Saturday 28 September 2013


Since finishing off the Full Moon Lagoon quilting I've been working on quilting my Marcelle Medallion. I've also been trying out the manual mode on my camera (thanks mostly to my friend Katy for sending me the link to my camera's manual and the relevant bit on white balance. My photos are a bit better than they were, so I am forever in her debt.) I had a bit of a fun taking photos of the quilting I've done so far without resorting to the auto mode.

All my quilting choices have been quite deliberate. The biggest thing at the back of my mind with this quilt is to accentuate the piecing as much as possible, so I've left quite a few areas unquilted, and mostly free motion quilted simple straight lines and fan shapes. The only area I've deviated from that is in the citrus green in the centre star - and I'm planning on using spirals and pebbles later in the quilting, so I wanted to echo that in the centre.

For the first border, I used Aurifil 50wt in a light grey and triple stitched along each of the grey lines in the print. It's given it a really subtle texture, without taking away from the fabric design.

I have quilted in the ditch around the triangles, and then echo quilted out into the background areas.

The main point of insanity comes in the black/teal border. I decided to quilt along both sides of the black lines in black thread - again very subtle but has given it a really gorgeous texture. The squares in the design are left unquilted, so they pop up quite nicely.

I am enjoying quilting this one as much as I enjoyed piecing it - quilting each border differently is keeping it interesting :o)

Off to keep working on this while the hubs is off getting his geek on playing Warhammer...

xx Jess

Thursday 26 September 2013

Full Moon Lagoon {Quilted}

I should probably have waited until I'd bound this quilt before doing this post - but I'm just so relieved it's finally quilted I couldn't wait. Don't worry, once it's properly finished I'll bombard you with more photos ;o)

I'm trying to get to grips with my camera's manual function in an attempt to get it to photograph colours accurately. The pinks are not as bright as these photos might suggest - so hopefully I will have worked it all out before the actual ta-da post. It's really overcast today too - so maybe with better natural light I'll get more true colours... 

All the quilting is done with Aurifil 50wt in a range of colours - the blue, green and light sections are all done with threads from Tula Pink's collection for Aurifil, and the pink and purple are solid colours (2545 and 2530).

I don't think I've shown you the back of this one yet? The quilting shows up really well on the back

I used the softer pinks that didn't make it into the front of the quilt and made a few simple log cabins. THe solids are Kona PFD and Kona Ash. I used Aurifil 2021 in most of my bobbins (I think I went through about 15 for this quilt - I lost count after a while.)

Now this is done, I can concentrate on finishing up my Marcelle. I did start quilting that last night, but felt like I was cheating on this quilt, so I decided to finish this up first ;o) I might be back in a few days with some more quilting photos. I also need to think of a good name for this one - suggestions greatly appreciated :o)

xx Jess

Tuesday 24 September 2013

Marcelle Medallion (almost) Quilt Top

I've been (more) slowly been working on the second-to-last border (the crosses) over the last few nights and today. Slower because in a way I was starting to feel a bit sad this quilt top is nearly finished. I'm completely and utterly in love with it - I think more than any other quilt I've made it has been a true labour of love. 

I toyed with using a variety of colours for the crosses, but ended up going with greys and blues in the end - and I am really happy with the result. I think for the final border I'll use a darkish grey, although I'm not entirely certain (there will probably be a bit of fabric auditioning tonight). Apologies for the washed-out corner on this one, I didn't realise how bright that sun was until I was editing the photos.

Although I would hardly call my version of this quilt scrappy, it has a ridiculous number of fabrics in it (like pushing 200). I think one of my favorite things about making it is that I've been able to use little bits of lots of my favorite (read: hoarded) fabrics - and there are LOTS of favorites in here. And I am a little sad this journey is almost over, but at the same time excited about quilting it and deciding where it will hang in our house :o)

xx Jess

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday at Better off Thread, and Fabric Tuesday at Quiltstory.

Thursday 19 September 2013

Obsessed much?

I did warn you I was a bit obsessed with making my Marcelle Medallion. And for those of you wondering if I'm actually sleeping at the moment? Let's just say there have been quite a few after-midnight bedtimes for me this week ;o)

I pieced together the orange/red bricks last night and then had a big moment of uncertainty. I considered replacing them with low volume bricks - but my IG peeps were the voice of reason. I stuck with the colour, and I am SO glad I did.

