Wednesday, 27 February 2013

WIP Wednesday

I have been playing around with these 5" squares - I am using them to make two baby quilts.  I was planning to make two half square triangle quilts, which would have been very similar but unique at the same time.  However, I just can't face trimming the number of half square triangles I would need to make two quilts, so I decided to change things up a little.

One quilt will be half square triangles, and one quilt will be...wait for it... wonky stars.  Can you believe I have never made a star block before?  Crazy!  I must remedy this immediately.

I've also been plotting my item for the Modernista Homemade swap.  I posted this picture of my potential fabric selection to see whether my partner would like it, but she hasn't commented.  I was aiming for a spread of colour values from light to dark, but given the lack of feedback and my partner's stated preferences, I think I will stick with the brighter fabrics.

What are you working on this week?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 25 February 2013

La Piñata - finito!

I finished La Piñata, my version of the scrappy trip along quilt that went crazy online in January, and managed to take some photos this weekend.

scrappy trips around the world quilt

As I've said before, I used the technique described in this Scrappy Trips Around the World Tutorial from Quiltville.  However, because I used strips cut from yardage,  I made my blocks 8 by 8 squares, using 20" strips and ending up with 16" square blocks.  You can see my initial fabric selection and the mock-up of what I thought my quilt might look like here.

prints charming for spotlight

I honestly think I like the back of this quilt as much as the front.  The back is made up of two prints designed by Australian fabric designers Prints Charming for Spotlight (basically the Australian and New Zealand version of Joann's).  I found the large print on sale and bought all my local Spotlight had, which wasn't quite enough to back this quilt.  I used the blue print from the same collection to fill in the gap, and in the end I think it adds interest.  These fabrics are not quilting cotton (I think they were described as cotton poplin), but they are 100% cotton and seem to work happily enough with the quilting cottons I used to piece the front.

prints charming for spotlight

The binding, Alexander Henry's Heath in Black, was totally inspired by the areas of black cross hatching on the backing fabric.  It pops really nicely against the front too.

scrappy trip along quilt

I quilted a simple cross-hatch grid on this quilt, similar to my A Brighter Shade of Pale (Lucky Square) Quilt.  This time, I marked every quilting line with my hera marker, and it really helped me keep the lines straight.  Also, I pin basted this quilt with a safety pin in every other square, checkerboard style.  When it came to quilting, I quilted the cross-hatch grid in all the unpinned squares, then stopped, took all the pins out, and quilted the rest of the squares.  It meant I was never having to stop for pins mid quilting, which really slows things down and makes it hard to keep lines straight.

scrappy trip around the world quilt

So this quilt is now ready for someone to snuggle under.  I don't have a plan for it at the moment, but I'm sure the right recipient will come along.

What have you been up to this weekend?

Quilt Stats
Pattern:  scrappy trip around the world using a modified version of this Scrappy Trips Around the World Tutorial from Quiltville.
Finished Size:  Approximately 64 inches square.
Fabric: Assorted bright blenders, including several different colours of Mirror Ball Dots from Michael Miller and the egg prints from various of Thomas Knauer's collections for Andover Fabrics.
Backing: Prints Charming cotton poplin from Spotlight.
Binding: Alexander Henry Heath in Black.
Pieced and quilted by: me, on my domestic sewing machine.

This quilt is the third of my first quarter goals for the 2013 Finish-A-Long - three down, six to go!

she can quilt

Linking up with:

Plum and June Better Off Thread Fresh Poppy Design

and, of course, Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

And, how could I forget, this was my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes:

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Saturday Cat Words of Wisdom #7

This week's words and photo come from Amanda, aka The Fabric Engineer.  Isn't her cat Flurry a cute little sewist?

cat and sewing machine

 "I'm out of fabric...I think you should go to the fabric store.  Now." Flurry

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, 22 February 2013

Sweet and neutral baby quilt

I finished up this baby quilt a couple of days before the baby shower for my colleague on Sunday.  I'm really happy with how it turned out, and, more importantly, it was very well received by the mother-to-be.  I didn't consult with her before making this quilt, so I'm glad she liked it!  I had the colours in mind anyway before I started, and my ideas were confirmed when she showed me a couple of fabric samples for the nursery.

