Monday 16 December 2013

Fabriholics Anonymous - The UFO list

So, it's time for a bit of a Fabriholics Anonymous update. D-day is looming pretty fast (fifteen days people!!) but it's not too late to decide to join us if you too think a fabric intervention is necessary. We've decided to offer periodic linky parties throughout the fabric fast year, so we can virtually hold each other through the inevitable difficulties associated with not buying fabric. I'm panicking already! I have been doing a bit of pre-fast fabric buying so that hopefully I won't run out of anything in the first half of the year at least. This has mostly meant buying low volume fabrics rather than yards of background fabric - I haven't used a solid background in any of the quilts I started this year, so I figure it's a sensible option for me. Jodi has just finished up a year-long fabric fast, and has written an excellent post reflecting on how it went, so I would really recommend checking it out if you would like some advice.

So welcome to linky party number one - the WIP list (head over to Rebecca's blog to link up). I've split mine down into priorities (I have a few deadlines at the moment), and then into groups based on what stage the project is at. This isn't a complete list of my UFOs - but I will add to this post as I find more. There are a few that I have fallen out of love with, so I will probably do another post soon offering them to anyone who would like to finish them :o)


Midnight at the Oasis - I am woefully behind on my QAL already, but I'm hoping to knock over the applique over summer.

Lipari Stars: Due mid January. I've made six of eighteen blocks so far.

Liberty Charms: Due end of January. I've started piecing this one.

There are several of these, but only one has a definite plan at this stage.

Medallion quilt - I've designed a medallion quilt using this bundle, and really want to make a start on it ASAP.


Colourblock Quilt

Modern Sampler

Tea for Two

Giant Stars (two of these, intended to put them in my etsy shop)

Quilts I've started...

Plus quilt - all cut, just need to piece and quilt.


Lucky Square

Mendocino quilt

Low volume cross quilt

So next year is looking slightly busy on the quilty front. Are you tempted to join us at all?

xx Jess

Monday 9 December 2013

SMS Giveaway Day - Heather Bailey Pop Garden Bundle

It's that time of year again - Sew Mama Sew's Giveaway day! If you're new to my blog, welcome. 

I'll keep it short and sweet. I'm offering a bundle of Pop Garden by Heather Bailey (now out of print and hard to find unfortunately). This is one of my all time favorite collections.

I'm offering a fat quarter bundle of these ten prints - so 2 1/2 yards of fabric.

To enter, just leave me a comment on this post. My followers get a second entry - just leave a second comment letting me know how you follow me! This giveaway is open internationally, and I will close comments at around 2pm on Saturday 14th December (Australian DST). Winner will be drawn randomly.

Please, if you're a no reply commenter, leave an email address in your comment. If I am unable to contact you, I will draw another winner. 

UPDATE: This giveaway is now closed. The winner, chosen by random number generator is Quilting in the Deep South has been contacted by email. 

Oakshott and Liberty, oh my!

I'm working on a couple of projects at the moment, using some particularly delicious fabrics. A few weeks ago, a parcel arrived from Ali of Very Berry Fabrics (Ali stocks an amazing range of Liberty Tana Lawn in her shop). I'm in the process of sewing up this pile of gorgeous Liberty charms and writing a quilt tutorial for Ali.

This bundle of Oakshott awesomeness arrived this morning too - I'll be sewing these up for Lynne's Made with Oakshott challenge over the next few weeks. I can't wait to get started!

So, if you don't hear from me for a little while, I'm sure you'll understand :o)

xx Jess

Wednesday 4 December 2013

Beach Ball - a jelly roll quilt tutorial (and giveaway!)

After finishing up my DUDQS mini quilt last week, I jumped straight in to making a larger version. I bought a jelly roll of Zen Chic's recently released Sphere collection a few months ago, and decided to design this quilt using just the jelly roll plus a fat quarter of background fabric for the setting triangles.

I've written up a mini tutorial for how I put it together - and I also have a giveaway offered by the Fat Quarter Shop at the end of the post :o)

I've designed this quilt using a jelly roll, but you could easily substitute for a range of 2.5" strips from your stash. To plan out your layout, I suggest using some equilateral triangle graph paper (you can download it free from here). The jelly roll I used for this quilt included a nice proportion of lighter value prints (15 of the 40 strips) which made it easy to play with the background hexagons. If you are working with a bigger variety of colours it might be useful to plan out colour placement to make sure you end up with a balanced layout. If you wanted to make a bigger quilt, it would be a good way to work out your layout too.

