Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Show quilts and Slow quilts and fingers - oh my!

I just handed in the Duct Tape Galaxy for the Sydney Quilt Show. It's kind of spectacular when you get to see it from a distance.

#ducttapegalaxyquilt

Unfortunately, I had to cancel "Break Free, Or Build Upon?" because I bashed a finger at hockey a week ago, and got a full-time job a month ago, and I simply didn't have the time to piece and quilt it. If I can get the last 10 blocks done in the next few months, then I'll enter it in the Australian Modern Quilt show in November and see if they take it.

The next quilt on the list is going to be Eilidh's quilt - the daughter of a Canadian friend of mine, who's asked for a quilt for her daughter at the end of the summer. I have a plan (Aneela Hoey's Magic Stars) and a few ideas on how to incorporate the rainbow of colour that her mother wants. I need to work out the mechanics of the quilt before I can actually start pulling/cutting fabric. That has a deadline of August for completion, and it's going to be a lot slower since I got the job.

In the meantime, my brain is on medallion quilts. The gals in my quilting group are thinking of us all doing Elizabeth Hartman's Aviatrix Medallion together. And I bought the pattern for Girt By Sea (designed by a group of Australian quilters), but was too busy on my show quilts to get involved with the quilt-along for it. But I have plans for that too.

Aviatrix

I really like the summer palette for the Aviatrix Medallion. Although my instincts are to go for black and grey backgrounds and saturated colours to pop...

Do you get the feeling I like rainbows on black?


Girt By Sea
- red centre, orange sands, the boundless plains, the verdant mountains, the green rainforests, the shining ocean

Probably scrappy.

I'm thinking about doing the star in yellow, with black above and red below, before surrounding it with the orange of dust. Then golden plains of wheat with white windmills, green rainforests with bright floral bursts, blue mountains, and indigo sea, with the multicultural braid in a rainbow of colours against a black background.

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But first: Eilidh's quilt.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

100 Days 100 Blocks 2017

I am tempted to do the 100days100blocks2017 challenge - but not with the Tula Pink book (which I don't have and don't really want to buy).

Instead, I would make 8" blocks from Quilter's Cache - free blocks patterns, stick with the paper piecing ones. I'd make it a rainbow, and use the scraps I already have in my collection.

Of course, in doing so, I wouldn't be eligible for the prizes of the 100 Days 100 Blocks challenge, and they are lovely prizes. I just don't want to pay the money for the book - I already have two books of blocks that I don't use - The (in)famous Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt, and Carol Doak's 50 Fabulous Paper Pieced Stars. The Farmer's Wife book (the old one) requires printing out individual template shapes from a PDF, and The Paper Pieced Stars requires photocopying. I could scan the Paper Pieced Patterns, but the Farmer's Wife book is a real tickler, unfortunately...

So, choices. Decisions. Plans. To do or not to do?

Also: this may not be a good time to do 100 days of anything. My Quilt Show quilts are due (they've actually asked me to retract one, apparently they have so many, they're having trouble choosing), and I also have a commissioned quilt to make, as well as roman blinds for my father. So. Busy.

But I am really tempted.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Parisville Bowl Bag!

You know when a really valuable fabric comes into your hands and you're stuck wondering what to do with it?

Parisville

Well, that was my problem with the length of Tula Pink's Parisville Cameo that I bought in the last year. Yes, it was ridiculously expensive. Yes, I bought it anyway, because I liked the pattern. The colour wasn't quite right, though. A little too clashy for me to match with anything I had. So when one of those instagram quilty pay-it-forward kind of things turned up in late 2016, I asked if anyone was willing to swap me another colourway of the Parisville Cameo.

Enter myfabricobsession on Instagram, who was willing to swap her Cameo in Mist for mine in Pomegranate. ALL GOOD. And she was even willing to send me a little more than I had! (THANK YOU!)

And then I stashed it. (Because that's what you do with a fabric that you really like but which you're not entirely sure you have a plan to use just yet.)

I finally decided what to do with it - make a Fireside Bowl Bag (from the book 'Big City Bags' by Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness) with the contrast of some beautiful royal blue leather. And as it turned out, she's running a bag making competition during April! What luck!

It took a while to complete - about two weeks on and off - but it's finally done!

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

There were complications - mostly in the form of cutting angst (measuring twice, cutting once), the grim terror of sewing expensive leather that you really don't want to mess up, adding external and internal pockets (because I don't need a billion pockets, but I do like a few inside and out), and the terror of pattern adjustments required when you cut a piece of 'gusset' a little too short and have to 'make up' the length...or else cut down the outer pattern.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

I also added feet, so it wouldn't have to sit on the ground. Sadly, cafes in Sydney are not yet quite so sensible as to have a hook under the table for women to hang their handbags off so they don't have to sit on the floor, or else hang off the back of the chair and be in the way of the waiters.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

I like at least one external pocket, suitable for stashing a phone, or a transport pass, so I don't have to fish around inside my bag for it. Unfortunately, the Fireside Bowl Bag pattern doesn't have any pockets, internal or external. So I just designed a external pocket and a couple of internal ones to suit my needs.

