Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Stash Bee Queen of August - Block Parade

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing,

I know it has been quiet on this blog these last few weeks but somehow, I did not feel like writing much, nor like sewing actually. My time was taken up with recovering from surgery and building the most fun LEGO set ever. I might slowly get back into the flow of things though. Lets for example take a look at the Stash Bee blocks that were made for me. This August I was the Queen Bee of our Hive 4 at Stash Bee. I had asked for my own design the 'Static Interference' Block to be made for me and had chosen a delectable colour scheme based on turquoise. Over the course of October and November the blocks arrived on my door mat, where I got to unwrap them all. 

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, Stash Bee

The blocks were lovely and diverse. The only unfortunate bit was that six of them came in the wrong size. My fellow bees had forgotten to check that they were printing to size. Therefore, I have now got a multitude of blocks that I cannot use well together in the same project.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, Stash bee

Subsequently, I decided to use them up in small batches, commencing with my own queen bee sample block, as this one was incidentally not playing nicely with the others. This block was too coherent in itself and used a completely different shade of yellow.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

One of my friend's Birthday came up and I used the sample block to turn it into a lovely pillowcase. Albeit my head being in the game that day, I made one mistake after the other, measuring wise and others. I finally gave up on my initial game plan and improvised my way to the finish line. And surprisingly enough, I really like my happy accident. It turned out better than what I had initially in mind.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

My friend has a couch in a darker shade of that turquoise and was really happy about her present. She wrote me a message a day later about how well pillow and couch got on and how much the pillow played diva on the sofa.

Puppilalla, modern quilting, quilted pillowcase, Static Interference Quilt Block, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

A job well done =)

Stash Bee

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Robin Round Three - The Stars Look Very Different Today...

Puppilalla, Wombat Quilts, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

Starry, Starry Night…

There is a whole lot of freedom that comes when working on a quilt, whose design elements just float in space like the stars in Karin’s starry skies do. The request was simply to create beautiful colourful stars, gas clouds, planet rings and other space related features against the background material Karin provided for her project. I briefly asked Karin if she had preferences for the continuation of her quilt top colour wise as I was a bit stuck and she gave me a few pointers to set me a course.

Puppilalla, Wombat Quilts, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

I had to hold back not to go crazy choosing an inordinate amount of foundation paper pieced stars I could imagine adorning Karin’s nightly skies. Especially, since the main feature of my addition was to be a partially visible planet that was circled by a satellite (Earth calling Sputnik =). The other stars were to be supporting actors for the main event. Furthermore, Karin had dropped hints that she liked moon phases as well and I wanted to include another celestial body that was partially covered in the shadow of a fellow nearby planet to create that all familiar moon shape. The latter did get cut from the final project planning stage as there is such a thing called 'too much'.

My Project Plan

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

Generally, I had bitten off more than I could chew. Had I managed to do all that I put down on paper in my preliminary sketch, I would have added more than three participants before me taken together. Hence Anita, who comes after me has her work space cut out for her (Sorry Anita) and will have to actually sew on my addition once her's is in place.  

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

I only noticed afterwards but I seem to have a penchant for four pointed stars. All my additions belong to the four-point-family, all except for the repetition of Rachel’s five pointed star of course, which I added to tie my additions back to the design elements that had previously been introduced. I am after all going on about cohesion all the time.

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

How did it go? I love foundation paper piecing, so that was easy and enjoyable. I researched other ‘universe’, ‘night sky’ and ‘planet’ themed quilts to get an idea how to go about crating the impression of a round body in space. I reasoned that using only one fabric would make the piece look flat and I wanted to see light and shadow and curvature. Working out the gradual fabric change was the difficult part. I also did not want my addition to completely overwhelm what had come before. That was a difficult balance to strike.

Puppilalla, The Rakish Needle Robin, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

My planet was initially bigger than what I ended up putting down as applique but when I showed Karin pictures of my intended addition, she asked for the planet to be made smaller. Yes, that is right, for the first time during this round robin, I went back to the owner of the piece to get clearance for my project plan. My addition would have changed the character of the piece significantly and I wanted to make sure that Karin was OK with that.

