Wednesday, 14 June 2017

WOW 14th June Catching up

Hi Everyone,

Don't seem to find the time to sit at the computer at present so once again a few weeks since I have blogged, this week its catch up time.
Luv Shack is finished, Yay I am over hearts for the time being. Kept my quilting really simple as wanted this throw to stay soft and cuddly, had planned on only stitching around the hearts but once that was done it did need something else.


Doesn't really show up but I used metallic gold thread  and stitched different sized  hearts in all the open areas, they catch the light and lift the background a little. My hand eye cordination is not great so made freezer paper templates to make sure I got regular shapes and it worked well.


Borders got twin wavy lines sort of peplicating the flight of the butterflies.


Very happy with how the reverse turned out. 

First time I have made a quilt reversible and it worked out great, Used matching orange thread top and bottom for my border stitching so shadow butterflies that just blend right in. My only concern was with making the center of the back larger than the front my butterfly stitching does go onto the red strip but it is only some of them  and its balanced all around so looks fine.
Now to get it to my friend and find out if she likes it.

Diamond Hill is completly up to date as have been taking my outer border strips to the Thursday group and stitching them there so am all set for tomorrow and part six.


All diamonds stitched.

Have also made up the diamonds for in the next border. Not sure how it will look having my diamonds on both a light and a dark backgrond but its the only way I had enough of either of my fabrics. Know my diamonds are the right size and have placed them according to the quilt plan with plenty of extra fabric for trimming to match the applique panels which I hope Esther gives us tomorrow.

For Secret Garden I have made my 40 little blocks for part five and I just love them.


Was an easy calculation to get the 75% measurement of 3 inches for the finished size of my blocks but harder to get my cutting perfect. After a couple of test blocks this is my first one. Had been dying to start using my contrast fabric and it looks as lovely as I had hoped. Esther says we use nearly two meters of this fabric and I for one can't wait to see how we use more of our contrast fabric.
My leaf fabric a friend brought me back from Aust just before part 5 came out, it was the first fabric I thought of and it looks great, just wish I had heaps of it to use in other places but unfortunately I don't and what I have doesn't have a name on it or I would try to get more.


If you know what it is called could you please let me know.

With my blocks made just had to try them out and see how they look against a large block.


Know they aren't for surrounding these blocks as no where near enough of them but has let me see how the colours work together and I am thrilled. Haven't used dark blue anywhere else yet it seems so happy with my other colours. Now patiently waiting for 1st July and part six.

While staying with my friend in ChCh I came across a magazine is she is getting and was very taken by the quilt on the cover.


I'm not really a piecer but this pattern fascinated me and have always wanted to make a two colour quilt, especially using purple so the pattern just had to come home with me.
Was talking in about it at the Thursday group and saying I would need 5 purples and 18 assorted fat quarters of greys to make it, suddenly the counter was full of fabrics so now I have another project for when I want something to do. Have made 20 blocks so far of the 100 I need to make an 80" x 80" quilt, pattern called for 144 blocks finishing at 96" square.
It actually is a very simple pattern to make so long as you get the block colours in the right sequence, something I have yet to perfect!!


Block Layout


Add a square to each corner and stitch the diagonal


Sew the four blocks together


Four blocks together make up the pattern.

Am hoping the two fabrics with the touch of Pinky Orange give pop to the quilt when it is all together plus the grey fabric with a touch of lavender and little black cat faces is my hero of the greys so am trying to use it once in each block. It is wait and see until all the blocks are made to see if it works like I hope it will. No rush as this is my fill in project. 

Back on my sewing table at the moment is Heart's Desire, another wonderful pattern of Esther's that back in 2011 was a mystery BOM and has been sitting for about eight months waitng for me to finish the quilting. With luv shack finished I was in the quilting mood and have made steady progress this last week,


When I put it away last year I had stitched around all the applique and quilted the outermost border and the center.


Three borders and corner baskets now completed though I want to do more stitching around my "candles" but am not sure what to do yet as want to create the look of rays of light similar to the center.


