Is there anything better than…

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Here’s some positivity for your afternoon.  Is there anything better than…

1.  The moment when you open the block up to find that all of the points match perfectly?  It never ceases to make me smile.

2.  The feeling that you’ve mastered something you once found tricky?  I got that feeling when I joined the ends of my binding on a quilt on Sunday night.  Only a few months ago, that part was dreaded, and took me ages!  This time it was just a few quick minutes.

3.  Looking at a completed project, knowing that it is perfect, even with (and because of) its imperfections?  I feel that way about my scrappy chevron quilt.

4.  Cutting a project and having no, or very little, fabric waste?

5.  Knowing that you made something special, of high quality, that will still be treasured 40 years from now?

*Ahhh*  Making really is a joy.

That’s 5 things I love about making.  What are your top 5?

jf

Fabulous Fabric Friday: Tule by Leah Duncan

How did it get to be Friday so soon?

This week’s fabulous fabric Friday is all about Tule by Leah Duncan for Art Gallery Fabrics.

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It’s a wonderfully expressive range, with designs that are to evoke the Nevada and Arizona landscapes.

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I can see so many uses for this range – and not just in quilting.  It would make beautiful bags, accessories and giftware.

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You can get it in Australia through Bella’s Patchwork, and probably at other places too.  The fat quarter pack looks like a pretty good deal.

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Art Gallery Fabrics are a Florida based company that include ranges from a few designers.  They’re all pretty good, too!  You can see the whole Tule range here.

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I hope that’s a little colour inspiration with which to send you into the weekend.

Happy Friday everyone!

jf

Bloomsbury Gardens quick quilt top

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Last night, I finally decided to use the fat eighth pack of Liberty Bloomsbury Gardens in the blue colourway to make a simple quilt.  It is only small – 40″ x 36″ approx. – a size I like to call telly rug size.  Perfect for a grandma to have over her knees as she watches TV in the chilly Queensland evenings (don’t laugh, this winter it has been cold by our standards!).

That’s precisely what I am making it for.  I’ll give it to my nana.

The picture shows only a part of the quilt top, but it is the same style all over.  It’s a simple jumble of 5″ squares.  It worked well for the fat eighths, because for most of them I could get 8 patches from an eighth, with almost no waste.  With fabric this expensive, no waste is important.

In fact, the picture doesn’t do it justice, because each patch of fabric is so beautiful, that it is easy to be drawn into it and look at that one patch for quite a long time.

I had hesitated about how to use this fabric, partly because it is so beautiful, but also because the coastal colours aren’t the kind I use a lot, and so I was hesitant about how to put so many busy patterns with lots of shades therein together.  But then, I saw the June 2014 issue of Homespun magazine, and it had a project that used Liberty Tana Lawns to make an even smaller quilt, and it gave me confidence that very busy could also be very good.  It also helped me to decide that these busy fabrics needed a simple pattern, so that their detail could be seen.  I think it was the right decision.

I’ll post another picture once it is quilted and bound. I’ve chosen spotty aqua yardage from the happy-go-lucky range by Bonnie and Camille for the backing.  I already had it at home, it was a good colour match, and I prefer patterned backings (it’s just easier to keep it looking clean).  I’ll bind it in the same, too.

Not bad for a very short sewing session last night!

Have a great day,

jf

“Fresh” block #2

Hello hello…

Fresh block number 2 is now complete.  It took a lot longer than I expected, mainly due to interruptions rather than any particular difficulty with the project.  Here it is!

2014-07-16 09.57.54The process of very carefully trimming each half-square triangle patch to exactly 4.5″ made a huge difference to the ease of assembly and the quality of the points.

There’s one step I haven’t mastered, and that I will need to improve for the next block, and that is making sure that the way I press my seams at the time of putting the 9 patch unit together anticipates the direction that I will need those seams to be in when it comes to joining the four 9 patch units together into a star.  Never mind, I’ve got to have something to work on.

If you’d like to compare block #2 to #1, you can see #1 here.  The fabric I am using in all of them is the Bonnie and Camille Scrumptious layer cake with Bella Solids white.

Happy sewing,

jf

Fabulous Fabric Friday: September Blue

Perhaps it is my longing for Spring, but I am smitten by Dashwood Studios’ new range, September Blue.

It’s designed by Susan Driscoll of The Print Tree, and it is just so pretty.

September blue

I have not yet found an Australian fabric shop that stocks it, but you can get it shipped online from The Homemakery.

If you know a local place that sells it – please let me know!

Happy Friday, y’all.

jf

Making the “Fresh” block

I’ve been thinking a lot about the more complex patterns that can be made with simple shapes.  Using just squares and half-square triangles (HSTs), the pattern for the “Fresh” quilt, designed by Camille Roskelley, makes a large, beautiful star.

So of course, I started making one.  It’s the perfect quilt to make with layer cakes and yardage of a background fabric.  I love a good layer cake project!  There’s something about the manageability of a 10″ square that appeals, along with the great variety of prints it permits across the whole of the quilt.

I had a lapse when I made my first quarter-block (I blame the sleepless nights that come with a small child).  I forgot to trim the HSTs to precisely 4.5″ before assembling the 9-patch unit.  Big mistake.  After trying to fiddle with the points a couple of times, I just unpicked the whole thing and started again.  Sigh.  Still, it is a good reminder that I shouldn’t forget, or get slack about, the fundamentals.  Anyway, nothing that the quick-unpick and a bit of time couldn’t fix.

Thereafter, everything went much better.

Here’s what a single block looks like.

 

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It’s pretty big – around 24.5″.  You don’t need to many of these before you have a nice, big quilt!

This block isn’t perfect, but it’s a good start. Sometimes I think a little imperfection is nice.

The pattern is from Camille’s book, Simply Retro.  The fabric I have used is Scrumptious, by Bonnie and Camille, and a Moda Bella Solid in white.

Work and life generally have kept me from the craft room for the last few weeks, but getting back in there to do this block gave me so much joy!  I never regret making time to spend sewing.  I’m so blessed to have a hobby I love, and a place in which to practise it.

With a bit of luck, I’ll get some more time in there this weekend.

jf

Fabulous Fabric Friday: Lotus Pond

This week’s fabulous fabric find is the new Lotus Pond collection by Made by Rae, which is a line designed for Cloud9.

Lotus Pond pic

You can see the many wonderful ways this line can be coordinated at Made by Rae’s blog, here.

I’m a Ginger Monkey has made it into this beautiful cushion.  It made me so inspired to sew, right now!

Lotus Pond cushion by I'm a Ginger Monkey

Here’s the coordinating text fabric Ginger Monkey has used.  It is such a clever coordinate, I think it would go with most modern colourful fabrics as a background.  It’s designed by Alison Glass.

Courtesy of Pink Chalk Fabrics

Now, to get sewing!

Happy Friday, everyone.

jf