Monday, 13 October 2014

.: Cotton + Steel Giant Vintage Star quilt top :.

I signed up for Pink Castle's Cotton + Steel Fat Quarter Club, because I wanted all the Cotton + Steel.  I've been steadily growing a little pile of fat quarters, and thought I should make a whole Cotton + Steel something.  The obvious something-choice - thought I - was a quilt using Jeni's Giant Vintage Star quilt tutorial.  I've loved all the quilts I've seen made from Jeni's pattern, and have long wanted to give it a go.

To mix things up (or complicate them and make the quilt-making-process a lot longer than it needed to be) I decided to use 12 different low volume fabrics for the background - some, as you can see, are higher in volume than others!  I love the mix and the movement they create.

[I am not loving the little wasp nest in the top left of the pic ... I think it's empty ... though I should check before I get the girls to hold up any more quilts right next to it, that would be a good parenting move]
I'll definitely make another big star quilt (I say that as though this quilt top is actually a finished quilt ... which it's not, just yet) - it really does sew together very quickly, and would make a great gift.  If you used the same background fabric for the whole quilt, it would come together even more quickly! I'm definitely keeping this one, since, you know, Cotton + Steel AND all the awesome background fabrics.

Hope you've had a great weekend.  xoxo cat

Monday, 6 October 2014

.: we love GnomeAngel :.

[image totally stolen from Angie's GnomeAngel site - link below]
If you haven't already discovered the awesomeness that is Angie from GnomeAngel, you need to make a cup of tea and then click through and spend a little while cruising round her website.  Angie is a very talented Canberra-based quilter, creator and blogger with a very generous spirit.  She makes all sorts of wonderful things - three recent favourites of mine are her Fat Bottom Girls mini quilt, and the Naughty-Cal Weekender bag and Granny-Mac-Daddy bag she recently made for Sewvivor.

I had the great good fortune of meeting up with Angie for a drink a couple of weeks ago, while we were in Canberra on holidays - I'm kicking myself for not thinking to take a pic of the two of us, but we were a little too busy talking!  It was really great to meet her and have a good chat, as we'd known each other through instagram + blogs for quite a while now.  I'm already looking forward to another catch up sometime in the future.

Every Monday, Angie interviews someone fabulous from the awesome World of Fabric (i.e. someone involved in fabric design, sewing, quilting) - and today, it's us!  (yes, I did just bump us up into being "someone fabulous", and not too subtly either ...).  Click through to read the interview!

Happy end-of-long-weekend everyone.  On to term 4 tomorrow (*oh boo*).  xoxo cat

Sunday, 5 October 2014

.: Round the World Blog Hop :.

The Round the World Blog Hop has landed here, thanks to a tag from the lovely Kirsty of Bonjour Quilts - it's taken a couple of WEEKS to bounce around Brisbane from Kirsty's place to here - I had such good intentions of writing and publishing a post before we went away on hols, but end-of-term and packing-for-holidays combined to leave the good intentions unrealised.  We've since been to Sydney, Canberra and Dubbo - but we are home again and it's time to unleash those good intentions.

You will by now have seen lots of Round the World posts - it's fun to read a little behind-the-scenes action in our Bloglovin' feed each week.  I'm not even sure who started the blog hop, but I AM sure that by now it's bounced around the world several times already.

I met Kirsty at Camille's Red Letter Day class a few months ago, and we've since caught up a couple of times for a coffee, a chat, and a little look at fabric.  Kirsty's recently released her very awesome Diamonds in the Deep quilt pattern - click through and take a look.

And now on with the questions.

1. What am I working on

Much of my sewing time is spent on bee-blocks, swaps and gifts for others.  I really do need to make time to sew more for my family and home.  The four projects I really want to concentrate on in the short term - hopefully before Christmas-sewing gets cracking anyway - are:

- Nested Churn Dash quilt.  After attending lovely Jane's class recently, and getting a move on chain-piecing my blocks, I managed to sew all my blocks together after getting home from Dubbo last week.  This one now just needs to be quilted (not by me!) and bound.  I love it.  Jane's pattern is here.

