Saturday, October 10, 2015

Plus One....

This is the year of the '18th' in our household with R seemingly at an 18th party just about every second week. R requested a Plus Quilt for a special friend's birthday which is coming up mid month.

Even though she actually asked way back in July....I still managed to only find time for it these past two weeks. Whilst it was a bit of a rush to the finish line which reduced due to booking in a machine service, I still managed it in good time and to actually take some photos before it leaves. (I made another quilt earlier this year and it left before I could get any photos and I'm still kicking myself.)

R and I discussed favourite colours and I could see her staring at my lovely stash of DS Quilts Picadilly which was released through Spotlight. It has the perfect amount of vibrant green, blue and pink which were all requested and even though based on traditional fabric designs has a modern edge perfect for an 18 year old.

I reluctantly agreed, dreading the prospect of cutting into much loved and hoarded fabric. But to my absolute delight it was being discontinued and discounted at Spotlight and I subsequently ran around to the four that span my area and picked up all bar one of the designs.

And because the prices were so cheap I managed to get two lots of yardage for a back...I had options even! I opted for the tiny blue flower and bound it the blue mosaic (my name for it!).

The plus quilt pattern is by Jeni Baker and is perfect for featuring a whole fabric line. I was a little short on the specified quantity in the range so I added in a bright yellow and orange micro gingham.

Now that the photos are taken, the quilt is ready for wrapping, and the blog written, I'm linking up with Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Scrappy pineapple....

Blogging is rare these days but this quilt finish is so lovely I just had to share....or at least record it so I can review in years to come!

This is my scrappy pineapple quilt that I started to make blocks for last January.
After falling madly in love with Crazy Mom's Plenty of Pineapples version that capped off her 2014 year and her 101 scrap finishes, I had to have one.

It was the perfect sewing project to take away to our shack last summer where I have limited sewing facilities. I set myself up for sewing all of my 20 blocks at once, each growing at the same level of intensity, row by row. It allowed me to balance my colours matching each strip opposite each other. I guess this ensured a little bit of colour continuity for me. I managed to get to 11" sized blocks before having to come home. And once we did, we all went back to work and school and those blocks have sat in their unfinished state for the last 8 months or so.
I rifled past them in the storage box every now and then and funnily enough started to like the blocks less. I was using scraps, many of which had been turned over in the scrap pile for some time so I was probably a little sick of them. Other fabrics had been gifted, thrown into the blocks because they weren't really my usual choices. So the whole idea of a pineapple quilt of my own loomed less and less on the near horizon.

That is until L invited us to her 'Girls Night In' fundraiser for cancer research which also came with a request for raffle items. Naturally, I thought I could easily make a quilt and set about sorting through the cupboard. My first instinct was to make a kitchen sink quilt out my orphan blocks. (Which I did make but fell soooo in love with it couldn't bear to part with it...but that's another story.) Another sort through bits and pieces and I chanced upon the now very buried pineapple blocks. Bingo, these only needed corners and they'd be finished! That done, multiplied by 20 blocks and a 5" border delivered a lovely little lap size quilt of 52" x 64".

And guess what? I love it again. Isn't it funny how that happens? But I had the good sense after my first about-face to tell L that it was for her straight away, that way I couldn't change my mind again!
The binding is scrappy, cobbled together from left over ends of quilt bindings. The backing fabric was gifted by M. Add that to the gifted scraps that appear in the blocks I feel so many of my sewing friends have made this quilt come to life for L's fundraiser. I'm almost wishing I might be able to win it back!

And to celebrate this finish, I'm linking up to this quilt's inspiration, none other than Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

One for the school and one for the!

Our family were firmly in the 'we're not cat people' camp. That is until we found a kitten abandoned in our outside laundry back in December. I'm not sure who adopted who, but in that short amount of time George* has become the fifth member of the household. So much so, after a little health problem recently I decided he needed a little quilt of his own to snuggle. (I've clearly run out of babies to make quilts for at the moment!)

I had a block in my head based on a quilt I had seen in the b&b we had stayed at in Culemborg in Holland a couple of years ago. I searched all of my block books and found that it could be made several ways, depending on how you placed your fabrics. Additionally, the block came with a plethora of different names! The one I opted for was Father's Choice and set about making George's quilt in a scrappy fashion.

