Friday, November 28, 2014

I quilt, therefore I am (a quilter)

So modern quilting, eh?

Go read GnomeAngel and Pretty Bobbins. Now go read Jane at Make Modern Magazine. Come back when you're done. I'll just put up a cat pattern while I wait:

#cats and #quilts

#cats #catsofinstagram #honestsewingroom

#cats #catsofinstagram

Okay, you're back? Good.

Sometimes people ask me, "where you do really come from?" What they mean is "you're not white, so you can't be Australian." But I am Australian, even though I don't look like what these people think "Australian" looks like.

This is not a tangent, I promise!

"Australian" can be a label that other people put on me - or take off me, in my case. But it's also just what I am.

It's what I am now, at this point in time. However, at a future point in time, I might decide to renounce my Australian citizenship in favour of another citizenship. Or take on another citizenship as well and be both Australian and something else.

Labels are temporary things. They peel off or fall off or wear off, and sometimes we pick them up and stick them on again, and sometimes we leave them where they lie. Sometimes we sticker over the labels we already have, rebadge ourselves to fit in with a changing terminology, or tuck a label out of sight.

Be you, and don't worry about the label.

And that's how I feel about quilting and the label of 'modern quilter'.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

SOS: Day One - workspace and WIP

Day One: Take a "before" picture and list your works in progress

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday

So, having just moved, I had the time/space to start setting things up in a way that works for me.

I'm about halfway there.

The 5x5 Expedit was a lucky 2ndhand purchase on Ebay - I probably should have paid a lot more for it! But it's perfect for the corner and for storage. The Horn cabinet is a bit old and some parts of the plastic rim around the platform are cracking off, so I'll need to work out how to fix or replace this.

I like the way the storage is next to the large cutting mat and the large cutting mat is next to the window, but I have a little 'table' at my elbow, thanks to the Horn cabinet, and I need a smaller cutting mat that fits nicely on there. The one i have there right now is too large and I keep bumping into it when I'm turning around to iron.

I like having the iron directly behind my sewing station so I can just swivel around and iron seams.

You can't see it from here, but the Horn cabinet shelving is not very good - fixed, rectangular, and kind of pokey. There are not apparently any specific spaces for thread spool storage. This is a problem! In fact, the cabinet has several design issues but I got it cheap, so what can you do? (Well, apart from selling it and buying a new one.)

I want a design wall up on the corner, and preferably some shelving. Ideally, shelving that the cats can't jump on. Yeah, I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon. But the design wall, at least!

So that's the before pic. It's fairly neat, but not that well organised. I have to think about what is where, and most of my fabric is not on display, which, again, can be a problem.

Displaying/sorting/filing the fabric is a big issue for me. If I don't know what I have then I buy more of it, and I'm out of space.

- Honey Honey

- Mendocino Mermaids (quilting by me)
- Rainbow Charms (quilting by me)
- Farmhouse (quilting by me)
- USA Hurray (quilting by Jo)
- Pantone Quilt Challenge (quilting by Jo)
- King of Bling (red letter day) (quilting by Jo)
- Shattered Star (quilting by Jo)

- millefiori madness
- Build Me Up Buttercup (requires borders)
- Expanding Horizons (around the world quilt - the old one) (requires borders)
- supernova friendship block quilt (blocks)
- batik log cabin blocks (blocks)
- 2 Camille Roskelley block quilts (pieces cut)
- snowflake quilt (blocks)
- Valley of the Kings (blocks)
- Swarm (blocks)
- Starry Starry Night (foundation paper piecing)
- Rainbow Selvages (foundation block selvages)
- Patchwork Hearts (cushions)
- Vietnamese silk quilt


- Aviatrix Medallion quilt (scrappy fabric collections)
- Heather Ross: Imagine Greater (loose log cabin)
- Magic Stars by Aneela Hoey (Cuzco layer cake)
- baby quilt for Teddy W (Riley Blake's pirates in a Magic Stars pattern?)
- Chinoiserie quilt cover
- ALL THE SCRAP QUILTS EVER (I think I should put 'Scraps. Inc.' on my Christmas wish-list. And run a InstascrapQAL in 2015.)