Hard to see but have stitched flower motifs in the triangles of the vases.
Have ditch stitched the sawtooth triangles with same metallic thread as on my leaves but undecided what to do with them next, think I will be googling for ideas.

Thats been my last few weeks of stitching so my diary is up to date again. Now to link with Esther's WOW and head back to the sewing room.

Cheers  Jenny.



Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Diamond Hill and Luv Shack

Hi Everyone,

Ages since I blogged, life just seems to get in the way or is it quilting, not sure but have been busy and just had a few days in ChCHh as well. Party for a great friend celebrating his 65th birthday, Steve only stayed a couple of days but with four brothers and three years since I had visited them I stayed an extra few days so that could catch up with everyone, especially a couple of very close girlfriends.
part 5 of Diamond HIll came out just before I left and Esther had gone to great trouble to give options for making the diamond borders. Being me I had been quietly working away on these borders since month one as knew I wasn't going to piece them but applique them to the sashing strip. Having the picture of the finished quilt the calculations were simple but decided to cut my strips at 3" wide and trim after stitching them - just in case!!!


When I bought the sashing background (stonehenge) thought it was in the perfect tonings to go with my diamonds and it is, it tones right in, so much so that the diamonds lose their definition.
Diamonds would have been perfect against my block fabric but had fallen in love with what I used for my blocks and even though there wasn't enough for the sahings was determined to make it work.
Had cut all my sashings so was not letting it go to waste so played with threads to highlight the diamonds and have used a variegated 12wt thread that has the same colours as the diamonds. In hindsight a solid burgundy might have been the best choice but it looked too bold at the time.
Placing the diamonds was the fiddliest bit, stitching was a breeze as zigged and zagged my way down one side and then back up the other and presto they were done.


When the sashings were only around the blocks I was very uncertain about them but the addition of the dark strips made them start to pop. Thought I would have to wait for part 5 for the central star but suddenly realised it was a Lemoyne Star that was in a foundation piecing pattern book.
Size was almost perfect with only a slight enlargement needed to get my pattern


My plan was for an orange and yellow star but decided to use this gold fabric instead so green became my contrast. Cut and layered my pieces so the green was on top and I could stitch the edges continously. My half square triangles are pieced, just stitched afterwards.


Yesterday I added the next diamond borders and have the top cornerstones in place.


Tossed up between using purple or this red for the base, red won and think it was the right choice.
Last two cornerstones today and will be up to date again.

Have been spending time on Luv Shack the last few weeks as well and progress has been good.
Decided to use butterflies on the border, went with the ones that toned most with the border so as not too in your face.


When the corner ones were on it needed some on the sides as well.


had been thinking about my backing for a while and came across a Kiwiana fabric called Retro Baches which seemed so fitting for this quilt,  Once again not enough left for a complete backing so had to come up with a way to make it work which was of course to make the quilt reversible.
was able to get more of both the border fabric and the red, this is the result for my backing.


Typical Kiwi baches from the 60's and 70's
The half inch red strip just brings the fabric to life and its surrounded by a brillant sunny day, what more could anyone want..
Thought about the quilting problems I might have matching up the borders so spray basted my backing to the batting first and stitched  just inside the red border before turning it over and placing the top. Also made the center of the backing slightly larger than the top so could position the front just inside the stitching line. So far have stitched around nearly all the hearts, with dark grey thread on top and fawn in the bobbin my quilting is working out fine.


So thats what I have been doing the last few weeks, hoping to get this finished or very close to by June 1st when the next part of Secret Garden is released as am dying to find out what comes next and whether we use our contrast fabric or not, love mine and have fingers crossed it will work.

Enjoy your week everyone,
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Luv Shack and Secret Garden.

Hi everyone,

On a roll at the moment, block four of Diamond Hill complete and have been adding hearts and more hearts to Luv Shack. Having no set idea what to put where so decided to start filling in from the bottom and see what happened.


 Lower Quarter

Used my camera at this stage with small hearts only fused in place, happy with how it is coming together apart from the bottom center heart which is too light and the orange one just above it, Changed these, stitched them down and carried on filling and stitching.


