Quilting by Celia

Quilting by Celia

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Celtic Solstice - Part 4 and my week..

 The mystery clue  this week was very easy so I got it done in a few hours.
The first and previous mystery that I did of Bonnie was Orca Bay and I found it to be quite a challenge to keep up but eventually the quilt was completed. So last year I was not sure if I wanted to commit to such an undertaking even though Bonnie called it "Easy Street"... I quite liked the way Easy Street turned out so I may do it one day.
These are my four-patch blocks for this week's clue.

A few weeks ago I visited Lily Patches, a quilt store near me and they had a large collection of aboriginal fabrics. At the time I held back but yesterday I went back and got myself a jelly roll and a few fat eights of these bright and original designs.
 The colours are vibrant with enough variety to make almost any project. I got 50 different pieces but they had a lot more designs in stock. I just love them..

My quilting friend Felizarda from Lisbon sent me these gorgeous gifts she made. I just love the fact that they represent some aspects of the city/country of my birth..

Portugal exports cork and they make a lot of things with this versatile product.

A few things blooming in my garden; the smell of the gardenias is so wonderful...

 And soon I'll be having lots of zucchini/courgettes to make delicious dishes.  I have not planted any other veggie this time.
 As it's close to Xmas, I want to wish everyone a lovely day whatever you do...

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Celtic Solstice - Part 3 and New Sewing Machine - JUKI

Part 3 of Celtic Solstice came out and within an hour I was at my sewing machine making the blocks.
A couple of years ago I did another of Bonnie Hunter's mystery quilt that required half squares triangles and at the time I printed from a website  free  paper foundation patterns for a range of half square triangle unit sizes . 
I already had a stack of these sheets printed so I just picked my fabrics (pink and yellow) and just went for it.  With about 16 HST per page the whole process was very quick.

I used a small machine stitch to make it easier to tear the paper...
And in no time they were all done...
So the entire step 3 was done in less than a day !!

This step was also made faster because I used my new sewing machine... JUKI  TL-98P.
This machine is a dream to work with; it's fast, does beautiful stitching, thread trimming and has an extension table that I like very much. It comes with a few different feet, knee lifter lever (which I don't use at the moment) and the throat space is great for those who want to do machine quilting.  What I am most impressed is that once the thread is trimmed or a new piece of fabric is fed (for chain piecing) the machine feeds the fabric beautifully without the concern of fabric being sucked into the feed dogs. 
I just wished I knew about this machine long time ago...
My first project on the machine was this colourful pouch from the scraps of the quilt top I completed earlier in the week.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Celtic Solstice - Part 2 and new Quilt Top "Desigual"

I wasn't sure how many blocks I would complete for this week for Part 2 of Celtic Solstice 
but once I got going there was no stopping.
So here are my 100 blocks all done !

It's fun looking at blogs and Facebook postings for those who are participating, picking up a few tips and looking at everyone's colour choices and the best part is that I did not have to buy any fabrics.
I am looking forward to part 3 coming out tomorrow night for us in Australia.

But I have another project to share today...
For a few weeks now I have been making a quilt from an eBook I purchased recently called "Simple Circles and Quick Curves" by Nancy Mahoney.  I was watching Nancy on one of the episodes of QNNtv and as soon as I saw this quilt I had to use up my bright fabrics and make my own version.

The photo is not the best but once I quilt it, I'll take another photo.
Close-ups of the blocks... 

All the fabrics came from my stash... 

When my husband  saw this quilt top he said I had to call it  "DESIGUAL",  which is my favourite clothes designer from Spain and the label stands for "Atypical Spanish Wear".
Their designs are very creative, unconventional and bright, just like my quilt !

Monday, December 2, 2013

Celtic Solstice Part 1 - Mystery Quilt - Bonnie Hunter -

I am gradually working through a couple of quilts but until the tops are done there is not much point blogging about it.

However, as per 'tradition' I am participating in this years mystery quilt ;  Bonnie Hunter mystery quilt - Celtic Solstice.

The quilters who have blogs are sharing their progress along the way and linking each step to Bonnie's Monday Mystery Link-Up so this posting has to be ready for that.

This is what I have done so far ; I am hoping to complete this step before the next clue that comes out Friday.

All the fabrics came from my stash and this time I am using combination of colours which I have not used before... actually pink is not a colour I immediately buy fabrics but I have enough around to use in this quilt.

As the first clue came out for us in Australia late Friday night I decided to give myself a good night's sleep and wake up early the next day. So on Saturday at 4am I was already in my studio (separate dwelling from the main house) with a cup of coffee,classic music playing and very excited... Actually so excited that I cut myself with a rotary blade !!! But that did not stop me and I kept going.
I started using the Tri Recs rulers but after making several blocks I decided to use paper piecing.
I love paper piecing technique so it's a breeze to get these blocks made... I even like the mess of trimming and tearing the paper. My mom thinks I am a bit mad getting up so early and making such a mess... But I am happy...

I am so grateful that Bonnie Hunter does this for us and especially this year with so many options of how to construct these blocks and all for FREE !

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Amish inspired small quilt top, new project(s) .....

I have been having fun with my stash..... As much as I love Civil War reproduction fabrics I also love bright fabrics (and anything else in between) so I have been quietly collecting these beauties !
I started a new quilt using them but at this stage I am not ready to show you.... just the strips!

and these blocks... well, part blocks...

 And with a view to part of my garden to match the flowers in the fabric how can I not be inspired ?
I am still trying to quilt all my tops, so this one which I completed years ago is ready to be quilted.

I have finished something recently; the top of a small quilt... the blocks are 4 1/2" and these blocks are done using the foundation/paper pieced with my scraps...

