Tuesday, 18 April 2017

neverending scrap story

Remember my scrap sorting efforts a week or so ago?

Well, I've kept on cutting up extra scrap squares into usable pieces as I work on my present project, selecting mainly lots of low volumes and a few brights.
Initially I had no idea how I was going to use them, and then I stumbled upon a tutorial for a 'magic numbers' quilt here by Katie over at sewkatiedid. The squares are 2 1/2" 4 1/2" and 6 1/2" which all fit nicely together. It's a great idea for a spot of scrap busting and a relatively simple way to try out some improv.

My challenge was to use no new fabrics for this quilt as the scrap basket was overflowing  . . . again. When I had quite a few squares cut out, I began sewing them together in little slabs. And once I started playing with them I couldn't stop. I also added a few leftover orphan blocks to create some interest.

First section all done . . .

but I'm enjoying this and I do want it a bit bigger
so I'm moving onto another section this week . . . gotta use up those neverending scraps

Fabrics used so far include leftover outback wife bits & pieces, Kaffe, AMH, fabrics from a BOM that I didn't complete, 'gingercrush' from Treehouse Textiles in Australia, some Blueberry Park bits by Karenlewistextiles, and a tiny bit of Liberty.

Linking up with Em for 'moving it forward' over here at emsscrapbag

Sunday, 16 April 2017

finally . . . a finish!

WOW what a great response to our first ever 'Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE' link up
Thanks for joining in with Julie & I and keeping the love of blogging alive
- pop back here if you missed it.

And here we are into April already. I've got lots of projects simmering away, some in my head, some up on the design wall. But . . . it's beginning to feel like I haven't had a "finish" for ages. This long Easter weekend I put everything else aside, and set about fixing that.

I've had a pile of leftover string blocks sitting around for ages now, waiting . . . waiting . . . very patiently. These 6" blocks have been made up from all the leftover scrappy bits I'd been saving from lots of earlier quilts, as far back as when I had my little patchwork shop {and we are talking years ago here, about 1986}.
I've mixed up all sorts of busy prints with checks, dots, small scale prints, some Liberties, some Kaffe, a little bit of chintz, and low volume fabrics.

With the string piecing all ready done
it turned out to be such a simple thing to stitch them all together . . .

add some simple straight line quilting . . .

then the binding,  a nice narrow black & white stripe . . .

et voilĂ ! . . . one scrappy string quilt all finished

Linking up with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' over here 

Family coming over for Easter dinner, off now to prepare the roast lamb,
with Annabel's roast veges & couscous, and {dairy free} easter eggs for the two little ones
Happy Easter everyone

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


Welcome to our first link up for
'Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE'

Here's a little peek at what I've been busy doing this week - scrap sorting. I've been on a mission, cutting up extra scrap squares as I work on my present project. I guess it's also a tidy-as-I-go effort too, bit of a novel approach for me. I used the suggested square sizes 2 1/2" 4 1/2" and 6 1/2" from Katie's tutorial here over at sewkatiedid. These blocks all automatically fit together, making improv relatively easy.

I cut out lots and lots of squares, a mixture of brights and quirky low volume fabrics. And somewhere along the way, it all suddenly started looking really b.o.r.i.n.g.

Then I had a "what if" moment . . .

. . . what if I added other random blocks and segments from my 'rejected' basket,
some bright ones like this sweet butterfly I made ages ago

ah yes, this is beginning to look much better
- think I'll keep cutting up scrappy squares for just a bit longer
Linking up my scrap sorting efforts with Nicky and Leanne too here for the monthly 'scraptastic Tuesday'

Time now for 'Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE'

Julie from JulieLou and I decided that we needed a regular mid-week link up to share WIPS and finishes. And to help keep us on track with our own projects too.
So we have created  'Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE' where we sew and stitch, snap a photo or three, and share it to our link, which we co-host on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month.

Please link up what you have been sewing and stitching so far this month, and visit some of the other bloggers who have linked in too. You can write as much or as little about your project as you like, or simply let your photos do the talking.
Julie and I have decided to share the commenting on linked blog posts, so as long as you aren't a no-reply blogger you will receive a comment from either one of us.

Thanks for joining us, we are both looking forward to seeing what everyone has been sewing.

Monday, 10 April 2017

in the hoop

Have you noticed,
there's a bit of renewed interest in hand quilting lately?

I too spent a pleasant Sunday evening quietly hand quilting my 'emperor's wheel' quilt 

I had thought I was further along than I actually was {sigh} never mind
- refocused now on getting this finished over winter
Linking up with Kathy for 'slow Sunday stitching' and with Cynthia for 'oh scrap' here

A great quilting tutorial is Sarah Fielke's one on big stitch hand quilting,
which you can find over here
and there's another indepth tutorial here covering traditional as well as big stitch quilting

and Wendy from wendysquiltsandmore has written an informative post
all about her quilting thoughts with lots of wonderful photos too,
well worth checking out

maybe see you back here Wednesday
for the first 'Sew, Stitch, Snap, SHARE' link up

Thursday, 6 April 2017

random bits & pieces

A few random bits & pieces today and an update

First up, I'm wondering how I can use up my last few lovely scraps of 'outback wife' fabrics
I loved reading the design stories about these fabrics, like this one here about Elaine
- follow the link to check out more.

This week I received some happy mail 'Quilts for life made with love' by Judy Newman
It's my new favourite book, 
the quilts in it are very pretty and very scrappy, just what I love

And here's a recent fabric I've added to my stash, Bari J. Abloome Fusion
- I love its vintage look

Yesterday I ended up sorting threads - a long overdue task - instead of sewing
after a little Evie had lots of fun tipping my whole container out

And it must be about time for an update on my hexi WiP . . .
Glenys gave me some of her pretty doilies & vintage linens to add to my hexis

I decided to use the lace / crochet edgings too, some of these are really pretty

36 hexis can now be ticked off the list, slowly stitching but I'm in no hurry
For earlier details & inspiration source see back here

Linking up with Lorna for 'let's bee social' here at sewfreshquilts
and with Kelly for 'needle and thread Thursday' here at myquiltinfatuation
Happy Sewing,

Saturday, 1 April 2017

a new linky party

Hello, hello
Julie from JulieLou and I decided that we needed a regular mid-week link up to share WiPS and finishes.
So we have created Sew, Stitch, Snap SHARE - basically sew and stitch each week, snap a photo or three, and share it to our link which we will co-host on the second and fourth Wednesday of every month. You can write as much or as little about your project as you like, or simply let your photos do the talking.

We both differ in our quilting styles however we both love writing and reading blogs, and don't want them to disappear for the quicker more instant options of showing photos off.

Julie loves colour, bold prints and EPP. She also likes to do a lot of hand quilting and is currently dabbling in felt applique and embroidery . . . as well as cooking and baking mouthwatering food. Check out her blog if you haven't already.
And my style is . . . well, lots of colour too, with a nod to traditional and vintage design. I'm always looking for ways to use up my precious scrappy pieces, I tend to jump from one project to another, and I love an eclectic mix of modern, florals, vintage and plaids.

We hope that you will take the time to pop back on Wednesday 12 April, read some new posts, make some new blog friends - and linkup what ever you have sewn or stitched during the week, snap a photo, and share to our linky.

In the meantime, I'm still slowly working through the colour placement on this new quilt, 
Kaffe's 'Ebay on Point' from his  Caravan of Quilts book . . .

I have reshuffled quite a few fabrics around over the week,
and I've been busy sewing lots of HST's

While individual fabrics are pretty, I think the focus with this is on the columns of colour and achieving some contrast. And yes, it is scrappy, however I'm finding that repetition is certainly the key to providing some balance here. I also think the odd unpredictable piece thrown in is quirky and wonderful too.

I now have quite a bit of it up on my design wall, and I think I am ready to start putting some of it together. Not an easy task though, as I have to stand up on my sewing chair and take one diagonal row down at a time, it'll be a bit of a workout I guess. Just hope I keep things in the right order for sewing. Let the piecing begin  . . .

How about you, any sewing plans this weekend?
See you back here or over at Julie's on Wednesday 12 April to share a little quilty love.

Sunday, 26 March 2017

still sewing scraps #2

Heaps happening around here
and so exciting, planning something new with Julie from julielou
 . . . pop back Saturday April 1st to hear all about it

Meantime, here is one quilt top I've just finished and a new project I am loving so far.
I have a couple of gift quilts to make
so I started this weekend with these slightly wonky improv blocks . . .

I have made something like this a couple of times before (see here and here ) but I wanted more of a colourful happy mix focused around my latest purchase, 1/2 metre of Amy Butler's 'Double Fault Floral' in this stunning colour called Cherry, part of her latest 'Splendor' Collection. I just love the colours and that interesting pattern . . . Linking up with Beth for 'main crush Monday' here at cookingupquilts

I made a couple of 10" trial blocks and it all just started to grow from there.

It's been a while since I've used solids in my quilts, they called for some careful pressing.
There is a great post on pressing seams here if you are like me and need a little reminder.

I rotated the quilt a few times, just to check it looked balanced from every angle - a little trick I picked up recently from Kaja at sewslowly.

Well this sure brightens up a dull day.
I thought I'd have a go with quilting wavy lines to really add some texture to those -ve space bits. And then bind with a tried & true b & w stripe, yes? Sharing my improv effort with Kaja and Ann over here for this months Ad Hoc Improv Quilter

And up on my design wall this week . . .
 my new scrappy WiP "ebay on point"
- a Kaffe pattern that has always always appealed to me, from his Caravan of Quilts book 

It's great to be using so many of these fabrics from my scrap basket. The pattern is simple, however I'm finding to get that all important 'contrast' thing-y happening, I am having to juggle bits & pieces around until it's just right. And I'm really trying hard "not to analyze the fabric for its beautiful design but rather, consider each only for its colour."

It's taking me awhile, and thank goodness for the design wall, just wish I had heaps of squares all precut, ready to stick up there, reject, replace . . .

. . . which leads me nicely onto . . . scrap sorting
I've also been busy cutting up extra scrap squares, I guess it's a tidy-as-I-go effort too
- a novel approach for me,
but I'll let you know how it does go.

Linking up with Cynthia here for 'oh scrap'