Possum Magic: Border 5 (Jane’s Quilt)

Last time for Possum Magic I added the fourth border to Rebecca‘s centre, and I thought that one was hard to settle on an idea. That was before I had met Jane’s quilt!

Riddle and {Whimsy} Possum Magic (Jane's)
Design wall hanging space was full so I had to use the floor!

Before seeing what Sharon had added, I was having some ideas based on Wendy’s interpretation of this quilt so far, which reminded her of a traffic jam with the busy flying geese rushing about and the arrows directing them, so she had added “stop signs”. Alice’s border then made me think of pedestrian crossings and Sharon’s final border made me think “freeway”. My first idea, based on the traffic motif, was that if this is a busy city area, then we need buildings! Something like this quilt from Sarah Fielke or a similar one from Moda Bakeshop.

Last month, I purchased a couple of metres of some burgundy shot cotton, and when I got it home, I was pleasantly surprised that it was an exact match for what Jane had used in the centre. Yeah!


I laid out a bunch of scraps onto it to replicate the buildings while Catzilla waited for stomping time and I just didn’t like how it looked with the scraps on the shot cotton, leaving it with plain burgundy edges and busy innards. So I ended up staring at the top and decided I needed triangles and jumped onto the internet to look for triangle borders and found some wiggly flying geese from Jeliquilts.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Possum Magic (Jane's) (Adding border 5)

Printing out the pattern and putting it up against the top though, they were way too small. And since I really couldn’t be bothered figuring out how to size up the triangles to a decent size, I went looking for something else. I found a tutorial that explained how to draw up your own paper piecing pattern (which i can’t find the link for now…) for a row of nice pointy triangles so I measured up my length of border and drew out my triangles and started paper piecing (gulp).


The first one, on the right, I was trying to make scrappy triangles then messed up aligning one of the fabrics properly so I gave up. The second one I decided it would be quicker to do one single fabric in the triangle. So I managed two printed fabric triangles then curled up into the corner and cried about how I’ve only done two triangles, for one side of the quilt, and I still need to finish the rest of the row of at least 40 more triangles and then do three more entire rows afterwards. Nope nope nope nope.

Back to the internet for ideas, and I started perusing Melanie’s blog Catbird Studio where I’ve looked at medallion borders before (she has heaps!). These floating triangles caught my eye, so I started wondering if I could use that idea for Jane’s quilt. I was a bit hesitant, as I wasn’t sure that much plain space with burgundy would really suit after Sharon’s aqua and teal border but that shot cotton was all I had and i couldn’t afford to buy more border fabric, and it did match the centre fabric afterall.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Possum Magic (Jane's) (Adding border 5)

When I had all the sides on, I was pretty relieved as I think the colour worked out really well; bringing out the centre again which was starting to look a little lost in all that busyness. Then I set out with the scraps and cut up some triangles to appliqué on.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Possum Magic (Jane's) (Adding border 5)

I used a zig zag stitch and grey thread to attach the triangles down as the grey was the closest thread I could find that would blend in and I like that it worked so you can’t see it and the triangles float! And from this distance you can’t tell I don’t do appliqué very often. So, I managed to finish this right at the very last second so I can pass it onto Serena next!

Only two more borders to go before we get our own quilts back! I last saw my own when it was with Alice.


Me (you are already here!)
My CentreBorder 1 (by Serena) – Border 2 (by Carla) – Border 3 (by Jane) – Border 4 (by Rebecca) – Border 5 (by Alice)

Serena of Sew Giving… Selfishly
Serena’s CentreBorder 1 (by Carla) – Border 2 (by Jane) – Border 3 (by Rebecca) –Border 4 (by Alice) – Border 5 (by Wendy)

Carla of Granny Maud’s Girl
Carla’s Centre - Border 1 (by Jane) – Border 2 (by Rebecca) – Border 3 (by Alice) –Border 4 (by Wendy) – Border 5 (by Sharon)

Jane of Where Jane Creates
Jane’s CentreBorder 1 (by Rebecca) – Border 2 (by Alice) – Border 3 (by Wendy) – Border 4 (by Sharon) – Border 5 (by me! You are here!)

Rebecca of One Wee Bird
Rebecca’s CentreBorder 1 (by Alice) – Border 2 (by Wendy) – Border 3 (by Sharon) – Border 4 (by Me) – Border 5 (by Serena)

Alice of Blossom Quilts and Crafts
Alice’s CentreBorder 1 (by Wendy) – Border 2 (by Sharon) – Border 3 (by Me)Border 4 by SerenaBorder 5 (by Carla)

Wendy of Wendy’s Quilts and More
Wendy’s CentreBorder 1 (by Sharon) – Border 2 (by me) – Border 3 (by Serena) –Border 4 (by Carla) – Border 5 (by Jane)

Sharon of Motherdragon’s Musings
Sharon’s CentreBorder 1 (by Me) – Border 2 (by Serena) – Border 3 (by Carla) – Border 4 (by Jane) – Border 5 (by Rebecca)

Q1 2014: Finish #2

Another swap item which was on my Finish Along goals for this quarter is complete! This mini is for the #igminioz, a generic mini swap for Australians. I shared a bit about it when I started it putting it together.

