Tuesday, 30 June 2015

June [review]

In hindsight, my sewjo took a short break following the house move. But it is back and here's what it got up to in June:

I finished Mia's cat quilt and she really loves it, which makes me soooo happy!

I finished the Cotton and Steel Mini Quilt Swap quilt... tracking says delivery has been attempted last Friday, but no word from my partner so far... and that means I can't share the extra with you here. Just as soon as she receives it I'll share the package I sent in full.

I finished a baby quilt for friends - it should have been finished just after Christmas!

I played with some scraps

I cracked open the Gravity Quilt Kit and churned out the first 10 blocks in less than a week!

And I'm still keeping up to date with Moccasin BOM!

I played with some low volume, with a pixelated heart quilt (or most of it)...

...And started the My Small World Quilt - I must share the rest of panel 1

And accidentally I started a new quilt with the Inside addition blocks, but I need quite a few more...

And just had to make these little fabric trays.

I also did a lot of hand sewing:

It turns out that my June was really rather colourful! How was your June?
Linking up with Lily's quilts in the morning.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Cat Quilt [a {lovely} finish]

Can you tell it's coming up to the end of a quarter for the Finish Along? This is The Cat Quilt pattern by Elizabeth Hartman and it's my second finish in two days! And this was my June goal for a Lovely Year of Finishes: it's really because of that goal that this is done, which I guess is the point. When I pick my goal at the start of the month, I like to pick something which is achievable, and with this goal it was dubious.

Back at the start of June I hadn't even made all the cat faces (though I had cut all the fabric). Last Friday, Mia let me sew for a bit whilst she played and these blocks were perfect as they go together really quickly. By the end of the day I had a finished quilt top. I used the "mini" size from the pattern but wasn't sure if I would need to add some borders to make it big enough. This quilt was destined for Mia's cot now she's old enough to sleep under one. With no borders this quilt is just a tad bigger that the blanket we're currently using. Success.

I knew I didn't want loads of quilting to keep the quilt soft, light and drapey so picked cross hatch quilting every 2".

This quilt was made entirely from my stash - the yellowy creamy background was a 3m length I picked up for £3 a metre at Hobbycraft ages ago. I had enough to back the quilt and bind it and I still have some to make a matching pillow case! And the cat faces are made from 25 different Konas and then 3-5 print fabrics per face. It's about 115 fabrics in total and includes some of my favourites. Hopefully they'll become Mia's favourites too. The scrap of pink in the binding is left over from my sampler quilt - one of the first quilts I ever started. The finished quilt is about 30"x39" and it has washed up beautifully.

As my goal for ALYoF, I'll link up with the Finish Party!

And as it was also on my Q2 Finish Along List I'll link up there too in a few days time! Can I sneak in a couple more finishes before the end of the quarter....?

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Friday, 26 June 2015

Power of Nine [a finish]

I love this quilt!

I found this pattern whilst on holiday in December - I clearly remember sitting in the hotel room in the evening and getting really excited by it. It was the setting that I really liked. But I had no use for another lap quilt. I decided to reduce the size of the blocks to 6" (and the sashing accordingly) and use it as a baby quilt for little boy. The little boy is now 6 months old, but better late than never.

On first glance I had assumed that the blocks would be fairly standard patchwork blocks that I'd seen before: It wasn't until I was piecing the blocks that I realised that I wasn't familiar with most of them. This first one is one of my favourites, but I really liked them all.

And the pop of black cross-hatch just brought them to life.

Quilting and binding this quilt proved to be a challenge. I wasn't sure how to quilt it, and after thinking about it and putting it off for ages, I pulled it out and just did the first thing that sprang to mind - wobbly lines in the white strips. I then got some inspiration from Angela Walters latest book for the coloured sashing and left the blocks unquilted.

Binding also left me stumped. I knew from the beginning that matched binding was the way to go, but I fought against it, right up to the last minute. I had to be done. I managed to find all of the fabrics again (except for the yellow, but it's damn close), and just got on with it. And yes it was a pain in the bum, and took much longer than regular binding, especially if you add in that I had to hand stitch the binding down, but I think it looks fab!

The problem is that even though I don't need another lap quilt, I now really want to make a full size version of this quilt for me - I even have the colour scheme in mind. Maybe one day.