Green and blue baby quilt

The quilt top was inspired by the piecing I did on my scrappy trip along quilt.

Blue and green baby quilt

The back is a giant nine-patch, which I think complements the top, and, not coincidentally, allowed me to use two fabrics from my stash.

Flea market fancy baby quilt

In fact, the only fabric in this quilt that isn't from my stash is the binding.  I do love the Flea Market Fancy print though, so I think I might need to add some to my stash.

Text print baby quilt

There is a pretty wide mix of fabrics in this quilt top - I tend to steer away from fabrics aimed specifically at children, even for a baby quilt.  Initially, I quilted just the cross-hatch grid in the beige squares, but it wasn't quite enough.  I know stitch in the ditch quilting isn't trendy, but this quilt just called out for it.  I used a 50 weight Wonderfil thread that blended in to the background colour - I generally prefer quiet quilting like this.

Beige patchwork baby quilt

Even with batting and backing fabric, light can still shine through the quilt - I love the effect of that.

Gender neutral baby quilt

This is the quilt after I washed it - it crinkled up really nicely.

Quilt Stats
Finished Size:  48 inches square.
Fabric: Freespirit Designer Solid in Sand Dune, a variety of prints (feel free to ask if you want to know what any of them are).
Backing: Windfield in Citrus from the Wrenly collection by Valori Wells, Tile in Light Blue from Paris & Company by My Mind's Eye.
Binding: Eyelet in Green from Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt for Freespirit.
Pieced and quilted by: me, on my domestic sewing machine.

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, and TGIFF, this week hosted by Gingersnap Quilts.

Monday, 18 February 2013

Bulking up

 What is it?

Roll of batting parcel

A roll of batting, of course.

Bolt of cotton batting

15 metres (16.5 yards) of 100" wide cotton batting.  I found this on TradeMe (New Zealand's answer to eBay) and it worked out cheaper even than buying it on sale at Spotlight.  I wonder how long it will last...

Have you ever taken the plunge and bought a whole roll of batting (or even a whole bolt of your favourite fabric)?

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Saturday Cat Words of Wisdom #6

"The best toy isn't necessarily the fanciest."  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, 15 February 2013

Lots of swaps

I just signed up for two swaps being run on flickr - they are both new for me but have been through at least one round already.

The first one is the Modernista Homemade swap.

This round focuses on the living room, and I asked for a pillow.  You might have been able to tell from my mosaic...

Mosaic for Modernista Homemade Round 3

Partners are being sent out tomorrow, and I am really looking forward to seeing who my partner is, what they want, and to start plotting!

The second swap I've signed up for recently is the Sew Sew Modern swap, also on flickr.

Sew Sew Modern 2

I've nominated a sewing machine cover, or a fabric basket or two as the large item I'd like, but I'm pretty open to ideas.  I'm still not 100% sure I'll get into this swap, so fingers crossed - the reason I joined was because I kept seeing amazing things from the last round on blogs I follow, so I'm really keen to participate.

1. sofia's sewingmachine cover, 2. Another fabric bowl, pattern by Nova, 3. Patchwork zippered pouch, 4. Field of Triangles #2, 5. Proverbial Sunshine, 6. go anywhere bag., 7. Patchwork Bucket, 8. Sewing machine cover in 'Hope Valley', 9. pixelated heart

I think both these swaps will push my design skills and my sewing skills, and I can't wait to get started!

