Friday, December 19, 2014

T.G.I.F.F. - 2014 Quilt Finale

2014 has been a big year for me - quilting and otherwise.  As the year closes, I have my last two quilt finishes to share with you!  I count myself very lucky to be chosen to make something, as special as a quilt, for others.  The fact that people put their faith in me is really lovely.  Both of the quilts I'm sharing today are for repeat customers.  So I guess that says something about my product!

You may remember my Isosceles on Point quilt from last year?  Well, it now has a brother!

Custom quilt for Archie 

This divine king single quilt is made up of 5" squares in a range of beautiful blue and grey, mixed with black, white and taupe.  It is a colour palette I wouldn't necessarily have thought to put together, but Larissa always has a great eye for colour, and chose them all herself - then delivered them to me.  It was my job to make her vision come alive.

Custom quilt for Archie 

I placed all 221 squares quite randomly, only making sure there weren't pools of the same colour together.  Once quilted with a variegated Aurifil thread #4060 - which is a silvery/moss mix - it really popped.

Custom quilt for Archie

Larissa chose this great striped backing.  It's actually a sheeting fabric, which is super wide and made basting super easy.  This quilt is going to wash up so beautifully, and will keep its little recipient snug as a bug!  It was delivered today, just in time for a birthday!

Next up is the third quilt for a family.  The youngest of three boys needed a quilt to call his own, after his big brothers received theirs last year.  Cass left the colour and fabric selection to me, and was in no rush, so earlier this year I bought a fabulous bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics.  Greys, turquoise and orange were the winning palette and man, do they work well together.....

Custom quilt for Brodie 

The design is a basic disappearing nine patch, using 9" squares.  I love the random placement you are left with when you cut up a nine patch!  I also used a grey shot cotton from Spotlight for the solid mixer.  If you ever get the chance to use the shot cotton, do it, it's actually really lovely.

Custom quilt for Brodie

I quilted using a meandering free motion pattern, which I think looks a little jigsaw like.  I used a vibrant orange Aurifil #2150.

So, there you have it.  No more quilts for 2014!  But plenty of WIP's awaiting attention and new projects in line.....


I know I have been a slack blogger of late, and I have not replied to everyone's comments, but I've been flat out and am now dealing with some sort of weird virus, which comes with a delightfully itchy rash and a 6-8 week cycle.  Sooooo, thank you again for always taking the time to come and read my posts and please know I read all of your comments and really do have the intention of replying!!!
xxxx



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Project Pictorial

Every now and then, I look through my downloaded photos to both Instagram and here on my computer, and I find finished projects I haven't shared with you!  So here is a little "project pictorial".....

Finished!! I hope whoever receives my Xmas decoration at our #melbournemqg get together likes it! #liberty #aurifil

My Christmas ornament for the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild swap!  I cracked open my Liberty stash for this one, and love how it turned out.  We swapped on Saturday at our Sit and Sew day, and thankfully my recipient said she loved it!

Custom order bag number one finished!

I have had a few last custom orders to get finished before Christmas.  Last week, I managed to get two 241 Totes made - this one is made from some Home Dec fabric I purchased at Spotlight months ago and linen.....

And the second..... Ticking off lists here.....

And this one is from some of the delicious Enchino I brought back from Japan, and more linen blend fabric.  I love them both!

Kate Spain Zippered Pouch

Now this little project I made months ago!  And forgot to share!  I wanted to make something for Kate Spain in return for her generosity during the Charm swap/along and also with my Pavement Puddles quilt.  I got all the teeny weeny scraps from my KS wall hanging and just made them work!

Kate Spain Zippered Pouch

On the other side, I paper pieced a K and then free motion quilted the rest of her name.

Kate Spain Zippered Pouch

Teeeeeeny weeeeeeny pieces of yummy fabric scraps!  I think the pouch ended up being around 12" long, so that gives you an idea of how small these are.

Kate Spain Zippered Pouch

I filled it with yummy Aussie sweets and the lovely Quilt Jane hand delivered my present to Kate at Quilt Market for me.  Thanks Jane!

Cushion for Skye

This delightful cushion started off as a bee block.  And went terribly wrong when I trimmed all 27 geese down to size, without realising the tutorial meant finished size PLUS seam allowance.  So I was left with all these yummy geese with nowhere to fly......  Then I read the bio of the November recipient in my Aussie Handmade Birthday Swap and see she loves yellow and orange!  Win win!  So I added some bits of white here and then to make it all fit and symmetrical, and BAM - cushion cover done!

Cushion for Skye

I backed it with this beautiful Flora print!

Custom order Folkart Horse Cushion

And yesterday - well, I finished this amazing custom order cushion cover!  The customer requested a horse cushion.  So I searched the interwebs, and given this was for a 10 year old girl, I figured the horse should look as realistic as possible!  I used THIS pattern.

