Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Birthday Cake for Hedgies!

I've been sewing away since I last blogged, meaning I've got quite a bit of fodder for the blog.  I think the hardest thing about blogging is to start the habit again after a period of not blogging, so I'm just going to jump in again.  I do love having this record to look back on, and of course the interaction with other bloggers is so much fun.

I finished binding this lovely little version of Elizabeth Hartmann's Birthday Cake just this week.  I've had the blocks finished for ages and I'm very pleased with the finished quilt.  It's a bit small, but I ran out of fabric so is just going to be a lap quilt for my daughter's share house.

I was particularly happy with the double loop stipple that I quilted onto it.  Quick, easy and looks effective, all boxes ticked!

This quilt was always going to be for Indy as she loves hedgehogs so much!  As a child when we lived in England we even had a couple in the backyard at different times and she's always adored them.  I call this quilt 'Birthday Cake for Hedgies'.  The fabrics I used were mostly Lizzy House's Outfoxed range. 

The backing is this adorable Prints Charming for Spotlight poplin. Just the right shade of orange.  You know I can never have too much orange for my stash!

Indy is going to the UK for her summer holidays, she will be staying with her lovely boyfriend Nick and they are intending on doing some traveling to Europe.  She'll also visit her English relatives (her father's family).  She'll be celebrating Christmas with Nick's family.  I wanted to thank his mother for being so thoughtful and caring towards her, and what better way than a quilt.

I've worked on this Tribute Star quilt this weekend.  I love this pattern, it's available free on Denyse Schmidt's website and I'd encourage you to follow the link to read the story behind it.  Such sweet inspiration!  The only information Nick gave me about his mother's taste is that 'her favorite colour is lime green'.  Not much to go on!  I wasn't sure about using a real lime green as I thought it might be a bit too strong and not match their home.  So I used this apple/asparagus green, which I'm really happy with.  There is also some lime in the prints making up the star.  It's just a lap quilt size so it won't take up too much room in her bag. 

Indy leaves in less than four weeks so I have to get quilting.  I'll miss her so much, the idea of waking up on Christmas morning on my own is pretty ordinary but I'm so proud of her working hard at her uni studies, and her job to save the money for her trip.  I couldn't be happier for her.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Got To Love a Quiltalong

I love quiltalongs, and find them very hard to resist. I'd been admiring the pattern Impromptu, which is a pattern designed for layer cakes, for a while.  Then when I saw that Katy at I'm a Ginger Monkey was hosting an Impromtu quiltalong I ordered the pattern and signed up.  I've done quiltalongs with Katy before and they are always fun, and there is no pressure to stick to a time line.  Katy was one of the hosts of the Tripalong which I have been really enjoying.

I am a layer cake queen and so thought I would have no problems digging out a layer cake from my stash.  I was surprised to find that I am down to 3 layer cakes, and none of them really suited what I had in mind.  Determined to use some of my stash, I had a look at my bundle of Birds and the Bees by Tula Pink.  I love Tula's fabrics but I have to say I find them quite difficult to use with the rest of my stash.  So I made the decision pick out mostly the dark green and blue prints from this line.  They needed a lift so I added just three of the purple prints.  I wanted to use a deep colour for the background, and whilst I considered using a dark green I thought that would make the quilt too drab.  Spotlight had this lovely teal colour, and it was even reduced in price so I went for it!

It's a quilt that uses two different blocks to make the pattern.  I've made all the 'A' blocks, and since these pictures were taken (at night and inside so they are not brilliant photos) I've made more 'B' blocks.  I only have three to go!  I am very happy that I've kept up with the quiltalong - so far!

The blocks will hopefully look like they are floating on the teal fabric.  The 'B' blocks are disappearing 9 patches, which are sashed with 1" strips and this has been trying my sewing skills!  Any little wavy sewing really shows.  There has been much unpicking and resewing!  I'm hoping the finished quilt will be worth it.  It's very striking in colour, and I think it will look great on a bed.  The quiltalong is being held on Flickr and there are some lovely quilts in the photos there.  It's a friendly group and fun to be part of.

Modernising A Classic

I'm pleased to announce I think I've found my blogging powers!  After taking 'blogging without obligation' to a new level, I have heaps to write about!  I've been very busy completing some quilts and working on some others on my very extensive long list on my sidebar.  I also seem to have started a couple of new quilts!