The external pocket doesn't work quite as perfectly as I hoped - the strap pulls the pocket open rather more than I like. But it's a pocket and I figure more people won't notice.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

For the lining of the bag I used Bats In The Belfry and Tudor Windows from the Elizabeth collection since I started with just Bats and then realised I didn't have enough for all the lining and the pockets.

I made one zipper pocket and one internal slip pocket, utilising the pocket-making skills I learned while making the Shiloh Mermaids Bag. The 'slip pocket' is supposed to be large enough for my purse and my phone to sit there, but it will probably end up being my purse and my glasses case.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

Yes, I know it says "This Quilt Was Made By Sel C" but I have dozens of these labels and a need to use them!

The strap gave me a great deal of trouble, because the bag instructions were for a cloth strap, not leather. And I discovered that doubling, then quadrupling the leather that you're sewing through is a sure-fire way to give even your industrial strength Juki TL-99P a headache! So instead I made the strap half-leather and half-fabric. And I figured I should use the selvage while I'm at it... I tend to throw the selvages out half the time - or sell them.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

All in all, I'm actually pretty happy with the form on this bag - usually I find myself a little dissatisfied with the way everything fits together, but this one has a good shape and a good form. For the record, I used a very stiff, felt-like bag-making material which is pretty spectacular at holding its shape - but I don't know the name of it! I don't even remember where I bought it!

The last Fireside Bowl Bag I made was with Cotton+Steel and it was a lot more squishy than this one - and I like a solid, firm, keeping-it-shape bag.

#parisvillebowl Bag photos

As bags go, this one is sharp, stylish, and definitely a keeper!

Monday, March 27, 2017

2017 Finish-a-long: Q2 goals

Felicity Quilts Finish A Long

Okay, I got 2/3 of my list done during the 1st Quarter of the year; let's see how we do with the 2nd Quarter. Unfortunately, the list is getting rather longer and more complicated...


Duct Tape Galaxy (Technicolour Galaxy) - completed quilt

This is the 2015 Block of the Month by Alyssa Lichner at Pile O'Fabric, and it's a stunner!

Duct Tape Galaxy Quilt 2017

I've done blocks 1-5 so far, and am working on 6-8 now, although I imagine 9-10 will be the tricksy one.

I submitted this for the Sydney Quilt Show, so the pressure is ON!


Break Free or Build Upon? (I Want To Break Free) - completed quilt

Break Free Or Build Upon?

As it turns out this will nicely fit with the Pantene Color Of The Year 2017: Greenery. It wasn't intentional, it just ended up this way.

I also submitted this for the Sydney Quilt Show 2017. Again, the clock is ticking!


Commissioned Quilt - completed top

For a friend in the Netherlands who would like a quilt for her daughter before the daughter leaves for her 2nd year of uni in Canada. Deadline is August, but I'd prefer to get it done before that.


Summer Meadow - completed quilt

I finished the top, now I have to quilt it before the wedding, which is on the 29th April...

Summer meadow


Roman Blinds

My father has asked for me to make Roman blinds for his unit. I'm going to look into how long it's going to take and decide on whether or not to tell him yes or no. Looking at my to-do list, this isn't going to happen anytime soon, and I think he wants it pretty soon.

--

Yeah, I think that's a long enough list!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

COMPLETED TOP: Friendship Supernova

2017-FAL-BUTTON-300
Q1 link-up

My Q1 List Of Goals

I started this quilt a couple of years ago - a friendship block swap of Supernova blocks back in 2014, where the colours were blue, green, and yellow. My partner was Sandra from the USA and it took us a little longer for both of us to get the blocks sent out than most.

Deciding on the colour layout for the #supernovafriendship #blockswap. It's harder than it seems!

And after receiving all the blocks...I just sat on them. For, oh, ages. Until one day I was digging through my quilting supplies, found the bag of blocks and went, "oh, I really need to finish that...how about I make it BIGGER!"


#wipwednesday #supernovafriendshipblockswap picking this up again. Don't know where the 12th block is, probably got lost in the move last year...

So I found myself making an extra four blocks - five, actually, since one of the blocks sent by Sandra had since gone missing. And that took, oh, another couple of years...

WIPs January 2017

Anyway, it's finally finished!

Summer meadow

Can you tell which blocks are mine (11) and which blocks are Sandra's (5)?

I'll hunt up a backing for this one and send it along to my quilter. It might suit for my half-brother's wedding in HK later this year...

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

COMPLETED TOP: Meadow Quilt

2017-FAL-BUTTON-300
Q1 link-up

My Q1 List Of Goals

So, the Meadow Quilt by Lizzy House...

