Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bonnie and Camille Urban Lattice Quilt

I have a finished quilt top!

I can honestly say that I loved every step of the making of this quilt. It came together beautifully without any pesky seam-matching issues or edges that aren't square. It was an absolute joy to make.

Blues aren't usually my first choice when quilting, but I felt they would pay respect to the crispness of the Bonnie & Camille charms, and I love the end result! This top reminds me of a little B&C museum, with the prints showcased by frames.

This quilt will be lap sized, approximately 55 x 63 inches. It would make a cute picnic blanket, with all the cheery colours.

The deadline for the B&C Charm Along over at Ms Midge is the 27th October. I would have loved to finish the entire quilt, but with 2 kids under 3 I think I did well to at least piece a top ;-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bonnie & Camille Urban Lattice Blocks (a tutorial)

The Bonnie & Camille charm swap has given way to the Bonnie & Camille charm along, and it's been great fun to see the WIP of the other members. I knew for a long time that I needed an excuse to make my own version of Lee's quilt from Freshly Pieced. However, I couldn't find the original Urban Lattice quilt along instructions. Not letting the fact that I've never foundation paper pieced deter me, I made up some templates and had a try. I am by no means an expert, but am sharing my process below. Please feel free to add some tips, or correct me if I've done something unconventional or weird!

I started with some regular A4 paper, and trimmed it down to square (a little over 8 inches). Rule a line diagonally down the centre to find the middle, then mark out lines as illustrated below:

I drew the same lines on the reverse side as well.

The middle strip is 1 inch wide, the two strips on either side of the middle are 2.25 inch wide, and the outer triangles are the amount left over, just big enough for half a charm square.

Cut your fabrics long enough to cover the length of the paper, and half an inch wider than the strip. For me, this was:
Aqua - 12.25" x 1.5"
Navy - 11" x 2.75"
Charm squares - cut in half diagonally.

Dab a bit of craft glue stick onto the middle strip (1). Lay the aqua strip right side up, with the edges evenly overlapping the drawn lines.

Press lightly to secure, then add the navy strip right side down, lining up the edges with the aqua. This will cover the (2) strip.

Glue or pin in place, then flip over and stitch using a 1.5 stitch length on the drawn line.

Repeat on the other side (3) with another navy strip. Press flat with an iron, really pushing the navy away from the aqua. Your block will now look like this:

Place a half charm right-side down, with the long edge lined up along the raw edge of the navy strip. This will cover the (4) triangle.

Glue or pin in place, then flip over and stitch using a 1.5 stitch length on the drawn line.

Repeat on the other side (5) with another half charm. Press flat again with an iron. Your fabric pieces should cover the paper foundation entirely once they have been pressed.

Take your pile of blocks over to your cutting mat, and flip one over so that the paper side is facing up. Trim away the excess fabric, not cutting any of the paper. 

Flip it back over, and you have a very precisely pieced block (which should please you immensely, if you are a bit OCD like me!).

Trim up the rest of your blocks.

Then the fun of playing with the layout can start!

Once you are ready to sew your blocks together, remove the paper from the back. It should be easy enough to do if you didn't use too much glue. And the 1.5 stitch length helps the paper to tear away. Sew the blocks with a 0.25 inch seam as normal.

I'd love to see your finished blocks (or quilts!) if you have followed these instructions, so feel free to link up!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What I've been up to

I don't blog all that often, and I think I know why. Taking photos isn't really my thing! I tend to grab the DSLR and have no idea what I'm doing with it. So, instead of feeling embarrassed and avoiding being part of a wonderful quilty community, I'd rather just use my iPhone and have fun with sharing my sewing adventures, imperfectly.

There is another something, or someone, who is taking up extra time these days and also accounts for the lack of activity...

Our little guy arrived at the end of July! Being a parent second time around is such a different experience. I find myself saying "I remember this!" and "he's fine", which were definitely not in my vocabulary as a first time Mum. He is a placid little sweetie and fits into our family just perfectly.

For my own sanity with a toddler and a newborn, I have been crafting in small doses. A lot of it is WIP, but I'm trying to stay accountable and finish the projects. First up is a quilt for my husband. I've been quilting for 4 years and married for 5, but the poor guy hasn't had any quilts made for him yet! I figure with his 30th birthday coming up, it's a very good reason to make one.

Hubby's quilt will be made from his old shirts. At least I know he'll like the fabrics! I'm thinking of doing simple 6 inch squares with 4-patches thrown in. It has taken a long time to get to this point, turning clothes with seams and buttons into quilt blocks isn't easy. Hopefully I'll see progress more quickly from this point on.

I made this Grace Tunic using a Boo! Designs pattern and my most treasured Tilda fabric. My daughter flat out refused to wear it. Devastated!

One of my amazing sweet friends gave me a layer cake of Hello Petal for my last birthday and I've turned it into a pinwheel quilt top. Just waiting on a shipment of backing and binding so I can finish! "Shipment", it sounds so glamorous doesn't it? Much nicer than "the rusty old Australia Post courier's van with squeaky brakes".

