Wednesday 30 October 2013

Sarah Fielke's class and WIP Wednesday

I spent the weekend before last in Christchurch to attend a workshop run by Sarah Fielke with a couple of friends.  It was really lovely to get out of town, enjoy the balmy spring weather (it was sunny and calm unlike Wellington which has been extremely windy lately) and spend a few days just sewing and talking about sewing.  I'm going to take the opportunity to talk about the class a bit, and show the WIP I started there.

Sarah's visit was organised by Fenella from Stitch in Christchurch (you may remember that her mother Penny designed the pattern for my Hexy Ottoman) and she was an active participant in the workshop as well as having a lovely range of fabric and notions available for sale.

The workshop spanned three days - Friday and Saturday were for participants to learn how to make the Fancy That quilt from Sarah's latest book Hand Quilted With Love.

Fancy That - photo from Sarah Fielke's website

I'm making this quilt for my sister, so I let her choose the feature fabric to use in the points of the central star.  Sarah used a large floral print, but after I pulled out all of my large scale prints my sister chose this really gorgeous fabric from Rashida Coleman Hale's Washi range.  I've been hoarding it for ages and waiting for just the right project.

For the fans, I pulled a selection of fabrics which echo the colours of the washi tape in this print.  I'm using a grey Crosshatch Sketch for the background - I thought it might be a bit simpler to work with than linen while still having some texture and interest.

Getting started on Fancy That

After cutting lots and lots of strips and sewing them together, I cut out the wedges to make my fans.  The next part involves needle turn appliqué.  I abandonned my last needle turn appliqué project (a single quilt block that's not finished after nearly 2 years and probably never will be) so was a bit hestitant about this step.  I think Sarah's technique makes it pretty easy, although appliquéing such a large piece was tricky and I ended up with a bit of a lump in my appliqué.

My version of Fancy That
My version of Fancy That - definitely still a WIP

I will unpick and stitch it back down straight - fortunately it didn't take too long.  If you are interested, you can learn Sarah's needle turn appliqué technique (and lots of other things) in her Craftsy Class.

One of my favourite parts of the class was seeing how the Fancy That quilt looked in all the different colour and fabric combinations chosen by the other participants.  All the quilts being made were lovely but these two caught my eye and made me think "I wish I'd thought of that"!.

Julia's version of Fancy That
Julia Fomison's version of Fancy That

I just adore this combination of Anna Maria Horner's Hand Drawn Garden collection with Art Gallery Fabrics Oval Elements and a little bit of Architextures thrown in for good measure.  With the bright green background it's definitely a slap you in the face kind of quilt, in the best possible way.

Jo's version of Fancy That
Jo Sewell's version of Fancy That

I thought Jo's combination of lovely warm Kaffe Fassett fabrics and Mirror Ball Dots was unexpected and delightful.  The colours just glow against the soft grey background.  I also thought Jo's choice to arrange her fabrics in colour order was inspired.

I hope both Jo and Julia will let me know when they've finished their quilts - I'd love to see them and I'd love to share them too.  I have lots more photos and things to share from the class so look out for at least one more post coming soon.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Pssst... Craftsy are having a 48 hour flash sale - click on the banner to check out the bargains to be had!

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Full disclosure - some of the links in this post are affiliate or sponsor links.

Monday 28 October 2013

Garden for Birds Quilt - finished!

My garden for birds quilt is finally finished!  The baby shower was this weekend so it is gifted and safely in hands of the mother-to-be.

Garden for Birds Quilt 

The making of this quilt has been quite a process. I designed the quilt right after my friend found out she was having a baby girl.  I was really quite excited because all the other babies this year have been boys, and I was more than ready to make something girly.

Garden for Birds Quilt 

This is the design I came up with - I wanted to make something fresh and colourful and a little bit crazy.  I started the quilt at a retreat, and it was a great opportunity to get a decent start.  It was also helpful having the encouragement and assistance of the other attendees - my friend Helen even did the appliqué on the birds and the leaves.

Garden for Birds Quilt in progress 

As I progressed, the quilt diverged a bit more from the original design. I enjoy that part of the process - tweaking and changing things.

