Wednesday, February 10, 2016

WIP Wednesday: the one with namelessness


Hello Luscious

I don't really have a name for this quilt; I've had the pieces lying around for ages, and the pattern is from Camille Roskelley's "Simply Retro" book of quilts.

At the @sydmodsquad sew-in. Chain piecing is the best! #helloluscious #basicgreyfabric #modafabric

The layer cake of Hello Luscious has been sitting around for ages; it's not really my style anymore and I probably should have sold it, but but but but but...

Hello luscious blocks

Did the work at the Sydney Mod Squad sew-in on Sunday - first Sunday of the month at Hobbysew Top Ryde, if you're in Sydney and would like to come along, it's all-day machine sewing, good friends, happy chats, and all things quilty.

Plain Jane Passacaglia

I'm missing the B-pieces for my latest rosette:

#plainjanepassacaglia takes forever when it's only occasional commuting.

Slightly annoying.


1. Shattered Star
2. The Seaweed Is Always Greener
3. 3:10 to Mendocino
4. Intulawoven

All of which can vaguely be seen in this photo of my workroom:

Quilting workroom

I know there's no longer a WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced, but that was pretty much keeping me honest. Not sure if someone else is running something - if you spot something, do let me know! I don't get much traffic my way - my style is too modern for some, too traditional for others, and I don't have the time to get involved in much by way of QALs and bloghops right now. Life can get incredibly busy.

I'm more frequently on Instagram these days as @seldear if you'd like to follow me there. However I will continue to post the WIP Wednesdays as I go!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Intulawoven - finished top!

I've been posting about this one for a while - mostly in my WIP Wednesday posts, but the top has finally been finished!

Confession time: I'm not actually all that fond of making HSTs. It's not the sewing and cutting I mind so much, it's the ironing and trimming. sometimes it feels endless.

So much Tula! #aussiecharmalong

But I do love the patterns that can come about from HSTs. This one is from the book 'Crazy For Scraps' by Sally Schneider. 10 HSTs + 6 blank squares make for a 16" finished block that is then rotated through 90degrees repeatedly to give the 'Interwoven' look.

Photographed! #intulawoven #tulapink #aussiecharmalong

It's being entered in the Tula Pink Charm-Along Linky Party over at Ms Midge.

I think I'll just quilt this one simply with an all-over fiery curls pattern. The stunning is in the pattern, and I don't think the quilting should detract from that.

If I don't manage a separate, self-designed quilt for the Sydney Quilt Show, I think this one will be one of the entries for 2016.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

WIP Wednesday: the one with Intulawoven


I love the Interwoven pattern - it's basically the same block repeatedly rotated through 90degrees.

O is for organisation. #aussiecharmswap #aussiecharmalong

But the result is really stunning!

Australia Day workroom shot! #aussiecharmalong #intulawoven

Especially when colour-shifted!

Thinking a border might be in order. #aussiecharmswap #aussiecharmalong #intulawoven

I was planning to do 6 x 4 blocks, but discovered I didn't have quite enough pieces, so it'll just be 5 x 4 blocks.

Full pics tomorrow.

I could theoretically get it quilted and bound by Monday - spend Sunday quilting it - just the all-over flaming curls that are my quilting trademark. Part of me wants to get funky with the quilting, but I'm just not sure. This one might benefit from an all-over - and I do need to practise my FMQ...

Not much else to report this week - no movement on anything else.

Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

WIP Wednesday: the one with Tula Charms

Trying to keep up with everything in January is a lot of effort!

My garden is growing, my social life is humming, my work is an effort, and my writing is laboured. Plus, I'm having small and niggling health issues that are taking up a lot of time and energy.

Quilting is way down the queue right now.

On the plus side, Swarm made it to the QuiltCon offices and the dodgy points and the machine-sewn binding couldn't defeat the visual power of the design! (At least they haven't said "your points are rubbish and we're not going to hang this", so I'm guessing it's okay?

I'm so positive! :D

My big WIP this week is The Aussie Tula Charm-Along. The original charm swap was organised by Ms Midge, and involved (I think) 112 charms. Ish?

Tula Pink charm swap

And they're being sewn into HSTs:

Of course I wait until the week I'm back at work....

That's a lot of HSTs that need cutting and ruling and sewing and cutting and pressing and trimming...

