Friday 31 August 2012

{QAL} Block 6 - Windblown Square

Jess has written up the tutorial for the 6th block in our quilt along - the Windblown Square.

I love this block! Have fun making it :o) I'm going to try to catch up on all my blocks this weekend...

xx Jess

Finn's Quilt - a Finish!

I am so happy to have finally finished this quilt. I actually started this one back in March, intending to enter it into the Festival of HSTs - but then decided to enter Outfoxed on the High Seas instead. So it sat as a pile of squares for months. I put the top together earlier this month, quilted it and then had a major binding fail. Following that, I had a bit of a tantrum, and kind of ignored it for a few weeks (in my defence I was waiting on some black Kona to arrive to make the new binding ;o) ). And then yesterday I bit the bullet and put the binding on. And it took all of an hour - a lesson to me to get these quick jobs done and not let them drag on forever while a nearly 8 year old harasses me daily about when his quilt will be done...

So. Some pretty pictures! First of all, I am SO glad I took off the green binding and rebound it in black - it looks so, so much better.

It's quilted using 50wt Aurifil thread, in straight lines following the zig-zag pattern - 1" apart in the coloured section, and alternating 1" with 1/4" spacing in the black (my favorite part, actually!). The black is still covered in batting fluff - I think next time I'll use grey or black batting when making a quilt with this much black. I'm not sure I'll ever get all the fluff off.

 Quilts are so much easier to pose than children ;o)

For the back, I used a huge piece of Bright Light (I think that's what it's called) by Alexander Henry that was sitting in my 'backing' stash. It is a great back for a boy quilt - and it's such gorgeous quality fabric! I used white 50wt Aurifil in the bobbin, and it's blended in really well, so you only really see the texture of the quilting from the back.

Quilt Stats:
* Quilt measures about 52" x 70"
* Designed, pieced and quilted by me.

xx Jess

Festival of Hexagons - Zoe's quilt

I've decided to enter the Hexy Vine mini quilt I made for my daughter Zoe into the Festival of Hexagons.

* Mini quilt measures about 30" x 25"
* EPP hexies have been appliqued to the quilt, and then I extensively FMQ'd it and quilted Zoe's name onto it.
* Background is Kona Stone, fabrics include Heather Bailey, Anna Maria Horner, Lizzy House, Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt and others.

xx Jess

Thursday 30 August 2012

Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop

Today is my turn in the Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop organised by Beth of Plum and June. If you're a blog-hopper, welcome and thanks for visiting!

Plum and June

I've written up a tutorial for how to make this quilt for my stop on the blog hop. If you make something using it, please let me know - I'd love to see!

So a little bit about me. I'm a 32 year old stay at home mum to three kids (7, 5 and 2). I have a partner who works interstate a lot - he's been away about 80% of the last six months. Way back before kids, I worked as a scientist so quilting really appeals to my inner maths geek ;o) Quilting and blogging is my me time, and helps to keep me (mostly) sane :o) I live in a pretty small city, and I don't know anyone who is into modern quilting, so blogging and the online quilting community are my way of connecting with other quilters. I love that I've made so many quilty friends through blogging - it's definitely my favorite part of blogging! 

A few of the things I've made...

I've been quilting for about a year now. I generally have a few thousand projects on the go at once - if you're interested, you can check out my current WiPs - I even updated it!

I am currently co-hosting a QAL with my friend Jess - we're only 5 weeks in (it's going to go for 24 weeks or so) so if you'd like to join us, it's not too late! The Fat Quarter Shop have generously offered $250 in gift certificates, and we have three categories in which you can enter (one is for small quilted items, so you could just make one block and still enter to win!) It's been a lot of fun so far - we have a Flickr group if you'd like to check out what everyone's making! 

Favorite blogging tip - be yourself. 

Favorite fabric - right now (because it arrived today) it's these beautiful newspaper roses by Yuwa. They're destined for a future quilt, once I work out what I want to do :o)

Favorite craft book: Probably 'Quilting Modern' - so much inspiration in that book!

Favorite book: The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss - amazing book. I'm an avid fantasy reader :o)

Favorite quilting tool: my rotary cutter, when it has a new blade!

Favorite music to listen to while quilting: Muse. 

Favorite TV show while hand stitching: Dollhouse or Firefly.

