Saturday, 28 June 2014

Binding suggestions please??

100 blocks for Marta's quilt are well and truly ready for final piecing together. Despite my best efforts to keep accurate, they did need some squaring up in the end, but now, as 10 x 10 inch blocks they look good. There are some that are less than ideal, but i'm pretty happy with them.

It's nice to see the overall colour scheme come together and see the crosses link up the blocks.

I'm looking forward to piecing together the quilt top.

Thanks to all those that have given me some suggestions for've given me some great ideas and some i hadn't thought of. 

Binding suggestion please????

I'm still undecided what colour and/or print of fabric i should use to bind the quilt. I'm keen to avoid any more pink colours (thinking of my brother-in-law who will probably wish for something less feminine?). You all had such great quilting suggestions and i'd love for you to share with me what you think i should use for binding!

Linking up (eventually!) with Lorna for Lets Bee Social and Lee for WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Friday, 27 June 2014

Chita Pin Cushion

On our recent travels to Portugal, i purchased some local Chita de Alcobaca fabric. It's 100% cotton, and very unusual. It freys like crazy, but the patterns are really pretty. I decided to whip up a little pin cushion, to remind me of Portugal and our travels there.

I made it log cabin style using 1 inch strips except for the last outer strip which was a few inches to incorporate the pretty pattern. When filling it, i used some standard synthetic filling but added some rice to the bottom so that it feels a little heavier and sits nice and flat.

I made 2 at the same time so that i can give one to my Mum.

Linking up with AmandaJean for Finish it up Friday.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Memory Lane....New Zealand

New Zealand is gorgeous!

It's rugged beauty is breath-taking and if you haven't visited, i reckon you really should add it to your bucket list. I've especially enjoyed hiking through the mountains and the South Island is my favourite.

My first visit must have been over a decade ago and my sister and i travelled from the Bay of Plenty on the North Island (think.....dolphins, islands and lush, green vegetation), down to Kaikoura on the South Island (think.....fur seals, sperm whales and rugged, snow capped mountains by the sea). It was on this trip that i collected a handful of fabrics that reminded me of the places i'd seen.

When i got home to Australia, i designed a quilt based on blocks that reminded me of my favourite, inspiration-packed New Zealand locations and used the fabrics i'd purchased together with some from my stash to make it up.

Today, my New Zealand quilt (titled 'Adventures in Middle Earth, because of New Zealands perfect Lord of the Rings film locations), sits on our lounge ready for snuggling. The colours still remind me of New Zealand and our various travels there. It has been washed dozens of times and has faded quite a bit, but the swirls of quilting (thank to Carol Ikin :-)) have held it together well and it's in very good shape.

My thoughts now turn to our next travels to New Zealand and when we will introduce The Hurricane to one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Plum and June 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

It's also week 3 of the Plum and June 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, so if you'd like to see some more, new and inspirational quilting blogs, here is just a selection...

Camelia @ Camelia Elliott
Nurdan @ Hug a Bit Quilts
Lori @ Sew Psychd
Kitty @ Night Quilter
Christina @ Wips and Tuts
Marcia @ Cozy Capatiller
Jasmine @ Quilt Kisses

Linking up with Gemma for I Quilt Thursdays at Pretty Bobbins and AmandaJean for Finish it up Friday

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Marta's Quilt..... is taking shape!

Well, after a few weeks of cutting and piecing, Marta's quilt is beginning to take shape.

Marta and Orlando have a whopping size bed (i think it's even bigger than a king size!), so this is going to be an equally large quilt. Yikes!! I've cut 100, 10.5 x 10.5 inch squares, and have managed to piece together the shades of pink squares with their green crosses.

I have found that i've need to be super accurate with cutting and with my 1/4 inch seam so that when i square up the block, i don't cut too much off and also so that the crosses will meet neatly with the next blocks. Even so, there are still some blocks that are less than ideal. But overall, i'm pretty happy with how they are turning out so far. It should look even better when i make up the green shaded blocks with pink crosses.

I also made the online-purchase mistake of ordering fabric in mid/heavy weight, which despite being absolutely lovely and matching the colours perfectly, is a bit too thick, so today i headed off to Addicted2Fabric to get some Michael Miller solid in pink......and it's perfect! Perhaps the heavier drill fabric will be ideal for some pillows to match?

Please help! Quilting ideas and suggestions?

So i figure, i'm a bit over half way through the piecing ....waahoooo! I'm starting to wonder about what the best way to quilt it will be. I'm pretty confident that its going to be waaaay too whoppingly large (think....2.4 x 2.8m) for me to quilt on my home machine, so i'm thinking of asking a long-armer to quilt it for me. But, i have no idea about what pattern or design? Should i go for an overall type pattern of swirls or perhaps accentuate the cross pattern with some straight lines? I'd sure love to hear your ideas and suggestions. Here is a picture of the original quilt by Ann D. Hansen called 'x-tra ordinary' (p.28 of her book 'make it Modern Quilts') which gives you an idea of how the blocks will look when they're pieced together.

