quilt blocks

spring

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I've been slowly working away on more blocks using my Vignette fabrics.  I'm delighted with how spring-like these blocks look, even if the weather isn't quite matching on the outside.  Things are blooming nicely along.  These blocks are mostly destined for smaller projects.  That way I can experiment with a few hand and machine quilting techniques I want to try out.

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I'm in love with the colours and the contrast in these blocks.

I've also been re-familiarizing myself with my 'proper' camera.  I've gotten so used to snapping photos quickly on my phone, that I'd mostly forgotten how.  

Something else that's been keeping me busy is tidying up, here on the blog.  I've updated my Tutorials page already (just click on the 'Tutorials' tab under the blog header up there to go take a look). I'm also working on updating links and making my space here a little easier to navigate.


English wedding ring

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I've been slowly making up a few test blocks to decipher what kind of pattern I want to use for a Vignette quilt.  I am a very undecided type of person and I've only fallen in love with each of the patterns I've tried so far.  So basically no progress has been made as far as decision making is concerned.

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I'm really head over heels for this traditional English Wedding ring block.  I used some of the blender prints from Vignette along with some Essex linen in Silver.  The effect is dreamy.

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I was feeling a little uneasy about the thought of all those half square triangles until I discovered this neat little trick using these Omnigrid marking rulers.  You simply lay the ruler diagonally across the wrong side of the fabric and mark along both long edges.  A whole stack of squares is marked in minutes.  Then just sew on the drawn lines!  It's opening my eyes to a whole world of patterns I wouldn't even consider otherwise.

I found the set of three rulers together, it's sold as a marking set.  It's made by Omnigrid so I guess you could find these easily at stockists of their other rulers.

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I've been making a few stacks of  these up whilst I'm in the mood.  I can always decide on the final layout later.

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You can find Vignette fabric in these fine stores.


December quilt

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Every December I HAVE to start a new quilt.  It's the law (in my head).  Something about having to do all the things you already have to do makes my fingers itch to start something impossible.  This year it's the turn of the Tobacco Leaf quilt.

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This one has been on my bucket list for too many months and once I got the idea into my head it just wouldn't leave me alone.  I am using the pattern from Denyse Schmidt's book - Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration.  Her pattern is brilliantly written and very thorough.  I decided though that I should paper piece the arcs because I like a really crisp and precise look and I'm just not accurate enough to do it the regular way.  I made my paper piecing templates by tracing them from the Piecing Guide which is on the pull out template sheet.  Then I'm just making photocopies from that tracing.   Once I have the arcs pieced, I trim them, remove the paper then piece the rest as normal.

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See how busy my space looks, it's a hive of activity.

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 Obviously I'm making it all in Hello Petal.

Doing the paper piecing is time consuming but worth it.  The rest really is a breeze.  So far I've made 12 leaves, so I am a quarter of the way there.

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So that's it so far this week.  Basically I've made a pile of fabric leaves.  As you do.  In December.


bearpaw

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Yesterday I stitched up the courthouse steps blocks I've made so far and then promptly put them to the side.  They produce such a lovely textured effect but they are so energy draining to put together that I had to go and have a lie down.  And while I was lying down, I started thinking about how some blocks are so much more enjoyable to put together than others (which has no correlation to the finished result just the stitching up part). I think I would rate the CS block as a 2 out of 10 for block making enjoyability rating.

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This block on the other hand is what I started piecing once I'd done the lying down and pondering thing.  These are bear paw blocks and I'd give these a pleasing 12 out of 10 block making enjoyability rating.  Do not be fooled by all those half square triangles they come together ever so quick.  Like magic ta da quick.
I used lots of my Little Apples fabric line mixed in with some low volume fabrics from various lines of mine.
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I've pieced these into a panel to cover a pillow.  And right after I have finished making that, I'll be making a bear paw picnic blanket then some bear paw placemats and once I get myself some Hello Petal, I'll be putting together a bear paw quilt.
And if you just so happen to be wanting to do a little bear paw ing yourselves, there will be a free PDF how to available right here on the blog in a few weeks time.  Plenty of time to work out what you want to make :)

todays blocks

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I started on these blocks yesterday, they are scrap hoovers but a little time consuming to make.  I think the block is called court house steps.  I'd love a whole quilt made out of them but I'm not sure if I have the stamina.  I was getting on well with the blocks until...

