Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Seeing spots

The last blocks from the second block swap I took part in arrived today, so I quickly threw them up onto my design wall.  Looking at them really lifts the spirits as they are such bright and joyful colours, colour therapy in fabric.

I've decided there will be no extra sashing and I will just join them all together, perhaps add a small border to finish it off . I just need to play around with the placement of them and distribute the colours a bit better.

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Tired and happy

I had a lovely time at the workshop today, if I had been thinking ahead I would have done a bit of preparation so I could have started using the Quick Curve ruler straight away, but it didn't take long to cut fabric strips, then cut the curved shapes and start piecing.  I had decided to make a runner which was the free pattern that came with the ruler, so I pulled some likely fabrics from the stash and used them.

I found the instructions quite easy to follow once I had observed our teacher cutting a couple of pieces.  Putting the blocks together was also quite simple, no pins are used for that part, so once you get used to holding the fabric and guiding the curves beneath the sewing machine foot it is quite quick.  It seemed to take nearly as long pressing the blocks as piecing them.

Morning and afternoon tea was provided, (and sewing table snacks) all we had to do was eat, drink and sew, there was a bit of chat but we were all quite busy concentrating on our sewing to do much talking.

I finished piecing my runner about 30 minutes before I went home so I was able to pack my equipment up at a leisurely pace.  Some more photos can be seen on Wideback's Facebook page here I thoroughly enjoyed my day and will be going back for a different workshop later in the year.

Friday, 13 June 2014


up my new basket in preparation for a workshop tomorrow.  I'll be spending the day at Widebacks learning how to use the Quick Curve ruler.  There are some gorgeous quilts being made using this ruler and I can see a weekend or two being spent planning out a quilt (or two). 

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

The interval

between my blog posts is getting longer and longer, although in my defence I haven't actually been doing much making lately, just practising on the Sweet 16.  I'm still mulling over whether to call "it" a name or not, I'm liking "the Beast" as when it is running it sounds quite grunty, but another name that was suggested to me (thanks Salley) was - David Butler maybe I could have the best of both and call it David Butler aka the Beast, it would be rather apt, as lately I've been referring to my workroom as "the pit"

However, I did manage to catch up on my Threads of Memory blocks.  When the block pictured above came up last month my heart sank a bit, all those inset seams were just something that I didn't feel like doing so I left it until this months block came up and made them both during the long weekend,
so now I'm all caught up and I've sashed them all as well, and made a whole heap of Flying Geese blocks for the sashing, although I still have to make quite a few more of them so that there will be enough to finish the quilt off.

This is how it is looking so far with seven more blocks to come, no doubt I will be moving the blocks around a bit to find the optimum layout before finishing it off next year.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014


In addition to quilting the KGB quilt, I've been practising feathers on the Sweet 16, it has taken a while before I have felt comfortable(ish) doing them.  I did a lot of doodling with pencil and paper before I tried them in thread, and I think that made a big difference,

 First attempts of the session,
I did the LHS ones first and then the RHS
you can see where I had a brain fade 
and lost my direction on some of them :)

 I changed thread and had a few tension issues
 so this one was just doodling around

this one was quite a good effort,  I was going quite well until
I realised that I had flipped the backing fabric
 under (top of the photo)  and was quilting that as well.

I experimented with quilting the feather towards me
and away from me, both ways felt quite comfortable.

the small feather at the top was one I did using backtracking, 
it was the last one of the session and I think it looks good.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Museum Medallion

I finished piecing the blocks for the next pieced border on the Museum Medallion quilt.  My quilt guild has a Catch-up day on Saturday and I thought making a start on the border piecing would be a good project to take along for the day. 

My target is to finish one border length which should be easily achievable if I don't spend too much time chatting :)

Monday, 26 May 2014

Slowly does it ...

I need to remember that I still have my training wheels on and take the quilting slowly, I started out with over-ambitious quilting plans (feathers everywhere) and after unpicking for the third time I decided it would be easier and much less stressful to start with a simple loop in the log cabin block.

Even though there is so much room with a Sweet 16 there is still a big difference between moving around the smaller practise samples and a larger quilt, and the only way to learn it is to leap in and have a go.  I also tried some figure eights in another block and while they aren't as evenly spaced as I would like I'm sure they will improve eventually :)

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Rhymes with stitch

DITCH rhymes with stitch, although there is another word that comes to mind in connection with ditch stitching because sometimes ditch stitching is a B*&%*  and ditch stitching is the sum total of my efforts lately.  Although there is a silver lining because it means I'm that much closer to being able to FMQ a couple of quilts and I'm really looking forward to that.

Thursday, 15 May 2014

Thursday Stitchers

Whoops, May is half over, I've neglected my blog and thought my sewjo was lost, although I think I've found it now  :)

Today was my turn to host our fortnightly Thursday get together, the weather has been glorious this last week so it was very pleasant to sit out the back, stitch up a storm and have a nice chat.

Sheila was working on her Stars and Sprigs blocks, Chris worked on her Rosings quilt which she started at the class in Victor Harbor and I pieced blocks for my Museum Medallion quilt, we were all surprised by how much we each achieved over the day.

Mandarin Muffin and Spicy Apple, Aniseed and Hazelnut tea bread

As is usual we ate very well: *Spicy Apple, aniseed and hazelnut tea bread for morning tea, Spiced Roast Vegetable and Chickpea pie with salad and homemade labne for lunch and for afternoon tea we had some lovely Mandarin Muffins which Sheila had made with mandarins from her tree. I was very remiss in taking any food photos so the one above is one I set up especially.

*recipe for the tea bread can be found in Belinda Jeffery's book Mix and Bake

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Carpenter's Wheel

When I was at my parents during the Easter break I finally remembered to take a photo of this wallhanging which I made in 1985, I forgot to measure the size, but I think it is at least 100cm  (40") square.

It was made as a gift for my mother on her birthday,  a Carpenter's Wheel seemed appropriate as my father is a carpenter.  I think I saw a photo of the block somewhere but there were no sizes, so I drafted out the three templates required, cut them from cardboard, traced around them, then cut all the blocks out with scissors (I didn't have a rotary cutter back then).  It was all hand stitched, although I did use the machine to put the binding on, then hand stitched it in place.

When I took it down to take the photo, I had a bit of a closer look at it and was quite surprised that the star points all matched up.  You can see the quilting that I did on it, very, very basic, I made a plastic  flower shape with a circle cut out for the middle, which I traced around and then joined the petals to the centre circle, hence it's unevenness.

In the photo below, you can see how the fabric has faded over the years,  the print fabric on the front was used as the backing and binding fabric. One thing I do remember was the limited fabric choice back then, I used the brown colours because I wanted it to have the look of marquetry.