Wednesday, 29 April 2015

.: WIP Wednesday - Cotton + Steel Mini Quilt Swap progress :.

Wahoo! - I'm finally back onto sewing my Cotton + Steel Mini Swap - the pieces have been cut and ready to roll for a few weeks, but have taken a back seat while I continue on with bee blocks and blocks for my girls' quilts.

I don't want to say too much yet about the reasons I've chosen these particular colours and the Mini Dwell pattern for this swap - as it's all very secret squirrel until it's been received.  :-)

There are 27 different Cotton + Steel fabrics so far in this mini - in fact, it'll probably stay at around 27 total, since I'm planning to sash with a mix of the low volumes I've already used.  At this stage, I'm thinking the binding will be scrappy.

I do love all the mini houses, but I think my favourite is the purple house in the middle, with the green rabbit in the doorway.

Linking up - for the second week in a row! - with Lee's WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Hope you've been getting plenty of making done so far this week too.  xoxo cat

Sunday, 26 April 2015

.: weekend sewing :.

I haven't shared bee blocks for ages, so thought I'd share these happy Lady of the Lake blocks I made over the weekend for Leanne.

Our doGoodStitches Care Circle has a little side-bee going on - the 'Sew Sisters' - and we have two months rather than just one, to make blocks.

Leanne asked for her blocks to include pink, lime, orange (wahoo, my favourite colour combo!), plus red, aqua and yellow.  I snuck in a few tiny fussy cuts.

These blocks were fun to make, and much quicker than the post-block fabric-mountain fold-and-tidy-up!   I sewed them up while watching Season One of 'Little House on the Prairie' with my youngest - she'd never seen it before and was completely taken by the Ingalls and their life in Walnut Creek :-)

I sewed up another couple of words blocks for my girls' quilts, again using the fantastic Moda Spell it with Fabric letter patterns.  Both my girls are huge readers and are rarely without a book tucked under their arm.

For the Moda letters, I cut each block out completely and then pop all the pieces inside the relevant page in the pattern book - and then flip through the book and sew the blocks in alphabetical order.   Once the letters are finished, I sew a one-inch-cut strip to the right-side of each letter (unless it's not needed), before adding it to the next letter.

Since this word was 'read', I made sure to use text-fabrics for all the backgrounds.

I couldn't help a bit of fussy-cutting from the wonderful Carrie Bloomston's Collage text-print for the A's.

And I liked the effect created from fussy-cutting the 'flower stripes' from Melody Miller's Ruby Star Polka Dot handbags.

Hope you found some time to sew over the weekend.  xoxo cat 

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

.: WIP Wednesday - quilt-accountability :.

I've been making blocks for my girls' quilts AND for my + the husband's quilt for an embarrassingly long time.

So long in fact, that my girls' tastes in fabrics and blocks have matured and changed - what's with kids growing up?! - and as well as sewing my own blocks, I've also now asked for blocks for our quilt from not one but TWO bees, stretching over two years ... oh yes, all three quilts have been several YEARS in the making.

The pics below are all of the DFTBA (from the Vlogbrothers' Don't Forget To Be Awesome tagline - if you haven't heard of them, make a cup of tea and click through for a little watch of some of their You Tube videos, they're very awesome) and 'sleep' blocks I made during the holidays.

It's time to finish these quilts!  I'm so very close with all three quilts - I need to make three more words each for the girls - then add them to the various houses, stars, churn dashes, log cabins and x+ blocks that are ready to roll.  Layout is going to take an age - and then I know filler-blocks will have to be made - but I'm so close!

I've been calling the girls' quilts The Blue and Yellow, and The Green and Purple - but now they're The Blue, Yellow, Red and Purple (The BYRP), and The Green, Purple and Blue (The GPB), since we've had a bit of movement in the favourite-colour stakes.

