Some bad habits…

Some bad habits have formed over here at Wombat Quilts.  I seem to have got out of the routine of documenting what I am up to, and in turn out of the habit of blogging.  After a stern talking too from my darling husband I am trying to get back into the swing of writing more regularly…

The good news is that I have a plenty of finished quilts to share.. because I have not blogging does not mean I have not been making….

So turning over this new/old leaf I am starting this Friday with a lovely work in progress I have just finished…

finished green star quilt

Yep my Paper Piecing Monday green star quilt is now done… thanks in part to the wonderful long arm services of Kazumi Peterson.

quilt details 5

Last week I did a talk at a local Traditional quilt guild and while preparing my talk I realised that I had given away most of my quilts…. I have kept a handful but I wanted more to show.  So there was a couple of weeks of feverish activity to get some quilts done, as well as a trip or two to my local long armer.

quilt details 2

I really love how the quilt to turned out with all those lovely 8 inch stars floating about on a sea of scrappy low volume prints…

quilt detail 6

There is a lot of work in this quilt, but doing a star a week really makes the process less daunting…

star detail

If you are crazy enough to want to make your own version the patterns for all these stars are on the blog… you can find them under the “Free Paper Piecing Patterns” tab.

quilt details 4

I love the movement that quilting gives the stars… it is just a simple all over pattern but it is really effective…

quilting details

I must admit I also love the little flying geese blocks I scattered around the border of the quilt… I am not usually one for adding borders but this quilt needed some space around it, and the three little triangles on all sides made everything all right…

flying geese details

To finish everything off I hand bound the quilt using a variety of scrappy solid and marbled greens….

binding

This quilt also marks another finish for this quarters Finish-Along.  After a very slack first quarter I have taken a decent bite out of my WIP list, while adding only a handful of new projects to my slate!  If you want more information on the Finish-Along check out Debbie at A Quilter’s Table post… this quarter’s fun is already underway but you can always join in next quarter.  It really has been a wonderful way to keep myself focused on finishing stuff and not just making new WIPs!!!

Arkansas Traveller Quilt

This week I managed to get another quilt off my WIP list….

arkansas traveller quilt

This quilt is a Do Good Stitches quilt from a long time ago.  I actually finished piecing the top in October 2014 and first posted the block pattern in July 2014… actually feeling very guilty about how long this one has been sitting unfinished…

quilt detail

The block is a paper pieced pattern by Lee at Freshly Pieced called Arkansas Traveller.  In setting a paper pieced block for your Bee, you are usually helping your odds of getting block the right size,…. unless some of your fellow Bee members, who are new to paper piecing, print the pattern out a little too small…

sashed blocks

This usually happens when you either print the PDF of the pattern straight from the computer, without saving it to the desktop or if you print the pattern with “scale to fit” box ticked on in the Print dialogue box.

quilt detail 2

When I first got the Bee blocks in and realised some of them were a little small I thought I might have to remake them… but my darling husband suggested sashing and it worked a treat.

arkansas traveller quilt detail

I fully embraced the scrappy feel of this quilt by adding a wonderfully scrappy binding, that used 8 different coloured fabrics…. I ended up attaching the binding, by hand,  with the same variegated yellow thread that I quilted with.

scrappy binding

So another old Work in Progress is done… I was feeling so virtuous about my finishes that I decided to start a new project but more about that next week.

Paper Piecing Monday’s Little Houses…

This past week I have working away on projects for other people… which has somewhat limited my selfish sewing.  In between finishing charity quilts I have been making tiny little houses…

a group of houses

These little buildings are 5 1/2 inch square and are the only paper piecing I have done in the last week or so….  the pattern is called “Outhouse” and is by Carolyn Friedlander …I am also using mainly her fabrics to make this round of blocks…

pattern and fabric

I am going to be teaching a class on making these little houses at my LQS, Modern Domestic, and this will be my class sample…

a pile of blocks

I am almost done with making the blocks and it has been a fun challenge… and I have employed quite a few tricks which have made the process a little easier.

block pieces

I am looking forward to getting back to some of my other projects later this week…. I hear my Lizzy House butterflies calling my name.

Back to School Blog Hop – Paper Piecing edition

Today it is my turn on the Back to School Blog Hop and today I wanted to talk about an under rated paper piecing tool – coloured pencils.

coloured pencils

As you can tell my pencil set is well used.  Most quilters will pull out colour pencils to colour in pattern sheets or maybe sketch out block ideas, but as a paper piecer I use mine all the time to colour code my patterns.

Not all paper piece patterns need to be colour coded… simple patterns can be easily followed without coding help…but with more complex paper piecing patterns, a splash of color can save on the unpicking and hair pulling when you are sewing a pattern.

