Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Trunk Full of Quilts

This was my display for a recent talk at our guild exploring Modern Quilting.  You would think I have a lot of finishes but quite a few of those piles are only quilt tops.  I have way more WIP's than finishes and I think that is going to be my focus for 2016 - just get them done!

So when I read Soma @Whims and Fancies was hosting an online trunk show I knew I wanted to join in the fun but the stipulation was to share finished quilts.  I had a bit of an oh-oh moment with that and thought about writing about maybe 1 or 2 quilts I hadn't shared in a while, that I had actually finished.

As I started pulling in photos for this post, it occurred to me instead to show the makes I can't ever show in person as I have either given them away or a certain someone has "borrowed" them (more on that later!)
Bounce adapted pattern by Miss Rosie's Quilt Co made for G's Aunt in London
Strip N'Flip baby quilt #1 for a friend on birth of baby!
#2 for cousins 10th birthday!
plus matching doll quilt & cushion

Baby quilt from Melissa Corry's Star Surround QAL
Baby Quilt from Schnibbles Full House pattern

Disappearing 9 patch dog themed quilt for Godchild #3!
Teddy sleeping! Birthday present Godchild #3
Handmade crochet teddy with his own quilt!

Bed Quilt for Mum
and the back!
Quilt designed for this room currently "borrowed" for over mum's sofa!
also at Mum's

...and she took the bag too!  Pattern Bye bye love
by Sew Sweetness.
She didn't get this one - went to a friend (we  went on holidays around China and Thailand and this made me think of her!)
Donation Quilt - first time doing clamshells - love the texture!
Baby Present for family in Chicago - pattern is Night Sky by Thimbleblossoms

Swoon Quilt - only took 2 years - wedding present for cousin in Chicago
Sunset on the Shannon - made for local landscapes exhibit - gifted to a friend!
Just so you know, they have been passed by my quality control inspector Charly!
who sometimes gets distracted from finishing things up too! 
Thanks Soma for giving me a chance to revisit these! Linking up to
Online Quilt Trunk Show | Whims And Fancies

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

WIP Wednesday - quilting the Christmas hexies!

I had to step away from the computer at the weekend and get back to finishing my Christmas Hexagon samples for the IPS meeting this Friday. I decided to put the white snowflake on a wintery grey background instead of the red I had originally chosen. At last Thursday's sewing night, this was the one everyone preferred. The plan is to place a chunky white candle in the upper right corner and use it for the centre of the table
Straight line down to a point and make a perpendicular line to the left and back to centre.  Then right and back to centre, 45 deg up to left corner and back to centre and then down to the bottom right and back to centre.  Same for the other side, up and down at an angle and finally straight down to the next point.

In keeping with the snowflake design I quilted it free motion with some asterisks that to me look like stars.  I really like how they came out against this Kona Steel background.  I glued the hexies in place with dots of basting glue and now have to stitch them in place and decide what colour to bind it in. I'm thinking of a white print or maybe a blue?

I just got the last few hexagons out the remnants of this blue fabric to finish this Star of David design. I really like the star made in the empty spaces and straight line quilted these guys through each hexie point as per the this tutorial on Modern Handcraft.  Thinking of binding this one in red!

I made a snowy Christmas tree and then thought about spacing it like the Modern Handcraft tutorial so made a second one!

I really do like this way of quilting them.  It is really fast and looks very effective!  No idea what colour to bind this one in!

When I saw this post by Little Penguin Quilts on using Hexies to make a boring cushion look trendy, I thought that would be cool to try on a plain beige/cream cover I have sitting in the clean laundry pile.  So I pulled some more traditional Christmas fabric (sorry I don't know the name - came as a layer cake bundle from the Limerick Quilt Centre!) and got this far with another Christmas tree.

