Friday, 19 December 2014

The Princess and the Pea

This reminds me of all the mattresses stacked precariously one on top the other in the Princess and the Pea fable, hence its name.  I have wanted to do a stacked books or stacked coins (??) type quilt since seeing this one by Svetlana of s.o.t.a.k handmade.  The prints are 2 1/2" wide strips of varying lengths, all centred on a Kona snow background.

This is the back of my I Spy a Charm (Matilda) quilt.  I love the idea of double sided quilts - being able to change the look of the bed simply by flipping the quilt over.  It does have drawbacks though, namely having to choose quilting and binding that will work with both sides. 

Quilt Stats
Finished Size: approx 57" by 80"
Pattern:  improv pieced  
Fabric: Various prints, Kona Snow background.
Binding: Dear Stella Confetti Dots in orange with an accent strip in s yellow Kate & Birdie Paper Co Bluebird Park print
Pieced and quilted by: me

Linking up to:
Finish It Up Friday (Crazy Mom Quilts)

Friday, 12 December 2014

I Spy a Charm (the Matilda version)

Another quilt made using my I Spy a Charm pattern, this time using the Matilda collection by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures and with alternating border colours (grey and orange) which gives the quilt a very different look from my Charley Harper I Spy a Charm quilt.

I made this quilt to be reversible so the quilting had to be something that was going to work on both the front and back.  These organic wavy lines gave the quilt great texture. 

It feels great to have this finished, it has been in the WIP pile for many, many months!

Quilt Stats
Finished Size: approx 57" by 80"
Pattern:  "I Spy a Charm" (available in my Craftsy store) 
Fabric: Matilda by Alice Kennedy for Timeless Treasures, with some Kate & Birdie Paper Co Bluebird Park print.   Background fabric is Moda Bella Bleached White, with the blocks framed in a generic grey and orange.
Binding: Dear Stella Confetti Dots in orange with an accent strip in s yellow Kate & Birdie Paper Co Bluebird Park print
Pieced and quilted by: me

Linking up to:
Finish It Up Friday (Crazy Mom Quilts)
TGIFF (hosted by Quilt Matters)

Friday, 3 October 2014

The Harlequin Pillow


I am really into random at the moment, I think it adds interest to a piece because people need to look for just a little bit longer while their brains try to find a pattern.  With these randomly placed HSTs, I focussed on the dark blue while determining the layout - ensuring the dark blue was evenly (yet randomly) distributed.  Straight line quilting radiating out from the hour-glass centre - the colours of which make me think of a harlequin, hence the name.

Linking up to:
Finish it up Friday
Sew Solid Sunday

Monday, 29 September 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged by Carol of Happy Turtle in the Around the World Blog Hop, so here is my stop in all its glory.

What am I working on? 
In the studio there's not a lot happening at the moment, sadly.  There are a few reasons for this: 1) our forest garden, 2) my sewing classes and 3) sick kids.
One of my few WIPS - random HST cushion cover
1) Our Forest Garden
We are in the very early stages of planting/building/creating a forest garden.  The forest garden is designed as a whole system, so all plants (trees, shrubs, ground covers, etc) each have a role to play in either supporting the system or providing edible crops.  It will ultimately reach a point where it is self fertile (hopefully).  We fenced off an area of about 1100 square metres in our paddock, and are currently planting the bulk of the canopy layer, which is primarily fruit and nut trees, and some native nitrogen fixing trees.  We have heavy clay soil, so we hired a digger and dug HUGE holes for the fruit and nut trees, and then added lots of compost, rotted manure, roadkill, sand, gypsum and other lovely things all with the intention of improving the soil.  And by "we", I mean "me".  My husband drove the digger and I've been the one doing the hard labour to fill in the holes and plant the trees. 

Don't be fooled into thinking I know what I'm doing - I don't.  I bought a book, I read the book, I have a dream.  Now I'm moving barrow loads of dirt around our steep paddock.  And loving every minute. I have grown vegetables and berry fruit on a very small scale for over a decade now, and I have long had a dream of growing edible crops on a self-sufficient scale.  It is very exciting to be making that dream a reality. 

2) My sewing classes
The classes and workshops I offer are run from my home studio, I like my studio to be tidy at the start of a class, and as I am not a tidy person by nature I have found myself not wanting to start new things when a sewing class is coming up for fear of having to clean up after myself.  One of the classes I'm currently developing is a crazy piecing class, the WIP below will eventually be a class sample (yet another cushion cover probably).

How does my work differ from others of its genre? 
I wouldn't say I have a unique style, I make what I feel like making.  In terms of quilting style, I consider myself very definitely a Modern Quilter.  Negative space, asymmetrical composition, bold colours, lots of solids, minimalist, improv.  I love improv.  As far as I'm concerned I was born to improv.

Why do I write/create what I do? 
Well now here is where I may be a bit different.  After my daughter died, I found myself being drawn (even more so than before) to handcrafts.  The act of making something with your hands, I believe, is very beneficial at a number of levels.  I feel very strongly that a creative outlet can support those of us who have experienced profound grief as we adjust to life after loss.

