Celebration Quilt

I think this quilt…I like to call it the Celebration Quilt…may be the last of the projects that I completed prior to the arrival of Peanut that I hadn’t already posted about. Like the earlier baby quilts, I was commissioned by a friend to make this for her first grandchild. Being paid for my work, and for a friend does add a bit of pressure, but I really did love the challenge of it all. And there was nothing like the deadline of the due date of my own baby to get me moving with this project!

This quilt was for a newly arrived baby boy and the brief was to include bubba’s name (a shortened version) and influences of his lineage which included Australian, South African, Greek, and Jewish. Initially that sounded like a pretty tough challenge but after careful thought I decided to use fabrics to represent the heritage aspects. I had recently discovered Spoonflower and figured that would be my best bet for finding fabrics suitable for this project. Boy was I right! I was able to get 8 different prints (each heritage influence was represented by 2 different fabrics) printed and delivered for the same cost as it would have been to buy here in Australia. The fact I was able to get it all from one site was the best thing as I really didn’t have time to schlep around Sydney to find what I was looking for!

After consulting with Jenn we came up with a design she was happy with, and fortunately I found a Melly & Me pattern similar to the bunting design quilt she wanted so I ended up using that. We mixed in some bright solids/print fabrics with the Spoonflower fabrics and a fabulous candy red and white stripe for the bunting tape.

Celebration Baby Quilt

Celebration Baby Quilt

I ended up machine appliquéing bug’s name onto the quilt with a simple zigzag stitch.

Applique and straight line quilting

Applique and straight line quilting

For this quilt I decided to try my hand at machine quilting. I knew I could cope with straight lines, and ended up deciding on stitching them 1″ apart. Phew…what a mammoth effort that was! Especially as I decided to just quilt in the grey area!! So many threads to bury once it was finished! I love the red & white stripe fabric in there..so much fun.

I realise now I didn’t get a good shot of the backing fabric which I loved, but here is a progress shot from when I was hand stitching the binding so you have an idea of what it was like. Don’t you love those dreidels!

Binding & backing

Binding & backing

Baby Alex has had this quilt for a year now. I know Grandma and Mum were both thrilled to receive it. I hope he has been snuggling up in it during these chilly days and nights.

Quilt Details

Pattern: Celebration Bunting Quilt by Melly & Me

Dimensions: 54″ x 74″

Fabrics: Spoonflower and my stash

Quilting: Straight line quilting on grey background 1″ apart, Aurifil 40wt colour 2606.

 

Update 30.7.2014 :

If you would like to see the fabrics from Spoonflower I used for the heritage influences check out my Pinterest board here.

A package full of bright fun

Getting up to date!

Another retrospective post. Just like yesterday’s post, today is all about getting you up to date with other quilts that have been finished in the past year or so.

I have a habit of finishing quilts for others but the one’s for myself tend to stay stagnant! Do you do that too, or are you a good finisher? I’m working on being much more focussed on finishing this year and not going….oh look, squirrel!!

One of my besties asked me to make a couple of quilts for the new bubs in her extended family for Christmas 2012. This was actually going to be the first time I was going to be paid for my work, so there was a little bit of pressure but generally I embraced the challenge. And although my friend didn’t know it at the time, I had recently found out I was FINALLY pregnant with Peanut so I was very excited to be making baby stuff!

I decided to use the same pattern for each quilt. As quilting was still so new to me I didn’t feel comfortable to make up my own design, so I decided on a simple pinwheel pattern for the quilt. A friend of mine in my quilting class had just finished a baby quilt using this pattern, so I decided to do the same. As the new additions to the family were a baby boy and a baby girl it meant I could make gender specific quilts. Funnily enough I found it really easy to choose fabrics for the boy quilt, but struggled for the girl….I thought that was a sign, I must be having a boy! Ha, so wrong!

Baby boy quilt

Baby boy quilt

I think you can see the pattern design better in the girl quilt.