Most of my addition was completed at a Fall Retreat sewing weekend away, where there were fabulous backdrops to shoot quilty pictures against. Don't the mushrooms in the above picture all look like space ships?  =)

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars

Once I had stitched the planet down, I commenced working on the satellite. I chose fabric with technical drawings and language to signify intelligent life expolring space. I lost perspective of how long the individual rods of the satellite ought to have been but only noticed at the very end when all was done and finshed, where I went wrong. Ah well. A lesson to take away for the next time I happen to work on planet orbiting satellites. 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Applique, Foundation Paper Stars, Universe Quilt, Star Quilt, Improv Stars, The Rakish Needle Robin

In the end was very pleased with how close my addition came to what I had put down on paper as project plan. This was a very enjoyable round. And the spare stars I had pieced? I sent them along to Anita to include ... or not.  =)

Monday, 6 November 2017

Puppilalla Fabric Fairy

A few weeks ago, I noticed that the long anticipated #getyourquiltywishesgranted Instagram initiative – Round 3 - had kicked off again. So I posted my wish for ‘Heartwood Scenic’ by Makower and any ‘Ghastlies’ by Alexander Henry. Then I took to reading wishes to find some I could grant. 

Grant some wishes...

…some encouraging words to brighten up my new studio space – check
…modern fabric 2.5 x 2.5 or bigger fabric scraps – done
…Tula Pink selvedges – check
…fussy cuts – OK
…pink, grey and yellow fabric squares for churn dash blocks – alright
…some fabrics for an ocean themed quilt – can do

Tula Pink befor line (insert line name), Tula Pink – the old lines … Tula Pink OOPs

While I have not got an excessive Tula stash, I happen to have some of the by now out of production prints of the lines ‘Prince Charming’, ‘Hushabye’, ‘Plume’ and single prints of various lines like ‘Moonshine’ or ‘Saltwater’ (You just had to have that cute Octopus print, right? =) 

Unicorn spotting

Use it or lose it and too much hoarding is a bad habit anyway, right? Right. 
Therefore, I decided to try to help out some of the Tula lovers hoping to get sight of their out of print unicorns just maybe.

I photographed this fun postcard, I that never fails to cheer me up and announced that I just might be able to assist with unicorn spotting. I asked the other readers perusing wishes on IG to direct the parties asking for Tula Pink to me and I would see what I can do.

Oh dear! What followed next was a wave of increased interest coming my way. Luckily, there were wishes I could help out with.

Given the interest, I just had to get organised. I collected the prints I was happy to cut into, assigned them numbers and photographed them. That photo I sent to those who had approached me and asked them to pick any two prints that I would cut into on their behalf. Some had specific print requests – that ‘Prince Charming’ frog in dark green – which I helped out with. There were also many wishes I just could do nothing about as Tula Pink has published a great many fabric lines, most of which I did never own.

In the end I granted 15 wishes, among which I managed 10 out of print Tula Pink ones. That green froggy fabric was the most popular one and the one I had the least amount of. I had to refuse wishes here and the remaining wishing parties got exactly one frog each.

Incidentally, I also set out to surprise each of my Round Robin friends with fabric I had purchased whilst being in Japan around the same time. You can see, I have sent out a lot of envelopes. Might just have earned the post office clerk his keep this month. =)

Wish Granting Central...

I have therefore decided to award myself the title of ‘Fabric Fairy’ having done my bit of gifting. The intended recipients were very happy, so happy that some of them felt they had to reciprocate. That was sweet though kind of not the point in my opinion. My approach is too look for wishes that I can grant effortlessly. I would not look to receive anything in return from the same parties I send things to as I would expect, that they in turn too look for those wishes that they can easily grant, rather than going out to specifically purchase fabrics or similar. Would you agree to that or do you have a different approach? As I am always up for some Anna Maria Horner (the happy colours), Pat Bravo or Carolyn Friedlander, I wasn't had to convince to accept a bit of those in return though when they were offered.

Fellow fabric fairy 'nanraylittle' offered to share some of her 'Heartwood' print with me AND even asked me if last year’s wish for some AMH ‘Mod Corsage’, especially the ‘Centered’ in Seafoam, had ever been granted? She had gone and looked it up. How considerate is that? Incidentally, it had not been. She offered to send a bit of both and I had to keep myself from ambushing the mailman in anticipation.

Puppilalla, Fabric Stash Building, getyourquiltywishesgranted
Yeah! Happy Mail

The best part about this initiative are the participants. Every year the level of excitement and genuine generosity is incredibly heart warming. Simply reading along is already jaw dropping. I had some amazing moments this year. I got to grant a wish to the alleged founder of the initiative 'raven2006'. I of course pestered her with questions as to how it all got started three years ago. I had to.   =) It turned out she had not started 'getyourquiltywishesgranted' but had heard that it came about via some private IG account and someone musing 'If I could have wish for something this Christmas...'. Could be true or not.

I am also a bit awestruck. Cath of 'Wombat Quilts' whom I have admired for a long time and whose pretty (also generously free) FPP star templates are my go to favorites whenever I need a star block, has granted one of my wishes. (Swoon ) Wow!

