Sunday, September 30, 2012

Guest Posting On Sew Together and Sunday Stash

I'm excited to be guest posting today at Sew Together, where they have a cute little series happening about our best friends in the sewing room. Mine is my super organised fabric stash. It's lovely to be over at Sew Together today, Caroline is my very best high school friend and it was her mum's influence that got me into quilting in the first place. Caroline and her sister Maryanne are both amazing sewists and their children's wardrobes are full of some of their incredible creations!

In Sunday Stash news, this parcel of goodness arrived from Sew Lux Fabrics ealier this week. How awesome is this packaging? I felt like I was opening a birthday present!

Inside were some Essential Dots...

Some Liz Scott Domestic Bliss...

And a stash building bunch - I can see a grey quilt in my future and I adore the rainbow Riley Blake chevrons!

 The above package was ordered prior to my fabric buying freeze, but a couple of new additions to the stash did slip in this week - the Denyse Schmidt print was a remnant so only $4 a metre, and the brown flowers were a present from Fiona. I am collecting browns at the moment, I think there may be a brown quilt in my future too.

Here's another shot of the Domestic Bliss bundle and some pretties I pulled from my stash to go with it. I bought this one on impulse and I love it waaaaaay more than I expected to. The colours are rich and delicious and I'm looking forward to doing something with this. In my post at Sew Together, I talk about having lots of very versatile fabrics in my stash, this is the perfect example of that - the fabrics on the right are from a variety of ranges but the colours go beautifully with the Domestic Bliss. I find that mixing fabrics like this is more interesting than using a single line of fabrics.

And truth is, I love pulling fabrics for a new project. Mixing and matching fabrics is one of my favourite parts of the quilting process. In fact, if I won the lottery, I might just invest in a ton of great fabrics and some personal sewists so I could put together bundles of fabric all day...

Linking up to Sunday Stash, which is visiting Kristy today.

Friday, September 28, 2012

TGIFF - Quilters ADHD

This week, my lovely friend Kristy at Quiet Play is hosting TGIFF. I've had a week off, so I was hoping for a nice, substantial finish to link up. Instead, I've had a chronic case of quilter's ADHD....

I have a bunch of fabric boxes half cut out. I have vintage sheet fat quarters half cut. I have stuff all over the sewing table. I have a zillion quilt block obligations still to do. This is not a productive way to work!!

I do, fortunately, have a few small finishes.

My September block for Quilting Block Swaps Australia  - in by the skin of my teeth for September. Somehow, I managed to stuff a Log Cabin. I don't know quite how it happened, but this block was wonkier than a donkey. Damn! So I tracked back to the first source of trouble, unpicked, and fixed it. Then I trimmed the second source of trouble so it played the way it should. And I eventually had a workable block I was happy to send out.

I also finished my blocks for our very first round of the Wombat Stew Paper Piecing Bee. Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts is currently living in Japan, so asked for Japanese cuisine themed blocks. Thankfully for us, we've got Kristy working as our resident pattern designer - I can paper piece, but I wouldn't even begin to know where to start designing a block myself. Thankfully Kristy very graciously turns all our ideas into patterns. And luckily for you, she's going to be putting some of these patterns into her paper piecing shop! So if you feel inclined to have a cup of chopsticks of your very own, you can!

I did make good progress on my last bee block for September, our Quilt Club Aust Bee block. Jodie asked for a strippy Lone Star and word was that it was a very tricky block. But so far, the stripping of the diamonds has been fine. I'm supposing she's going to want something in between though.... at least I've started though!

Finally, I saw these genius quilt row markers here and thought they were an awesome idea. A bit of an upgrade from masking tape, which was an upgrade on scraps of paper. So I made some of those too - now all I need is a quilt to put together so I can use them!

Hope your week's been productive! Linking up to TGIFF here.

Jane xx

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pin it to Win it

I don't normally do the back-to-back post thing, but I just wanted to share this fabulous contest idea - Randi from Fresh Squeezed Fabrics is hosting this awesome contest where you pick one her fat quarter bundles and pin it, if you get as many pins as its dollar value, it's yours free! How awesome is that? Like I need another excuse to trawl Pinterest endlessly!

You can get the full details on her blog.

This is what I chose to pin - Modern by Robin Zingone. This is the designer those awesome hexies in my previous post are by, I think she's going to become one of my favourites!

