Thursday 31 January 2013


Momentum might be my word for 2013.  I have realised that I really thrive on momentum - it's why I often like to make a quilt top in a big burst over a few days, and struggle with slow burning projects.  

It's something I plan to harness to my advantage this year, and also something I plan to work on, to make sure when I get stalled in a project, I don't give up on it altogether, and so I can take on some more complex projects that will I inevitably have to work on over a long period.

This week, work has picked up after a rather quiet period, which I am loving.  Behind the scenes, I have been working away on a quilt using this stack of the lovely Noteworth collection by Sweetwater for Moda (supplied by Moda - thanks!).

Noteworthy Fat Quarter Bundle

This is something of a slow burn project - I need to make 64 blocks, and I am working on making 16 blocks a week over 4 weeks.  I have made 12 of my 16 for this week - keeping up momentum.  I really like the Noteworthy collection - it is brighter in person than the online swatches may lead you to believe, and there are several really nice designs that I will be buying yardage of once it is available.

Do you have a word for 2013?

Saturday 26 January 2013

Saturday Cat Words of Wisdom #3

"Sure this pose is overdone.  But it works - how can anyone resist this cuteness?  My point?  Don't forget about the classics.  Most cliches are cliches because they are true." Ivy

Does your pet have something to say? If you would like to see your pet on a future Saturday Cat Words of Wisdom post, send me an email (adrianneonthewindyside at gmail dot com) with the photo you would like featured, some words (wise, witty, or just plain silly) that relate to the photo, your pet's name, and a link to your blog/flickr stream/website.

Friday 25 January 2013

Emeralds and Ice Quilt - finished!

I finished stitching down the binding on my Emeralds and Ice quilt late last week - yay!  A change of backdrop - I thought this quilt might look good in this cool green corner of my parents' garden.

giant star quilt

Finally, I managed to get a picture of the back of the quilt.  I used a lovely soft voile from Spotlight that had a fun modern floral design in just the right shade of green.

green and blue star quilt

I am very happy I decided to include the little pops of print.

half square triangles quilt

The sun was going down as I took these photos, so the quilt looks darker here than it is in real life.

half square triangles quilt

The first photos were taken before I washed and dried this quilt.  Because I starch the quilt top and back before basting, I like to pre-wash quilts before gifting them.  I used a couple of colour catchers with this one to soak up any colour bleed from the dark green fabric, and was glad to see I didn't have any issues.  I did, however, get a lot of crinkle.  I will give this quilt a light press before I send it off to my friend, but I don't mind the crinkle.

giant star quilt

Ivy really loves this voile.  I only put the quilt down for a second and she was on it instantly.  I wouldn't normally let my cats sit on a quilt that I am gifting after it has been washed, but I know my friend will let her cat on this quilt, so I wasn't too worried this time.

emerald flowers voile

Quilt Stats
Pattern:  My own, inspired by this quilt from Red Pepper Quilts.
Finished Size:  Approximately 62 inches square.
Fabric: Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Ice Frappe and Clover, Philip Jacobs Rambling Rose in Green for Westminster Fibres.
Backing: Flora and Fauna voile from Spotlight.
Binding: Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Clover.
Pieced and quilted by: me, on my domestic sewing machine.

This quilt is the second of my first quarter goals for the 2013 Finish-A-Long - two down, seven to go!  I might just get there!  If only I could stop starting new things...

she can quilt

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and TGIFF, this week hosted by the talented Nat at Made in Home (seriously, this lady has a new born baby and she is still producing cute handmade items with startling regularity).

Wednesday 23 January 2013

WIP Wednesday

This week I am working on something that, due to my own slackness, has become something of an urgent project.  You might be able to tell from the name RATBAGS (Reliable And Talented Babes Attending Group sexStitching) that the real life stitching group I belong to is good fun, and we don't take ourselves too seriously.

We decided to do a regular challenge project, and Anne set the first one - paper piecing using this cute tutorial, at least A4 size, and with at least some free motion quilting.  Well, I've done the paper piecing, but the deadline for the finished item is this Saturday.  So, I need to get my A into G and get quilting!

Also, I am liking my scrappy trip along quilt (aka La Piñata) more and more, so I am keen to get it basted and quilted asap.  Lots more pictures here.

