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.
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…
The 24 colours needed for the quilt top…
… 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.
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.
In less than a month I will be at the next Patchwork in the Peaks!
Patchwork in the Peaks is a bi-annual quilt retreat, run by my wonderful friend, Ms E. In April and October each year, a group of lovely ladies gather in Morzine in the French Alps to quilt their hearts out for four days. I’ve gone to every retreat since the start, I’ve made some fantastic friends, and it’s a wonderful way to spend a long weekend. You can read all about October’s retreat here.
Quilting with a view!
(Incidentally, it seems that 2 spots have opened up on the upcoming retreat – if you’re at all interested, I’d hurry up and snap one of them up before someone else does, seeing as they were all taken within a week of registration opening back in December – click here to find out more…)
But I digress…
As always, we’ll all be working on the same project during the retreat, and this time around it’s going to be a Mystery Quilt. I’m really excited to see how it’s all going to turn out, but it’s also rather daunting to choose fabric when you have no idea what you’re making. Oh, and when you’re on a Fabric Fast and so have to use what you already have rather than jump in and use the lovely Fat Quarter Shop discount for Peaks participants…
So what to do?
Back in February, I read this post from Isisjem, and it really struck a chord. Isisjem is also on a Fabric Fast, and she writes about approaching her stash as if it were a fabric store, with the idea that anything can be used for any project, rather than seeing it as a precious hoard of beautiful fabric to be saved for something special. I’m totally guilty of doing this with certain Too-Beautiful-To-Cut-Into fabrics (you know the kind..), but if I’m brutally honest, this means they’ll likely never get used because a) I have so much fabric already and b) I already have so many projects and ideas in the pipeline.
So I have decided that as of now, any fabric in my stash should be fair game, and I have spent this morning ‘shopping’ for the Peaks Mystery Project – a throw sized quilt which will finish at 58″ x 74 1/2″.
Obviously, I need to start with the focus fabric. All I know is that it should ideally be a large scale print, and I will need 1 1/8 yards of it. This already takes a whole load of my stash out of the running, as I have a lot of fabric cuts of 1 yard or less. And so, after a hard morning’s work, I have narrowed down my choice to one of 11 different fabrics, all large-scale prints
Well, it’s a start, right?!
Amy Butler – Love – Cypress Paisley
P&B Textiles – Florentine
Michael Miller – Eiffel Tower
Holly Holderman – Jolie Jardin
Philip Jacobs – Trumpet Flower
Gift from the wonderful Ms JJ
Robert Kaufmann – Tuscan Wildflower
Kaffe Fassett – Dancing Leaves
Yuko Hasegawa for RJR Fabrics
Hoffman International – Indulgence
Philip Jacobs – Coleus
As you can see, I have a wide variety of colours and styles of fabric in my stash! Some of them have been in there for several years, waiting for the right project. Is this that project? Who knows!
I think I know which one I want to use, but I’m going to sleep on it for a few days before making a final decision.
And anyway, I’m interested – which one do you like best????
Linking up today with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday – because, hey, pulling fabric for a new quilt counts as a work in progress…
Well, after last week’s quilting frenzy, and with my sewing activities now somewhat curtailed by my non-working foot pedal, as well as a romantic weekend away in Prague, I have very little to report for WIP Wednesday this week. Like next to nothing, actually…
But before the dastardly kitties crunched, munched and gnawed their way through the foot pedal cable, and in between packing, travelling, sightseeing and drinking yummy Czech beer, I did manage to get a few things done.
Firstly, I cut strips for the last of my Broken Herringbone blocks for the QAL, and started to piece them. When I manage to get them finished, I will have 16 blocks of loveliness to make a very colourful quilt top 🙂 Watch this space!
I finished binding my pink and purple quilt for the quilt show – and I’ve been busy trying to think up a name for it. It’s mainly stars, so I think I might call it Stargazing, but I don’t have to label it and hand it in for another week, so this may well change before then! The quilt’s so big that I don’t have enough room on the floor to lay it out and photograph, so a proper photo will have to wait until the quilt show when it will be hanging up, but here it is, draped over the back of a chair, to give an idea of the colours and fabrics.
And finally, I finished up the binding on my red and pink triangles quilt. But before I managed to finish it, this happened…
… And it happened because my calculations for the binding length were wrong (I was never any good at maths…) Fortunately I had just enough fabric left over to plug the gap, but I did say some Very Bad Words at the time. Mr Boy and Mimi Bubba were quite shocked!
I made this quilt because a friend of mine asked me to show her how. She wanted to make a quilt for her baby, and she fell in love with this pattern. Of course I had to try it out first, to make sure I showed her properly (any excuse to make a new quilt, huh?!) Once her’s is finished, I’ll be posting some photos of her fabulous work – it’s utterly beautiful! She may never have quilted before, but she seems to be a natural!
In the meantime, mine is now finished, quilted and bound – here it is in all its girly pinky-red glory. I hope you like it as much as I do!
So that’s it for another week’s sewing – hopefully next week will be a little more productive!
Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday… why not hop on over too to take a look?
It’s been hot this week. Really hot. And humid. Bleurgh! 25°C (77°F) is about my limit, but it’s been way up in the 30s recently, and there is pretty much no air conditioning here in Switzerland. So whilst all my sun-worshipping friends are basking away and topping up their tans, I’ve been wilting, like the delicate English flower that I am 😉
I had hoped to do some more free motion quilting this week, but who wants to be manoeuvring a big quilt under a small sewing machine in all this heat? Not me! So, a change of plan… I’ve moved all the fans we own into one room, put the shutters down and whiled away several hot and sticky afternoons stitching together hexie flowers for my Grandmother’s Flower Garden quilt. So far, I’ve sewn all 14 yellow flowers (7 with little polka dots and flowers, 7 with big flowers and no polka dots…), and I’m about to move on to another colour. Get me!
Despite the heat, I did manage to get some machine sewing done this week, mainly in the evenings when it’s cooled down a little.
Last Thursday, the second block of my Fat Quarter Shop Mystery Block of the Month arrived, which reminded me that I hadn’t made a start on Block one yet… So this week, both blocks got made. I’ve never been a huge fan of basket quilts, but having made these two blocks, I’m starting to change my mind. I think they’re lovely!
I also thought it would be fun to make a new skirt to take to Barcelona next week, so I dug out my Emaline skirt pattern from Sew Serendipity, which I’ve been wanting to make for a while. I decided to use this beautiful brightly coloured Kaffe Fassett print. I’d initially bought it to use as a quilt backing for what I’d planned to be a bed-sized quilt, but as the quilt came together, I changed my mind and decided to make it lap-sized instead. Happily this meant there was plenty of backing fabric left over to be re-purposed as a beautiful summer skirt!
The skirt itself went together reasonably quickly. I had to do a bit of adjusting – the pattern is designed for someone 5’4″ tall, whereas I’m a smidge over 5’10” – and I ended up lining it to help prevent creasing, but I’m very pleased with the outcome. In fact I’ve already worn it! It’s so light and cool to wear, and really comfortable too, that it looks like I’ll be making this pattern over and over again. And maybe wearing this skirt will motivate me to get out the original quilt top and backing, and finally make a start on quilting it! Well, you never know…
Linking on up to WIP Wednesday, despite limited progress!