At last! Spell it with Moda quilt top is complete

July 2015 032

It’s probably been the slowest project I have ever taken on… but at last the Spell it with Moda alphabet quilt top is ready to finish.

Hooray!

I’m so happy with a few decisions I made along the way: to omit the picture blocks that were slotted in irregularly to even out the size (I just used white panels at the end of the rows and centred the letters instead) and to add a really bright border made from the scraps of the piecing of the letters.  I think the border really makes it pop!

I’ve used a mix of all of the Bonnie and Camille bits and pieces I have accumulated over recent years, in an effort to tidy up my fabric stash.  There’s Marmalade, Scrumptious, April Showers and Happy-Go-Lucky in there, each contrasted with the white Bella Solid.

This will be hung on my little girl’s bedroom wall.  I hope she loves it as much as I do.

Have a great day.

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.

 

20140705-102004-37204863.jpg

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

Favourite fabrics

I confess that I spend too much money on fabric.  But the way I look at it is, if I am going to spend as much time as I do making quilts, then it doesn’t make sense to then be stingy about the materials with which I will make that time investment.

Some of my early (like, early 1990’s) attempts at quilting were made with a blend of high-quality prints and cheaper basic dyed fabrics.  The cheaper ones have not gone the distance.  They’re faded, and in some cases, now bucked and bubbly.  Granted, if they had been edge-to-edge quilted, that might have helped prevent some of the buckling, but it wouldn’t have prevented the fading.

Take a look at this one.  The solids have faded in the areas where the quilt was folded, and there’s bubbling throughout.  It’s a terrible shame!

06 05 2014 064 06 05 2014 063

When I use the very best quilter’s fabric, I get results that take my breath away, long after the project is complete.  I can (and do) treat them roughly.  They are machine washed, line dried (often in the sun), chewed by children and spread on the ground as picnic blankets or play rugs.  The best materials withstand all of this abuse beautifully.

The moral of the story is, use the good stuff.

Any fabrics by Moda never let me down.  It’s worth using the bella solids too.  They are made to blend well with Moda’s current designs and the quality is top-shelf.

My favourite Moda designer is Bonnie and Camille.  Camille Roskelley’s blog is full of great inspiration!  I’ve had great results with the Bonnie and Camille happy-go-lucky and April Showers ranges.  It’s a pity they can be hard to get in Australia.  The pre-cuts Moda produces make quick quilting possible, and make the craft so accessible for beginners.

Camille is coming to Australia soon.  I’m a little bit too excited.

I like the children’s fabrics made by Robert Kaufman.  Dr Seuss is always in style!

My all-time favourite is, however, anything by Liberty of London.  Since they started making their classic designs in quilting-grade fabric, I have been enjoying them immensely.  You can get the Liberty Lifestyle range in Brisbane at The Quilters and Embroiderer’s Store.

As an aside, I stay away from any of the pre-cut fat quarters that you can get in Lincraft or Spotlight.  I just don’t think the quality stacks up.  Better to go to a proper quilt shop (and you’ll be supporting small business – yay!) or buy the good stuff online from Etsy or elsewhere.

jf