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A couple of week ago, I posted my own Round Robin centre. Then, I received a centre to add the first border onto. So exciting!

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All rounds are sent to me by Charwirfs on Threadbias. This is her centre that she sent to me. On her project page, she has described the block as a “free-form, foundation pieced appliqué starter block”. With the block, she sent along instructions to”be creative” and to “try something new”. Eep! The applique on her block seemed intimidating to replicate further into the border, and I considered some paper piecing, which is something I am yet to try but still too scared to lol!

Before receiving the block and looking at the picture, I was contemplating adding flowers. Something like Lori Holt’s Tulips, maybe? But flowers just didn’t seem right when I had the block in my hot little hands.

I was drawn to the Italian flag on the bike and the words “Baci da Firenze” (Kisses from Florence). Kisses are represented by Xs! I can make X blocks!

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These are 2″ X blocks, made from the tutorial by Pile O Fabric. My idea was to make a coloumn of them running down the sides but the small size meant my blocks were a bit wonky and they didn’t fit the length, so I added the strips between them, and that just made it worse! So this strip ended up in my scrap basket and I made larger X blocks. I started with 3.5″ squares and once finished trimmed it down to 3″, so they will end up being 2.5″ X squares when once set into the border. They were much easier to master at this size! I was still going to go with my original plan and have them in a column down the side, but then I looked again and thought about having them interspersed randomly throughout the border.

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For the Xs and the border fabric, I used one of the multi-dots from Colour Me Happy by V and Co. It has the colours from the original block, and a few more to draw inspiration from. The solids are various Bella Solids matching some of the dotty colours.

When looking at the centre block, I felt like having the border run down the right side would look too heavy, so I decided to leave my border as only three sides. This is an “Improvi Robin” and we’re only expected to add to one complete side as minimum, so there is no requirement to add to all four sides. Plus I think it makes it a little interesting for the next players in the round to work from! In the other running robins, I think I’ve only seen four sided borders, and I like to be different ;)

This piece now measures approx 15″x18″.

I can’t wait for the next round; I’ll be adding the second border which seems more intimidating than the first!!

As for my own centre, its first border can be seen here!

I have another swap item I need to complete and send off by the end of next month (despite signing up for it January….). It’s called “Better Swap Than Steal” and the premise is you make something for your partner that they may admire of yours, or something in their style — basically to stop them from stealing your own item ;) I have the perfect item chosen to make for my partner and just need to get my butt into gear to get it done! After this swap, I think I might hold off on the swaps for a little while. They’re fun but at the same time stressful trying to catch the deadlines.

Hey Pretty

This week I decided it’s time to stop thinking about it, but to start it. Start what? My own Swoon quilt! It’s been on my mind for up to a year or so but I never dove in, fearing my skills were  not up to par to create the blocks so accurately. I made a practice block about 6 months ago but I still felt like I wasn’t “ready”.

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I’m invested in making this quilt perfectly because I am making it for me. For my bed. With the fabrics I have chosen, which I chose for this project as soon as I saw them, I plan on decorating my bedroom around. Well, okay our bedroom, since it’s my husband’s as well. But it’s not like he’s interested in all that decorating stuff, unless it involves pulling big things apart and smashing them to bits with large tools and getting dirty and stuff.

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Over the weekend, I made him sit down with me to help pair up the fabrics for the blocks. I like to think that by getting his approval on the fabrics, and having him involved in its development, he can’t complain about the end result being “too girly” or any other complaints about it. You had your chance to speak about about your choice, buddy! ;) Not that I would totally trust his opinion on which fabrics to choose, because I’m sure he’d be happy with bedding just made up of bacon and steak.

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I’ve only made the one block so far, but I am proud of myself for waiting until I knew I was ready. It’s not 100% perfect, but pretty damn close. It’s certainly not a hard block to make but accurate cutting and piecing sure do help.

I’m using a fat quarter bundle of Sunnyside by Kate Spain and following the pattern instructions. I’m a little concerned about the half square triangle pieces though because the instructions are to cut squares 3 7/8″ when usually it’s suggested to cut them at 4″ so you can cut trim them down more accurately. I want to do this, but I’m concerned about messing up my fat quarter cutting and running out of fabric. I’ve been using an extra scant 1/4″ seam just so I can get the HST to come out right — has worked so far.

