Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Doodle Follow up

I made multiple copies of the designs that I doodled the other day using Cindy Needham's Ultimate Shape and laid them out to see what this would look like for an allover Wholecloth
No 1
Motif a bit too big in there but nice overall design with the symmetrical feathers.
On point
No 2...turned out a bit wild
Bit on the busy side

On Point
Now you could play around with toning this down a notch by maybe only using every alternative block and putting something a bit calmer in its place.

No 3
A favourite

Here again on point
I then took one of the copies and imported this into my EQ7 program as an image. Bit of advertisement for EQ7 here...I struggle to visualize whole quilts and bought the program some years ago to assist with that. It's got a lot of neat features, but the best is still that you can see a quilt in its entirety before you make it. Now I could have traced the block, but that would have taken too long...all I wanted was an overall visual of what this could look like. The actual block for the Wholecloth will be drafted by hand, all I need to do is trace the motif that I took from the EQ7 add on 'Quilting Designs No 8'. Got a bit excited about this as this motif comes with a matching border design. Little bit of mucking around as I had to flip the alternate block and also get the approximate border size happening
Bit hard to see as the image had the motif in a somewhat subdued colour (it printed out fine), but you get the general idea. Here is a photograph of the border design
I so can see this Wholecloth, down to the actual colour...maybe a bit frilly for some but I really like this. The only thing I might have to work on is to make this a bit more stitching it is now, the border consists of individual motifs...not sure about that. Also just noticed that I probably should match the size of the centre motif and the border design, so a little bit more fine tuning needs to happen here around sizes and fitting it neatly into the border which will be easy with EQ7 as I can make it any size I want (alternatively might have to look at reducing the centre motif).

But wow, see what one little stencil idea (and motif) can add up to...and this was just one ad hoc idea late at night of how to use the Cindy Needham's Ultimate Shape. I have barely scratched the surface!


Sunday, 21 August 2016

The Ultimate FMQ Challenge 2016 - Linky Party2 - Doodle/Sketching

I have had the most relaxing Friday night in a long time. The new Ultimate Shape Stencils from Cindy Needham arrived at my doorstep and before I knew it, I was doodling away. Just could not stop...
Ultimate Shape Stencil in 4 different sizes
Started first just randomly filling up the spaces of the stencil
Then I remembered that I needed a 4" motif for one of my quilts...something frilly and a bit feathery as I will do a feather border on that quilt.
This is what I came up with
Like it! This was so easy to draw up with the lines running through the stencil. Looking at this I am thinking that I probably seen this somewhere. Such a cute motif.

Then I thought 'why not put a motif into the stencil' being the slightly lazy quilter that I am
The motif is one that I particularly like from an EQ7 add-on program 'Quilting Designs'  No 8...I think it is called Curled Plumes which lends itself to blocks that are set on point.
Here it is a bit reduced with feathers running up and down. The idea is to put this on point and make into an allover Wholecloth. I will make some copies of this and try that out. I think this would look great!

While I was doodling and listening to one of my favourite Craftsy classes, I then got out the Ultimate Square Stencil and combined it with the Ultimate Shape, using only elements from the Ultimate Shape, i.e the little triangular section of the stencil the other way around and also the curves. This is what I came up with.

You see my blue lines which I would omit if I drew this up as a final design. I don't have a transparency that I use with the stencils. For me, marking the lines that I need in blue works best. Then I start drawing over those in pencil first and when I think I got something, I go over it again with the fine permanent black ink pen. This way, the main design stands out and any background quilting, like the lines surrounding the design will be a little bit in the background, similar to what the quilted design would like like. I was absolutely amazed with this...looks very interesting and again, I would not mind doing multiple copies to see what this looks like as an allover Wholecloth design.

This was a lot of fun and I had to force myself to stop...the ideas just kept coming. Those stencils are truly the best. It literally enables you to draw up any design your heart desires...highly recommended.

Linking up to Quiltshopgal's Ultimate FMQ Cahllenge 2016 - Linky Party 2 to show off my designs and to demonstrate how easy designing interesting elements for your quilts can be.


Thursday, 18 August 2016

What's happening?

Have been rather unfocused the last few weeks...Preparing my two Wholecloth for our Quilt Show.

