Turquoise and aqua piece together

I started quilting the Stargazing quilt:
Basted stargazer

and ran into the awkwardness of turning and turning the whole thing. Even at lap-quilt size, it was surprisingly awkward when the stars are so pointy and so numerous. So it now waits for more enthusiasm.

In the meantime, I started a new project, inspired as attributed on Flickr: delightful rectangle/squares. Pretty easy: 3.5″ squares, 3.5″x7.5″ rectangles.
First, start with a few squares and rectangles...

But after I’d put this many together, it was too fun.
And it was a little bit small for the backing panel I had in mind, that is not going to be cut in any way. So it grew. And acquired more solids along the way. Along with that very pale turquoise Pearl Bracelet, which arrived from Bloomerie Fabrics and got cut up that evening. I think I’m now a Pearl Bracelet convert.
...sneakily, they grow
The first nine squares are now all pieced with white sashing. Three to go…hopefully tonight!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly PiecedScrap Attack Quilt-Along


one quilt top

fully pieced:
Pieces of eight

and backlit:
Stained glass

The negative space all worked out in the end. I am a happy little vegemite.
Scrap Attack Quilt-Along

pieces of stars, pieces of eight

The Stargazing blocks have stabilised at eight: number nine is negative space instead. Earlier this week:
Partial stars

And by the end of the weekend all the pieces of all of the blocks were cut and chosen! O, overwhelming choice. Adding extra fabric halfway through might not have helped with that ūüėČ (sigh Bloomerie fabrics. good place to web-shop.)

Stars assembling

Fabrics :

  • Kona solids in Cerise,¬†Pomegranate, Candy Pink.
  • Bella solids in 1930s Pastels pink.
  • Sanctuary, Geo Bloom in Sherbert
  • Terrain, Fern in Berry
  • Terrain, Seedpod in Bloom
  • Sandi Henderson, Secret Garden, Lock and Key in Coral
  • Valori Wells, Wrenly, Wildfield in Cherry
  • Binding:¬†Carolyn Gavin, Soul Garden, Soulful Stripe in Red
  • Unidentified: linen-cotton blend in charcoal, yellow-orange batik, rose print, orange solid, red-gold print, criss-cross (I do have selvages for the last two).

And as of last night, there are only two blocks left to finish! Then comes the fun of arranging and rotating to maximise the effect of the circle.

Also made good progress on my swap quilt, which went in the space of three hours from this:

to this, thanks to a nifty little way of making HSTs for pinwheels I saw over at green pea studio: sew around the edge of the right-sides-together charm squares, cut both diagonals, hey presto. Very swift and easy. Quite interesting to be working in someone else’s aesthetic and colour palette.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Piecing partial stars

DSCF9728 by Taisia @ Piecing Light
DSCF9728, a photo by Taisia @ Piecing Light on Flickr.

A week of ongoing design

Quilts of progress:

  • Stargazing quilt: five blocks remaining, 3/4 of cutting done (so. many. tiny. pieces.). The blocks are coming out about 12″ rather than 12.5″ and I can’t find why – guess that means I’ll have a finished size <36″ square of the pieced blocks, so it might have to have a border to make it a feasible lap quilt. Have picked out something new for the binding: a perfectly matching stripe!
  • Mystery Quilt: Lots of progress here! The centre panel with pieced blocks gets its last seam put in tonight. Then we have to add the three borders to bring the top up to its finished size. Lots of work with linen cotton blends – lovely stuff.
  • Stash Bee Feb block: Nearly done. I¬†accidentally¬†added one strip too many to this pineapple block in the wrong place; now unpicked, but not yet reattached.

No progress this week:

  • Arkansas Star quilt
  • Yellow-n-grey single wonky star micro-mug rug
  • Kingdom of coral mug rug (blocks have no seam allowances when joined! not sure why, but it rather dampened this one).

Brewing in the design phase:

  • Mystery mini quilt (but the design and fabric choices are now clear! One pieced border coming up…)
  • Saturn-as-seen-from-a-moon pieced panel for a laptop conference bag
  • Reverse applique observatory-and-sky vertical banner wall quilt
  • Phoenix mini quilt

Lots of playing with fabric. Soon: finishes!


So with last week’s Starflower Tree finished, safely in the mail and off to Sunni¬†for Stash Bee:

(that was rather a lot of hand sewing! I suspect a block should take less than a week. But it was ideal for using very small scraps: nothing over 2″ square went into the flowers).

Time to start on a new project! I wanted to try out the Stargazing block from the 99 Modern Blocks book. It’s a delightful block, and how could I resist that name…. ūüėČ

Fabric selected and sitting in the sun:


They looked very stained-glass in this morning’s light. I think nine of these should be doable with the metre of backing fabric that I have, which will make a lap quilt.

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

January is for new projects

I have begun New Things! The WIPs are at two, which surely means that I can start something(s) new ūüėČ

I have joined Sunni‘s Stash Bee. This month in Hive One we are making trees for Sunni; mine is missing a few lines of stitching on the tree-trunk, and then will be done! Here is a sneak preview:

My birthday present arrived yesterday, and was waiting mysteriously when I arrived home:

and lo, here you can see it in the lower left. After some happy reading it led to fabrics being pulled, and a quilt of Stargazing blocks will begin shortly.

