Thursday, 22 May 2014

Improv Progress

Months and months ago, I started working on an improv quilt. I worked on it a bit at the start of 2013, but then put it aside while I dealt with things that had deadlines (that I didn't meet) and life got busy and I tucked this into a box and set it to the left. I didn't forget about it, but it was so low on the priority list, it didn't really get touched.



I think the last time I posted a photo of this baby I'd only done three blocks... I'm definitely further along than that now! In fact, I've finished the quilt top!
It's quite simple really. No fancy pattern or "design". But I started it when I needed something that was completely random in construction and this fit the bill. I don't know what my quilt style is, so I don't know how this will fit into the bigger picture of my quilt story, but I know that experimenting with this has given me confidence to do the improv peicing on my sewing machine cover and my Carpenters Wheel. So I definitely feel I am an improv girl. Or at least improv is a significant component of my quilting personality.


Some places are more random/improv than others.  Sometime I did strips and then hacked it into random shapes cut it up neatly into perfectly use able pieces... :-/

Other places I purposely cut crooked or in an odd shape to make myself

I also made sure to keep any bits I did cut off and used those as the start of the next block.


All in all, it's about single bed size.  I'm planning to keep it in my study for those quiet reading times... At least this was the plan until I started Harry Potter and now he belongs near the books...  Maybe I need to finish some quilts and work out if there are any empty surfaces left in my house :-/ It might just have to be carried around for those moments when you need nothing but a cuddle and a cup of tea :-)



The star component of this quilt is this lovely text fabric.  I have no idea who made it, or what brand printed it, but I feel really... blessed every time I take the time to actually look at the words. All the sayings are about letting your light shine because the world needs it, and finding harmony and balance. I don't know. Maybe that's my inner hippy coming out, but I love it :-) there are moments when it's nice to be reminded of the good things.  I had planned just to checker board it, but as I got towards the end of making my improv block I realised I had a little extra so I did a few fussy cuts to get some of the really special pieces a bit more centre stage.




And my Handstitched training is coming through, because I'm seriously considering embroidering some of the words/phrases on the fabric. I won't do it until I've had a chance to think about how I want to quilt it, because then I'll have a better idea of what it looks like and whether that will work. I have made an effort to space the words out so that the phrases are readable. And I've tried to centre some of the phrases I like the most.


So I have a finished top for 2014.  And it is really the antidote for 2013, which was a very difficult year for me.  This quilt will just exist as something to make me feel good and have joy, and balance and all the other inspirational words this quilt is covered with :-). So this is goes towards my making for me project!

E xx

Thursday, 15 May 2014

What up!!

Ok, I know I'm two - no three - weeks late for Easter, but I had this all typed and it was what I did over the Easter holiday, so I though what the hey, let's post it anyway! :-)

--ooOoo--

I hope you all had a marvellous Easter. You all deserve to be completely spoilt and covered in chocolate (that has kinky undertones, but I swear I didn't mean it that way!).

Over here I  revelled in the Easter break. I have taken an extra three days off work and with the ANZAC public holiday (for foreigners, that's our big war Memorial Day here in Aus) I have almost two weeks off. And the best part is - it is being spent at home!!!! No travel. No suitcases. No flights or hotels or having to try and get all the cleaning done in the 30 seconds before we leave. I am getting to loll around the house, in my pajamas, and just relax. It's wonderful!

I have even gotten some sewing done! I know! Crazy, right!

In the Easter spirit I thought I'd pull out my Bunny Hill and get my stitch on. I've been working on my Harry Potter so much, it was so refreshing to do some simple patchwork again. I sat and spent an afternoon just chain piecing and then ironing. And or was so darn relaxing! Simply heaven, I tells ya!



Now I know you can't really see it, but there are little bunnies frolicking all over that fabric. I swear!!
And now all my little 2.5" squares are in pairs and ready to get sewn into strips.



I want to lay them out first and try to arrange them so I can avoid patterns touching if possible. I want this to feel really random and properly patchworky, so I don't want there to be big clumps of bunnies or circles or anything. I want them spread out. Only trouble is, Harry Potter's taking up my design wall... :-/

#firstworldproblems   #toomanywips   #justmakeadecisionalready   #yesiamusingthehashtag

Now I'm off to travel through the blogosphere to catch up on all your happenings. I have seen some tantalising peaks and I want to know EVERYTHING!!!

Loves ya!
E xx

Monday, 12 May 2014

Making for me

Oh my goodness! I almost forgot my own link up! (like I did last month :-/ oops)

I've not been around this month, because, unfortunately I have been completely tied up at work.  No sewing for me :-( I haven't even had a proper chance to read all of my favourite blogs (that's yours, of course).  Currently sitting on 323 unread blogs...

Hopefully May will be a little quieter. Get a bit more sewing happening and a bit less paperwork.

What sewing I have done in the last 2 months has been all Harry Potter.





 

And while I am loving seeing it all come together on my wall, and I have spent hours ironing and pinning until it's perfect. And I am getting crazy in love with the intricacies of paper piecing... I am a little sick of the chaos that is my sewing room while I work on this project...



