Saturday, 16 May 2015

Blogger's Quilt Festival Spring 2015 - Kaleidoscopic quilt

It's that time of year again folks, all the big boys and girls are off to Quilt Market to see all the fun new fabric that we'll all be coveting and the rest of us get to watch jealously from afar. Thank goodness for Amy and her twice yearly Blogger's Quilt  Festival to keep us all happy looking at the fantastic creations of our online community! It's always fun to find new inspiration and new blogs to read.
I usually have a tricky time deciding which quilt to enter but this year I knew straight away which one I wanted to submit. I designed this Kaleidoscopic quilt for Quilt Now magazine last year and was delighted when it made the front cover of Issue 5!
This lap sized quilt was a real labour of love, 64 foundation pieced blocks was no small task. It was totally worth it though, this is one of my all time favourites. I love all the secondary patterns that this block gives and the colours just make me feel happy. There are so many of my beloved/ hoarded fabrics in here, which I'm sure contributes to its favourite status.
After all the machine work of foundation piecing it was a pleasure to take my time over the hand quilting. I'm a huge fan of chunky hand quilting with Perle thread. I don't have the patience for tiny. neat hand stitches but neat chunky stitches are right up my street. The texture that this type of quilting provides is fantastic, really snuggly, which is just what you need for a lap quilt!
I used three neutral shades of Perle thread in the low volume areas of the quilt and a dusky pink Perle thread to echo quilt the pink kites.
I contained the kaleidoscopic blocks with a scrappy low volume border and finished off with a black and white pezzy binding. I can't resist showing you the professional photo on the cover of  the magazine; I will never tire of seeing my creation right there on the cover.
So there you have it, I'm entering this in the Modern Quilts category purely because I designed this quilt on the iPad. You must check out all the other quilts in the category (and the other categories of course) and if you like this quilt or indeed any of the other quilts you can nominate up to 3 quilts for a Viewer's choice award. Nominations are open until the 21st May and voting commences on the 22nd May. I recommend getting yourself a cuppa and a comfy seat to trawl through the fantastic inspiration over there!
Thanks for visiting, I hope you'll come back again sometime. Catch you soon x 

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Hexiestar tamed

Before I launch into the latest month of the Nellie's Niceties Mystery BOM  I thought I'd update you on the continuing saga of the trapped nerve. It turns out that I have 4 bulging discs in my neck and degeneration in 5 of the bones in the same area of the neck. Just in case that wasn't enough I've also got 3 partially torn tendons in my shoulder, nerve impingement, tendinitis and bursitis. According to the physio the shoulder injuries were probably caused by sewing related tasks. Who knew that quilting is an extreme sport?! Needless to say I feel justified in the amount of moaning I've been doing about the pain I've been experiencing ;) I'm now awaiting an appointment with the specialist but I have been warned not to expect them to be able to help. To top it all off Jess is having a rough time too and is currently awaiting an MRI. Such fun! If things are quiet around here you'll know why. I'm still very active over on Instagram though as that doesn't involve as much time or planning.
Right, now on with the BOM.
This month I've re-visited an old favourite, the Hexiestar and given it a bit of a face-lift to make a 12" square block.
As usual it produces a secondary pattern when combined in multiples.
You'll find the free PDF templates, info sheet, block layout and colouring sheet on our website. I like to layout my paper pieces in advance so I fiddle around with placement if I'm using prints. 

Thankfully I'm using solids this time. I glue baste all my pieces because I like the speed and precision it gives. One of the most common questions I've been asked about piecing the Hexiestar is how I baste the narrow triangles, so here's a pic to show you. 

I generally start by piecing all of the narrow triangles to the hexagon, then filling in the gaps as I go but in order to get some daylight progress shots I skipped that plan this time. I do recommend referring to the block layout sheet as the pieces are not equal sizes in the Hexiestar Tamed block. 
When filling in the gaps I start at the base of the narrow triangle and work my way out to the  point.
When it comes to capturing the point of the narrow triangle you can start at the point and work your way back down to the base of triangle if you are nervous about it.
I'm usually gung-ho about it though and just catch the two in-fill triangles together when I get to the point.
Continue until the hexiestar is complete, then "tame" it by adding the corner triangles.
Ta-da. One Hexiestar Tamed block.
If you decide to join in I'd love to see your versions and it would be great to be able to share some more of your work here along with our Flickr group and of course on Instagram #nelliesnicetiesmysterybom #hexiestartamed. Tell your friends, the more the merrier :) 
Catch you soon x
Edited to add: You can now find bonus 6" Hexiestar Tamed templates on the Mystery BOM page of our website. You're welcome, enjoy! x