Friday, August 13, 2021

Sunshiny Day Quilt


It's always a great sense of accomplishment when you finish a quilt, often tinged with a little sadness knowing the journey is over. I definitely feel this way about my Sunshiny Day Quilt which was completed yesterday.

I'm incredibly grateful Jodi (Tales of Cloth) approached me about being one of her volunteers to stitch some blocks prior to the release of this quilt, her club/quilt-along for this year. I'm also pleased she is happy for people to add their own twist to her designs. The original pattern has 48 blocks and no borders. As you can see, mine has only 25 blocks and a fun border.


This is my first ever quilt with circles, yet there are NO curves to stitch! Each block is hand stitched using English Paper Piecing (EPP), then appliquéd by hand onto a background square, with the squares later being machine sewn into a quilt top. A wonderful combination - all the fun of creating EPP blocks, without the arduous task of stitching them together. Not only that, but this quilt includes three slightly different circle patterns - Dawn, Noon and Dusk, allowing for even more possibilities.




I chose fabrics from my collection which met my 'sunshiny' criteria, aiming for a quilt to give a little sunshine every time I look at it. Early in the year I settled on a border option, so I made a start and cut fabrics for these 2" eight point diamonds and 2" half-square triangles. The border stitching was perfect for those times when I needed a more portable option and didn't want to be making lots of fabric choices.





Lustrous silk thread in sapphire blue (Gutermann R 753 silk, colour 960) was my choice for hand quilting around each circle and little square, as well as one internal 'star' row of stitching inside each circle block. At this point I decided the centres of the Dawn and Noon blocks needed some definition. I used any colour matching fine thread, making tiny stitches along the seam line to be 'invisible'.




Eventually I settled on Perle 8 cotton in a deeper golden shade (DMC 741) to hand quilt the borders. This is a thicker thread than I usually use (often a Sulky 12 wt) however I thoroughly enjoyed the stitching and the effect. I can see more Perle 8 in my future!

 





I do believe Sunshiny Day is my favourite quilt ever - and my husband's also. Another great design by Jodi Godfrey of Tales of Cloth. Remember, her original varies from this - it has 48 blocks and no border. My background squares are slightly larger too. Jodi has mentioned the possibility of releasing her Sunshiny Day Quilt as a kit/pattern in late November this year - I would highly recommend it.

PS If you look closely you will see the same fabric in my centre block used for the mini corner circles and the backing. You may also notice a little 'cross' of four sunflower blocks and other minor features to keep one looking 😊🌻🌞

Quilt Details

Sunshiny Day Quilt 
Designed by Jodi Godfrey - with my alterations as mentioned above
54"/137cm Square
Started November 2020
Completed August 2021
Legacy natural cotton wadding with scrim

Filigree Stars Quilt


This quilt is the result of curiosity and playfulness. It is another quilt combining hand stitched English Paper Piecing (EPP), appliqué and machine stitching. Each star is made from only two shapes, 2" point diamonds and 2" five point diamonds, the same shapes Jodi used in her Rosemary Quilt from The Seedling Quilts book. 

For the star centres I fussy cut pieces from two different patterned cotton poplin fabrics. With 10 points meeting in each centre, a lightweight fabric worked much better than regular weight quilting fabric. These stars came together quickly and I greatly enjoyed the process.





I machine sewed low volume four-patch backgrounds for each star. After hand appliquéing each 'filigree' star, I cut away the centre of the background block to allow each finished block to sit more evenly. Then it was time to quickly machine sew the completed blocks together.

The four internal intersections of the completed blocks are covered with hand pieced and appliquéd 4 point stars (long sides 3.5"). The quilt seemed too bare without something in these large open areas. I will admit it was quite tricky to fold and appliqué those four star points neatly!

A colourful, narrow, pieced border was added followed by a wider pieced border of low volume prints. I really like the finish this gave the quilt.

The hand quilting was another opportunity to explore new ideas with some embroidery style stitching. This effectively secured the quilt while adding a little embellishment too. I outline quilted each large and small star, then ghost quilted the partial four point stars around the edges of the quilt.






The autumn tones of this quilt deserved a thicker wadding/batting for added warmth. For now it's another wonderful household addition, very useful in the cooler days. The generous sized stars add lovely visual warmth too.


Quilt Details
Filigree Stars Quilt
my own design
61"/155cm square
Started early March 2021
Finished late May 2021
Legacy Natural Wadding with scrim

Rivendell Quilt


It's time to share some recent quilt finishes! Sewing is a thread which winds through most of my weeks, whether it be making myself needed clothes, or more often, working on a long term quilt project.

In mid December Hayley of Spring Daisy Stitchery approached me about pattern testing for her upcoming Rivendell Quilt, a machine pieced and English Paper Piecing (EPP) appliqué combination quilt. It's a design which can look quite different according to your fabric choices and placement. 