This it does make me wonder if, when writing a pattern, does the writer use the exact measurement they give in the pattern when making their own item (whether for practice, testing etc) — are they such perfect piecers they can make it work? Or do they actually make larger pieces also, but then change the fabric requirements in such a way where it will still work, but fit amongst a certain measurement of fabric?

Quilt Along Progression

This past weekend, I worked on piecing together blocks/rows for the two quilt alongs I’m currently participating in — The Gypsy Wife and Triangle Quilt Along.

Most of the weekend was spent on my triangle top. (Sidenote: for some reason, every time I type triangle, I end up typing traingle and I don’t know why and it’s quite irritating).

I decided to cut into the rest of my AMH stashed fabrics I shared last week and it took me a whole afternoon to just get through those. In the end I have no idea how many trIangles I ended up with. I wasn’t counting. When everything was cut, I laid them out on my kitchen floor to see what kind of size I was going to end up with.

From a rough estimate based on layout, there may be around 500 4.5″ triangles here. I have quite a few leftover that haven’t made the cut just because they won’t fit. Depending on how big this top ends up compared to what I have for backing I might put some on the back– my original 7 rows I’ve done more than likely will end up on the back because I’m pretty much ignoring them now.

After looking at this layout, I ended up cutting some more black solid triangles as well. Even now with my final ‘layout’ worked out I feel like I need more black triangles because it just doesn’t have the same pizzazz that I think my original rows have. But I’m feeling lazy.

This week’s linkup is for at least one pieced row, so here is two!

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So pretty against my blue hallway!

I still managed to screw up some of my piecing and I had to remove some traingles because I didn’t have a 1/4″ seam at the tips and for 95% of the triangles I pieced back to front seam wise when trying to join multiples together. Atthis point, I’m saying screw it and just working with what I’ve done.

Next up, were my Santa’s Wife blocks.

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April’s blocks were the heart, various sized courthouse steps and another itty bitty square in a square.

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I made sure to use some more of the large owls so that my block from last month would fit in more. I also used some of my prints from yesterday’s Sunday Stash post! The tiny prints are so perfect for the small pieces needed for these blocks.

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Here’s a look at all my Santa’s Wife blocks so far, with bonus abandoned Catvent cat. My first block, the colour wheel, I’m starting to like a little more as it blends into all the other blocks. I’d still prefer it to be scrappier but I don’t think it looks so bad mixed up with everything else.

Sunday Stash #16: Birthday Bash Finale

Ah, the last of my birthday stash…

Having worked on a couple of months worth of Gypsy Wife Quilt Along blocks, I noticed a lack of some colours in my drawer of Christmas fabrics – BLUE! Which is funny since I have a million blue non-Christmas fabrics. Specfically though, I was looking for a more darker/deep or navy blue. I am pining for 25th and Pine. Oh those navies. Yum.

Anyway, my fabrics!

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I put the three blue prints of Timeless Treasure’s mini prints into my cart, but at a little over $5 each for 1/2 yard that was almost $16. Fat Quarter Shop had a fat quarter bundle of all the prints for $19! Since I only need a small amount of fabric for my Santa’s Wife then this was the better deal – and having some small prints to mix up is a good thing.

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The bundle also came with these two basic prints. I like/want Christmas basics but the only thing Christmas-specific about them is the colour palette so I’ve held off on buying generic prints like this since I can put together any kind of basics in “Christmas” colours to get the same kind of look.

Like Colour Me Happy that I shared last week, another line I was waiting to be released is Rocket Age. I picked up a layer cake (or whatever Riley Blake calls their 10″ square bundles– but they only include 20 pieces, poo).

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You can’t have a space themed fabric without a few stars!

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There’s also some basic stripes.

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Then we have some feature prints.

The below two photos are of my favourite prints in this line.

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How cool are these vintage ads?! I definitely want yardage of this!

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These planetary blue prints are awesome and I also want yardage of these. I wish they came in more colours, because I can see them being used amongst other texty type prints. The colour of the dark one is a bit of an enigma. It’s listed as “navy” and online I’ve seen its photo look navy, or even black. To me, the actual fabric looks black with blue grid lines across it, though it very may well be a dark navy with lighter blue lines across it.

