Saturday 31 December 2022

emptying the ufo cupboard


Hello hello, I thought I'd share my last finish for 2022.
You may recall I have recently been working on two kaleidoscope-type quilts, see back here and here. Sometime over the last week I had a thought, which led to an idea, which had me rummaging around in the wardrobe!

This quilt is actually one I pieced way back in Feb 2014 but had never finished. I remember using Jen Kingwell's pattern 'broken glass' and my blocks are 12" finished, but I'm unsure of my actual 'rules' regarding my fabric choices - I probably went with the "anything goes" concept, all the colours and all the prints. It's still my favourite way to put together a fun and colourful quilt.

So, one hot summers night {it's been 26℃ here this weekend} I turned up the fan and joined pieces of leftover backing together, and pin basted the quilt top. 
I finished this quilt by machine quilting edge to edge straight vertical lines, spaced evenly across the quilt. Simple and functional lines which at the same time gives the quilt a lovely texture and a soft drape, especially with the lightweight batting that I used for this quilt. 
Unfortunately, I couldn't get the quilting bar to stay tight, so my quilting is organic, jumping from point-to-point, so it's not perfect but done! 
I used a striped fabric for the binding, pulled from my stash. I love how the black & white adds a final accent.  Finished quilt measures 60" x 60".  Super happy to have another ufo ticked off my long list!

Hope you all have a safe & happy New Year.
I'm looking forward to 2023, Linda

Tuesday 27 December 2022

best of 2022

Before 2023 rolls in,
I thought I'd share MY five favourite posts from 2022...

Click on any of the links to be taken to the actual blog post 
for more pics & details.

Courthouse Steps quilt, read more about the quilt here - I've been super keen to have a go at spicing up this block, the classic courthouse steps. Lots of colour blocking & fabric play happening with this quilt. The pretty star quilting pattern called 'compass rose' adds the ultimate texture.

Tickety-Boo quilt, see my post here - A fabulous fusion of fun fabrics, both back & front! I've used lots of Jennifer Paganelli prints and added Kaffe spots into the mix as well. Loads of lovely ric-rac in a variety of sizes and colours add an extra textural delight.

Broken Dishes quilt, see my post back here - I used a selection of Outback Wife now-hard-to-find fabrics along with some Karen Lewis fabrics and a few ginghams. The larger blocks and the random placing of fabric combinations not only shows off the fabric but gives the quilt a modern feel too.

Crossroads quilt, check out this post here - I would describe this quilt as controlled scrappy. Two pieces of coordinating fabrics were used for each block, and I added a teal solid for the center squares, then combine a darker teal for the binding to tie it altogether.

Trippy quilt, read more about the quilt here - This was a super quick make. I love this scrappy delight, the colour combination and the randomness of the design speak to my heart on so many levels. And the final zing of that two-toned pink/rose stripe binding makes me smile. 

Linking up with the Best of 2022 at Meadow Mist Designs here
To see lots more creativity & colour
click on the link and have fun reading about everyone’s favourite posts for 2022

Happy New Year


Tuesday 20 December 2022

kaleidoscope fun

Kaleidoscope quilts are so interesting because many effects can be achieved from one simple block. I used a kaleido ruler to cut the triangles, there's a variety of sizes (I'm making 12″ blocks) and it has made cutting out suprisingly very easy! 

I started with a 10" square pack of AMH fabrics. I followed Jolene from blueelephantstitches approach, alternating the light/dark + dark/medium blocks. Some of my fabric combos are a little quirky, but I'm ok with that! 

Careful placement of neutral triangles (the low volumes in my case) create the larger circles when you stand back a bit.  And I want the circular pattern to be obvious, but not too stark, so like Jolene suggested, in some places I am merging the values slightly. 
Of course I could simply make all my background triangles assorted lights, which reinforces that circle effect, but I was super keen to add in a "pop" of rose solid, as it works so well with lots of AMH fabrics. And look, the  “circle illusion” does fade in and out, but they are still happening, yes! 