As an aside, it took me AGES to realise just how much modern sewists use flickr, and how key it is to participating in swaps etc, and getting your work noticed.  It's not a site I had ever used before I started this blog, and its not somewhere I ever looked for quilt inspiration.  However, you can find so many beautiful things on there, many of which are not posted elsewhere.  I'm guessing most of my readers have already cottoned on to this, but thought I would share my experience just in case anyone else was wondering about flickr.

Are you participating in any swaps at the moment?

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Happy Valentine's Day

I love xkcd.  This made me lol last year.  Hope something is making you lol this year!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

WIP Wednesday

Very short WIP Wednesday for me this week.  I have been really quite busy at work, so progress has slowed somewhat.  I'm hoping to get some decent sewing time in this weekend.

I finished quilting this baby quilt on the weekend, and am now hand stitching down the binding.  It needs to be finished off for the baby shower on Sunday, so will be my focus until it's done.

beige baby quilt

I've also finished quilting La Piñata, my scrappy trip along quilt, and I have made the binding, so just need to attach it and sew it down.  A nice relaxing project for my down time over the weekend.

trip around the world quilt

What have you been up to this week?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Saturday Cat Words of Wisdom #5

This week I have two cats with words of wisdom to share with you.  Both these cuties belong to Marika of Live, Laugh, Love...Sew.  You should definitely check out Marika's blog - she has a lot of eye candy for any lover of modern fabric and beautiful quilts.

"Scraps have more uses than you might think." Yoda

"Cutting fabrics is hard work, so make sure you take regular breaks to avoid strains or mistakes."  Maya

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.

Starting small

Mostly I sew because I enjoy it - the creative aspect, the practical process of actually putting something together, and the tangible result of that work.

I'm not sure if exercising that creative part of my brain that doesn't usually get used a lot has opened me up to looking at things differently, but lately I have been thinking about some bigger issues, and wanting to express my thoughts and feelings through the things I make.  I don't plan to stop making things just for the sheer enjoyment of doing so, but I also want to make things that are meaningful to me.

This post from C at completely cauchy encouraged me to stop just thinking about it, and start doing.

So, what have I come up with?  Well, I recently read about the One Billion Rising project, with events taking place this Valentine's Day all over the world.

paper pieced pouch

For me, the idea of one billion people standing together against violence toward women is a very powerful and positive one.

black and white zip pouch

I also really like that its held on Valentine's Day.  To me, standing up for a cause I believe in is much more meaningful than the frankly anxiety-inducing usual Valentine's Day rituals.

open wide pouch interior

This pouch is a rather literal representation of my feelings - to take a stand, to be part of something bigger than my own immediate concerns, and to rise up against violence towards women.

Will you be one of the One Billion Rising this February 14?  I will.  To find an event near you, click here.    This is not just an event for women, so if you are, or your significant other is, a man opposed to violence against women, don't be afraid to attend.

Sewing details - pouch made from Noodlehead's open wide pouch tutorial, in the largest size.  Paper piecing and lettering of my own design.  Linking up with TGIFF, this week hosted by Kit Lang - Art and Finish it up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

WIP Wednesday

Today is a statutory holiday, so I got to spend some time at the sewing machine rather than at my desk.  On the agenda was quilting.  I basted two quilts at my parents' house on Sunday night - they have a lot more space and I found a nice breezy spot that was much more pleasant to work in than my very sunny dining room.

I got started on my scrappy trip along quilt - I'm doing an all-over cross-hatch grid.                                    

This is the backing fabric - it's from Spotlight, but is designed by Australian fabric designers Prints Charming.  I think its perfect for this very bright and colourful quilt.  Finishing off this quilt will be my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.

I've also been working on this baby quilt for a colleague's baby.  So far I've just quilted a crosshatch in the beige squares, but I think I'll add in stitch-in-the-ditch quilting along all the seams.

My mission for this weekend will be to find a good binding fabric - I've been right through my stash and nothing seems quite right.

