Wednesday, April 16, 2014

WIP: the one with millefiori madness


Do You Know Where You're Going To? (the one with the arrows)

Going nowhere. I've been focusing on other projects lately - namely the Millefiori Passacaglia - and haven't done a thing towards this.

Plus, I'm having layout angst. That feeling when you only have a vague idea of the design you want, but you don't know whether or not it will work? That.

Mondrian's Nine-Patch

Nothing to see here either, carry on!

(I will make a concerted push this weekend to get stuff done, because Australia has an Easter extra-long weekend. Progress will be made - on the nine-patch if nothing else. It's easy, right? RIGHT?)

Millefiori Passacaglia

(Also known as the "Insanity: Passacaglia version 1.0" quilt.)

This quilt design was popularised by Tula Pink on her instagram. It's from the book "Millefiori Quilts" by Willyne Hammerstein, and there are some lovely handsewing patterns in there! You can photocopy-and-print the pieces yourself, or sells them (for the Passacaglia, anyway) by the bucketload. Or you could probably do really funky things with one of those devices that cuts things for you, but I don't have one of those.

Hand-cutting it is!
millefiori passacaglia - early april

I photocopied and printed, but I also ordered in the paper pieces, because after a while you get tired of cutting out teeny tiny triangles, and this quilt is already tricksy enough!

Right now, I'm basting the pieces during my commute to and from work on the trains, and stitching them together on the weekend, while catching up on episodes of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (And, oh boy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier - talk about a game-changer!)

This is the productivity of 2/3 of my commute - I didn't pack enough pieces that morning, and ended up finishing all the basting I had.
millefiori pieces

This is the productivity of an entire commute:
millefiori pieces

And here is one I prepared earlier!
rosette 1

Finished, and photographed from above in more natural lighting:
rosette 1

I think I need to make better colour choices for the long, thin diamonds surrounding the centre star. Maybe I'll use Kona Ash instead of Kona Steel around the centre stars, so the star pops better? I didn't much like my original colour choices for the centre star either:

millefiori passacaglia - early april

So this is why I haven't gotten very far on my two show quilts! (Well, this is the sewing-related reason, anyway.)

To Do

Coasters Of Geekitude

Sewing all these little pieces of the Passacaglia - particularly the stars circled by bands of colour - along with my recent viewing of Captain America: The Winter Soldier made me realise that I could make not only a 'Captain America' star surrounded by concentric bands of colour, but also a 'Winter Soldier' star - scarlet on grey steel.

And then I thought of the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. patches I made last year:

So that's one for Nick Fury, and one for Maria Hill (who's my favourite character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - I love the quiet female characters who are full of surprises). With the Black Widow (a scarlet hourglass on black), and the Falcon (no icon), that makes six. Which is a full coaster set!

I'd have to work out a Falcon icon, though - perhaps a silver-grey wing on black?

I'd make two sets, give one away, and keep the other for when I have geeky guests. :D


Linking up at Freshly Pieced WIP Wednesday and possibly other places as I spot them!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Millefiori Madness: The Quilter's Edition

Oops. I think I posted this without actually having anything in it the first stime: rectifying now!

So, a couple of months ago, I mentioned buying Willyne Hammerstein's book Millefiori Quilts. I first saw it on Tula Pink's instagram, where she was doing a very modern, bright one, with fussy cutting, and very precise piecing. It looks amazing.

I went and bought the book, because, shiny! And I like a challenge and that quilt was very pretty! :)

wip wednesday march

The one she was making is called The Passacaglia:

wip wednesday march

Which is also the one that I decided to make. Because it's pretty, it only uses five pieces, and I like the effect. Plus, quite a few of the other blocks in the quilt could easily be done in more conventional quilting methods - ie. a template, a rule, a rollercutter, and a straight-stitch sewing machine.

