Thursday, November 26, 2015

WIP Wednesday: the one with mad UFOs



Tops are done. Although not in this pic, where I took the opportunity to grab all the sisters in my life and stick them into the photo as models:

WIP Wednesday late November

From left to right, B1 and Smokey, and B2 and Mal. The cats had to be lured with snacks, but seemed okay to sit there once they had one. Mind you, the moments before this were a bit of a circus! Oh, and excuse the bad lighting and the messy living room! :D

The finished quilts, with cats:

WIP Wednesday late November

Swarm by Sel


Swarm #swarmbysel

Full post here!

And it's being entered into the Quiltcon 2016 show. I don't think it'll make it - too geometric, not abstract enough. But what can you do?

Supernova Friendship Block Swap

I'm missing one of my swap partner's blocks, so I'm going to have to fill it in myself.

WIP Wednesday late November

I think my swap partner and I had fairly different fabric and colour ideas, too. While I love batiks, I adore BRIGHT ONES and she wanted very complementary colours, while I like a theme of colours with a little riot in the middle of it. As a result this quilt's colour palette is very unsatisfying for me.

I'll probably add another four blocks to the side and possibly also some sashing and posting with bright pops of colour, just to give it zing.

Birthday Block Swap

Do I remember how long ago this swap was? Nope. I didn't get all the blocks from it either. And I don't know what I was thinking in choosing the block. Ugh. Oh well, finish and give away, maybe? Possibly split them up and make another set of sibquilts? That's a thought!

WIP Wednesday late November

Maybe make three or four quilt tops from this set - for a larger size family? Looks like I'm going to have more nine-patches in my future!

Also: cats and quilts and photography:

WIP Wednesday late November

Oh, Smokey.

Plain Jane Passacaglia

There's a submission for Australian Millefiori Quilts that's due in March next year. TO THE MILLEFIORIMOBILE!

WIP Wednesday late November

Also, as it turns out, this week's rosette matches not only my nails, but also my needlebook!

I Am Unmoved

Christmas presents

1. parents: NOPE
2. stepbro and SIL: NOPE
3. stepbro: NOPE
4. B1 & B2: NOPE

One of those days, those NOPEs will be YEPs. In a month or less because WINTER CHRISTMAS IS COMING. (Sorry, going to do that to death.)

Relatives are getting soaps and scrubs and suchlike. Yes, even the guys. Guys have skin and get dirty too, and IMO if their masculinity is impugned by washing with 'fancy' soap, then it's a pretty damn fragile construct of gender, ain't it?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

finished quilt: "Swarm"

It's a long way to the finished quilt if you want to design your own...

Swarm #swarmbysel

Say hello to "Swarm"!

I started it around May 2014, with a design idea but not very much of a clue on how to execute it. I knew I wanted to use the new line of quilting fabrics, Cotton + Steel, though, so I bought a great deal of the Basics range, and then set about cutting it up.

I swear @cottonandsteel have something in their dyes. I'm starting to like colours I wouldn't usually touch with a ten foot pole..

There was a lot of sewing and cutting and ironing and trimming. It has 20 rows, and nearly 30 triangle blocks in each row. That's 600 pieces - not counting that the large triangles are made up of 2 pieces, and the small triangle blocks are made up of 4 pieces that need to be sewn together.

Piecing, piecing, piecing. #secretproject #ofDOOM and in the background my hard-driven Brother NS50 which I bought before I realised there were machines specially designed for quilting. And which is in for its first service long as I've had i

That's at the old house - the one that we had to clear out before buying a new house, redoing it, and moving into it last year. So it kind of went on hold in the middle of all that, and then there was the settling in and the starting of the garden and the summer... I didn't get back on the job until Autumn 2015 - around March.

It took me a year (April 2015) to get to the point where I had enough pieces to start putting it all together:

Many things

There were times when I despaired of how many pieces were needed, and how complicated the whole quilt was. However, my quilt groups kept telling me to keep going, keep going, it looks great, it's going to be gorgeous

And when it did start coming together, it was beautiful!


I don't know what it is about this quilt, but it just hits people in the feels. I've had a lot of people admiring it! Maybe it's the colours, the brightness, the...well, playfulness of the pattern... At any rate, it's definitely a show-stopper!

