Friday 30 September 2011

Silent Cinema Quilt

This one has taken a LONG time to get finished - I completed the quilt top a few weeks ago, and then received a couple of custom orders so I didn't get a chance to quilt and bind it until this week. I have completely fallen in love with Jenean Morrison's prints - I LOVE vintage stuff, and her florals are just so retro and fabulous - and work so well with the more abstract graphic prints in this collection.

I thought long and hard about how to quilt this one - I was tempted to stipple all over it, but wanted something that would highlight the fabrics a bit more. So after browsing the amazing world of quilting blogs for hours (looking for some inspiration) I decided to quilt it along the white sashing, 1/4" in from the seams. I am really happy with the result, and was surprised how well it worked.

I also decided to machine stitch the binding at the back (I'm not a great hand-sewer and it takes me FOREVER to hand stitch binding) - using the fabulous tutorial here (thanks Rita!)

My Silent Cinema quilt is available for purchase here.

xx Jess

Tuesday 27 September 2011

Zoo Quilt #1

A friend of mine asked me to make a quilt for her sister who (was) having a baby. I finished the quilt last night, and bub was born this morning so it was awesome timing really!

 The design brief was pretty simple - not girly (as her sister isn't really into girly girl, plus they didn't know the sex of the baby), and something with animals and bugs. I had a bundle of Urban Zoologie by Ann Kelle (and some coordinating Kona solids) in my stash and it fit the bill perfectly, so I went ahead and created. I ended up making A LOT of blocks (something like 60...) so I actually put together two quilt tops for her to choose from (plus a few left over for a third quilt). This is the one she chose:

Its a bit hard to see from the photos (taken in a rush as my baby had a very brief sleep) but I quilted it using a variegated blue thread. And I ran out of the blue, green and orange in the quilt top, so had to make a dash to Spotlight to grab some binding fabric - its a darker blue than in the top, but works really well with the bahama blue. The backing fabric is some minty-green solid I had stashed and I really love the combination with the binding. I love the fact that this quilt doesn't really have a right-way-up, since the animals run every way across the fabric.

I am a little sad I've used up all my urban zoo stash in the bermuda colourway - I LOVE the colours in this range. But I have another two quilts to finish off using these fabrics, so stay tuned! All three are quite different, despite using similar blocks...

Saturday 24 September 2011

My first custom quilt!!

I haven't blogged in almost two weeks! Only because I haven't had any finished quilts to put on here - although I have 6 at various stages of completion. I had a couple I was about to finish, when I had two custom quilt orders - my very first ones!! I finished one of these today - using fabric from Amy Butler's Love Collection. I really loved working with these fabrics and have a couple of ideas for quilts using the rest of my stash...

It's the same pattern (my own design) I used for my Lotus Garden quilt (it just works so well with Amy Butler prints). The sashing is Moda Bella Snow, and I free-motion quilted it with cream cotton thread. The binding is machine stitched to front and back (its a biggish cot quilt (about 40" x 60"), and the last one took about 4 hours to hand stitch - I'm really slow - so I decided to give machine stitching it a go - and it looks pretty good.)

Monday 12 September 2011

Lotus Baby Quilt

I did finish hand stitching this one last night, and am really happy with the end result.

I used fabric from Amy Butler's Lotus collection (which I completely love!) and bordered it with Snow Bella solid. I quilted it in a meandering free-motion style, which has added a lovely texture to it. The binding is the same temple garland in green as in the quilt top (machine stitched at the front and hand-stitched at the back.

Its for sale in my madeit shop here. And its destined to become a pattern - really great beginners quilt as there are NO seams to match and it came together really quickly :)

Sunday 11 September 2011

Quilting on my mind....

Why is it that my camera dies just when I have lots of photos to take of quilts? Earlier this week I spent ages photographing three of my quilts, only to find when I downloaded my photos they were all perfectly focused on half, and blurry on the other half. I am pretty certain my baby girl had gotten her hand on it - and poked some fingers into the lens shutter. But I found a box of (quite dry) isowipes and I swear its never taken better photos! But tonight when I went to photograph my weekend's work the batteries died... I can't win!