Here's a few progress pics on the 'design floor' ...

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Sunday 18 December 2022

spinning plates

What's happening in the sewing room?
Well, it's been a messy busy couple of weeks around here, 
and here's photographic proof {wink wink} that I just can’t stick to one thing at a time!

Not wanting to lose momentum with my 'evie' quilt, {see here for earlier details} I grabbed some more light - light/medium scraps and made up more kite string pieced sections. Once I had enough for twelve blocks, I started joining them all up. 

Wow, all my centre points lined up beautifully! When joining up the two halves of the block, I nest the centre seams and start sewing from the centre out in both directions. Then I open out that centre seam on the back when pressing. How do you tackle joining up points like these?  

Here's a few progress photos ...

- Evie popped up to the sewing room to check out my progress!


Then I had a basting day! I joined up leftover pieces of batting & sorted out backings for three recently finished smaller quilt tops. I managed to get all three quilts layered & pin basted ready for machine quilting, and I really got a good workout that day! 
I plan to do some home quilting over the summer, so I'm super happy to have this little pile all ready & waiting to be quilted ...


Later in the week, I was feeling a tad disappointed with a couple of recent quilt block fails. I guess not every idea ends up a good idea! 
But, not one to give up, I started making a different set of trial kaleidoscope blocks.  There's lots of different ways to approach making this quilt. This time I was really keen to have a play with the background corner colours. 

I started with a 10" square pack of AMH fabrics, sorted them out into mediums/darks, and added some lights from my stash. Then I began teaming them up first with my first choice for the background corners, the Solids Rose Coloured Glasses. Then I swopped the rose out for assorted light fabrics just to compare. 

I'll need to decide which way I'm going with those backgrounds, and I'll need to make up a few more blocks before that unexpected delightful secondary pattern occurs I think. 

Anyways, it's all lots of fun.
Check out my design options on the "design floor" 

pic #1

pic #2

pic #3

Just curious, which do you prefer, pic #1 pic #2 or pic #3?

Some people love to focus on sewing one thing at a time. But if you stop by often you'll already know I enjoy jumping from one thing to another. I wonder how many plates projects can I keep spinning at the same time during the fast approaching silly season?


And just before I finish up, here's three great recent reads ...

'Lessons on Chemisty' is original & witty and I enjoyed it right from the start. Elizabeth Zott is a chemist in the 1960s, where women were a rarity in the field. It's a man's world and the woman's place is in the home, remaining silent, and following along with what the men say.
However, Elizabeth isn't wired that way, she's headstrong and independent, and she refuses to tow the expected line.

Things start to change when she marches into the office of Calvin Evans, a respected scientist at Hastings Research Institute. It soon becomes clear that Calvin and Elizabeth 'get each other'. They have romantic chemistry as well as a love for the science of chemistry.
Just a few years later, Elizabeth finds herself a single mother and forced to find another career. She lands in the most unlikely of places, the host of a cooking show. 
It's a novel... a chemistry lesson... and, a cooking lesson all in one! If you ignore the chick-lit look of the cover and don't take it all too seroiusly, it's a delightful read!

Jodi Picoult does not shy away from covering relevant and to some, controversial topics, and 'Mad Honey' is another example of this. 
The story is told from the perspectives of Olivia and Lily. Olivia is a beekeeper and a mother to a teenager son, Asher. She left behind an abusive marriage to start over in her hometown in New Hampshire.
Whereas Lily is a teenage girl who just moved to the area with her mother. She is also hoping for a fresh start from a painful past.
Asher and Lily eventually start to date and fall in love and for once, everything seems at peace. Until one day, Lily is found dead and Asher is the number one suspect.

And... I cannot revel any more... except to say, I was surprised with the unexpected twist and it gave me lots to think about. I recommend you add this book to your 'must read' list too.

A regular weekday morning veers drastically off-course for five strangers who have little in common but their choice of cafe - their lives never to be the same again when an apparently crazed gunman holds them hostage.

But there is more to the situation than first meets the eye and as the captives grapple with their own inner demons, the line between right and wrong starts to blur. Such a good read, I had to keep going as it was unputdownable!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays

Monday 12 December 2022

vintage inspiration

- looking at the design wall, it all still felt disjointed in both colour & design.

I just felt like sewing something simple today, and scrappy of course! And so I sifted through a few folders of quilt photos I've collected over the years, hoping inspiration would hit.

And I'm sure many of you will remember this vintage classic {pic #1} the Penny Patch quilt, a scrappy quilt with three sizes of “four-patch” blocks at play with each other.
It's definitely one of my all time favourite quilts. I made a small one a while ago {see back hereand I always thought I’d like to make another sometime. 
Enthus'ed, I began sorting through my stash baskets, and ended up with some small scale prints, simple geometrics, and a little Tilda, all to be mixed up with quite a few low volumes. 

After making up a few blocks, I decided to clarify my colour scheme - blues from medium to dark, including a few purples, some soft pinks, and a little "pop" of cranberry. Once I began repeating some of my main colours & fabrics, things started to look more cohesive. 

I do enjoy seeing what can happen with my leftovers, don't you?

Thursday 8 December 2022

pas de deux

And that's a finished pas de deux quilt top!

I've been busy working away on my pas de deux quilt top, a great BOM modern sampler quilt designed by Rachel at stitchedincolor. The final assembly this week was like a huge jigsaw puzzle, challenging me to step way outside my comfort zone! 

Each monthly group was composed of two main colours {aka the two main dancers} and each different ensemble certainly burst into life using a range of values to create movement & energy. Rachel's monthly installments were well written and full of inspiration & ideas for getting that over-all harmony happening.

My quilt is looking quite different to how I imagined when I started. I began with more of a rainbow fabric pull, but as things progressed each month, I narrowed down my palette to lots of different shades of blue, teamed up with an assortment of pinks darkening slightly to plum/rose, and little accents of gold/citrus. 

It has a richly saturated colourwash effect now, with the little pockets of pink & white low volume creating swells of space ... and I just love how some of the sections fade into each other too. 
Overall, I'm super happy with all these little ensembles of fabric magic, all made from my scrappy stash, and all laced with memories from the whole year.

Linking up with Kelly for NNT here
and with Wendy for this weekends 'peacock party' over here
Pop on over to see what's happening out there!

Until next time, Linda

Tuesday 6 December 2022

some assembly required

Need a vibrant picture to start your day ...

I'm now starting to assemble the pas de deux quilt top, my modern sampler quilt, designed by Rachel at stitchedincolor. I finished the last two ensembles the other day - the economy blocks and (my version) the orange peel blocks.
I'm loving all the separate little groups of fabric magic in this, made from my scrappy stash and laced with memories from the whole year. I’ve also enjoyed getting to know the other quilters making it too, everyone's quilts are all so terrific and different.

As you can see, some assembly is certainly required ... I may be sometime!

Sunday 4 December 2022

pas de deux: catchup

My #pasdedeuxquilt designed by @stitchedincolor has not been touched since July. This week I decided a relook at things was well overdue. 
'Still point' was quite a tricky ensemble, with the blocks utilising y-seams to create a flurry of dancing twists and turns. It wasn't sitting flat, so I threw it back into the basket!
The other day I spent some time unpicking a few seams, re-stitching, and am much happier now ...

Then I tackled another ensemble, 'Transparency'. I chose a similar colour combo as my 'pinwheel star' block, as I've learnt that a sampler quilt can really benefit from a little repetition ... 

And then, today I also made up the 'hourglass' group of blocks ...

I thought I better lay things out again, just to check on how my colours were all working together. It's a big quilt, and as you can see, it's all spilling over the edges of the design bed!  Finished size approx. 64" x 76". 

Only two more ensembles left to make now, so I'm carefully deciding on the last few fabrics.
It's getting exciting!
See you soon, Linda