The quilt is 30" x 39" finished. The white is Kona unbleached white, and the blue, green and orange are all Konas too. I don't know what the yellow is.The fabrics are from my magic cupboard: Architextures, Comma, Cotton and Steel, Art Gallery, Pearl Bracelets, Botanics, Tula Pink.... The backing is everyone's favourite Ikea print. All of the threads are Aurifil. The pattern is from Rebecca Mae designs.

And this is a finish from my Q2 Finish Along List! Wohoo!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

WIP Wednesday [Gravity]

I'm totally addicted to these blocks! I've had the kit since February, and had hoped to follow along with Myra's quilt along, but with the house move, I just never got round to opening the fabrics up. Until last week, when, on the same day, I read Myra's latest post, and opened the box I had packed the kit in. Well, if the planets are going to align like that, there's only one thing for it. I made blocks 1 and blocks 2 at the weekend... and then kept going with blocks 3, 4 and 5. That makes a total of 10 blocks! Here they are all together:

And some close ups: Block 3: Orbit: A pink one...

And a turquoise one

And, of course, the baby ones!

Block 4: Intergalactic: a lime one

And a purple one.

And the baby ones.

And block 5: Celestial: a green one

And a pink one.

And the baby ones.

I've now successfully managed to create baby blocks in three different sizes.... pretty special. I don't really have a plan for them yet, so once I've made them all, I'll bring them all up to the biggest size with some borders and then play about with some layouts. It may depend on how generous the background fabrics are, whether I can piece a mini background as well...

I'm now up to date with Myra's quilt along at Busy Hands Quilts so I'm going to link up there and over at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

 I think I now have this quilt out of my system for at least a few days, so I can finish off the two quilts which I need to have finished in the next few days - one is a baby quilt we're gifting on Saturday and I still need to finish binding and the other is Mia's cat quilt which is my goal for ALYoF for June - this still needs quilting and binding.

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Moccasin BOM [6]

It really is a miracle but I'm still keeping up with the block of the month pattern! Here are the June blocks for the Moccasin quilt.

I really underestimated these blocks. I was lulled in because they are straightforward rotary cutting. But there are a lot of pieces and loads of seams and points to match up. In the end most are pretty good and one corner is dreadful. But not bad enough to unpick.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Gravity [Block 2: Constellation]

Two more blocks finished this morning. The yellowy one isn't my favourite colour way, but it will look good in the rainbow.

I much prefer the indigo one

And after a little bit of trial and error here are the baby blocks with the Mummy and Daddy blocks.

Linking up with Busy Hands Quilts and slowly catching up.

Definitely not a one-hour basket

Remember the two panels of scraps I share as part of Scraptastic Tuesday? Well I'd really hoped to show the final finished item back then, too. I finally finished it last night and waited until this morning drizzle to photograph it.

The pattern is the one-hour basket by Kelby Sews. And I guess once I'd finished piecing those panels, it really did take less than an hour to finish it completely.

There are some truly treasured scraps in this basket - from some of my earliest quilts: Swoon, Oh My Stars, Chasing Chevrons, Neon Stained, the red and green one, Rhubarb and Custard. And I'm going to get to look at it every time I sew because this basket of scraps is a basket for scraps.

I used scraps of binding for the handles!

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Gravity [Block 1: Horizon]

It feels like ages since I received huge parcels of fabric from Fat Quarter Shop for this project. And I know I have more works in progress than I can count, but I just had to start it. I came across it when unpacking a box yesterday and just dived straight in.

I'm a good few months behind in the quilt-along over at Busy Hands Quilts, but I'm hoping I can catch up soon. The fabrics are all arranged in the order you need them, so I've started at the beginning with Block 1 - Horizon. A greeny version....

And an orangy version....

I very rarely buy a quilt kit - mostly I buy a pattern and use my own fabrics. But Gravity is different - there are so many different fabrics that to buy the kit was the best idea. Even better - this a 30th birthday present from my parents! But the best thing about it, is how much fabric is left after I've pieced the blocks. I'm hoping this excess continues, because I'm having a go at making some half(ish) size blocks along side the full size blocks!

