Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Possum Magic - Round 3

Hello Possums,

I've been busy working on my border for Wendy's Possum Magic quilt ... and boy have I had some fun with this one!

This is how I received the quilt from the lovely Jo ...

Pondering a 3rd border on the design mattress

I think Jo was on the right track adding some pink into the mix ... it brightens the quilt up a bit and reflects the specks of colour included in Wendy's original centre as well as complimenting the gorgeous fabrics Sharon used in her 2nd border.


I still thought that the lime green star was a tad too prominent amongst all the blue and purple so I decided to add a ring of colour to help balance out the star.  I also decided that my border had to have a larger scale than the previous two borders, again to balance out the star.



Along came the perfect charm pack through @cotton_factory_destash on IG.

It's lovely jewel tones compliment this quilt beautifully whilst still adding a zing of colour.

Michael Miller Gem Tones

If you have a little boo-peep at Wendy's blog you'll be treated to an abundance of colour on colour quilts, so I thought (and hoped) that all this colour wouldn't offend her.


Tada!


and an inside shot to get another perspective of all that colour ...


and a stained glass shot just because I can :)



I'll be sending this lovely peacock quilt off to Carla now to work her magic.  Happy Wednesday everyone!

Serena xx

I'll be linking up to WIP Wednesday and Let's Be Social ... hope to see you there!






Monday, 10 November 2014

Take That Class

I just finished reading Alyce's post about her 15 minutes with Weeks Ringle ... truly inspiring.  You can go over and read the entire post yourself but one paragraph stood out to me in particular  ...  it was in line with attending classes at your local quilt shop vs soaking in information from an online format in the comfort of your own home.

"just keep swimming" says Dory
Mostly I've been going the online route myself.  Firstly, because it is easier to plug in when the kids are asleep rather than arrange babysitters/or co-ordinate with hubby's busy work schedule so I can leave the house for the day and secondly, we don't usually get a lot of the "big names" visiting us here in the most isolated city in the world (hmm, I wonder why?).

... just keep practising ...
But why wait for a big name, when there are plenty of skilled up quilters right on my door step?  I got wind of a beginners FMQ class running at a LQS recently and jumped on the class list.  I'm so glad I did.

I have been teaching myself how to FMQ for a while now ... again, online, when the kiddies are all tucked in ... and to be fair the information out there online is amazing and it's really helped me to nut most of it out and then I know it's up to me to practise, practise, practise.



BUT nothing beats a human being standing over your shoulder, tweaking your machine just that little smidge to make ALL the difference to the quality of your stitches.  A full day of practising to gain confidence in a room full of people at the same level as you.  Confidence to try new quilting patterns because you were just shown how ... how to backtrack properly ... how to get yourself out of that corner ... how to not get yourself in that corner in the first place!

Still a long way to go, but so glad I took that class

Kind words of experience from a human standing in the same room as you .. nothing beats it.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

The Quick (not Brown) Fox

A Quick Brown Fox quilt for a Kindy friend ... 


... she's having a little boy and I jumped at the chance to make a boy's quilt for once! 

Front


It's a quick appliqué quilt ...

Back: Master Monty fancies himself a bit of a fox

... but it gave me a chance to try out the Trapunto technique and I love, love, love the effect.  Especially on a simple little quilt like this ... it's nice to have a little extra love added to it.

It would puff out more if I quilted heavily around it

I originally wanted to try to a wood-grain FMQ pattern to fill in all of that negative space but in the end I chickened out decided on a floor board pattern instead ... might try the wood-grain on a cushion first ... baby steps


But how about this easy floorboard pattern?



I started by sewing vertical straight lines at 3.5" intervals and then some horizontal straight lines to form the plank ends.  To make the nail heads I used stitch 29 in mode 2 of my Janome Horizon Memory Craft 8200 QC.  It's in the button hole section ... you might have something similar on your machine?



I was having trouble deciding between red or blue fabric for binding ... I put the call out to the IG community (I'm @sewgiving) and blue was the favourite so I took their advice ... thank you clever people!

I'm finally labelling my quilts ... can you spy it?

I used some ... erm ... unconventional fabric to make this quilt.  Rest-assured it's all 100% cotton but the front 'denim-look' fabric is a table cloth from Ikea and the backing is a drill cotton from Spotlight. 


They were both fine to work with ... though the tablecloth was a little stretchy ... I just love the look of the denim though for a little boys quilt.

I'd like to keep experimenting with soft denim in the future but need to find a better source of fabric than an Ikea tablecloth!  Any suggestions are most welcome!

Quilt Stats:
The Quick Brown Fox
Size: 44" x  41" (Baby Quilt)
Fabrics: Ikea Solfint Tablecloth and Spotlight Drill
Wadding: Soft and Cosy 100% Cotton
Binding: Windham Fabrics "A is for ..."

One last pic of the fox basking in some sunshine ...

Serena x

I'll be linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Fabric Tuesday, Let's Be Social, TGIFF, Finished it up Friday



Sunday, 5 October 2014

Plum Crazy!

Hello Sunday Stasher's!

Have you just been showing off your latest new Fat Quarter bundle over at Molli Sparkles' place?

Not sure what to do with it yet?  Well let me help you!

Laura from Quokka Quilts has just released her first self published pattern that will show off those babies perfectly.

