Happy 2014!

I hope Christmas and New Year was a nice break for everyone! I have some great crafty plans this year but before we can get into those I have three quilt finished to share with you from last year (yes I’m a slack blogger!)

quilt 1

This one was made for my lovely cousin Bec who was joking with me last Christmas about what a girl has to do to get a quilt. I made this one in secret and to be honest it is the first quilt that I have had soooooo much trouble giving away…It sat on my couch for a week before I attached the label. I thought maybe, just maybe I could keep it but no it was made especially for Bec and to be honest the look on her face when I gave it to her was worth it.Excited!

The pattern, Flock together is from Sarah Fielke’s Quilting from little things book. I had such fun with this pattern and I think down the track I will make another one for me. There are lots and lots of small triangles to cut out and sew together but it was an interesting pattern and a skill that I hadn’t tried before.  When I read the pattern first and how the block was constructed I found it confusing but when you are actually doing it the instructions are really clear and you can see why you leave some seems open.WIP

The main fabrics I used were Cosmo cricket – Cream numbers on Red, Bonnie and Camille – Ruby Red Floral, Sarah Watts – Fawn in Birch Blue, Modern Meadow Herringbone Pond. The cream fabrics were from my stash. The smaller coloured triangles I went stash diving for most and added some extras from a few charm packs I had on hand.

This is the first quilt I straight line quilted and I love the effect and how the quilting doesn’t take away from the fabric and pattern. But I would advise that you have a good couple of movies to watch while you straight line quilt because it takes FOREVER! (well it feels that way).

I loved these colours and overall it was a really enjoyable quilt to work on.

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Second finish is a quilt for the man! We have two quilts that we usually use on the couch but Bryce finds that his feet stick out the end and get cold (and the quilt he uses is a little girly) So we measured out how much longer and wider he wanted it and I went to work making a double hourglass quilt for him. I really love how this one turned out using Sweetwater’s Reunion fabric line.

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The backing was a mixture of Kaffe Aboriginal dots in grey, a few spare double hour glass blocks and some architexture trees print by Carolyn Friedlander.

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It now lives happily on the couch and has been getting used year round so far.

Lastly was a smaller quilt for a lovely friend at work who was pregnant with their first child. It provided another chance to experiment with a neutral quilt as they were not planning on finding out the sex of the baby. I chose to use the half square triangle block of the month patterns available on the In Color Order blog (http://www.incolororder.com/p/block-of-month.html)

The fabric was all pulled from my stash (Yay me!!) and I chose grey and yellows and oranges.IMG_0746

I kept the quilting simple with just my standard all over wondering and managed to get it finished right in time for the baby shower. IMG_0752

So that’s if from finished quilts in 2013.  Did you have a successful finish to your crafting plans from 2013?

xC

The star quilt!!!

Bliss…pure bliss is the feeling of a finished quilt that has been in various stages of creation during the last three years.

star obsession

I am massively proud of this quilt and have learnt so much along the journey. This quilt was the first time I really stepped away from the safety of pre-cuts and already colour coordinated fabric.

The pattern comes from Material Obsessions 2, which is one of my very favourite books to look through for inspiration. I also have a slight thing for stars… so I think that was part of the reason why I kept coming back to this quilt. The colours were so unlike anything I had ever worked with before and I couldn’t wait to step out of my comfort zone.

Most of the fabric I purchased locally and I am sorry to say that at the time it was my first really bad experience with shopping in a quilt store with staff who were not friendly and helpful. I think my lack of grey hair and a senior’s card may have contributed to this. Since then I have had a few more experiences like this and now tend to pick the stores I go to.

The challenges…

1. Cutting all the diamond shapes took forever and I was very worried about them stretching while I was piecing. I used a heap of starch to try and help with this but there were a few that I think stretched and some of the points didn’t match up as closely as they could have.

2. Y seams…at one stage I thought these were going to be the death of me! I lost count of how many times I had to use the seam ripper but I think they got better as I got the hang of the concept.

so not my normal colours

Once I had finished the quilt top it was folded up and packed away for quite a while until I could find some suitable backing fabric. I am not usually an orange person but I decided to use two of my favourite two prints from the stars. It took me a while to get hold of enough of both prints to complete a simple pieced back for the quilt.

star basting

For the quilting I came close a number of times to sending this one out to a long arm quilter as there was no way I would have managed to get this one through my old machine. It was the biggest quilt I have made to date. But every time I would go to send it I would pack it back up and think one day I might be able to quilt it myself…back in to the cupboard it went.

