Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Slow Stitching ...

Things have slowed down a lot here, I'm slowly working on the TATW quilt, round 16 is now finished, it measures about 35" across,  fabrics for rounds 17 and 18 are in the top right hand corner.  I really like how this quilt is starting to evolve, I'm still not sure how big I will make it, I think a queen size has 30 rounds plus some extra rows top and bottom and then triangles to make a straight edge.  I'm still enjoying the stitching on this one so I guess I'll just keep going for the time being.

I bought a lovely striped double gauze (Kokka Joielinne Random Stripe) from Hetties Patch a couple of weeks ago but had no idea what I would use it for, I just liked the fabric. Last weekend I made it up into a skirt, I already had my skirt pattern  drafted (although it did take me a little while to find it as I couldn't remember where I had put it). I had only bought a metre of fabric which wasn't quite enough for a skirt so a bit of a search through the stash brought up some Nani Iro double gauze which I used for a yoke on the skirt.  It was only after I had cut the fabrics that I had the bright thought that I could have gathered the striped fabric and then attached it to the yoke, it probably would have been a more effective use of the fabric, never mind.

At the quilt guild meeting in December 2013 we were all presented with a hexagon template for a Hexagon Christmas Challenge and encouraged to make a project with it, then bring the project along to the December 2014 meeting. I originally thought I would make a pincushion and then came across the bag handles stashed away so decided I would make a handbag using Kaffe Fassett fabrics, it turned out really well. There were a lot of projects made, both small and large, click here and scroll down a bit to see some of them.

Sunday, 30 November 2014


I've been busy catching up on my blocks in the Threads of Memory BOM.  I haven't been doing much piecing lately so it was a bit of a change of pace for me, it also meant I need to dip into my sewing machine manual a couple of times to refresh my memory.

 Block 9 - Lancaster Star

Back in October when Bernina had a 20% off accessories deal, the Mister bought me a couple of accessories - Patchwork foot #97D with patchwork seam guide and a straight-stitch stitch plate. I think it has made my piecing more accurate, I was having trouble keeping the foot lined up with the fabric edges and the seam guide combined with the #97D foot (which is wider than the #37D foot I was using previously) has solved that problem. (This link  explains it much better)  I think that Bernina should be including the #97D foot with the 7 series machines rather than having us buy it as an extra.

Block 10 - Britain's Star

Now that these blocks are completed I need to make more Flying Geese units so I can finish off the sashing on the blocks, then I will be all ready for when the last block comes out at the end of December and it won't take too long before the quilt top will be completed and I will be able to get stuck into quilting it.

Block 11 - St Charles Star

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Some more quilts from the show

A few more photos of quilts from our show plus some links to more photos (at the end of the blog post).  This year the Guild trialled a new technology which they are calling "Mini-Floor Talkers".  A QR code was displayed alongside selected quilts and you could use your Smartphone to scan the QR code (you need a QR reader app on your Smartphone, I used one called SCAN which was a free download) which would then take you to a website where you could listen to the quilter talking about their quilt in more detail.  The QR scan codes for some of the quilts have been uploaded to the Guild photo gallery here   
you can either scan the QR code or alternatively go to the stkr.it website (scroll down a bit to where it says Play your message) and type in the letters at the bottom of the QR code. I have put a couple of links in for the quilts in this blog post further down the page.

This quilt was entered in the Challenge category, this year the theme was "Diamond" as it was celebrating our Guilds 30th anniversary.  The quilt is called "The Farm at Sunset"  and was made by Bronwyn Atkinson, I really liked the colours and fabrics in this quilt and thought it was a clever way of expressing the challenge theme.

