Wednesday 31 October 2012

WiP Wednesday - Bunnies and Roses

This week has actually been pretty productive (a good thing, really. There's a lot to produce.) I got my Stash Bee blocks done and my block is made for the QAL tutorial on Friday.

The Windsor Lane baby quilt has grown too. The 40" central part is done - and I think I'll add a 5"-ish border using the background fabric.

I still need to sew all the sections together - but I'm pretty happy with (most of) the points so far. 

Still no idea how I'll quilt it - I'm hoping for some brilliant plan to occur to me while I'm basting it ;o)

Linking up to Freshly Pieced (button in sidebar). Looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to!

xx Jess

Monday 29 October 2012

And now for something completely different...

I really shouldn't be starting anything new right now - but I have an excuse ;o) One of my sister's best friends is a couple of weeks away from  having her first baby and she's asked me to make a quilt (okay in all honesty she did ask me about six months ago but I kept putting it off... oops.)

It needs to be a girly quilt, and something quite sophisticated. And the mum-to-be loves rabbits. As a happy coincidence, I was lucky enough to win a fabulously generous giveaway from The Fat Quarter Shop during Spring Quilt Market - a fat quarter bundle of the complete line of Windsor Lane by Bunny Hill Designs for Moda (as well the alphabet panel in all four colours, and seven Jaybirds Quilts patterns.) I'll be honest - they are nowhere near my normal cup of tea, but they are absolutely gorgeous. And they fit the bill perfectly - they are quite sophisticated and feature the cutest little rabbits :o)

These are the pinks and taupes - the text print is from another Bunny Hill line, but coordinates really well. 

I've made a start - I've been given free reign on the design, so I'm making a giant Dutch Rose (about 40" square) and I'll put a border around it.

So another thing to add to my fairly massive to-do-right-now list - a busy few weeks ahead! Hope everyone had a great weekend.

xx Jess

Saturday 27 October 2012

{QAL} Block 14 Farmer's Daughter

Jess has put up the tutorial for this week's block in our QAL - Farmer's Daughter.

Head on over to Scrappy n Happy for all the details!

I apologise too, I thought I'd posted the link for block 12 a couple of weeks ago, but I actually didn't...
It's a fab block called Tassel Flower. 

Only a few more blocks to go! Have fun!

xx Jess

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2012

I can't believe it's Quilt Festival again already! Thanks to Amy for organising this fabulous event again, I always find so many new and inspiring blogs :o)

Amy's Creative Side

It took me about two seconds to decide what to enter this time. I apologise to all my loyal followers who have seen this one WAY too often over the last couple of months, but I really do love it, and I'm very proud of what I achieved so you'll have to bear with seeing it one more time ;o)

I made this quilt very recently as part of the Totally Groovy QAL, using Emily Cier's excellent Groove pattern. I worked a bit back-to-front with my colour scheme for this quilt - I'd had the piece of fabric I used for the back in my stash for a long time and I thought the colours would suit Groove really well. So I matched the colours using my Kona Colour card, and then matched 50wt Aurifil threads to each of those for the quilting. 

From the very beginning, this quilt has been all about the quilting for me. I wanted to use solids (as Emily did in the original) and then add bucket loads of texture through the quilting - which is incredibly daunting as I found out. Nothing is hidden when you quilt on solids!

I chose a different quilting motif for each colour and went for it - some of the motifs I'd done before (echo shells, pebbles) but the others were new to me (and one I kind of ended up making up). There is a bit of a difference if you look at where I started the azure section compared to what it looked like later in the quilting - but I'm too impatient to practice, so I'm okay with it :o) 

It took around 5 weeks or so to quilt it (a few hours at a time) and I enjoyed every second (not something I can always say about quilting). I learnt so, so much while quilting this quilt - and it's given me loads of ideas for how to quilt some of my WIPs. 

On to the photos (lots of them!)

In our garden

These next ones are at our local botanical gardens. 

