Friday 29 May 2020

Zip It Up bags

A couple of weeks ago I watched Tula Pink's video launching her new black and white fabric line - Linework (It won't be available for months yet, so don't panic).  Towards the end of the video Tula showed two Zip It Up! bags she had made.  I thought they looked amazing so I dashed off and ordered the pattern from the Ribbon Rose in Auckland.

Here's a link to Tula's video.  The bags appear at about 22 minutes in.

Of course we can't get Linework yet, so I ordered some half yards of Tula's Homemade range for my bag.

I hadn't seen Homemade in real life, but I was very happy with it when it arrived.  I love how green the "Cut Once" fabric is, and I was very impressed that the squares really are 1", just like on my ruler.

I machine quilted the exterior with a pretty pink Aurifil, using a design from Jacqui Gering's Walk book.

A secret pocket on the back

The pattern has a pocket on the front of the outside, and then two pockets on the inside - one mesh and one vinyl.  I didn't like the idea of sewing vinyl on my sewing machine, so I made two mesh pockets, and I changed the exterior pocket from the front to the back.

And then I decided to make a smaller second Zip It Up! bag while I was at it.

The secret pocket on the back

I used a different design from Jacqui Gering's Walk book to quilt the Pokemon fabric. I enjoyed experimenting with different quilting designs.

The selvages on this Pokemon fabric are great, so I decided to incorporate them too.  (The fabric was purchased in Japan some years ago.)

Yes, it's a Gameboy Advance! A Zelda special edition.

So that's my latest experimentation with a Pattern by Annie.  Annie has so many great patterns.  Maybe I'll do a wrap up of all the bags I've made from her patterns in my next post.

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Friday 22 May 2020

Endless Lockdown

Look at this! It's a finished quilt!

This is the Endless Summer pattern by Anna Maria Horner. But I've decided to call my version Endless Lockdown to reflect the fact that I made it during the COVID-19 lockdown of March/April/May 2020.

I first saw this quilt when Anna Maria came to New Zealand in November last year.  It was one of the quilts Anna Maria showed during her trunk show.  I just loved the quirky images and the way that they were used in the quilt, so I bought the kit as a Christmas present to myself.

At Easter I decided that I needed something substantial to get my teeth into, so I cracked open the kit and started to make this quilt.  I worked on it every day for the next three weeks and loved every minute of it.

The quilt is 64" x 64" so I thought I might have something that would work for the backing.  I found a big piece of Libs Elliott skulls fabric in purple that was almost big enough.  I fussy cut some of the leftover fabrics and made a strip to make the backing big enough.


The back looks almost as good as the front

I've got a backlog of quilts to be hand quilted, so I decided to get this quilt quilted by a local long arm quilter, Rayna Clinton of Tui Song Quilting at Wainuiomata.  I know Rayna through our guild, and I've been impressed with her quilting on other people's quilts.

As soon as we were free to leave our homes, I went to see Rayna and we discussed patterns and thread colours for my quilt.  A week later my quilt was finished and ready to pick up.  I asked Rayna to  baste a couple of other quilts at the same time, so my hand quilting pile now has grown even bigger!

So my quilt is finished - quilted, bound, washed and ready to keep my knees warm on winter nights. I'm really happy with how it's turned out.

I've included a link at the top to Anna Maria Horner's website, but a word of warning - be very careful ordering any quilting supplies from outside your home country at the moment.  I know people in Australia, New Zealand and Europe who are all waiting for items to ship from USA at the moment. I'm sure there are problems with freight going the other way too, so just try to order locally if at all possible to avoid disappointment.

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post and let us know what you've been working on.

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Friday 15 May 2020

Perfect Circles

So many people commented on my circle blocks in last week's post.

Everyone wanted to know how I got them looking so good!  Well, I followed Jen Kingwell's video on YouTube.  I've put a link to it here so you can watch it too.

Jen uses Karen Kay Buckley's Perfect Circles and Bigger Perfect Circles.  I already had these circles in my cupboard because I use them for wool felt applique.  They last for ever and ever (as long as you don't distort them with a super hot iron).  Most quilt shops stock Perfect Circles.

Jen puts a gathering thread around the edge of her circle before pulling it tight around the Perfect Circle.  Then she sprays it with Flatter before pressing it.

Once you have a crisp edge you can pop the template out and pin your circle onto the background fabric.  Jen recommends Aurifil 80wt for applique, and I do too.  It's very fine and almost disappears into the fabric.

In the video Jen shows exactly how she angles her needle when she appliques.  It's well worth watching because it will help you to keep your stitches invisible when you applique.

I had this quilt basted by a local long arm quilter - Rayna Clinton from Tui Song Quilting.  I'm really pleased with how it's looking and I can't wait to start hand quilting it.

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Friday 8 May 2020

My quickest quilt top ever

As I played around with my Marshal Mystery Quilt blocks last week, I came to the realisation that I would be better off making two quilts, rather than trying to combine all the blocks into one quilt.

I liked the idea of combining the small square blocks into rows or columns, so I looked in my stash for something that I could use as a background fabric.  Spurred on by people who say tell me that I'm so bold with my fabric choices, I used this Michael Millar fabric that's been in my stash for more than five years.  It's very bright, but maybe a young person will love it one day.

I sewed my 4" blocks into rows and bordered them with some black Grunge fabric that I also had in my stash.

I then fussy cut the hexie fabric so that there were two full hexagons width in each column.

It's off getting basted now because I'm going to hand quilt it.

So, I made a quilt top in four days!!! That's incredible for me.  I know the blocks were already made, and the background is just long strips, but it's still very good going for me because I normally spend weeks or months on each quilt that I make.

The other Marshal blocks are back in a box with the Lollies fabric.  I feel good that I've used half of the Marshal blocks, so will just let the remainder rest for a while.

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Friday 1 May 2020

Marshal Mystery Quilt revisited

Today I decided to revisit my Marshal Mystery Quilt.  The Marshal quilt was designed by Jen Kingwell and released in Quiltmania magazine throughout 2019.


I made most of the blocks during 2019, but when the final quilt was revealed at Houston in November, I lost motivation to continue.  I didn't like the final design, so I've spent some months thinking about how I could use all the blocks I spent hours making.

The full reveal of the Marshal mystery quilt

I decided to buy yardage of Jen Kingwell's Lollies fabric and planned to applique the feature blocks onto it like my good friend Racheldaisy did in a quilt that she designed.

My plan this morning

However, I still had the issue of how to use all the 4" square blocks.  So I started playing with them this afternoon.

Now I've decided that it's either going to be the hand pieced blocks OR the 4" square blocks.  I don't think I can incorporate them both into the same quilt.

So it's back to the drawing board as I consider how to make the most of what I've got in front of me.

Thanks for all the comments in support of shopping local.  I've added a new tab with a list of NZ quilt shops.  I haven't quite worked through all my emails yet, but I promise to do that tomorrow morning and will add any more mentioned in those emails.  I'll also add more details about where each shop is.  

How's your quilting going? Are you getting lots done?  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below.

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