Friday, August 15, 2014

Crafty Chloe - seven years old

Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.

Dr. Suess

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sewvivor - A nautical inspired quilt

I can FINALLY reveal my nautical inspired challenge project; it's been so hard to keep it a secret! You can vote for me on the Family Ever After blog here (please do and I will love you forever).

You can never cross the ocean, unless you have the courage to lose sight of the shore

Wise words anon, wise words. And with that, I set sail.

Once the excitement of actually getting into Sewvivor was over, then came the realisation that I would actually have to turn around a quilt in less than two weeks! Like a true sailor, I swore loudly, before diving into my blue scraps. I had so many ideas, but they weren't... quite right. I searched and googled and I pinned and still nothing. Nada. The brain bank was dry. Until I looked back over my sketch book and found this geometric iceberg I drew a little while back.

That was it! Originally it was for a mini (and it still might be), but in true Sewvivor style, I upsized and went for it. To make the iceberg, I first drew up the image in Adobe Illustrator, printed it over several A3 pages and stuck it all back together again before cutting up each section. Once all that had been done, I foundation pieced the sections together, sewed the sections together and appliqu├ęd it on to the background. Phew! I'm not scared of those cray cray Y seams, that's for sure!

I used a shot cotton for the water/background. It is so soft and gives it a subtle texture. I knew exactly what sky fabric I wanted, but had less than a fat 1/4. Poo. But I put a call out if anyone had some and my very own mermaid, Penny Poppleton came to my rescue. So a big shout out and thank you x!

It was feeling a little lonesome out there on the still, dark and icy water so I added a wee paper boat, making it's way around the iceberg. What a perfect texty fabric print to have on hand! You can grab your own here from Polka Dot Tea. I like to think that he has all the time in the world, there is no rush and he is on his own schedule... What adventures will he have on his way? You know the stories will be wild and incredible.

I quilted for what felt like forever! Starting with a wavy,organic straight line quilting all over the background to create some lovely gentle waves. Then some geometric triangles over the iceberg and some swirling stippling for the sky. This is probably the densest quilt I have ever done. Stressful on a timeframe, that's for sure!

Quilt Label

Quilt name: Iceberg
Made for: Sewvivor quilter's edition competition 2014
Finished size: 42 x 70 inches
Fabrics used: Lizzy House Constellations, blue shot cotton (from Spotlight), Newspaper print by Kei and assorted blue and white scraps from my stash.
Pattern: Original design by Crystal McGann
Quilting details: Straight, organic, wavy lines with a walking foot on the water using a Guttermann  navy cotton thread. FMQ with in a triangular design echoing the triangles in the 'berg with a light blue/grey Guttermann thread for the bottom and a cream for the top. Light blue Guttermann thread in a medium sized stippling pattern for the sky.

Voting details:

You can vote for me (and your other favourites) on the Family Ever After blog here.
Voting closes Wednesday August 13, at midnight EST.
FYI, the competitors are allowed to use patterns. Contestants are allowed to recruit from their blogs, social media, family, and friends. One vote per device is allowed. The public vote counts as 50%. The other 50% of the vote comes from our "tribal council" aka Judges. The Top 10 will be revealed next Monday, August 18.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Crafty Chloe - Rainbow Loom

How crazy popular are those rainbow looms? Chloe absolutely loves hers and is constantly making bracelets and charms. We have recently added the pony beads to the loom supplies. She enjoys watching you tube and then recreating them in her own colours, always learning and trying new techniques. It's so nice how they are constantly creating gifts for each other as well.  And I hear it's really popular with the boys too, which is unusual for a craft!

Do your kids loom it up? 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Modern Medallion - The finish line and a giveaway!

Here we are at the end. It's been a lot of fun watching your quilts come to life and I am looking forward to seeing many more in the future. They are all so amazing - the personality in each is such a joy. Keep up the great work!

Bonus Blogger - Jo Loves to Quilt

Jo was one of my very lovely pattern testers and she has finished her Modern Medallion. Pieced, quilted and bound. It is so very fabulous. I loved (as always) watching it come to life and it was facinating to see it start as a very bold floral number, to end up quite sot and pretty. And did I mention the quilting? Love, love, love it. Have a look at her blog to see more photos and read about her quilting journey - it's a great read.

Blog along giveaway!

I promised a giveaway and here it is. Polka Dot Tea have generously offered a $30 gift voucher for you to spend in store - on anything you like! What would you choose?

To enter, all you need to do is link up your quilt. It doesn't need to be finished, just link up wherever you are up to. Link up your blog, instagram or flickr easily using the link tool. If you don't have a public forum to link up, you can still enter, by uploading your image and using my blog URL. I can't wait to see them all!

Link up love

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Making childhood memories in the autumn leaves

I love autumn when the leaves fall and turn brown. There is something about making a big pile of leaves and jumping in them. This is the stuff childhood memories are made of, right? 

