Saturday 24 February 2018

Mrs Bannister's Stars - designed by Jen Kingwell

Last week someone in the Jen Kingwell Designs Facebook group asked if anyone had made Mrs Bannister's Stars.  That reminded me that I had, but I hadn't blogged about it yet. I actually finished my version back in November 2016.

Each block is 12" finished and it's quite a tricky pattern to make. I think the real reason I didn't blog about it was that I wasn't 100% happy with it.  There's a lot of "Y" seams in these blocks, and when I made it I didn't know how to hand piece.  I'm sure I could make it again more accurately now, but life it too short, so I'll live with it.

Mrs Bannister's Stars from Jen Kingwell's book, Quilt Lovely.

I fiddled around with hand piecing and English Paper Piecing and I got there in the end.

I considered make scrappy sashing, but decided that a plainer grey print from Cotton + Steel would look better.

I've made two other cushions from the Quilt Lovely book, and they were both easier to make, even though Wheel of Fortune has curved piecing.

You can read more about Wheel of Fortune here.

And you can read more about Small Wonders pillow here.

The Quilt Lovely book really does have some gorgeous patterns in it.

Friday 16 February 2018

Ballet with Kaffe Fassett progress

I pulled out my Ballet with Kaffe quilt again on 8 January 2018.  I'd neglected it for a few months due to Symposium and Christmas, but I still had all the fabrics set aside in their own box.  I cut and glue basted some pieces to take on our holiday to Australia, and I've continued working on it since we got home.  It's quite addictive once you get going again.

I really do think that this quilt is more challenging than la passacaglia! It seems harder to work out how the stars and rosettes all fit together.  I also miss having an overall diagram showing how it all works.

Anyway, I'm making progress and I like where it's going.  The photo below shows how I chose fabrics.  My inspiration fabric is at the bottom of the photo, and I just try fabrics where they will sit until I'm happy with the combinations.

There's still a long way to go with this quilt.  I might even "cheat" and make my quilt smaller than the one in the book - Millefiori Quilts 2.  That depends on how I feel about it once I get the top half joined up.

You can read more about this quilt, and see my previous posts, on the Ballet with Kaffe tab at the top of the page.

Sunday 4 February 2018

Kaffe Fassett class in Wellington - January 2018

Last Sunday I attended my second design class with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably.  (The first was two years ago which you can read about here.)

Kaffe talking about my quilt

This time we were making Green Diamonds from the Quilts in Ireland book.  I wanted to push my own boundaries and try something new, so I chose a rich, tamatoey red as my base colour!
I found a snazzy colour wheel online at which tells you what other colours work with any colour you chose.

So, I set about pulling all my red and green Kaffe fabrics that matched these strong colours.  Here's what I took to class (plus more of course).

Kaffe and Brandon don't mind if you bring along non Kaffe Fassett Collective fabrics, but I thought it was a good opportunity to go all out crazy and put lots of Kaffe's fabrics together.

Mine is on the left

We were encouraged to work quickly and get a few of our first diamonds cut and up on the wall.  Then we could stand well back and see if the fabrics were working together.  Seeing them cut to size is quite different to looking at them on a table.

From there it grew and grew as we got the idea of how the colours could transition from one to the other.  Those green and blue spots you see on the bolt above are for the top and bottom half rows.  I thought the red and orange spots would be better, but as Kaffe says, you never know until you put it up against your fabrics.

We didn't do any sewing in the class - it was all about designing the quilt.  At the end of the day we rolled up the design wall fabric from the bottom up, and the diamonds were preserved in the correct order.  Any bets on how long it is until I unwrap this sausage?  I can't at the moment because it's too hot and all the doors and windows are open and the pieces would blow away. (excuses, excuses)

At the end of the day Kaffe walked around and talked about every single quilt.  We had 28 people in the class and we all heard his thoughts on each of the quilts.  Here are some of quilts:

So you can see that we had a wide variety of colour schemes.  The room looked very colourful by the end of the day.

It was a great class, and even though I've been before, I'd still go again if they came back to New Zealand.  It really was a privilege to learn from one of the great masters of colour and design.