Wednesday 26 September 2012

The springboard

I have previously mentioned the quilt that I made as a wedding present for my friend (a sneak peek of the quilt I made using some of the scraps and left over nine patch blocks is here).

I didn't think that I had a half decent picture of the quilt anywhere (I finished it somewhat at the last minute and therefore was in a bit of a hurry to wrap it etc. before the wedding).  However, I was happily wrong, and found this snap I took before I wrapped it up.

This was quite an enormous quilt, I wanted to be king-sized and drape down the sides of the bed as well.  I can't remember exactly how big it measured, but I could not lay it flat on my lounge room floor.  I started with the bird fabric that you can just catch a glimpse of, and the beige/grey fabric with the bright blue and green flowers, both from my local local quilt shop.  All the other fabrics were picked to co-ordinate with, and add depth to, those starting fabrics (and also bought from a variety of quilt shops in the local area).

Because this was a wedding present, I wanted to make something that both the bride and groom would like.  I think the use of blues, greens, tans and creams keeps it quite gender neutral, and I knew that my friend (the bride) would love the bright fabrics in this quilt.  A quilt this size was a bit daunting for me to quilt, and I didn't really have time in the end.  Instead, I had it quilted by Sue Burnett, with a quite simple flower motif in each block.

I didn't follow a pattern for this quilt, but I wanted to keep it simple (partly because I didn't have a lot of time, only about 2 or 3 months).  My mantra when making this quilt was "fresh, fresh, fresh".  This was only the second quilt I made, but I found it very satisfying and wanted to know more and make more.

Monday 24 September 2012

Granny squares are go

I put the top for my granny squares quilt together last weekend, and put the backing together and basted it at the same time.  I really wanted to do a quilting pattern that would bring the sashing and borders together so that they appear to be a single solid piece of fabric, while making the granny squares really stand out.  Time for some free-motion quilting.

Free-motion quilting

I had done a bit of free-motion quilting practice on scrap sandwiches before, with limited success.  This was my first "proper" FMQ project and I was quite nervous to start.  The quilting is definitely not perfect, but once I got my sewing machine set up on the dining room table and my quilting (aka light weight gardening) gloves on, it went quite well.  The fact that I used white thread on white fabric helps hide the wonky bits.
Free-motion quilting

I used a large meander type pattern to fill in the negative space but didn't do any quilting on the coloured parts of the quilt (that is why there are still basting pins there).  I will stitch these in the ditch to give the quilt a bit more structural integrity.  I never realised how quick FMQ would be - it only took me a couple of hours to do the whole quilt.  I expect that the straight-line quilting will take me at least as long.

Free-motion quilting

This is the backing fabric - I wanted to use something bright and cheerful that generally went with the fabrics on the front, but that wouldn't show through in the white negative space (for example, I have found that when backing a light coloured quilt with bright red backing fabric, the colour can make it look a bit pink on the front).  This is a large rose print fabric from Lecien's Flower Sugar range.

Cat on a quilt

It has the Ivy seal of approval.

Saturday 22 September 2012

Blue and cream checkerboard

Finally, an update to the man quilt post I put up a while ago.  This is the finished quilt in its entirety.

When I first started quilting, my Mum recommended that I read a few chapters of The Art of Classic Quiltmaking by Harriet Hargrave and Sharyn Craig.  When my boyfriend T said he wanted to make a quilt, I made him read the same few chapters.  His quilt is based on a pattern in the book, which I scaled up so that he could make a full sized quilt without too many tiny pieces.

All fabrics were sourced from local quilting shops.  The dark fabrics are japanese indigo quilting cottons.  The medium blues are random quilting cottons, and the cream is actually quite an interesting slightly textured fabric with light brown and blue stitches in it.

The backing fabric is rather lovely, and reflects T's love of chillies.  The quilt is bound in the same fabric.  The quilting was again done by Sue Burnett on her long-arm machine, in T's design.

My contribution (other than the teaching) is a matching pillow in the same fabrics and pattern, scaled down.

This was a good way to use up some of the scraps and "reject" blocks that didn't make it into the final quilt.

The quilt and pillow together.  Teaching someone totally new to quilting was quite an interesting experience.  T did very well on the cutting and sewing side of things, and put the quilt together well and very quickly.  The part he found most difficult was choosing the fabrics - I think it was a bit of an exercise in frustration for him.  He obviously enjoyed the experience overall though, because this is not the last quilt he has made.


So in my last post I showed you the mosaic that I made for the Softly Against Black competition over at Stitched in Color.  Guess what?  My mosaic was picked for the final 16!  Thanks Rachel (and secret advisory board).

I would really love to win the fabrics in my mosaic - and if I am lucky enough to win, I will definitely post what I make here.  I can't tell you want I will make yet, but I have about 10 ideas.  You can help me win by voting for my mosaic here.

OK, enough canvassing for votes - normal transmission will resume shortly.

Thursday 13 September 2012

Softly let the dark in

I put this mosaic together to enter the "Softly Against Black" mosaic competition over at Stiched In Color.  All images are from Fresh Modern Fabrics, an etsy shop.

Below is the inspiration quilt.

Picking fabrics and putting together a colour palette is my favourite part of quilting.  I could do it all day.

Monday 10 September 2012

Equilateral triangle quilt

I spent the weekend cutting triangles for this quilt for my youngest brother.  I laid out the triangles I had cut at my parents' place after our weekly family dinner to work out whether I had cut enough and hopefully make up a pile for each row so I could start putting the quilt together.

I worked out that I didn't have enough triangles (I cut approximately 270 and decided I will actually need about 360) and that more solids would be good.  So I didn't get to make piles to start stitching the rows, but it was progress nevertheless.

Sixty degree triangle quilt

Apologies for the blurry photo - it is taken with an iphone under artificial light.  I am very happy with how the colours in this quilt are working, and looking forward to getting it underway.

Fabric aficionados will recognise many of the prints - a non-exhaustive list includes a couple from Lotta Jansdotter's "Echo" line, a couple of Joel Dewberry prints, from Modern Meadow and Aviary 2, some Martha Negley Feathers, a couple of the cross-hatch sketch prints from Timeless Treasures (in cream and red/orange), a couple of prints from Anna Maria Horner's latest collection, Field Study, a grey print from the Monsterz collection from Cloud 9, and a blue from the DS Quilts range I picked up a Spotlight.

Saturday 8 September 2012

Nearly finished and some favourite fabrics

I am hand-stitching the binding to the back of this quilt, and it is very nearly finished.  You can catch a glimpse of the binding clip in this photo below.

This quilt is made from scraps and left-over blocks from a quilt that I made as a wedding present.  The fabric above (from Valori Wells' Nest line) was the inspiration for all the other fabrics and colours in the original quilt.

The wedding quilt was only the second quilt I made, but I ended up with some fabrics that I think will be long-term favourites - like the blue fabric from Anna Maria Horner's Good Folks line above.  If I could easily get more of this, I would.  As it is, I do still have some scraps left but mostly binding strips (2.25 inches wide) and squares for the nine patches used in the original quilt.

I also love this herringbone print from Joel Dewberry's Modern Meadow line.  I have it in a couple of other colours for other projects but I am tempted just to buy some in each colour just in case.  Will post pictures of the entire quilt when it is finished.