Saturday, June 29, 2013

Tweet tweet....

I've been making little birds for a forthcoming market. I love how these lovely little creatures can be made out of small fabric off-cuts. I've had so much fun mixing prints to create bodies and wings that contrast and match.
If you'd like to make your own, follow this link over at Sew Mama Sew or check out more of Kajsa's work at her blog, Syko. Tweet, tweet..... I'm linking up with Crazy Mom because this is such a fantastic finish for this Friday!
And here's a picture I shot of some of my quilts....just because!

Friday, June 14, 2013

There's always hope....

When it comes to quilting, things don't always turn out the way they were originally envisioned. Even after all the blog-land inspiration and the mountains of book and pattern referencing and the zombie like state quilters take on whilst their thoughts wander because they're in the 'I've got this idea in my head' zone. Which is then followed by the 'play around block' which accounts for a bit of sewing energy and lots of experimental fabric play. Sometimes that can even lead to the full piecing stage. I've also been known to get to the quilting stage and still manage to birth a complete disaster. This accounts for the numerous 'problem children', at varying stages that live in my quilt cupboard.
Don't get me wrong...there are lots of positives but sometimes things don't always go to plan and well....this story WAS one of the negatives.
I fell hopelessly in love with Denyse Schmidt's Hope Valley as soon as it was released. It was almost a fever having been at the complete outer of her earlier Flea Market Fancy and Katie Jump Rope releases and spending way more than I should have to acquire whatever I could because I was suffering from acute HAVE TO HAVE fabric addiction. (I'm still debating about writing a thesis on the buyer behaviour of fabric consumers who are at the tail-end of a popular release but that's another post...). So, because of my past DS fabric purchase indiscretions, I maintained a modicum of restraint and purchased just a fat 1/4 only of each of the Hope Valley range.
Before cutting, I scoured every book I owned and numerous flickr images for the perfect pattern and settled on half square triangles set in Kona Ash....AKA Kaffe Fassett 'Simple Shapes, Spectacular Quilts' - Clay Tiles  or Indigo Points.

However, in my haste to produce the perfect quilt using the perfect fabric, I omitted the trimming stage. I was an impatient newbie on a steep learning curve to completion and I learnt a very big lesson and that is .....don't cut corners. Or should I say, do cut corners and do trim!
So the short of all this is that what I had made was a disaster. My seams were disgusting, nothing aligned, my corners were lumpy bumpy and my fabric investment that I carefully cut from  premium priced fabric was on the pile of shame, thrown to the back of the cupboard.
I learnt that lesson over and over after that attempt. Every block I made that was trimmed made a beautiful quilt. Every one that was not trimmed, didn't. Where is this going? Well, I pulled that precious Hope Valley conglomeration from the back of the cupboard (which is sounding more and more like Narnia over the years) and pulled it apart. I sat on the couch one night and stripped it back  from 16 unit blocks... to single 1/2 square triangles.
Now back to basics, I re-made the concept. It's a bit like starting afresh but with a head start! This time I sashed the poorly made 1/2 square triangles with 2.5" strips and voila a better square than before which made trimming spectacularly simple.
I've only used a small portion of the previous 1/2 square triangle shamozzle, edged it in my remaining Kona Ash (of slightly different die-lots) and re-built it into quite a lovely cot sized quilt of 40" x 50" in the style of Alison from Cluck Cluck Sew (Modern Quilts from the Blogosphere).
Now the possibilities of much improved quilts for the remaining blocks are endless.
This version is backed with more Hope Valley, Diamond Dandy in Fiesta and the binding is the Canyon Stripe in Piney Woods.
And speaking of birthing a round-about fashion, my baby is 12 today. Where has that time gone? Needless to say, he is made from the perfect pattern and continues to amaze us all! Happy B-day L!
Another wonderful finish it up Friday to link!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Trip the light fantastic....

After a giant leap into the new year with a Scrappy Trip Around the World back in January...(just like quite a few of us!), the rate of progress slowed to a virtual snail pace leaving the quilt top languishing for a while. Mind you, I wasn't ignoring it...I just had a few study issues to sort out like major assignments and exams! Now that they're over for the moment and seeing as this quilt is intended for someone special by July, I thought I'd better get myself into full throttle and finish this little beauty up.
The intended loves green and her room features a lot of saturated rainbow colours. So each block has a bit of green. I know this quilt is known as 'scrappy' but I can assure you, to get the desired look I cut into quite a few horded fabrics.
I debated about how to quilt, almost deciding to attempt some dogwood or orange peel effect but fell back to the trusty stipple. As part of the process, I quilted one block row at a time, moving to the left, right and down, then up. That probably doesn't make a great deal of sense but it was a wonderful way of keeping the quilt moving evenly. The other bonus was that working with the 2" frame, the stipples are very evenly sized and quite dense. I'm thrilled with it!
Because of the mesh of colours and prints I decided to keep the binding really simple and went with a solid chocolate which works wonderfully framing the backing which is a Bonnie and Camille, lime and aqua from thier Vintage Modern range.
A lovely finish for this week and linked up with Crazy Mom's Finish it up Friday.