new fabric

some new fabrics have come my way lately, as they have a tendency to do.

last week we took a day trip to gävle, a really nice town somewhat north of here with a cool old quarter. i went to their local quilt shop and brought home a fat quarter (a super low-volume blue) as a souvenir. i’ve been needing some more background-friendly fabric for my splendid sampler.

i also stopped by ohlssons. it’s a fairly big chain but every location has a somewhat different selection and i really like the gävle store. my luck didn’t fail me either, as i found this excellent cat fabric (which just happens to coordinate really well with my fabrics for the summer sampler 2016). cats

i also found this butterfly print, which i assumed was just “inspired by” (i.e. ripped off) heather ross’ line, but closer inspection revealed this to be honest-to-goodness tiger lily fabric. i was (quite nerdily) thrilled as i’ve coveted this line for a while and i neeeeever find anything cool from the internet in stores around here. such a catch!

tiger-lily

then the very next day my summer sampler fabrics arrived! ask me if i’m happy with my choices. i’m very happy with my choices!!!

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choosing colours (ii)

after several days of hemming and hawing and spending every spare moment looking at fabric online, i finally made a decision and placed an order for my new summer sampler quilt!

i started with two inspiration pictures found online, and picking out the colours, found fabrics. orange combinationsi have been reeeeally torn between these two (as all my friends and acquaintances can likely attest, as i’ve been pestering them for opinions all week). the orange combination suited the idea of the quilt i had in my head, and is very summery and lovely.

wisteria scheme

the purple includes a lot of colours i like, and felt a little more unusual, and definitely still summery.

i could not make up my mind! i like both equally well, i suppose. even my usual decision making techniques, like flipping a coin and if you’re not pleased with the flip it points you to where you really want to go, weren’t working.

to make a long story short, in the end i went with the purples. i was helped along by the fact that i ordered the fabric from a different store than the one where i first picked out samples, and i couldn’t get all of the fabrics i’d picked. if i could have i’d probably have gone with the orange/coral combination.

here’s what my pick eventually looked like:

Summer Sampler order

i’m really happy with the decision. it’s got a good level of contrast and lots of nice whites. plus i got to incorporate something from the brush strokes collection by holly degroot, which i’ve been obsessed with all summer. i’m really feeling teal/magenta and cool colours right now, so in the end, after a looooot of flip-flopping*, i think this was definitely the right choice!

*i literally woke up at 5am and couldn’t fall back asleep cos i got all worked up thinking about colours. cool or sad?

quilting colours

hi readers! remember me? boy have i been sewing a lot!

i have three new shirts and a pair of pants to show you, as soon as the weather turns. it’s been most uncooperative both for being-outside and picture-taking purposes.

my quilt is almost done! just a bit more quilting to go and then the binding. that will be so exciting to show when it’s finished.

in further quilting news, i’ve joined the (big) gang working on the splendid sampler. so much fun! check back for a post about that soon. here’s a preview:

i got the farmer’s wife 1930s book for my birthday, but i have to collect more feedsack prints before i can start work on that. can’t wait!

but all that excitement aside – what i really came here to talk about today is colour schemes! after watching the new summer sampler unfold over the last weeks i couldn’t resist anymore and bought the pattern. yes, yes another sampler quilt i know. but it’s so pretty!

anyway, my splendid sampler is red, yellow, and blue, my farmer’s wife will be a lively rainbow blend of 1930s repros and solids, but what colours shall i use for my summer sampler 2016???

i’m completely obsessed with really admire faith’s colour scheme for her sampler and must admit that i’m sorely tempted to copy it faithfully. eeps! but i don’t have any fabrics in any of those colours in my admitedly small stash and besides, i’m sure i should at least try to come up with a scheme of my own. and after all, what’s more fun than playing with colour?

that’s where good old pinterest comes in handy! i have a board where i’ve collected colours and colour combos that catch my fancy, regardless of the subject of the image. it’s turned out to be a real goldmine of inspiration!

sunset-warm or cool pastels?

bright, clear colours?

love these intense jewel tones!

i had a thing for petrol blue and coral  a few months ago, but i think i’ll go with something a bit lighter (and more summery) for this quilt. one thing i’ll almost definitely take from faith’s version is the use of a lot of low-volume whites.

well, i have a lot more colour-admiration and fabric shopping to do! and you, reader! go start a colour collection! they’re the most fun to look through, i promise!