Enjoy the rest of the blog hop, 
xx Jess 

Tuesday 28 August 2012

A birthday (and a winner)

My baby turned two yesterday. Total cliche I know, but I still can't believe she's changed from this (a few hours old)

Into this beautiful little girl. She is the best combination of girly (love her new doll house) and tomboy (current fire truck obsession) - it's a lot of fun to watch her grow up!

So we had a little party for her on Sunday, complete with my totally amateur cake making efforts (total George Pig fan!) That expression is her seeing the cake for the first time, so obviously amateur is okay :o)

 And I owe you a winner of the Sew Me A Song giveaway (yes, very late I know!)

Mr Random chose #60, who is Sarah who said:

60. Sarah said...
I'm loving the tea time prints too

Yay Sarah! I've sent you an email :o)

xx Jess

Friday 24 August 2012

You can call me crazy...

Given my really fantastic track record with QALs, anyone would think I'd steer clear of them. But I'm a sucker for a QAL. And I had already bought the pattern for this, and worked out what fabric I wanted to use before the QAL was announced. So I'm (probably stupidly) joining in the Groovy QAL organised by Alyssa.

As soon as I saw this pattern I fell in love. I'm a bit of a hippy and major fan of the 60s/70s so it was a no-brainer to make it someday. To top it off, I've had a few yards of this print sitting in my stash (originally bought to make a skirt before I started quilting) and I decided it would make the PERFECT back for Groove.

I loooove the colours in it, so I grabbed my Kona colour card and decided on (from top) Azure, Willow, White, Chartreuse and Black. And my lovely parcel arrived today from the Fat Quarter Shop!

And you know, because I've got nothing else to do, I will be attempting to get it done before the end of the QAL. Yes. I definitely have a few screws loose :o)

Oh, and because I always have to fill my flat rate satchel to the brim, these half yards of Madrona Road text prints somehow jumped in too...

Wish me luck! No, really, I mean it (and Jen, you can stop laughing now!)

xx Jess

{QAL} Block 5: Jack in the Box

This weeks block for the How Far Will You Go QAL is called Jack in the Box. All of the techniques used in this one have been covered in other blocks, so hopefully you should find it pretty straight forward.

This block ends up as a 10 1/2" unfinished block. All seam allowances are a scant 1/4" unless otherwise indicated. As for all the blocks I have pressed open throughout the block, but if you prefer to press to the side it will work perfectly as well :o)

Like several of the other blocks I've written tutorials for, this one could be made using HSTs for the corner units - I like the continuity of the fabric pattern that you get when constructing it using my method, but if you wanted to use HSTs instead (which would waste less fabric) you'd need them to be 2.5".

Cutting Instructions:

This block uses four different print fabrics (noted as A, B, C and D).

Background fabric: Cut 17 squares, measuring 2.5" x 2.5"

Print fabrics:

Fabric A: Four 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles.
Fabric B: Four 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
Fabric C: Two 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles
Fabric D: Two 2.5" x 4.5" rectangles.

Making the corner units:

The four corner units in this block are made using a flying geese unit, and a diagonal unit (the same as those we made for the pieced star centre pinwheels). 

Remove ONE of your background squares and set it aside. For the remaining 16 squares, draw a diagonal line through the centre:

Take your four Fabric B rectangles, and set them out vertically. Place a background square at the top of each piece, aligning the top and sides, making sure the drawn lines are at the same angle.

Sew along the drawn line:

Trim 1/4" away from your stitching, and press your seam.

Take a second background square and align it with the other end of the rectangle, making sure the diagonal is at the same angle as the one you just sewed.

Sew along this line, trim 1/4" away and press. You will end up with four identical units like this:

Next, take your Fabric C and D rectangles (four total) and place a background square on each, again aligning the sides and end. Sew along this line, trim 1/4" away and press.

Take your remaining background squares, and place them on the opposite side, but this time the drawn line should cross the first sewn line - to make a flying geese unit.

Sew along this line, trim 1/4" away and press. You'll end up with FOUR of these units, two in each of Fabric C and D.

To finish the corner units, pair one of your flying geese with one of the diagonal units as shown (it's important to keep the orientation the same in each.)

Sew these together and press:

You will end up with four of these corner units. The corner units should measure 4.5" square.