I have an idea for these, and a chosen pattern but I still have to work out fabric requirements and if what I have can even work in making blocks. Not sure when I’ll do that but I’d like to do it before all the yardage I want disappears!

My mum is visiting next month and we’re going to a quilt fair. Maybe I can score some freebie fabric from her while there to add to my stash! She does want to steal some of my fabrics, so it’s only fair! Otherwise, who knows when I will have yummy new fabrics to share on Sunday Stash!

Completely not fabric related, but who’s excited for the Game of Thrones premiere?? I am ! I am!

You are so pointy

I feel like I’m cheating a little with the Triangle Quilt Along because I already have my triangles cut, which I did months ago!

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I signed up the Sassy Quilter’s Triangle Quilt Along as motivation to finish the Anna Maria Horner triangle quilt (with a touch of Tula Pink) I had started about 6 months ago! The Quilt Along is running through to the end of April, so it also makes it the perfect project to finish up for my April A Lovely Year of Finishes goal.

April goal: Have a completed triangle top

I’d love to say “have a completed triangle quilt” but I don’t have any batting to make a quilt sandwich for it and I’m not sure if I can get any to be able to quilt and complete it. I don’t want to end up giving myself a fail for the month just because I couldn’t afford to buy an ‘ingredient’ so as long as the top is done as my goal, I can worry about the rest later!

I decided a ‘decent’ width of the quilt is 25 triangles across. I haven’t decided on a length and I’m hoping I have enough triangles cut to get me somewhere decent. Six months ago, I left off with 7 completed rows; 5 of which I have sewn together.

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At this stage, I’m going to leave what I have completed and follow the guidance of the quilt along schedule for the rest of my work on this quilt… hopefully I will learn some techniques to help with piecing… some of my corners/seams in my rows are a little bulky.

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My inspiration for this design came from an ugly looking shirt I came across at work (which oddly enough was quite popular at the time). It also came in matching shorts and a dress as well. I didn’t take a photo of the whole top, but despite the style being not to my liking, I did think the pattern could lend itself nicely to a quilt top!

I haven’t been able to find a photo of the shirt online, but here are the shorts (they’re by designer Bettina Liano). The design for these clothing items was called “Nocturnal Garden”. Since the AMH fabric I’m using is mostly Field Study, I’m calling my quilt Nocturnal Fields!

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I’m going to have to cut some extra black solid triangles to go with the mix, and I’ll probably cut a few pieces from the rest of my AMH stash as well.

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Field Study linens, Field Study, True Colours, Dowry, Hand Drawn Garden

But it’s scary to think about cutting into these beauties!

Sunday Stash #15

The reason why I waited so long to spend the rest of my birthday money was because I was actually being good, and waiting for what I wanted to be released. I almost succumbed early by cheating and buying a fat quarter bundle but nope, I was good, and patient, and waited. And finally Colour Me Happy yardage was released!

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Of all V and Co’s lines, this one would have to be my favourite so far.

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I love the colour selections in this collection; they just seem so different from other fabrics available at the moment with the deep greens and navy.

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Blue is one colour I have an abundance of in my stash, but I gave myself permission to buy these as I don’t have as much navy/dark blue as I do bright/sky/light blues! Plus I just love those Vs and beady-dots.

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I didn’t buy any Simply Style when it was released, but I decided to add these 3 prints to my collection from what was left of the line to purchase at Fat Quarter Shop.

Must make the most out of shipping, after all ;) I still have a little bit left to share, but that can wait until next week, so this post can be all about the V a& Co. love <3

Pretty Little Sewing Room

Earlier this year, I signed up for the February Progressive Swap at Threadbias: “Pretty Little Sewing Room”. Since February tended to be a bad month for me, I ended up receiving my partner’s items before I had even sent mine (bad, Jo)! I’d also signed up to a Round Robin this year, and my swap partner ended up being the person I send on my rounds to, so I held onto my swap goodies a bit longer so I could send my centre along with it to save on postage.

Here’s what my swap partner sent for me:

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I love it! The Sew Stitchy looks so nice with the red. It’s a pocket wall hanging made over an embroidery hoop and I love the touch of ric rac along the edges. I’ve been trialling it in different places in my room so I can have it in the perfect location!