What are you working on this week?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday 22 January 2013

La Piñata (scrappy trip along)

Phew!  After some concentrated sewing effort (aided by a long weekend), I finished my scrappy trip along quilt top.  My particular version has finished at 64" square - a nice throw size, and easy to handle for quilting.

scrappy trip around the world

Ok, so it's not exactly scrappy, I tweaked the tutorial everyone is using (this one from Quiltville - except that I made my blocks 8 by 8, by using 20" by 2.5" strips cut from yardage), and we have a bit of a love/hate relationship, but at this stage I am HAPPY that the top is done!

scrappy trip around the world

The bright colours and the design made me think of a piñata - so La Piñata she is.  To be fair, given that this quilt contains 1,024 2" finished squares, it was pretty painless.

scrappy trip along with white centres

I never thought I would use metallic looking fabric in a quilt, but after I spied the Mirror Ball Dots from Michael Miller here, I had to have them.  I was a little nervous about ironing this fabric, but after I did a small test piece, I ironed in my usual way (hot and lots of steam) with no ill effect.  So, if you like the look but were holding off because of worries about how the fabric would behave - go for it!

michael miller mirror ball dots

Is it wrong that I kind of like the back more than the front?

scrappy trip along bright colours

I have some great fabric for the back - it is nearly as bright and crazy as the front, so I will try and baste this quilt one night after work this week.  It would be good to have it ready to quilt when the urge strikes.

How is your scrappy trip along quilt going (almost everyone in the quilt blogging world seems to have drunk this particular kool-aid)?

Monday 21 January 2013

A Letter from Lotta Quilt

In December, I was lucky enough to win a charm pack of Lotta Jansdotter's latest line, Glimma, from the lovely Becca from Bryan House Quilts.  Becca was really kind and sent it express, so it arrived just before Christmas.

glimma charm pack

Before I show you what I've done with this beautiful fabric, I wanted to share a bit of the design process, how it doesn't always go to plan, and how sometimes ideas come to me in the strangest ways!

Ever since I saw this envelope quilt and this envelope quilt from If She Sleeps...,  and this version by Hyacinth Quilt Designs, I've really wanted to make an envelope quilt.  I thought the little samples of Glimma might be just the thing, and I even mocked up a draft layout in TouchDraw.

Then I realised that I didn't want to set the prints on point, and that would mean cutting down the charms significantly.  Since I can't bear to waste fabric, and I really wanted to showcase these charms to their best advantage, I was stumped.

And then, the other day, I was blow-drying my hair (I told you ideas come to me at strange times) and watching out my bedroom window, and I saw a courier delivering a large envelope (not fabric, sadly). A lightbulb went off in my head - there are lots of different types of envelope.  What about a quilt showing the front of a large envelop, rather than the back of lots of small envelopes?

envelope quilt

This simple little quilt took about an hour to whip up - I already had the text print (Memoir in White, from the Madrona Road collection by Violet Craft for Michael Miller) and the Yarn-Dyed Essex Linen in black in my stash.

glimma text linen

I am not totally satisfied - I was too swept up with enthusiasm to pay a lot of attention to colour placement, and I think the "address" part would stand out more if I had surrounded it with some of the darker prints.  Never mind - I have an idea of how to improve this part with a quilting design.

I have to say, I thought I would love this collection, and I do.  I will definitely be buying yardage when it becomes available.  Quite a few other bloggers have been playing with Glimma too - check out these fabulous quilts from Fresh Lemons Quilts, Film in the Fridge, i'm a ginger monkey, During Quiet Time and Rossie.

So, I want to know, do you get quilt ideas at random times too?

Linking up with Plum and June (this week hosted by Heidi at Fabric Mutt),  Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Better Off Thread:

Plum and June

Fresh Poppy Design
Better Off Thread

Sunday 20 January 2013

Wellington Modern Quilt Guild???

The Modern Quilt Guild is an organisation with branches all over the world.  You can find out more about the Modern Quilt Guild, and modern quilting, here.

I definitely identify as a modern quilter.  Before I found the modern quilting movement online, I wondered whether there was anyone else out there who wanted to make quilts like I did - light, bright, simple, and not much like the ones I saw in most quilting books and at local quilt shows (I totally respect the skills that go into making traditional quilts, but as a wide sweeping generalisation, they are not really my aesthetic).  When I realised that what I wanted to do was called modern quilting, it felt like a big heavy door had been thrown wide open.  Meeting other people online, and now in real life, who embrace modern quilting has really spurred me on to make more quilts, and experiment, and have fun with fabric.

