More green stars…

As promised I am back with some more green stars.  I have twelve finished blocks up on my design wall and this block is lucky number 13….

8 inch star quilt blockI called this star Nick’s star, after my husband…what can I say I am struggling to find names for some of my patterns!    This 8 inch block has 24 pieces and I must warn you is easier than next weeks pattern, which is more complex, but really fun.

Nick star pattern piecesYou can find the free PDF pattern here…Nick’s Star pattern.  I have loved seeing people’s versions of my patterns on Instagram, so go forth and create pretty things!

Scrap busting quilt…

This morning I managed to finish up the improv baby quilt I started last week.

easy scrap baby quiltI started making blocks last week as a way to take a break from doing old WIP’s (see my original post about the process) and found myself making blocks here and there as I worked on other things.

improv quilt detial 2The blocks are all random improv and used up quite a nice selection of my low volume and pastel scrap stash.

quilt detailThere are lots of novelty prints with enough bits and pieces to play a good game of I spy (aka eye spy).   But for me the most fun of this whole process was the quilting.  If you follow this blog you know I am determined this year to get better at free motion quilting and this week I got some help.

maching bindingLast Friday I took delivery of a wonderful Bernina 550, which I have on loan to play with and oh what a difference a good machine makes.  When it came to quilting this baby up, I was excited to attach the free motion foot and stitch regulator and really play.

quilting detailNow the quilting is far from perfect but it is okay and so much better than anything I have free motioned before…. and most importantly it was great fun to do.  I just free motioned squares and I am now chomping at the bit to try some new things.  I have dusted off my Angela Waters books and bought Christina Cameli’s new book “Step by Step Free Motion Quilting” and I am ready to get serious about this quilting thing.

A special QuiltCon reject

I finally got the opportunity this week to photograph the beautiful wonky star quilt that was made last year at my first PMQG Charity Sew Day.

pmqg wonky star charity quiltI originally posted about making these blocks back in February last year and you can find the original post HERE.  I really loved the quilt top but extra love it now that Rachel at 2nd Avenue Studios wove her quilting magic.

quilt detail

Rachel free motion quilted these wonderful wandering lines that fill the scrappy white space fabulous while also highlighting parts of all the blocks.

block detailAll over the quilt there are these little moments where the lines move around the fussy cutting…

green block detail

…and around and through the stars.   The quilting perfectly compliments the scrappy wonky offset stars.

quilt detail 2This quilt is now in our Charity pool and will be used this year…and I am in the process of preparing for the January Charity Sew Day.  Every month PMQG members meet at the wonderful Modern Domestic and make blocks and chat and hang out.  Every month we make a quilt top together, all of them bright and fun and all of them destined to do good in the community.  It is such a good thing.

A flurry of paper piecing…

So how was your holiday/Christmas break?  I hope it was fun and constructive and full of family and friends.  Mine was definitely constructive on the paper piecing front… this is what I got finished in December….

hexagon stack 2This is a stack of 84 hexagon flowers… does not look like much so maybe this photo will help…

all the hexagonsI became a hexagon demon this Christmas…it is the only quilting I have done for over a month which is a little unusual for me but there is a reason why.  You see in October my husband casually told me that his doctor had found a “fullness” in his neck.  Fast forward a week and CT showed a 8 1/2 cm tumor in his neck.  Those of you that have met my husband know he does not do anything in halves and his tumor was no exception…it was twice the size of what they considered large!

So after specialist appointment and some more tests we were given a date for surgery – 22nd of December.  We were allowed to go to Australia which put me into full hexagon production mode.   In preparation for the month or so we had ahead of us, I bought a Fiskar hexagon punch, one of the best investments I ever made.

Fiskar hole punchThe punch does perfect 1 inch hexagons, so for a couple of nights I sat watching TV and punching out hexagons from scrapbooking paper I no longer use!  Hundreds of them.   Then scraps were then gathered from my stash and acquired from friends and I was set.

Our Aussie trip allowed me to make lots and lots and lots of hexagons… 16+ hours of flying each way allowed for a lot of sewing.  I used my trusty hexagon travel kit..

heaxagon travel kit

and filled my hexagon storage to over flowing…

hexagons completed and sored

Medical appointments, surgery and recovery allowed me to turn my little hexagon collection into these…

hexagon flowerMy colour scheme is bright and consists of grey, green, aqua, blue, purple, magenta, pink, apricot, red, orange and yellow.  I have a few repeats on the fabric but not too many.

my colour palletteI am pleased to say that the surgery went well.  My darling husband has a wicked scar across his neck but the tumor was not cancerous.  So now as he sits on the couch recuperating (playing computer games and listening to the cricket!) I am slowly sewing the hexagon flowers onto the main quilt.

hexagon quilt wip 2I am trying to fill the gaps and get a straight edge happening, instead of the willy nilly placement I had going earlier.  My husband declared that he wanted this quilt earlier in the year so it seemed fitting that I threw myself into its production during his medical hi jinks.

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