Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Neon Quilt Finished

My, it's been a long time...
The quilt was actually finished long ago, I just didn't get around to photographing and posting it. Here it is:

Has anybody else noticed that the faster the quilt is to make, the longer it takes to post it, or is it just me?

The previous post tells everything about making the top (not much to tell - improv curve stack-and-whack). The quilting is curves and spirals, not too dense to keep it soft, in a beautiful variegated YLI thread in shades of blue, going into green and purple.

The binding is pieced from the strips of batik fat quarters left over from cutting the squares - blends with all the medley in the quilt itself.

I really love how fast these improv pieced quilts come together and plan on making another one (some day).

Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts.
Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Splashes of Neon

Another productive day in my sewing group, and another improv curve piecing top.

The Eastern branch if the Irish Patchwork Society received a call for charity quilts for an orphanage in Russia, and I thought I'd try more improv piecing for that, because the time is limited, and this technique works really fast for me.

As I saw, a lot of our members are making quilts for smaller kids, so I decided to do something that's  more suitable for a teenager or a pre-teen (at least I hope this would appeal to them). The top finished about 45'' by 52''.

I had a fat quarter bundle of very nice and bright batiks ("Aurora" collection by Freedom fabrics), which were bought for another project, but were not used in the end, so I decided to use them, I also added a piece of bright blue-purple ombre fabric and dark grey butterflies to get to 42 squares of fabric. The squares had to be 9'', because the batik fat quarters were a bit smaller than usual.

I used stacks of four squares (mostly) and cut them free-hand in a more or less diagonal direction, then mixed the pieces and stitched them together. The finished blocks had to be trimmed to 8'' square. You can check out my previous quilt in the same technique, but with a different pattern of cutting, to compare the resulting effect.

I then had to spend quite a lot of time trying to create an interesting layout out of these blocks - it proved tricky, because the bright shapes stand out so and really draw your eye, so you have to organise something that is by itself random. I hope it turned out modern and dynamic.

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Free motion by the River
Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Elephant Walking On (and Mass Production Curve Piecing)

This is a story full of adventures and discoveries, errors and disappointments - it's the story of how I made the borders for my elephant block.

I had several cuts of the "Spice Trail" collection by Freedom Fabrics, which have really nice tasty colours, and I had in mind some kind of Indian carpet that they often depict on elephants' backs with arc like patterns in the border. I thought they would work nice for curve piecing. I started with a simple border with paisley patterned fabric:

Then I started making my arcs, and I had to modify my curve piecing process for mass production of identical blocks, which I'll talk about later. It must be said that with curved parts it's impossible to calculate in advance how much fabric you're going to need, you can only estimate ... you see already where this is going, don't you? Yes, I didn't have enough fabric for four borders. I also cut several pieces out of the wrong fabric, which depleted my stock.

So much so for the carpet, I decided to make it more vertical by adding another border:

Had I designed and planned it properly in advance, I would have pieced it in a different way. Then I decided to add a little bit of remaining patterned fabric and so I went from an 18'' by 22'' block to a 32'' by 47'' - all in a couple of days. What do you think of that? I think I have to stop here.

Now, some technical tips and tricks in case anybody is interested:

Mass Production Curve Piecing

Friday, 5 January 2018

Indian Elephant

As it often happens to me, I made a sketch for this long time ago, and it's only now that I managed to bring it to life - please meet the Elephant block:

The fabrics were purchased specifically for it and have been waiting all this time - over a year - in a separate bag, so that they didn't get involved with any other projects going on :))) I think the fabrics really make it - the contrast and the patterns are very eye-catching. It now needs a suitably Indian border, which I'm still considering, and I plan to add some trimmings for more Oriental splendour after it's quilted (and an eye, an eye is definitely needed).

It's a simple curve-pieced pattern, the size of a fat quarter, giver take, and it came together very fast. If you'd like to try some simple curve piecing, check out these beginner tutorials here and here.

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I get a Whoop Whoop? at Confessions of a fabric Addict

Thursday, 28 December 2017

Airwaves Completed

I'm glad to report the completion of the free-style aviation-themed lap quilt that I showed started not so long ago.

I really like how fast it came together, even the quilting took just a couple of days. I don't like my "practical" quilts to be densely quilted, I prefer them to have more drape, so I tried to imitate the pieced pattern in the quilting - kind of loose free-form spirals and waves:

And because I had four blocks left over from my 6 by 6 layout, I decided to make it a quillow and used the four blocks for the pillow "cover". It's a bit smallish for the quilt (because it's made of the same blocks it's exactly one third of the quilt width), so when folded it looks  tight.

Anyway, I'm happy with it and I really want to try making other quilts in the same technique.

Linking up to Off the Wall Friday at Creations by Nina-Marie
Can I get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Monday, 18 December 2017

Christmas Mini Pouch

Speaking about last-minute Christmas gifts:

I've wanted to make a curve-pieced cup pattern for a long time, but never got round to it. Then, a couple of days ago, I though a cup would be nice to put on a mug rug (cup rug?) for a little Christmas gift, so I drew the pattern in Illustrator and printed it out. The handle bit is rather fiddly, but I managed it more of less OK:

Then I suddenly decided against a mug rug, and made it into a little pouch.

Some snowflake ornaments agreed to take part in the photoshoot, but I'm actually going to put something sweet inside when it goes to its new owner.

So, that's that - just a little bit of seasonal cosiness (though I hope it's not too Christmassy, so it can be used in other seasons as well.

Linking up to:

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River 

Monday, 11 December 2017

Airways or Airwaves?

This Saturday I went to my sewing group meeting. Despite the intense chatting and no less than three tea breaks, it was quite a productive day :)) I managed to cut and stitch all these blocks:

This is intended for my pilot brother, but I suspect it's going to be contested by his little son who is just as crazy about airplanes.  It all started with five fat quarters of aviation themed fabrics and a Shibori layer cake by Moda which were a match made if not in heaven than definitely in the sky.

So, I started with forty 10'' squares and ended with forty 8.5'' ones (if you are more accurate than me, you could probably make them 9''). That makes for a lap-sized quilt about 48'' by 48'', but I'm still contemplating the option of adding some different blocks in different fabrics to boost the size.

I chose improvised curve piecing the "stack and whack" way: you layer four squares on top of each other and make three freehand cuts through all the layers, then mix pieces of the different fabrics and stitch them together. Some of the blocks are circular and other linear. In the photo above you can actually see two blocks which are part of a set of four, I wonder if anybody can spot it ;))  No measuring and no pinning means it goes very fast, but you will have to trim them when you're finished stitching.

There are thousands of ways to put these blocks together, I went for something freeform which reminds me of cloud formations or air currents (you could say water currents if you didn't see the balloons and airplanes). I could spend hours arranging and rearranging them, so they'd better be stitched together soon.

Linking up to

Main Crush Monday at Cooking Up Quilts
Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

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