Anyway, that is a long rambling way to get to my point, which is this - a few people I know are tossing around the idea of setting up a Wellington branch of the Modern Quilt Guild, and I would love to know whether any of my Wellington based readers would be interested.  Leave me a comment with your thoughts - I would love to have some feedback to pass on when I catch up with this group next weekend.  Thanks!!!

The Modern Quilt Guild

Saturday 19 January 2013

Saturday Cat Words of Wisdom #2

A new weekly feature for you - words of wisdom presented by my cats.  Sometimes the words will relate to quilting, sometimes not.

"Eat more greens." Ralph

Thursday 17 January 2013

Vote for me!

My Ocean Treasures fabric mosaic made the final 10 in the Emerald Mosaic contest over at Stitched in Color!  Thanks Rachel!  You can find all the details of the fabrics in my mosaic in my original blog post

Ocean Treasures

There are lots of lovely mosaics in the final 10, but I would be so thrilled if you would head over and vote for me!  Please please please - I would love to make something with these fabrics!  Click here to check out the final 10 mosaics and vote.

Wednesday 16 January 2013

WIP Wednesday

First up, I wanted to let you know that I finished up my Brighter Shade of Pale Quilt, using the Lucky Square pattern just released by Jessica Kelly from Sew Crafty Jess.  Here is the finished quilt - check out my blog post for full details, you can see more versions from Jess and the other pattern testers here (and if you're quick, Jess is giving away a couple of copies of the pattern), and you can buy the pattern here.

Next up, my Emeralds and Ice Quilt, introduced last week.  I finished the rest of the blocks, and have finished quilting (after several breaks and not a little frustration), and just need to hand stitch the binding down.  I can't wait to do a full reveal of this quilt - the back might be my favourite part...

And my scrappy trip-along quilt is progressing - I have two blocks made, and the strips for the remaining 14 are sewn together.  I have quite a few extra strips left over, so I am also planning some cushions to match the quilt.  I would like to make three, and have two planned, but would love to make the third a bit different - does anyone have any recommendations for fun (and easy!!!) appliqué patterns?

Finally, today was my first day back at work after a good break.  I have a tip for any other fabric lovers facing a return to work after holiday time - have your online fabric purchases sent to your workplace so they are there waiting for you when you return.  This is the contents of only one of the several parcels awaiting me this morning:

Happy happy mail.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday 15 January 2013

Pistols at dawn

No, don't worry, I haven't been duelling lately.  We'll get to the reason for the name of this blog post eventually.

Simply Solids: a modern {bee}

At the end of last year, I signed up to the Simply Solids bee, run by Erin from Sew at Home Mummy, and organised in geographical groups.  Happily, enough people from the Australasia region signed up and we have a full contingent of 12 - two Kiwis, two ladies in Singapore, and the rest are Aussies.

I decided to go first and set the block for February.  One of the rules of the bee is that you either send fabric to the group members, or you can ask them to use fabric from their stash, but if you do that, you cannot say what colours they should use, only how many colours they should use.  I kind of like the idea of a completely crazy out of control multi coloured quilt, but I can't quite let go that much.  So I've sent out fabric, and am delighted to hear that it has started arriving.

I wanted to use purple, and step a little bit away from my usual palette of light bright fabrics.  This is the colour palette I generated using the palette builder at Play Crafts (a great tool, by the way), using a photo of a sunset with lovely rich colours (original photo here).

Working from this palette, I chose my fabrics at a local quilt shop, Thimbles and Threads.  They carry a massive range of the Kona solids, and I find it much easier to pick solid fabrics in person rather than online (plus I didn't really have time to wait for fabrics to arrive from overseas).  The colours I chose ended up being a bit different from the original palette, based on the fabrics I thought looked good together at the time.

All the fabrics I picked are Kona cottons, and the colours, from top to bottom, are Hibiscus, Amber, Indigo, Lilac, Ice Peach, School Bus and Chinese Red.  To demonstrate why I picked these in person rather than online, I made a mosaic of the colour swatches for these fabrics from the Robert Kaufman website (left to right, in the same order as the pile above).  So different!  No complaints about the website by the way, it is just super hard to make accurate online colour swatches for solid fabrics.

So, what block have I set for the lovely ladies in the Australasia group?  A four by four random half square triangle, like this sample block I made up:

The idea is that once I put all the blocks together, I will have a random half square triangle quilt in the style of HST Love and Pantone Pop by Sew Katie Did.  Cutting the fabrics to send out to the bee members, I was really questioning my colour choices - this is far outside my comfort zone!  However, I like them a little better having made the first block.  Hopefully everything will somehow magically come together when all the blocks are done.  Fingers crossed!