I'm happy to share these photos taken at a recent Sunday sewing day with some friends.

We made Lisa Stipes Easy Peasy Felicity quilt, it's a lovely variation on a rail fence pattern.  I love rail fence quilts, and by varying the widths of the strips she's modernised this traditional pattern.  It's a free pattern on the quilt pattern resource site at Riley Blake, Cutting Corners.  They have some wonderful free patterns there!

This quilt is Chris's.  She made a Modrian inspired quilt.

Denise's quilt has the blocks laid out with the colours in diagonal lines.  The aqua, green and grey is such a lovely colour scheme and would look great in a contemporary home, draped on a lounge.

Diane used these cheerful fabrics.  This is a such a pretty quilt.


I made my quilt using some hoarded Tea Garden fabric by Dena Designs.  It's a riot of gorgeous rich colours, I'm going to give it to my daughter for her lounge room.

Monday, March 11, 2013


I had really hoped to share a couple of quilt tops this long weekend however it has been so hot here that I haven't been able to get any decent photos.  The sun is so bright that my photos look dreadful, and really no-one with any sense spends any time outside when it is this hot.  I realised I hadn't shared this cute chap I made before Christmas.

Making soft animals is such fun!  One of my favourite creators of all things cute and cuddly is Jodi Carlton of Ric Rac.  Baxter is a gorgeous hedgie who I have made before a couple of times (my daughter has a Baxter and his friend Lou).  I made this hedgie for a friend at work.

He looks so royal with his long spines.

I try to give all the animals I make a smile, it took me a couple of goes to get the stitching just right.

Baxter and patterns for more fantastic creations of Jodi's are available from Ballarat Patchwork.  On her website there is a lovely story simply called Baxter. I bought my long staple (hmm, wool has 'staple', not sure about fur fabric?) fur fabric and wool suiting from Spotlight to make him.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I love making softies almost as much as I love making quilts.  I especially love that I can make a softie or two and get them finished in a day!  I made these two foxys for Indy for her birthday later this week.  They were featured in a recent issue of Molly Makes.  They are so sweet!

Taking a photo proved tricky once Wombat realised that something other than himself had all my attention.  Here he is working out what is going on.

Trying to get in on the photo.

Getting the softies out of the way so a better photo can be taken.

This photo is for everyone who thinks that Zeppie is an imaginary cat.  She is much more timid than Wombat and not interested in being a photographic model.  She saw the drama of me trying to take a decent photo   and Wombat interfering and took off!  

She is adorable, but very aloof.  Unlike Wombat, who has to be involved in whatever I am doing around the house.  

The softies were a quick and easy project.  I also worked on some more tripalong blocks.  I have to be honest and admit to starting a new project too.  A couple of the girls in my patchwork group wanted to make the Easy Peasy Simply Strippy Fat Quarter quilt.  It's a free pattern at the Riley Blake website.  One of my favourite traditional pattern is Rail Fences and this is a variation of a Rail Fence design.  Of course I had to join in, how could I let them make one without me?  I finished all the blocks today so will take a photo soon.  It is a quick and easy pattern and looks very effective, and I do love Rail Fence quilts!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Tripping Along

I've joined in the Scrappy Trip Along that is sweeping quilting blogs, Instagram and Flickr.  I decided to make a dent in my DS for Spotlight fabrics, and I'm so pleased with my blocks so far.

I've found somewhere new to take photos!  These blocks are on Indy's draughting desk, a sloped wooden desk in our back room where we get plenty of light.  In the afternoon it isn't in direct sunlight so it is a great spot for photography.

I've tried to keep a darker colour running across the centre of my blocks.  I am so happy with them.

I've made 13 blocks.  I think I'll make my quilt 6 x 6, so I'm a third of the way.

Not sure about the layout.  I love the barn raising look, especially when the design is off centre, but I'm not sure I've got enough contrast in my fabrics to make it very successful.

The Scrappy Trip Around The World pattern is so clever, and is very quick to put together.  Follow this link to see how it is made.

