Saturday, 18 January 2020

Short and Sweet

I have been following along Helen Godden's Short and Sweet videos over on the Handiquilter site. They basically cover all things 'freemotionquilting'. Love watching them as they are short and to the point (before Christmas Helen Godden also ran a little Quilt-A-Long which I saw on FB, however as I was working I did not participate in that).

When I had a bit of time after Christmas I remembered the Short and Sweet series and particularly the one about Microquilting where Helen whipped up a kangaroo in no time at all. So, I went over to her website and got that outline of a kangaroo and stitched my little heart out.
Seems somewhat bittersweet with what's going on in Australia at the moment...apart from all the destruction of property and devastation of environment, so many animals lost...

I did not really follow Helen's instructions as I only watched the video again once I was already half way through. This was a lot of fun to stitch out as there was absolutely no pressure to do anything overly correctly. Even managed to try out Helen's 'Dancing Men' design...very cool. Anyway, when I finished it I thought that I try something attach the binding with the Sweet 16!

Had never done this before, but seen it somewhere, so I thought this little piece was the perfect project to practice on. Used the Versa tool for that as it is nice and wide to hold the edge in place

Process of slowly going along the edge, no pinning, no fuss

...went really well, even in the corners!

Actually thought that I had sewn the binding on much straighter than I usually do with the sewing machine.

The finished project

Turned out really's about as big as a placemat.


Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Easy Baby Quilt Revisited

Continued onto the next section of my Easy Baby Quilt pattern (you can find the free pattern under the tab 'Free Patterns' above).

This is a slightly altered version of my Easy Baby Quilt

My finished block size will be 6 1/2in

(using the colourway of this altered quilt)

Cut all strips across the width of fabric.

9, 2 1/2in white background print strips
6, 2 1/2in blue tone-on-tone fabric strips
3, 4 1/2in red tone-on-tone strips
3, 2 1/2in red tone-on-tone fabric strips and crosscut into 24, 2 1/2in x 4 1/2in rectangles
3, 4 1/2in feature fabric strips (my hedgehogs!) and crosscut into 24, 4 1/2in squares
5, 2 1/2in blue tone-on-tone fabric strips for the binding

As I am changing the quilt ever so slightly, I also cut
4, 2 1/2in orange tone-on-tone fabric strips

I like to cut out the entire quilt before I start piecing unless its a block arrangement I have never done before and need to do some test blocks beforehand. This quilt uses the strip sets, hence lots of chain piecing coming up and it is easier to have all the fabric ready to go,

So, let's do the first two strip sets

Strip set A
Stitch a 2 1/2in blue tone-on-tone fabric strip to either side of a 2 1/2in white background strip. Press the seams towards the darker fabric. Crosscut into 2 1/2in segments. Make 24 units this way.

Strip set B
Stitch a 2 1/2in white fabric strip to one side of a 2 1/2in blue tone-on-tone fabric strip. Press the seam towards the darker fabric. As I am changing my quilt up a bit, I now need to stitch an orange strip to the other side of the white strip. Once that is done, crosscut each strip set into 2 1/2in segments. Make  24 units this way.

Strip set C
Sew a 4 1/2in red tone-on-tone strip and a 2 1/2in white background strip together, pressing the seams towards the red print. Crosscut into 2 1/2in x 6 1/2 in rectangles. Make 48 units this way.

Block 1
Join a 2 1/2in strip set A and a 2 1/2in strip set B segment, abutting the seams and joining the intersections, pressing the seams outwards. Sew a 2 1/2in strip set C segment to the bottom of the unit, completing the block. Press the seams downwards towards the red fabric. The block should measure 6 1/2in square.

And the first block is done! I am glad I am doing this again...forgot how very easy this comes together. Perfect quilt when you need something in a hurry and do not want to spend a lot of time on piecing. I will now go ahead and make 24 of Block 1. I usually do this via chain-piecing, i.e. stitch all the same units at the same time, feeding them continuously through the machine, ending up with a long strip of joined pieces. Then I snip them apart and start with the next lot of units. This saves a lot of time and thread and is one of my favourite piecing method.


Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Let's Do Some Ruler Work Linky Party Coming Soon

Exciting news.

I am going to run a ruler-quilting linky party.

I love linky parties and have been thinking for a while to set one up. Ruler quilting is the obvious subject for me
Part of the collection (slightly embarrassing!)...I still got a few more put away in another box!

Given the amount of new rulers coming out all the time it made sense to me to focus in on that, as I am certainly addicted to it and I am pretty sure that I am not alone in that. Quilters seem to be collectors and like with many things, sometimes we buy these items and then don't use them. I am hoping that a linky party might encourage people to get out their rulers and give it a go and hopefully get some inspiration on what can be achieved with some very simple designs.

For example, my recent baby quilt
Not much ruler work really, but it certainly made this quilt pop.

...or the Bird quilt

...that went from  a fairly simple block to quite spectacular.

The linky party will begin on Tuesday 28th January and run for a week. At this stage I am thinking of hosting this on a fortnightly basis.

The rules will be basic...join in if you are using rulers on your DSM or longarm, make sure to visit other blogs and leave some comments and enjoy the inspiration. I will set up a page closer to the date.

Please grab the button (which took me over a week to get right 😅) and spread the word. Hope to see you at the party!

grab button for The Quilt Yarn
<div class="the-quilt-yarn-button" style="width: 150px; margin: 0 auto;"> <a href="" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="The Quilt Yarn" width="150" height="150" /> </a> </div>


Sunday, 12 January 2020

Follow-Up on Half Carat Diamond Ruler

Just a quick follow up on the Handiquilter Half Carat Diamond Ruler, the second ruler of the Ruler of the Month Club 5. You can view all the ruler in the series HERE.

Last week I tried the ruler out on creating simple sashings or border designs, just using the shape or parts thereof to create interesting designs. You can read about in this post.

For this follow up I used the ruler to create various star designs...
Again, I did not pre-prepare this or go particularly careful around the ruler. This was just to see what I could create with this ruler and to get a sense of how the alignment on this ruler worked. The bigger stars are 8in in size and I was actually amazed at the ease of stitching this out. Very easy to do and comes out beautifully on the first go (I had the crosshairs lines drawn in for that). I particularly like the big star in the right hand corner. I then used only parts of the ruler to make smaller stars...lots of options and lots of sizes you can try. This is really only limited by your imagination.

Overall, I was impressed with this ruler as I can use it for many different things, i.e. sashings and borders as well as block motifs in various sizes. Good value! Looking at the big star now, I also realised that I have not even tried the echo feet with that. If I was to put, say the 1/2in echo foot on, I could stitch this out at 7in or with the 3/4in echo foot at 6 1/2in...lots of options.

Linking up to Freemotion Mavericks over at Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing


Thursday, 9 January 2020

Free Pattern

I am in clean up mode. Found another pattern on my computer that can be put to good use. I do not have the quilt anymore, but for some reason did a complete write up for this pattern .
It's a lovely quilt and it has gone to an elderly Greek lady. With all the sunflowers on it I thought that was a lovely fit.

Anyway, if you are in need of a simple pattern please feel free to grab this from the above tab 'Free Patterns'


Handiquilter Ruler of the Month Club 5

Picked up the next ruler (we are running a bit behind over here, so this is only the second ruler)

The Half Carat Diamond Ruler
I gave it a whirl, fresh out of the package...I am putting up my not-so-perfect attempts here to show that ruler quilting is like takes a moment to get the hang of it and I am no exception to this. Every ruler is different and it takes me a few goes to get used to the different rulers, i.e. work out the alignment, figure out what one can do with a ruler (in addition to the obvious) and get a handle on how to best hold it. So, here it goes...not that pretty.

