Tuesday, 24 April 2018

a little more whimsy


I'm finally back to this today



I've been making these 'whimsy' blocks on & off now since June last year. They are from a quilt in Judy Newman's new book, 'quilts made for life made with love'- see here for more details.

I'm using lots of large florals and blending itty bitty prints. There are a couple of cheeky inset seams which I seem to have mastered now. I've found I need to use a scant 1/4" seam and pressing all the little sections as I go really helps. And machine piecing them goes a lot smoother if I leave adding those red & white stripe corner triangles til the very last.






With these four new blocks I've got a total of 25 now . . .



and here's a group photo so far . . .



Catching up with Emily for 'moving it forward' over here at emsscrapbag
and linking up today with Lorna here at sewfreshquilts for 'let's bee social'
Happy sewing,
Linda


Wednesday, 18 April 2018

sew stitch snap SHARE #24

Happy Wednesday and welcome to Sew Stitch Snap SHARE.


This week I've been busy with my improv 'floral medallion' quilt. I had made up four borders to surround my central floral piece (see back here ) but then I felt a little unsure about what to do next.

I promised my daughter I wouldn't buy anything extra for this quilt, and that I would 'shop my stash' instead, and she has checked in often to see that I stick to it too! So it was back to my stash baskets for something that would carry over my colour(s).



I tried not to overthink the whole improv process, and this next border ended up as two simple rows of 'square in a square' liberated blocks inspired by Gwen Marston.
Gwen's method proved very forgiving when it came to fitting the borders around what I had already pieced so far, there was lots of extra background for trimming.

I decided to use more of my quirky vintage fabrics that I had used in the crazy pieced 2nd border, along with an assortment of low volumes with a hint of yellow/gold. My final border was an AMH fabric 'Baby Bouquet' from her Folk Song collection.




It's a bit different, with it's bright funky fabric mix, no pattern but vaguely log cabin style, and I think I prefer it to the technically perfect! The quilt top ended up quite large so it's gone today to the quilters. Oh, and I did do it . . . no new fabric was bought during the making of this quilt!

That's it from me this week, time now for another Sew Stitch Snap SHARE

A little bit of news about our regular fortnightly link up before we get into the fun show and tell. Julie and I have decided to alternate hosting this link up, beginning Wednesday 2 May with me here at kokaquilts hosting the next one. This gives us a little less pressure to continually be creating, and to be able to focus on family, friends and food oops, life

Do you have a project to share this week too?


Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Link up any post from the past week that features a sewing or stitching project you have been working on, whether they are WiPs, starts or finishes. You can write as much or as little about your project as you like, and snap off a pic or three, and share here.
  • Somewhere in your post, please link back to this one.
  • Also please comment on other quilter's projects too, a little quilty love goes a long way
We love seeing what other blogging quilters are up to
and hope that you will continue to join us both, Julie & Linda

Saturday, 14 April 2018

floral medallion, an adventure in improv

While unpacking my quilting books recently, I came across "Liberated Quiltmaking II" by Gwen Marston and I was once again captivated with Gwen's free-form, innovative approach, especially with her liberated medallions. Further improv posts recently by Ann from fretnotyourself and Kaja from sewslowly have inspired me (again) to try a bit of improv.

This idea of a floral medallion quilt has been simmering away in my mind and down on the 'desigh floor' for a while now. 


Fabric selection started with using my stash. I chose a lovely 18" floral outbackwife fabric  for my centre. And then I've been slowly planning one border at a time.
The first border was an easy decision for me. I had two pieces of fabric in my stash, and while years apart, I felt they worked well to bring out the colours in my centre section. I've used a small print "Christine" a recent Outback Wife fabric and an older fabric, 'Dashing Roses' from Art Gallery.


Next up, from the 'spare parts' basket, a crazy pieced border
made up of quirky vintage fabrics, ginghams and modern prints.


Then things got a bit tricky. I don't know about you, but I can't seem to be able to sew a bit and then work out the next bit as I go. I like to have an overall idea of where I'm heading before I sew anything, so I lay everything out first on the 'design floor'.
Plans do have a way of changing. And, to be honest, these borders have changed many times over the past week, thank goodness I didn't actually cut & sew anything together - improv is certainly not as easy as it looks {sigh}.

I audtioned several fabrics for the third border, but most seemed to me to swamp the centre floral piece. At the moment I'm thinking of using a variety of yellow fabrics, to help draw out those warm golds in the centre. They will all be in different lengths as I don't have enough of anything to go all the way around, the main one here is Bari J. Ackerman, Sage, Yuma Lemons in Mist . . .



Some of my strips of fabric ran short so I added a few wonky corner flying geese and extra fabric. I also want my borders to all be different widths and I'm really excited about adding some 'kantha' style quilting to the centre floral square, but that's a little way off yet.


. . . and then another border of an oldish Anna Maria Horner fabric from the stash basket,
something a bit crazy different, maybe




I haven't yet figured out what happens after the fourth border, I keep telling myself evaluation & consideration are all part of the process. After several changes & some discussion with my "personal colour consultant" (aka my daughter), I think I can now safely say I'll be stitching this up soonish . . . it's either that, or I continue to walk around it for a few more days/weeks!

Linking up with Myra from 'finished or not Friday' here at busyhandsquilts     
- I'd love to hear about your experiences with improv too


Saturday, 7 April 2018

does this go with that?



This weekend I'm focusing on getting a few more my 'flying geese' blocks made. I used the 'no waste flying geese' method, see this easy tutorial here. I had planned on making just a few now & then, but these blocks are a bit addictive and as I read on IG here at janburgwinkle's feed, making them is indeed "like a bowl of jelly beans", and I too can't seem to stop at just one or two.

