Gypsy Wife 2 progress

Brunhild (my Husqvarna Opal) is still in the shop, so progress on anything quilty is still very slow. A visiting technician from another dealer had a look in her innards on Friday, announced he had to go after 45 minutes, shut her back up again, and is charging me $65 for the privilege. In frustration, I have couriered Brunhild across country, and hope to have her back within the week. I have learnt some valuable lessons over the last month. Lesson 1: Don’t drop a screw inside your sewing machine. Lesson 2: If you do so, just bite the bullet and send your machine away. In the meanwhile I have continued borrowing Daughter #2’s Bernina, and have sewn 23 square in a square, or economy blocks for the Gypsy Wife #2. The remaining filler blocks have been cut out, and are sitting awaiting Brunhild’s return. I cannot sew an accurate scant quarter inch seam on the Bernina, so would prefer to wait for Brunhild’s return before progressing further.

Gypsy Wife #2, the dark version.
The completed blocks to date for the Gypsy Wife #2, the dark version.

I have used my design wall this time round, since I am trying to balance the values, while keeping the look of the quilt dark and romantic looking. Looking at it in black and white suggests I need some more contrast within each block. Something to bear in mind for the last blocks. P1060831Carrying on my love affair with Jen Kingwell quilts, I would love to have joined the My Small World QAL , but with no machine and the magazine only turning up in town a few weeks ago, I have decided to make this quilt on the “go slow”. This means I plan to finish it over the next 12 months or so, but certainly not in the time remaining for the existing QAL participants. If you are interested, the pattern is available in the Spring 2015 edition of Quiltmania, though  make sure to visit the QAL for the updated erratum, as the publishers made a couple of errors.quiltmania 2Fabric stashing has begun in preparation, and in the meanwhile I have started another of Jen’s quilts, Midnight at the Oasis.pattern There was another QAL for this quilt in 2013 hosted by Jess at Elven Garden Quilts. Obviously I am a little late for that QAL too. It’s not deliberate, it’s just that as a newcomer to quilting, I seem to be continually missing the boat, trend-wise. The advantage of this is that I can take advantage of all the hints and erratum that get posted during the QAL’s, and can pick a palette for the quilt based on the completed quilts I like. So far I have been concentrating on knocking off some blocks that don’t require a quarter inch seam. Truthfully I’m scared of paper piecing, so sort of ignoring the centre medallion for now. I also plan to replace the appliquéd flower border with a feature fabric, in order to avoid needle turn appliqué. That’s me, the ostrich to centre left with it’s head stuck in the sand! P1060842So far I am using scraps, rather than yardage, so a second version of this quilt may also happen. Maybe I’ll tackle the flower border in that one. No promises though. I bought a lot of low volume fabrics over the last 6 months especially for this quilt, including some garden themed fabrics. A second version would let me use them.P1060844Or I guess there is always Steampunk, or the Circle Game….In the meanwhile I shall see how much I enjoy making this initial version. For any of you lucky quilters out there in Southland, Jen is actually coming to your shores in conjunction with KitznThingz of Invercargill. They have tickets available for her trunk show, available on a first served basis. Linking up eventually with WIP Wednesday, Scraptastic Tuesday, and Lets Bee Social.

16 thoughts on “Gypsy Wife 2 progress

  1. I see we are both having sewing machine issues… I too, am being a bit careful with what I pick up next to sew, the 1/4″ mark doesn’t exist on my old Bernina! I love all your colours in GW #2 very warm & rich looking! And your scrappy petals are looking great too! How big is each block?


    1. Hi Linda,
      Aren’t machine problems a pain. The blocks in that border are 4 1/2 inches in size. I visited my LQS this morning, and the owner suggested doing some fancier stitches around the petals than I was originally planning. It will take twice as long, but with the expected repair bill for my machine, I figure its about time to start using it to do something other than a straight stitch.


    1. I don’t know whether its procrastination, or just fear of doing things new. I come from a background in laboratory science, so the little voices in my head keep saying “precision, accuracy, and repeatability”, which doesn’t fit well with creativity, and going with the flow.


  2. A whole half an hour reading on your blog, and I haven’t found a thing I don’t like. I see Linda Dutch commenting up above and know I’m in the right place! I really love your stuff here. I realized you’ve made 2 GW’s, and I am really impressed. Totally different styles and colorways, and both beautiful.

    Julie @ Pink Doxies


    1. Hi Julie,
      Snap! I was reading your blog this morning thinking “must put on reading list”. I especially liked your review of your quilting journey, very inspiring to a new quilter.


  3. I’m loving how your Gypsy Wife is shaping up and am envious. I also saw the Jen Kingwell sew along and wondered if I’d have the time as it looked gorgeous. I decided not to, but perhaps one day…


    1. Yes, it contains a lot of new skills for me, so best approached with caution. I would love it if one of my LQS had a BOM or something, so I could do it as part of a group. It might make those teeny, tiny hexies more bearable.


  4. I’ve some Jen Kingwell quilts on the to do list too. I’m slowly assembling Gypsy Wife. I have the last section to put together and then the quilt is done. Love your version


  5. Well done. Its an amazing quilt once you have pieced it all together. I learnt the hard way not to try putting the sections together while sick though, section nine got unpicked several times! Are you going to hand quilt, or machine?


  6. I have been sewing on my aunt’s sewing machine while on vacation, and even though we both have Bernina’s, it’s just not the same as sewing on your own machine. I suppose it’s like sleeping on your own bed.

    I’ve seen the Jen Kingwell quilt, and love it! It will make a nice long project to work on.

    Paper piecing has a bad reputation, but is really not that bad if you carve out some time to really read through how to do it. With all the how-to videos out there, there is bound to be something to help take the fear out of it. As far as the flowers go, I actually much prefer the freezer paper applique method, which would give you essentially the same results as NTA, but just with using different steps. I really like the scrappy look of your blocks so far.

    Greetings from Germany!


    1. Thanks for the encouragement. I started to learn paper piecing, but found it hard to get my brain to cooperate with the process, and ended up sewing fabric back to front. I suspect I need to sew something like a lot of economy squares to get the process to stick.


  7. I love your progress on the Midnight at the Oasis quilt. I love Jen’s designs. Your blocks are scrappy and look perfect!

    I also wanted to thank you for the tip of taking a photo and looking at it in greyscale. I had never thought of that before, but what an amazing & so useful trick to see contrast!


    1. Jen’s designs are great for scrappy quilters aren’t they. Have you made many of them? I am using them as skillbuilders, since as a beginner sewer and quilter, Y seams, curved piecing etc are all new to me.


      1. I have not. I keep bookmarking different patterns of hers and I can’t decide which one I would want to tackle first. I’ve been quilting off and on for about 10 years, and I still struggle with curved piecing! I do love paper piecing though, it might look intimidating, but it’s actually amazing and you might find yourself hooked on it once you give it a go!


  8. Love Jen’s designs too! Think you should try all the new to you techniques – it’s the way to grow. Thanks for linking up to #scraptastictuesday


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