WIP Wednesday: swarm by Sel

Maladicta even gave it the butt-stamp of approval. Which, okay, in this house, isn't difficult. But she was quite happy with it...

WIP Wednesday: sprint for the show

I had a backing, I had a plan for quilting it, tt was going to be submitted in the Sydney Quilt Show...

And then I pulled a muscle in my calf. Ow.

And I couldn't do the quilting and couldn't find someone to do the quilting for me in the time left before the quilt had to be submitted. So, no show. *sighs* While at the show, I looked at the two spaces allotted to the quilts that I couldn't finish due to my injury, and sighed.

I sent it off to my quilter before I went overseas, I think, and have been waiting for her to get back to me. It took a while, but when it was definitely worth it!

#swarmbysel is back from the quilters and has been promptly colonised by Smokey. #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal #cats #catsofinstagram

Smokey agreed. No sooner had it taken it out of the mailing bag, then she settled on it. She's since pretty much taken every opportunity to head-butt it, muzzle-rub against it, or roll in it.

There's a part of me that still can't believe I thought up this pattern, let alone executed it!

"Swarm" - photographed square! Such a labour of love and inspiration. And yes, @2bees, I'm filling out the competition forms now! #swarmbysel
Name: Swarm
Size: 75" x 88"
Design: original by Sel

I'm trying to write a pattern for it, but it's a bit exhausting, and everything's pretty busy right now.

I've submitted it to the Modern Quilt Guild's competition for Quiltcon 2016 in...San Diego, I think? However, I doubt it will make it in - I don't think it's quite 'modern' enough as the MQG defines modern quilts.

It looks stunning, though. And I'm definitely keeping this one. :)

If you want to go back and see the progress of this quilt, the hashtag on Instagram is #swarmbysel. (Some of the earlier pics won't be tagged because I only came up with the name this year.)

I'm linking this up to Sew Modern Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creations!

Friday, November 20, 2015

WIP Wednesday: The One With Reasons

So I haven’t posted for a couple of weeks. There are a few reasons for that.

One of those reasons is because at first I didn’t have very much to report. This is mostly because it’s SPRING here in the southern hemisphere, and my around-the-house efforts have largely been focused on whipping the garden into shape.

Garden November 2015

The other is because my cousin – two weeks older – died ten days ago after a long battle with breast cancer and the aftermath, and her funeral was last Wednesday. It was an emotionally charged day and by the end of it, I didn't feel much like posting a WIP Wednesday.

Anyway, we hope to pick up a little in the coming weeks. CHRISTMAS IS COMING! *wibbles*



Although I did get sibquilt top #1 completed:

#quiltuberfest top #1 done

I just haven’t had the chance to get sibquilt top #2 together yet. Maybe in the next couple of nights?

My aim is still to give these quilts to refugee sisters – compassion is all the more needful, I think, in the wake of Paris and Beirut. And yes, there will be closed hearts in the community, but I’m choosing not to be one of them.

Swarm by Sel

It’s back from the quilter! And the quilter left a note on the invoice to say that she thought it was gorgeous. I don’t know what it is about this quilt that hits people (incl. cats) in the feels, but it sure does! It’s just an absolute pain to make.

#swarmbysel is back from the quilters and has been promptly colonised by Smokey. #advenchuresofsmokeyandmal #cats #catsofinstagram

Anyway, I’m going to bind it on Friday night, right before the Sydney Mod SQuad Sit-and-Sew on Saturday. Debating whether I should do the binding by hand or machine. I’m tending towards machine right now.

Better pics next week.


I was going to enter the Modern Quilt Guild's challenge for Quiltcon 2016, but the time of year and circumstances have conspired against me. I even got a template (albeit a teeny-tiny one - I wanted a larger size). And now I feel guilty that I never got to use it.

Christmas presents

1. parents: cushion covers for their seating space
2. stepbro and SIL: pillow covers to match their bed
3. stepbro: haven't the foggiest idea, tbh - J's always impossible to work out what to do. Last year I made him a quilt. Maybe he gets a pillowcase to match, too?
4. B1 & B2: B2 is getting the quilt that's been sitting around for forever...B1...I don't know. Maybe if I finally finish our lounge room curtains? :D

I'll have to think about family presents, though.

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.