Friday, 21 March 2014

Quilty Bucket List

Stacey at The Tilted Quilt is hosting a blog hop on bucket lists of the Quilty variety. I've had so much fun reading everyone else's that I thought I'd like to contribute mine.

On my Quilty Bucket List, I have 5 quilts and a piecing project.

(I like to do my brainstorming on the computer, making diagrams as I go along. I find it helps me get more done.)

This is a quilt that has been floating around in my head for a while. It's one of those things that you care about so much, that actually making progress on it is terrifying - what if you mess it up? I've got to get over that. Currently I'm at the stage where I'm testing the stamp blocks to get the little jagged-edge border just right.
I admit that I'm not confident about the fabrics that I've earmarked for this project.

Triangles are a popular quilt for the list, it seems! Originally I wanted to do a simple 60-degree triangle quilt, but came across this gorgeous pillow from Kitchen Table Quilting that makes the piecing of the triangles indistinct, and I thought that was fantastic. So I'd like to do a whole quilt like that!
I think the most difficult part of this would be choosing fabrics that play nicely together, because there won't be any sashing to break them up (I do rather like sashing).

NZ Map
A work of art of my home.
This would be a pixel-quilt, I think, or something similar, of the map of New Zealand. All I know so far is that I'd like to use as many different blue and green fabrics to make the land and sea, and that I'd like to include Tartan Kiwi's beautiful kiwi block on the back (or indeed, all of them!). I still haven't decided the level of detail, or style I'm going for - do I depict the snow on the mountains, for example, or should I include fussy-cuts of novelty prints featuring important things?

 This one isn't one I've made up, obviously. Anna Maria Horner's Feather Bed Quilt is such a lovely quilt, and I love that so many people have made it so that I can look at all the gorgeous images out there!
I think that I'd like a quieter version for mine, in more natural, soothing colours. Unfortunately, the style that I like (what do we call it, coordinated scrappy?) uses so many different fabrics to communicate a single colour, that it would take me a very long time to amass all the fabric for this quilt. What do others do when they encounter this problem?

Cross Stitch
Alyssa from Pile o'Fabric has a cross-stitch block tutorial that has inspired many - my favourite is the gorgeous Mr Fox quilt by Samantha of Making Life Prettier. I love how this looks - so structured, but the use of different fabrics breaks up the formality a little bit, for a sweet, interesting twist on tradition. I'd love to do this with a simple picture of a rose on a white background.
This is one of those 'one day' quilts. It's on the bucket list, but it's not a concrete idea yet.

I love this sweet paper-pieced duck pattern! I'd love to make a quilt out of it but I think I'd settle for a lovely little cushion for my sister, perhaps with some nice built-up borders around the block?
This is another 'one day' project, because of the fabric. I'll collect natural muted textures one by one until I have the perfect set for the look I want.

Looking at my list, it is apparent that two things hold me back: a little bit of intimidation, and my pitiful stash. I'm determined to push through the scary things, but I'll probably be sighing wistfully at the pictures of others' stashes for a long time yet.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014


You know how in life, things happen that maybe we weren't expecting or don't want?
Well, things happened.

This is what moving back to New Zealand looks like.
Except I can't take my cat. Or my partner. So I guess it actually looks pretty lonely.

Regular crafty stuff will resume once my life has stabilised.
Now if you'll excuse me, I need to get rid of a LOT of stuff.

Tuesday, 4 March 2014


I have a big, ambitious goal for this year.
I want to make a quilt for everyone in my immediate family. That's two brothers, two sisters and my mum.
I'm not behind yet!
My youngest brother, D, is 4, and his birthday is in April.
My older brother, AJ, is 21, and his birthday is in May.
My younger sister, A, is 18, and her birthday is in June.
My mum's birthday is in December.
My youngest sister, J, is 15 and her birthday is in January.

I guess it's not really a super-ambitious goal for anyone with a reasonable number of quilts under their belt, but for a beginner quilter it may just be out of reach. I'm hoping that I haven't bitten off more than I can chew!

I've got ideas for each person's quilt, thank goodness! I'd feel a bit lost if I didn't, I think.

D's quilt is Zigs, so that's okay. Just need to piece the back and get a walking foot to quilt it up all nice and he's done.

AJ's a bit older, and likes things to be neat, with clean lines. I don't think he would appreciate a quilt that looked too busy, or one where the design is hard to make out (shame, I do love coordinated-scrappy quilts!). So, for him I'm choosing to go with solids, and simple shapes.
Oh and his favourite colour is orange. I'd actually put this idea together before asking him about colours to go with it, and when I did ask him he said "black and white". So I'm on the right track, I think I have his style nailed down!
I've decided to call this quilt Rada, because it just feels right.
There's nothing really difficult or 'special' to it, just a square-in-a-square that's then sliced up with a rotary cutter and 1" strips re-inserted. The difficult part will be that I want to do this in a QAYG style, so that will be a challenge for me. I think I'll like being able to make the lines of quilting go different ways. Perhaps even echo the direction of the lines?
I actually still need to order the fabric for this.

