Tuesday 31 December 2013

"simple" Simon border and a new project

After not posting for many weeks this is my second post in one week.
Well it's that time of year - no work, Christmas rush is over and a few days to relax and catch up on quilting... The house that was cleared of quilting clutter to make room for entertaining is now littered with piles of auditioning fabric.

My Simon quilt top is almost finished. I just have to decide on the fabric to use for the outer first and third borders -"should be simple" she thought?
Here is 'Simon' in the Dutch book - the antique original and the authors' reproduction - showing these borders:
The antique quilt in "Promenade in a Dutch Garden"
Outer three borders on the original antique quilt - a lovely diamond print. Photo from the book.

Outer borders on Petra and An's reproduction - a beautifully coordinated stripe. Photo from the book.
Here is a collage of some fabrics I trialed with my quilt top and strips of pieced border - just auditioning, not stitched yet. I think I would like to keep the colours close to those in the original quilt - cooler/lighter colours - so these are rejects for this project.

The bottom right is my favourite of this lot but still not right...
Then I tried a Dutch chintz floral and a paisley print - I love them both and can't decide. I'm edging towards the paisley print because I love it's simplicity.  But it seems to make sense to use the Dutch chintz on a Dutch chintz repro quilt! Ho hum... not such a simple Simon border after all.

Dutch chintz print

Paisley print
Meanwhile - new project...
In a couple of weeks I am going to Summer School in the NSW Blue Mountains with Rhonda Pearce to make her version of the Ann Randoll quilt/coverlet - so terribly exciting as it is just my cup of tea. What's not to love in an antique British quilt with applique, clamshells and loads of fabric choices! And I have had such fun learning to make clamshells in my Chintz medallion quilt (still in progress). 
Unfortunately I didn't get to see the original quilt when it was on show at the Queensland Art Gallery but at least I have the wonderful book/catalogue they produced ("Quilts 1700-1945").  There are also great pictures in this book below:

Photo from book above

Centre of the quilt - photo from book

Photo from book - wonderful fabrics!
Some possible fabric selections I've made for the centre using the requirements list:

  Lots Some more set aside for scrappy piecing and clamshells - loads of small prints needed.

I've not seen anything but a small colour photo of Rhonda's work on this so am keeping my options open a little regarding fabrics and colours. You can read that to mean I'll be taking half my stash along to class! 

Thought I might review my quilting year - 2013.
A collage of projects that were started and finished this year:

All started and completed in 2013

Then there are the projects part-done this year: 
Baltimore - blocks 14 to 23 made this year, the rest were previous years
Burnt quilt - top finished 2013, still needs to be quilted - some time!

Lucy Boston - Started 2012, finished 2013
Medallion quilt - started 2013, working on it now

Simon - started 2013, working on it now

Double X - just started

Pretty happy with that lot.
But I'm a bit shocked to find there are 5 quilts still in progress ...and I am starting a new one! Such is the quilting life. All the best to you all for much inspiration and fun quilting in 2014!

Sunday 29 December 2013

About time for a post

Hope you have all had yourselves a very merry little Christmas and are now recovering  relaxing? I've had a bit of a posting break due to much 'busyness'. You all know the usual craziness of Xmas preparations and of course the Xmas gatherings - loved it all!  There has also been the excitement of a daughter's Uni graduation and a son moving out of college into his first share house.

And what about quilting??
I never did get those foundation-pieced Xmas cards done (mentioned last post) -  maybe next year...

But I did finish a gift project - a table runner (of my design):

The fabrics are a mixture of shot cottons, linen, plains and homespun. I cut them into squares and made half-square triangles by this method (great tutorial) and then chain pieced them together - very simple construction.

Strings of chain piecing!

Auditioning blocks ready to sew together in rows
I sandwiched the top to a homespun backing with thin pellon for wadding - aiming for it to sit very flat as it is a table topper, but still have the addition of some machine quilting.
Straight line machine quilting with the walking foot
Some more progress on my Dutch quilt 'Simon' - adding corner blocks.

Needleturn applique corner shapes

Here is the top so far: 

And now am working on a surrounding border. I made a lot of paper templates for the diamond and triangle shapes and am constructing it by the EPP method. 

Nothing new to show on my Chintz Medallion at the moment. 