My camera (a very basic point and click) is having a few issues photographing the colours accurately - this photo is probably close to the true colours I think.

The wide border is a print from Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks that I had earmarked for this border the whole time I've been making it. It's a difficult print to use, since it's on such a large scale - but I think it works really well as a border print.

So, only two borders to go! I'm kind of surprised how quickly I'm putting this one together :o) Lest you think I've forgotten about the Full Moon Lagoon quilt, I haven't. I've been quilting it an hour or so at a time - so I'll do a progress post on that in the next few days.

xx Jess

Wednesday 18 September 2013

Marcelle Medallion Progress

I think I mentioned in my last post that I spent Saturday night making flying geese? Well those geese are now pieced into strips ready to be attached to the rest of my medallion :o) I think it's the story of my life with this quilt, but I messed up the cutting for the geese as well. I decided to use the no-waste flying geese method - but made them too big. Happily, I was able to cut them down to size - which overall is probably a really good thing as they are actually square now (as opposed to the wonky ones I had before trimming.)

I deliberated long and hard yesterday (with some help from my Instagram peeps) about the third border - but I kept coming back to this Lizzy House print. It is very dark - but I kind of like how it recedes behind the rest of the borders. I'm planning on using a dark teal print for the sixth border as well, so I'm hoping it will look effective overall. A few people have commented about how much this quilt changes as each border is attached - I think that's my favorite part about making it. I'm never really sure what it will look like until the borders are finished.

I'm excited to be finally using my Newspaper Roses (a Yuwa print) for the corner stones in the geese border - this has been sitting in my stash for well over a year but hasn't had the perfect project to be used in until now. Tonight's task will be attaching these, and starting on the fifth border.

I have two sick little boys home today from school - so I'm off to snuggle on the couch with them and watch a few movies :o)

xx Jess

Sunday 15 September 2013

The quilt that is kicking my butt

Aka the Marcelle Medallion. Don't get me wrong, I am absolutely loving making this quilt. But it is really making me aware of just how much improvement is needed in my ability to follow a pattern, and my piecing skills. And how much of a perfectionist I actually am ;o)

The centre star came together okay (although I'm really glad I decided to paper piece it), as did the first border. But then came the triangles. FOUR attempts at the triangles (insert any and all swear words here - I probably uttered them all during the process of making this border).  Admittedly I have never pieced equilateral triangles before - but that isn't really the problem here. The problem was messing up the cutting for this border twice. And then using a seam allowance that was too scant and having to unpick the buggers. Normally I use a scant seam allowance, and my accuracy is pretty good. But for these triangles, a scant seam leads to triangle bases that are just a bit too wide (they should be 2" finished - as you can see from the photo these were a smidge over). And a bit too wide x 10 = a border that doesn't fit.

So my two pieces of advice for the triangle border:

  1. Triple check your triangle pieces against the template. This will help you avoid having to cut three lots of triangles ;o)
  2. Use a true quarter inch seam when piecing your triangles together. It makes a huge difference.

After all the drama, my triangle border is on and I am really happy with how it's coming together as a whole. The DS print on my design wall is my possible third border - although I'm going to wait until I've pieced the fourth (flying geese) border before I decide for sure. I figure it will be easier to make the geese fit properly too if I wait until they are made before attaching the third border.

I'm off to finish up these geese - have I mentioned how seriously addictive this quilt is?

xx Jess

Wednesday 11 September 2013

WIP Wednesday

I've pretty much been working on my ongoing projects this week. I managed to get a couple of extremely overdue bee blocks done (as in some from May and June that I'd totally forgotten about!!), and I'm hoping to get completely up to date on my bees in the next week or two.

More quilting on the Full Moon Lagoon quilt. Thanks so much for your lovely feedback last week - I've decided to keep going as is and hope for the best. The quilting looks completely different when you step back from it - I think when I'm up close to it for a long time all I see are the imperfections. It is slow going, but also lots of fun changing between different motifs all the time. The blue and green sections are done and I've started on the light part at the top. 

Leanne asked me an interesting question about how densely FMQed quilts look once they're washed. (I have to be honest here - I don't wash my quilts straight away. Retro Flowers is still unwashed and will probably not be washed for a while.) My Groove quilt from last year washed really well - but the quilting was quite even across the quilt. This one varies in density a lot (deliberately), so I'm really not sure how it will go. The bits I'm most unsure about are the parts I've left unquilted - the sea horses and some random logs through the quilt top. Has anyone had experience with this sort of thing?

