Saturday, 29 September 2012

Twenty One Squared

I have to tell you about my friend, Gabe. She is the reason I am getting back into my quilting and I'm delighted about it!

I sort of decided not to do any quilting this semester what with work and study being the priority. Plus, when I quilt I do it on the dining room table and like to leave it all out for days on end - not an entirely practical option.   So everything has been packed away and the only sewing-related activity has been the parcels of fabric that have periodically turned up - like magic - every few weeks.  (I can't think how this happens but I thank Trademe and Etsy for each and every one!).

But I digress.  Gabe decided to make her best friend a quilt to celebrate her 21st birthday and came to me for some tips and ideas. Now, several months later, her very first quilt is on the home stretch and it looks fantastic. It is made up of 21 squares (20 on the front in a 4 x 5 grid, and one big 'card' one on the back). Each square features a fabric that describes some aspect of their friendship. It is bordered by the most amazing neon green and Gabe bravely chose a variegated thread to quilt the top - in a vibrant mix of yellow, green and orange - and a gorgeous raspberry extra-wide backing. I'm sure her friend will be thrilled. There is something very special about being able to wrap yourself in a quilt made with love.

Viv, Gabe's mum, has kept us stocked up with homemade baking as we sprint for the finish and try and get the machine quilting finished today. The birthday girl turns 21 in a week so that doesn't leave much time for the binding to go on, but it will be enough!

Of course, Flash couldn't resist trying the baking basket out for size... He is such a show off!

So, thank you Gabe for getting me back into the swing of things and for reminding me that if there isn't thread on the floor, offcuts on the cat, bobbins needing winding and pins to be picked up, then life isn't nearly as much fun as it should be!

Hexagon frenzy

Hi everyone out there in quilting blogland. This post is well overdue but I am wrapt to say I am back into my quilting.  My friend, Flash, has been helping me, as always....
The projects I am working on are two hexagon quilts - one single bed size and one queen size. I am doing a class at Stitch in a fortnight and I need to have all the hexagons cut and marked prior to attending. The class will teach us how to machine piece hexagons! I am so excited! I'm a bit over pfaffing around with English Paper Piecing, so I'm keen to learn a fast new technique that will help me churn through my stash. I'm afraid, despite plans to the contrary, the stash has gotten a bit out of hand...

For the queen size I've gleefully cut into my Anna Maria Horner Loulouthi stash. Sigh - so gorgeous! You can see in this photo how helpful Flash was being by settling on the fabric offcuts and then not moving as I continued to turn and trim on my nifty circular cutting board. I have yet to train him to pick all the bits up at the end but he did leave a trail of them through the house when he eventually stirred himself.

The single sized quilt is going to be out of Paula Prass's stunning Botanika. I adore this fabric! (What am I saying, I adore ALL fabric. But, this one is particularly pretty, don't you think?)
We can do the class in two different sizes of hexagon. I've gone for the largest size because it uses up more fabric and because I wanted to fussy cut as much of the Wingstudy print as I could.

So far I've cut all the hexagons out and have about...oh, 120 to mark the 1/4 inch selvedge of. This is because we need to match points, apparently. As to the rest of the process, I'm blissfully ignorant.
I'll update progress in a few weeks!