Welcome to my blog about my quilting journey! I started quilting in 2006 with a quilt of my own design which started as a cushion cover and ended up as a single bed sized quilt! Now I'm totally hooked....maybe obsessed is a better word for it.

Wednesday, 24 February 2016

UFO for March (I know its not March yet!)

As I finished my UFO's for February Marti shared the lucky number for March early with me and its 5.

My No. 5 project is to make more Star Value blocks.
This has been an ongoing project for several years now as they are fairly time consuming and I have no specific end date in mind for this quilt. These are the ones I have already, twelve in total.
I'm not sure how many I have cut up ready to put together but I think its another four blocks. I'm thinking it still might need to be larger so will have to wait and see if I need to cut some more pieces for more blocks.

A little update also. You might remember a while back I mentioned I was going to use some triangular scraps up by joining them together as a leader/ender project. Well they're all done. I took some time this week to press them and trim them and now I have a variety of sizes but mostly 1.75" and 1 5/8" HSTs.
Cute little things. Not sure what I'm going to use them for but they're more use this way than in bits!

So now the search for a new leader/ender project. I want to use up my 2" squares so I'm thinking I'll make some 9 patches and see where that takes me!  My little box is full to the brim:
I've squished them into this smaller container that fits next to my machine.
It will be interesting to see how long these take to whip together!

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

Splendid Sampler - Block 3 - Lots of Love

Well I thought some of the pieces in Block 2 were small but they were larger than a lot of the pieces in this block!
See these little suckers? Only one inch square. I'm really hoping we're not going any smaller next week!
I'm finding with these blocks being smaller than I'm used to I do have to really be careful about my seam allowances but otherwise the method is no different. I always square up my segments before putting it all together and that really helps with the accuracy.

Here's my finished block:
I like this block. I think it was because I could include a few different fabrics and I've picked some of my favourites out of the layer cake and charm square pack I'm using.

One other thing I love this week is another small thing! Its a small thing that makes life easier. While I have hooks on the ends of my wall units to hang my rulers sometimes I find I need to use several at once but they can get in the way when they are all on the desk. So a simple little hook on the side and I have somewhere to hang the rulers nearby so I don't have to get up and down as much or search madly under fabric and things on the desk.
So another block down this week, on to other projects!

Sunday, 21 February 2016

Splendid Sampler Block 2 - Wings

This block probably had the smallest pieces I've had to use in a block. Look at those little 1.5" suckers! Sorry they're a bit fuzzy but obviously I should have used my macro on them they are so small.
It was all good though as pressing the seams in the directions suggested by Jane did help keep things tidy. I did feel the HSTs were cut a little large to start with as there was quite a bit of trimming but otherwise all was great.
As well as adding antennae I chose to give my butterflies a bit of a body too and deliberately rotated one to make them look a bit less like they were ganging up on the one in the centre.
Waiting with bated breath for Block 3 but unfortunately no early release today, clearly we're on USA time this week. Oh well, I can't print it until tomorrow anyway as my printer is out of ink and I will have to print it out at work.


Thursday, 18 February 2016

Rainbow Scrap Challenge - February Blocks

Not overly inspired by the colour for February being brown. Definitely not my favourite colour!

However I do have brown scraps (not a huge number fortunately) so I made some crumb blocks out of these.  I'm not quite sure where they will end up, at worst they might end up as part of the backing!

This month only six blocks. I haven't added a black border to them yet but here they are:
 This piece of fabric probably says all I have to say about brown scraps!
Bring on March's colour I say!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

A Splendid Sampler - First Block - Hearts Aflutter

Are you taking part in The Splendid Sampler? It seems like most of the quilting world is! If you'd like to know more check out the files in the link to the website.

The first block released on Valentine's Day was a heart applique. I've done plenty of applique over the years and usually use fusible web and finish with satin stitch but I thought I would try a different method seeing as the idea, for me at least, is to try new techniques.

I chose to use the back-basting method from Joan Ford which you can find here.  I haven't done any needleturn applique before but this seemed easy enough to get a neat finish. You start by basting the shape from the back, trimming around the fabric on the front and then after leaving it for a while you stitch it down, a small section at a time.
 This is my block when it was all done and pressed! Quite pretty I think.
This was the bonus block and I think I'll throw that into the mix as well. I may make some extras as we go too. I thought about making an extra heart block as I'd like to play around with different fabric options but I'll decide as I go along.
I have block 2 all cut out and ready to go so hopefully I can get that one finished in the next day or so.

Sunday, 14 February 2016

February UFO Projects Done & Dusted!

My UFO's this month were to make myself a laptop bag and also a cover for my sewing machine. They've been on my 'to do' list for some time so it was great to get them done.

The pattern I used for the laptop allowed for adjustment to suit the size of your laptop and it was mostly fine but I did find it a bit lacking in detail in some areas, particularly on installing the zip.  I also felt the size and method of putting the handles together left a bit to be desired. I don't like handles too short so I made them longer and narrower.
I also tweaked the pockets a little by making them wider than the bag and putting a small pleat in the bottom. I wanted to use them to carry the charger pack and mouse and I didn't think a flat pocket was going to fit in those lumpy items too well.  I had some issues with the zip (as its been forever since I put a zip into anything) and after a little bit of unpicking and tweaking it looked a lot better.
It fits my laptop beautifully so job done!