My Marcelle Medallion is growing too. The first border is on and I've cut my triangles for the next border. I've decided to restrict the palette of the triangles after seeing Heidi's amazing version. I probably will make the other borders more scrappy, but this one is just the warm prints I pulled. I'm enjoying making this quilt as much as I'd hoped :o)

I've also started cutting my purse for Sara's upcoming Purse Palooza - I'm so excited to be a part of it this year! 

I hope everyone is having a great week! 

xx Jess

Sunday 8 September 2013

Quilting along. Again.

I knew there was a reason I'd resisted the lure of Instagram for so long. Earlier in the week I was innocently browsing my IG feed, and came across the Marcelle Medallion QAL (#mmqal) being hosted by Penny Poppleton. I've been wanting to make a Marcelle Medallion quilt since all the beautiful versions started popping up around blogland over the last few months - and honestly I though I was safe from it for a while longer since I didn't have the pattern. But then (fate??) I was in Spotlight with my daughter collecting a few supplies for another project on Wednesday, and she spotted Liberty Love and picked it up off the shelf (she is obviously a very well trained three year old ;o) ). How could I resist any further in the face of that?

So I'm quilting along. Again. 

I pulled this pretty pile of fabric yesterday afternoon, using the LouLouThi print at the bottom for my colour inspiration. I will definitely be adding a few more fabrics (especially more oranges) but this is my starting point. 

I'm not a fan of templates or y-seams, so I drew up the central star block in EQ7 last night and started paper piecing it. I finished putting it together tonight, and I'm pretty happy with it. My points are pretty awful in some spots (and that's after unpicking a few times), but I think overall they won't be too noticeable. I do like the colour combo though (night time photo, so the colours here are a bit off).

I am still working on quilting the Full Moon Lagoon quilt - and trying to catch up on some bee blocks - so this week is looking pretty busy on the sewing front! I hope everyone had/ is having a great weekend :o)

xx Jess

Thursday 5 September 2013

Second guessing

Thanks so much for all the comment love on my last post - you guys are the best! Last night and today (my child free day) the epic sea horse quilting adventure has begun. I've started by quilting the turquoise/aqua part of the quilt top. I'm using one of the variegated threads from Tula Pink's beautiful collection for Aurifil. Alex sent me these earlier in the year, in return for promises of a review of the threads (which is coming once I've used a few more of them. Needless to say, they have not disappointed so far!)

I've decided to quilt each 'log' in a one of about eight different designs - but now I'm second guessing myself. I would love some honest feedback - is it too much? Or does it work? This is about five hours work, so I'm not all that keen to unpick it (argh!) - but I'm a bit worried it will look too busy with all the different motifs.  

In other news, I finally broke my Instagram virginity yesterday ;o) I can really see the appeal of it now - like so many of you said, it's a brilliant way to micro-blog. Rather than bombard you with quilty progress on my blog, I'll be sharing it over there.

Back to quilting this monster!

xx Jess

Tuesday 3 September 2013

Full Moon Lagoon Quilt Top

I have done a bit of improv piecing in the past - I'm not sure how I forgot how much fun it is! I have been working obsessively on this quilt top over the last week or so, and I'm in love :o) We've had some glorious spring weather in the last week or so - and the colours in this quilt just scream summer to me, so it's been a fitting project to work on.

I managed to include a heap of my favorite designers - loads of Lizzy House (mostly pearl bracelets and jewels), Tula Pink (Prince Charming greens) and even a bit of Anna Maria Horner. I tried to continue the fade-up effect - although the magenta and purples are much more saturated than the blues and greens, so it's not so much a fade effect between those (more a giant leap?). But still, it has come out exactly as I'd envisioned.

It's ended up fairly massive. I haven't trimmed the edges (I figure I'll do that once it's all quilted) - but at the moment it's around 75" square. The intended recipient of this quilt is my three year old daughter - so hopefully it will last her for many years to come ;o)

I didn't end up using any of the softer pink prints I had pulled out for it - so I'm going to use those in a pieced back.

It probably goes without saying, but I am extremely excited to quilt this one :o)

xx Jess

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced, and Quiltstory.