Monday 31 August 2015

{Selvage Along} Selvage Pin Cushion

A couple of months ago, my friends Jess (Quilty Habit) and Renee (Quilts of a Feather) asked me if I'd like to contribute a post to their Selvage Along and I instantly said yes. These two girls are some of my best quilty friends (and I was so excited to spend time with them at QuiltCon this year!!), so it's lovely to be part of their Selvage Along! It took me ages to decide what project to make with my selvages, but I eventually decided to make something I needed - a new pin cushion!

This was such a quick and simple finish. I cut a scrap of batting to the size I wanted the pin cushion to be (about 8" square), chose a fussy cut square for the centre and then simply added selvages around the edge, QAYG log cabin style.

Once I'd covered the batting with selvages, I simply cut a square of fabric the same size, sewed them right sides together and left a small space (about 3") to turn it right side out. A stuffed a bit of polyfill inside, hand stitched it closed and voila! A pretty little pin cushion!

I was going to do a step by step tutorial for this one, but I've managed to get the cold my kids have had for the last couple of weeks (complete with fevers and all over body aches) so I'll leave that for another day if anyone is interested ;o) For now, I'm crawling back onto the sofa to watch more movies with the illness sharing children...

xx Jess

Tuesday 25 August 2015

House of the Rising Sun

Over the last week or so, I've been working on a class sample for a free motion quilting class I'll be teaching in November. It has been such a lot of fun to work on this quilt - and it's pretty much done! I have used Karlee Porter's Graffiti Quilting book as a jumping point for this quilt - it's a great ideas book. As I became more confident with this style of quilting, I tried to bring in my own elements more, but it's definitely inspired by Karlee's phenomenal work. All my students will be purchasing a copy of the book too - it's a great resource.

I am still unpicking that dark red bit in the middle, and I will fix that bit very soon - but apart from that it's finished. I definitely like some parts better than others - but it will be good to show students what works and doesn't work ;o)

It's really hard to capture the thread colours in photos, but I've used a rainbow of Aurifil threads (some 40wt, some 50wt) starting with red in the centre. Most of the thread colours I used were on the light side - I did start quilting with navy thread, but I decided pretty quickly that it was a bit dark, and changed to a softer variegated blue. I especially liked quilting with 40wt variegated thread on this quilt; once I got used to using contrasting thread it made it interesting to see the subtle change in colour starting to appear.

I used two layers of wool/cotton batting on this one (it's only about 40" square so it wasn't too heavy) - and it's given the quilting a gorgeous texture. It is a pretty stiff quilt with all that quilting though - which made it tricky to move it around toward the end!

It needs to be washed and blocked once it's completely done - it is pretty wavy around the edges, but I'm hoping it will flatten out when I block it.

I started quilting my Aviatrix today too - so I'm hoping I'll have more quilting progress to share soon :o)

xx Jess

Friday 21 August 2015

Friday Fabric Finds

Welcome to the next installment of Friday Fabric Finds! These posts are where I share the latest and greatest fabrics in my sponsor's shops, and any sales or specials they are running at the moment. I have some great stuff to share with you today!

First up, Frangipani Fabrics have just created some gorgeous new Chic Neutrals bundles, inspired by the sophisticated modern blenders by Amy Ellis for Moda Fabrics. I love the colours in this bundle - it's very reminiscent of twilight, or a night in the city, with bright lights and heavy shadows. This bundle includes a few of one of my favorites too - Franklin by Denyse Schmidt. Frangipani are offering it for a special price too - 8 fat quarters for the price of 6!

Frangipani have also listed a bunch of upcoming classes, including a Graffiti Quilting class with yours truly. I am SO excited about teaching a free motion quilting class at last - and there has been a huge amount of interest already, so if you'd like to spend a day learning this super fun quilting technique with me you'll need to get in quick :o) 

Polka Dot Tea fabrics have received a bunch of new fabrics this week, including the full collection of Doe by Carolyn Freidlander! This collection has taken a looong time to make it's way to Australia, and it is absolutely worth the wait. As always, Carolyn has created a range of incredibly useful fabrics, with loads of gorgeous textural prints in there.

Polka Dot Tea are also taking pre-orders for Heather Ross' upcoming collection Tiger Lily. Heather creates the most gorgeous whimsical prints, and the colours in this one are just divine - a lovely mix of saturated and soft. I can see some stunning children's quilts made with this collection!

At Sew Me a Song, Becca has been busy creating some fabulous scrappy bundles, including this Colour My World bundle of fat sixteenths - the perfect way to add some rainbow variety to your stash.

And if you need to stock up on some blue fabrics, Becca has also listed this lovely Colour Me Blue bundle stacked with polka dots, text fabrics and some lovely florals.