Custom order Folkart Horse Cushion

Fast forward to when I cut out all the pieces of pattern and nearly died at what I had in front of me!  But I am SO glad I didn't chicken out and just jumped in.  I am absolutely in love with the finished product and can't wait to send it off to the customer.  I used a multitude of fabrics and pieced and quilted it using 40wt Aurifil threads in brown, turquoise and pink.

Custom order Folkart Horse Cushion

And a little Wee Wander for the backing!

Phew.  That's it - for now!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Confetti Cannon

When the MQG sent out an email a few months ago, regarding the Quiltcon Michael Miller challenge, I very quickly signed up thinking "this will be fun!"  I received my little bundle of pastel cotton couture weeks later and thought "Ummmmmm".  I had no idea how to make the pastels work.  I mean, I've only ever used pastels a few times in my quilting life, so was left a bit deflated.  I took them out again not long after and just stared at them.  That was when I thought of Confetti.  The tiny little pieces of pastel paper, which are used in celebrations everywhere.  And that was my inspiration......

I went "old school" for the planning of this quilt.  After weeks of having confetti twirling around in my head, I got myself some grid paper and pencils, and literally just drew up what I'd been thinking of.  And the following day, made the entire quilt top.

Confetti Cannon

As per usual, I winged it a bit!  I made it up as I went along - literally dividing my design up in to blocks of squares of rectangles, however the little confetti spots would fit in.  The 3" snowball blocks were easy-peasy.  34 in total.  Because I wanted the confetti to be randomly scattered throughout the quilt top, it made the piecing rather, shall we say "interesting"?  It is probably what some Modern peeps would call "improvisational" - I just call it random!  But it worked - and that was the end result I was after...

Confetti Cannon 

Once I had the top made, I thought and thought and thought about how on earth I was going to quilt it.  I had an idea in my head, but thankfully one of my lovely MQG friends - Katrina - cemented the idea and helped me visualise it!  I think the diagonal lines from the bottom corner help create movement and project the confetti up in to the air!

Confetti Cannon 

I mostly stuck with the grey for the binding, but also added a little pastel rainbow to the side.  I LOVE it!

Confetti Cannon 

This photo shows you a little more closely how the piecing has been done.  It's one very fiddly jigsaw puzzle!

Confetti Cannon 

The Michael Miller challenge rules are to use all Cotton Couture in the quilt top and then any Michael Miller fabric for the binding and backing.  I made a quick trip down to the large quilting store nearby and scoured their shelves for something to suit as backing.  This quilt was always going to be for a baby/child, so when I stumbled (literally, I stumbled over it) over this Backyard Baby print, I grabbed it!  It's SO perfect.

Confetti Cannon 

It's a little difficult to photograph, but I used several pastel shades of Aurifil in the quilting - re-threading my machine after every. single. row.  Was it time consuming?  Yes.  Was it worth it?  Yes!!

Confetti Cannon

I spent all day Saturday stressing about the photos to submit!  You see, I've never actually entered a quilt show!  And the rules state only two photographs to be sent in - one hanging on a wall and the other a close up.  So I moved furniture in my front room so as not to get any shadows and did my best!  I guess only time will tell.....

I have thoroughly enjoyed this challenge - because it really was a challenge!  Throw a girl some pastels and see what she can come up with!

The Stats:

Name:  Confetti Cannon
Size: 40" x 60"
Fabric: Michael Miller Cotton Couture pastels & Ozone.  
Backing:  Michael Miller Backyard Baby
Quilting:  By Me on my Bernina
Thread:  Aurifil 40wt Pastels

I'm linking up - You can too!

Sew Cute Tuesday

Fresh Poppy Design


Monday, November 24, 2014

Fast & Furious

The Festival of Forties has literally taken over my life these past few weeks......My best friends and I are all turning 40 over the next 12 months, and the first two are now done and dusted!  So between parties, Cuban Jazz Festivals and a WHOLE weekend child free in Sydney - there hasn't been much sewing getting done!  I've also been very blessed with the company of another best friend, who arrived here on Friday for a long weekend with us!

Anyway...... Monday last week, I drove down to the local Officeworks and got myself some old school supplies and sat down to draw up the idea for my Quiltcon Challenge quilt, that had been rolling around in my head for weeks!

So I just went to officeworks and bought a grid book and supplies because I really need to pull my finger out and get my #quiltconchallenge quilt designed and finished by the end of this month! #thiswillbeinteresting #canidoit also had a lovely chat with

Can you believe I had never used grid paper to design a quilt??  It was very cathartic.

And we have a start! #quiltconchallenge 

The next morning, I put that plan in to action.  Using very basic math, I made a tonne (OK, not a tonne, but lots) of teeny little snowball blocks, and then set about trying to make the before-mentioned "pattern" work.

