Thursday, June 26, 2014

It's A Wrap - Kate Spain Aussie Charm Swap!

My "little" idea to put together a "little" charm swap here in Australia got off the ground and sort of turned in to something BIG!  Thanks to the generosity of the lovely Michele from Quilts From My Crayon Box, who kindly shared all her charm swap tips and information with me - I was able to run the swap relatively smoothly!  All up, there were 48 of us involved (with 8 lucky people taking 2 spots each).  112 different Kate Spain fabrics were sent from all corners of Australia, and the end result is this:

Kate Spain Aussie Charm Swap Collection

Is that not THE most divine display of colour you have ever seen?  I am very pleased to say we have 11 fabric lines represented.....

Kate Spain Aussie Charm Swap Collection

Central Park; Cuzco; Daydreams; Fandango & Flurry.........

Kate Spain Aussie Charm Swap Collection 

Good Fortune; Honey Honey & Serenade........

Kate Spain Aussie Charm Swap Collection

Sunnyside; Terrain & Verna......

What I love best about this "little" exercise is that each of us have received a VERY limited edition charm park!  Only 56 of them exist in the whole wide world!  And THAT my friends is fabulous!

So, now that we have our pretty little packages - what shall we do with them?  Well, I suggest we GET CREATING!  Our group of charm swappers have been madly pinning ideas on the Charm Square LOVE Pinterest board.  And I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone comes up with.  In the meantime - I'm putting together a little old quilt along of sorts, and in around six weeks or so, I'd love to see some results!  WATCH THIS SPACE!

Where to now?  What will I do with all of my spare time - now I'm not sorting thousands of 5" squares, I have my sewing space back and my poor postman has no parcels to deliver to me?  Well - I start thinking of the next Aussie Charm Swap of course!?!?  Yes - I'm bonkers.  Give me a few weeks, and I'll be back with another one!

Until then - Ciao for now!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Coloured Happy - Wavelength Finish

You know when you see a quilt somewhere on social media and you think "I have to make that"?  Well, that happened when I first saw Lee's Wavelength quilt - her latest Freshly Pieced pattern.  I bought it on the spot and then pondered how I would make it mine?  The answer came a few days later when a new parcel of acquired fabrics arrived on my doorstep!  A divine little fat 1/8th's bundle of V and Co's Color Me Happy would do the trick....... And it did!

Wavelength Quilt 

I started with the brightest print in the range - the hottish pink - and went from there.  Stuck with my love for radiating colour, moving outwards from pink to green, and then after much arguing with myself - chose to use the low volume prints in the range and then some white on white prints for the last couple of rows.  I was pretty damn happy with the outcome!
Lee's pattern is for a throw/lap size quilt, but I wanted to make it larger, so actually did some maths and added a few more rows here and there. So it now sits at a full single size!

Wavelength Quilt

The backing is made up of three shades of pink and one shade of green, along with a big strip of white down the side.  I love this too.  Well, I love everything about this quilt!

Wavelength Quilt 

The pattern gives you the option to either paper piece or template piece.  Strangely enough, I chose to use templates!  I didn't fancy printing off a million paper piecing patterns!  The templates were very easy to use - I actually printed mine out and then pasted it on to two layers of cereal box cardboard, then cut around the templates when the paste had dried.  Perfect!

Wavelength Quilt 

When it came to quilting, I had a complete anxiety attack!  It was soooo big, and there were soooo many seams and intersections, that just the thought of wrangling it through my Bernina gave me a conniption!  Instead, I sent it off to one of my long time friends, who just happens to have her own longarm business.  Debbie has just started a blog - Quilts from Nana's Trunk - but has been quilting ever since I met her.  And that was wayyyyy back in circa 1991 just after moving to Melbourne!   Debbie uses pantographs for her quilting designs, so after a quick lesson on how on earth a pantograph works, I chose this gorgeous design.  It's sort of a cross between a clam shell and a cloud?!!  I wanted a design with curves in it, to sort of play off the sharpness of the hundreds of pointed blocks in the quilt top.  And I'm VERY pleased with how it has turned out!

Wavelength Quilt

And this, my friends, is how beautiful it looks on a bed!

