Gravity – Ultraviolet

It feels like such a long time since I’ve really had the opportunity to sit down and do some sewing, and it was nice to be able to get back to my Gravity quilt and knock out these Ultraviolet blocks.

This week has been a week full of houseguests, so I feel as though I’m being somewhat rude by sitting down and writing this.

Ultraviolet Jaybird Quilts Gravity

I was a little nervous about the seams in this one, because it involves sewing a partial seam, and returning to it later.  I was sure that it would never match up, but once I’d gotten the directionality of those half hexagons down, everything came together very well.

Gravity Jaybird Quilts UltravioletNow there are only six blocks remaining.  I’m hoping to get them all finished shortly, maybe in the next month or so, but we’ll see.  The backing seems like quite a monumental task, but I know that I can get through that in a couple of days if I can only find the time to book myself in to the studio.

Fingers crossed that after Saturday when we have the house to ourselves again, I’ll be able to get some solid sewing done.

Here’s my progress so far:

Until next time, happy piecing!


Rock Candy: Kona New Classic II

I don’t want to spend the whole day being a downer and dealing with serious things, so I’m taking five minutes out to share some colorful pictures, because they’re making me feel better right now.

Jaybird Quilts Rock Candy Kona New Classics Navy

These are the second set of Rock Candy tops I made before we moved.  Somehow I managed to take a deep breath and go in to this pair with a level head, and I really love how they turned out.  Honestly though, I think it would be impossible make something with this colorway and not have it turn out wonderful.  I still love the quilt that this last year, and I can’t help but want to make hundreds more quilts with these colors.

I also want to make hundreds more of these.  They’re by far my favorite thing to with charm packs at the moment.

Jaybird Quilts Rock Candy Kona New Classics Purple

I think I’m becoming somewhat Gollum-esque with these though.  Honestly, how many table toppers does one girl need?  And maybe there are some friends and family members I don’t love quite as well as I thought I did…  It’s going to be tough to part with them – assuming I can quilt them well.

I’m less worried about missing out on all those classes now.  I know so many talented machine quilters out here, and I’m sure some of them will teach in return for food, right?  I have a ridiculous backlog of Craftsy videos to get through, a few new books, and a ton of superwide and batting to practice with.  You know, I think I’m going to be alright.

Jaybird Quilts Rock Candy Kona New Classics Color

Thank you to everyone who offered their support and sympathies this morning.  They were very appreciated.  It was really tough, but I definitely feel better now that I’m home and have had some sleep.

Until next post, happy quilting!

– Jane

Again, here’s my Rock Candy gallery:

Rock Candy: Kona New Bright, II

Did I give everyone the impression that I was finished making these Rock Candy tops? For convenience sake, I decided to revisit some of my favorite colorways.  I still have two more sets to make, and one that’s been put together and is ready for photographs.  I promise that the final installation will be something a little different, as I finally managed to find a charm pack that had the requisite number of individual prints in it.  Of course, I’m no longer on a time frame, so we’ll see how long it takes me to get around to them.

Jaybird Quilts Rock Candy Kona New Brights Purple

I was really hoping that I’d manage to get at least some of these before we went to Sydney (and eventually I’ll get around to going through my travel snaps and picking some photos for a blog post) but unfortunately the last minute cross-country move, coupled with the movers not delivering our furniture until the day before we left, meant that I didn’t get anything finished on time. Fortunately everyone understood this, but I was a bit disappointed.  It seems that I ever time I travel, I have a big list of projects that I want to get finished, and it never happens in time.  I’ll have to post a few of these once they’re done, but next time I’ll still have a ton of these to give out.

Jaybird Quilts Rock Candy Kona New Brights Navy

I’m not sure that these are particularly gift worthy anyway. We’ll call these, ‘the pair that I obviously made in a rush.’ It’s amazing how quilting can minimize the look of mismatched seams, so we’ll see what I can do with them.  I’m not worried about the slightly out of place pieces, but I do think I should be able to do better on the seam matching.  It’s a little disappointing, but not a big deal.  Everyone has off days, but I think that most people just walk away from the machine at that point.

Well, at least having to pack up my stash uncovered some more interesting backing fabrics, and it was nice to get away from the neutrals.

Jaybird Quilts Kona New Brights Color

Here’s my Rock Candy gallery so far:

Until next time, happy stitching!


