Tuesday 27 November 2018

Good Fortune - a Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt

Well, I've taken the plunge and joined the Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt band wagon.  This is the first time I've done one of Bonnie's mystery quilts, so I hope it will be fun.

I was seriously tempted to join two years ago for En Provence, but when I read how many pieces were required, I quickly knocked that idea on the head.

However, two years later, and I'm very tempted by Good Fortune and the idea of an Asian inspired quilt.  I haven't been to China, but I have been to Singapore and Japan, so I have experienced Asian culture.
In Singapore in January 2011

I see this mystery quilt as a way to use up some of my fabrics that have been hanging around for a while, and replenish my stocks with new and exciting fabrics.  I want to go scrappy and use lots of tiny pieces of many different fabrics.

Bonnie lists the colours she is using in her blog, but I modified my choices slightly.  I like using this online tool from https://www.sessions.edu/color-calculator/

I put in the very strong red I want to use, and then asked for three other colours that work with it.  So these are the colours that I'll be using.

I'm always wary of red fabrics running, so I prewashed them and I'm so pleased I did.

The top colour catchers are from the first wash, and the bottom from the second.  They are still slightly pink.

After the prewashing I set to and made lots of tiny little blocks - don't ask me the size of the quantity please - you need to go to Bonnie's blog to get all the details.

I'm incorporating a bit of gold into my blocks because I know Chinese people love red and gold together.

This is going to be fun - I'm already looking forward to the next clue release on Friday/Saturday.

I'm linking up to Bonnie's weekly party where you can check out everyone else's colours and blocks. 

Saturday 24 November 2018

A Stitch in Time blog tour

A few months ago my friend Sharon Burgess of Lilabelle Lane Creations asked if I'd be willing to take part in the blog tour for her new book - A Stitch in Time.

Sharon kindly helped me out when I was starting my la passacaglia quilt, so of course I said "Yes!".

Most of you know I prefer bright and bold over pretty and sweet, but I was determined to make something pretty and I even bought some dainty lace to make my chosen project from the book.

I simplified the Liberty Gift Bag pattern by skipping the English Paper Piecing stage.  I decided that my chosen fabric was so pretty I didn't need to cut it up and sew it back together with other fabrics.

The reverse applique I'd used on my Pop Art table runner in my previous post came in handy again, but this time it was a heart shape, not a circle.

My lace was a little bit wide, so I just tucked some of it up inside the seam and only left the best bit showing.

Sharon's instructions and photos in the book are all so clear and helpful.  They really made making these bags a breeze. Just be careful when you trim the corners before you turn the bags out the right way.  I think I trimmed one a little bit too deep, and there's not much of the lovely fabric showing on the bottom.

I don't know where Sharon gets the time to dream up all these beautiful pieces, but you can just refer to the book and follow her instructions to make these lovely items for your own home.

Sharon Burgess, Willyne Hammerstein, Wendy Welsh at AQC Melbourne, Australia 2018

Friday 16 November 2018

Pop Art Table Runner

I finished my Pop Art table runner (which was one of the WIPs I talked about last week).

I used the pattern on the cover of Christina Cameli's book, Wedge Quilt Workshop.

It was quite tricky to start with, especially because I wanted to make my blocks smaller than the ones in the book.

I used the remainder of some Alison Glass fat quarters, so I didn't have a lot of fabric to play with. I actually started by making a test block which is very unusual for me.

Wedges can easily get out of alignment, so when I finally got my three circles sitting nicely, I moved on to filling the centres with reverse applique.  I hadn't done this technique with freezer paper before, but it was easy enough to do with the good instructions and clear photos in the book.

Then I had to be very brave and cut my circles so they became squares!

Fortunately it was all good, and my three blocks matched nicely when I joined them up.  I hand quilted down the centre of each strip and quilted a couple of circles in the middle of the circles.

I finished the table runner with a facing so it would sit nice and flat on the table.  I'm really pleased with the finished result, and it goes nicely with my previous Bon Bon table runner.

(It's very hard to photograph table runners, so I decided to hang them on the clothes line.)

Saturday 10 November 2018

Too many WIPs

I feel surrounded by WIPs at the moment.  I know I should prioritise and finish one or two, but I keep dipping in and out and nothing is getting finished. 

Here's a few of the things I'm working on at the moment:

1.  My Glitter quilt - pattern by Jen Kingwell from Amitie Textitles.  I'm aiming to have all 152 blocks finished by the end of November, and then I can hand sew them together over summer. I haven't looked at them together since about April, so I hope the colours are all fine.  I don't mind if I have to sew a few replacement blocks - that's bound to happen when I haven't got a design wall to monitor progress.


I've got the remaining blocks cut out and bagged up, so if I can just hand sew one block each night of November, I'll achieve my goal. 

2.  Kim McLean tapestry - I've started putting a few stitches into this tapestry each night too.  I just love the vibrant colours Kim has chosen.  I can't do tapestry for too long each day or it hurts my hands, so I just do about 30 minutes each night. 

3. I'm also trying to finish my Gingerbread Needlework Shop so it can sit on my shelf at Christmas.  It will become my number one priority when the Glitter blocks are finished.

4. I stitched this sashiko table runner back in January, but I only just fused the fabric circles on this week.  I did a couple of simple rows of machine quilting on it, but now I want to apply facings to finish it. The pattern is by Indigo Niche from Australia.

5.  I also started another table runner before I put away my Alison Glass fabrics.  I've hand quilted this one, but again I want to finish it with facings. I've used a pattern by Christina Cameli. I'll post better photos when I finish it (which should be soon).

6.  And then, because I'm a sucker for quirky cute things, I bought this pattern by Elizabeth Hartman for Norm & Nanette.  I had one of those moments where you think you're just going to cut out some pieces so you can sew them together another day, but you end up just sewing a few together to see how it looks, and before you know it, you've made a gnome!

I'm not going to show my gnome yet, because he needs a few fix ups - I chose a checked fabric but it was a bit warped and the checks veer off at the sides.  I have to correct it before I show it.

So that's some of my active WIPs.  How's everyone else getting on?