Welcome to my blog about my quilting journey! I started quilting in 2006 with a quilt of my own design which started as a cushion cover and ended up as a single bed sized quilt! Now I'm totally hooked. I'm not sure who else would be interested in reading my blog but here it is in any case!

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Some Swap Blocks and a WIP Update

Last month in our QBSA swap I was paired up with Jen in the USA and given the longer postage times our blocks swapped hands a little later than usual! This is the one I received from Jen a couple of weeks ago and finally got around to taking a photo of.

Can you see the little blue sparkly blocks? They add a nice little bit of pizzazz to the block I think!
You might remember I sent Jen this block:

This month I was teamed up with Carmen in Robinvale Victoria and she asked for a Twelve Triangles block in purples and blues. This is what I made.

I quite liked this block, it would look very effective in a whole quilt I think. I haven't received my block from Carmen yet so I'll share that later.

As you may remember, I've been working on a long term hand made project for myself for a number of years now and its finally coming together slowly, allowing for my bad eyesight and lack of decent lighting in our lounge room combined with a fluctuating motivation!  Anyway I'm making some serious progress now and here it is so far:

It was hard to find a way to hang it to take a photo (some of it is around the corner of my cupboard!) but you get the idea. I do love that yellow fabric, that was such a lucky find as its the perfect colour to brighten up my muted blues! Given that it will be 11 rows by 11 rows and I have 10 rows down I think the next row will be the halfway point (if my slightly cold addled brain has figured that right!). I'm not even thinking about all the little circles which need to go in the centre of the Dresden blocks at this stage, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

So that's where I'm at this month. Stay tuned for some Christmas in July, which is my July UFO project. I've got 3 items on the go, just need to get them quilted before the end of July - luckily they're small!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Couldn't resist another Quiltalong!

Celestial Star QAL with from blank pages...

I had decided not to take part in any quiltalongs this year but this one caught my eye because the block is so versatile. You can make so many designs with the same block depending on how you place your fabrics.

Its the Celestial Star Quiltalong at From Blank Pages.

The pattern is available in a range of sizes and includes a border as well and is available at Craftsy.com.

This week is about choosing your colours and design as well as fabrics so we started by printing out colouring pages to play around with.  This is what I ended up with:

I didn't really have a plan with these, they were just me playing around but I think I have decided to keep the cross look to whatever blocks I make. I think I prefer the blocks on the right side but not necessarily the colours.

So then I went and had a bit of a wander through my stash pulling out fabrics that called to me and after a bit of adding and subtracting I ended up with this selection.

I've had them sitting on my couch for a couple of days and I know I'm pretty happy with them, other than the floral on the right. In theory it should work as the colours it contains are right but I'm not absolutely sure it will as its so different to the others and it has a cream base. I was planning to use white as a background so I think that could cause a problem. We shall see.

In the meantime I'm thinking I need to do some more colouring to see what else I come up with now that I have nailed most of my fabric choices. I also need to decide how many blocks I want to make I guess!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Fabric Hand Me Down!

Its strange that before you begin quilting you think that its not a very popular hobby but once you start you discover quilters lurking everywhere!

I really don't know how we got onto the subject but some months ago I got talking about quilting with the teller at the bank where I do the banking for my work.  Whenever I end up at that teller we always chat about what we're up to and one day she asked me if I could make use of some fabric from a project of hers which didn't quite work out.

After a bit more digging it turned out that she had started making a project from a jelly roll but after cutting all the pieces and joining the centres of the blocks she found that the pieces which were to form the outer border of each block were slightly undersized. I did suggest that she should simply trim up the centres but by that stage she was over it and wanted it gone. So not wanting fabric to go to waste I said I would certainly make use of it.  Next time I popped into the bank she gave me a little bag of goodies (no free samples of the Bank's money unfortunately though)!

I'm not sure of the name of the fabric range but this is what was inside:

There were four completed blocks and all the completed 4 patch centres, along with the cut pieces for the borders and some extra bits and pieces.

I went through and selected which outer pieces were going to go with the 4 patch centres and started whipping up the rest of the blocks. I have never shirked from a bit of trimming to size and so had the blocks put together by the end of the afternoon. While some sides have sections which are a little short, nothing is too small so I'm sure it will all go together easily enough.

Next of course was the placement of the blocks. This is what I ended up with (don't mind the blue blanket, I stuck the blocks onto a polar fleece blanket so that I could pick it up quickly when the dog woke up!)

The obvious flaw in this layout is the fact that I'm short two blocks!  I do have some more pieces already sewn together that I can make 4 patch centres from but I don't think I have enough for the outer edges, other than in one of the fabrics which really doesn't seem to go with the others (it has quite large text on it). I may make up a block using it just to see for sure but that will still leave me one block short. I still need to make sure as just after I took this photo our 10 month old puppy woke up and planted herself square in the middle of the blocks and so I quickly packed everything away for safety.

You can see her lurking in the background earlier when I was taking photos of the blocks as I took them out of the bag!  I think she may have been plotting her raid even then!

This fabric is outside of my usual colour/fabric style but I rather like them all together. My sister in law is turning 50 in September and I'm thinking this is much more her style so I think it will be her birthday present.

