Sunday, July 29, 2012

Done and dusted!!!

I will let the pictures speak for themselves. I am thrilled to be finished. I love this quilt. It is HUGE!

It is finished. Started June 2011. Finished July 2012. Phew!

Quilting detail. Love it.

Corner trailing in the leafy dirt on my clothesline, that's how ginormous this thing is!

Indulge me. More quilting detail. I have been hand quilting this in all my spare seconds for about a month.

The back. Spare blocks. More quilting detail.

And some more.....

My last-minute, wonky, hand made label. It has a scrappy binding made from the leftovers.
Excuse me while I go and get under it and watch some crime TV while my little monkey naps.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Something new

I am so very naughty! This bundle of fabric has been playing on my mind for almost a year. I have been waiting and waiting for just the right inspiration. From the beginning I didn't want to add any other fabrics except for perhaps some solids as I love the understated palette. I have been thinking about Lone Star quilts for ages. I did a mini block as part of the SBS QAL and didn't find it toooo taxing. I also knew that Siobhan had a tutorial for one on her blog.

I got the graph paper and some coloured pencils and started to doodle and calculate.

Then I cut out a gazillion diamonds. My diamands have 4" sides so it's a big lone star but I didn't want to lose the big prints.

My goal is to piece one arm/point per day. I started sewing on Friday. I now have three. Promise. I am on track. I think it looks very cool.

Where's my head at?

Here is the recycled shirt quilt, all bound and washed and ready for use. It's pretty cute I think although some of those high thread count cottons were tough to stitch through.

And the back.

A little boxy pouch I made last week but didn't get around to taking a pic as it was already busy working!I used this super tutorial. I can see lots of these little guys in my future. I used some favourite Amy Butler prints left over from my SBS quilt.

HST BOM - July. I was a little slow with this one. The squares were cut nd sat next to my machine for a week before I made this block. Very unlike me. I was, I must admit a bit distracted getting my huge SBS quilt together in all my available time.

Remember this guy? I really love it and dug it out again last week. I forgot that I'd made this many blocks. I spent some time making some templates and cutting strips, I am all ready to sew them up...but then I lost my drive. I haven't packed it away again. I am determined to get this one done.

SBS quilt update!!!! Arrrggghhhh. So frustrated. I only bought two balls of the Perle 8 cotton to quilt this quilt and it's not a regular white or cream. I have done as much as I can  but will have to wait until I am going off island on Wednesday to pick up another ball so I can finish this one off. I am more than three quarters through I'd say. It's looking great!

Here are some placemats I made from more Amy Butler leftovers. I made these predominantly to practice my FMQ that I learned last weekend. Pretty neat although my stitch length consistency leaves a lot to be desired. More practice. More small projects.

Hope you've had a great weekend. The sun has been shining here for days, just beautiful, you wouldn't know it was the middle of winter!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mad new skills

When I am in the middle of hand quilting a great big quilt I make little things to keep my need to "make stuff" fulfilled. I am always seeing things that I have-gotta-make-right-now and last week was no exception. I saw this cute tote on one of my favourite blogs and just had to make one.

This is how it turned out. I got to use lots of prints that I have been saving for....just such a project. I used the quilt as you go (QAYG) method which is super easy. Each panel is 18" x 20" - probably just a bit too big actually. This is a deep bag but is good for a baby bag, fits nappies, lunch, a blanky and plenty of books and toys. I even put in a zippered pocket, I used this tutorial. It was a bit confusing at first but worked out pretty well in the end.

Online tutorials have changed my life for sure. Above - a close up one of the panels.

A little wide mouth boxy pouch a la noodlehead. I have since made another one which I am keeping and using.

This pretty hot number has been gifted to one of my dear friends who loaned me her Janome when mine broke down about 2 weeks ago. (I now have my machine back. $140 later. Apparently I'm not threading it correctly and it blew a fuse. Expensive mistake!)

Yesterday I took a class in FMQ - free motion quilting at the Craft Depot. It was $25 for a 3 hour class. The best money I have spent in ages. I convinced my Mama to come along too as it's something she's interested in.
I would say I have many hours of practice practice practice ahead of me but  I learnt how to set up my machine for FMQ which I reckon is half the battle. Getting the tension right and messing around with feed dogs etc with an expert looking over your shoulder took a lot of the stress out of it.. The teacher was patient, skilled and encouraging. Needless to say I learnt plenty and am confident I CAN master this mad new skill.

A first attempt at stippling. I kind of got it, although would lose it if distracted.

A feather. A lot of concentration and tongue out of mouth action on this one. I'm not that into feathers but it was a good exercise in trying to achieve a goal and learning to control the machine.

Today I turned this block into a cushion cover by adding a border and stippling it. Not perfect but it's passable and a start.

And then because I was feeling jubilant, and my little monkey was still (remarkably) asleep I used this inspiration to whip up the above coaster/mug rug thingy. I can't get enough of Svetlana's blog!

I will continue to practice on small projects and work up to a baby quilt before tackling anything too big. I promise!

Meanwhile I am going around in circles with my SBS quilt. The end is in sight though. I will have to start thinking about binding options.

Have a great week!