Sunday, 26 November 2017

Hurrah! A Flower basket block!

I have been admiring Cathy's Flower basket blocks for quite a while (Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting blog).  She turns out these beautifully bright and various blocks as easy as cutting out circles of pastry to make jam tarts!  I have been wanting to try to make one, studied the blog and had a go.  Really difficult because although I got something similar I only achieved it with a lot of trimming and fiddling around - and I knew it wasn't right.

So, an email to dear Cathy and she directed me to a couple of tutorials.  I used this one:

Had a go this afternoon:

As I mentioned in my previous post about the scrap triangles I turned into rectangular blocks to make a Premature baby quilt, I have real problems with spatial awareness and this block has really tested me.  I had already done a bit of seam ripping when I thought I had cracked it. Took a photo, started this block post and then when I added the photo I realised it was wrong again! At this point our son-in-law arrived to watch a football match on TV with my husband. He immediately spotted the mistake and said "your daughter has the same problem". Well she doesn't quilt and I didn't know but she also obviously struggles seeing how things fit.  So I ripped it out again, rejiggled the pieces, sewed it up, pressed it ....................and I had put it in wrongly again ( a different kind of wrongly!).  More ripping out, another press, another photo and I think it's OK now.
Just taken me all afternoon.
Here's the first block I did, made up by yours truly:
I'm adding this post to Angela's So Scrappy RSC blog post.  It is made from scraps and I wouldn't have made it if I hadn't spotted Cathy's blocks on the RSC site so I think it qualifies.
Just going to lie down in a darkened room!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Two flimsies: UFO Mr Scarecrow and wedges

I started a medallion-style quilt based on a Scarecrow printed figure back on 1st August 2013.
I worked on it and then set it aside - for a LONG time!  It's recently appeared at the top of the pile and today I finished my flimsy.

The last pieced border was very recently added, consisting of RSC 2017 4 patches made into square in a square blocks. All made from scraps. I had to make extra 4 patches from green and yellow 1.5' squares as I didn't have enough brown ones. The outer border is a plain cream Egyptian cotton cut at 3.5".

Some close-ups:

I really like the 4 Patch border.

Yesterday I showed the wedge shaped scraps I had been given.  Today I combined an idea I had with a comment from Cathy (Sane, Crazy, Crumby Quilting blog) and came up with this Premature baby sized flimsy:

I paired solid and patterned wedges, made a template 2.5' x 5.5" and cut them all to the same size.
Played around for a while: a couple of ideas didn't look right but I finally came up with this placement.
I found this a challenge due to my difficulty with special awareness. I wanted the "mountain peaks look" which I finally achieved but it was hard!  I have several finished pieces which are the wrong way round. Now in the orphan blocks pile.

However I happy with both flimsies.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

RSC 2017 Handquilting Twinkler Stars

Linking up with Angela's So Scrappy RSC 2017 to show the progress of my Twinkler Stars Quilt.


I am hand quilting a double row of fairly small Perle stitches around each star shape.
Pleased with the effect. I had already machine quilted either side of all the block joins so the quilt top is well anchored.  No rush to finish this quilt so I am enjoying stitching whilst watching television or at my Quilt Group meetings.

I have now been gifted 2 lots of wedge shaped scraps. The wedges come in pairs, a solid and a tone on tone pattern for each colour.  My friend Candy made yards and yards of pennant shaped bunting to decorate the reception area for her granddaughter's wedding last year.  She and her daughter are now turning the bunting into a quilt for Olivia.  So I have been given the scraps which are around 6" long, the wedge is approx. 3" (they differ slightly!) at the widest point of the wedge.  I don't want to leave them like this in a bag because I know they will just stay there forever.  I had wondered if I could arrange them into Dresden-style circles, but haven't tried playing yet. I would normally cut scraps into usable sized squares (1.5", 2", 2.5" ) but I would waste more than I would be using.
Any ideas on how best to use them? Suggestions would be very welcome!

Monday, 13 November 2017

Kaffe Fassett exhibition

I had a delightful day on Saturday, visiting a Kaffe Fassett exhibition held in a National Trust property called Mottisfont in Hampshire. My best friend Barbara lives fairly near Mottisfont and she had heard about the exhibition.  We have visited a KF exhibition together before and we both love his work, the super bright colours, the way he puts vivid pieces of fabric next to each other and so on.

So, my photos:

Loved this HST quilt, the blues were just beautiful!

