Lurgied up

Uuurgh, I am totally full of the cold 😦 I thought I’d been doing really well this winter but I’ve been off work for two days now 😦

On the plus side, I’ve had time to look through some of the entries from Amy’s 2009 Fall Quilt Festival. I never really had a chance until today, so I took some time out from my hectic sneezing schedule to have a look! There are so many fab quilts and it’s well worth flicking through them if you haven’t done so already. Although you might need to wait until you’ve got a spare day as there are 683 entries!

Here are some of my favs (and no, I didn’t get through all 683!):

  • QuiltinJewel’s Kameleon Quilt is incredible. It’s got buttons and you can change how it looks by changing which flaps are buttoned where. I’ve never seen anything like it!
  • This star quilt by domesticat is a) incredible and b) has a lovely story behind it…
  • Lots of lovely colours in this one by Brown Paper Packages
  • I love this arrow quilt by Zonnah’s Addictions – it’s so original

In other news, my Dear Jane book arrived today although I had it sent to work rather than home as that is usually where I am during the day! Handily, hubby works in the same place and has picked it up for me, so that’s my evening’s entertainment sorted 🙂

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Am I insane to consider this?

Other contenders for the title of this post were “I think I’m going crazy” and “Somebody stop me”…!

I’ve just come across the Dear Jane quilt, and am slightly scaring myself by thinking that it could be a really fun project. There are 225 blocks in it, so at a rate of say 2 a week, it would take over 2 years to finish. But, hey, one of my 2010 goals is to make a bigger quilt!

I really like this version which looks really modern. I also love this monochromatic block by Zonnah’s Addiction who is hand-piecing this quilt. Yes, you did read hand-piecing. Now’s that’s impressive!

Oh, I’m very tempted… I must be mad.

My own library!

At Christmas, I was very lucky to receive lots of crafty books. I used to have one, on FMQ, but now I have these too and it feels a bit like I have my own library…

From top to bottom, the books are:

  1. Crochet Unravelled by Claire Bojczuk. This is a beginners guide with pics for left-handers, which should help me out a lot as I’m a lefty
  2. 200 Crochet Blocks for blankets, throws and afghans by Jan Eaton
  3. Gifts for Baby by Catherine Woram. This is the book I borrowed to make a couple of cot decorations, but it was so great, I had to get my own copy!
  4. Making Children’s Clothes by Emma Hardy. It’s got some really cute ideas, I just need to find some children to practice on 😉
  5. sew what! Skirts by Francesca Denhartog and Carole Ann Camp
  6. Little Stitches for Little Ones by Amy Butler
  7. Last-Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts by Joelle Hoverson. I absolutely HAD to have this book because it has the pattern for this colour wheel quilt.
  8. Material Obsession Two by Kathy Doughty and Sarah Fielke
  9. Making Vintage Bags by Emma Brennan
  10. Jelly Roll Inspirations by Pam and Nicky Lintott. I liked their previous book, Jelly Roll Quilts, but I think this one is even better!
  11. Sunbonnet Sue Visits Quilt in a Day by Eleanor Burns

I’ve been flicking through these since Christmas and there is so much inspiration floating around in those books. Now I’ve just got to decide where to start…!

Colour Week – Yellow

It’s the start of colour week! Day 1 is yellow although this was always going to be tricky – I seem to have a real dearth of yellow around me despite really loving the colour. Anyway, this is a rug my Granny made. It’s mainly yellow, so I think that counts!

It’s funny. When I was leaning in to take pics, I noticed that some of the wool, like the light blue at the top of the pic, has silvery flecks in it. I love this rug and have had it for about a quarter of a century but had never noticed that until now…

Blog hopping and fabric fruit

So I spent this afternoon setting up google reader to follow my favourite blogs so that I don’t have to keep everyone’s blog addresses in my head. Reading through posts, I followed a link to Modify Tradition, a blog about making traditional blocks with a modern twist, plus posts on what the writers think makes a traditional block and what makes a modern one. Definitely an interesting read if you like modern quilts.

This post on Modify Tradition posts had a link to a cute block on flickr which led me to this post by Retro Mama. Now Retro Mama’s profile pic is a pear pincushion and it got me thinking. I have a fruit bowl sitting empty on the coffee table because the fruit goes in the fridge so that it lasts longer. Would it be good to fill it with some fabric apples and pears, or would that look silly? Hubby didn’t like the idea – I think he sees it as one step away from me making him quilted waistcoats or something, which really wouldn’t fit with his baggy trousers and t-shirts look. I think it could look quite cool though (the fabric fruit, not the quilted waistcoat). Or am I taking homemade a bit too far?

Let’s get quilty!

“Let’s get quilty” was the title of a recent email from my friend, Anna, who I gave this quilt to. Anna’s very crafty herself (does awesome knitting and crocheting), but she hasn’t done any quilting… until now. She’s decided she wants to learn, and has roped in another of our friends, Sarah, so between the 3 of us we’re going to do a bit of quilting. Although we’re starting small and making cushions rather than quilts.

Anna is thinking of a wonky log cabin block, based on this tutorial from Quilt Dad (if you scroll down a bit, he’s also made a cushion so that’s the kind of idea) and Sarah is going to do a cushion with appliquéd butterflies on it.

I’ve um’d and ah’d a bit. I started off thinking about making mini pillows for the bedroom but have been struggling to come up with a good design for a rectangular cushion that fits in the colour scheme of the bedroom. Then I remembered I could really do with a cushion to sit on when I’m sewing to boost me up to a better height to use my machine. That meant a square cushion and no colour limits!

So I was having a look around and came across some fab rainbow quilts (check out this, this, this, this and this) so I’ve decided to make a rainbow cushion. I’ve ordered some mini charm packs (2 1/2″ squares) in red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple and I can’t wait for them to arrive so I can have a play with layouts!

Roses for Rosa

I have a new cousin-once-removed! Being a “once-removed” makes me feel absolutely ancient though! Baby Rosa arrived yesterday to my cousin and her husband who live on completely the other side of the world. Now I wasn’t planning on making a quilt for her, but when I heard the news and the baby’s name, a number of ideas that had been floating around in my head solidified into a quilt idea!

The separate ideas are:

  • I love “whirligig” quilts like this and this
  • There is some lovely pale pink/page green rose fabric by Tone Finnegar in the shops and it would be great to do something with that colour combo
  • I think this flower quilting on Naptime Quilter’s blog is great and I really want to try out something similar

So I combined the quilt block that I really want to do, the rose fabric and the flower quilting motif into an idea for a quilt that I’m going to call Roses for Rosa!

I found this whirligig tutorial by Creative Chicks which looks very well written. I tried making a whirligig out of paper this evening from their template and it was really easy to put together. Although I’m not sure if my whirligig’s are going to be interlocking like the ones in the tutorial, or more like this one by laughingduck.

The only slight flaw in the plan is that I’ve never done any free-motion quilting before. But hey, you’ve got to learn sometime, right!

Inspiration: Mini hexagons

I went to my first quilt show today. It had some incredibly inspirational quilts although I am not allowed to post pics, so they will stay inspirational to me only (and anyone else who was at the show). The one I liked the most was made up of mini hexagons, each 1cm wide. The colours moved from red in the centre, through all the colours of the rainbow, to black at the edges. I really wish I could post a picture because that quilt was amazing and my description just doesn’t convey how awesome it looks and the sheer talent and time involved in creating something like that.

I really loved that quilt, and it got me thinking. How hard would it be to create something like that? I know it would be time consuming. Incredibly time consuming. But is it something a beginner like me could do? So I had a read of some blogs and came across this FAQ from turning*turning. She’s in the process of making a mini-hexagon quilt and will be blogging about it further. I think I might keep an eye on her blog as it would be interesting to know a bit more about the process so I can decide if it would be something I could do. I also found this awesome pincushion by duniris which might be a more realistic starting point than jumping in at a quilt.

Of course, lots of mini hexagons would require lots of different fabrics, which I currently don’t have. I think that would mean more fabric shopping… 😉

Inspiration from Granny

Look what I found when I was tidying up this evening: a cushion made by my Granny. She was always sewing and crocheting so maybe that’s where my crafty side is coming from. The cushion’s in need of a bit of TLC, but I love the colours.

Granny's Cushion

A pressing problem

So this quilting malarky calls for a fair amount of ironing. Or pressing. I have learnt that the two are different. With ironing, you smooth the iron across the fabric, but with pressing, you lift the iron up and then place it down, because moving the iron over the fabric can stretch it.
Anyway, I digress. Ironing means an ironing board and although I have one, it takes up way too much room to keep up all the time and it’s irritating to repeatedly put it away and take it back out again. So I did a bit of googling and found this pressing mat tutorial from Little Birdie Secrets. It’s really cute and best of all it’s a LOT smaller than an ironing board. So it’s now on my “make it” list.

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