Riddle and {Whimsy} #igminioz (front)

It’s based on the pattern Hexagon Shuffle though I used smaller hexagons and had to figure out how to then put them together in a  mini version. Because I didn’t work that out very well, I had to make my mini narrow and long! It’s about 15″ x 36″ so I hope my partner doesn’t mind!! My partner leans more modern than traditional for patterns so I do hope this is up her alley.

Despite not being a huge Cotton and Steel fan, I bought the basics because basics are pretty versatile and they have come in handy for swaps when I’m partnered with Cotton and Steel fans like this swap, and my Disney Angel mini! Here, I paired them with some Essex Linen (flax) for the background because I liked the idea of giving the mini a different textured look with the coloured fabrics.

Riddle and {Whimsy} #igminioz closeup

For my quilting, I tried out woodgrains for the second time. Still not great, but much improved over my first ever attempt. I really like how the woodgeain effect loks over the linen though, and I think it really suits the ‘longness’. I can’t remember what number Aurifil I used, but it’s from the Tula Pink thread collection and is the perfect colour to blend into the linen which make the wood grain kind of subtle.

Riddle and {Whimsy} #igminioz (back)

At first I wasn’t sure what to use on the back but remembered this linen-like stripe fabric I previously paired with the Essex linen for a binding. The mix of the colours and the linen-look made me think it was the perfect match to use!

This mini isn’t due to be sent for about another 4 weeks but it’s always very relieving to have it done on time!!

Previous posts about my #igminioz mini:


Q1 2015: Finish #1

About time I start sharing more finishes! This one is my mini for the #kittenmqs2015 swap on Instagram (mqs is short for “mini quilt swap” by the way!). I saw a Kitty swap on Instagram a while ago before I jumped into joining swaps so I was so excited to see another one come along, because yay kitties! It’s also the first item I can cross off as complete for my Finish Along goals this quarter!

Riddle and {Whimsy} #kittenmqs2015 (front)

I’ve shared a bit of this kitty mini quilt previously as I worked on it during February but here it is all finished! This is my own version of the Sawtooth Cat pattern using a New York Beauty block for the body. The triangle portion of the arch was paper pieced — yes I paper pieced it :P doing that one small bit wasn’t too bad but I am certainly not converted into being a paper piecing fan! Too much back and forthing and too-ing and fro-ing and fabric wasteage and mess ugh. I will just admire everyone else’s paper piecing from afar and wonder how you have so much patience to do it!

My partner is a Bonnie and Camille fan so I used some fabrics from Happy Go Lucky (it seems to be one of the coveted Bonnie and Camille collections so thought my partner would appreciate it being used! B&C fabrics are also starting to skyrocket into Tula destash price ranges :/ ). My background is a mix of various low volume scraps that I pieced together improv style. I’ve not really been a fan of doing improv quilting before, but I kind of enjoyed putting all my scraps together this way so they become a new piece of usable fabric. I’ve decided instead of having my scraps sit around languishing in baskets being forgotten, that I want to put them all together like this by colour. Angie at Gnome Angel recently posted a tutorial on how to improv piece fabrics together this way.

I didn’t have enough of my improv piece to make up the border section so just pulled out some larger low volume scraps, include the most perfect one for this mini: the musical cats! Now I wish I had more of it! I think it was originally a scrap that my mum sent me (she always sends me cat fabrics and I have quite a collection…).

Riddle and {Whimsy} #kittenmqs2015 (front)

To begin with I wasn’t sure how to quilt this but lately I’ve found myself being more drawn to straight line quilting or designs where I can use my walking foot. I think that’s just stemming from not being happy with my free motion quilting, I guess. Since this is a mini to give to someone else, i didn’t want to do messy free motion quilting all over it, so the idea that popped into my head was a 1″ square diagonal grid. I used white thread, but I think a grey probably would have worked better to not be so obvious over the cat? Oh well. It just looks like he got stuck in the chicken coop!

My embroidery skills are non-existent so I didn’t trust them to draw up a face so just used a fabric pen to draw one on under his googly button eyes! I think the eyes give him lots of character :D

Riddle and {Whimsy} #kittenmqs2015 (back)

For the back, I used a scrap of fabric from the back of my Catvent which is the collection of meme Cats and vintage ads. It wasn’t big enough for the whole thing so I added some of one of my many other cat prints, which features some dolled up lady cats sipping lattes and shopping in London. As cats do. The last remaining little musical cat scrap was perfect to put a “to” label since I didn’t have this info on my own label tag.

