Thursday, 29 March 2012

Diamonds in Squares - the saga ends.

Whew! I am pleased to report that this post officially marks the end of the Diamonds in Squares quilt saga.


Look at it - acting all innocent and quilty, like it never gave me a moment of worry. It's a bit like a naughty child.


So it's all done. I should be feeling elated right? But I'm not. I don't know why. I'm just not loving this quilt. Sad sad sad.

I even relented enough to give it a pretty pieced back, even after all its wonky border mischief.


And some pretty straight line quilting around the diamonds.


I perhaps should have stuck with the dark purple stripes as borders on the front. But to be honest I got a bit tired of unpicking and resewing! Instead I planned to FMQ some awesome vine looking thing around the border in a nice coordinating green thread (umm mainly because I only have quality thread in green, pink and orange thanks to an awesome garage sale - hello 30 spools of Gutermans plus a handmade wooden spool holder for $20! Bargain!)

But my FMQ vine did not look like a vine. It looked like weeds. Covered in pesticide. Afflicted with some kind of weedy plague that looked contagious. To humans. It wasn't pretty. No photo evidence exists.

Instead I went hey! I haven't used barely any of these fancy pants stitches on my fancy pants machine - why not now?!

And look! It's a vine. A happy vine without pesticide or plague. Why reinvent the wheel stitches, right? While we're here, pause a moment to admire the binding - some pretty fans. Binding is machine sewn because I don't do hand sewing (except on Christmas stockings and that's another story).




Linking up a little bit early to TGIFF. Because I'm ready for it to be Friday. Plus the fabulous Fiona at Finding Fifth is hosting this Friday (say that five times fast) so be sure to pop over and join in!



Linking this up with the Festival of Half Square Triangles.


I may not be totally loving the final result, but I do love those HST squares! My fellow beehive members may not feel the same after I've nominated the block for this month! ;)


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

WiP Wednesday

How is it Wednesday already?! Well I'm happy to say I at least have some progress to blog about even if the days are flying by!

First is my big WiP. A WiP that only came into being on Saturday. Yep - I whipped through this quilt top in no time. And I know - I have not stopped talking about it since. Can you blame me?

XOXO
Pattern: French Kisses by Traceyjay Quilts
Fabric: Sweet Lush by Patty Young
With this quilt - chain piecing is your friend. This quilt lends itself so beautifully to chain piecing, that it makes it hard to stop. Hence starting it on Saturday and finishing the quilt top to this stage by Tuesday.

It still needs borders but that has to wait til I can get to the craft store for the right fabric. Mum has requested green or aqua. Thinking aqua would look nice. That'll also be the backing fabric. I'm so proud of my mum - she's learning quilting by osmosis. Or by me talking about it all the time. She wants the back to be plain so the actual quilting shows up. Let's hope I do a good job on it!

And in other news! Diamonds in Squares has come out of time out - most repentant for the wonky borders. Well almost repentant. It would have been nice if she had have straightened her borders herself, but they do look a bit straighter than when last I saw them. So I'll consider this quilt (mostly) rehabilitated so as a reward, I made a pieced back for it. 

Those purple stripes down the centre? They were meant to be borders on the front of the quilt. That went super wonky. So the front got plain borders and I couldn't bear to waste the former borders, so here they are, incorporated into the back.


Here's the front and back laid out together. They are waiting for me to be in a quilting mood and do some kind of magic to straighten out those wonky borders.

I know - the wonkiness, right? It's shameful.

However, that quilting mood may be forced upon me. I must have a finish for Friday and this is the closest I've got of all my wips. My lovely quilty friend Fiona from Finding Fifth is hosting TGIFF this week so I have to have a finish to link on her blog!

If you haven't visited her blog, you really must. Talk about inspirational and organised! Though - she makes my housekeeping skills cringe in the corner in shame. Even more so as she's coming to visit next month! We're going to a quilting class then she's coming to stay the night. You can bet there will be heaps of quilty talk on the agenda! How exciting - my first grown up quilty sleep over. Almost like a retreat ;)
(Please remind me in about three weeks to tidy my house to within an inch of its life. I may have to farm the children out to the grandies, just so it stays clean and tidy!)

The owl quilt - still no progress. Same with the fabulous 30th birthday quilt. That's still just a pinterest border. Really should get onto that.

Well best get on with some kind of quilting plan for those naughty diamonds. I hope that when I finish this quilt it warns all the stash not to muck up with wonky borders. I just won't tolerate them in my sewing room.

Linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced :)



Tuesday, 27 March 2012

XOXO

Guess what? I put the X's with the O's today! With their powers combined they became an XOXO quilt top! Which is better than what they were previously - an XXX quilt top which sounds wrong on so many levels.

Ooh look how pretty it is! I just like looking at it. And looking at it. And looking at it some more. And it's not even finished!


Turn your head sideways. My camera and the computer had a disagreement on which side is up on this photo. Guess which one won?


I love quilt photos like this. All stained glass and artistic looking. We'll pretend the sideways thing adds to the artistic look I was going for.

Well I feel a little bad. I'm an unfair quiltmaker. The X's got an entire blog post on their own, but nothing about the O's. So I'll include them here and we'll call it even.

These whipped up super fast. This quilt is just made for chain piecing. I whipped these babies through so fast, it was brilliant!

They make their own awesome looking pattern (which by the way Tracey included as a bonus in the French Kisses quilt pattern).

Here's a refresher on how the X's looked on their own.


I couldn't resist seeing how they would look all put together, so here's a pre-sewn photo for posterity.


And the after shot - slightly different layout.




It's going to be Queen sized so I added an extra row of blocks at the bottom, and I'll do something or rather with the border for the width. Mum requested an aqua or green border. Based on the pictures, I'm leaning more towards an aqua border.


Love this pattern. Love this fabric. Love this quilt top.

Linking up with Sew Modern Monday (even though it's Tuesday in my part of the world!) over at Canoe Ridge Creations. Just consider me fashionably late. 


P.S. The name of this quilt really makes me want to sign off this blog post with...
You know you love me. 
XOXO. 
QuiltGirl. 
Ahhh too much tv obviously.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Progress - I made kisses!

I'm renaming my French Kisses quilt to XOXO because:
1) it's faster to type
2) the blocks are X's and O's
3) it's preferable as this quilt is for my parents
and lastly 4) it makes me feel all Gossip Girl saying XOXO (yeah I love me some trash tv!).

So I have made the X blocks for my XOXO quilt! I thought about labelling my blog post XXX but gosh that might give the wrong impression, do you think? I have to tell you though, I thought I was in love with the Sweet Lush fabric line before, now I know it's my fabric kindred spirit. I am loving working with it. And this pattern? Fantastically gorgeous. I think I am going to find it very hard to part with this quilt when it's done. But that shows how much I love my mummy.


On the love theme... I am loving these fussy cut centres of my X blocks:


 These are particular favourite blocks:

See what I mean about the X shapes?  Cool huh? I haven't done these before and I was happy most of my points lined up! Most ;)


Are you starting to love Sweet Lush as much as me? Not yet? How about some more photos to convince you?
Putting it altogether. That's 32 flying geese units. Whew!


Here are the blocks all lined up. But this isn't how the finished quilt will look. I still have to make the O blocks. That's on the agenda for this week. Ooh can't wait to see how that looks!


And from another angle. Because really this quilt does not have a bad side. It's so pretty and happy and bright and cheerful and many other words that may make my quilty heart explode with happiness.

Here's what the finished product should look like (and coincidentally haha) where you can buy the French Kisses quilt pattern! I highly recommend it! Very easy to follow, lots of details and really - look at this picture. Is this a beautiful quilt or what? Btw there is a QAL planned for this quilt over at Traceyjay quilts. If I had patience, I would have waited and joined in. But I don't. So I just jumped in and got started.


I am doing an extra row of blocks at the bottom to make my quilt a bit longer. Took a bit of figuring out how much extra fabric but I've cut into 16 FQ's and still have some left over to make matching cushions. I'm a happy camper.I probably should have thought ahead and fussy cut some centres for the cushions. Hmm. Maybe I need to buy more fabric. Ha!

Right. I'm off to sew some O blocks. Can't wait to put them all together and see how this quilt's going to turn out! I am loving it. Not sure if I mentioned that fact. Hope you are working on a project you are loving too!

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Ooh weekend sewing

I love the weekends - more time to sew! I have so much to do and I'm dithering all over the place on where to start so here I am blogging instead. Makes sense right?

See my dilemma is with this:



The French Kisses pattern has been released! Yep I've already bought it. I am so excited about this pattern! And, it's great timing as my fabric for it arrived just this week!

Sweet Lush by Patty Young
 Woohoo! The planets are aligning in my little sewing world. So do I start work on this fab new pattern that I'm just itching to try? Or do I finish off my wips - namely the owl quilt and the Diamonds in Squares...