Baby Girl Quilt

Baby Girl Quilt

I also love the backing fabrics for these…particularly the boy’s quilt.

Fun backing

Fun backing

A bit more subdued backing

A bit more subdued backing

I decided to hand quilt these as I was not feeling confident to machine quilt at this early stage. I love hand quilting so much. I kept a very simple design of concentric circles in the large squares, with just a small circle in the pinwheel blocks. You can see the quilting a bit better in the pictures below.

Of course, being gifts they had to be presented well. It was great to make something for someone else to gift. I hope the recipients love these quilts as much as I do.

A package full of bright fun

A package full of bright fun

Soft pink fabulousness

Soft pink fabulousness

Finished quilt size: 37″ x 48″

Quilt for E!

Time has always been a precious thing but I fear, until a few years ago, I probably squandered it as I had so much ‘me’ time (read no child that needed attention 25 hours a day). Nowadays any time I get to myself is very focussed whether that be on the things that MUST be done or on the things that I enjoy doing. As it so happens I have a little bit more time available to devote to the blog and it’s during this time I’ve realised there are a few projects I have completed that I never got around to writing about. This post is going to be about one of those.

Back in 2012 we found out one of my husband’s sisters was having their first baby. Exciting times, and as I had been learning about patchwork and quilting I decided I had to make a quilt for the little one. As my husband’s family live on the other side of the world we knew we were going to miss a lot of the day to day stuff that happens with babies being born and growing up, so making this quilt was my way of injecting a bit of us into the little one’s daily life. I loved making this quilt and I also loved hand delivering it.

I decided on a simple 25 patch block laid out in 3 x 3 block configuration. As the parents-to-be weren’t going to find out the sex of bubba until he/she was born, I needed to make sure my fabric selection was gender neutral. I also knew I wanted it to be bright and fun, and that there could be an element of play associated with it…find the animal etc.

This is the final cut….

Baby Fleming Quilt

Baby Fleming Quilt

Now hindsight is 20:20 so they say….and on reflection MAYBE using white as my background colour wasn’t the most sensible choice…time will tell…but I love the freshness that a white background brings. What do you think?

Elliots quilt 2

3 x 3 25 patch

Elliots quilt 4

Crisp and clean

Elliots quilt 5

Simple quilting suitable for a gender neutral quilt

As this was a quilt I made in the first year of learning I wasn’t confident with machine quilting this myself, so I sent it out to be quilted through my LQS (Cottage Quiltworks). I didn’t have any particular design in mind, I just wanted it to be gender neutral. I was so happy with it when it came back….the quilting is perfectly simple, yet oh so beautiful.

The binding was done using scraps from the fabrics used in the blocks. I love a scrappy binding.

Oh and I decided to piece the bag using some of the leftover squares from the quilt top.

The back

The back

Unfortunately I don’t recall the final dimensions…but this quilt is way bigger than a cot/crib size, and is at least a single bed size, so will be suitable when the little one moves into the big bed.

Oh, and by the way, our SIL had a little boy. Our gorgeous nephew E loves his quilt…..

Sleeping like a baby

Sleeping like a baby

Gratuitous 'arty' shot

Shattered!

Over the past two years I have been very fortunate to meet, and become friends with, some very talented individuals. Each of them has their own unique style, and they all seem to be uber-quilty machines…churning out designs and finished projects with amazing speed that I am left gob-smacked by the talent. Most days I find myself just in awe of the work that is produced within the quilting community, a community I am so glad to be a part of.

All this talent does not mean there is any hint of superiority at all. Each and every person I have met has been so generous with their time if I’ve ever needed help. The more I have tried… new techniques, new projects started… the more my confidence has grown, and so one day last year I wanted to give back. I agreed to be a pattern tester for my lovely friend, Penny Poppleton (she’s one of those amazingly, talented individuals I was telling you about). If you know Penny/Jenn you know how much she loves a HST (half square triangle for the non-quilters…thanks for sticking around by the way). Up until this point I had never touched a HST (amazing though it seems), so I was a little nervous at first, but decided to just jump right in. Jenn had already shown us her amazing version of the Shattered Star pattern she had made, and I was in love with it, so I thought…why not?

Shattered Star

Shattered Star

Now I should point out that I agreed to do this only a few months after the birth of our first child! For some reason I thought I would have plenty of time to sew!! Oh dear! Really??

Long story short….the quilt is now finished! Just under a year to test a pattern….and I was only doing the small version…hmmm really not what I was aiming for! I’m just very thankful Jenn is such an amazing girl…and having had her second hub only a few weeks before Peanut arrived she was completely understanding! Thank you Jenn….and thank you for designing such a great pattern. Can’t wait to see it in print!!

Hand quilted

Hand quilted

Pieced back

Pieced back

The homely touch

The perfect binding

Can I hear a “Woohoo” for the finish? So happy to have another PHD completed, and it’s another quilt that I am so in love with.

Details of the quilt:

Finished size: 46″ x 46″

Pattern: Shattered Star by Penny Poppleton

Main fabrics: A selection of about 20 fabrics from my stash

Background: Kona Snow

Backing : Mostly Posy by Aneela Hoey plus pieced section from stash

Binding: Summersville Spring

Quilting: Hand quilted with Aurifil 12wt 2021

Gratuitous 'arty' shot

Gratuitous ‘arty’ shot…with the exception of the ugly clothesline handle!

Shattered Star

Finish Along 2014- Q3 List

Well, the Q2 FAL 2014 list only saw one PHD completed for the quarter, but it was a biggy and I’m really pleased with it (you can read about it here). It’s now on to the Q3 list….can you believe we are over halfway through 2014…time flies way too quickly.

I am going to try to be a bit more realistic with my list this time around. Given that we are in the middle of winter here in Australia, and my Peanut has already succumbed to winter ailments I won’t be putting too much pressure on myself for finishes! So I’ve decided on 3 projects that I want/need to complete by the end of September.

1. Pattern Testing (a carryover from Q1 & Q2)

I did make quite a dint in this project during Q2, so it should be a quick finish this time around (she crosses her fingers as she types this).

 

Shattered Star

Shattered Star

The hand quilting is almost done, and then it just needs binding!

I have so many people giving birth in September and October and so I need to get cracking on some quilts for the impending arrivals. Naturally I won’t be revealing which quilt is for which baby at this point.

2. Baby Quilt 1

Circus Quilt

Circus Quilt

I started this quilt when I was pregnant with Peanut. After she arrived I lacked time to finish it, but also felt it wasn’t quite suited to her after we met her. I do however, know exactly who needs this quilt!

3. Baby Quilt 2

I Spy

I Spy

This project is not on my original 2014 PHD list. The idea for this quilt came to me when I was searching through my fabric stash recently and came upon a leftover piece of fabric I had used in another quilt (and in all honesty I forgot I had it). The piece contained a number of images perfect for fussy cutting. So I decided to start doing a bit of improv log cabin blocks and started to feel like this could make a pretty cool baby quilt.

So that is the list for this quarter. One less than last quarter, and I hope a list that will be fully completed by the end. As usual I will keep you posted on progress.

If you are interested in linking up to the FAL, please check out Katy’s blog The Littlest Thistle for all the deets.

Getting creative

Finish Along Q2 – All Squared Out!

Finally I have a project completed for this quarter’s FinishAlong….with about a week to spare…phew! Surprisingly for me it’s not that I have left it to the last minute. It’s just that I severely underestimated how long I had left on these projects! But, I’m not going to dwell on the excuses…I am just so glad this project is done.

All Squared Out

All Squared Out

This quilt was started 2 years ago, and was actually a topic of these posts here, here and here. It has been made for hubby to take away to his mountain bike races, particularly the long ones over a whole weekend when they camp out! He never sleeps very well during these things so I’m hoping that a little touch of home and a reminder of family will help just a little. If not, well it’s a good looking quilt anyway.

