Thursday, February 26, 2009

A reproduction BOM

Is this quilt not stunning? I love love love it! It's a pattern and BOM called Pies and Tarts from Patchwork with Busy Fingers here in Australia. It is a reproduction of a quilt in the New Jersey quilt documentation book.
I joined up as soon as I saw it. Sue designs patterns and sells products specialising in English paper piecing. Sue also has a blog if you'd like to visit.
Each month for 10 months, there are enough fabrics and papers to do 10 large blocks and 10 of the small ones that go in the intersections. You also receive two acrylic templates to cut out the fabric pieces in month one.
I've made a good start and have all the large ones done, just the smaller ones to do before the next lot arrive.
I've had a great productive week attending to a few projects, I'm hoping this will continue into the weekend. I hope you are all getting in some quality stitching time as well.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Playing with blocks Part 2

What a change, getting these two versions together gives a good perspective. The new one reminds me of Easter baskets and chocolates. A little more whimsical, less formal.
I think I have enough serious quilts on the go :)
Thanks to everyone who helped me on my last post by leaving a comment and giving me some feedback. I might just sit on this for a few days.

I won't go into how I auditioned the squares and blocks with different fabrics and colours, but these new alternate blocks pull the colours out of the flowers without being overpowering.
I have a limited amount of the background fabric and not sure if I'll have enough for around the edges because I do want to add another row lengthwise. I will have to do some maths.
You can see the quilt below that the white was leftover from.
Another big stitch lap quilt. I used a wool batting for this one and wasn't happy with the quality.
The pattern is out of a feed sack book I have but with a retro theme going on and some minor changes.
Feel free to let me know what you think, it is appreciated, believe me.
By the way, I'm going to be a Nana again this year! My Daughter already has three gorgeous girls and is due again in August. I miss them terribly with them being in New Zealand.
My DH also has two of his children expecting, both in May. He already has three so together we will have nine grand kiddies.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Playing with orphan blocks

I really do love these basket blocks. The pattern is out of the Quilters Newsletter magazine you see below. They are needleturned applique with black perle cotton used for blanket stitch around the flowers.
These blocks have been neglected for long enough! Time to play Janet!!

Start by digging around in the scrap bin, there should be plenty there I can use.
Cut out the pieces for an alternate block. The green strips will tie it all together. Use same green for border?? Oh yeah then it will look like the background and also like the blocks are floating in a sea of green. I could be onto a good plan here.
Lots of browns out of the stash to form a diagonal stepping stones effect.
This is what you get.

Mmmm, do I like it? Um maybe. It's not always good to be green. Do I like it enough to carry on with it? Well lets just say I have my reservations. I think maybe I'd like the quilt to be lighter, less green, fresher. yes, no yes,no!

OK now I have another idea, what if...... oops run out of time so will mull on that plan overnight. If I like it, I'll carry on playing with blocks tomorrow.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Big stitch quilting

I love this method of quilting, it's quick, its relaxing, forgiving and best of all it's a great way for beginners to finish their quilts themselves. They end up soft and cosy.
This is Scrappy Bargello, one of Bonnie's great free patterns but with bigger squares. I love it, I could make this pattern again and again. This is a big quilt made in a hurry last year to put on our bed.
This lap quilt was made from a kit from Material Obsession. I had to get my head around the piecing sequence of this one. I don't usually like the oriental prints but these ones are from Japan, called Naomi . Beautiful quality.
I love to use the variegated threads, either perle cottons or the Caron brand of sashiko thread.
I still use a lap hoop, keeping the quilt loose in it and a #5 embroidery needle. I need a rubber finger on my index finger to help pull the needle through.
In big stitch quilting, the stitches are 1/8" up to 1/4" long. Try it if you haven't already, it really suits some quilts, especially scrappy or bright ones.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday nights

On Tuesday nights, our little quilt group gets together in each others homes. For my turn last night this is what was on offer for supper. A festive slice I wanted to try and.....
freckles, nice crunchy oaty chocolaty biscuits (cookies). Want the recipe??

3/4 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups rolled oats
150 gms chocolate chips
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
125 gms butter
1 egg
3 teaspoons warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence.

