Wednesday, June 25, 2014

More Gypsy Wife

Well, we survived our time with the grandkids and after a day of rest I got back to the Gypsy Wife. I love sewing these blocks but fabric selection is something of a challenge. I decided that my first few blocks were looking a bit controlled so I am trying to go a bit more random with these next ones.

I found the fabric selection especially difficult in these Old Maids Puzzle blocks.

I also spent some time cutting some of the strips that are used to set it all together. I love how they look together so hopefully that will translate to the finished quilt.

And here are all the blocks so far. I am really missing my design wall!



Tuesday, June 17, 2014

A touch of Black

Just a couple more Gypsy Wife blocks made today. I added a bit of black to the mix and I think it is just what I was looking for to make things pop. What do you think?

I hope to get a few more of these done tomorrow and then will be spending 4 days watching the grandkids while Mommy and Daddy are away. These two are the sweetest little ones but it is exhausting for Grammie and Paw Paw to keep up with them. Wish us luck!



Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Gypsy Wife quilt and more Austen blocks

This week my SIL and I started and othe Quilt Along. We live hundreds of miles apart but both share a love of quilting and for the past year or so have been quilting together via the Internet. Sometimes we find a free online mystery or QAL but recently my SIL discovered this quilt pattern and we agreed it would make a great project to do together. The pattern is The Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell and I was able to order the pattern from Sue Spargo's online store. It is an Australian pattern and I love its wonderful use of color and different blocks in a fun, unusual setting.

As usual, we are each doing our own version and it is so fun to see how our different fabric selections come together into our own quilts. Here are the fabrics I started with, lots of fabric from two different lines of Lily Ashburyy fabric by Moda.

And here are my first 4 blocks.

From the beginning I wondered if I might want to add some black into this mix. Any thoughts? I have pulled a few fabrics with black and will probably try some in the next block. I am thinking that it may well make the quilt a bit more exciting.

Hopefully my SIL won't mind if I post her first 4 blocks. Aren't they great!

Generally we text each other pictures, comments and questions as we ago along and It really does add to the fun of a project. We may not live near one another but I am so happy that we can still quilt together.

And finally the next 2 blocks for the Austen Family Album quilt.

I was happy to be able to add a dancing scene in the center of this block. Makes me think of the many balls in Jane's novels.



Wednesday, June 11, 2014

The mysteries continue

I am all caught up with the Austen Family Album and can now relax with just one block per week. I really like the addition of the lighter fabrics and am enjoying each of these blocks. This week I finished 2 more. The first is called London roads and I was excited to find a suitable road fabric in my stash for the center. I am not thrilled with the second block but am at least pleased to be able to use more sampler fabric.

And I finally decided to get started on Part 3 of the Di Ford Mystery quilt in Quiltmania magazine. This part is made up of an appliqued border that includes regular appliqued leaves, broderie perse flowers and some EPP hexagon flowers. Since I am using my own fabric selections, rather than buying a kit, I have had to make a few changes in the broderie perse as I do not have as many different flowers to choose from. As a result all my borders will be the same and I am pleased with this layout.

Ready to get stitching!


Friday, June 6, 2014

More Austen Family Album blocks

Today I made 3 more blocks for the Austen Family Album quilt and I am almost caught up! Once I made the block using the medallion of the woman that I showed in the last post, I was inspired to add a few more Jane Austen inspired details.

In this block's center I used a piece of fabric that looks like some stitching that Jane or her sister might have done.

This block includes a background fabric that looks like a stitched sampler.

And this block uses a fabric with script writing reminding me of how she would have written her books by hand.

Each block seems to be more fun than the last and I hope I am able to find other interesting fabrics in my stash to continue to add little details. Such a perfect project to ease back into sewing.


Thursday, June 5, 2014

Austen Family Album has begun

Back in March, when I was still living in Florida and wondering if our house would ever sell, I read that Barbara Brackman was starting a new blog Austen Family Album to host a block of the week featuring Jane Austen and her family. I am a bit of a Jane Austen geek and knew it would be a fun project for me. I pulled all the fabrics and was excited to begin when our house sold just as the first block was released. As I was unpacking my sewing room I discovered all the fabrics I has selected and decided it was not too late to join in. Here are my first 5 blocks.


Just 4 more and I will be all caught up. These blocks are released each Sunday on the blog and you can start anytime as the instructions are included in the blog post as well as some historical information about the Austen family. I know that the woman in the last block is not quite from the right time period but she reminds me of Jane and I could not resist!


Monday, June 2, 2014

I'm Sewing Again - My Temporary Sewing Space

At last I am back to sewing. This is just my temporary sewing space but it is finally organized enough that I can get back to some fun. Every time I change spaces I think long and hard about how to make the space work for me using some configurations that were working in my previous space and trying something new in other areas.

You might notice that I love using furniture from IKEA. The tables are sturdy and super lightweight which means I can move then around if necessary. My main piecing machine is in a Horn sewing table and I can slide the IKEA table up to make a large table surface. With all the appliqué prep that I do a large table area is a must for me. This time I set up an L shaped space with an IKEA cube type shelf behind me in my appliqué prep area. It is also near my light box and copy machine both of which are in constant use during the prep work.

Here is just part of my stash stored in these wire baskets, again from IKEA. Unfortunately they recently changed the design of these baskets so I won't be getting any more. :( I previous areas these were stacked 3 high, but due to the sloped walls in this space they can only go 2 high. A quick trip to Home Depot and I had a 4' x 8' laminated board cut to fit the top and I was able to add a shelf for all my Longaberger baskets. I have had these for many years and I use them to hold projects, supplies, scraps of fabric etc. I also think they add a bit of a decorative accent in this space.

Based on some previous comments, you might wonder why I consider this space temporary. Amazingly I have lots more fabric that does not fit in this space, a longarm machine and I can't set up a design wall in here. I still can't find several things which must be in other boxes in that unfinished basement, but I can sew again which makes me happy. This morning I even made May's block from Quilt Doodles BOM.