Playing with small curves….

On a whim yesterday, I decided to play with a fabric die cut machine a friend has lent me.  I have never used one of these machines before but it seemed like a fun thing to use scraps on… so I grabbed some of my Cotton and Steel scraps and started cutting…

I decided to play with the Drunkards Path die that came with the machine, because it seemed like a great way to make these blocks, as the die cuts both pieces the perfect size….as opposed to the ruler method I have used in the past which leaves you with scrap pieces that are either to small or two big to use.

cut pieces

Anyway some ironing and cutting and an episode of Game of Thrones later I had a pile of curved block pieces….

cuttingNow these pieces make a 3 1/2 inch curved block for a 7 inch finished circle… in other words they are small.  The first thing I have learned with this project is that the smaller the curve you are trying to piece the harder it is to be accurate.  After some struggles aligning the pieces accurately I finally came up with a solution… glue basting.

glue baste 2

Using my Sewline glue pen I glued around the seam line of one of the pieces of the block…

pieces

Placed the pieces together, using the notch to align and then carefully finger pressed the pieces together…

press together

It worked like a charm and another episode of Game of Thrones later (we are just finishing up Season 5 so are a little behind)… I had a nice pile of glue basted…

glue basteNow all I have to do sew them… the glue basting will make chain piecing a breeze…

sewing

 

And I will have my block pieces done and ready for me to play with layout….

block layout

I am glad I decided to try the die cut curves… I have learned a lot including the fact that I like my curves big….much bigger than 4 inches….

A work in Progress…

This week I have been working away, starting new projects and desperately trying to get other projects finished.  Wednesday used to be the day that I posted Work in Progress posts but I have slipped out of that habit a bit.  Last night as I was struggling with the computer and its strange technology, I realised that Wombat Quilts is very much a work in progress…

When I took the leap to start blogging a couple of years ago I did not know what I was doing… I jumped in and started working it out as I went along.  The quilting bit was easy, the computer stuff was much much harder.  This week two things happened that reminded me I am still working this stuff out…for better and worse.

The first thing that happened was on Monday I reached 1 million views on the website.  For me this is a staggering thought… now I know some websites get that in a day but I never expected my little old quilting blog to hit that landmark.  Thanks to all of you who have stayed with me through this all…. an appropriate giveaway will be coming soon!

The next thing that happened this week was not so positive.  Facebook has forced me to migrate my Wombat Quilts profile to a Page.  Last night, with tears streaming down my face, I complied…actually I had no choice they shut my Profile down.  I am only just working out what this means, but in a nutshell I have lost two years of posts and photos and most importantly lost the ability to see what my 3000+ friends were making.  It is heartbreaking….and there is nothing I can do about it.  I will keep posting to the Facebook page but the joy of using that platform has gone (as has its effectiveness as far as I can see!)…

But in the mean time I am doing the only thing I know how… I am keeping on quilting.  I have a class coming up at Modern Domestic where I am teaching paper piecing using this great pattern ….

pillow

I have been working on making hexies for an Instagram friend, which has been a blast.  I am raided my stash for pretty fussy cut prints and have a nice little collection of basted hexagons so far….

hexagons

And I have been finished up some Bee blocks and putting together charity quilt tops.  I am working away, sewing little bits of fabric together and hoping that the computer stuff does not eat me alive…

A slightly unusual wedding quilt in progress…

This week I have been having a blast making a wedding quilt for a darling friend… but this quilt is not you usual pretty, demur wedding quilt… it is fun and foxy all the way…

fancy fox pattern

This week I have been using Elizabeth Hartman’s fabulous Fancy Fox pattern to make foxes…lots and lots of foxes…

lizzy house fox

I have been surprised how quickly and easily these blocks come together.  After selecting my fabric and precutting everything it has been a fun process of chain piecing and cutting and chain piecing some more.

Lots of foxes

There has been a fabulous sense of achievement as I have finished up a fox and put it up on my design wall.  The hardest part (and most fun part!) was selecting the fabric.  I knew that I wanted the traditional fox colour of red…

Red fox

and then I threw in a little orange…

orange foxes

and to add tonal variety I added some apricot and pink foxes…

pink fox

The foxes I love the most are the ones with striking patterns…  it was such a fun process to audition fabrics, thinking about what sort of foxes they would make.

Gathering foxes

I have only a few more foxes to go before I have them all done.  For the background fabric I went with Hatch fabric from Time Treasures in Coal…and I love how it makes the foxes pop.

