Aussie Modern Instabee – March

It’s been a bit quiet over here, I’ve been a busy little bee and there’s lots to share with you all. Rather than hanging out here, I’ve been building the website for Australia’s 1st Modern Quilt Show presented by the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild, and helping out on the committee for that, it’s all very exciting and I’ll have more on that soon.

I also just spent an amazing weekend learning from Kathy Doughty from Material Obsession, in a two day modern wedge workshop. She’s one amazing woman and gave me a bit of a kick in the pants to enter the Under 35s Quilt Competition so I hope to share my quilt progress for that to.

Aussie Modern InstabeeSomething else new for me that I wanted to share is the Aussie Modern Instabee! Back in February I saw a few posts on Instagram about organising hives for a quilt bee based on the book Modern Bee by Lindsay Conner similar to those happening in the states. I haven’t joined a bee before as I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep up and that my work wouldn’t be to a standard where I could make things for other people. I tried a block of the month last year and got a few months in but didn’t really have anything pushing me to get the blocks done, it’s not that I didn’t enjoy making them and I hope to finish them off but I need a little more concrete motivation. After checking out the book I decided to put my hand up and give this bee a go.

The Aussie Modern Instabee (#aussiemoderninstabee) has been organised by the awesome Lisa Chambers (@chambsvacc) who has pulled together 6 or 7 hives of 12 people each to take part in this awesome bee (there are 10 or more hives in this bee in the US)! Rather than it being 1 persons month to receive all their blocks, it’s been organised as a round robin, where each month everyone makes a block for someone else, which means we’re all working on different blocks and everyone gets a block each month. I’m in hive 3 and you can find all our blocks and chatter on Instagram with the hashtag #aussiemoderninstabeehive3, while you’re there you can find me @pescapresents

I’ve chosen the Mosiac Tiles block and have requested bright jewel tones ranging from greens through blues, purple, pinks & reds against a scrappy low volume background. You can see my example block below.

Aussie Modern Instabee - Mosaic Tiles Test Block

Here’s the first block I received in March from the lovely Natasha.

Aussie Modern Instabee - Mosaic Tiles Block - March

The first block on my list to make was the Come Together block, this one is a monster finishing at 20.5″ square (20″ square once in the quilt), so with just 12 blocks you get a 60″ x 80″ quilt. I’m making a test block for each different block design in my own fabric scheme just to make sure I get it before I make my partners blocks. I quite enjoyed this one and really love the size. Here’s my block in jewel tones & low volume.

Aussie Modern Instabee - March - Come Together Block Tester

And here’s the block for my partner Alex who supplied the greys so that all her blocks match at the joins, and requested aquas, teals, navy with a bit of mustard yellow and a white background. I hope you like it Alex!

Aussie Modern Instabee - March - Come Together Block

I’m really looking forward to trying out the variety of blocks, I think our bee only has 2 double ups across the book so there will be plenty of new skills to learn.

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

Riley Blake MQG Challenge – Quilt-As-You-Go Bag

It was a perfect match, a Modern Quilt Guild Basics Challenge sponsored by Riley Blake Designs to make anything quilted, with six fat-eighths to start us off, and a fabulous Craftsy class to make Quilt-As-You-Go Patchwork Bags that I could not wait to try. I’m so excited to share this bag so look out, lots of pretty pictures coming up!

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

I’d been hoping for a chance to take the Quilt-As-You-Go Patchwork Bags Craftsy class with with Tara Rebman when it was announced that Riley Blake Designs would be sponsoring the 3rd annual MQG members fabric challenge, we heard about it at a Wollongong MQG sew day and I knew exactly what I was going to make. Light bulb moment!

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

We received our fabrics towards the end of last year as 5.5″ x WOF strips from the range of Riley Blake basics. The fabrics I received were:

  • solid dark grey
  • light grey and white 1″ stripes
  • navy and white medium gingham
  • aqua tone on tone medium chevron
  • white on yellow small dots
  • orange pop

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

I’ve supplemented these with some other Riley Blake fabrics from my stash and a few solids including:

  • yellow tone on tone small dot
  • orange tone on tone small dot
  • white on aqua dot
  • orange solid
  • yellow solid
  • sea green solid
  • navy solid for the bias binding
  • navy blue solid cotton duck cloth for the bag base

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

I started off by cutting a few small and medium strips and squares of varying sizes from each fabric and began the quilt as you go process which uses a log cabin approach. Each round adds a new piece of fabric to cover the join of the previous two pieces and gets quilted down (as you go), towards the edges using pre-patched slabs rather than single fabric pieces. Stay tuned for an upcoming post reviewing the class and sharing some more details of the bag making.

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

I used Aurifil 50wt threads for this project, a light grey/silver (2600) for piecing & quilting the main panels and navy (2745) for quilting on the base panel and attaching the bias binding. My quilting is roughly 1/4″ apart, though I did vary on purpose to give some subtle difference in textures and in some cases to suit the fabric.  My favourite part of the quilting is this navy gingham piece below.

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

The bag is a pretty good size as you can see above with it on my shoulder. In opens up wide and has a handy flap with magnetic snap to keep it closed. I included both pocket options, a hidden zipper pocket on one side and a divided pocket on the other.