For example this block is little complex…

Cross plus extra block

For this pattern I used EQ to play with colour placement, but coloured pencils and paper work just as well, particularly if a colouring sheet has been provided…..

lattice quilt

So before I started sewing it I pulled out my coloured pencils and scribbled away, marking the pattern with the predetermined colours I am using.

colour coding

I choose colours from my pencil box that corresponded to the coloured fabrics I was using for the block….

pencil to fabric

So that the coding made sense to me as I sewed….

block pieces

I regularly use this process for my paper piecing blocks… and will use symbols if I am using more than one type of fabric in the same colour range… remember the code just has to make sense to you…

paper piece pattern

When making my Cross Star quilt colour coding with pencils became an integral part of the quilt making process as I had to work out how each block fitted into the overall quilt pattern.

cross block wip

So next time you are paper piecing, dust off those colour pencils, do a little colouring in and make the paper piecing process a little easier.  And if you want to play with this block, I have included a colouring page in the pattern PDF… Cross Plus extra block.docx

But before then, check out the rest of the super awesome Blog Hoppers for their tips:
Sept 1: Peta Minerof-Bartos of PetaQuilts
Sept 2: Cheryl Sleboda of Muppin.com
Sept 3: Teresa Coates of Crinkle Dreams
Sept 4: Cath Hall of Wombat Quilts
Sept 5: Sam Hunter of Hunter’s Design Studio
Sept 6: Melanie McNeil of Catbird Quilt Studio
Sept 7: Mandy Leins of Mandalei Quilts 
Sept 8: Rose Hughes of Rose Hughes
Sept 9: Megan Dougherty of The Bitchy Stitcher
Sept 10: Lynn Krawczyk of Smudged Design Studio
Sept 11: Susan Beal of West Coast Crafty
Sept 12: Sarah Lawson of Sew Sweetness
Sept 13: Jane Victoria of Jolly and Delilah
Sept 14: Jemelia Hilfiger of Je’s Bend
Sept 15: Ebony Love of LoveBug Studios
Sept 16: Misty Cole of Daily Design Wall
Sept 17: Kim Lapacek of Persimon Dreams
Sept 18: Christina Cameli of A Few Scraps
Sept 19: Bill Volckening of WonkyWorld
Sept 20: Jessica Darling of Jessica Darling
Sept 21: Debbie Kleve Birkebile of Mountain Trail Quilt Treasures
Sept 22: Heather Kinion of Heather K is a Quilter
Sept 23: Michelle Freedman of Design Camp PDX
Sept 24: Kathy Mathews of Chicago Now Quilting Sewing Creation
Sept 25: Jane Shallala Davidson of Quilt Jane
Sept 27: Cristy Fincher of Purple Daisies Quilting
Sept 28: Catherine Redford of Catherine Redford
Sept 29: Amalia Teresa Parra Morusiewicz of Fun From A to Z
Sept 30: Victoria Findlay Wolfe of Victoria Findlay Wolfe Quilts
October 1: Tracy Mooney of 3LittleBrds
October 2: Trish Frankland, guest posting on Persimon Dreams
October 3: Flaun Cline of I Plead Quilty

Continuing my Lizzy House infatuation…

Last week I managed to finish up my Constellation quilt, which is currently winging its way to its new home in Indiana.

Finished Constellation quilt

I started this quilt a while ago, after I got my hands on some treasured pieces of Lizzy House’s Constellation line.  I have been a big fan of Ms. Houses for a while now…she designs the most fun novelty fabric.  I love her bright colour choices and graphic illustrations… and I do not just use them in my charity quilts for kids,  I try to sneak Pearl Bracelets into nearly every quilt I make!

constellation detail 2

I loved the blues and touch of purple of this line and it was so easy to put this quilt together using just the Constellation fabric line, some Pearl Braceletss and a few supporting solids.

constellation detail

I paper pieced the six-inch cross blocks… you can find the free pattern here.

constellation detail 3

To quilt this baby up I just used my walking foot and followed the lines of the crosses.  I love how the quilting echoes the crosses, while adding a nice grid pattern to the quilt.

constellation quilt

I wanted some denser quilting on this quilt, as it is for my new nephew, Tobias…and I knew from the experience of his big brother’s quilt, that this quilt needed to be able to stand up to pretty constant washing and hardy wear and tear.

quilt back

For the back of the quilt I used three different Lizzy House prints…two of which are from her recent Natural History range.  These fabrics just worked perfectly with the front… and I could not resist sneaking this marvelous gem print into the quilt.

fabric detail

Now I must warn you this is only one of several Lizzy House quilts I have been working on.  I am slightly addicted to Lizzy’s fabrics and am eagerly awaiting her new line, A lovely Hunt,  in September… it has unicorns in it!

Quilt Details:

Name:  Constellation Crosses
Pattern:  Paper Pieced cross blocks
Fabric:  Lizzy House Constellations
Finished size:  36 x 42 inches

The Row by Row experience

I have only recently become aware of a program that is run over summer here in the USA called the Row by Row Experience.  From June 21st thru to September 8th over two thousand quilt shops around the USA and Canada give away a free pattern, based on a theme.  All you have to do is visit the store to get the pattern.

This years theme was H2O (water) and I was excited to work with my local quilt store, Modern Domestic, to design their Row by Row experience….Glass Half Full.

table runnerThe remit was to design a block that was 8 inches high by 36 inches wide.  I worked with Michelle Freedman to design a paper piecing block based on the idea of a glass of water.

block layoutsMy original block was 6 different paper piecing patterns for the water (you can see the my original test run above).  Michelle then streamlined the idea into just one pattern sheet, which still gives you variety in the water but is easier to distribute.

MD patternYou can pick up this pattern for free from Modern Domestic over the next couple of months.  Most of the stores also have kits available for their blocks, which is helpful if your stash is somewhat lacking in blues!  I turned my row into a table runner by simply adding a border strip…

glass half full blocksIf you are not able to make it to make it to Portland you can check out the Row by Row website to see if your local quilt store is participating… I know there are quite a few stores that have paper pieced their row… including Fabric Depot whose very cool paper pieced block I will definitely be hunting down.

quilting detailAnd if you are outside the USA, don’t fret, at the end of the September many of the stores will make their patterns available digitally.  I will let you know when Modern Domestic’s pattern becomes available.