w gingham now & then! 
There are so many gorgeous options for backgrounds these days and it was a bit nerve racking making the first few cuts into the AMH 'social climber' roses fabric for my background. Once I started though, I did enjoy taking a break away from the usual neutral whites & creams. 

I went with a wide AMH backing fabric, and used a bright Tula Pink fabric for my binding. Leeanne from quiltmekiwi recently did the quilting for me, an edge to edge pattern called 'waterdrops'. The quilting shows up beautifully on the back, another treat that's for sure #partyinthequiltbackFinished quilt measures 56" x 73".
Linking up with Cyndy for 'oh scrap' here.

Until next time, Linda

Thursday 15 April 2021

curious adventures

The humble nine patch
…love its simple straight forward design,
…versatility of layout
…and the scrappy nature of the block.

I've used a mixed placement of lights and darks in my nine patch blocks which adds to a super scrappy look. And I'm really loving how these geometric fabrics are looking together with the Liberty florals.

I must say though, when I started making these 9patch blocks I was focused on sticking to my colour palette, {yellow/mustard and tan, a few greys plus peach, pink, orange and warm lavender and blue}. And I hadn't really thought beyond simply getting a good number of blocks pieced, with no real picture in my head of the finished goal. Now I'm auditioning setting options! 


I went adventuring down a rabbit hole 🐰 over the weekend,
curious about different 9patch ideas. 
Here's just a few I spotted on IG . . .

Top left- Chris @afullenglish  bottom left- Maureen Cracknell centre- Sharon Holland 
Top right- Laura @quiltfortco  bottom right- from the collection @roderick752

All of my 35 blocks stayed up on the design wall over last weekend while I pondered over my setting options. I do like them all set block to block, but I also faffed about with other options, using a lovely Liberty floral for my alternate squares, and then maybe as my outer border . . . just checking, you know, just to be sure before I sew everything together! 

option a

option b

option c: a combo of both ideas

… I do kinda enjoy these moments of self doubt, it's all part of the process, yes.

However, I have  wasted  spent lots of time now looking at lots of versions! 
{Do you find this happens to you too?}
And, it's a week on and I'm still no closer to a final decision!
Curious to hear your thoughts, Linda

Saturday 10 April 2021

nine patch remix

Here’s a project that was stopped short when my fabrics didn't seem to gel together. I’d been brooding over this fabric pull for ages, and this week I’ve finally narrowed things down a bit with my palette, all from the stash baskets. I have a good bit of yellow/mustard and tan, a few greys plus peach, pink, orange and warm lavender. And there’s certainly some blue happening (not surprising).

I'm using leftover geometric fabrics - a mash up of Carolyn Friedlander's fabric and Karen Lewis textiles - and teaming them up with a mix of Liberty and other prints. It's a winning geometric : floral combo!

I decided to piece lots more good old nine patch blocks again, using a mixed placement of lights & darks. It's one of my favourite blocks, and I'm super excited to get back to working on it now!


- I added the coral as something that is just a little bit “off” or unexpected

I added in a few dark blocks, et voilà  . . .

Looking at these blocks up on the design wall makes me smile this morning. I’m not sure what it is… the colours… the splashes of floral and Liberty… the pretty palette... the simple design... oh, and that 'pop' of coral. 
Still thinking about layout options, but in the meantime here's the next batch all ready to go...

I know it’s not everyone's favourite to see lots of progress photos, 
but I like sharing my "starts" as much as the end result 
- as a journal of my thoughts & processes - AND so that maybe you too can be inspired.⁠

Until next time, Linda