Another lovely blue one. A simple design but the use of such lovely fabrics makes it special. Barbara's favourite, I think. I loved it too!
Another snowball-style design, this time in richer colours. Both colourways worked for both of us.
Loved this sign , the words printed directly onto the wall.  Kaffe was born in California but moved to the UK as a young man and our country has been his home ever since. I think this shows his love for his adopted country, why it appeals to him.

The centre of a very floral quilt, showcasing a particularly beautiful flower fabric - like a still life painting.
As he said in the previous sign, Kaffe is fascinated by fruits and vegetables.  They appear in a lot of his work, including this chair upholstered in his tapestry work.  Look at those lush fruits!

Probably my favourite quilt as it uses colours I love. Again, a simple design which shows off his gorgeous fabrics.

A close up of the centre:

Another of our favourites. There was such an amazing range of fabrics in this quilt, including some that almost appeared to jar with the rest of the colours ( look at the 8 pointy stars made from black & lime green stripes and mustard yellow) and the hot pink and turquoise ones ( the addition of the hot pink jumps out and somehow draws your eye to both the centre and the outer edges of the quilt).
The clever placement of stars and hexagons made your eye dart about, sometimes making you notice the stars more, sometimes the hexagons. We looked in detail at this quilt for a very long time!
As you can see one of Kaffe's roll necked cardigan designs was exhibited alongside the quilt.  There was a lot of his knitwear on show - again all using his signature bright colours.
And lastly, two photos of his Folk lore quilt, na├»ve style pictures and shapes appliqued onto a cream coloured background.

Lots and lots more of course but I couldn't photograph everything.

The exhibition was so well organised, displaying his work beautifully.
Groups of quilts, interspersed with knitwear, tapestry etc were displayed in a series of rooms.  One of the room guides told us that Kaffe had insisted each room was painted a colour he specified: so there was a sky blue room, a hot raspberry pink, a sunshine yellow and  a Spring green one. Wooden chairs in each room had also been painted to match the colour scheme of the room, although in a different shade to the wall colour. The original wall colour in each room was Britain's favourite - magnolia - and Kaffe said if the rooms weren't painted to his specification he wouldn't allow the exhibition to be staged.  How right he was, these marvellous pieces wouldn't have been able to shine to their best advantage. Clever man!
Barbara and I have struggled this year to see each other - it took until 11th November to make this happen. I had a special birthday at the end of May and Barbara brought my birthday present with her which I had to open before we went into the exhibition. She had gifted me Kaffe's lovely Autobiography "Dreaming in Colour".  A perfect start to a wonderful day.
I was then told the "back story" to the present. Barbara had been struggling to think of the right present to mark my birthday but when we decided some weeks ago to visit the exhibition at Mottisfort she researched Kaffe Fassett books. Because she knew I was such a fan she guessed I would probably already have at least one of his books so she phoned my husband to ask him to search my bookshelves.  Apparently this wasn't achieved easily because time after time she rang and I answered!  Eventually she managed to speak to John and he was able to search my bookshelves whilst I was out. Great story, makes the book even more special. I haven't started the book yet but have already enjoyed the super picture on the dust jacket: Kaffe sitting cross legged on one of his bright pink quilts, surrounded by colourful pots of plants, another bright pink quilt as a background and holding a bright pink flowered wreath.  Marvellous!


Sunday, 12 November 2017

Turning RSC 4 patches into blocks

I have turned last week's small brown 4 patches into Square in a square blocks.  I have been working on an old UFO and these will make a great border.

I used 2.5" stash squares for the outside triangles.

Linking with Angela's So Scrappy blog for RSC 2017

Sunday, 5 November 2017

RSC 2017 Using browns

This month's colour chosen by Angela on her So Scrappy blog is dark fabrics, brown and black.
I have very little of either colour but did make 4 x 5" strippy blocks and some 4 patches made from 1.5" squares.

I have also made a few 4 patches using pink, purple and orange:

Joining up with The RSC on So Scrappy blog.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Using new fabrics

The majority of quilts I make are Scrap Quilts so it is a fairly rare event for me to make a quilt almost entirely from new fabric.  But that is what I have been doing for the past few days.
I have been asked to make a quilt for a friend to gift to her sister's expected baby.  They know it will be a girl but didn't want anything too "pink and girly" so I have come up with this:

I haven't used tumblers in any of my designs before and I enjoyed making them.
The wide grey panel in the middle is where I will add the baby's name in large appliqued capital letters.

The colours haven't photographed very well, it's a dull grey November afternoon here.  In reality all the colours are more vibrant and contrast more.