  • Sift together the flour and baking soda into a bowl. Mix in sugar, rolled oats, chocolate chips and coconut
  • Melt butter and cool a little. Add the warm water, vanilla essence and egg. Mix well.Mix the wet ingredients into the dry.
  • Place large teaspoons of the mixture on a baking paper lined tray. Allow space for spreading. I use damp hands to shape and flatten.
  • Bake at 180* C for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.

With this recipe, if you don't like coconut, use 250 gms of chocolate chips. If you don't like chocolate chips, leave out and use 1 cup coconut

And looky here, the sweetest wee Dutch needlecase from the lovely Lucy. Thank you so much Lucy, even my DH said it's gorgeous!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Baltimore blocks, a labour of love

These are some of the more elaborate blocks that you got a sneak peek at a couple of posts ago. Most of these blocks are from Elly Sienkiewicz books.
Except this one, I filled the basket with my own bouquet. I'm doing four red baskets for the quilt.
The one above was drawn by me as well.

This block needs an inked design, but what to do? Any Ideas?
This one was remade after my DD pointed out that I had put the wrong date for her birth date on it. How did that happen? Well my birthday is the 8th November and hers is the 7th November. I haven't done the re-inking because now I don't know if I want to use angels.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Donation quilt

I made this quilt last year using charm squares and scraps. It was made as a demonstration for some ladies who wanted ideas for quick quilts. It's the disappearing nine patch pattern and was pieced and machine quilted quite quickly.

As well as money, I am donating this quilt to the bushfire victims after reading Maree's post about organising blocks of this pattern. She has kindly offered to take this off my hands to pass on.
Go and visit her at on my veranda because she is putting a lot of items up for auction in conjunction with Melly and Me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Help for the animals

I haven't been able to say anything about the bushfires here in Australia that hasn't already been said. The generosity of people here in Australia, my homeland New Zealand, America and all around the world has been incredible.
As well as donating funds for the victims, we also need funds to help the wildlife, pets and the organisations and people who are helping them.
Read about what Julie at Bushbaby Jag is doing to help and link on the RSPCA link if you wish to donate. Lets not forget that the animals are victims as well.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sneak peeks at another oldie

I wanted to change my header so I took some photos of some of my Baltimore Album style blocks.See the birds eyes? they are cut out of a fabric I have that's actually not eyes.

I have about twenty blocks done and need to do five more, some inking and compose a border. Whew that's a lot of work! I might finish by the time my hair turns completely grey and I'm in a nursing home.

I haven't worked on any of these blocks this last year. I cut my teeth on applique with them, maybe I should set myself the task of at least doing another block soon.
If you come back, you'll see the whole of these blocks next time.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The vine quilt, panel #1

I'm as happy as I can be with the first panel of this quilt. It's really difficult to get a decent size photo with such a long panel.
It needs trimming right down to 5 1/2" unfinished in width. when they are all done....years from now :)

I wanted an idea of how it would look against the pink I'm using for sashing and I'm pleased with my choice.

I find appliqueing leaves to be one of the easiest shapes to do and there's no fussing with sharp points on these. The panel took eight days for me to applique, working on it each evening and thinking a lot about Susan McCord and how she found time to make this quilt.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

New York Beauties

These quilts were made just because and then they got used as class samples for teaching how to draft and paper foundation piece the New York Beauty block. I finished hand quilting this one in 2003.
You can't tell from the photo but there is quite a bit of bearding from the pure wool batting I used
This bright little number was finished in 2002 and has a few millennium fabrics in it so I called it "Celebration". It was quilted with a big stitch in a Japanese variegated thread using a cotton batting. I'm very keen on big stitch quilting and it goes so fast.

I seem to have several distinct types of styles of quilting. My bright quilts still have their roots in traditional patterns, but I do seem to swing to and fro. That's what's great about quilting!

Thanks to those who took the trouble to comment on my last post, I have some good ideas for getting focused. I'm going to start by calling my sets of blocks orphans rather than UFOs, that's halved them already and I feel no obligation to turn them into quilts unless I so desire!!!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.