Tuesday 31 December 2013

Almost time to go

Last day in Germany. We are on our way back to Australia tomorrow. The photo is of the Schwerin castle ...very impressive. The castle is in Eastern Germany, which used to be the DDR before the borders were opened.
Wishing everybody a Happy New Year or as they say here " Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr".

Saturday 14 December 2013

A few more photos

Very cold over here!

Went for a day trip to Ratzeburg...bit of a trip down memory lane as I used to spent many summer holidays here at my aunt's place. Took only a few photos with my phone as my hands were freezing cold. It's about 2 degrees here at the moment.

Still have not found a quilt shop...instead spending lots of time on the Christmas markets drinking Gluehwein...

Missing my sewing in the evening.


Friday 6 December 2013


Just a quick check in. After a few days in Dubai, we are finally in Germany. We are staying at my brother's place close to Moelln. Ventured out today to brave the elements...very cold over here...


Sunday 1 December 2013

Greetings and Quick Update

Dear friends

Have not been on the blog recently as I had been trying to finish off my Disappearing Four Patch...we are off to Europe this evening and I really thought that I would manage to knock this off. That was until I encountered the rippling effect in the inner border. Could not believe it!

Well, of course, I set about to fix this. Even worked out what the problem was. I had used the wrong bobbin thread with the Monofilament thread in the top which affected the overall tension. Yep, this is what happens when you try to do things in a hurry. Re-did the inner border and subsequently have to re-do also the outer border. This will now have to wait until we come back in the new year.

So, the quilt is still not finished...however I am much more happy with the borders.

Have still not packed...old habits die hard. I am one of those who packs in the last minute. We are going to Germany to visit my family. My blog may become a travel blog over the next month if I am able to upload some photos...we'll see. I have not been home for the past 23 years, so this should be interesting.

He is coming, as is the baby quilt...
Well, I better get going. Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and great start to the New Year. Looking forward to joining in the various activities in the new year. This break might give me some time to sort through the various projects that I have planned for the year (which have grown to alarming proportions, as usual).
See ya...


Monday 18 November 2013

WIP: Disappearing Four Patch

Have not been very active on the web, but got a lot done on my quilt.  Life is hectic around here at the moment...moved offices at work and on the home front preparing for our big trip overseas.

Finished the stippling across the middle section and quilted around the borders with invisible Monofilament thread. All was going well. I then wanted to quilt a simple line in the inner black border and ran into major problems.


Yep, serious pulling of the fabric. I took this out and tried again. Also changed the thread from black to brown as I have a light background and the bobbin thread had a habit of popping through. I am now using brown on top and taupe in the bottom. Also noticed that I have bearding again...only on the black fabric though. I wonder whether this has to do with the quality of the fabric. I bought the black as an addition to the fat quarters that I had...while I did notice that it was not quite as luxurious than the other material, I thought it would be ok...I am now wondering, because this is just too bizarre.

Next step was to reduce the presser of the presser foot... have not really experimented with this before but It did make a little bit of a difference, but still some pulling as it went along. Tomorrow I will have another go at it...this time I pinned the whole strip down again to try to avoid movement. If that does not work, I will leave it, I reckon...this is just too annoying.

On the positive side, we bought a new camera for our trip...bit more fancy schmancy ...as you can see I am practising my photography (yep, even played with that manual button). The top photo is a bit underexposed and the bottom one is overexposed. I have even started to read the manual and I am hoping that I will be able to put up some better pictures in the future. This camera does some really good close up shots and has this screen that you can pop out and tilt, so that you can take shots from above without straining your neck...very handy indeed.

Let's hope this will work...I have got 2 more weeks left before our trip and I really need to get this done.

Linking up to Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch


Saturday 9 November 2013

What?...I am not a machine?

Finally tackled the FMQ on my disappearing Four Patch quilt. Decided to go with an overall meander given the business of the quilt top.

I chose a 40/2 Aurifil thread in light green. Usually I use the 50/2 Aurifil thread but I had 2 spools of 40/2 thread sitting around, so I thought that I would give that a go. I love this thread...works beautifully and is the right strength for an overall meander. I am using a 80/12 Denim/Jeans needle for this.

So, off I went and straight away the issue of scale presented itself...I practised a bit on a smaller practice piece but gave up on that as it just does not compare with the 2m monster that I am doing.

This is what it looked like under the machine to get to the approximate middle of the quilt.

Squashed under the throat of the machine with the bulk of half the quilt top placed in front of where I am going to start quilting. The side not under the machine to the left is just loosely folded over so it does not drag...

Well, had several starts as I was a bit out of practice  but got there in the end. In terms of scale I aimed for about 1/2inch apart.

