Thursday, 14 October 2021


You have to laugh...I have been ditching away for the last two days on another charity quilt from the Orange Tree Quilters. I was going to try out my new Natalia Bonner Mini 4n1 ruler on an actual quilt but things never go to plan.

When I unpacked the quilts I picked up the other day, I saw that I got another Patience Corners quilt. Last time I did an overall Baptist fan which looked nice, but this time I wanted to do something different. Given I wanted to try out the ruler, I patiently ditched along all the seams...not my favourite thing, but I thought I may as well practice my stops and starts. After all these years, I am still burying my threads rather than just cutting them off like longarmers do.

The quilt is loud and very pink, but I was surprised how different it looked when I had most of it ditched. It really made those pink squares stand out. Very cool!
My practice of starting and stopping was really needed. The Bernina Q20 has a tie off function which I really like when starting off. You can set it so that the machine makes 4 - 5 stitches on the spot and then stops. It makes the most invisible and tidy tie off, however so far I have always buried the threads even with the tie off. This time I double secured my thread with some added tiny stitches and soon found that I was was able to just cut the thread off at the beginning. Stopping was a different matter...I approached this in reverse...tiny stitches, tie off and then had a look what that looked like. Somehow I could not get that right for half the quilt...when tugging on the thread, I felt that there was too much give and I often ended up burying them again. However, I finally got it and was able to just cut my threads off...looked fabulous on the back for most of it and given that I had the tiny stitches beforehand absolutely nothing became loose. This was a great help, otherwise it would have taken me double the time to complete, if not more. I really need to get used to doing this, saves so much time.

Then, finally I was ready to go on the quilt with a ruler only to realise my 4n1 Mini ruler (the smaller curve) was not big enough to get me to the center of the block. Doing my design with the bigger curve ended up too skinny. The square is over 4in...obviously did not try this out beforehand in my planning.

So back to the good old ProEcho rulers from Lisa Calle. Used the 5in Pro Echo curve ruler to give me the curve that I wanted and used a smaller one to do the curves in the black squares. I had to use the purple thread as the backing is a deep purple. Tried a hot pink thread with the purple in the bobbin but the pokies you inevitably get here and there were just annoying me. I don't usually stitch with darkish thread so this is also a bit of an experiment.
Might look a bit too floral, but will try this...could look interesting because it will go under in some of the squares and only stand out in the light ones. That could be a cool effect. Had looked at other designs but wanted something that is continuous as I don't want to backtrack or do the squares individually as that would take me too long. This way I can can travel along on the diagonal over the entire quilt.
Hmm...this could either look really good or be a bit much for the eyes. We shall see...


Thursday, 7 October 2021

Natalia Bonner's 4n1 Ruler

I gave my new 4n1 Mini ruler (top ruler) another whirl the other day.
Really like this is a bit chunky but I have found this to be quite an advantage. Lies really good in your hand feeling very solid and stable. If you are still looking for a good allrounder, this is a good ruler to go for as it has curves of different sizes plus the straight edge all on the same ruler. Lots of things you can do with that.

Stitched out some of the designs from Natalia's 9 Patch Quiltalong 2.0 that I have seen popping up over the last few weeks on the internet.
Very enjoyable little exercise. Particularly like the simple star design in the second row. Definitely something I will use in a quilt. Find this ruler particularly uncomplicated, as there are a lot of lines that you can align to your seams for reference and like how you can quickly flick this from the straight edge to the curved edges doing a block in just one go. The size of this ruler is a real advantage in that it carries you easily across a 4in block in all directions. Nothing worse than when you ruler falls short of the distance and you have to slide it over...that hardly ever works out neatly for me.

I think this ruler will become a favourite in no time at all.


Monday, 4 October 2021

A Year of Stars with Natalia Bonner

Here is the October 9 patch star block
Loved doing this one and was easy to fill in. My only issue was to do the swirl in the light purple triangles. It's a biggish space to fill freehand and I think I got one of my swirls the wrong way around. Natalia uses this swirl quite often to fill a space...I have to really think hard about that one...does not come naturally to me and promptly turned it in the right top corner. It's not really that obvious, so I just left it in there.

Can't believe it's already October...only two more stars to go. I better get my binding on to that quilt! I think Natalia is planning a Year of Blocks out for her announcements on FB and on her web site.


Sunday, 3 October 2021

When Your Good Idea Does Not Come To Fruition

I made a start on some Christmas table runners. Thought that I had a good idea...found this really cute panel and proceeded to cut out the snowmen to use in a table runner.
Chose a funky green sashing to surround the pictures and then added a black and white dotted border. The thinking was to make it look like applique without actually being applique. Set out to surround all the snowmen. Ended up surrounding them with an off white thread (had tried a tan colour but that looked plain awful). 
That part already did not work out as imagined. I used Warm & Natural as a batting but, must say, I am finding this too flat. It absolutely did not give me any definition of the snowmen.

