Thursday, July 31, 2014

Catching up with Jane

The piecing continues as I play catch up with the Austen Family Album block of the week by Barbara Brackman. I am still a bit behind but I did manage to put 4 more blocks together. Whenever possible I am trying to make fabric selections that will remind me of Jane Austen and her novels but not every block seems to lend itself to the concept. But I still had fun with these and in the last block I was able to include a bit of toile with a girl playing what might be a pianoforte. She reminds me of Darcy's sister Georgianna in Pride and Predjudice. I love using the tiny dot fabric too as it reminds me of the sashing fabric of the quilt made by Jane herself. These details are really just for my own amusement but they certainly add fun little memories for me.

I really do enjoy working on sample style quilts. It is a pleasure to select the fabric for each block though it can be tricky to make sure the whole quilt remains balanced. I am still not sure how I will set these but I put them all up on the design wall just to see how they were looking together.

Finally I have been playing with the batiks that I showed in a previous post. I made a bunch of simple hour glass blocks from one set of charm squares and some added fabrics. It is looking a little darker than I had hoped but I am still working out a plan for these so I am ok with them. I don't think I am a big batik fan yet but I do love the colors.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Hidden Forest finished

Wow, it feels really great to have an actual finish for a change. Since my longarm will not be set up until the basement is finished, and that will be awhile, I decided I better start doing some quilting on my domestic machine. I have so many tops sitting around that it is becoming rather overwhelming so I decided it was best to start small. You may remember this from last year, my adaptation of hidden Forest by A Vintage Spool. I love how the quilting turned out but I think I need to start working on a new filler pattern, I keep using this paisley design cause it is just so easy and fun!



Monday, July 21, 2014

An Appliqué slump means more piecing

Today I realized that I have not been doing much appliqué lately. I assume I am just having a slump and I will get back to it soon. Still working away on the Di Ford mystery but not much to show right now.

Instead I started another quilt, Science Fair by Jaybird quilts. Frankly at the cost of the special ruler I figured I better get some use out of it to justify the expense! One of those impulse buys that shocked me at the cash register. Anyway the pattern uses 2 1/2 in strips and I had a jelly roll just waiting to be used. The lap size only requires 26 strips and I originally planned to just use strips from my Comma by Zen Chic jelly roll. But sadly I could not find a suitable background in my stash to work with both the black and the grey in the line.

Instead I decided to split the jelly roll, add a few strips from my stash and I ended up with enough to make a lap size and a baby size. Here is the lap size fabric with the dark fabric for background and a few of the blocks laid out. I decided to remove the yellow and add a bit of teal. Yes, I do love this color combination and it goes well in my guest room so I keep coming back to it when I am working in brights!

And here is how they are on the design wall right now. I need to ponder this layout to make sure it doesn't need some adjustments.

And the fabric left for the baby quilt with the light solid background. It reminds me of bumblebees so perhaps a few little bee accessories would make this a fun baby gift.

Finally, since I ended up with one extra of all the triangles, I arranged them into this large scrappy hexagon and will make a little pillow.


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Tote bag fun

On a recent road trip I stopped in a quilt shop and saw a fun fabric line that would be perfect for my SIL. It is called Bee My Honey by Moda and since she loves bees and the line was in colors that she likes I decided to pick up 2 charm packs and a bit of yardage. But frankly I had no idea what I was going to do with it. Should I just send her the fabric or make her something. She is my long distance quilting buddy and good friend and is always making quilted gifts for others so I decided that I wanted to see something for her. But what? Since I knew she was interested in starting more handwork projects I thought she might like a tote bag and accessories that she could store her handwork project. And here is what I came up with. A Charm square tote from Sewn Up by Teresa Down Under, a little zippered bag, and a pincushion. The pincushion was made using the bee design and pincushion pattern from Raspberry Rabbits, Fellowship of the flowers.

The package was received yesterday and it seemed to be a hit. I also sent the extra charm pack and fabric so she can have some sewing fun too.

And when I was sorting through the charm squares, I realized that the fabric line had two different colorways, one with red and one without. Since my SIL loves red she got the red colorways. But my favorite is aqua and there were enough charm squares that I made a tote and accessories for me too! The navy dot fabric is from a different fabric line and I had enough for the 2 sets. I just pulled the aqua and lining fabric from my stash. The pincushion and needle case are from a Bird Brain Designs pattern that I have had sitting around for years.