What I like most about this quilt is that you can take a pattern, which looks SO amazing, and change it ONLY by the fabrics used, and it can look SO different!


SIZE - 81" x 55"
PATTERN - Wavelength by Freshly Pieced
FABRIC - Color Me Happy & Homespun white and solids.  Binding - April Showers
THREAD - Pieced by Me using 50wt Aurifil #2024
Quilted by Debbie using 40wt Aurifil

I'm linking up - Because I can!  You can too!

stitch by stitch

Sew Cute Tuesday

Monday, June 16, 2014

Catching Up - Block by Block

With all the quilt finishing I have achieved, I have been lacking a little on the bee block side of life!  I did however catch up the week before last.....

QCA Bee #5 - For Rachael.  Her request was for more "sombre" fabrics, but with sparkle?!  I was a little flustered, because A. I don't subscribe to sombre and B. Sparkle with sombre???  Anywho, as usual, my quilty friends came to the rescue and reminded me there were some Botanics prints with sparkle.  And I think the dark green in the range is as sombre as I can get!  I actually quite like the final result.

Another Mondrian block for Kathryn.  She requested the same block last year, so I'm thinking she has one big quilt on her horizon!

And this delightful little circle of geese is for the equally as delightful Gina!  G gave us links to her Colour Inspiration Pinterest board and another with arrows!  I LOVED her colour scheme, and had a wonderful time pulling fabrics.  I'm a little bummed that the third Coral print looks more like the pale pink, but am happy overall with the block.

And last but not least, June's Aurifil Designer of the Month block. I'm loving putting all my Terrain fabrics together for this BOM, and am on the countdown now that I have half the blocks done!  I would show you a photo of all six blocks together, but then I'd have to kill you the photos I took are shocking and now it's too dark to take more!  So you'll all have to hold your breath until July!

That's it for tonight - I'm linking up - You can too!

stitch by stitch

Friday, June 13, 2014

Modern Medallion Finish!

It is my day to wrap up this week on the Modern Medallion Quilt Along.  I got it stuck in my head a week or so ago that I would get it finished to show you all - and I meant, you know, a quilt top.  BUT - my "focus" (as my Wombat Stew friends so graciously call it) kicked in yesterday, and I put in a marathon effort.  I had it basted by lunchtime, and then put my foot down at 12.30pm.  Quilted by 5.15pm (bloody basketball training) and then did the binding at 10pm!  

I am SOOOOO absolutely thrilled with the end result, and am so glad that I took this project on.  I was really questioning my sanity on the first day - and many days through the process - but it has taught me a lot about my quilty self.  Firstly - I am not really an "improv" kinda gal.  I'm also not a "wonky" chick.  BUT - I am adaptable!

Without further ado, here my lovely friends, is my Modern Medallion Quilt - Anna Maria Horner style...

Modern Medallion

Isn't she beautiful?  ALL of the prints are Anna Maria Horner.  I think there are six fabric collections in total used.  And a good majority of the low volume prints are from Carolyn Friedlander's Architextures and Botanics ranges.  The finished size is 66" or 167cm square.  Backing fabric from Ikea & Field Study by AMH.  All pieced and quilted using Aurifil threads.

Modern Medallion 

As per usual, I had no idea how I was going to quilt it, until the time came to quilt it.  I quite literally basted it all over the show, with no purpose other than to keep it together.  Then I rolled it up and sat at my machine.  And started with the centre medallion.  I used a beautiful variegated grey Aurifil 40wt thread, which you obviously can't see here, but will see later down the photo call.  One giant feather (well my feathers still look a bit like palm prongs!) and lots of little pebbles with swirls.  I will tell you now, it is FAR from perfect, but given the size of this giant, I tried my hardest to go slowly and to persevere.  I was NOT giving up on my FMQ dreams for this little lady.

On the outer points of the NYB triangles, I changed to my favourite #2024 white thread and free motioned straight-ish lines.  I've never FMQ'd straight-ish lines, but thought given the improv-ness (is that even a word!?!?) of the quilt, it would fit in well.  And it does!

