Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with lots of stuff

I swear my titles are getting worse!


Sydney Modern Quilt Guild - The Rainbow Connection!

Based off Tacha Bruecher's 'Over The Rainbow' quilt in her 2012 book 'Hexa-Go-Go', this was collectively made by a dedicated dozen or so members of the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild, put together by Guild President Penny Poppleton, and quilted by me!

It's big. Very, very big. And beautiful!

Sydmqg group quilt finished!

It's due to go into the Quilt Show at the Sydney Quilt And Craft Fair later this year, and afterwards will be sold and the money donated to a women's shelter organisation, for women escaping untenable domestic situations.

I have a more detailed post here. The Sydney Modern Quilt Guild has an update post about it here.

Harvest Windows

(I finally thought of a name for this!)

For my aunt and uncle on my father's side who've been very good to my sisters and I over the years. Very traditional, richer, darker colours, and I really hope they like it. :/

Aunty Quilt top done!

And the back:

Aunty Quilt backing

Ready to be sent off for quilting!

Fuller post here.


Baby Quilts

Baby quilts

I've been a bit busy to get on with these. And I'm deciding whether to do backs in the cotton I usually use, or some flannel which I have, which is wonderfully soft.

Quilt backings

Needed for:

  1. California Girl
  2. Santorini Sun and Sky
  3. Honey Honey
  4. HST Harvest

Some new photography of these in early morning light:

California Girl:

California girl

Honey Honey:Honey honey

If I get at least a couple done I can send them off to Jo for quilting.

Diamonds Dancing In Rainbows

Diamonds and Jewel tones

I haven't touched this since I put it up on the design board. Really need to get a move on with it!

To Do

Scrap Attack {String Fever}

This is going to happen. IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.

It is Going To Happen because the other night I pulled out my big box of string scraps...and my little box of string scraps...and my small cloth baskets of string scraps...and my plastic trays of string scraps...

And realised just how many I'd collected over the last four years of quilting.

My plan so far:

  1. sort strings into selvedges/non-selvedges
  2. sort selvedges into neutrals/colours
  3. sort colours into warms/cools
  4. sort warms/cools into specific colour groups
  5. ...

After that I'm not 100% on exactly how this is going to work!


Gift Quilts
Alli: red, white/neutrals/low-vol, blue - American patriot theme - possibly Sisters Ten BOM? Alt: "low volume" quilt?
Jo & Amy: Valley of the Kings - design not yet certain. It's a hard fabric line to design for!

Valley of the kings

Ideas for future

  • 1:3:2 in A:B:A fabrics
  • broken dishes (in Cuzco or Terrain?)
  • "low volume" quilt

Anyway, that's me! How about you? What have you been doing this week?

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Aunty's Quilt

And from the brightly modern, we relapse into some more traditional colours and patterns.

It was a little crazy around here at the end of last week. Just a little.

Apart from preparing to quilt the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild's group quilt, I was also trying to get my aunt's quilt together - ostensibly, I was going to quilt it on Saturday after I'd done the SMQG quilt.

Yeah, after six hours of FMQ on "The Rainbow Connection", I decided I wasn't up for any more quilting!

So I think I'll just send this one on to Jo @ Thirroul Custom Quilting for computerised quilting. She has some lovely patterns and I haven't sent any work her way for a while. Nice as it is to do it myself every now and then (and also when specific designs are required), it's also nice to send it off and just get back lovely quilted quilts!

Anyway, the development process of my aunt's quilt started with a large piece of fabric that my aunt wanted me to "just sew off the edges and I'll spread it on my bed".

I couldn't. I just couldn't.

I thought I'd at least give it a border:

Aunty's quilt

And then I discovered I couldn't do 'just' that either.

So it got cut up into large pieces with sashes and posts, using up some stash while I was at it:

Aunty Quilt
Aunty Quilt centre done

A thin green border, and another harvest fabric as a larger border:

Aunty Quilt top done!

There were issues along the way.

1. the discovery that several of the panels were shorter than expected!


It turned out I'd used two panels that were nearly-but-not-quite the right size as compared to the two that were the right size. Time to bring out Mistah Seam Ripper!