I've used 9 blocks and I really love how the joining of the blocks makes for another star appear in the centre.The binding is also a combination of scrappy blacks...all bits of binding that I end up having left over from other bindings. My only problem with using these binding bits is that I bind by hand at 2.5" width and by machine at 2.25". Luckily I was machine binding this one as I figured that it would be in the wash more often than usual, so was able to trim down the wider bits.

There's been a bit more quilt action happening in between life as we currently know studies, R's year 12 studies, L joining the rowing team....all of which cuts into my sewing time!

This past Easter, Clare invited the girls around for a sewing day and to catch the last rays of warm autumn sunshine before the chill set in. I used the time to cut up a bunch of solids from the stash and ended my day with a pile of lovely triangles.

The autumn weather was obviously influencing the selection as I had initially intended something with a bit more of a pastel outlook.

But I love this colour scheme nonetheless and whilst the photos seem a little dull due to late afternoon photography, it's really quite vibrant.

The back is the last of some Ikea fabric I purchased way back when Ikea first opened here in Adelaide. I think it was part of the Cecilia range that also included the 'birds'.

The orange and pink co-ordinate beautifully with the front. This one will go to school as a fundraiser.
Oh...and here is George checking out the quilt action....cheeky orange cat!

* George is George because he has quite a definite cross across his back, a little like the St George Cross in the Union Jack.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Modern Maples.....

Way back in October my sister commissioned me to make a birthday quilt for her friend. I suggested the Modern Maples pattern which is a free pattern that has been floating around for some time. The recipient lives in the Adelaide Hills which is the city's home to autumnal foliage....even when it's not Autumn. (It was actually Spring time when she received her quilt in late October!)

I loved making this quilt. The blocks are really straight forward and is a great way to feature individual fabrics in a large-sh way. I chose to make my maple leaves traditionally autumnal so I got to use quite a few fabrics that were languishing in the cupboard because they don't usually go with my other fabric pulls. But together in this quilt....they were awesome.

The back features the last of my Ikea bird fabric in the brown. In fact, it was several long strip pieces that I jigsawed together in Kona Snow frames. My photos don't show this but it merged together really well.

If you'd like to make this quilt you can find the free download here!

Linking up to Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday....even if I did finish it a few Friday's ago!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Strips from the scrap bag....

I've often said how I don't throw away any of my fabric off-cuts. These are stored various storage systems around my sewing space. I have zip-lock bags of triangles from bindings and selvages. Bigger pieces are 'filed' in other receptacles. But my best bits are the strips that get cut from backing sides or rectangles left over from cutting out blocks. These are all filed in my strip scrap bag which is one of those study studded plastic bags that you get when you buy a set of sheets.

The strip scrap bag has been bursting at the seams for some time now and needed a little urgent attention. So with one of my client's baby due date drawing closer, I thought I'd merge the two situations to my quilt making advantage. I love a small baby quilt finish. It delivers such satisfaction.

Ready made strips are ideal for scrappy log cabins. Very little preparation aside from straightening an edge or two...unless you're purposefully going for wonky....! I chose a range of centre squares of varying sizes and rainbow colours to start me off and worked out from there. I was aiming for 12 blocks around 14" right from the start, so it was a really simple process of chain piecing each one. I had the whole cot sized top done in  a day.

The binding is a Sarah Fielke black and white from Spotlight that I had in the cupboard...I've cut the selvedge...for storage of can't remember the name but Mondiali rings a bell. The back is a piece of Ikea's Cecilia bird fabric in green that my sister gave me recently. (But not shown.)

All in all...something lovely from seemingly not much at all! A cot sized quilt (41" x 54") that was gifted today and received with overwhelming delight. Yay!

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday.

Friday, September 26, 2014

At a crossroads....

Literally...and figuratively!
I haven't blogged in months. And I've never not blogged for this long. Blogging this year seems to have been hijacked by the 'in the moment' opportunities of Instagram (I'm @sewandsews) and the mundane-ness of having to connect my Nikon to the laptop because it doesn't play nicely with the desktop computer and the laptop is invariably in someones bedroom because they've been watching a movie....and so on, and so on! It's such a shame. I mostly blog for me as a record of what I've created quilt wise with a smattering of family life, but I also know our far flung friends like to check in every now and then to see what we're all up I'm doing it. Here's a collection of this past winter gone.