Always an excruciatingly painful process for me. Entry forms are in...thank God for that because I go through several phases of self doubt and indecision. Currently putting a sleeve on for one of them and then it is just a matter of printing out address and entry number and dropping them off. N..e..e..d to get rid of them...

Once that is done I am hoping that I can return to actually doing some quilting!

On a lighter note, the bi-annual Australian Machine Quilting Festival is only days away. Very excited about this. I am taking a class with Bethanne Nemesh...the class has changed since enrolling from drawing different motifs to 'Feather Faster', learning about Bethanne's unmarked, spineless, no backtrack approach to feathers. This promises to be a lot of fun and apparently includes a wall hanging quilt pattern to create on your own. So this will be my next FMQ project, I reckon...just lots of organic feathers! As you can see I am far too orderly

I actually love backtracking! This will be very interesting to 'unlearn'


Sunday, 14 August 2016

Pets on Quilts 2016

Pets on Quilts 2016

Well, it's that time of the year again...the Pets on Quilts Show! run over at Lily Pad Quilting. A super fun event

As every year I am entering into the Cat on Quilt category with our queen bee of a cat 'Abby'
Can you see that attitude? Probably hard to see in this little photo but it is very much like she is saying 'what?..what's your problem?'

Joining in the fun at Lilypad Quilting to have a look at all those lovable pets.


Wednesday, 3 August 2016

Dryad " Drifting Leaves" Quilt

Well, I cracked...started another project even though I have several WIPs sitting there waiting to be finished (and I am also on a deadline for the FAL 2016).

You may remember that I had won some beautiful fabric designed by Shannon Brinkley (Dryad) for Paintbrush Studio, Div. of Fabri-Quilt and some thread through the Aurifil blog earlier in the year.

While I have used the thread already I had not opened the fabric pack as yet other than to take a quick peek (because I know what I am like!). Well, the other day I finally opened the Snack Pack and took the fabric all, that was it...gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous!

The fabric is absolutely beautiful and the quality is just fantastic. Initially I had thought that I would use this fabric for my Accuquilt Owl shape, not realising that I would get strips, so this was not going to work. What to do? I ended up on Shannon Brinkley's website...she has got some lovely fresh and modern designs on there. I also discovered that she has written a book about her Scrappy Bits Applique technique which looked very interesting (new purchase coming up?) the end I decided to do one of her patterns (which is also on the packet of the Snack Pack) "Drifting Leaves". Just love the look of this quilt.

The fabric was just too beautiful to cut up and I had wanted to make one of those strip quilts for a while. This did not take long, of course, however had to improvise a little bit as I did not have the exact same number of strips in the packet, it seemed. The quilt should measure 50" x 60", however mine might be little bit off as my measuring left a lot to be desired.
Looks fantastic though, I really like simple but so effective.
I have got a few little bits and pieces left over as well as two strips of the main print and I reckon I will have enough for a little pouch of some type. Yah!
The only thing left now is the leaves. For this I ordered some more fabric (Dryad Main Print) from Fort Worth fabric studio to cut out the leaves shapes.

Now we wait...

Linking up to Let's Bee Social #136 over at Sew Fresh Quilts.


Sunday, 24 July 2016

FAL 2016 Third Quarter - First Finish!

2016 FAL

Well, here we first finish for the Finish Along Third Quarter! I have been working on this for a while during the second quarter and obviously could not make it to the Second Quarter deadline, so here is my long overdue finish of the Mandala quilt I have been working on.

You can find the list of my Third Quarter goals HERE

Our Guild is running a Mandala Challenge  for the 2016 Festival of Quilts. The quilt must be circular with a diameter of between 50 - 60cm. Any quilting technique is allowed! If you want to find out about the design process and how I used Cindy Needham's Ultimate Circular Stencil to draw this design, please go to the Mandala Challenge post.

I was a tad conflicted a couple of weeks ago, thinking that I had made the wrong thread choice as it is not contrasting enough. Was incredibly discouraged but thought that I better finish this off. Looking at it now, I quite like it...I am particularly impressed with how evenly round I ended up, given the challenge this provided with drawing up a perfect circle at this size.

