Finally…Some Sewing!

It’s mid-year school holidays and after a LONG hiatus, I’ve finally found some time, and more importantly some motivation, to sew!

I’ve been whipping up some supersize economy blocks using my leftover Cotton and Steel fabrics. By now, you all know how much I LOVE these bright and beautiful fabrics. EconomyBlock10

These 16½ inch (unfinished) blocks were a joy to make and I made twelve of them in a matter of days.  I found the pattern for these blocks in Issue 46 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine (the cover quilt).EconomyBlock11 I only had a small amount of white fabric left in my stash so I decided to pair it with some Bella Solids grey for the background to make the centre square of these blocks really “pop”.

In another first for me, I have decided to try QAYG (Quilt As You Go) to hopefully avoid my usual frustration when quilting on my small domestic sewing machine. I chose to quilt several diagonal lines through the centre of each block in an “X” pattern.EconomyBlock7

I had some initial concerns that the blocks might not match up neatly when I joined them together, but with plenty of pinning, I achieved what I think is a good result. I’ve ended up with a decent-sized 48″ x 64″ quilt top.

It’s been very quiet on my blog this year and I’m still unsure whether I have the time or commitment to sew and write regularly. I will see what this second half of the year brings.

Thanks for visiting!

Deb 🙂

 

 

Cotton & Steel Quilt #3

It’s no secret that I love Cotton and Steel fabrics. I have amassed a reasonable stash over the course of my two year quilting journey and have completed two quilts made entirely from these fun fabrics.

Although I haven’t made any many recent purchases, I still own enough Cotton and Steel for at least one – or maybe two 😉 – more quilts. For my latest Cotton and Steel Quilt, I am using the pattern Over the Rainbow by Keera Job of Live Love Sew. This pattern was published in Issue 31 of Love Patchwork and Quilting magazine.

Some time ago, I purchased a Cotton and Steel jelly roll – strips of fabrics from a few of their different collections – collated by the lovely ladies at my local fabric store Frangipani Fabrics. I decided, instead of white, to amp up the contrast with these glorious Cotton & Steel colours and use a Slate blue Homespun solid as the background fabric.

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I really like the clean lines and angles of the log cabin block (this one really a quarter log cabin block) and it seems to be a design I find myself making again and again.

Is there a particular quilt block that appeals to you and that you have used a number of times?

I had this particular project listed as one of my goals for Quarter 3 of the 2016 Finish Along. I wasn’t too successful and only managed to finish four (out of 39) blocks.

In this past week however, I have made the most of every spare moment and am happy to report that I have made another fifteen blocks! Only twenty more to go…

Deb 🙂

Linking up to MCM @ Cooking Up Quilts, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and NTT @ My Quilt Infatuation.

Slow Scrappy Sewing

First of all, I want to say thank you for all of your lovely comments on my last blog post. The reaction to my finished Interlock Quilt top was quite unexpected but so greatly appreciated 🙂

Unfortunately I haven’t been sewing a lot since.  I’m not sure why but lately I’ve been feeling quite flat and drained of energy and creativity. Life has been pretty busy this year and doesn’t look like slowing down any time soon. So I have decided to take some self-imposed pressure off myself and sew only when I feel like sewing. I’m optimistic that I’ll be feeling back to normal soon and that this little break will have recharged my batteries.

The one project I have worked on intermittently during these past few weeks has been my Scrappers Delight Quilt. I have managed to finish the first twelve blocks for this thirty-six block quilt (from the book Sunday Morning Quilts) and am now working towards completing the second twelve.

Scrappers Delight2

I have found the process of randomly choosing fabrics based on size from my scrap buckets to be incredibly relaxing. It’s also been fun to recognise fabrics leftover from previous projects.

Scrappers Delight3

I’ll have a laugh now and admit that I’ve become a real fabric “nerd” (a term I first heard from the amazingly talented quilter and all-round lovely lady Jess @ The Elven Garden).

I can recognise fabrics in my completed blocks by Amy Butler, Tula Pink, Joel Dewberry, Lotta Jansdotter, Anna Maria Horner, Malka Dubrawsky and Sarah Watson, just to name a few. Plus, of course, there is plenty of Cotton & Steel and Art Gallery fabrics in the mix.

So, admit it, are you a fabric nerd too? (ha ha!)

Scrappers Delight4

I am up to Block #17 and could possibly stop now and make another baby quilt but I really want another larger quilt to use on our beds. This potential full sized 72″ square quilt poses a bit of a problem because my little machine really struggles with it’s small throat space. However, I think I can get around this by trying quilt-as-you-go (QAYG) for the first time. This method would also give me an opportunity to use up some of my batting offcuts – a true scrap quilt!