This quilt was placed first in the Predominantly Applique Open, it was made by Julie Adamson and is based on a very old arabic design, it was hand appliqued and hand quilted.  The fabrics are batiks appliqued onto a silk background.

 some close ups of the applique and quilting

Listen to more about this quilt here  (turn the speakers up on your computer)

This quilt was made by Margaret Sampson and quilted by Helen Campbell, it was placed first in the Group quilt category, sadly I forgot to get closeups of this quilt.  There is a lovely story to this quilt which you can listen to  here

Some more quilts from our show can be seen at Legend and Lace and if you are interested in reading about the creation of the second place in the Art to Wear category go here

Monday, 17 November 2014

The guild quilt show is over for another year so maybe I can try and get back into a more regular blogging routine (although the silly season is fast approaching).  This year the judging and prize giving for the Festival of Quilts was held a week before the quilt show which meant that unlike previous years, the recipients of awards were completely in the dark about which of their quilts had placed until the awards were distributed at the guild meeting, although you did receive an advisory phone call if your quilt had been placed so you could attend the meeting if you wished.

My photos aren't the best this year as for some reason I had changed the settings on my camera and I didn't realise it until later on the last day. This year, I entered three quilts for judging and one in the other category (a non-judged category), I was lucky as one of my quilts was awarded third place in it's category, this was the quilt in the Miniature category:

 I used a combination of two blocks (Shoo Fly and Fifty-four Forty or Fight)
 and it measured 12" x 12" (30cm x 30cm)

The other quilts I entered were the hexie quilt (in the other category)

and the red and white Just Takes Too Long quilt (in the traditional category), I noticed that there is a bit of a wave along the bottom edge, something that wasn't noticeable when I had it on the design board.  I intend to post a bit more about this quilt in a week or so.

 and "A Girl's best friend?" in the Challenge category, I'm really pleased with my quilting on this piece, there was no particular plan and I just quilted different designs to see how they would quilt out, it will be a good piece to refer back to.

Hop over to the guild website here to see more of the winning quilt (just click on each category)

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Nose to the grindstone

or more precisely to the Sweet 16 and the sewing machine.  There are 18 days until it is quilt drop-off day, I'm more or less on schedule to finish my quilts.  The binding is on both the challenge and the miniature quilts, just have to handstitch the back part down which shouldn't take too long.  The hanging sleeve is on the hexie quilt, I tried out the tutorial here and it worked well, I can't see any stitches on the front side, I'll definitely do this technique again.  The red and white quilt is coming along, most of the blocks have some quilting completed, I'm planning on doing the borders soon, then the binding, and then back to finish off the quilting.

This star was really puffy before quilting, and I had no idea how to quilt it and was sitting there pondering when it came to me, it worked out really well, taming the puffiness quite nicely and best of all I only had the starting and ending threads to tie off and bury.

 This is the centre of another star, I'm still thinking about the rest of the quilting on this one.  I should get some inspiration from the AMQF this weekend as there will be plenty of quilts on show there.

 This is the compass star and I've just quilted the red points so far, still waiting for more inspiration to strike with this one as well.  This weekend will be a busy one as I am going along to the Australian Machine Quilting Festival, I'm taking a couple of classes, catching up with friends and possibly investing in a couple of rulers or fabric or thread (maybe all three).  It is also daylight saving (clocks forward one hour) and I find it hard to adjust to the change the first couple of weeks, one good thing is that there will be more daylight for quilting.

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Slipping back into slackness ...

shirt from workshop

I do have an excuse, I am busy quilting the red and white quilt, although in between I have found time to attend a shirt making workshop and finish the quilting on the Diamond challenge quilt.

shirt I made the day after the workshop

I also started another shirt as I wanted to reinforce what I learnt from the workshop, we have homework for the next workshop, which I am yet to do, but as it doesn't involve sewing it won't take me too long.

I think the quilting is coming along quite well, this is the top quarter of the quilt which is nearly complete, I'm intending to do a bit of quilting in some of the red fabric as well, but as I don't want to be fussed with changing threads all the time, that will wait until the white quilting is complete and worst case scenario is that most of the quilt will be quilted should I run out of time.  My priority for the moment is to keep going with the quilting, although next weekend is the Australian Machine Quilting Festival and I have booked into a couple of workshops, so I'm treating that as a bit of R & R.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Same old, same old

Nothing exciting happened today, I continued on with the labels and have stitched them on two of the quilts, just one left and then that is another task I can tick off.  I will leave the number labels until after I've finished all the quilting as I want to remove them after the show.  I made a start on trimming these leftover HST's which are from the two blocks I made for the Mystery Sampler quilt, I've been thinking about having a couple of tubs or boxes for spare parts and orphan blocks, at present most of them are scattered through my scrap boxes.