Then I tackled the border...could not resist and put some stars in there...yep, looking absolutely awful. Don't like it at all...
I stitched that out in a grey colour (white was too much), but I do not like the look at all. Maybe should have stitched them in black but that would be very difficult to see. The template is small and the black colour is hard to see, even with good lighting. On top of that, the star template gave me trouble and you can see every little wobble...a fail, so much so, I have not continued on it at all. I will finish it and use it this Christmas, but am not overly impressed with it.

I have more of those snowmen and will do another one. I think I will just ditch that and outline the snowmen and then leave the rest. It's a cleaner look.  Might also use slightly loftier batting for a more defined look. Somehow I do not like the quilting on the dotted fabric, just too distracting.
Lucky I bought enough of that green sashing to make another one. Really like the look of it. 

Also working on a pieced Christmas table runner. Also did not work...used some leftover white fabric from my stash which burnt when pressed...can you believe it? Done my test block and did not see it while putting it together, only after, when I took a photo on a white background. I chucked the white fabric out now, so I am not using it accidentally for another project. Just too much hassle.

So, let's hope that next week is better...


Monday, 27 September 2021

Quilted Nursery Panel Baby Quilt In ETSY shop

New listing in my Etsy shop:

Cute little nursery panel quilt that I quilted the other day with an allover cloud design.

The nursery panel used in this quilt is a cute jungle themed panel from the 'World of Susybee' for Hamil Textiles. It makes an ideal baby shower gift that can be used as a small 'drag along' blanket, playtime floor mat or as nursery wall decor.

The quilt measures 33-5/8in x 39 -3/4in and has a nice soft consistency due to its 100% wool batting.

Have one more panel to go in my efforts to clean up my stash of all things fabric...let's just hope I do not see any other cute panels in the near future. This is fast becoming an addiction.


Thursday, 23 September 2021


This time I am innocent...I won a $50 gift voucher at the Great International Craft Show that was run here online from 16-19/9, so I had to spent it...

Had a choice where I wanted to spent it, so I chose Constantine Quilts, a local business that supplies a range of products for machine quilting. 

Bought two new rulers
On top, the Natalia Bonner 4n1 Mini ruler and underneath a 90 degree angle ruler made by Constantine Quilts. So, I gave them a whirl today...

Was really curious about the Natalia Bonner ruler as I have heard a lot of good things about it. It is quite large at a width of 4.75in and length of 7in which worried me a bit in terms of being able to hold it steady.

My efforts for today

Natalia's ruler was used for the top two rows. Must say, I like it...the squares are 4in and the size of the ruler makes going over it a breeze, even on the diagonal. I had a good grip on the ruler, initially a bit awkward due to its chunkiness, but I got used to it rather quickly and can see why Natalia developed this. It is so easy to quickly flick this in all directions working the straights and the curves all in one go. I particularly liked the lines with the measurements on it...saved me getting a ruler out to mark my dots of where I wanted to go. That was a bit handy in terms of quickly marking the center of a block.

The 90 degree ruler is Constantine Quilts' own ruler line. Good value at an affordable price. I have wanted to get a 90 degree ruler for a while for simple line work. Stitched out the chevron border with ease...the 'legs' of the ruler are 6in, so it is a good size to use for medium borders, quickly and simply putting in the zig-zag. Also tried it out for piano keys and really liked using it for that as I could just slide it along, aligning it at a right angle to the 'bottom' of the quilt. It was very accurate. Then I did some pretend echos you might do in a block...again, very easy as it stops you in the right spot. After all this I was just mucking around trying to finish off my bobbin...tried Natalia's smallest curves on the right side of the ruler. That actually did not work that well for me. Found the alignment tricky and hard to judge, probably not a part that I would be using a lot. Maybe for really small squares...

Good fun, happy with my purchase.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Quilting In The Ditch

I am a bit out of practice with my stitch-in-the-ditch quilting, however decided for the last charity quilt to just quilt it in the ditch.

This took me a moment
Was in two minds about this one as I could also have done some ruler work, however, I am a bit busy at the moment and the next meeting is coming up at the beginning of next month, so I thought I would just ditch away on this. 

My favourite ruler for ditching is the Handiquilter Ditch Ruler (on the right in the photo) I started with that. After a while and many missed ditches (I think I actually need to replace the grippy tape on the does wear a bit with time), I switched over to a fairly new ruler from Bethanne Nemesh.
Bethanne's ruler is much thinner and I found it easier to massage the ruler into the right position as I went along. Some of the seams did not match up or were a little bit bowed, so I had to continually shift the ruler a little bit as I was stitching with a tan cotton which was quite visible in places. Bethanne's ruler was nice to hold and easy to manage...a good ruler if you need to concentrate on where you are going or doing some really detailed work. For this quilt, this was the better ruler to use. While it is a bit shorter this was handy as there was a fair amount of unevenness and I needed to stop and start frequently.

Onto the binding now...have two quilts to bind and about three quilts to hand sew the binding into place.


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