Yeah I'm thinking new project too! Why not work on what you are loving right now? I don't want sewing to feel like a chore and really if I work on one of my wips right now, I will spend most of the time looking longingly at the new fabric that is clearly calling my name.

Loving the French Kisses pattern as much as me? Pop over to Traceyjay Quilts. She's having a giveaway! Or you can just buy the pattern (and if you win the giveaway, get your payment refunded!). Right, off to start cutting - progress photos soon!

Friday, 23 March 2012

A finished quilt!

With having what feels like a very long wip/planned projects list at the moment, it's rather exciting to have something finished! I had hoped to have two quilts finished this week, but that Diamonds in Squares quilt is still misbehaving and is sitting in time out until it's ready to deal with the consequences of its wonky borders.

So here's a quilt that behaved beautifully from start to finish - including having just the perfect amount of polka dot fabric for the binding. Yippee! Don't you love when that happens?

Please excuse the helper on the right of the picture. Can't wait til she's big enough to hold the quilts for photos!

I think this is the best binding I've done yet - which isn't hard considering I'm still a newbie to this binding business. I don't hand sew so it's all machine done.


I did muck it up a bit in that I meant to sew it to the back first and finish it on the front, giving the front a bigger binding. But I went into autopilot mode and just sewed. Only noticed when I went to put the finishing touches on. Oops. But it's okay - I've decided I like it this way as a thicker binding might have been a bit too much with so many different fabrics on this quilt.

  And it works on the back where it's a bit less busy.

I like that it looks like the little pups have just run across the quilt top with muddy footprints. All in all, a happy quilt ready to be sent off to the new owners who will probably drool, shed, and possibly pee on it. And I'm okay with that. They are dogs after all.


 Linking this finish up with TGIFF which is over at Don't Tell Quilts this week! :) Check out her cute little argyle robot quilt!

And linking to This Week at Love Affair with my Brother because I'm a bit pleased with this quilt :)




Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Puppy dogs and sticky tape

Don't worry, no animal cruelty here. The sticky tape was used only on a fabric dog and only to help enhance its beauty. Oh dear, I think I'm making it sound worse than it is. Let's just get on with some show and tell.

This daschund pup quilt is being made for two cute little daschund pups that I know and it is nearly finished! Just need to square it up and bind it! Woohoo!

Here's how it looks just now. Like my little helper on the side? She was smoothing the edges. Monkey see, monkey do. She'll be quilting by the time she's 5 at this rate.


 So some details. The pattern is "I'm a weiner" by Boo Davis from her Dare to be Square book. The only quilting book I own. But I am loving it! The patterns are fab, but she also includes some great info on how to sew, baste, quilt and bind. So I decided to follow her info on the quilting. Lots of straight lines. Not trusting my ability to do straight lines myself, and too lazy to mark it all with my chalky pencil... I followed another one of her tips. Well sort of.


No your eyes are not deceiving you. That is sticky tape. Awesome right? (Disclaimer: No quilty dogs were harmed in the making of this quilt though I did hesitate a moment before quilting right across the poor dog's eye). Okay so Boo Davis uses painter's tape to mark her lines and from the book, it seems does one at a time. But I didn't have painter's tape. Or the patience to mark one line, quilt, mark one line quilt (or the joints - man were my knees and back killing me after all this!). So! I used my handy dandy sticky tape and marked all my lines in one go! Woo! It made the quilt sound a bit crinkly while I was quilting it but that's okay.

After the quilting, there was a lot of this to be done. Good thing I have a willing helper. She thought she was a bit of awesome helping me pull all the tape off. I thought she was a bit of awesome too.  Oh yeah tip for those who might like to try the sticky tape thing (and hey, I have no idea if it's a good idea to actually use sticky tape on your quilt but it worked for me), don't sew on the tape. It makes it harder to pull off. Or so I've heard.

 Envrionmentally conscious folks, look away now. You've been warned.



It did not look like that much tape when I was marking the lines, really.

Oh and the back? No it's not boring and plain! I went with the cliche puppy paw prints! And I'm glad I did. Cuteness x eleventy.


I traced the pawprints onto fusible webbing then cut them out (8 footprints, with 4 toes, that was 32 itty bitty toes to cut out sheesh). I decided zig zag stitch would look nuts so I FMQ'd around each little toe and pad to keep them in place. It's not the neatest thing ever, hence no closeups, but it works.