It took me a little while to settle on a binding colour too. Eventually I went for a plain navy because it seemed to match both the front and back the best. Other colours were too bright (I tried red, yellow, green and aqua from the back-triangles but the navy seemed to just frame it all nicely and pull it altogether without overpowering the design. The solids also looked much better than prints (I did try the navy penny dot which is the background of the triangles) but it just seemed too busy. I also hand stitched this one down on the back gaspshockgasp.

I’ve been having so much fun with mini swaps and trying to come up with creative ideas! So far, I’ve definitely been more of a fan of the themed swaps, like this one and the Disney swap. I think having a limited selection of inspiration is more “freeing” for me over the generic swaps where there could be any number of things you could make. I am in a handful more generic based swaps though but they are designer based: a Tula swap, an Anna Maria Horner swap and now a Lizzy House swap (the latter of which I am hosting with Sarah!!!). I completely failed my “no swaps in the New Year” goal for 2015, but I’m definitely going to put a ban on it for mid year. Possum Magic will be wrapping up then too so it will mean I will have no swapping commitments at all (and then I can start working on my own stuff for once!!).

I always wanted you to go into space, man…

The Sew My Stash Precuts Party has about 24 hours left to enter, and I’m the late straggler rocking up at the end :)

According to Leasa’s rules a completed quilt top is counted as a finish and there’s no way I could have gone through to the quilting stage with everything else I’m juggling so all I have is another finished top to add to the pile of tops to quilt!

Riddle and {Whimsy} Disappearing Hour Glass (top-front) Rocket Age - Riley Blake

I used a layer cake of the line Rocket Age from Riley Blake. Riley Blake layer cakes only have 20 pieces in them and 20x 10″ squares are obviously not enough to do anything with, so I went through my solids and pulled a few colours that matched and cut out 20 more squares. Over the last month I’ve been working on these on and off as documented through the 4×7 Sewing Challenge.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Disappearing Hour Glass (closeup) Rocket Age - Riley Blake

The pattern is the Disappearing Hour Glass which is demonstrated on You Tube from Missouri Star Quilt Company. After putting this top together, I think the design lends itself better to smaller scale prints, or large designs that don’t matter if the’yre cut up. Since this line has a few pictures and novelty prints in it, some of the images ended up with decapitated teddies!

Riddle and {Whimsy} Disappearing Hour Glass (closeup Rocket Age - Riley Blake

I think the plainer prints show off the star design better. This stripey one on the purpley-blue is probably my favourite star in the whole bunch!

Riddle and {Whimsy} Disappearing Hour Glass (closeup Rocket Age - Riley Blake

Because of my inability to figure out 1/3 of 11.5″ when preparing these blocks, I had to trim them down which resulted in some pieces with different sized outer triangles. All the little diamonds that are then made up between the stars when the blocks are together are therefore all kind of wonky and different sizes but I actually kind of like it! I think it adds a bit of visual difference where all the stars are all straight and inline in these square diamonds are just doing their own thing.

Riddle and {Whimsy} Disappearing Hour Glass (top with back) Rocket Age - Riley Blake

The rocket ship fabric on the left is what I’ve had on hand for the backing for this, but when I laid my top over it to make sure I had enough I was surprised at how much I liked it against the top. If I had more of it, I think it would have made a great border!

When I get around to quilting this, I’m thinking of doing loopy stars. Not sure on thread colour yet though. Thoughts?!

4×7 Sewing Challenge: Week 4

Okay, last week, I completely failed my 4×7 Sewing Challenge, which also happened to be the last week of the challenge, by only sewing on two of those days (once early in the week and once later in the week).

Riddle and {Whimsy} Swoon progress

On the first day, I felt really pumped about sewing and planned to work on all the things during the week. I really felt like doing another Swoon block, so I did. It took me a couple of hours to put together, so technically I probably ate up my daily half hour quota just on that one day :P

Then my sewing mojo disappeared while I dealt with job applications type of stuff and didn’t do anymore sewing whatsoever until the end of the week when I generally take a break from job hunting as things don’t happen on the weekend. The Sew My Stash Precuts Party is about to come to an end, so I decided I better work on my entry and trim my blocks so I can start putting them together!

Riddle and {Whimsy} sewmystashPrecutsParty

A tip if you ever make this pattern (Disappearing Hourglass): make sure your half square triangles are cut to a size, that will make your finished hourglass block easily divisible by three. Don’t do what I did and cut your HSTs to 6″, making your hourglass block become 11.5″ because beats me what the hell 1/3 of 11.5″ is and how to find that spot on a ruler. In retrospect, I probably should have whipped out  a regular ruler and dealt with the less confusing millimetre measurements to be more accurate. Anyway. When you fail at working out the correct 1/3 measurement, you end up with wonky cutting and pieces that don’t fit back together!

After making that mistake on a handful of blocks, I decided to just trim all my squares down to the same size to straighten them out. So that’s all I ended up doing!

This week however, I have been much more productive and can’t wait to get some decent photos together to start sharing those projects (and finishes!)!

In this challenge over February I have:

I guess that’s not too bad!