Our quilt is to be a random mix of words, x+'s, houses - plus every random, orphan block I've ever made is going to make its way into it - two Lori Holt bras are in the block-pile, a couple of pairs of Penny's undies, oh look, the block-pile is random and varied.  And they're all just going to magically work together when it comes time to lay them all out, I promise you.  I can't wait actually, I know it's going to look very awesome, somehow.

I should say a little something just about these blocks you're having to look at.  They're the Moda 'Spell it with Fabric' letter patterns, which are fabulous and so straightforward and fast to make.  The purple DFTBA and green sleep are for my older daughter's GPB quilt.  And the blue DFTBA and purple sleep are for my younger daughter's BYRP quilt.  I've quite liked making the backgrounds pretty much the same for each word block - so the girls' will have 'matching' words in their quilts.

Part of the reason these quilts are taking me forever, is my fussy-cutting obsession and consequent inability to just cut fabric into strips and sew it back together.  I have this real need to fussy-cut wherever possible, and struggle with just using fabric 'normally' - I see it as a bit of a wasted opportunity to let the fabric shine - unless of course it's not a fussy-cutting kind of fabric.  And I know my aesthetic is WAY too busy and too colourful for a lot of people, but that's ok - we can't all make and like the exact same kind of quilts because that would be odd, boring and no fun at all.

I also like to squeeze a bit of meaning into my quilts where possible - so I do hope you've noticed the sleeping girl in the 'L' backgrounds, the reading girls in one of the 'E' backgrounds, and that I've specifically chosen 'love', 'happy' and 'dream' for the other 'E' backgrounds.  The thing is - I notice, and that's enough!

Let's just see how long it is before I'm back sharing more blocks for these three quilts ... surely not too long ... though now that school's back, I need to get back on track with my doGoodStitches and bee blocks, plus finish my Cotton+Steel mini swap.

Linking up - for the very first time! - with Lee's WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  Enjoy the rest of your week everyone.  xoxo cat

Monday, 20 April 2015

.: Cotton + Steel Giant Vintage Star quilt - wahoo! :.

Another quilt finished! - this is my Cotton + Steel Giant Vintage Star quilt, made from the super quick and straightforward tutorial by Jeni Baker.

I made it for two reasons - one, because I loved all the Giant Vintage Stars I've seen all over the internet, and two, to use a few of the Cotton + Steel fat quarters that I've been slowly accumulating thanks to the Pink Castle Cotton + Steel club.

The star is all made of Cotton + Steel fabrics, and the background is made from different favourite low volume fabrics - with just the sweet blue C + S tigers sneaking in on the bottom right - I just realised there's a whole little cat line-up going on there too, with Lizzy House's Catnap cats, and C+S lions and tigers, oh my.

I took the quilt with us down to Lennox Head for a few days, so I could do a little binding by the beach.

I even finished the binding in time to take a few photos on the beach on Saturday afternoon - but the steady easterly and late afternoon sun meant that they were not quite the relaxed, arty, beachy quilt pics I was hoping for - so we quickly took a few more in the backyard this afternoon. 

These next two pics came out great, since the quilt was safely folded and not snapping in the wind like a sail, ready to take off over the water.

I pieced the back out of a few more favourite low volume fabrics.

The binding is the same Dear Stella navy confetti print I used on my Bob Box

Kelly from The Quilt Machine did the quilting, and chose a really great edge-to-edge design that really complements the quilt, I love it. 

I'll definitely make another Giant Vintage Star - it's such a great pattern for highlighting some favourite fabrics - both in the star and background - and it sews together so very quickly.  I think next time I'll add a border to make it just a little bigger for a single bed.  This one is already living happily on the lounge.

Back to school for everyone in Queensland today.  Hope you've had a relaxing school holiday, and are ready for an awesome week.  xoxo cat

Friday, 17 April 2015

.: I Dream in Colour - my finished Nested Churn Dash quilt :.