Mandala Challenge finishing up at 55cm in diameter

Close up of the fantastic blue Aurifil colour (#2725)

Mandala measures 55cm in diameter
Cotton fabric (Moda Solids) and Legacy cotton batting
Stitched with Aurifil 50/2 thread (Brass, Medium Red, Light Wedgewood, #6728); all the colours are from the Shannon Brinkley Dryad Thread box
Cindy Needham's Ultimate Stencil used to draft this design; Ultimate Background stencils used to fill the outer petal as well as the outer rim of the Mandala.

Very happy with the end result. Now onto the next project!


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Westalee Sampler Template Set

I have bought the Westalee Ruler foot last year some time and have only dabbled with it here and there. I found it a bit fiddly at first and obviously was not used to stitching with it at all. Recently I have dug it out again as I want to use it to finish off one of my quilts. Looking around for a suitable Arc shape on the Westalee website I decided in the end to get the Sampler set. At $65 this represented good value when I was looking around. It has a 6" Spiral, Spin-e-fex No 4, Circles on Quilts Spinning Wheel No 36, 4"Arc, Clamshell and a 2" Circle.
Westalee Template Sampler Set

It comes with a few pamphlets, however I would advise  to check out the YouTube videos that are on the website. They are excellent and give you a really good idea on how to use the templates.

Today I thought that I put up some pictures of my trials with those how difficult is it to stitch with those templates?  I obviously can FMQ but stitching with rulers is a completely different ball game. The photos are from my second time using these templates, so they all look less than perfect but will give you an idea of what to expect. I was very curious about this...

For Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 owners: I used Aurifil thread 50/2 on a 80% cotton/20%polyester batting. I used a Titanium Topstich 70/10 needle. I think the recommended needle size is 80/12, however I do stitch better with the 70/10 needle and my machine likes it. Had no problem with my tension or stitches.

I am particularly keen on the Arc as this is the shape that I will have to use to finish off one of my quilts. So I drew myself a 4.5" square and started outlining it with the Arc. As I am going to have to deal with a large quilt I did not turn my sample but tried to stitch it as I would on the real quilt which meant stitching with the Arc both in front and behind the foot. Now this was a bit of a challenge. Initially the template moved a fair bit, until I put that little tape on to keep it in place.

First attempt with lots of slippage
On the plus side, I noticed that I have conquered the straight ruler...have no problems aligning this and stitching nice straight lines that meet in a tidy fashion!
Second attempt...getting much better
Eyeballing the 1/4" space was tricky particularly stitching behind the foot. I started to examine the Arc's markings...very clever obviously got the arc lines etched on it but it also got some straight lines.
Took me a while to work out how to align my Arc using those straight lines and eyeballing it from there. This will need some more practice but if you look at the second attempt I am definitely getting the hang of that. Also useful for filling in sashings
Just arcs
Next I did the Circles on Quilts Spinning Wheel No 36...very handy, comes out at 5.5" and is a lovely simple shape that would look great both in alternate solid blocks or simple 9 patch blocks.
Circle on Quilts Spinning Wheel No 36

I loved doing that. Bit strange to stitch inside a template and be restrained by its form but easy enough to execute. Was actually very impressed with this as the template makes you stop in exactly the right place, like magic.

Then I tried the Spin-e-fex No 4...
Spin-e-fex No 4

Simple flower shape that I could use on my Meadowbloom quilt (yet to be done) in the solid alternate blocks. No problem stitching that out. Might just have to get a bit neater with this and the surround is obviously a fail...was just mucking around.

Then came the Clamshell. I like the big Clamshell but realised fairly quickly that I needed to put the tape on to keep it from moving. Now here you stitch on the outside of the arc which is a little bit more difficult...if you loose concentration, you start stitching away from the template, as I did a number of times.  Again, this needs more practice...not sure I aligned this correctly all the time. The little clamshells were a hoot to do. Initially I would slow down every time I came to the valley and make some horrendous long stitches with the ruler foot going into the valley however second time around this was better. Certainly very easy to stitch out and alignment was easier for me on the smaller ones.

Overall, I was impressed...with a bit of practice this should become easier as you go along. Particularly like the Arc...this is a shape that I use very often, so using a ruler foot instead of marking would make life a lot easier. I will have to do a few more practice samples to get my alignment right and to practice stitching behind the foot before I go on the quilt with this. But yes, definitely do-able!

Highly recommended!