Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Space Time Continuum Top Finished!

Subtitled Whatever Happened to Dave the Engineering Quilt

Unbelievably I’ve had this quilt top sitting around for 6 months already. You might remember back in March I posted some blocks I was making for this and chuckling away to myself about the working title of Dave the Engineering Quilt. No? I won’t go into it here but refresh your memory by all means. I'll wait...

You're back! Anyway, I decided on the change of name because hourglass blocks, space ship fabric, how could I not. In my never ending series of lists I still refer to it fondly as Dave though.

The design for this may seem eerily familiar if you have seen Cheryl at Meadow Mist Design’s Chronograph block and I freely admit that it started from an idea simply to upsize that one block. Then I had to tweak it a little to make it rectangular and so we get the finished quilt top we have today.

Everything about this design seemed all good on graph paper. Construction provided a challenge when I realised I’d given myself a partial seam. I watched this video tutorial on sewing partial seams on YouTube by Donna Ward and it all turned out pretty well I think.

Still it wasn’t my only problem. I’d originally planned on making it bigger but part way through I ran out of background fabric. I should be able to get a bit more I thought so I headed up to the local fabric store and came home with what I thought was the same colour and sewed it in. It wasn’t until I took it outside in daylight to take these photos that I discovered to my horror that they weren’t a match. 

Looking at this photo that seems unlikely I know but it’s true! I think one’s white and one’s snow and different brands as well.

Anyway that meant I had to sacrifice some of my border fabric to finish the centre. I have since bought some more (and checked for a match in daylight… several times!) and I’ll be able to add extra length and width before I finish. And I’ve learned a lesson – I now label my whites so I can tell at a glance if they will match in or not. It also explains, if you look carefully, why the fabric print has changed in the block between the first progress photo and the second.

Here’s the stats so far: finished size is 56 inches by 69 and it took 1 metre of print fabric! Pretty good huh?

 ‘til next time

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

September Block Round up

Last month’s bee blocks were both nice and easy. For Bee Inspired Jen from A Dream and a Stitch chose a Le Moyne star. She asked us to use tertiary complementary colours. I know what tertiary colours are but complementary had me stumped so it was off to find a few colour theory tutorials. It turns out that complementary colours are those opposite each other on the colour wheel (there are very good colour theory tutorials here). It makes for a very vibrant colour scheme (that’s what the colour theory tutorial said, I believe them J ) so Jen should have a stunning quilt. The tutorial for the block is here.

Late addition - I have just come across the very excellent Color for Quilters series by Shannon Brinkley. Well worth reading.

The violet fabric is an old one by Perth designer Jan Mullen. She’s still around making quirky, wonky, artistic and, slightly hilarious (the one with the men’s undies) quilts and selling her Stargazey Quilt patterns on-line. Her original very bright colour palette has been replaced with the more muted colours of current trends. All this is to say that I was a big fan of her style back in the day. Obviously, then, I’ve had the fabric in my stash for a mighty long time and this block seemed the perfect occasion to bring it out. 

In Stash Bee, Alicia (@qvilt) designed a tile block for us to make up in shades of blue. She’s had some blocks arrive and the quilt is starting to take shape on the design wall (see the photo here). If you’re looking for a tile block this could be it. It’s simple to put together and very effective. Here’s the tutorial.

I am plodding my way through quilting my Modern Waves quilt, so nothing photogenic to report from my sewing room this month. Except maybe this.

This is the fabric I pulled for Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl’s Wayward Transparency quilt along. My thought was the density of the dot print would be the ‘darker’ overlay section, as in if I overlay the open daisy pattern over itself without matching I would get a denser pattern right?

In conjunction with the start of the quilt along she’s been writing lots of posts about fabric selection. When it came to her post on Evaluating Fabric Contrast she suggested turning our photos into black and white images to check. That gave me this

Now I’m doubting my artistic design choices, but I love the fabric combination and I couldn’t come up with anything I liked better so I’m running with it. It could be worth experimenting with and I don’t think I’ll hate it even if it doesn’t work.

That’s it for now. I guess the weather is turning in your neck of the woods. Spring and Autumn are my favourite seasons. I hope you’re enjoying yours.


Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Half-Hearted Mini

Made for the Modern Quilt Guild mini swap earlier this year, this little quilt finishes at around 23 x 25 inches.

I downsized the original (free) pattern from around 6 ½ inch height finished to 4 ½. That makes it reduced by 69% on the photocopier. I’m a big fan of foundation paper piecing so I used the paper copies to stitch the blocks up.

This is quilted using a serpentine stitch and the texture is great although it did send the edges wavy.

The original post is here. I guarantee I’ll be making another one of these sometime for myself.

Linking up with Amy from Amy’s Creative Side for Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Bloggers Quilt Festival: Facets Plus

This is my favourite and most useful make in the past year. This quilt has been on my bed for the whole of this past winter (just past – I’m in Australia).

