Sunday, April 26, 2015

How to make a full Gossip in the Garden quilt top in 8 weeks


Ingredients needed:
A wish to see the quilt top done, a plan, daily action, a lot of coffee and a rather distant relationship with my sewing machine these days.


For 8 weeks this was the only project I was working on!
I am known as one who juggles many projects at once, but I was drawn to be quite introvert and work on this quilt only, for as long as it took.

This quilt has all I want for the time being - some English paper piecing, some stitchery and a lot of applique, so I could easily switch between what suited my daily urge.

Some sewing machine work was done too, but not very much - the stars, some blocks and the final joining of blocks and borders.

I have been working from my own fabric collection and have had a lovely time picking what fabrics to use. It takes more time than to work from a kit, but I do enjoy the process more this way.

Originally I started the first block of this quilt in September 2014, choosing fabrics to match the original pattern, but it did not sit with my taste at all, so this third start did the trick - yes, I tried a second time too, with nothing to show for it....
I have a small pile of reject blocks from the first 2 starts that will finally be worked into something else. I will not show them to you!



The last couple of days of this project went rather fast - full speed forward - and it finished fairly fast once I started putting the blocks together, in spite of all the partial seams and inset blocks.
The quilt is now at my machine quilter Merete Ellingsen for the final touch.



Pink flowers and insects greeting card


How to make nice foundation paper pieced stars


When I made these stars for the Gossip in the Garden quilt I had many questions how I did it.

Here goes:


I used my EQ7 program to draw the sections for easy printing.
I am sorry to say that my scanner is not in a good mood these days, so I can not upload this drawing for you, but you can easily photo copy from your own Gossip in the Garden pattern or draw on paper. The section, of which you need 4 to make 1 star, measures 2 inch + seam allowance.

This is how I handle the grain of the fabric - you might want to do it differently, that is all up to you! :


Next - I fold the paper on the drawn line, to make the sewing easier:


Next - take the Star part from the cut apart paper above and use it as a drawing guide to draw around on the back side of the fabric you plan to use for your star.
Cut out the shape with scissors and a generous seam allowance:


My Sewline glue pencil is my best friend - but any water soluble glue stick can be used, as long as you use it with a light hand.
Glue the star fabric to the back side of your already folded paper section:


I then cut the seam allowances to the right width - 1/4" - with my Add-a-quarter ruler - any ruler with a 1/4" grid will do:


For the side of the star I cut strips, 1 3/4" - sew from the printed side of the paper, with a very short stitch.


Fold the background fabric out and repeat the seam on the other side of the section:



Cut the seam allowance to 1/4" on 2 sides, like shown below:


Sew 2 and 2 sections together and then join to a star, without taking the paper off - use pins where seams need to match.

Press well, remove paper, then cut the block to size!


Well done! Have fun!


Thursday, April 02, 2015

Happy Easter!


Happy Easter to you, wherever you are :-)

I have been spending the last 5 days with friends at a quilt retreat, sewing all day, sleeping at home at night.
We have had the best of days, with a lot of laughter and fun.

I leave the chocolate to the others to eat - Kvikk Lunsj (biscuit chocolate) + oranges and nuts are a significant part of Norwegian Easter traditions, but I can not have them........Good for my waist line though ;-)

I am still keeping on keeping on with the Gossip in the Garden quilt, and it is still good fun.


Making piles are a great inspiration to me - showing me what I have done - who does not like a pile of finished blocks?
The finished blocks to the left and the partly finished to the right.


I wish you all the joy
that you can wish.
William Shakespeare


easter greetings


Friday, March 27, 2015

Gossip in the Garden progress


I am enjoying this project so much that I have given it full focus since the beginning of the month, and you can see how far it has taken me!
Except for a few machine pieced blocks this is all hand applique, English paper piecing and stitchery.
I so enjoy the process and the rest the handwork gives me.

The blocks above are done, the blocks below are in different stages of finished.


This is my 1. priority project for April too, and if I run out of applique, the 2 blocks on the project from the previous post - the Some Kind of Wonderful quilt  - will be next.

You might already know that these 2 quilts are from the same designer, Anni Downs of Hatched and Patched. I love her style and the style goes so well with my taste of fabrics.
I am not much of a sew-it-from-a-premade-kit person.
I find that I am so easily bored when everything is already decided. I get stuck when I can not chose for myself.
I guess that is why Block of the Month with fabrics is not my thing.



Block of the Month bought from Northern Quilts in Norway many years ago.
More than half done with all the stitcheries, so stuck with the blocks, mainly because of the fabrics and colour choice which were not entirely to my taste back then.
I found the box ( I knew it was there) when I searched for the Some Kind of Wonderful projects earlier today.
We have changed the colours in my house since I bought this BOM, so now I think it can go well here.
I am a bit scared of adding to many projects to my focus list, but these blocks will get attention as soon as the 2 other focus projects are made into tops.
Sounds like a nice a plan, right ?



How much is right ?


To much of a good thing is gorgeous, sometimes ;-)
More often less is more!

Lately the concept of minimalism is talking to me more and more, and I find
that open spaces and less to chose from sparks my creativity.

Today I have been searching for a an unfinished project here, and it is so hidden I can not find it...........

One hour later all pieces are found - and a lot of sorting has been done.
Bottom line is that I have to many projects going!


You can easily see, and I know only to well, that I am "only" 2 blocks and a lot of strips and squares + one strip of stitchery text away from finished ....... looking down with a tad of shame here ;-)
I am hereby putting this quilt top on my April To-do list!
I know I have said it before, but now I am meaning Business Business!
I need the project box for something else - or that is what I am claiming anyway ;-) 


Honestly, hand on heart, I think Unfinished Objects / Work In Very Slow Progress is a total waste of my space and energy.........
I know many people disagree with me on that, but for me, that is the honest truth.
I live in a small house - I do not want to store to much.
I have limited space for my sewing - I need to be able to do a pirouette without bumping into my things ;-)
To many things in this room only brings me no joy!
I find that my taste and my interests in quilting and colours changes too, often!

Good things are happening in Quilt Corner!

happiness is


Saturday, March 07, 2015

All these stitches adds up


The Gossip in the Garden blocks are coming along and I am enjoying every little stitch :-)

2015-03-07 09.58.42


This is my colour inspiration, sort of, the early morning light - a touch of all the soft colours and the longing for spring. I took this photo right before 7 am the other day.
The days are getting longer and the dark season is at its end.
Now we need a lot of sun and a lot more colours outdoors!



Dear daughter 2 stopped by yesterday morning, to use my waffle iron and have breakfast on
her way to the last day of her internship in a kitchen construction company in this area.
She served the wholegrain waffles and fruit to her colleagues for lunch.
I got a breakfast taste - very yummy :-)


2015-03-02 14.32.19

Meet my new friend!
She is not colourful, but she is nice, lightweight, and very forgiving when I am tired.
She lets me sit as often and as long as I like, and she does not mind being set to the side when that is good too.
I can see many adventures with and without her in the future!



Sunday, March 01, 2015

Sunday stitches

2015-03-01 10.11.09

It is snowing like mad outdoors and I am enjoying a quiet moment in Quilt Corner with these blocks.
I have not really counted how many blocks goes into the the Gossip in the Garden quilt.
Maybe I should do a count.......... or not ............. I am enjoying the process :-)


Wishing you a wonderful Sunday wherever you are - Hanne