Aren't they dinky!

I'm going to link up with the quilt-along over at Busy Hands Quilts, even though I'm months behind. Maybe I can catch up in the coming days!

WIP Wednesday [accidental sewing]

In hindsight my Sewjo has been a little absent recently. Or to be more specifically, my machine sewjo. Well it came back at the weekend with a fabulous class led by Katy Jones on Saturday: there was a lot of cutting, but I love how this quilt top looks so far (I know you've seen it already this week).

I had thought that I would come back from the class and maybe finish piecing it. But I got home, browsed Pinterest for a bit, and started a brand new, totally unplanned project.

These are inside addition blocks I found on Debbie's blog. I made mine slightly smaller and grabbed fabrics that were already lying on my cutting mat. The plan was a cushion cover. Except I totally failed when it came to the maths: twenty 5" blocks don't make a square cushion... so I cut too much fabric. I could scrap four blocks. Or I could cut more and make a baby quilt.... I'm thinking baby quilt.

I carried on with these blocks on Sunday. I should have been finishing my Cotton and Steel Mini Swap quilt. And then I went on Instagram and found one of those "I-must-sew-this-now" projects. So I did.

These little fabric trays are a tutorial from @aspoonfulsugar and they took me just 25 minutes each to make. I know I'm thinking ahead, but a lot of people might get one of these for Christmas! You could fill them with chocolates, or hair bobbles, or small sewing notions like I have here. The orange/peach one was my first and will hold my stud earrings, the teal one will be heading off in a swap package soon.

I can confirm that I have also now finished my cotton and steel mini quilt - I'll wait till my partner receives it for the full reveal!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday - I nearly forgot!

Monday, 15 June 2015

My fabric [some thoughts]

Back in March 2012 I created a "modern" mini quilt . I remember looking in my two 9-litre boxes of stash and being thoroughly disappointed with the lack of "modern fabric". I pulled out the best I had, but I have to confess, it's never been my favourite finish - it looks like lego...

But we still use it today and there was a silver lining: I realised what I was looking for in fabric and for the past 3 year I have carefully created a stash that represents that. Here it is:

Doesn't it look neat and tidy? I'd just unpacked it after we moved. I can confirm it does not look like this anymore. Because I've started a few projects recently that have required the mass emptying of this cupboard. I did a class at the weekend with Katy Jones. The design was a pixelated heart and it required 8 different fabrics. And here is the limiting thing about my stash: it's mostly fat quarters. And in general this is fine - I like mixing the fabrics together based on colours, and it makes my budget go further. But for this project we needed fat quarters of some prints but half metres of others. Whilst I did have a 2m piece that would have worked for the background, I just didn't have the fabric I needed. And having carefully curated this cupboard, I really should use it and not just buy more. So here's what I did

This is the first two-thirds of the quilt. Rather than picking out 8 fabrics, I picked out 330 different fabrics. Worryingly, that only about half of the cupboard. For the colours I cut 1 square from each fabric, and from the background I've cut three of each fabric. And I love it. There are even some of the fabrics that I now consider "ugly" - but in this type of quilt they work.

I took the opportunity of having all of those low volumes out of the cupboard to cut for the sky of the My Small World quilt, and the coloured fabrics are currently being put to good work on a few other projects.

The reason I say this, is because I am now ready to say that I am proud of my stash. It is truly representative of what I love. Rather than feeling guilty for having so much fabric, I am proud of it, and loving the freedom it gives me to sew anything I want.

Of course every good collection requires maintenance. I have noticed recently with the start of my La Passacaglia project that this collection lacks fussy-cut-able fabrics and fabrics with more than one colour. I shall endeavour to rectify this. But I will probably still be drawn to the blenders and low volume. I love the new range from Zen Chic, Paper! But I also love the look of Canyon by Kate Spain - and I really like the idea of a quilt made from a fat bundle of it - it's been a while since I made a quilt from a single range.
A Canyon Swoon? 16 blocks?
In the interest of full disclosure, I have another cupboard. A bigger one. With more fabric in it. But this is all fabric bought with a purpose, a project in mind. Some of those projects have even been started!

In conclusion, I could probably quilt from now until I retire without ever buying any more fabric. Pigs might fly.