2. And then there was the discovery that my math was ALL BAD.

Aunty Quilt: oops part 2

Three unfinished HSTs (at 4.5") should not equal the width of the finished panel (13.5")! *facepalm*

Which is why, instead of having the HSTs on the front of the quilt, they ended up decorating the back:

Aunty Quilt backing

Yes, the back is a mess. I pretty much just patched everything leftover from the front into the back, and added some blocks that matched the fabric but which have been laying around for too long without anywhere to go.

During the piecing process, there was trimming while watching early episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender (Nickelodeon show from a few years back that depicts Asiatic/Native American cultures as bog-standard normal: highly recommended in cartoon version - avoid the film like the black plague!)

Trimming blocks

And having sewn together these broken dish blocks (which got used on the back), I think I have an idea for a quilt design!


The problem of making quilts: one quilt begets another quilt, begets another quilt, begets a dozen other quilts...

Anyway, it's done! I'll package it up and mail it off to Jo with some pattern suggestions on Friday.

In the meantime, I have three other finished quilt tops that need backings put together so I can send them off with Aunty's Harvest Quilt. (I really have to think of nicer names for these things.)

Monday, April 22, 2013

Sydney Modern Quilt Guild: QUILTED OMG

So, those hexagons I was sewing through December, January, and February?
Red hexies
Purple red hexies
One block down, at least six still to go!
Hexies finished!

Well, they were for a group quilt being put together by the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild, according to Tacha Bruecher's book Hexa-Go-Go, which was published last year.

The quilt is titled "Over The Rainbow" in the book:

Hexa go go

Guild President Penny Poppleton asked permission of Tacha to use the quilt design as one of our guild quilts for 2013 - not all participating members would have the book, although quite a few do - and Tacha gave her permission! (Thank you, Tacha!)

We made up kits using paper hexies donated by and sent them out to Guild members who were interested and willing. And Tacha herself offered to make a block for the quilt!

A bolt of Kona White was donated by the lovely people at Victorian Textiles (along with fabric for the backing) and once we had all the blocks back, two crazy days of 9-to-5 cutting and sewing ensued!

And here are the finished blocks (well, most of them) up on the design wall at Penny Poppleton's house:

Sydney Modern Quilt Guild: all in a day's work! (With @pennypoppleton, @onethousandlayers and Jill) what a #quilt it's gonna be!

Laying out:

Rainbow Connection

The slightly dizzying perspective is because it was taken from the top of the stairs at Greta's Handcraft Centre (Lindfield).

And then sashing, posting, and adding the borders! (I don't have a picture of this because it was done by Penny Poppleton (Guild President).

Finally, the quilting! Which was my job. A long one. Six hours' worth of free-motion quilting from setting up on the frame on the Avanti at Hobbysew Top Ryde, to quilting and quilting and quilting and quliting until it was DONE LIKE A DINNER!

I took a few photos during the quilting process...

"Baby, I'm ready to go!"

Sydmqg: quilting start

"Oh, we're halfway there!"

Sydmqg group quilt: quilt moar

And finishing it off...with a swirl! (Okay, a signature, but whatever!)

#Sydmqg group #quilt: we are finished baby!
It's supposed to say "Sydney Modern Guild" in case you can't read it.

And finally, as much of the quilt as we could display in the shop, given that it's a MAMMOTH size - 112", in all it's colourful, beautiful glory!

Sydmqg group quilt finished!

So very pretty, even unbound and unhung! (Great design, Tacha!)

A look at the back detail - we ended up with 50 blocks (no idea how that happened) and tucked one on the back instead.

Sydmqg group quilt and the back detail

It will be (should be) displayed at the Sydney Craft And Quilt Fair in June 2013. If you happen to be in town, come by and take a look!

Afterwards, it will be sold (we're still working out how) and the proceeds are to go to a shelter for women escaping untenable domestic situations. All the fabric was donated, as were the paper pieces, and even the Aurifil thread that was used to piece and quilt it all together was donated, so the only cost incurring is that of the time spent on the quilting machine.

Whew! So glad that's done. :)

Friday, April 19, 2013

the "how many quilts do I have to make before..." post

1. Alli

I've known Alli for the better part of 12 years come September. I've stayed with her and her family multiple times, and while I've taken her (and her family) gifts each time, I really need to make her a quilt.

