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.


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,