Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Zyggy's baby quilt

I've had this finished for a while, luckily as the baby boy recipient in question (baby Zyggy) is already 5 months old! Zyggy's mum, one of my oldest and dearest friends, thinks it is my best quilt EVER and it's currently her most favourite thing in her house (and she has a lot of nice things).

I'm not sure about that, but I do love it, and it's certainly a nice thing to hear!

I used Cluck Cluck Sew's Bizzy Kid pattern and it's a winner. A really excellent pattern for a baby boy. I found the two Suzanne Ultman, Critter Community fabrics (the birds and the forest) first and then built the rest of the fabrics from there, managed to use up a few stash fabrics....but lets be honest, not many!!! But now I've added to the stash with my leftovers, right!? so it's all good. I used some natural linen as well, gives the eyes somewhere to rest, and a bit more practical for a baby than white I think.

The backing is a quilt set from Ikea with graduating blue dots, the blues work well with the colours in the quilt top and give the quilt a bit of depth. The binding is a simple navy stripe.

But for me the biggest achievement on this quilt is the quilting. Yes, my first ever attempt at free motion machine quilting using the stitch length regulator on my new Bernina 550QE! I did an all over loose stipple design, I can't say it was easy and it did require a fair bit of muscle to manoeuvre the quilt. But the machine made it a whole lot easier than it would've otherwise been and I'm pretty pleased with the results for a first go. If you look closely (don't) you can see a few bumps but overall, its fine. Probably what I wouldn't do again is use a navy thread on the back with white on the front, the navy has come through to the front in a few places, but it's not terrible.

Another close friend has just had a baby boy, so the planned quilt for my mum for Christmas is on the backburner (Mother's Day maybe?) and I need to get started on a new boy quilt. Looking for inspiration....

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Minty coral random strip quilt

I love making baby quilts!! definitely my favourite, you know they'll be well used and well loved, you can have a bit of fun with the prints and colours, and they're small enough that I don't get sick of them well before they're finished. And they're pretty easy to quilt on my fairly small Janome. Wins all round!

This one was a commission/gift (I traded the quilt for a month of house sitting! Good deal I think). It's going to a new baby girl. The colours were an easy choice, my two current favourites - mint and coral. And they look so good together.

I'd planned to do a simple strip quilt, but felt like a bit more of a challenge (and was inspired by this Film in the Fridge quilt), so I cut my fabrics into 2, 3 and 4 inch wide strips. Then I built the quilt as I went, you could make it a lot faster if you just sewed random bits together, but I wanted to make sure I had a good spread of prints and colours (not all that easy with a fairly limited colour palette like this). The finished quilt is about 40 inches by 40 inches.

I did simple straight line quilting. The fabrics include a few newbies and a few oldies. I found it REALLY hard to source fabrics in a true mint colour, most are more turquoise unfortunately. The Lizzy House butterfly fabric is the closest I could find, although it's hard to see in the photos. There's a couple of other Lizzy House prints, as well as Monsterz by Michele Brummer Everett for Cloud 9 (love these prints!), and a few stashed oldies such as prints from Moda Bliss, It's a Hoot and City Weekend. Also a few coordinating solids (some Kona, some Spotlight).

For the back I used a few leftover strips (I actually ended up with a LOT of leftovers, enough for another quilt!), some natural linen and mint solid. The binding is a fine stripe mint and white.

All bundled up and ready to go!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Blue triangles - a single bed quilt for Claudia

I can't for the life of me seem to come up with decent names for my quilts! So 'blue triangles' it is I'm afraid.

I did finish this one a while ago, but have been away on holidays for a month (and suffered from phd - post holiday depression) so it's taken me a while to get back on the blog. Had to give myself a swift kick up the proverbial.

So, to the quilt, my little girl recently moved into her big girl bed (a king single), and while I've made quilts for her bed previously, I thought a special new one would ease the transition into the new bed (any excuse for a new quilting project!). She loves blue, so I pulled out all my blues and scraps (and some that just have blue in them) and cut my own 5 inch charm squares. I had a couple of packets of pre-cut white charm squares (handy), and I'll admit, all those half square triangles did take quite a while, and yep, got pretty tedious towards the end! Plus I decided to trim every single one, which is really not like me to be that fussy, but I really wanted this one to be perfect (it's not, but it's about as good as it gets for me!).

It's about 80 inches x 57 inches, not as big as a single doona, but it sits perfectly on top. One of these days I'll take a photo of it in her actual bed.

The quilting is just simple straight lines and diagonals.

The backing is mainly Sarah Jane pinwheels, I used some of the leftover HST's to make a zigzag strip, and paired it with some natural linen and a strip of Jay Cyn for Birch Fabric's organic line, also bound it with this fabric, I love the look of the coral with the blues and white. Coral is my new favourite colour (last week it was yellow….). I do love the back, I'm always glad when I put in a bit of effort and do a pieced back.

The transition into the bed wasn't nearly as painful as I imagined! thanks to the quilt, I'm sure.

In other news, I am soon to be the proud owner of a Bernina 550QE, I don't know much about it admittedly, but I do know it has a stitch length regulator, and I cannot WAIT to try my hand at free motion quilting. Stay tuned!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Archer's quilt

Our good friend's baby Archer arrived a few weeks ago, I had to wait til he arrived before I could get started on this quilt (wasn't sure if he'd be a she or a he!). So all the other WIP's went on hold for a while and this had my full attention for a couple of weeks.

