Acorn Trail WIP

I felt I needed to start the year with an easy project. As I love all the prints from the Acorn Trail fabric line, I thought big squares would be appropriate. I cut all my fat quarter into 8′ squares.

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The hardest part really is to decide on a layout. I was playing with it an entire evening and loosing my mind. Balance of light versus dark, not one print to close to each other… It’s really a game of “spot the difference” as I was making minor adjustments.

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I finally went for one layout and sewed all the squares together the next evening. I love those type of projects as you can work on it during work day evenings. It’s so easy to pick up the work where you left it. It came out so quickly and I love it!
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I’m still indecisive regarding the quilting to do on this quilt top. I was planing on using my walking foot and do a cross-hatch but all I can see now is leaves. Decision, decisions!Acorntrailquilttop

Don’t you love those cute prints? I’m also spotting some “Marsala”, the Pantone colour of the year. It could be a starting point for the “Pantone Colour of the Year Quilt Challenge”.

Linking up with:

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Arizona quilt top

This Sunday, I pieced my Arizona blocks together and I now have a quilt top! I followed a pattern called “Random Rectangles Quilt” from the book 1,2,3 Quilt. The author (Ellen Lucket Baker) had a layout option that I followed until I shuffle things around a little bit. I love the look of it! It looks very random but it’s in reality made of a repeat of four different blocks.
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I live in Wellington and this city well deserved its nickname: Windy Welly! I tried to take pictures of this top several days in a row without much success. I finally gave up and wearing my quilt top as a scarf was way more efficient than trying to take a picture of it. Oh well!

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I know what quilting I want to do on that one, so I just have to buy the batting and a backing fabric and I would be ready to go (hopefully this weekend).

Linking up with:

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Arizona blocks

I was meant to wait for The good smeller to start this quilt top but she says she was actually quite busy with Christmas gifts, so I could go ahead. Yay! I am actually pressured with time (I still don’t know in which country I will spend Christmas), so I better start my projects rather than taking the risk of moving everything again (and potentially not having access to my fabric for months). Cross fingers for me! I hope to stay in this beautiful country which is New-Zeeland.

The Arizona fabric is hard to resist anyway and after cutting all the pieces, I was very itchy to get going. As I pre-cut all my blocks, I thought it would be helpful to use a “design wall”. I’ve seen several people using batting in their sewing room, so I tried and it worked! I must say it was very handy (plus my husband didn’t seem to mind to have this up on our bedroom).

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We live in a flat-share and I’m sewing in our bedroom on week days, so space is limited. However, I managed to find the perfect setting: sewing machine, pressing area, design wall and place to layout all the pieces. I placed all the pieces on top of a quilt that I could fold when not sewing, so that it wasn’t on the way and I didn’t have to re-arrange every time I needed. Efficiency is key! I could sew one block or two before or after work without too much hassle.

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I was definitely happier this week having my daily sewing fix. I really loved using a design wall, I think I might use it for all my coming quilts from now on.

It was a smooth process and all the blocks came relatively quickly.

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I don’t know how this happened, but I miscalculated some of the pieces I needed. I strongly recommend to keep whatever fabric scraps you have when you are working on a project as it was definitely life saving for me. I managed to fix all my mistakes and I don’t think it would be noticabele once the quilt finished.

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And here is all the blocks finished:

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I now need to find a layout that I like before piecing the quilt top together. I might need a second pair of eyes t help on this task. Hopefully I can share a quilt top very soon.

Linking up with:

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It’s a dressmaking adventure

Just wanted to share a new project in progress: a summer dress! I live in New-Zeeland and we are in spring right now, so hopefully, I can wear this dress very soon. I’m doing the design A and chose a floral fabric (no surprise here).

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First step was actually quite time-consuming: cutting the pattern and pining it to the fabric. I was a bit scared to cut through the pattern directly but everyone told me this is how you are supposed to do, so I ignored my inner voice and cut through.

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Adding pieces together isn’t as straight forward as it may look but after several trials, I managed to find the logic way. Yay! Thank god there are symbols to match seams! I don’t know how much more confused I would have been without them. Ha!

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And here is where I stopped: IMG_9635

Although it isn’t the final top, it still looks like a recognisable shape, so I was pretty happy with that.

Hopefully I can share the finish garment with you soon.

xoxo,

Alice

Meadow brick update and FMQ practice

I’m so excited to show you my progress on the Meadow brick wall quilt. When designing the quilt top, I wanted to free motion quilt every single bricks with a different design. As I never done free motion quilting before it was going to be a great exercise for me to learn but it also was a very daunting task.

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On instagram, I took part in a daily free motion challenged organised by Sandi. Sandi went to a class with Angela Walters and she wanted to apply the 10 mins rules. Basically, Angela had told them to practice FMQ everyday, even if it was 10 mins. I thought it was a good idea to test some designs and simply experience the movement with the needle speed. Everyone who wanted to take part had to use the #dailyfmq on instagram. I didn’t do it everyday but I must say that it was the perfect exercise to get me started. It definitely gave me enough confidence to start a bigger project. Thanks again Sandi!

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I first had to bast my quilt, quite a challenge as it is bigger than my dining table but I had no other way to do it. At the end, it wasn’t to much of a hassle, I basted the quilt in two different stages.

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In addition to the basting pins, I’ve included a straight quilting line within each sashing border.IMG_9399

Then the fun part started. I previously did my homework and drew some designs ideas on a notebook. I had to find 66 different ideas that I could manage (I’m just a beginner) on free motion quilting. I didn’t exactly planned each design for each block but it was very useful to flick through my ideas when doing the quilting. From time to time, I layer the quilt on the floor to have a bigger picture of how it looked. IMG_9411

This was the setting that work best for me: threads and bobbins (yes, I matched all my threads), designs idea on paper, tins to put my safety-pins as I work through the blocks, phone to update instagram (;-), needle to buried all my threads, thread cutter, tweezers (I found it useful to bring treads up) and quick unpick (because you always need on of those close to your machine, right?).

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I need to mentioned that I only unpicked when I had thread issue NOT when my lines weren’t straight enough or my curves not curvy enough. Yes, my quilt isn’t perfect, but I can live with that and I still love it so much!

Even though my designs aren’t perfect, I loved them so much. Sometimes, I didn’t even use a particular design but just followed the pattern on the fabric. It looked lovely:

IMG_9438It took me 4 entire days to finish the quilting. Can you imagine that? And when I say 4 days, it is really 4 days: I don’t have children to take care of or a busy social life to attend. Gosh, 4 days! I think, changing threads and burying tails (start + ends) was very time-consuming (but definitely worthwhile though).

I’ll show you more designs when my quilt is completed. For now, I’m doing the binding. Hope I can share more pictures with you soon. 
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Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I won the second prize on the instagram challenge and will receive Angela Walter’s books!!! Yes, all of them!! I’m so excited as I was borrowing her book “Free motion Quilting” from the library and thought it was very useful. Angela was so sweet during the challenge and commented on a lot of pictures. I always did a happy dance when she liked my free motion quilting progress.

Linking up with:

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