Wednesday, November 23, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I haven't done one of these for a while, so I'm just going to cover the changes since the last one! So here we go

Cosmo Bag

 Peanut's Playtime Quilt

Candied Hexagons - more blocks made - 11 to go!

No Progress:
pretty much everything else!

New Projects:
A secret project for someone for Christmas
Planning for the Christmas Tree!
Renovating our Christmas wreath

Linking up with WIP Wednesday
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Candied Hexgons... the ongoing project

Last night I took a couple of minutes to lay out all the blocks for my Candied Hexagons.  By my count I only have 11 full blocks to go, and then the side ones to square it up.  I did rearrange a couple of the blocks, but for the most part I'm pretty with how it's looking. 
It's going to be a riot of colour, but I really like that!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Back to School!

Things have been a bit quiet around here, Sir Pinkying and I managed to sneak off for a quick break before the madness of the last 6 weeks of the year.  The first stop on our tour was Canberra.  I've been wanting to take a machine quilting class for a long time, and I knew that I wanted to take a class with Deb Louie, and Canberra was the best chance for me to take it.

For anyone who doesn't know who Deb is, she is a very well known quilter who used to professionally machine quilt for others on her domestic machine.  Yep, that's right, you heard me.  No long arm.  Machine quilted for others, on her DOMESTIC machine.

The first day was focused on pin basting technique, design consideration, marking and machine quilting with a walking foot.   We did quilting in the ditch, a cross hatch, stops and starts, and a cable, all with the walking foot.
Day two was all about free motion quilting.  This is what I was really really excited to learn about.  I haven't done much of it, and I'm getting sick of sending my quilts out to be quilted.  I want to be able to do it them myself!  Here is a shot of my test piece from the second day. 
Deb breaks the designs down for you and demonstrates them, and then gets you to try them.  Here is my first very sad attempt at a swirl
but a couple of rows later I did these two, so a definite improvement!
We also learnt flowers
and interlocking squares
 flowers with stems
stars and lots more!
Deb is a fabulous teacher, and I can't recommend this class highly enough!  I learnt so much, and still have more to learn.  Most importantly I have to practice practice practice!  I'm really looking forward to sitting down at the machine again to apply all the things that I learnt.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Shopping Spree!

 Anyone who quilts and lives in Sydney is probably familiar with Craft Depot at Pennant Hills.  They are having a huge sale in November, and on the way home from quilting on the weekend, Kyishia and I stopped in to check out the sale.  I have to admit that I might have gone a little bit over the top....

This is what I came home with
some gorgeous Ginger Blossom and a couple of prints that match quite well
Some hard to find Heather Ross - mermaids and octupuses (octupi?)
and this pile of wonderful fabrics!
it really all started with this bird print - it was just so cute and colorful that I couldn't resist..
then I saw this adorable bicycle print so I added it to the pile

Then I decided that I should pick a couple of other fabrics to 'match'
I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them yet, but I'm feeling something fresh with a cream and a very clean bright design.  It was a great day of shopping!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Scrappy Swap

I've been trying out online swaps through Flickr for the first time recently, so I'm in 1 fabric swap, 1 bee and 1 sewn goodie swap.  Of these only one of them is finished which is the sewn goodie swap.  We were all assigned a secret partner, and you had to send 1 hand sewn goodie, the equivalent of a fat quarter of scraps, and something from your area.

This is what I sent out to my partner:
Some pink scraps
Some cute animal scraps from Peanut's Playtime as well as some matching Kona solids
Some Christmas scraps (this is the Christmas line by Kate Spain from last year)
 and some modern scraps
Finally I put in a super special piece which is a very rare Heather Ross fabric
My hand made gift was a small fabric container, made in Far Far Away II by Heather Ross, I think it will be good for collecting scraps and threads while she sews!
Finally, this is what I received back, a truly brilliant fabric container - which I've already used and I love! - a gorgeous matching pin cushion and a beautiful array of scraps tailored just for me! It really was a great swap!  Something that I would recommend you all try!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Finished Project: Peanut's Playtime

Hi!  It's been a super long time since I blogged!  It's not that I haven't been sewing, it's just that I've been sewing so much that I haven't had much time on the computer.  So I'm going to start with a finish, you might remember some time ago that I showed you this stack of fabric which was for a secret project.
Well I'm all done! This is "Peanut's Playtime", it's for a very close friend of Sir Pinkying and I, in fact, she was the one who set me up with Sir Pinkying!  She's about to have her first baby, and we don't know what she's having, so the quilt needed to be as unisex as possible.
There are a lot of firsts for me in this quilt... it's the first time that I've pin basted a project this size, and I have to say that I absolutely love it! So fast, and it actually held all three layers together beautifully nothing shifted at all!  I love it so much! 
I did a multicoloured binding, which I've done on other projects, but I love the way it ties the whole quilt together... and it's the first time that I've actually remembered to take a photo of the binding!
It's also the first time that I've machine quilted a quilt all on my "own" too.  I did 3/4 of an inch out from each seam which added this great rectangles and squares pattern to the top.
It's also the first time that I've done such a heavily pieced backing.  Truth is that I was running out of fabric, so I didn't really have any other choice, but I like the way it turned out.  Here is the back
I'm going to leave you with this photo... I love the "quilt with legs" shot!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Colour and Fabric

