Monthly Archives: July, 2014

The Colourful Quilt – Part 2

This time next week Ms C and I will be on our way to Birmingham for the Festival of Quilts. Woohoo!!! It seems to have come round really quickly, and I’m so looking forward to it! But with only a week to go, I really need to get my backside in gear and start on the pre-work for my Colourful Quilt class.

After my last post, and the comments about my fabric selection, I made a few changes and I’m pretty much there now – well, I think this is about as good as I’m going to get it, in any case. I took out the darkest green and the darkest blue fabric and replaced them with lighter options, not only to balance out the distribution of colour value so that the darks wouldn’t dominate, but also so that there would be enough contrast between the 24 colours I had chosen and the background fabrics.

And here is the new round-up…

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24 colours…

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… with the background fabrics at the bottom of the pile

On the whole, I like it better; I think it’s more balanced, and much better reflects my initial thoughts of creating undulating curves in beautiful greeny-blue sea tones. Mmmmmmm!

Sadly (!) I had to break my fabric fast to get the fabric line-up how I wanted. I ordered a couple of half yards of solid fabric to replace the darks I wanted to remove, but while I was at it, I took the opportunity to fill up the Flat Rate envelope with some other fabric lovelies to make the shipping cost worthwhile. Well, it would have been rude not to!

In my defence, they were all in the sale section, this was my first ‘splurge’ all year, and, what’s more, the whole lot came in under the 62CHF limit allowed by Swiss customs before they tax the heck out of anything you want to import!

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 3 half yards of Simply Style

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 Half yard bundle of Theodore and Izzy

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3 yards of Hello Tokyo

 Judicious fabric purchasing – that’s the name of the game 🙂

In the meantime, an 11 page document detailing our preliminary cutting instructions has arrived by email. Yes, that’s right – 11 pages! And that’s only the cutting we need to do before the class! It’s mind-bendingly complicated, and all colour-coded too, if you please!

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Crikey! It made my head hurt just thinking about it, so I took the sensible and adult approach to the problem. I printed off the instructions, and stuck them in the box with the fabric and shoved it away at the back of my sewing room. And there they will remain until the lovely Ms C, my partner in crime in all things quilty, gets back from sunny Spain later this week. At which point we can hopefully get together for a good old chinwag, before trying and work out what the heck it is we’re meant to be doing before we get on the plane next week.

Well, we did book the class because we wanted a challenge – bring it on!

The Colourful Quilt – Part 1

In August I’m off to the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.  I’ve only been once before – in 2011 – and I had such a great time that I’ve been wanting to go back ever since. It didn’t work out the past couple of summers, but this time around it’s all planned. And I have to admit I’m very excited!

Even better, I’m going with a friend, the lovely Ms C. We’re going for the full 4 days, have signed up for a 2 day workshop and various mini-sessions. We’ll be learning new techniques, admiring all the beautiful quilts on display and shopping till we drop with all the money we’ve saved by staying with Mum rather than booking a hotel. Result!

The thing I’m most excited about,though, has to be our 2 day workshop, where we’ll be learning to make Jacqueline de Jonge’s Colourful Quilt.

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It was Ms C’s idea to sign up for this class – we’ve both had been feeling like we wanted to try something a bit more complicated and involved than your standard squares-and-triangles block, and, as she pointed out, this certainly looks like it fits the bill! It was advertised for intermediate to advanced quilters, so we decided to take the plunge. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, as they say…

I’d already decided prior to receiving the supply list that I didn’t want to make an exact replica of Jacqueline’s quilt. I’ve recently made a quilt in similar colours (my Broken Herringbone quilt), and, in any case, I’m not really a massive batik fan. I toyed around with a couple of options, pulled out lots of fabric from my stash, and in the end I decided to go with my current obsession of solids, using my current favourite colours of blues and greens. Of which, it has to be admitted, I had plenty. This is just as well, as there are 24 separate colours in the quilt, not including background and border fabric.

