Saturday, 30 April 2011

Hawaiian Quilts

I made a hawaiian quilt last year.  It took me over 4 years to finish it (and it was just 24" square).  When it was finally done, I swore off hawaiian quilts.  I love the look of them, but I hand appliqued and hand quilted this quilt (trying to stay true to the art form).  And it turned out to be a lot more work than I had expected, even a little one like this.

Yesterday, my sister sent me a book in the mail.  "The Hawaiian Quilt" by Linda Boynton.  This book has some beautiful examples of hawaiian quilts, and discusses not only the origination of that quilting style, but the adaptations that have happened in more recent times, creating what she calls "Elaborated Traditional Hawaiian Quilts".  They are gorgeous, and many are partially machine appliqued or machine quilted.

Now I have no excuse not to do another, bigger, hawaiian quilt.  I don't have to be scared of the time investment to hand quilt the whole thing.  And I don't have to feel like I'm 'breaking the rules' if I machine quilt it.  Or I can use more than 2 colours, and it's still a hawaiian quilt.  I'm just making an Elaborted Hawaiian quilt.

Monday, 25 April 2011

Card Trick Blocks with No Triangles

Here is what's on my design wall for this week.  I pulled this quilt out of my UFO pile today. It's next on the list for quilting, although that won't happen until I get my machine back from the shop.  However, I thought I'd provide more detailed directions for making these 'sleight of hand' blocks - card tricks with no triangles.

 You need the following pieces for an 8" block:
  • one 2.5" square and one 2.5"x4.5" rectangle, of each of 4 colours
  • four 2.5" squares background

Sew the 2.5" squares of colours into a 4-patch for the center of the block.

Add the appropriate coloured rectangle to 2 opposite sides of that 4-patch, to create the center strip of the block.

Sew a 2.5" background square to each end of each of the remaining two coloured rectangles.  Attach these strips to the appropriate sides of the center strip.

Block should be set on point, for a true card trick look.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Stash Report - April 24

I took my sewing machine in service last week.  Since I can't do any sewing for a couple of weeks, it seemed like a good time to get it tuned up - especially since the last tune-up was over 2 years ago.  My timing was pretty good - or bad, depending on how you look at it.  Good for upcoming projects, but bad for my pocketbook and stash.  The local fabric store which services my machine was having a birthday sale.  How could I resist?

I left with fabric for a new quilt

And backing for the current one.  Some of the blocks for that one are pictured here.

So, my stash is up by 11 3/4 yards this week.
Overall, 11.75 yards in, 8.5 yards out.
Net for the year:  3.25 yards in.

Check out Judy's blog to see what everyone else has been up to.

Friday, 22 April 2011

Tea Cosy

Because my sewing room is out of commission, I have moved my attention to my knitting for a while.  Back in December, I gave my mother a tea cosy that I had knitted from this pattern.  My sister liked it, and asked for one too, so I am finally getting around to that.  I didn't have any of the same yarn that I used for the first one, and what I do have (piles of) is a bit finer than the pattern called for.  So, I knitted it with 2 strands - 1 multicolour and 1 rose.  I believe my sister's teapot is slightly larger than mine, so hopefully this will fit hers.

 Next up - one for me.

Monday, 18 April 2011

Design Wall Monday - April 18

As I mentioned yesterday, my sewing room has turned into a guest room, so there isn't a lot going on in there these days.  But I do have this on my wall, from my productive week before I gave up my room.

These are 2 of the blocks for another quilt I'm working.  Again, not a project I can show completed, just yet.

I may not have much to show the next couple of weeks, but you can always pop over to Judy's blog, to see what other quilters are up to.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Stash Quilting or Buy-as-you-quilt?

How do you use your stash?  I have discovered that drawing my fabric from "stash" doesn't really work for me.  When I start a new quilt, I very seldom can find bits in my stash that work together, or are the right amounts, for what I want to do.  I'm really not a scrap quilter and prefer a more uniform look, so trying to work with the fabric in my stash for a new project just doesn't make me happy.  I definitely do better, and like my results better, if I buy fresh with a goal in mind for each project.  So my goal now is to use up what I have - probably mostly in backings, or charity quilties - and buy as I go for new projects.

I was a busy beaver last week, as I tried to get as much done as I could, before my mother arrived for my visit.  My sewing room is also the guest room, so the machines are packed away for the next few weeks while she is here (and if I'm smart, I'll run my machine in for service during this time, too).  But my efforts to get ahead made a noticeable dent in my stash this past week.   I finished one quilt, and pieced some stash fabric for the backing - 2.5 yards used for that.  And I made the blocks for another quilt, and used 6 yards of stash fabric for that one.  So, a good week, and hopefully a start to more regular accounting of my fabric. 

For this week, and my first stash report of this year:
8.5 yards out

Head over to Judy's blog at Patchwork Times, to see what other quilters have done with their stash this week.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Teases and Pinwheels

Some people complained that I was teasing you a bit with my design wall Monday post the other day.  And to that I have to say - you're right.  This quilt, and a couple of others I'm working on, are not yet available for viewing.  I am hoping to publish them, so until that is closed one way or the other, the quilts must remain in seclusion.

I promise to dig out a couple of 'free-range' projects in the near future, so that you can see that I do indeed produce more than just single blocks.  I can hear you now - 'Promises, promises.'  But I do hope you will stick with me long enough to see what's up (heck, if you're still around after my year-long absence that's probably a safe bet :)

To gain some level of continuity, and prove that my sewing machine wasn't completely silent during that year, here is the result of my designing on the fly post from March.  Once my guest goes home in May, I will be quilting some of the tops I created last year, and hopefully starting a couple of new projects too.

Looking at this picture, I see now that the middle pinwheel is a mirror image of all the others.  Sigh.  How did I miss that?  I suppose I have 2 choices - undo all the stiching to free up that block and fix it.  Or call it intentional, since it is conveniently the center pinwheel that's different - symmetry still exists.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Design Wall Monday - April 11

It's been a while since I jumped into the fray with Design Wall Monday over at Patchwork Times.  But my quilting hands have been busy this week, so I thought I'd share my current project.  Or part of it, anyway.  I'm working with some basic blocks these days - sweet and simple, and hopefully some interesting results.

This is the start of a new quilt.  The colours didn't come out really well - the dark squares are purple, not black.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Goose Season

It was such a nice day yesterday, I took a break from quilting and went out for a walk.  We have a new reservoir in the area, and I'm sure the Canadian Geese will be moving in soon, but it looks like only a couple of geese have found it so far.

This one was not impressed by the sound of my camera turning on.  But he settled down quickly and pretended I wasn't there at all.  I can't wait to come back and see the goslings later.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Spring has sprung!

Time to shake off the dust, oil the machines, and break out the rotary cutter.   It's been a long winter, and I'm ready for spring. It seems that spring might finally be here, as the temperatures are supposed to be above zero all week.  That, and the fact that the skunks have once again started feasting in my front yard are the best indications that winter is done for another year.

In honour of the arrival of spring, I have embarked on spring cleaning in my sewing room.  Well, the imminent arrival of a visitor helped that decision along :)  Somehow my sewing room became a complete disaster area, with several unfinished projects lying around and fabric from not-yet-started ones piled on most surfaces.  First step - find the cutting table.  This way, I can do some quilting in between cleaning bouts.