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!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Vintage vibe....

I can't believe I missed a whole month of blogging. Needless to say, this post will be picture heavy to catch up on all the quilt finishes this past month.

First off, way back when it was still hot and feeling like it was still summer, a pink pinwheel quilt. I started this quilt back in September but missed my deadline of taking it overseas. Then when I realised that our friends were going to be here in February it was a last minute dash to finish it before they returned home to the UK....typical.

I used a whole bunch of low volume squares that were left over from this quilt and turned them into pinwheels using this method. Then I set them in a framework of really pale pink solid background.

The quilt is for a little girl, so lots of pink was in order. It turned out rather sweet and with the pink polka dot binding has quite a vintage look about it.

After I gifted this quilt, my sister in law requested a couple of quilts for babies in her circle of friends. Margaret quite liked the scrappy swoon block but wanted a cot size for a little boy, the first grandchild of one of their dearest friends.

I stuck with the scrappy swoon but off-set it in turquoise and backed it with a piece of Salt Air by Moda. Funnily enough, this one has quite a vintage look about it as well!

For my birthday recently, Spotlight sent me a $10 gift voucher which I promptly redeemed on a copy of Camille Roskelley's Simply Retro book. Inside there's  a lovely little Churn Dash quilt that I was itching to try.

I make no secret of the fact that I'm always on the look/listen out for baby news so I have a chance to try something new. When I realised that one of R's teachers was just about to head off on maternity leave, I hopped to and got cutting and stitching.

Her teacher was keeping baby's gender a secret which made fabric choice difficult.
I don't mind red and navy on girls but some people have a problem with florals for boys. I went with a selection of red, navy, lime Picnics & Fairgrounds by Denyse Schmidt (the queen of vintage looking fabric in my eyes.

This combo has yeilded quite a few florals and to tempt fate, I've used the last of some other DS green and blue floral on the back, paired with a strip of lime solid. But.... you never know, Ms T might trump us all and baby could turn out to be a girl....in which case it's all a moot point!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Tinker Taylor....

I've have finished my Scrappy Summer quilt and just in time for Joe's great nephew's first birthday party this weekend.

The pattern is Scrappy Summer by Alison of Cluck Cluck Sew using the free tutorial on the blog.
This quilt was so lovely to work on. I loved the colours I chose and the easy piecing, much of it chained which helped it come together like a dream. The way the white blocks run through the quilt gives it a really crisp summer look.

Everything I used in this quilt I had, so it truly is a scrappy quilt. The backing came off another that I had got as far as basting but it just wasn't doing it for me on that one. So a bit of an un-pin and re-pin and voila, backing ready to go. It's a Denyse Schmidt floral in blue and green from Spotlight, from the range after Picnics & Fairgrounds....Sugar Creek.

The binding is a fabric I bought from Fabric Shack from their cheapy discounted section. It's a perfect zingy stripe (and dot) in red and aqua which picks up the reds and blues in the quilt. Unfortunately, I cut off the selvedge and didn't have time to go back and investigate the name.

This time I decided to machine stitch the binding. I know a lot of quilters claim that it's more durable and an expedient way to attach a binding...which it is, but....I don't know, I don't love it. It's got stitching through it. I honestly prefer the neat finish of a hand stitched binding. This is probably only about the second or third time I've attempted machine stitched binding and I respect the fact that practice makes perfect, but those little oopsies when the stitches come off the rails on the back drive me nuts. All that being said, I'm not undoing it! It will be fine and no-one else cares except me!

Now that's two little whinges I've had in this post so we'll leave it there for now. I do love this quilt, it's perfect for a little boy and I hope he gets lots of use out of it, at least as much as his big brother got from his a few years back. Happy birthday Taylor!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Favourite colours.....

I'm on a bit of a bandwagon for orange, green, yellow, blue, grey and red lately with them popping up in at least two quilt projects in a row. Both of which are quilts for little boys.

