Wednesday, 31 January 2018

January Beehive blocks

This year I'm participating in a couple of quilting bees. Not only are they a great way to connect with other quilty peeps, they encourage me to work with blocks and colour schemes I wouldn't normally choose. They are also perfect because they provide the thrill of pulling fabric and making a new block, without having to break my 'no new projects' rule. These Double Star blocks were made for our January queen, @curlyquesue, who chose a refreshing colour palette of navy, emerald green and pale grey.

I've actually been thinking about using this block for my month as queen, but in a different colour palette. I'm not exactly sure yet, but I'm not queen until November so I've got plenty of time to make up my mind.


Ripples quilt

I've finished my first quilt for 2018! This quilt was made mostly with blocks sewn by the lovely members from my 2017 quilting bee. For my month as queen bee I chose the Ripples block in saturated colours and a scrappy low volume background. I love that every single block I received contained prints I don't have, resulting in a quilt with hundreds of different pretty prints to look at.

I'm so happy with how it turned out. Despite some blocks being made with slightly off colours (e.g. peach instead of bright orange), the blocks all seem to work together perfectly. It's light and bright and scrappy, which is just the way I like it.

For the backing I chose a Cloud 9 print from the Brush Strokes collection by Holly De Groot. I had this print put aside for another project, but when I saw it while hunting through my stash, I knew that it would be perfect for this quilt. And as the old saying goes, "a quilt on the bed is worth two in the stash" (or something like that). I can always buy more fabric later, right?

I'm linking up with the Elm Street Quilts January One Monthly Goal finish and the 2018 Finish-along as this quilt was on my list of proposed finishes for quarter 1 and my specific goal for this month.


Friday, 19 January 2018

January Scrapbooking Top 50 challenge

This year I'm thrilled to be staying on the Scrapbooking Top 50 Aus Design Team for another year of fun challenges. For January we have a fabulous sketch challenge to play along with. You can find all the details on the Facebook page. We are also trialing loading entries to our Facebook page instead of the blog this month to see if that makes things easier for everybody.

For my Design Team example, I made a layout about the difficulties in taking photos of twin babies. I started with the mixed media background, but scraped big lines or acrylic paint rather than the splatters pictured in the sketch. I also moved the smaller cluster from the top left to the bottom right, but hopefully you can still see the bones of the sketch on my layout.

I really liked the way my background came out so I kept the embellishments minimal to let it shine. I also didn't want to take away from the photos too much - just look at those facial expressions. Priceless!

This weekend looks to be a scorcher in Melbourne so I'll be locking myself in the craft room and playing with paper - anything that doesn't involve turning on the iron. I hope you find some crafty time too.


Sunday, 14 January 2018

2018 Finish-a-long Q1 proposed finishes

I have a confession to make. I am a serial project starter whose pile of WIPs is getting out of control. My last count was over 50, and that was after donating a bunch to charity late last year. So, one of my resolutions for 2018 is to not start any new quilty projects until my WIP situation is under control. I'm aiming for less than 10 quilty works in progress by the end of the year. That means I'll be aiming for about 14 finishes a quarter.

I'm going to need as much help as I can to stay motivated so I'm joining the 2018 Finish-a-long and linking up my proposed finishes for quarter 1. Rather than link them all up, I've picked the 14 that I'm most likely to complete this quarter.

Here's an extract from my spreadsheet that contains all the details (starting with the centre pic and then clockwise around the outside from the top left corner) 

Given that we're already two weeks into the quarter, I've included quite a few small projects and those some larger projects that are closest to completion. I'm hoping that a more targeted approach (and setting a more achievable goal for each quarter) will lead to a better success rate this year.


Friday, 5 January 2018

2017 Beehive wrap up and January One Monthly Goal

Now that we have ticked over into 2018, I thought I'd share the collection of blocks that I made for my Beehive Quilts quilting bee last year. One of the reasons that I enjoy being part of a bee is the chance to experiment with different block designs and colour palettes that you wouldn't ordinarily choose yourself.

My favourites are the two Wanta Fanta blocks chosen by Eleri and Sue. Although it's not my favourite block to make, I love how they challenged me to chose prints outside my comfort zone (I usually avoid mutlicolour prints).