[close up of the corner stones - Cotton+Steel lions!]
- starting to plan my combined 'x+ word' (or 'cross plus word') quilt.  I made a heap of x+ blocks last year and then thought to add them to the word blocks I received from the AusModBee girls.  I've decided to now also ask for word blocks in my new Sew Sisters bee - so hopefully - by the Christmas holidays, I'll have all my word blocks and can start working on a layout, combining them with my x+ blocks.   Here are a few favourite x+ blocks, and a close up of the newspaper cat print, which I think is hysterical - those cat faces!

- quilts for my girls.  I'm like a broken record with this one - but seriously - I've never made my girls a quilt.  Shocking.  I have a pretty big pile of blocks sitting ready to go, but still need to make l-o-o-o-o-o-o-ts more, so I'm going to commit to a block a week each, and hopefully have them ready to sew together by the Christmas holidays.  The blocks are a mix of houses, words, stars, churn dashes, log cabins ... which is possibly why it's taking me so long - there's no real plan and no pattern for any of the blocks - I'm just making blocks and words for the girls in colours that they like, and hoping that they will look very awesome when sewn together.  THAT's the plan!

- Teeny Weeny Swap. This is a swap started by Berene of the Vancouver MQG and Lorena of the Greater Western Sydney MQG.  They had a few spots left open, and Lorena kindly contacted the Brisbane MQG to fill them - wahoo! - all the spots were snapped up very quickly.   This is a secret swap, with a few rules, the main one being you have to sew with teeny weeny pieces.  I have a plan AND a pattern for this one, but to get with the Teeny Weeny theme, I've sewn up a little patchwork panel using 1 1/2" squares.  Some of the girls will be sewing with much smaller pieces than these, but these squares are teeny weeny enough for me!

2. How does my work differ from those also in my genre

I'm not sure what my genre is - sewing-wise, I make quilts, bags, cushions, zip pouches, coasters - and Vee and I also design and print fabric panels.  There's lots going on.  One point of difference might be my fussy-cutting obsession - in pretty much every project I've ever made, I've fussy-cut something for it.  I can't think of a single thing I've made, where fussy cutting hasn't been involved.  So maybe that's a point of difference.   That, and I have a lot of trouble sewing with solids.  So - fussy-cutting and not-solids - we'll run with those two.

3. Why do I create what I do

I love to make bright, happy things to have about the house and to give as gifts or for bees and swaps.  I like to have a bit of humour and meaning in everything I sew too - whether that humour and meaning comes across doesn't really matter, as long as I know it's there!  Essentially, I love to sew and design, and get a little twitchy if too many days go by when I'm not making something.

4. How does my creative process work

I think a lot about who I am making something for, and spend a lot of time looking at my stash and thinking through what I'm going to make.  I'll change out fabrics pretty often even once I've started sewing, as I like each piece to be exactly right.  I draw sketches and scribble fabric ideas down - such as in the little fabric-table I made for my Nested Churn Dash quilt.

I'm very messy when I'm making something too - there's always a fabric mountain sitting next to my cutting mat - but I do try to fold it all away before starting on the next project.  That doesn't always happen though, and once I can't find a particular fabric that's buried in the mountain, I know it's time to stop and tidy up.

As for my blogging creative-process - that's way too random and reactionary, and I'm trying to make it more organised.  Right now, if I make something, I then take pics and write a blog post.  If I don't make something, I don't take pics and don't write a blog post.  I'd like to try and improve on that very basic, unplanned, setting-the-bar-very-low situation - by possibly planning a few posts (what?!), linking up with weekly linky parties, and also blogging about our beyond-sewing interests.  I've been thinking a lot about the 'why do we blog' question since having a drink with the fabulous Angie in Canberra (more on that in another post - but it was really awesome to meet and chat with Angie!).

So - that's pretty much it for our Round the World Blog Hop.  Thanks for tagging us Kirsty.  It probably won't surprise anyone to know that I've not organised to tag anyone ... but thankfully the blog hop will continue hopping round the world and not stop with me (that makes me think of primary school chain letters! - thankfully there's no 'pass it on to six people or else' pressure!).

Our school hols are at an end - just one more day - and then it's on with term 4.  Hope your long weekend is a good one.  xoxo cat

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