Thursday, March 13, 2014

More scrappy goodness

The last few quilts have all been scrappy and yet my scrap basket never seems to diminish. I could probably churn out another 2 or 3 without making a dent. But I also needed to cut into stash so whipped up a new quilt a few weeks ago....can't show you yet as it's only just basted.

In the meantime, here's one I posted off to Mr G's birth mother for Christmas. She lives in Qld and has health issues so we don't see a lot of her. (Hopefully we can get up there to see her soon.)

This one is 3 1/2" scrappy squares sewn in a random pattern. The back is a Denise Schmidt from Spotlight - I think, or maybe not. It's pretty, whatever it is. Bound with a red solid to finish it off beautifully. Unfortunately I didn't measure before sending it off but it's more lap sized than bed sized (and you can see my helper's feet at the bottom.)

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Scrappy Squares for SIL

Since I started quilting, I have made a quilt for someone in my family for Christmas.

First was my mum: (What! I don't have a photo of this!!)

The next year was my sister:

My auntie came next:

Then SIL #1:

And Christmas 2013 was SIL #2:

We came to an arrangement when the cousins were quite small that we would only buy for the kids, not the adults, so I wouldn't normally gift anything to my SIL. But Mum was worried that she would feel left out so asked me to make one for her and I was happy to oblige. Really like the way this turned out, front and back. I rarely buy large quantities of a fabric but if I see a large scale print I like, will buy a couple of metres for backs. This one was an "end of bolt" special at Spotlight and the colours blend really well with the scrappy blocks.

And while my SIL was surprised to get a parcel, she did seem to like the contents. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

It's been a long time between finishes....

My biggest regret is how little time I get for quilting these days. Mr G is still feeling the effects of the concussion he received almost 12 months ago - a specialist recently told him the fatigue and headaches could last for 2 years, which didn't go down particularly well - so is not as able to help with drop off & pick ups etc during the week. By the time I've taken Miss R to her various activities, cooked dinner or thrown in a load of washing or cleaned up, then gone back to collect her, then eaten, got her sorted out with homework etc....well, I'm tired too. Weekends have either been to damn hot to do anything at all, busy with housework or spent cleaning at the holiday house. So while some stitching has been done, the progress has been slow.

But I have managed to finish a couple of WIPs. Now, my philosophy has always been to complete a quilt from start to finish before moving on to the next project. This is mainly because I know my personality type, and once I've moved on, I thought it unlikely I'd go back to revisit. I also figure it is a lot easier to cut all fabric and then chain piece at once so I don't have to come back later and work out what the heck I was doing. But I'd been doing some scrappy squares - a string quilt and a postage stamp - so it didn't matter when I picked them up and put them down, and it's good to give it a break and accumulate some new scraps in between. When I don't feel like stitching (or it's too hot), I'll cut my scraps into 2 1/2" squares so I always have a supply. And with the heatwaves we had this summer, it has been just too hot to do the actual quilting part, so I found I had 3 or 4 tops that just need backs. So a few weeks ago, I pulled them out and got them basted! And have managed to get 2 of them quilted....progress!!

None of these have a recipient in mind but I'm sure I'll find someone worthy.

First is a baby sized Swoon in orange. I am so pleased with how this worked out. I had some trouble initially as I thought I had more cream and wanted a rectangle shape but decided to add borders and make it square instead. All fabrics were from my stash and worked together so well. The blue binding just frames it beautifully. Measures 41" x 41".

The back is from Ikea. I used it on the back of Baby Willow's quilt too and must go back to see if they still stock it as it is great for kids quilts. I also like that the Ikea fabric is quite wide so the back doesn't always have to be pieced.

Detail of the binding. I have modified the way I machine stitch binding so it looks much neater, in my opinion. I stitch the binding to the back first using a 1/4" seam. Then I pin it to the front so the edge of the binding JUST touches the stitching line from the back. I then stitch as close the edge as I can - I line it up with the edge of my walking foot so I know it's consistent - and it catches the back and the front with a line of stitching. I have tried other tutorials on machine stitching the binding but after some trial and error, this works for me.

As you can see, I stippled this one. How I love my Bernina and the BSR! My stippling looks a bit like seaweed but I'm happy enough with it. My first attempts looked more like scribble as I found it hard not to cross lines but I've morphed into this style now.

I've also finished the Scrappy Strings quilt. I love the look of these and have used them as backs before but decided to use this one as the front.

Again, Ikea fabric for the back. I quilted this in straight lines, starting with diagonal lines across the lines of the stitched fabrics, iykwim. I was going to stitch again through the other corners but decided against it in the end. I would normally quilt far more densely than this but had basted it a bit too loosely, so was worried about puckering if I tried to put more stitching lines in. End result is a very soft drape so I'm happy with that. Measures 46" x 46".

Being so scrappy and colourful, I was a bit lost for binding but then decided to go with a scrappy binding as well. Didn't take a close up of it, but there's bits of everything in there - and what is in the binding, is not necessarily in the quilt!

There are a couple of other finishes I haven't blogged about, so must put them up in the next few days as a record to look back on.