Monday, 29 May 2017

Bee's and HST's

It has been a week of making bee blocks and about a gazillion HST's!

First up May Queen for the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild Liberty Bee chose teeny tiny churn dash blocks with beautiful shirting backgrounds.
There are 16 churn dashes per block and each of them has 4 tiny 1.5 inch Half Square Triangles.
That's a total of 128 HST's in all.  I absolutely love how these blocks turned out.

Then our June Queen chose a block with lots of HST's as well.  This time it was Pinwheels with a gorgeous periwinkle blue background.
I used the Accuquilt die cutter for these and boy did that make the job a whole lot easier.  The half square triangles all came out perfect size so no squaring up or trimming was required.  Which was just as well as there are 72 of them in these blocks.  The Liberty plays so nicely with that background don't you think?

And finally June Queen bee for The Bee Hive chose the Ripples block and again it has a ton of HST's but compared to the previous 2 blocks it was a breeze with only 48 of them! Kat's colour choices are gorgeous and l'm looking forward to seeing this quilt come together.

And now that l'm ahead with my bee blocks l am hoping to get the quilting done on at least 2 of the 12 quilt tops I have patiently waiting for some love and attention.

Until next time.


Monday, 15 May 2017

Girt By Sea

I am so excited to finally be making a start on the quilt for my mum.

It took a while to get my head around the 'so out of my comfort zone' colours but they are growing on me and I have a plan (well sort of anyway!).

I utilised the colouring sheets that came with the Girt By Sea pattern by Modern Makers Retreat to do a few mock ups but when it came time to start the actual piecing I went a completely different way.  I think my mum is speaking to me and guiding me so I'm running with it.

I am new to English Paper Piecing and I really, really, really wanted to enjoy it but sadly I don't think it is my thing.  I follow so many people who love this technique and they all make it look so simple.  And maybe it is, but for me it is definitely a work in progress!

The middle of my centre star didn't line up very well but I don't have it in me to unpick and redo so I am embracing the imperfections and pushing on.

I still have a couple of rounds of EPP to go before the centre is finished and although l am getting a bit better at this technique I will be happy to get back to my machine for the next stage.

If you are on Instagram (if you're not, you should be!) you can keep up with everyone's progress by following ModernMakersRetreat or the hashtags #girtbyseaquilt and #mmrgirtbysea.
There are some absolutely amazing versions of the quilt being made by some extremely talented quilters.  Trust me, you won't be disappointed.

Until next time.


Monday, 8 May 2017

Angel In There Somewhere

I needed another project like, well you know – you’ve been there. 

I resisted the temptation to join in the Girt By Sea sew along for a while but then I read something on the Modern Makers Retreat blog that really resonated with me and from that moment I was in. 

Let me set the scene by sharing a little history…....

The person I most admire and the person l am most proud of in this world is my mum.  She went through some very difficult times and when my dad walked out he left her with 3 small children and a mortgage on the house they had just purchased.  At the time she was a stay at home mum but instead of crumbling she found a job, worked her tail off, put herself through night school and eventually qualified as an auditor and hospital administrator.  Through shear hard work and perseverance she managed to keep the house and raise 3 children with little assistance from my father.  Life wasn’t always a box of chocolates but my sisters and I never went without.   She was an incredible woman, never judgemental and always supportive of the decisions my sisters and l made (whether they were good or bad).  She showed us by example how to be strong, resilient women.

Now, how is this all relevant to the Girt By Sea sew along?  Well sadly mum passed away early on in my quilting journey so I never had the opportunity to make a quilt for her.  In all honesty, it hasn’t really been something l have dwelled on but when I read this Modern Makers Retreat post something changed.  
I can’t say why but my mum popped into my head as I read the words “there’s no place like home.”  Girt means to surround and at that moment I felt my mums presence surrounding me and I knew that I had to make this quilt for her.

With the decision made it was time to settle on what colour scheme to use.  Normally I would revert to my favourite scrappy ‘throw everything but the kitchen sink in’ kind of style but I wanted this quilt to be different, it had to be done in mum colours.  She loved autumn tones of browns, mustards and burnt oranges – all colours I rarely use so it took me some time to settle on a colour pallet.  I wanted to honour the autumn tones mum loved but needed to add a little punch. Plums and magenta were the answer.

As much as l love the vibrancy of this pallet I must admit that I am also terrified by it.  It is so far out of my comfort zone but I think that is quite fitting.  My mum is proof personified that you can work through adversary and succeed.  Knowing she is on this journey with me, guiding me, I am embracing the challenge and excited to finally be making a quilt for her.

I am still working on a name for the quilt but I am sure it will have the word 'Angel' in there somewhere.

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

String Block Tutorial

For my reign as Queen for do good Stitches Cherish Circle I am going with one of my all time favourite techniques - string blocks.

It's no secret I love scrappy and I absolutely love string blocks.  They are fun, fast and you can use a ton of scraps.

