Wednesday, 23 March 2016

WIP - Having a whale (or wail) of a time

Recently I was able to use my quilting woes as an English lesson for my oldest daughter:

Homophone: Words that sound the same but are spelt differently and have different meanings.

Take "Whale" and "Wail"  ... I had a wail because my improv whale was not working the way I wanted it too (OK, not the perfect sentence, but it did the trick).

My oldest daughter thought this was quite funny ... My youngest daughter just looked at me funny ... and ... My Fine English Fellow, aka Hubby, just gave me a wide berth (wise man).

Almost, but not quite ...

Humpf ... my plan for all this improv lettering was to have a large improv whale underneath ...

When your ideas surpass your skills

I was so proud of myself for piecing all of the lettering together - ta da!

Lettering created using Sarah Fielke's improv Wordplay method

But now it lies in a big heap of unpicked dreams ... Time to think up a plan "B"


Linking up with Let's Bee Social

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Modern Rainbow - Scattered Baby Quilt

We all know that I love a rainbow and it might surprise some that know me well here that my appetite for using scraps is growing.  Yes that's right, in my earlier days I used to bin scraps - gasp!  I know ... I'm trying to be better these days and it seems my efforts are paying off.

Introducing my new favourite scrappy quilt:  Scattered.

I can't take credit for the pattern or the name ... they are the genius of Rebecca Bryan and her book Modern Rainbow.

My scraps were not quite the dimensions required for the pattern, so I ad-libbed somewhat, that's the best thing about this pattern ... it suggests a certain style and gives you the freedom to play with scale and placement.

I used the Backyard Circus scraps from my last quilt for the most part ... and filled in the colour gaps with Ella Blue's Basics range.

They play so nicely together ... must be because they are from the same happy family.

Why yes, Quilt Police ... I do use selvages in my quilts ... especially when they are this cute!

You may have seen on Instagram that I had a few "Issues" with my walking foot ... so we just limped over the line to get this one quilted.  My Janome is such a trooper ... but still I didn't want to push my luck ... so some simple diagonal line quilting was the answer ... but still ... that texture ... I'm pleased with the outcome.

Well this quilt is now jetting over from Perth to Adelaide and will be hand delivered by my Fine English Fellow to it's forever home.

You're welcome to use my washing instructions found at the bottom of this post

I hope the recipients love it as much as I enjoyed making it for them :)


Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and Finish it Up Friday

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

Aussie MQG Zipper Pouch Swap

I signed up to get to know another Aussie Modern Quilt Guild member (not in my Guild)  through the Aussie MQG Zipper Pouch Swap.

I've met a lovely lady who share's my love of AMH and Art Gallery Fabrics - zing!

She's also a huge fan of Improv ... uh, oh ...

Those that know me well around here know that  .... whilst I love and appreciate all things improv ... I lack the confidence to do it myself.

My inspiration: Clock-wise from top left on IG: @shecanquilt, Bag found on Pinterest here, @duringquiettime, @seekatesew

This ol' improv thing keeps cropping up, time to take the bull by the horns and just do it already!

Such gusto ... such confidence ... soooo never gonna happen.  Hmm what. to. do?

I've decided to fake it until I make it!  Yep!  Did you know that you can paper piece improv blocks?

Well I didn't until I stumbled across these blocks (which also happened to be on the information sheet that my partner gave me - palm to forehead).

Now paper piecing I. can. do!!

I also recently received a gorgeous bundle of Loominous by Anna Maria Horner and thought that these would be lovely fabrics to make the zipper pouch from ... and ... if I'm clever enough ...

I'm thinking that I'll be able to use some of the plaid and flying geese designs to my advantage improv-wise.  That's the theory anyway.

Circles featured heavily in my partner's info sheet too ... so I decided to make her a round zippered pouch.  Have you seen this pattern before?  When you zip it up it becomes a semi-circle.

I love it and I hope my partner does too.

Quilted with some big stitches

I filled it with some EPP goodies for her as she shares my love of that too.  I love how the pouch becomes a make-shift work mat when it's opened fully.