Scrappers Delight5

In the meantime, I’m enjoying taking a bit of a breather and hope to continue playing with my beautiful scraps in the weeks to come.

Deb 🙂

Linking up with Beth @ Cooking Up Quilts for MCM, Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social and Kelly @ My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday

A New Project!

Today I have a new project to share with you.

(Like, I really need a new project, hey? 😉 )

SimplyColorful7

These blocks are a free charm squares pattern Ocean Breeze (by Susan Emory) for Michael Miller Fabrics.

I was given a pack of Moda Simply Colorful II (by V & Co.) charm squares for my birthday last year and have been on the hunt since then for a suitable pattern.

I’m not 100% sure at this stage whether I will follow this pattern as written, although it is very tempting. An “on point” quilt is on my quilting bucket list!

Instead, I’m thinking about making either a table runner or altering the pattern by adding extra sashing strips and thereby increasing the finished quilt size. Any thoughts?

I love the colour palette of this collection and am especially enamoured by the following two fabrics:

SimplyColorful11.jpg

I hope you’re having a wonderful Monday. It’s the start of school holidays here in Tasmania, Australia and the kids and I are enjoying a wet weather pajama day at home!

Deb 🙂

Linking up to MCM @ Cooking Up Quilts and Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts

 

Plus Plus Blocks

Last year, I was the lucky winner of two digital quilt patterns donated by Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs. I won this wonderful prize as a participant in the 2015/16 Midnight Mystery Quilt-a-long which was hosted by Cheryl. (I must make mention that I’m super excited to have just signed up for the 2016/17 Meadow Mystery Quilt-a-long which is due to start next month!)

Cheryl is an amazing pattern writer and has some lovely patterns for sale.  It was hard to choose but eventually I decided on her Plus Plus pattern and Sea Star pattern.

I decided to use a selection of Cotton and Steel fabrics from my stash for my Plus Plus Quilt.

Cotton & Steel fabricsI am, like many others, a huge fan of these funky modern fabrics and made a Cotton & Steel Quilt for my daughter last year as a gift for her 10th birthday. I have amassed quite a collection of these colourful fabrics and already have plans for a future third Cotton & Steel Quilt…

The Plus Plus lap size quilt I am making will end up at 63″ square and consists of 25 large plus blocks and 24 small plus blocks.PlusPlus1

PlusPlus6Of the required forty-nine 9½ inch blocks, I have so far made thirty four of them and hope to complete the remaining blocks this week.

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This quilt is one of my Quarter 2 goals for A Lovely Year of Finishes and although, unfortunately, I can’t see myself finding enough sewing time this month to completely finish this quilt… PlusPlus4PlusPlus2 I am remaining optimistically hopeful of at least a flimsy finish 🙂PlusPlus3

Linking up to Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation 

More Log Cabins

I have plenty of WIP’s that I should could be working on but instead I have been spending my recent sewing time making colourful log cabin blocks.

Log Cabin 10These blocks are for my new project from the book Modern Log Cabin Quilting. The project, called “Modern Crosses”, is featured on the book cover.

Doe Pillow11

I wrote about this wonderful book in a previous post and showed you the log cabin pillow I recently made using strips of my cherished Carolyn Friedlander Doe fabric.

For this new project, I have used solids leftover from bunting I made for our Guild’s booth at the local Craft and Quilt Fair last year.

If you’re interested, the bunting pattern is a free tutorial by Jeni Baker @ In Color Order.

There wasn’t a lot remaining from the original fat eighths after the bunting was made but I’ve been holding onto these small scraps just waiting for an opportunity to use them.

Log Cabin 3I can honestly say that there was just enough leftover fabric to make my Modern Crosses blocks and I literally sewed right up to the selvage edge (as shown in the photo below).

Log Cabin 5I did have to make a few changes to the original pattern as 2 inch strips were required for the “logs” and I only had enough coloured fabric for strips 1¾ inches wide. So, as a result, my blocks measure at 8½ inches square instead of the 9½ inch size in the pattern.

Each block is made up of four log cabins:

Log Cabin 7I used various low volume fabrics from my stash for the background .

Log Cabin 4

Log Cabin 8

Log Cabin 9And as I had five varying shades of seven different colours to begin with, I only made 35 blocks (as opposed to the 60 in the book pattern).

Log Cabin 6I’m really looking forward to sewing these blocks together and discovering what size quilt I end up with! 😉

In support of the current May is for Makers campaign, I have purchased another pattern from an indie designer this week.

For week 3, I have purchased a quilted pillowcase pattern – Modern Sorbet by Seraphym Handmade.(7) Name: 'Quilting : Quilted Pillowcase - Modern Sorbet It’s no secret that I love making pillows and as Drunkards Path blocks have always been on my bucket list, I thought this small project would be a great way for me to try curved piecing for the first time!