A's quilt is next. For her I'm going to be adapting Charlotte Newland's Fracture quilt. It's originally about a square metre, for a lovely wall-hanging size, but I'm going to be sizing it up to about a queen. After talking a bit with Charlotte (who is extremely helpful and lovely!), she suggested adding in another border of larger squares before sizing the whole thing up. I think that was perfect advice - it allows the centre to stay all shatter-y and small when I size it up.
Because it's paper-pieced, I've been having real difficulty estimating fabric requirements. I finally resorted to tessellating all the pieces onto a scale-drawing of a yard of fabric, and then adding a quarter-yard just to be sure. I think that's the most accurate way to go, although it did take a long time!
At least choosing the colour was easy. She loves pink, and the design of this quilt brings to mind a little something else that I'll keep a secret until I do it just in case I cave and show my family my blog. I just wish it were less expensive. Ah well.

Mum is the one that I'm really not sure about. I want to make her something with triangles, because that's her favourite shape (I find it really cute that she has a favourite shape), but I also want to use hexagons, because I think she'll like them (she's a huge fan of English paper-piecing). On top of that I want to add another little bit of interest into the mix, but I'm just not sure what. The colour scheme is another easy one; red, black and white (although I'll throw in some grey to make it easier for me).
I'm seriously considering a quilt like this one. Every time I look at it I really really want to make it.
   For this quilt I'll definitely use prints, so if I did the hexagon-in-a-hexagon pattern, I'd do it all in black-and-white prints, matching nicely, contrasting nicely, that sort of thing. Then in each inner hexagon, I'd take out one of the triangles of other colour and put in a triangle of solid red. I think I'd really like that.
   The other option that my heart so dearly wishes I'd pick, is to do a quilt out of QAYG hexagons, like in my last post. Doing it that way would make a double-sided quilt with no binding, backing or quilting to worry about at the end. I'd make them much bigger of course, but that's still a huge amount of hand-stitching. Incidentally, I really enjoyed hand-stitching the hexagons, and even put binding on a little FMQ practise piece (which is awful) just so I could hand-stitch it in place. So it's not the irritation of hand-stitching everything together, it's simply the time it takes. I have a lot of time before December, though, so it's very very tempting.
   The other-other option that niggles at me is doing a quilt entirely out of triangles. Lots and lots of different sized triangles, tessellated together any which-way they fit. That would be a fun, interesting and challenging project to undertake! It highlights one of the things that bothers me about the hexagon-in-a-hexagon idea: it's too easy. It doesn't feel right to do something easy, not when it's this special. But we shall see.

J's another easy one. She likes purple and she likes cats. So! Elizabeth Hartman's Catvent Quiltalong it is! I'll be doing it in purples with a light/med grey background. I haven't decided the size to make the blocks just yet, but I rather like the idea of having them the same size as the original Catvent quilt. Tiny cats would make for an interesting quilt! However, scaling them up would be much easier.
I'm planning on asking my Bee-mates to make me these blocks, to help with the scrappy feel I want! However, because it's a beginner Bee, asking for lots of the same shade isn't really fair, so I'd be perfectly happy with some just done in one purple.
I'm planning to have one of the cats be done in blacks to represent the cat J has in real life. I'm going to put it where the quilt's heart would be, to signify how much she loves him. I think she'll really appreciate the gesture.

So! Those are my ambitious goals for this year!
I also have in mind two quilts for us - a blue Fracture quilt like A's (my partner said it looked awesome! That's a definite vote!), and a mail themed quilt in a colour-scheme that has yet to be determined, although I think it will have pink in it.
I'm so excited about designing the mail-themed quilt, but because it's our house, it feels like it has to be perfect. If it came to pass that I couldn't get the right colour fabric for, say, AJ's quilt, then I could easily settle for a very similar shade - he won't know the difference, and as like as not it'd turn out basically the same anyway. But in a quilt for me... I feel like it would have to be perfect, otherwise that wrong colour would niggle at me every time I saw it. Hmm. Hopefully I can somehow train myself to not worry so much about it.

Sunday, 2 March 2014


So... hexagons...
I was trying to resist making more, I really was. I didn't want to start another project til others are finished, but I couldn't help myself.

I made a few... The top three have fleece inside them (yay makeshift batting) and are intended to be coasters. Their edges aren't so straight because that extra layer makes it difficult to be accurate with the folds, unfortunately. Obviously the ladybug one is for mum, and the elephant ones are for me. I also really want to make myself a cute little elephant bunting for my desk, too.

The other four don't have any fleece in them at all, and that made them a lot easier to fold over and stitch in place. They're flimsier as a result, and I don't really know what I'll use them for.
   Iron-on interfacing in place of fleece/batting would be an interesting thing to try. It would add a little bit of structure and strength while being easier to deal with. Then I could stitch these hexagons up into a nice little bag of some sort.

This is my favourite one. I just love that really sweet sakura fabric combined with my precious turquoise/aqua floral. I bought the pink during Lincraft's half-price fabric sale (which was awesome and I should have bought more fabric... especially purples, I really need purples). I had the turquoise already, but I only have a fat quarter of it so I'm very reluctant to use it for anything, which is a shame because it's really lovely.

I want to make a quilt of these. I'd make the hexagons bigger and attempt to get them to play nicely with the batting so I could make a gorgeous double-sided quilt. Entertaining the idea makes me happy.