Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Sunburst and Aviatrix Deliciousness

I feel like I've been on a bit of a sewing bender lately.  I mean, I understand that I have an addictive personality and all but this is amazing.  I choose to explain it by claiming that I'm just trying to make room for all the fabric I can't help myself from continuing to buy. Um... Ya....That's it....

So my friend Alice moved in with me for a year this summer.  She needs a little something to brighten up her new digs and to give her room some personality and I had a pretty idea brewing in my head based on a picture I saw and wanted to emulate so the perfect occasion was born.  I took a charm pack of Alison Glass's Sunprints that I got in a Quilty Box a while back and some low-volume scraps I had and went to town...

I made some HSTs...64 of them and laid them out in this pretty design, then got to sewing together
You know what two things I loved most about making this project?  Because it was a charm pack, it was pre-cut so I was pretty much able to bang this out in a day.  And second, here is my fabric wastage:
That's it!  HST trimmings were the only wasted bits.  I LOVE that.
I chose an Art Gallery Fabrics Oval Elements in Curry to bind this cuz the contrast with the other fabrics used was awesome.  It measures a finished 32 x 32 inches!  Just need to hand sew the hanging sleeve onto the back and she is ready for the wall!

Happy new room, Alice!
Also, pretty much since I started quilting/sewing I have had the incredible pleasure to attend a quilting retreat at this awesome converted farmhouse called "Quilters Mis Bee Haven" with a group of seven other women once or twice a year.  Its scads and scads of fun and I get to learn and acquire (by osmosis too I think) new skills, tips and tricks from a group of women who have well over a hundred years of collective sewing experience.  That's right - bask in the glory of their awesomeness!  This year, we switched it up a little and went during the summer.  As per usual, it was amazeballs!  I took a couple of projects with me (more because I have unrealistic expectations of my own productivity than anything else) but I pretty much spent ALL of my waking hours on the aviatrix medallion which I had slaved over cutting out all spring long.

The first evening we were there I was able to go to work on the centre medallion. about complicated!  Starch and accurately marking the fabrics were my new best friends.  Those pieces are small and are cut on the bias so there is a lot of potential for stretching.  Just after breakfast the next day, I had the centre done.
Finishing this medallion has been the most satisfying part of the whole experience so far.  I was SO relieved when this was done.
After that I just went to town on the borders.  We were there for five nights and aside from the one day of cooking and cleaning duties, I was free to sew!  And I did.  Often for about 10 or 11 hours a day.  Did anyone say massage? Each border gets a little bigger and more complex and, in my opinion, slightly more awesome!

The first border was all grey-scale HSTs.
Border two was a selected random smattering or intensely coloured stripes:

Then border 3 started to get a little complicated.   This one took me more than a day to complete.  Good thing I had nothing but time!
I could look at this ALL day.  I am loving the solids!
Border 4 was a bit of a relief.  After 19 pieces x 25 blocks that comprised the third border, I was looking for a little chain piecing in my life.

Simple 1 inch squares
And although there were 40 blocks in border 5, I felt they went together pretty quickly and simply.

Getting SOOOOO big!
I was able to get the grey frame on the fifth border before we had to pack up and go home.  I can see light at the end of the aviatrix tunnel!  Only one more border to get on at home and then I can start to contemplate how I will quilt this massiveness.  Five days and five borders strikes me as not too bad of an accomplishment at all.  I will miss the amazing food and the time and space to sew to my heart's content.  

I can't WAIT till next year!

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