Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Fantastic Value

The black and white value quilt is finished!
As the quilt is destined to be a lap quilt I wanted to keep the quilting loose and snuggly so I opted to quilt either side of the seams and just around the diamonds. This took quite a bit of time but was very easy to do. (I think I'm preferring my walking foot to my darning foot these days and seem to have lost my stippling mojo! But that's another story.) I used a grey thread and this looks unobtrusive against both the black and the white fabrics.
The binding is a fabric called Baby Safari from Spotlight. I'm not normally one for 'road kill' type prints but I did like the diagonal movement of the print. It works well as a binding.
The backing fabric is from Ikea from their Cecilia range. Unfortunately it's currently out of stock but I understand they're going to get more in around October. At $6.95 a metre and 150cm wide it's a real bargain. I didn't have to join the back at all which is always a bonus in my book.
The finished quilt measures around 140cm x 160cm.
If you want to make a value quilt there's a great tutorial here. The trickiest thing is determining the 'value density' of your fabric. It was a little easier using just monotone prints but it's not foolproof. I used 6 1/2" squares and that seemed to work out quite well. I have to admit that I didn't square up my squares are rejoining the triangles but it didn't seem to cause any problems....I don't think they were that out.
This quilt has gone into the cupboard ready for a Christmas present.

Monday, September 28, 2009


I tore myself away from handstitching two quilts worth of binding yesterday afternoon for a session in the garden with the kids and Joe. We've planted tomatoes, corn, spring onions, leeks and strawberries. This was our reward at the end of the day.....a steady sprinkling of rain to dampen everything down followed by a double rainbow. Glorious!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Charity begins in the home....

The Girl Guide fundraiser quilt construction is powering along. All the little house blocks are built and are ready to be joined to finish the top.
I inadvertently (another word for mucked up whilst working late at night) trimmed one of my blocks 1" too small, so I had to trim all the others back! They're now 12" square which is a little smaller than I'd originally planned. I think lots of white around these houses work so much better.
I loved the process of making these little houses....it reminded me of all the houses I used to make out of lego or old bricks when I was little. Here are some of my favourites.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

From little things.....

Big things grow.
I've been inspired by Amanda Jean who in turn, was inspired by Katy's flickr posting of the Birmingham Quilt Show and in particular Ingrid Press's absolutely stunning little house quilt. I can't stop looking at it, it's so beautiful. Amanda Jean quickly siezed on the wonderful notion of getting her Sew Connected Quilt Group to help build her village (how Amish!). But I don't have that kind of support (yet) seeing as I've only been blogging (and quilting) for a little while. So......I had a go at construction last night using nothing but my scrap bin. It's very liberating to realise that each of these little house/tree blocks have been made out of reclaimed fabric. I stayed up way past my bedtime and managed 14 blocks. Only 11 more to go! Some of my buildings turned out a little larger than I originally intened but with lots of white around them they'll soon look smaller against the background. I'm aiming for 12 1/2" square blocks for each.
I'm thinking this quilt might be a nice little fundraiser for R's Girl Guides. And I'm also thinking that down the track the girls might be able manage one of their own!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Great value

I'm working on a black and white value quilt. Here it is laid out on the floor. I hope 1. no-one kicks the blocks out of position as they walk past and 2. it comes together looking as good as it does on the floor! It really is true that if you squint or look through the camera lens that you can see if some of the colour grades aren't working. I thought that this style of quilt would be easy if I just stuck with black and white....afterall, it's either more black or more white....isn't it? No! Some fabrics that you think are more black are in fact somewhere in between. See the big white spot on the black. And the white flower on black. Those two turned out to be not as strong as some of the others. I've kept them in but had to move them around a bit to make the pattern work. A good lesson nonetheless.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spring has sprung...

And I'm celebrating with the completion of my red and white flower quilt. It measures around 145cm square which is a lovely snuggly size. It's even more snuggly because I chose not to stipple this one and cross hatched it diagonally across the squares instead leaving the quilt layers a bit looser. I also free-motioned around the flower but I'd have to say that of all the new things I tried with this quilt that was the hardest and delivered the most disappointing outcome. I'll have to work on that technique as it's quite different to stippling....which conveniently covers a plethora of stitching movement 'sins'. Other new discoveries with this quilt....easy thread needles. Have you heard of them? They're needles with a tiny slit in the top that allow you to pull your threads through to the back without having to thread the needle. Once I got the hang of it (like hearing the 'click' of the cotton into the slit), it was a breeze to finish off those pesky quilting threads.
And my new little quilt tags. Originally inspired by Red Pepper Quilts, you'll find them over at Lilla Lotta on Etsy.
I've used a candy cane fabric for the binding and whilst this is current Christmas fabric stock from Spotlight, the red and white and the diagonal stripe look fantastic as binding.
Needless to say the quilt has been swiftly removed from the pile and disappeared into R's room!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Ooops....I did it again!

I've started another quilt. I know, I know. I've already got a pile of flimsies and sandwiches in the cupboard and I've cut out two black and white quilts but I have a really good excuse.
Three days into our Tasmania trip I finally got an opportunity to visit a quilt shop. We were in Exeter, just north of Launceston. There's a lovely little shop there, Calico Crossroads and it was here I met the very delightful Pauline. Apart from the wonderful selection of fabrics, she had a very handsome discount trunk that had my name written all over it! I had been thinking that my stash was very light on for 'boy' fabric and low and behold, an array of 'Happy Trails' cowboy prints. And because I find it hard to walk past anything red, a length of red and white Prints Charming Big Flower.
Since then that big red flower has been playing on mind....so as soon as I got home, I checked the stash and found that I had enough other red and white (plus a little splash of pink and red) to make a modified version of the 'Good Night Sweet Prints' quilt from Material Obsession One. I've used 4 panels instead of 6 and it ends up being around 145cm square. A nice little lap quilt size.
Here it is hanging in all it's glory on the clothes line.
I had to add some extra white fabric to the flower prints sides to work with the measurements given. (My fabric must be a different run to what the Material Obsession girls used. Perhaps they had the hand prints?) I'm a little miffed that the prints are a little creamier than the white that I added, but I figured some of the other red and whites are a little creamier and I may end up quilting over it, so it may not be that noticable.
Now just to prove that I haven't completely abandoned my other projects. Here's a quick peek at my work in progress on one of my black and whites. It's a wonky log cabin. You'll find a great tutorial here. They're fun to do when you get a good run on them! Again, some of the black and whites are a little creamy...but with a good mix I don't think that will be a huge problem.
More on my Tasmania quilt shop adventures and wonderful fabric finds to follow. Promise.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Tasmania (horizontals)

Tamar River reflections Richmond Bridge 1833 Peony Hobart Botanical Gardens
Waterlily Pond minus the waterlilies Hobart Botanical Gardens Wineglass Bay from the lookout Lilydale Falls moss
Magnolia (Richmond) Bicheno Blowhole Espaliered Apple Clarendon House