Monday, February 24, 2020

Pastel baby quilt

This is the last finish from the sewing room for a while, I'm off to Adelaide on Wednesday, and I'm staying until the new baby arrives and the family is settled into a routine.  Thomas is going to have a big adjustment to make, seeing HIS mum with another baby.  I think he'll love the new baby, and I'm hoping that his dad and I can lesson the shock by being there for him whenever he needs cuddles, but he's only 20 months old.  He's still a baby himself in lots of ways, and he's always been a mummy's boy.  I've looked after him ever since he was born, sometimes for months on end, and yet he was nearly a year old before he would come to me for a cuddle when he was upset.  It was Mum or nothing.  I was so relieved when he finally accepted me as a substitute mum.

The Spinning Rectangles block is so quick and easy, it's our go-to block for donation quilts.  I started making these 4.5" x 2.5" ones, and thought the pieces were too large for the fabrics I wanted to use.  Now I'm making the other quilts with the smaller 3.5" x 2" rectangles, but I had to make enough of the bigger ones to complete a top.  I decided it would be too much white in the setting triangles, so I used a white fabric with a pink design.

The lilac border fabric is 30 years old, I'd already owned it for several years before I used it for Shonny's kindy clothes, and she's 33 now.  It's a nice pale border for this delicately coloured quilt.

I'm cutting more of these blocks, I think some site called them a Japanese Cross, so that's what I"ll call them.
I'm using up charm squares for the diagonal cross, but I may have to find some yardage to use soon.  I've really been using up the charm squares lately, which is a good thing.

And I cut all the scraps from the other quilts into 2.5" strips and I'm making a low volume baby quilt from 2.5" squares and 2.5" x 4.5" bricks.
I've started 7 new quilts this year, but already finished four. What a strange start to the year.


Sunday, February 23, 2020

Floral Stars

My fourth finish for the year! My Floral Stars were inspired by Mereth's quilt.

The fabrics in this are mostly very old, some dating back 15-18 years. Lots of pale green and yellows, pale pinks and lilacs.  Some of them are really pretty, and I love them, but they've spent at least a decade in my stash, and it's time to move them on.  The photo looks a bit hectic, but it's pretty in real life, and I imagine some little girl will enjoy it.
I still have a few of those black florals left, so I'm continuing to make the flying geese units.  I have a whole drawer of pretty blue fabric, and I'd like to make another one like this but with blue or green sashes.  It hardly took any time to make the 20 blocks, so they can be my leader-enders while I work on a boy quilt.

I'm really enjoying working on these donation quilts, but I need to go back to some of my own quilts that have deadlines. It's nice to be so enthusiastic, and to be having such fun with my stash.


Saturday, February 22, 2020

Ohio Star progress

Before I covered my sewing room in pastel fabric I knew that I had to try and clean up the mess from the quilts I  was currently working on.  So I sewed like a maniac and got the Ohio Stars in one piece, just to get it out of the way.  While I was searching through my stash for material for the donation quilts I came across a piece of shirting that I thought would be perfect for the sashing.  It was, so I cut the whole lot up and sewed the blocks together in a few nights.

It wasn't without incident.  I often cut the sashing fabric into strips the width of the blocks, and then crosscut them into the sashing width.  This usually makes better use of the fabric, and I like it better than cutting 40 or so 1.5" strips.  I didn't have any to spare, so I couldn't use the GO Cutter.  Anyway, I was congratulating myself that I had cut the 6.5" strips I needed, and had just enough fabric leftover to make a spare 1.5" strip.

Alas, I'd cut one strip at 6" instead.  So that was 28 sashing pieces that were too short!!  That was a fun moment.  Don't cut things late at night, I told myself. I'd already googled the fabric and knew that it was from a Jo Morton range about 5 years ago, so no chance of getting any more.  I did  the only thing I could, which was sew those pieces into a big long strip, and recut at 6.5".  It didn't look too bad, and I spread the pieced sashes throughout the quilt to help disguise them.
It was hanging on the workroom wall and Mereth took over the border scraps from my Charm Square 9patch and said, "You have to use this as the border". And I agree.  I'm not trying to mitre that print though, it gave me fits last time, so I'll put a block in the corner. And there will be a mid blue spacer border all round.