Oh yeah, and the name of the quilt will be Pistols at Dawn.  I know it's based on a sunset, not a sunrise, but the name just popped into my head when I was looking at the fabrics and it was so melodramatic I just had to go with it.

Have you stepped out of your comfort zone with fabric choices lately?

Monday 14 January 2013

A brighter shade of pale - finished!

My first finish for 2013 - my version of the Lucky Square quilt designed by Jessica Kelly aka Sew Crafty Jess.  I love how this quilt turned out!  You can see the quilt before it was quilted here, and I think you'll agree that the cross hatch quilting adds a certain something.

Quilt with linen and Field Study

I thought quilting like this would take forever, but it didn't.

Quilt with linen and Field Study

I didn't intend to keep this quilt, but I love it so much I just have to.  Next task, to make some coordinating pillow cases and cushions.  And I have enough fabric left over to do just this, yay!

Quilt with Anna Maria Horner Field Study and linen

Still loving that crazy back.

Anna Maria Horner quilt back

I am having a solid binding phase at the moment...

Quilt with solid binding

Wow, this was a great quilt to make!  I was surprised how quickly the top went together (and I know other pattern testers have had the same pleasant experience).  Thanks again to Jess for letting me test this pattern.  Check out this amazing version using Architextures from Kirsten at Gemini Stitches, and this lovely scrappy version by Alison from Little Bunny Quilts.  You can also see a few of the other versions in Jess' blog post about the pattern here.

Quilt Stats
Pattern:  Lucky Square by Sew Crafty Jess, with my own modifications.
Finished Size:  Approximately 74 inches square.
Fabric: Unspecified taupe linen blend from my local quilt shop, the following fabrics from Anna Maria Horner's Field Study Collection (Cell Structure in Americana, Migratory Lace in Aquatic, Spotted in the Crowd in Grace, Sundials in Glow, Cell Structure in Lilac, Fine Feathered in Whisper, Specimen in Dream, Migratory Lace in Tourmaline, Sinister Swarm in Flour, Sundials in Happy) and Coral in Aqua from Dan Bennett's Ruby Collection for Westminster Fibres.
Backing: The following fabrics from Anna Maria Horner's Field Study Collection (Migratory Lace in Tourmaline, Coordinates in Saffron, Mind's Eye in Samba, Mind's Eye in Toast, Cell Structure in Algae), Coral in Aqua from Dan Bennett's Ruby Collection for Westminster Fibres, Summer Totem in Tart from Anna Maria Horner's Loulouthi Collection, Bubble Burst in Confection from Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush Collection, Water Chevron in Breeze from Sarah Jane's Out to Sea Collection and Mishmash in Grey from Erin McMorris's La Dee Da Collection.
Binding: Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Thistle
Pieced and quilted by: me, on my domestic sewing machine.

Phew!  This is my January goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes done and dusted (woohoo!).

It is also the first of my first quarter goals for the 2013 Finish-A-Long - one down, eight to go!

Plum and June

Fresh Poppy Design

Better Off Thread

Sunday 13 January 2013

Ocean Treasures

Rachel at Stitched in Color is running another one of her fabulous mosaic contests, this time featuring the colour Emerald, sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop (full contest details here).  There is still time to enter if you feel so inclined!

I made up a couple of mosaics, but this one, Ocean Treasures, is my favourite.

Ocean Treasures

You can find all of the fabrics in my mosaic at Fat Quarter Shop by following the links below:

Saturday 12 January 2013

Saturday Cat Words of Wisdom #1

A new weekly feature for you - words of wisdom presented by my cats.  Sometimes the words will relate to quilting, sometimes not.  

"Black goes with everything." Ivy

How far will you go? Not very!

Last year, Jess at The Elven Garden put together a great Quilt Along, the How Far Will You Go? Quilt Along.  I didn't exactly follow along, but I was very inspired by the Tippecanoe block, and particularly Jess' use of it to make this cushion.

I used elements of the tippecanoe block in the Dat Star block I designed, which I quilted lightly and turned into a cushion for my brother.

The Linky Party for finished quilts and quilted items is now open, and with Jess' encouragement am entering my cushion in the small quilted items category.  Head over and check out the lovely things people have made!