Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bloggers' Quilt Festival 2011: The Mod Rail Fence

Hi there to the people dropping by from the Quilt Festival!

I've never done this before, so bear with me if it's not in the 'proper' style for this kind of post.

The Modern Rail Fence
(Yes, I'm terrible at names.)

I bought the fabric for the Modern Rail Fence quilt back in 2000 when I was just getting into quilting. They were bolt ends and dead cheap. At the time, I imagined making a double irish chain with it, only to later discover that there wasn't enough fabric for the queen-sized quilt I wanted.

So it went into the stash.

rail fence - fabric detail

It went into the stash for ten years.

I pulled it out on occasion, admired it, contemplated it, but never knew what to do with it, until the day I realised that a traditional block, such as the simple Rail Fence could be put together with a modern twist.

Three fabrics, a lot of strip-cutting and piecing, and several layouts later, one finished quilt top!
rail fence - finished top (flat)

Six months later and it's back from the quilters!
Modern Rail Fence

I really like this design, even though I wasn't convinced the effect was what I wanted to achieve at first. But I think it worked pretty well, and would be a great quilt to do again - either with three solids, or possibly with rainbow-coloured strips.

It was a great learning experience for me in terms of flexibility with design. Before this quilt, I'd been fairly rigid in my choices of colours and patterns for quilts. When I made the Mod Rail Fence, it encouraged me to step outside the box a little: use the same design, but switch up the colours and pattern. Rather than doing the 'triple rails' of the traditional rail fence, why not attempt something a little beyond my comfort zone?

Modern Rail Fence - finished!

Anyway, thank you to Amy for hosting the Bloggers' Quilt Festival (that apostrophe means it belongs to all of us, right? "The quilt festival of all bloggers" not "the quilt festival of the blogger.") and thanks for dropping by! Go look at some of the other quilters' works!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

WIP Wednesday #25

Very fast and dirty , I'm afraid. I seriously haven't done much quilting this week.

That's because of this:
Simplicity 2172 - Calico

For Halloween, my friend Jenn is holding a Halloween party as the American among Australians. And this was the pattern for my costume - Simplicity 2172 - a 'Victorian-style' outfit, with elements of steampunk. It's a calico to test the pattern (hence the different sleeves) - and it's just as well that I made a calico first, because I picked the wrong size for the outfit. (Note to self: US size 12 ≠ AUS size 12.)

I don't know if it'll be my costume for Halloween, because I'll be away from home Friday through till next Thursday, and I have to make a coat and the skirt in the 'real' fabric, and I just don't think I'll have time.

It's still a WIP. And it's still Wednesday. It counts!

Actual Quilting-y Things Done This Week

Dead Simple QAL
I sewed together the top for the Dead Simple QAL.
Dead Simple QAL

Isn't it pretty? I have to say: I often question the colour choices I make when putting quilts together. Somehow, though, they usually turn out okay! It's a mystery - a good one, but still a mystery!

Sanctuary Kaleidoscope

After months and months of toil, the Sanctuary Kaleidoscope is in the final stages of binding and will be gifted on Sunday. The recipient claims she loves orange, brown, and pink; I hope she's not just being nice!

Photos will follow when it's done.

- Blogger UberFest Quilt-Along
- Mum's Impstar
- Harvest HSTs

Awaiting Binding
- Supernova quilt

Go forth and see how quilty and inventive other people are getting!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fabric Friday!

My friend Jenn at Penny Poppleton is having a No-Buy October because she spent (or possibly over-spent) her tax return on fabric in September.

I am not quite so principled, alas!

I bought a bit of yardage to match with the Autumn Leaf design seed - I found these wonderful William Morris prints that mix yellows oranges and greys together in small patterns and although they were in one of the highest price bracket for fabric in HobbySew, I bought 0.4m of each.

autumn leaf palette: fabric Friday

Aren't they gorgeous? They'll make a beautiful addition to the Autumn Leaf range:

autumn leaf palette: fabrics

There were a bunch of fabrics I wanted to buy at HobbySew - autumn leaves and christmassy prints and, oh, half the shop's stock! But I didn't. I was good!

Because I'd already bought a lot of fabric a couple of weeks ago...and it arrived on Monday!

fabric friday 14thOct11

Yes, that is Kate Spain's Terrain (which is anything but plain). And Timeless Treasures' Fruit Punch set.

fabric-oct2011 006

And then a package arrived from Etsy seller Sew Fresh Fabrics. One that I didn't remember ordering.

The tag on the package said 'Happy Birthday', but I'm not that good a customer to receive a birthday present like that (at least, I don't think I am...maybe I am?). So I have this feeling that a 'Halloween Witch' (from a gift exchange taking place on one of my forums) has sent this gift to me.

