Monday, 16 November 2015

Painted Hexagons - a finished quilt-

A finished quilt ! In the end, the quilting and binding came together very quickly. I spend a few days agonising if I should quilt a crosshatch but in the end decided on simple diagonal lines.

And looking at the quilt in the picture confirms that this was the right decision. The single diagonals work well with the shape of the hexagons.

Although I took great care to reduce bulk when I pieces the hexagons by ironing most seams open, there was still a lot of fabric in the hexagon centres. My machine manages this well but ditch quilting which I briefly contemplated would have provided quite a challenge nonetheless.

I quilted with a 28w Aurifill thread in beige which blends in with the newspaper fabric and with the overall tone of the quilt.

When I started this quilt I (thought) I knew that I wanted to choose as backing the same newspaper print I used as background on the quilt top and also the same as binding. Well, I changed my mind and had to laugh at myself for being surprised about it. I always tell my students when they want to choose backing and binding on the first day of a quilt making class, that they should wait because they'd change their minds about a half dozen times at least. It appears that happens to the teacher too....

The backing fabric I finally settled on is "Spotted Owl" by Alexandre Henry in grey. It works perfectly for this quilt because the grey has a tinge of purple in it that blends with the purple on the front. I have had this print for so long and only used some of it on a smaller quilt ages ago. It's a tricky colour and never seemed to work with anything but finally found its match.

Once I had settled on the back, the choice of binding was an easy one. Of course purple and of course dots (K. Fassett).

The quilt is smaller than I had envisioned it when I started with 57" by 54" inches but I used 90% of the fabric I had and that was my aim. When the top was finished I however added a small border in newspaper print around it to make it a little bigger.

I hope you enjoyed my frequent updates on how this quilt came together and my aim is to keep doing this rather than just showing one or two updates. After all it's all about the process, isn't it ?

 This quilt is for sale in my Etsy shop.

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Painted Hexagons - part 4

Finally a finished quilt top !
I say this seldom but am I glad it is finished. This was a surprisingly tedious job and whilst I am very happy with its outcome, I struggled over the last 15 or so Hexagons. It just dragged on too long.

Things looked up when I put it all together with the gorgeous newspaper print as background.

And I love how each hexagon is framed by the solid fabric which I think brings it all together. I had enough fabric fro 39 hexagons. Actually I would have had enough for a few more but not enough for another row of hexagons, so I left some of the purple fabric out as I thought I already have enough of it in here and I am not that fond of purple. 

It was a bit of an odd experience to just use the prints in this collection because I have not done this in a long time. It was sort of restrictive and possibly added to my being a little bored with the hexagon making in the end.

But I do love the way it looks and how each some of the prints change their characteristic through the hexagon shape.

And although paper piecing took a long time I am convinced it was the right decision because I would have had a lot more issues with biased cuts otherwise.

I kept the paper on as long as I could and removed first just the bits that covered the solid fabric when piecing the hexagons to the newspaper triangles and then later on once I created the diagonal rows, the rest. In this way the whole thing kept its shape rather well.

Now onto basting and quilting. But how to quilt....

Friday, 23 October 2015

Painted Hexagons - part 3 -

A little peak today. I now have over 20 hexagons and probably need about 40. I will sew until ALL the fabric is gone, determined to use every scrap of it. I cut the strips so that I have minimum waste and maximum usage.

This coming weekend I hope to produce a couple of sets more. I always sew or six hexagons together so that I have a bit of a production line going but this still takes a couple of hours (would you believe it) and I am not slow on the machine. Still I enjoy it and sew whenever I can set aside 3 hours, so this will take a while until it is completed.

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

A Field Study summer top

My third piece of wardrobe for the Summer was again a shirred number but this time a little one.
You see, I still had one piece of 'Field Study' linen/cotton left which was the 'Flower Circuit in Guava'.

It was just a half meter so not much really but just enough for a shirred top.

I used the same method as with my summer dress of course and this came together in an hour and really looks great worn with denim shorts. 

This shirring business is great fun and in particular when you iron over it and the shirring contracts like magic.....I think there is that inner child in me poking out a bit....

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 through 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 you can find it in 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 loose form the minute they are cut. Sewing them on paper ensures 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 ?