Deb 🙂

Linking up to Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts, Design Board Monday @ Bits ‘n Bobs, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation 

 

Pattern Play Baby Quilt

Thank you so much for your comments and kind words of encouragement regarding my first ever quilt block tutorial. I truly appreciate it.

I have wondered since my last post whether I am getting ahead of myself. What business do I have writing tutorials when I’m relatively new to quilting?

However, most of what I have learned has been due to the generosity of online bloggers who share their knowledge and creativity on a regular basis. I’m so grateful to these bloggers, as without them, I’d have never discovered this beautiful craft or the joy and fulfillment it brings to me and so many others.

I’d like to be able to share what I learn and discover on my own personal quilting journey.

Anyway, today I’m very excited to be able to show you what I have created using my block!

I made ten of these 12 inch quilt blocks – five pairs like shown above. (I did only use nine of these blocks in my baby quilt top.)

I chose varying shades of blue/aqua/teal and then discovered a nice variance when I changed the quadrants of each block around.

Pattern Play Quilt 2I actually like this new arrangement more than the original. I think it is playful and better embraces the name “Pattern Play”. However, I’ll leave you to make up your own mind!

I quilted a pinwheel in the centre of each block to highlight the primary pattern.

Pattern Play Quilt 3And then had some fun with a few other ideas.

Pattern Play Quilt 5Pattern Play Quilt 6The backing I chose is Windham Fabrics Ziggy by French Bull.Pattern Play Quilt 9.jpg I purchased 4 metres of this fabric at a half price sale quite some time ago. I think you’ll agree with me that it is a very usable backing fabric. Pattern Play Quilt 7The binding is a black polka dot from my stash which I think works perfectly with both the front and back of the quilt. Who doesn’t love spots?

Pattern Play Quilt 12I’m really pleased with how this little quilt has turned out and hope to make it again soon using a different colour scheme.Pattern Play Quilt 10Pattern Play Quilt 13Pattern Play Quilt 11If you decide to try my quilt block, and I really hope that you do, please link back to my blog somewhere in your post. I’d love to see what you come up with!

Deb 🙂

Linking up to Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts, Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation and TGIFF @ Celtic Thistle Stitches!

 

 

Pattern Play Quilt Block Tutorial

About a month ago, my family and I visited our State Museum. There is a current exhibition there called Pattern Play, which showcases a variety of patterns, including those found in nature and kaleidoscopic art images.

I found this exhibition really evocative and it inspired me to create my first ever quilt block design “Pattern Play” which I would like to share with you today.Pattern Play

What you will need for one 12½ inch (unfinished) block:Pattern Play 1

  • 4 x 3½ inch squares (feature fabric – in this tutorial blue)
  • 4 rectangles 3½ x 2 inches (feature fabric)
  • 8 x 3½ inch squares (background fabric – in this tutorial white)
  • 4 rectangles 3½ x 2 inches (background fabric)
  • 4 x 2 inch squares (background fabric)
  • Use a quarter inch seam

The method:

  1. Sew a 3½ x 2 inch white rectangle to a 3½ x 2 inch blue rectangle to create a 3½ inch square. Press the seams towards the darker fabric. Make 4 of these units (A)Pattern Play 2Pattern Play 3
  2. Draw a diagonal line across each of the 2 inch background squaresPattern Play 4
  3. Place one of these squares on a corner of a 3½ inch feature square RST. Align the sides as shown and sew along the drawn linePattern Play 5
  4. Trim off the excess fabric as shown, leaving a quarter inch seamPattern Play 6
  5. Press towards the darker fabric. Make 4 of these units (B)Pattern Play 7
  6. You should by now have the following block piecesPattern Play 8
  7. Sew each pair of the white background 3½ inch squares together to make 4 rectangles, each measuring 3½ x 6½ inches (C)Pattern Play 12
  8. Sew anunit (step 1) to a B unit (steps 2-5)Pattern Play 9
  9. Make sure the colours are aligned and use a pin to carefully match the seamsPattern Play 10
  10. Make four of these units (D)Pattern Play 11
  11. Sew a C unit to a D unit as shownPattern Play 14
  12. Make four of these quadrantsPattern Play 15
  13. Sew these four quadrants together, rotating each one as shownPattern Play 16And there you have it – one completed Pattern Play block!Pattern Play 17Try swapping the feature and background fabrics for an alternative resultPattern Play 18

Let me know what you think of this block and my tutorial. I’m currently working on a project using this block and hope to share it with you real soon!

Deb 🙂

Linking up to MCM @ Cooking Up QuiltsLet’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts and (for the first time) Needle and Thread Thursday @ My Quilt Infatuation!