I got printouts of the pieces, cut them out, and picked my fabric - Reese Scannell shot cottons.

millefiori passacaglia - early april

Currently, I have an hour-long commute from home to work, changing trains twice. It's awkward trying to open my computer every time, and this is something that whiles away the 15 minutes of a train trip between station A and station B.

I actually got a lot of pieces done while on the train:



And then there was the laying out:




Only I decided I didn't like the centre star - not enough contrast - so I ended up sewing yet another one for this combination:


Apologies for the bad lighting, we've just gone out of daylight saving and I work most hours that the light is out, so my light sources are not exactly reliable.

The interesting thing about these templates is that they're very much not limited to just the pattern of the Passacaglia:

I've just seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier this last week, and have been thinking about crafting a set of mug coasters around the emblems in the movie.

Those of you who follow my blog regularly will remember the SHIELD logo I made for my Melinda May cosplay - they would work nicely enough as coasters with a little bit of backing! One for Maria Hill and one for Nick Fury - excellent! An hourglass is easy peasy for the Black Widow emblem.

And using the Passacaglia pieces it's possible to make both The Winter Soldier's scarlet star on steel grey, and Captain America's star - made here in Kona White and one of the Kona blues (possibly Pacific?):


And then the only difficult one is the Falcon, since they didn't show an emblem for Sam Wilson (Anthony Mackie's character).

The things we do for geekitude...

Meanwhile, I'm learning all about needles and which ones are better for which fabrics, which cotton thread, and which tasks. It's quite a learning curve!

Nearly one Rosette don't know how many to go! *eeps*

edit: sorry, this post is kind of a WIP in and of itself. Will be finishing it later tonight.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with exhaustion

Things have been crazy at work and recovering at home, meaning I have no time to put up a WIP Wednesday post.

This is the late late version, and going to be pretty brisk.


Quite a few projects still on the go:

Do You Know Where You're Going To?

I got the arrows sewn together!

2nd April

Given my energy levels lately, this is a BIG THING.

I was going to work on the layout. no time, no energy, no space.

2nd April

Maybe next week?

Mondrian Dreaming

No progress, alas!

The Passacaglia (a.k.a. "Are you freaking insane?")

From Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein.

I photocopied the pieces out of the back of the book, and got them printed out onto some 100gsm paper for paper piecing. Cutting them out was a bit of a bother. And then I discovered that actually sells them pre-cut! *facepalm*

I ordered some of those, too. In the meantime, these are doing fine!

#millefioriquilts #passacaglia, cutting pieces and getting a colour check. Forgot to bring my low volumes, though!

I started this on Saturday, and began sewing bits together while commuting to work on the train. It makes the trip go pretty fast, and I seem to get quite a bit done!

millefiori passacaglia - early april

The low-vol pentagons, and the stars (scarlet pentagons, orange diamonds, and grey points) were all done on the train.

millefiori passacaglia - early april

...I think I have to work at taking pictures in better light. No wonder nobody likes my instagram photos!

To Do

Uh, sleep?

Oh, a new long-term scrap project - Dancing Stars on charcoal, thanks to Amy's Creative Side:

2nd April

Going to be scrappy, and use up this low-volume which turned out not to be quite as nice as I hoped it would be.

Hope your week is going better, and that you're geting plenty done! Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with UGH

First things first. YUCK FLICKR, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE??? To quote a young friend of mine: I CAN'T EVEN.

I'm really kind of pissed off about the fact that it automatically lists the setting as 'embed' rather than 'HTML' - no, I don't want people to go scrolling through my Flickr, thanks.

Anyway. I guess one more thing that I'll have to learn to work around... *grr*


Do You Know Where You're Going To?

Sewing HSTs together so they make perfect points!

wip wednesday

I think I'm doing okay.

wip wednesday

Aaaand the close-up!

wip wednesday

More to come next week - I've been a bit lax this last week. Got busy, got sick, still busy and still sick.

Mondrian Dreaming

I've cut a bunch of squares, but there are even more yet to be cut. *sigh*

wip wednesday

To Do


wip wednesday

There's the 'hexies' block from Hexa-Go-Go: I'm gradually going to put together a 4x4 of that for a throw.