All stitched.

Pretty much what I had been hoping it would look like though not quite as random looking as I wanted I am a organised person which is probably why couldn't get out of my comfort zone. It is a throw not a wall hanging and my friend doesn't know they were meant to be random.
Next was the border, had a real problem finding something to go with it but had been thinking in the wrong direction. The sit and sew group made some suggestions last week and they seem to work.
First was to add a red peeper strip around the quilt. 


Didn't want to cut to size yet so marked my cutting line and cut quarter inch wide webbing and fused to the inside of the line.


Pressed my folded peeper strip into place and stitched right on the raw edge to stop any movement 
then stitched on my border.


Went bold with the border but it seems to work especially with the red peeper strip.
Am wondering whether it needs something on the border but not hearts as think that would be too much so am thinking butterflies.


YES or NO

Luckily I don't have to make a decision yet as the 1st of the month arrived on Monday and Block 4 of Secret Garden was released. Am falling more and more in love with Esther's beautiful pattern as each block is released. Each block is becoming more detailed and having reduced the pattern to 75% am finding more and more challenges in making them, with block four it is the stems, they are so narrow think I may have to machine stitch them all. While I am deciding about this - and the butterflies - have made a start on the padlock and flower.


As I said lots of detail and I don't hand stitch!! Drew the pattern onto my fabric and stitched it out with triple stitch using the zig zag eyelet stitch for the tiny circles and an embroider stitch for the arrowhead. Pencil to colour the inside of the larger circles and reverse applique for the keyhole center.


Couple of attempts for the flower, on the left is my first and I do like it but it is too dark against the other blocks so have gone with the one on the right.


Internal stitching done over stabiliser with variegated thread and soft metallic gold in the center. 
Again reverse applique for central circle.


In position with my vase.

Starting on my leaves now and have to make up my mind about the stems so that I can start stitching.

Have been searching for butterfly fabric the last couple of weeks as wanting to add some to my Secret Garden blocks, 

A friend gave me this one, they are the ones on Luv Shack but also used one for block two instead of the rock in the pattern.


Always knew it needed something in that area but the rock in the pattern just didn't work for me.
Thanks Ellie for the butterfly idea.

The other butterfly comes from a fabric I bought off Trade me and this fabric will give me my butterflies for the rest of my blocks.


Lovely fabric with a wonderful shimmer.


One added so far, wondering about another couple.

Heading back to sewing room now so have a great week every one,

Cheers, Jenny

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Diamond Hill Block Four

Hi everyone,
Couple of weeks have again flown by and now we are in May, never believed it when I was young and being told just wait till you are older time will go so fast, it really does as won't be long and haf of this year will be gone - where did it go!!!
Block four of Diamond Hill was released on the 15th April and I was ready and waiting with my fabrics as was sticking close to the plan I had coloured at the start of this BOM. So glad Esther included this page in a format that you could colour in Paint with the pattern.


As block is opposite of my very bright block two was planning to use the same fabrics plus a bright yellow for the tulip but it didn't end up that way, 


The bright yellow didn't work with my red but this gold orange did.

Center flowers also had a colour change as block two blues and the placement I had planned was just to harsh for these pretty flowers so kept the bright Turquoise and went with Lavender's as the secondary colours.


The lower flower with the same red and pink as block two.


This was a much faster block to make with no narrow daisy petals to stitch around so was only a few days till I could see them all together and this made me relook at the other blocks. 
The leaves of block two just didn't seem to fit in as well as they should. They are the only leaves which aren't from batik fabric and that is probably the reason so decided to colour them up a bit.


Adding colour

Then block one, loved making this first block but after making the others it didn't seem quite as vibrant any longer so it was more stitching for this one. Restitched the yellow centers and central petals with double blanket stitch to make the edges more defined using variegated thread on the pink petals to match with block three, lower petals left untouched.


Happy with flowers now for the leaves


Feather stitch has given them a lift.