I started off a bit awkwardly and just managed to get back into the swing of things, warming up as I went along...when I stood back after I had done an entire quarter I noticed that I did much more sweeping movements later on, so my scale is slightly off...the lines had become longer and the shapes itself somewhat bigger (probably a bit hard to see in the photos, but believe me, it's there).

This annoyed me to no end until I got a grip on myself, hence the title of my post...no, I am not a machine and no matter how hard I strive this will never be consistent. I think I have this issue with every quilt top I am stippling...it takes a while to find a rhythm and settle into a particular scale and there will always be areas that will look slightly different and this will only become apparent when you are actually quilting over your quilt top rather than on those little practice samples. For example, now I have had an afternoon break from this and when I go back in the evening, no doubt, I will start off slightly denser and smaller again. I really had to remind myself in the end that this is the charm of handmade items, those little inconsistencies, odd shapes and all sorts of other issues in the execution of our work. As you can see, this gets me every time...

Anyway, I will stipple the middle section of the quilt and then probably do some lines in the black borders to de-emphasize that section....we'll see

Linking up to FMQ Friday at the Freemotion Quilting Project

Until next time


Wednesday 30 October 2013


This is probably getting boring as I have been showing the same thing at slightly different stages over and over again, but I am finally done with the quilt top!..(and what a bugger this was to piece together). Turned out a bit on the bigger side, i.e. approx. 62"x 70". It sort of evolved as I went along as most quilts do.

Now I only have to get some backing and I am on my way...looking forward to the quilting of this top. Still thinking that a general meandering design would look good as it is quite busy.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


Monday 28 October 2013

Slowly Does It

More progress on the disappearing Four Patch.

After I messed up my rows, I had to re-do some of my blocks which slowed me right down. I am glad though that I did persist with my original layout...this is exactly how I wanted it to look. Actually not that easy to get that organised 'thrown together' scrappy look where the colour distribution is just right. And while this might sound a bit obsessive, for me there is nothing worse than finishing a quilt with that sinking feeling of ...gee, I wish I had done this differently after months of working on it.

It turned out beautiful

This is the continuation of the borders that I will work on today. Again, the distribution of colour around it was a bit of trial and error to get it right. I design my quilts in EQ7 and while I had the body of the quilt all worked out in the program, for those surrounding strips I actually had to lay them out on the floor to see how this all interacts.

There will be another black border to finish it off. The effect I was going for was for the viewer to be instantly drawn to the fabric (as this is my very special fabric, that was so special it had not been touched for some years). I think that I might have achieved this. So far, my family has commented more on the fabric than the actual piecing of it all.

As for the quilting...at the moment I am thinking of meandering all over it but, who knows, this might change in a couple of days...

Linking up to Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch.


Sunday 27 October 2013

Look what's arrived!

My Aurifil thread has arrived....

This is the first time that I ordered thread over the Internet...usually I buy it at a shop in the city, however their selection is limited. Was a bit sceptical on how well I would be able to match the colours to the Wholecloth quilt this is intended for.

Must say, I am very happy with this...the colour selection is good and should blend well into the background.

A bit of a trial....

Now I don't know which colour to choose for my Wholecloth quilt. The darker colour is a slightly different tone to the fabric...

in fact, have not decided exactly how to quilt the background, whether to just microstipple or choose a different kind of design.

Decisions, decisions...!

Seems like an awfully big area to microstipple...should have really thought that through a bit better.


Friday 25 October 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival Fall 2013

The Blogger's Quilt Festival is on again over at Amy's Creative Side. Had a lot of fun with this last time and am entering my Colour Adventure Quilt this time.

October 25 – 31 – Linky’s Open & Nominate for Viewer’s Choice
November 1 – 7 – Vote for favorites in each of the categories
November 8 – Winners announced

I am entering in the category of Favourite home machine quilted quilt as the quilting is a major feature of this quilt.
In making this quilt I wanted to push myself a bit out of my comfort zone using the full range of bright colours in an organised but structured way. If you look closely, the middle section is surrounded by the opposing colours on the colour wheel and then I used a mix of colours in the corners.

This would have to be the brightest quilt I have ever produced and for a while there I cringed every time I walked past because my usual colour arrangement is more country type, muted colours. Also queried whether the scrappy look in the corners really had worked...however as time went on I quite liked it and was amazed that this actually worked, colour wise.  The other purpose for this quilt was the FMQ...I had a very clear idea on what and how I wanted to quilt this, right from the start.

I am quite pleased with my efforts with this quilt as all the designs except for the middle star were done hard core freehand and involved minimal marking. For the quilting of the star I drew the design and then used Golden Threads quilting paper to stitch the design into the yellow star because I wanted this to be precise.

Many of you would realise that the border treatment is inspired from the many designs seen on Patsy Thompson's web page. When I quilted this, I think, my flexible curve ruler had just arrived from the US and as you can see I had some fun with this.