And lastly.... I have done it again !!!
We visited  Threadbear quilt shop (check us on their blog)  and I could not resist this pattern... and a few other goodies; fabrics for the background, 3 fat quarters, circle templates, Karen Buckley scissors and fine pins which cost and arm and a leg !

I have promised myself  (wink, wink) that I won't start this quilt (another long term needleturn project) until I complete two quilt tops I have in progress at the moment... such a hard decision to make as I already have most of the fabrics for the quilt from my large civil war repro fabric stash... what's a girl to do ??


Monday, November 11, 2013

Table Runner

I have a quilt in progress (not a huge surprise !) and as I made some of the blocks I ended up with some triangles which I have put to good use by doing this table runner.

Did some other stitching but nothing completed enough to show you.


Sunday, November 3, 2013

My longest UFO !!! 15 years

It may seem a long time to have a quilt in progress but I like this quilt today as much as I did when I started it years ago. And now it's finally quilted, bound and labelled !

I got the pattern for this quilt in 1998 at "Primarily Patchwork" quilt shop as well as a stack of fabrics to get the project started.
I was fairly new to quilting back then but already loved needleturn applique, so I maintained my enthusiasm for the blocks for quite some time.
I struggled a bit with the piecing, trying to fit all the triangles and blocks together, eventually I got it done but decided not to follow the border design which have included several hundred more triangles.

Then I decided to quilt it by hand so I purchased a large quilt frame and began.  After a while of very little progress I got a quote to have it professionally quilted but the price was way too high, so I got it basted instead.
I then proceeded to hand quilt around each motif and this went on and on until I gave up altogether when I realised that it needed a lot more quilting in the open spaces.
This was not going to happen so the quilt stayed in the bag for a few more years.
Then last week in the middle of the night (after being called up for work and could not fall asleep immediately) I contemplated the idea of loading it on the Handi Quilter and finish it no matter what !
And that is exactly what I did....not the usual way of loading a quilt but I got it done and that is all it matters.

I did not mark it, nor did I pre-planned before I started each block, I just let my imagination take over and just went for it !
I did not worry that the designs were not perfect or conventional but I had great fun coming up with each design.
Each block is different and I used a neutral thread so unless you look really close it's not obvious the imperfections. 
The quilt measures around 96 inches (2.45 metres) and I am just so happy that is done !

The photos were taken indoors, so the actual colours don't show it's full beauty and being so large, it was quite difficult to photograph in it's entirety.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vases Quilt and a Pouch

It has been a while since I completed something but this week I finished a couple of things finally.

I found a small bag of Australian fabrics scraps and a few buttons and in no time I had this pouch made.  I would like to make a few more soon.

One of the projects that has been taking a lot of my time recently was free-motion quilting this quilt.
I had made this top a while ago but was not confident enough to quilt it on the machine and don't have enough time to hand quilt it.
I used needle-turn applique and the pattern came from a one day class I took several years ago.

Here is a close-up of the quilting.

I am enjoying the process more and more and accepting the fact that some stitches will not be as perfect as I would like them to be but they are still good enough.  I am only doing my own quilts and it's a lot better than having the tops stored away after spending a lot of time getting them done.

I am finding each quilting session some kind of  meditative process and not only do I feel more confident but more inspired to try new designs.

I have another similar size quilt I am working on which comprises of applique on wool and pieced blocks. Most of the pieced blocks are done but still have 3 applique blocks to complete. Of course it won't be finished that soon but I'm making steady progress.
In the meantime I am considering doing Bonnie Hunter's Annual Mystery Quilt.  Are you going to do it ? I have great admiration for her work and what she brings to the quilting community not to mention the amount of energy she has in accomplishing so many things.

I did Orca Bay the year before last mystery and completed the quilt in a smaller size although I must admit it was quite a lot of work. I won't need to buy any fabric for this project also, so that would be a good thing to use up my stash.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Table Runner, Scrap Fun and Quilt Show

I made this table runner with a bit of an Australian flavour.
Close-up of the quilting...
I try to follow Bonnie Hunter's method of organising fabric scraps and have a large box of 
1 1/2" squares. With these I have made already 60 Nine Patch blocks and I may end up doing Dancing Nine Patches quilt. 
For now I am happy just trying out new designs, using my scraps and if nothing comes of it they will not be UFO's but simply experiments.
And of course there is a quilt on my HQ18 which I am taking my time as well for the sake of practice and accuracy rather than trying to finish as fast as possible a project. 
I have a couple of "Honey Buns" pre-cuts and added a few of my own fabrics to came up with this.  Not sure if I will add more blocks or leave as it is but whatever happens it will be a good piece to practice my quilting skills.
This year's the theme at Quilts In the Barn exhibition was Dutch Chintz Quilts.
My photos did not came out too good but here are some.  The first two pictures were my friend Lynne's quilts and as usual she makes beautiful quilts no matter what style they are.
Loved the quilting here....


Sunday, September 8, 2013

Ohio Stars Quilt and more scrap fun

A couple of years ago I participated on a block swap with Jan Marie . I made her Log Cabin blocks and she made me these Ohio Start blocks.
I had them all in a box but not quite sure how I wanted to put them together until last week when I purchased this great fabric (grey) for $5 a metre.
I enjoy getting an idea and within the same day just going into my studio and make that idea come alive.  No pressure of having to write up patterns and considering anything else apart from enjoying the process... and that is exactly what I have done with this quilt.
Here it is the finished quilt !!! Just love it...

Another fun thing I Iike to do from time to time is to play with my scraps.  Bonnie Hunter from Quiltville has been doing a a videocast doing this block and while I watch her I make my own blocks and be part of the community.

Took these pictures today of my garden; it's calling me to give it some attention.
But still rewarding me with it's beautiful camellias and...
And the first Spring rose !

Some more pictures I took last month in the city of my birth....Lisboa.