Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WIP Wednesday #18

A little early this week, because I'm headed out this afternoon.

Colour Of Magic quilt
Top and backing done! Now to quilt!

I'm going to see if my usual machine-quilter will do this one - the backing may not have enough leeway for her requirements. If not, then I guess it'll be up to me to do the sandwiching and quilting...

The front:
The Colour Of Magic - front

I like the simplicity of the border - more squares, to give it a nice framing. Not sure what colour I'm going to bind it in - may have to hunt up some jelly roll strips in black and purple and greenish-purple-black.

The quilt name is a reference to the first book in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series - thereby betraying my geeky origins. 'The Colour Of Magic' there is described as a colour called octarine which is a greenish-purple colour.

And here's the back!
The Colour Of Magic - back

Gothic Summer Sampler

Not much done on this quilt this week - my attention was mostly taken up by The Colour Of Magic.

The Lucky Pieces block was pleasantly easy, though - just a load of HSTs!

Gothic Summer Sampler: lucky pieces block

Quilting For Kids
I answered a call for quilters to make blocks for some quilts being put together for a couple of girls in foster care.

The flickr group is called Quilting For Kids:

A star block in pink:
charming star

The makings of a star block in purple:
Charming Star Block: purple

Not sure if the purple is 'purple' enough - most other people seem to have monochrome fabrics for their backgrounds (the stars must be white), while mine are 'mainly purple with a little bit of extra colour'.

Mum's Imperial Quilt
This quilt has been on the 'to do' list for a very long time. And as of yesterday, it moved to the 'WIP list' - so hurray for that!

I promised Mum a quilt a few years ago (oh, heck, I hope it wasn't as far back as when she got married, because that was about 7 years ago...) and found the material a couple of years ago...but never knew what to do with it. I've been through a dozen different possibilities for making up the quilt and discarded each one by one.

Finally, I settled on the Moda Bake Shop Charming Stars Quilt by Stefanie of Little Lady Patchwork - but with more of a deliberate design feel rather than a patchwork feel.

Each block will be a single fabric, and the stars will be a contrasting fabric to the background. I may end up using the panel in there as a highlight - or the panel may end up on the backing. We'll see.

imperial pieces

I cut these out and then realised that I needed another FQS of the Imperial Collection to have enough fabric for the design. (One of the reasons why I now by half-yard sets, not FQSs.) So that's on order, and this is on hold!

Harvest quilt
This FQS was bought at least five years ago and has been sitting around, waiting to be used. (I started off buying lots of traditional fabric sets.) My thought for the last few years has been a Scrappy Mountain Majesties as described on Quiltsville, but now I'm wondering if I shouldn't just go for a large-sized hourglass quilt?

harvest squares

Thoughts? Ideas? Advice?

Still to bind
- Shaz & A's "Sunshine And Lollipops"
- three quilts that are coming back to me from Jo of Thirroul Custom Quilting

Planned Works

The Dead Simple QAL

Haven't even started looking at fabrics for this. I'm hoping that they'll hold off until, oh, about October, by which time I'm hoping to have a lot of this stuff done and complete.

And th-th-th-th-th-th-that's all, folks!

If you have the chance (and aren't already doing it, which I suspect most people coming here already are), check out the other WIP Wednesday links over at Freshly Pieced!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Tuesday is...fabric day!

Joel Dewberry's Aviary II!

Aviary ii by Joel Dewberry

I know everyone's gaga over the Heirloom collection right now - and I totally plan to get the Sapphire colourway (just as soon as I have a job and money and...) - but I love the muted colours of this: grey, black, white, and that dull yellow-buff colour that adds almost-warmth, with a dash of dove blue-grey to add almost-cool.

It goes into the stash to be used together, I think. Something simple - perhaps the Modern Basics cover quilt?

I bought a bunch of batiks, but don't know that I like them enough to use them in the covers of my quilts, so I'm presently using them in backings:
The Colour Of Magic - back

I have several WIPs in the works as of tomorrow, but that'll all go into WIP Wednesday, complete with pics. :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

WIP Wednesday #17

Having finished my writing assignments, I've been very productive this week!

Apart from finishing my own personal quilt, I've made significant inroads on the Gothic Summer Sampler and the Octarine Batiks!

Gothic Summer Sampler

The Flower Garden Path
Not quite what you like to see in your garden, perhaps...
Summer Sampler QAL: Flower garden path block
...but those bow skulls are really quite sweet!

The Mosaic came out beautifully:
Summer Sampler QAL: mosaic
Look at those HSTs! And the points that actually match! (Forgive me for being excited, I'm not known for my precision seams.)

And the paper-pieced Star...which worked out fine on the paper-piecing front, except for the part where I forgot to change one of the colours in Template B. Oops!
Gothic Summer Sampler WIP #1
No way am I doing that again, though!

Then there's the Arkansas Traveller:
Gothic Summer Sampler:
Yeah, I, uh, made a few miscalculations on how much fabric was actually needed for the pieces. Note to self: remember that the seams take up fabric, too!