So it looks like I've added another project to my WIP list!  I've finished my Swedish Stepping Stones quilt, it's just been washed and is drying ready for some photos.  I've also quilted and machine sewn the binding onto my Schnibbles Spools, I need to hand sew the other side of the binding down.  I think it's time to add another list to my sidebar - Finished Projects!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

A Long, Long List and a Finish!

All my WIPs are now listed on my sidebar.  I don't know why I named my blog LisaJan Loves to Quilt when it seems LisaJan just loves to piece!  I can't believe how many quilts I have made all (or almost all) of the blocks for that I haven't sewn together into a top, and also all those quilt tops waiting to be finished!  It's true that sashing is my least favorite part of making a quilt, and the actual quilting does take me a while to do, although I enjoy it once I start.  I really want to get some of these WIPs off that list though so I must channel my inner quilter!  

I do have a finish to share though.  This quilt is called 'Step by Step' and was a pattern in Homespun magazine which I wrote about here.  It's a great pattern and I love this quilt.

I quilted it using a repeating flower design and I can say that I have never had to sew in so many threads, it was a design with lots of stops and starts.  I would have to work out a better way of linking the flowers more before I tried this one again, it really tested my patience!  My niece Evie took these photos on our holiday to Port MacDonnell and she did a beautiful job.  She has a talent for taking photos.  It seemed appropriate that the fabrics are 'Salty Aire' and the quilt was finished and photographed while we were there.

I've been sorting my scraps into colours and sizes so I can cut out some more spool blocks to have ready for in between chain piecing.  Not sure what I will work on next, but with my list made at least I can keep an eye on what needs to be done!  Looks like I'll be quilting for a while at least!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Slow Spoolin'

I'm back from a few days holiday by the beach!  It was lovely to rest and recharge and I feel ready to tackle my monster list of WIPS.

One project that I am happy to go slowly on is my leaders and enders challenge.  I only work on these blocks when I am chain piecing other fabric.  It's starting to grow but I've worked out that I'll need about 300 of these 4 1/2" finished blocks to make a quilt for my couch. 

Here's my little pile of blocks.  I love the newspaper print backgrounds.  I've decided to use the same background print on all my blocks so I've been to Spotlight and bought a couple of metres of it.  I'm using scraps for the spools, and I've decided to make only one or two of every different print.  I think that might give a hint at how huge my scrap basket is!

I love the scrappy look of these blocks.  I've got 32 blocks here so still heaps to make.

Check out Sue's blocks, she's done quite a few more than me but as hers are smaller than mine I will need less.  I need to cut out a few more sets ready to sew.  It's tricky trying to ensure I don't use the same fabric more than twice.  I've got a few that I need to unpick and re-sew too, my seam was not quite right and with blocks this small it's hard to fudge the seams.  They are easy to unpick though so it will be worth it!

Thursday, January 10, 2013


A new year!  I love the idea of a fresh look at where I am and where I'm going, in life and with my patchwork.  I resolved last year to finish some of my wips and whilst there is still a very long list I did manage to finish quite a few.  I also wanted to take more (and better) photos of my sewing, and blog more regularly. I am happy that my photos are improving, and I blogged more regularly than the previous year (!) but I still would like to improve in that area!

I had a huge clean up in my sewing room, and made an exhaustive list of my wips.  Ouch.  I aim to make a list in my side bar to 'keep me honest'.  I am definitely the kind of sewist who likes to have lots on the go at once, but I need to be more mindful of projects I have started.  I don't have a need to finish everything I start, I look at some projects as 'skill builders', and with this in mind I did throw out a few old and stale wips.

Going through lots of older projects was fun though.  I rediscovered some gorgeous projects that I am keen to finish.  I even found two projects that I have finished all the blocks for but not put together!  I want to do a monthly list of what I hope to achieve this year, maybe this will help me to make a dent in the list.

For January, I've been working on Improv by the Sea, (which I am making for Mum) again, and I've got two  other tops pin basted and ready to quilt.  I've nearly run out of fabric to do much more with the Sea quilt and I need to visit a city quilting shop to match colours up so I hope to get started on quilting the other two quilts soon, and get them bound.  I also need to re-arrange the furniture in my sewing room to make it work better.  I have started and finished another quilt already this year, which I will blog about soon.  I also want to make some key fobs which I've bought the hardware for.  I had better add to this list that I need to type the list of wips for my blog too!

So that's my January plan!