Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sewing memories


Here's a top I made a little while ago. 

To make it I raided my scrap buckets and found unused blocks, trimmings from oversized backings, extra pieces of fabric from quilts I've made over the years. It's truly a mix of leftovers.

As I rummaged through the blocks and fabrics I couldn't help but think about the quilts that these pieces came from.

For example this intersection comes from three different quits:

The strawberry fabric is from Strawberries on Ice, the purple trees are from Magic Wheels and the clamshell fabric is from Octopus's Garden.

The blue yellow geese were a rejected border from my Meet You in the Garden quilt


On the right side of the geese are those wonderful big bold bright Kaffe Fasset and Brandon Mably fabrics

They're from this quilt. I used it as a backing for another quilt and had to trim it back to size.

The next photo has a piece of yellow 30's print from the first quilt I ever made.
The cobalt blue flowery fabric was used for the border on Peacock Garden,
I used the Denise Schmidt pink floral as the backing for Charming Smiles.
The red and white daisy print is a favourite fabric that I used in the border of my Undercover Colour red and white quilt.

Peacock Garden

Charming Smiles

Undercover Colour 


Along one side of my scrappy leftovers flimsy is the cut off edge of this colourful quilt,

which was the backing for the Love Quilt that I made for some friends as a wedding present. 

In the middle of this photo there is a Lightning Bolt block from a quilt I never finished. It's nice that it's found a home in a quilt after all.

So as you can see this top is like a fabric diary of my quilting journey so far.

I certainly enjoyed the journey of memories it took me on as I chose pieces and sewed them together. 

I'm sure you'll agree that reminiscing is one of the joys of sewing with our scraps and leftovers! Maybe our scrap bins should be renamed as Happy Memories buckets?

Monday, July 18, 2016

Just playing around.


Sometimes it's nice to play.

To simply pick a few leaves and flowers and see how they look together

How about right side up ?

or upside down?

Shapes all lined up in a row. 


 A little bit random.

Take a closer look. 

Yes, sometimes its nice to play ...

...to see what will emerge.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Whizz Bang! Pine Burr blocks.


Next up in the Whizz Bang! series are the Pine Burr/Pine Cone blocks.


 Pine Burr or Pine Cone quilts have been described as a three dimensional quilt with overlapping triangles placed in circles starting from the center.  From early to late twentieth century these quilts were popular amongst Southern African American quilters. This style of quilt making was considered masterpiece work as much as fine applique was considered in Caucasian communities.

I couldn't find any information about where the idea first originated from or any information earlier than the early 20th century. If anyone knows any more information about Pine Burr or Pine Cone quilts feel free to let me know.

I love how electric Pine Burr blocks look. The wonkiness suits them, gives them more movement and makes them look playful. I've been very scrappy in my fabric choices again with these blocks.

Yay for red and white polka dots! 

I played with different ways of making the points. Squares, rectangles, even circles folded different ways, simply to try different methods of making them. You can't tell the difference in the final blocks.

Of course a bit of ric rac crept into one of the blocks.

Close up photo of the quilting stitches with perle 8 thread.  

I've been asked how many layers I was quilting through - I'll list them starting from the bottom up:
backing
batting
background fabric
foundation fabric (cotton, sometimes denim) 
folded cotton points. 

Reading that list sounds like craziness! It's lucky I get very determined when I have an idea.

My Whizz Bang! quilt also has blocks inspired by an old Chinese Quilt but I'll save that story for another day.

For more Pine Burr goodness pop over here to see an amazing quilt made by LeeAnn of Nifty Quilts. 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Whizz Bang!

It's time to have a closer look at Whizz Bang!. 

There are so many blocks with different details and we'd be here all day if I tried to squeeze everything into one post so I've decided to spread the infornation out over a few posts. Think of it like progress posts but in reverse. 

So where did this quilt begin? Inspiration came from a few places but the initial spark occurred a few years ago, before my blogging days in fact. I made a pot holder using folded points. I followed the instructions of a tutorial on the Internet (I can't seem to find it now) and soon ended up with an interesting circle of points. I loved the look of all the layers and best of all it was fun to make! 

There are different styles of blocks in my Whizz Bang! quilt and the blocks in this post are most like the pot holder I made. I've constructed these circles in a different way from the pot holder but the points are neatly laid out to create patterns rather than the more haphazard placements of Pine Burr blocks that I'll show in the next post. 

This was the first block I made for Whizz Bang! People often say it looks like licorice allsorts and now that it's been pointed out to me I can't help but think that too. mmm licorice allsorts, yum!

After making a few bright coloured blocks I decided to try something in softer, pretty, colours. The lace trim was the perfect finishing touch.

Here is the last block I made, and one of my favourites. Anything with ricrac wins my heart. 

If you look at this block you'll see my fabric selection is really quite scrappy. I used different fabrics but in the same colourway. I like the interest mixed fabric adds and I believe it makes the overall look a little more dynamic, even if it's not so obvious.

This photo shows some of the hand quilting with perle8 cotton through the points. Every secord or third row of points has been quilted. It was heavy going but I used big chenile needles and just got on with it.  I broke a few needles along the way but that's okay. I've hand quilted a few denim quilts so I'm getting used to these big hefty quilts by now. 

My best tip of working on heavy quilts is to lay them over trestle tables. Whizz Bang! was resting on three trestle tables and I'd just swing it around or fold it to get to different areas I was working on. The reason I use trestle tables is that I can fold them up and put them out of the way when I don't need them. 

Here I am working late at night, like a busy little worker bee. 

At the Sydney Show when I was chatting to people it was interesting to hear stories of them making these types of folded point blocks years ago for pot holders, cushions, decorations for childrens jackets, table mats Christmas decorations. A woman who had grown up in Malaysia had memories of making edges of photo frames with points of folded cigarette boxes. 

Let's leave it there for now. I'll be back with more colourful Whizz Bang! photos soon. 

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