So a happy little puppy quilt (measuring roughly 40" square) for some cute, spoilt little pups to keep them warm through winter. I can't wait to send this to them. I think I'll even address the package straight to them or do you think it might confuse the postie trying to find Anastasia Beaverhausen and Monika Legzakimbo?

Oh and any opinions on binding? I can't decide between a fun scrappy binding made up of all the brown prints of the quilt, or just stick with the olive green. Suggestions welcome - think I'll save the binding to do tomorrow.

As for my other wips - not much more info! The owl quilt is still waiting to be unfolded and at least considered for finishing off.

And the Diamonds in Squares quilt top - I can barely bring myself to mention. It is torturing me with it's repeatedly wonky borders. So guess what? I'm going to quilt it into submission and show it who's boss. If you never hear mention of that quilt again, well, reach your own conclusions on it's ultimate ending.

Linking up with Wip Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced :)



Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Mmm more fabric

How fun is a competition where you get to look at fabric, play with mosaic makers, AND enter more than once? Well have a look at I'm a Ginger Monkey's blog because she has a fun FQ bundle competition happening. It's being sponsored by Pink Castle Fabrics (soooo many yummy fabrics). 

So I did one bundle with my sister in mind And then... I saw it. The stunning Sea Garden prints from Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket. Loving the greys and aquas - like an ocean on a stormy day. Yeah that's about as poetic as I get. Ohh well, now a second bundle is required.



You know I didn't think I was a dot girl, but apparently I am. I've used them in both my bundles. It's a sign. Use more dots.

Oh look at those Sea Garden prints! (top left and bottom right). I could look at them all day. I have perhaps looked at them for some time already.

Right, so the important info! What are all these fabrics?

Sea Garden in Mist - Salt Air by Cosmo Cricket
Bella Solid in Caribbean
Dot in Aqua - Ruby by Bonnie and Camille
Timeless Treasures Sketch Crosshatch in Aqua
Ta Dot in Ocean Aqua by Michael Miller
Kona Solid Natural
Hello Pilgrim Pearl Bracelet in Turquoise by Lizzy House
Free Spirit Solid NuGray Gray
Free Spirit Solid Slate Grey
Dumb Dot in Charcoal by Michael Miller
Ta Dot in Aqua by Michael Miller
Sea Garden in Ocean - Salt air by Cosmo Cricket


Well I think that's enough fabric browsing for one day! Plus I think I used up all my funny in my first post.  Anyways, fabric lovers, pop over and have a look at some of the other entries, or make one yourself!

Mmmmm fabric...

I am attempting the impossible. Picking out a FQ bundle of fabrics for my sister's 30th birthday. Our tastes are very different although we do share a love of green. So going off some fabric discssion, I've gone with green, white and black.



Why am I putting them together in a pretty mosaic like a fancy-pants store bought bundle? For a competition of course! You could join in too! Details are over at I'm a Ginger Monkey's blog. It's being sponsored by Pink Castle Fabrics and you have a chance to win the bundle you have created! Ooh how fun is that?! Just "borrow" the photos from Pink Castle's website, then make them into a mosaic at Big Huge Labs. It's free and fairly easy (I put my photos in Flickr first so I could find them easily for the mosiac maker).

I ought to mention, I did try to pick out fabrics over the phone with my sister (she's living in NZ, training to be a helicopter pilot. Yeah, I'm the boring sister) but to the fabricly uninitiated, fabric shopping is apparently very stressful and overwhelming. What? There can be too many fabrics to look at? Surely not. Clearly she does not have a quilter's heart.

The fabrics I have picked for this bundle are (in order):

Mono Pez in Black Pezzy Prints by American Jane
Little Flowers in Licorice Black and White Ann Kelle Remix
Timeless Treasures Sketch Crosshatch in Grass Green (how delicious is this!)
Hello Pilgrim Jewels in Emerald by Lizzy House
That's It Dot in Black by Michael Miller
Hello Pilgrim Leaves and Berries in Green by Lizzy House
Metro Living Circles in Black by Robert Kaufman
Bella Solids Black by Moda
Woodgrain in Green Woodlands by Khristian A Howell
Big Dot Black on White Annie's Farm Stand Lakehouse Dry Goods
Circles in Meadow Green Modern Whimsy by Laurie Wisbrun
Kona Solid White

Oh and with this competition, you can enter more than once! But inlinkz won't let you use the same link so I'll pop my second bundle in a separate blog post. Ooh two posts in one day! What is my blog world coming to?!