And there's the pieces of the Passacaglia Quilt I'm planning for next year's quilt show entry.

And of course, tape measure for determining about how large the show quilts were going to be (mostly guessing, seeing as they're not yet done), and gluestick for sticking together all the little photocopies of the Passacaglia pattern so that I could fit lots of them on an A4 sheet for printing out on cardstock and turning into paper piecing templates...

It never stops. NEVER.

How about you? Hopefully you're less frustrated/exasperated/exhausted than I! And have better WIPs in the bag!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with serious Purple

This week has been rather less productive as work ramps up. With perhaps the exception of Saturday, when I had the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild meet-up, and then spent the afternoon putting together my Pantone Quilt Challenge 2014...not much movement!


Pantone Quilt Challenge 2014
Darling Violetta

46" x 61"

Darling Violetta - Pantone Quilt Challenge 2014

Full post about it's creation is here.

It's not particularly spectactular when compared to the other quilts in the challenge, but considering I only even imagined doing this it three weeks ago, I think it's quite good. And another quilt done!

I really need to make a few more of these quilts - they're fast, they're pretty good stash-busters and they make excellent gifts for very little effort!


Do You Know Where You're Going To?

That's this quilt:

quilt show

Trimming HSTs is a painful and painstaking process at the best of times, and I find I can usually only do it when I'm at a guild meeting or watching television shows. And even that's difficult.

I got these done at the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild sew-in at Greta's Handicrafts on Sydney's North Shore.

hsts & trimming

Thank heavens they're done.

Now I just have to sew them all together so the points match. And perform appropriate math to piece it all together.

*maniacal laughter*

Yeah, not looking forward to that.

Mondrian's Nine-Patch

No progress. I'll cut up the squares over the next couple of weeks since this one is easy enough. Split Nine Patches: lovely and simple (although, again with the trimming and matching things up).

To Do

baby quilt

My bible study leaders from the last two years have just had their first kid, and I should really make them a quilt for him! Haven't met him yet, but that's not surprising - they're getting used to being parents, I'm good with giving them time.

Something modern, in Kona Ash and various greens, I think.

instagram sale

I need to start cutting up fabrics for an instagram sale - I think I'm going to make it ANZAC day (25th April), because that's an Australian National public holiday, and far enough away that I'll have time and space to actually get things cut up and sorted out.

Millefiori: Passacaglia

I need to start sewing these on the way to work. With three trains to catch and plenty of waiting time, it shouldn't be too hard to get my fingers doing these while my brain gears up for work.


What have you been doing lately?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Pantone Quilt Challenge 2014: Darling Violetta

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid

I can't believe I actually decided to participate in this!

I was happily bumbling along, quite content to do my pattern testing, work with my solids, and get my 2014 Sydney Show quilts done...and suddenly my brain decides that it's time to do the Pantone Quilt Challenge 2014, a full two months after it's been announced.

My brain has amazing timing. A-may-zing

So I started picking out fabrics, basing it around Kona Violet, which was said to be the closest match, although the colour Pantone Radiant Orchid appears to be a little more pink than Kona Violet.
pantone radiant orchid quilt challenge

pantone radiant orchid quilt challenge

At first I thought I'd add to a bunch of blocks I made for a quilt-along back in 2011 (and which never made it off the ground) - and then I read the rules and noticed the "must be started in 2014" clause. Oops!

Back to the drawing board!

In the end, rather than putting together an actual pattern, I thought I'd just use my comfy 'fallback': The Dead Simple Quilt.

I don't know what else it's called - the title "Dead Simple Quilt" was coined by Lynne of Lily's Quilts for a quilt-along back in 2011 - but it really is dead simple! Pick a colour scheme, cut 5.5" squares from all the fabrics, lay out, and sew!

