Wednesday, January 30, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with honey

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sorry for the radio silence last week. I was in Melbourne on a training course and didn't get around to making the WIP post, although I had quite a bit of stuff going.

So 10 days ago, the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild had their first sew-in at our LQS - Greta's Handicrafts in Lindfield. It was well-attended by lovely people and we had a fantastic four hours of sewing.

If you're in the Sydney area, interested in modern quilting, and would like to meet some awesome quilters, the next sew-in should be on the 16th February at Greta's again, but if you're further west there's another one on the 26th at Material Obsession in Balmain. You must RSVP since space is limited! (A full list of sew-in days in Sydney are here. Out-of-towners, if you happen to be visiting Sydney on any of those dates, we would love to meet you and host you!)

While at the guild meeting I started a new quilt. Queen size. No specific recipient in mind.

Two Layer Cakes And A Pizza Place

Currently it's called 'Honey, Honey' after the fabric - a layer cake of Kate Spain's pretty pastels. (I can't be the only person who starts singing ABBA when they hear that fabric line name. I can't...) Background is a layer cake of Bella Snow.

I had a design that I thought this would work with, pulled out the layer cakes and started cutting.

All ready to cut and!

And, of course, the instant I got everything out, the kitteh jumped up and sat down on my work. No, I didn't cut the kitteh. She ended up on top of a box of fabric and did the roll-y thing that cats do to try to get you to pat them. "Aren't I cute? Look at how cute I am! Don't you just want to pet me?"

Sewing at the guilt meet. It was a really productive day.

Honey honey productivity


Honey honey blocks

Blocks done! Laying out! And...Smokey strikes again. Oy vey!

Smokey, no!

Fully laid out, sans kitteh.

Honey honey

...and now I have a dilemma.

I like the design. I think it would look amazing with another fabric collection I have and which I need to use up this year and for which I have a recipient.

But...I don't think it quite works with this fabric collection. Or maybe it does and I'm just not enough into pastels to appreciate it? It can be difficult for me to differentiate between my personal tastes and my sense of design.

Your thoughts? Opinions? Do you like it? Do you think it works?

Pinky suggested I switch the block layout around. Which I might - although I'm thinking I'd keep the diagonals and maybe turn it into concentric diamonds instead, perhaps with the blocks containing the 'darker' or 'standout' colours evenly spaced around the quilt so they don't throw the eye off so much?

Will have to see.

Either way, I think this is one that I'll be booking time on the LQS longarm for!

Sexy Hexies for the SydMQG group quilt

I've finished the green block, after sewing my way through the training course in Melbourne. I got some odd looks and a few questions, but it generally wasn't too bad.

Greens. I got the greens real bad... #thefarside
One block down, at least six still to go!

The reds are mostly done after a small upset involving a laid-out block of hexies which Mal promptly rolled over, kicked, and pawed. And then posed as though to say "Don't you like my work?"

Oh, Mal!

Oh, Mal!

And the oranges are in progress today. Public transport is a wonderful, wonderful thing for handsewing - at least it is in my part of Sydney. Get on the train, take a seat, pull out the handsewing. Sew two columns of hexies in twenty minutes, timing each seam by the distance between stations. Get out at destination, walk to work.

Onto the oranges for the #sydmqg group quilt.

And then I laid them out on my desk as my computer booted up to see how they looked.

Arancia: into rows

It's all good!

Vietnamese silk throw

The Vietnamese silk throw encountered a slight problem - too slippery to sew! I need to find a stiffener that won't damage the silk, and I'm not sure that my very generic, very rough and no-name-brand starch is suitable for this work.

Plus, there's the small issue of the kitteh fur.

Kitteh on silk

Smokey really loves sitting down on my projects.

Oh, the hazards of adolescent kitteh (my sister sings 'Teenage Dirtbag' by Wheatus every time they act up) to sewing projects!

up next week

I want to have the Honey Honey quilt top done by the weekend for the Sydney Southern Cross Quilters meeting on Saturday. This will probably mean sewing like crazy on Thursday and Friday night.