And finally, the String Star!
summer sampler: string star
I didn't do it the way Kate suggested because I wanted the full hexagon in the middle. Too late, I realised my error! Too late, I discovered the pitfalls inherent in piecing it this way!

*shudder* Y-seams. Horrible, horrible, horrible things. I never want to do them again. Ever. I mean it!

But the bow skulls do look awfully cute. (For a given value of 'cute'.)

I debated whether to introduce another colour, but I might stick with the (somewhat rather stark) palette of red, black, and white. And perhaps introduce a little alternative colours in the borders?

The Colour Of Magic
a.k.a. 'Octarine Batiks'.

Laid it out again, and am sewing the rows together now.

The Colour Of Magic

Still to bind
- Shaz & A's "Sunshine And Lollipops"

Planned Works

The Dead Simple QAL

- Mum's Imperial quilt (I should get on this first)
- Harvest Mountain Magic

My Quilt!

Okay, so it's just big enough to fit on a Queen Sized bed, so it's not a little quilt, but it's mine, all mine!

My quilt - on my bed!

I got the design from Karla Alexander's book 'Stack A New Deck' - a very simple but effective 'stack-and-whack'. I picked the batiks because they were beautiful, vibrant colours that really jumped out at me.

IIRC, I picked most of them from a fabric shop in Alexandria, VA while visiting some friends in DC circa 2005, and it took me a couple of years before I did anything with them.

It was computer-design quilted in a tropical/hibiscus pattern by Joanne of Thirroul Custom Quilting, who does awesome work for me every time. And in spite of the fact that it hadn't been finished, it's been in use for the last two years, helping keep me warm in the chilly winters.

And here commenceth the quilt porn!

My quilt

My quilt - folded

Two of my three finished quilts this year!
finished batik quilts

Both batik quilts - I know they're not 'fashionable' or 'modern' but I do hold a particular fondness for batiks. I sure have enough of them in my stash!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

51st Post!

So I just went to my dashboard to put this post together and realised that this is my 51st post. Hurrah!

I only started blogging this year to keep up with all the blogs I was trying to read since I'd planned to make 12 quilts this year. I think I'm a bit behind right now, actually - only 7 quilts and we're coming up to September!

So, back to the Gothic Summer Sampler.

Gothic Summer Sampler WIP #1

Does anyone else feel like it needs something else in there? A really strong, viscous purple, perhaps? Or a midnight blue?

Alas for I messed up the Star block. I forgot I had to change colours for the long triangle, and started doing the whites again. (It was even marked 'red' on the templates!)

I figured I'd just keep going anyway.

(ps. Tearing the paper off the pieced blocks is horribubble!)

I'm halfway through the Arkansas Traveller...just printed out the templates for putting my sewn-together diamonds on in fact!


Last night, I was weak and bought about 6 charm packs from Green Fairy Quilts. White, Cream, Black, and Rainbow Kona solids, a Lily & Will II, and a Riley Blake. $7 USD!

Lily and Will II Charm Pack


I've been thinking about HST quilts of late - the Warm/Cool HST QAL, and the Shattered Rainbow Quilt at Quilt Story. Such a simple block and yet so effective!

I'd like to do one with charm squares - actually, I'd like to do one with all-dark charm squares and call it 'the many shades of night'. I got the idea while laying out for the Gothic Summer Sampler - this pic.

Lots of darks, shading gently from absolute black to murky shades of blue and green and red. And possibly a design in there, barely visible to the glancing eye.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Life Contrasts: The Gothic Summer Sampler progress!

Two more blocks done! Fairly simple ones today - mostly HST work while watching Sense and Sensibility (BBC series - Part III: very enjoyable, although I still retain a soft spot for the Emma Thompson 1997 version) and Inception (awesome movie, and one that you can watch several times because it's so wonderfully intricate and layered).

If I stop and think about it, that's quite a contrast in viewing options - like quilting a Summer Sampler in black, red, and white to make it 'Gothic'. Or like playing hockey and going out for a beer with the girls at the pub, but also enjoying coffee and banana bread while quilting in a local cafe.


Like the blacks, reds and whites in the Mosaic block!
Summer Sampler QAL: mosaic

This Flower Garden Path block, however, is neither floral, nor reminiscent of the garden!
Summer Sampler QAL: Flower garden path block

I found the fabric with the bowtie skulls on it at Spotlight (like a JoAnn's Fabric, only Australian) and bought a metre of it. Some of it will almost certainly get used on the backing, because I'm unlikely to use it for anything else! :D

I think that tomorrow will be spent mastering paper piecing and The Star. I won't try more than one block on a day when I'm paper piecing - too complicated!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

WIP Wednesday #16

Thanks to my stepdad, his new Blu-Ray DVD player, and his desire to watch 'The Sound Of Music' on Saturday night while we were over there for dinner...can you guess what song I've got in my head? *points at the number on her WIP Wednesday*

Once again, an exceedingly unproductive week, quilting-wise.

Partly because I bought new bookshelves on which to keep my fabric collection (now how am I going to keep it all free of dust?) and partly because I've been writing like a crazy writing thing.

Don't ask.

Anyway: to start with - a WIP, although not the usual kind!