I asked Alli what colours she'd like in a quilt, and she said "blues, whites, and neutrals". She's big on American nationalism so a red, white, & blue quilt was high on my list of probables anyway.

I think a modern design would be good for her, too. I still have that Chain Reaction pattern from Lee of Freshly Pieced - that would work with reds, blues, and whites/neutrals...

2. Sue

Similarly to Alli, I've known Sue for over 10 years now. We've lost touch a little, but I stayed with her a bunch of times in the mid-00s, and I'd really like to gift her with a quilt.

She's older - maybe in her late 50s, and I think something traditional - both pattern and fabric - would be her thing. I'm pretty sure I have a Kansas Winter fat quarter/jelly roll/charm square pack lying around somewhere that would be perfect for her. Rich, old colours for a traditional-pattern quilt.

3. Jo & Amy

More recent friends, with whom I'm hoping to stay in early September this year.

Jo in particular has a great love for Ancient Egypt and ancient belief systems/mythologies. She's one of the most talented and subtle authors I enjoy reading - simple themes, but very deep. (Amazon | Wiki | Goodreads)

Robert Kaufman's Valley of the Kings line would be perfect for her. The only problem is the design - I don't want to cut the big designs up - they're nice in large-size...

She has a daughter who's about 11. I'm thinking an Aneela Hooey 'Little Apples' quilt. I have the fabric and it needs using.

4. Bec & Wes

More ten-plus years friends. I've stayed with them several times, and they're coming to Australia in April next year to go on a Pacific cruise that starts from Sydney. (So I guess I don't have to rush a quilt for them, although it would be nice.)

Plume #fabric collection. Really dramatic.

Bec rather liked the Plume collection when I was displaying it on FB earlier this year, so that might be an option - it would be a very vivid, very opulent quilt. Which might or might not work for them and their decor. I imagine them to be fairly traditional style with some modern twist.


Basically, my plan is to go to the US with my luggage stuffed with quilts...and return with much fabric instead!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aunty's Quilt: now with actual design!

Last night I did a bunch of cutting, layout out, arranging, organising, and came up with a design that's more me (although still not entirely to my tastes) and still manages to hold to my aunt's style.

Apologies for the dodgy pictures. Bad light and not-so-great photographer!

Aunty quilt on the design floor. Yes I have a wall but it's already in use. Making extra work for myself, but I prefer this layout so much more! #quilting #quilt

There'll be a thin green border around the 9x9 block configuration, and then the pieced borders.

Backing will be a big bitsa. All those browns/greens/foresty/woodlandy fabrics that I bought back when I first started buying fabric and which I now no longer like.

Ah, the learning curves of fabric preference!

I'm not the only one, surely? Have you ever bought fabric which seemed like a great idea at the time, and then when you pulled it out of stash was just not your thing.

Lunchtime today will involve trimming the HST and 4-patch blocks down to 4.5" square. (That's probably why the Jacob's Ladder Quilt I initially created with them was so wonky - the sizes varied ridiculously.)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with quilt design (or lack thereof)

Relatively quiet quilting week behind us, the crazy busy quilting week before us!


Snap Pop Baby Quilt Top

Done! Very bright and colourful, and will go to baby-of-unknown-sex (as compared to baby-of-known-sex, who is a boy).

Pinning the rows together:

Snap Pop baby quilt

And done!

Snap pop baby quilt

Quilting to happen in the next week. Maybe.

The Aunt's Quilt

My aunt spotted some fabric and wanted a quilt made out of it. She wanted just the fabric with the edges hemmed.

Aunty's quilt

This is my compromise. It's not a style I like, but it's in the taste of my aunt, so...

Although I am thinking about doing the Starburst Quilt by Sukie with the fabrics as a background, and solids:

More work than I have time for in the next two days, though!

Maybe chop it into squares and sash it, posting it with the four-patch squares? That would break up the main fabric a little.

I've had people suggest framing it, and one person suggesting I leave it as is. Any thoughts? If you have suggestions, make them here at the post.

To Do

SydMQG Group Quilt

We got the blocks all sewn up a couple of weeks ago:

Sydney Modern Quilt Guild: all in a day's work! (With @pennypoppleton, @onethousandlayers and LR  Jill) what a #quilt it's gonna be!