What are you working on this week?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, 4 February 2013

A flurry of blog awards

Recently, I have been the surprised recipient of not one but two Liebster Awards (from Erin at Sew at Home Mummy, and Lia at Lia's Handmades), and a Versatile Blogger Award (from Anna at The Crooked Banana).  All these awards were totally unexpected and very kind, so a big thank you to the lovely ladies who nominated me.


This post is rather long, so if you actually intend to read it, I recommend grabbing a cup of tea or coffee and a chocolate biscuit for sustenance while you are reading.

The rules for the Liebster Award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. Answer 11 question asked by the person who nominated you.
3. List 11 things about yourself.
4. Nominate 11 of your favorite blogs that have less than 200 followers.
5. Ask your nominated bloggers 11 questions.

And the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award are:

1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. List seven things about yourself.
3. Nominate up to 15 blogs that you’ve recently discovered or follow regularly.

In the interests of efficiency, I'm going to consolidate my responses to these awards by answering the questions from Erin and Lia, listing 11 things about myself (to cover the random things part for both the Liebster Award and the Versatile Blogger Award),  and nominating 11 blogs with (mostly) less than 200 followers.

Here we go!

Questions from Erin:

1. What's your favorite movie?
I find picking favourites really hard.  I will confess that the movie I have watched the most times (at least once a year since it was released 10(!!!) years ago) is Love Actually.  Please don't judge me too much.

2. Tell me something about the town you grew up in.
I grew up in Wellington, and although I have lived elsewhere, it's where I live now too.  I could tell you so many things, but if you have two minutes to spare, I would rather just show you.  The area I live in now is at around 1:18.

3. Where do you think you got your "quilty" or "crafty" gene?
Definitely my mum - she started off my sewing and quilting journey through her own creative endeavours.  I think there is a quiet creative streak in all my immediate family members though - my dad might not craft, but he is very creative (and usually successfully so) in the kitchen.  I also had early sewing and stitching experiences with both my grandmothers, one of my grandfathers was a talented wood-turner and the other just liked making anything - toys, gadgets, small houses.

4. If you had to pick a movie star who's most similar to you (in any way), who would it be (and post a picture, please!)

Ok, so I don't really look like either of Alexis Bledel or Zooey Deschanel, but I do have fair skin, dark hair, blue eyes, and a fringe (or bangs, if you're from the US).

5. What is your most favorite quilt block you've ever made?
Again, I can't pick a favourite, but I keep coming back to simple patchwork squares.  4-patch, 9-patch, up to 64-patch - they're all good.

Simple patchwork love

6. Do you have a name for your sewing machine?
In my mind, I think of her as Little Bernina - kind of like the little Bernina that could.

7. How many sewing machines do you own (and what brand(s) are they)? (and if you have a picture of "Betty" or "Violet", please, post!)
Only one - my 25 year old Bernina Sport 802.  I am very sentimental about this machine, and will never get rid of it, but I would like to add a machine with a larger throat space and higher stitch speed to my collection one day.

8. What kind of space do you create in (i.e. a spare room, the dining room, the basement, a closet) do tell!
I don't have a dedicated sewing room, so I alternate between sewing on my big dining room table (especially if I am quilting) and sewing in the lounge on a little "vintage" (i.e. old and beaten up) tray table on wheels so I can watch TV at the same time.

9. What does your significant other think about your crafty ways?
I am single, so, nothing.  To any wannabe Mr OntheWindySide, I would misquote the Spice Girls - "if you wanna be my lover, you gotta get with my friendsquilting".

10. Have you ever participated in an online/virtual Bee? Which one(s)
Yes - at the end of last year I signed up for the Simply Solids bee, my first one.

11. If you had to pick one word to describe you, what would it be?

From Lia:

1. What is your favourite colour and why?
If you ask my stash, aqua.  Why?  I have no idea.  If you ask my wardrobe, black.  Why?  It goes with everything, don'tcha know.