Feature prints, small patterns, they'll all get their moment in the limelight here ...

Laura made her version using V and Co's Simply Color

The smallest quilt size will swallow up 6 FQ's in a flash (no waste people!) and the largest will take care of 9 FQ's ... yes, you shouldda, couldda, wouldda bought the bigger bundle!

All the FQ's are cut the same way .. so if you're confident you can layer, measure (cross your fingers and toes) and cut ... job done!

In fact this pattern reminds me of a quote "Any fool can make something complicated.  It takes a genius to make it simple" - Woody Guthrie.  You'll know what I mean when you see Laura's cutting plan - genius!

To make this quilt I would use a Fat Quarter ... in each colour ... of Art Gallery Essentials, Girl About Town.  I like that these fabrics are technically blenders ... or understudies  ... and would have their moment to shine as the main act in this pattern.

Colours: Lime, Rose, Mint, Navy, Orange and Rouge


Laura is offering her pattern for 20% off this week!  Go here and enter the code Plum20 ... or leave me a comment and go in the running to win a free copy! 

I'll draw the winner on Wednesday, 8th October 2014 (Aussie time) ... so if you don't win then you can still take advantage of that discount!

***Entries now closed***

... and the winner is ...


#17


Congratulations Marly!  Your Kate Spain bundle would work beautifully with this pattern ... make sure you show Laura and myself when you're done - we'd love to see it :)

***Entries now closed***

Serena x





Thursday, 2 October 2014

Bees, Swaps, Round Robins

I've just completed my first cycle in an online sewing Bee.  I was invited to join Threadbias Ausbee by Jo of Riddle and Whimsy and I'm glad I did.

Here is a round up of all the blocks I made in my first Bee:

April: Star Crossed block.  Tutorial found here.  


These blocks were a good exercise in using a scant 1/4" seam allowances.

May:  Bento Box blocks - info found here.  


We were asked for red, purple and blue fabric combinations in this quilt.  This was an unusual colour mix for me and I learned a lot about using tone to help them all play nicely.

June: Star Blocks ... I wrangled with purple here.



July: Was my turn to be Queen Bee.  I chose this butterfly block.



Didn't all of my Bee mates do a fantastic job?

I'm going to use these blocks to make a quilt for my daughter and I let her open the packages when they arrived in the post ... you should have heard her squeal with delight upon opening each package!  Bliss!

August: Mini Bow Tie blocks.  Info found here


These blocks were heaps of fun to make!

September: Improv Blocks found here


Yes ... well ... that was an interesting experience!

I had always stayed away from Bees sighting the usual fears ... skill level, time-poor, sewing to a schedule ... yarda, yarda, yarda ... silly really, as it's been a great way to try different blocks, colour combos and quilting genres.

So that was Ausbees ... thank you ladies ... it's been great sewing with you!

I'm going to try some swaps next.  I like the idea of receiving a finished item in the post, something I can hang or use straight away.  So I've signed up for the Little Quilts Swap via Instagram.  There are 200 (or so) of us sewing a mini quilt from the Little Quilts Book for a secret squirrel swap partner.

This is what I'm planning for my partner ...

Dreamin' Vintage by Art Gallery Fabrics

I might want to keep it for myself!  But, I'm almost certain that's not what a swap is about :)

And you know that I'm enjoying my Possum Magic Round Robin ... I'm working on Wendy's centre next ...

Next on the design mattress ... 

... yes, you noticed all that purple too? ... I may have to call a truce with purple for the sake of Possum Magic!

I'm interested to hear which form of online community sewing you enjoy most?  Bees, Swaps or Round Robins?

Serena x


Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Possum Magic - Round 2

Hello Possums!

You might remember that I have been busy making little granny squares for Sharon's Possum Magic quilt.



There were two main influences for choosing little (3.25" finished) grannies as the second border.



First, I was so impressed by the work that Sharon put into her centre.  There are some very small hexies in the middle of the Dresden and I wanted to reflect those in my border ... so some tiny piecing was in order!



Second,  Jo did such an awesome job on the first border - so much work, so many fabrics - I wanted to celebrate her border by giving it a little room (and bask in it's glory) ... white space was in order.



I didn't put any old white fabric in there though ... I made sure that the fabric had a bit of pizazz ... Michael Miller Mirror Ball Dot anyone? ... my grannies know how to party!



You can see here the method that I used to make these grannies.  They are so fun to make!



I'm bringing up the rear of the group again by finally finishing my border on Sharon's centre. 

Technically I'm a day late ... but ... as I pass this onto Carla next (and she's currently on holiday for another week) ... I'm going with "Hooray I finished a week early!"

Find Round 1 Finishes here

High fives and air fist pumps ... Serena x

I'll see you over at Let's Bee Social and WIP Wednesday


Thursday, 25 September 2014

September Bee Blocks - Improv

Our Threadbias Ausbees Queen Bee has very innocently asked for Improv blocks.

She would like brights (of one colour, can use several tones) on a low volume background.

12.5" blocks.

Simple right?  No rules is awesome right? ... ah, WRONG!!



So this is me ...

Drowning ...


... doing Improv ...

Fiddlesticks!

... let's all agree not to let that happen again ...

Serena x
(aka not a cool improv quilter)

Linking up a little late with WIP Wednesday and Let's Bee Social



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