Monday, 24 December 2012

I used Green!

For those who know me, I am really very much a 'blue' person when it comes to colour.  However, in a change of taste I suppose you would call it, I knitted up something in Green!

TA DA - here it is.....  A very Green Shawl.

The entire shawl with the yarn label.

Knitted with Panda Astraka (300g = 300m)  - 100% acrylic on 8mm circular needles and knitted in stocking stitch, making a different texture on each side.

I really like the effect of 'tiger stripes' in the yarn as it knits up.

1 single ball of yarn = 1 shawl.   So very, very easy.

A close up to show the texture.

The shawl has been gifted to a friend who is having a major life change and moving away so that on a cool evening she can wrap it around herself and know that her friends are close by in her heart.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Possum Baby Wrap

One of the nicest things I think I have ever knitted.  Soft, warm and cuddly with an incredible texture.  The raised garter stitch pattern has given the wrap an interesting look and stops it from being boring to knit.

Possum Baby Wrap.
Pattern:   from Issue 15 of YARN Magazine.
Wool:     Supreme Possum Merino (made in New Zealand)  colour - Natural
             40% Possum Fur;  50% Merino Wool;  10% Silk

Very, very soft and very light in weight (50g of 4ply  = 210m)

Opened out

And... Closed
Once I started to knit with this wool, I really could not put it down.  It was really very addictive knitting.

Several people have wanted to know how you can make knitting yarn from a possum.  I have no idea.  I think to find out will require some research, although I'm not that bothered, I just want to keep on knitting with the wool.  :)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Challenging Challenge!

Way back in February this year when Donna asked several people if they would take part in a challenge which she would host.  

"Yes" I said.  "It will be great, especially as it is using Australian Gum Leaf fabric."  

How difficult can this be?  I wondered to myself.  After all, it's not the first Australian Fabric Challenge I have taken part in.

Boy Oh Boy - if something was going to go wrong, it did on this particular project.  This has been the most cursed project of my existence!

For 4 or 5 months I wondered what I could do that was different to previous projects - because you should challenge yourself with a challenge shouldn't you?   I eventually found a great project in a McCall's Quilting Magazine which looked like waterfalls.  I loved it.  I cut out the blocks and then disaster struck... I had a major oops with my fabric.  Laundry + bleach + hot water = faded fabric - moral of the story - do not knock red wine over in the sewing room when bathroom cleaner is sitting in the laundry sink!  Sheesh... My poor cut out pieces of fabric, they looked like little cleaning rags in the laundry.  The fabric lost all of its colour.  Ordered some more fabric.  It arrived.  Cut out the pieces all over again.  Laid out the quilt -   WHAT WAS I THINKING?  The quilt top looked terrible.  Quite awful in fact.

I put the project aside.  At the same time we had some major family upheavals going on.  I simply couldn't figure out what to do with my cut out pieces of fabric to have them redeem themselves and play nicely together.

Back to the drawing board!

A few weeks later, it happened... Brainwave!  Suddenly an idea hit me like a lightning bolt out of the sky - A BAG.  Yes, that's it.  Make a bag.  Why didn't I think of that before now?  Quickly, only a couple of weeks left until the great unveiling of the Challenge.  I searched through my multitudes of bag making books and patterns until I found it - the perfect pattern.  Now, the pattern gave another challenge; to make my already made and cut out pieces of fabric fit. 

Frogging (unpicking).  Lots and lots of frogging.  A little retro fit of the pattern and voila - it works.  My excitement was mounting because in my minds eye, I could see the finished project and see myself using it.  By this stage, there was less than 1 week left until the dead-line.  I'm sure I can finish this - how long can it really take?

Unfortunately I didn't get my challenge finished in time for the unveiling and a last minute issue meant that I missed out on seeing the other challenge items at the 'reveal' lunch.  Such an anticlimax.  All that work and excitement only to miss out completely.

The photo below shows how far I have gotten with my challenge item.

Although, all is not lost.  I plan to add two zippered pockets to the bag - one outside for keys and the other inside in the lining.  Maybe a mobile phone pocket too.

Watch this space - I plan to show you the completed bag very soon.

And -  I would like to give credit to the ones who completed their challenges - you can view them here - Quilt Challenge 2012.  An incredible group of wonderful and talented ladies.

xxx  Andrea

Monday, 3 December 2012

Floral Trellis

Take one Layer Cake, some extra fabric off the bolt and some white for contrast; then have a play and viola!  The recipe produces a large single bed quilt top.  I know it's not quilted yet, but it will be - my plan is to quilt while it's the holiday season.

Floral Trellis
My own design - the first time in a long time that I have made up something by myself.  It's a very bright and happy quilt and I am really looking forward to quilting it.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Blogging Again!

Gosh, it seems like forever since I have published anything here on this blog - I'm sure it's feeling very lonely! :)  Life has given my family some interesting curve balls lately, so while I have actually been knitting and sewing, I haven't been blogging - but now I'm back and hopefully there will be weekly posts again, just like my earlier blogging days.

