January 30, 2019

Quilt 137 - Mini Squares - Peacock DONE!

Last year I purchased a quilt kit from Patchwork With Gail B.  I just loved the design of that quilt, and have set up to do several more of these, using different charm square designs.  This time I've used a charm square pack from Northcote called "Artisan Spirit- CSHIM42".  Here's a photo of the squares from the pack:
I'm taking photos with my phone, and it tends to distort colours.  The actual squares are considerably more "blue green" than the photos show.  The gold flecks on the squares are metallic - really rich texture and contrasting colour.

And here's the quilt finished:
65" x 65" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic with "Leaf Sashing 1" design - bamboo batting
 Here's the quilting pattern I selected:
And here's a closeup showing the stitching in the blocks.  The tan center blocks have a linen-look to them, very subdued, so the dense leaf quilting pattern works really well.
The backing is a soft gold and white flowery print.  The gold is in the same family as the linen-look blocks on the front, just a shade or two darker.

and the binding is solid teal homespun.

I really enjoyed making this - and every time I do one of these mini-square quilts I'm amazed at how fast it comes together.  There will be more!

January 27, 2019

Quilt 136: Monkeys and Elephants (my ugly duckling) - DONE!

I was ready to try another strip quilt design, and decided to go with blocks made of 6 strips sewn together -pretty basic stuff.  Here's the jelly roll I chose to use for it (one I picked up on sale):
I was surprised that the manufacturer didn't give this collection a name.  "Rainbows" is the same name on all (or most) of their jelly rolls. 

No matter - I decided to call it "Monkeys and Elephants" because of the prints:
Like I said: pretty basic stuff.  I have to admit that after I'd pieced the top (and before putting the final border of green around it), I looked at and just thought "...this is the ugliest quilt!"  I got a little discouraged and pushed it aside, didn't finish it for a while.  Eventually I dug it out and decided to go ahead and finish it.  Once I got the border on it and quilted it... I changed my mind.  It's actually pretty cute!
50" x 50" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic - bamboo batting
Here's the stitch pattern I used for quilting (below).
"Animal Crackers" from Urban Elementz
I used solid green for the backing - and the animal design really pops!  The thread is a light cream, which fades into the prints on the top, so I'm really happy I used a solid for the back.
So there you are.  My ugly duckling quilt turned out to be a cute little swan!

January 23, 2019

Quilt 135: Teal and Gold Bamboo - DONE!

I was in Florida in late 2017, and visited my favourite American quilt shop "The Quilt Place".  I always stock up big-time when I'm there, and this trip was no different.  They had gorgeous layer cakes (10" precut squares) with metallic oriental prints.  I bought 3 of them!

I finally decided to start using them.  Most of the squares seem to be red, gold and black, but there were quite a few teal/turquoise ones, too.  I pulled out 42 of those to make a simple block quilt.  It came together in a flash, of course - and here's the finished quilt:
56" x 65" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic (bamboo stitch pattern), bamboo batting
Here's a closeup of one of the blocks, with birds and bamboo:

The quilt stitch pattern is "Bamboo" from Urban Elementz:
I used medium-grey thread for the quilting, so the stitching more or less fades into the quilt.  I prefer that on this quilt because I didn't want anything to interfere with the prints.  In the photo below you can see some of the quilting in the lower part where the light is casting a shadow.  Very subtle.
The backing is a creamy gold peony print with soft gold metallic highlights, and the binding is done in solid teal homespun:

I just love the colours - rich and vibrant.

I'm going to pull out some of the reds from that set next and will do another, similar quilt - but on that one, may use gold thread so the stitching stands out a bit more...  ...or... well... maybe red (so it fades...?).  The backing I have for the red is a solid homespun, and so the bamboo pattern will stand out more.  Hm... I'll have to think it over a while...

January 20, 2019

Quilt 134 - Kookaburra Forest Wall Hanging (machine bound) - DONE!

My favorite quilt shop has a quilt kit using this fabric:
Have a closer look at the print - isn't it gorgeous?!?!
It reminds me a lot of the view outside my office window:
I loved the kit in the shop.  It cut the fabric into long narrow panels, and then simply framed them.  The idea is simple and gorgeous, but I didn't want a quilt the size of thier kit - so here's my design (much abbreviated from the shop's):
It's hanging over the fireplace in my quilting room.  Photos, of course, don't do it justice.
52" x 58" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic (xxx quilting pattern) - batting pieced from scraps of bamboo
For the quilting, a gum-leaf design would have been ideal, but I didn't have one at the time (later I bought one from Urban Elementz).  I opted for this design (it came with the Q-Matic):

I'd been wanting to try machine-binding for some time, but was afraid to do it, not knowing how it would turn out.  This project was just for me, just for a wall hanging, and so I opted to give it a go.