Putting the Block Together:

Lay out all the fabric for your block as below. I've separated the rows in this photo, so you can see how the rows go together.

Sew each of the rows, and then sew the rows together.

And you'll have a lovely Jack in the Box block!

There are two of these in the Twin sized quilt (and I haven't made my second one yet - see, I'm already in danger of falling behind in my own QAL...)

As ever, if you have any questions or problems, please just shoot me an email or leave a comment and I'll get back to you. Please add your blocks to the Flickr group :o)

Have a brilliant weekend!

xx Jess

Wednesday 22 August 2012

WIP Wednesday - Quilting Along

Not a huge amount of progress this week - although I have finished putting together the quilt top of Sweary Tula (I'm stealing that one, Katy. Slightly more grown-up than Rudey Tula :oP) and it's basted and waiting for me to have an 'ah ha' moment and start quilting it. I made the mistake of looking at how Angela Walters quilted Tula's Love version and I'm trying to stop thinking of its brilliance and just get going... What's really got me stumped is how to quilt the letters - I'm using poly batting with quite a high loft (which I wanted so the quilting really pops) and I'm tossing up whether to quilt the crap out of the letters, or to leave them fairly unquilted. Suggestions welcome!

Apart from that, I made the Weathervane block for our QAL, using Jess's revamped method. It's a 10 1/2" block, and it's a 9 patch so it was going to be very tricky anyway - but Jess has done up some paper pieced templates, and I'm stoked with how well it's worked (thanks Jess!).

All the blocks so far (they are actually square - dodgy warped design wall's fault!):

And I've paper pieced the sections for my St. Louis Star:

Hope everyone is having a great week,

xx Jess

Monday 20 August 2012

{QAL} Block 4: St Louis Star

Just a quick note to say Jess put up the tutorial for Block 4 - St Louis Star on Friday.

You can find the tutorial here.

Have fun! It's paper pieced, but Jess has given some great instructions on how to paper piece.

xx Jess

Friday 17 August 2012

I don't have a fabric addiction...

I've had a few parcels of fabric-y goodness arrive this week. I might just add that I have been a *little* more responsible with my fabric purchasing of late (although I have just destashed via the Aussie Facebook destash group, which has pretty much already enabled a restash. Go figure?!?)

Anyhoo, on to the pretty pictures. I joined the Indian Summer Charm Swap run by Jenelle - and they are so gorgeous! I'm not sure what I'll do with these - but they'll make an awesome quilt when I work it out :o)

The fabulous Lizzy House has done several destash sales through her shop - but I've always been too slow (or not awake at the right time) to nab any. A month or so ago, she put up a few bundles of scraps from her personal stash and I actually managed to get one (yay!!) Lots of Lizzy House goodies, a few large pieces of really lovely Japanese prints, and poking out at the top a full FQ of one of Amy Butler's Wallflower prints from her Lotus collection - one of my all time fave prints, and I'd never actually seen it in this colour way. There may have been a bit of squealing and happy dancing involved ;o)

And finally, a little gem of an Aussie modern quilt shop on Ebay - Quiltopia. I've purchased quite a few fabrics from Ann, and I am so impressed with her shop (disclaimer - this is not a sponsored post, I just really like her stuff!). She stocks some fantastic prints - lots of which are really hard to find in Australia, and she posts stuff SUPER fast. I nabbed a full yard of the grey text print by Sweetwater (Sunkissed I think) - this is such a great print! And then half yards of the others (how awesome is that dressmaking fabric from Homespun Chic? no idea what I'll use if for, but I absolutely adore it!)

Hope everyone has a fab weekend (and that my own is a bit more chilled out) - I'll announce the giveaway winner later tonight :o)

xx jess

Wednesday 15 August 2012

WIP Wednesday - the kinda rude one.

*** If you're looking for the Giveaway from Sew Me A Song, head over here ***

We had a rather dramatic weekend last weekend (as in the type where Chris came home from working interstate on Friday night, and went into emergency on Saturday night and stayed in hospital until yesterday). All good now, but I'd rather forget the weekend ever happened.

