Friday, December 19, 2014

Cultural Fusions book winner

Thank you to everyone that entered the draw to win Sujatas' wonderful book. Thank you also for the lovely comments on the quilt top I made from the book.
Congratulations to Susan from Patchwork and Play who happened to be lucky number 8.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Cross stitch

I have been known to dabble in a little embroidery now and again. I love anything with bees on so this is one that I'll be keeping.
the project is Her Majesty from the booklet By Blackbird designs called Honeybee Hill. I filled it with ground walnuts that has some lavender petals in it so it smells lovely and feels great with the weight in it.
 And for the back, I had some lovely bee fabric of course.
The Q is for Queen bee but it could easily be for Quiltsalott. Loving the small ric-rac finish.
Until next time, Janet

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Cultural Fusion Quilts blog tour

Welcome to the second to last stop on the blog tour for Sujata Shah's first ever book, Cultural Fusion Quilts A Melting Pot of Piecing Traditions.

I'm really excited about this book and what a pleasure and an honour to be part of this blog tour after following Sujata's blog, The Root Connection for many years. I've always admired the quilts she has made with her unique sense of style and colouring. This book gives a view into her world, her inspiration and her root connection.

There are fifteen quilt patterns in the book and when I got it, I wanted to rush to the fabric stash and sewing machine and make them all. It's been a long time since I've been inspired to sew a quilt by machine but this book had me pulling fabrics right away and warming up the machine.
The instructions are very clear and there are step by step diagrams to help out as well as suggestions for fabric selection and different setting variations for each of the quilts.

This method of stacking fabrics, cutting then switching them and sewing is a whole lot of fun. In fact it was a joy to be doing just that. There was no need for rulers, templates or pins to piece the blocks which makes the process of making them very speedy.

It was hard to pick a favourite out of the book but in the end I decided to work with the shapes similar to the ones in this quilt. The same shape with slight variations are also used in some of the other quilts so I knew I would have lots of options for setting them.
I made a few practice blocks to decide how I wanted to proceed. Hence the block on the left has a skinnier shape than the one on the right. No matter, they can all be used.  I really love the slight curves which were so very easy to sew.
As Sujata states:
Be curious
Be bold
Be spontaneous
Be creative
Be intuitive.
I made the blocks using mainly Kaffe Fassett and Phillip Jacob fabrics in the red family because I have a lot of those and then I chose some very old greys along with black and whites out of my cupboard for contrast. It felt good to make use of my fabric stash.
When cutting the fabric stacks, you get negative and positive blocks. I decided to put aside the ones that have the black and greys in the center shape for another quilt that will look totally different.
I played around with settings and added the lime strips because I kept thinking how much like leaves the shapes were and I do love hot pinks and lime together.
This is the finished quilt top which looks like funky trees, it's lap sized and approximately 60" square. I did buy the border fabric as it had the look and colour I was after. I love it a lot and I thank Sujata for gently guiding me to experiment and for inspiring me to make this quilt. I plan to use some perle cotton thread to hand quilt it when the weather cools down here in Australia.

If you would like to go into the draw for a chance to win a copy of the book, leave me a comment and I'll draw a  winner in five days time.
If the winner is a US resident, they will get a hard copy but if the winner is international, they will receive the E-book version.
Here is a complete list of the blogs participating in the tour, some of them are still open for comments and the chance to win.
Tuesday December 2 Sujata Shah @ C&T Publishing

Friday December 5 Rachaeldaisy @ Blue Mountain Daisy 

Saturday December 6 Lori Dejarnett @ Humble Quilts
Sunday December 7 Casey York @ The Studiolo  

Monday December 8 Malka Dubrawsky @ A Stitch in Dye   

Tuesday December 9 Sherri Lynn Wood @ daintytime

Wednesday December10 Bonnie Hunter @ Quiltville's Quips and Snips

Thursday December 11 Jake Finch @ Generation Q

Friday December 12 Jan Burgwinkle @ Be*mused

Saturday December 13 Janet Treen @ Quiltsalott

Sunday December 14 Lindsay Conner @ Lindsay Sews

Friday, December 12, 2014

A little Christmas project

I couldn't resist adding this picture of Tully photo bombing. We are looking after her for a year for a family that moved interstate. That year is almost up and I don't think we'll give her back. We haven't heard for certain yet if we can keep her but it's on the cards.
Each year I make or buy a Christmas decoration for my grandchildren and they really look forward to the surprise. By the time they move out on their own, they should have enough decorations for a tree of their own.
This year I made them three birds each, they're so cute and look like doves to me.
The pattern is from Jody"s Crafty Creations (blog). The pattern was for bigger birds but I reduced it down to 70% which was just right for what I wanted. Luckily I have some turning tools (straw and bamboo skewer) or it would have been tricky with the smaller size. If you want your own pattern, it's 50% off in her Etsy store with the code she gives on her blog. That would be a whole $1 such a bargain.
How about you, are you doing any Christmas sewing?

Back soon, Janet


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Trees in nature and patchwork

Thank you so much for the lovely messages after my last post, I really did appreciate all your kind words and messages of sympathy. My trip to New Zealand gave me a much needed rest.
I had a lovely time catching up with family and especially spending time with my grand children. My DD has a lovely old farmhouse to live in with fabulous country views surrounding the property as you can see.
I really enjoyed seeing all the wonderful spring blossoms which we don't see as much of in the area where I live.
Even the trees that hadn't burst into life yet were a sight to behold.
Before I left for New Zealand, I had started making tree blocks for a new quilt. I love this process of slicing and dicing and not using precise piecing.
I had a stash of Kaffe Fassett shot cottons that were languishing in the cupboard and a container of Batiks that I thought I'd never use. They couldn't have been more perfect.
The method involves inserting strips of different sizes between the cuts and is pretty easy to do. The pattern is Twelve Trees by Helen Howes. There are many variations and settings you could use with these blocks.
There is a free tutorial showing how to make these blocks on Helen's site here and also Kelly over at Pinkadot Quilts has also shown a step by step process here.
I started by cutting my background rectangles 16 x 10 1/2"
I decided I liked the setting that Helen used for one of her quilts and followed suit, I have a few more blocks to do to make it to the 25 I had planned on. I'm such a copy cat but why change it when I love it so much.
Here's a peek at what appeared at the edge of my design wall. As if by magic really, I didn't intend to play with another new quilt but I wanted to cut a few pieces of fabric in these colours to see if I liked them. I do.
I have a few things on my list to do yet before I get to play some more.
Two squares cut 2.5" and one rectangle 6.5" x 2.5" if you're curious.
Until next time, Janet