It was made last year as part of a quilt-along hosted by Amanda at This Mom Quilts.

The finished size is 70” by 80” and it’s quilted simply with straight lines.

The original post is here for more details and you can find the free pattern here

Linking up with Amy from Amy’s Creative Side for Bloggers Quilt Festival.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

August Block Round-up

August’s queen in Bee Inspired was Anne from Brown Paws Quilting. She asked us to make our choice of one of the blocks from Lorna's Dog Gone Cute pattern (find it here). I chose block 7 because it looked easiest. She also asked for it to be made to represent a dog that has a meaning to us. We made a poodle block a couple of months ago and that was the only dog I’ve ever had as a pet so I decided to call this one a dingo and made him up in gypsy style paisleys so you’d know he was a wild dog who roams free. Well that’s what I told myself when I bought the fabric which I’ve had my eye on for a few visits to the fabric shop. Yay, an excuse!

Last month was my turn to be queen in Stash Bee. I decided to ask for a HST block in two sizes, one with sashing, and I gave everyone a huge array of colours to choose from. These are the blocks I made up for the tutorial (find it here).

Two blocks have arrived so far from Greta, above, (@snippetycamel) and Alicia, below, (@qvilt) – lovely!

I’ve been working on two projects at once this month, which has actually worked out, surprisingly, really well. 

First up I’ve been making these kiss kross quilt blocks. The pattern was in Homespun magazine from the middle of last year and is by Melissa of Ms Midge. You can see her version here. I’m using a lightweight denim for the sashing pieces that I bought from the local fabric store and I’m liking the way it’s coming along.

My other project is a Modern Waves quilt (pattern by Initial K Studio) that I’m making as a Christmas present. I know my own time limitations so it seemed like a good idea to make an early start and knock it off the list so I can go onto other projects without deadlines stress-free. I guess there won’t be much more to show of this till the new year.

And that’s my month. Hope yours was good whatever you were doing.


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

The Somewhat Positive block tutorial

This is the tutorial for this variation on the plus block. I’ve tried it in solids and prints, and now you can apply your own creative talents to it and make it your own.

Okay so I might have been promising to write this up for a year and finally I have overcome all the monsters-in-the-closet kind of fears and done it! To be honest it probably wouldn’t have happened at all except that Jen of Dizzy Quilter said she wanted to make one for her son. I would probably even have toyed with the idea editing the evidence out.

I asked Jen to test this tutorial and she’s done just that, with marvelous results. Visit her blog for a look at what she’s made.

My biggest fear, ‘what if I get it wrong?’ has a simple answer - I’ll fix it. Just let me know as politely as you can.

As a quick stat this block finishes up at 9” square.

I’m going to assume some knowledge of the process of paper foundation piecing. If you want to give it a go and haven’t done it before just google it, there are plenty of tutorials out there.

If I have a tip it’s to mark the seam allowance in for the first section so you can line the pieces up and avoid trimming on the first seam.

The paper piecing template is available here for A4 size and here for US Letter. Print it off with page scaling set at ‘none’.

I have given a template for the simple 3 square section. It is probably overkill and you can piece it normally if you choose, just use 31/2” squares if you choose this option. I’m sure you can work it out how to put that section together for yourself and you don’t need me over-explaining.

This is what you’ll need to cut for one block (Fabric B is the background, fabric F is the focus). I’m generous with my cutting.
·       2- 4” x 4” square fabric B, 1 - 4” x 4” square fabric F (for paper piecing)
·       5 - 4” x 4” square fabric B, 1 - 4” x 7”  fabric F
·       Strips of fabric F around 1 ½” wide – 6 - 4” x 1 ½” strips and 1 - about 2” x 1 ½”

Follow the piece by number instructions on the templates.

This section, though, may have you scratching your head and wondering what’s going on.

It’s for this small scrap of detail I put in here.

To make it add a background square at 5(b) and trim ¼” away from the straight and dashed line. Use the 1 ½” x 2” strip and stitch along the seam line. You don’t need to stitch the full length since you’ll be trimming to ¼” away from the diagonal line at the next step.

Press and then trim ¼” away from diagonal line (I know I’ve just repeated myself but this is just the instruction I wouldn’t be able to find when I look for it halfway through making a block). 

Keep the paper folded while you line up the 4” x 7” focus fabric strip (I originally saw this tip on We All Sew. It changed my life!).

Then stitch it in place. Press it, trim it and we’re done with that section.

Complete the other sections and here’s the placement. As you can see the seams line up between the top section but not the bottom one. Rest assured you haven’t made it wrong, it’s supposed to be like that. There should be about 1/8” difference between the two.

Here’s my remaining tips

·       Leave the paper in until after you’ve sewn your sashing on.
·       When you go to quilt it DO stabilize by outlining the shape first.
·       I used sashing finishing at 1” wide for my grey mini quilt (I thought it was too narrow) and 3” for the quilt top I showed last week.