I can't wait to make a quilt with the beautiful blocks that I received during my reign as queen. I've already got 16 so don't need to make too many more. I'm linking up with Elm Street Quilts January One Monthly Goal and setting finishing the quilt top as my January goal.

I'm looking forward to doing it all again in 2018 and am excited to see what blocks and colours will be chosen by the members of my new Beehive group.


Garden Snails quilt

Last year I participated in a number of quilt alongs, but my favourite was the snail-paced slow along hosted by Angie of Gnome Angel. During the quilt along we made and shared a single snail block on Sunday (a.k.a. snail day) each week using the Garden Snails pattern by Pen and Paper patterns. I used a layer cake of Grand Canal by Kate Spain to make my snails and had a great time taking pictures of the blocks in various garden settings.

 At the end of November I finally got around to sewing my snails together into a quilt top. I modified the layout of the pattern a little (e.g. by staggering the snails) to make it wide enough to fit our double bed. For the quilting I used a simple stipple because I thought that it resembled snail trails.

The quilt was an instant hit with my snail-loving 5 year old.

These guys didn't seem to mind it either.

It's now a frequent feature on our bed, where it sets the perfect scene for Sunday morning sleep-ins (if only our babies would get the message).

I'm linking up with the 2017 finish-a-long quarter 4 linky party as this quilt was number 8 on my list of proposed finishes for Q4.


Thursday, 4 January 2018

January ARTastic challenge

I'll thrilled to be joining the ARTastic Challenge creative team for another year. I really enjoy this challenge as it is not as prescriptive as other challenges (such as sketch challenges) - we accept ALL forms of papercrafting as entries from traditional paper layouts, mixed media work, project life spreads to digital entries.

As always, the challenge is to create a project inspired by the selected artwork. Our first inspiration for 2018 is this fantastic painting by Arthur Streeton called Beach Scene. Head over to the ARTastic Challenge blog for all the details of the January challenge.

For this challenge I was inspired by the scene in the artwork and the title, to create a project life spread about a recent visit to Bribie Island with my sister and her family.

It's a quick and simple page, but I'm glad to have the memory documented. One of my goals for 2018 is to do more scrapbooking, even if it's just a quick pocket page. I didn't do much papercrafting last year, and on reflection I think it was because I felt intimidated by all the amazing work out there with lots of layering, mixed media and intricate cutting. Perhaps one day I'll have more time to create detailed works of art, but for now I'll just focus on getting memories documented (and perhaps making a dent in my overflowing stash of papers and journalling cards).

I hope you'll be inspired to play along and create a project that captures a memory from one of your vacations.


Spirit Animal Geode quilt

Today I'm sharing a quilt that I finished last year: a Geode quilt that I made with a FQ bundle of Tula Pink's Spirit Animal and a few prints from one of her older lines.

You might recall that I previously made a Geode quilt earlier last year and be wondering why I would make the same quilt again. The simple reason is that I love this pattern. The block design is perfect for fussy cutting feature prints and it uses the perfect amount of fabric from a fat quarter (enough that you get a good feel for the print, while still leaving good sized scraps to play with later).

For this version I used a single background fabric, a pale sand-coloured star print from the Cloud 9 We Are All Stars collection. I thought it worked really well with the stars in the background of some of the Spirit Animal prints.

I quilted it in an all-over sharp stipple - my current go-to FMQ design. I love the texture that it gives the quilt, and how quick and easy it is to stitch.

I was hoping to get a more glamorous finished quilt shot but it turns out that 'quilts in the wild' shots are a lot more logistically challenging with three young children.

I'm linking up with the 2017 Finish-a-long Q4 linky party as this quilt was on my list of proposed finishes for Q4 (number 26).



Monday, 1 January 2018

More Christmas stockings

Just a quick post to share the Christmas stocking I made for the family members I celebrated Christmas with this year. With the help of my husband and little man, I managed to get them done a few days before Christmas.I'm l;

I made them quite a bit larger than the ones a made earlier so that I could fit a few more prezzies in. Here's my little man with his. I'm hoping that we'll get at least a few years use out of them.

I'm linking up with the 2017 finish-a-long as making these stockings was on my list of proposed finishes for this quarter (#34).