So much Tula! #aussiecharmalong

Did I mention lot of HSTs?

TRIM ALL THE THINGS! #aussiecharmswap #aussiecharmalong #tulapink

But they're sewn and trimmed and sorted!

For a change, actual sewing things...  #aussiecharmswap #aussiecharmalong

And now it just requires sewing into blocks, and thenceforth into a quilt.

The problem is that it's due - finished - on the 27th, and while I could make it at a sprint, I find I don't have the time/energy to sprint. It's a hard knock life! Especially when my garden is growing so well!

Garden Jan 2016

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced, as I always do.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

WIP Wednesday: The One With Great Plans

Wow, hasn't it been a while? I hope your holiday season was full of good things, and if it wasn't, I hope you got to come home and think "well, at least that's over for another year!"

My Christmas was pretty awesome - food, fun, and family. And apart from the absolutely urgent stuff (frantic gift-making, getting Swarm ready for posting), it was marked by almost a complete lack of quilting!

However, I do have a few things to report!

Cushions for my mother

The frantic gift was my mother's cushions, which I promised to her many months ago.

The initial attempt didn't quite turn out the way I planned.

Parental gift. #ohboy

So it was back to the drawing board:

Dear Mum, how much do I love you? Let me count the stitches... #handmadechristmasgifts

And this time I liked it a lot better.

It wasn't that difficult sewing the curves - the problem was mostly the piping - I'm very bad at doing piping, it's never as tight as I'd like it to be. Do you have tips on how to get really tight piping?

But the end result was pretty spectacular - and matched the quilt and pillows I made her several years back!

All the matching quilty things! #handmadechristmasgifts

And the close-up:

This was my mother's Christmas present: two cushion covers to match the quilt and pillows I made her a few years back. I'm pretty happy with how they turned out! ��

Blocks for the Sydney ModSQuad group quilt 2016

Done! Easier than expected.

My @sydmodsquad blocks! All done! Now to break open the wine and cheese...

There will probably be a sewing bee in January to put it all together in a top, and then it's time to quilt it!

The Tula Pink Charm-Along

I did a charm swap with a bunch of other Aussies, organised by Ms Midge.

112 different Tula Pink fabrics in 5" charms!

Tula Pink charm swap

Tula Pink charm swap package: arrived! �� @msmidge thanks for organising!  �� (also: #cats) #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal

And the challenge? To make a quilt using them. Any additional fabrics are fine, so long as the charms are in the quilt.

The Charm-Along runs to the 25th January, and of course I waited until I was back at work to start piecing it.

Of course I wait until the week I'm back at work....

HSTs right now. Lots of HSTs...

There's definitely a plan for them, we'll see how it turns out...

The 2016 Plan

I have a UFO Challenge laid out - 12 quilts to complete in 2016

1. Plain Jane Passacaglia
2. Duct Tape, or the Force (have you seen the new Star Wars yet? I have! Multiple times!)
3. Selvage Strings
4. Batik Logcabin
5. Tula Pink Interwoven (Charm-along)
6. Scrappy Disappearing 9-patch
7. Dancing Stars

Not sure about the last 5 - I have plenty of tops and quilts to be quilted, and then I'll have to start making some hard decisions about who gets what, because we can't keep all the quilts that I'm making - there are just too many of them (and we have limited space).

Anyway, how is your New Year going? Have you linked up to any of the WIP master posts that are around?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

"Swarm" got accepted into Quiltcon!

My quilt got accepted into Quiltcon - the Modern Quilt Guild's annual quilt show!

I'm a little bit surprised - last year, they were really pushing the 'modernist' look for quilts: lots of negative space, improvisational piecing, and so forth, and 'Swarm' doesn't really fit that profile:

"Swarm" - photographed square! Such a labour of love and inspiration. And yes, @2bees, I'm filling out the competition forms now! #swarmbysel

But it was lovely to get that email!

Now I have to: a) label and label-cover, b) fit a sleeve, c) package and post.

Guess that's going to be this weekend gone!

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

WIP Wednesday: the one with Super Sew-Ins

Finished Tops

Birthday Block Swap

It took three years, but it's finally done! And now I have to work out what I'm actually going to do with it. It's not my style at all, not something I particularly want to keep, so...into the donation pile, perhaps? I need to find somewhere that will take quilt tops and turn them into quilts for charity...

