Thursday, 31 October 2013

Nearly Insane Quilt - Draw 15

Nearly Insane Draw 14 - Blocks 19, 50 and 58
Nearly Insane Draw 14 - Blocks 19, 50 and 58
I love doing these little sets of blocks, its a quick reminder of the diversity of the patterns and fabrics that I am using, and how a scrappy mix always seems to work. 
The next few blocks are

49 - 66 - 81 - 88

I have had a quick look at them, and some seem to have just a few pieces, which strangely I find more difficult in making the fabric choice for.  The half edge block 88, is the other half of the previous basket block I completed - I just need to remember to make sure I do the left side of the block!

Monday, 28 October 2013

Bonnie Hunter's 2013 Mystery Quilt - Celtic Solstice Introduction

Last week Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville released her 2013 Mystery Quilt, which she is calling Celtic SolsticeI have pretty much been looking forward to doing her next 'Mystery Quilt', since I completed the last one, 'Easy Street', in January.  With all the hand stitching that goes on here at Fabadashery throughout the year, machining a quilt over the holidays is a real change for me, as I get to sit on the sewing machine and see a whole quilt come together in just a few weeks.
'Celtic Solstice' 2013 Mystery Quilt colour scheme Bonnie Hunter
'Celtic Solstice' 2013 Mystery Quilt colour scheme
With colours inspired from her trip to Ireland earlier this year, Bonnie has chosen a bright blue, bright green, bright yellow, orange and neutral colour combination.  The fabric colours above are my interpretation, taken from my stash. Also, she has also provided fabric yardage for two sizes of quilt.  I love the idea of doing the large size, but I need another large quilt to quilt like a hole in the head, so I think I will be opting for the smaller size this time around.

Last year for the Easy Street Mystery Quilt, I mixed up the colour scheme a bit, using warm reds, purples, greens, and tan.  I was really pleased with the result, and it makes for a lovely winter quilt.  However, when I pulled it out in the heat of the summer to show a friend the colours just looked WRONG for that time of year.  Since then I have had it in my head to do Bonnie's 2013 Mystery Quilt in a summer colour scheme. If I am honest I have had this colour scheme in mind for a quilt all year, so whatever Bonnie chose, I was going to adapt it to the colours I have been building up in my stash!

Celtic Solstice Quilt - Colour Alternative Pastel
Celtic Solstice Quilt - Colour Alternative
I will be using lime green, yellow, tangerine and soft pink. Comparing the colours in Bonnie's Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt, I still have green, yellow and orange, but have shifted it around the colour wheel towards red / pink instead of the blue, and as you can see, my fabrics are less saturated in colour. 

Colour Wheel Pocket Artists
Colour Wheel
Also, I noticed that the two greatest amounts of yardage are the blue and orange - opposites on the colour wheel.  Oh dear, I am trying to second guess the outcome of Celtic Solstice already!
2 Peak in 1 Ruler - Creative Grids
2 Peak in 1 Ruler - Creative Grids
Like last time we will be using the Easy Angle Ruler, and this time Bonnie is introducing the Tri-Recs Rulers.  Again, I don't have these, but I do have what I believe to be the Creative Grids alternative, the 2 peaks in 1 Ruler.  Do you think this will be OK?

With the colour scheme sorted, the next dilemma I have is to set up a Leaders and Enders project ... 

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Nearly Insane Quilt - Edge Block 98

Edge Block 98 - Nearly Insane Quilt
Edge Block 98 - Nearly Insane Quilt
In the Nearly Insane Quilt, the blocks are set on point, so as a result there are these half triangles on the edge. Despite having done fourteen of these edge blocks, this is the first 'star' one I have done.  Each one is repeated twice, and I have found that they tend to be more standard blocks, and that they are perhaps not quite as challenging as those I have faced with the full blocks.
Half Canoe Block Cornerstones, Nearly Insane Quilt 2013
Half Canoe Block Cornerstones, Nearly Insane Quilt 2013
Alongside the half blocks are the half cornerstones, which I mentioned I had been working on in my post last week.  The cornerstones are 2 inch blocks, so when cut in half diagonally, the red triangles are REALLY thin - too thin for even me!  So this is why they are still full size on these half blocks - I will sort the excess when I come to it.

