Monday, 25 August 2014

Hedgehogs and squirrels and owls, oh my!

At a very enjoyable baby sprinkle (apparently this is name du jour for baby showers for second babies...) I finally gave my friend the quilted wall hanging she had requested for her baby boy's nursery.

There had been some guidelines (most of which I listened to :)) which included - "greens and browns please...and woodland animals, no, jungle animals.  Definitely woodland animals."  So I started making it before she could change her mind.  Fortunately she had ordered a decal with woodland creatures so it now seemed unlikely...

Green and brown can be very chic but also a little muted for this colour obsessed quilter so I took a lead from the aforementioned decal and threw in a bit of orange and blue too.   Just to liven things up a bit.

The main "picture" fabrics I chose were from the "Bluebell Park " line by Kate and Birdie.  I love them so much!

I had bought some of the beige park themed fabric along with all the supporting fabrics while I was in Melbourne in anticipation of this project but discovered that I wanted more colour and cute stuff so broke up my charm squares from the range and used all the cute and colourful ones from that too.  The green background fabrics are both Riley Blake pirate fabrics and I just love the Japanese apples!  Such a zing of orange.

This photo was taken when I thought it was finished.  More of that anon...I quilted it simply in the ditch and used a fusible, lightweight batting as it is going to be hung on a wall rather than used as a cot quilt, so the lightness and slight stiffness of that sort of material was perfect for this project.  I also added a hanging sleeve.

I sat around admiring my handiwork for a while (as you do) and came to the conclusion that a) it needed something else and b) I was bored and wanted a hand sewing project.  So lead by the naive charm and texture of the prints I embarked on some hand quilting detail. 

This was the result, not particularly clear and unfortunately with me in it because I forgot to take a photo at home!

Basically I hand stitched in orange embroidery floss around each of the orange diamonds, which really lifted the look.  Overall I was really pleased with this little item, it was a lot of fun to make!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Many, many crosses...

I was hoping to get some better images of this quilt now that it has gone to its very happy owner because frankly I didn't have the space to photograph it properly. I really needed a balcony because it was a whopper. This is the finished product being shown at our guild's monthy meeting...

My client provided all of the fabrics after our initial consultation and a few suggestions about how things might look from me.  She wanted predominantly greens and blues with little pops of colour.  Crosses (being a very well prepared person she came with a pinterest board full of cross quilt designs) were a must.  After some discussion and thought we agreed that this "very now" interlocking cross design would bring a modern but also classic touch to her very classic and slightly retro choice of colours and fabrics.

After a lot of planning (thank you IPad apps) and thought about how I would approach such a large project I decided to piece the crosses as nine patches rather than rows.  It worked for me in this case and blocks fitted together like a jigsaw.  I made plenty of mistakes in placement so there was much reverse sewing, however errors were discovered earlier rather than when the cross was embedded in the *middle* of the quilt! 

I took on this project with the caveat that I probably wouldn't be able to quilt it (ha!) and glad I did because by the time I had finished the top I could barely wrangle it single handed.  So off to my friend and long arm quilter it went.  We agreed on a more organic design in the mid green that runs through the quilt to give it some softness and contrast.  The leaf design can be seen in this detail:

I had pieced a backing out of some of the leftover green, unused turquoise (there was hardly anything left of the prints by this stage, it really came down to the line!) and some of the 30s feel fabric that didn't make it to the front of the quilt but was quite lovely.  Even choosing the binding took time!  We discussed plains, plaids and finally settled on the blue and white stripe that appears in some of the crosses.  Got to love a stripy binding. :)

So here it is - the oversized king sized quilt on top of my much smaller queen bed.  Doesn't really do it justice but you get the idea.  It looked much more at home on her giant bed in her beautiful bedroom.  Which was the point really.