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?

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Gift completed

So glad to have this one finished - Double X quilt - a gift for my niece's September wedding. 
We've had some lovely, much-needed rain so this is the best I could do for a garden photo - very careful to keep the quilt clean and dry!
1.33m square (53 inches square)
 I kept the quilting simple - hoping it would suit her taste. It was easy to manage by machine with the walking foot. The quilt is a rarity for me in that it is totally machine made - pieced and quilted (oh -  except for hand hemming of the binding). The piecing was done rather infrequently so it took quite a while to complete..little doses bit by bit! 

Something else that is slow going, but very enjoyable, is my hand applique (needleturn) of the Ann Randoll sawtooth edges - two edges on each border - fiddly but fun. As the borders get bigger on a medallion quilt - so does the workload! I am getting the sawtooth edges done first and then will fill in the middle of the border strips with hexagons and applique flowers.
Back to some more prep...

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Ann and I

Feels like "first name terms" with Ann Randoll at the moment - making her quilt and studying every photo I can lay my hands on.
Up to this point (the end of the clamshell border) I've largely relied on the notes and templates from Rhonda Pearce's workshop that I attended in January . Sadly she has had a major health set back and the last thing she needs to be bothered with at the moment is finishing the quilt pattern. I only hope she can focus on a speedy recovery to good health. 
The more I look at the quilt, the more I think I could give it a go and draft the rest myself. Of course it would be good to have Ann here to help but ...

The hexagon border : A reminder - here is a snippet of Ann's antique hexagon border:
Picture printed from pinterest 

I 've already made a bunch of the hexagon flowers (half inch hexagons - see earlier post), so I need to draft the applique flowers in between. A circle template and a 60 degree ruler came in very handy - and a wee bit of schoolgirl geometry...

I made a mock up on a strip of background fabric. Ann's not letting on how she got that variable height sawtooth applique edging to work, hmmm, so I'm settling for sawtooth all the same height. The applique will be back basting prepped and then needleturn. Looking forward to selecting fabrics for the flowers.

There has been a bit more of this - Stars meet Hexagons - they fit in like an EPP jigsaw - ready to whipstitch in:
EPP pieces ready to add 
And some more of this - working on the large floral borders of Auntie Green
the messy stage of back basting prep 
One border done

Benjamin Biggs block 8 - glad to get that one out of the way as the 'ins' and 'outs' on the red flowers were a challenge:
It is still very wintery but parts of the garden are in full bloom at the moment. For some reason hellebores do very well in my garden so I encourage them to multiply - such a rewarding, low maintenance little plant, and wonderful mass planted.
Spring is just around the corner - and here is proof - the jasmine in bud. I love the perfumed flowers but then chop it back mercilessly after flowering - seems a poor reward but am told it loves it - cruel to be kind?!
Hope you are enjoying plenty of sewing (or gardening) time.