Thursday, 20 September 2018

Australian Machine Quilting Festival 2018

It's all happening over here!

The Festival started at the Convention Centre...for me in the very early morning hours with a Masterclass with Ricky Tims
The class ran from 8.30 am to 5pm. He certainly is very entertaining and the time just flew. Absolutely loved it! Talked about Improvisational Patchwork, Convergence Quilts, Designing, Rhapsody Quilts, and lots of Tips and Hints on all things quilting. In addition, he showed some pictures of where he lives and talked about the recent fires they had. Really enjoyed myself and ended up breaking my good intentions of holding my money together. 
Yes, bought the Convergence Book (swear that I need it, as I have just the right fabric for it) and also a DVD on Machine Quilting and Finishing Techniques. We did get a bit of a handbook of all the things he talked about which is really good and has already given me a stack of new ideas.

Today I went to
Cindy Needham's Ultimate Stencils Workshop. Even though I have had the stencils for a while and have been raving about them, I did get a lot of useful information out of that and a few new ideas and got to try the transparency that was included in the later purchases of the stencils. The transparency certainly made things easier and I will email Cindy to try to get my hands on one of them. There were, of course, lots of fine examples (see Cindy's Pinterest Boards) stitched out on the most gorgeous fabric and we got to play a bit with marking a star design on some fabric.

Time flew and I did not get to finish this, but it was great just to doodle a bit.
Tomorrow I am off to the Wholecloth class with Cindy which will go for the whole afternoon. This should be great! Will take a ruler with me as I did get a bit sloppy with my lines and things started to not line up. Will spent the morning in the vendor hall...there is not possibly anything that I could need, but mark my words, I will find something!


Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The Australian Machine Quilting Festival 2018

Super's finally here! The Australian Machine Quilting Festival is held bi-annually in Adelaide originally created by Tracey Browning of Constantine Quilts  and Sharon Parkinson of Patchwork on Parade.

There are a lot of tutors from all over the world, too many to mention, exhibitions and, of course, there is some shopping. Fantastic event with lots of learning going on.

I booked into Ricky Tims Master class which is going to go on for the whole day. Not really sure what to expect but it will no doubt be entertaining. Hoping to  get inspired to try something new and different, rather than doing the same thing over and over again. From what I have heard that is the place to be.

And then, I am going to do two classes with Cindy Needham...can't wait! This will be great. I so admire Cindy and have been raving about her Craftsy classes and the use of her Ultimate Stencil sets for a while. One class is about the use of her stencils and the next one is about Wholecloth design. I am hoping to come out with an idea about my next Wholecloth and am looking forward to just playing around a bit with different designs.

Hopefully I can hold my money together in the vendor hall, as I really don't need anything, but we shall see. Shall report back on this to hold myself a bit accountable (famous last words!).


Blogger's Quilt Festival

Finally, I have a quilt finished to participate in the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2018 over at Amys Creative Side. The last few years I have missed out due to not having anything finished at that, apologies for posting about the same quilt again, but it's a beauty.

The 1000 Pyramid Quilt, cursed a thousand times and for the last 3 years in danger of becoming one of those UFOs.
The problem started with the construction...did not think ahead that this meant some insane matching of points and if you are a bit of a perfectionist like I am it was very hard to let go of that. Every row was a struggle. Mind you, in the end I used some fabric glue to secure the points in place as with pinning alone I had a fair bit of shifting going on. Ultimately I did accept that the goal was to finish rather than having nice points, so there are some dooseys in there, but given its scrappy-ness nobody will ever know.

Then there was the quilting! Decided against all better judgement to do an allover Baptist fan design on my newly acquired Sweet 16, using one of the rulers. Must say, that nearly finished me off but in the end, I stubbornly continued. It paid off in that it looks absolutely stunning and actually got finished.
The quilt got very big, 67in x 86in, as I wanted to use as many of the scraps up that I had. Needless to say, it did not make a lot of difference and I am now thinking that I should do a string quilt out of the ever increasing scrap least I will not have to match any points and can just mindlessly sew strings together.

Joining the Blogger's Festival 2018 at Amys Creative Side for some eye candy and no doubt inspiration for the next few projects.


Sunday, 2 September 2018

Finally Finished - 1000 Pyramids Quilt

I have finally finished my 1000 Pyramids quilt.