Finally, I have some other news to share. My friend Angie from Gnome Angel has just announced a Farmers Wife 1930s Sampler Quilt Sew Along that will kick off on 28th September. Angie is running this sew along in conjunction with the Fat Quarter Shop, and she has recruited a bunch of bloggers who, along with Angie, will be sharing block tutorials throughout the sew along (including me and many of my good bloggy friends!!). Angie has also curated a bundle of fabric for this quilt, available from Fat Quarter Shop.

Happy shopping! I hope you all have a fabulous weekend :o). I'm especially excited about this weekend - the Tasmanian Modern Quilt Guild are presenting a weekend of workshops with the uber talented Sarah Fielke! I am really looking forward to both of the workshops (improv words and step down piecing), and it will be really nice to be a student rather than teacher ;o) I'll be sure to share what I get up to on Instagram over the weekend, and hopefully in a blog post next week!

xx Jess 

Wednesday 19 August 2015

Quilty Fun!

So I've been sewing like a mad woman over the last week or so, and I have a few things to share today! First up, my Aviatrix medallion is completely pieced! I really struggled to get the full quilt in a photo (no helpers available, so I perched on a ladder), but you get the idea ;o) 

I ended up using my sidekick ruler and hexnmore rulers to cut the butterfly border, which made it super quick to cut. The did take a while to piece (simply because there are so many of them!), but it was well worth the effort. I absolutely adore this quilt - and it's basted and ready to start quilting really soon! I just have some horrifically overdue bee blocks to make, and then I'll be quilting this beast. The outer borders are a wee bit full, but I'm hoping some clever quilting choices will flatten it out (no idea what those clever choices are by the way - but I'm all ears if anyone has ideas!!) 

Before I get onto my bee blocks, I needed to whip up a class sample for a Graffiti quilting class I'll be teaching at Frangipani Fabrics in a few months. I spent most of today working on this - and it was SO much fun. I'll be unpicking some of the really dense stitching (I guess you could call it thread painting) in the centre (which might take a few hours I reckon!) but other than that I am so happy with how it's coming together. I've always been a bit scared of using thread that doesn't blend - but this quilt is making me change my mind. It's the first true whole cloth quilt I've done, and I'm pretty sure there'll be more. I haven't enjoyed quilting this much ever!

It's a bit hard to tell in these photos, but I'm changing thread colour as I move out from the circle (which I did mark - only that though, the rest is free hand). I'm using a range of Aurifil threads - some 50wt, some 40wt - and aiming for a rainbow effect. Some of the designs I'm using are based on Karlee Porter's Graffiti quilting book, but as I grow more confident with it, I'm trying to make it more 'me' than Karlee ;o)

These photos are all a bit sub-par (as usual, night time quilting and too impatient to wait till tomorrow for good light!!) - but I promise I'll get some better ones when I've finished quilting this one. It is kind of addictive doing this kind of quilting - so I'll more than likely have this finished by the end of the week!

I hope you're all having a great week! 

xx Jess

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday :o)

Wednesday 5 August 2015

Aviatrix Again!

Since playing with my Checker blocks last week, I've been working pretty frantically on my Aviatrix medallion. Last time I shared it, I'd only added the x plus blocks:

But last week, the teeny neutral squares went on (and I have to say I adore this neutral border. It breaks up all the colour so perfectly, and it was nice to have a really quick and simple border after those x plus blocks!!) I sewed these on during the day, and I think this is the only day-time photo I've managed to get of this quilt so far. I'm usually too impatient to wait to take pictures the next day in daylight ;o)

Since then, I've been steadily working on piecing the log cabin border. Although they are really simple to put together, they did take a fair while to make - an hour or two each night over the last week. Seeing them all together like this makes me want to make a log cabin quilt soon - yet another border in this quilt that could happily be a quilt top. I have always loved log cabin blocks, but the wide coloured strips combined with the thinner white strips and alternating placement in these is particularly effective, I think! 

I finished sewing them into borders and attached them to the centre of the quilt top tonight - and I'm way to impatient to wait to tomorrow to share it. I am SO in love with this quilt top! It's getting really big now (around 70" square I think?) so it meant balancing on books on top of a table to take this photo (which is why it isn't quite straight-on and kind of looks like the cat took it). The colours in this photo aren't great (again, impatient to share!), but you get the idea. It's just such a happy quilt, and it makes me so happy when I'm working on it! 

I've been procrastinating over the butterfly border since I started this quilt - but I'm so excited about quilting it I think I'll get them done as soon as I can. I do have a bit of time pressure to get them done too - I'll be teaching this quilt starting this weekend, so it would be good if I've finished the quilt top before my students get to the final border ;o) I'm so looking forward to teaching this quilt - and we have split the class into two because it got so big! It is going to be amazing seeing 16 different versions of this quilt being created!

Since it's still Wednesday (just!), and this is a WIP, I'm linking up with Lee (for the first time in a loooong time). 

I hope you're all having a fabulous week!

xx Jess