The back showing the extent of the quilting

Some close ups of the quilting


Hope you enjoyed the photos of the quilt as much as I enjoyed quilting this. Heading over to Amy's Creative Side to check out the entries...

For other entries in this category, click HERE. For a look at all categories head back to the link above

Monday 21 October 2013

Not much progress

I have been working merrily away on my latest project-Disappearing Four Patch quilt. Now, this has appeared easy enough ... WRONG!

This is how far I've got

Yes, that's right...only one row more than I had last time. The last two rows were completed but to my absolute horror, my little system of how I was going to place the colours and match this up with the ironing of the seams did not match. Each row starts with either the seams ironed in or out and all of a sudden I was left with what appeared to be an additional row of the same way of ironing. That, of course threw out my whole organisation.

I must have been confused when I laid it out. Over the weekend then I tried to re-organise the blocks...however, this did not work as I then had the colours all in the wrong spot, like all the red in one corner and blocks of the same fabric next to each other. In the end I decided to take a deep breath and approach it in a more considered way. Back to my original plan...I am now re-doing 3 blocks as the way they are ironed it is not a simple matter of re-ironing them the other way...they actually would have to be taken apart, re-ironed and then put back together. It was easier to just re-do them, I thought. I did it with one the blocks (undoing and then re-pressing), and that turned out alright, but it is quite finicky...

Can't believe...on the last two rows. On the plus side, I bought a country-type black border fabric and have a clear idea on how to finish it. By the end I will have used up every scrap of each of the Fat Quarters that I had and it will look great. Just a matter of getting there.

Also, if you followed my posts about this quilt you would have seen earlier my struggle with the intersecting seams...thought I show you a photo of the pinning down of the seams...I pin from the top and the bottom, so to speak. Normally I would have less pins, but given the trouble I had earlier I want to make sure that absolutely nothing moves.

 This gives me really crisp intersections

Linking up to Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch


Tuesday 15 October 2013

Blasted Intersections

Sharing a bit of frustration today. I am in the midst of assembling my Disappearing Four Patch quilt started last month (or was it the month before).

This is a carefully planned scrappy type of quilt, made with some country fabric that I had in my stash. Block construction was alright, however due to the middle sections being ironed open I have had some hassles getting things to line up properly at times. The intersecting seams tended to slip just slightly over now and again which in this pattern becomes very noticeable. So, lots of pinning which slowed me right down.

I have finished 42 blocks now and this morning was looking forward to putting it all together. I love this part when it all comes together. For some reason I did not think about that the same seams would have to be met at the top/bottom and sides. So, assembly has been slow going with several seams having to be re-done...very frustrating.

First 2 rows...

Next few rows I did in about half an hour...go figure!

3 more rows to go...this is indeed a sneaky little block. While quite easy and straightforward to construct, accuracy really is a must with this. Very deceptive.

Finally, I made it on a Tuesday to link up to Freemotion by the River


Monday 14 October 2013

Craftsy Pattern Store

Managed to finish the write up for my Playing with Colours Pattern. Renamed the quilt 'Let's Play'.
You can find the pattern over at my little Craftsy Pattern Store.

While you are over there, check out their blog. While I was browsing yesterday I found some very interesting and helpful posts...one about stippling and then today Angela Mitchell's presentation of six Hip Teen Quilts. If you are new to quilting she invites you to come back to the Craftsy blog tomorrow! They’ll be sharing beginner quilting tips and patterns.

Will need to do some more exploring as I have missed this myself.

Also, consider nominating your favourite blogger in the first Craftsy Blogger Award. Today is the last day for nominations in the various categories and by nominating you are automatically entered for a chance to win a free online Craftsy class.

So much to see...but for me its back to piecing for today.


Sunday 13 October 2013

Go To Jail - I am a Quilter

When I saw the post at Lilypad quilting, I thought it would be fun to link up, but must say I was a bit reluctant, as this would mean I would have to share some mess in the house...

There are quilts everywhere, so I went around the house just shooting pictures as I went around...yep, there is stuff everywhere, in fact it has taken over the house. Unfortunately I am not as organised as some people, so many quilts are adorning the floor or are hung on every available wall...and this is just a selection, because some of this is just too messy.

So, I am linking up with Lily Pad Quilting-Go to Jail to showcase that I am indeed a quilter and to have a look at some of the other links. I believe there is also a giveaway at the end of the week...good fun!


Monday 7 October 2013

Piecing Galore

Continuing on my many WIPs in my sewing room...next on the list is the Disappearing Four Patch quilt.

While the Four Patch block is quite easy to construct, it took me a while to work out the pressing of the seams. As it is a one block quilt, one should have thought that this is quite easy, but it took a few trials (more orphan blocks) to get it right as the blocks have to match up in a light/dark fashion so each alternate block has to be pressed in a way that the seams interlock across as well as down.