I will definitely make more Ohio Stars, maybe in different colours, because I just love putting the blocks together.  There are so many antique examples for inspiration, I'm sure I'll have another one under way before too long.


Friday, February 21, 2020

Pastel Spinning Rectangle

I really love the simplicity of these blocks, they go together in no time flat.

I went through my stash of brighter pastels and cut one or two 3.5" strips from all of them.  The white is a bolt I discovered in the workroom and I'd totally forgotten I even bought it, so I don't know where it came from.  It's been great in this, because I can just reel off metres of it, knowing there is plenty more to finish these quilts any way I want.
The first donation quilt is in one piece, and I'm still cutting these blocks.  
I have 60 kitted to take down to Adelaide as my sewing.  I have piles of strips all over the cutting table, and I just work my way through them all, cutting the 2" slices.  I stack the strips 4 at a time, and every slice is another block, it's so quick.  I don't think it would be any quicker with the Go Cutter, so no need to buy a die. I'll save that money for more fabric.

The block is easy to construct without using an iron, just finger pressing the seams, so it's ideal for me to sew a few of them in any spare moment. It would be nice to come home with all the blocks for the next quilt made. That will depend on how hectic it is with the new baby.


Wednesday, February 19, 2020

A very scrappy quilt

I've spent quite a lot of time in the workroom, quilting, tidying, sorting, making decisions about storage and workflows and such.  It's been a lovely time, just putting things in their places and setting the room to rights.  That sort of thing really helps settle things in your mind, and often really good ideas occur after hours of just pootling around.  It feels a bit aimless at the time, but it's relaxing, and then you're in a state where the ideas can pop up and be noticed.

The strips I made from the leftover scraps of my Tumbler quilt have been hanging around, and I put off getting them into one piece.  After a couple of hours in the workroom I told myself to just get on and finish them, with some leftovers from the backing of the Spinning Rectangles quilt.  I had the idea of varying the width of the turquoise strips, to give the quilt a bit more interest, and I think it worked.
The centre 2 strips are cut 4" wide and the other strips are cut 3.5".  It's subtle, but it adds to the interest. The whole thing is 45" x 59", just a nice size for the top of a single bed.

 I'm glad this is in one piece, and ready to be quilted, with that ancient cat fabric as the backing. It will have to be extended with some blue backing scraps from other quilts, and I think I will join several strips of batting together for the filling. It's a good feeling to clear out so many scraps and pieces all at once.


Monday, February 17, 2020

Where do I start...?  Nearly three weeks since my last post, and I've been busy.  Circumstances conspired against me making a blog post; the cord to my laptop died and refused to charge.  Luckily Shonny's laptop had a similar cord, so I was able to limp along with that while I was at her place, and I ordered a replacement cord.  That took over a week to arrive, and by then I'd used up most of my data for the month, and had to severely ration my net time to make it last the month.  According to the figures I've doubled the amount of data I use, which is odd because my browsing habits haven't changed.  I blame all these ads and videos that pop up where you least expect them, and run in the background endlessly.

While I couldn't get online I stayed in my sewing room and cut up a mountain of material.  I've been on a cutting spree, and stripped up a whole heap of FQs and scraps to make some happy, modern quilts. It's been so much fun, but I don't have finishes yet because I keep starting new things whenever I get an idea. It's been a tremendous amount of fun, so I"m not going to change what I"m doing.  Very soon I'll be down in Adelaide with the new grandbaby, and I'll have to leave all my projects behind, so I"m having fun while I can.

I quilted a quilt last week, and that was a good feeling.  It's off to a magazine, so no photos just yet.  It was so helpful to have the backing all ready, all I had to do was cut the batting and load the backing.  I'm inspired to get a whole line-up of quilts ready for the machine, so I can quilt one whenever I have a day or two to spare.

Here's a quick view of my design wall.  There are so many things that I want to work on, I just want to race from one thing to another and make progress on them all.
I started a quilt from 6" Spinning Rectangles, and that just needs the borders cut and attached.
I started Tulips cut from bright pastels.
I started a Sawtooth Star like Mereth's, because I have a heap of those black floral scraps too.
I made a Cross and Plus block, and I really love it, but I haven't had time to make any more.  I have a heap of pieces cut, but I haven't got round to them yet.

So many things to do!! I've really enjoyed myself.

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