Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Lovely Morning

It has been such a cold grey week here this week, so it was lovely yesterday to meet up with the lovely Miriam from Yellow Rose Quilts and her gorgeous daughter Heidi. We met at a relatively new garden centre and cafe and enjoyed wandering through the interesting plants and statues. We fell in love with this amazing pergola...

Heidi & Miriam 

It is made out of rusty metal and decorated with gorgeous flowers and butterflies cut into it. I love those circles at the back of the structure, they could inspire a new quilt I think!!!


Gorgeous and simple pots with succulents hanging from wire, lots of trees in full autumn colour!


Thank you Miriam and Heidi for a wonderful morning. 


I've been getting more Japanese x and + blocks done...these are addictive!!


I hope you are having a wonderful weekend. xo

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Japanese x and + Blocks

My blog reading a couple of days ago took me over to the lovely Mrs Schmenkman's blog where I spied these gorgeous Japanese x and + blocks (along with another beautiful block Mrs S is hopefully going to make a tutorial for, hint, hint!!). She linked to a fabulous tutorial for these Japanese x and + blocks over on Badskirt Amy's blog. Amy linked to the Japanese x and + block quiltalong happening over at flickr and I simply had to join up!!!


Amy's fabulous instructions for these blocks (here) are brilliant and easy to follow with great tips and straightforward photo's (thanks Amy). These blocks do take a lot of work in the cutting department, but wow, they are so much fun to make, I'm having a blast!


There is perhaps a little too much colour in my blocks and the eye doesn't really know where to rest, but I'm going with it. I'm trying to mainly only use what is already in my stash, though some of these are not that old!

Oops, upside down strawberries anyone?!

I think the best hint I can give is to start these blocks with a brand new sparkling rotary cutter blade!! If you take these blocks on you will be doing a lot of cutting and you want to stay on the sharp edge (just keep the fingers out of the way)!


My wonderful sister sent me the most fabulous gift a sister can give a quilter last year....how cute is this little iron? I can sit this right next to my sewing machine and iron each and every seam as I make them. This saves a lot of time running to the ironing board every time I need to flatten a seam. Invaluable!


Woohoo, I'm in fabric playing heaven!


What are you making this week that is giving you joy?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Tea Dying the Brightness out of the Whiteness

My quilt top combining older fabrics from my stash with newer ones is done.


A nice little strippy quilt, a bit of a girly one!


Before I could sew the strips of this quilt top together, I had to first lightly tea dye two of the white newer fabrics I had, they were very bright against some of the other more off-white fabrics. To do that I brewed up a nice little brew...in a bowl! Two tea bags sat in there for about 5 minutes before I took them out.


Then the strips got thrown into a sink of cold water...


and dipped quickly through the bowl of tea...


The idea was not to make these look antiquey, but just to take the brightness down a few notches. Then they got thrown back into cold water to set. I don't know if your computer screen will let you see the difference between the 'before' and 'after'? It is very subtle. The strip on the left has been dyed, the one on the right is still bright!!...


After being gently wrung out they were placed on a towel to dry. Next time I would probably dye the fabric before I had cut it into strips, but the whiteness didn't really stand out until they were up on my design wall. Anyway, dying them as strips didn't seep to pull them out of shape at all.


Once ironed, they were ready to be sewn up with the rest of the fabrics. I'm thrilled with the end result of this little quilt.


Doesn't it look lovely sitting on a chair at my friends house under their gorgeous ornamental pear tree with its beautiful orange Autumn leaves?


I will definitely be looking at more older fabrics from my stash to see how they look mixed with new ones. This was fun!! xo

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Lovely Dresden

If you would like to see more of this....



You may wish to click here...

Lily's Quilts

xo

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Unpicking!

One skill I have honed to perfection in my quilting repertoire is using the quick unpick!!! I had chosen green to be the next round for my Star Quilt (Kaffe Fassett Wheel of Fortune quilt), however it was only when I had sewn about half of the green squares onto the quilt that I realised that no, that was not the correct colour to go next!


So out came the trusty quick unpick, never far from my side...


And off came the green squares, quickly to be replaced by brown...


Ahh, much better!! I loved using the edge border pattern on Amy Butler's Sari fabric...


...it fitted perfectly over the squares.