The Sorting Of The Stash
(Like 'The Taming Of The Shrew' but with less screaming. Possibly.)

new shelving!

I have a question if you're reading this: How do you sort your stash?

Because I tend to sort by type and style of fabric, with some exceptions for precuts. I have several FQSs that I want to keep together (eg. RK Jewels Of The Nile, Riley Blake's Pirates, and Lumiere De Noel by French General), but I also have 'the batik collection' and 'the FQ solids' collection.

And then there's the 'probably backing' collection, which are usually fabrics of which I've bought anywhere between 3-6m thinking they'd be good for backings or borders or...

Help? Organisation isn't my forte. I'm good at planning to be organised, but actually organised? Somewhat beyond me...

Kaleidoscope QAL.

Still doing the backing of the kaleidoscope QAL. I had to tidy it up so I could bring in the new shelves, so I've still got to sew the last section on..

Crooked Summer Sampler (at Freshly Pieced)

First two blocks made!

The West Virginia Star
Summer Sampler QAL: West Virginia Star

I went with the black background, and found this gorgeous scarlet batik with white hearts on it. The cracked wax pattern left on the hearts kind of look like the heart is breaking, doesn't it? Perfect for a gothic quilt!

The Greek Cross
Summer Sampler: Greek Cross

This one, I'm wishing I'd gone with a white cross on a black octagon with red corners. But it still looks pretty stunning, I think.

There's a part of my creative psyche that's scolding me for such pure, saturated colours. 'More movement! More colour!' I don't have any red fabrics with small colours on them yet.

The Colour Of Magic

Also known as 'Octarine Batiks':
Octarine Batiks Layout

Hasn't moved since the last time I posted about it, but I'm going to start piecing it again.

- My quilt. (90% done!)
- S&A's quilt. (Needs binding put together and sewn on.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

WIP Wednesday #15

This has been a singularly unproductive week.

I only have three active projects right now:

1. Kaleidoscope QAL back

kaleidoscope back

I haven't done all that much with this in the last week since my focus has been on a couple of writing assignments due this week and next. Mostly, the work was putting together the purple section, and then deciding on the fabric for the other end. I'll hopefully have some time to cut and sew all the sections together this weekend.

2. My own bedquilt!

This project has been sitting around for a very very long time. I finished it around 2008, got it quilted, and somehow never got around to binding it!

I figured, seeing as I'm doing all this binding for other quilt projects, I should finish my own, too!

This pic was taken at the August meeting for the Sydney Southern Cross Quilters' Guild - the first Saturday of every month they meet at a pub down the road, chat, eat, and work on their crafting projects!

The quilt pattern is from Stack A New Deck by Karla Alexander, and is one that I love using for Batiks - it looks so scrappy-quilt, but it's really not!

I'll post some finished pics...once it's actually finished!

3. Crooked Summer Sampler

So I'm part of a 'Crooked Crafting' swap, where people endeavour to make oddball and unusual crafty things. Many of the women in the swap are into 'alternative' genres - goth, the occult, and horror...and some of us just like being a little bit different!

I decided I'd go the Summer Sampler blacks and reds (with a dash of bone and maybe some grey):

This is the current thought on the colour scheme:

Crooked Summer Sampler

The Kona Solids on the left will be the 'background' colour of the block, while the scarlet, black, and bone batiks on the right will be the other parts of the blocks.

That's the theory, anyway! We'll see how it turns out in execution.

As an alternative, I'm wondering if I shouldn't order some Kona Black and make that the 'background' of the blocks and then use the batiks and solids as the other parts? One can always do with more Kona Black...

Monday, August 8, 2011

Gothic Summer Sampler: Alternative Quilting

So...I joined a 'Crooked Craft Swap' on one of my forums - a forum that has a large number of people who are into alternative lifestyles.

The idea being that sunshine, flowers, and cute kittens are fine, but wouldn't it be cool to make something that was a little...left of centre?

Like a scene of zombie bunny carnage instead of a sweet little bunny pillow. Or (in my case) a quilt in the colours of black, white, and red.

For this, I figured I'd use the Summer Sampler Series at Freshly Pieced, Swim, Bike, Quilt, and Fresh Lemon Quilts.

I'll start just as soon as I have the back for the Kaleidoscope sewn together. I haven't had a chance to do anything on it yet - the weekend was madcrazybizay.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

WIP Wednesday #14

I figured I should start numbering these. :)

Not a lot of progress this week - mostly finishing the borders on the Kaleidoscope quilt for Don't Call Me Betsy's QAL:

kaleidoscope - finished top!!

Colour is slightly yellowish because I took it on my smartphone camera.

Since I'm trying to piece together the back, I'm almost certainly not going to get it done by the due date. Just don't have the time right now.

Some shots setting up the back:

A block:

Most of the back fabrics laid out:
kaleidoscope - backing piece

The purple will go all the way to the edge, but I'm trying different fabrics for the middle section to see how they work out.

Then it's just basting, quilting, and binding and then it's done!! (Okay, so maybe I'm never gonna do this again - it's just too much effort!)

I'm going to present Kate and Chris' quilt tonight at bible study: hope they like it!