Radio Way Top

Here’s another quilt top that’s been sitting around for weeks, and another creation from the Kona Sunset color way. This one is Radio Way, designed by Julie Herman of Jaybird Quilts.

This was one of those situations in which I felt that buying the pattern was unnecessary, but I couldn’t in good conscience make the quilt doing so – I’ll have to thank Sam Hunter for that one.

After buying the pattern, I sort of promptly ignored it (sorry Julie!) and got about piecing this my own way. I really wanted to get this done quickly, so while Julie creates a scrappier version by cutting her fabric down to size then piecing the strips, I sewed my WOF strips together, and then cut them. I think there’s a lot to be said for the scrappier approach to this quilt, but I didn’t feel that, with everything else going on around here at the moment, that was going to work for me timing-wise. I might have another stab at this at a later date, and make a more exciting version. Still, after having to make an extremely fiddly quilt twice (it will be up on the blog next month, I promise) it was wonderful to be able to get this done in two days. Using my method it would have been possible to do it in one if I hadn’t been overly distracted by whatever I had going on Netflix at the time.

Jaybird Quilts Radio Way Kona Evening

So, this is in the pile of things to be quilted when I can find the time. I was hoping to use this on the airplane, but I might have to take my Kite Flight instead. It’s not such a good size for it, but there’s only so much time I can spend at Laurena’s between now and when I leave.

The extremely fiddly way of putting together the Rock Candy tops is winning for the time being, but hopefully I’ll be able to show you my latest additions to my collection some time this week. I’m simultaneously making four, to get a better idea of whether the new method is really that superior to the old, and then I’ll have another two after that. I suppose I should start thinking about backings.

Until next time, happy stitching!


Rock Candy: Kona Sunset

Thus continues my Rock Candy journey.

These were another multi-day creation. I’m hoping I haven’t completely lost my quilting mojo, and I’ll put it down to a mild, but persistent bug that I’ve had for the last week, which has left me completely drained.

Jaybird Quilts Rock Candy Kona Sunset 2

I’m thrilled by how these turned out though, or maybe it’s just because I adore this colorway. It’s such a nice mix of analogous and (almost) complimentary colors. I still love my rainbows, but it is nice to venture elsewhere, if only for a moment.

If it’s possible, I managed to find a new and even fussier way of putting these together, and there was little more unpicking and resetting than usual, but I believe these are nicer than my others, in a technical sort of way (the seams line up better, and they sit a little flatter), but I’m undecided as to whether the extra effort is really worth it. After all, once I get around to quilting all these, the slightly off seams in the first few won’t be particularly noticeable. I love how forgiving quilting can be.

I also discovered that my quarter inch foot is no longer a quarter inch foot at all.  With the needle in the center of the plate, it’s more a three-eighths foot, and even with the needle as far to the right as I can get it with the foot there, I still wasn’t getting the correct sized seam.  I mentioned it in an earlier post, but Mandy’s grid paper tutorial is such a quick method of working out how accurate your patchwork foot it.  So, I’ll be dropping the machine in to the shop while I’m away (still another month to go) and working using the quarter inch mark on the base plate.Jaybird Quilts Rock Candy Kona Sunset 1

Now, only six more to go.  I’ll be repeating coloways from here on out, so hopefully it doesn’t bore everyone to death.  Then I’ll have to worry about making backs and quilting everything… well, I might allow myself to keep a small number of these, and therefore not have to worry about quilting them until later, and I can just focus on seeing how many gifts I can get finished over the next month.

I’m hoping that it will be possible to use the longarm, but Laurena is in the middle of expanding the studio at the moment, so I don’t know whether or not she’ll be able to take any renters between now and the second week of February, when she’s holding an open house. I still dislike quilting on my home machine, but it’s a possibility I’m going to have to consider.

Jaybird Quilts Rock Candy Kona Sunset

Until next time, happy stitching!

– Jane

Kiss Kiss: Queen of Diamonds – The final pre-quilting installment

I finally worked out how to take pictures of quilt tops in here! It’s not perfect, but it’s definitely preferable to battling the weather and worrying about getting my tops all mucky, because as I’ve learned, one is not supposed to wash an un-quilted top. I’ve had these tops sitting around for about three weeks, and I say tops, rather than top, because I changed all but one of them up a little.

Tula Pink Parisville Kiss Kiss

I got a little inspired by Tula’s recent release of a pack of playing cards, even though I missed out on a set because they sold in about five minutes flat. So, I have my Sky ladies facing one way, and my Mist ladies facing the other.

