quilt alongs

I’ve been doing bits and pieces all over the place lately. Between longarm quilting quilts for clients and sewing blocks for challenges and quilt-alongs, my time has been well used.
The blocks for this month’s do.Good stitches charity quilting bee was a fairly quick and easy one:

do.Good Stitches- Cherish group

do.Good Stitches- Cherish group


The sewer who will put all these blocks together is planning on adding some cut-out silhouette-type figure of a runner on top. Should look very effective.
And then there are the blocks I’m doing for the Splendid Sampler Quiltalong. I’ve slowed down a fair bit on completing these blocks, but still trying to keep in touch and rolling them out slowly.
Block 46- Twirl Time

Block 46- Twirl Time


You’ll notice that with any of the blocks that require applique, I have chosen to use raw-edge machine applique, like in this next one. Of course, you can use any method you like.
Block 47- Circle of Love

Block 47- Circle of Love


I changed the next block a little by sewing some extra pieces of fabric into the pieces and also adding a little sashiko stitching to it.
Block 48- Whim

Block 48- Whim


Block 49 - Summer's Gift

Block 49 – Summer’s Gift


Block 50 - Flights of Fancy

Block 50 – Flights of Fancy


See you next week!

collections

I was reading an article the other day where a craft person was being interviewed, and one of the questions was about collections, and whether that person had ever collected anything. It got me thinking about what a collection is- how many similar items can be classed as a collection? I’m thinking more than 3- do you agree? I’m sure in that case, we would all have a collection of fabric, a collection of quilting books, a collection of scissors or collection of thimbles perhaps?
Besides those obvious ones though, I do have a few other collections. I have this little collection of teapots (which I know is not nearly as many as another local quilter I know ;)…
teapots2
teapots
teapots3
And then, there is my growing collection of giraffes:
giraffes1
giraffes3
Georgie5
I am still working on the blocks for the Splendid sampler so I’ve got quite a collection of them:

Block 39 Splendid Sampler

Block 39 Splendid Sampler


Block 40

Block 40


Block 41

Block 41


Some of them I add my own extra touches, such as the sashiko stitching on the hexagons, but I’m still sticking to the Japanese fabrics, taupes and indigo and cream.
Block 42

Block 42


a collection of blocks

a collection of blocks

Have a great week!

building scraps

I’ve been playing with scraps lately. Cutting up lots of pieces and sewing them back together, as we do. I started making these pieces of improvisation a couple of months ago, just constructing blocks of no particular size or shape and no design in mind.
improv4
When I got them back out again this weekend I put up on a board the bits I had already made, to get some ideas on how I want them to all be joined up together.
improv3
A very favourite theme of mine is cityscapes, so it’s not surprising that I finally decided on building a quilt around that idea- a view of a city in a sort-of deconstructed way. I have some lop-sided flying geese blocks, triangles and log cabin blocks which when put together resemble houses and buildings. I like that idea, and I’m on my way!
improv2
improv1
improv5
I am using lots of white with pops of colour, some greens and blues, a little purple and brown spots. I want it to be a ‘modern’ style quilt, so the aim is to have lots of negative space.
I’ve also made this month’s blocks for the Cherish do.Good.Stitches charity quilt that I contribute to: these are the Delectable Mountain block, or sometimes known by a few different names like Mountain Majesties, in black, grey and white:
KarenM-August1
KarenM-August2
I’m off to put them in the post!

sewing retreat

What better way to spend a weekend- sewing and quilting to our heart’s content! This weekend was the annual sewing getaway for the Gatton Quilters group. We go up to Coolum on the lovely Sunshine Coast where we have a large room for everyone to spread out and do their own thing for the whole long weekend. We have our meals cooked for us, there’s no cleaning up or housework or interruptions. Yay!
retreat10
My sister and I went up together and we had a lovely trip visiting a couple of quilt shops on the way and a great lunch at the organic marketplace at Forest Glen.
I took a few different projects to work on. I caught up on quite a few Splendid Sampler blocks,
retreat1
and started piecing lots of bright squares together for a children’s charity quilt that I’m making with the group.
There’s plenty of room to spread out…
retreat4
retreat2
and big tables to lay out quilts when putting them together or preparing to quilt…

Veronica

Veronica


We get to see each other’s projects that in progress…
Meryl

Meryl


and some that get finished…
Val

Val


Colleen- started in a curved-piecing workshop

Colleen- started in a curved-piecing workshop


and this one also by Colleen- such great colours together..
Colleen

Colleen


Here I am working intently on a block…
retreat11
and Amanda making great progress on her fresh colourful quilt for someone special….
retreat9
reteat6
Sharon

Sharon


There’s lots of consulting and advice given…
retreat8
and we get to check out other’s sewing accessories and books and magazines..
Helen

Helen


Helen

Helen


and of course the group photo- I’m second from the left in the back row, and Amanda is in the front row, second from the left.
retreat-group-crop
But, all good things come to an end, so back to work we go. Hope you all have a great week ahead!

