Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bonnie and Camille Urban Lattice Quilt

I have a finished quilt top!

I can honestly say that I loved every step of the making of this quilt. It came together beautifully without any pesky seam-matching issues or edges that aren't square. It was an absolute joy to make.

Blues aren't usually my first choice when quilting, but I felt they would pay respect to the crispness of the Bonnie & Camille charms, and I love the end result! This top reminds me of a little B&C museum, with the prints showcased by frames.

This quilt will be lap sized, approximately 55 x 63 inches. It would make a cute picnic blanket, with all the cheery colours.

The deadline for the B&C Charm Along over at Ms Midge is the 27th October. I would have loved to finish the entire quilt, but with 2 kids under 3 I think I did well to at least piece a top ;-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Bonnie & Camille Urban Lattice Blocks (a tutorial)

The Bonnie & Camille charm swap has given way to the Bonnie & Camille charm along, and it's been great fun to see the WIP of the other members. I knew for a long time that I needed an excuse to make my own version of Lee's quilt from Freshly Pieced. However, I couldn't find the original Urban Lattice quilt along instructions. Not letting the fact that I've never foundation paper pieced deter me, I made up some templates and had a try. I am by no means an expert, but am sharing my process below. Please feel free to add some tips, or correct me if I've done something unconventional or weird!

I started with some regular A4 paper, and trimmed it down to square (a little over 8 inches). Rule a line diagonally down the centre to find the middle, then mark out lines as illustrated below:

I drew the same lines on the reverse side as well.

The middle strip is 1 inch wide, the two strips on either side of the middle are 2.25 inch wide, and the outer triangles are the amount left over, just big enough for half a charm square.

Cut your fabrics long enough to cover the length of the paper, and half an inch wider than the strip. For me, this was:
Aqua - 12.25" x 1.5"
Navy - 11" x 2.75"
Charm squares - cut in half diagonally.

Dab a bit of craft glue stick onto the middle strip (1). Lay the aqua strip right side up, with the edges evenly overlapping the drawn lines.

Press lightly to secure, then add the navy strip right side down, lining up the edges with the aqua. This will cover the (2) strip.

Glue or pin in place, then flip over and stitch using a 1.5 stitch length on the drawn line.

Repeat on the other side (3) with another navy strip. Press flat with an iron, really pushing the navy away from the aqua. Your block will now look like this:

Place a half charm right-side down, with the long edge lined up along the raw edge of the navy strip. This will cover the (4) triangle.

Glue or pin in place, then flip over and stitch using a 1.5 stitch length on the drawn line.

Repeat on the other side (5) with another half charm. Press flat again with an iron. Your fabric pieces should cover the paper foundation entirely once they have been pressed.

Take your pile of blocks over to your cutting mat, and flip one over so that the paper side is facing up. Trim away the excess fabric, not cutting any of the paper. 

Flip it back over, and you have a very precisely pieced block (which should please you immensely, if you are a bit OCD like me!).

Trim up the rest of your blocks.

Then the fun of playing with the layout can start!

Once you are ready to sew your blocks together, remove the paper from the back. It should be easy enough to do if you didn't use too much glue. And the 1.5 stitch length helps the paper to tear away. Sew the blocks with a 0.25 inch seam as normal.

I'd love to see your finished blocks (or quilts!) if you have followed these instructions, so feel free to link up!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

What I've been up to

I don't blog all that often, and I think I know why. Taking photos isn't really my thing! I tend to grab the DSLR and have no idea what I'm doing with it. So, instead of feeling embarrassed and avoiding being part of a wonderful quilty community, I'd rather just use my iPhone and have fun with sharing my sewing adventures, imperfectly.

There is another something, or someone, who is taking up extra time these days and also accounts for the lack of activity...

Our little guy arrived at the end of July! Being a parent second time around is such a different experience. I find myself saying "I remember this!" and "he's fine", which were definitely not in my vocabulary as a first time Mum. He is a placid little sweetie and fits into our family just perfectly.

For my own sanity with a toddler and a newborn, I have been crafting in small doses. A lot of it is WIP, but I'm trying to stay accountable and finish the projects. First up is a quilt for my husband. I've been quilting for 4 years and married for 5, but the poor guy hasn't had any quilts made for him yet! I figure with his 30th birthday coming up, it's a very good reason to make one.

Hubby's quilt will be made from his old shirts. At least I know he'll like the fabrics! I'm thinking of doing simple 6 inch squares with 4-patches thrown in. It has taken a long time to get to this point, turning clothes with seams and buttons into quilt blocks isn't easy. Hopefully I'll see progress more quickly from this point on.

I made this Grace Tunic using a Boo! Designs pattern and my most treasured Tilda fabric. My daughter flat out refused to wear it. Devastated!

One of my amazing sweet friends gave me a layer cake of Hello Petal for my last birthday and I've turned it into a pinwheel quilt top. Just waiting on a shipment of backing and binding so I can finish! "Shipment", it sounds so glamorous doesn't it? Much nicer than "the rusty old Australia Post courier's van with squeaky brakes".

Some other exciting news is that I've joined in with the Bonnie & Camille charm swap which is hosted by the lovely and talented Ms Midge. I can't wait to get my charms and start creating!