They're gorgeous!

SydMQG President Penny Poppleton then added sashing and posting. All of it. By herself. (OMG.)

Rows done. Time for a break!

She also did the main piecing for the backing, before handing it off to me so I could add the remainder (yardage, mostly):

Sydmqg group quilt back

I'll be quilting it on Saturday at the LQS with the longarm. Alas, this means I cannot attend the SydMQG sew-in at Greta's Handicrafts. *sadface*

Edge-to-edge quilting - nothing fancy - just my usual fiery curls:

Quilting like a crazy quilting thing!

Hopefully, I will also be quilting at least one other quilt, possibly two if there is time enough. I was hoping to get Aunty's Quilt top and backing done so I could quilt it on Saturday, too. I've got the machine booked for the whole day (although 8 hours of longarm quilting may very well do me in). It depends on how tricksy things get...


I really really want to join in with Scrap Attack{String Fever} from over at Stitched In Color. Just no time!

Ditto with the Bloom Bloom Pow QAL. *sigh*

And the Retro Rubies QAL.



So, what you been doing? I've been bad about commenting on other people's WIP Wednesday projects. Too squished for time, alas!

ETA: Penny Poppleton (SydMQG Pres) has another pic of the quilt blocks (and me laying them out) over at her WIP Wednesday post! Go check it out!

Aunty's Quilt

While over for dinner last Father's Day (September in Australia), my aunt spotted some of my quilting supplies and was particularly taken by a 'traditional US harvest' fabric I bought for the bright colours but which soon palled beneath the attraction of modern brights.

She wanted the fabric. Not even a quilt. "Just sew an edge on it and I will spread it on my bed!"

Yeah, like that was gonna happen.

She's getting a quilt. Perhaps not as full-blown as I would like - after all, one of the issues I had with this fabric is that it's such a large print with so many colours. It's either going to completely dominate, or get cut into teeny-tiny pieces.

I chose to let it completely dominate, and to add in some blocks that I've had in the works since, oh, gosh, it might be as far back as 2006? My friend Bec got married and I have her and her hubs a wedding quilt. I'm not even sure I have the original photo anywhere!

Oh wait, I do!

Jacob's Ladder.

bec&chris quilt
Don't look too long, I made it before I realised the meaning of the words "squaring up"! (Okay, so I still don't square up as often as I should, but my seams are much better these days!)

But that pink and dark gold fabric? That was originally the red-and-gold blocks in here:

Aunty's quilt
I thought they were a little too stark for the movement in the Jacob's Ladder, and have had them lying around for pretty much forever. They're a bit too stark in this one, too, but I don't think my aunt will mind too much. And I need something to bulk out the quilt size a little.

The column fabric down the sides is another harvest fabric I bought - actually, it's the one I used in the Jacob's Ladder.

I don't like this design, but my aunt was very insistent about "oh, don't do anything with it" but I can't leave it plain - I know some people do wholecloth quilts with beautiful quilting, but that's not really me. Quilting is design and layout and colour and pattern and tricking the eye.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday

It's been a crazy couple of weeks for me in the non-quilting area, which is why I've been so quiet here. It's easier to quilt when I have:
  1. spare time
  2. a job that isn't taking up all my brain and whatever spare time I have
  3. story plots that don't require me writing them
  4. a deadaline

Since I do not have any of these things, I'm not doing a lot of quilting right now.


I have the tops for two baby quilts:

One all sewn together with Make Life by Sweetwater:
Baby quilt:

One all laid out formed of Snap Pop by Sandy Gervaise:
Baby quilt, pop

One probably-a-boy, one unknown - one due at the end of the month, the other due at the start of next. So I might just wrap them up and do a 'pick a parcel, here's your card' mixer when I gift them!


I am planning to join in with the Scrap Attack {String Fever} over at Stitched In Color. Note the word 'planning'.

But I have design ideas - see?
String scrap attack

And no shortage of string scraps. Although I might just be boring and do selvedges, because I have far far far too many of those.

Also, the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild charity Quilt 1 has the top and most of the backing, and I have the batting. Now I just need to book at time at the longarm.

Oops. Better go do that now!

So what have you been doing this week?