 


What about all you lovely ladies.  What have you been working on?? Tell me it's something incredibly selfish :-)



Thanks for joining in!

E xx

Friday, 11 April 2014

FAL 2

I'm doing a double post for today, just so I can get myself linked up properly. I do apologise for my poor blogging etiquette.

--ooOoo--

Ok so I had myself an epic fail on FAL quarter 1.  I finished my sewing machine cover and mat, but didn't get around to linking them up.  And the other 3... yeah. No. I didn't get them done.

SO why am I linking up for quarter 2??? Because I like to set myself deadlines and goals that I know I will not meet! I'm quirky that way!

So my FAL 2 list is as follows:

1- Harry Potter
I am loving this project! I think I have fallen in love with foundation paper piecing, in general.  It is super time consuming and my sewing room is a disaster of  a mess, because I'm using so many different fabrics.  But it is progressing.  And with three months of steady work, I can TOTALLY get this top finished.
That being said, I have no idea how I want to quilt it, or what I want to back it with, so maybe not totally finished.....


 2 - Radiant Orchid Dresden
I am more than halfway through the quilting.  I have to stop working on HP and finish this sucker! It was supposed to be done weeks ago, but I got distracted by HP and haven't gotten back into my quilting groove.


3 - Radiant Orchid Hexies
Another project I just love.  I need to make my bag and go from there. I have a pattern picked, but I think I want to do a practise before I commit my hexies to it.



 
4 - Mini-Charms
I still love these little pieces of sunshine and happiness. But they are my simple sewing. They need me to be in a certain mindset... We'll see how the mood strikes me this quarter. It could be a nice simple finish...


5 - Penny Patch
Ok, this is taking up desk space. it must be finished.  It is a simple pattern. There is no reason at all why I can't get this done this quarter.


6 - Swoon
I cheated and had this long-armed. (It looks amazeballs by the way)  So this month I am going to get this bound. I want this on my bed for winter. I am determined.

 
7 - Carpenters Wheel
I also cheated with this one. I sent it out be long-armed too.  I am so happy with my Swoon, I can't wait to see what this one looks like! And then a quick easy binding and it'll be finished!!!!!!!!


8 - Improv
I am further along with this than you've seen (I promise a post in the imminent future!) and I think I'm going to get it long armed.  So three months to get it back form a professional and ad some binding - definitely do-able!




Ok. So I'm a little ambitious. But with a little bit of elbow grease I can totally get this list tackled and at least get some of thee moving along.  They're all active WIPS.  I'm not including the things that are tucked into hidey holes or that have been sitting in boxes for months, collecting dust.

Is anyone else linking up with the FAL? Any tips on how I can actually achieve my epic list?

E xx

Radiant Orchid part the second

So ages ago, I gave you my sneak peak of the radiant orchid challenge and some of you smart little chickens guessed right. I made myself a Dresden plate.

Purple Dresden
 
I have been seeing this so many places for so long and always thought it was something for an experienced/intricate quilter. I was scared to even start. But this year I thought I'd be brave and ordered myself the fancy pants ruler (which I'm sure isn't necessary, but I can't imagine doing it without). And I have to tell you guys, it was actually pretty easy.

I had my fabrics cut and pieced on the same day. I, of course, didn't bother to google a tutorial until AFTER I had sewn my first plate together, and discovered a much better way to do this, so quickly whipped up another one which I have no idea what I'm going to do with!!

I really like the Dresden, just in general. I think it's got such elegance to it!  And it honestly, was so much easier than I thought.  Like, incredibly easy. As in, if you can sew a straight line, you can make this. I admit that I'm not making fancy Dresden's, but still - will definitely be saving this for future quick quilts.

I say quick quilts, because I literally got it pieced in an afternoon. I was on a roll! I thought I could actually get his finished within the week!!!!!!!

I machine stitched my Dresden to some dark grey and even got the top basted fairly quickly. I bought white flannel to back this with in the hopes that the quilting I was planning would it amazing (not to preempt the awesomeness or set your expectations too high), and that it would really pop off the white. And  I love a snuggly quilt and flannel does that for me every time. Well minky does it more, but I'm not going to attempt to do any pretty quilting on minky... I'll leave that to the professionals :-)
 
purple dresden applique

I did the first bit of quilting and was less than thrilled. Particularly with the way it showed up on the back.
 
I figured I'd change it up and make my quilting more sketchy and added more lines. And now I love it! I made sure I wiggled a little bit so you can see the different coloured threads.
 
quilting purple dresden applique

I got my stitch on as best I can, but as always, life (and other projects) got in the way. I'm about halfway through my quilting.  So unfortunately I didn't link in to the Radiant Orchid challenge. Having seen the amazing things other people made I'm not too upset as I stood no chance of winning. If you haven't checked it out you should! Everything is just gorgeous!
 
quilting on grey

As for me, I will be happy with this project even if it doesn't win any prizes. Purple Dresden's just belong in my home :-)

Now to do half a dozen more quilting lines and whip some binding on this sucker! I can get this done this week... right?

E xx