If I can get 26 repins on this, I get it for free! Please repin for me :).   Play too at:  Modern fat quarter bundle--11 pieces---2-3/4 yards total--Robin Zingone for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. $26.12, via Etsy.

If you would be so kind as to repin my pin, I'd really appreciate it. Here it is! And of course, I'd be happy to return the favour, just let me know the way to your pin in the comments.

Happy pinning!

Jane xx

Half a month of Sundays, and a Sunday Stash

I am on school holidays, which is very very sweet. I work at a preschool with a bunch of three and four year olds who are gorgeous, but exhausting. I relish the two week term break every 10 weeks. I have my three kiddos at home, but they're pretty self sufficient, and they enjoy the downtime too.

We've had lots on the go round here lately and I've been thinking I need a month of Sundays to get caught up. I don't have a month of them, but I do have half a month of them, with almost nothing scheduled. So we've been sorting, tidying, organising... general catch up stuff.

I do suspect, however, that I may already be planning on breaking one of my 100 Day Hustle resolutions - my mum is visiting and she asked for a new quilt. Who am I to say no? She will be providing the extra fabric I don't have in the stash, so it doesn't count as fabric buying, but I will be starting something new. But I very rarely quilt with a particular purpose in mind, and she hasn't had a new quilt in years, so it's okay.

And because it's a month of Sundays, which technically makes it Tues-Sun-day here, I feel completely justified in bringing you a rather late Sunday stash.

Rather late being the operative words, since this little collection came into my hands a few weeks ago and I've just been too totally busy to blog about them. As happens, two parcels arrived on the same day. And being the good little international shopper that I am, I had to pack those flat rate envelopes as full as possible.

First up, the full range of Stockholm hexagons, and the full range of Happy Drawing curly scribbles, plus a few other fillers to add to some of my other collections. I have been coveting the hexies and scribbles for a while, so when I found a shop that had both, I snapped them up.

And then a bunch of brightness that contained a fair bit of Patty Young, and some other bits and pieces. To be honest, I don't pay a massive amount of attention to designers so I'm not the kind of person to buy a whole line by one particular designer. I tend to buy lots of blenders, but I do love to get them in every possible colourway.

 Don't they look fabulous together?

Now I really must get on with some sewing because the sooner I get through my to-do list, the sooner I can start playing with all the beautiful new fabric I've bought lately.

Linking up with Sunday Stash

Jane xxx

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A Studio Restyle and the 100 Day Hustle

First, a massive thank you to everyone who commented on my TGIFF finish or linked up projects of their own - so many great finishes this week.

I have to admit, the exhilaration of finishing such a long term project has got me itching to get more done. Then this morning I stumbled across Kelsey Sews 100 Day Hustle and I am sooooo there. I really need to get some stuff finished, and she promises that if we work hard we'll get to start the new year with a clean slate, doesn't that sound nice?

So here are my goals for the last 100 days of the year:

1. Keep my sewing space tidy and workable.
2. Don't buy any more fabric this year.
3. Don't start any new projects.
4. Finish fabric storage boxes.
5. Finish Phoebe's bed quilt.
6. Finish piecing at least five current tops.
7. Finish quilting at least five quilts.
8. Empty the mending/refashioning basket.

You'll see these are pretty general goals, but I am trying to focus on where I fall down - buying fabric, having a messy space, the never ending mending nemesis basket and starting new things. The only quilt I really need to complete is my daughter's new bed quilt because she's now got a double bed and has NO quilt - the horror of it!

Meeting these goals won't get me totally out of the woods, but they'll be a very good start.

Linking up to:
100 Day Hustle
 This weekend, there's been some exciting restructuring in the Craft Room/Studio. We recently redid an little-used room into a study so my computer got moved, taking the desk out of this room. Then my husband had the idea of moving my crafting table out of the centre of the room and against a wall. It's fantastic, because there is now heaps more space all around.

The removal of the desk also meant I had a spare wall - design wall here I come! For now I've just tacked up a flannelette sheet, we'll see how that goes. If I need to I'll switch to batting. Hubby coped with the no-cost factor, but there was some muttering about 'another wall having more holes than a sieve in it'. He's a patient sort!