Oh. Em. Gee.

Sew Fresh Fabrics purchase

Peoples, that is six yards of fabric that someone sent to me for a gift exchange. SIX YARDS.

Did I say OH EM GEE before? Because I'd like to say it again!

And I adore the Pachyderms! I've been watching the Pachyderms fabric drift by as various shops promoted it... They're just so adorable!

So, um, WOW. And I'll say it again in bold: WOW!

Three Rivers purchase

Odyssea fabric from Three Rivers Etsy shop to add to the Odyssea layer cake I bought two weeks ago... Borders and backing and suchlike. Really!

October is going to be a month for doing stuff. Blocks. Projects. Getting as much done before the heydays of (Inter)National Novel Writing Month - or NaNoWriMo - takes off in November. And then it's December and, well, we know just how much stuff is going to be done then right?

Also, towards the end of September, I received the quilting magazines sent to me by Quilt Inspiration:
quilters magazines

Lots of fascinating and excellent ideas for quilts in there - just what I need to use up my stash!

Except that Fat Quarter Shop keeps on having sales! I ask you: how am I supposed to stop buying fabric if they don't stop having sales???

Thursday, October 13, 2011

ooh ooh ooh!

When Spoonflower recently had their 'free sample' day, I went and ordered a swatch of a Dr. Who print:

Dr Who Spoonflower

I was going to keep it for projects unknown...until inspiration hit about 5 minutes ago...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

WIP Wednesday #24

I got more stuff done than expected this week:

Dad staying in the lounge room (sewing room) wasn't as much of a barrier to quilting as I thought. He had some work that still needed doing, so he'd work on that, and I'd work at my sewing table, putting stuff together!

New Starts

This week, I finalised my fabrics and began cutting up the Dead Simple QAL using the Fallen Hues palette.

Dead Simple QAL - laid out!

I'm liking it a lot, actually. The grey-greens and muted greens are tricky to balance, but the warm golds and autumn reds really give it that balance it needs. I feel like it might need a few more dark green squares, but otherwise. I think I'll sew it all together, add a border, and that'll be it! Simple!


Like I said, I could quilt while Dad was in the house, and I did: three quilt blocks on Thursday night!

South For Winter by @savinggrc:
uberfest: south for winter

Flying North by Kaye Prince of Miss Print:
Quilt Uberfest: Flying North

Cabin In The Woods by Konda Luckau of Moose On The Porch Quilts:
Quilt uberfest: cabin in the woods

And all four blocks-so-far together!
Quilt UberFest 2011

Gotta download the rest of the patterns and start on the next, oh, six blocks...

Mum's Impstar Quilt
I also got some more Impstars done on Saturday evening!

Mum's ImpStar - 7 blocks

The final quilt will have them sashed and posted - white-gold for the sashing, the green for the posting, I think. And there may be a couple of panels which aren't blocks at all - just visual squares for the eye to rest upon.

Not To Hold, But To Bind
- Supernova quilt
- Sanctuary Kaleidoscope: back from the quilter and ready to rumble! And my stepbrother's cat gave it her approval!

sanctuary kaleidoscope - with feline approval
Thanks, Dara. :)

- Harvest HSTs

- The Farmer's Wife Quilt-Along
Yes, I have finally caved in! My friend Jenn over at Penny Poppleton got the book but hasn't been able to get any machine sewing done due to her new addition to the household, so the book has been seconded to me for a while.

Finally, I took a roll-call of all the quilt tops I've finished this year - more than I remembered, actually! I thought I was only up to #7 or #8, but I've completed nine tops!

Do you realise that's more quilt tops in the last year than I'd made in the nine years before that?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Quilt-top Roll-call of 2011 - the story so far

Tops completed in 2011:
1. Penny Batik

2. Modern Rail Fence

3. Central Park Boxes

4. Supernova

5. Sanctuary Kaleidoscope

6. Santorini Sun And Sea

7. The Colour Of Magic

8. Gothic Summer Sampler

9. Go Back To The Jungle, Turn The World Around

(a.k.a. "the fabric that went to the quilter's a backing and came back a quilt")

Quilt tops on the schedule to be done by the end of the year:
- UberQuilt Blogfest: This is crazy fun and really easy. Lots of HSTs and log cabins, and while the palette is a little too purple/pink for my tastes, I think it's going to work pretty nicely.

- Mum's Impstar: I've finally got enough fabric, now I must start cutting out blocks and sewing them all together. Goal is to get this done, quilted and bound in time for Christmas.

