Sunday, 13 April 2014

Gypsy Wife courthouse steps

My weekend was unexpectedly truncated by a day trip to Wellington on Friday for work turning into an overnight sojourn when bad weather closed Wellington airport. My colleague and I spent many more hours than can be considered pleasant at the airport waiting as planes tried to land and got diverted, until finally at 10pm they let us know they were giving up for the night. We finally made it back to Auckland around lunchtime on Saturday feeling a little crumpled and out of sorts!

As a result today was a quiet sewing day -  I could only cope with the thought of something simple so I spent some time making a few courthouse blocks as part of this month's Gypsy Wife schedule. These are not difficult to make, but it takes me sooooooo long to choose which fabrics to put together. My process is pretty sophisticated. I tip all the fabric I have earmarked for this project into a pile onto the floor and take it from there :-)


It's funny process. Sometime my selections work better than I expect,


Other times, I'm less keen on the outcome. I think this is due to the size of some of the pieces which kind of distorts the effect you had when you auditioned bigger pieces of fabric together. This block is only 5.5" and has some 1 inch strips in it.


I like this sweet looking block and am feeling quite smug about that little join in the lower right corner. I made myself slow down and pay attention to matching up the polka dots and am so pleased that I did!



Sunday, 6 April 2014

Small steps

I sneaked in a bit of sewing time this morning courtesy of daylight savings. Tricked into waking early I had a whole extra hour to factor into the day. I began by making the 'From the Heart' Gypsy Wife block from April's schedule. I just couldn't bring myself to make a red heart so I decided on a ginger spice version :-)


I love to trim HSTs so in the interests of fabric efficiency I stitched the diagonal seams with a very scant 1/4" seam allowance. This gave me just enough room for a bit of straightening up once all the pieces were put together.

I also made a modest start on my Sew Together pouch. The sew-along over at Quilt Barn has lots of helpful photos and the process is broken up into several manageable sessions. This suits me well although I secretly wish I could whip mine up as quickly as Liz managed hers. I got the outside piece quilted and the end pieces stitched together - I'm saving all those zips for another day!


I love to sew, but I also love being outdoors. It's autumn but it still feels like summer and the beach is still a great place to be.


Sunday, 30 March 2014

Soy Amado/a blocks

My machine and I are still struggling to spend quality time together, but she was in pretty good form when we finally caught up with each other today :-) We quilted up these blocks for Alison lickety-split.


Some of the other lovelies in our Monday Modern group also made blocks, so now I have a whole bright and cheerful pile to send.


In other news, I am about to start a new project which I have nicknamed in my head 'biting off more than I can chew'. Yes, that is 4 zips you can see...


Sunday, 16 March 2014

Gypsy Wife {progress}

I'm so ridiculously chuffed that I have finished both my February blocks (late) and my March blocks (early). Given my inability to BOM/QAL with any project at all to date, it is feeling like a major achievement :-) Without further ado, *drum roll* .... I present you with 'February'!


The big block for March was a bit challenging. Some bad words might have been uttered - I shall neither confirm nor deny. This is officially called Pershing. In my head it had several alternative names. Even though I sewed very slowly and carefully, I still had to fiddle around and unpick. It mostly worked - the problem with the brown will disappear when I sew the blocks together and I'm just going to live with the space between the polka dots and green.


And here are all the March blocks together.


Yes, I know. I deserve a drink, but its way too early in the day for that so I'll make do with chocolate.

I love that this pattern forces you to give in to the mystery of a scrappy approach. I have no idea how it will look when all the parts are finally put together and I don't know if I'll be able to keep my fingers crossed the whole remaining 11 months of the QAL,  so I have already decided that I will like it. No. Matter. What.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Cat quilt {finished}

I managed to get home early yesterday so I could get a photo of my little cat quilt in daylight (and ahead of Cyclone Lusi which has made for a wet and windy Saturday here in Auckland).


I'm taking advantage of the inclement weather today to stay indoors and catch up on February's Gypsy Wife blocks. February involves quite a few pinwheels including some cute little ones.


Right, back to it. If I play my cards right, I might even get to make a start on the March blocks.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Cat quilt progress

Cat quilt - not such an original name I guess for this little mini-quilt destined for my new office! I was regretting using the Essex linen in this project because it is darker than I wanted and also with all the little seams was proving to be a bit of a nuisance to press.



However the combination of my new go-to wavy line quilting and a light grey thread has given it some light and life. It also has the added bonus of making the unintentional wavy seam lines less noticeable. Just the binding to go ...


Linking up over at Freshly Pieced today :-)

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Making Starburst

This quilt challenged me to find my inner scrappy. There was angst and re-makes:

And angst and out-takes (not all of this squad made the final team):


Strategies to ensure that randomness happened:


Quite a lot of pressing in very warm summer conditions:


And lots of holding my breath as it started to come together. Will I like it? Will I like it?



The final verdict? Yes, I like it :-)



I had it quilted by longarmer Carol Fearon. She ditched the blocks and outlined the stars and did a nice little square zig-zag round the border. It is lovely and soft - just need some cooler weather now in order to enjoy the fruits of my labour :-)