Friday, 2 October 2015

Painted Hexagons _ part 2-

So what did I do with those 2 inch strips ? No I did not do a strip quilt although that is on my to-do list of things. I have a couple of K. Fassett books and when looking though them for inspiration for the Bloomsten fabric, a hexagon quilt caught my eye. It is called 'Drifwood My Fair Lady' and is from Brendon Mably and is from the book ' Kaffe quilts again'.

And I thought this would be perfect as I could use the large amount of newspaper print I bought as background. I changed the pattern somewhat in that I made myself a foundation paper template for the hexagons. The pattern in the book advises to piece strips together and then to cut out the 6 triangles for the quilt using a template but I find this not accurate enough. The triangles are basically cut all on the bias and lose form the minuate they are cut. Sewing them on papaer ensure they keep there form until the hexagons are done. Whenever I paper piece I keep the paper attached as long as I can handle it.

So the long, very long  process of paper piecing has started. Although it can be a bit tedious, I do like it as it is methodological and it is fun to see the hexagons coming together.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

My new Study Hall Skirt

My second piece of Summer wardrobe is the 'Study Hall Skirt' by Anna-Maria Horner. I have had the pattern for a long time now but never really found the right fabric combination to match its fabulousness. That was until the 'Field Study' collection came out with it's cotton/linen mix that is slightly heavier than quilting cotton and is ideal for this type of skirt. The pleats sit better with a stiffer fabric.

For this skirt I used the 'Ghost Wing in Aqua' and 'Domestic Cat in Aqua' fabric. I had plenty of fabric and spend a lot of time cutting to make sure I had the best parts of the fabric. The back of the skirt has some pretty accurate pattern matching going on (you hear how proud I am ?) and I made sure that all inset pleats had a row of roses in the middle. These become visible during movement and are a really nice feature.

This skirt is not thrown together in 90 minutes but even though it is a lot of work, it really was very enjoyable to sew together and I can't wait to make the next one.

The skirt came together much easier than I thought and the pattern is explained well. The only thing I was unsure about right from the beginning was if the seam allowance was included and after some help from friends on Instagram I was assured that it was.

There are just a few things I made differently from the original pattern. While researching the skirt on the Internet I came across this  blogpost by 'Resore your House'. The Lady lined the skirt which is something I really missed on the pattern. There are very few skirts that sit well without lining (for example a denim skirt) but most would ride up without it and if you spend a lot of time and money creating something then I think it deserves to look at its best. I also top-stitched the pleats but not all the way as she did.

I so love how this skirt turned out and have been wearing it all summer gathering many compliments on the way. This is very much me as I not only love colour in my quilts but am also not afraid of wearing it.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Painted Hexagons - the start of a new quilt -

Back in February I bought a full fat quarter set of of the "Paint"  collection by Carrie Bloomstone. 

I knew I wanted to do something special with it and I also knew I wanted to use the entire collection in a quilt. I suppose this is called the easy option as it requires little effort in coordination but sometimes this works best and was just wanted I needed to get me going again after a summer of little quilting.

 So I cut it all up in 2 inch strips......

 Any idea what this is going to be ?

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

A shirred summer dress

Hello everybody! I hope you have had a good Summer with a lot of sun and fun. I certainly did and although my intention was to sew very little, I actually ended up creating a bit of a Summer wardrobe at the beginning of July and thought I share this with you now even though Summer is drawing to a close.

I made three items and will post about these over the coming weeks.

In June 2013 I bought this set of Anna-Maria Horner 'Field Study' when I was holidaying in New York.

These are gorgeous cotton/linen blends that lend themselves ideally to dresses, tops and skirts. All I knew when I bought it was to make a 'Study Hall skirt' but I had no definite plans for the rest. So inspiration struck at last and I had used up this fabric in no time.

I love shirred summer dresses, they are flattering and easy to wear and if you are not too busty, you get away wearing them without a bra. They are my go-to summer dresses for at home and when I holiday in the Caribbean in the winter. The one dress I have been wearing for the past 5 years or so is finally losing shape. It was store bought and was great but the shirring is slackening and overall it's a bit tired now.

So I took out the wonderfully named 'Parenthetical in Deep' from my stash and set out making a new summer dress.