So fun to have a few finishes for a change!

I also got caught up with my Quilt Doodles Mystery BOM. This month was a row of cups of hot drinks. It was cute but since I am making this for my little grandson I thought a row of mittens might work better. I drafted the mitten row and sewed it up and am very pleased with the results.

Here is the quilt so far. There are still a few rows to go and it will be fun to see what August brings.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Batiks - Me?

If you have read my blog for awhile you may have noticed that I do not have a love of Batiks. It is not that I don't find them attractive, I have just never felt drawn to make a quilt out of them. Until now. After making some new pillows and a table runner for my new home I kept thinking that a new line of batik fabric from Laundry Basket Quilts by Edyta Sitar might look nice in my room. The line is called Snowbirds and after seeing the prints I realized that there was no aqua so I sorta let the idea drop. Then yesterday I was in my LQS and saw a charm pack of the batiks. Hmm, if I added some aqua it could work. And so I bought a few charm packs. Once I got home I checked my stash and realized that I did actually have a few pieces of aqua, teal and neutral batik and an idea started brewing. Off to another LQS to pick up a few more charm packs, get this they were $9.50 at one store and I bought the two they had, next store $12.00 each! Anyway, I also got a little more yardage including some from these me fabric line in case I want borders and was able to get several yards of the same teal that was in my stash.

So this is what I have, though only one charm pack is showing and you can see the fabric of the table runner that inspired me in the corner.

I am not sure exactly what I am doing with this yet but I have a few ideas. I think this is going to be a fun, design as I go project and it may end up very simple. These batiks are certainly out of my comfort zone yet they are somehow speaking to me. How strange!


Thursday, July 10, 2014

Gypsy Wife, a completed top

Ta dah! The Gypsy Wife is now a completed top.

This was certainly a skill building pattern and my SIzl and I agree that we are much more comfortable with set in seams with this one! But it was so much fun I am sorta sad to be finished. This is one pattern that kept me interested from beginning to end. Here are a few more detail shots.

Now to figure out how to quilt it!

And just for fun a picture of my sweet granddaughter all ready for a swim at the pool this morning. I just love living so close.


Monday, July 7, 2014

Addicted to the Gypsy Wife Quilt

Wow, the more I work on this quilt the more I am loving it. I am not sure if it is the finished product so much as the process that I am enjoying here but I just can't seem to stop and I am having so much fun! Anyway here is where I am so far. This is Section 1 all sewn together.

Section 2.

Section 1 & 2 sewn together

Section 4, whew an easy one!

Section 7. This one was not so easy. It was actually quite tricky to sew together but fortunately all the parts fit perfectly.

And finally here is how the design wall looks right now. As you can see, if you look closely, the vertical strips are arranged so they flow through the quilt in continuous lines. To make my sewing easier I cut the vertical strips for each from top to bottom as I move from right to left. Then once all the vertical strips for a section have been cut I sew that section together. Lots of exercise moving from design wall to cutting table to sewing machine as each strip is cut and put into place. Such fun to pick each fabric as I go along though I must admit I have made a few changes along the way.

I hope you are enjoying my journey!


Sunday, July 6, 2014

Arranging the Gypsy Wife Quilt

Well the time has come in this process to start figuring out how all these blocks are going to come together. As I mentioned previously, this room has no space for a design wall but this quilt really cannot be put together without some place to arrange the blocks so I assembled my portable design wall. I propped it against some of my stacked wire drawers and, though not ideal, it gets the job done.

Now on to the arrangement of the blocks. It took me over an hour just to figure out where these went. I really wish the block sizes were better marked in the layout diagrams as frankly it took lots and lots of page flipping to get this far.

Once I got those blocks up I realized that It would be best to consider color and fabric balance as the final blocks are made. Again, dimensions and more labeling in the layout diagrams would really help here. It is SO time consuming just trying to figure out what block fills what area even after I have sat down and tried to mark up my pattern.

Anyway, I changed a block as one of the fabrics in the first photo just wasn't working for me. And those two little blocks on the table, still not sure where they belong! So glad I am still loving the fabrics and colors in this one, just wish the pattern was a little more user friendly.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Gypsy wife continues

Work continues slowly on my Gypsy Wife Quilt. We had to make a trip to the inlaws in Ohio which meant several sewing free days but I have been adding to the pile of finished blocks.

This quilt is really making a mess of the cutting table!