Friday, April 27, 2012

do.Good Stitches More x and + blocks

What an interesting week we've had!  The eldest went back to school on Tuesday for one day, Wednesday was a national holiday for Anzac Day, and then we had two more days of school.  It was nice to have both boys at school/preschool for these two days.  I finally found some time to make a couple more Japanese x and + blocks.

I love how the new ones came out.  I found the fabric selection process really takes a long time for me.  I put together a bundle and then leave it for a day or two, when I come back to it I usually find something wrong (in this one's case I originally had the red and aqua teamed with purple but the backing fabric I chose wasn't big enough because it was from a 10" layer cake) so then I introduced the grey backing and then the black fabric worked better.  It looks a little bit more masculine but that's OK because I think the others lean a little more feminine (in my opinion anyway).

This one was also a last minute change in fabric.  Originally I had green, yellow and orange fabric bundled together but it wasn't doing it for me.  I really wanted to use purple and I don't have a lot of purple in my stash (lots of lilac though) so I decided to use this Joel Dewberry Heirloom fabric I've been hoarding for no purpose.  The orange and fishy background worked really well with it so the only thing from the original bundle was just the colour orange (not the actual fabrics I had started with).

Here are all my blocks together.  I found scrappy and gender neutral a real challenge since there were so many elements which meant you needed to have quite a lot of fabrics that worked together but also allowed the cross to stand out.  It was easier to limit my colour palette to just three or four colours.  I hope they blend OK with other blocks that are scrappier.  I also prefer the backgrounds that are understated, the multi-spot on the top right is just too busy.  It was a fun and simple block to make though and I will definitely like to make them again.

You can see more of these blocks in the do.Good Stitches Flickr pool.

Monday, April 23, 2012

I need your vote!

Click here to enlarge
I just saw over on Sew Mama Sew that I've made the top 10 finalists out of 200 entries!  Woo hoo!!  Now I need your vote, there are some pretty popular bloggers there so competition is going to be fierce especially if they have all their followers voting for them.  I hope I get votes because people actually like my bundle.  I am feeling unusually competitive right now!! :-)

If you have a moment would you mind heading over to SMS and voting for me, if you think I deserve it?

Here's a background on the competition.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

do.Good Stitches March and April

Here's my March block for the Care Circle for do.Good Stitches. I made this almost two weeks ago when I was churning through the projects.  The block is called Reverse Starburst by Kat one of our Bee members.  Kat co-ordinates a seperate bee called Blankets of Love which make small quilts for premie babies, so instead of making two blocks we each made one big one (mine came in at 23" square).  I really enjoyed making this block, it came together relatively easily too.

Kat also asked for donations of backing fabric so I'm sending over these sock monkeys and I'm also sending the turquoise to use for the binding.  It's a co-oncidence that there's a kid on the front pogoing.  Maybe we should call this quilt Reverse Pogo Starburst!

For April, Annabella in Morocco asked us to make Japanese x and + blocks using the tutorial put together by Amy of Badskirt.  I've been wanting to make this block for a little while so I was super excited to make these.  These blocks are slightly larger than the original tutorial finishing at 11.75" square and are going to be made into two quilts for Siblings Together.

I'm enjoying using up some of the old stash since some new fabric found it's way into the stash recently.  Not sure how that happened! :-)  I'll have to show you what I've acquired but it'll have to wait until the sun comes out again.  It has been raining, actually more like pouring, since yesterday and the forecast looks like rain for another week!

I want to make two more of these so that Annabella has enough to make up the extra quilt.  Unfortunately, because the eldest is on school holidays I haven't had any sewing time.  In fact, we haven't been home very much this week and I'm sort of looking forward to school resuming next week so that we can get back to normal programming.

Monday, April 16, 2012

SMS Are you the next Fat Quarter Idol?

I have to say the title of this competition had me intrigued.  I was thinking do they expect us to sing?  Luckily, no you don't!!  In a nutshell, you need to choose a 12 fabric bundle from their online shop and then Pin each fabric to Pinterest to a dedicated Board.  The theme for this week is Sweet Child of Mine.  The winner will then win a FQ set of their bundle and be promoted on the SMS blog.

Since I find using Pinterest pretty quick and easy I thought I would give this one a whirl.  I love my pinks and purples but I felt like doing something a little different.  I thought I'd pair a bright pink with yellow and orange. I've been seeing the pink and yellow combo around for a couple of weeks, and it's a combination I really love.  

