Monday 23 June 2014

Graph Paper Quilt Along 2

After some frustration with my Whole cloth quilt, I spent some time earlier in the week to cut up a whole lot of country fabric and got a bit actually did make a dent in the stash.

Using up my stash

Love this dandelion fabric
I left them sorted into their colours, put them in little zipper bags, and with a quilt diagram next to the sewing machine started to sew the squares together. So relaxing and calming...just quietly following the quilt diagram.

Making a start

See that little tool next to the quilt diagram...this is my finger pressing helper. As I went through, I pressed the seams with this gadget, so that I did not have to get up at all. I chain pieced my squares together ...squares of several rows at a time, stopped, then put sections of individual rows together, then the row and so forth.

Not getting up to press the seams with the iron made this a very quick process. As I went along I marked any changes in fabric on my quilt diagram to avoid confusion as I sometimes did not have enough pieces to complete the plus (was not quite that organised in cutting up my stash).

Finished it today

Very happy with the outcome. Just need to sew the rows together now. The quilt will measure about 49" x 55" if I do not attach a border.

Linking up to Anything Goes Monday  over at Stitch by Stitch and the Graph Paper Quilt Along at Fabric Mutt

Until next time


Tuesday 17 June 2014

Bogged Down

Have nothing to link up anywhere much this week...very unsatisfactory.

I really got bogged down with my second feather border for my Wholecloth quilt. I don't know what it is but somehow the whole quilt took on a momentous importance. I started off marking a bit of a wavy line onto the border, even leaving a half inch space at the bottom, but not sure what happened then. Started my feathers on one side and then stood back to have a look at it...they looked nice, yes...but how was I going to match this properly on the other side?

Seems that I did not think that through at all. Paying no attention really to how I was travelling I just stitched the feathers how I felt like it, sometimes going right to the bottom and sometimes not...herein lies the problem...there was no way to reproduce this on the other side (unless I want to really drive myself mental)...I started half way down and then stopped. Have to rethink this somehow.  Either do informal, free flowing feathers or do the more formal approach of actually following the wave that I have drawn in keeping the plumes a similar shape and size, so that both sides match somewhat. While the stitching above looks nice, once the binding is on, it will be obvious that I followed the wave more closely on the right side.

Funny actually, as I have done this border before in a slightly smaller border and had no problem whatsoever. It seems that the little extra width has totally confused me. I also had to remind myself that this quilt was just for me to is not going to be the master piece of the century, nevertheless I got completely carried away over the week.

So, I put it to the side and just started to work on my Squares quilt, just sewing squares calming and relaxing.

I think I will have to do some more thinking around this second feather border and make a decision before I start to stitch about what I want this to look like. Maybe I just overestimated my abilities or was not in the right head space. Probably need to mark my reference points better. The stitching of the feathers was fun though.

Watch this space.

PS. On the plus side, I worked out my issues with my Springloaded foot on the new Pfaff 4.2.  I use this foot now with the Dynamic Spring Freemotion quilting mode. When I was at the dealer the other day we talked about that the opening of the foot was creating a bit of an issue in the new model, not grabbing the thread at just the right moment some of the time. The Dynamic Spring Freemotion mode fixed that, but I also put one of those Magic Genie Bobbin washers in the bobbin to just lift the bobbin that little fraction. Stitched beautifully with not one skipped stitch.


Friday 13 June 2014

Creating Country Thread

My Disappearing Four Patch has been published in Country Threads Vol 15 No 4

While I slowed down a bit in getting my quilts in the Magazines this is why I keep doing it. The photography is always really beautiful and shows of your quilts in the best possible light. Well, it helps of course, having it photographed by a professional.

Country Threads Vol 15 No 4
They also did a bit of a feature on me and wrote an article about  me and my quilts

All my favourite quilts in there. Love it!


Monday 9 June 2014

A FMQ Kind of Day

Continued on my Whole Cloth. In fact, I had completed the whole inner border doing a feather scroll design completely freehand earlier in the week. When it was finished I decided that it was too informal and not consistent enough for the formalised style of the quilt, so I took it all out and started again.Yah, I know...crazy

Here it goes...did do this the whole day yesterday.You can see the compaction that the microstippling produced...this worried me a bit
Sewn in spine guide
Design in pink thread
I had the previous version in white which looked too bright...whatever was I thinking with that blueish border. Anyway I decided to use the pink thread, even though that looked fairly bla...then I covered the pink thread with some gold splays to jazz it up a bit and that did the trick.