My personal preference is to add a thin contrast border, and a 2" (finished) squares border for a bit of movement at the station. But it's simple, it's effective, and it can be cut and completed in a day.

(I didn't do it in a day. I could have, but I didn't.)

Rough blocks, laid out on the design board for checking out.
pantone quilt challenge

Sewn into rows, strung in columns (to keep everything in rough order):
pantone quilt challenge

Sunshine yellow for the thin border - a nice bright cut of colour!
pantone quilt challenge

Finished by 9:30pm on Saturday night!
pantone quilt challenge

I was so eager to get the Challenge done that I kind of didn't have dinner until 10pm... Sometimes the quilting bug bites and you just gotta do it!

Anyway, it's complete and I took a square photograph in Sunday sun (which is less forgiving than incandescent light by night, alas, so ignore the wrinkles).

pantone quilt challenge 2014
2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge
Title: Darling Violetta
Dimensions: 46" x 61"

I would have liked to quilt it and put it in the 'finished quilt' category, but this is already going to be a crazy week, so it's going to have to languish in the 'Just The Top' category.

Not that it's going to be anything special, mind you - have you seen the entries? Now I feel almost embarrassed for putting in something so homely!

Still, homely or not, my sister took one look and asked, "How much do you want for it?" She has it in mind as a gift for her ballet instructor, who loves violet.

The title Darling Violetta comes (to my mind) from the band who played the themesong from the Joss Whedon show "Angel". Very turn-of-the-century pop culture, I know! Incidentally, I've never actually listened to any of their other music...

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

WIP Wednesday: the one with lots of modern!

A busy week!


This quilt top has been in the 'to be quilted' pile for at least a year. Possibly two. It was made in a quilt-along with Anne-Marie of GenXQuilters and I've always intended to quilt it myself.

I was just hoping to make it a little more detailed than it ended up...

quilt show

quilt show

But it's done! I have the binding; I just have to sew it on. "Just."

Better pictures with front and back once I have the chance to take decent photos. (Which requires me, a camera, and one other person in the room all at the same time. This is not actually an easy thing.)


I've been trying to get enough of these two projects together to enter for the Sydney Quilt Show, and most of what I've managed is concept and layout. Hopefully that will be sufficient for them?

They're both modern, but because one can only enter one quilt per category, I'm going with the 'Art Quilt' and 'Modern Quilt' categories.

Do You Know Where You're Going To?

This is my choice for the 'Art Quilt' category - HSTs with Reese Scannell shot cottons and Kona Stone background: the arrows will weave their way around the quilt, leaving big empty spaces suitable for quilting.

quilt show

I'm going to have to seriously improve my quilting before doing this one! Look at all that lovely empty space!

But before then: mathematics will be necessary to line everything up properly! That's going to be a pain. I can feel it.

There were alternative layouts, but I didn't like them as much:

quilt show

quilt show

Mondrian's Nine-Patch

This one started off as this collection of fabric choices:

quilt show

And has slowly been coming together.

quilt show

quilt show

I'm planning to enter this one in the 'modern' category as an example of a traditional block (the split nine-patch) with a modern twist (a fabric that serves as the 'background').

quilt show concept design

Another concept idea:

quilt show

I think this layout was a little too random for me.

Not sure if the blocks bordering the quilt are going to get used in the end. I sewed them up because I wanted 'bits and pieces' blocks as an example, but I think they might be almost too sketchy to be suitable for the quilt. I'll see how they look when I've got enough blocks to make a decent sized quilt.

But at least this one doesn't require any special mathematics!

The seed idea came from Sewlio Designs - her Mod D9P, the tutorial for which is here at St Louis Folk Victorian.

To Do

1. quilt more quilts (or get more quilts quilted) - I have a ridiculous backlog of quilt tops, many of which still need backing. And I need the practise!

Sydney Modern Quilt Guild

Sew-in this Saturday at Greta's Handicrafts Lindfield, from 10am til 2pm! Going to start on my Millfiori quilts. :)

What have you been doing this week?