The chocolate was really yummy too! Both were Seattle Chocolates – one was a cherry flavour, the other espresso. I’m not a coffee drinker and don’t usually like coffee flavoured things, but I was pleasantly surprised with this chocolate that it wasn’t too strong of a coffee flavour. I could still taste and enjoy the chocolate and there was only a slight hint of coffee, which I actually enjoyed! Still not enough to convert me to a coffee lover though :) Neither chocolate lasted long hehe. I did actually share them with my husband but he doesn’t like dark chocolate much so he ended up giving back his share to me. (No complaints from me!!)

The first thing I made early on for my swap partner was a little pincushion bunny.

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It’s the first time in a long time I’ve made anything 3D and stuffed. The last time I remember doing it was 15+ years ago in highschool, when I made a stuffed penguin for a project and some snowmen Christmas decorations. Each of those were simple shapes cut out and didn’t include sticking in ears and sewing different different body parts to make a panel though. Heehee it’s so cute. I used Essex Linen in Flax, and some scraps of Bonnie and Camille and Aneela Hooey fabrics. The gingham on the ears came with the initial template so I’m not sure where it’s from. I drew the face on using a permanent fabric marker.

When I saw the recent Spell it with Moda bloghop, I knew I had to make a letter mini too! According to my swap partner’s profile, her interests included liking sunflowers and stars. 

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I found some sunflower fabric to use for the “J” and some stars to use on the back.

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I loved that my swap partner’s name also starts with a J… it’s the best letter afterall ;)

As mentioned, my round robin centre also went into the package!

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I had a charm pack of Juggling Summer by Zen Chic hanging around, so used it to make a block similar to Red Pepper Quilts Labyrinth pattern. I sent the rest of the charms along with it so they can be used to be added to further borders (if anyone wishes to use them). I’m excited to see how this grows, and can’t wait to start receiving other centres so I can add to them as well. I think this is a great challenge to stretch my creativity! My centre should start heading back to me sometime in October so it will be awhile before I see it again. I’ll have to ogle the updates posted by others on Threadbias :)

In A Galaxy Far Far Away…

Finally I found the motivation to finish off my A Lovely Year of Finishes Goal for March (#147 in the linky). It was hard because where I am motivated to sew, I’m not interested in the projects I’ve been working on. Glad to have this one out of the way on time, with no rush to finish it though!

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This cushion was made for the Pillow Pop Sew Along hosted on Threadbias. There are two choices each month — an easy, or a hard pattern. For March I chose the easy pattern “Life Aquatic”. Since I used fabric from Lizzy House’s Constellations line, I decided to name this cushion “Life Galactic!”. You know.. constellations, stars, space… galaxies and all that stuff!

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March cushion with the Chevron cushion from February

Originally I wanted to make it a lot scrappier. I had a lot of left over squares from my Scrappy Trip Along, but they were all odd left over sizes and I didn’t want to go through that much effort to find 40+ useable squares. In the end, I pulled a couple of the fabrics from my stash and cut the squares out of a few strips. I tried going for light radiating into a mix of light and dark. Might have worked better if I threw in another dark print, but I like it all the same.

For the border I used Essex Linen in Black (it might be yarn dyed in black… I don’t really know the difference? And I can’t remember which one I bought!). I love using Essex Linen! I really want to get more.

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I think the cushion and quilt compliment each other enough! The cushion is now living in my arm chair opposite the couch (the blue chair it’s on in the first photo). My loungeroom is too messy for a whole room view ;) .. and the walls are still mustard yellow *sigh*

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Sunday Stash #14

Oh I love it when packages turn up at my door :D

This was the last of my birthday cash, and as funds are tight at the moment, I probably won’t be making any fabric purchases for a while (I’ll barely be able to afford the needed batting to actually make what I piece into a quilt!). Sad times.

The raindrop and umbrella prints from Bonnie and Camille’s April Showers were the two that I was eyeing off the most in the collection. I’m not really keen on the florals and the rest seem like just basic spots and stripes which are easy to come by in any collection anyway. I’m trying to just stick to buying the colours that I’m lacking in my stash, so red, white and grey it was. I ended up only choosing one of the umbrella prints, and decided to go for the multi-coloured ones because if I’m really honest with myself, what am I going to use umbrellas for… so better make it just the one!