Garden for Birds quilt still in progress 

Now the quilt is finished I think it will be just right for my friend and her baby - it's light and bright and has a touch of nature about it.

Garden for Birds Quilt 

I'm rather pleased with the backing fabric I found - I wanted to use something with a white background to pick up on the white parts on the front, but I also wanted plenty of colour and pattern so that it's not totally impractical for a baby quilt.  It's an older Michael Miller print and so lovely with all the flower pots.

Garden for Birds Quilt

I'm linking this quilt up to the Blogger's Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side, in the baby quilt category.  Make sure you head over and check out all the other quilts that have been linked up - there's a wealth of inspiration there.


Quilt Stats
Pattern: my Garden for Birds Quilt
Finished Size: 36" by 42"
Fabric: various 
Backing: Michael Miller Flower Shop print
Binding: blue flower print from Spotlight
Pieced and quilted by: me, appliqué by my friend Helen.

Linking up with finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts.  I'm also linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday which I'm delighted to see is being continued over at my friend Alyce's blog, Blossom Heart Quilts.

Sew Cute Tuesday

This quilt is the first of my fourth quarter finishes. I'll be linking up with Leanne at she can quilt as part of the 2013 Finish Along in due course.

she can quilt

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Saturday 26 October 2013

Caturday Wisdom #42

Take time to relax, no matter how hard it is. Kita

Phwoar. Dat ass doe. Thanks to Anne from Play Crafts for sending in this glorious booty-shot, if you have any of your pet pics to share then send them to adrianneonthewindyside at gmail dot com.
Have a great weekend, I hope to get some sun just like Kita.

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Introducing Oakshott Fabrics

I have to say, I've been incredibly lucky with my sponsors.  Today I'm thrilled to introduce Oakshott Fabrics as my newest sponsor.  I approached Oakshott Fabrics because I am totally crazy about their fabrics and after I sent off the email I crossed my fingers and toes that they would want to work with me.  I was so happy when they said yes!

Oakshott Fabrics make the most gorgeous luminous hand woven shot cottons (a different colour thread is used for each of the warp and the weft of the fabric).   I've used their fabrics in several projects, starting with my Rubies in the Rough quilt made using a fat eighth Ruby Reds bundle.  You can find the tutorial for this quilt here.

Rubies in the Rough

The Oakshott shot cottons have an amazing sheen and depth of colour.  In the photo above, each hexagon is made of the same Oakshott fabric, and you can see how different the colour can look depending on the angle from which you are viewing it.

I know shot cottons have a bit of a bad reputation for being stretchy or slippery or thin but you won't get any of that with Oakshotts. They look like silk but they are 100% cotton and they behave like cotton - they iron out beautifully and are a delight to sew with.  For instance, I had no trouble sewing the wee tiny scraps left over from my Rubies in the Rough quilt into a panel for this matching cushion.

Oakshott pillow and quilt

I also used Oakshotts and a mixture of improv and ultra precise piecing to make this Butterfly Ghosts mini quilt.  Sometimes freezer paper can stick to delicate fabrics and be hard to remove (I've had bad experiences with freezer paper and double gauze) but it was just fine with the Oakshotts in this project.

Butterfly ghosts

I especially like the colour packs and blocks, pre-cut bundles of fabrics ranging in size from fat eighths to half metres - there are some glorious combinations.  My low volume and Oakshotts plusses quilt is made with the Sunrise bundle.

Low Volume Crosses Quilt

I bought a fat quarter bundle and I have loads left over.  Look how pretty the fabrics are all together in colour order!  This is possibly the only bad thing about Oakshotts - the bundles are so pretty that it can be hard to open them up and cut into them!

Apart from the fabrics, I'm really enjoying working with Oakshott Fabrics.  It's a small family owned company and Michael Oakshott is really great to deal with.  I recommend that you sign up for the newsletter (I did, long before I approached Oakshott Fabrics for sponsorship) to make sure you keep up to date with new products and any promotions.

For anyone who hasn't tried Oakshotts yet - be warned, Oakshotts are highly addictive!  So, any other Oakshott addicts out there?