Lots of my scrappy pieces of Anna Maria Horner fabrics are going into this top, and I initally spent a bit of time pulling out fabrics, trialling different combinations, some clashy, some more blended, wondering does this go with that, or not?

In the end I just went with my gut feeling.



After looking at that b&w pic above of what I had pieced so far, I decided I needed to use a few 'neutral' lighter fabrics to help defuse that 'hot mess' look and create some more contrast . . .


And one fabric that ended up being very useful was AMH's 'misguided gingham' - don't you just love the name?

Still quite a few more blocks to go yet, 
but here's a peep of how it's all looking now up on my design wall . . .


Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' over here at quiltingismorefunthanhousework
- where there's lots more scrappy inspiration


Wednesday, 4 April 2018

sew stitch snap SHARE #23

Not too much to share from my sewing room, however I did have a little bit of a late night chopping spree one evening over the weekend. I'm prepping for a new project, something that's been on my 'to do' list for ages now.



And when I have a few spare minutes I can just pop in and stitch up a few blocks. I'm using the 'no waste' flying geese method, there's lots of tutorials available on-line. I'm still deciding on whether I need to add a few solids in too.






My latest 'off the bookshelf' review is a lovely quilt book that I recently purchased, "Utility-Style Quilts for Everyday Living" by Sharon Holland. It's full of designs inspired by timeless quilt block patterns, with surprising fabric & colour combinations. The intro explains what qualifies as a utility style quilt, and urges the reader to "remove the expectation for perfection and embrace utility and its unexpected, fail-proof, scrappy beauty".



I love this one in the pic above, 'Star Crossed'. It has lots of elements that I'm crushing on just now . . . a gently muted palette, combining vintage favourites with more 'modern' fabrics, and wide scrappy sashings which hint that the quilt was made from limited fabric supplies.



'Night & Day' is another favourite. It's a Log Cabin variation, playing with contrast and using a yummy raspberry solid for the block centres. The quilt photography is wonderful thoughout the book! Follow the link here for more details and see more pics over here on instagram.

That's it from me this week. Time now for another Sew Stitch Snap SHARE - a regular fortnightly linkup where you can see what other blogging quilters are up to. Do you have a project to share this week too?


Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Link up any post from the past week that features a sewing or stitching project you have been working on, whether they are WiPs, starts or finishes. You can write as much or as little about your project as you like, and snap off a pic or three, and share here.
  • Somewhere in your post, please link back to this one.
  • Also please comment on other quilter's projects too, a little quilty love goes a long way.

Thanks for joining us, Julie & Linda

Sunday, 25 March 2018

handkerchief corner in pastel



It was a wet Saturday yesterday here in Auckland NZ, perfect for sewing. You may remember my 1/4 log cabin WiP from last year, otherwise known as the 'handkerchief corner' quilt, see back here in October 2017. There were only a handful of blocks made up so I got busy slicing strips & sewing.

Low volumes, backgrounds, neutrals, pastels . . . there's lots of names for those lighter fabrics we use and recently I've been quite focused on sewing with a good dose of them, using fabrics from my stash.

This quilt was an attempt at a toned down version of a vintage inspired 'handkerchief corner' quilt from one of Kaffe's early books 'A Colourful Journey'. Kaffe's pattern is made up of one square patch and one trapezium patch shape, however I simply added my strips in regular log cabin style around two sides of each square.


I'm sure there a lots of ways to set these blocks, here's a few options I played with . . .




And this one, the combination of on point handkerchief corner blocks and a few bold stripes seems to transform it into a very interesting modern design . . .


In the end, I decided to stick with my original idea of joining the 10 1/2" blocks side by side and set them 5 x 6. The finished quilt measures approx. 55" (140cms) x 68" (173cms). I didn't strictly alternate the light/dark blocks either, so you can see a bit of merging happening occasionally.

I do wish I had more of the Kaffe pretty pastel floral I used for the borders though, as I would have preferred the borders to be a bit wider than they are, but I guess it's the risk you take when sewing from the stash. 




Hoping you have all had a lovely weekend too.
Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here - where there's lots more scrappy inspiration

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

sew stitch snap SHARE #22

What's on your sewing table this week?


. . . I've got my sewing room just about sorted now, so I dug out my whimsy blocks again this week, searched through my florals and cut out a couple more. Here they are up on the design wall all ready for machine piecing together.
I must do a head count soon to see just how many more to go. I can't quite locate my Judy Newman book at present but I think I worked out I needed around 56 all together.



. . . and I spent a bit of time getting my 'wild bloom' anthologie quilt all together. This QAL was hosted by Melanie from southerncharmquilts and barij.
I found the easy pace very do-able, even while mid-flight moving house! And such a great way to learn new techniques, work with a good dose of low volume fabrics and add a little extra quirky 'boho' style. The finished quilt size is 65.5" x 80.5" with 11 different block patterns of varying sizes and filler blocks.














That's it from me this week. Time now for another Sew Stitch Snap SHARE'- a regular fortnightly linkup where you can see what other blogging quilters are up to. 
My favourite pick from the last few times were Julie's beautiful 'solstice dream' blocks. I love her use of vibrant felt colour and her embroidery is amazing.



Have you been following her progress too?
Pop over here to see lots more.
{all photos reposted with quilter's permission}

And do you have a project to share this week too?


Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Link up any post from the past week that features a sewing or stitching project you have been working on, whether they are WiPs, starts or finishes. You can write as much or as little about your project as you like, and snap off a pic or three, and share here.
  • Somewhere in your post, please link back to this one.
  • Also please comment on other quilter's projects too, a little quilty love goes a long way. 
Thanks for joining us, Julie & Linda