Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Finished Quilt Top goes to the Beach

Our trip to Anglesea has come and gone so quickly...as holidays tend to do. We had a wonderful time there, lots of relaxing and fun with friends. Last year when we visited Anglesea I had seen an amazing large old retaining wall on the beach. I knew it was just asking for a quilt to be hung on it and photographed, so before we left for our holiday I madly finished my Love and Romance quilt top.
Wow, I think the quilt looks fabulous framed by the old, weathered timber bollards don't you?
It is so nice to finish this beautiful quilt...slightly adapted from Kim McLeans amazing Hearts and Flowers Quilt from Kaffe's Quilt Romance book. Using only Amy' Butler's Love fabrics (as well as some of her beautiful solids and 1 Kaffe shot cotton), it was fun to choose the fabrics and colours for each border as I went along.
Amy's Paradise Garden in Periwinkle frames the quilt so well, and I fussy cut the border to show off the beautiful flowers and swirls in this divine fabric. So now to think of what to put on the back of this quilt and how I will quilt it (I have no idea at this stage!).

During one of our walks on the beach I came across this funny little pile of rocks that someone had rather artistically placed and I couldn't resist taking a photo of them.
It's so nice to see the coastline in the background and the beautiful blue sky.
So our little holiday is over and its back to work tomorrow (you should see the washing piles!). I adore holidays, but I love coming home to my wonderful fabric stash and being able to see all the incredible quilts being shown around blogland. xo

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Off Again

I have been absolutely blown away by the response to my Licorice Allsorts quilt.
Thank you for your wonderful comments. I'm sorry I haven't been able to reply to every single one of them as I would have liked, I still find my shoulder will soon tell me that it doesn't like prolonged computer work! Thankfully stitching appears to be a different motion, so I have been able to do more of that. Also, quite a few comments came up as no-reply, so I couldn't reply anyway. However, please know that I read every single comment, and thoroughly enjoy and appreciate them all.  (And Dokiquilts you are free to borrow the idea, that is fine by me!!!)

I did promise at the end of the last post to show you the beautiful fabric I received in the mail the other day. I have been doing so well this year trying to have a fabric diet (not buying any new fabric and using up my stash instead)....until I saw this....!
I already have a full stash of Anna Maria Horners Good Folks which I simply adore, so when I saw this new range of Little Folks, I knew it wouldn't be long before I caved in and bought some. I must say, this fabric is absolutely divine. I can't stop touching it, it is so silky smooth and gorgeous. Being voile instead of the usual quilting cotton, it is a little dearer to purchase, so I bought the full range in fat quarters (instead of half yards) from Banberry Place.
Of course when it arrived and I saw how wonderful it was, I also had to have the full range of Dobby's in fat quarters from Fabricworm. I cannot wait to cut into it (although it does look so nice sitting on my shelf all neatly folded!). I'm thinking maybe a snowball quilt for these little beauties. If you are interested in finding out a bit more about voile, Anna Marie did a fabulous info post here.

Now, to get to the title of this post, we are off again...to Anglesea for a 5 day getaway. Very excited to have some time off work and get away from the phone and spend some time with great friends. Lots of surfing (by the boys), walking, talking (by the girls), eating, coffee drinking, some stitching, some chocolate (it is nearly Easter after all!!). I may have a few pics to show when we return next Wednesday. Til then, have a wonderful weekend. xo

Friday, March 19, 2010

A Girl Can Change Her Mind...Can't She?

Back in January Stephanie from Loft Creations issued a String Quilt Challenge. The idea was to use up scraps and fabrics you already have in your stash to make a string quilt (or bag, tablerunner, clothes, whatever!). My Flea Market Fancy stash has been calling me lately, so I decided I would use that for my strings. I have also been reading Freddy and Gwen's Collaborative books so I thought I would throw in some black and white too.
I thoroughly enjoyed making up the strings which came together quite quickly. Once done and nicely ironed, I layed them out in the design I thought I would use. Mmmm...it didn't do anything for me.
A few days later I tried a different layout. Nope...still not liking it.
Lately I have had a big thing for circles (I don't know why really, I just like them). So I found a plate big enough for my string block, drew a line around it and started cutting out circles.
I don't like wasting too much of this precious flea market fabric, so the 4 corners I had cut off while cutting out circles, I turned into little squares.
In the end this is the design I came up with. 9 large circles and 4 squares all bordered by a black and white spot with some half circles and 4 squares in the corner. I still don't really know if I like it that much, but I do like it better than my original design.
 Licorice Allsorts

To assemble the quilt I glued the circles and squares onto the quilt (definately not following the usual quilt rules for this one).
The pieces are then quilted onto the quilt using a spiral free motion pattern. The edges should fray a little giving a lovely 'old' look to it. I then simply stippled over the blue fabric.
For the backing I used up some of my Kona Coal fabric that I had originally purchased for the Jacobs Coat Quilt (but also changed my mind and ended up with Charcoal!). I had a few string squares left which again became circles.
Actually I think I like that back better than the front! You can really see the quilting standing out beautifully on the back.
I adore the Michael Miller Black and White Dandy Damask for the binding.
All in all I'm glad I changed my mind and experimented with this one. I've had fun, tried new things, and my husband really likes this quilt! I really like the back...did I mention that already?
Oh, and I found some lovely fabrics in my letterbox this week, but this post is too long already so I will show them off another time! xo

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Making a comeback (hopefully)!

Wow, I can't believe it's been a month since I was here last. Thank you so much for all the wonderful emails making sure I was ok, I really appreciated them and they helped me get through many non-stitching, non-blogging days!!

Ok as far as the shoulder goes, I have now had a cortisone injection into a couple of joints (not very pleasant as it took about 20 minutes for the doctor to get the needle in the right place, even under ultrasound!). This does seem to be settling things down a bit so I'm slowly allowing myself some stitching time. Between the injections, the physio and joining up with my local gym to do some aqua aerobics for strengthening muscles, fingers crossed perhaps my shoulder will be ok.

I do have some quilty pics to show you, I have just completed the fourth border on my Love and Romance quilt. To refresh memories (cause I haven't been here for awhile!), I'm using Kim McLeans Hearts and Flowers Pattern from one of Kaffe's recent books Quilt Romance.
My goal was to make this quilt using ONLY Amy Butler's gorgeous Love range of fabrics (although one Kaffe navy shot cotton has crept in there). I have adapted Kim's pattern slightly to allow for the highly patterned fabrics.
What a wonderful pattern this one is, I'm so thrilled how it's coming together with Amy's fabrics, this quilt has given me a lot of joy.
It's been fun fussy cutting from the fabrics to make up each block.
The patterns and colours blend into each other somewhat thereby making the eye spend lots of time looking at all the different details within the quilt.
I'm not entirely sure which fabrics I will use for my final two borders, I may even use one of Amy's Home Dec fabrics, again from the Love range.

When I'm not stitching or at the gym/doctor's/physio I'm drooling over Kaffe's most recent book that has been popping up over blogland, and yes here is another pic of it!
All I can say is OH WOW, Kaffe and team you have done it again. Living up to the books title Simple Shapes, I love how Kaffe has shown his inspiration for his quilts from everyday patterns and shapes, check out the back cover of the book.
Oh yes, I'm inspired again!

Hope to be back sooner next time, til then, keep those fingers busy xo