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...