 I wanted to share the side shot of my craft table with you. These are similar to the IKEA Expedit shelves, we don't have an IKEA locally and I couldn't get them into the truck on my last trip there, so these will do. We topped them with two doors, nice and strong, pre-painted and cheap.

I am making fabric boxes for them using upcycled jeans and vintage sheets. Half the table is meant to belong to the kids, but we're going to have to work very hard to make sure a certain child keeps it clean. When the others say the mess in the craft room is 80% Brooke's, 10% Phoebe's and 10% Nathan's, they're not joking!

This is in the corner under my design wall and behind my machine - scrap central. The baskets contain general scraps in prints and solids. Those little boxes on the shelves contain scraps sorted by colour. The blue box is my regularly used sewing supplies.

I am hoping having my scraps on hand will encourage me to use them more.

And finally, measurement central. Two tape measures, one in inches because I'm a quilter, one in centimetres because I'm Australian. And I've hung my rulers on hooks, totally copying Quilt Jane's awesome idea with that one.

Hope you're a having a productive weekend in your creative life!

Jane xx

Thursday, September 20, 2012

TGIFF - An Oldie

Happy Friday, and thanks for dropping by. There's coffee and choc-chip cookies, I even restocked the fridge just for you! If you're dropping by from TGIFF, a big hello, and stay a while and check my little, very new blog out. Regulars, welcome back :).

Now, when some people talk about long term WIPs, they talk about things that have been sitting round for six months or so. Not me - when I say old, I mean old. Like, maybe a decade, but I'm not really sure.

This quilt was a BOM project back around 2002 or 2003. I mean, this is back in the days before blogs, if you can believe it! If you're curious, here's a link to the book made from the BOM, Moondance by Applewood Farms.

I started this project way back then, when my kids were small or not even around at all (and the baby is 8 now). I love these blocks, they're very intricate and some of the most complicated piecing I've done so far. I love the colours too, my only regret (live and learn) is the lack of values in my print selection. I didn't have enough contrast in the prints and it all sorts of washes in together, which doesn't do the piecing justice. This is why value is so important, peeps!

I got most of the blocks made years ago, then put them away for a while very long time. Then I pulled the project out again and decided that while it's a beautiful pattern it was more than I wanted to tackle. So instead I just turned it into a regular sampler and used the scraps to make a strippy border. Then I put it away again (recurring theme here). 

Fast forward another rather long while and I decided to baste it. Which is how it sat for another year or so. Then I walked past it last Friday and suddenly decided it was time to get this baby finished.

After much pondering (browsing Pinterest and Google), I decided to do a fun, improv loop the loop style. I nearly went for good old stippling a million times, but I'm glad I decided on something different. The quilting is far from perfect (especially on the back which I am strategically not showing you) and I did have to unpick a great chunk when the bobbin turned evil on me. There were some hairy moments (ha ha) when I felt like I was quilting though a persian cat - quilters should not have long haired fabric loving kitties! - and I was a bit rusty for a while, but even still it was less than an evening's work. Seriously, 10 years in the making and it's finished off in a night. When will I ever learn not to procrastinate? Then I bound it in black, and here it is.

Don't mind the somewhat dodgy pictures, my quilt holders are all fast asleep under their other quilts.

Good thing I'm doing TGIFF and needed a finish, otherwise I reckon this quilt would be kicking around for another 10 years. Now, it's going into the wash and then onto the lounge to do duty as a snuggly quilt. This has at least motivated me to revisit my older projects and get them finished.

Thanks for stopping by - Jane xx

Now it's your turn - link up here!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

TGIFF - Coming soon

It's been a hectic few weeks around here, but I am finally getting on top of the mountains of everything that's been going on lately. Except the laundry mountain, that's still more like a mountain range.

This Friday, I'll be hosting TGIFF - which stands for Thank God It's Finally Finished and right now I'm not sure if that statement refers to a sewing project or the whole school term... possibly the latter. I am very much looking forward to two weeks holiday and hopefully some sewing time.

I am excited that in the midst of the crazy I've been able to get a very long term project finished. I had planned on doing something else for this deadline, but then I looked at my stack of quilt tops and decided I should really quilt something that's been lying around for years (I kid you not).

Come back Friday for full details and some pics of the finish - not sure how good they'll be as we've had rain the last couple of days, but after weeks and weeks of dry the wet is a very welcome change.

See you Friday!