We're still eating the galette, it was quite large and I can report that even cold it is still yummy to eat.

Achieved - wrote labels and sewed labels on quilts.
                  trimmed HST's
                  oiled my Bernina
Gardening - none, I totally forgot about this.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

I made a Butternut Squash and caramelised onion galette for our lunch today, we had it with Broccoli Slaw (again), there was almost complete silence from the Mister (although I did hear a couple of yums)  as he ate, and if you know the Mister you will know that silence is rare :)

The recipe calls for Fontina cheese, but this was not available (out of season I think) so I substituted a  Raclette cheese instead, although I think Gruyere would also have worked.  After eating the galette I also think that Feta could be quite nice and provide a nice contrast with the sweetness of the butternut and caramelised onions.

On the sewing front I made a hanging sleeve for one of the quilts, although I have yet to attach it, I'm thinking of trying out this tutorial for sewing it on by machine instead of hand stitching it on.  I'm going to attach the hanging sleeve for the red and white quilt when I put the binding on so I have set aside a piece of fabric for that.  I also made a start on the many labels which are required for the quilts for the show.

 I also made the second block from Amanda's Mystery Quilt Sampler, I was a bit slapdash and didn't really look at the directions properly so my block is a mirror image and my piecing isn't as accurate as it should be, never mind, finished is better than perfect as they say.

Achieved - 1 block for Mystery Quilt Sampler
                   mundane labels and hanging sleeves for quilt show quilts
gardening - 30 minutes - cutting back succulents

Monday, 15 September 2014

A bit more stitching ....

The 14 day challenge is now over, but I am going to continue to keep up with an hour a day of stitching of some type of another.  I haven't been doing much machine stitching lately and I found that I needed to refresh my memory by referring to the manual when I was using my Bernina yesterday.

Amanda at Sea Breeze Quilts is running a 6 month long Mystery Sampler Quilt called Chocolate Marshmallow, the blocks are 12" finished and each month Amanda will post instructions for two blocks.  Instructions for the first two blocks were released today.  I've decided to follow along and make the blocks,  Block 1 is finished and I quite enjoyed the process, like Amanda I'm using fabrics from my stash, I have a reasonable amount of the grey spot type fabric so that might get used for continuity purposes.

I cut out more blocks for the BGTATW, the quilt top is starting to get a bit larger now, and it seems to take forever to do one side, thank goodness for footy games :)  these blocks all need to be marked with their seam allowance, (wonder if I can talk the Mister into doing it for me)  otherwise it is an easy task to do while watching tv.

 I'll probably add another blue after the red spot, blue is one colour that I have a lot of in my stash.

 Achieved - cut blocks for the next four rounds of BGTATW
                 made 1 block for the Mystery Sampler
Gardening - worked for 45 minutes today, my coffins are all mulched and ready for planting.

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Stitching - Day 14

The weather was beautiful today, blue skies and warm temperatures which made it very pleasant as the Mister and I worked together for our 30 minutes a day in the garden challenge.  We were out there quite early (about 0730am) and there were plenty of birds in the trees enjoying the start to the day.  I spotted these baby magpies in the tree out the back, and it was sheer luck that I snapped a photo as one of the parents was feeding one of them.

They certainly made a racket with their constant calls to be fed.

 I did a fair bit of stitching today, sewing up the project pictured above, finishing off Round 10 of TATW quilt, and auditioning fabrics for the next round, I had better think about the next couple of rounds as well, because the red spot must be included in round 14, 15 or 16 and I don't want too much of a clash with colours.

Achieved - finished Round 10 of TATW
               auditioned fabrics for Round 11,
               stitched a project
Non-stitching - 30 minutes in the garden.