I need to get the SydModQuiltGuild hexies completed and to Penny Poppleton - our fearless leader and group quilt co-ordinator.

I need to start a new quilt top. Maybe make a start on cutting up 'Kings And Honey' - Elizabeth Hartman's Honey pattern and in Robert Kaufman's Valley of the Kings fabric - a gift for a friend.

And I've just had an idea for the 100 squares of Kona solids that I got in the Pile O' Fabric I <3 Kona charm swap...

What are you working on? How is it going? Have you linked up to the Linky Party over at Freshly Pieced?

Monday, January 21, 2013

Friday (well, Monday) felicities

Linking up to Felicity Quilts's Friday Felicities post where she's giving away a copy of Quilting Modern. I could do with my own copy instead of borrowing Penny Poppleton's all the time!

Anyway, my felicities this last week and weekend:

Finishing off the paper-backing part of my hexies for the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild charity quilt #1. Seven sets of 33 hexies in various colourways. Phew!

#sydmqg hexies to be sewn together! Getting there slowly!

Discovering a flashback from my childhood in the form of Mello Yello:

Mello Yellow! Oh my childhood!

Starting a new quilt using Kate Spain's Honey Honey line. (And some Bella solids.) Even if I had to shoo the cat off.

All ready to cut and!

Owning two adorbsable kittehs. Who are so cute in photographs, even on camera phones!

Am I not adorbsable? Do you not wish to bow down and worship?
What are you doing?

And a very productive Saturday Sew-In for the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild, as well as being fun and social.

Honey honey productivity

I’m off to Melbourne tonight for a training course for work. I’m hoping to get a couple of blocks of hexies done while there aren’t any distractions. (Famous last words.) I’ll try to get a WIP Wednesday post up, but no guarantees!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

2013 goals

I always think it's a good idea to put some goals down. Aim for nothing and you'll hit it every time, right?

2013 goals
This year I’m going for simple again:

  1. 12 quilt tops in 12 months
  2. enter into at least 1 quilt competition
  3. develop longarm quilting skills
  4. get all my quilt tops from the last few years quilted

I haven’t entered into any Birthday Block swaps this year – quite deliberately. Last year ran me aground and I don’t have the time/energy to do it this year.

Quilt-Alongs (blocks)

  • QAL: GenX Quilters: Sisters’ Ten– with the Rhapsodia collection
  • QAL: Pile o’ Fabric: Skill Builder Block – pick FQs

gifts (will probably cross over with the quilts listed above)

  • Gift: Kings and Honey (“Honey” by Elizabeth Hartman in Kaufman’s Valley Of The Kings) – for Jo
  • Gift: America the Beautiful (reds, blues, whites) – for Alli
  • Gift: rainbow brights - for Genie
  • Gift: traditional and dramatic - for Sue
  • Gift: rich and modern - for Bec and Wes
  • Gift: bright and pretty - baby quilt for Noah and Jenny
  • Gift: bright and pretty - baby quilt for Shaz and Drew

12 quilt tops in 12 months - details

  • 2 two scrap quilts (one of them a string quilt)
  • 2 “birthday block quilts” (from my 2011, and 2012 block exchanges)
  • 2 made from the 2 “charm jelly cake” sets I still have
  • 2 made from layer cakes

enter into at least one quilt competition - details
The Sydney Quilt Guild Show in June this year. At least the Eternity quilt, and perhaps another quilt, although I have to think about which one it’s going to be…

develop longarm quilting skills - details
Having done the quilting for my Eternity quilt, I know how to use the longarm at the LQS and will have to start using it for some of the ‘bespoke’ quilts I’m making.

get all my quilt tops from the last few years quilted - details
Mostly this involves getting the quilts out to my quilter in Wollongong. Although there looks like there’s one who’s much closer (as in, next suburb over) so I might start using her more and Thirroul Custom Quilting less. I’m going to miss Jo and the process of choosing the patterns, though!