Monday, 19 March 2012

Frustration leads to new projects - that's logical right?

Weekends tend to be my best sewing time. It's usually when I get a lot accomplished. So you can imagine I had grand plans for this weekend with so many projects on the go. But things were not coming together well so instead of persisting, I started a new project! As you do! Okay full disclosure, it was on my list of wips but I hadn't started cutting it til this weekend.

By today (with some help from a solid few hours at quilt group yesterday) I had this!


Cute hey? It's the "I'm a weiner" pattern by Boo Davis from her fab book Dare to be Square. Oh, I've mentioned that a time or two have I?

This one is going to a couple of fluppy dogs I know named Anastasia Beaverhausen and Monika Legzakimbo. Yep, those are their actual names. Bet they have fun when they're called up at the vet's office.

I haven't done the back yet but I'm leaning towards appliqueing paw prints on the back. Too cliche?

So I guess I should share the real reason why I started a new project. My Diamonds in Squares quilt did not go to plan. I finally decided on borders, got stuck into sewing them, had numerous hassles trying to work out the corners (yeah I don't plan ahead - what? I have to make these into corners? Oh crap), filled with ridiculous sewing glee that the quilt top was done until I laid it out...

And this happened:


Hello wrinkly wavy border. You are not my quilty friend. Please desist with your waviness and kindly bugger off.
So a goodly portion of my time at quilt club (after we played "Fix-Kristy's-crappy-looking-quilt-top-game") was spent unpicking the borders. They have now been re-ironed, hopefully into submission and I'm going to attempt to sew them on again, this time with a gazillion and five pins. Oh did I not mention I didn't pin as I went? Yeah rookie mistake I'm sure.

So to remind myself that I do love this quilt top ( I do, I do, it's just like a naughty child, I love it but I don't like it right now), here's a picture I took of it looking pretty in the sunlight. Poser.


Wish me luck fixing this one. I still have yet to make the back - a grand plan for a pieced back in all sorts of Good Fortune loveliness. That should fill me with more sewing glee, but alas, it's not there yet.

But here's something that ought to fill any fabric lover's heart with glee! Look what I received in the post today!

A whole yard of yummy fabric (Sandi Henderson fabric, thank you very much!) that I won in a giveaway  thanks to the lovely Allison at Dreaming in Patchwork. That definitely brightened my day. And my daughter's. Not yet two and she has already started snaffling my fabric. Yep, that makes me proud. Clearly I'm doing something right with her upbringing.

Well best go have an attempt at fixing my Diamonds in Squares. Hope your quilty heart is filled with sewing glee, your borders are unwavy and you win a bloggy giveaway somewhere.

Friday, 16 March 2012

A Last Minute Gift

So my Nan's birthday has been on the same day for the past 89 years (okay, I've only been alive for 32 of those but that's still a lot!). So you'd think I'd realise it was approaching and fast. Did I get organised and make her a gift with plenty of time to spare? Ha! Of course not. I left it til my last possible kidfree sewing day to get it done. But it is done.

At 89, what do you get for your birthday when you pretty much have everything you could possibly need or want?


 Well how about a placemat (in your favourite colour) for that very bare table sitting in your lounge room? Of course it will be paired with a nice basket of assorted cheeses, crackers and jams. Something Nan loves.

I had planned to do some FMQ on it (more desperately needed practice) but my machine is getting fixed and could take up to three weeks. The horror! So I have borrowed my mum's and it's not too keen on FMQ. But hey at least I can sew. Because my goodness, it would be a long three weeks if I wasn't able to sew at all.

It was actually fun to see how this block would look in different colours. All of my other attempts have been making it with a white background with mixed scraps for the diamond.



I also whipped up another Garden Fence block for Marieka for the QCA Bee. It suddenly occurred to me that some of my Aviary 2 fit the description of "greys, blacks, and yellows" perfectly so I had to make one more block. Paired up with little dots from Riley Blake.

 
 So I have three blocks to hand over to Marieka at Quilt Club on Sunday. Yay!

 

So these are my rather small finishes for this week. Everything else is still in the WiP category. Plans to work on those this weekend. Though goodness! I may have to start a new project for Quilt Club because nothing else is portable. Oh dear, what a shame.

Linking up with TGIFF which is being hosted over at The Nifty Stitcher this week. Definitely have to check out the quilt Rhianon has finished this week - it's amazing!