Splays gold thread

A bit closer
This design is stitched from the bottom up and involves a fair bit of backtracking. Good thing I love doing that...always a bit of a personal challenge to try to go back in the same holes that you stitched before. Manage this by now about 50% of the time. However, the design is a bit tricky because at my machine the visibility ahead is a bit poor at times. Last time I did this I ended up with sometimes two, and sometimes three plumes because I could not estimate the space ahead. Worked hard this time to avoid this.
The completed design

What do you think?

And then there is the back

I actually think I should start showing my quilts from the back...just love the look of this.

Linking up to Anything Goes Mondays at Stitch by Stitch.


The Graph Paper Quilt Along

I am joining Heidi's Graph Paper Quilt Along over at the Fabric Mutt.

Fabric Mutt

Could not believe it when I saw it...this is exactly what I had just done...just sewn together some squares as part of my latest obsession of getting rid of some of my overflowing stash.

So I could say that I already have completed a quilt top ...however, I did this before I had even heard about the QA

For this QA I was thinking of using some fabric that I found on the bottom of the stash...not particularly pretty, but obviously must have bought it for a reason. Then I found the Pig fabric and bingo...a match!

However then I saw the suggestions that Heidi from Fabric Mutt put up last week and I found the perfect project for me.

Spend last week working through some fabric and designing this Plus quilt top using the fabrics in my stash

Have not started cutting yet, as I then got side tracked on some other things and also sported a major migraine. But I have the Accuquilt Go cutter and cutting out the squares will be quick, so I am hoping to catch up by the next link up.

Linking up to the Graph Paper QAL over at Fabric Mutt.


Sunday 8 June 2014

Amy's FMQ Adventures Link Up

Have been playing around with the new ruler from Accents in Design that arrived in the mail on Monday. So, I am a bit behind everybody...but just had to try it out

Did some grid work, practising some straight lines with the ruler and then filled the squares with some random designs
The ruler works fine, except I had to experiment a bit with what FMQ foot to the end, my Sensormatic FMQ foot was the best as it is fairly broad on the sides, so it glides very nicely against the ruler. The only problem I had was that I do not seem to be able to make nice 90 degree corners with it...maybe that is just practice.

Then I got really I do. I have this book "One Line at a Time" by Charlotte Warr Andersen which is about grid work. She uses both FMQ and quilting with the walking foot. The book contains an array of designs and I was really in the mood to just play a little bit. I have had this book for years and have not actually used any of the designs.

So, this is what I trialled

The book has a few strips of Inchie Ruler Tape, so I used this to guide my sewing. I based the design on a 1inch grid. This was a design that would have been stitched with a walking foot and after having done it using FMQ, I would have to agree that it probably would look sharper if I had used the walking foot. As you can see I could not keep my lines entirely straight. But how cool is this design... you can see I have some 1/2inch lines in there...ignore them, I was going to do something entirely different initially.
Box Kite pattern
While I used the Inchie tape, in the book, the author also shows how to mark the design on the grid with a marker of your choice. I must say, having tried out the Inchie Ruler tape, I am sold. I will need to get me some of this...that was super easy. All I had to do was stick 3 Inchie tape sections on my block, remove the middle one and then stitch the design in the middle following the markings of the ruler tape. Then the process was repeated, row for row, and column for column. Brilliant !

Linking up to Amy's FMQ Adventures


Wednesday 4 June 2014

FMQ on the Pfaff 4.2

I have been exploring the 3 FMQ modes (Spring freemotion, Sensormatic freemotion and Dynamic spring foot 6D) of the machine. As you may have read, I had run into some difficulties. Apologies to non-Pfaff owners, as this will probably bore you to tears. However, there is very little around on the net about this and the manual is of no great help on this issue, so I thought this might be of use.

Springloaded foot
Open Sensormatic foot

Dynamic 6D foot
 My Springloaded foot as well as the open Sensormatic FMQ foot were giving me trouble on the new machine. I had the machine since January and have been mainly using the new Dynamic 6D foot for FMQ which is fantastic. I have quilted two quilts with that and experienced no problems whatsoever.

