Sunday, 30 November 2014

A small boy's quilt

A few weeks back I dragged my small boy's July Stars quilt off his bed and outside for a photo shoot. I finished this quilt a year ago. When I finished it, I wasn't sure I really liked it, but seeing my small boy tucked up with it every night this last year has completely changed my mind. What was I thinking!? I love it now!

I used a free pattern called July Stars by Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew. Most of the fabrics are from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane, the remaining fabrics were from my stash. The quilt was pieced over the Christmas holidays while the local quilt shops were closed so I challenged myself to use only stash fabrics, it meant there were a few fabric choices that I wasn't in love with. Now I kind of love those odd choices.

I free motion quilted with a squiggly line, fun and fast! The backing is a Kona Cotton solid (Baby Blue I think).

We took loads of photos, here are a few of them.







Have you ever changed your mind about a quilt after finishing it?

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Gift Wrapped Pillow {block tutorial}

I've finished my Holiday Pillow for The Great Pillow Fight Swap on Flickr. It's always good to sew those last few stitches on the binding. Here's a little sneak peek...
I wrote about the Denyse Schmidt fabric that was the inspiration for the pillow in this post. Edited to add: I've now made three pillows with this block, see them in this post.
 
The block is based on an uneven 5-patch grid (I think I've got that right, I had to google it!!).  Here's a quick tutorial in case you'd like to have a go at making some of these blocks.

Fabric requirements for one 4 1/2" finished block

This block is scrap friendly, if you're wondering what scraps might work here's an indication of fabric requirements.
Outside colour (green), minimum of 1 1/2" x 16" or 3" x 8"
Inside colour (red), minimum of 1 1/2" x 6" or 3" x 3"
Centre cross (white), minimum of 1" x 10" or  2" x 5"
Centre square (green solid), 1" x 1"
 

Cutting instructions to make one 4 1/2" finished block


 
Outside colour (green)

  • Four 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" rectangles  [TIP if you're using directional fabric you may choose to cut two rectangles horizontally and two rectangles vertically to keep the fabric all going in one direction]
  • Four 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" squares
Inside Colour (red)
  • Four 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" squares
Centre Cross (white)
  • Four 1" x 2 1/2" strips
Centre Square (Kona Lime)
  • One 1" x 1" square

Directions

Lay the pieces out before sewing together. If you're using directional fabrics, make sure you lay out your fabrics in your desired direction.  
 
Start by sewing the two 1 1/2" squares together, so in my example, sew the red and green 1 1/2" squares together. Press (after some experimenting I decided it worked best to press this seam open). Then sew these two squares to the 2 1/2" rectangle to complete the four corners. Press (see below for my pressing tips).
Add the centre strip, to the corner blocks. Press.
Sew the middle row together. Press.
Sew the three rows together. And you guessed it, press!

The finished block, I love how it looks on point...
Or keep it simple...
 

My pressing tips

When pressing I pressed the first seam open (between the two squares), it just seemed to sit better that way. After that I pressed in the direction of least resistance. Because I like nesting my seams, I pressed the seams of the centre square in the middle row, away from the centre square. For the final seams between the rows, I pressed my seams open.
 
If you use this tutorial, I'd love to know!
#giftwrappedpillow
#woodenspoonquilts

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

WIP Wednesday ~ making progress

I'm on a mission to make a dent in my WIP list before the end of the year. I've dug out a few long term WIPs and I've put them to the top of pile. As a reward to myself, I've also made a start on something new...

An Anna Maria Horner feather quilt has been on my bucket list for the last few years. Maybe next year! In the meantime I thought a reduced feather would look good on the side of a Sew Together Bag. I didn't put a lot of thought into the whole process, I used the STB that Andrea had made me as a rough guide for size, I could see that the 50% feather should fit, especially if I set it on an angle. I made up the sizes for the setting pieces as I went, not an ideal way to piece but fun and fast! Then I thought I had better get back to that WIP list.

As I mentioned in my last post, I finished up the remaining six envelopes in the SWAK swap. The very last envelope is my favourite from my year in envelopes. I used the Math Class Doodles Spoonflower print that Katy sent me in a swap, I adore that print!