Nearly Insane Quilt - Set on Point
Nearly Insane Quilt - Set on Point
To give you an idea of how all this comes together, here is a mini layout, with the edges, cornerstones and sashing.  I really am itching to start getting this quilt together, but there just aren't enough blocks done yet.

SMALLEST PIECE: Triangle, 3/4"  (18mm) x 1/2" (12mm) x 1/2" (12mm)
LARGEST PIECE: Triangle, 13  (76mm) x  2 1/8" (54mm) x 2 1/8" (54mm)

TECHNIQUE: English Paper Piecing (EPP)

Kimono Ditzy (843) by Henley Studio, Makower UK
Pom Pom de Paris by French General for Moda #13575-13
Designer Beads (Red) Freespirit for Westminster Fibers

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Nearly Insane Quilt - Block 58

Block 58 - Nearly Insane Quilt Salinda Rupp
Block 58 - Nearly Insane Quilt
I love the visual effect of pinwheels.  The original Block 58, had a half square triangle arrangement which didn't make much sense to me, so I have used my initiative and tidied it up to make the centre panel pinwheels. I think I have also changed the proportions of some of the shapes too, however, it somehow still ends up having more pieces than the original.  I pushed the boat out on the stripes too!

As you know, I EPP (English Paper Piece) my blocks together, so my photos always have the tacking thread in them still.  I am sorry for the green tacking thread - I don't think you get to see the blocks at their best.  When I put the blocks and sashing together, I like the rigidity that the paper gives, so the paper and the tacking usually stay in until the very end.
Autumn leaves, October 2013
Autumn leaves, October 2013

Also, this weekend the clocks go back for Winter.  In the last week Autumn has arrived with vengeance and they are predicting bad storms in the next few days.  Besides the weather, it makes it difficult to take good photographs for the blog, as they are usually indoors, and artificial light often plays tricks on the colours.  I think it calls for a bit more creative imaginations on my part ...

Anyway, here is the summary of this block.  As I said, mine has a few more pieces than the original, but with this one done, I can start thinking about Draw 15.  Joining up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict and  Crazy Mom Quilts, for my finish this week. 

SMALLEST PIECE: Triangle 1" (25mm) x 3/4" (18mm) x 3/4" (18mm)

LARGEST PIECE: Rectangle 2 3/4" (72mm) x 3/4 (18mm)
TECHNIQUE: English Paper Piecing (EPP)
White on Cream Print
Red and White thin stripe (unidentified)
Red with white pindot (unidentified)

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Block 50 - Nearly Insane in Seine

Block 50 - Nearly Insane visits France
Block 50 - Nearly Insane visits France
Nearly Insane has been on tour again, this time back to France for a short trip in the Normandy region, famous for the Bayeux Tapestry, Mont St Michel, the River Seine, and, like most regions in France, patisserie! 
Block 50 - Nearly Insane Quilt
Block 50 - Nearly Insane Quilt

This block was done on the journey over, waiting for the ferry and during the crossing, plenty for time for it to come together easily. On my recent Nearly Insane Update, I mentioned the need for  getting up to date on the sashing and cornerstones.  This is what I did for the remainder of the trip.  This time I concentrated on the half cornerstones which are on the edge of the quilt, and with less pieces they also came together easily. 

As you know, most of my sewing is done whilst travelling, and I can recommend the French roads in Normandy for a pleasant, smooth road.

SMALLEST PIECE: Triangle 1" (26mm) x 3/4" (19mm) x 3/4" (19mm)

LARGEST PIECE: Square 4 1/2" (113mm) x 3/4" (19mm)
TECHNIQUE: English Paper Piecing (EPP)

"Christmas Past" (14547) by Polly Minick and Lauri Simpson for Moda

Polka Party III by Holly Holderman, Lakehouse Drygoods #03035
Quilters Basics White/Red Small Flowers, Stof

Tried and True Raindrops Garnet(04273) by Nanacy Halvorsen, Benartex

Joining up with Connie at Freemotion By the River!

Friday, 18 October 2013

Nearly Insane Quilt - Block 19

Block 19 - Nearly Insane Quilt
Block 19 - Nearly Insane Quilt
This is Block 19 of the Nearly Insane Quilt. 

