Wednesday 29 September 2021

quilted #2

My current WiPs have taken a backspace this week - it's a quilting party over here! 

And my 'Norah' quilt top, which I finished in April 2020, was up next in the "to be quilted" queue, {see back here for earlier details}.
It's a real mix of fabrics in light-medium value fabrics from over my years of sewing. I love the way the four colours are used, one for each side of the quilt. I added in a couple of darker fabrics too, just some unexpected colour now & then to help with contrast.  
A super simple quilt to make & no maths to worry about!
Some bits of fabric are pieced to make up a row, 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!

I machine quilted simple straight lines round & round. And instead of using the dramatic black perle cotton of the original Norah quilt, I used a neutral colour thread as I wanted to continue with the soft sherbet-y look for my quilt. The quilting lines vary between 2"-3" apart, more open rather than dense, keeping the quilt soft and light enough for daily use. 

- and how about a scrappy back for the win!

- pics in the late afternoon sun

'Norah' quilt details:

This quilt was strip pieced in a large traditional log cabin style, 
{see here for details of the simple sewalong, no pattern}
It progressed very quickly and held my interest as I made colour decisions with every seam.
Cotton batting for that soft & snuggly feel
Keeping with the scrappy theme, the back is a hodgepodge of large scraps.
The black & white stripe binding adds a final bit of punch, a little nod to original black perle hand quilting.
Simple machine quilting by me
Finished quilt measures 147cms x 147cms {58" x 58".

Until next time, Linda

Sunday 26 September 2021

and then there's the quilting...

And then there's the quilting... I think it’s super that some people are able to do beautiful work on their home sewing machine but I’m not one of them. This year though, I had planned (again) to quilt a few more quilts myself. And I've got a couple of quilts all layered & pin basted ready for machine quilting, but here we nearly at the end of September and I've not spent any time quilting!
Anyway, in a mad moment this weekend, I decided I'd give machine quilting another go. No, no, not FMQ as I really struggle with that! I was thinking more along the lines of lots of "organic" texture. 
This is a quilt that I pieced years ago, some of you may remember it, where I combined some early Liberty lawn fabrics with a solid cream/white cotton, {wink wink} I hadn't given the quilting any thought when I decided on that cream!
I have zero skills or tricks to share as far as how to machine quilt anything. 
My main concerns here were choosing line patterns where I didn't have to turn the quilt every few inches, and ensuring I was all set up so that the drag of the quilt didn't send me off kilter. Oh, and getting it all finished before my pins rusted! {Many thanks to Yvonne @quiltingjetgirl for all your +ve advice}.
For the quilting, I really wanted something to add some texture to all those cream -ve spaces. My goal was not to ruin the quilt top with my quilting. 
I decided on simple, straight lines, mimicking all of the straight lines in the quilt. I made the lines different in each open space, anywhere between 1/4" - 3"ish? apart, those lines definitely got wider apart as I worked my way out to the edges! 
I treated each little area as a practice run, and if something didn't work, I didn't do it again. Basically just making it up as I went along really.

… and I must say 
… I'm really ok with these organic quilting lines!

Here's a few things I learnt while stitching away:
  • This turned out to be a super quick and easy process, why did I put if off for so long? 
  • Organic straight lines are so fun! Especially since there's no pressure to keep them perfectly straight.
  • My first few blocks ended up with slight peaks in the middle, so I reversed things and started in the middle and worked my way out... Quilting101 right
  • It's certainly easier to focus on quilting small areas one at a time, like those 7" squares. BUT I ended up with heaps of threads to bury!
  • On chatting more with MrD - we had a lo-o-ong conversation about $$ v time spent - I've now worked out, it would have been heaps easier & quicker to simply travel along a seamline to get over to the next spot! Wished I'd thought of that yesterday!
  • While stitching long vertical lines from edge to edge is time consuming, it could be more practical from the point of view of burying those thread ends into the binding, yes? Something I'll definitely consider on my next quilt too. 
  • I'm thinking lots of simple and functional lines of stitching rather than decorative quilting is the way for me to go in the future!

Quilt details:
"Liberty Love"
Cotton batting to add that snuggle factor!
The backing was a big piece of vintage fabric I found in town at a 'sallie amani' shop, 
I'm unsure what sort of fabric it actually is, it's softer than a cotton. 
I finished the quilt with a black & white stripe for the binding, 
love the contrast with those itty bitty busy Liberty lawns
Machine quilted by me
Finished quilt measures: 60" x 52" 
Still threads to trim & bury, but I was so excited to share!
- linking up with Cyndy for 'oh scrap' here

If you managed to read right through to the end, thanks for not zoning out!
And because it's always fun to hear from you... what is your "go to" quilting design?