First I stitched the binding on as usual - except I sewed it to the back, not the front (as I usually do).  Then I flipped the binding over the edge and  did stitch-in-the-ditch all the way around using a herringbone stitch pattern on my sewing machine.  It turned out fine, as you can see:
The back is OK.  The stitches ended  well inside the seam on the binding and for the most part are equal distance from that seem.  Well.. for the most part, as you see below.
I loved how quickly the binding was finished - certainly a fraction of the time it would take to hand-finish the binding.  But I'm not sure I'm terribly fond of the results, at least not from the back of the quilt.  I'll do some looking around at videos and tutorials online and see if I can pick up any tips on how to make it look a little nicer.

January 16, 2019

You're Never Too Young (or Old)

My friend Nancy (who runs the marvelous charity Inspirational Quilts) came by last week to pick up some quilts I wanted to donate.  On this trip, she brought her three sons Joshua, Luke, and Thomas with her.

They are delightful youngsters - thoughtful and polite and terrifically curious.  We had a ball introducing them to Laka (our macaw) and answering the hurricane of questions about her.  Then we headed up to the quilting room and each of the boys took a turn at driving the longarm:
Luke (with Ang, the boys' dad on the left, my hubby Stephen on the right with Miss Laka, and that's me next to Luke)
They clearly thought the longarm is a pretty cool gadget, and took to it like ducks to water.

January 13, 2019

Quilt 133: Pond Life - DONE!

This one is another quilt kit from Patchwork with Gail B.  The shop had the kit in a recent sale - the price was just too good to resist.  It's a very simple quilt, just strips of 6 different prints (3 orange, 3 purple).  I think I may have only spent about 4 hours or so putting it together.
44" x 58" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic
Here's the quilting pattern I used (it came with the Q-Matic):
The waves and bubbles go well with the goldfish theme of the prints:
The backing is done with the goldfish print that matches one of the prints on the top:
Here's a closeup of the back - and again you can see the waves and bubbles quilt stitching:
I'm really pleased with it - cute as a bug's ear!

January 9, 2019

Quilt 129: Australian Souvenier Quilt - DONE!

At the beginning of last year, I made quilt using a jelly roll that had rainbow colours and some interesting prints.  It turned out very well and I thought I'd like to do another.  Well - then there was a sale at Patchwork with Gail B and wouldn't you know they had those jelly rolls marked down!  I grabbed one in a hurry!

Then, in November, my friend Diane and her 13 year old daughter Allison visited us here in Melbourne for a week.  While they were here, I showed photos of that rainbow quilt to Diane and asked her if she thought Allison would like to have one.  She said "yes!"  So I got that jelly roll out and whipped up one for her.

Here it is:
47" x 76" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic ("Panto_Square Meander" stitch design, end-to-end) - bamboo batting
The thing about this jelly roll that made me think it would be a nice quilt for Allison is that some strips in the set have names of places in Australia, including Melbourne.  Here's a closeup so you can see the print:
I used a soft mint-on-white print for the backing and bound it with white homespun.
Here's the quilting design I selected from the Q-Matic library:
That quilting design is a great one, very versatile, and I've used it on several quilts now.

I actually finished the quilt at the beginning of last month and posted it to Allison on December 5.

January 6, 2019

Quilts 130, 131, 132: Houses - DONE!

Sometimes quilting with panels becomes almost like "instant quilts".  That certainly felt like the case with these three.  I found the "houses" panels online and ordered three of them.  The colourful prints are quite large, and after adding a 3" yellow border, 3" green border, and 3" blue border, I ended up with pretty good sized quilts. 
52" x 59" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic with the "Row of houses" stitch pattern
 Here's the stitch pattern I used (below). 
On the first quilt (below) I kept the stitch pattern at the dimensions it comes in.  After doing it once that way, I decided it was a little too dense, so on the 2nd and 3rd quilts I expanded the pattern to just over twice it's original size.
 Each of the quilts has a different backing.  The first one is light turquoise (with dark green binding):
 The second one is yellow (with light green binding):
 The third one is deep tea (with lime green binding)l:
I've been VERY productive in recent weeks.  Now having the Q-Matic for quilting, I can quilt one project while I'm piecing the next one.  I can't believe how fast I'm powering through my stash of fabric!  I may start posting more often, as posting once a week has left me with quite a backlog of quilts to show.

January 2, 2019

Quilts 127 and 128 - Baby Bunnies - DONE!

Strip quilts go together quickly and can be really charming. 

I found this jelly roll "Bunny Trail" from Ella Blue on sale -
 Here are the prints in the set:
And there's enough in one jelly roll to make two baby quilts.

My good friend Nancy (from the charity "Inspirational Quilts") confided that she needed a lot more quilts for children - and so I got busy and whipped out two quilts like the one in the photo below:
46" x 46" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic - cotton batting
Here's a closeup of the prints - little bunnies, as you can see at the bottom of the photo below.  And the stitching pattern... isn't it just adorable?!?!?!    I found this bunny design online.
On the quilt above, I put the bunnies onlly on the top and bottom borders.  But on the other quilt (below) I made the bunnies a lot bigger and did edge-to-edge throughout the quilt.
Both quilts have the same vibrant pink backing - and here again, you can see the bunnies in the stitching.
These quilts took just no time to put together, and I really enjoyed making them.  They've been turned over to Nancy and hopefully by now have each found a home.