Scrap Play

With my decrease in quality sewing time due to an ever busy life schedule, I’ve taken to doing a bit of sewing here, a bit of sewing there… basically whenever I can find a spare five or ten minutes!

I have a few finished quilt tops – one that is basted – ready to be quilted. But finding a decent chunk of time where it is worth the effort to move my old Janome, from it’s small table in my “sewing room” out to the larger dining table, with more space for quilting, is proving quite difficult.

So I’ve been playing with my scraps and having a lot of fun doing so.

Scrap play1

(That’s my rolled up and basted Colour Happy quilt at the top waiting to be quilted!)

This is what my little design wall looks like this week.

Scrap play2

On the top left is some paper pieced economy blocks I made using my Amy Butler fabric scraps. The template for this block by Lynne Goldsworthy @ Lily’s Quilts can be found here. Unfortunately, I misjudged the amount of  large AB scraps I had and had to compensate with a few other fabrics.

Scrap play5

The wonderful and popular book Sunday Morning Quilts is also providing much inspiration for me at the moment.

I’m using my black, white and colour on black scraps to make my version of the Candy Coated quilt pattern from this book.

Scrap play3

I’ve also made several blocks for another pattern in the book Scrapper’s Delight.

scrappers delight1

It’s fun to see some of my most loved colour fabrics in this one. It’s going to be one very vibrant quilt. Only 32 more quadrants to go…

I do get quite concerned sometimes that I am starting a lot of projects but not finishing many. However, I am loving this craft and learning so much so I thing that’s what really matters 🙂

Linking up to MCM @ Cooking Up Quilts and Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts

Off Kilter

I recently received a catalogue in the mail from my local Spotlight store – and in it was a paragraph about how “Sewing is the new Yoga”.

I’ve always found it difficult to explain in words why I like to “cut up perfectly good fabric and sew it back together again”. This is a relatively new hobby (obsession?) of mine and most of the time I don’t even understand it. My non sewing friends – and my husband for that matter – definitely don’t understand this strong inner urge and almost desperate need I have to regularly create things via cloth and thread. If I’m feeling anxious or overwhelmed, a few hours at my sewing machine can bring me serenity and calm.

Well, this article in the Spotlight catalogue really struck a chord with me and I’d like to share an excerpt with you:

“Sewing is a great way to relax the mind, body and soul…it provides an opportunity to create art along with having the opportunity to relax and enjoy your surroundings…listening to that soothing sound of needle going through the cloth is the most amazing sound in the world. The contentment and peace that it provides is difficult to explain in words…”

I was chatting to a lovely sewing buddy of mine at our last Tasmanian Modern Quilt Guild meeting and she made comment on my then apparent lack of sewing enthusiasm this year. I’ve thought a lot about her comment and realised that a few things that happened towards the end of last year started eroding away my love of sewing/quilting. I’ve done some soul searching and have come to the conclusion that I love to sew AND I need to sew…

Anyway, I think it’s safe to say that my sewing mojo is back with a vengeance!

Life is hectic this year. I’m now working part time and our three children, aged 10, 8 and 7 have a crazy after school schedule that includes Scouts, swimming, basketball, gymnastics and an upcoming soccer season! My husband works long hours, we have no family living close by and free time, as most busy mums’ know, is at a premium…

But I have been working extra hard to find time to sew and have a few new projects in the works…

Last year, Tula Pink’s “Elizabeth” finally made an appearance in our Tasmanian stores. I spent my birthday money on a Layer Cake  (feeling a little excited about precuts atm 😉 )

I scratched my head about what to do with this lovely bundle,

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I knew that I didn’t want to cut into this loveliness anymore than necessary.

So I settled on a nice and simple pattern “Off Kilter” by Konda Luckau @ Moose on the Porch Designs. I found this pattern in another of my library book loans “Jump-Start Your Quilting“.

This week, I managed to make my 42 blocks – 24 x A1 blocks and 18 x A2 blocks,

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and sew them in columns:

 

I am seriously crushing on this beautiful fabric and hope that this week I’ll get a chance to add the sashing strips.

As an exciting end note, I just received an email from Cheryl @ Meadow Mist Designs to say that I had been chosen as a winner for the Midnight Mystery Quilt Along. You can read about my quilt here. I was lucky enough to win two free digital patterns from Cheryl’s etsy shop. Cheryl is a quilter and blogger who I very much admire and I feel very privileged and fortunate to win this wonderful prize.

You can view all of the incredible finished quilts from this Quilt Along here.

Thanks so much for stopping by,

Deb 🙂

Linking up to Main Crush Monday @ Cooking Up Quilts and Let’s Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts.