Entries in quilting (5)


what I have to show for it!

Quilting show season is well and truly underway. Consequently, I am very stressed!

I'm entering two quilts in the show this year. I won't show full pictures of either one, but I'll talk a little bit about them just to provide a general update.

This is my epic Mrs Billings Coverlet. I set myself the date of 31 March 2016 to finish it. I pulled the last papers at 2:15am on 1 April. Then I slept for four hours, did school drop off, came back home, and took a nap.

It is 1:56am on 1 April 2016 and I have FINISHED this bloody quilt top!!!! #jenndoesmrsbillingscoverlet is conquered. Tomorrow I'm going to take it out back & shoot it. (Or drive it up to @leanne_mountvincentquilts!) I'm sick of looking at it! And I'd be

Last year at the show I decided to ask my friend Leanne to quilt it. She's also an award-winning quilter (we have gotten second and third in the same categories, two years running), and she agreed. I emailed her in January, more than a little concerned about the "wobbles" in the top, and she was very kind, and reminded me to BREATHE, and also, a few wobbles were nothing to shed tears of blood over!

I drove the quilt up to her after my nap on that April morning, and we talked over what I wanted ("quilted? modernish? nice? You know?") and she's been sending me progress pictures that are making me SWOON. I never doubted the idea that she was the right quilter for the job, but it's nice to be so vindicated, you know?


The second quilt I'm entering is one I've been slowly piecing all year. It's called Andromeda.

I mean. This is pretty. But I should have just done matchstick quilting. 😂

 I've been quilting this one to the best of my ability, but I'm hampered by technology. I tell you what, having a stitch regulator would be an incredible thing. I'm currently using a speed control with a faulty on-off switch, which means I stand there and press on-off, turn the dial incrementally, on-off, turn, on-off, turn, on-off, turn, and so on, until the bloody thing decides to work. It also decided to start randomly using the thread cutter every three seconds. (Solved that by unplugging the thread cutter.) It's also fond of punching great holes in my quilt when it decides to speed up (usually as I'm edging toward a stopping point). 

That said, it's still better than wrestling a quilt through a domestic machine, so I'll happily take it!

I have a few more passes of Andromeda to do and then it gets its binding (blue star fabric), its hanging sleeve, and label, and off to the show it goes. After it's been exhibited, it's been promised to my friend Lauren, who is making me a crochet granny square throw in trade. I'm very excited about that! I know Lauren will love this quilt, as she is a big space nerd, like me.


As soon as I've discharged my quilt show obligations, I am going to sit and make a Lizzy House log cabin quilt. I've been organizing my scraps (ironing them took a whole morning of texting my friend Lane about The Raven King) and don't they look beautiful!

I ironed and trimmed my Lizzy scraps in preparation for this whisper palette log cabin idea I had. Not that I have time to start it until August. 😅

I went and pulled the rest of my Lizzy collection and sorted out what wasn't already a scrap. I'll trim strips off everything and keep all my scraps together for other Lizzy-specific projects. (Since I took the Meadow class last year, I feel especially fond of my Lizzy House collection. She was such a fun and cool person and that class was so great!)

Oh, and one of my husband's friends got married earlier this month, so I started a quilt for them. I dug out all my Cotton + Steel navy and low-volume fabric and began making stacks...and it became a Hunters' Star before my very eyes. I'm taking my time on this one, but I'm enjoying the progress I've made so far!

I love @sydmodsquad day 💖✨

Oh! My current handsewing project is the border part of Green Tea Sweet Beans. There were times I have hated this pattern, but I definitely learned a lot while doing it. (Mostly I learned that I do not like hand piecing at all. Appliqué is fine. EPP is fine. Hand-piecing makes me stabby.)

Here is the finished main top, pre-final borders.

Ayyy. #jennteasweetbeans needs a border and some more appliqué but the binding and borders have been picked and main part is done! I feel very chuffed. :)

I've been taking my borders to our SydModSquad handsewing days. It's nice to have something so easy to do and so rewarding to work on already prepped and ready to go.

Stems. :) #jennteasweetbeans

I also had the bright idea to reckon up all my WIPs. More like "Whoops!" I need to get some of these crossed off! It was nice to have them all on one list. I do love my little progress box, though. It's so great to have a dedicated card for each project, and to keep them even after the quilt has been gifted. :)

I had this terrible idea that I should reckon up all my WIPs. I'm sweating now. 😅

That's it for now! Time to get back to Andromeda. If I'm very clever I'll be done quilting by Friday. Wish me luck!


Technicolor Galaxy

Did I mention that I was taking a year off of swaps/bees/sewing responsibilities? So far it has been really nice. I've had a few very necessary breaks from my machine, and spent a bit of time with my laptop. I started making another Aviatrix for a teaching sample. I've been enjoying hand quilting and hand sewing. And I joined the Technicolor Galaxy BOM from Pile O' Fabric.

I changed it up a bit. But I like the low volume fabric as relief around the mixed prints.

It's a skill builder quilt and it's QAYG (quilt as you go). I was extremely daunted by the central block because it looks really complex, but the instructions and the video are REALLY well put together. Not to mention, the Facebook group is actually one of the nicest and most supportive I've ever experienced. Lots of participation and helpful hints! It's wonderful!

I have an extremely sore back, but I'm very pleased with myself. ;)

The first block has a lot of new-to-me techniques, including making 3/8" bias tape for Celtic-style appliqué, glueing down pieces to a muslin before applying the bias tape, and using my brand new tiny Clover iron. (What a useful and cute purchase!)

Oh happy day. Now to quilt it all down!

I am already quilting it - with Aurifil 12wt of course - and loving the way it looks. I will outline all the shapes and then decide on further designs. (It won't be complex, that's for sure.)

I didn't get very far last night, but I'm pretty happy with how it's looking! #technicolorgalaxy #perlequilting

I have a loose plan for the whole quilt, but I may keep it in these shades. It looks pretty as a rainbow, but I think it would be amazing with blue and purple with magenta, warm golds, and lush blue-greens. I may do a few more coloring sheets to see what looks good! I should definitely restrict my palette. I do everything in rainbow, it seems. :)

I think this is where I'm going....

Of course there will be a LOT of low-volume fabrics used in this one!

I already can't wait until next month!


mondays are good.

I did get some things done today, not all of them crafty, but important tasks nonetheless. I'd been putting off making an appointment, but I bit the bullet and rang the doctor to make it. I had blood drawn for postnatal checks. I posted all 120 birth announcements five weeks later than I finished them. I bundled up the Cotton Candy Quilt so it is all ready to post on Thursday. I washed and dried my nephew's and nieces' quilts, chain-pieced the four-patch blocks for J3's quilt, and started working on my curved star hexagon blocks (there are six, and I am hand-sewing them). And I cleaned the kitchen!

But the real reason today is such a good day? My friend Ellen had her baby. Welcome to the world, Olive Margaret! I am so excited to meet you!

Now, I am off to bed with my very own big, demanding baby, and my very sleepy husband. I'm not going to leave the house tomorrow, I've decided. It is much nicer inside sewing, after all that excitement. So perhaps tomorrow night's post will be even more victorious. I aim to be replete with sewing smugness!



busy bee!

I have been very slack with my crafting this week, not because I am not dying to sew, but because my 6-week-old has decided to fulfill her obligation as a growing child and, well, grow. At an alarming rate. One morning her jim-jams simply did not fit. Combined with the fussiness, sudden breast refusal, and super-clinginess, and not much sewing or writing was done. Or blogging. Urgh.

I took a much-needed break today and disappeared to the fabric store for half an hour, and picked up some pretty purples for a quilt idea I'm playing with. I generally buy my fabric first, let it simmer for a while on my desk or shelf (where I can see it), then see a pattern in a book, or online, and it clicks. I might not have the time to do that for this quilt, so I will give myself the weekend and start cutting by Monday. (I hope.) But the fabrics are quite pretty purple florals, so I hope I can put them to good use!

purple fabrics

One thing I did get to do this week that I'd been planning for a long time was reorganizing my bookshelves. See, we Poppletons are readers. We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 900 books and for a long time, we had them haphazardly double-stacked, arranged willy-nilly, with pictures and receipts and pencil cups all mixed in. I got sick of it looking messy so I pulled everything off the shelves and organized them by color! Then I faced and fronted the books and found homes for the black and the white books (they were "extra"). It looks pretty great, if I do say so myself!

Rainbow colors

And the white:

White on white

(Next to the heater is my handmade mum bag, made with Melody Miller "Ruby Star Rising" fabric. I had View Finder as a kid and that fabric seemed perfect for toting around kid things! But I need to swap out the lining. I hate the lining.)

I also bought the Sarah Fielke "Night Garden" template set, which is teensy, but makes such a cute, sweet block! Her tutorial is great, and the quilt pattern is in her latest book, Quilting From Little Things. (I am planning on picking up my copy next week.) Since I don't really follow entire quilt patterns (ahem), choosing instead to arrange the interesting blocks in their own fun ways, I made up a few of these just to get the hang of sewing some Y-seams. I love the Lecien fabrics I chose:

Inspiration comes in stacks

And the teensy template:

Templates and Fabrics

Combine to make a pretty string of Night Garden blocks!

The Night Garden

They are quite matchy-matchy so I think they'll be quilted in stripes, with alternating colors and styles to balance it out. But I do so love that block! It was a lucky leap of faith that led me to pick that template pack up last Saturday.

Next on my list is making a tiny Ruby Star Rising bag for my niece Sissy, and basting her quilt. It's my first quilt set on point and I plan to machine-quilt it with wavy lines (and put my new walking foot to good use), but I have to find half an hour to escape outside and spray-baste it together. It is so cute though, seriously:

Sissy's quilt top

This will be really fun to finish. I can't wait to send it to my niece! She is going to love it!

It is almost 10pm which means...I'd better get a few blocks at least cut out before my eyelids slide closed of their own accord!


work in progress

Blocks up close

These are two blocks of a quilt I am working on for my sister. I've decided to title this one "a walk in the woods". My sister is a very down-to-earth woman. She was a total grub as a kid; she was outside until her hands and lips were blue in winter and until her tan lines were baked into her skin in summer. When I think of her, I think of all the forts we built and games we played and the ear-to-ear grin she got when we get our hands dirty. She is now an incredible artist now and it is hard to believe she is grown up.

The trees are self-explanatory; they are a gorgeous organic fabric from Cloud 9. The dragonfly fabric is Moda, as are the stained glass blocks in brown and turquoise. The dragonflies were the last fabric I chose. They really tied the quilt together. (Haha...just like the Dude's rug and his living room!) The orange made me think of the sun sinking through the trees and the way the light looks different in those late-summer forest fire hazes. I used white homespun as my base for the snowball block. My plan is to do a 10x10 quilt but it might get shortened to 8X10 (each block weighs in at 10" so it's quite large). I like a quilt that you can cover your head up with but still have toasty feet, but for my first large quilt it might be a tad ambitious. I haven't decided on hand-quilting yet but I'm leaning toward stitching leaves and tiny flowers.

It is nice to be quilting again, and it is doubly nice that Mr Poppleton took care of the baby all weekend so I could use my rotary cutter and my sewing machine with relative ease! We'll see how the week will go: I would be very happy indeed to get the majority of this quilt top blocked by this time next Sunday! I have another sister's quilt to make...so I have to light a fire under my tail feathers. Time to get busy!