Splendid Sampler blocks

Only a few things to show this week. I’m working on a few different projects all over the place – a couple of them are challenges so I want to get them finished before showing their final photos!
I’ve been continuing with the blocks for the Splendid Sampler. There are two blocks released each week for this quilt-along and it’s easy to get behind! I try to do one or two each week so I’m almost keeping in sight of the front runners.
This block is Block #28 called ‘Stitching Fashion’, a foundation-pieced block, designed by Charise Randell.. I didn’t include a little sewing reel and needle which was on the original pattern.

Block 28 Splendid Sampler

Block 28 Splendid Sampler


Quite a few of the blocks have a sewing theme to them which I think tends to make them too ‘folk art’ for what I would like my quilt to look like, so I have been changing some blocks just slightly to suit my own purposes. That’s the good thing about blocks like these- it is our own quilt so we can use and adapt as we see fit. I’m using taupes and creams and Japanese-type fabrics as well, which makes them a lot different to those using bright colours or making them scrappy-style, which is what I would normally do!
This next block is called Scrappy Happy Heart, designed by Christa Watson, and also foundation pieced:
Block 29 Splendid Sampler

Block 29 Splendid Sampler


We’ve had some lovely cold days to sew by- hope you are getting lots done- here is my sewing inspector who keeps me company:
Dublin

Dublin

progressing along

I’m still continuing on with some blocks each month for the do.Good stitches Charity. This month’s blocks were string-pieced blocks in bright colours- any would do! The strips could be any width and were each sewn on to each other successively one-by-one. This is the first block:
KarenM-June1
and the second:
KarenM-June2
The person who is the designated quilter for this project will be cutting large leaf-shapes out of these foundation blocks to put together for the quilt.
I’ve also got a few more blocks finished for the Splendid Sampler quilt. I’m continuing on with using Japanese taupes and creams for most of these blocks.
This first one below is Block #20. I changed it from the original, and instead of embroidering a sewing-themed picture, I added some Japanese characters, which I’m hoping mean ‘peace’!
Block20_Splendid Sampler
This next block is called Hand-in-Hand, designed by Kari Carr. I really like this block so I’m sorry the photo is a little out of focus. The points of the star are formed by folding the fabric so they have a slight 3D-effect.
Block23-Splendid_sampler
This is Block 24, called Inspector Sidekick, designed by Michele Foster
Block24-Splendid_sampler
Block 26 is called Dreaming of Dresdens, and is designed by an Australian quilter Jane Davidson
Block26_SplendidSampler.
I’m not always doing all the blocks in order that they are released, and plus I’m a little behind now, but that’s okay – I’ll get them done sometime! Hope you have a good quilting week!

a workshop

I went to a quilting workshop recently. We all had to take our sewing machines, our irons and ironing boards, a cutting board…
K1
a random pick of fabrics, including old blocks left from previous projects and sewing tools, but no rulers.
wshop1
k3
The day was spent playing with fabric, making free-form cuts in fabric and adding them to any other bits of fabric that your hand might fall on.
I decided to use a lighter colour scheme than I usually work with- some creams, whites, browns and muted colours. These blocks I’m showing here haven’t been trimmed yet.
K4
k5
I also took some old blocks left from a previous project and split them up, then added some slivers of hand-dyed colour.
K6
K2
Our tutor, Peggy Phelps, started us off with some ideas of blocks to start with using lots of techniques such as strip-piecing, wonky flying geese, chequerboard units and uneven log cabin blocks.
wshop3
A few workshop participants took a little time to get used to ‘not being neat’ but soon got into the swing of it!
wshop5
And Peggy showed us some of her quilts where she has used lots of lovely bright colour!