Oh, you're still reading.  Thanks so much for sticking with it.  I am tagging the lovely Liz from Shush, I very much enjoy following Liz on Instagram, her posts have personality, she likes to share photos of good looking men (#shushhottie - most of whom I've never heard of as we don't have a TV), she makes magnificent sew together bags and she's a little bit crazy.  If, god forbid, you've never checked her out then I suggest you do.

 Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday

Friday, 29 August 2014

Teddy Bear sleeping bag

Recently I had fun whipping up a quilted sleeping bag for a teddy bear, inspired by a Flossie Teacakes pattern, although I didn't buy her pattern and made it from memory, so it actually looks quite different.  I made one using scraps left over from my Vintage Improv quilt, then of course I had to make another one because I have two children and they are still learning how to share.

I like the look of curved edges but didn't want to make bias binding because it just seems like such an inefficient use of fabric, so I used cross-grain binding and I'm happy with the finish (seeing as they are just play-things for my kids).  The binding on the back of the curve has a couple of little tucks in it, which you can see below - I machine stitched the binding and had to do the curves a couple of times, so the stitching is a bit messy, but my kids don't care!

Curved binding from front
Curved binding from back showing tuck in binding

Both of these are made almost entirely from scraps, including Frankenstein batting (I cut the Kate Spain binding from yardage, otherwise everything came from scrap bins) so these are projects 30 and 31 of Scraps 101.

Loving the improv low volume background on this one

In other news, I have recently succumbed to the charms of Instagram, you can find me here - I'd love for you to come and say hello!

Linking up to:
Finish It Up Friday

Friday, 1 August 2014

Plus Cushions (aka Cushion Crazy Part 3)

I have started offering modern patchwork and quilting workshops from my home studio, the first of my workshops is called "The Plus Cushion - An Introduction to Modern Quilting".  Here are some samples I put together for the workshop.

The workshops are aimed at people who have never dabbled in patchwork or quilting - no sewing experience is required, and you don't even need to own your own sewing machine, as I have student machines available.  The workshop is held over weekend (with two four hours sessions) and creates this simple yet striking quilted cushion cover.

This next cushion, which to me is the most striking of the three, was made by one of my first students.  I was so pleased with how this finished, the woman who made this has not sewn since school and doesn't own a sewing machine - look at what she created, isn't it fantastic?

If you live in Canterbury, or even North Otago, and are interested in learning the basics of modern quilting, why not come along to one of my workshops?  Further details can be found on my "Workshops and Events" page.

Linking up to:
Finish it up Friday

Friday, 11 July 2014

Wonky Pods - the lap quilt edition

Another quilt made using my newly released Wonky Pods pattern, this time I used a strip piecing technique to create random/crazy pieced blocks without borders, and substituted these for the wonky cut pattern blocks.  The quilt finishes up at about 56" x 57" so is a great lap/throw size.  It uses a mixture of prints from my stash - Botanics,  Mormor, Alison glass text prints ... and a few others.  I find when creating crazy pieced blocks it's good to have at least 10 fabrics - preferably more.

I FMQed it in an all-over meandering, I love the texture and how it crinkles after washing, this is definitely my current go-to quilting style.

It is backed with a vintage sheet.

If you're interested in making one of my patterns, they are all currently marked down 25% to celebrate the release of my Wonky Pods pattern and I Spy a Charm pattern.

Quilt Stats
Finished Size: approx 57" by 56"
Pattern:  "Wonky Pods" (available in my Craftsy store) 
Fabric: Various.   Background fabric is Kona Snow. 
Backing: Vintage sheet.
Binding: Fanfare (from Spotlight)
Pieced and quilted by: me

Linking up to:
Finish it up Friday

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Vintage Improv - a lap quilt


All fabrics in this quilt are re-purposed vintage bed linen - either sheets or pillowcases I've found in op shops around the country.  I wanted to make a quilt similar to Candy Coated from Sunday Morning Quilts (the quilt on the cover), but while cutting out the first few strips I thought maybe I'd add a couple of random bits of interest in there - the flying geese, a star, and also make a feature of one of the prints.  The feature print didn't really have the effect I wanted, but the star and geese certainly did.  There are 11 different prints in total - 9 are used for the strips, 1 is used only for the geese and star, and 1 is used only on the back.

I'm really all about improv, I struggle to follow a pattern to the letter, and indeed I didn't really get past the photo or first couple of lines of the cutting instructions for Candy Coated before deciding to just make it up as I went along.  Quilting books and patterns are mostly just springboards for me, inspiration for creating something similar but different, or maybe not even similar but inspired by. 

I quilted it in an all-over meander, it's been a while since I did anything other than an all-over meander.  A few minutes into the quilting I decided it wasn't the best decision for this quilt at all, but carried on because I couldn't be bothered unpicking.  I'm used to meandering over vast amounts of negative space, and I found it difficult to actually see where I had quilted, and where I needed to go, because of all the busyness of the prints.