As anyone who knows my quilting can tell you, I'm not very good at following instructions.

Sure, it says to do 12 blocks of 3x4 but I want a quilt that's bigger, so I'm going to make it 4x4.

Yes, the instructions for the quilt indicate that there are twelve quilt blocks but I'm tired of making them, so I'm just going to make eight of the blocks, split them in two, and then do nine-patches for matching quilts.

Of course I can make an open bag out of a closed bag pattern! Don't be silly; it'll be easy!

The Meadow Quilt, designed and taught by Lizzy House, is a 4x5 arrangement of 12.5" 'flower' blocks with coloured-in sections between the flower petals. She teaches it as a class, and I attended the one in Sydney back in 2015...and then left the pattern for forever. In December 2016, I finally decided to get it done (see the hashtag #SelWIPsItGood) and did the cutting and sewing in January, before completing the sewing-together at the first sew-in for the Sydney Mod Squad quilting group.

Summer meadow

There were issues, of course. The block itself as given by Lizzy involves curves and bias cutting, and then, on top of all that, the pattern doesn't precisely fit. Lizzy's advice was to ease-ease-ease, then starch the living heck out of it.

My #meadowquilt block at the #sydneymeadowquilt class today!

Which I did, but every block I made had a wobble to it. It was a PITA.

Summer meadow

In the end, I went by trying to keep the blocks flat, rather than trying to keep the seams at a quarter-inch. Which is why the circle in the centre is weirdly positioned, and the seam practically runs over it.

And that was all the blocks! It was so frustrating!

In my despair, I cried out to the quilters on Instagram, and they heard my cry and delivered me to Renee at Quilts of a Feather. Renee had created a fix it tutorial for how to make the blocks lay flat, and reading it was very helpful! Of course, you needed to read the fix before you'do done the cutting out, which was too late for me...

In the end, I squidged the edges, but the fix would be helpful for friends who have the quilt pattern and haven't yet completed one (just like me, only even more delayed).

Then there was the small matter of the layout - as noted, the usual layout is a 4x5 rectangle. Which looks lovely but is kind of...boring.

I...modified it a little:
I may be a little bit of a design rebel...  #meadowquilt #sydneymeadowquilt

At first, I was going to make the 'colour blocks' between the flower petals different colours, but then I decided that I liked the colour fill, so I rearranged:

Meadow #summermeadow2016

There were issues sewing it all together, of course:
Meadow #summermeadow2016

But I had a plan! (In my quilting bullet journal; I'm not a devotee, but it is pretty convenient in many ways.)

Meadow #summermeadow2016

One thing that Lizzy said was that if you make all the 'eyes' (the centre piece of the block) then you'll make the quilt, because those eyes are pretty useless for anything else...and they're watching you. Which, yes, is a little creepy, but accurate.

Meadow #summermeadow2016

Even once I had all the blocks, there was some residual anguish about putting it all together. This is customary and should always be ignored. My first instincts are usually right when it comes to quilt design - or, at least, everyone is too polite to say my design sense sucks to my face - but the second-guessing takes a toll:
Summer meadow

And yes, I unpicked a block to get the Chinese characters the right way around. It wasn't too terrible, just a bit of a pain. However, a quilter's gotta do what a quilter's gotta do...
Summer meadow

The result is pretty good, though - I like it as much as I thought it would. And although I worried that the three-quarter fills might look a bit out of place, most people seem to like the variation in design, too.
Summer meadow

I think this will go as a wedding present to a couple who are getting married this year. I'll have to get it quilted before then, though - luckily, I have quite a bit of time on my hands in the coming months thanks to a work redundancy...

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

2017 Finish-Along Q1

2017 Finish-Along - goals for 1st Quarter:

Felicity Quilts Finish A Long

Three things I have on the 'to finish' list - all of them existing WIPs.

There'll be other things done, of course, because this is me and I need to get my butt into gear for the 2017 Sydney Quilt Show (as well as the other shows during the year).

1. Meadow Quilt Top

The Lizzy House Meadow Quilt class was a couple of years ago, and I put the pieces away in a box and haven't yet finished it! Time to get it done!

WIPs January 2017

It has the space, it has the place, I just have to get the pieces laid out and sew!


2. Friendship Supernova

The reason this one has taken so long is that I wanted a larger quilt - a 4x4 quilt rather than a 3x4. I needed to add 4 extra blocks - well, 5 really. I couldn't find the sixth one that my partner sent, and I haven't heard from her since the QAL. Oops.

WIPs January 2017

3. Plain Jane Passacaglia

Time to get this one done. Seriously.

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In the midst of all this, I also have to make two quilts for the Sydney Quilt Show. And possibly put borders on a 3rd (the Sydney Mod Squad quilting group) depending on whether it's needed or not...

So many things to do, not half enough time!