Peggy Phelps

Peggy Phelps


Peggy Phelps

Peggy Phelps


Cornelia's blocks

Cornelia’s blocks


Alison

Alison


Meryl

Meryl


Marilyn

Marilyn


I find that any workshop you can do is worth spending the time to do it- there’s always something you pick up along the way- whether it be a new technique or even some inspiration to try something different of your own.

a little progress

I’ve been keeping some of my projects ticking along, in between quilting a few quilts on my long-arm machine. I have always usually liked working on a few projects at the same time, because of the variety. You can switch between them when you might be getting bored with one, or if you have come to a part where you may be stuck and not sure how to progress. Sometimes I like to switch between machine-piecing and hand-work, or applique and quilting.
But sometimes I feel like I may have too many pieces on the go, like now! When that happens, I know I have to stop and evaluate what I am doing and look at what I want to get finished, and what I need to have finished for whatever reason.
One of the things I am doing is the monthly blocks for the do.Good Stitches Charity quilts. I got the block finished this week for the May challenge – a single-wedding ring block which had to be made in bright pinks and low-volume backgrounds:
Karen-May-doGoodblock
My other big project I have still motoring along is the Bright Lights Big City quilt. I blogged about it in January back here, where I talked about making the pieced arcs, all 72 of them! I’ve now finished all the arcs, and am putting them together with the little melon pieces in the middle. As is my favourite way of making quilts, I am making it scrappy-style, so using lots of different fabrics and crossing-fingers that it will all come together in the end!
Here are some of the blocks:
bright_lights-1
I’ve decided to try for various greens in the melon pieces and for the end square pieces I’m using – well, trying to use- prints with small-scale patterns so they don’t clash with the arcs, where I used anything and everything.
bright_lights-2
Once I have all these blocks together, they will then be pieced with the large centre bits to make the ‘double-wedding-rings’.
bright_lights-3
That might be awhile yet though!

some more sampler blocks

The Splendid Sampler quilt blocks are rolling along merrily. I first mentioned them here
If you’ve been interested to go and have a look at the Splendid Sampler site, you’ll see that two blocks are released weekly. Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson are the coordinators of the project with lots of quilt designers contributing the block patterns.
Block 15 was paper foundation-pieced. Even though I have done a fair bit of foundation piecing I found myself unpicking parts of this a few times over- not paying attention to my colour placements!

Block 15

Block 15


Block 16

Block 16


Block 17

Block 17


I am staying with my theme of using Japanese fabrics and linens, aiming for a more muted-look than I normally sew with. It makes me have to think a little more about the fabrics I choose so that I’m still able to maintain contrast within the block, even if it is using creams, light blues and pinks, greys and greens.
Block 18

Block 18


This next one, Block 19, is called ‘Measure Twice, Cut Once’.
Block19
In the original pattern some printed tape-measure braid is used so that the block looks like the tape goes across the block, doubles back on itself at the end and across to the other side. Using that type of trimmimg wouldn’t suit the theme I’m working with so I decided to use some lovely braid I bought from the famous M&J Trimmings in New York last year (ok, I’m name dropping but I still look back on that trip with fondness! and I’m glad I have bits and pieces like this to use to remind me of it). That shop had so much to choose from.
m&jtrimms1
m&jtrims2
However, I’m not sure whether it’s working in this block, only because it’s a different concept to the original.

Block 21: Sweet Candy (I’ve skipped Block 20 for now.)

Block 21

Block 21


Block 22 Goose on the Loose- another foundation-pieced block
Block 22

Block 22


That’s it for now- have a good week!

splendid sampler blocks et al

I’m working on a few different things lately, so today’s post is a ‘progress report’ on where I am up to.
First up are the blocks for the Splendid Sampler.

Block 13 Splendid Sampler

Block 13 Splendid Sampler

Block 14 Splendid Sampler

Block 14 Splendid Sampler


For this block, called ‘Flying High’, I decided to cut the bird shapes out of wool felt and appliqued them down by free-motion sewing. Luckily I had a few scraps of suitable colours to mix in with my theme of using Japanese-taupe as inspiration.
Next up, I have made the two blocks for April’s do.Good Stitches quilting bee. These had to be a house block using bright colours and a pale ‘sky’.
Apr-do-good-stitches1-
Apr-do-good-stitches2
I also had a sewing day with some friends where we each had a few finished projects to show and tell. Mine was just a cute little pouch, made from a Studio Mio pattern.
Karen1
I made it in some lovely fabric given to me by a friend, and lined it with a blue and white spot.
Karen2
It even has birdies on it!
This next one was Barb’s little bag with handles; it has a French-style look about it, yes?
Barb
And this was Trudy’s shoulder bag in that great colour combination of blues and browns:
Trudy
Hope you are all having a lovely productive week!