Saturday, 25 October 2014

Caturday Wisdom #91

I feel a dark presence... Ralph

These dummies. Adrianne was actually trying to take a photo of Ivy in one of her favourite hiding spots (we had been looking for her again, to make sure we didn't shut her in a room before we went out) but Ralph deemed the shot lacking in Ralphs and made sure he was included. Ivy is like a vampire, it was so hot on the day this photo was taken and she was sitting in the stuffy darkness. Halloween really is Ivy's holiday. 

Friday, 24 October 2014

Guest post from my mum: Twenty-three bubbles

Hi everyone - today my mum is guest posting about her latest quilt finish.

Hello I’m Adrianne’s Mum, Lynley. Adrianne asked if I would like to do a guest post about this quilt I recently finished. My response was not hugely enthusiastic, more shrugs and maybes than “of course, I’d love to dear”. I feel like a bit of a fraud writing a post about quilting as I haven’t been doing a lot. but I’ll give it a go.

Most of the fabrics are charm squares from the 2wenty Thre3 range by Eric and Julie Comstock and were bought, on impulse, at the end of an online order.  The impetus to make a quilt was a New Year’s resolution to make use of impulse buys and also to get back into quilting again with some small, simple projects.  The block used is called a Disappearing four-patch.  I probably first saw it on pinterest and then found a video on Missouri Quilts of a quilt being made (this one, I think). The piecing looked fun with enough of a challenge to keep me going.  Once the blocks were made I decided to loosely group the strong yellows and oranges together.

The two borders were added and then, the perennial, vexing question.  How to quilt?  Straight lines and monofilament have been my preferred safe approach, but I was keen to add some curves.  After weeks of sitting folded on the sewing table and periodically spread on the floor and puzzled over, Adrianne suggested quilting concentric circles.  This fitted the bill nicely.

The first circle was marked using an inverted large glass mixing bowl, and then sewn with a walking foot. I continued, in an outwards direction, quilting circles 3/4 inch apart using the walking foot guide. The smallest 3 or 4 circles were marked using a compass and also sewn with the walking foot. The smallest “circle” is rather wonky and is the best I could manage. In the middle is a slightly wonky plus. If I was making this quilt again I would centre the smallest circle around a patterned part of the quilt, not a plain square!

The binding is made from the back of the quilt. To do this, carefully trim the excess batting away and then trim the backing fabric 3/4 inch from the edge of the quilt and fold in half and press. The corners are then folded diagonally and then the rest of the backing, now the binding, is folded over the edge of the quilt. This will create mitred corners and the binding can be hand or machine stitched down (although with either method you will need to stitch up the mitred corners by hand first).

I enjoyed all parts of making this quilt and have a sense of satisfaction with the finished article.

Thanks Mum!  Mum has definitely been overly modest in this post.  She hasn't been quilting a lot lately, but she's really an accomplished quilter and her quilts are always impeccable.  She taught me to sew and all the quilting basics, which I still use today.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

WIP Wednesday

This weekend I started a totally new quilt - I have plenty of other things to be getting on with but couldn't resist.  I've decided to make a series of quilts using improv curves.  I've finished one improv curve quilt so far (I haven't shown it on the blog because it's for an exhibition where the rules require it not to be shown online), so this is the second, and I have ideas for a third quilt and a fourth quilt as well.

Hadley quilt in progress

I bought a bundle of Denyse Schmidt's latest line, Hadley, from Massdrop when they had it on sale.  I've seen quite a few people saying they don't love the inclusion of solids in this collection, but the solids were actually one of the things that sealed the deal for me.

Hadley quilt in progress

This is where my quilt is at so far.  I think I'll rearrange the order of the rows, but I'm liking the kind of crazy vibe.  I have quite a lot of offcuts from these blocks and I'm planning to put them together with some cream yardage to make a double sided quilt.

Have you ever made a series of quilts as a way of exploring a technique or idea?

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Saturday, 18 October 2014

Caturday Wisdom #90

It's amazing what a difference a small change of perspective makes: I so cute! Look at fluffy tum!
I a scary bat! I chase you! Ralph
Ralph is getting ready for Halloween. Like many among us, he likes any 'least possible effort' costume so he may spend the day lying upside down looking like a hairy Dracula.
It's coming round to summer, we've had a few tastes in the last couple of weeks, and at this time of year the cats become like puddles on the floor. They expand and become almost impossible to pick up but they also can't be bothered avoiding you so you get all the cuddles!

Friday, 17 October 2014

Pink, red and blue cushion

A few weeks ago I shared a quilt I was working on.  The quilt is finished now, but I'm keeping it under wraps until I'm ready to hand it over to the recipient.

Pink, red and blue cushion 

When I was making the quilt, I made four extra blocks.  Making more blocks than is strictly necessary for a quilt is a technique I like to ensure a good balance across the quilt.  It can be easier to make extra blocks up front, rather than feeling like you're finished with the quilt top and then having to make more.

Pink, red and blue cushion 

I may also have had a cushion made from the extra blocks in mind as well!

Pink, red and blue cushion 

I'm pleased with this cushion.  Without the sashing and the border fabric, it's quite different to the quilt, but similar as well.  The quilt is straight line quilted, but I decided to stipple this one.  I like the contrast of the curvy quilting against the angles and straight lines of the churn dash blocks.

Pink, red and blue cushion 

Sometimes I buy fabric and it sits in my stash I start wondering whether it was a good purchase.  The binding is one of those fabrics - I bought it with binding in mind (hello, stripes) and then it sat in my stash for quite a while.  When I pulled the fabrics for this quilt, I realised it was the perfect binding for this quilt, and this cushion.  I'm going to have more faith in my fabric buying abilities from now on.

I used my covered zip cushion back tutorial for the back.  It's been a while so I had to refer back to my tutorial for a couple of the steps.

Pink, red and blue cushion

I'm tempted to keep this cushion to add to the growing pile on my couch, but I think it probably belongs with the pink, red and blue quilt that spawned it.

Anyone else like to make extra blocks for their quilts, with or without cushions in mind?

I'll be linking this finish up with crazy mom quilts.

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