But I have joined a monthly local quilt class - very excited to discover this class being held in a wool shop in town. It's a very open class - work on what you want - so I decided to focus on a machine-pieced project in the class - a wedding gift for a niece's September 2014 wedding. My machine piecing skills need fine tuning (to put it kindly) so this will be good work on under the expert supervision of teacher Ruth van Haeff ! Here are some blocks made so far: 

The pattern I am using is called ' Double X' and it is in Two-color quilts by Nancy J Martin

More news - A big thanks to Meredithe from Pomegranate and Chintz for a lovely giveaway win. Very generous of you Meredithe - I love it!
Sweetly wrapped

Inside was this lovely acrylic template set - to make a 13" block
I can see lots of potential uses for this set . The block looks wonderful in the repro fabrics photographed on the pack. But I think it would make a great two-colour quilt too....

To finish a long post - here's me and my daughter at her graduation. First Class Honours in Law - am so proud of her.

Happy New Year!

Monday 18 November 2013

Corner blocks done.... and some patchwork Christmas cards

Here is my Chintz medallion quilt so far - with applique borders and corners attached.

For the corner blocks: I wanted to make a feature block that was relatively simple and large enough to anchor the corners. 
The circle shape was chosen to echo the circle in the chintz -and I wanted to use more of the stripe fabric that I had used for the inner narrow border. I made a circle template using this handy circle cutter. 

Here is one of the blocks ready for needle turn applique. The leaf is just a larger version of one in the applique border.
Ready for needleturn applique

Now to get to work and plan the next border.

Christmas cards:
Thought I'd try my hand at making some patchwork cards after I spotted this wonderful little tutorial  at Stitch n Sing blog - so clever. After all - she says it is "easier than it looks"...
It is a very clear tutorial and they are a lot of fun to make but quite time consuming.
following instructions on the ipad
I was so glad to have my new ipad on hand to follow the blog instructions step by step - I definitely do not have a photographic memory! In fact I began to wonder if I had one at all.

I love them but that was a full day's work! So I thought I might try some foundation pieced ones next but this is as far as I have got in the design process...sniff. It's a Xmas tree in case you wondered!
Foundation piecing pattern and fabrics
And this one is Santa. Yep - it will take shape once his nose and eyes are added. 
If I tell you that '1' is his face and '3' is his white beard, and '7' and '8' are just background?? never mind - I'll show you next time... if it works.

Saturday 9 November 2013

Medallion applique borders and a colour remedy

The applique borders for my Chintz Medallion quilt are coming along.

Two borders with applique finished

Close up - some favourite fabrics

Another border is attached. I'm really happy with the look of the borders and am planning a focal feature in the corners to link them. 

Problem - I now feel that the chintz medallion background is too white. I knew the cream background in the border was not exactly the same shade as the chintz medallion background and that didn't worry me, but when they are in good daylight it really stands out - too much I think. 

Daylight photo

Colour remedy ? time for some tea dyeing. I only want to apply the tea dye to the chintz panel - not the rest of the fabrics - and am not unpicking the borders so will sponge the dye on carefully!

Here is the top laid on the kitchen bench ready to sponge:

And here goes with a bowl of cold tea and a cloth to dab/sponge on the tea:

I applied two lots of tea - leaving it to dry on the bench between each lot. It looked a bit blotchy after the first dry so I repeated the treatment just to even out the colour more. I quite like the touch of 'vintage' given by the uneven colour. 
Here is the result - a  much better match - not so stark: 

There has been progress on my Dutch reproduction quilt 'Simon'. Growing row by row of English paper pieced blocks...
Papers are all removed except in the outer edges

Here is another row ready to be stiched together, and then onto the top:

Remember my friend Angela - making her first quilt under my supervision/tuition? 
Well - she has 9 huge 18" blocks completed - more than half way done to a King Single bed quilt. Looks great!

Angela's Log cabin blocks laid out together
 I've told her she is no longer a student - she has graduated and we are just 'sewing buddies' now. You can see how organised she is with her block strips prepared, labelled and clipped together ready for sewing - she's a natural at this and well and truly 'hooked'!

Here's a glimpse of what I have been doing since last post - lots of catching up with friends and family. This is a Birthday Pavlova (my favourite dessert) made for me every year by my daughter, and chocs from my son - yum -  thank you!