There are actually hardly any photos without a little helper ;o)

Finished quilt measures: 60" x 72"
Pieced and Quilted by myself on my home machine.
Best category: Home machine quilted quilt, quilt photographer, Throw Quilt

Thanks so much for stopping by my corner of blogland, I'd love it if you visit again :o)

Enjoy the rest of the Festival!

xx Jess

Wednesday 24 October 2012

WIP Wednesday - a growing (retro) flower garden

Not a whole lot of sewing since last Wednesday - we've been struck down with gastro and colds and general grumpiness. I have managed to put a few more flowers together though...

Nine done - so more than half way! I'd forgotten how painful all the trimming was with these - definitely my least favorite part of these blocks. I've found my groove with them now though and I'm finding it SO much easier to get the seams to match - there has only been a small amount of unsewing ;o)

But the other seven flowers are now trimmed as well, so it's just a matter of sewing them all together :o) Now it's getting closer I'm trying to decide how to quilt it - no firm ideas yet, I think there will be a lot of sketching before I tackle the quilting part!

In the next week, I need to get my bee blocks done (and my next tutorial for the QAL) so I'll be having a wee break from these. Still, it's so nice to be knocking over a WIP at last!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced (button in sidebar), and I'm looking forward to seeing what everyone has been up to :o)

xx Jess

Friday 19 October 2012

{QAL} Block 13 - Crazy Ann

Welcome to this week's tutorial for the How Far Will You Go? QAL - a traditional block called Crazy Ann. Can I just add that I was more than slightly crazy by the time I put the tutorial together - those half-rectangle triangle units nearly did my head in ;o)

This tutorial is for a 10" finished block (10.5" unfinished). As always I have pressed my seam open unless otherwise noted, and all seam allowances are a scant 1/4 inch unless otherwise noted.

Cutting Instructions:

Print Fabrics:

You will need four different print fabrics to make this block.

Fabric 1 (centre square) - One 2.5" square
Fabric 2 - Two 4 7/8" squares
Fabric 3 - Four 2.5" squares
Fabric 4 - Two 3" x 5.5" rectangles.

Cut your Fabric 2 squares diagonally in half:

And cut your Fabric 4 rectangles diagonally through the centre - please make sure it is this angle, not the other way (I recut these pieces more times than I'd like to count!)

Background Fabrics:

You will need:

* Four 5.5" x 2.5" rectangles
* Four 2 7/8" x 2 7.8" squares.

Take your four 2 7/8" squares, and cut them diagonally through the centre.

 Piecing the Corner Units:

The four corner units in this block are identical - so we'll be making four of these units. 

First take your Fabric 3 squares, and sew one of your background triangles to the side as shown, taking care to line up the top edges. 

Press this seam open and trim off the little dog ear. Take a second background triangle and place it as shown. 

 Sew this seam and press it open. You should end up with four of these units:

Next take your Fabric 2 triangles and align them as shown:

Sew along this seam and press your seam open.

These corner units should measure 4.5" square.

Half Rectangle Units

These units caused a fair amount of stress. I tried numerous times to get these to work and failed - the only way I can see these could possibly work is by using foundation paper piecing. If anyone knows a better way I would LOVE to hear it! 

Now, I don't have templates for you to print so you'll have to draw them up yourself (I am soooo mean!) 

You will need to draw four rectangles, measuring 2" x 4" each. THIS DOES NOT INCLUDE SEAM ALLOWANCE!!! So you'll be trimming 1/4" away from the paper later on...

Draw a diagonal line (at the angle shown) through each of the rectangles, and cut them out.

I labelled mine, but that's totally up to you...

Take your Fabric 2 half-rectangle triangle and place it right side up on the back of your template. Take a background rectangle and place it as shown:

Sew along your drawn line, fold back the paper and trim 1/4" away from your seam. Press the background fabric over.

Using your paper as a guide, trim 1/4" away from the template.

And you should end up with four units like this, each measuring 2.5" x 4.5":

Putting the Block Together:

Arrange your block units as shown, and simply piece together like a 9 patch. 

And a completed Crazy Ann block!

