Friday, 26 June 2015

Just one fat quarter

I was still thinking about Jane from Sew Create It's staggered sashing, when I came across this donated fat quarter amongst the Linus fabrics.  

Gorgeous, wacky jungle animals.  I realised that if I cut the pictures into groups of four, I would have twelve little panels.  With a frame round each one, then some staggered sashing, it would make a nice Linus quilt for a small child. 

So, here we are!  I think it's turned out well, despite the fact that I didn't have quite enough fabric for the final border, and had to resort to desperation piecing, 

here, and substitution, 

here.  I think I'll be forgiven by the recipient! 

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Still busy

Things have been hectic round here as my Mum hasn't been well and then had a stay in hospital, which has meant disruption to all sorts of things, not least the free time I have.  It's time well spent of course, but not in my sewing room! I did manage to get some hand sewing done though, while waiting for the doctor. 

I'm planning a workshop on 'the patchwork of the crosses' next year, and here's the first block.  The permutations of this block are endless, and give a great opportunity to fussy cut.  

The baby quilts are still on the agenda, and I thought these Tula Pink blocks would make a good boy's quilt.  Jane over at Sew Create It gave me the idea for this staggered setting, but I'm not quite sure where to go from here.  A narrow white border, blue border?  I'll have to audition some fabrics and see. 

I've also been trying to complete Linus quilts.  This is a leaders and enders project called Crabapples, and I think a final red border will finish it off.  Unfortunately there's no red solid left either in the Linus boxes or my stash, so I guess I'll be forced to go shopping.  What a shame! 

I've also been quilting this Bonnie Hunter whose name I forget.  Is it Lazy Sunday?  Anyway, it's quilting beautifully, but I just need to keep going, as I need it in a couple of weeks for a young lady who's coming up for 18.  Should be able to do it, if I don't have any more hospital trips! 

Wednesday, 3 June 2015


There must be something about my family and 2015 which puts a sparkle in their eyes as five relatives are expecting babies this year, and all are first ones!  Add to that our friends in Berlin's daughter and that makes six baby quilts to make!  I thought I had better get ahead of the game and get a few made, as babies are notorious at keeping to their own schedule and ignoring the predictions of the medical profession!  I have been very good and shopped in my stash first. 

I bought this piece of bright horsey fabric a while ago, but thought it was a perfect gender-neutral one. A few nine-patches using stash fabrics and hey presto!  That's one. 

Then I found this feathered star which I made for a class, added a few scrappy borders, and once I've sewn the binding down, that's two. 

I used this pink feathered star to demonstrate at the class, so the same borders went onto this (well, why fix it if it ain't broke?!) and that will be three.  Phew, nearly halfway. 

Then (while looking for something else) I came across this needle turned block.  It's bright and cheerful, so I've started to big it up.  The green and pink blocks were leftovers from a Bonnie Hunter, but tone in perfectly with the colour scheme.  I'm not quite sure where to go from here, but I'm sure inspiration will strike.  
Just need two more .......

Friday, 15 May 2015

Another holiday!

What's that saying about buses?  You wait for ages and then two come together?  Well, it's been a bit like that here with holidays.  Nothing for ages, then two long haul trips in quick succession.  This trip 
has been China, and was fabulous.  I don't want to bore anyone with holiday photos, but couldn't resist this one of me in seventh heaven surrounded by indigo printed fabrics!  We went to Wen Zhou which is a kind of Chinese Venice, in that it's built on water and has canals for streets, and there was a demonstration of resist printing on fabric (they used lime apparently) which was then steeped in indigo. 

There were loads of beautiful designs, and of course I succumbed to temptation while we were there. 

This fishy panel is about 18" square, and gorgeous. 
We got back late on Wednesday, and I'm beginning to get to terms with the jet lag.  Yesterday I even had a brief session at the sewing machine to finish off this delicate Mile a Minute quilt. 

It was an experiment in tone, using cream scraps versus pale scraps.  I think it's worked, and I used a variegated thread to quilt fans onto the pale triangles to add a little more colour.  Now to dive into something a bit more in your face!  

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Eight - final version!

I have been working on my panel with eight pictures quilt and have learned something useful.  I was very happy with the way the eight blocks were joined together to make a 3 x 5 arrangement, but it was in adding the borders to make it a bit squarer where I struggled.  Originally I had added a lilac border which was wider at the sides, to try and compensate.  When I started to add the piano keys border it didn't look right.  So with a little help from friends, Jacquie in particular, I evened out the inner border and added long piano keys along the sides, and small ones top and bottom.

That looks much better.  The balance of the central part is retained, and your eye doesn't realise the piano keys are different lengths, just that it looks right.  Result!

Monday, 20 April 2015


Why do manufacturers persist in making panels with eight images on them?  Eight is either too many or not enough to make a balanced quilt.  Nine is a good number, as that can be three blocks by three, or even five is OK as you can pad them out with plain blocks.  But eight! (Of course, I do actually know why they make these panels, as two rows of four images fill the fabric nicely.  I suppose the question is more, why do we buy them?!). So, along with most people, I have one of these panels, and decided to work out how to use it. 

Not a prize-winner, but the easy hourglass blocks have made these eight images into a fifteen, or five by three.  A bit long and narrow, but if I add a border on two sides, then a traditional border, I think it will work.

How about that?  I'll put a pink border round the whole thing, and get back. 

Friday, 3 April 2015

Holiday purchases

I We're back safe and sound from our wonderful holiday in Australia, and while I didn't manage to do very much sewing while we were away, I certainly made sure I bought some fabric souvenirs back with me!  I am doing a class in May which requires a fabric with a large design on it, so particularly looked out for that. 

I thought this filled the bill perfectly.  I need a solid to go with it, and will probably go for the cobalt blue or the turquoise.  And of course, I couldn't just bring the fabric I needed, but also bought some which I wanted! 

I wanted fabric which is difficult to get here, and have seen the (gorgeous) fabrics other people have brought, with kangaroos, koalas, ferns and exotic flowers etc on them, and seen how they struggled to use them, so thought I'd try a different direction.  I'm hoping these fabrics can be used in one project, but will also mix into my stash fairly well. I wanted Aboriginal designs as they are so iconic. 

This one is called 'Young Women's Business'.  The Aboriginies separate gender roles into men's and women's business, with each having equal weight.  The circles represent a place of significance, a meeting place, water source, food sorce etc, and the 'C' shapes are the mark a cross legged woman will make on the ground.  The larger C shapes with lines next to them are the women with their digging sticks having a meeting, and the other smaller Cs are the young women having a smaller meeting.  The lines represent journeys or routes.  I suppose the whole design has been stylised, but I like to think it's a message about the importance of a balanced society and their individual roles.  Wonder when I'll dare to cut it up!