Thursday 25 May 2017

Ice Cream Soda Quilt {Month 3}

Another month, another lot of Ice Cream Soda quilt blossoms! I'm still surprised that I'm 'keeping up' with this block of the month (created by Jodi at Tales of Cloth) - although I'm not making a conscious effort to get all my blossoms made before the next lot of papers arrive, it has worked out that way so far. Having said that, I've doubled my order for month four (I have a grand plan I'll talk about later in this post), and I'm pretty certain I won't get 16 done this month with everything else I have going on.... but we will see! This is how my blocks are looking at the moment (minus one - I need to get a good group photo!) Not totally balanced colour-wise, but I have lots of time to work on that little problem. 

I've been using Aurifil 80wt for pretty much all of my piecing for these blossoms. I think I've mentioned it before, but it is SUCH a revelation for hand piecing. I'm finding if I use an arm-length strand (not longer), it's stitching beautifully without breaking (even though I do put a fair bit of tension on my stitches). And the stitches are virtually invisible. I purchased the Essential Aurifil Applique set from Fat Quarter Shop earlier this year, and I'm finding this set of neutrals are meeting all my needs, even though I'm using a huge variety of colours and values in this quilt.

I'm continuing with the fussy cut animal theme, although I am starting to make a few blocks that are just fussy cut (without the animal cute factor). I'm not sure about this one yet - but in among all the others, it works so I'm pretty sure it will make it into the final quilt.

These two blocks were a bit of an experiement - I used the same Tula Pink print for the middle round, and varied the outer and inner prints. I'm amazed how different they look - and it's made me realise I'll easily be able to repeat fabrics in this quilt without it looking like I have.

I've been having a lot of fun using this radiating stripe print from Heather Bailey's True Colours collection. I love the movement it gives, and how different it looks depending on where it's placed in the blossoms.

This month, I'm going to make a set of low contrast/low volume blossoms with the idea that my quilt might 'fade out' around the edges. We will see how it goes with my month 4 update in a few weeks ;o).

xx Jess

Monday 8 May 2017

Peppermint Bark {a finished quilt}

April was a pretty busy month for me - my son turned 10, we had school holidays for a few weeks, plus throw in Easter, work and me learning how to use a longarm. Let's just say it was a full month! Nevertheless I managed to finish a few small projects, and I'm excited to be able to share one of these with you today. This is my version of the Peppermint Bark quilt, a brand new quilt pattern by It's Sew Emma for Fat Quarter Shop. 

I made the crib-sized version of this quilt - and although I don't have any baby girls to give it to, it's the perfect playmat for my daughter to use when she's playing with her Sylvanian toys. I used a few prints by Sarah Jane I've been hoarding for ages (along with a Joel Dewberry herringbone print), and chose a grey solid for the background. I deliberately chose a solid, as I knew I wanted to have some fun with the quilting on this one, and solids are awesome for showing up complex free motion quilting. It's a great pattern for small and medium scale prints - and these blocks sew together really fast.

I used two layers of wool batting for this quilt, which is why there's that awesome puff in the unquilted areas. I love using two layers on small quilts, especially if the intention is that they're going to be used on the floor. Not only does it mean the quilting shows up wonderfully, it also means it's super comfy for kids to sit on while they're playing. All the quilting is done in my favorite 50wt Aurifil thread - Dove (2600). It has blended flawlessly into the grey solid, and just leaves all that lovely texture.

The back of this is a border print by Sarah Jane, so it's pretty much a double sided quilt. I'm quite certain my daughter will end up using this side for her games (she has been asking for a playmat with water and grass on it for some time - I think this fits the bill pretty well!)

I'll be back later this week with some very exciting news - and I'll have another finish to share next week (I just need to get the binding on it!).

xx Jess