And it will probably be reasonably pricey, which can’t be helped too much, alas. Quilting is not a cheap enterprise.


Finally, I should update my blog header. The current one is annoying me. Maybe this weekend...

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

WIP: the one with sketchiness

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Small steps this week.

It's hard to sew when the cat insists on stretching out on your supplies.

Kitteh and hexies

Some Vietnamese silk I bought to make a light summer throw.

Look at this stuff! #Vietnamesesilk

It's more slippery than I expected. I need to get some stiffener to make it marginally easier to handle.

More silk.

Six tubes for the 'round-the-world' quilt in Kona solids. When I'm done, I should have about 36 blocks, with 200 or so colours!

Round the world tubes

Plans for using up the layer cakes I have collected over the last couple of years.

Layer cake plans

Right now my big problem is that everywhere is in a mess - my bedroom, my sewing space, my study - and I feel like I can't get anything done until I clear it all up. And then there's always something else to do. *sigh*

I need to finish up my post of 2013 plans, but my recap of 2012 is up.

What have you been doing this week? Have you linked up at the Freshly Pieced linky party?

2012 recap: a big year

I’ve been a bit slow with this post – the recap of 2012 and the goals for 2013. Partly because I was away in Vietnam during that week when I usually do all my “past year, next year” organisation, and partly because my computer died at the start of December and I didn’t get around to replacing it until last week. I’ve been doing everything off my work computer which, while sturdy, makes me a bit antsy at times.

And it’s so much easier to 'do' than to 'recap'!

I'd have done a collage of my projects, only I don't have the time right now.

My goals for 2012 were:

  1. Finish another 12 quilt tops.
  2. Make at least 1 quilt from go to whoa - including the quilting stage, which I usually fob off to someone else.
  3. Start making quilts and patterns with an intent to sell.

My results for 2012 were:

  1. Not quite. My excuse is that we were doing kitchen renovations from February until August, and I had no sewing space because the kitchen essentially got moved into my sewing room.
  2. Yes! The Eternity Quilt. Designed, cut, pieced, quilted, and bound by me!
  3. Well, I did some quilt block patterns but they were nothing special. I'm not sure I'm cut out for the 'making patterns to sell' angle - it's not my focus, although I might still make some quilts to sell in future.

2012 Works

California Girl: A very quick project that turned out rather nice. More pastels than I like, but it'll be to someone's taste, I'm sure! (And the photography doesn't help.)

California girl quilt

Charmed Prints: A quilt-along with Anne-Marie of Gen X Quilters.

Charmed Prints top finished!

HST Harvest: Using up the FQs of a "harvest themed" fabric collection I bought four years ago and which I don't like anymore. (The colours are Not My Thing at all!)

HST Harvest

Floating Wildflowers: For the wedding of a friend in April. Another fabric collection I bought four years ago and hadn't yet used. I like this one better - the dark jewel tones, the design - much more to my tastes!

floating wildflowers: quilted

New York Beauty Blocks: Was to be for a huge NYB quilt-along, but I didn't like the colours I chose. I worked in mostly-solid or monochrome batiks and it just didn't work for me. So I'll make a small hanging from this and do a fullsize (or bigger size) quilt in some other fabric collection.

New York beauty

Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner - Scrap Attack: Definitely a pattern to do again in future - love the scrappiness, and the off-white 'backing'. It would be interesting to do this with a layer cake (or jelly roll) and a background fabric...

Nobody Puts Baby In The Corner!

Azerbaijani scarf for Eurovision: For my friend's Eurovision party back in May!

Azerbaijani scarf

Two baby quilts: a commission by a friend for her nephew and niece.

Baby quilts: #2 bound
Baby quilts: #1 bound

mug rug: Part of a mug-rug exchange. Only mine was a bit large - it's more of a soup-bowl rug!