A few things to keep in mind:
* Each strip set will yield 9 triangles, enough to make one full hexagon, and one half hexagon per strips set. If you cut two strip sets, you would have enough triangles to make three full hexagons.
* For this quilt, I used 96 triangles, twelve across by eight down. I had several half-hexagons left over, which will become part of the back.

This quilt top finishes up at 45" x 50", a good size lap quilt for a child, or a large baby quilt. It would be really easy to make it bigger by using more strips.

All seams are a scant quarter inch, and I have pressed my seams open at all stages.

I started by sorting the jelly roll into colour sets, separating the lighter value prints (in this case the grey and white based prints) from the darker ones.

Next, split each colour into sets of three strips. Some of my strip sets included one strip with a contrast in colour or value.

Sew each of these strip sets together along the long edge. For the strip sets with one contrasting strip, make this the central strip in the strip set, as this will form a continuous ring within the hexagons. Press your seam open.

Next cut each of the strip sets using either a 60 degree triangle ruler:

Or using the 60 degree line on your ruler, lining up the line on your ruler with the bottom or top of the strip set.

Continue down the strip set, flipping the strip set or ruler as you go. You will end up with 9 triangles from each strip set.

Setting Triangles:

To avoid trimming off the sides of the quilt, and losing some of the width of the quilt, I added setting triangles at the end of each row. To make these, cut strips the same width as your strip sets (6.5") from your fat quarter of background fabric. Make a 60 degree cut with your ruler, and then make a vertical cut, 4" in along the long edge, and 1/4" from the shorter side (see below).  Continue along the strip, cutting a total of 16 setting triangles. 

Piecing the quilt:

At this stage, you could lay out your pieces and start piecing the rows together. I found it easier to piece together my darker coloured triangles into half-hexagons first, as it was much easier to switch them around on my design wall until I found a layout I liked. 

When sewing these half hexagons together, match up the seams along one edge and pin at each seam (I pin the side of the seam that will be sewn first). 

You will end up with three half-hexagons from each strip set.

Lay out your pieces into rows (here I have 8 rows of 12 triangles, plus a setting triangle at the end of each row). Adrianne has written an awesome tutorial on sewing equilateral triangles if you'd like some tips on how to do this. 

Once your rows are sewn, sew your rows together in pairs, carefully pinning the seams where your hexagon strips meet. Continue sewing together in pairs, until you have a complete quilt top. 

 In regards to the layout, you could easily make this quilt with full hexagons interlocking across the quilt, rather than using partial hexagons as I have done. In fact, the layout possibilities are endless - I'm planning on making another bigger version of this one at some stage soon. It's a quick and fun top to put together.

If you have any questions please just leave a comment or send me an email. If you do use this tutorial to make a quilt, please send me a photo!

So, on to the giveaway! The Fat Quarter Shop have generously offered the choice of any jelly roll to one of my readers.

To enter, just leave me a comment letting me know which jelly roll you would choose. My followers get an extra entry - just leave a second comment letting me know how you follow. If you would like a third entry, share this post (on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram) and leave a third comment with the link to your post.

International entries are welcome, and I will draw a winner next Monday (9th December) at 9pm AEST. The winner is Crickets Corner, who has been contacted by email.

xx Jess

Tuesday 3 December 2013

I made a dress!

My little sister is getting married next March, and she has asked me to be one of her bridesmaids (eeeep!). Which is why I've made a dress - this isn't the bridesmaid version, but I wanted to test out the pattern before I dove into making it for real. I did do a bit of garment making before I started making quilts, but it's been a couple of years since I have made anything for myself. I'd completely forgotten how much fun it is!

The pattern I used is the Crepe dress pattern by Colette patterns. It's rated as a beginner pattern which is pretty spot on. It is a wrap style dress, which eliminates having to do buttons or zips, and makes it relatively easy to get the fit right. It is has several darts on the bodice, and the facing around the arms was a bit tricky (there are some very tight curves to sew) but other than that it was pretty easy to make.

I didn't make any adjustments to the pattern - I'm pretty much a standard size for my bust, waist and hip. I made the size 12 version - although the bodice is a wee bit baggy so I'm considering making the size smaller for the 'real' dress. I'm incredibly camera shy, which is why these photos look like I'd rather be anywhere else than having these taken ;o)

One of my favorite things about this dress is that it has pockets. And it is a very flattering style for those of us with ample curves. I used a quilting cotton for this version - a DS print from Spotlight. I think I will end up making several of these for summer - it is extremely comfortable and easy to wear.

xx Jess