 

 

the saga of the quilt and the bunny

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here we see a specimen of the common house rabbit, scientific name bunnius naughtii, common name hoppy. but don’t let that innocent little face fool you. those big round eyes and floppy ears are merely the sheep’s clothing of a creature capable of wanton acts of terrible destruction.

for example, this:

holes! in my quilt! she chewed holes in my quilt!

can you even? i can’t even.

ok calm down. it’s okay. it was a few days ago. i was hopping mad (heh heh) but i’ve forgiven her. i’m sure she didn’t do it deliberately (although at the time i claimed otherwise to anyone who would listen). right?

i can put appliques over the holes and now my quilt has a good bunny backstory. i won’t have to worry about my quilt getting damaged in the future – it already happened and it’s not that bad!

(plus now i have even more in common with lisa simpson. surely we all remember that episode where she has the mumps and makes a square for the bouvier family quilt but then santa’s little helper eats the quilt?!)

and anyway, who could stay mad at this little face??

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Quilting – it’s a process.

At long last, some actual sewing on this blog!

We finally had sunny weather and I managed to get a few pictures of my hand quilting in progress. IMG_8351

I’m really happy with how it looks so far but I can’t deny it’s slow going. I thought I’d done quite a bit but then I spread the quilt out on my bed to see how it looks and wow – after many hours and a whole season of Pretty Little Liars (!) I have quilted just a tiny drop in the giant sea that is this quilt.  But it’s okay, I don’t mind. (Yet.)

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Quilting is really a seasonal activity, isn’t it? Piece it in the summer and quilt it in the winter when you don’t mind sitting inside with several layers of fabric and batting on your lap. It’s minus 5 but I’ve had the radiator off and the window open half the time I’m quilting. So: the quilt is warm. Success!

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No pictures of the back because it’s kind of a mess. Well, that’s exagerating. It’s not a mess but it is quite ripply. Either I didn’t spread it out smoothly enough or I didn’t baste the layers enough or, more likely, a bit of both. Although I really did baste a lot; I spent about two hours on the floor with this thing! Oh well. The important thing is that the front looks nice, right?

I was actually regretting my choice of backing fabric at first, thinking that maybe the plain calico is well, a little too plain, but it’s super cozy so I like it again. And yes, I have already tested the quilt out. If you spend enough time with a quilt in your lap you’re bound to take a nap under it at some point, right?

Hand-quilting

So here’s what I’ve been up to this week: quilting!

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(artist’s rendering)

I basted everything on Sunday night & Monday morning, which took surprisingly long. Then I finally started quilting!

Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the actual quilting, it gets dark so early this time of year (today I was eating lunch while watching the sunset!) so I haven’t managed to take any.

Quilting is slow, a little faster than I anticipated, and definitely easier than I thought it would be! I found hand-quilting the tea cosy I made this summer to be physically quite difficult, it was often a struggle to get the needle through the layers. Now I realise that’s because I was usually quilting through the seam allowances, naturally it’s much easier when you’re only dealing with three layers. So phew, quilting this will be much easier and maybe even a little faster than I imagined, and it’s quite fun!

The last block

I did it! I’ve just finished piecing the final block for my Summer Sampler quilt.

IMG_8151This isn’t actually a block from the quilt-a-long, but it works well with the rest of them. It’s an eight-pointed star, possibly an Ohio star? and sort of a play on the first block, which was a sawtooth star.

So great to have them all finished! Now comes the really fun part – planning the layout!