Love this side view

Love this side view

I think it’s a perfect boy quilt. The pezzy print is fabulous in all the colours, even the brown! The quilt top was made using a layer cake of the pezzy prints. I can not remember where the white solid is from that I used for the background. And I used a nice red and white gingham check for the backing (my hubby loves a good check…if you don’t believe me, you should see his wardrobe!) with a black, almost tartan-like check for the binding (which frames the quilt beautifully I think).

My set-up for quilting is pretty basic as my Janome is really a dressmaking machine and not really designed for quilting. With only a 5.5″ throat size, this quilt (which is 60″ x 70″) is probably the biggest quilt I will ever quilt on with the current set up. Some basic straight line quilting on the diagonal through the larger squares of the quilt top was all I could manage, and I finished it off by stitching in the ditch around the border strips. You can get an idea of the quilting from the picture of the back of the quilt. In the end, I’m actually really happy with how the quilting looks.

A bit of gingham...and you can see details of the quilting.

A bit of gingham…and you can see details of the quilting.

Getting creative

Getting creative

All rolled up

All rolled up

So that’s it. Another quilt crossed of the PHD list. I’m happy, and so is hubby. Let me know what you think.

Pezzy Quilt in progress

FinishAlong 2014 -My Q2 list

Remember that list of PHD’s I wanted to have finished by end of March?? Well, I’m pleased to say I knocked off 50% of them by the due date. I’m actually quite pleased with that considering the Peanut is now much more mobile and for some reason LOOOOOVES my company ALL THE TIME.

So, inspired by the fact I can finish things (and despite the fact I find it necessary to start new projects- more on that later) I have decided to sign up for FAL2014 Q2. Given my PHD (Projects Half Done) list for the whole year still has 12 items on it I think I still need this little motivational tool to keep me going…because it is way too easy to just sit and play with the Peanut all day!

I am going to set myself a list of 4 PHD’s again for Q2. Yep, it is probably another stretch target (still can’t stop using my work terminology!!) but that’s OK. I actually had a minor breakthrough as a result of the FAL for Q1. You see, in the past I would often stubbornly keep going with projects even though I knew there was no way I could meet the deadline I had set. It would cause me a great deal of stress and anxiety, but for some reason my pride would not allow me to change anything, thereby ensuring failure. How crazy is that??? Why would I put so much pressure on myself? I don’t know the answer to that question, but I do know that, for what feels like the first time, I allowed myself to acknowledge  it was OK to move the goal posts on some projects. Let’s face it, I was the one putting the pressure on; the deadlines were set by me, nobody else had any expectations. Oh it felt like such a relief, and by removing that pressure I could actually look at the projects again and readjust the targets or even rethink the final desired outcome (as was the case with the double wedding ring quilt). I feel it’s quite late in the game for me to finally have this realisation…but once again, I’m not going to beat myself up anymore.

So it’s on to the Q2 FAL 2014 list (and BTW you can link up to at The Littlest Thistle):

1. Pattern Testing (a carryover from Q1)

I did make a small amount of progress on this in the past couple of days, but it’s nowhere near completed obviously.

Pattern test

Pattern test

2. Double Wedding Ring Quilt (another carryover from Q1)

This double wedding ring quilt will be a gift for someone very special to me. I can’t say anymore than that at this point.

Some progress made

Some progress made

3. The Pezzy Quilt

This quilt has so little left to do on it….only about half the quilting and then to bind…so why has it been sitting left like this for over a year?? Who knows…but it will be done this quarter!

Pezzy Quilt in progress

Pezzy Quilt in progress

4. Vivid Dreams blanket

I thought I would throw a non-quilt project into the mix. This is a crochet blanket I started almost 2 years ago. I actually blogged about it here. How embarrassing that it’s not been gifted to this special person yet!

Some joined

Some joined

A bag of squares

A bag of squares

So that is the list for Q2 FAL2014….wish me luck.

FAL-2014-Button