Monday, November 4, 2013

...Marcelle is well on the way to done

Given the scrappy nature of this quilt and the rapidly overflowing fabric cupboard I have, despite my more restrained purchases, I wanted to make this quilt entirely from stash.

I didn't quite get there - there are a few new fat 16th in there as well as the pink border but more or less it all came from the cupboard. I'm pretty please about that as a few years ago I would have found that difficult - both in terms of my confidence picking the colours/fabrics and having enough blenders to make it work. It seems I'm fond of a novelty print to the exclusion of a lot else!

I sewed the last of the borders on Saturday morning and got ready for basting. I find these things are best done quickly or they can sit in the un-quilted pile for a long time.

I pin basted to within and inch of its life - partly as I was not convinced of how flat the quilt top was and partly as I intended to free motion quilt it and I have never successfully free motion quilted anything that big.

I spent a lot of time quilting it yesterday - I find it quite addictive and calming and I had to force myself to take good ergonomic breaks and do the washing and other such mundane activities. Taking inspiration from Jess and Jeannette I've quilted each section/border a little differently. I'll be using this one, rather than hanging it on the wall so I tried to find that balance between making an interesting quilting pattern and making sure the quilt still draped nicely.


I've still got about a 1/4 to go, and happily a day off tomorrow because there is some race that 'stops a nation' - perfect for the last of the quilting and binding.

Linking with Penny - Thanks for hosting a great quilt along! Stop by and check it out - there are some great versions of the wonderful quilt there.

Monday, October 28, 2013

...a poke in the eye

I was all excited about marching on with the cross border after I last posted - I was still undecided about the wide un-pieced border and I decided that I would make the cross border and then see how the options looked.

Then I went to Pilates and got flicked in the eye with a resistance bad. A trip to the Eye & Ear Hospital ensued followed by 7 days of strict bed-rest to ensure the injury was not worsened. The injury, and the treatment, caused my pupils to unevenly dilate. And meant that my vision, especially fine detail, was and still is pretty blurry. 

 So Marcelle had to wait. Yesterday though I'd had enough waiting and got sewing again.

I had started cutting the background for the cross border with one eye and I finished cutting and sewing it yesterday the same way. Not recommended, but I still have all my fingertips and a new border so it wasn't all bad. 

I'm just making a final decision on the corner stones and then hopefully I can finish the top this week. Really hoping my vision will return to normal so I can baste and get to the quilting this (Melbourne Cup) weekend!

Monday, October 14, 2013

...still getting to know Marcelle

After I last posted last time we had some friends come to stay and the Quilty Cave was given over to bedroom duties. All that meant that the flying geese border didn't get cut and made until yesterday.

Like The Elven Garden I separated my four colours and made the flying geese from the warm colours and the bricks border from the cool colours. I think this works well to ensure they stand apart from each other.

I'm pondering a fabric choice for the next border now. Thoughts? I'm thinking one of these or the pink down the bottom in the more pink colourway. It's patches from Sarah Fielke's new range at Spotlight.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

...more progress on the Marcelle Medallion

After I got the centre star sewn last week and added the first border I felt a little 'meh' about the colours I had chosen. In my head I had strong colours contrasting with black (where the low volume fabrics are used in the original) and on reflection I knew that the fabrics I had chosen weren't strong enough colours. 

So I started again. I used Color Scheme designer to help me clarify the colour scheme I wanted to use - especially as I am still hoping to make this one entirely from stash. 

I was still a little dubious at this point but then I added the 60 degree triangle border and I was sold on the colour scheme. 

I've added border 3 and next up are the flying geese. 

I am hoping to get these cut out tonight or tomorrow as my sewing 'cave' will be converted to a bedroom for guests next weekend so I'd like to have it sewn on this week. We'll see though - they are a funny size!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

...Marcelle Medallion Quilt Along

Several months ago I bought the fist copy of this magazine because of the quilt on the cover and then later a bought this book with the pattern in it as well. 