Modern Medallion

Each border has a different quilting finish.  The red border has straight lines, wonky geese have a giant zip-zag.  My curved borders are divine.  The green has a yummy bright green Aurifil, echoing the curves.  And the blue has a hot pink doing the same.  It's much more fabulous from the back!  The wonky crosses got some cross-hatched action and the triangles, some more FMQ straight-ish lines.  And last but not least, the outside border is done using a variegated pink Aurifil, with some swirls.

Modern Medallion 

A little close up of the quilting on the back.  As I said - far from perfect, but imperfectly perfect in my eyes.

Modern Medallion

Just hanging around.....  I loved photographing this!  I stopped at the local skate park - lunchtime Friday - and there was a lone teenager sullenly watching me climbing up and down skate bowls and ramps in a dress, tights and boots!  I just kept wondering why he wasn't at school.....  Anyway - the binding......  I had another AMH print pencilled in for the binding, but when I asked my husband last night what he thought, he said it was too busy and his eyes couldn't focus!?  And suggested black & white.  I sulked, because I had no yardage of black and white.  Or did I?  I remembered I had some Waterfront Park domino dots, and quickly chopped it up and put it to work.  I LOVE it!

Modern Medallion

I love that the back fits in with the low volume scheme of things.  But am petrified at how grubby it will get whilst being used and loved!

Modern Medallion

And the glorious backside.  I had grand GRAND plans of using an amazing OOP AMH fabric.  But when I laid it all out - I didn't have enough!!!  Cue more sulking.  Then cue plan B....which entailed a quick trip to Ikea, solely for the purpose of this numbers print.  And in breaking news - I walked out of there ONLY with the fabric!  Unheard of.  Back to the backing......  I love the blue pinwheels down the side.  Love.  Have I said Love enough?

Modern Medallion

Le sigh.  I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Crystal for making her quilt and putting the call out for bloggers to join in the hop.  This quilt tested ALL of my quilting skills and patience - but I'm glad I persevered!  And I'd also like to thank Angie from Gnome Angel for making me laugh throughout!  And last but not least - I'd like to thank my husband!  Who, for the first time in my quilting history, had more to say about this quilt than any other.  And he used actual adjectives - lots of them!  This quilt is now His.  Well - Ours.

Now it's your turn to link up your progress! There's a linky down the bottom there for you to join up.  Make sure you drop in and leave a comment on everyone's blogs!  Encouragement is a quilter's best friend!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wordless WIP Wednesday.....On A Thursday

Almost..... This was cut out and placed on my design floor Saturday night.  And pieced together Sunday afternoon.  Can't. Wait. To. Quilt. It.

Koi Crossing 

Koi Crossing 

Koi Crossing

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced - You can too!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Wrap Around Border Tutorial

During the construction of my Modern Medallion, I was instructed to do a "wrap around border".  Hmmmm.....  After much huffing and puffing and trying to work out how to do it, I gave up!  And I just did a regular border for the first one.  But when it came to attaching my drunken geese border, I was determined to figure it out.  So I thought I'd give you a very quick tutorial on how I did it.


First thing to do is pin your first border on.  Starting at the end you will begin sewing at.  I'm not a big "pinner", so pin about every 10 inches or so.


Your border will be a few inches longer than your quilt top.  You want to sew the border on all the way towards the end, but then stop a couple of inches before the end!


Fold back the border you've just sewn, exposing the next side of the quilt.


And pin your next border on.


Sew it on - the same as the last one, so leaving a couple of inches unsewn.  


Then you take your first border and place it over the second border like above photo.  Then sew the remaining few inches of that first border over the top of the second one!  Continue this with all four borders.


And press it down!  Sneak peek here at my curvy border!


And hello!!  You have a wrap around drunken geese border!

It's actually incredibly easy once you've wrapped your head around it!  I hope you've found this helpful!

I finished my quilt top this afternoon.......and am hoping to have a big fat reveal here on Friday - so be sure to pop back in!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Bohemian Triangle Quilt

I know I said after my first triangle quilt that I wouldn't be in a hurry to make another, but I really just couldn't help myself!  You see, I signed up for a Pink, Gold & Pearl Showcase over at Siiari Rose, thinking it could push me a little to use colours I would never normally choose.  And then I wondered what the hell I had done, because I couldn't find any fabrics that suited the theme.  Until the last #greataussiedestash on IG, when I found a great big bundle of Art Gallery Bohemian fabric!  I had hit the jackpot.  Half of the range is in green and yellow tones, but this half was perfect.....

