Friday, June 29, 2012

Skill Builder Sampler Quilt Along

A pictorial update.

36 blocks. Deciding on layout. No floor space big enough.

Backing and sashing and binding! Oh my!

The back. 2 blocks that didn't make it into the front started off this giant free form log cabin.

Joined. Sashed. Bordered. Ready to be basted.


..basting. I am getting quite efficient at basting. This is a great big quilt; 90" x 90" and it took me just over an hour from start to finish!

Ready to be quilted. Yay! I am THRILLED with it so far!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Butterfly = Vanessa

My sewing machine broke. E1 error. Won't do anything. Broken. I will have to take her to the Janome doctor. There are definitely pluses that come with all the bells and whistles of modern computery technology. One of the minuses is that when the computer says 'broken', it's broken. It broke down 2 seams into the 36th and final block of the Skill Builder Sampler quilt along that I've been participating in for the last year. Not to be defeated by a trifle such as a broken machine I decided to piece the block by hand.
I present block #36 - Butterfly. My name is the Greek for butterfly apparently, I have known this forever. I don't know if it  translates literally or what but I run with it.

I initially used the brownish strip (from one of the soul blossoms fabrics) for the butterfly body but after setting it out above it just felt bleh. Not enough contrast perhaps? Just bleh!

So I speedily whipped out some navy from the new Lark line and felt much happier.

After my machine went clunk and stopped I hand stitched all the seams. After marking the pieces with 1/4" lines to sew along. It took a long time. This block has it all; curves, inset seams and lots of pieces.

Ta da! My butterfly. Now to get the blocks sorted out and stitched together...

Below are some snaps of the baby quilt I've been working on. It's all finished and ready to be gifted. Bright!

Personalise label.
I do love me a stripey binding.
I did inside-outy seams to give the quilt a bit of texture. I'm not sure how it'll hold up over time but it was a good experiment as I will see the Mama and Dada and they can let me know how it's going.

The shirtings quilt is all quilted and awaiting binding. I like it but don't love it. I do like the softness of it and I especially like...
...this panel on the back. I picked up ages ago just cos I liked it. It makes this quilt kinda reversible. It's a snuggly couchy size quilt. It really needs to be washed to close up all the holes from the original terrible machine quilting and the blood I somehow got on it while I was quilting away.

One more thing before I contemplate my SBS quilt blocks. Anna Maria Horner has a new line coming out Field Study, it looks amazing. I haven't really got on the AMH wagon per se but I can see myself becoming a huge fan.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Catching up on...

...sleep and craft. We are just back from a one month family holiday in the UK. We visited the mister's family in south-west England and took some time out to visit a remote island off the west coast of Scotland - South Uist. It was a marvellous, action packed and emotional time. It may be obvious but England is very, very, very far from Australia. I did the flight on my own a few years ago. Completely different with a super active almost 2 year old. Sheesh, that 30 hours traveling time seemed a lifetime!We all coped quite well with the jetlag on arrival, adjusting within a few days.

Not so on the return. My little monkey's body clock was completely out of whack. Day time at night time.He really wasn't in any time zone that we could work out. We had a week of nocturnal play time. As hubby returned to work this week I was flying solo. Finally, after a week of minuscule sleep and a sick toddler we seem to be getting on top of things once more.

One upside to being awake all hours is I got the chance to catch up on my QAL blocks albeit in a piecemeal fashion. Despite not really gaining any momentum I managed to get all 4 of the blocks done AND design and execute a baby quilt for the newest addition to our island community. Without further ado, here is my weeks work.

SBS QAL block #33 - mini lone star, This was an exercise in itty bitty diamonds and inset seams. I really love it and it wasn't all that hard. I started this at about 4am one morning I was up with my monkey. Note - it DOES matter which way you cut the strips once they're sewn together. It took me AGES to work out what I had done wrong. Being sleepy turned what should have been a relatively simple block into a headache that I had to keep coming back to. A lone star quilt just might go on my LIST.

SBS QAL block #34 - Feathered star. I made this block BEFORE Leila posted the paper piecing option. Doh!! It took me days and days. I just couldn't get going with this block and ended up unpicking many, many tiny seams. The even ittier bittier diamonds in this block were my greatest challenge. I was amazed (happily) that this block turned out as well as it did. Phew! If i was to consider (crazy lady!!!) making more of these blocks I would be sorely tempted to english paper piece them to achieve the precision this block requires.

Oh, curves, how I've missed thee. Perhaps I'm just weird but I enjoy piecing curves, something hugely satisfying in the pinning and the 3Dness of it all, then et volia! It all lays flat and looks...curvy. This is the makings of my NY beauty block.

SBS QAL block #35 - New York Beauty. We had a few options to choose from this week. I chose to do this mainly because I can't remember my PayPal password and the Surveyors Compass templates had to be purchased through PayPal. So, NY beauty it was. I used Jeni's tutorial from In Color Order - another favourite blog. I love this block! It looks impossible but was really quite simple - more reason to love this block. The only teensy tiny drawback is that it finishes at 8.5" I make 3 more and have a mega-NY Beauty OR just add a border and bring it up to size OR leave as is and incorporate it into the quilt back? I think I'll decide after laying out all my blocks.

HST QAL - June block. I'm not going to say any more than that.

HST QAL - Januray - June blocks together. Looking good.

In all the jet lag fug of this last week I managed to get myself to my local quilt shop to stock up on some bright and cheerful fabrics to make a quilt for a new little boy in our community - Caleb. He is the son of one of the mister's closest mates and it was super fun to come up with this little quilt. I designed (hehehehe, designed a strip quilt), cut out, stitched, basted and quilted this puppy all in the dark hours while I kept my mischievous monkey company.
Here is a sneaky peek. It is now bound, washed and drying beneath our air con. I will take more pics today before gifting it tomorrow.

I have almost finished hand quilting the shirt quilt too. I unpicked - took 5 hours in the wee hours - all of the machine quilting as I was very unhappy with it. Pics to come.

Now to block #36 of the SBS QAL. The last one. My Mum is still quilting along too. I will try and get some photos of her quilt to post as well.

Have a super weekend. x x