Saturday 30 September 2023

colourful stash stars

I'm still stuck sewing stars ... from my stash
... super happy with the contrast of a traditional block paired with modern fabrics!

- loving how the backgrounds have a sort of lacy look

Ideas for this latest quilt idea came from a few places... I've been wanting to try & add more solids into my blocks and the simple Ohio Star seemed like a good place to start. I'm using a basic 12" pattern - there's lots out there - and am faffing around with contrast either by value or hue. 
{wink wink} I got really sidetracked at first though - love Tula Pink's 100 6" Ohio Stars quilt, check out her video here.

I also wanted to use up more of my stash. I found several almost "lacy" looking fabrics, mainly AMH in assorted colours, which I'm using as my backgrounds, and I plan on repeating a few fabrics to help with overall cohesion. 

and here's a group pic of my1st nine "stash stars" ...

Linking up with Kelly for NTT here
Happy weekending, 

Wednesday 20 September 2023

16 blocks in...

I'm still enjoying sewing stars. I've now got 16 scrappy Ohio Star blocks, making extras so I'm a bit ahead of the Scrappy Stars Stitchalong group. 

I’m going with the spirit of just working from my scraps, no shopping. I've swopped out all the antique browns out for blues, but otherwise I'm trying to dig for something that’s similar value wise to the original blocks. I have noticed the original crib quilt has lots of checks, stripes & plaids - florals not so much. 

7 different fabrics✅

 But for some of my blocks I’ve gone a bit off script!

While sewing, I've been thinking about how they will all look together and how I might set them. 
hmm-m- super happy with this vintage effect ...

Check out the hashtag #scrappystarstitchalong - there are so many beautiful blocks being made by other stitch-along participants!

Happy sewing

Sunday 17 September 2023

scrappy star stitchalong: update

Whenever I have a spare moment, I'm back making these sweet 6" blocks for the scrappy star stitchalong hosted by Taryn at reproquiltlover over on ig. 

Like many, while I've been making my little blocks for this antique crib quilt, I've been wondering what the quiltmaker was thinking. She certainly made some interesting choices and I’m so interested in why.
How much was intentional? how much was random? how much was accidental? how much was pure necessity? 

Every quilt tells a story, and we will never know the details now. Her colours seem carefully chosen, from a restricted palette and with a good eye for their overall effect, but when I take a closer look, the different elements are quirky & random and I'm asking myself "what was going on there?" Fascinating.

Onto this weekend's progress ... block 7.

Over an hour to search, make a decision, and cut fabrics✂️ 
10 minutes to sew😂
So, while I was at it, I made two! 

11 different fabrics in each one✅ 
- couldn't bring myself to tip that top hourglass the wrong way though!

And I couldn't stop at just the two, these are too much fun ...

Happy sewing

Friday 15 September 2023

nine tulips, two stars and one finish!

Some quilts take a bit of time to find their way,
and this is definitely one of those.

Some time ago I began making these tulip blocks inspired by a quilt in Gwen Marston's book, Liberated String Quilts. It's another of my all-time favourite quilting books and includes many photos of old string quilts that are truly amazing!

These string pieced tulips are such a great way to use up some fabric snippets. I've used mainly Anna Maria Horner little leftovers for this, some of her earlier fabrics, with those (everso) useful neutrals as my backgrounds. 
After a little research, I decided if I was ever going to finish this, I needed to rethink my sashing & setting choices. (wink wink) Leave something long enough, and I was always bound to change my mind! If you are curious, see back here for my earlier idea. 
I wanted more colour, more warmth, more - everything really! But don't worry, I have plans that involve lots of those pinks & grey up next! 

Anyways, this is where I ended up. I've got two more tulips to make from crumb blocks, and then (hopefully) some slow sewing over the weekend to stitch down a few more of my needleturn appliqued tulips.

Quilts, intentions and the ticking of time ... oh my,
this quilt really has had too many fits of sewing planning bursts and lo-o-ong breaks!
 I do like where it's heading now.


I made two more little 6" Ohio Star blocks for my scrappy star stitchalong.

12 different fabrics✅
Lots of geometrics✅.
Yay for pink! 

17 14 different fabrics✅ 

and a group photo of my blocks so far ...


And here's a bright pop of colour as we head off into the weekend
- I have a finished quilt to share.

The #daylesfordquilt is the perfect one to let your imagination run wild with, it's a sort of "modern utility quilt" I guess. It's a large log cabin style quilt, with a mix of pieced blocks added in with the logs (You can find info for this pattern in Jen's book here at amitie textiles).

I love the play of colour in this quilt, especially the deep pink & teal combo. I hunted high & low in my sewing baskets for some of my most treasured fabrics for that mood I was looking for palette-wise. So, it's a real mix of fabrics, old & new, designer, florals & geometrics!