I can see now that I am going to be repeating the colour pattern that is already done...the next rounds will be: orange, green, pink, aqua blue then brown to finish. On the last brown round I will again use that gorgeous dark brown shot cotton. I love how well Kaffe's shot cottons have complimented Amy Butler's Soul Blossoms.


Which means there are now 5 more rounds to go before I square it up. Getting there slowly.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Do You Flannel?

I love to flannel!! Flannel quilts are the best for snuggling up in front of the telly on a cold winters night. Now I realise that a lot of the world are heading towards summer, but we in the Southern Hemisphere are fast heading towards a cold, dark winter! We even had snow here this morning...



Ok, so it's not snow, only hail, but it looks like snow (we don't actually get snow here we have to head to the mountains for that!!).

Over past years I have made a few flannel quilts, this was my first...


I put the leftovers into the back...


My second, I wish I could remember the pattern I used for this, so pretty...


My third was a rag quilt.


This was fun to make, but wow, cutting into all those raggy edges sure made my hands hurt!!


This winter I want to make one for my bed, a queen size flannel using the gorgeous Anna Maria Horner Folksy Flannels. Yet to decide what pattern I will use, something simple though I think.


I'm off to light the fire, it has only warmed up to 7 degrees so far and I'm freezing!!

Oh, by the way, I apologise if you have emailed me this past week and haven't heard back, we have had some troubles, fingers crossed it is all fixed now, you should hear from me soon!!

Have a gorgeous day. xo

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fairytale Mushrooms!

Check out what hubby found growing on our grass under the birch tree this morning...


Until recently I seriously thought these only 'grew' on the pages of a children's fairytale book!


Perhaps we have some mythical creatures visiting!!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Mindful Journey

Ok, so I guess we all know by now there has been some interesting discussions in blogland lately, that have unfortunately opened up a bit of a minefield of negativity and even, I hate to say it, nastiness. I admit I read some of it, but after a little while found myself becoming disheartened, sad and even losing confidence in what I do. It brought me to the question - why am I quilting and blogging in the first place? I have spent a couple of weeks ruminating (I love that word!!), and pondering and I have worked through some of these issues and come up with my own statement, mantra if you like, of why I do what I do, why I make what I make, why I photograph the way I do, etc etc. I am putting it up here so I can always come back to it if I need to:

I need to create.
To create is to express myself and find joy.
To make things with my hands is life giving to my soul.
It doesn't matter what I make, as long as I am making.
To find pleasure in the simple things I do,
and fulfillment in the difficult.
The process of creating changes me.

So that is me. I am moving onwards and will keep finding enjoyment and satisfaction in this wonderful world of quilting and blogging. I also want to thank those of you who come to this blog to read, hopefully be inspired in some way and leave wonderful comments. I am blessed by you!

Ok, enough of the heavy! A little while ago I had yet another sewing room clean out, and decided I needed to start bringing out some of my older fabrics sitting in my stash and try and use them. I want to see if I can mix them up with newer fabrics and see what happens. They may end up being used as dog blankets but that is ok!!! So these are the first older fabrics I grabbed....


Some lovely romantic leciens and others in there that I have had for well over 8 years or so. I thought I would mix them with some Kaffe's, Amy Butler, Tanya Whelan, etc...

They look quite nice combined, this could be fun!


Have a fabulous week with whatever you are creating. xo

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Squares & Rectangles

My Denyse Schmidt and Heather Ross combined quilt got finished a week ago, I just haven't got around to blogging it due to a bit of a nasty cold. Haven't been good on answering emails this week either, sorry about that. Luckily I took photo's when it was made because it is a rather cold gloomy day here today.

In the end I just went with simple squares and rectangles.


All of the Hope Valley fabric ended up as 3 inch finished squares.


With the Far Far Away II fabrics I decided to fussy cut them into larger squares and rectangles with some 3 inch ones as well.


Sleeping beauty was cut into 6 1/2 inch squares (finished size 6 inch).

Ooops, green sleepy beauty has a flower petal on her head, don't tell her, she might wake up!

Rapunzel in her tower became 3 1/2 inch x 12 1/2 inch rectangles (finished 3 x 12).


The Owl & the Pussycat were cut up into 3 1/2 inch x 6 1/2 inch rectangles (3 x 6 inch finished).


Because it was sunny a week ago, I was able to get the stained glass shots...!



It has been very enjoyable playing with these two fabric lines.