Saturday 19 October 2013

Caturday Wisdom #41

Let sleeping dogs lie. It's the perfect opportunity to gaze at them from afar. Whiskey

Whiskey (background) displayed his slightly unsophisticated social skills a couple of weeks ago when my brother brought round the very pretty Holly for a visit. Luckily what Whiskey lacks in social skills he makes up for in tricks, cuteness and loyalty. 
Hope you get to see a dog this weekend, those are the best weekends.
Normal cat programming will (probably) return next week. I'm not organised to do these in advance...
Pet pics to adrianneonthewindyside at gmail dot com.

Friday 18 October 2013

My design wall

So, way back when I first started reading quilting blogs, people would write about their "design walls" and I was pretty skeptical.  I mean really, isn't taking over a whole wall in your house just for quilting stuff a little bit excessive?

And then I got sick of laying quilts out on the floor and the cats running over my careful layouts and disturbing them, so I made this really excellent "temporary" design wall with batting and painter's tape.  Well, my skepticism ended pretty quickly after that.  It's wonderful having a vertical surface to lay quilts out on!  

So that "temporary" design wall became essentially a permanent fixture.  There were two problems though - it was too small, and from time to time the painter's tape would give out and I would come home to find the whole thing (and usually a quilt layout) on the floor.  Not ideal.  So I decided to bite the bullet and put up something more permanent.

My new design wall

This is my nice big new permanent design wall.  It's 85" high by 100" wide, so has plenty of space to lay out a large project (or to work on several small projects as I'm doing here).  I stuck with batting as my surface of choice - I did think about using a flannel sheet or similar but fabric doesn't stick as well to flannel as to batting and I didn't want to have to pin everything on.

I don't have much in the way of DIY skills but I'm willing to give things a go, and for that reason I was quite proud of my efforts at making this design wall.  In case anyone else is interested, I'll describe my method because it was pretty easy and did not require help from anyone else (well, the nice chap at Bunnings (the hardware store) helped me find stuff, but that doesn't really count, does it?).

This design wall is hung in essentially the same way as you might hang a quilt, using a hanging sleeve, a long skinny piece of wood and a couple of brackets on the wall.  So, first I added a really rough hanging sleeve to my batting.  Unlike a quilt hanging sleeve this is not beautifully finished because no-one will ever see it.  I just cut a strip of muslin into 3 pieces approximately 30" by 4", and sewed them to the back of the batting leaving a gap in between each.  I used the longest stitch length of my sewing machine so that if I ever want to use this batting in a quilt, it will be easy to unpick the stitching.

Design wall 2

I then measured the distance between the two gaps in the hanging sleeve.  This was important because it dictated where my brackets should go.  I then marked the points on the wall where the brackets should go, using a tape measure to ensure they were the right distance apart and a level to make sure they were the same height.  I then screwed a plasterboard/drywall anchor (like this one) into the wall at each point.  I don't have a drill so I just used a screwdriver for this bit - it took some effort but it really wasn't too hard.

With the help of the nice man at Bunnings (who didn't look at me like I was totally insane when I explained what I wanted to do), I found some curtain brackets that were just the right size to slot the piece of wood I bought into.  I screwed them to the wall, slipped the wood through the hanging sleeve, and clipped the wood into the brackets (which conveniently line up perfectly with the gaps in the hanging sleeve) and Bob's your uncle.  Excluding the batting, the total cost of making the design wall was less than $30 and it took me a couple of hours, including the trip to Bunnings.  Totally worthwhile, and in the absence of any particularly vicious cat attacks, this design wall should last a long time.

So tell me - do you have a design wall?  Is it permanent like mine or do you move it around, or maybe you just have a design floor, like I did for the longest time?

Linking up with finish it up friday with crazy mom quilts.

Wednesday 16 October 2013

WIP Wednesday

Just thought I would drop in with a little update on the cowl I'm making with this knit fabric.  I still have to hand stitch the turning gap closed but it's hidden in this photo.

Soft knit cowl in progress

I had a horrible cold this weekend so my face was not fit to be seen!  I'm feeling a lot better now thank goodness.