Bohemian Triangle Quilt

And the first thing I wanted to do with them was cut triangles.  So I did.  And I could. not. be. happier. with the end result.  I've always loved Art Gallery fabric, but to make an entire quilt top using them is beyond divine.  They are so utterly silky and smooth and sort  Hahaha......

Bohemian Triangle Quilt

 I got out of my FMQ groove, and jumped in.  I used the gorgeous variegated pink Aurifil thread in a 40wt, in a free flowing meandering pattern with a few loops here and there. The backing is literally the perfect match to the pink print on the front.  It's not as "hot pink" as the photo depicts - it's actually called "ruby" and is true to its name.  It is a broadcloth cotton.

Bohemian Triangle Quilt

This is an "equilateral" triangle quilt.  I used my triangle ruler and made them 9" each side.  I followed the same rules and tips I used for my Isosceles on Point quilt.  Too easy. 

Bohemian Triangle Quilt

I was cross at the weather-gods all of Saturday, as the rain came down......but by Sunday afternoon the sun was shining.  I coaxed my husband out of his tv-viewing comfort and we wandered down to the local park just as the sun was setting.  I promised him he'd only get a few strange looks and he stood where I told him to stand - right in front of the most amazing golden tree on the lake.  I couldn't have asked for a more perfect background to this most perfect quilt!

I'm pleased to say this lovely finish will be available to purchase in the Showcase on July 8.

I'm linking up - everywhere - You can too!
stitch by stitch

Sew Cute Tuesday

Fresh Poppy Design

No Waste Drunken Geese Tutorial

Welcome to week two of the Modern Medallion Quilt Along!  I'm here to help you through the next couple of steps.  By now, you should have your New York Beauty Contest done and dusted, and looking to get your plain Jane border and  drunken geese on.  Now, I'll be perfectly honest here, and tell you that I just couldn't figure out how to do the wrap around method for the plain Jane border!  I read the pattern multiple times, but it just wouldn't click.  So I did a regular border.  BUT, I did figure it out eventually, and attached my drunken geese border wrap around style!  So I will share a quick tutorial for that method tomorrow.

For now - let's make some geese - NO WASTE style!  I decided to figure out the no waste method for these little blocks, basically because I started hyperventilating about wasting lots of my precious AMH fabric.  After some searching of the net and desperate search for the mathematical part of my brain, I came up with this...


Cut yourself 20 Large squares of your coloured fabrics - 4 3/4".  These will become your triangles (geese).


Then attack your low volume stash and cut out 80 Small squares - 2 5/8" (these become the outers of your geese).


Draw a line diagonally on every single low volume square.  


Place two of your low volume squares over your large square like so.  Making sure your diagonal lines match up with your corners and eachother.  


Sew 1/4" on either side of your diagonal line (chain piecing works wonderfully with this technique and saves a whole lot of time!  And makes some literal flying geese - see below!).  Then cut straight through the middle on the drawn line.



Press them to the side like above.


Take another low vol square and place it on top like above.  Once again lining up your diagonal line.  Sew 1/4" on either side of your line, and then cut through the middle again.


And once pressed - you will have four flying geese from each block!  Now to make them wonky....


As you can see, your geese end up 4" x 2.5".  We want them to end up a finished size of 2" x 3.5", so you have a little room to work with.   Take your ruler - the smaller the better, this is a 4.5" square - and position it on top of your block.  If you want to keep the points of your geese intact, ensure you have a 1/4" above the point.


Then turn your ruler in any direction you wish - as long as you have 4" in width and 2" in height.  Trim these two sides.


Flip your goose around and then square it up, lining up the two sides you have already trimmed with your finished size on your ruler.  Now trim the other two sides.


And HELLO wonky geese!  This tutorial will yield 80 of these suckers for you!  And I can tell you I had all 80 geese done and dusted within a day.  Winning!

Honk honk! 80 little geese ready to be wonkified! #modernmedallion #modernmedallionquiltalong

I hope you found this helpful and look forward to seeing a whole lot of drunk geese getting around!  Remember to check back in a couple of days, when I share the wrap around border tutorial!

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