Until last week I hadn't started it. I'm still only as far as the center and border one but we'll see how it goes. 

Thanks to Penny for the push to get started by hosting the QAL

Monday, June 3, 2013

...have you checked this out?

Have you checked out the Umbrella Prints Trimmings competition Pinterest board for this year?

There are heaps of inspiring projects - and if you re-pin an item from the board you will be voting in the Peoples Choice Award! Voting is open until June 5th, 12am Australian Central Standard Time.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

...what's the time?

Because I save most of my sewing for the weekend I can sometimes get stuck into things and lose track of time - and not least because until tonight I didn't have a way to tell the time in the sewing room. 

But last weekend - when 6:30pm arrived without due warning I decided enough was enough and I pulled out my Trimmings pack. 

I traced numbers the numbers onto visoflix, fused them to the 'trimmimgs' and then I cut them out and fused them on to a piece of cotton/hemp fabric I had in my stash.

 I sewed a running stitch just inside the number to secure it to the background and then again just outside to define them slightly more.

I also added a small spool of thread to the centre of the clock face. The print offered a number of thin lines in one direction and I back-stitched lines perpendicular to make the 'thread'.

All done! I'm pretty happy with it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

...a roadblock - my Made to Measure Quilt

I am a prolific collector of quilt books. Can help it. I find them really inspiring. Within their pages there must be hundreds of quilts that I would like to make 'one day'. So it was no real surprise to myself that I pre-ordered Sarah Fielke's new book, Hand Quilted with Love earlier this year. The bigger surprise, at least to myself, is that I started a quilt from its pages on the day it arrived!

I had been hanging about on Twitter and Instagram in the weeks before Easter and a Quilt Along had been got up. I got sucked in - a combination of inspired, Easter weekend and a cupboard full of fabric.

The pictures show the medallion quilt growingv.

And stopping right as it reached the edge of my bed.

There are two more borders to grow and I have hit a roadblock.

See I'm not confident in choosing colour scheme when it comes to a scrappy many fabric quilt like this one. So armed with a desire to start right now I decided to work from what I had. Where there was pink in Sarah's I went with that, black I chose a black print. my shades are very different and consequently so is the whole look but it gave me some structure to my fabric choices.


It was working until I got to the yellow in the second to final HST/Flying Geese border. All the yellows I had a brown base. I went ahead and used it, but my slowing work rate should have warned me that I wasn't sold on the look.

I think that to continue with a yellow I need a green-y yellow but there are none of them in my stash and I can't find any in the stores either.  It has been suggested that I substitute turquoise (picking up some hints of colour in earlier fabrics).

I'll need to hunt some out but the theory has promise, I think. Opinions?

Friday, February 22, 2013

...a year of finishes - update

The biggest finishes from the list were't exactly a work in progress at the time of writing to post but they were started and finished and gifted...

1. Quilt and bind the Scrappy Stars Quilt (hand quilting currently in progress) - still going on this one - I have it sitting on the end of the couch I sit on of an evening and have been doing a hexagon or a star from time to time. I think we will call this one progressing? 
2. Quilt and bind my Bee a Little Bit Japanese Quilt (hand quilting in progress) - This one is also sitting on the end of the same couch - but under the other one so no progress and won't be I don't think until the other is finished. 
3. Baste, quilt and bind the Valentines Swoon - I have backing fabric for this one now that is almost together. I had hoped for a Valentine's finish for this one but that seems no to have been. 
4. Finish the Weekender Bags - one down and one to do. The recipient is most likely visiting soon so that should be fully completed in a week or two. 

5. Finish quilting the baby pinwheel quilt - no progress
6. Finish the DS Quilts FMQ sample quilt. - no progress
7. Baste, quilt and bind the 'Spring, Just Because' quilt - I'm looking for the right backing for this one that is proving more difficult than I expected!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

...a quilt for K

It is a strange thing. Over the Christmas/New Year 2011/12 break we had in Perth I blogged a lot. The most recent break - hardly at all. 