Nothing too ambitious to post today, just a simple blue, white and taupe Ohio Star block.  Finishing at 6in square, this block will become part of the Kilmore Quilters banner.  Each group member has been asked to make a block which best represents them individually so the true diversity of the members can be represented. 

Because I just love star blocks and the colour blue - I couldn't resist making my favourite block of all time - the Ohio Star.  Simple, effective and just plain nice - ahhhh.....

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Sparkling Opals

The fabrics I have chosen for the Bloggers BOM which Jackie from Canton Village Quiltworks has organised, remind me of Opals.  Those beautiful stones have an inner fire which glows and I feel that the Kaffe Fasset/Phillip Jacobs fabrics I have chosen for my quilt blocks glow like opals.

It was mid-August when I stumbled across the project and just "had to do it".  I became so excited that I made all the 12 blocks below in one day - it was a long sewing Saturday, but really, what's a girl to do when it's pouring rain outside for hours on end?

** Block captions contain the name and blog name of each of the designers.

Block 1
(Sherri McConnell - A Quilting Life)

Block 2
(Vicki Welsh - Field Trips in Fiber)

Block 3 - Split Star
(Stephanie Dunphy - Loft Creations)

Block 4
(Pat Sloan - The Voice of Quilting) 
 After making the first few blocks, I found that I really needed to reduce the number of fabrics I was using.  My blocks were not looking too good - think psychedelic pizza - so I re-made the blocks with fewer fabrics and darker value colours. Then I achieved what I call perfection - blocks that glow!

Block 5 - Sands of Time
(John Adams - Quilt Dad)

Block 6
(Amy Smart - Diary of Quilter)

Block 7 - Churn Dash
(Allison Harris - Cluck Cluck Sew)

Block 8 - Triangle Squares
(Amy Lobsiger - Mrs Schmenkmen Quilts)

Block 9 - Jewel Box
(Cathy Underhill - Cabbage Quilts)

Block 10
(Pam Vieira - Pam Kitty Morning)
 Block 11 - Split Ohio Star - not yet made.... :(

Block 12
(Amy Ellis - Amy's Creative Side)

Block 13 - Star in a Star
(Sarah Fielke - The Last Piece)
 I can't wait until the 25th October, when the final step will be revealed - will it be another block or layout?  Who knows.  Just like a mystery quilt, you don't know what each step will be until it is shown to you....

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Miniature Pinwheels

Hello!  I have to say I was a bit taken aback when I looked at my last blog post to realize that a month had simply passed by!  

Right, now moving along, away from the mysteries of time disappearing, here is my latest finish - a miniature quilt.  The pinwheels are made from waste triangles when doing a 'stitch-n-flip' on a different quilt and the border fabric is also left over from the other quilt.  
Whole Quilt - 26in x 36in
Finished off with simple quilting in the pinwheels, trailing vine leaves in the border and a red binding, I am pretty happy with the results.
Close up - 2in finished pinwheels
Currently hanging on my design wall, it will also end up as perfect runner for my coffee table.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Traditional Tuesday - Pt 4

More gorgeous blocks from Jenifer Dick over at 42 Quilts Blog.  Take a peek, there is only eye candy in my book!
Block 30 - Square

Block 31 - City Streets
Block 31 is actually the second block from making Block 29, it is simply a reversal of the log cabin squares.  
Block 32 - Double Pinwheel

Block 33 - Illinois Road

Block 34 - Checkerboard Unskew (unequal 9 patch!)

Block 35 - Kansas Dugout
 Another block which is a bit ho hum by itself, but when repeated and rotated can make an amazing quilt.
Block 36 - 4H
4H - The 4 H's stand for Head, Heart, Hands and Health.  There are 4H clubs in America.  They are not here in Australia, so I googled to find out what the significance of  4H is.  4H clubs sound like a great thing for youth to belong to with a focus on traditional values so often lacking in our modern world.
Block 37 - Birds in the Air

Block 38 - Contrary Wife

Block 39  - Dragon Fly
I'm a little behind with my stitching at on this particular project and I can't wait to start sewing the July and August blocks.

Monday, 13 August 2012

I just can't help myself...

... I see a blog hosting a free Block Of The Month (BOM) for yet another Sampler Quilt and what do I do?  Note all the blocks in my quilting book and go hunting for fabric - sheesh - like I need another project!

If you click on the Bloggers BOM button on the sidebar it will take you to Canton Village Quiltworks who are the hosts of the Bloggers BOM.

A fun BOM which started back in September 2011 and is running until October 2012 - so I figure it's not too late to start.  Jackie from Canton Village has asked other well know Quilters for their contributions, which means that each month there is a guest block designer.  Her only specification to the Designers is that they use the Kaffe Fasset Collective fabrics which she sent them.  And, from jumping around the relevant blogs of the Designers, the blocks look fantastic.  Finishing at 8in square, they are easy to make, all pieced and look really effective.

Do you think I should use my Kaffe Fasset and Phillip Jacobs collective too?

Oh, and the white fabric - that's a French General print which I love with the brights of the KP and PJ fabrics - I think that the white fabric really makes the other fabrics sing. 

The bonus of starting the Bloggers BOM is it will actually be a stash-busting project - I don't need to buy a thing to make the quilt including the thread, backing, borders, binding and batting.   Very exciting......

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Traditional Tuesday - Pt 3

Some more blocks.  I am really enjoying the Traditional Tuesday Blog-a-long or perhaps it's my love of Sampler Quilts that has kept me motivated, whatever the inspiration, these blocks are a delight to make.  Simple and effective and a nice break from other more complicated projects.

Block 20 - Shoo Fly

Block 21 - Heart
A perfect block for Valentines Day, which was on a Tuesday!  The original heart block was pieced, but I want to have some applique elements scattered through my quilt, hence the applique hearts design.  Hmmm, still need to sew down 3 of the 4 hearts....

Block 22 - Jewel Box

Block 23 - Chinese Coins
 The Chinese Coins and the Log Cabin are my favourite blocks so far.  I adore the colour graduation in the skinny little strips and yes, I did foundation piece the 'coins' in the block.  

Block 24 - Spool

Block 25 - Pendants
 I can just see the Pendants repeated over and over again on a smaller scale to make an amazing quilt border.

Block 26 - Cross

Block 27 - Basket Weave
 Each week when Jenifer posts which block to make she also includes links to whole quilts made from the blocks so that you can see the block repeated, which of course then sets my mind off on a tangent!  The Basket Weave block (above) is a perfect example of a very plain block which when repeated and rotated can make an amazing quilt with secondary patterns. 

Block 28 - Modernistic Pansy
 The jury is out on this one (above).  I loved Jenifer's block but not mine.  I'll see how it looks when I piece the quilt top, might need to change it me thinks...

Block 29 - Crossed Square
Isn't it great when you can simply make something you love and someone else has done the thinking for you?  When this particular quilt is all put together it may have to be named "Relaxing on Tuesday"  ...smiles... 
 xxx Andrea

Monday, 16 July 2012

At least the Borders are made...

For a few weeks now, Rosie and I have been getting together once a week to sew, with the aim of working through our unfinished projects.  One of mine is huge, by that I mean size, this humongous quilt will finish close to 3m (10ft) square or just a little under that.  During 2009 and 2010, Project House 360 ran an online Block of the Month called Land of Liberty

I have had the blocks  for the centre made for about 2 years now and the triangle border made for about 1 year.  (My apologies for the dullness of the photos, the dark coloured floor has really dulled the fabrics.)

Triangle Inner Border - close up
This triangle border was an exercise in patience, but I am thrilled with it finished.  Against the rest of the quilt it looks great. 
Triangle Border - the whole thing
And now, here's the final border which I have been working on diligently for the past month on my weekly sewing day - I changed the final edge by adding in green triangles instead of having the 'scalloped' edge as the pattern instructed.
Outer Star Border - the whole thing

Outer Star Border - close up
And finally, here are the blocks so far - 1 block is missing because I made it completely the wrong size, I'll have to check my photocopying percentages because the block turned out 3in smaller than the rest, sheesh.  Also missing is where the stripes should have been from the original pattern, I am making many smaller stars to represent the millions of stars in the Australian sky under which I live to fill in the space.  Rosie commented that I like hard work, she says the stripes would have been simpler - she may well be right! LOL!  A self-imposed challenge is good for the soul I am sure... :)

The almost finished central panel
Unfortunately my design wall is not tall enough and the top blocks are flopping over, but you get the idea.  The stars in this centre panel are all made from a Fat 8 pack of Rocky Mountain II fabrics which I had for a couple of years before this pattern came up.  I did have to purpose buy the background and the borders.  My next purchase is for sashing and binding fabrics.  I have the backing and wadding already.  Nearly there.......

It's a great feeling when the end of the piecing is in sight.

Monday, 9 July 2012

Traditional Tuesday - pt 2

The 5th January seems almost like a lifetime ago, yet it's only been 6 months - that's when I last posted about Traditional Tuesday.  As I mentioned way back when last January, I have been following the very fun weekly blog sew-a-long which Jenifer Dick from 42 Quilts is posting each week. 

I am on track and up-to-date with making the blocks, just a little behind in posting pictures of them, so here we are, up to block 19.

Sit back, relax and enjoy what I think is some nice eye candy!  By the way - did I mention how much I am enjoying the making of these blocks?

Block 2 - Log Cabin

Block 9 - String Block

Block 11 - Bow Tie
 Block 12 - not yet made

Block 13 - 9 Patch
 Block 14 - not yet made

Block 15 - Double 4 Patch

Block 16 - Square-in-a-Square

Block 17 - Hour Glass

Block 18 - Flying Geese

Block 19 - Star
I am pretty happy with how my blocks are turning out.  I have selected a medallion applique centre for my quilt and will select a large flower from that applique to put onto blocks 7 and 14, instead of the "Holiday" themed ones so that the centre will tie in more to the blocks.  

Off to photograph the next set of blocks now.......