This cowl is very simple to make but I'm thinking about putting together a tutorial together with a few tips on sewing knit fabric that I learned in the process of making this.  Anyone interested?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Tuesday 15 October 2013

Tuesday stacking

Just popping in to say hi and to let you know that I picked this week's Tuesday Stack for Stitchbird Fabrics.  It's based around my very favourite Alexander Henry print - this one:

You definitely want to head over here and check it out because there is fabric to be won!

Monday 14 October 2013

Finish Along Fourth Quarter Goals

1. My Christmas Leftovers quilt.  This one is basted and I actually have the binding prepped as well so should be a pretty sure thing.

Cherry Christmas baby quilt

2. My Blackberry Winter Blossom Quilt.  I will certainly finish this one - I am just hand stitching the binding down so it is very nearly done.

Blackberry Winter Blossom Quilt - quilting in progress

3. My Garden for Birds quilt.  I would like to hand this one over at the baby shower on the 27th of October, so it definitely will be finished before this quarter is out.

Garden for Birds quilt still in progress

4. My Cherry Christmas scrappy trip along quilt. I'd like this one finished by Christmas, obviously.  I only have 4 finished blocks but the other 32 are well on their way so I think it's realistic to expect a finish.

Cherry Christmas Scrappy Trip Along blocks

5. My Top of the Lake quilt. Despite finishing the top months ago, it is still sitting around basted but not quilted.  Possibly because my quilting idea is rather ambitious and I'm a bit scared of actually doing the quilting...

Top of the Lake Quilt

6. A quilt using my bleached fabrics.  To be honest I don't really think I'll finish this one but I'm including it in case I get a surge of inspiration!

Fabric experimentation

7. Cowl made using this knit fabric.  This one is actually nearly done too - after a bit of battle sewing the knit fabric I just need to hand stitch the turning gap.

Knit fabric

8. A second version of the bright modern baby quilt I made earlier this year - as you can see, this is quilted and just needs binding.

Bright Modern Baby Quilt v2.0

9. A rather lovely (and very bright) quilt I've been working on quietly for the last little while - more to reveal on this one.

So pink!

Is it wrong that I kind of wish I had a bigger list?  I do have several other projects planned which will be finished before the year is out, but they're not started yet so I can't include them.  Anyway, if you are participating in the finish along, make sure you link up your list very soon.

Thank you so much to Leanne for running a great finish along this year - it's been a great motivator for me (and lots of other people, by the sounds of things)!

she can quilt

Saturday 12 October 2013

Caturday Wisdom #40


I hope someone gets the reference...

This looks horribly cruel but I assure you that both cats truly appreciate a new bag, particularly the rectangular ones (all the better to shoot out of at speed) and Ivy just managed to get there first. You will remember that Ivy's face just looks like that. Some of us can't help it.

As always, pet advice submissions are welcomed at adrianneonthewindyside at gmail dot com. Have a great weekend!

Friday 11 October 2013

Christmas Leftovers quilt top finished

Aaaages ago, I started another scrappy trip along quilt with Aneela Hoey's adorable Cherry Christmas line.  Several months later, and I still have only 4 completed blocks (although I have made progress on the next 32!).  However, because I used fat quarters to make my blocks, I had two strips left over from each block, and I thought I'd use these leftovers to make a wee baby quilt.

Cherry Christmas baby quilt 

This quilt is just pretty randomly pieced together, although I did try to get a somewhat even colour distribution.  I'm very happy with how this quilt top turned out.  So happy, in fact, that even though I made it with the intention of donating it to the neo-natal unit at Wellington Hospital, I am tempted to keep it for myself.  I won't, of course, but I want to!  I do think that this is a particularly good quilt to donate - it's totally gender neutral, and it's Christmassy but not so much that you couldn't leave it out all year round.

Cherry Christmas baby quilt
This little guy is all basted up ready for quilting.  I think I'll use the same design I'm planning to use on my scrappy trip along quilt - that will give me a good chance to see how it looks with these fabrics.  Now, to work on my scrappy trip along version.  Here's hoping I can get it done by Christmas.

Linking up with finish it up friday at crazy mom quilts.

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