The further along the journey I go, the more I think the name 'Nearly Insane' is misappropriated to this quilt.  With so many different, interesting blocks, each with its own character, the more I am considering it as the 'Salinda Rupp' Quilt, which is its original name. The original quilt, made in 1870, is in private hands, and I don't think it is on public display anywhere, so that is good enough reason to be making my own.  After my trip to Nantes, France to see the Dear Jane Quilts, it would be great to be part of a 'Nearly Insane' display - perhaps the 150th Anniversary in 2020?

SMALLEST PIECE: Triangle 3/4" (19mm) x 1/2" (13mm) x 1/2" (13mm)

LARGEST PIECE: Square 1 1/16" (27mm) x 1 1/16" (27mm)
TECHNIQUE: English Paper Piecing (EPP)

Quilters Basics (Memory) Stof

Northcote Range, by Cabbages and Roses #35204 -21 by Moda
White on Cream Print


Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Neary Insane Quilt - Draw 14

Draw 13 Nearly Insane Quilt Blocks
Draw 13 Nearly Insane Quilt Blocks 18, 65, 68
Three more done.  Breaking this quilt up into 'draws' has really helped to keep me on track, and has kept me motivated.  Other motivators - the ongoing pursuit of the the 'perfect' red and cream fabric for the quilt, and keeping track of it on this little blog.  I try to post at least twice a week, and finishing a block is always a good reason to post, and so this has kept me moving at a steady pace.

I have made the next draw, and these are the numbers
19 - 50 - 58 - 98

After Block 18, all the blocks look easy!


Monday, 14 October 2013

Nearly Insane Quilt Update - Birthday Edition

October 2013 Progress - Nearly Insane Quilt
October 2013 Progress - Nearly Insane Quilt
It's my birthday this week, so what better way to celebrate than to pull out all the blocks from my Nearly Insane Quilt and see how it is coming along. 
The tally for October 2013 is  
39 Blocks
14 Edge blocks
30 Cornerstones
01 Half Cornerstone
77 Sashes
09 Border Units
I have also had a request to know how many pieces I have done so far.  The sums for this work out at
Blocks and Edge Blocks = 2180
Cornerstones = 276
Sashes = 77
Border Units = 31

TOTAL = 2564
Nearly Insane Quilt Progress
Nearly Insane Quilt Progress, October 2013
Once this layout photo is on my iPAD, I will admit that I spend hours and hours contemplating it, looking at blocks which look good, and analysing why, as well as looking at others and thinking how I might have done them differently.  No doubt a few more blocks could have been completed in this 'contemplation' time, but I think I am generating my own formula to get the colour balance right in each block, and I think the more recent blocks are an improvement on some of my earlier ones.  Also, this photo in particular has highlighted that I am behind with my sashings and cornerstones, so a bit of push on those are due.

You will see that since last time round I have also started on the zig zag border pieces, with the intention that when the day comes, all the components will be at hand to put the quilt together. With the random draws, there still isn't a complete row to start putting the blocks, sashing, and cornerstones together.  Also, the bigger it gets the more difficult it is getting to take a good picture, but I am having fun trying!

Nearly Insane Quilt - Electric Quilt Software
Nearly Insane Quilt - Electric Quilt Software
And finally, here is an image of how they will look in the final quilt, taken from my Electric Quilt software.  I think from now on I will need to refer to this more often, and take more care when I am choosing fabric combinations for the blocks which are adjacent to others.

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Nearly Insane Quilt - Block 65

Block 65 - Nearly Insane Quilt
Block 65 - Nearly Insane Quilt
After the 243 pieces of the last block, it was great to whip this block of quickly. Nice big pieces, and easy to put together on the journey to work.  A pretty addition to the pile of sampler blocks that are accumulating.

I am trying to get as many of these blocks done as possible in the next few weeks, as Bonnie Hunter over at Quiltville is, as I write, putting together her 2013 Mystery Quilt, ready for its launch on Wednesday 23rd October.  I did the Easy Street Quilt last year, and had a ball, so the 2013 Mystery Quilt has been pencilled in my diary for quite a while.  Will any of you be joining in?