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This book arrived (at last), I contributed a project to it last year and it's been a fun distraction to ooh and ahh over all the good stuff in it.  The book is called Stitch Zakka and is published by Stash Books.

But before I get too carried away with all the stuff I could make I suppose I'd better get on with what I've already started.

Story of my quilting life.


hey there lonely star

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I've been dreaming of sewing up a lone star for a good while now, I thought I would start slowly with a pillow version first but this block ended up far too big.  Whilst I decide what I'm going to do with it, I've hung it up on my new pinboard to add a hit of colour to my sewing room walls.  I'm kind of just liking it as decor..

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I also basted up my Meow quilt at last, I got the urge to do it right before I started on dinner last night so I did what any right thinking quilter would do.  I ran up and down the stairs cooking and basting at the same time.  Dinner got cooked, quilt got basted and I got myself some good excercise.  Win win win!

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Today, I started quilting it.  I'm going for all over flowers, inspired by the amazing Angela Walters Free Motion quilting book. They are going really well but they are not going to quilt themselves so I suppose I better get back to it!


vintage summer holiday

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Outside the sun is shining and it's feeling decidedly summery.  Meanwhile, I have decided to have a holiday from summer and spend a little of it in winter (fabrically speaking) with the help of my Cherry Christmas prints.

I loved Camille's Vintage Holiday quilt pattern when she showed it at the end of last year and as soon as I got my fabric I knew that this would have to be the first quilt I made from it.  So I purchased the pattern two days ago and right now I am almost 12 bauble blocks down.  Block one - above - is my current favourite but that changes every minute or two so actually means very little.

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I had fun pretending to be all jolly and merry and ho-ho-ho whilst stitching these, each block looks so different yet they are so simple to put together.

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Each one comes with that dah dah dah daaaahhhh!!!! moment when the finished fabric bauble is revealed.

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Here's an action shot from my sofa right now.  I'm planning a few Chrissy quilts this year so I guess I'd better stop rambling and get back to the stitching.


making fabric from pineapples

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A few months ago I became intrigued with pineapple quilt blocks.  It was the look of the blocks, the 'how the heck to you piece one of those?' look that was the cause of said intrigue.

So the other day, I set about pineappling my life a little - I picked out two fabrics that played nice together, did a bit of online research and began.  The outcome of this story is best explained in a little tutorial I have put together for you entitled....

The beginner's guide to how NOT to make pineapples from fabric

  1. Research how to make said quilt block online.
  2. Decide you would like to try the paper piecing method from one 'how to' but the block size (and pieces) are too small(and fiddly looking).
  3. Enlarge paper piecing template and cut strips to whatever size appeals in the hope that you can just 'wing it'
  4. Get increasing fluxommed because you can't see the lines you are meant to be stitching on as they are hidden under your oversized strips.
  5. Realise that you have now spent 5 hours doing all of the above and your so called pineapple actually resembles an aeroplane.
  6. Pull fabric off paper piecing template and attempt to wholly 'wing' the rest of the block.
  7. (The best bit) Act accutely surprised when life suddenly appears to spring from the ashes of your fabric aeroplane and it curiously begins to resemble a pineapple quilt block after all.
  8. Thank the fabric fairies that sit on your shoulders who must be the ones responsible for making said turnaround happen.

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Actually once you get the fiddly first few rounds done, the rest is not too difficult and I'm still in love with the end result of this block.

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Although eating a pineapple will never be the same again..

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I'm turning this one into a cushion and have begun by hand quilting some of the white triangles but I think I need to add a little machine quilting too to really 'anchor' the cushion top to the batting and backing.  Cushions are heavily used in our house (big time sloucher's here) and I think the machine quilting will stop this developing that attractive 'baggy' look too quickly.

Pineapples today, what will tomorrow bring????