I did it! My #quiltconchallenge top is done! Now I just need to baste, quilt and bind it! #graphpaperisthebomb #pastelisthenewblack @michaelmillerfabrics 

It was no easy feat, but I did it.  It's a lovely little splatter of pastels.......something I never thought I would ever say about a quilt I'd designed and made.  But yes, I did.

This could break all records here for quick quilt finishes! Just need time to quilt now! #quiltconchallenge 

It is currently basted, rolled up and patiently awaiting quilting.  Which will hopefully happen tomorrow.  Because it's the only day I have between now and the end of November - when this little creation is due for submission!  Another thing I never thought I would ever do!

So - there you have it.  I've almost finished my first ever Quiltcon Challenge quilt!  Watch this space.....

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Stash - Tokyo Part Two

Now, where were we?  Oh, that's right - the fabric!

DSC_0619 

In total, I returned to Melbourne with 14 kilos of fabric.  Which is quite considerable!  But what I can tell you is this - I was actually very picky about my purchases!  I really thought about the fabric I chose, basically because I knew I'd have to get it home and also be able to fit it in my house.  I'm pleased to say I am very happy with each and every piece of fabric I chose....So, here goes.....

DSC_0617 

When Alyce and I walked in to Tomato, we stepped in to an alternate universe, where bolts of Melody Miller fabric were sitting patiently awaiting attention.  I knew there was plenty there, so whilst they continued waiting, I walked around the corner from the bolts and nearly fell over my jaw which was dragging on the ground.  Huge rolls of wide Melody Miller prints.  HUGE I tell you!  AND $4 A METRE!  Just let that sink in for a minute.  $4. A. METRE.  It took about 30 seconds for Alyce and I to crash tackle the rolls and join them to our hip.  I'm proud to report we emptied the roll of arrows between us.  I think we got four metres each.  There's about the same of the other two up there also.  Great quilt backings in my future.....

DSC_0616 

We returned to the smaller bolts a little later, and I happily got myself some telephones and roller skates.  What for?  Who knows!

DSC_0615 

I bought these gorgeous linen blends from Pandora House.  I think I have three metres of each, but once I was home, I wished I had more!  I've fallen in love with linen this year.

DSC_0614 

All of the little precuts on the bottom of this photo are from Tomato.  Some Sarah Jane, Kate Spain and Cotton + Steel to name a few......  The geometry print and Ghastlies Xmas were from the shop I can't remember the name of!

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All of this deliciousness came from Pandora House also.  Love me some low vol prints.

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Tomato's extensive range of American Designer prints was very satisfying.  I was able to get some Cotton + Steel prints I didn't have, as well as stock up on a couple I really love.  These were all around $10 a metre.

DSC_0611 

Now, if you ever head to Nippori, there's a little pre-cuts store down the street from Tomato.  The cuts are all in clear packaging and they are all DIRT CHEAP.  The pink C+S butterflies was a 2m cut for $12!!!!!!  AMH was from Tomato in the remnants and the pretty deer print was from Yuzawaya in Ginza.  I had a morning to kill time one day by myself, so printed off the address and hailed a cab.  I had been told great tales about the Yuzawaya stores (think Spotlight, but way better), but I have to say I was a little disappointed with the newly opened Ginza store.  I think it's quite small compared to others!  I still managed to find some goodies though....

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These two double gauze prints were from the precut heaven.  Enchino on the left and Nani Iro on the right.  I bought both to make dresses/tops for my big girl.

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And another win from precut heaven - Jolli Pomme.  I think these were about $6 per metre!!!!

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Japan obviously has an amazing supply of Enchino!  I picked up various different prints from all of the stores I went to.  And they were all around $10 per metre.  A few were remnants and were even cheaper.

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And a close up - because the colours of these fabrics are sublime....

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I grabbed a few novelty prints!  Frozen fabric for my husband's cousin who wants me to make her nurse scrubs, as she works in a children's hospital.  And princesses and unicorns, because - why not?

DSC_0604 

One of the few things I specifically marked on my shopping list to purchase whilst in Tokyo was Liberty.  I am one of the few quilters who did not own any Liberty.  And basically only because of the cost factor.  Here in Australia, we pay around $60 per metre for Liberty, which is just so far out of my budget it's not even funny!  Given it was half that price in Japan, I selected a number of prints I REALLY liked (because it's still frigging expensive!) and got myself 30cm cuts of each of them.  I really adore the Hello Kitty range of Liberty, so made sure to get some (far left).  I also realised I really am more of a geometric girl when it comes to their prints.  But there are a few florals I threw in for good measure.

Oh and probably my favourite find..... My Enchino umbrella! 

But you know what I really got excited about??  I bought myself an Enchino umbrella!!!!!!!  I was bummed I couldn't get one of the long ones, but hey, who cares!