I used this tutorial for the dress which is fantastic. Shirred dresses are basically two big rectangular pieces stitched together with some straps. Shape comes through the shirring and this dress came together in less than 2 hours.

I love the way the pattern is squished together through the shirring and so much liked it that I made also a shirred top but more of that in another post.

Monday, 6 July 2015

A flock of geese - a finished quilt-

And at last I have a finished quilt to share with you. It's going to be a picture post with lots and lots of images. And here first of all the quilt in all its beauty.

You might recall that I used wool wadding for the first time for this quilt. I was really taken aback by how much loft this batting has compared to my usual cotton batting. I do like a relatively thick wadding and use Hobbs Heirloom which is roughly as thick as the Quilter Dream Select weight. The difference between the wool and cotton batting is that cotton has almost no loft and sort of feels more substantial.

Because of the higher loft I felt I could not quilt the quilt as dense as I might have done otherwise which was a little disappointing. I originally wanted to do vertical lines 1.5 in apart and then add horizontals along the seam lines but ended up only doing the vertical lines.

I also felt that although I basted this quilt very well that the quilt top and back moved more through quilting than anticipated. This wasn't a problem as such as I chosen the backing and wadding large enough  but it surprised me. Overall I had to slow down during quilting as my machine would otherwise slip a stitch which is also something I hadn't had before (if you disregard the time when I hadn't cleaned my machine....let's not talk about that).

I quilted with a beige 28w Aurifill thread as I often do. Aurifill or Guetermann Sulky are my two favourite threads.

My backing fabric is a text print from Carrie Bloomsten's 'Paint' collection which I thought works really well with this quilt. The front has a varying colour palette of bright and sedate colours and I chose both fabrics for each flying geese block to compliment each other which I hope gives the quilt a coherent design.

The binding is a dotty red/white fabric that contrasts well with the backing and also with the quilt front and really makes me smile.

The wool adding gives the quilt an entire different feel and drape. Folded up like in the image above it is obvious how much loft this quilt really has and at first I wasn't too happy with this and almost regretted my choice  but I am slowly getting around the softer drape and feel of the quilt and am sure that when the winter comes that I appreciate it even more.

And to close a few numbers and statistics:
  • 240 geese blocks @ 3" x 6" finished size makes 720 pieces of fabric stitched together
  • I used the "no waste" method where you make 4 geese blocks out of one square as described in this tutorial. I chose the squares rather larger than suggested though because I always square them off with a ruler and used a bloc-loc ruler this time which really works a treat
  • I used a very large selection of K. Fassett shot cottons, mattress ticking, gingham, moda cross weave and M. Dubrawski hand printed fabric

And this is it for the next 2 months or so. I am taking a summer break enjoying a bit more my photography and other non-quilting activities and will be back in the autumn.
Have a good one !

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

A flock of geese - part three-

I don't mind basting a quilt. Sure it isn't the most stimulating of processes when making a quilt but it is a really important one and needs to be done right to have a good time quilting.

So I put on an audio book and get on with it. For my new 'flock of geese' quilt I used for the first time wool batting that I bought by the yard from 'Creative Grid' where I also buy my large cotton batting rolls. The woll wadding has much, much more loft than the cotten batting and I am interestd to see how this behaves during quilting.

But to make sure my quilt sandwitch isn't moving at all during quilting I secured it with over 400 pins. That is even for me a lot. One for each geese block makes 240 and one in each intersection which makes a pin every three inches. One hour later I was done and hopefully find some time and motivation this week in the evenings to get on with quilting.

Wednesday, 17 June 2015

A flock of geese -part two-

It's been a while since I updated on the progress of my new quilt. The geese came a long fine until I had done 200 of them and only 40 were left to do.....and those took me about 2 weeks to make. To be honest, they are not tedious or difficult to make but it sort of wears you out eventually.

But I am really pleased how they have turned out. Over the weekend I played around with a few combination and finally settled on most of them flying in one direction with a few "wild ones" in between.

And there is also one entire row breaking ranks and flying into the other direction!

All I need to do now is join them and get basting. I am thinking of using a wool batting for a change for extra warmth.