So once I got my new machine I was determined to quilt this one.  I really like what a long arm quilter can do and the patterns that can be made but there is something I just love about knowing that I have created this quilt from the start to the very finish.

quilting plan #100000000

I spent weeks drawing quilting plans and trying to decide on one. I kept changing my mind until I finally pulled out the top and backing, gave them all a good iron, put on a movie and spend the afternoon basting the quilt. The book that helped me decide which way to quilt this one was ‘Free-Motion Quilting with Angela Walters’. Her designs and tips and tricks are fantastic.

quilting the star quilt

In the end I had to slightly change the quilting plan but I am so happy with the finished result! It now lives on our bed and it has been so satisfying to see it finished and sleep under it.

On a side note, Kathy Dougherty, the pattern designer and one of the authors of the Material Obsessions books has been facing her own challenge at the moment and I wish her all the strength and determination she needs to get through. I have visited the Material Obsessions shop in Sydney and met Kathy as well as seeing her on her recent trip to Adelaide. I enjoy reading her blog and getting an insight in to her thought process with her quilting and thoughts on life in general.

So thank you Kathy for inspiring me to step out of my comfort zone, giving me new skills to learn and I wish you strength and patience for your recovery.

xC

happenings..

Here is a little collection of photos from this month…

couch time

Couch time, tea and Game of Thrones book 3

Finished my Frenchy Bag (Amy Butler)

Experimented with recreating a fav eclair from a local bakery…was so good but a little big 🙂

Made the most amazing chocolate ice-cream to take to a friends for dessert!

(Recipe from sweet creams and sugar cones book)

Went strawberry picking for the first time this season! and yes they all got eaten!

Hanging out in the strawberry patch! + new hair cut 😉

Knitting up a storm on my first jumper!

Year of the finished project continues….Dasiy Chain quilt

Chain piecing while watching Thor 🙂

2 Swoon blocks have been joined by 3 more…only 4 to go!

Busy busy busy…

Things have been a little quiet in blog land but boy have they been busy in real life!

I had a big push in July to finish two quilts to take back to NSW when I went for a recent trip home.

The first one was a baby quilt which came together really fast.

 Ruby Quilt

Pattern : Made it up as I went

Fabric: Vintage Modern

Binding: Ruby

I had a lot of fun with the bunting. I ironed some vliesofix on the back of a few charm squares and then cut out triangles. Once I was happy with the positioning I ironed them in place. With my FMQ foot on the Bernina I stitched twice around each triangle then moved to the next one creating the linked bunting.

Bunting close up

As time was short and I wanted to take this quilt back with me when I visited I stuck with FMQ a stippling pattern and just quilted up to the edges on the triangle bunting.

The backing is from Vintage Modern and I am in love with it!

I had the little red and white scallop fabric in my stash and thought it would suit as binding and I love how it turned out!

backing and binding

The second quilt that I managed to finish I time for my visit home was a birthday gift for my auntie.

Pattern : Dream Big Camille Roskelly

Fabric: Kate Spain Terrain

Binding: Simply Colour V and Co

Backing: Green wideback print broken up by left over terrain and basic white.

Dream On

As long as I can remember my auntie has loved green and purple. Kate Spain’s fabric is just the perfect way to tie those two colours in with the bright and jewel tones.

This top took forever to put together but it was quite satisfying watching it grow. If you are going to make this top I recommend having the pieces set out in order somewhere out-of-the-way or at least some way to pack them up without losing the order. I had the pieces on my craft room floor for a few weeks and was constantly having to step around it. This did encourage me to work on it more often so it could get moved off the floor.

Over all I am pretty happy with the finished quilt. Initially I was worried that the green on the back was the wrong choice. Once it was broken up by the left over terrain and white I was satisfied that it wasnt too much.

Oh and I nearly forgot the binding! This mini jelly roll by V and Co was fantastic to use as I couldn’t pick one colour to use and it was already in my stash 🙂

binding

My Auntie absolutely loved the quilt and I think it will be well used in coming years.

Okay time to get off and finish a quilt that I am excited about but can’t show you yet!!

xC