Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Building Blocks Tuesday

So, the move has been made. I have finished unpacking. And reorganising all my fabric storage spaces (to fit the new stuff in - more new stuff on the blog this coming Sunday). And now some part of my brain is driving me to reorganise the flat in big Spring clean fashion... This was not how I planned to start my jetlag. But I will get to that project by the end of this week (the Sew Sweetness Velocity Girl bag!!).

What I couldn't resist doing was photographing all my newly reunited blocks while I tidied the fabric away. These are blocks I'm making on a continuous basis in the background. This is probably the last you'll see of them for another few months, at least!

First up, the x and + blocks I'm making with my Sew Solids Stash Club order from Simply Solids in the UK.

I've loved them as I've made them (I still have to learn some stuff about sewing on the bias), but together I think they are just so much better!! I can't wait till Christmas when hopefully I'll have all the blocks made and ready to go together into a QUILT!!

Secondly, my Lucky Stars BOM. I have failed miserably at this so far. There are good intentions in the pipeline for summer. I think if I stick with it I will learn a tonne about foundation paper piecing. I'll also end up with really lovely blocks, if I can do a good job with the colour choices... and the sewing. Seriously, check out the flickr group!! Amazing! Currently, this is all I've got to show:

I'm not even sure this picture is from it sewn together... It is though, promise!

Finally, my Farmer's Wife Quilt blocks thus far. I really like having these blocks to work on in the evenings and when I'm not feeling well.

If I was brave enough I probably would have enjoyed working on them while flying! I'm too scared to lose my little scissors and good needles at security though. I'm A Ginger Monkey has an article this week about just this topic. I'll be checking it out this weekend when I dream that I have everything organised and more time to read lovely blogs!

I'm linking up to Building Blocks Tuesday over at Quilter in the Closet. An excellent place for snooping on different blocks and colour choices - brilliant inspiration source!

Quilter in the Closet

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Summer Stash

So, I've realised that my fabric shopping over the last few months clocks up to more than one post on Sunday Stash, hosted over at Finding Fifth. So I'm breaking this up, and just doing a couple of pictures a week. Some of the fabric has a purpose already, and some is just cos I was overwhelmed by the prettiness and couldn't live without!

Because I've left this till late tonight I'm going to stick to the fabrics I can still remember the names of! 

Summersville Spring by Lucie Summers (mostly, I think).

The Grown Up Pyjamas quilt has all the required bits here now (except interfacing). I really love how it's promising to come together!! The white is a Kona flannel, delicious.

Tula Pink Turtle Bay from Prince Charming in coral <3

And finally I spotted these in the Sew Mama Sew $6 section during their sale. I have no plans. but I couldn't leave them there.

Both from Gabbie by Maude Asbury.
I kind of wish I'd found Gabbie sooner and been able to buy more of this, particularly the print of the left.

Hope you've all had a good weekend. I have high hopes of quilting a top this week and doing some fabric cutting. Hopefully two blog posts as well - the shift towards full on Spring is giving me some much needed pep :)

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Handstitched Class from Stitched In Color

Last summer, I took part in Rachel's Handstitched Class over at Stitched in Color. It was brilliant. I now incorporate so much more handstitching (embroidery, particularly) into projects just because of that class. I use the needlebook we made there on a daily basis. I never finished the class project. There are reasons. Some of them are really good. But I need to face facts, this quilt is firmly in the unfinished pile.

I can't continue to kid myself that I'm just about to get back to it. Right now I'm on an aeroplane over the Atlantic, and that quilt is sitting in a drawer, in pieces, in Ireland. I won't see it again till September. When we're having the follow-on blessing/reception/party to our January wedding. I plan to finish the next round of the quilt in those 3 weeks. It probably won't happen. But I will make sure that it is the only piece of sewing I have to distract myself with while I'm home. Every time I'm home. Until it's whole.

Here it is,

This round isn't even fully on - the bottom and top strips are a fraction too long which led to procrastination, which led to other projects, which led to right now.

Here's a sort of close-up on the handstitching,

Everything needs a good iron.

And here's all the remaining fabric. I even have the backing fabric in the bag too!!

Every time I take this UFO out I fall in love with it all over again. It was the first time I ever tried to envisage a whole large quilt as a cohesive top before I bought fabrics. The first time I bought fabrics from a mix of collections. I had no idea what I was doing. But I bought things that I truly loved. And I think they're mad, but I also think they work together.

I will finish. Not this year. But maybe in 2014...

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Sweet Contrary Mosaics

Two posts today, this one's a shorty.

I saw the Sweet Contrary contest over at Stitched in Color in conjunction with Lark Cottons. I couldn't resist playing around with fabrics and the mosaic maker. I've never done it before. It's a lot of fun. You should check it out. Whoever gets voted the winner gets a fat quarter set of their mosaic!!

So here are my two. As I said I've never done this before, so I just picked some colours and then chose whatever fabrics I liked, and then narrowed it down from there. Kind of like the basketball play-offs but with fabric!

The fabrics that won me over are:

Cherry blossom buds and daffodils I guess, with the interminable Irish rain clouds!

This one shouts 'wet green fields' at me!

I will definitely be going back to play with the mosaic maker again! AND, I need to find out about those funky apps that take a photo and pull the main colours from them. They look like a lot of fun too :)

But seriously, go check out this competition!!!