The no-fuss, EPP component was just right for the busy holiday season ahead so I said 'Yes'. Being mid-summer I decided on a cool gelato palette set against clean white. All the colours are homespun fabrics selected at my local Spotlight, however I chose to use sturdier, higher quality Kona cotton for the white background. 


The simple stitching of the EPP flowers was a pleasure, just right for the busy Christmas season and also for our trip away to Tamworth for the girl's cricket in January. I'm much more content spectating for four days of cricket if I have some stitching to keep my hands occupied! I also took some other quilting projects with me - more on that soon. (The blue fabrics were purchased at Stitches Between the Bridges, my treat for the week.)

 





I chose to hand appliqué the EPP flowers to their backgrounds instead of machine sewing. Once appliquéd I carefully cut away the background fabric so it wouldn't show through the EPP and to remove the extra bulk, especially with regards to the machined seams.



In keeping with the summer feel of the quilt, I used a new white flannelette sheet for the middle layer, instead of batting/wadding. I machine quilted the outline of the block stars, then hand quilted the EPP flowers.



"We'll use it until it's old and faded and stained" said one teen daughter. "I hope so" was my reply 😊 The plan is for my Rivendell Quilt to be an everyday quilt for the media room. Just the right size for one or two and a lovely light weight quilt, perfect for at least half the year in our climate. This is a pattern which comes together very quickly compared to most EPP quilts - which also means I am more than happy for it to be freely used however the family wishes.


Quilt Details

Rivendell Quilt pattern by Spring Daisy Stitchery

57"/145cm square

Started December 2020

Finished February 2021

Homespun solids and Kona White

Cotton flannel (new bedsheet) for middle layer

Hand quilting - Sulky 12wt in white

Thursday, May 20, 2021

Family Milestones



I really love Instagram for all the visual inspiration and connections which can be found so quickly, it has become my primary online space. January 2019 is the last time I shared any family news here, with more recent posts featuring only quilts which I have completed. It's time to bring a summary of family news to provide some context and serve as a personal record. 

Thankfully, by the grace of God, we are all very well and individually moving on in our lives in positive directions. Our three youngest are still living at home, with the younger two continuing well with their homeschool studies (and cricket as their chosen sport). We love our new home and location and I'm still enjoying sewing quilts (and my clothes), long walks, taking photos, loving my family and keeping an orderly, welcoming home.

2019 was a year of settling into our new home and season of life after a very hectic 2018. Our Songbird daughter, Grace, released her debut EP of original songs, Every Little Thing. Everyone was home for the pre-release launch on a Saturday night in June 2019.This was an extra special weekend as Grace scheduled her bridal shower for the Sunday, following her engagement in early May.


July to September 2019 were a blur of smoke haze (from the beginning of a harrowing extended bushfire season) and wedding preparations. Mid September Grace and J were married in a beautiful country wedding at the back of J's father's farm. The reception was held on site, under the light of a stunning full moon.

Following the younger three girl's annual state Country Championships cricket carnival in October, we headed off on a three and half week road trip. Master T also accompanied us as he had just completed his first year of studies at Uni (Computer Science). The primary purpose of our long journey was the interment of my Mother-in Love's ashes at a family church in Victoria. After a small family ceremony at the historic church, we stayed in Ballarat, then had a week in Melbourne, before traveling to many other stunning places in Victoria including the Great Ocean Rd, Grampians and Mallacoota. We drove home along the NSW coast, catching up with some family and friends along the way. It was a wonderful holiday.






2020 began with lots of promise and the engagement of Miss E, our eldest child. Plans were soon curtailed greatly as the unpredictable impact of COVID increased. With the extra time at home I settled in to finish off some long term quilts - a positive focus, along with lots of neighbourhood walks. Miss E and fiancé R did an amazing job of working with ever changing restrictions in Sydney to eventually have a very small and beautiful wedding in their Latin Mass church in June 2020 (a very different experience for the rest of the family). So grateful our immediate families were able to attend (we met R's family the night before the wedding).


Christmas brought all the family together again, a gathering we were extra grateful for.


Early this month we had all the family home again, and many of the extended family, to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday. Discretely arranged by my sister and held in our home, we managed to surprise Mum. Mum came to stay for the weekend, expecting to see our immediate family (which is quite a number anyway) but then my two siblings and families arrived from Queensland, one by one, as well as her two surviving brothers and their wives from Dubbo, and a close Aunt (who was married to my father's brother - how Mum and Dad met), who is well loved by all the family. It was a wonderful time of reconnection for most and a time of introductions for the newer family members.




A pleasant change from quilt details - although I do have some more of those to share shortly too 😊

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