Next project - cover for my sewing machine. I had some fun with this and chose some of my absolute favourite fabrics - I mean after all this is for me and I'm going to see it every day! I used some gorgeous Amy Butler fabric, along with a smidgen of an aboriginal print that I love and only have the tiniest bit of left.
I had a ball with the quilting too. I'm a bit rusty on my quilting as I haven't done a real lot for months and I haven't quilted a feather for 12 months so I needed the practice. It was a good piece to practice on as I didn't feel any pressure to be perfect as its only for me. If I was making it for someone else I would have been worried about any blunders. I know I made a blunder in every single feathered section but I just kept going and lo and behold, when it was done and I stood back and looked at it on my design wall it looked fantastic! A lesson there about not wanting to unpick every oops and stuff up!
On the other side I tried a touch of graffiti quilting around the machine. It was a bit of fun and a way of refreshing my sewing memory with lots of different designs. I even managed to pop in a stylised S for Sue in there, although I wished I'd thought of it earlier and I would have had it more in the centre!
Its the first time I've tried doing graffiti quilting and it was a bit of fun!

Next I had to turn them into an actual cover. A bit more of my Amy Butler fabric for the sides and behold - a cover!
and the other side:

The bonus is that it also matches my travel iron bag/pressing mat, which of course was the plan all along!
All done and dusted and now onto my other February task which is to do more of my rainbow scrappy blocks.......in the not very exciting or rainbow colour of brown! I think they might end up on the back of a quilt rather than on the front.

I'm also eagerly awaiting the first block in The Splendid Sampler due out today sometime.

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Making great progress this month!

Well I think I've made a great start on my February projects. I managed to get my sewing machine block put together and I love it!
At one stage when all my pieces were all over the place it looked a bit like a dog's breakfast but it all came together beautifully! I'm using the block to make a cover for my sewing machine and as its quite large (16" square) it more than covers the front. Pattern available here.

Then I decided I needed something interesting on the back so made a Fool's Square block - it seemed appropriately named!  You can find the block instructions here.
In the end I actually decided that the sewing machine block should end up on the back as that way I would see it every time I go past the room - its too lovely to have it facing the wall!
Next was to make the blocks into a cover and I chose some of my favourite fabrics.
That Lark fabric by Amy Butler never fails to make my heart sing! Now I've got the main piece and the two sides ready to quilt.
I cut out the pieces for my laptop bag and have sandwiched the pieces up ready to quilt also.
I didn't want to change my machine over to quilt mode only to have to change it back to piecing mode so decided to make the bonus test block for The Splendid Sampler before I started quilting my other projects.
I think it turned out quite well although I could probably have experimented with the fabrics a bit more. Nevertheless the size came out perfectly!

Now I have a few days before the first official block comes out on Sunday to get on with those other projects. I have yet to do any of my rainbow scrappy blocks this month but I'd rather get my other two projects done first and then spend the remainder of the month doing those.

I just hope I bought the right size zip for my laptop bag!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Right, lets get cracking on February!

Okay, January seemed to go well so I'm glad to get going on February's tasks. Over at Marti's 52 Quilts in 52 Weeks the lucky UFO number for February is 9.  My No. 9 project is to finally make myself a laptop bag and a sewing machine cover.

I've had a pattern I've been holding on to for some time now for a laptop bag and now its number has come up! You can find the tutorial here.
I haven't quite decided for sure yet but I'm leaning towards using these fabrics, the spots on the outside and the blue floral on the inside and for contrast on the handles and pocket edging.
I'v worked out my measurements to suit my laptop and just need to get myself a zip (which I just realised I could have bought when I was at Spotlight today - rats!

In the meantime I've been getting cracking on my other project, a sewing machine cover. I saw this lovely sewing machine block on Craftsy.com and just had to buy it.
Its from Kristy at Quiet Play and she has lovely paper pieced patterns. You might remember the blocks I made as part of the And Sew On quiltalong she hosted a while back:

So firstly I needed to pick out some fabrics and after a wander through my blue fabric drawer I pulled these out to use.
My plan is to have the machine blend from dark to light so we'll see how that goes. I've printed out my pieces and have marked them with the fabrics I want to use. I find its the only way to keep things straight when I'm foundation piecing.
Now that January is done, a new colour for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge is allocated and I can only say I wasn't overly excited to find that the colour for February is.......brown. Hmmmm, not a colour that excites me much. However I do have brown scraps so I will endeavour to put together some brown crumb blocks and see how I feel about them once they're done.
I had no plans to take part in any new quiltalongs this year but, well, sometime something comes along that catches your interest and you just have to join in! I'm talking about The Splendid Sampler being jointly hosted by Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson.
Its a free 100 six inch finished block mystery quilt with different techniques. The blocks are issued twice a week and the first is available on 14th February.  I haven't done much with 6 inch blocks so thought it would be a good project to get familiar with working with the smaller size.  I've decided to use fabrics from my stash, other than the background fabric which I found today at Spotlight. Its actually a Christmas fabric on clearance but you wouldn't know it. It was only $4.50 per metre so I bought all there was as I'm sure I can use it in other projects. Its a lovely silver design on white and I think it will work perfectly with the layer cake and charm square I'm going to use to start with. Anything else I need I'm sure I can find in my fabric drawers!
I also have this layer cake.  I'm not sure all of the fabrics will work as well but its there if I need it!
So there you have it. That should keep me out of mischief this month! What are you up to this month?