My lovely bank teller also included some batik fabrics she didn't want. Not lovely bright batiks which I like but mostly browns and maroons etc. They may make good quilt backing fabric but I'll see. If I don't use them I'll make sure they go to someone who will. Nothing goes to waste in my house!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Mid Year 2014 To Do List Review

Well now that I've finally realised we are half way through the year (already!) its time to review my to do list again to keep myself on track.
  1. Broken Herringbone Quilt - finish blocks and put top together  Done!
  2. Quilt 'And Sew On' Wallhanging made last year.
  3. Mariner's Compass Quilt for my brother Kym (I have ruler set I bought several years ago I want to test out!)
  4. Complete and quilt QBSA swap star quilt.
  5. Make more blocks using crumb scraps I did four more of these on my retreat in March, now I have 8.
  6. Use my rainbow swap charms to make a quilt. Top is done and partly quilted so pretty well done!
  7. Complete Cot Quilt for my niece - this is my January challenge project and is underway! Done
  8. Make more Star Value scrappy blocks I have cut out all the pieces ready to stitch together
  9. Quilt Star Surround Lap Quilt Done - ready to gift to new great niece in December!
  10. Make a Shadow Trapunto project from book by Geta Grama Done - cushion made!
  11. Use pinwheel blocks made at sewing getaway into a project - maybe placematsDone
  12. Christmas swap charms - use in a project - perhaps a table runner and/or pot holders? Currently in progress as this July's UFO project. 
  13. Castle Ceiling Quilt - continue handpiecing. Well on the way, 9 rows together (diagonal rows).
  14. Make handbags from patterns won last year.
  15. Project using mixed charms from swaps and scraps using pattern from book I have
  16. Make quilt top using Peter Rabbit fabric pieces
  17. Continue with QBSA block swap
  18. I Spy project using swap blocks - very long term as I don't need this yet.
  19. Finish watching all my Craftsy workshops I've signed up for, particularly the Leah Day ones.
  20. Try quilting feathers this year!
Very satisfying seeing the projects getting ticked off each quarter! (The first 12 are in my UFO list this year so hopefully things will continue to stay on track.)

How are your UFO's? Are you winning the UFO battle or are they taking over?!


Tuesday, 1 July 2014

QBSA Block for June Winging Its Way to the USA

After a bit of a delay searching for the right fabric I whipped up this block for Jen in the USA who was after any star block in yellow and grey.

This one is a ribbon star block.  It doesn't look it in the photo but the background fabric is a very soft yellow batik.  It finally got into the post about a week before the end of the month so hopefully it has found its way to Jen by now!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Sunday, 29 June 2014

June UFO Done & Dusted (and May's too!)

Following on from my post about my June UFO here I have managed to get myself organised and finish it! In my last post I had got as far as stitching the wadding to the organza.

The next stage was to pin and sandwich it to the backing fabric:

Then I quilted it
 I used a small spiral in the centre and a larger spiral in the outer section.  You can see it better on the back. (I made a cushion and as the colour of the backing didn't matter I used up some ugly fabric!)

Then I rinsed out the water soluble thread and trimmed it up

Then I made it into a cushion.

I did have some little spots where I nicked the organza and didn't quite catch it in the stitching but for a first go it turned out okay!

I also discovered how hard it is to take a photo of organza, it always shines even though it doesn't look shiny on the cushion in real life!

With that project out of the way I managed to crack on and finish quilting the rest of my May project, my second Star Surround baby quilt. Then I had to wait for a brief moment of sunshine in a very wet and grey week to snap a photo!

Pretty happy with this one. I resisted the urge to keep quilting as I wanted it to stay a bit softer as its will be for a baby.

Back on track with the UFO quiltalong Twelve in 2014 at Marti's 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks.

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

My Favourite Quilt - Dragon Fortune Quilt

At the moment people are sharing their favourite quilts as part of a link up at Sew Mama Sew so I thought I would share mine. It wasn't easy to pick just one but I chose this one as I felt by the time I finished this one that I was moving in the right direction with quilting!

Tell us about your favorite quilt. When did you make it? What pattern did you use? What fabrics?
This was a quilt of my own design. My son (older teenager at the time) had asked for a dragon quilt and I had trouble finding something that wasn't too childish so started gathering fabrics which felt 'dragon-y'. Later I found the feature fabric used in the border at a stall at our Quilt Fair in Adelaide. It came from Logan's Patchworks but I can't recall what it was called and I don't have any left at all, much as I wish I did! The centre dragon is the Good Luck Dragon, a Smee Designs pattern which I doubled in size and machine appliqued with satin stitch using embroidery threads.

The four corner designs I found on the internet and are meant to mean (clockwise from top left) Blessing, Long Life, Happiness and Longevity.  Hopefully they do as it was hard to find these designs so not sure if the meanings are accurate.  The blocks in the centre of each border were drafted from a tiny photo of a block I saw in a magazine somewhere.

Have your shown it at any quilt shows or entered it in any contests?

No I have never shown any of my quilts at any quilt shows. Maybe one day I will who knows?!

What memories or people does the quilt make you think of?

As it was made for my son, it reminds me of him and although I called it Dragon Fortune, its known in our house as Kieran's quilt!

What do you like best about the quilt?

There's not much I don't love about this quilt. It came out the way I wanted it to. The central black area is the first time I ever free motion quilted a quilt and is done in monofilament thread. This quilt was such a long time in the planning process that it was such a joy to finally get it finished and have it turn out so well.

How did you grow as a quilter while making it?

I learned a lot about making designs fit and quilting, including free motion quilting. I also learned not to have the iron too hot when doing the final press on the back as I managed to melt the stitching on the back of one of the corner panels and had to re-stitch it again!

If you could make this quilt again, what (if anything) would you do differently?

Not a thing, I love it just the way it is!

Where is the quilt now?

It is on my son's bed and he loves it so much he doesn't even take it off the bed in summer, which here in Adelaide, South Australia can get mighty hot!

Linking up with Sew Mama Sew's My Favourite Quilt Series.

Thanks for visiting my blog today,