And I am doing Samelia’s Mum‘s Name Game swap. First time swap for me. We are to anonymously make mini quilts of the swappee’s name or blog name, and I have requested one for Piecing Light. So, dear swap partner, here is a colours Mosaic of Inspiration! Hope that it helps.

1. Aqua and Orange Quilting Bee, 2. T-Sunny Stars, 3. pincushion, 4. Beautiful Wall Quilt Made by Shevvy, 5. IMG_6807, 6. improv pouch!, 7. green stag quilt – detail, 8. Oceanic Supernova Full Frontal, 9. Blue and green zig zag quilt, 10. Sew & Bee Happy for Emma (take 2), 11. Zig Zag Quilt top complete, 12. 4 x 5 Modern Quilt Bee – third quarter blocks from Hive 12

the kingdom of seahorses

Thanks to a most excellently chosen Christmas present:

The¬†“kingdom of coral” mug rug is finished! Hooray for precuts. This was the easiest, least annoying binding I have done; the quality of the red from the Bright Marbles roll was lovely. Although I have also learned that squaring the block before binding is Essential, rather than just A Good Idea…

Sewing on the binding out in the bush on New Year’s Eve with only the echidnas and a campfire was ever so pleasant. Here is the mug rug, home again:

I am rather infatuated with this block design. I think this rug needs a friend! Summon the stash, I say:

designed, and now off to iron and sew!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Moonlit landscape: a handstitched quilt

This quilt has been in the works for a long, long, time. Over a year. In fact, it is my first-ever finished quilt. I had a very clear image in my mind of what I wanted to do: a very New Zealand scene, which I could see clearly enough that the original design only needed to be a few sketched lines to check the form of the landscape. Then I started auditioning fabrics!

(At the time, this was my entire stash. I may be more than a little fond of blue.)

Seen on a very bright sunny day outside.

Now to add scrap-shaped pieces that I’d need to form each area…at this stage I had no exact idea of shapes, but knew what general colours I want and the area each should encompass.

The applique took a very long time. It’s what I now know is called needle-turn applique: no interfacing, pin each piece down, sew in place, then add the next. It didn’t look coherent until here…

At this stage, part of the quilting has been done: the sea, its reflected light-path, in metallic embroidery thread from the Christchurch dyer, and most of the beach. All the quilting is freehand.

Selecting the quilting shape for the large open area of sky was hard: I auditioned a few from the Free Motion Quilting Blog (hey, those designs work just as well done by hand!) but eventually went with an echoing variation of the shapes of the clouds on the right side of the sky.

This interior shot warms the colours a little, but nicely highlights the texture of the quilting.

I rather like how the beams of light spread out across the lower part of the sky. It started forming in the piecing, and I decided to accentuate it with contrasting embroidery thread:

These are “crepuscular rays” (crepuscular = twilight) – when we see them, they splay out radiantly, mostly at sunset. But if you are an astronaut looking down from the International Space Station that orbits Earth, you see them like this:

Nancy Atkinson has more detail about that here. I suspect it’s even more rare to see the Moon casting crepuscular rays, but it’s a dreamlike scene. I can have rare events ūüėČ

The tree on the right was originally going to be a New Zealand pohutukawa, as those are commonly found on coasts. But its upright form is closer to that of another native, the kowhai, so it has kowhai-batik foliage instead.

The beach is pebble-quilted and quilted to accentuate the fabric design and feature shells, in a mix of perle cotton, silk embroidery thread, and normal cotton.

Hmm, the back isn’t too messy either – and I know to do less travel stitching next time!

And here’s the final version, bound in the same black velvety stretch cotton (I think? unfortunately the fabric shop in question was in the centre of Christchurch, so is now well in the red zone) as the fabric that the applique was pieced onto and as used for the backing. It was really really slippery; I would use a different binding fabric next time. This was the only thing I attached by machine, then blind-stitched down by hand.

One quilt, safely delivered for Christmas.


Fresh Sewing DaySmall Blog Meet

key to the kingdom of coral

I’ve been wanting to make this Cracker Scraps block¬†of Angela Pingel’s: when my half-yards of Wrenly Wildflower and Secret Garden arrived from¬†Hawthorne Threads, it was a perfect opportunity to dip my toe in the water. I resized the block to use HSTs from a Bella Snow charm pack (cut in 4) and rectangles 1.7″ by 5″ (3 to a charm pack square).

Which rather rapidly turned into this!

It is a little modified from the Cracker Scraps, to keep the colours happy.

Fabrics that I can remember:
Valori Wells, Wrenly, Wildfield in Cherry
Sandi Henderson, Secret Garden, Lock and Key in Coral
Kona Solid in Pomegranate
Bella Solid in Snow.

Soon to become a potholder, perhaps, on a table near you – once I decide which colour of binding it should have…