One less UFO! Huzzah!

Did all the blocks while at the Sydney Mod SQuad December super sew-in - good times, good hangouts, good people!

@sydmodsquad Christmas meeting! For @skyberries, who can't be with us...

It's been a pleasure sewing with you ladies, and I look forward to sewing with you and the others in our group next year!


Supernova Friendship Block Swap

Started another block at the Mod SQuad super sew-in:

WIP Wednesday and Gertrude Made

The colour is awful - excuse the lighting.

The little things to the side are a set of coasters I'm making as a gift for a friend in Germany out of scraps. I have no shortage of scraps...

Plain Jane Passcaglia

Another rosette!

#plainjanepassacaglia on #sydneytrains

I think I'm going to have to set myself 30 minutes a day sewing these. 30 minutes a day sewing these and I'm set for the new year!

1 Hour Baskets

Mass production of hour baskets takes longer than 1 hour. But that's mostly because I umm and ahh over the fabric choices and colour combinations. What if it looks AWFUL?!?

Mass production of #1hourbasket takes a little longer than 1 hour...

Three were done on Friday night (the fourth one, I miscut the lining, then forgot to compensate)!

The #1hourbasket by @kelbysews makes an awesome last-minute gift!

They were perfect as last-minute gifts for a baby shower I had on the Saturday morning.

Now I just have to finish the 4th...

Gertrude Made

I bought two dresses from Cathi during her Gertrude Made sale at the end of November - both size 12.

#mygertrudemadedress...well, dresses, plural! I need a petticoat for these, I think, will hunt up a pattern in the next few days. In the meantime, such lovely dresses will be worn at every opportunity! �� Thanks Cathi! #selfie

They're lovely dresses, however the waist is very short and I have a very long waist, and I think size 12 is a little large on me. However, size 10 would probably be snug. It seems I am (unfortunately) a size 11, which makes nicely-fitting dresses an iffy proposition on me. (So does all the food I love eating...)

Still, they’re lovely 'lounging' dresses for when I want to be pretty but relaxed.

I need to make some petticoats for them - something to fluff out the skirts a little; it'll improve the look significantly I think!

I Am Unmoved

Christmas presents

1. parents: NOPE
2. stepbro and SIL: NOPE
3. stepbro: NOPE
4. B1 & B2: NOPE


This week is the Supernova Friendship, and the Parental Christmas Gift (because I just know it will take longer than planned; it always does).

Thursday, November 26, 2015

WIP Wednesday: the one with mad UFOs



Tops are done. Although not in this pic, where I took the opportunity to grab all the sisters in my life and stick them into the photo as models:

WIP Wednesday late November

From left to right, B1 and Smokey, and B2 and Mal. The cats had to be lured with snacks, but seemed okay to sit there once they had one. Mind you, the moments before this were a bit of a circus! Oh, and excuse the bad lighting and the messy living room! :D

The finished quilts, with cats:

WIP Wednesday late November

Swarm by Sel


Swarm #swarmbysel

Full post here!

And it's being entered into the Quiltcon 2016 show. I don't think it'll make it - too geometric, not abstract enough. But what can you do?

Supernova Friendship Block Swap

I'm missing one of my swap partner's blocks, so I'm going to have to fill it in myself.

WIP Wednesday late November

I think my swap partner and I had fairly different fabric and colour ideas, too. While I love batiks, I adore BRIGHT ONES and she wanted very complementary colours, while I like a theme of colours with a little riot in the middle of it. As a result this quilt's colour palette is very unsatisfying for me.

I'll probably add another four blocks to the side and possibly also some sashing and posting with bright pops of colour, just to give it zing.

Birthday Block Swap

Do I remember how long ago this swap was? Nope. I didn't get all the blocks from it either. And I don't know what I was thinking in choosing the block. Ugh. Oh well, finish and give away, maybe? Possibly split them up and make another set of sibquilts? That's a thought!

WIP Wednesday late November

Maybe make three or four quilt tops from this set - for a larger size family? Looks like I'm going to have more nine-patches in my future!

Also: cats and quilts and photography:

WIP Wednesday late November

Oh, Smokey.

Plain Jane Passacaglia

There's a submission for Australian Millefiori Quilts that's due in March next year. TO THE MILLEFIORIMOBILE!