The first is a quilt for a little man who's turning one shortly. I've used Cluck Cluck Sew's free tutorial for the Scrappy Summer Quilt. This pattern is so easy and comes together so neatly. Currently it's basted and waiting for the Adelaide weather to move on from its never-ending 40 degree plus heat waves (we've had two already!). I love how crisp these colours look.

Then because I was loving the colours so much and am always on the hunt for an excuse to make a quilt, I made a scrappy swoon for a work colleague who's son has had his first baby, and Liz's first grandchild. The pattern is by Camille Roskelley and once I got my head around it, it is pretty easy to turn scrappy....although I could have contrasted the colours against the centre square a bit better. (Must try harder next time!) It's one single Swoon block, set inside 8" of solid borders which makes a 40" square quilt.

The back is a single metre piece of Spotlight fabric picked up for a song last year. It's the perfect turquoise for a little boy.

Actually, this whole quilt didn't require one cent of expenditure....I had it all. Scraps, enough solid, enough binding and enough batting to frankenpiece! I love a gift from 'nothing'!

Last Christmas the Sew & Sew's girls decided to give an end-of-year gift of our scraps to each other. Just reporting in girls....but I have managed to use gifted scraps in both of these quilts and another so far this year. (Red pin dot - M, Grey mice - K, Green floral - C) It's a lot of fun to use other people's fabrics, that's for sure.

I've linked to Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Made to Measure....

I wanted to post one of those fancy pants mosaics featuring all the things I'd worked on this year. Surprisingly, there was quite a bit of sewing even if my blog posts have been rather thin on the ground. But alas, I haven't kept up with my flickr posting and this has made the mosaic difficult to capture. So I'll leave you with my latest project, Made to Measure, a medallion quilt designed my Sarah Fielke and featured in her latest book, Hand Quilted With Love.

I've opted to follow Sarah's colour scheme as I'm not that brave selecting my own. Mind you, seeing as it's the quilt featured on the cover and the one I fell in love with, why not follow the prescribed colours?
I've two more borders to go and I'm really enjoying the process....even if it does mean trimming down lots (did I say lots, I meant LOTS) of half square triangles. But that's my own doing, as I've chosen to make them over sized and trim them down for accuracy.
My piecing is obviously also a little out as the specified measurements are about 1/2" inch smaller than where I'm at. So I'm currently cutting a little longer and so far, that's working out. This however is a far cry from my first round of piecing for the centre star. I religiously followed the pattern for the centre star I couldn't believe how tight the placement was and how nothing aligned. To say I cried was an understatement. I had after all, cut into some wonderful fabric that I'd just bought back from Paris and hardly able to whip around the corner to buy some more!
So after a sleepless night, made worse by jetlag, trying to re-invent some measurements to make it work, I decided I'd google 'problems with Made to Measure measurements'. Guess what? An errata page! I get that mistakes are made, afterall I've spent a lifetime in advertising and communications and I know that when it comes to pressing that 'publish' button, there's a lot of stress on the publisher side. But....who would have thought it? Not me!
So the next night I unpicked what I'd done, re-cut the middle and set off again. So far, so good.
Here's hoping 2014 is filled with less errata for everyone and more plain sailing into the seas of fabric that we love!

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's all a bit scrappy.....