Most of my quilting friends know of my love for Denyse Schmidt fabrics. Over the years I've amassed a rather substantial collection of fabrics, both international releases and those released through our local Spotlight store under the DS Quilts brands. I decided they needed to be let loose from the cupboard and whilst cutting one very large project (which is now bundled up in a plastic tub!), decided on another. Using a plethora of 2.5" strips and squares is my Arkansas Crossroads quilt. I used the free download pattern by another Adelaide quilter, England Street Quilts.

To say I'm thrilled with it is an understatement. Right now, it's my favourite.

The back and binding continue with the DS Quilts theme and cobbles together some of my larger pieces of Hope Valley and some Spotlight editions in the pinks, purples and oranges.

The binding uses more...and after a little miscalculation oopsie I had to improvise and added in a tiny odd bit of the blue flower from Picnics & Fairgrounds which I've used over and over in so many quilts these past couple of years. It's a nice reminder.

I've often said how I keep all my scraps. It's a problem but so far a nice one to have. It expands creativity in my opinion. Sometimes this manifests as a sleepless night...but hey, at least there's a positive outcome. This little baby quilt was built using the triangle offcuts from the 'X' blocks in the above quilt and a few lone 2.5" squares to make the little scrappy stars. And because I love the fabric so much, I set it all in scraps of solids. I loved that I had enough solids big enough to cobble out a little baby quilt.

The backing is brown gingham that was gifted from my boss who was purging her linen press. It's perfectly plain and a little bit old fashioned and is the perfect foil for a back to let the front speak for itself.

Another quilt that was a long time in the making was adapted from the Modern Log Cabin book by Susan Beal. It was the cross quilt quilt on the front that inspired me to purchase the book. This is my version of the cross quilt, adapted using 2.5" strips. It gives a slightly different dimension but sweet nonetheless. Here it is finally finished on my clothes line and looking at this picture, taken in the depths of our very cold winter just gone. It's lovely to have spring arrive!

On the back I made a giant log cabin cross, set in white.

And finally, what I'm working on right now. It is scaring the pants off me because it's so big. The biggest quilt I've ever made. Here it is at basting stage. The challenge was to find floorspace big enough and I ended up using my office. You can see my shoes to the side where I had to remove them to accommodate walking over the top of it because it spanned the whole width of the foyer!

This is for my SIL in Perth. She loves everything Sugar Skulls and asked me to make her a quilt featuring them. Typically, I was at the end of the sugar skull fabric releases but did manage to get some locally from Voodoo Rabbit in Brisbane who specialise in rockabilly, tattoo, retro and punk  fabrics and picked up some fantastic Alexander Henry day of the dead fabrics. There was also a release from Spotlight and I managed to score (yes, score but a long story of a frenzied woman who had visited every store within a 20km radius!) some of their coloured skulls. There had been a black and white release but alas, not for me!

The pattern is the Kismet medallion quilt by Kathy Doughty of Material Obsession fame in Sydney from the Material Obsession Two book by Kathy and Sarah Fielke.

There have been others in between all of these quilts but are currently laying dormant in the 'to be processed pile'. Here's to more quilting and blogging in the very near future! And to celebrate all of these finishes, I'm linking up with Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

There's a Granny on my gate....

Well that made you look didn't it!

Here's a little Granny Square quilt that I made for my sister in law for a friend of her's who is having a baby. As soon as she saw mine, she said "I want one like that....only smaller and for a boy." So that's what she got.

Like my larger version, I've added some little cornerstones to each of the blocks. It's a lovely way to use some 2.5" squares, albiet 4 in this instance!

The back is an argyle from DS Quilts, Denyse Schmidt's range through Spotlight in Australia. I don't know what it's called or from which range but I just love, love, love it as a back for a baby quilt. Without any fancy joining, it looks really smart. And, because of the busy-ness of the back, I went with the last of my Kona charcoal to frame both the front and the back.

I've said it before and I'll say it again....oh how I wish I'd quilted when my babies were little. But then again, we may not be able to get out of the front door for them all being stacked against it!