Linking up with Lorna for Lets Bee Social and Lee for WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thursday, 12 June 2014

Spring Picnic

It's winter here in Canberra. The nights are cold and it's difficult to get out of bed in the morning. I'm a summer-loving type girl and i'm already longing for the change of season. In preparation for some spring picnics in the mountains and weekends away camping, i'm planning on making a picnic quilt and i know just the inspiration.

p. 122 of Malka Dubrawsky's Fresh*Quilting; Fearless Color, Design & Inspiration

Last year i saw a beautiful picnic quilt made by Malka Dubrawsky (p. 122 of her book Fresh*Quilting; Fearless Color, Design & Inspiration), and i've been wanting to make something like it ever since. Using mostly shades of green in solids and prints, i found it so fresh and when i see it, it makes me want to seek out some blue skies and leafy trees to picnic under. I love it's simplicity and focus on colours.

So, here are some of the Kona Solids i've selected in a recent fabric purchase. I like the colours, they make me happy and i think they'll work well with some of the prints i already have in my stash. For now though, we still have a few more months of winter to enjoy which are perfect quilting conditions (also good for hot chocolates, movies, snuggling under favourite quilts, sipping tea, baking bikkies, reading and playing in the sunshine that typifies Canberra winters).

Cheers to a few winter months... the perfect preparation time for a spring picnic quilt.

It's also week 2 of the Plum and June 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop, so if you'd like to see some more, new and inspirational quilting blogs, here is just a selection...

Chelsea @ Patch The Giraffe (http://patchthegiraffe.

Daisy @ Ants To Sugar

Rachael @ The Floral Suitcase 

Elizabeth @ And Pins

Jennifer @ Never Just Jennifer 

Alice @ Blossom Quilts

Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter

Linking up with Gemma for I Quilt Thursdays at Pretty Bobbins and Molli Sparkes for Sunday Stash

Monday, 2 June 2014

Who's at the Bower Bird Patch?

Jen and her helper in her sewing room/ dining room/ lounge room

The Bower Bird Story

So, what's a bower bird and what's it got to do with patchwork and quilting? Well, Satin Bower Birds (Ptilonorhynchus violates) are common where i'm from on the east coast of Australia and they're gorgeous birds.

But mostly they're known because of the way the boys will decorate their intricate stick nests (aka bower) with all sorts of blue materials in order to woo girls (more info here).

Like the bower bird girls, i'm super attracted to all things blue, and you'll probably notice that in the fabrics that i'll pick out and the quilts that i make. That said, i am really attracted to colourful quilts at the moment too and my eyes are always drawn to pretty colours and i will often notice the pattern afterwards.

Jens sewing journey

My Mum is a great quilter and source of inspiration. She taught me to quilt over a decade ago and since then, quilting has become a passion, a treat, a therapy and something to share with my Mum. I've loved creating the best homemade and one-of-a-kind gifts for friends and family as well as welcoming babes to the world with something special. Of course, there's always a favourite quilt on my bed and it's super nice to be able to have our visitors sleep under my quilt creations too!

Of course, as the journey meanders, my tastes and inspirations have changed with the years, as have my commitments and thus the time I'm able to spend quilting.

My favourite quilts

At the moment, these are the quilts i'm most proud of;

I made this quilt for my mother and father in law Rosa Maria and Ze Carlos. Here, it is pictured on the granite pillars that are typical in the Minho region where they live in northern Portugal.

String Playmat
I made this playmat for my little boy back in the day when he was less of The Hurricane. It has been washed and washed so many times, but the colours still make me happy.

I made this queen size quilt-as-you-go pattern (by Monica Poole) because i was simply in love with the colours. It's currently on our bed and after a few years, i'm still in love with the colours.

This placemat was made especially for my Aunt Sylvia in Portugal. It was my first real attempt to sew with curves and i'm happy with how they turned out.

2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop

I'm new to the blogging world, but since putting my own blog together in March, i've learnt a whole lot (i was a 'no reply blogger' for a couple of weeks...ouch!), and i've been super inspired by the talent of quilters far and wide. Quilting is very personal and everybody has such different tastes (i don't know about you, but i never seem to be able to pick the winners or peoples' choice at quilt shows!). I reckon quilt blogging helps me to find my own style by admiring the various colours, techniques and patterns of others, plus, it's a whole lotta fun making new friends that share a common quilting passion!

Today marks the first official day of the 2014 New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop and i'm very excited to be part of it. There has been much work behind the scenes and there's a whole bundle of beautiful new blogs to visit and check out. I've listed just a handful here so please go and check them out, i think you'll be inspired;

And so the journey continues......

Blogging tip:   don't be afraid to just be yourself, it's your blog after all!

Quilting tip:    make the things that please you most and give you the greatest enjoyment

Question for readers:      quilting with silks? any advice will be greatly appreciated (see my post about the kimono silk challenge)

Jens favourites:         Love Actually, Jane Austin, peppermint chocolate, travel, photography, gardening, Wangerin's The Bible as a Novel, Ningaloo Reef, Lord Howe Island, south-west Western Australia, the Pacific North-West, home-made, The Hurricane, blue skies, prescribed fire, Portugal, the Matterhorn and quilting.