When I came home from my recent overseas journey, I was completely committed to the prospect of regular blogging and sharing many of my wonderful experiences.....except the reality of work, catching kids up at school, end of year school exams (and all that that brings in terms of the tone of family life) and R's new first ever part time job, started to cut into any spare time that I might of had for crafting and blogging. Cut a long story short, once again, I've been very lax about posting anything in this little space. Mind you, even my instagramming has suffered because if you're not making it, you're not insta-photographing it, let alone posting it....even in a micro form.
However, the Sew & Sews girls are on notice for the next Guerrilla Market which has been scheduled for early December. Based on last year's market, this is the fun one and this is the one that people go to with Christmas in mind.
So, once again, I've dived into my scrap bin, woven some magic and managed to cobble together some items that I'm hoping don't look like the small bits of fabric they once were.
First up, Christmas Stockings.
We learned from last year's market that festive is the way to go. So I thought stockings would be a good idea.
These stockings feature 2.5" squares cut from a variety of fabrics, some of which were generously co-opted from the Sew & Sews girls. The batting is cobbled together from all the strips that get cut off the sides of quilts and, in my case, shoved into a very large plastic bag for later...!
I know, I know! I have a problem with throwing bits of fabric and batting away and I know the bigger  problem is about where and how to store it...but eventually, I get there. I do use these bits in some shape or form and I actually love the thrill of using it...what a dare-devil! My next post will be a killer surprise showing how I've used the bits of these stockings that were cut off the patch-worked pieces that I just couldn't bear to throw away! Mmmmwwwwaahhh!
Second up, scrappy lanyards. I made a few of these for a recent market, posted a pic or two on instagram and they went off like crackers at Guy Fawkes Night!
Lanyards are often compulsory for many employees these days, so it's really nice to have something pretty, or something that just stands out so you don't leave it behind.
My lanyards are all made with 2.5" width  scraps joined to make a long strip. Then they're folded and folded....sounds a bit like Sara Lee...to make a strip of scrappy fabric ribbon happiness. I kind of wish I needed to wear one to work!
I'm linking up with Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday because I know she would love any finishes that feature scraps!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Tour de force...

There has been an absence from this blog space for some time now and that's because we've been traveling for the past month, spending time in the UK, France, Brussels and Holland. I wouldn't have called it a holiday as these kinds of trips tend to be exhausting with all the sightseeing and jammed packed adventure that gets crammed into virtually every waking moment so as not to miss out one single thing. Coupled with the fact that for Australian's to visit these countries we have to travel to the other side of the world making regular visiting difficult and seeing as it's been a long time between our last trip and this one, we're probably not going to get back again for some time to come, so we were certainly making the most of it.
We've been back a week now and I'm still digesting most of it but there were many highlights and a few dramas that I still shake my head over and wonder how we got through it. One of the things I came to realise is how resilient our kids are and how well they coped with what was being thrown at us.
I spent much of the trip instagraming and sending daily updates on Facebook, so in order to write a recap here, I'll have to review those posts to refresh my memory. However, the clearest was being able to catch up with dear friends. I took three quilts which would become a welcome, a thank you and hello again gifts. (This was also my method of overloading my suitcase to make room for purchases!)
I have previously blogged about my Happy Trails quilt which was a welcome gift for baby E who is now 6 months old, and my low volume quilt was a thank you present to E & P for putting us up for 10 days in London. It was lovely to see it instantly put to use in E's lounge room and I'm thrilled it co-ordinated so well with her decor.
The third quilt was gifted to our dear friends who have been in the UK for two years now. They headed over to run a country pub. The process of getting the pub into shape nearly killed them and they eventually sold and are now based close to M's family and working in London. Luckily, L was between jobs and M took a few days off and they were able to spend time with us and act as tour guides whilst we were there.
Their quilt is my 'This way and That way' quilt. I haven't shared it before but I did post a snippet on instagram which went off for 'likes' and even had a request for a tutorial. (!) It's made from the triangles that are created when making pennants for bunting. There's always one (or two if fabric is doubled) at the beginning of the strip and one at the end and given that I was making bunting out of some of my most precious fabrics there was no way I was going to chuck them so they were filed into a ziplock for safe keeping. I realised that I had quite a few, so I set them into white vertical rectangles a'la Gwen Marston style. The block is actually known as a dog-tooth block. I managed three rows of dog-teeth, and laid them in alternate directions floating in the bottom third of the front.
The back is the red floral from Denyse Schmidt's Picnics & Fairgrounds range which I've used over and over....and never tire! Binding is a black and white stripe which I picked up from Fabric Shack for a song. (I've become quite partial to exploring their 'sale' page and seeing how much I'm not spending! You can get a lot of fabric for not much in that section!)
Needless to say, M & L loved their quilt and started to use it straight away. I hope they think of us whenever they do and when we'll next see them home because whilst it was the best thing ever to say hello again, saying goodbye is too, too hard.