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!

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Filling the flower beds

Spring is on the way in the garden here so it seems perfect timing that I'm filling 'flower beds' in my version of the Ann Randoll coverlet. The borders I'm working on are like long narrow garden beds. Here are some flowers:

I wanted to do a little bit of fussy cutting with the flower petals so I made a petal 'window'  out of light cardboard - to place over fabric to audition. Don't be shocked by how rough cut this is - it was not used as a template - just for audition purposes! The flowers were then back basting prepped from the patterns I drafted (see last post) and needle turned. 

That selection ended up in the flower below:

And so here is my first flower bed planted and blooming ...

Talking of plants - I have just received an online plant order. I love the way they pack these little plants for the mail - in cardboard tubes and little pots taped over with pieces of card. Funny though, when you unpack them you often end up with what looks like a dead stick in a pot of soil (because they are dormant perennials in winter). They always grow beautifully when they go in the soil but it is a matter of trust when you unpack! 
So I had a laugh at the label included with this one.  I could use a label like that for myself some days?

Something else lovely came in the mail - a 'Perfect Adjustable Square'. I got mine from Legend and Lace and am thrilled with it - thanks Wendy. It is made by Karen Kay Buckley - that is the link for her Youtube video. 
I often have issues with squaring up blocks for applique (and piecing), centering  patterns for applique and trimming blocks - such as with my Benjamin Biggs BOM.
Unpacking the box drawer and its contents:
Removing the paper backings from all the pieces - like a pile of jigsaw pieces now:

They click together firmly in whatever size square or rectangle you want. The video suggests a hammer (!) to tap the links together but I just used the handle of a spoon to press on the joins and they snapped together fine. I made a square with 12 inch inner borders ( the size of the blocks I am making for Benjamin Biggs), attached cross pieces of thread as suggested and checked BB blocks I've completed - looking  pretty good. 
12 inch inner length square

I love it and I think the pattern marking stage is now going to be that much easier for me. 
I also think it will be useful to trim up all my BB blocks to 12 1/2 inches ready to sew together. The jigsaw pieces can be changed/ swapped to form a 12 1/2 inch outer border. Then all you do is rotary cut around the outside. Pretty versatile?
changing to a 12 1/2 inches outer length square
And pretty too, don't you think?