- Juliet Dress in Washi Tape Fabrics
- slip-on dresses in Joel Dewberry's Heirloom and Notting Hill

- Pacific Rim Gipsy Danger messenger bag
- at least one Sew Sweetness bag from her book

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with zippered pouches

I went on a sewing jag on the weekend, resulting in lots of finishes, which I've posted about here, but just for prettiness, I've put a few more down on this post.

I'm on a zippered pouch jag right now, so:

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday

Well, maybe it's a bag jag?

Quilting catch up!

And this is a little zippered pouch that will certainly stand out in any group of modern sewists!

WIP Wednesday

Anyway, with the weekend and these finishes here, my only outstanding gift exchange stuff for 2014 is the Friendship Supernova, which has another three blocks to go. (Technically six, since I'm making three for me and three for her.) I'll worry about January's birthday gift after Christmas!


starry starry night

Another block - better than the last - not so monolithically coloured, but still a little too same-same. Haven't worked out how to get the colours suitably contrasting.

WIP Wednesday

And I redid a block that I didn't like, but couldn't do that much for it:

WIP Wednesday

I still don't know what I'm going to do with these.

millefiori madness

More work on the train. Not a lot, though.

WIP Wednesday

List of WIPs

I thought that, as part of the organising end of the move, I would do the 'Summer Organising Series' from over at A Quilting Life. And on Day 2, you're supposed to list your WIPs.

- millefiori madness
- Build Me Up Buttercup (requires borders)
- Expanding Horizons (around the world quilt - the old one) (requires borders)
- supernova friendship block quilt (blocks)
- batik log cabin blocks (blocks)
- 2 Camille Roskelley block quilts (pieces cut)
- snowflake quilt (blocks)
- Valley of the Kings (blocks)
- Swarm (blocks)
- Starry Starry Night (foundation paper piecing)
- Rainbow Selvages (foundation block selvages)
- Patchwork Hearts (cushions)

...I seem to have quite a few more than I realised.

Aim for this year: get through at least half of these. Preferably all, but I have some major scraps to get through, too. (InstaScrap QAL anyone? I'll get a post going in December, ready for a kickoff in January!)

How are your WIPs going? Linked up to one of the linky posts of the week?

Monday, November 24, 2014

Summer Organising Series (and some finishes)

I've decided to pick up the summer organising series again from over at A Quilting Life. This was originally featured in the Northern Hemisphere summer, but I was too busy buying a house, trying to sort stuff out, and packing to move.

Now that I've actually moved in and we've gotten rid of the old house, it's time to start getting the new place organised!

So that'll be the next couple of weeks leading up to Christmas. Because...


I'm not quite completed on the Aussie Christmas Swap, and I just remembered the supernova friendship block swap!

Considering I was as far behind as September's exchange for the Aussie Handmade Birthday Club exchange (Party 3, calling Party 3 - we need a cleanup for a delayed swapper on Party 3...), getting everything done over the weekend was such a relief!

I'm going to put up some photos without telling you who got what. Which means if the people who are due to receive gifts are is your chance to look away so you don't get spoiled!

Quilting catch up!
The bag is by Jeni of In Color Order , and I've seen it around the intarwebs but never gotten around to making it. It looked so stylish, I figured it must be tricksy, but it's really very easy!

Quilting catch up!
Zipper pouches (tutorial from The Purl Bee). I was going to do some funky stuff with the Monkey Wrench block and the inside of the pouch, but opted out in the end. But I will never fear the zipper pouches again!

My own shopping bag design.

Okay, so that last one wasn't actually finished at the point where I took the photo. I probably should have taken a finished photo of it. (Forgot. Of course.) But I need to make a pattern for that bag. It's a very compact, useful thing, and it's not that hard to make. Just finicky with the sewing and the french seam.

I hope the recipients like them! I also added in a little extra gift for the September and October gifts since they were late.

And December's gift is done! (No previews. It's not on its way yet, and won't be until December rolls around.)

So I don't have to worry until January. By which time I expect to have learned yet another new sewing skill. I don't know what yet, but I'll let you know...

So I have time to start sorting my fabric collection and working out what to use it all in. And avoid acquiring any more!

I did acquire a layer cake of Kate Spain's Cuzco collection, which is rare as hen's teeth, but was marked down! This shop is the same one where I got bolts of Mendocino Mermaids (fuchsia swimming sisters and gold mermaids) in 2012. I tell you, they have no idea the value of what they have half the time!

Not that I'm complaining!