More circles on the inside (probably went a little mad)


Linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday and Finish it Up Friday

PS and look what I received from my partner ... clamshells!! Love!! Thank you Ginevra!

Friday, 11 March 2016

Embroidery, Cross Stitch Project Organiser

... A parting gift for Nanny London ...

I'm one of the rare few that absolutely loves their Mother in Law.  We share a common love of crafting ... she enjoys knitting and cross stitch.  I enjoy quilting and cross stitch.  We will sit for many a night, needle and thread in hand, chatting away.  My husband has definitely married his mother!

We've just enjoyed a 2 month stay from Nanny.  She travels all the way from London (in her late 80's) to visit us here in Perth, Western Australia.  Today, as we popped her on the plane home (sob) I gave her this organiser that I thought might come in handy for storing her latest cross stitch project.

It wasn't a surprise ... I did consult her along the way ... after-all it had to suit her needs and she is a very practical lady.

I trawled the internet for days trying to find just the right pattern, but with no luck.  The closest I got was this little gem ... so that was my starting point.

The fabrics were chosen by Nanny London ...

Nanny London - "the grey won't show up the dirt from use"
Me - "but it's a bit boring"
Nanny London - "well, yes, but we must be practical"
Me - "ok, but if it's going to be grey you at least need diamonds and a sweet little bird ... oh! and a gold metal zip!"
Nanny London - "if you say so dear ..." ...continues sipping her tea
Me - skips off to my sewing room with glee

Nanny London's cross stitch works are never small pieces ... they are always great works of art.  Her projects hang above fireplaces like oil paintings and the detail is minute.  Which usually means a large number of different shades of DMC or Anchor threads must be used.  With that in mind, I set to increasing the number of pockets for the thread bobbins to 48.  This wouldn't satisfy the entire project, but it would do for pages or sections of the pattern she is working on, then she could switch the bobbins out to her large plastic bobbin organiser when required.

Next a space for her highlighter pen was needed ... she highlights or marks off the counted cross stitch as she completes a section.

A home for her scissors and a few spare needles.

Psst - I got her onto the Merchant & Mills Baby Bow scissors ... she hasn't looked back!

A large pocket for her pattern pieces and notes ...

and of course, a pocket for her work so it could be safely folded and neatly tucked away.

Overall the organiser ended up being 18" x 12" ... a good size, but not too big to handle.

As you'll notice from the pictures, this organiser is not perfectly sewn.

I have a lot of room for growth in regards to installing zips, top stitching and binding those tight curves (yes, yes, shoulda, coulda, woulda used bias binding if I had enough of the fabric I wanted to use!) ... but I'm pretty chuffed with my effort and Nanny London was pleased too.

Designing something on the fly is not easy ... there was the odd casualty ...

RIP Walking Foot

... but overall I feel proud of my little success.

Lets hope Nanny London in as good body and mind to visit us again next year!

I'd like to thank for her tips and getting me started on this project.  She is the zipper-pouch queen in my book!


Linking up with TGIFF and Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday


Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Circus Is Coming To Town - Baby Quilt

Which comes first for you?

The design ...

or the fabric?

Backyard Circus
Recently the fabric came first ... in the very. fun. form of Backyard Circus by Jodie Carleton for Ella Blue.

It's usually the design for me ... then I spend weeks/months hunting around trying to find just the right fabric to fit what's in my head ... which, come to think of it, is probably why I don't have much of a stash.

But, when I saw this fabric, the name of the quilt "The Circus Is Coming To Town" popped into my head ... and ... just like that ... I was off and racing!

I knew I wanted houses.  I knew it was going to be a baby quilt (because my hubby requested one recently ... a baby quilt, not a baby - phew!). I knew it had to be for a boy.

Me ... attempting props ... with quilts (badly)

Pinterest took me to this pattern ... you'll see that my quilt is quite heavily based on it ... but without the faces, the faces freaked me out, and I messed around with the layout too.

This Perth heat has not been good for the grass!

Wonky improv houses ... love this little set of three

This little house has very good air-conditioning

Still ... A fun quilt!  A quilt I'm happy with.  An Improv quilt.  A first for me!


... Circus family out-take ....

*** Cue the circus music ***

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday


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