Midwinter Reds by Minick and Simpson, Moda, have arrived in the UK!
Midwinter Reds by Minick and Simpson, Moda, have arrived in the UK!
Also, I have been out and about today, and just happened to pop into a LQS, where there was a new display of Midwinter Reds by Minick and Simpson for Moda (did I mention that I met them both in the Spring ...).  This fabric line has been advertised for months and months in the quilt magazines.  It was due in the UK in September, and I have been checking online constantly, so it was a nice surprise to walk into the shop and see all the pre-cuts sitting waiting for me.  I have just bought a charm pack for now, so I can see if any prints in particular are going to need to join the Nearly Insane party.

To celebrate another finished block, I am joining up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Whoop Whoop Friday!

SMALLEST PIECE: Square 1/2" (12.5mm) x /2" (12.5mm)

LARGEST PIECE: Pointed Rectangle 2 1/8" (54mm) x 1 1/16" (27mm)
TECHNIQUE: English Paper Piecing (EPP)

Cream Bias Check Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater for Moda  #5495 11

Apple Red on Cream Sewing Guide Mama Said Sew by Sweetwater for Moda  #5490 11Cream Pin Dot (Unidentified)
Red dot (unidentified)

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nearly Insane Quilt - Block 18 ( ... the block with the most pieces)

Nearly Insane Quilt, Block 18 (the 6" block with the most pieces!)
Nearly Insane Quilt, Block 18 (the 6" block with the most pieces!)
Here it is! Block 18 - the one with the most pieces in it.  Three cheers for me.  Hip Hip Hooray! Officially 229 in this 6 inch block, and here it is with all but the outer edge papers removed. Pretty pleased with the way it looks, and how it has come together.  With that many pieces there was a risk it could look a bit of a dog's dinner.
Block 18, Electric Quilt Software Pattern, Nearly Insane Quilt
Block 18, Electric Quilt Software Pattern, Nearly Insane Quilt
As you may know, I have been drawing up the blocks in my Electric Quilt software, and sometimes this gives me the chance to make a few alterations if I see fit.  Would you believe it, on this one, I decided to ADD more pieces.  In this case I added some extra cornerstones, which makes the total of my Nearly Insane Block 18,  243 pieces.  Also, on the original block, the miniature half square triangles,where going in different directions.  I have switched some, to make this Barber's Shop stripe effect.

English Paper Piecing - paper templates
English Paper Piecing - paper templates
Everything about this 6 inch block has taken longer - cutting out the paper pieces, cutting out the fabric shapes, and stitching it together.  There are 192 of those little triangles, all of which I covered using English paper piecing.  For the centre square, the pieces were just too tiny, so I opted to use foundation piecing for that bit.  I won't show you the back for that bit, it is way too bulky! 
Rotary Cutting tiny pieces for Block 18 - Nearly Insane Quilt
Rotary Cutting tiny pieces for Block 18 - Nearly Insane Quilt
Now it is complete there is a sense of "if I can achieve that , I can achieve anything", with this quilt. There may have been easier ways to get the same pattern, with less pieces, but I guess it is the difference between climbing Mount Snowdon, versus taking the Mountain Railway.  Overall, not horrendously difficult, Block 43 wins there, but if you are thinking of doing this block, just allow yourself plenty of time to complete.

SMALLEST PIECE: Triangle 1/2" (12.5mm) x 3/8" (9mm) x 3/8" (9mm) 
LARGEST PIECE: Rectangle 1 1/2"(38mm) x 3/4" (19mm)
TECHNIQUE: English Paper Piecing (EPP) and Foundation Piecing


"Days Gone By" Exclusively Quilters (Rose Print)
Red with white pindot (unknown)
White floral on red (unknown)

Joining up with Connie at Freemotion By the River and Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Nearly Insane Quilt - Edge Block 86