The fabric for the grey raindrops seems really different compared to the other fabrics. It almost seems like it’s ‘silver’ rather than grey and has a sheen to it that the other raindrop fabrics don’t have. Or maybe it’s just me. But you can see in my photo how the grey raindrops are reflecting the light in a way the other fabrics, including the grey umbrellas, are not.

A couple of weeks or so ago, Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts posted these squiggle fabrics from Cloud 9 and as soon as I saw them I knew I must have them! Luckily, I was in the middle of an ongoing shopping cart, so these hopped into my collection of fabrics-to-be-purchased right away! I was good, and only bought the few colours available that were lacking in my stash! Though when putting them away, I realised I have lots of bright and grassy greens so I’ll have to hold off on those next time. Note to self: need dark greens.

I’d been considering Bee My Honey and almost bought the ‘B’ prints as well, but I’ve really been trying to be selective with my fabric purchases so I decided that I have no use for the letter B in my life so I don’t need ‘B’ fabric. I’m also already using another fabric collection with bees on it already so am I really going to make two bee themed quilts?! Seems like a bit of overkill (especially for someone who hates bugs)! These honeycomb hexies were basic enough that I just couldn’t resist them.

My stash is lacking orange so I grabbed a couple of orange prints that caught my eye. They are so bright and full of orange goodness! The Safari Moon print really makes me want to buy more of the line and I figured the Meadow print will work will with my Sweet As Honey blocks. The Botanics green is just the kind of green I’m lacking, so I grabbed that too.

Since I’ll have nothing new for a little while, I’ll leave it there and share the rest in upcoming weeks :D

The quilt I don’t know what to name

Finally I finished the quilt that I had asked for all my reader’s opinions on which binding to choose!

I’ve been thinking about the options since then, comparing colours to the quilt with what fabrics I had on hand.

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In the end I went for a dark brown solid. The reasons I chose this are I thought it would bring out the darker brown elements in the fabrics (the bikes, owls, hedgehogs and lamp posts) and also because what else will I ever use a dark brown solid for?! haha! In my random stash of threads, I even found a dark brown thread that matched perfectly. Annoyingly, when I was 3/4 around stitching it down, the thread ran out so about a quarter of the quilt has black thread for the top of the binding. At least you can’t tell from a distance from the photos :) (sidenote: I’m finding these new WordPress smilies kind of weird).

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I apologise for the lighting in these photos. I finished the binding on this quilt last night and planned to take photos of it in the garden today — I was actually going to venture into the front yard! Except overnight we had storms and lots of rain. There may be blue sky now but it’s incredibly windy and muddy from all the rain. The rain is good though! I don’t think it’s actually rained here at all this year?

These photos were taken in my old sewing room/the new guest room which we still need to finish off. I thought the nice wooden floors were a nicer background then the kitchen tiles I usually use in photos! I put the quilt in front of the window for the best lighting but with the crap in the room (left over floor boards, a ladder, shelves that need moving) it was hard to position myself to get the best shot!

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For the quilting, I used trusty Aurifil 50wt in white on a longer stitch length. I used my walking foot to create the long wavy organic lines. I love how much the quilting stands out against the fabrics! I can’t wait to wash this quilt to see what texture the quilting with produce.

This was my first time using this quilting method on a large scale; I think it needs some work as it’s a bit jagged in places but despite that I think it came out quite well for a first attempt!

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On the back, I also attempted my first actual pieced backing! For inspiration, I used one of the blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler (I think it’s #54) though I messed up my measurements at first and ended up running out of fabric when I got it right which is why it ended up a bit of a hodge podge.

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I’m happy to have another quilt finished this year! This is my third finish, the first two being in January.

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The quilt design was inspired by this pattern I have pinned using fabric from Bluebird Park by Kate and Birdie from Moda. I cut strips from a fat eighth bundle at varying widths and pieced them together to make long columns which I then pieced together. The backing was made up of some half yard cuts I bought as extra. The quilt yields approx. 44″ x 47″.

It has been 100% quality and comfort approved!

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