I was also much impressed with another participant's determination to grant at least one more wish than was granted to her. That I consider very admirable. While there is a percentage of freeloaders - there always is-, the majority of people is truly invested in making somebody else's wish come true and likewise grateful for wishes granted.

If you could see the big smile plastered on my face, you would know just how much fun I had with this these past weeks, though I admit packing all those envelopes was a bit of a chore. =) As for myself, I feel thoroughly spoiled by happy mail, positive IG messages and good vibes all around.

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

The Rakish Needle - Round 2 Progress

I think it is high time that I wrote a little up-date on how our round robin is currently faring. Round three is almost complete and I have not yet even told you how round two went. So giving in to reader demands (yes, you Karin! =)  here now a quick write-up of the progress so far.

Firstly, I have to say that the round robin is as much fun as I always suspected it might be. Yes, it takes much longer than I thought and that is due to a few factors. We do not enforce strict deadlines, as this would not suit this group and the living circumstances of the participants at all. We also did not decide in advance how much or how many inches roughly everyone was to add each round. Had we done that, matters would progress more orderly and potentially faster. As it is, the quilt tops grow unevenly in seize and everyone adds as much as they feel inspired to. It works as everyone is relaxed and I never seize to be amazed at what everyone comes up with. If you want to remind yourself of where we left of the last time, hop here.

Karin's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Dresden Plate Block, The Rakish Needle, Star Quilt, Universe Quilt

Look what happened here! The night sky just got a whole lot more exciting. Ileana added amazing colours and stars and dancing planets to compliment Rachel's lovely five pointed stars. The planets were done in reverse appliqué, a technique I have yet to try. I love the movement in the piece and think it needs many many more stars. Luckily I get to work with the top next. (Mur har har har!!! - memo to self - no manic laughter on blog posts!) 

Rachel's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Modern Quilting with solids, The Rakish Needle, Ombre Effect Quilt,

I received Rachel's to from Ileana and boy was that exciting. Ileana did wonderful work and I decided to adopt some of the elements she brought in to repeat in my addition. Can you spy them? Yes, that's right, more triangles and the colourful barber pole candy stripes. I have written a blog post here if you want to read more about my work and thought process. Suffice to say here that I wanted to bring in a solid body of colour for the quilters after me to build upon. Rachel wishes for borders with lots of movement and I felt before you could add those, you had to have a solid basis.

Anita's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing, The Rakish Needle, Arrow Quilt

Anita had wished expressly that her quilt should not be a medallion quilt, therefore Karin had to put her thinking cap on to steer her addition away from that direction. I love how much attention Karin gave to getting the colours just right adopting them from the starter block and Maja's addition, which came before hers. Karin also added more fun feathers and arrows, although piecing the latter may or may not have caused headaches and cursing in the sewing room, as I have heard. =) Karin did the right thing in granting breathing space to her elements. This quilt top looks very cohesive and has the potential to become something really visually interesting.

Maja's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Star Quilt, The Rakish Needle, Modern Quilting

Well will you look at that. Maja's quilt top is just as busy as Ileana's piecing wise but so so different in style and feel. Look what Rachel added to Karin's extension. I did not see that coming. This is fabulous. The 'background' in strips of different shades of grey and these beautifully coloured stars that seem randomly placed, although we all know, they never are. A lot of thought went into making that addition. There is just the right balance to tone done the business but keeping it interesting. The strips of grey in that last border somehow make the piece more elegant and provide rest to the eye after all the triangles that have come before. I love this.

Ileana's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Crazy Barn Quilt, The Rakish Needle, Modern Quilting

Anita is the fasted participant of the group. She must have a stash of magic needles or a pocket universe of extra time because she will have worked her magic before you can even blink an eye. You can see that Anita had fun with Ileana's top. The wacky hen and the flower and improve blocks, all done in strong bold colours interspersed with black and white make for a very graphic piece. She also kindly put the extra dark green tree in the right hand corner of my addition, as requested, as it really needed more contrast. There is already so much to discover after only round two. I hope Ileana feels adventurous because this quilt one is going down the rabbit hole fast and furiously and who knows what we will get to discover along the way. Cohesion might become an issue or not if we manage to tie it all together with enough black and white.

Katrin's Quilt Top 

Puppilalla, Round Robin Quilt, Ocean Quilt, The Rakish Needle, Modern Quilting, FPP, Foundation Paper Piecing

My top just looks happy, like Summer all sewn into a quilt top. Maja had received the piece from Anita and added some fun anchors to Anita's critters. What is not to like there? I hear Karin might add a ship next. I am already very curious to see if she will. Ahoi! - until next time.

I only wish all progress pictures were taken in daylight, oh well.