Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Start of A New Project!

La Passacaglia! Ta-da!

I love starting a new project. All that planning, all that preparation. And with La passacaglia, a project that screams at you to fussy cut, you just know you have to start with great fabrics. Don't get me wrong, you can start with whatever you have, whatever is in your fabric stash, someone's old cut up shirts, if you want, but for me, I really wanted to start with great colours and great patterns and most people in my family tend to wear plain neutrals, so i had to buy in some fabric to get started!

My first choice was the fabrics I showed you in my last post. Once I'd cut out my templates, I needed to decide where I was going to start fussy cutting. Having see-through templates is good here, because then you can see what cuts you're making and what the potential pattern will be.

There's the potential for some waste with fussy cutting, but if you're careful and only cut the pieces you need, you can still get a lot of use out of the left over fabric. The first five diamonds created this beautiful shape:

 Isn't it pretty? Perfect fussy cutting and my first attempt, so i was really pleased with it. I didn't use paper piecing, but traced and drew out from my template for each piece, so the lines and cross hatching were on the back for me to mark up my seams and points. Again, this was my first attempt at doing this type of sewing, but it was very therapeutic and calming. 

Next, I cut out the five smaller, thinner diamond shapes from a plain, pale blue, so that the patterned pieces would pop.
 Then I needed another patterned fabric for the next round of pentagons and used my Daysail fabric. It was very fiddly, required lots of concentration, but I soon got the hang of it and ended up with this:
 I was loving it thus far! Again, I'd used fussy cutting and I was so close to finishing Rosette 1. Next I had to create ten 'stars', so I cut out the fabrics, using fabrics from my stash, in the same colour arc and created a long string of stars which I then attached to my cog to complete the rosette. What do you think?
I'm so pleased with the result! I pressed with my iron as much as I could, doing the front and back, as obviously, there are a lot of seams there and there's the potential for it to get lumpy, so pressed where the fabric naturally wanted to go.

Since this point, I've ordered some purple fabrics to start my next rosette. This one will be much bigger than Rosette 1 and will be one of the main cogs, so I chose purple as my theme, as it's my favourite colour.

So, let me know what you think. What challenges have you completed lately? Have you tried a new technique?

Louisa x

Friday, 24 July 2015

La Passacaglia!

So this is the book that has my next project in. Millefiori Quilts by Willyne Hammerstein. It's bilingual, so one page is in French, the opposite page is translated into English and it's beautiful!

There are just so many quilts in here, all using English Paper piecing. All the templates are in the back full sized! Which I love because who wants to be messing around with enlargements on printers and all that jazz?

This is the quilt I'm going to make after the Under the Sea quilt is complete. La Passacaglia.

Lots of interlocking circles, made from five different shapes - two differently sized hexies, two differently sized diamonds and one small triangle.

It's perfect for Fussy Cutting and that's what I'm going to do and I'm going to try and make each interlocking circle a different colour so that the patterns and 'cogs' stand out.

These are some of my fabrics for my first cog:

The fabric on the left is Daysail by Bonnie and Camille for Moda and the one on the right is by Dianne Kappa, part of the Four Seasons design for David textiles.

They both offer great scope for fussy cutting, especially the Four Seasons fabric, so i'll be doing a lot of planning and testing before I finally decide on which way to go with that. I've also got some blue solids from an old jelly roll to intersperse with the patterned fabric. You don't want pattern next to pattern, next to pattern. It will be too much for the eye and you really want the beauty of the wheels and cogs to stand out.

So! I have the book, the pattern, the instructions, the fabric and I'm itching to get started! What's on your to-do list?

Happy sewing!

Louisa xx

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Apologies for the delay....

Normal service has now been resumed!

I was away for a while. Busy with a hand quilting project, busy with writing (my actual job) and busy, busy, busy with family. There was school stuff going on, there was some legal stuff going on, my parents - who live a good four hour drive away from me - were both ill (they're better now, thank goodness!) and I just wanted to sew without having to think about blogging about it. Just sewing for relaxation. For taking me into another world where there were no stresses, you know what it's like!

So, anyway...everything's looking up again, and I'm back with a new project and one new massive project in the pipeline!

In June, I visited the National Quilt Championships in Sandown, Esher. I look forward to this show all year long, wondering about what quilts I might see, what inspiration I might come away with and maybe a few bargains along the way.

But, (maybe because of all the stress things going on?) I came away from the show feeling a tad disappointed. Not totally disappointed, because there were some wonderful quilts there in the competition, but I didn't leave with that wow factor. That need to get home and get sewing because of all the things I'd seen.

I didn't even buy any fabric!!!!!!! (I know, right? Something was wrong with me, or something)

What I did come away with, was the desire to enter my own quilt into the competition next year and I decided to make an Under The Sea themed crazy quilt.

The jellyfish I designed all by myself, which I was quite pleased with and the fish below it is three dimensional, which you can't quite tell from this picture.

Each hexie will be sewn together and each hexie will also feature a different technique or embellishment to really add variety and discovery.

When this project is complete, I am challenging myself to complete the Passacaglia Quilt from the Millefiori Quilt book by Willyne Hammerstein.

I think it looks an amazing quilt and I love to handsew, so this will be perfect for me. I've ordered the book from Lina Patchwork and today I bought myself some geometric fabrics to start with for when it arrives.

I'm hoping to post my progress on this challenge here on this blog, so make sure to look out for Passacaglia posts!

So, what have you been up to? Have you set yourself a mighty challenge recently? Do you have any pictures to share? I can't wait to hear.