The last week has been a flurry of block making. These are for the big item I'm making for the Sailor's Mouth Swap (which I probably won't show you more of, I really don't want to offend anyone. If you're of the not easily offended persuasion, you could pop over to the Flickr group and check it out more fully ;o) ) It won't take much imagination to work out what these are for anyway... there is a 'k' and a 'u' that I forgot to photograph ;o)

It's heading toward being a rudey version of Tula Pink's Love quilt (mini version). I've also made a few bee blocks, a few blocks for our QAL and started cutting for my next tutorial in our QAL.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

xx Jess

Friday 10 August 2012

{QAL} Block 3 - Pieced Star

I can't believe it's week three already! Today's tutorial is for a traditional block called a pieced star. I seriously loved making these blocks. I really think I'd like to make an entire quilt of them one day... possibly sooner rather than later...

This block is 10 1/2" unfinished. All seams are a scant 1/4". I would probably recommend starching your fabric for this block - I didn't and my points are pretty good but not perfect. I think with starch you could get a really perfect block.

There are three of these blocks in the Twin quilt.

Please read through the whole tutorial before cutting your fabrics. I've said press as desired - I pressed open throughout the entire block and I'm really happy with my blocks. But if you're happier pressing to the side it should work perfectly as well.


You'll need four different print fabrics for this block - two for the central pinwheel (prints 1 and 2), one for the other star triangles (yellow in the above block - print 3) and one for the corner triangles (print 4).

Background fabric:

  • Four 4" x 4" squares
  • Eight 3" x 3" squares

Print Fabrics:

From Prints 1 and 2 (for each of the centre pinwheel fabrics), cut TWO 3" x 5 1/2" rectangles.

From Prints 3 and 4, cut TWO 4" squares.

Making the Half Square Triangles

Draw a line diagonally across the four 4" background squares.

Take your four 4" print squares (prints 3 and 4) and pair each of them with a background square. Sew 1/4" away from each side of the drawn line:

And then cut along the drawn line. Press each of the resulting half square triangles (HST) as you prefer (I've pressed open)

And then trim each of them down to 3" square. To do this, line up the 45 degree line on your ruler with the seam, making sure the 3" measurement is within the fabric square. Trim the side and top.

**NOTE - the reason I have only a small amount of excess to trim away is I accidentally cut my squares at 3.5". It did work, so if you're confident in accurately sewing HSTs you could cut smaller squares as I did. 4" just gives a bit more wiggle room if they're a bit wonky - and you'll have a fair bit more excess to trim away **

Turn the HST around and line up the 45 degree line, and both sides at the 3" mark. Trim the side and top.

You'll end up with eight HSTs - four each of both your prints.

Next you'll need to pair up your HSTs, one from each print:

The orange fabric is my corner fabric, and the yellow is part of the star. You need to ensure your sew each of your HST pairs in this orientation. Sew them together using a scant 1/4" seam. I find if I start at the corner where the points meet, I get a far better point.

You'll end up with four identical HST units.

Making the Pinwheel Points

Take your 3" background squares, and draw a line diagonally through the centre as you did for the HSTs. 

Take all four of your 3" x 5.5" rectangles and lay them vertically in front of you. Place one of your 3" background squares at the top of each of the rectangles, carefully lining up the top and sides. Make sure your drawn line is at the same angle on all of your rectangles - this is critical in your block working. 

Sew along the drawn line on each of your rectangles (I recommend pinning) - chain stitching works well here.

Trim 1/4" away from your sewn line

Press your block as desired (again I pressed open).

On each of your rectangles, place the last four background squares, ensuring the drawn line is at the same angle as the one you just sewed.

Sew along this line (sorry about the fabric change here!).

Trim 1/4" away from your seam,

and again, press your seam.

You should have four of these units, two in each of your pinwheel fabrics.

Assembling the Block:

This block is essentially a four patch. To make each of the units in the block, take one of your pinwheel points and one of your HST units and orientate them exactly as below.

 Sew them together (pins really help here) and then press.

You'll end up with four units. Lay them out like so:

Sew the top and bottom rows together and press :

And then sew the two pieces together. And there you have a finished pieced star!

There are three of these blocks in the Twin sized quilt - these are my other two.

As always please add your blocks to the Flickr group! There are some really amazing quilts being made. And if you have any problems with the tutorial please just leave a comment or email me and I'll get back to you. 

I hope you all have a great weekend!
x Jess