Some other exciting news is that I've joined in with the Bonnie & Camille charm swap which is hosted by the lovely and talented Ms Midge. I can't wait to get my charms and start creating!

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday fabric sales

Also known as quilter's Christmas! I do love this time of year, and although our household discretionary spending isn't exactly unlimited, I still made a couple of purchases this year.

Reminisce FQ bundle in Sweet Reveries

Lottie Da FQ bundle in Chic

Plus a couple of others. It was a nice feeling to wish for these fabrics for so many weeks, wait, and get them at a wonderful price. Over at Fat Quarter Shop they are having 25% off storewide and these babies ended up at a little over $2 per fat quarter. At my local quilt store, they are $5.50 so I'm thrilled!

Now it's just a matter of waiting to get them!

P.S. I'm not sponsored by or affiliated with any stores, I just found that Fat Quarter Shop ended up having the best deals for the fabrics I wanted. I love grabbing a bargain.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My favourite kind of quilt

You know what the best kind of quilt is?

One that has graduated from WIP to finished!
 One of my favourite online fabric stores had a sale a while back, and I grabbed a layer cake of Posy by Aneela Hoey. I knew I needed to use up that layer cake. Firstly, because I'm in love with the sweet, whimsical design. But also because I find that sometimes, my fabric goes...stale. Am I crazy for thinking that? Sometimes fabric gets stashed away, bypassed in favour of alternatives, then one day it's just not as appealing anymore.

After I bought the fabric and admired it for longer than I care to admit, I jumped onto Pinterest, hoping to be struck by amazing inspiration. Going back through my Quilts I Love board, I came across the Garden Fence tutorial by Hyacinth Quilt Designs. I knew it would be perfect, and after some quick recalculations to make the tutorial fit a layer cake, I started sewing.

I'm really bad at taking photos as I go. It's probably because I do most of my sewing in a hurry (during my little one's nap times) or at night, when the light isn't great.

But here are some more shots of the finished product anyway :-)

Measures 65 x 75 inches, sashed and bound with Moda Bella Solids, complete with a little bit of scrap improv at the back...because I failed to buy enough backing I'm cool like that.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Back with a baby quilt!

I'm back to my little blog that I love so much after a crazy, emotional couple of last months. Thank goodness for sewing, I think most of us here in the quilting blogosphere can relate to the feeling of therapy one experiences while creating. I've been focused on a few projects, the most recent finish has been a quilt for one of my closest friends' newborn daughter. I've used mostly scraps, but did cut a couple of strips of yardage off just to add some extra bulk and variety. I love looking at it up close, it's a game of eye-spy for lovers of designer fabrics!

These babies are 2 x 3 rectangles and 3 inch squares. I love the look of them, but for a short time I regretted choosing that size. Yes, that regret happened during the cutting stage.

I surrounded this sea of pink, purple and blue with a 6 inch white border, and just because I'm a little bit crazy I also made some teeny-tiny dresden plates that sit cheerfully in each corner. They are so much fun because the centres are stuffed with toy filling to give the quilt some dimension. I can imagine that sweet baby girl exploring and touching the quilt, it puts a smile on my face.

For the back, I did have several pieces from my stash that were almost big enough, but annoyingly just a little too small. I thought about it for a while, left it for a couple of days, then decided that a large scale patchwork would be a good idea.

What I loved about these 8 inch squares was how speedy they were to cut and piece. I think I'll do it again in the future - it's a great way to use large, oddly shaped fabric as backing.

I may have touched on this earlier, my Dad was very sick. He was diagnosed with a brain tumour back in February, it was melanoma. His first melanoma diagnosis was fourth stage, it started in the lining of his brain, no cancer site on his skin. On the 4th of September, he slipped away into the arms of Jesus, gone from our daily journey. Seeing him be buried was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. It was all too unfair, he was only 55, he had no warning, he isn't going to see his granddaughter grow up. Knowing that I will be reunited with him again one day brings great comfort but I miss him now.

Making this baby quilt has been a little bittersweet, it's a tangible reminder that life goes on, new life starts, others end. Grief that has started off as crippling is now easing slightly. Still very painful but I can carry on with daily essentials and the thought of cooking dinner no longer leaves me in tears.

One bright spot that has shone through my whole experience has been to know how loved I am by my truly amazing friends. I've had supportive phone calls, offers of practical assistance, gifts, meals delivered, and shoulders to cry on. If you have friends like this too, tell them how much they mean to you - it could change their day. And this blog entry here is for my beautiful friend Lauren, who came over today to plan a quilt together, and strongly encouraged me to get back into blogging. Thank you!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sitting down to write...

Sitting down to write a blog post has been hard lately. I have been sewing in the little spare time I have, which is incredibly fulfilling. It's exactly what I need to balance out the paid job I have, the unpaid Mum job I do, and the grief I am currently consumed with.

So, the creating has been there, but the blogging hasn't.

I may come back to it another time, but for now I'd love to see you at my Facebook page. I do make short updates much more frequently there, without feeling the need to say a lot, or take lots of amazing photos. You can find me there at Heart & Homemade - hope to catch up more often there! x