So although I have had a brilliant weekend in terms of getting quilting done, I can't upload any photos (hopefully tomorrow though, depending on camera behaving and sun making an appearance). I am handstitching the binding on a new design made with Amy Butler's lotus collection. I have finished piecing a new design made with Jenean Morrison's new range Silent Cinema (which I LOVE to bits - so retro!), and have cut and started piecing a new quilt using Saffron Craig's Bird Tree range in magenta/yellow/green.

I have so many other projects in mind too - in an effort to deplete some of my stash :). I have a bundle of Heirloom by Joel Dewberry (amber colourway) that I'm itching to get into (and have a pretty good idea of the design I'm going to create). And I need to finish my quilt for my daughter using Saffron Craig's magical lands fabric. And I have a stash of urban zoologie waiting to become a lovely boys quilt. Not to mention my fat quarter bundle of Meadow Friends... Oh, plus a bundle of Amy Butler that will probably arrive on my doorstep this week sometime. Plus more I'm sure I've forgotten are there (these are just the ones I've been thinking about, well, all the time!)

I don't think its a problem, the amount of time I spend thinking about quilting (ie when I'm washing up, vaccuuming, general boring everyday tasks that need to be done but not thought about). I am either thinking about quilting, blogging about quilting or wishing I had more hours in the day to actually do more quilting. I think its safe to say I have a hardcore obsession.

Do I have enough fabric? Most definitely. Does that stop me crushing on all the other beautiful ranges out there? Most definitely not. Did I just order a huge bundle of Children at Play by Sarah Jane? Most definitely. And I am SO excited about getting it - the prints are just so gorgeous, and I have some great ideas about what I will do with it.

I'd love to know what you're working on at the moment, and what fabrics you have in your stash. Just don't make me too jealous - I don't think my other half would appreciate me spending more money on fabric just at the moment...

Wednesday 7 September 2011

Beetle Bugs Quilt Finished!!

So this quilt has taken me a bit longer than I thought - not because it was tricky, but because I got distracted by a couple of other quilt projects. I tend to procrastinate when it comes to hand stitching binding for some reason...

Anyhoo, this is my finished Beetle Bugs quilt, using fabric from the Beetle Bugs range from Saffron Craig.

I LOVE this fabric range - the colours are superb, and I think it works really well with the dark grey, crimson and orange borders. I machine quilted it in the ditch using some fab black/red variegated thread - although in retrospect it would have looked better had I quilted away from the seam lines... but still, it looks pretty good.

I am actually writing this up for my first pattern (gasp!!) and would LOVE some pattern testers if anyone is interested? I have plans to make a girly one using the fields range from Saffron Craig as well (once I finish the other 2 quilts I have on the go!!!)

Saturday 3 September 2011

Handmade Goodness

My baby girl turned one last weekend, and we had a small birthday party for her. Two of her presents were the most BEAUTIFUL handmade toys, thanks to my very clever friend Kelly and my wonderful sister Elspeth.

Forgive the dodgy photos (they were taken with the flash on my camera, so don't really do these lovely creations justice).

This one is crocheted by Kelly using hand-dyed, hand spun wool and its SUPER cute. Its a little birdhouse bag, and the red and orange spiral bit is actually a door that lifts up with a hole underneath that is the perfect size to fit the birds. The birds are just SO beautiful! And Zoe just adores this toy - she sits for ages putting the birds in and out, and gets so excited when she's doing it :)

This mouse was hand-stitched by my sister, using the most divine hand-dyed felt. Her shoes are just beautiful, and she has so much character!

Lastly, Zoe playing with her mouse (just ignore the strawberry stains all over her suit and face!)

I am still making her birthday quilt, but hope to get it done and get pics up in the next week or two.

Hooray for handmade goodness! Best presents ever!

Friday 2 September 2011

Baby Blanket Giveaway!!

Spring has sprung! To celebrate the return of the sun, and to promote my facebook page for The Elven Garden, I am having a give-away being drawn next Saturday at 9pm EST. Up for grabs is this super sweet patchwork baby blanket:

The blanket measures 66cm x 77cm and features fabric from Saffron Craig's Fields range. It is backed with super-soft white flannel, so its the perfect light-weight blanket for spring/summer and its the perfect size for a pram (or just for tummy time on the floor). These will be selling for $45 in my madeit shop.

To be in the running to win, simply 'like' my Facebook page. For extra entries, suggest me to your friends, and get them to write on my wall who sent them :)