Sunday, July 31, 2011

Red, green, blue and pink.....

I took up my own challenge to make a few blocks for the Threaded Mess I-spy rainbow block drive which was a welcome distraction in between study breaks this weekend. So far, I've managed four in total. We've got the red matryoshka dolls, green hippos, blue puppies and pink pussycats. Putting the four together really gave me a feel for how lovely these little premmie quilts are going to be. I love the diamond meeting in the centre as much as the I-spy centres. I also made a few metres of rainbow coloured binding. The original fabric was an Ikea stripe and I'd had it cut for something and never used it but it will add a lovely bright touch to Natalie's little rainbow quilts.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Rainbow I spy block drive....

Natalie of Threaded Mess is hosting a block drive to create quilts for her local neo-natal unit, the Inova Fairfax Hospital for Children. Now I know I'm in Adelaide, Australia and she's North Virginia in the United States but her story touched my heart. As the mother of an ex-prem, who is now a thriving 14 year old, stories like hers and the amount charity work her guild does for their NICU really hit home. I recall the hours we spent wondering what would come of our little premmie, overwhelmed with the thought of how such a little bundle of baby could ever grow up to be....well, regular sized! Whilst so many of those rollercoaster thoughts are now dim memories, Natalie's drive made me recall our journey and reminded me that our family is part of the 'premmie club' and regardless of hospital, NICU and country, every family with a premature baby goes through a very similar experience. So I'm in! Natalie's idea is to make premmie baby quilts created from rainbow blocks using the Joseph's Square in a Square 12" block by Anna Maria Horner. You can read all about the concept, guidelines and instructions on Natalie's Threaded Mess blog. I've made one block so far and they're really super quick to sew together once cut. I'm thinking they might be nice distractions in between assignment completion this weekend. The idea is to create little eye-spy centres in each of the blocks. I used this lovely little pussy cat print that I purchased from Spotlight years ago. It's perfect for a little baby. I also have some blue doggie print, so blue will be the next cab off the rank. Looking at it now I realise I should have put the centre print on the diagonal so it ultimately sits straight...oh well, learning curve! I also used Kona Woodrose and some Little House by Annette Tatum polka dots and stripes that have also been in the stash for some time....and that makes me feel good too!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pip Pip Hooray....!

I've finished a quilt! Yeh for me! Now this little quilt wasn't on my original completion wish list but even so, it's a finish and I'm thrilled. And I'm super thrilled with how it turned out too. I've used 12 divine strips from my Sherbet Pips jelly roll, concentrating on boy colours of red, aqua and grey and sashed in white. The centre of each square is a 4 patch of 2 1/2" squares, surrounded by a 1 1/2" strip of co-ordinating solid and finished with a jelly roll strip. The blocks ended up at 10 1/2 - 11". The binding is grey and white wide stripe from Spotlight which I really like. And the back is the red Denyse Schmidt Picnics and Fairgrounds argyle also from Spotlight. I also brushed off my stippling hoo-doo and that worked out beautifully without one pucker! Now to bundle it up for a special little boy.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good intentions.....

I have been enjoying having some time off work to be with the kids during school holidays. Needless to say, the weeks leading up to the break held many selfish thoughts about how much sewing I was going to get done and how many unfinished projects in the pile would move to the completed side of the ledger. Guess what? It didn't happen! Nope, not one finish! (Well not yet anyway.) You know how it goes. Drop child one off to scheduled school holiday program, come home, put on a load of washing, have a coffee, hang out washing, entertain child two, sit down at sewing machine, get up from sewing machine, make lunch, put another load of washing in, do some study, pick up child one...etc. The outcome of all this at-home busyness was a pile of starts. I now have more UFO's than you can shake a stick at! But of course, it depends on how you look at that scenario. For example. I delved back into my scrap bin and started to make confetti blocks like those featured in the new Block Party book by Alissa Haight Carlton and Kirsten Lejnieks. I've managed 12 blocks and have used a mountain of small scraps and almost all of the those tiny bits of white that I can't bear to part with. So whilst the scrap bin is looking delightfully empty, 12 blocks is not enough for a quilt, so I've shelved that idea for the moment. Then I spent two nights cutting out the fabric for 9 Swoon blocks. Swoon is a new pattern by Camille Roskelly and it's beautiful. I had to really get my head around the cutting and fabric matching but now that it's done I have a little production line happening with the blocks. I'm using the new Denyse Schmidt fabric, Picnic and Fairgrounds from Spotlight along with some solids and Kona Snow. I've made 4 so far. Again, they've been pushed to the side because yesterday afternoon I started a little baby quilt following some surprise news. I'm keeping that one under wraps for the moment but let's just hope that it becomes one of those quick turn-around, highly satisfying finishes! I hope so, I'm back to work on Tuesday and would really like to show something off after all those good intentions!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Stars and stripes....

I finished the binding on my red, white and blue maverick star quilt last night just in time for July 4th. Whilst not an Australian celebration it's fitting none the less. This quilt is for L who seems to miss out on most of the quilts I make. Funny thing is he was actually due on July the 4th which made my obstetrician laugh every time he checked his notes! It took me a while to work out it was Independence Day! The quilt is made from 12" maverick star blocks in a mix of red, white and blue, measures 72" x 60" (6 blocks x 5 blocks) and is straight line quilted (the stripes!). The binding is red and white honeycomb (spotty dot from Spotlight) which I'm a bit addicted to for binding! The back uses a piece of light blue fabric that I've had stashed for ages, some left overs and a strip of pinwheels that Kay suggested I make out of the triangles cut from the stars. They worked out beautifully! Construction didn't come without it's problems....including poor measurement of the backing and not realising until after I'd taped it to the floor for basting! All is forgiven though because I just love red, white and blue. It's so crisp and clean looking.Now....back to that essay....or maybe another unfinished that needs completion!

Sunday, July 3, 2011


I'm supposed to be writing an essay. I had every intention to work on it this weekend. After all, it's only 1500 words.....easy! But (and I really mean BUT....), I started to sort out my scrap bag yesterday and then one thing led to another and the next thing I knew I had this really nice pile of lovely colourful fabric strips. Then I got to and trimmed each of them to 1 1/2" wide and once stitched together and trimmed, I had enough little blocks to edge 41 x 3 1/2" squares in Kona Seafoam. After a bit of intensive sewing in between weekend shopping, washing, music concerts, the children's sport and a late night I managed to complete all the coloured blocks. Today I added plain blocks and before I knew it there was a little quilt top by late Sunday afternoon. The pattern is the Pieced Scrap Border Quilt from Red Pepper and measures 45" square. I'm thrilled with it and whilst I am feeling slighty guilty about the as yet not started essay I'm suppressing the guilt in the knowledge that my scrap bag is somewhat reduced!