Monday, 6 October 2014

Thrilled and relieved...

Just a quick post to show you why I'm thrilled and relieved in equal measure!

My version of the Ann Randoll coverlet (started in Rhonda Pearce's workshop) is now a complete quilt top. I have to admit I'd been putting off the final sew-together and attachment of that last border - dreading that there might be "issues". All those hours of applique could have distorted the measurements - but amazingly it went together just fine...can't quite believe it really...



I've hung it for photos using pants hangers - works well as a temporary measure for photos. 
It is about 210 cm square ( 83 inches square). 


Now to consider the quilting. I am working on my hand quilting technique to try to relieve hand /wrist pain - trying different methods and tools but am not confident I can tackle a whole quilt. So I'm thinking I may machine stitch the long seams ( the less noticeable parts) and add some hand quilting after. I do much prefer the look and feel of hand quilting but we do what we can ...

Saturday, 4 October 2014

and The Bride wore....red

I've started a new quilt - and I know I'm very late to join the bandwagon on this one - my version of the Civil War Bride. There are versions called 'Bird of Paradise' and 'Bountiful Life' - all inspired by the lovely applique masterpiece in the Museum of American Folk Art. I've had the Threadbear pattern  for a couple of years now...waiting for the right moment. 
Here's a picture of the original (left) in the book "Treasury of American Quilts" and Threadbear's 2009 pattern pictured next to it (right):
My thinking here is:
  • I've got masses of quite a good stash of red fabrics from my ongoing project making my Stars meet Hexagons EPP quilt (yep - still ongoing) ...

  • I've been tempted to make a red and white applique quilt since the internet was flooded with pictures of  Infinite Variety in 2011 - wow, how inspiring was that?! 
  • I've enjoyed the process of making my Auntie Green in neutrals (now 'secret sewing') - restricting colours can be strangely liberating - as long as there are lots of prints to choose. 

So it will be a CWB in red and white - with lots of different reds and lots of different prints! 

Working on Block 1 there was much fabric fun.
This...
Became this...
And this...
Became this...

And there was this...

Finishing up with this...
Block 1
Starting another block ( Block 8 this time) ...

I am doing needleturn applique - all using back basting prep. I could have made bias tape for the stems, as suggested in the pattern, but so far it seems just as easy to back baste them first, as I am so used to this technique. 

Ann Randoll quilt - no, not abandoned... I am now ready to sew together the appliqued corner blocks that I drafted for the the hexagon border. They will be stitched to either end of the hexagon border strips, and then machine stitched to the quilt. I prefer to machine stitch the long seams together to give the quilt extra stability/strength.

Here's a collage of photos from my garden this week. They show my favourite garden colour - the limey greens of new growth in Spring. Time to go sit out there and enjoy it....

Have a lovely weekend - a long weekend for us here. 

Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Creating corners

Time for a last bit of drafting for my version of the Ann Randoll coverlet - the corner blocks of the hexagon border. The best picture I have of the original is a page in a book (Quilts 1700-1945):

There's Ann's corner block ... a ring of hearts

And here is my drafted version (8 inch block)...
One block appliqued, three more to go. 

Benjamin Biggs - I've just finished Block 9. The next one is due any day so that was a close call getting finished this month. 

I had a lovely day of sewing with a friend yesterday and these are what we made:
They are "pop-out purses" , pattern bought from Studio Mio at the Sydney Quilt show. We had a bit of a learning curve sewing on the zippers but all worth it. There is a metal D frame that pops open when you unzip - so clever. 

There's been a lot of getting out in the garden in the glorious Spring weather.... and before the heat of Summer hits.


My 20 year old son came home for a week and after a quick venture into the garden paid me the enormous compliment of saying "you're keeping everything very alive out there!" He's no gardener so I'm lucky he noticed ... I guess ...hehe.

Here he is with my daughter and her fiance having fun in a photo booth. That "booth" was a great idea - at my niece's Sydney garden wedding - just a pretty screen for a backdrop and a picture frame hung in front, with a basket of props to select from. The best ideas are so often the simplest?!