ADDIT: Options available for securing started/stopped lines of quilting - my personal method is to tie a knot and bury thread tails within the batting layer. I'm going to explore using a self-threading needle, from all the feedback I am getting they make this process quick and easy.

Wednesday 22 September 2021

Spring is in the air

Super happy with how this little quilt top turned out! 

I started out faffing about with a small selection of soft & dreamy 2-toned fabrics from Karen Lewis' recent collection "hand stitched". Loving how they look with my scrappy assortment of Liberty prints and a few other rogue florals, very much a Spring feeling vibe happening here 💐
And, I also like how those minimalistic "hand stitched" fabrics contrast with the itty bitty busyness of the Liberties too! 

A couple of the directional prints sure were a fun challenge in my ability to pay attention to what I was doing. In the end I just went with those little irregularities, all part of the handmade touch!

Maggie Pearl quilt
Finished quilt top measures: 40" x 56"
A quick & easy project that sure packs a scrappy punch!
{see here for the free pattern}


Sunday 19 September 2021

sewing & baking & reading... on repeat!

Lockdown: Day 33 
So, am I going to tackle more of my WIPs any time soon? 
Well, I should, 
but, I had some time on my own and a new bundle of fat quarters . . .

My stash has a lot of fabulous florals. I tend to use them all the time, and I'm finding they work really well if I combine them with a few of those "helpful" fabrics, small scale prints that are either tone-on-tone or 2-toned, ones that provide some subtle space for those other showy fabrics to shine!

I was running low on those helpful fabrics so when a parcel in the post turned up last week, I was super excited to add this latest selection of soft & pretty Karen Lewis "handstitched" fabrics to my stash. These fabrics maybe aren't as much fun to buy as say those gorgeous multicoloured florals {wink wink}, but the natural shapes & geometric elements are really very pretty and will be very easy to use in Just. About. Everything. 

- mixing & matching

Liberty* + Handstitched = perfect pairing! 

"Maggie Pearl" is a quick & easy project, {see here for the free pattern}. I started out using Liberty lawn fabrics* but I ran out, so I'm adding in a few fabrics from The Deco Dance Collection, Liberty by Riley Blake Designs, and just a few other rogue fabrics to balance things out. 
The directional prints sure were a fun challenge in my ability to pay attention to what I was doing. In the end I just went with those little irregularities, all part of the handmade touch!  
Only a few more blocks to go.

After a lovely day sewing, I made another Fudgy Banana Bread for dessert tonight. We aren't very big on desserts here, but desperate times call for desperate measures! I found the recipe over on Instagram, @kim_diehl_quilts #fudgybananabread

I've also been reading a lot, as you'd expect. I've just finished "Foreign Fruit" by Jojo Moyes, it was one of her early books. This is a novel of relationships--family, friends, romance--that plays out against the backdrop of a fabulous art deco house in a British seaside town. It tells the story of Lottie, a girl who was evacuated from London during the War and was kind of adopted by the Holden family. It describes the events of one summer that will change their lives forever.
It did jump back & forth in time, but everybody ended up where they needed to be by the last page!

Our bookclub are having a zoom get together tomorrow, super excited to catch up and hear about what everyone else has been reading. 

Until next time,

Saturday 11 September 2021

WiPs on rotation: part 2

Oh dear, too many WiPs!
Still, as you all know, I do love working on lots of different projects at any one time
and I'm super happy with the progress on my "another story" quilt.

Firstly though, thank you for all the lovely comments and questions about how I'm making this quilt. I don't want to give away all the details, as the pattern is available for downloading here. I was so happy when I realised the hexis weren't EPP, instead it's an easy sew on the machine, large 3" hexis with no y-seams!

- up on the design wall

- I found enough large pretty florals to make up the last batch of hexis! 

- process photo

Fussy cutting using big splashy florals has been fun! You will laugh at this though {see above pic}, I used the paper template provided in the pattern, but after I'd cut out a few fussy cut hexis, my template ended up with shaved off sides from the rotary cutter! I  didn't have a special Hex 'n More ruler but I did have a see-through Triangle Ruler so I used that, and it worked great. 

I've used a selection of bright & bold bohemian AMH florals along with a few other large scale prints, letting the fabrics do all the work! My version is a little different to the pattern, as I've used the greens as my neutral. I feel a lot of different greens creates an interesting moving, shifting green tone rather than a solid block of one shade. 

And initially it was totally unplanned, but as I was joining up my first few rows, I noticed some greens formed a star… can you see them peeking through? 

Anyway, yesterday my goal was to finish stitching my hexis together, and then today I took a few photos with the late afternoon sun shining through.  

I'm planning on adding a green stripe for binding to define the edges
but at present, this quilt will now have to wait to be quilted
… still, it’s in good company with lots of other tops that are stuck at this stage too!
Linking up with Cyndy for 'oh scrap' here

Until next time, Linda