2. The weirdest food you've ever eaten?
I don't think I've ever eaten really weird food, but I have some strange food habits.  For example, it wouldn't be unusual for me to have pastrami and mayo on toast for breakfast.

3. Most desired holiday destination?
Where do I start?  I think I might plan my next holiday for Japan - but there are so many other places I want to go as well.

4. Your biggest wish for the future?
The usual - health, wealth, and happiness.

5. What is the colour of your car?

This colour!

6. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I would stop sneezing all the goddamn time.

7. How many sewing machines do you own?
See my answer to Erin's question 7 above.

8. What is the first item you ever made (sewn) and do you still have it?
I don't even remember what age I was when I learned to sew, so sadly I don't still have my first sewn project.

9. Where in your home do you sew, do you have your own craft room?
See my answer to Erin's question 8 above.

10. Do you have a  favourite quilt fabric designer? And if so, who?
I don't have a favourite, but I find Denyse Schmidt fabrics and Anna Maria Horner fabrics turning up in my projects on a very regular basis.  I also think that Jay McCarroll is a genius and totally underrated fabric designer.

11. What would you rather receive for your birthday, a nice meal at a restaurant, or an afternoon shopping at a fabric store?
Tough tough question.  Can I have both?  No?  Ok, probably a nice dinner - much more shareable.

11 random things about me:

1.  I am the oldest of four children - I have one sister and two brothers.
2. We all have Sunday dinner at my parents' place every week.
3.  I am allergic to cats.  Yes, I have cats.
4. Despite my complete lack of sporting ability, I have, at various times, played or taken lessons in cricket, tennis, hockey, netball, swimming and golf.
5. I am a terrible singer, but I love singing - mostly in the car.
6. My siblings like to make mix CDs for my car, because I inevitably learn all the songs on them.  Then they laugh at me when I rap.
7. I am a huge fan of Gilmore Girls.  I have all seven seasons on DVD and tend to watch the whole series right through once a year.
8.  Even though I don't generally like hand-sewing, my favourite part of making a quilt is hand stitching down the binding.
9.  I am extremely impatient. Why I like quilting so much, when it requires quite a lot of patience, is something of a mystery to me.
10. One time when I was a kid, a wasp crawled into my mouth and then crawled out without stinging me.  To this day, if I see a bee or wasp nearby, I shut my mouth real tight.  I have still never been stung.
11. I was looking at my blog stats today, and one of the search keywords was "how to meet a man who quilts".  Made me laugh.

My questions for the bloggers I nominate:

1. What is the first quilt you made like?  If you have a picture - please let us see!
2. What is your favourite part of making a quilt?
3. Do you have any pets?
4. What would your karaoke song be?
5. Have you ever been to a quilting conference or retreat?
6. Who in your non-quilting life knows you have a quilt blog?
7. What is the strangest search term you've seen in your "Search Keywords" stats?
8. How did you choose your blog name?
9. Are you a member of a real-life quilt guild?
10. What is your favourite sweet treat?
11. Do you like to have something to listen to while you are quilting - like the TV, music, an audiobook?

11 blogs I'm nominating:

Kiwi quilt bloggers represent!
1. Jaffa Quilts
2. Milly Made It
Lawyer-types in the house!
3. Everyday fray
4. Surely not another project
Yeah, I'm young, I quilt, so what?
5. Sew, Quilt, Explore
Keeping it fresh in Europe
6. Sy, elsk, lev (Sew, love, live)
7. Made in Home
8. Displacement Activity
O Canada
9. Chez Roo
Too good - these ones already have more than 200 followers!
10. Kitchen Table Quilting
11. St Louis Folk Victorian

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Beige but not boring

I'm working on this gender neutral baby quilt for a colleague.  The baby shower is on the 17th of February, so its a good thing I'm done making the blocks.  Now I'm just trying to decide on a layout.

gender neutral baby quilt

gender neutral baby quilt

What do you think?  The top one, or the bottom one?