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

I really love these challenges, this one in particular took me out of my comfort zone with colour but seeing all the fabrics combined I quite like the overall effect of the outside of the bag.  I wish I didn’t choose an orange solid for the lining, next to the navy binding all I see is football team colours. This is a perfect case where a subtle tone on tone chevron or dots would have been a better choice for such a large area. I already have some fat quarter packs of the Riley Blake small dots and tone on tone dots and I’m sure more of their basics will make their way into my stash, I just haven’t been able to source it locally yet so couldn’t get it in time to finish my bag.

Riley Blake Challenge - Quilt As You Go Bag

A huge thanks to Riley Blake Designs for sponsoring this challenge and providing the fabric for us to play with. Thank you also to the Modern Quilt Guild for organising these challenges for us and to our awesome leader Rachael of the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild who does all the organising so we can participate.


New Year, New Site

When I started this blog about 2 years ago now, I just went with a really bare bones theme, did a few things to it, collected more ideas but wasn’t going to spend too much time on it just yet in case I didn’t use it that much.

Fast forward to now and we’re not doing too badly, so I think it’s finally time for a new outfit!

This is the WordPress Twenty Fourteen theme with a few customisations here and there. I build websites as my day job, I didn’t really want to spend my sewing time ‘working’ so I’ve taken a good looking theme and just done enough to make it mine.

I hope you like it, it’s all nice and responsive so should work well on most devices, however in older versions of Internet Explorer it might not be awesome (try a new browser like Firefox or Chrome, or at least upgrade IE, pretty please!? You’ll love it, I promise). If you have any issues feel free to let me know.

Psst… you can follow my blog with Bloglovin if you want to, but you don’t have to, it’s just a necessary evil to show this link to get my blog registered over there.

Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics - Racoon & Humming Bird

Sunday Stash – GJs Discount Fabrics

For Sunday Stash this week we have part two of my fabric buying adventures in Melbourne from a few weeks ago.

I’ve seen GJ’s Discount Fabrics mentioned by a few Aussie bloggers, in particular on Red Pepper Quilts and You Sew Girl as their local quilt store, click through to their posts to see some beautiful photos of the store and their fabulous fabric range.

The store is an easy tram trip from the CBD out north to East Brunswick, it should take about 20 minutes, unless your tram gets stuck behind another tram that breaks down, in which case it’s about 15 minutes on a tram and 20 minutes to walk the remaining 5 blocks… ask me how I know!

I must have been seeing spots because at first I picked up these dotty fabrics, the two on the left were pre-cut fat quarters, the third from left is a bright fluro dot on a linen background that unfortunately doesn’t photograph well but trust me it’s really bright. On the right, I believe the white on teal is a birch organic cotton.

Polka dot fabric in blues and oranges

Spots and dots in blues and oranges.

Not only do they have a great range of quilting cottons, including a wall of Kona cottons and a tonne of basics like spots and stripes, there’s a whole other floor of dance & costume fabrics. Lycra and sequins and glitter.. oh my! I was very disciplined however and went back downstairs without anything shiny.

Right by the cutting counter I spied some sneaky raccoons looking out at me, I’ve had my eye on those raccoons for some time so grabbed half a meter each of that and a complementary Humming Bird print. These are destined for a purse/wallet/bag type thing (when I finally decide which one).

Tula Pink Acacia Fabrics - Racoon & Humming Bird

From Tula Pink’s Acacia range – Humming Bird in Dusk, Raccoon in Blueberry.

The sooner I get a few more WIPs out of the way, the sooner I get the play with these gorgeous additions to my stash. Linking up to Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles so I can go see what everyone else is playing with.

Sunday Stash with Molli Sparkles
super-stars-wmqg-chSuper Stars - WMQG Charity Quilt

Super Stars – A Finished Charity Quilt

Super Stars is my first quilt finish for 2014. It probably should have been my final finish for 2013 but just spilled over, oh well it’s finally done! It finishes at 60″ x 75″ using a 4×5 layout of 15″ blocks.

Super Stars - WMQG Charity Quilt

I used a 50w Aurifil thread (2021) to free motion quilt a pattern of loops and stars in the background and a wonky star in the middle of each of the pieced stars.

Super Stars - WMQG Charity Quilt - Quilting

This quilt was made as part of the Vintage Made Modern charity quilt challenge, issued by Rachael, the leader of our guild, to use up some of the huge stash of vintage fabrics we’d been gifted, as well as to help our favourite charities.

Some of the blocks were cut & pieced by fellow members of the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild at our dedicated sew day in August (yep that’s me, piecing away on my Juki and pulling a ridiculous face). We managed to get all the blocks cut and pieced in the one day.

Super Stars - WMQG Charity Quilt

Over the next couple monthly sew days I got all the blocks put together into a top and then basted the quilt. The floral print on the back was the first fabric I picked and then I pulled the other fabrics from there. All except for the yellows are a white-on-colour small floral print.

This was my first time doing free motion quilting on anything larger than a fat quarter, it was also my first attempt at machine binding. I used a 2.5″ wide strip for my binding to give myself a little extra to catch on the back. It’s a good method, I just need a little more practice so I can then reduce the strip width back to my usual 2.25″.

Super Stars - WMQG Charity Quilt - Backing & Binding

I’m linking up this finish with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.

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