Edge Block 86 - Nearly Insane Quilt
Edge Block 86 - Nearly Insane Quilt
Edge Block 86 for the Nearly Insane Quilt has only got 14 pieces.  I needed to do it, as I felt the need to get some progress on the quilt.  Work on the notorious 'Block 18' is taking its time.   I knew this edge block would be done quite quickly, and as a result I also have something to show you.  I enjoyed doing it, mainly because it came together easily, and the bigger pieces have given me the chance to showcase Red Hoops, a bigger print in the Moda Mama Said Sew Collection.
Progress so far - Block 18 Nearly Insane Quilt
Just so you know that I am not just wimping out of Block 18, here is the progress so far.  Block 18 is not difficult, but it does need your full concentration and therefore it is time consuming. To break it up, I am doing nine HST unit blocks.  Just one of these blocks has 18 pieces in it, which is more that the edge block above. As you can see, I am over half way with this one, with 146 of the 229 pieces together (that 63%!)  I hope to put some time to it this weekend to get it done.

Sparky on 'Easy Street Parking Lo't Cat Mat Quilt
Sparky on 'Easy Street Parking Lot' Cat Mat Quilt
Other quilty stuff going on here at Fabadashery - Sparky is making good use of his 'Easy Street Parking Lot' cat mat.  Good enough reason to join up with Feline Friday over at Sarah Did It, where you can also join in the 60's Batik Blog Hop

SMALLEST PIECE: Triangle 3/4" (18mm) x 1/2" (77mm) x 1/2 (77mm) 
LARGEST PIECE: Rectangle 3.5"(89mm) x 1 1/4" (32mm)

TECHNIQUE: English Paper Piecing (EPP)

"Red Hoops" (5493-31) Mama Said Sew Collection, Sweetwater for Moda
"Christmas Past" (14547) by Polly Minick and Lauri Simpson for Moda
"Songbird" (C2863) by Carina Gardner for Riley Blake Designs

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Welsh Wholecloth Quilts - Welsh Quilt Centre Exhibition, Lampeter 2013

Cwrtnewydd Fans Art Deco Wholecloth Quilt, c 1930
Cwrtnewydd Fans Art Deco Wholecloth Quilt, c 1930
Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter, Wales
Alongside all those colourful Kaffe Fassett quilts hanging from the ceiling which I showed in my last post, were a lovely selection of traditional hand made wholecloth Welsh quilts, from the Jen Jones Collection, which makes up the majority of the Welsh Quilt Centre permanent exhibits.  It was hard to resist getting onto the bed and having a snooze with all those pink hand quilted quilts!
Green ad Red Wholecloth Quilt, early 20th Century,
Green and Red Wholecloth Quilt, early 20th Century,
Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter
As I hope you can see, these quilts are ALL about hand quilting, and traditional wholecloth Welsh quilting patterns.  The majority of those on show were a cotton sateen, usually with a floral patterned fabric on the reverse.  The sheen on the sateen really shows off the quilting patterns well.
Detail - Green ad Red Wholecloth Quilt, possible Wedding Quilt,
Detail - Green ad Red Wholecloth Quilt, possible Wedding Quilt, 
Welsh Quilt Centre, Lampeter
The detail on this Green quilt shows a heart pattern at the centre, surrounded by spirals which represent long life or eternity, most probably a wedding quilt.  What a wonderful gift to receive!
Detail - 'Jester Quilt', c 1920, Carmarthenshire
Detail - 'Jester Quilt', c 1920, Carmarthenshire 
This Jester Quilt really shows the quilting well, and even with my 2D photo on the internet, you get quite a good impression of the depth of the wadding. Alongside the completed quilts, there were samples on show the inside of these traditional quilts.  As you can see, the 'wadding' is sheep's wool.  In this sample it doesn't even look as if it was prepared in any way, and possible even just collected from the hedges in the fields.  As a result, the quilts have a lovely cosy depth to them. 
Sheep's Wool wadding in traditional Welsh Wholecloth Quilt
On the day we visited, Sandie Lush running a hand quilting workshop.  Sandie is a very good tutor if you want to learn about welsh quilt patterns and hand quilting, so if you get the chance to go on one of her workshops you will learn so much.
Cow keeping warm under Strippy Welsh Quilt
Cow keeping warm under Strippy Welsh Quilt
Finally, I picked up this card in the shop, showing a favourite cow wrapped up in a hand made quilt, on a Welsh farm.  It really emphasises the practical purpose of a quilt - to keep warm!