Anyway, organising my sewing room. And finishing a quilt pattern I promised to Make Modern Magazine back in August. Le sigh. It's stunning, but just so finicky. Plus, ugh, yardage calculations.

I do not think I have the temperament for quilt-pattern making. My quilting is opposite to my writing. When I write, I plan everything out. EVERYTHING. Who says what and what they're doing, expressions, thoughts, behind-the-scenes, history, background, and overall context. I don't just write, I over-write.

Quilting, on the other hand, I just do off the cuff! No calculating or planning in advance, just do it!

Weird, right?

Anyway, I'll work out what I'm working on by the time WIP Wednesday rolls around. Maybe.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one where my brain comes back

So, my quilting brain has come back to me at last!

And I am now finishing a whole bunch of things that got left dangling like a past participle!

And contemplating the prospect of starting a few new ones - particularly given the arrival of my Amy Butler charm-along squares!



Lions, and Tigers, and French Doors, Oh My!

(It was supposed to be ibex, but I didn't end up using the ibex fabric.)


I just need to sew on some snaps. It's really hard to persuade myself to sew on some snaps. You wouldn't think it would be, but it is!

Starry Starry Night

What happens when you run out of background fabric? You stop production of these foundation-paper-pieced stars.


What happens when you discover that one of the blues in C+S's Spring 2014 Basic Collection almost-perfectly matches that background fabric? You rejoice like a great rejoicing thing and start production again!


I'm debating whether to turn them into a bag, or whether to add another two (instead of one) and turn them into a fabric container box.

patchwork hearts

These are some heart blocks, the pattern for which I made up a couple of years back, including creating a foundation paper-pieced block for the 'V's.

I never made more than the two - hardly enough for a full quilt, or even a half quilt. Possibly a mini.


But they're going to be turned into cushions. Maybe 20" cushions, or possibly larger ones with a little border. Have to think about that - as well as whether I want to do the border part.

Millefiori Madness


Nothing needs to be said.


And everything all together (plus my cat and a layer cake of Kate Spain's Cuzco which I found on sale at Fabric Warehouse. I also bought four roller cutter blades, and 8m of cotton batting with scrim.

Plus, I got someone to explain scrim to me! In a way that I actually remember!)


One of these days I'll actually get my finished quilts photographed. Maybe.

What's everyone else been doing lately?

Thursday, November 13, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one where I'm starting to get my brain back

So, my sewing brain is starting to come back. HUZZAH!



Slowly coming together!

Still haven't actually sewn anything in this house! #honestsewingroom

My biggest problem right now is the volume of scraps and how to handle them. Sort by size? By cut? By colour? How do you sort yours? And what kind of storage spaces do you use?

And that doesn't even address the really big problem: How to actually use all those scraps!

More scrap quilts. More 'put together on the fly' quilts. A few more Dead simples. Something. ANYTHING.

Aussie Birthday Handmade Club - Part #3


*sobs into her fabric*

My recips for September and October (and November if it comes to it) will be getting nice little extras from me for my supreme and horrendous tardiness.


Let's not even go there.

Millefiori Madness

Another couple of rosettes being put together:

Slowly. Oh, so slowly... #epicmillefioriquilt

With layout:

#epicmillefioriquilt Reminding myself where the pieces go.


What's been happening to everyone else in the last couple of months? I didn't even check feedly for a while there. Would you believe my feed backed up to over 400 posts that I missed? I tried to skim through them but ended up having to go 'mark all as read' because I simply couldn't handle it all.

Hopefully there will be more and better progress in the next month. There has to be, because:

I haven't yet entered a shop where Christmas music is playing, although I'm sure it's only a matter of time. Here, we have no Thanksgiving to mitigate the horror of early-onset Christmas with its brittle tinsel and tinny music...


Linking up to Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

To Do for November/December 2014

Unpacking the workroom has made me realise just how much fabric I have. And how much of it is half-finished projects and/or scraps.

So, I think, for the rest of the year, I may have to do nothing but scrap quilts and half-done projects. This may or may not be very successful, but if you aim for nothing you hit it every time, right?

WIPs - in pieces
- batik log cabins
- kaleidoscopes of autumn (was Don't Call Me Betsy's kaleidoscope QAL before I changed it up)
- comparing apples and pears
- violet crumble (was Blogger's Block Party 2012)

WIPs - borders
- Build Me Up Buttercup
- Diamonds are a Girl's Best Friend

WIPs - needs backing
- USA Hurray
- Radiant Orchid
- Farmhouse Stars

And then there are the scraps! Basically, all the quilts out of all the scraps ever for the next two months. (Possibly the next two years.)

