Tackling curves

I had a dentist appointment this morning and with no clear sewing direction, I decided to concentrate on the next challenge. Pieced curves are something that I’ve dabbled in but not seriously. I’ve sewn sleeves into shirts for my husband but sewing curves to lay flat is an interesting challenge.

A number of months ago, I ordered and received the book, “Curves in Motion: Quilt Designs & Techniques” by Judy B. Dales. After glancing through the pages, I tossed it aside, these were not the curves I was looking for. Today I decided to look past the muddy batiks used in the book and quilts. It’s not that I don’t like batiks, it’s just that they often look muddled with colour combinations I personally wouldn’t use together.

I still don’t know if this is the book for me but I’m going to give it a try. I work much better with technical piecing like y-seams, this style of curved seams are very fluid and free flowing. I need to step out of my comfort zone.

The first suggested project is to take a traditional block and make some of the straight lines into curves, sounds like fun!

Have you worked with free curves? Have you gone beyond a drunkard’s path?

Star Flowers

Bending Pins: Star Flowers #1

I found the initial pattern for this block in Quilter’s Academy Vol.4, the original was called “Snow Crystals” and I instantly fell in love with it. I added the little square of deep fuchsia in the corner blocks which I really love. I was thinking of using this block (or a better one) for the center of a quilt then scattering blossoms around it adding green leaves. This block was a challenge for me because there wasn’t any step-by-step instructions on how to sew and press the seams. I made a few mistakes which I hope to correct in my next iteration. I used Joel Dewberry’s latest line, Notting Hill in Magenta, I love the depth of colour he used!

I’m really struggling on a name for this block, suggestions welcome!

I’m off to attempt another block. What challenges are you working on?

Finished: Modern Mabel quilt top

Modern Mabel Quilt TopModern Mabel Quilt Top

I really love how this quilt has come together, it’s a very simple layout and the hand stitching will be very simple as well. Each of my blocks finish at 10″ with 4″ sashing on each side, the final dimensions for this quilt are 60″ wide by 74″ long, a great size for a twin bed or lap quilt. I have to thank Sharon Schamber for teaching me a whole new way of accurate piecing, I used this video to create the stars and my Grandmother’s quilt for inspiration.  If you’re interested in trying a y-seam star, you don’t need a lot of fabric and if you’ve done some garment sewing, it’s not difficult at all.

I’m not sure what my next project will be but I have to quilt some quilts before I make another quilt top!

I have a few ideas for my next quilt top, last weekend I signed up for the Craftsy class, Scrap Quilting: Big Techniques From Small Scraps taught by Australian quilter Sarah Fielke. She demonstrates a technique I’d never heard of before called Step Down Piecing which looks like fun.

Another pattern I’m really attracted to is “Snow Crystals” I discovered in the book “Quilter’s Academy Vol. 4“.

Snow Crystals

Quilter’s Academy Vol. 4

This is an excellent book if you’re looking for a real challenge and where I found this block. I’ve since ordered Vol.s 2 and 3 as well. Volume 4 focuses on sewing hexagons, stars and diamonds. It was a complete fluke that I found this book, it was recommended by Amazon for me.  Be forewarned, this book does not hold your hand step-by-step but there are a lot of great patterns I’ve wanted to try for awhile. I’m looking forward to building my quilting skills!
Stars Aplenty

Cutting the (Par)cheesie

Flora by Lauren & Jessie Jung

Cutting Parcheesie

I spent the entire day cutting my stash of Flora by Lauren & Jessi Jung for Moda to make a Parcheesie quilt, pattern by April of Prairie Grass Patterns. This pattern involves a lot of cutting and finishes at 86″ x 86″, the largest quilt I’ve made to date!

Sixteen fat quarters cut into 21 pieces plus three yards of background fabric (Kona white) cut into 384 pieces = 720! That doesn’t include the back, boarders or binding!! It will all be worth it, it’s a beautiful pattern and believe it or not, I have fabric left over for pillowS!

This will be the first pattern where I’ve cut out all the pieces before sewing, I usually cut as I go.

Mettler Silk-Finish cotton thread

Mettler Silk-Finish Thread

Because Aurifil thread isn’t available to me locally, I haven’t won any and and Alex hasn’t sent me some, I’ve decided to use Mettler Silk-Finish cotton thread. It’s a fine, thin, long staple 50wt cotton with a very smooth finish. It will be interesting to see how much lint it produces compared to Aurifil and Gutermann.

DH received a package from Amazon.ca today and he was sweet enough to include a little something for me in his order, Aneela Hoey’s Little Stitches! Yes, I DO have the best hubby in the world! What I didn’t realize about this book is that it has ready-to-use iron-on transfers, AWESOME!!

 

Quickly editing to add that I’m linking this post up to WIP Wednesday

Scraptastic!

This week I received my signed copy of fellow Canadians, Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg ‘s Sunday Morning Quilts which inspired me to reorganize my scraps by colour. The task was daunting, I had what seemed to me to be so many scraps it felt overwhelming. I jut never know what to keep and what to throw away but I threw away ALOT! Why was I holding on to such tiny pieces of fabric??

It took awhile but finaly finished then pulled out my current favorites, sat down and began to sew scraps together randomly. Because I felt that all the scraps I pulled went together well, it didn’t matter which pints or colours were paired but I did know that I wanted a lot of white space.

I want this to be a full size quilt so it will be an ongoing work in progress. When I was finished this section, I put all the scraps in a zip lock bag and started Kimberly Einmo’s easy lonestar.

This week I also dusted off my Janome 350E embroidery machine and fell in love all over again. This really is a great machine, it’s easy to use and embroiders beautifully. The only problems I have with this machine are human error. 😛

Unemployment Day 6 (Working days: 3)
For those following along, deep house cleaning ensues, the toilet, tub and kitchen floor have been bleached within an inch of its life and the ceiling beams have been dusted in the bedroom. I’d like to get some yard work done but it’s going to be stinking hot today. Although I was up at 4:00 a.m. this morning, I’m started to settle in, I think… I’m looking forward to sewing without guilt today!

Paper & Books

My husband introduced me to an awesome new creative iPad app called “Paper” by 53. It’s hard to describe, you need to visit the website and look at the illustrations people have created to understand the beauty of this software! Currently the application is free, you need to pay for all the tools but a few are free, and I’m sure they’ll provide regular updates. (Click the image to see larger.)

And speaking of paper, not only did I receive my Zakka Style book today but also the Denyse Schmidt Modern Quilts Traditional Inspiration book! After briefly flipping through it, my favorite so far is the giant orange and red orange peel quilt, YUM! I took photos but I don’t know if I’m allowed by copyright law to post them, even to promote the book so I’ll just play it safe.

I’m going to cut some fabric this evening while watching Mad Men Season 1. We’ve seen it before but want to watch the first seasons again before buying the new season in iTunes, the new episodes aren’t available on tv here in Canada yet, boo! Ooo, getting my hairs cut tomorrow morning too, can’t wait!

 

Another doodle using “Paper”.