Also had some bearding going on on this little practice piece 😼

The diamonds come out at 4in and were relatively easy to do...again I was amazed at the accuracy of the template. Took me a little while to work out how to make another smaller diamond inside (in fact had to look at the Handiquilter ROMC page to watch that video again and it was embarrassingly simple). Then I played around with the  longer pointed triangle and stitched out simple triangles. Switching the ruler around I was then able to use the flatter triangle of the top of the diamond to put a channel in there. Really liked this...would look good in a smaller border (of a table runner for example) and can be done entirely without any marking. My kind of ruler! Lots of things that you can do with this ruler. I ran out of room to try the block motifs...will leave this for another day.

Linking up to Andree over at Freemotion Mavericks a bit belatedly, but I got got confused with the dates

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Easy Baby Quilt Revisited

I decided to make my Easy Baby Quilt again. I have made this quilt twice already, but both times given it away. I have this gorgeous hedgehog fabric and thought it might be fun to stitch this up again.

I originally designed this to showcase cute fabric that was just too cute to cut up into smaller bitses. If you are interested in the pattern you can download this on the tab above under Free Patterns or you can follow along as I construct this myself. The pattern has been around now for a long time and has enjoyed some popularity. While this is not a formal Quilt-A-Long, I thought people might enjoy seeing me putting this together. Maybe you like to follow's really very easy and comes together very quickly. If you got that cute, bright fabric this might be just the pattern for it.
Materials needed:
70 cm (3/4 yd) of white background fabric 
80 cm (7/8 yd) of blue dotty fabric for the blocks and binding  
70 cm (3/4 yd) of orange tone-on-tone fabric 
40 cm (1/2 yd) of feature fabric 
113cm x 143.5cm (44 1/2in x 56 1/2in) Backing fabric 
113cm x 143.5cm (44 1/2inx 56 1/2in) Batting 
Neutral Cotton thread for piecing 
Coordinating Cotton thread (e.g. Aurifil 50/2) for freemotion-quilting 
Rotary cutter, quilting ruler and mat 
General sewing supplies 
So, here is my selection of fabrics
How cute is that hedgehog fabric? I just got is 'Woodland Pals' by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I wash all my fabrics and except for the white fabric this is ready to go. You might think that this is unnecessary, however I have had fabric bleed when washing quilts and I think it is just not worth it. I will also wash the white fabric to have a consistent feel to all of the fabric. Sometimes I starch my fabric...this really depends on what quality of fabric I am working with. If it is flimsy, I will starch it a bit to make it easier to work with.

After I done this I usually go onto my trusted EQ8 program to see what the potential quilt could look like. For this I  photographed the Woodland fabric (the other tone-on-tone fabrics can easily be matched by some of the thousands of fabric that comes with the program). The new EQ8 has an improved image worktable that allows you to import an image of  your fabric and then scale it to size. This makes importing fabric very easy (the only problem I had today was a slightly blueish tint-must be the light). I find the EQ8 program invaluable for just trying out different colour arrangements...find it really hard to visualise an entire quilt and the picture helps in just quickly seeing whether something works.

So, here is what this could look like
Hmm...that may need some developing...not quite 'there' for me.
Like this actually a little bit better with the orange spots in it...changes the pattern a bit and makes it look quite busy, but it goes with the 'busy' hedgehogs and in my mind pulls it all together. So the pattern needs to be changed up a bit. No stress...I will need less of the white background (of which I have got a fair bit) and some orange strips. If I count the orange squares above, it gives me 24 squares. A strip of 2 1/2in orange print cut across the width of fabric will give me 16, 2 1/2in squares (I know this as I got a table where I can look this up), hence I will only need 2, 2 1/2in orange strips. I think I have got a Fat Quarter, so that will make it 3, 2 1/2in strips across a Fat Quarter (in reality I probably need 4 strips to have some insurance for mis-cutting).

So, all set...this will become my Wednesday project!

Linking up to Midweek Makers over at Quilt Fabrication


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