Way back in September, I went along with my friend Tracy to Jane Davidson's Nested Churn Dash class at Patches Indooroopilly.  Here's my earlier post about it, which includes the super-nerdy fabric table I drew up for the quilt - it's very scrappy, so I wanted to be sure I wasn't repeating fabrics too closely and also that I was spreading colours evenly across the quilt.

It's called 'I Dream in Colour' and will soon be living on my older daughter's bed.  

Each block has a red centre (and there's a pink Cotton + Steel tiger in the middle of the centre block).  

I wanted each block to 'float' and so used Melody Miller's navy Cotton + Steel arrows for the final 'round' of each block, as well as for the sashing and binding.

Jane's class was excellent - she is a very talented designer and quilter, and very generous with her time and knowledge.  She will be teaching another Nested Churn Dash class at Patches very soon - click through on the link up above to contact Patches, if you would like to find out the details.

And as well as designing the quilt pattern and teaching the class, lovely Jane did the beautiful edge-to-edge quilting, in a mint Aurifil thread.

Jane's pattern is really clear - once you have cut and bagged up all your pieces into blocks, it chain-pieces together really quickly.  I sewed my first four blocks one by one, because I really wanted to see them finished! - and then chain-pieced the last five blocks - it was SO much quicker to do it that way.

This centre block is a particular favourite - for the Cotton + Steel tiger and horses, the Mendocino mermaids (did you hear that Windham are reprinting the mermaids?!), the V+A bottles, the Violet Craft bubbles, the Hello's and the little Jane references - look closely :-)

Each block is a favourite, in fact - I took so much care in choosing all the fabrics, writing them up in my nerdy-table, and then spent ages fussy-cutting everything possible.

The words in this one are from one of lovely Pat Sloan's fabric lines.

My finished quilt measures 79 " x 79", so it's a really great size - and thank goodness Brisbane is finally getting a little bit of cooler weather happening, so it can actually be put to use rather than sit folded at the end of the bed.  

You know I'm showing you close-ups of all nine blocks?  You've surely realised that by now?

I nearly went with the Cotton+Steel matches for the binding - or a scrappy mix of mustard-y fabrics - but then decided I wanted to keep the floating-feel of the blocks happening, so continued on with the arrows.

For the back I used a strip of the navy arrows again, but mainly Sarah Watts' Cotton + Steel lions! - love them! - and I used them for the little corner stones too.

I'm so happy with 'I Dream in Colour' - if you get a chance to do a class with Jane, or to buy the pattern and work away on it yourself at home - please do it!

Have a great weekend everyone.  xoxo cat

Monday, 13 April 2015

.: a few little makes :.

Hellooooo, hope you've had a great weekend.  Brisbane has finally realised it's autumn and has turned on a little cool weather - thank goodness for that, since a six-month sultry summer is not my idea of a good time.

Today I'm sharing a few little pressies I've made recently.  First up is a mini mini, all in Cotton + Steel, from Camille's mini Dwell pattern (it's a mini mini, since mini Dwell is for nine houses, and I only made one ...).

And now a mini mini Spools (and yep, the pattern is for nine spools) - all in Camille's fabrics, except for the grey/black text, which is Alison Glass.

And last one, a last-minute French-seamed goodie bag for Easter, using an Echino Alice in Wonderland rabbit + some wool felt.

And speaking of Easter, here's a tiny detail from the last Easter bonnet I think will ever make, since this will be our last year of primary school and the annual Easter bonnet parade  ... it's time to officially retire the hot glue gun and the stash of feather boas, teeny animals and styrofoam eggs.

Here's to a great week everyone.  On Friday I'll be back to share pics of my finished Nested Churn Dash quilt - I blogged about the first four blocks way back in September.  It's since been beautifully quilted by Jane Davidson (who also designed the pattern), and I bound it last week during a bit of school holiday television viewing (we've started right back at Season One for Parks + Recreation, loving it all over again).  xoxo cat
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