Ada’s Quilt: Step Down Piecing with Wombat Wonderland

This sweet little quilt combines a whole lot of Aussie inspiration. The fabulous fabrics are from Saffron Craig’s Wombat Wonderland collection which are 100% organic GOTS approved cotton. The pattern is a technique from Sarah Fielke’s Craftsy class, Big Techniques from Small Scraps. How adorable are those wombats?!

Ada's Quilt - Step Down Piecing using Wombat Wonderland by Saffron Craig

The larger squares were fussy cut from Wombats in my Garden and complemented by Sunrays, Flower Spot and (my favourite) Triangles. The smaller dark squares are from Wombat Lovehearts, there was the occasional bit of wombat surgery, creating some of my favourite details with wombats wandering in and out of their little windows.

Wombat Wonderland

I used strips of the same range for the back, including Sunflower Garden which was too pretty to cut up for the front.

Ada's Quilt Back

I finished up the top a couple of weeks ago, you can read more about the technique and the rest of Sarah’s class in my previous post. The top came with me on a long weekend away where it was basted and I began the hand quilting, approximately 1/4″ inside each of the squares.

Hand Quilting & Embroidery

The quilting was done in bursts over a few weeks, once I started each session I didn’t want to put it down. I really enjoyed this process and found Sarah’s technique easy to pickup and really enjoyable, when you get into a groove it is quite meditative. The result of using organic cottons and hand quilting is a beautifully soft baby quilt.

I love the striped binding, reminds me of liquorice all sorts (yum!)

Stripey Binding

This quilt was gifted to a work friend whose baby girl arrived in January. In place of a label I hand embroidered her name and the year. I hope it’s used and loved for some time to come.

Ada's Quilt

Lucky Stars BOM: March

The March block for the Lucky Stars club is a ninja star!

I enjoyed sewing the foundation paper pieces for this block, nice and simple on their own so they came together quickly. When it came to joining the four squares and matching points, I had to slow things down, pinning, unpicking and trying again so that the long lines would flow across the block joins. I think I did ok, I’m sure I could do better with practice.

Lucky Stars BOM March

I had it in my head that this block would use purple, which unfortunately doesn’t contrast much with my navy background, so that went in the middle. Then I put my other constant, the white, followed by orange which gives a nice bit of pop.

I like it, I don’t love it, but I’m sure it’ll look nice amongst all of the other blocks at the end. I’ve had the opposite reaction to last months block which I wasn’t sure about, then loved once I had it together.

I do love this pattern and hope to try it again, perhaps using graduating values of the same hue radiating out.

This block was finished in mid-March, the month it came out, yeay for staying on track! Only problem is now I have to wait a couple weeks for the next one. Maybe I’ll keep up momentum by trying some of the 6 inch blocks, as each pattern comes with templates and a cutting guide for both 12″ finished and 6″ finished blocks.

Lucky Stars BOM: February

There’s nothing like getting the next month’s block pattern in your email to spur you on to finish the previous month’s block! I had played with colour options for the February block in Illustrator and had all my pieces cut out for a couple weeks but only got to put this together one afternoon on the first weekend of March.

I wasn’t in love with this block before I started, I liked the shapes but just couldn’t get the right parts to shine. Once I started sewing the pieces, the colours just popped and now I love it. This block is definitely better in fabric than it is on paper (or screen) for me. And check out those points! I’m so proud of this block, and happy that I’m seeing improvements in my paper piecing.

Lucky Stars BOM - February

I’m really looking forward to the March Ninja Star. I have my colours picked out already. I’ll be sure to have that one done by the end of the month with the Easter long weekend as a last resort.

Thanks again to Elizabeth of Don’t Call Me Betsy for organising this Block of the Month program and for sharing these beautiful stars with us all. The instructions are great and the pieces are easy enough for someone completely new to foundation paper piecing to follow, yet the finished blocks are so effective.

Quilting From Little Things

Continuing on with the Craftsy love from before (I sense a theme developing here), I signed up for Big Techniques from Small Scraps, or Small Stash as is my case so far, with Sarah Fielke and am really loving it!

I had the class in my Craftsy wishlist for a few weeks, thinking I’d have another look when I had watched and worked on a bit more of the Machine Quilting Negative Space class with Angela Walters. I was tempted by a couple of the sales, and then got an email from Craftsy offering a really good deal on the class to treat myself because it was in my wishlist, and that I did. That was pretty awesome of them, so thanks Craftsy!

Honestly there were maybe two techniques I was initially interested in and thought I wouldn’t be as keen about the rest, boy… was I wrong. I watched the first few classes and wanted to try them all. I think that seeing the techniques demonstrated for you is a huge advantage. I’m sure I could figure it out from a book or magazine with good written instructions but then I find the photos of the finished item have to really pull me in to want to try it. If the colours or prints aren’t really my style sometimes it’s hard to look past that. In this case, seeing the individual techniques is what convinced me to want to try them and make something, it wasn’t all about the finished item but learning how to do something new.

I settled on the Step Down Piecing technique first as I was planning to make a baby quilt anyway, and had the perfect 50cm pack for it. The fabric is the 100% organic cotton, GOTS certified range Wombat Wonderland by Saffron Craig. It’s beautiful fabric to work with, I was lucky that the smaller wombats on the dark purple background were the perfect fit for the small squares, both in size and contrast.

Step Down Piecing Top

I decided I wanted the top ready to take away with me to hand quilt a few days later so I got stuck right in, I probably spent more time fussy cutting the wombats than sewing. I only got it finished late the night before I had to leave, hence the bad night lighting in the shot above.

The Step Down Piecing technique is really interesting and not all that hard in terms of sewing. Laying out the pieces first is a huge help, putting the first few pieces together was a bit tricky but once you get going it comes together easily. I found that it was a bit like free motion quilting, 80% of the technique is just knowing where to go next (something I’ve picked up from Angela Walters’ class).

I’m currently hand quilting the quilt after seeing another little promo video by Sarah which you can watch below. Seeing someone demonstrate what are quite simple steps makes something seem so much more achievable. If you’re a visual learner, Craftsy classes are perfect for you.

Next on the list is needle turn applique, I’ve got my little kit of Sarah’s recommended supplies and her book, Quilting from Little Things, for eye candy. This book has most of the same techniques in small and large project pairs. Can’t wait to start my next little project.

Sarah Fielke Applique Kit