If you decide to use this tutorial please let me know, I would love to see it. If you’re on Instagram I’m @sevenoaksstreetquilts, and use #somewhatpositivequilt.

Hope you have fun!



PERMISSIONS: You can use the quilts you make from this tutorial for private purposes, including selling them on a small scale (please acknowledge the pattern source). If anyone is thinking about copying this tutorial and adding it to their own blog or other internet site and passing it off as their own work (people do that apparently, not you of course, but others) then don’t!

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Somewhat Positive Quilt Top #2

It’s been a year to the day since I posted my Somewhat Positive mini quilt (no really! I checked). That means this larger version has been on my to-do list since then.

This time I’ve widened the sashing and gone for a 3 x 3 block layout ending up with a quilt top that is 48” x 60”.

And while I’ve been making this quilt I’ve refreshed my memory on how it was done and I’ve FINALLY written a tutorial – that’ll be out next Tuesday. Come back then!


Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Inside Addition Quilt Top Finished!

Back in February I was queen for the month in the Bee Inspired group. I chose the Inside Addition block that I upsized to 12 ½” (the tutorial is here). 

It was like Christmas once the blocks started rolling in, and coming home and checking the mail box was full of anticipatory excitement. I made some extra blocks and now we have the big reveal – tada!!!!!

The top finishes up at a fairly decent size of 62 ½” by 75”.

Getting the colour shading layout to my satisfaction was a little difficult for me. I haven’t ever attempted this technique before and I struggled to find any sort of starting point. Hindsight and photos are a great thing and I think I can see where I would swap some block placements if I was doing it again. If I have a tip it would be to allow yourself plenty of time to work on the layout (I didn’t so it was a case of frantically trying to get it laid out and watching the clock at the same time).

Thanks so much to all my Bee mates, all of whom are former participants in the 2016 New Quilt Bloggers group, for contributing to this project. You all did great work!

Till next time


Linking up to Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts, Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and Wednesday Wait Loss at The Inquiring Quilter

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

July Block Round-up

This month’s queen in Stash Bee Greta (@snippetycamel) asked for a maple leaf block of our choice in green. She suggested a couple of tutorials but not being one to leave well enough alone I thought I’d have a look on Pinterest first… 3 hours later I surfaced with a decision, ending up with a paper pieced block I made up for myself based on this barn quilt. I’m thrilled with the way it turned out and I’m thinking about maybe making more.

For Bee Inspired Queen Jennifer from TheInquiring Quilter designed a block and wrote us a tutorial based on the Irish chain quilt that she’s had in mind for a while. She requested graduating shades of green (the fabric pull was simple this month!) going lighter from the centre out on a white low volume background.

It’s my turn to be Queen in Stash Bee next month and I’m pretty excited! I have picked my block, written the tutorial and it’s scheduled and ready to go for the 1st!

‘til next time



Wednesday, 5 July 2017

June Block Round-up

At last, almost two months after posting these blocks, my crows for Velda at GrannycanQuilt, who was Bee Inspired queen back in April, have arrived! We’ve had our mystery line-up to guess the maker (a lot of fun!) and I can show them to you. Ta-da! Velda gave us a tutorial which she has since had to remove from her blog to keep the peace (long unpleasant story) and requested that part of the crows be either black with white or white with black with the rest of the crow being bright colours on a low volume background.

Staying on the black and white critter theme, June’s Bee Inspired block for Karen at Tu-na Quilts and Eats is a poodle block. This was a nightmare of tutorial errors and a confusing number of pieces. If you feel you want to take this on the tutorial is here. Karen gave us corrections but wasn’t specific as to what pieces they were in the pattern. (The underbelly should have a flip triangle of 2.75” for the hind leg and the ear piece should be cut at 4.25” long). I was overwhelmed by the written instructions and decided to follow the photographic steps instead where the error was different on the ear piece, but instead of being longer as in the written instructions (I’m told) came up too short. I was ready to throw it in the corner and there were some choice words thrown about at this point but I persevered and the block is done! Would I do another one? Not on your life!

EDIT: I am reliably informed that the tutorial has now been corrected. If you want to make one now it should be a lot easier.

The tutorial suggests that we name our poodles and I was going to name him after the poodle we had when we were growing up, Marcel, but Kate has picked that name for hers. I could always call him Marcel2 but I think I’ll go for Ricky Doodle the poodle (anyone seen Ricky Tims’ Grand Finale video? You’ll understand the reference if you have.).

Finally, for Stash Bee Alanna (@the_handmade_tail) chose nice simple flying geese. She’s making a quilt for her best friend’s upcoming wedding and her friend is very much into nature and the environment, with a husband-to-be who’s a scientist with music as a hobby. Colours chosen were green and grey with prints that reflected the couple’s interests. I’ve had the Laurel Burch leaf print for a long time and now seemed like the perfect time to break it out and use it. The greys are new from my local fabric purveyor. They were 50% off and who can resist a bargain!

Till next time au revoir!