This afternoon I finished quilting my daughter's Out to Sea Penny Patch quilt. I used Rachel at Stitched in Color's Dogwood quilting tutorial. I love the softness that all those gentle curves add to the quilt. I'll be looking for excuses to use this quilting pattern again!
And... I've pieced together one of the two do.Good.Stitches quilts that I need to finish before the end of the year. Take that WIP list!

Do you have a few WIPs that you plan to finish before the end of the year?

Linking up to WIP Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 10 November 2014

A year in envelopes

I've made a lot of envelopes this year! This is most of them, but not all of them! It's been a lot of fun taking part in the Sealed With A Kiss (S.W.A.K.) swap but I have to say I'm really thrilled to have finished the last envelope! Mel organised us all back in January and we've been sewing up to four envelopes every month since. We each listed our preferences for our envelope blocks so there have been loads of different themes and colours throughout the year. July was my month to receive, I received so many wonderful blocks which I'll share with you in another post.
A year in Envelopes
The envelope block is a paper pieced pattern from the book Patchwork, Please by Ayumi Takahashi. I used the paper piecing technique that Merran taught me, I love her technique! It involves folding the foundation paper back out of the way and then sewing next to the fold, rather than sewing through the paper. The big advantage is that there is no paper to remove at the end. There are other advantages as well, it's my favourite way to paper piece.  I plan to share the technique with you soon!



Wednesday, 5 November 2014

WIP Wednesday ~ One or two WIPS

I have so many WIPs on the go at the moment, I'm determined to finish a few of them.  My Pillow Fight Swap pillow has been sitting nearly finished for the last couple of weeks.

Untitled

Last night I knuckled down and finished the quilting, I think I'd been procrastinating because I wasn't sure about how to quilt it. In the end I quilted straight lines, 1/4" apart, in the sashing. I love the texture the dense quilting gives and because I haven't quilted the pieced squares, they really pop from the pillow.

Cotton and Steel fabrics arrived at my LQS just last week (so exciting!) and I found the perfect binding in a print from Homebody by Kimberly Kight. I also found a Cotton and Steel print for the back of the pillow (I'm keeping that one under wraps for now).


Just a little more hand stitching and I can call this a finish.


I've also been quilting my Penny Patch quilt. I started this quilt last November as part of Rachel at Stitched in Color's Penny Patch Quilt Along. It will be good to call it finished! I'm using Rachel's Dogwood quilting tutorial. It's been a while since I've practised my FMQ, my stitches are not perfect by any stretch, but I'm in love with the overall look of the quilting and I'm sure I'll use this design again.


Linking up to WIP Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, 1 November 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival ~ Original Design Entry

AmysCreativeSide.com
 
There're now only hours left to enter Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival. Yes, I've left my second entry to the closing hours! It's been a busy week in my household, with Ballet rehearsals followed by two Productions and today is my daughter's 8th birthday. Luckily I'm out of bed before everyone else so I have a little time to write this post!

My second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival is my Aerial Kisses Pillow, made for Marika in The Great Pillow Fight Swap. I'm entering it in the original design category.

Pillow

I wrote about this pillow in my first blog post here. My main inspiration was Carolyn Friedlander's beautiful Aerial Grove Quilt. Carolyn's quilt has brightly coloured, appliqued circles on a low volume background. I wasn't too sure about my needle-turn applique skills so decided to use a pieced block instead. The circles in the Aerial Grove quilt are laid out in rows and columns with a little space between each circle. I designed a cross block that could be laid out in the same way as those circles (tutorial here). I also love the use of graduated colour in the Aerial Grove quilt, so I used that in this pillow too. For the background I chose low volume fabrics in white, cream and grey. It was the first time I'd limited my low volume fabrics to those with no additional colour and I really like how it turned out.
 
Peek at the backing fabric..

 
My favourite photo is this one that Marika posted on IG.
So happy that my Kisses pillow finally arrived at Marika's place :D Love how it looks on her couch! Regram from @marika_makes
 
Quilt Stats;
Quilt Size: 24" x 24"
Block Size: 4 1/4" finished
Backing: Small Gathering in Azalea from Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner
Binding: Buttoned Up in Pomegranate from Good Folks by Anna Maria Horner
Pillow Closure: Covered zipper in the back
Quilting: 1" cross hatch grid

 
Voting opens in just a few hours, you can get to the Festival by clicking on the button at the top of this post. It's fun to see what everyone has been making! Have a great weekend everyone, I'm off to prepare a birthday breakfast!

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