I'm going to be giving these away at this stage I've got so many now!
Linking up to
Sew Fresh QuiltsWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 9 November 2015

Design Wall Monday -a design process

Last week, some books I ordered from the Book Depository arrived and we spend a good bit of time pouring over them at our Thursday night sewing group. A quilt in one of the books, Quilt Lovely by Jen Kingwell, really caught my eye. 
This scrappy quilt is made up of blocks that are 31/2" x 9 1/8" so  really thin and long, and there are lots of them.  I really like the look of this quilt and part of the charm is the amount of blocks but I knew I probably wouldn't make over 150 of the same thing all in one go and it would take me a while to get through it.  Like maybe, years!  But I really like the design and trying to figure out what it was that was drawing me into this one I decided to draft it in EQ7. 
My first thought was to make the blocks bigger and easier to rotary cut & machine piece (Jen Kingwells design uses templates and gives the option of hand piecing or machine piecing Y seams).
I quite like this coloured in with Moda Bella solids and it's only 40 blocks!
I thought I'd try a half drop repeat and was delighted with myself figuring out how to do this in EQ7 - starting to get to know this program better! (For some really good tutorials Cheryl@Meadow Mist Designs is doing a series of EQ7 tutorials.) Must be the Christmas feeling as this one reminds me of icicle decorations for the Christmas tree and its only 18 blocks.
Taking the decoration theme further some baubles, longer and thinner or grouped in an oval using a few more blocks still with a half drop layout.

Trying to move away from a Christmas theme I ended up with a heart using 12 blocks
Then I had a go at making my own long skinny block and got this:
I thought the shape of this one was very like a flickering flame so I re-coloured it to this design using reds and oranges:
This one reminds me a little of the blog colours at Freshly Pieced, same block shape just different colouring.
To make this block is a bit tricky involving templates, so I played around some more and got this, almost back to where I started!
This is one of the reasons I don't use pen and graph paper too much for a finished quilt design. I really enjoy playing with a shape and seeing where it leads to and to do that, it is so much easier on the computer to try variations than sketching and re-sketching on paper. I also pretty much design only in solids and afterwards, when I settle on a design, I think about maybe making it in prints. But most importantly, I have learned when I stumble across something I really like, to pause, take a few minutes and draw it out by hand to get the design into my head, and then take it to the computer to play! What's your design process? Anything like this?

Any of these catch your eye to play with? 

Friday, 6 November 2015

Best Swap Ever!

Have you ever had a parcel arrive in the post that sent you squeeling like a crazy person?  There may have been hopping up and down and giggling and lots of Thank you, thank you, thank yous when I opened the envelope and found this mini quilt from Lara @ BuzzinBumble.

Isn't it perfect!
There is so much about this that captures the spirit of Wilbur and Charly.  Charly the boss driving the cart and Wilbur's ears flapping behind him.  I love the little scarf! I can't believe how lucky I am to have received something so perfectly personal to me and amazingly made too!

The little stitches defining the shapes give them the most lovely expressions.  Even Charly's little tail looks like its wagging!

Lara even captured Wilbur's brown coloured fur on his neck.  He has allergies and in the summer months his fur changes from white to a red brown.  He also has really dark patches by his ears which are brilliantly done!
During the summer when I was doing up the kitchen Lara and I had an email exchange about how nice it would be to have people in for a cuppa and from there we decided on a mug rug swap.  My holidays to the states meant we held off on shipping to only a few weeks ago. 

I'll share my mug rug in a separate post as there is no way I can follow this up!  I knew Lara was brilliant at applique and was so looking forward to receiving the swap parcel.  Even with that expectation I am blown away!  So, so happy and grateful.  Thanks a million, Lara!

Lara has a book coming out in December called Crafted Applique - New possibilities.  Seriously if you want to see more of this fab work check out the book, you can pre-order already. 

Lara also sent me some fussy cut squares to start me off on my Polaroid quilt and some lovely feather fabric too!

I have my new mug rug up on the wall already, looking down on me, where I sew at the kitchen table.

Happy Friday everyone - hope all have a great weekend and big thank you to Lara.  Cheers!
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