And here’s what I chose…

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The 24 colours needed for the quilt top…

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 with the background, border and backing fabric

I’d originally bought most of these fabrics for a scrappy-effect Storm at Sea quilt I was planning, but I’ve kind of gone off that idea recently. So this was the ideal project to re-purpose them! Better still, I only had to buy the background fabrics, as I already had the coloured ones and the backing fabric in my stash. Maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but in my eyes, this almost keeps the integrity of my Fabric Fast intact 🙂

I spent a lovely morning today trying to decide on the order the fabrics will appear in my quilt top – as you can (hopefully!) see above, I’m aiming for a kind of ombré effect. There are one or two colours I’m still not entirely convinced by, and a couple of the transitions between colours are a bit abrupt for my liking, but I’m going to see if they grow on me before I go out buying replacements. Get me – frugal or what?!

And so for now all the fabrics are tidily packed away in a plastic container in my sewing room, waiting for me to decide for certain whether these are Definitely The Right Fabrics For This Quilt.

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So – what do you think? Any glaring issues with my colour choices? Do you think it’ll look unutterably cool or just a bit meh? Honest opinions needed before I start cutting!!!

Linking up for the first time in ages with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

 

 

 

Finish Along Q3 Goals – or, Living in La-La Land?

So, it appears that today is the last day to link up for the Q3 Finish Along, over at The Littlest Thistle.

I never quite got round to setting myself any goals for Q2, which is probably just as well as I’ve been so busy lately that I’m not entirely sure I actually managed to finish anything this past few months. I started a few projects, sure, but, well, they seem to have just been added to my ever-growing stack of Works In Progress rather than Beautifully Completed Creations. Oh well…

To be honest, I’m probably not going to achieve all that much this time around either. After all, it is the summer, and we have plans! Oh yeah, baby! Visits from my lovely niece, Miss B, and our Stateside friends Mr and Mrs S and their kids. A long weekend in Berlin. A trip back to the UK to see Mum and take in all 4 days of the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham with my friend Ms C. Days out locally, boat trips on the lake, picnics and barbecues. Not to mention a photography course I enrolled on to try and learn something about how to use my new-to-me camera. Phew!

But with about a bazillion projects on the go as usual, and an ever-growing stack of quilt tops waiting patiently to be quilted, I thought I’d link on up for Q3. Hopefully this will encourage me to get off my backside and actually finish something up over the summer.

Well, a girl can dream, can’t she?!

Dressmaking

Finish my Marfy Jacket…

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… which has been sitting in my sewing room ever since I got back from my couture sewing class in June. I’ve been finding the lining really tricky to put together, in particular attaching the sleeves to the lining body, as the silk is very slippery and there’s no ease in it at all. But it’s so beautiful, and I so want to see it finished and to wear it, that this is absolutely my number 1 goal for Q3!

Sundress

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Ha ha ha!!! Yes! This was on my list for Q1, and I never got round to it. But I still want to make a pretty sundress. I have the pattern, I’ve chosen the fabric and I’m all ready to go. But I’d better be quick about it or the summer will be over and I won’t get a chance to wear it…

Quilting

A while back, my friend Ms C decided that she wasn’t going to start on any new project until all her existing quilt tops were quilted. Now I have quite a stack of un-quilted tops awaiting my attention, and, what’s more, I really want to get better at free motion quilting, so I thought I would steal borrow her idea and focus on finishing things up for a change.

Well, this is a Finish Along, after all 🙂

Bear Paw Quilt

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I made this quilt top about 5 years ago, when I was still living in the US. It was a mystery quilt project at my local quilt store, and was intriguingly billed as a Trip to Alaska. All became clear when the top came together – a variation on the Bear Paw block in icy blues. The poor thing has been sitting forlornly in my cupboard ever since, waiting for quilting inspiration to strike.

Time to put it out of its misery, methinks.

Butterfly Quilt

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Another mystery quilt, this one, but much more recent.