Mug rug:  front

Heirloom: I was trying to do this in the manner of a quilt I saw online, but I think that one was more of a 'coins' style design, which makes a difference - this design is a little too rich for my eye.

Heirloom colours

Build Me Up Buttercup: I love the fabric, but I don't think the design quite hits me. Yellow (it's actually 'Kona Daffodil' not 'Kona Buttercup' but the name stuck) is not my favourite of colours - I prefer it as an accent, not a theme.

Build me up buttercup

Snowflake block: My first block tutorial! Design is by Madame Parfait, but she never posted the tutorial. This one's a bit rough, and I really need to make a whole quiltload. Perhaps in 2013?


Stepdad’s Cushions: Commissioned by my mum for the stepdad, oh, two years ago. Finally finished this year. Along with her quilt. They now sit in pride of place on their bed.

parental quilt projects

Batman block: A block tutorial for the Wicked! bloghop in October 2013. I need to use this block - perhaps in a cushion cover?

Wicked: Bat Logo Block

Eternity: My 2013 nemesis, dreamed up for a church project and completed in a ridiculously short time given its complexity level. Four months from inception to completion, and I did every inch of it, from design to cutting to piecing to quilting.

Material Obsession's Swap Day: the Eternity Quilt, finished and hung.

So that’s 2012, done and dusted!

Up next, 2013 goals.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

WIP Wednesday: the one with hexies

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Back from Vietnam - it was a wonderful holiday. I even got a bit of handsewing done for the Sydney Modern Quilt Guild charity quilt!

Starting with on the plane:

Hexies in flight

At my dad's house in Vietnam - the red hexies:

Red hexies

And the red-purples:

Purple red hexies

And the green-blues - handsewing on the train going in to work this week:

Handsewing on the train. I love public transport!

This morning's public transport efforts: slowly getting thru the green-blues! #sydmqg

The last of the green blues! #sydmqg

I'm pretty sure I did the yellows and the oranges while in Vietnam, but I can't seem to find them anywhere. *grumble*


quilting projects 2013

It's going to have to be a productive first half of the year, because the second half is going to be quite seriously disrupted by a trip to the US and Italy for six weeks.

Woodland by Natalie Lyman

I'm going to do something small and sweet with these charms squares of 'Woodland' by Natalie Lyman:

Designer? Collection? #clueless

Probably a very simple rail-fence-like design.

Round The World

It feels like nearly everyone's doing the Round The World right now - it is a lovely, simple quilt to make - and great for scraps.

Not that these Kona strips are 'scraps' exactly. I cut them out while slicing strips from which to cut the Eternity Quilt triangles - I figured since I had it all out, I might as well make some strips for a project of unknown specifications. :)

Kona strips

We'll see how it turns out. I may regret using these strips for a RTW which looks like it would work best scrappy, but I guess we'll find out!


Going to the US 2013

I need to make quite a few quilts this year - I'm planning to head over to the US and while there, I'll offload a bunch of quilts for friends with whom I've stayed through the years, and take back a HEAPLOAD of fabric. :)

I also would like to make some clothing for cosplays since I intend on attending at least one fannish media convention in 2013 while in the US. Think the Victorian-style dress I put together for Halloween, only based around a specific character.

Only perhaps more complex.

avengers gowns

These are some lovely dress designs based on the characters in the Avengers movie and designed by Kelsey Michele.

I particularly like Thor, Maria Hill, and Hulk, although I suspect that, based on my figure, the Captain America dress is a better choice than the Thor one.

(I have broad shoulders, and a nearly non-existent hip-to-waist ratio, which means I need something that really nips in at the waist and flares out at the hips.The Thor dress would look best on an hourglass, or a girl with good hips.)

Over-ambitious, I think. Still. *sighs*

Anyway, a slightly scattered first WIP Wednesday for 2013! What have you been working on?