Wednesday 26 February 2014

Rainbow connection?

It's been a little while and I've been working on this top I started and then put away, mostly because I wasn't sure what to do for a border - and I wanted a border.
So having looked around a little (and trying to be good and not buy new fabric unless it was absolutely necessary) I thought I'd give a piano border a go.
Well, it was both fun and frustrating. Using the scraps for the initial blocks was fine, but then of course I'd used scraps as they were 'small left over bits' not necessarily 4inch squares. So the hunt was on through my stash for about 5 kinds of various colours, or 10 in some cases. Now that I'm almost there I'm not sure whether it will be too much!
This first shot shows how I'm also auditioning the idea of framing it with the quilter's muslin/calico once the piano border is there (at the top left). How do you tell when it's too much?
I can always reuse the border pieces in a coin type pattern, but you know when you become so familiar with a piece you can't see it objectively any more, or is that just me?

This one shows the gaps I still have in some places, like the greens and the beige/brown - since I needed about 20 of those since there is brown in 2 corners and I've followed it round on both sides. I really do enjoy scrappy tops, but they often bring me undone in trying to piece the blocks together so that they don't overwhelm the whole. 
I'm also working on another that I think I'll intersperse with a broken dishes (ie 4 triangles in matching pairs) block so we'll see how that works, but that's for next time. 
Until then, 

Friday 14 February 2014

Arkansas Crossing

I've finished my Arkansas Crossing quilt! Having been working on low volume, it was quite a shift to go back to the bright squares and to further complicate things, the walking foot on my machine that has more throat space (1600P QC) broke recently. I've ordered a replacement but it hasn't arrived yet and I really wanted to get on and quilt those squares. So my domestic Janome Excel 5024 had a work out today. And it's a faithful little machine.

Straight lines are what I chose to emphasize the 'crossings' but having looked at some others on Pinterest (should have looked before I began!) I think if I did this again I may do something more free-motion. But this is for a child's quilt, so plain is probably best. There are some fun prints in there that I hope siblings will have fun pointing out or maybe playing games with.
There are some fruits, animals and so on, and the backing is a quite cute one with 5 different children playing games. 

So having completed that one, it's back to the low-volume piecing and maybe some other bits and pieces I should finish up - but at least that's the norm for quilters, a number of works in progress.

I'm linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Until next time,

Wednesday 5 February 2014

Low-volume piecing

Mid-week and here's my progress this week, making what seems to be working out as another low volume quilt.
I had some fabric that I thought would work well as a feature and wanted to give the pattern on Sarah's Confessions of a Fabric Addict blog, (tutorial by Lisa Roddy) a go.
I adjusted the size though, so I could use the 'butterfly squares' of the fabric I had. Mine is smaller with the feature fabric 5.25" and the smaller blocks 2.75". It will be more of a lap size quilt, but perfect for someone I know who's recently had a sad cancer diagnosis.

There are 16 blocks in all and I have about half done and the rest might hopefully get together by the end of the week. The sandwiching and quilting may take a little longer, but I'll get there. Sometimes you just need to do some piecing and enjoy that stage and other days just feel like quilting days - unless that's just how I feel!
I'm thinking of calling it a 'low flutter' quilt. 

I'm linking to Work in Progress Wednesday (at Freshly Pieced) and Bee Social (at Sew Fresh Quilts)

Until next time,

Sunday 2 February 2014

Summer in the Hamptons

It's been quite a while since I made a Queen size quilt, but when I saw the fabrics for this 'low volume' quilt some time last year I thought it would be ideal for our bed in summer. It was a kit from a local shop, Carols of Midland. I thought I had carefully saved the selvages to help identify the fabric, but now all I can find is 'Alchemy'. No matter I'm quite happy that the easy square pattern is now put together and I've had my long arm quilter, Mandy Cusack quilt a lovely loopy pattern on it for me.
This outdoor shot (thanks to my husband's supporting hands to hold it up) shows the border fabric too, as well as the size.
The ones below shows some of the backing and a close up of some of the fabric and quilting.

I'm really happy with this one, but I was reminded why I don't usually do such large quilts. They are fine to put together, but I haven't yet been game enough to try to quilt one on my own machine.
Nice to have such a big one completed early in the year.
Until next time,