Even simple quilts like Licorice Allsorts are good - all those little charm squares lying around.

Licorice Allsorts

Or the Scrap Vomit quilt by imagingermonkey.

Or the Rainbow Coins Quilt at Pile O'Fabric.

At some point I need to take photos of the four quilts I finished (read: finally got bound) during September/October.

The problem with getting anything done right now is that it's pretty much a recursive function:

I can't unpack because I'm running out of space due to having UFOs taking up so much of the storage area.
I can't finish the UFOs because I don't have the space to pull them out and start working on them.

Repeat ad infinitum...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Absent Week

Moving has taken all the wind out of my quilting sails - not only because I packed all my fabrics and sewing things away, but also because unpacking and sorting takes just about all the time I have brainspace for.

Plus, getting rid of the excess of a 600sqm+ house after splitting a household into a 125sqm house and a 60sqm apartment is a big effort.

The only photo I have of a quilt in the last two weeks is this one - 1, 2, 3, Go Momo!


I did this quilt back in 2012, and only just got it quilted. And while I'm trying to sell the bedframe, I thought I'd take a pic or two of the bed with a quilt on it. 1, 2, 3, Go Momo! was just the right size for it.

I feel like I need enough time to breathe, but we're still packing up the remainder of the old house (where the bedframe and furniture is), and unpacking at the new. My ginormous 5x5 IKEA Expedit is all set up in the workroom, my machine is sitting on my Horn sewing cabinet (the machine platform needs a new rim), and I've started unpacking boxes. The problem is primarily one of organisation - the urge to start sorting now is hard to resist. But, really, I'm better off getting everything into the shelves and then working out how I want to arrange it.

#honestsewingroom now to fill it with fabric!

Maybe next week I'll get some sewing done?

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

No Actual WIPs were worked on this week...

So it's not really a WIP Wednesday post...

Basically, I'm supposed to be packing up my quilting space for the move on Saturday.

Projects to be packed up this morning. But I might squeeze a bit of cutting in there...

I was just going to do a bit of sorting and cutting of scraps, before putting my 'current projects' away.


Yeah. I know.

Next thing I know, I've found a bunch of 5" x 5" charm squares from a Bella Solids pack and I'm sewing.

Licorice Allsorts

It just turned into a quilt in the space of a couple of hours!

Licorice Allsorts

I'm calling it "Licorice Allsorts" although it's informal name is going to be "A Quilt Top Called Procrastination" (after the Tennessee Williams play, obvs).

Not a very complicated quilt, or a terribly precise one. (Not that you can see - I haven't ironed it: all the seams are finger-pressed at best!) But it's probably going to end up covering our floors in the new house - or possibly not since I spread it out for a photoshoot and Smokey promptly rolled on it, leaving a little furry patch on it that's pretty visible. Visible fur = bad floorquilt. We'll see after it's quilted - time to practise some FMQ, I feel!

Speaking of floors - the ones in the house are polished!


That's just the first coat. It looks pretty good, though! I'm about to head over to the house to check out the final product.

It's the final stretch - move on Saturday, unpacking Sunday and next week... It'll be nice to be stable again, not in the middle of everything, but hard to get used to living somewhere else after so long where we've been.

There will probably be no WIP Wednesday next week either, unless I end up doing some sewing on the way in to the city tomorrow night.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

WIP Wednesday: The One With Sherbet Binding

Back in the swing of things!

And so: a finish!

1, 2, 3, Go Momo!

On the lawn of the new house:

I was hoping to get something rigged up to hoist it for better photography but no time and equipment! This is at Kim Bradley Creations, during the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild's Sunday Super Sew-in.


I put the binding for this quilt aside when I first made it, and I'm so glad I did: it looks so good with the binding in the matching colours - and the short, colourful lengths.

I'm calling this the sherbet binding, because that's what I think of when I look at it. #quilting

I called it "the sherbet binding" while making it, because that was what I thought of while putting it all together...

My cats are particularly pleased by it...or rather, by the fact that I've left it lying around, suitable for lounging on.