For this quilt, I am going to try and jazz up the string blocks using the Quick Curve Ruler.  I have an image in my head so I hope it works out as I see it!

But my little worker bees don't panic, I will do all the curvy stuff. All I want from you are the string blocks.

For those of you who may not have done string piecing before, there is a multitude of tutorials on the interweb but here is how I did mine for this project.

  • Paper foundation cut into a 11" x 8" rectangle (I use general A4 copy paper or tracing paper for this purpose).
  • Fabric strips between 0.75" and 2" wide and about 9" long in a variety of bright colours and prints.
  • If you have an old needle I suggest you use it in your machine for this project as paper piecing will dull your needle.
  • Keep your stitch length at around 1-1.2.  A small stitch length will help to perforate the paper making it easier to remove and will prevent the seams from unraveling when the blocks are trimmed.
  • Neutral thread.

Draw a few reference lines across the short side of the paper which will be used as a guide to keep your strings straight.

Starting somewhere in the middle place your first fabric strip right side up along one of the marked lines.

Place a second fabric strip on top of the first right sides together aligning the raw edges.
Sew 1/4" seam along the edge through all layers from top to bottom (no need for backstitching).

Flip the top fabric strip open and give a quick press (I use a handkerchief or teflon sheet when pressing so the pencil marks are not transferred to my iron).

Place the next fabric strip on top of the strip you just added right sides together aligning the edges and sew your 1/4" seam from top to bottom.

Continue adding strips across the paper foundation until the paper is completely covered.

It's that easy.  You do not need to trim your blocks (I will do that when adding the curves) but it would be appreciated if the paper is removed please.  If you used a short stitch length the paper should tear away fairly easily without putting too much stress on the seams.

I need a total of 48 blocks so if you can manage 2 or even better 3 blocks that would be awesome. Terrible picture but this is where I am heading with this quilt.  I am aiming for a fun, bright and happy quilt for a little boy to be donated to the Keep Safe Quilts program being set up by Jackie Gillies (a follow on from #quiltblockstohealtheviolence).

Happy string piecing!

Thursday, 24 September 2015

Does Anyone Read Blogs Anymore?

It has been way to long since I have ventured into blogland.  But seriously, does anyone read blogs anymore?

I used to spend countless hours trolling through blogs every week but since I discovered Instagram that has all changed.  I am totally hooked and although I know Instagram will never replace blogs, it's the instant gratification and ease of scrolling through feeds and liking photo's that is so addictive.

Of course it is just that, instant gratification.  It is not as easy to share detailed information or lots of photos of a project on Instagram (without totally driving your followers crazy) and it is easy to miss posts when you are following hundreds and hundreds of people on Instagram.

I love blogs and I love blogging but there is no doubt it is far more time consuming.

So once again (how many times have I made this pledge?) I am promising myself to try to blog on a more regular basis.

It has been 4 months since my last post and in that time I have finished a few quilts, several mini quilts for swaps, countless bee blocks and blocks for do Good Stitches charities.  Far too many things to share in one blog post so I will just share pictures of my latest finish.......introducing Organised Chaos

In a never ending quest to tame my scraps and sew my stash I made some scrap vortex blocks following CrazyMomQuilts tutorial.  I want to make a whole quilt using these blocks but for now I decided to try my hand at a modern version with the scrappy blocks floating in a solid background.

The plan was to do straight line quilting over the whole quilt but I quickly learned that quilting straight lines on a domestic machine is no easy feat so l scrapped that idea and went with free motion swirls in the background and used the straight lines in the scrappy section of the quilt.

In keeping with the scrappy theme, I used orphan blocks for the backing.  It was a bit like a jigsaw putting these blocks together but I love the effect and I love that it used up nearly all of the orphan and practice blocks I had gathering dust.

Curiously I don't seem to have made a dint in the scrap baskets so I see many more scrap quilts in my immediate future.

Until next time.


Friday, 22 May 2015

Just Because

This is my 'Just Because" mini.

I made it for no other reason than just because I felt like it.  I had some left over HST's from another project and decided to use them up rather than hoard them.

Continuing with the just because theme, I have decided to enter this little quilt in the mini quilt category of the Spring 2015 Blogger's Quilt Festival  hosted by Amy's Creative Side just because it's fun to share.

Make sure you head on over to Amy's blog and vote for your favourite quilt in each of the categories. Voting runs from 22nd - 29th May and winners are announced on May 30th.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Stash Sewing

I am still managing to sew only from my stash.

I have just completed my scrappy trip along quilt with the help of my QCA Bee mates.

I love how this turned out and will definitely be making this pattern again in future.
It is so easy but so effective and the blocks can be laid out in different formation to completely change the look of the finished quilt.

I have gifted this quilt to a work colleague who has sadly been diagnosed with Cancer.  Her prognosis is excellent as they have caught it very early so that at least is a positive.

Simple stipple quilting has kept the quilt soft and snugly perfect for her to wrap herself up whilst recuperating.

Until next time.