This was the quilt I made at the latest Patchwork in the Peaks Quilt Retreat back in April. In the end I chose a butterfly print as my focus fabric, and I love how it turned out. I even know how I want to quilt it – with stipples and butterflies. I just haven’t got round to doing anything about it yet…

Solids Chevron Quilt

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I’ve become a little obsessed with solids recently. I obviously still love prints, but I’m intrigued about how using solids really focuses attention to the design and pattern of a quilt. I’ve also been wanting to make a chevron quilt for quite some time. So I combined my solids-obsession and chevron-desire and made this Solid Chevrons Quilt. And it’s big. Big enough for our super-king size bed.

All I need to do now is remove Mr. Boy from his new favourite spot before I can baste and quilt it 🙂

Craftsy BOTM Quilt 2012

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I signed up in 2012 for the free Craftsy Block of the Month programme, and made all 20 blocks – woohoo!

Then I signed up for Leah Day’s companion class on Free Motion Quilting a Sampler. I’ve watched all the lessons (several times!), and love the quilting designs she’s come up with for each of the blocks, but that’s as far as I’ve got. I really need to stop watching and get started quilting!

And finally…

Start Mum’s (long overdue) bed quilt

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Pattern chosen and fabric picked. Mum’s birthday in October. Or (perhaps more realistically) Christmas a few months after! Let’s get cutting!

So there you have it, a snapshot of what I’m hoping might get done over the summer. Is it realistic? Or am I living in La-La Land? Only time will tell, but I’m certainly going to enjoy getting to work on some of these babies!

Linking on up to the Finish Along – why not pop over and see other people’s plans for the summer?

Serendipitous Surprises

Some days I find that everything just kind of comes together as if it were meant to be, and yesterday was most definitely one of those days. Unexpectedly so, I might add!

It started off like a regular day, except I went to have my nails done. At the moment I seem to have temporarily escaped from my pink-and-purple rut, and am now in a most definitely blue-aqua-green frame of mind (I’m blaming the bad influence of Ms E and Ms JJ for this!). The weather here has been somewhat miserable these past few weeks – rainy, overcast, not much sun – and so I chose a glorious bluey-green colour polish, as it made me think of the colour of the sea in the Caribbean. I think it’s gorgeous, and I came home happy, admiring my nails all the way.

Imagine my surprise when, arriving home, I found not one, but 2 parcels waiting for me in my mailbox! Since I started my quilting-fabric fast back in January, parcels in mailboxes have become a rare occurrence chez LPC… Needless to say, I was suitably excited, and scurried up to the apartment to discover what was in them. And I was not disappointed!

The first parcel contained some Linton fabric I’d ordered a few weeks back to make a new cardigan jacket. Since my couture sewing class, I now understand what went wrong last time around, so I decided to put my new-found knowledge into practice by making a new, improved version of the sadly-flawed original. In a turquoise-green fabric with golden-yellow and blue flecked ribbons woven through it. All summery and fresh and beautiful. Mmmmmmm 🙂 I’d actually forgotten I’d ordered it, so it was a wonderful surprise.

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The fabric actually came with a cute Linton label!

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Close up of the Linton fabric

The second parcel was altogether more special, as it contained an adorable bag made for me by the wonderful Katy of The Littlest Thistle. Earlier this year, I participated in her sew-along to make a lovely messenger style bag. And for participating, I won a prize.  And this was it…

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My new little clutch bag!

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Metallic gold flap and cute heart magnetic clasp

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Botanics lining – I love that fabric!

What’s more, tucked inside as an extra surprise were 3 beautiful mini charm packs, which I have to admit I drooled over and petted (well, this was my first new quilting fabric in months!)

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Katy had thoughtfully made this bag in green and gold chevrons fabric, which not only matches the green and gold in my jacket fabric to perfection…

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… but also co-ordinates pretty darn well with my newly-painted nails! (Mr. Boy also seems to approve!)

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All in all, a day of serendipitous surprises 🙂