All You Quilts Are Belong To Us! #cats #catsofinstagram

Mal refuses to be outdone by Smokey: All My Quilt Are Belong To Them #cats #catsofinstagram


Quilting Area

It's a mess right now, between sorting and packing and selling my IKEA EXPEDIT (where I've been storing my fabric these last couple of years).

4th October: D is for Disorganised - or: the state of my sewing space right now! #honestsewingroom #fmsphotoaday

Most of the fabric is now packed away, and I've decided to put the finished tops away (I was hoping to manage to put some backings together) but I'm cutting up scraps and trying to finish a couple of small projects and bind some of the quilts that have come back (apart from MoMo, I have three other quilts that need binding)...

My sister (B2) moves next Wednesday, which means I need to have my sewing area all cleaned up so she can get the piano out. Then the Saturday after that, my other sister (B1) and I move out into our new house. It's going to take some getting used to: we've grown up in very large houses, and this is really a very small one. Adjustments will be necessary.

Floor Quilts

I have managed a mess of scrap cutting:

Cutting scraps into strips. So scraps. Many fabric. Ahhh!

These are being turned into quilts for going on the wooden floors of the new house. Don't want rugs - they're awful to clean cat vomit off. Solution: make darkly colourful floor quilts, then wash as necessary.

I can even change 'rug' designs as I please!

The Passacaglia

Have started basteing again. Remembered why I stopped: these pieces!

Confession time: I hate the B-pieces of the  #passacaglia there is just no nice way to do it, and that obtuse angle is dreadful to sew down. Any #epicmillefioriquilt-ers have tips or advice?

I have decided I really really hate the B-pieces of the passacaglia. One very acute angle, one very obtuse one, and the fabric never seems to co-operate. *grr*

I'm going to start sewing through these ones; they're just too fiddly and annoying, and they need to be, at the least, decent so they sit right in the rosette centres.

To Do (before moving)

- bind California Girl quilt
- bind Spinning Diamonds
- make at least one floor quilt top

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

To Do list of quilts

Notes for myself - to be added to

to do

snowflake quilt
- make extra snowflake
- put together

Aviatrix Medallion quilt
- maybe early 2015

Heather Ross: Imagine Greater (Imaginary Creatures)
- simple log cabin
- order some unicorns yardage for backing (with pink swimming sisters and gold mermaids)

Magic Stars by Aneela Hoey
- something bright for this

Juliet Dress in Washi Tape Fabrics
- do in new house ASAP - SUMMER IS COMING

baby quilt for Teddy W
- eek

My own design
- finish the blocks at this month's super sew-in

- draw up the design

"All The Leaves Are...Brown?"
- draw up the design
- plan the process

House thing:

curtains for house
- Essex Dyed Linen (steel)
- Kate Spain fabrics
- triangles down the length of the curtains?

floor coverings for house
- scrappy
- cut up scraps today
- Moda Modern building blocks?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one where I get back on the horse

So, my finger has finally healed up to the point where touch it to something doesn’t produce bizarre tingly feelings, so I’ve started doing a little bit of sewing again. Some packing (not half enough) and some sorting.


This is supposed to be coming together as a shopping tote.

Yes, even with the Kaffe Fassett Pickle Dish blocks.

Don't know if these are going to work for the originally intended purpose...

Except that the colour isn't working. (It's not just the filter, I promise!)

You know when you have this really good mental idea of what something is going to look like, and halfway through you think it’s horrible and awful and WHY DID I DO THAT OH NOES, and then it turns out really really good?

I don't think this is like that. I just can't find this fabric's mojo.

Nothing in this collection works quite the way I want it to...

Which is a pity, because I rather like the collection, it's just not working for me.


There’s not much more in progress than that. Most of my sewing stuff is packed away, so I can’t just browse fabric and decide to work on something. And I'm in a bit of a lump right now, struggling with all the stuff that needs to happen right now.

Although one bright spot is receiving the Massdrop bundle of Heather Ross’ ‘Far Far Away’!

Oooooh! #heatherross #farfaraway #massdrop arrives!

Far Far Away is a lovely, lovely collection and it will most likely go in the ‘Imaginary Creatures’ quilt which is going to be made up of the Mendocino Mermaids, Gnomes, Unicorns, and aliens from HR’s other collections.

And I need to buy some unicorns yardage for backings. Because.

What have you been up to this week?