There are two of these in the full Twin quilt - as always please add your blocks to the Flickr group :o) 

xx Jess

Wednesday 17 October 2012

WIP Wedndesday - falling in love all over again

I have been on such a high since finishing Groove - I have so much more sewing energy (hello sewing at night! I remember you!). I've even decided to push over a WIP or two BEFORE I start anything new.

I've put together the patchwork panel for my Chicopee Tippecanoe cushion. I have a bit of a love hate relationship with this at the moment. It's busy. I tried to control the colour placement to reduce the busy, but I'm not sure I'm completely happy with it. I still need to rip all the paper off, so I'm hoping I'll like it by the time I finish the ripping...

The long term WIP of choice I've been working on? Retro Flowers!! And this is the falling in love all over again part. I forgot how absolutely divine Good Folks is to work with. I'm paring it back from 25 flowers to 16 - so hopefully it won't take me another 6 months to get it finished :o) Not sure what will happen to the other 9 - if anyone would like them let me know - it's all AMH fabrics, all the curves are done and several petals are pieced... if you'd like them (Danny?) first in best dressed ;o)

apologies for the AWFUL photo

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced (button on sidebar). Hope everyone is having a brilliant week!

xx Jess

Monday 15 October 2012

An Improv Chicopee Cushion

I've had an urge to do something improv for a while - so after finishing Groove (which was pretty heavy on the concentration side of things) and being a bit sick of paper piecing my tippecanoe cusion, I decided to make something new but small. I had my pile of Chicopee scraps left over from the tippecanoe cushion, so I decided to use those with some Melody Miller ladies and put together a QAYG cushion.

The insert is 14" x 21" - and the cover is just shy of that, so it's a really plump cushion. The back is some more Melody Miller - this teapot print is one of my absolute favorites of hers.

I made the patchwork panel in sections, and then just sewed them together batting and all. I was a bit concerned it would be a bit bulky along the seams, but they sit really flat.

Now I just need to finish making the other one...

xx Jess

Saturday 13 October 2012

A totally groovy finish

Eeeeep! Groove is finished! In time for the QAL no less. I am a little in shock that it's actually finished (I have a really terrible history with QALs).

This is a long and very photo heavy post - you have been warned ;o)

This quilt began when I bought Emily Cier's Groove pattern just after it was released - it was instant love. So when Alyssa at Pile o' Fabric announced the Totally Groovy QAL a few months ago it was the motivation I needed to make a Groove. Long story short, I'd had a few yards of this in my stash for a looong time:

Perfect backing for Groove. I grabbed my Kona colour card and matched Kona Black, Chartreuse, Willow, White and Azure for the five colours. Once I had the fabric at hand I used my Aurifil cotton mako colour chart and matched the thread colours as best I could. They're pretty spot on apart from the Willow - but I'm pretty happy with how it looks.

Fabric from The Fat Quarter Shop, all Aurifil Thread from Always Quilting

I chose a different quilting motif for each colour and went for it - some of the motifs I'd done before (echo shells, pebbles) but the others were new to me. There is a bit of a difference if you look at where I started the azure section compared to what it looked like later in the quilting - but I'm too impatient to practice, so I'm okay with it :o)

It's taken the last 5 weeks or so to quilt it (a few hours at a time) and I have enjoyed every second. I have learnt so, so much while quilting this quilt - and it's given me loads of ideas for how to quilt some of my WIPs.

I didn't have quite enough of the print for the back, so one corner is azure (I was way too impatient to start quilting to do a proper pieced back.)

But I matched my bobbin thread to the top thread for all the quilting, so that azure section shows a glimpse of the quilting on the back.

These first few are taken in our springtime garden.

On our balcony:

We went to our local botanical gardens today - so the quilt came along for a few (hundred) photos. Our botanical garden is one of the oldest in Australia, so it has some pretty good photo spots.

These are my favorites - I love, love this wall.

If you're still here, well done ;o). Thanks for all your lovely comments along the way with this one - they really motivated me to keep going.

Hope everyone who is not at SS is having a great weekend - and grudgingly I hope the rest of you are having a brilliant time too ;o)

xx Jess