As this came as a bit of a surprise,  I booked myself into a session at my local sewing shop. When I rang, the owner asked whether I had kept my sample of trying these modes...of course, I had not. So, I sat down one evening and produced another sample, this time going methodically through the FMQ modes of the machine. This was interesting as the owner of the shop had already hinted that the opening of the open toe feet might be the issue.

Sample stitched with Aurifil 50/2 using a Microtex Sharp 70/10
From left to right: The Springloaded foot did not perform, even when I changed the pivot setting gradually down to -5 to hold the fabric in place. Had skipped stitches and thread breakage. Then did the closed Sensormatic foot (pivot height setting 0)... worked absolutely fine. Next came the open Sensormatic foot...did not work at all on a pivot of 0, but worked well on a pivot setting of -3. Did the Springloaded foot again on the Spring FMQ mode...this time at the slowest speed possible and pivot of -5. Worked ok, but there was the occasional skipped stitch. Very different to how this foot had performed on the previous Pfaff 4.0.
Close up of Springloaded foot at pivot -5

Then got carried away again with the Dynamic 6D spring foot, which of course, was fine. Back to the open Sensormatic foot on a pivot of -3...again (not shown), no hassles. Changed over one more time to the closed Sensormatic foot on a pivot of 0 and this continued to produce a good result. This was a most valuable exercise...

When at the shop, the technician confirmed that the openness of the Springloaded foot was the most likely cause of the problem, not holding the fabric down well enough with each stitch to catch the thread underneath. We talked about batting as my sample was stitched on a fairly thin batting (mixture of polyester and cotton, I believe). He also suggested to use the Dynamic spring foot 6D mode for this open foot...I did, and the problem of skipping stitches and thread breakage disappeared at the shop...mind you, there I used a sample of wool batting.

So, in order to use the Springloaded foot in the Spring foot freemotion setting I will have to reduce the pivot height to -5 and go very, very slow, or use the Dynamic spring foot 6D mode with that foot.

Hope this made sense.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts


Monday 2 June 2014

Anything Goes Linky Party

stitch by stitch

I am thrilled and honored to host Marelize's Anything Goes Mondays Linky Party today. Marelize's blog, Stitch by Stitch, contains some amazingly beautiful work...I particularly like her freemotion quilting that she showcases throughout her blog. I have pretty much participated in the linky from its it says, anything goes, which makes it very easy to link up, particularly if you are like me and keep swapping from one project to the next.

Anyway, welcome to my little part of the web. I hope you have a bit of a look around, stay for a while and come back often. I have been quilting since 2006 and blogging for about 2 years. I love all things quilting, however over the years FMQ has become my real passion (obsession!). When I am not quilting, I love to design quilts and have started to put some of my patterns up on Craftsy. You can find my pattern store HERE or just have a quick look at the Craftsy button on the right sidebar.

I am currently in the midst of what I call my stash reduction mission and am working on the following projects:

My Spiderweb block quilt: have over 40 triangles finished and need to make about a 100 more...I am aiming for a bed sized quilt...slightly overwhelming at the moment, but I am determined to just keep going
If you are interested in making one of these, have a look at my tutorial

The little Country quilt: made out of leftover scraps, cut into squares
Ready to be quilted. Waiting for a FMQ ruler that I ordered from the US.

And then there is my FMQ project: this has been on hold for a while after the enormous area of microstippling. Have two more borders to do and am starting to get restless, itching to continue on this project.

And then my husband asked me for a baby quilt for an acquaintance the other I designed this little beauty out of very little fabric (had a few Fat Quarters of some Brights fabric that I won some time ago), still going with my determination not to purchase any new fabric.

This is so cute!

Now it is your turn to share with us what you have been busy with

1. Link up ANY recent blog posts, it can be one or more, but PLEASE do not share blog posts you might have linked up in the past.
2. Somewhere in your blog post, you must link back here to my blog, OR grab the Anything Goes button for your sidebar.
3. Try to visit at least a few of the other blogs linked, the whole point of having a party is to connect, share and maybe get a few more followers...remember to leave a comment to let them know you stopped by!


Add your link here:

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