I chose a simple panto for the machine quilting by Cheryl at allthingsbernina, a leaf & vine pattern. The open quilting design, as well as a backing in Tula Pink sateen, results in quite a soft and cuddly quilt. 
And I opted for a Kaffe teal/blues stripe for my binding. It was a bit touch & go, I almost didn't have enough! I was getting all ready to send out an SOS to Maureen at mysticquilter for extra, but I did a bit of creative joining and made it thankfully.
The finished quilt measures 60" x 68".

Have a great weekend and happy sewing 

Monday 11 September 2023

scrappy star stitchalong: update

I couldn't resist joining in with the stitchalong. I didn't actually read it correctly though, because I think - now - that the general idea is to copy the sweet antique crib quilt. Quite a fun challenge, finding ways to replicate the look and feel of the original. 
Anyways, I just jumped straight in ... total scrappy mode, so, I guess I'm making my own version.
I love the play with the brightness values in the original little quilt though and have tried to replicate this with my own light and dark elements. And the style of my fabrics are old/new, traditional/contemporary, a real mishmash of fabrics. 

There are 21 pieces in each Ohio Star block and the blocks are 6" finished. The stars are wildly scrappy, some of the blocks have 16 or more (!!) different fabrics, and that is taking me a bit of time to choose!

some purple for the next block ...

this one is the most 'normal' looking so far ...

and a group photo ...

Here's a pic of the original scrappy quilt,
a 20 block Ohio star, very scrappy, crib size quilt made around 1900 ...

I've just finished a good read that I thought I'd share too ...

'Tom Lake' by Ann Patchett is about youthful love, married love and the lives parents lead before children. The novel is set during the first summer of the pandemic (but it's not about the pandemic) and follows the story of a mother whose 3 daughters have returned home to help pick their farm's cherries in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.

It's not a super-fast paced read but I really enjoyed this one, as I was gently transported into a world of picnic blankets, sweet cherries and swimming in the lake.  

Until next time, Linda

Thursday 7 September 2023

4 quilts from the book

Without planning to, it seems I've made four quilts inspired by a book! 

Like many, a favourite book of mine is Roderick Kiracofe's #unconventionalandunexpected. While I find improv challenging, I never fail to be surprised by these extraordinary quilts made by US quilters during the last half of the 20th century. The quirky, improvisational, and sometimes not perfectly made quilts are such a visual delight!

My latest project is my 'overlapping octagons' which was a fun string quilt to make. I actually pieced this scrappy top back in 2019 as part of a little challenge for adhoc improvquilts, and it has taken 4 years to evolve into a (nearly)finished quilt, but I’m okay with that. 
I used a variety of prints and had a go at having 'red' as my new neutral. Contrast is everything, right? 
Leeanne from quiltmekiwi quilted it for me in 'Baptist Fan' panto, a gentle nod to the era of the original quilt found in the book. Linking up with Kelly for NTT here.

- inspiration quilt on the right

And more recently I made this 'cross' quilt. I went scrappy with these blocks, using just what I had on hand. I narrowed down my colour story though, with the fabrics that I pulled out, working with a range of pinks-plum, teal, blues, sage, orange, and yellow-golds. 

I had it finished off with edge-to-edge quilting in a 'ripples' panto, it shows up on the back too which I like very much! 

- inspiration quilt on the right

I've made two other quilts inspired by the vintage pics in my beautiful book, here's just a few stitches from the past ...
First up, my version of a 'flying geese' quilt. Of course, I needed to tweak things a bit, to get the soft vintage 'look' I was after. I played with the values to get a little more contrast happening between the rows. And I added in a few solids too. I also wanted to draw out my basic colour a bit more, all the blues in different shades, so I made up a few extra blocks to help. I love this overall busy "printsonprintsonprints". 
I started this way way back, must get it finished sometime!

- inspiration quilt on the right

And then here's my 'nine patch action' quilt which some of you may remember from a couple of years ago. Super happy with this mix of four/nine/sixteen patches! 
There's quite a mishmash of favourite fabrics in this quilt top too, including Liberty, solids, ginghams & AMH. I found the trick to making a fun {but not visually overwhelming} scrap quilt like this, was to definitely have a few simple 'rules'. So, 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 had it machine quilted by Leeanne from quilt me kiwi {great teamwork!} in an edge-to-edge panto, called 'breezy'. On the back I used two Amy Butler sateen florals, which made for a very soft & very cuddly drape to the quilt. Choosing the binding was a tad tricky, in the end I settled on 'trefoil' a recent Kaffe addition to my stash. It seemed to pick up lots of those little bits of colour dancing all around the quilt.
Finished quilt measures 60" x 70". (My daughter recently tried to whisk this quilt out-the-door for Hospice, but I'm not ready to part with it yet!)

- inspiration quilt on the right

The quilts in the book are really original! Many have made me stop, take a closer look, and ask myself "what's going on there?". I certainly don't want to make an accurate copy of any of them, but it is fun to think about the original makers' choices and - as there are no instructions - try out interpretations that also reflect my own personal quilting way. 

And how about you? 
I'd love to hear if you have been tempted to try & make a quilt from this book too? 
Have a good weekend, Linda