- Harvest HSTs: I don't much like this quilt, but it needs doing. They have to be squared off and sewn together at some point, and it's the piecing that's going to be the painstaking part, I suspect. And the strip of 'inexact seams'.

- Dead Simple QAL: So I decided (with a little help) that the Fallen Hues colour palette was best for the DS QAL. I've pulled out every fabric in those shades that I have and I'm going to start cutting strips next week. I'm going to strip-piece sections of this one some in order to make it a faster project. We'll see how it looks when it comes out in the wash...

So, I could perhaps do 13 full-size quilts in 2011? If I join the Christmas QAL and complete it by Christmas...that'll be 14 quilt tops in 2011...

Of course, there's the small hump of actually getting them done...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

WIP Wednesday #23

In the Spring, a quilter's fancy turns to Quilt-Alongs!

Okay, so it's actually Autumn (or Fall) in the Northern Hemi, but it's definitely spring down here, and wherever you are, there seems to be another QAL happening!

I'm not joining them all. Maybe just one. Or two. But no more than three - and that's final!

(Does anyone else find QALs deeply addictive? "QALs: the new crack...")

Anyway, the current ones are the Dead Simple QAL (on which I've done nothing more than pick out the colours), and the Quilt Blogger's Uber-Fest. However, the 12 Days Of Christmas QAL is also beckoning me...along with all that black and gold and silver fabric I purchased a couple of years back... It needs using, doesn't it? Doesn't it??

For the Quilt Blogger's Uber-Fest QAL, I'm using one of the colourways I picked out for the Dead Simple QAL - Petaled Purples:

Dead Simple QAL: Petaled purples

I'll throw in a few more fabrics, and maybe a couple of contrasting colours to give it a bit of vim and vigour. But we're starting pretty and purple!

The first block is by John Adams of Quilt Dad, and is called Taking Flight:

quilt uberfest - block 1

I'm kind of pleased that it actually came out the right size and with the points accurate! The arrow effect was unexpected but not entirely bad, I think.

I'll start the next block by Kaye Prince of Miss Print tomorrow or Friday. It's called Flying North and looks reasonably easy - a cross between a double Flying Geese and a log cabin.


Still choosing colours! (I know, I'm terrible...)

I'm caught between Autumn Leaf and Fallen Hues.

Autumn Leaf:

Dead Simple QAL : autumn leaf

I like this one - it's bright and bold and the blues/greys keep it from getting too uppity. The downside is that this is mostly solids or small prints, and I want a better spread of mixed-size prints since this is going to be Dead Simple.

Fallen Hues:

Dead Simple QAL: fallen hues

But I like this one because it's got a range of patterns as well as a range of colours. However, I'm thinking this palette would do better for an Autumn Leaf Quilt I've been thinking of making for a while.

*gnaws nails in indecision*

Harvest Half-Square Triangle Quilt
Got the Harvest HSTs all sewn together this it's fun with layouts!

Layout 1:
harvest hst quilt: layout 1

Layout 2:
harvest hay quilt: layout 2

Layout 3:
harvest hst quilt: layout 3

Right now, I'm tending towards Layout 3, with the 'excess blocks' going towards a pieced back. I like the 'framing' effect. But Layout 2 works pretty well for me, too!

I gotta admit though...all those 'spotty' fabrics are making me itchy! I bought the fabric about five years ago and never used it, although I had ideas. This was probably one of the simplest designs I could think of - because these fabric patterns are bizay!

There won't be much progress in anything this coming week. My Dad is coming to stay with us from Thursday until next Tuesday, and he'll be sleeping in my sewing room! I just hope he doesn't try to 'organise' my fabric for me. (Last time he was here, he 'organised' the sister's book collection such that she couldn't find anything after he left.) *facepalm*

I love my Dad, but there are times when 'helpful' just isn't all that helpful, you know?

No Progress
- Mum's Impstar - got to cut up more squares again
- Supernova - still needs binding: undecided on the binding to use.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

autumn leaf quilt block

Notes for autumnal projects for October (at least one, because the Northern Hemi is in mad rush for Autumn (Fall, whatever), although down here we're moving towards Spring):

Gonna try putting this quilt together without the pattern:

Will almost certainly be a painful process involving breaking my brain. I can lay it all out and just do it, sure; but for me the fun of quilting is whether I can work out a method for it - chain piecing, block-arranging, whatever. My procedure-oriented brain loves trying to work out the shortcuts.

And I've decided I'm going to do it in batiks. I've got scads of them around in browns and oranges and reds and yellows - they should be used!

Also: the standard maple leaf block should I wish to try it.