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Downtown quilt - a challenging journey

Grab a cuppa, this is a long post! This quilt was something of a journey, and I wanted to [over]share it with you. If you follow me on Instagram or facebook, you would have seen lots of posts along the way.

When I saw the call out for the Quilters Companion Under 35s quilt competition, I knew I wanted to enter. Hey, I'm under 35, so why not? The theme was 'outside my window'. I immediately started thinking of trees and birds, and a very literal interpretation of the theme. But I wasn't happy with that. It just seemed to obvious.

So I thought and thought, searched and searched. I kept coming back to something very urban. And then I came across this graffiti by Matt W. Moore. You can see it and many more on his website here. It's well worth the visit! I absolutely loved it and thought I could translate this into a quilt.

I set to work and designed a city scape in illustrator, with a city scape set against the graffiti inspired background. Here is the design I made on illustrator, it look me a long time to decide on how I would complete the buildings, I tried lots of different style, finally settling on something really simple. I am so glad I decided to go simple! AS fate would have it, I ran into Helen Godden (in Perth of all places!) and spoke to her about my idea. I still wasn't sold on it, but she encouraged me to go for it, so I did. She also pointed me in the direction of some ombre fabrics which were so perfect and would have saved my sanity no end. The rainbow solids were from Polka Dot Tea, what a prefect bundle to use!

Once I had the idea all drawn up and scaled to the right dimensions, I printed it out and set to work foundation piecing  it all back together. Lots of different sections and a few swear words later, the sky was done. And that's when it all started to fall apart for me. I was divided. On the one hand, it was exactly as I imagined it to be and spend hours drawing. But it just didn't feel... well... me. I don't know why, and I still don't. I think some of it was self doubt combined with not knowing how this represented me as a quilter. I posted my feelings on Instagram and Facebook and so many people gave me such great encouragement, I decided to complete it, whether I really wanted to or not.

And so I persisted. I put on my big girl pants and just kept going.

I applied some heat bond paper to the black fabric, cut the shapes and then the little windows out. I then put the ombre fabrics under the window and attempted to fuse them to the quilt. Annoyingly my heat bond paper must be out of date because the glue wasn't attaching to the fabric and was becoming all yucky. Ugh, I hate it when that stuff happens. It is so frustrating, but for me it was too late to stop. I just did my best with what I had.

Once the top was all together, I basted it ready for quilting. As I wanted the quilting lines on the building to be really straight, I used my walking foot and just manoeuvred that sucker around. Lucky it's not a big one! For the sky I put my new found FMQ skills to the test with a metallic thread in a triangular pattern. I didn't really mean it to be, but they really look like fireworks. Instagram to the rescue again as my friends helped me choose a facing binding to finish it off.

The Under 35s competition has been and gone and I was awarded with third prize for the quilt. I learnt a few things along the way, like foundation piecing (which I am going to use in another upcoming quilt) and faced binding, so not a complete loss. I'll be honest and say, I still don't know how I feel about the quilt. 

Quilt Label

Quilt name: Downtown
Made for: Quilters Companion Under 35s quilt competition 2014
Finished size: 29 x 37 inches
Fabrics used: Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids and Ombre fabrics (sorry I can't remember the maker)
Pattern: Original design by Crystal McGann
Quilting details: Straight lines with a walking foot on the buildings using a gutermann cotton. FMQ with metallic thread in a triangular design.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Auditioning for Sew-vivor

Deep breath.

I have decided to enter into Sew-vivor

This year is a quilter's edition and as a quilter, I am thinking this will be challenging, hectic and a heap  of fun. I am always looking for ways to stretch myself and I really believe this will be a a great way. I have lots of ideas brewing for the challenges too... If only I could shut it off sometimes! There are also some really great judges, including Sarah Fielke, Jeni Baker and Amy Newbold.

What is Sew-vivor? 

It's a sewing competition run by Rach on the Family Ever After blog and its loosely inspired by the show Survivor (obvs). This is the third season and the main idea is that anyone can audition, judges help choose the 16 contestants there are 4 weeks of sewing competition with specific challenges and a couple Sew-vivor "twists" along the way. The judges and public vote for their favorites after each challenge. The winners score some amazing prizes at the end. Sounds fun, right?

I'm entering the Modern Medallion quilt as my audition piece

This quilt represents me and who I want to be as a quilter. Modern, fresh and a bit cheeky. 

The Modern Medallion is designed from the centre out. Multiple borders surround the central medallion using a variety of modern quilting techniques, such as improv foundation piecing, wonky piecing and free hand curves. One thing I love about modern quilting is letting go of perfection and precise points. I  love embracing the improvisational nature of creating one of a kind quilt. You could make it ten times over and always end up with a different quilt. I love that.

Fingers crossed that I get into Sew-vivor season three! I can't wait to see all the awesome quilty goodness that comes from the competition.