Monday 25 April 2011

Pickledish Pillow

Happy Easter!

I finally finished my Pickledish pillow, which thanks to Aneela's clear tutorial came together smoothly with minimal stress.  Actually, I went about the pillow a little backwards: I knew that I wanted to use the Cosmo Cricket  "Early Bird" for the backing, so I chose the fabrics for the front to coordinate with it.  I  hand quilted the background with #8 perle cotton in ecru.  The back is a simple envelope closure, and the cherry binding is also from Cosmo Cricket's "Early Bird" collection.  

I couldn't resist including Pipi, one of my favorite Japanese pigs!

I think it's fun that there are two different toaster fabrics : the "Early Bird" toasters and the Robert Kaufman "Metro Cafe" toasters. 

A little peeping monkey...

The backing which inspired the front.

I love the Michael Miller "Jiggle" jelly fabric. 

I am entering my pillow in this month's Blogger's Pillow Party over at Stitched in Color.  Go check out all the great ideas!

Friday 22 April 2011

Blockheadz - Heather's Blocks

I was recently invited to join the Blockheadz block swap organised by Teri, who I met during the Block-a-Palooza quilt along.  Because there are only 8 of us, everyone is making two blocks each time so that we all end up with enough blocks for a quilt.

Heather chose Clay's Choice as the first block.  She provided the calico and the teal for the corners and we used our own fabric for the center pinwheels.  I am sending them off to her today...hope she likes them...

Friday 15 April 2011

Curves Sewn !

Thank you all for your encouragement!  In the end, the curves were not as bad as I feared - what a relief!  As you can see in the photos, I used TONS of pins and sewed super slowly - practically one stitch at a time in the beginning (You can also see from my backwards pinning that I'm a leftie).  Also, the 1/4 inch piecing foot with guide really helped me feed the fabric through evenly, and not least of all, Aneela's tutorial explains every step thoroughly with lots of photos to help those of us who are more visual learners.  I just adore this pattern - maybe one day I will attempt a queen size Double Wedding Ring quilt, but I am not sure that day is here yet...

Lots and lots of pins!

I am not sure it would have been possible to use more pins...

Assembling the four football-shaped units to the central panel was by far the most difficult part.  I had a tough time making the point where the units join together even and symmetric (the point between the teal and yellow fabrics in the top right corner above).  The seam ripper was put to good use, and in the end I hand-basted the pieces together so that I could get an idea of how the seam needed to be sewn.  The other two units went together more quickly once I understood where the stitching went. 

I snapped this out of my kitchen window on my way to work this morning.  I added a tiny border to the block to make it the right size for my pillow form and also for the binding to be set back a little from the edges.

Ok, well now I'm off to give hand quilting a try! 

Wednesday 13 April 2011

WIP Wednesday - Conquering Curves

The idea of sewing curves totally terrifies me, so i've decided to face my fears and tackle a Pickledish pillow using Aneela Hoey's great tutorial at Comfort Stitching.  My arches are pieced, and the background fabric is cut out.  All that's left now is to start stitching those curves.  Deep breath - I can do this.

I'm linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced - go check out everyone's projects.

Friday 8 April 2011

Disappearing Nine Patch

I bought a cheap sewing machine in August because I wanted new curtains for the bedroom.  Everything I had found in the shops that I even vaguely liked was prohibitively expensive, so I decided that I could sew exactly what I wanted for much less than retail prices.  I had never sewn before, but my mom is very experienced and was able to help guide me over the phone.  The curtains turned out just as I had hoped, then I made more for the kitchen and a tablecloth too.  Although delighted with my new decor, I wanted to sew something more creative.  I tried a few skirts - cute but I still haven't brought myself to hem them...  I have always loved quilts, so I thought why not give that a try?  Anyway, all this to say I found something I really enjoy.

In October I bought a fat quarter bundle of Tanya Whelan's Darla in pinks and blues, and inspired by the disappearing nine patch tutorial over at Cluck. Cluck. Sew, I started cutting up squares for my first quilt.  I pieced the top as best I could without a 1/4 inch foot and squared up all the blocks with just a yardstick and cutting mat.  Thankfully, a collective Christmas present from my family arrived early in November, so I didn't have to tackle the quilting on my $70 Brother!  I abandoned the quilting mid-way through in order to finish a different quilt for my sister before Christmas and only finished this one up in February when I returned from a month-long holiday in the States. 

Ok, enough rambling are the photos my husband kindly took for me last weekend at le Jardin des Serres d'Auteuil



Sweet Pickins

I LOVE Sweet Pickins, Darlene Zimmerman's latest addition to the Clothesline Club for Robert Kaufman - the retro cherries, gingham, primary colors...what's not to love?!

I have been anxiously awaiting the release of this line since last autumn, and now courtesy of my ever-generous sis, yay it's here!

Tuesday 5 April 2011

more flowers...

Work last week was beyond busy, which meant that I was not able to spend any time at all with my machine.  However I did make a little flower progress, so it wasn't an entirely lost sewing week. 

My sister discovered the world of hexes with my last post and has been sucked in big time... So, looks like I now have a partner and perhaps a chance of one day finishing this project.  Her love of buying fabric for me is already well established, so her new plan is to cut a strip off of the fabric pieces she sends and make flowers for the quilt.  I think that it will really make the quilt so much more special being a joint project (not to mention the benefits of outsourced labor!)  I will share her flowers here as she sends them - there are some super cute ones in the works!  We estimate that we need at least 100-120 flowers...

Saturday my husband and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and brought my first to quilt to the botanical gardens near our house for an overdue photo shoot, and my flowers tagged along too.

Left over Tanya Whelan scraps from the above-mentioned quilt. (I still haven't had a chance to go through all the pictures my husband took, but hopefully I will post them this week)  I don't think this flower really has enough contrast, but I love the little rosebuds, so i'm keeping it.


Cupcakes, more cherries and Bliss dots!

This pink is one of my favorite fabrics from the City Weekend line.

Even more cherries!  I love this Mary Engelbreit cherry print.

I am linking this post up to Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday - go check out everyone's cool projects!