Monday, June 30, 2014

Modern Medallion quilt along - Cross my heart and stuck in the middle

Week four! How the time is flying. Some of you have already finished... say what? I can't believe how quick you guys are. I have to admit I have been a bit slow lately and have been taking a bit of a break from sewing madly as is my usual state. I do have a few finishes which I will show again soon. I can now say I am an award winning quilter...! More to come on that very soon.

Week three host - Little Mushroom Cap

Amira is our beautiful host for this week and I absolutely love her quilt. Isn't it incredible the way the colour washes around? I am constantly inspired by the colour choices that are being used for the Modern Medallion and this one is certainly no different. Purples, blues, teals, green, yellow, orange, red and pinks all blend into each other... but enough swooning! Head on over to her blog to check out more  quilty eye candy.

I promised prizes!

The very lovely fabric store, Polka Dot Tea, have sponsored a prize for all you Modern Medallion makers. A very generous $30 gift voucher to spend on whatever you like! You can choose from the vibrant range of Cotton Couture solids, maybe some lovely Liberty, or you can always choose your own custom bundle. I can personally vouch for the quality of the delicious fabrics. Must resist the temptation! Ok, just a small bundle...

To enter, all you will need to do is link up your progress at the end of the quilt along. You can easily do this with your blog, flickr or Instagram. You will also be able to link up with a photo, I will give you some instructions in the post of how to do that too.

Link up love

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Modern Medallion quilt along - waving not drowning

Week three and here we are waving hello! Your Modern Medallions are starting to take shape now and I am so glad to see so many of you have tackled your wavy borders head on! How are you going with your quilt?

Week three host - Kate Quilts

Kate blogged this week about her quilt. She has had a few, shall we say, issues. Ah, the joys of quilting. Sometimes, it just doesn't go to plan! I think it is looking fabulous and I love all those lovely fabrics. How great is Rashida Coleman-Hale?

Wavy border tutorial

You can see my tutorial here on how I do mine - it is really much easier than it looks!

Link up love

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cotton pickin' adventure

Last weekend we took a road trip to Griffith NSW to visit with our family. I think it is so important to get away and reconnect with family. Taking the kids to spend time with their great grandparents is a really special time for us - we know that we are so lucky to have so many family members to spoil them with love (and a few presents!). 
On the way out to visit an uncle at his farm, I looked over to a field brown and white field. My eyes immediately widened and I begged to stop so I could jump the fence and pick some cotton. I threw Chloe over the fence and followed her over with my camera in one hand, it was very lady like! We spent a few minutes picky cotton balls straight off the plants before Archie decided he had enough being stuck in the car.

It was really fun to feel the raw cotton and pull it off the plants. Knowing just how much cotton goes through to become quilting cotton, it was cool to see it up close, just before pickin' time!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Wavy border tutorial

I wanted to share with you how I make wavy borders. It's a great technique, and I love how it gives you a little mitred corner look. This technique is also used in the Modern Medallion quilt. My instructions below are for a smaller block, however you can adapt it to any size, and further instructions are provided in the Modern Medallion pattern for a larger quilt.

Fabric and cutting guide:

[4] 3½" strips of inside border fabric
[4] 3½" strips of outside border fabric


Step one:

Attach two inside border strips to the top and bottom of your block. Trim back to the block size. Repeat with the sides of the block to complete your inside border.

Step two:

Cut the outside border strips back so they are just a little bit longer than you block size. Place the strip down on your rotary mat, with the block on top, both right side up. 

Step three:

Cut a gentle wavy curve with the rotary blade. Discard the outer top of the inside border. 

Step four:

Sew the inside border to the outside border, down the curved seam (you can pin if you like, however I usually don’t). When you are looking at your curve, it will looks wrong. It's a curve and it's supposed to! Don't worry, it will make sense once you have sewn it! Gently manipulate the curve to fit and press well. Spray starch if needed to get it lovely and flat.

When I sew my curves, I use the bottom fabric as a guide and hold the top fabric up and move it as I go. Doing it this way, means I don't need pins and have a lot more flexibility. 

Step five:

Repeat steps three and four on the remaining three sides.

Step six:

Trim the lock back to the desired size and you're done!

I hope you enjoyed this tutorial. It's really not too difficult. Take your time, be gentle and back yourself.

Have you tried this technique? How did you go?

Modern Medallion quilt along - Plain Jane and Drunk Geese

And so week one rolls into week two. I love how different each of your quilts are. No two fabric schemes are the same, it's pretty awesome to see what you choose. And I am in awe of how you are making small (and large) changes to make the pattern your own! Incredible! Keep up the great work.

Week two host - Ms Midge

The divine Ms Midge has actually finished her Modern Medallion. And doesn't it look stunning? I love all the Anna Maria Horner prints she has used to complete the quilt. Swoon.

You can also check out the no waste drunken geese tutorial - perfect if you are on a tight fabric budget or can't bear to waste a single bit of that precious fabric.

Ms Midge generously showed us how she did the wrap around border technique too. I love doing my borders this way. It can often save you fabric - bonus!

Link up love

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Modern Medallion quilt along - New York beauty contest

Here we are at the medallion round! Its been so amazing seeing all the medallions pop up on facebook, instagram, flickr and blogs. If you haven't got your pattern yet, you can get it on the download through the shop.

How are you going with your quilt? Are you jumping in with both feet or dipping a toe in? The facebook group is such a wonderful supportive group of women, I highly recommend joining in with them.

Week one host - Schnitzel and Boo

Our host for this week is the very lovely Kristi from Schnitzel and Boo. She is pretty awesome and I am so glad to have her on board. I signed up for her mini quilt swap this cycle, I can't wait to get started on that! But back to the Modern Medallion...! But wait! Her blog has been hijacked!  Angela (from the Green Apricot) has been drinking the QAL koolaid and has taken over the post... that's what friends are for, right?

I love how her medallion looks. Soft and bright at the same time. I can't wait to see the rest come together. Pop on over and link up to the quilt along party. It's ever so fun!

Modern Medallion starter bundle

What else has been going on the last week? Oh, you know, Polka Dot Tea, the incredible online fabric shop have put up a beautiful blogger bundle, hand picked by me! This bundle contains thirteen fabrics, to perfectly complement Modern Medallion. This is a lovely, scrappy mix of low volumes and pretty brights, all by Kei of Japan. Fabrics included are all 100 per cent cotton, high quality quilting fabrics. The bundle is available in two sizes - the small contains six brights cut to fat sixteenths and seven low volumes cut to fat eighths. It's that cool, or what?

More medallions!

Check out Ms Midge and Gnome Angel's entries into the New York beauty contest! I love all the different versions that everyone is creating and how you are all embracing the perfect imprefections.

Link up love:

Ms Midge is up next week, sharing a no waste, wonky flying geese technique on Monday and the next two borders on Friday.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

A work in progress - flower garden

A little while back I shared a tutorial on the Posy quilt block. I really enjoyed making a few of these up, but I'm not sure yet how I will lay them out. All I know is that I don't want them in rows... So, I will continue to ponder and enjoy making up some little flowers in the mean time. Finally a garden that needs no water!

Tell me, what would you do next?

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Modern Medallion quilt along - in the beginning...

Today is the first of June, which marks the start of the Modern Medallion quilt along. The blog hosts will be sharing their hints and tips as well as showing you their progress. We will be starting with Schnitzel & Boo, who will get the linky party started and then back me on Sunday, where I will do a whip around of all the the best bits. The Linky will be live on Schnitzel & Boo Friday, and then back here on Sunday. I would love you to join us - and you can start by grabbing the pattern here. It's going to be so much fun!

This week's Linky is all about the beginning. How do you choose your fabrics? Show us your fabric pull and how you decided the colour scheme, fabric range. Maybe you have a pre-project ritual? I always change my needle and give my machine a wee de-fluff! Tell us all about it and link up with the link tool at the end of the post.

We are also having some great prizes along the way. All you need to do is participate on Facebook, Instagram or in the Linky party and you can win some great new goodies for your stash!  Details will be released along the way, so start your machines a running!

 To celebrate the start, I thought it would be fitting to go back to the beginning...

I can't say for sure where the idea for creating the Modern Medallion came from. It just sort of, appeared. I've said it before, creativity breeds creativity and it is certainly true for me. I finally found the perfect notebook to keep all my ideas. It's pink, it has graph paper and it's perfect. I carry it everywhere and when inspiration strikes, I can quickly and easily sketch my ideas so I will never lose them.

I have always loved the New York Beauty block. It is such a striking block and the name sounds so romantic to me, conjuring up images from the 1920's - How very Great Gatsby! Even with all this swooning over them, but with all those precise points, I just wasn't up for it. When I saw Sarah Fielke's deconstructed New York Beauty block a light bulb went off for me. That's when I realised that it didn't need to be perfect. This is modern quilting after all!

After much trial and error, I came up with a way to  make these precise points imprecisely (say that three times fast!) by going back to the original technique of foundation piecing. I came up with a technique that worked for me (which I am calling free foundation piecing), which really works for me and I was able to get just the look I wanted. You want bigger points? Just make them bigger! You want more points? Just draw them in. Simples!

Once I had settled on the final design, I needed to decide on fabric. Should I use a range? I had some Tula Pink calling me, but I resisted and started pulling from my stash. You know, apart from one or two, I just wasn't happy. My stash just couldn't stretch to where I needed it to. While I was on holidays at my parents house in Perth, I had a lucky break. I found a shop which had the start of what I needed. lots of lovely low volumes. Archie was a great help, climbing up the bolts of fabrics and generally being a pest while my mum tried her best to wrangle him. I was far too busy, pulling bolts down like a kid in a candy store (I was pretty embarrassing!).

This splurge was really essential (I know, right?) to build my low volume stash, essential I tell you. It gave me the fabric I needed to make this quilt. And then some! Note, this may or may not be all of the fabric I bought back... In that pile are some Anna Maria Horner (various ranges), Pearl Bracelets, Tula Pink Parisville, Rashida Coleman Koi (voile), Denise Schmidt Chicopee and many more lovelies.

I started with one of my very favourite fabrics, Washi Triangles (Charcoal background above) and based my colour scheme back to that. Using lots of pinks, teals and a splash of yellow and orange, I pulled my fabrics and kept checking back in with the triangles. Interestingly, I didn't use a lot of that fabric in the final quilt! I did however, use the cream colour way in the final border, and it was one of my favourite choices. The colours are all really 'me' so it really wasn't hard to match them all together. 

Over to you! I want to hear all about how you are going to choose your fabrics. It's really interesting to hear how other people friend inspiration for their colour scheme, don't you think?