Monday, 15 September 2014

Pouch number three

Did I mention that making these is highly addictive?

This time I have used a bunch of my favourite reproduction fabric blues that have been in the stash.  The EPP papers are recycled. Can you guess which quilt they are from?


Anyone who has made this quilt will know those shapes straight away - yep - they are from the Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses . That was mine, completed in 2013:


And here is a block close up so you can see the EPP shapes:


I have used one or two of the fabrics in the pouch too - pieced together with some 1 inch squares:


Then appliqued onto a backing and quilted into a mini quilt:



Then made into a pouch ( see previous post for method from Quilters Companion magazine ). I especially love the floral fabric popped in for a surprise lining - an old Mary Koval line. 


So then there were 3 pouches, and 3 stars too. The Christmas gift pile is looking well and truly "started" now. Mind you....I think I might just keep that blue one...a little self-gift?


Back to the big quilts. 
I won't be posting more pictures of my neutral Auntie Green for a while. I realise that my DD is looking at this blog occasionally and it is a gift for her wedding (next year). I'd like to keep some element of surprise. But I will post pictures once it has been gifted. 

Ann Randoll is progressing - oh so slowly - on this last applique and hexagon garden bed border. I have attached two borders and love the look of it. 

I think this will be the last border for me - though the original antique coverlet has another large pieced one to follow. I quite like the look of this garden bed as an outer border - with just a thin brown binding to blend in with the saw tooth edge. Could be good?

Once it is finished I have a new quilt on the boil..not started, but just in the exciting planning stages. 

Monday, 8 September 2014

Liberty and linens

Here's a quilt I made quite a few years ago. The red fabrics are all Liberty lawns. There are embroidery squares and crazy patchwork squares made using pieces of rescued linens. A lot of the linens - doilies and tablecloths - were only fit for selective cutting because of staining and wear. So nice to recycle them though don't you think?

Unfortunately the quilt is no 'star' in the quilting department - an unfinished and unhappy mixture of machine and hand quilting but I still adore all the fabrics....


That quilt was my inspiration last weekend for making another pouch - like the one in my last post made of taupes - but this time using Liberty and linen scraps. 

Cutting 1 inch hexagons for English paper piecing:
Making a little 'quilt' as in my last post:


Soon there were two..

Such fun to make - and there are so many possibilities if you are an EPP addict like yours truly....

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

Gift Giving Season is in sight...

I had planned to be organised for Christmas with piles of handmade gifts prepared during the year... and the start of September reminded me that somehow this had not happened. So I've had a panic rummage in the cupboards to find the ideas/supplies/patterns that have been waiting patiently and whipped up a couple of starters. 

A padded star - could be a pincushion or a Xmas tree decoration:


It was made using a pack of pretty silks that I purchased from a garage sale for only $1(and pre-washed too). There's plenty left so I'll be making a few more. The idea was inspired by Anne's  post at Notes from the Quilt lab blog. I made mine by English Paper hand piecing instead of machine piecing, and added a hanging loop.

Bargain pack of silks
Next find in the cupboard was a Quilters Companion magazine, collecting dust, opened at this page:

I even had the pack of 2" apple core papers ready to go. Sue Daley has a great Youtube video on her method to construct apple core EPP. It does involve glue but works a treat so that's fine by me. 
First I cut 45 apple cores from some  Japanese taupes:

Then folded the ends of the fabric pieces over the papers,  glued (glue pen), and ironed to fix. 

 Then I appliqued the cores together in rows of 5 alternating direction:
Then the rows were appliqued together - they interlock like magic:
All stitched together:

Ironing turned over outer edges with a bit of starch spray, and then carefully removing the papers:

 Now it is ready to applique to the backing:
The background linen, thin wadding and lining linen were sandwiched together. Then for some big stitch quilting - not too much quilting as it was tough going through all that linen and apple cores!


It was a mini quilt...
Then for a bit of binding and hardware...
 And it was ...a pouch
9 1/2 inches by 5 1/2 inches

That is a versatile gift don't you think? good size for stationery, toiletries or ...of course ... quilter's essentials.
Audible sigh of relief - I have started the Silly Season gifts!