Which means that although I took (sometimes pretty ordinary pictures) of all of the gifts that I made they have't made it here. In the last few days I have been cleaning out my camera and temporary image folders and come across them again so I think there may be a few catch-up posts!

I have a group of friends that have been friends since high school. Since then we have remained friends through extended international trips, interstate moves, weddings, children - pretty much the events of life that can lead a friendship from teen years to fizzle. Because we are all origionally from pretty much the same place we all tend to end up back in Perth at the same time for big events, like Christmas with some additions since high-school of partners and children. 

In the last few years we have implemented a 'not-so-secret-Santa' gift swap over lunch in the week between Christmas and New Year. This year K was to be my gift recipient. She had mentioned earlier in the year that she might like a quilt for Christmas and I have a sneaking suspicion the Santa drawing was not so random this year. 

The inspiration for this quilt came from a shopping center floor - I was sitting having something to eat in IKEA and looking down at the floor below and snapped this image. 

After a couple of different design options were tossed about in my mind (all squares on point or 9 rectangle blocks?) I made a decision and went about choosing fabrics that were true-ish to the image and would match K's couch. 
Once the top was complete I quilted the 'tiles' into the background with cross hatch squares and hand quilted inside each of the 'pattern tiles' in perle thread.

Because it was a gift I thought is also needed a gift bag. This is from Melody Miller's Ruby Star Wrapping - with a few variations.
Because I used batting scraps rather than the fusible fleece in the pattern I quilted the outer and batting layers. On the top I used the spots as star centres and quilted the petals in.
On the base and the bottom of the sides I quilted squares around each of the circles.
Pressed into service immediately! Later discovered to be 'fully machine washable' and with proper pre-wash prep strawberry doesn't stain!
SMS Rec'd: Quilt down, Quilt down!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

...The Circle Game: Episode 1

Ages and ages ago (about August 2011, I think) I signed up for the second round of the Circle Game BOM by Amitie textiles.

I got block one, I was determined to sew it by machine. After 3-4 goes I had this. It isn't perfect and I wish the points met better in the middle but I couldn't use any more of the fabric on another try!

I started on Block 2 and it was immediately obvious to me that there was a reason it was suggested that this quilt be pieced by hand.

So as the packages came and I stacked them dutifully in their Circle Game box. Sometime last year I figured that it was about time that I do something with them. After the hand piecing lesson and a few more weeks spent convincing myself it was possible a re-started block two and have been working sporadically but with determination since then.
Quite a few blocks were done over the Christmas and New Year break in Perth, including on the flight over.
I am more confident with the strength of the hand sewn seams now than I was (which was really what was holding me back) and I think that the more I sew the more small and even my stitches will become and the stronger the seams will be.

I'm working on Block 8 now - almost halfway done with the blocks! Which reminds me...I should take some more pictures...

Sunday, February 3, 2013

...falling off the wagon...into a pile of scraps.

Almost as soon as I started the Craftsy BOM with my scraps it became abundantly clear that I was going to go nowhere near far enough into making a dent in my scrap stash. So I started a new quilt, even though I was trying to focus in finishing the ones I had started. 

I'm working though the My Favorite Block QAL and making a number of blocks from each post with the aim of ending up with a top 7x7 blocks in the 12" size - big enough for our bed.

This one is four 12.5" blocks - I wish I hadn't used the brown!

The Road to Oklahoma especially needed to be repeated I think.

So far I have made at least 4 of all the blocks (I am finding many of them are better repeated to show a secondary pattern) and am well on the way. I'm using 'low volume' fabrics as the link between all the blocks and so far the block are linking OK I think though I am finding the whole things very busy and a departure of my usual style.

Blocks come out twice a week so I hopefully in another week or two I will have a better idea if it is going to work or I with end up with a really scrappy mess!