I have a few weeks to get this quilt finished so I am heading back to the sewing machine to finish up the last of the blocks.  I really seem to like working up against a deadline… but as a friend kindly reminded me the other day wedding quilts can be given after the wedding.  So how late do you think is too late for a wedding quilt?

Liberty Love

Last week, while drugged up on cold and flu medication, I decided to play with my small stash of Liberty fabrics.  I started slowly collecting fabric just over a year a go, when a darling friend gave me two Liberty lawn fat quarters as a thank you present.

Liberty Lawn

For those of you not familiar with the fabric it is a light weight, beautiful cotton that comes in the most fabulous designs and is made by the famous British store Liberty of London….Ironically I have bought quite a bit of stuff at Liberty in my time in England but never went to the fabric section!

Liberty Lawn 2

I had originally popped my Liberty cherry with the sample pillow for my Introduction to Paper Piecing class at Modern Domestic (my main Liberty enabler!).

Liberty paper pieced star

This 16 inch star used some bigger slices of my stash but I loved how the delicate Liberty fabric plays against the Essex linen.

class pillow detailAnyway this week I had the crazy idea to make some mini dresden plate flowers with my Liberty stash.  I wanted to go small because I also had a collection of 21/2 inch squares that my darling BF had bought back for me from London…and I wanted hand work because it meant I did not have to leave the couch.  The end result was this…

mini liberty dresden plate

The finished 16 point flower is 5 inches wide.

5 inch flower

Somewhere during this process my husband declared that I had officially gone crazy and I think he might be right.  I have made up a little travel kit and I am now obsessed with making these things….

my liberty kit

I found a pattern sheet on-line at AMC-Quilts that I used (LINK HERE)… their PDF pattern was the perfect size and I just printed it on card stock and cut out the petal pieces and started to sew.

mini Liberty dresden plates

I am not sure what I am going to do with them but for now I am happy to just make away.

Continuing the catch up with curves

I am still playing catch up… and today’s work in progress is another project that was on my design wall before we headed to Australia… to give you a hint it all started with this…

curve quilt top

Yep I have been making more curved blocks!  It is not my fault really…you see after cutting out this quilt (you can read about the original crazy here..) I realised I had a whole collection of pink/purple quarter circles… what is a girl to do but make more blocks out of the scraps.

So I made some Drunkard paths like this…

block component

Which became blocks like this…

bw circle block

So my design wall was looking like this…

circle wip

I played a little with proportions on this block, making the black and white background blocks larger than the background blocks of the previous quilt.  I think the solid circles hold their own well against the scrappy.

I also discovered that the smaller the circles get the harder the curved sewing becomes. This curved block is 11 inches finished, with the full circle being 8 inches in diameter.

Now of course I have a pile of black and white quarter circles, which are going to  become there own quilt… yes it is a rabbit hole of curves but I already have a cunning plan for the latest scraps… I just need the time to implement it!

As it is Wednesday I am linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced

Conquering the fear of Curves

In the last week I had an amazing quilting break through.  Anyone who has followed me for a while knows I had an irrational fear of curved piecing.  Sewing curves, circles seamed unnaturally and ridiculously hard.

Well you can imagine my “delight” (note the sarcastic inverted commas)  when my fellow ScrapBeeLicous Bee member,  Michelle of Factotum of Arts set a drunkard path block as her block of the month.  To soften the blow,  Michelle very generously also sent us all this…

large_9781620331224

Angela Pingel’s “A Quilter’s Mixology”  has changed my quilting life… seriously. Armed with this book and it’s pattern sheet, Michelle’s colour directions, a sharpie pen and a sheet of Overhead Projector film I went to work.

OHP templateThe OHP film worked nicely as a sturdy template and Angela’s instructions made it all seem so simple… and it was ridiculously simple.

First circle blocks

In no time I had made the requisite blocks and then just kept going….

Little carried awayTwelve blocks later I decided I wanted to try something different… so I pulled out a circle ruler my husband had bought me recently and started cutting up more fabric…

Easy Circle Cut

The Easy Circle Cut ruler is great for making smaller circles and curves, while Angela’s book has a great selection of bigger templates.

Circle block size differenceArmed with the EZ template and a stack of solids from my stash, I produced copious amounts of curved blocks in about three days…

orange circle block

Enough to make a full quilt top actually…  there was a point on Saturday night when my husband thought he might have to do a circle intervention but I convinced him it was okay, I was nearly done…for the moment!!!

quilt detailWhat I did not tell him was that I already have another circle quilt planned, using the extra bits from this top.  Yes it is official I am now curve obsessed.   You have been warned.