I've made this pattern once before (one of my first quilts ever), using Cluck Cluck Sew's stack-n-whack  method (it's pretty quick and easy). For Archer's quilt I started with 8 inch squares, I cut 2.5 inches off each side to end up with 7 inch blocks. The finished quilt is about 52 inches x 45 inches.

The fabrics are a mix of prints, solids and cross hatches, some from the stash and some were in a bundle I bought from Fabricworm. There's a few Birch organics from the Circa 50 line, Children at Play by Sarah Jane (the red stripes and boys with kites), Flea Market Fancy grey seeds, and Alexander Henry Heath in grey (the cross hatch). There's a gorgeous grey linen robots print which I'm sure is something japanese, it was in the Fabricworm bundle and the main reason why I bought the bundle. The binding is just a navy stripe, pretty much my favourite type of binding. Machine quilted in a simple grid.

For the back I made some extra blocks, and used some more of the Children at Play boys with kites fabric. The grey cross hatch is cut from a quilt cover I bought from Ikea, it wasn't one of their cheapest quilt covers, but it's enormous, the cotton is soft and crisp, and it'll make quite a few quilt backs, without having to join fabric! magnificent.

I also tried, for the first time ever, machine stitching the binding. I always machine stitch it to the front, then hand stitch to the back. I've been nervous about machine stitching binding, I couldn't imagine how to do the mitred corners, but they were actually easy and I am so happy with how it worked out! I used a stitch in the ditch foot that I'd bought ages ago but never used, it helped enormously! It looks neat and will be pretty strong I think. I might still hand stitch really special quilts, but I think I might be hooked on this new method! You can see the front and back in the 2 photos below (and that adorable robot print).

I'm currently working on a quilt for Claudia's bed (blue triangles, she's obsessed with blue!), so will post that soon, I need to get cracking on it as my best friend's baby is due next Wednesday so as soon as he/she's born I'll have drop everything and get started on another baby quilt!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rachel's wedding quilt - wonky log cabins

Ok, I finished this one a while ago but I don't know where the time goes, I just haven't gotten around to writing a blog post! slack!!! Sometimes too, I have such limited 'free' time that when I do get some, I hit the sewing machine! I'm hoping one day the blog will write itself....

This quilt was made for my lovely cousin Rachel for her wedding present, I can't claim all the credit, it was a collaboration with my sister (she is my 'sewing guru'), we worked out the design and colour scheme together, raided our fabric collections and split the fabric, and we each made 15 wonky log cabin blocks each. I added the sashing, it's just a plain cotton calico. Each block was 10.5 inches finished, sashing 2 inches wide, and the finished quilt is about 60 inches x 70 inches.

Looks pretty great on our bed! This made me really wish I could keep it....Claudia liked it too.

The back is a plain solid with a strip of leftover scraps.

We had it machine quilted by a pro, it was the first time I've EVER had a quilt quilted by someone else, it was just too big for my machine. I do love the finish, although it does mean the detail of the fabrics don't stand out as much, if you know what I mean. What I also loved about it was not having to baste, hurrah!

I also did a sneaky little embroidery, the date of the wedding (yes, over a month ago!!!):

I hope she and her new husband love it. The thing I absolutely love about quilts is that they are potential heirlooms, if you look after them, they'll last forever. There's a lot of love in this quilt. xx

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Interlocking cross quilt finished!

Remember this old thing from more than five months ago? My first foray into an all solids quilt, the interlocking cross quilt that I'd been dying to make for ages.

Finally finished!

And the back:

I feel like I've overcome my fear of solids with this project, I always seemed to focus on patterned fabric, yet I love modern style. Really in love with this quilt, I just wish it was bigger so I could use it on our king bed! 

The finished quilt measures 48 inches square, the squares are 3 inches (cut size). The fabrics are nothing fancy, they're all from Spotlight. The orange is actually a true orange but comes up a bit redder in the photos. 

Definitely keen to try more solids quilts....maybe some triangles are on the cards!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Pimp my bedroom chair (and a wonky log cabin)

I've never been happy with Claudia's bedroom chair. I bought it from Ikea before she was born, and I admit, it was a really great comfy feeding chair for all those late night feeds. But it never looked that flash. It's the Ektorp from Ikea, looks like this. Boring huh! Mine had a denim fabric cover, not terrible, but not great either.

Luckily I discovered a great website called Knesting, they do fabric covers for common Ikea chairs and sofas in various fabrics, and they have a yellow chevron, my current pattern obsession combined with my current colour obsession - perfect. They're good value and fit like a dream.

I also whipped up a couple of cushions, one I made a while ago using a couple of scrap packs from Umbrella Prints (if you haven't checked out their gorgeous range of hand screen printed fabrics, do yourself a favour, they are beautiful, and made in Adelaide!). The other is an Echino print I've had stashed for a while now. Here's the result:

I wish I'd taken a before photo.

Also made a start on a wedding quilt for my cousin, my sister and I are making it together. We've decided on a wonky log cabin block, we're making 15 blocks each.

9 down, 6 to go....