Lucky Stars BOM: April

Kapow! Rainbow explosion! I went a bit crazy with this one…

Lucky Stars Block of the Month - April

There were two layout options for this star, this was the alternate version and as soon as I saw it I knew the white would outline the centre start to make it pop. You can see some examples of the two different layouts (along with the May block) on the Don’t Call Me Betsy blog.

The first dilemma was what to do in the corners. With the constant of the navy background across all my blocks I didn’t really want a hard square edge on each of those corners so I decided to use the same background in the corners, with a bit of colour bursting out.

The second dilemma was colour. I think my issue with coming up with a 2-4 colour combination is that being my 5th block I’d already used the more obvious harmonious and contrasting combinations. I tried a few and was getting nowhere so added all the colours and started moving them around and had a bit of fun making a rainbow, and it stuck.

My third dilemma was matching points. Oh boy… In my defence I tried to put this block together on my third day home sick while going a bit stir crazy and under the influence of cold & flu medication.

You can see in the middle of the half square triangles a point where white meets navy meets colour one meets colour two meets navy, and that happens on both sides. Trying to get that point to join nicely with 10 layers of fabric was painful (to be nice). Considering that, there’s only one that I really battled with, and still don’t love, and there are other points that could have been better but I did the best I could at the time and I’m calling this a learning piece.

My May block is designed, time to cut and piece ready for the June block coming out this weekend.

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Madrona Road Festival Flags

Madrona Road Festival Flags is my fourth quilt finish!

It was completed as part of the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge and just in time for the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. If you’re visiting from the festival, welcome!

Madrona Road Festival Flags - Front Madrona Road Festival Flags - Back

This baby quilt measures 35 inches by 48.5 inches. Most of the bunting flags were hand appliqued to the quilt top, however some flags were made to be double-sided and left loose for little hands to play with.

Madrona Road Festival Flags - Front QuiltingMadrona Road Festival Flags - Back Quilting

I echo quilted the flags with up to 5 lines and the filled up from the string below, roughly half an inch apart. My favourite, favourite bit is in the top right corner where I decided to echo quilt some phantom flags, inspired by a tip from Angela Walters in her Craftsy class on Machine Quilting Negative Space.

Madrona Road Festival Flags - Favourite Detail

The print fabric is Madrona Road by Violet Craft, and was very generously donated by Michael Miller Fabrics for the Modern Quilt Guild Challenge which many members of our guild took part in. Our fabric didn’t arrive until January and was handed out at the February Sew Day, with the finished quilts to be ready for our May Sew Day. While we weren’t able to be a part of the main challenge it was a great experience for many of us, and every single quilt was so different. The solid yellow was also supplied and I used Kona White for the front and Kona Medium Grey for the back. You can see more of the Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild Madrona Road Challenge Quilts on Flickr and the WMQG website.

I finished the quilt off with a cute scrappy binding and after a wash it’s come out nice and crinkly. There’s no label on yet, but once the new owner is chosen it will be included on a extra flag on the quilt back.

Madrona Road Festival Flags - Scrappy Binding

Last year I saw so many wonderful quilts during the Blogger’s Quilt Festivals in Spring and Fall (Autumn), I’m still surprised that I’ve actually made some of my own quilts and am so happy to be able to participate. If you haven’t taken part before don’t be scared, just take part and enjoy being part of this awesome event.

Blogger's Quilt Festival 2013

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The voting is done in the Make It Perfect Show Your Stuff competition and my wrap skirt didn’t come in the top two places. On the plus side I did get a handful of votes, which means a handful of people really liked my skirt, so that’s pretty cool. Thanks again to Toni at Make It Perfect for running the competition and picking my skirt in her top 10.

While you can’t necessarily resolve to win a competition or giveaway, you’ve got to be in it to win it so this year I figure why not give it a go. I’ve been trying to leave more comments on my favourite blogs and say thanks to the generous people who share their stories and projects, and have been interacting with the crafty community a bit more. Along the way I’ve entered a few giveaways and I actually won one!

A big thank you to Rita at Red Pepper Quilts who hosted this particular giveaway, she has a wonderful blog showcasing her work with beautiful bright, clean photos and regularly hosts some really great giveaways.

A bigger thank you goes to Clare at Fabric 2 Go who sponsored the giveaway with a $50 voucher for their online store.

Fabric 2 Go Gift Certificate $50

I’m thinking I might have to put the voucher towards some flannel (and cute mini pom pom trim) to make some comfy PJ pants now that the weather has cooled off. Paired with the Sweet Dreams pattern from Make It Perfect, we’ll definitely have a winner.

I’m a Finalist! Make it Perfect: Show Your Stuff Competition

Toni over at Make It Perfect is running a competition – Show Your Stuff!

Make It Perfect - Show Your Stuff Competition

Participants have shared their creations from Make It Perfect patterns, you can see all of the awesome entries in the Show Your Stuff Flickr Group

Toni has now picked her Top 10 and my Versatile Wrap skirt has made it in!

The Versatile Wrap skirt in Aviary 2 fabricsThe Versatile Wrap skirt in Aviary 2 fabrics

I really do love this skirt, it’s so comfy and was quite easy for me as a beginner sewist to make. I’ve got my pattern pieces saved so it should be really quick to make some more, I’ve even got the fabric picked out for my next one, time to get cracking I think.

Go check out the entries in Toni’s Top 10 over on her blog and vote for your favourite, if that just happens to be entry A – The Versatile Wrap #1 thanks for your support!

And just for the sake of a giggle, this is what I now think of whenever I see this skirt – Portlandia, Put A Bird On It

I Love Binding Clips!

Do people really use pins to hold on their binding? Really? I stab myself often enough during the piecing & basting stages and I knew it would only get worse if I tried pinning my binding. Luckily I haven’t had to try it.

Clover Wonder Clips

I came across a few reviews of Clover Wonder Clips while researching the various stages of making a quilt and it just seemed like a no brainer, I bought a box of 50 clips (10 weren’t going to go very far without constant rotation). Granted, I’m a sucker for a good task-specific gadget but I’m also quite realistic about my abilities.

Given I’m only just starting out, I knew it would take me a while to get through binding a quilt. Could you imagine all that time with a quilt draped over me, with pins sticking into me, or falling out into the lounge for a nasty surprise later on. The standard binding clips wouldn’t last long either, it doesn’t take much to pop them open and I have trouble keeping them in my hair for a day, how would they hold onto the thickness of a quilt sandwich?

Clover Wonder Clips

The Clover Wonder Clips were perfect. They’re really strong (try holding one open for more than a few seconds) but they grab onto your quilt and there’s no way they’re coming off. They’re also really quick and easy to reposition, open them just enough and slide along or pop them on somewhere else. I used them to hold the binding all the way around the quilt to make sure my joins weren’t going to fall awkwardly on a corner, then in place of pins while machine stitching the binding to the front, and again to help hold the binding, and particular the mitred corners when hand stitching to the back. The pack of 50 also comes in it’s own neat little box.

Binding seems to be one of those love or hate things, it’s your favourite part or your most dreaded part of making a quilt. If you’ve been having trouble holding or positioning your binding, or have just been thinking of trying these clips, I would definitely recommend them. There are enough blood spots on my quilts as it is.