And this is my mum's fabric. #imustloveher

Last but not least - I also did some serious fabric shopping for my Mum.  She put in a special request for lots of indigo fabrics - which I had absolutely no problem finding!  I also got gorgeous precuts of Japanese fabrics and a few bright American designer prints.

Phew.....

I hope you're still with me!  That, my friends, is my fabric tale from Tokyo!  I did SOOO much more than fabric shopping whilst there, and have a million tales to tell.  But will save them for another day.  Tokyo is an amazing city, and the Japanese people are sooooo beautiful.  If you ever have the opportunity to travel there - GO!!!!

Saturday, November 8, 2014

London Calling!

It's finished!  

I feel like this quilt has taken me FOREVER, but in reality, it's just been a process of patience and lots of love.  It all started in April, when it was my turn to be Queen in our paper piecing Wombat Stew bee.  I knew I had lots of quilts to make for 40th birthdays in the coming 12 months, so tried to think of one in particular that could use some paper piecing blocks.  It didn't take me long to propose London themed blocks, and the lovely Kristy designed some amazing patterns for us to use, as well as Alyce designing her own Big Ben block!

London Calling Quilt 

The finished blocks started arriving and I was gobsmacked at how fabulous they were!  I received seven in total, so then just had to make up the rest myself.  I ended up with 13 paper pieced blocks, and added two fabric blocks to make up the numbers.  The lovely Deborah Gun on Instagram sent me a fat quarter of London subway fabric - it's amazing!  Putting the quilt top together was painstaking......literally, my brain was in pain with all the maths required.  Nine of the blocks were the same size, the others were all over the show!

So I just sat on my loungeroom floor with a calculator, pen and paper, and worked out how big each row of sashing needed to be between every single block, in order to end  up with a balanced quilt top.  I'm incredibly proud of myself for making it work!

London Calling Quilt 

When it came time to quilt, I really had no idea where to begin.  I threw it open on Instagram for suggestions, and I believe it was Melanie Sim who mentioned cobblestones.......  When I sat down at my first ever Melbourne MQG day, I thought I'd give it a go.  If you ask the ladies I was sitting with how much I enjoyed the pebbling process, I think you would hear a few expletives.  I think in total, the pebbling over the entire quilt top took me about seven hours.  I tried really hard to make the majority of them largish, so as to cut down the time - but really, who was I kidding?!?!?  I am very glad I stuck with it though, because I love the texture and character it has given the quilt.  I used a gorgeous variegated Aurifil thread #4060 - which is creamy/mossy/grey tones.

London Calling Quilt 

The backing I actually picked up at the beginning of the year!  I was at a Spotlight sale and this Union Jack/British newspaper print was reduced to $3 a metre!  I bought a few metres and stashed it away for the quilt I knew I'd make.  I did THE BEST print joining on the seam - you can't even notice it's two pieces of fabric!

Now - let me just take you through each block, because they're all so special!

London Calling Quilt 

I knew I had rain drop fabric stashed away for good reason.... Kristy upsized her umbrella pattern for me!

London Calling Quilt 

Marieka made this super cute Bus!  I free motion quilted the LONDON on!

London Calling Quilt 

I pulled out my stash of these dots for the Beef Eater, and was able to use the same prints throughout the quilt.  I also use felt for faces in paper piecing - it adds a great texture!

London Calling Quilt 

Gina sent me my London Bobby!  Isn't he fabulous!?

London Calling Quilt

Alyce's fabulous Big Ben block!  The fussy cutting of the Comma fabric is spot on.

London Calling Quilt 

I also added the teapot. Another Quiet Play pattern.  It's actually one of my favourites blocks in the quilt.

London Calling Quilt 

A very simple but great Underground sign.

London Calling Quilt 

And my London Cab.  I wish I had "London" on fabric to use for the bumper bar, but thought French would work!

London Calling Quilt 

Kristy made the Guard block, and her fabric choices just make it pop!

London Calling Quilt 

Jane made the telephone booth and embroidered all the details.  Love it!

London Calling Quilt 

And Lara's crown block is awesome!

London Calling Quilt 

When I was one block short, Kristy just "whipped" up this post box block for me - she's amazing!

London Calling Quilt

So - there you have it!  I finished it all off with a lovely navy and white spot for the binding, which I think works beautifully.  I am reallllllly looking forward to handing this over to one of my best friends tonight, she's receiving this as it is being published!

The Stats:

Size:  61" x 44" - Lap Size
Fabrics:  A cast of millions!
Thread: Aurifil #4060 40wt
Batting: Wool/cotton blend - it's fabulous!
Recipient:  Karen - who just happened to live in London up until 18 months ago, when she returned to Melbourne!

I'm linking up - This was ready to post yesterday, but I didn't want the recipient to see!

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