All together and am thrilled with how they look.

Now have some time until block four of Secret Garden so Luv Shack is going to get some attention.

Thanks for dropping by,
Jenny




Wednesday, 12 April 2017

12th April Easter Blessings / Secret Garden

Hi Everyone,
Another couple of weeks have disappeared since I blogged, time definitely waits for no man -- or woman especially one who likes to quilt.
Had a great time making Easter Blessings, Esther's free Easter gift to her group.
From the start I saw the pussy willow as mini easter eggs and had a fat quarter of a multi patterned fabric which I was sure would be perfect - and it was.


Mini Eggs stitched with Metallic Gold thread

Auditioned lots of pinks and yellows for my flowers and did buy a couple of new ones as well that I thought could also work for Secret Garden, for applique I just buy 20cm strips of fabric so for the cost of a metre I end up with five different fabrics.


All stitched and so happy with how it has come out'


Used four different yellows, all fairy frosts for my lilys
Decided to use a machine embroidery stitch for my stamens and added them to my central lily as well.


Triple stitch for Bunny Whiskers.

Last Thursday I found a fabric for my border, put it aside as thought tons of time till Easter then the light came on so to speak, there was only about 10 days to go.
Border fabric was perfect although I hadn't bought quite enough as fabric is directional.
Couldn't just cut strips across the fabric which meant I wasn't able to mitre my corners as planned but it doesn't really matter. Have edge stitched around parts of the applique but have decided not to touch the background at all.


Ready to hang.

Of course the 1st of April was in the last two weeks and on schedule the 3rd block of Secret Garden arrived in my inbox. was so excited as these blocks are so lovely and this one was no exception. Esther is outdoing herself with this mystery BOM,the blocks are so beautiful.
Have no idea how it will end up but having bought and read the book which I couldn't put down just know the result is going to be fabulous.
First thing to tackle was the cat, having just made my rabbit thought this will be so easy but it took three attempts to be happy.


Only used one fabric for the face making the eyes with reverse applique putting a soft green behind then blanket stitched the edges with the face on stabiliser. Used pencils to shade and detail the face, adding a line of brown around the inside of the eye before adding the black with a fine marker then a dot of silver, brightened the green a little and was thrilled with the result.
The pen line is where I planned to cut away my background fabric behind the body, luckily I place the body before I cut and realised I was way off.


Vase was next to positiion and stitch in place. Left the top edge unstitched to place my leaves under.


The leaves caused me a headache initially as started making them two tone but didn't like what I was achieving so went with a single batik, used triple stitch to define the stems then added some yellow to half of each leaf. the number of leaves across the body is why I cut away the background behind my cat.


Are these my colours?
Made one of each flower in the fabrics I was thinking of using to see how they would look.
happy with the purple/yellow, liked the pink though decided not to use that particular flower by the face as felt the outer light pink wasn't right. 
Colours decided I made up all my flowers working with 3 different pinks and fussy cutting my purple/yellow fabric. I like simple so used a slightly different green for the bases and cut them in one piece and stitching them on stabilser.


left one stitched, right one with stitching lines marked.
Stitching done lightly padded them before doing the final stitching into place


Lighter flower moved lower.
Petals on both flowers stitched with toning variegated thread.


All stitched and am so pleased with the result.
But do I need the stamens and circles?


A resounding YES
 So much softer and the angular shape of the flower placement has gone completely. 
Esther you are amazing at knowing what a design needs.


Love seeing the three bocks together.

Back to stitching more hearts on Luv Shack for the next few days, ideal weather for sewing as we are getting the system that was Cyclone Cook moving over us today and tomorrow with heavy rain forecast for the North Island. Whangarei is expected to be on the edge of the system but am feeling so sorry for Edgecombe in the Bay of Plenty. Stop bank failed during last weeks downpours from the tail end of Cyclone Debbie with massive flooding through out the town, now they are expected to get the worst of this weather system as well. Hopefully the repairs will hold.

Linking to Esther's WOW now.

Have a great Easter everyone.
Cheers Jenny