Size: 67in x 86in
Pattern: 1000 Pyramids, cut with the Accuquilt Equilateral Triangle die, 4 1/4in finished
Batting: 100 % Cotton
Thread: quilted with 40/2 light-green Aurifil thread in an allover Baptist fan design (using the HQ Circle set) on the HQ Sweet 16.
Time to complete: Had a look on my blog and embarrassed to say, but started this in August 2015, quickly tiring of it and continuing in starts and stops ever since.

And finally, happy to say that the quilt is cat approved

As I was sewing binding on for days on end I also completed my little Mini Wholecloth from Patsy Thompson's January online workshop
Planning to make a sleeve and to put it up in my sewing room as an example of what you can do with a few rulers.


Saturday, 1 September 2018

Challenge Quilt

Continuing on my challenge quilt for the local HQ group run by Heather Hopkins

Am running behind and will have to do another 6 of those including filling in the background with some pebble work...
Pays to pay attention...promptly put my big pebbles in the wrong spot when starting off. Aren't they the worst thing to unpick!

This will look great when all finished. Undecided whether to put something in the sashing, will depend on how much time I have got left. This is supposed to be finished for the November meeting. I should really put some simple ruler design in there, the yellow 50/2 Aurifil thread looks nice on this quilt and would really stand out in the sashing. We shall see...


Thursday, 30 August 2018

Onwards and Upwards

My 1000 Pyramid quilt is finished...I am currently sewing on the binding.

This was a very long and arduous journey. I think that I started this project about 2 years ago and it was always in danger of becoming an UFO.  In case you were wondering how I handled the bulk I have got photos showing the way it was situated at varying stages.
Initially I quilted away from me with the bulk sitting to the side.

As I advanced, the bulk became harder to handle and I had to switch things around quilting either sideways and in the end towards me. 
You can see that I also had it more folded in the I went along and came towards half way folding it in an accordion style proved to be the best way to keep the quilt from dragging as the whole lot had become more firm and harder to handle. Some quilters use a suspension system for their bigger projects...obviously a good idea, however I have never looked into this because I do not usually do big quilts like that.

Well, this was a bit of an adventure and I am over the moon that it is done. One more photo to come of the quilt all finished with the binding and that is it.

After this, I treated myself to a new Accuquilt die. When my little wholecloth quilt recently won first prize in the quilt show, I got a gift voucher to my favourite sewing shop. I took my time in deciding what to get as I wanted to spend it on something useful, so I started to look at the Accuquilt dies. I have got quite a number of dies, however have in recent times decided to get dies that make my life easier. So, rather than going for those really pretty and amazing 'one-off' dies, I am now tending to buy those that I will use all the time. Had not looked at the strip dies before because they are a bit expensive, however with the voucher was able to get myself a rather huge strip die. 

3, 2 1/2in strips on the die. Nowadays they have an added feature of having angled guides marked on the die, so that you can cut squares and diamonds at varying degrees. Bonus!

Used this on my binding strips for this quilt...needed a total of 9, 2 1/2in strips.
This was so easy and quick, just putting it through three times and done...I am always surprised at the absolute accuracy. Totally straight and perfect!
Should have invested in this years ago.


Tuesday, 21 August 2018

Handiquilter Ruler Of The Month Club 3

Picked up the first ruler of the HQ Ruler of the Month Club 3 - the HQ Hexie 3 Template
This is a bigger chunky ruler, very easy to hold. When stitching inside it will give you a 2 3/4in hexagon.

This was my first play with it
Obviously you can do hexagons with it, with or without echos. Very easy to stitch inside and if you want to stitch a 1/4in echo you just have to shift it over. Alternatively you can use the echo feet set and stitch out your echo that way giving you 3 different options (3/8in, 1/2in or 3/4in echo)...this is very handy. I am planning a hexagon quilt where the hexagons will be 2in on each side, so I would position my ruler in a way that it would align on the points, but shifting it inwards to the required size, if that makes sense.

Then I tried the diamonds...accuracy suffered there on my part and I must have aligned the ruler slightly differently and the diamonds came out somewhat misshapen. Obviously needs a bit more care.

Tried a second time
Managed the first 3 on the right accurately but then started misaligning it again. Later discovered that there is a much easier and sure way to stitch this out by first stitching an upper row of little triangles and than going back and stitching the bottom half...not sure why I did not think of this earlier.

Was impressed with the elongated hexagons and the horizontal hexagons...lots of opportunity to fill that in with all sorts of things and make quite interesting sashing designs. In the end I stitched a row of mini half hexagons...really liked the look of that. In terms of sizing this ruler gives you a lot of options which I like.

So much fun to play around with this...