In the end I worked out my colour distribution (this will be an organised scrappy quilt as I selected a narrow range of my favourite country fabrics) and started on one half of the blocks pressed in one way. Managed to finish those 21 blocks yesterday...

Going about it in this organised way helped me to get less confused about the different fabrics and the pressing of the seams. I got on a roll and was able to chain-piece my units which sped up the process enormously. Actually got into a bit of a competition with myself of how much I was able to match my intersecting seams correctly when piecing the segments of the 21 blocks. Needless to say, some days were better than others...yesterday I ploughed through about 10 blocks and hardly had any mismatching seams...yah, this does not happen too often!

Chain piecing the Four Patch Units

A mountain of Four Patch halves building up behind the machine

Ready to snip the units apart

The completed units
 Only about 19 blocks to go of the other lot...this should look good when completed. I am planning to give this quilt to one of the magazines, so am on a bit of a schedule.

After this I am planning to continue with my FMQ. Finally gave up on my idea to drive to the Quilt shop in the city for my thread and ordered it over the internet. Will be interesting to see how I went with choosing the right colours...also am itching to do another FMQ sampler similar to the one that I did last year when participating in Leah Day's Wednesday Quilt Along...idea after idea...

Linking up to Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch

Until next time


Monday 30 September 2013

WIP: Playing with Colours - Finished!

My WIP: Playing with Colours is finished.

Have a look...

Complete with cat
Close up...had to spray it with water several times, i.e. soak it to get the blue marker out.

Very happy with it, turned out really nice with the simple motif in the white squares and the striped binding.

So, what's next...already seen several amazing projects that some fellow bloggers are doing...have to restrain myself though as I myself have several other WIPs to complete. for now I will continue on my Disappearing Four Patch and my Wholecloth, I think.

Linking up to Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch

Until next time


The Quilt Photography Workshop

September Challenge of The Quilt Photography Workshop over at Plum and June.
Topic: Subject and Composition


Colour Palette Inspiration

Love FMQ


Things (or cats) that make me laugh

Getting better-Learning from August Challenge (photographing fabric)

Linking up to the Quilt Photography Workshop

Plum and June


Tuesday 24 September 2013

A Finish and WIPs in progress

Is this you?

I have several WIPs in progress. When I walk into my sewing room I am bombarded with WIPs.

On my work table I have:

- Cheryl's quilt: neatly folded up and ready to baste
- Kaleidoscope quilt blocks: stalled due to lack of motivation
- Disappearing Four Patch blocks and material cut out ready to go: very keen, but got side tracked with another project, i.e. the 'Playing with Colours' project that is currently adorning the lounge room floor.

So I am left with a limited space to work on the table. Very irritating.  Under the table is an assortment of scrap material - really have to stop just dropping them there...

Behind the sewing machine, on the extension table, I have the white table runner rolled up, but ultimately in the way...under the extension table I have my stash in one of those big plastic containers. Currently I cannot see the lid as it is littered with material and bits and pieces of wadding...hence getting to any fabric is a hassle.

Then there is the floor...unfortunately I am one of those people who uses the floor. There we have my Colour Adventure quilt ready for attaching a hanging sleeve. On top of it I have my Feather Wholecloth waiting to be continued (need to buy some thread). And then there is the FMQ Sampler from last year...rolled up and waiting for the binding (actually did have some binding for this but used it up for another project recently). I could go on to lead you through the other rooms as there are another few finished quilts adorning the floors, sofas and every other conceivable surface.

I walked into my sewing room the other day and thought...right, this is it!

I took the white table runner and had another look at it. I stopped working on it a while ago  because I was not happy with the quilting. While I love the feather border, the lack of quilting over the blocks looked somewhat unfinished and under quilted. The problem was that I was so focussed on the feathers that I really did not give all that much thought to anything else. In retrospect I realise that I should have constructed this a bit differently...I am thinking that these blocks maybe should not have had any sashing in between or if I wanted sashing, then I should have also put a frame around it.

Also, the blocks themselves may have looked a bit better if I had alternated their direction.

Anyway, I decided to not stress about it and just finish it. The piece itself is very pretty and it was a pity to just let it waste away. So I quilted 1/2in lines in all the white spaces to just finish it off. Still think that it needed something different but I was lacking in brain waves and determined to make a start on finishing some of those WIPs...also used the last lot of jelly roll strips from that range to construct the binding and really like how that turned out. Gives the whole piece a bit of a lift.

The finished product...while not exactly the way I imagined this to turn out when I started it, I am pleased with this and bonus, it's a finish and off my hands (and off the table). 

I like the lines in the block but am thinking that this may not necessarily go with the flowing feather border. Will the less obsessed person realise?...probably not.

Well, here it is...An Arrangement Of Small Pieces", named after the block.

Let's hope my productivity lasts for a while

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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