My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Of Stars and Cats

After my efforts with my French General Trip Around the World quilt (top) I took some time out to sort and tidy the Palace... I had a peek in my leader/ender drawer and woohoo found my reproduction stars...oh yes what an exciting find!

Terry of Terry's Treasures had a sewalong last year, making the Moda Bakeshop Charming Stars quilt...same old story, by the time I  decided what fabrics to use, the sewalong was well finished, but I started up anyway. So I sorted through my drawer resolving to recharge this project for my leader and enders but by the time the afternoon was over I had most of the stars assembled!! Typical LE project, sew a seam, throw it in the drawer, what a surprise to see how much I had done :-)
My design wall is far too small for large quilts but I put up some of the blocks and wow the room was instantly full of coziness and I absolutely fell in love all over again ♥

So with those sorted I had another rummage amongst my LE projects and found a couple of stars from the Rainbow Scrap Challenge partially assembled. A few seams to sew and a bit of a press saw those blocks finished too!
I haven't kept up with this but will continue along at my own pace; August's colour was indigo and September's was orange, both difficult colours for me so I might skip to brown (October) for now. These are joined with chain blocks and I am able to make some of those now so that's pretty exciting.

And still on the subject of stars, I've been wanting to make a jellyroll quilt from Kiwiana (NZ themed) fabrics for a while now. The prints of these are so busy and are not a co-ordinating range so just any design will not work. However I happened to stumble across this block by the The Missouri Quilt Company and wondered if it would work. After a bit of sidetracking in the Palace it was made and I'm pretty happy with it. So there you go, there may be even more stars in my future now!!

In between all these starry adventures I've been quilting away at the Love Me Love My Cat quilt. I've done all the light parts now (mostly crosshatching and a bit of stippling) and am ready to change to a red thread for the last little bit. I am happy with how the quilting is coming up so far and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the rest of it will continue along in a happy manner. Hopefully next post I will have a completed quilt to show :-)
See you next time,
happy creating,

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A half plus a half....

(Progress since my last post!)
A half -
 -plus a half -
- makes a Whole!
I managed to have a solid few days on my French General Trip Around The World over the weekend and I was surprised at how quickly it came together. It was fun to see the design emerging as I joined the rows :-)
Hopefully I have fixed all the little mis-sews I made while piecing the second half :-) BUT please, if you see something wrong please let me know!!
[Thank you to Leeann who found an oopsie for me! Just as well I wasn't too keen to get it basted for quilting :-)]

I had a couple of comments after my last post about my 'rows joined perfectly'... believe me, not all of them are, but I thought I would share a couple of technique photos which may be helpful for those who were wondering....
Each row was pressed in a different direction than the row before; and I marked
the direction with an arrow as I sewed each row.
That meant two seams nested (or snuggled) together. I made sure I sewed the
seam so that the upper seam allowance was facing the start of the seam.
That meant my pressser foot pushed the seam towards the bottom one, ie they
were well and truely snuggling (nested) together.
(So in this photo I sewed from Right to Left)
I didn't use many pins but I did make sure the seams met and nested properly;
my seam allowance wasn't always perfect so I did a bit of controlling with
my fine tipped scissors.
When I started this quilt I told myself that I wouldn't stress if the seams didn't meet up properly - I could really have driven myself mad making sure it was perfect!!
(hope that's of some use ♥)
Now to get some quilting happening!

We've had some beautiful days recently so I took my camera with me when I was doing my farm chores. You can click on the photos to see more detail :-)
I'm always inspired to make a 'many shades of brown' quilt at this time of the year,
love seeing all the colours of the calves.
And I enjoy taking scenic shots of calves feeding with a nice backdrop.
I particularly liked this photo with the contour of the paddocks giving a
different look.
We have started weaning the older calves but we are still waiting for 3 cows to calve so I'll be out on the farm for quite a while yet :-)
Thank you for reading along, I hope your week's going well,
happy creating,

Sunday, October 4, 2015

FNWF and Saturday sewing

Friday night was the monthly FNWF sewalong night with other crafters from around the globe. I was happy to setttle into my stitching chair and carry on with my latest/current stitchery project.
July Calendar Bears. One more night's stitching and this block should be done.
These designs are by Michelle Ridgeway and they are appearing in this year's Country Threads magazines. I sewed my first 3 together the other day, aren't they delightful?! 
(Excuse the wonky photo!!)
Cheryll has a link up on her blog *here* if you want to pop along and have a peek at what other crafters got up to on their Friday night. Thank you again Cheryll for hosting us all :-)

Saturday was a wet day in Northland so after super efficient calf feeding and farm chores, I settled into a good day's sewing in The Palace. (I was so focussed I was thinking of changing its name to the Headquarters.)
And  I made some good progress in my French General Around the World quilt.
Officially halfway there now!!
 It's taken me a while to work out the most efficient way to sew this together... I started off by sewing strip sets eg A-B-A but that got a little confusing, and hunting though the piles for the right combination got time consuming. So then I just sewed pairs of strips together eg A-B and laid each row out on the floor beside the machine and was up and down for each seam. Finally I realised that the easiest way was to pin the squares (and pairs of fabric) together in half-rows and sew one seam after another until each piece is sewn, then join the two halves together..sorry if that doesn't make sense but it works well for me!
And you can see that the rows got longer and longer as I progressed through
the quilt! I'm going backwards now, the rows will get shorter and shorter!!
A better look at the fabrics.
 And now it's Sunday morning and we have a beautiful spring day out there. I think I'll spend the morning outside - the garden's been a bit neglected lately - and then have some inside time this afternoon.
EDIT where would we be without our dear blogging friends? Special thanks to Sunny who found some pretty glaring errors in my half-quilt top!! So obvious once you know they are there :-)
Now all fixed and I'm back on track!
Unpick the offending row that was upside-down-inside-out-back-to-front
Looking a bit better now.
Hope your weekend's going great :-)