Thursday, 27 March 2014

Curved Blocks ...

It's been a slow job, but finally the Drunkard's Path blocks are finished.  This is a provisional layout on my design wall, but I may move a few around before the final layout is stitched together.  I like to 'live with' my blocks for a while and try and get a good balance of light/dark and colours across the quilt top.

After 120 curved seams, I feel I am getting much better at piecing them smoothly!  However, there is still an odd one that wants to fight me all the way :)

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Adding detail with Zentangle.

Here's a card I made that I would like to enter in the following challenge:  Sweet Stampin' Challenge - Doodles.

Image is an old Lily of the Valley stamp called Jasmine - Chat!  I extended the brickwork and the volume of her hair with a black Micron 01 pen and added Zentangle patterns as detail.  The card was shaped with a Creative Expressions layering template, then dashed and heart detail added with pen. The greeting is from a Lily of the Valley set - Oh so Girlie.  The background paper is a magazine freebie called Totally Tropical by Kate Knight.  Lace and ribbon from stash complete the card.

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Progress on curves ...

I've been working on the Drunkard Path blocks I mentioned a few posts back.  Progress is slow, but I'm loving how the blocks are looking. 

The design is based on a pattern by Jaybird Quilts called Opposites Attract, although I'm not doing the raw edge applique called for in the pattern.  With just over 40 curved seams under my belt now, I'm starting to get into a rhythm with them :)

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Dan's Birthday

I made this card for my nephew's birthday and I'd like to enter it in the following challenges: Kenny K's Krafty Krew #167 Gems/Rhinestones and Without Word's Hobbies & Leisure.

Image is Techno Guy by Kenny K, painted with Distress Inks.  Greeting is computer generated.  Black background paper is Dovecraft's Back to Basics Monochrome, blue metallic is from stash.  Gemstones also from stash.

Thanks to Kenny K for doing great images for boys and men :)

Monday, 24 February 2014

Experimenting with houses ...

I've loved house quilts as long as I've loved quilts, but I've never made a house quilt.  Back in 2006 I bought the Marti Michell house template set.  I really like the traditional house pattern, but the templates made that look difficult, so I made one block to test the standard house.  A couple of years later it became a small quilt and now covers a box in my sewing area.

I've collected books on house quilts and drooled over pictures of house quilts, I even designed a house quilt layout, but still haven't made a house quilt.  Then I came across Sew Cal Gal's challenge for Red & White quilt in 2014.  As red is my favourite colour, maybe this was the time to get making.

With my quilting skills several years further advanced, I decided to use the templates to make the traditional house block from scraps.  The roof area involves applique which I tried on the machine (gable area) and by hand (main roof).  I wasn't happy with either and had lost the sharp points.  When I looked at the finished block something about the proportions around the roof didn't sit right with me.

I scoured books again and found that most traditional house patterns have the background strip above the windows lower down than where the templates put them.  One of the books - "The Classic American Quilt Collection: Schoolhouse" - had a pattern that looked right where all the stitching is on the machine, so I gave it a go.  I'm much happier with this outcome.  If I get busy with my rotary cutter I can start building red houses :)

PS: The house second looks squiffy, apologies - it's my photography skills rather than my sewing skills!

Sunday, 23 February 2014

Experimenting with curves ...

A while ago I signed up for another Craftsy course - Playing with Curves by Ann Petersen.  Yesterday I actually cut some fabrics and had a go at some drunkard path units and here's the results (which will probably become a mug rug at some point).

I've had a couple of previous attempts at curves over the years, none of them entirely successful.  I tried various methods from lots of pins, to no pins and even bought the Curvemaster foot.  I just couldn't get a consistently accurate result.  With Ann's method, I wasn't 100% spot on, but close enough to make the units useable.  I just might play with these pretty charm squares and make a quilt, but I have another experiment to try first :)

Saturday, 22 February 2014

Cat fabrics ...

What should I do with a few random cat fabrics?  This was a question that had been nagging at me for more than a year.  Some of pieces were FQ size, some Width of Fabric (WOF) but shorter than half a metre/yard.  I didn't want to do a lot of fancy piecing because the fabrics look better when you are not cutting off too many heads/tails!

In the end, I decided to keep it simple and cut large squares (8") and make a quilt based on this charm quilt I made before.  To add a little interest I added a row of pieced cats heads.  The backing is another cat fabric too!

Very simple loop-d-loop and straight quilting, means this one is finished.  There is a very sweet lady at the care home where I volunteer who has moderately severe dementia and a strong love of cats.  I hope she will like it, but if not I will find a children's charity to donate it to.  I am glad this one is quilted and done :)