Sunday, March 28, 2010

Pyjama bottom....

I had some Kona Coal in the cupboard that I'd purchased for a previous project and didn't use but I think it looks lovely against the shabby chic pyjama colours.
So for the back of my Pyjama Party quilt I've taken a big chunk of grey and using the left over fabrics from the top I've created a high contrast strip of coins framed in white. I'm just debating what colour thread to use for the quilting. I usually use a natural cream colour but I'm worried this will really stand out against the grey and spoil its lovely smooth grey appeal. And, if I use a grey in my bobbin, how will the strip look quilted over in grey? A bit of thread experimenting might be coming my way before anything else!
All that aside, I love the Kona Coal colour. It reminds me of the little grey pinnies that we used to wear over our woollen winter uniforms when I was in primary school. Mine was edged with blue bias binding...the same blue in this quilt. It's funny how you don't think of things for over 40 years and then a fabric colour or two reminds you and it all comes flooding back.
Now this quilt will end up sitting for a while. Apart from finishing an essay that I've spent all day on....I don't have any spare basting pins! They're all tied up with some other quilts ready to quilt at the 'factory'. So even if I wanted to start quilting this one....I can't! (However, I could just pop out tomorrow and buy some more!)
But the day didn't completely lack creative pursuits. I have managed to supervise some cooking creativity occuring in the house today. R had a go at Rainbow Cake. Looks good R!
And Joe is putting the second coat of colour on the hallway walls....there's a bit of swearing going on but it's slowly getting there! Our hall is angled, so it's virtually two rooms - two ceilings, six walls....oh don't even think about it!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pyjama top...

I played around with the layout from the other night and made the 'Pyjama Party' quilt top more triangular and mixed the colour more evenly which gives it quite a vintage, shabby chic look. Which is exactly what I wanted. I've also added a white border since taking this photo to bring it to around 140cm x 127cm.
I learnt the hard way that when making half square triangle blocks that you really should trim them back after stitching. I didn't and this caused me no end of problems with aligning the rows. I think I've got away with it.....well to be honest, I told myself that the quilt was for me, so don't worry about a 'few' blocks being out of alignment...!! And, I'll probably stipple it so I don't have to worry about straight lines going wonky.
I always love looking at the 'wrong side' of quilt tops. They're so pretty against the light (although today is a little dull)!
And here is L as an Avatar after an afternoon visit to a local school fete. We're just trying to wash it off now! Bring on the make-up remover!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Pyjama Party....

I had a lovely pair of rose print cotton p.j.'s that I just loved and then the elastic went. I couldn't be bothered fixing the elastic...too hard in commercially bought p.j.'s but at the same time I couldn't bear to part with the lovely fabric.
So I took a leaf out of quilting ancestory and CUT them up!
The fabric is still in great condition and one leg yeilded around 12 6" squares!
I've teamed the squares with co-ordinating red, pink, blue and green and created a pile of gorgeous shabby chic-ish half square triangles.
I'm still playing with the layout as there are a few too many blobs of colour. But this little quilt is looking rather delightful. And don't worry friends. I won't foist my old jammies onto you, I'm keeping this one .....mind you....I have several other pairs of p.j.'s in rather nice prints on the go!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Currently on the floor....

I've spent some weeks working on this cartwheel block quilt.
It's quite girly and bright in hot pink, lime, dark green and orange.
Whilst the block itself is very easy to construct, it takes time with all the cutting and piecing.
To frame it I've chosen a 4 1/2" border of hot pink and white polka dot. Wide borders are a real trap though. You need to be very careful that your cutting is accurate otherwise you end up with floppy bits on the sides that are hard to smooth out.....which sort of happened to me but I managed to get it reasonably smooth. The proof will be in the quilting!
The back is a remnant that I forgot I had in the cupboard. It features bunches of pink roses and is rather pretty and is the perfect fabric for a backing. I was very lucky and managed to eek out a full back from the almost 2.8 metres that I had ....albeit pieced! I'll have to show that next time.
So in between text books and essays this weekend I'm hoping to get started on the quilting. Leaving it a few days will help me decide how to quilt it. Darning foot? Walking foot?

Friday, March 19, 2010

A last!

I've finished my sister's birthday quilt at long last....and what's more it's before she returns to Adelaide in a few days. The last stitches were snipped off last night at our weekly 'Sew and Sews' Thursday night catch up.
The quilt measures approximately 165cm square (65") and features Amy Butler Daisy Chain and Midwest Modern fabrics in greens and blues. The binding is a combination of Kaleidescope, Honeycombe and Wildflowers fabrics....all used in the top. I don't know the brand of the fabric used in the back but it is the most glorious shade of duck egg blue and sits beautifully between the green, blue and white.
The pattern is based on a disappearing 9 patch of 6" squares. After cutting the 9 patches, I didn't does that make it a 4 patch after all?
This quilt was easy to make but my proscrastination has impacted my love for it. Don't get me's lovely and fresh.....I just don't love it. But that's a good thing when you have to give them away. So onto the next one.....maybe the one that's in my head based on the leftover blue backing....I'm thinking duck egg blue and chocolate and it might be for me....someday!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Liberated jam coaster.....