Unfortunately, the top still reads better with the Mist girls facing upwards, but essentially, there isn’t either a top or a bottom.

Tula Pink Parisville Kiss Kiss 1

I’d actually put it all together with different Mist cameos, but when I stepped back to look at it, it looked unbalanced, as the ship hair is so much larger than the other designs. By this point, I’d used all my cameos, and had to remove some from my mini-quilts and swap them out for the ladies on my larger top.

I thought about unpicking everything I needed to in order to get at the cameos I needed to replace, but for some reason decided it would be faster to just remove the cameos themselves. Getting them back in to the tops was really fiddly, but I’m really pleased that I managed to do it. I still don’t know whether it would have been faster to unpick everything and replace the pieces in the same order that I’d sewn them, but it only took me a couple of hours to swap all four of them out.

And here’s my finished collection of mini-quilts:

Tula Pink Parisville Kiss Kiss Mini 1 Tula Pink Parisville Kiss Kiss Mini 2 tula pink parisville kiss kiss

Nick just asked, “Why the Queen of Diamonds?”  Apparently hearts is the obvious choice when you’re going for a playing card reference.  I agree, it is the more obvious choice, but diamonds is a much more fitting suit in this case.  Those of you who are familiar with the history of Marie Antoinette will know the Affair of Diamond Necklace.  For those of you who haven’t heard of it, I’ll point you in the direction of Wikipedia, the undisputed, above reproach, font of all knowledge.  You can find the article here.  It’s actually not too bad, as far as my knowledge of this incident goes.  For those of you who prefer the summary, suffice to say that there was a ridiculously expensive and ornate diamond necklace, a con-woman agreed to buy it, claiming she had the authority of Marie Antoinette.  Of course, the whole story was made up, and the queen denied any involvement in the purchase of the necklace.  The case was taken to court, and despite some obvious errors in the documents relating to the purchase, it was decided that Marie Antoinette had indeed sought to buy the necklace secretly, so as to hide her extravagance from the French at a time when there was greater than usual hardship amongst the populace.  At a time when the French people were becoming increasingly disillusioned by the idea of the monarchy, this did irreparable damage the queen’s reputation.  And I think we all know how that story ends… But I digress.

You can see what the wall quilts looked like originally here and here.

Now to spend a few months thinking about how to quilt these…

Until next time, happy stitching!

– Jane

Rock Candy: Kona New Bright

I thought I’d reached the end of my (current) Rock Candy road, and I simultaneously felt relieved and a little sad. Part of me just adores this pattern and wanted to keep making these, but another part of me wanted to make something that’s a little less fiddly now.  Unfortunately I just went through my gift list and realized I’m a little short, so I’ll have to have a think about whether I make more of these, or something else.  My apologies in advance, but I think you’re going to see a few more of these popping up over the next month or so.  Unfortunately, I’m working on a few things I can’t show you until February, simply because it’s obvious from the pattern and color choices who I’ll be giving them to, and I like my gifts to have some element of surprise.  I have no problem with the idea that a lot of my friends know they’re getting a table topper, because they don’t know which one I made them.

Rock Candy Jaybird Quilts New Brights KonaI decided to go in a bit of a different direction with these ones, because I’ve done the spiral so many times now. I did design board a spiral, and decided that these colors worked a little better in this layout.  I absolutely love the way these turned out, and yes, I do want to keep one for myself.

Kona New Bright
Kona New Bright

Does it sound very much like I’ve just been making gifts that I like, rather than taking in to account what my friends and family will love? There was some logic to using the Kona charm packs. I would have loved to do prints, but the prints I love, and the ones I think certain people will love, come in thirty piece packs, whereas the Kona charm packs come with at least forty pieces. Because there are thirty-two colored pieces in each top, and you can get two pieces out of one square, I couldn’t work out which prints to include and which to exclude. Also the Kaffe Fassett packs had doubles of fifteen prints, so there was the additional challenge of working out which three prints to repeat. That’s why I said yesterday that I didn’t particularly like them for this project, but I’m almost settled on what to do with them, so you’ll get a break from the Rock Candy tops for a little while.

Kona New Bright
Kona New Bright

Now, back to my Kiss Kiss series, which is actually only a few hours away from having all the tops completed, and then on to making backings, and then I’ll dip in to my stash and work out what to make next.

Until next time, happy quilting! – Jane

Here’s my Rock Candy gallery: