November 24, 2010

Quilt 7: Design and Piecing the Top

Quilt 6 is done, Quilt 5 is well on it's way, time to get some more of my UFO's put together so that I don't end up with a bad case of NTQ (Nuthin Ta Quilt). So here we go, Quilt 7! This one will be a baby quilt, made up using a sweet koala print. Here's the design:

It's a very simple design, just 20 main blocks with a bit of sashing around them. The green-and-brown squares will be where the koala print goes. Each koala square will have a half-inch "frame" of grey:

I cut out several one-inch strips of grey and sewed them on the sides of the koala blocks:

Then I stitched strips to the tops and bottoms, completing the "frames" for the koalas.

The koala "frame" blocks will be seperated by 2 inch "sashing" - and I'm for that I'm using an interesting aboriginal style print. I sew a strip of this sashing on the bottom of each koala block. Just as I did with my log cabin (Quilt 6), I'm not bothering to cut the sashing until AFTER I've sewn it to the block:

That makes it all go a lot faster.

The sashing fabric is a brown aboriginal print. It's very attractive, perfectly compliments the colours in the koala fabric, and looks a bit like bark - so I'm going to make sure that the lines in the sashing fabric run vertically (to maximize the bark-like effect).

and then put the sets together to form a strip of koala blocks. It's important that the koala's are all going in the same direction (a one-way print). By sewing the horizontal sashing only on the bottom of the koala blocks, I eliminated the chance that I'd get them turned to the side or upside down.

...and now the vertical strips are done.

Now ready for the vertical sashing. And as a last step, added a 2-inch border of grey:

Done! From start to finish, it took just 5 hours to get this much done.

I would have liked the grey border to be wider, but if I'd done that, it would have been too wide for the special "baby quilt batting" that I bought. The batting is 45x60 (inches), so I was somewhat limited by that. Still - it's a good size for the purpose.

All ready to make up the "sandwich" and then the quilting can begin.

November 17, 2010

Advance Australia Fair

Going "off topic" again for a moment...

I came to Australia 4 years ago as an immigrant. I'm so glad I had this opportunity and am very grateful to the many wonderful people who have been so kind, helping me along the way. I'd like to name them all here, but there are too many to name. And not just my beautiful Australian family and friends, but those back in Ohio who supported my decision (even though they didn't really understand).

And - as of November 12, I became eligible to apply for citizenship. I took that step on the day. There's a citizenship test I have to pass (and I'm studying hard) and then waiting to be notified when and where I will participate in a citizenship ceremony.

And so, one day in 2011, I will stand with other immigrants, recite the words:

"From this time forward, under God,
I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people,
whose democratic beliefs I share,
whose rights and liberties I respect, and
whose laws I will uphold and obey."

and sing our anthem:

"Australians all let us rejoice
For we are young and free..."

(As a side note - my love for Australia in no way diminishes my love of the United States. In becoming an Australian citizen, I will retain my American citizenship, which I am able to do legally under the laws of both countries.)

November 10, 2010

Guilty Quilty Secrets - Part 2

True confessions...

Last week I let you have a little look inside my UFO closet. And I admitted to you then that there was more. Well... here we go:

I love these fresh white-and-green "Irish" prints. There's enough here for a baby quilt. Very bright and cheery.

The Craft Connection was a lovely store in Ferntree Gully that has, unfortunately, closed (the owner retired). My first trip there was my last, sadly. But when I was there I found this sweet koala print and bought enough for a baby quilt:

And here's a dangerous bit of madness: a single "fat quarter" of a gorgeous gum tree print:

It's madness because there was only this fat quarter, nothing that really went with it. It's dangerous because you can BET that I'll find something to go with it... ...and the hunt for that coordinating fabric will, of course, lead to other bits that will attract me.

Oh, I'm just a moth drawn to the flame...

November 3, 2010

Guilty Quilty Secrets - Part 1

OK. I've been holding out on you. I'd apologize but I'm sure you'd know that I'm not really sorry, just feeling a little guilty.

I've been teasing friend Pauline about her huge stack of UFO's. But the truth is that I don't have much room to talk. My stash is growing, too. As a matter of fact, I've cleared out a large space in my linen closet just to store the batting and uncut fabric for projects that may not see daylight for some time.

And, just so those UFO's don't get lonely, I've been shopping again and picked up a few new bits:

First - I found the cutest koala print at my favorite quitling store - and a couple of bits (the grey and brown on the left) to go with it. This will be another medium-sized throw quilt:

And while I was in the store, saw a quilt kit that I fell in love with - "Forbidden Palace":

The picture (above) isn't terribly good. Have a look here at the picture on the "Patchwork with Gail B" website. The design is gorgeous - simple rectangular "snowball" blocks. Each rectangular block has a small triangle of black on the corner which frames the block and creates a stained-glass window effect. The simple black cotton runs around the edge, with matching binding. It's very dramatic.

I just love the Japanese prints that make up the blocks. Here's a few of the prints that come with the kit (there are 80 different prints in this quilt... EIGHTY! ):


And right next to the sample quilt, I found this Asian print:

The photo doesn't show it well, but the dragons have sparkly gold on their feet, heads, and spine. The colours are just so rich. I bought a meter of this, not wanting to wait and then go back only to find that the fabric has sold out. I'm sure I'll be able to find bits later that match and coordinate. In the meantime I'll see what kind of design I can come up with to maximize those glorious dragons.

And there's this bit (below):

This print I've had for a little over a year. I bought 3 meters, thinking I'd make a summer garment for myself, but just never got around to it. Then a couple of weeks ago my friend Karleen showed me a small decorative quilt she'd bought - her quilt had some of this fabric in it! She said she wanted to make some pillows to go with it, and I offered her a meter of this (her pillows look simply gorgeous covered in this - really sets off the quilt!). So I've still got 2 meters, certainly plenty to for a quilt.

So... is that all? (sheepish grin here...) Uh... No... There's more...

(I'll tell you about that next week)