Friday 27 June 2014

Tumbling Elephants finished

HI there,

What a good feeling to complete a project. I began this quilt earlier this month and it's finished before the month's end - that is good.
I had intended to try some free-motion quilting scrolls or similar, but having begun, it didn't seem to be working. So the handy unpicker came into use and I went with the usual straight lines. No matter, it seems to have turned out Ok. Thanks to others who commented as I was auditioning border fabric too, that came together in a way I'm very happy with. Rather than self-binding I went with the black to pick up the first border and that unites it well too. 

It's funny how once something is in place and we're happy with it it just looks right and we wonder why we were uncertain - perhaps that's just the novelty before something is familiar. 

Enough philosophy, my elephant fabric is now all used up and happily so. 

This will go to another friend who I discovered recently is partial to elephants.

Until next time,

I'm linking up to Needle and Thread Thursday [My Quilt Infatuation] and Confessions of a Fabric Addict. 

Friday 20 June 2014

Plates and templates

Hi there,
Whoever invented the saying: 'Necessity is the mother of invention' knew what they were on about. When you have no templastic in the house and you really want to get on and put the stencil work on a quilt so you can sandwich it and then get quilting - what do you do?

Well, you try out some dinner plates around the space you want the design to land and hey presto there's your stencil ready to go - the word plate is part of template anyway! Works for me.

Now to spread it out (grovel) on the floor with backing and wadding then I'll be ready to get busy with a needle and thread. This will then be a lovely lap quilt for me to spread over my legs as I hand quilt over the next 3 months to finish this for an October birthday. A great way to spend Winter down under!
Until next time,
I'm linking up with My Quilt Infatuation and Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday 18 June 2014

Work in progress

Hi There,
This really falls into the 'ready way ahead of time' projects, a first for me I think, though I may be counting chickens a little soon. I almost have the top finished for this gift for a friend's 50th in October.
I still need to add a lovely Jinny Beyer pale grey - similar in value to the corner blocks of the sashing, as a border and eventually also bind it in that. Then it's on to the sandwiching and some hand quilting. It's winter here in the Southern hemisphere, so great weather for having a quilt over your lap and doing some relaxing, soothing hand quilting. It's been a while since I've done some of that and realised I'd missed it a little. Sure I'd been more productive with the free-motion quilting, but there's a time for hand quilting too. 
I tried a close up of the fabric that is on the sashing and in 2 of the blocks, but not sure that the wording on it came out too clearly. The phrase I like best is: 'It takes a long time to grow an old friend'. Since I have known my friend for around 30 years it seems appropriate. There is also a bit of tongue in cheek about the 'old' as we joke about how she is the youngest in our group of friends and is still only 30.

The blocks came together quite quickly and easily and the quilter's muslin will leave lots of space for people to sign to make her birthday memorable. 

Until next time,
I'm linking up with

Saturday 14 June 2014

HI there,

A good way to end the week, handing over a finished scrap quilt to my friend who works at our local hospice. 'Squared away' is the third quilt I've passed to her. She nurses at the hospice and she tells me she enjoys seeing the splashes of colour on the end of the bed and knowing I made it - how nice is that?
I enjoy using up scraps and it helps me explore new things, like being random rather than so regulated and more free-motion quilting too. So I think it's a win win all round as I find a home for another quilt.
Now, on to my pile of 3 flimsies ready for quilting, just some wadding to add and then the sandwiching (is that really a word?)
Maybe I'll get another one crossed off the list next week so I can start yet another project!
Until next time,

I'm linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Half Century

Hi there,

This is the first time I've put instructions (and photos) for a block and it's quite basic. However, I have occasionally stumbled on such posts and found them helpful, so I hope someone might find it useful.

A friend of mine is turning the big 50 in a few months and I wanted to make her a quilt. But I wasn't sure what pattern or design to use until I saw one on (check it out). It was a table runner and so I set about exploring dimensions for myself. Below is a bit of a tutorial on how mine is going and I will keep things updated as it becomes a flimsy and then I may hand quilt it - depending on how the time goes.
First of all the blocks can be made from fat quarters, plus a neutral background fabric - a quilter's muslin, or calico, homespun, that kind of thing. One fat quarter will be sufficient for 2 blocks.

Firstly cut a 9.5" square from both feature and background fabric. On the background draw diagonal lines from each corner, like so, as well as vertical and horizontal lines at the half way mark:

Sew a 1/4" seam on either side of the diagonal line, then cut along the 2 diagonal lines, as well as the vertical and horizontal ones. This will yield 8 half square triangles - how good is that? They should be 41/4" squares.

Cut 4 rectangles 41/4" of both feature and background fabric, plus one 41/4" square of the feature fabric.
The overall block goes together like a 9 patch, this is two thirds of that 9 patch
 If you press to the 'dark side' (ie the feature fabric) your seams should abut like this: (or you may choose to press open as I do from time to time).
These cute blocks come together so quickly they are quite addictive. And they will leave some great space for a number of friends to sign the quilt for the 50th birthday - a great win in my book!

I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced Modern Quilts

Until next time,

Friday 6 June 2014

Elephants tumbling

Hi there,
I can't believe I had 5 days away from home at our holiday place (still sounds so novel and exciting to be able to call it that) and did NO sewing, not a border added, not a block put together, none at all. We did, however, enjoy some beach walking, some bush walking, reading, gardening (ie weeding) and general relaxing, so I'm definitely not complaining.
I was persuaded to make a small purchase, since the local fabric shop had a sale on - and who can resist a sale? I was restrained though and bought just 4 metres of different prints that will most likely work well for backings as I join them to some leftovers from the front of whatever quilt I'm putting together.

Speaking of restraint and leftovers, I have been trying to do a fabric famine, (which sounds quite painful, so I prefer to call it a stash spend, which sounds like much more fun) so am 'auditioning' a border fabric that I've had in my stash for a little while, for this tumbler quilt.
I think it works Ok. I've used some of the leftover 'elephant' fabric I had from the previous quilt (now on its way to Hungary as far as I know) and teamed it with the various colours in that main novelty print. While the border fabric is none of those in the main section, I'm hoping the pattern kind of echoes the tumbler design a little and the greyish tones match in with the grey in the body and the black of the first border. I think it's always amazing how black just works to frame the body of a quilt, no matter the colour contained in it. 

Then I've begun working (because I just need to have something else on the go as well as the many other UFOs I need to get to) on these cute bug print half square triangles. The challenge is that there are so many lay out possibilities as I add other colours I'm not sure how to go. I find digital photos are such a help as I can snap away at different layouts before I sew and see how they might look. So, on with that and maybe next week I'll get to quilt one of the tops/flimsies that IS completed and just waiting to be joined to its wadding and backing. 

I'm joining up with My Quilt Infatuation and Confessions of a Fabric Addict,
Until next time,