Click here to go to this Board

I started with the Leaves and Berries Pink from Hello Pilgram and then just started matching up some prints that fit in with the colour scheme and then my solids.  I always try to pick fabrics I love and would buy anyway.  I'm so, so pleased with how this bundle came out, it's just so scrummy!!  I really want to win now because I'm dying to have this bundle! 

Here's the link to all the competition details at Sew, Mama, Sew!

Liebster Award(s)

I have been quite remiss to tell you that I was awarded a Liebster Award by the lovely Sue at My Quilting Addiction.  I was waiting for the right time to write this thank you post but it never came... and then just the other day Deanna from Little D & Me awarded me another one!  Two Liebsters!!  Gee, thanks so much ladies.

If you haven't heard of this award it's basically a lovely gesture to bloggers of less than 200 followers.  I'm supposed to choose 3 blogs (I suppose that means 6) within those guidelines to award a Liebster to and display the Liebster Award button on the blog.  I'm not sure where this originated, it feels a bit like chain mail but to be honest it felt really nice to receive these awards and hearing the nice things Deanna & Sue had to say about my little blog.

And now the Logie Liebster goes to:
  1. Blog, Luke Haynes is seriously talented, you need to check out his work!
  2. Listen to the Birds Sing, Karen has some lovely Irish backdrops for her quilty goodies
  3. Home, Melanie write a "what's new" type of blog & sewing, lots of inspiration!
  4. Daisy & Jack, Leanne has a quilting blog with cute dogs in rural Australia
  5. Life at Rosemary Hill, Kris is the mother of 8 and shares family life in amongst her quilting
  6. Kitchen Table Quilting, Erica's quilting, sewing blog is full of eye candy, Erica's taste in fabrics and colour combinations is quite similar to my own.

Guys, I enjoy reading your blogs and being inspired!  (Karen, Kris and Leanne are in my circle for do.Good Stitches.  Reading their blogs makes being part of a bee that much more intimate, I have loved every moment of getting to know them and being part of this bee.)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Garden Party - free PDF pattern

Jennifer from Sewhooked has organised an awesome blog hop for the month of April.  Each day a new blogger is sharing a free paper pieced pattern within the theme of Garden Party.  Plus, there's giveaways!!! You really should check it out, especially those of you interested in practicing your paper piecing and Jennifer has some great tutorials as well.

Today it's ME!! My perception of a Garden Party is very English and of course those Brit's certainly love their Pimm's (and cucumber sandwiches).  If you've never heard of Pimm's you really should check out the website, it is a fabulous British retro inspired site and it even shows Brits picnicking with their Pimm's!

My block is fairly simple in design (you know, it's my first pattern).  The only tricky part is the handle and I've broken that down into the least number of pieces to make it as easy as possible.  My biggest tip for paper piecing is to make sure your fabric scraps are bigger than you think they need to be, it does make life easier if you have excess you can trim down after you have sewn.

Pimm's Garden Party PDF.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the other bloggers in the hop.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Taali Wheel Quilt

Remember this quilt I was under the pump to finish last weekend?  I didn't even start until Sunday morning because I flaked out in an upright position on the sofa at 9.15pm! Gee, what a Saturday night party animal I've become! :-)  Well, I managed to get the 4 pieces of the circle completed by mid Sunday afternoon (thanks to an extra day-lightsaving hour from the clocks being wound back).

I thought it would then take no time to finish it off... um, well, no.  I got the whole thing pieced this afternoon.  It's been a busy week of needing to do various errands and I only managed a little bit here and there and then the final trimming took way longer because I was being quite pedantic about making sure everything was going to line up.

I'm quite pleased with how it came out.  I chose these fabrics for Max since I really liked them and I thought we could possibly get away with turning it into a boy quilt.  When I started piecing I was a bit worried it looked too babyish and I was prepared for him to tell me he didn't like it, which was OK since a good friend is having a baby boy soon.  But on the whole he says he likes most of the fabrics, not so much the "pink flowers".  Luckily I pre-empted that and only used that print once instead of twice, it needed that little bit more red.

If I were to do it again I might have all the fabrics running in the same direction around the wheel but the way I cut them with the wedges interlocking had the least fabric wastage.  I bought a FQ of each of these prints (Monaluna Taali from Moona Fabrics on Etsy) and really have not made much of a dent in them.  The solid is a Moda Bella Solid but I didn't get the name, I bought it from my LQS in a sale last weekend.  On Googling it looks like it could be Horizon Blue?

The quilt top measures 42" square and I'm in two minds about making it a bit longer on top and bottom?  I have some time to think about it as I won't be quilting it straight away - I need to move onto the next urgent projects...