For the binding I used one of the sheets, a white with itty bitty flowers scattered over it, so it reads quite like a solid. 

This quilt is a gift, but won't be gifted for a couple of months, so it is going to lounge around my studio for a while, which I find immensely valuable because I get to look at it and think and ponder.

Quilt Stats - Vintage Improv
Finished Size: approx 50" by 57"
Fabric (including backing and binding): Vintage bed linen - 11 different sheets or pillowcases.
Pieced and quilted by: me
Favourite part: That it is a break from my usual style (there are NO solids in this!!) and was very cheap to make (everything from stash)
Have you ever made a quilt from vintage bed linen?  How did it turn out?

 Linking up to:

Two new patterns available!!

Exciting news - I have two new patterns available in my Craftsy store and to celebrate all my patterns will be marked down for two weeks. The two new releases are "I Spy a Charm", which you can read about here, and "Wonky Pods', which you can read about here.

"I Spy a Charm" makes a fantastic I Spy quilt for a kid's bed, the introductory price is $4.50, this will normally retail for $6, so that's a saving of 25%!!

"Wonky Pods" is a multi-size pattern, with generous amounts of negative space that's just crying out for some FMQ practice!  This pattern is perfect for those who love the look of floating blocks but don't want to do all the thinking involved in working it all out.   "Wonky Pods" will normally retail for $8 but is on sale for the next two weeks for $6, so snap it up fast and you'll save yourself 25%!

And just so she doesn't feel left out, "On Nanny's Lap" is also on sale for two weeks!! 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Cushion Crazy (Part 2)

Crazy-pieced cushions - I've been experimenting with monochromatic colour schemes.

They all have covered zippers in the back, I used this tutorial from Adrianne, although I changed it a bit to take into consideration my short zips (8").  I wanted to use what I had on hand, rather than buying longer zips.  It's a bit of a workout to get the forms through the smaller zip but that's fine with me.

You'll no doubt be pleased to hear that there is still one more instalment of my cushion crazy series!!  Tune in next week for the final few.

Linking up to:

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Cushion Crazy (Part 1)

I've gone a little cushion crazy lately, here is the first instalment with my version of the Winging It pillow (or cushion as I'd call it) from Quilting Modern.

The puffiness and 3D nature of the cushions make them quite tricky to photograph.

Linking up to:

Thursday, 12 June 2014

I Spy a Charm (A Finish)

This is a single bed (twin) quilt made using my "I Spy a Charm" pattern, which is based on my popular "On Nanny's Lap" pattern.  The block borders are very bold in this quilt, much bolder than in either of the "On Nanny's Lap" quilts I made which you can see here and here

It uses many of the fantastic Charley Harper prints, and I will definitely be making many more quilted items using these prints.

I quilted the negative space in an all-over meandering, and left the blocks unquilted.  I may have to do some sort of quilting in the blocks, to make sure the batting doesn't misbehave.  Does anyone have any experience with batting shifting over time due to not enough quilting? 

The back uses left over bits and bobs framed in the same dark brown as the front.

The pattern is in it's final stages of testing and will soon be available in my Craftsy store. If anyone is interested in testing this pattern, or my Wonky Pods pattern, please email me.  I'm hoping to have more pattern reviewers (a reviewer proof-reads the pattern but may not make the quilt) and pattern testers (a pattern tester would make either a block or the whole quilt) go through it before releasing it.

Quilt Stats
Finished Size: approx 57" by 80"
Pattern:  "I Spy a Charm" (available in my Craftsy store) 
Fabric: Various organic Charley Harper by Birch, a generic dark brown for the block borders with a red for the accent block.   Background fabric is Moda Bella Ivory.
Backing: Moda Bella Ivory with framed oblong blocks placed one-third in from the right.
Binding: Brown mini dots from my stash, with an accent strip in red (both from Spotlight)
Pieced and quilted by: me
 Linking up to:

Saturday, 17 May 2014

Wonky Pods (Blogger's Quilt Festival)

My entry in the Modern Quilts category for the Blogger's Quilt Festival is Wonky Pods.  I made this quilt for my youngest daughter, who has recently moved to a big girl bed.  This quilt was the first time I had free-motion quilted a bed size quilt, and I absolutely love the texture of the all-over meandering - I will definitely do this style of quilting again.

You can read more about this quilt here.  This quilt was mostly inspired by Elizabeth Hartman's work.

Finished Size: 56" x 85"
Pattern: Wonky Pods - the pattern will soon be available in my Craftsy store
Fabric: a "curated" charm pack from my stash, Moda Bella Azalea for the pod borders, Moda Bella Ivory for the background.
Backing: vintage sheet (100% cotton) from my collection
Binding: Michael Miller Ta Dot
Pieced and Quilted: By me, on my domestic sewing machine- my first time FMQ meandering!

Thank you Amy for hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival, there are so many inspiring quilts!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...