WIP Wednesday late November

Also, as it turns out, this week's rosette matches not only my nails, but also my needlebook!

I Am Unmoved

Christmas presents

1. parents: NOPE
2. stepbro and SIL: NOPE
3. stepbro: NOPE
4. B1 & B2: NOPE

One of those days, those NOPEs will be YEPs. In a month or less because WINTER CHRISTMAS IS COMING. (Sorry, going to do that to death.)

Relatives are getting soaps and scrubs and suchlike. Yes, even the guys. Guys have skin and get dirty too, and IMO if their masculinity is impugned by washing with 'fancy' soap, then it's a pretty damn fragile construct of gender, ain't it?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

finished quilt: "Swarm"

It's a long way to the finished quilt if you want to design your own...

Swarm #swarmbysel

Say hello to "Swarm"!

I started it around May 2014, with a design idea but not very much of a clue on how to execute it. I knew I wanted to use the new line of quilting fabrics, Cotton + Steel, though, so I bought a great deal of the Basics range, and then set about cutting it up.

I swear @cottonandsteel have something in their dyes. I'm starting to like colours I wouldn't usually touch with a ten foot pole..

There was a lot of sewing and cutting and ironing and trimming. It has 20 rows, and nearly 30 triangle blocks in each row. That's 600 pieces - not counting that the large triangles are made up of 2 pieces, and the small triangle blocks are made up of 4 pieces that need to be sewn together.

Piecing, piecing, piecing. #secretproject #ofDOOM and in the background my hard-driven Brother NS50 which I bought before I realised there were machines specially designed for quilting. And which is in for its first service long as I've had i

That's at the old house - the one that we had to clear out before buying a new house, redoing it, and moving into it last year. So it kind of went on hold in the middle of all that, and then there was the settling in and the starting of the garden and the summer... I didn't get back on the job until Autumn 2015 - around March.

It took me a year (April 2015) to get to the point where I had enough pieces to start putting it all together:

Many things

There were times when I despaired of how many pieces were needed, and how complicated the whole quilt was. However, my quilt groups kept telling me to keep going, keep going, it looks great, it's going to be gorgeous

And when it did start coming together, it was beautiful!


I don't know what it is about this quilt, but it just hits people in the feels. I've had a lot of people admiring it! Maybe it's the colours, the brightness, the...well, playfulness of the pattern... At any rate, it's definitely a show-stopper!

WIP Wednesday: swarm by Sel

Maladicta even gave it the butt-stamp of approval. Which, okay, in this house, isn't difficult. But she was quite happy with it...

WIP Wednesday: sprint for the show

I had a backing, I had a plan for quilting it, tt was going to be submitted in the Sydney Quilt Show...

And then I pulled a muscle in my calf. Ow.

And I couldn't do the quilting and couldn't find someone to do the quilting for me in the time left before the quilt had to be submitted. So, no show. *sighs* While at the show, I looked at the two spaces allotted to the quilts that I couldn't finish due to my injury, and sighed.

I sent it off to my quilter before I went overseas, I think, and have been waiting for her to get back to me. It took a while, but when it was definitely worth it!

#swarmbysel is back from the quilters and has been promptly colonised by Smokey. #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal #cats #catsofinstagram

Smokey agreed. No sooner had it taken it out of the mailing bag, then she settled on it. She's since pretty much taken every opportunity to head-butt it, muzzle-rub against it, or roll in it.

There's a part of me that still can't believe I thought up this pattern, let alone executed it!

"Swarm" - photographed square! Such a labour of love and inspiration. And yes, @2bees, I'm filling out the competition forms now! #swarmbysel
Name: Swarm
Size: 75" x 88"
Design: original by Sel

I'm trying to write a pattern for it, but it's a bit exhausting, and everything's pretty busy right now.

I've submitted it to the Modern Quilt Guild's competition for Quiltcon 2016 in...San Diego, I think? However, I doubt it will make it in - I don't think it's quite 'modern' enough as the MQG defines modern quilts.

It looks stunning, though. And I'm definitely keeping this one. :)

If you want to go back and see the progress of this quilt, the hashtag on Instagram is #swarmbysel. (Some of the earlier pics won't be tagged because I only came up with the name this year.)

I'm linking this up to Sew Modern Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creations!