15 year old me totally wanted to be a quilter!!

I know, I know... You don't hear from me for a month and then, like buses, three arrive at once! Actually, I set myself some topics to post on this week and next. Some can be written in advance and scheduled to post (though I've never done that so if gobbledegook turns up from me, you now know why!), and some are to get me back into the linky parties :)

Today, I'm going to quickly share a few pictures* with you of stuff I've found around my parents' house that I started as a teenager. It turns out that I've been into fabric and quilts for WAAAAAAYYYYY longer than I ever knew. Most of this stuff must have been made when I was 15 (that's 16 years ago this summer!).

Firstly, my mother found a box of fabric. I have snaffled the big bits to be future quilt backs, and this white one is going into a Japanese fabric quilt I have planned for this summer - it is the softest cotton I have ever felt.

At the bottom of this forgotten fabric horde were 6 inch squares. Very roughly cut. And they were in piles with numbers taped onto the top. The meaning for the numbers is long forgotten. But I do vaguely remember gathering up all my favourite teenage clothes that I had started to grow out of and cutting them up into squares for a quilt.

Very roughly cut. Also, two hexagons (top left)!!

I even had sewn one strip together...


These squares made me particularly excited. They're from what I term my 'first grown-up pyjamas'. My godmother brought them back for me when I was around 12. Silky on the outside, cosy on the inside, and in a tuxedo-style that I loved.

With my new knowledge of interfacing as a thing, these are going to become a baby's quilt. There will be flannel and Tula Pink to go with! I can't wait :)

*Disclaimer: it started as a few, but I found more photos as I went on... I am now out of control on stuff I made as a teenager.

In my grandmother's old sewing box we found a series of hexagons in navy and blue that I'd put basted and EPP'd together as a teenager. They have all become pincushions now. They are not the prettiest, but they are functioning very nicely. I even made myself one of those pincushions you can wear on your wrist!! No pictures of that one though...

One for me...

One for Mammy.

And, finally! Yes, I think this is it. I made a cushion as part of my transition year Home Economics class (along with a macramé plant holder which has thankfully been lost). Check it out:

This fabric was my mother's. She bought it in Japan long before I existed and it's pre-quilted. I feel so bad now for having cut it up to make this cushion. It deserved better. Look how awful the points are! I think one of those flying geese may not be entirely missing its head. Still though, this cushion still lives on one of the bedroom chairs. Though the backing needs a mend. Maybe it will out-last me, horrible job and all as it is.

The big question now is - where's the rest of that fabric!!?? I also distinctly remember drawing designs (probably for secret gardens at the time, but ones that might also double as quilt inspiration now) in a science copybook. We are not a family that throws books out, so I'll have to have a proper look. But not this week. It's exciting to know about though, tantalising. I wonder why it took me so long to get started properly.

If scheduled blogging goes well, there should be another post up on Thursday while I'm mid-air over the Atlantic. All about the quilt I've left behind, mostly pictures to be honest. And then I shall see you all for Sunday Stash. I've been lining the flat with fabric in preparation for my arrival. I suspect I went too far... There is going to be a strict fabric diet for the rest of the summer (possibly year) I think.

:) til next time!


Saturday, 20 April 2013

Holy Cow! - I've been distracted.

It's been a month to the day since my last post. I'm not sure how that happened. I have been sewing and have finished two quilts - both are secrets for later in the year though. I'm glad to be through the temptation of sharing and so will not be mentioning them again until I can show PICTURES!!

But maybe, the overwhelming temptation to share stopped my from showing the other little bits that I've gotten done. Nothing finished, all various blocks. And one basted quilt, which now has me stumped. But enough chit chat with no pictures, onwards!!

First up, Farmer's Wife Blocks:

Clockwise from top: Broken Sugarbowl; Cats and Mice; Churn Dash; and Century of Progress

Cats and Mice drove me nuts. I took out the central papers to try and make it look less warped (a lot of bending went into trying to make the ends line up), but I think I might have been better to leave it under a phonebook for a while.

And in my Century of Progress I managed to turn three of my beige triangles' fabric the wrong side out. I didn't notice until it was finished and then I was not unpicking. And so it will stay as you see it, with the bottom triangle darker than all the rest.

I also finished Buckwheat and Butterfly at the Crossroads. Buckwheat only has very very bad fuzzy phone pictures right now and is currently in a suitcase that Paul brought back to DC two days ago. It shall have to make it's debut later. But here is the butterfly:

I finished my uncle's quilt top. It's also pin basted now. But the quilt is so heavy I won't be able to get it through our domestic sewing machine. I could hand quilt it, by sewing points every few inches. But that still leaves me in  a bind about binding!

Yep, that middle stone-coloured row has a join where I have the nap going in opposite directions.

And I made the last two month's of colours from my stash club into x and + blocks!! I love how these are coming out, can't believe I have to wait till December to start putting them together into the quilt.

I've found some fabric stuff about my parent's house as I've been packing up for the move to America. I'll share them in my next post. And I have made plans for things to make during the jetlag in my first week over in DC. So I won't be forgetting this place again. Plus all upcoming quilts are not secret - YAY!!!!!

I've missed ye :)