The exercise in liberated quilting continues!
This is a very mini quilt that is intended to be a jam coaster. I'm not sure if jam coasters are real items, I'll leave it to the recipient to decide.
Combined with a jar of fresh home made fig jam, it's a nice little (and quick) gift for a friend who's an absolute fig fan.
This mini coaster quilt measures 8 1/2" x 8 1/2" and is made out left over snippets in orange and lime. Gotta love that!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Liberated coasters....

I was inspired to try some liberated quilting since receiving Gwen Marston's Liberated Quiltmaking II for my birthday recently.
So whilst fiddling around with some Denyse Schmidt Katie Jump Rope left-overs I made a set of drink coasters.
4 1/2" mini quilts that are now a birthday gift.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sea of green and blue.....

Do you ever have good intentions to make a gift and then you run out of time and end up buying something instead? Well this quilt is exactly that.
I started to make this quilt back in October in good time for Christmas. Then other things got in the way (which was totally my doing) so I decided to not fuss, buy a gift and give it to the recipient for her birthday.
Her birthday is tomorrow! I've done it again!
The fabric is all Amy Butler and the design is completely inspired by Faith's Autumn Squares. It's based on disappearing 9 patch blocks however, after cutting they're not reassembled but sashed instead. I finished the last of the borders yesterday afternoon. Made a mad dash to the local quilt shop before it closed to make a new selection for the backing on account of not liking what I'd ordered on-line and managed to baste it last night.
I won't finish it in time for tomorrow due to other weekend commitments but luckily the recipient is my sister who will be away interstate for a few days so I've bought myself a couple of extra days to finish! I just have to make sure I don't squeeze in some other projects before this one.
Speaking of the local quilt shop. For all quilters in Adelaide, Hetties Patch has taken over the shop next door. It's huge and full of even more gorgeous fabrics.

Monday, March 8, 2010


I stumbled across a bargain purchase a few weeks back at our local Spotlight store - a shopping trolley full of 6 1/2" craftwood letters for $1.89 each. Seeing as I have paid a lot more than that for R's room, I found myself rifling the contents, without any real purpose to what I might have unearthed but the $1.89 each had me going. I was kind of hoping to at least put L's name together. Whilst his name is short he has quite few vowels and an 'S' so it was looking slim. Generally speaking a bargain trolley of letters usually means that you're only going to get the ones that no-one else needs.
So after a good 5 minutes of delving, constantly telling myself I didn't need to spend the money, I found 3 little letters. After a spray or five of red paint, they now sit over my cookbooks.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Fig Jam....

Our next door neighbour has a fantastic fig tree that hangs over our driveway.
We lose a lot that fall before we're ready to do anything with them which is a pain to rake up and discard. We also lose some to the laurekeets and the devotees that just love figs who call by for a handful or five.
So before they disappeared completely I picked a few kilos to make some fig jam.
Normally I would have made the 'straight' jam with fruit and sugar that my dad taught me how to make but I decided to do something different. I found a recipe that calls for vanilla pods and cinnamon sticks and lemon. It's a cracker! An absolutely divine brew of 8 jars of fig jam that I don't think will last too long.I also found another recipe that uses granny smith apples, cinnamon sticks and star anise. I think I'll have a go at that one next but given the reaction of the residents I might have an argument on my hands!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Northern Lights

This is the Art Gallery of South Australia lit like an opal as part of the Adelaide Festival of Arts' Northern Lights display along North Terrace in the city. Pretty stunning!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Topsy Turvy.....

It's been a mixed up world around here and that's resulted in one thing.....not enough quilting!
With all the work going on in the hallway and the resulting dust there's little chance of basting anything that has to be spread out on the floor. I'm not complaining (that would be nagging!) but it's just too dusty and rooms are overcrowed with furniture that we've moved from the hall. As a result I have a plethora of flimsies backed up. I often call myself 'the factory' and with all of these tops hanging around on hangers, it sure seems like one! It's nice to spend time piecing but I then start to feel guilty about not finishing things. And more than that, I lose my quilting confidence.
So to alieviate the guilt and to have a bit of practice to get back into the swing of things I threw together this little baby quilt using a cartwheel block of solids, spots, small stars and stripes. (Yes starting yet another project from scratch really did help!) These blocks measure approx. 8" square.
The cartwheel is a great block. Really simple and quite effective. I'm actually working on another larger version that's in the WIP pile. Look into it or squint a bit and you'll see the white background act as a cartwheel shape as well. (Also known as whirlygigs and jumping jacks.)The back is a tiny polka dot that I bought as a remnant for $2 and the binding is a blue and white polka dot. (I'm so pleased with the back - not one pucker! Yee Ha!)Again, it's all out of scraps and stash and measures approx 32" square. Very rewarding. It's going to the mum of one of R's basketball team members who's just had a little boy.
It's lovely to start something on a Saturday night and finish it on Sunday. I just wish the hallway would go as fast!