I'm on a bit of a colour bent at the moment.  My Mum came to visit us this weekend and I had a great time rearranging the cushions and bedding at Freedom to show her my design idea for her bedroom!!

I am really enjoying daylight savings in the afternoons and we've had a couple of beautiful sunsets like this one that I managed to catch this afternoon.  I love the way the pink plays across the top of the clouds on the blue sky.  Of course, by the time I had gone and changed the camera lens to get a closer shot, the pink was gone.
While I had the camera out, I thought I'd show you a couple of the new arrivals at our place recently.  Up first is the gorgeous "Theory" which is by Kristian A Howell for Anthology Fabrics.  I've been looking at these for a long time, and was ordering some other things (not shown here just in case someone sees something that they shouldn't!) so I got a couple of fat quarters.
Another favourite designer of mine is Sweetwater and I just love their Hometown range - I have no idea what I'm going to do with it, so I got a couple of charm pack and some fat quarters of designs that I really loved.
I've also been adding to my yellow and grey collection so here are a couple of pieces that came in the envelope that the hometown was in.
Here is the full collection of yellow and greys... this is some of my stash, some prints from my LQS, and some prints from the US
I think I'll stop there for today before you all think that the only thing I do is buy fabric!! I have been sewing but I can't show the project yet.  I'm trying to decide how to quilt this secret project at the moment but will show it to you soon!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Colour Makes Me Happy!

I don't know about you but colour makes me happy....  super happy, it inspires me...

One of the the things that I love about quilting is the chance to use colour in a myriad of different ways, and I'm always trying improve how I work with colour.  Then just recently a thing called Photo Card Boutique popped up on a blog that I read (I'm sorry, I really don't remember which blog I saw this in!!) that I wanted to share with you all. 

They have an online store that appears to sell electronic stationary (??) but I really haven't spent any time looking at it.  What I do love is their "Cool Colors" segment on their blog.  Here is one that jumped out at me earlier this week

Given the brilliant range of colours that you can get in Kona Solids, I think that these photos and the way that they pick out inidividual highlight colours really interesting and the resulting colour schemes inspiring.  They also give you the hex code for the colour if you're a digital designer. 
In the second photo I really love the way they have picked out the deep purple shade from the middle of one of the tulips, it just brings a whole new layer to the colour scheme.  So, if you love colour, or what to be inspired, or anything like that, then you should go and check out the blog! 

I have been working away again this week, but on a slightly secret project that I will show you after its finished because its a gift for a very close friend and I don't want to spoil anything ahead of time!!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Once Upon a Time... in New York??

Once again I've been awfully quiet... but I've had a really good reason!! I've been completely consumed by finishing one of my WIPs and today I finally got it done!!

This is the "Cosmo" bag from Style Stitches by Amy Butler... Thanks to Sex and the City "Cosmo" always makes me think of New York City!
It's all done in Far Far Away fabric by Heather Ross, and I used the home dec cotton/linen blend, which is a little bit heavier than standard quilting cotton.  Rapunzel in her tower forms the outer pocket, with the Sleeping Beauty also on the outside of the bag
Inside is the Owl and the Pussycat, so the bag is fairy tales all over!
About the pattern itself, it's listed as "easy" in the book, and I don't know if I would agree with that.  If you are an experienced sewer who is accustomed to following patterns, then provided that you follow the instructions then it is fairly easy.  That said, if you're a beginner sewer, this is going to be challenging for you.  My best suggestion would be to follow the instructions to the letter and pin. Pin, pin, pin, pin.  Press.
 I did make a couple of changes - the bag is pretty huge, so I put in a little loop that I'm going to put a hook on so that I can hang my keys and not lose them!
I also made the pocket on the front side (on the inside) slightly shorter and put in a pocket for my mobile!  I LOVE the finished bag!! I made it so that I would have a bage to take things to quilting in and I'm really happy with how it turned out.  It did take a fair bit of time, but it was totally worth it!

While I've been busy sewing away, Spring has finally arrived here!
The weather has been beautiful, and all the trees around our house have started to bud.  Hope that you're all enjoying the new seasons too!

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