Monday 27 October 2014

WIP: 99 Hexagons

Basted my 99 hexagon quilt.

Had some trouble finding a suitable backing. Initially I was going to match the yellow, but that turned out too hard...too many shades of yellow and the ones that are in this fabric are quite distinctive.

I found this white one with the black floral...while a bit busy when placed together like below, I thought it suited this little quilt perfectly

As you can see I pinned this very tightly, in fact I put a pin into every single hexagon. As I am not going to use the walking foot to secure any seams, I did not want to risk the layers shifting. I am thinking of simply quilting curved lines that go from point to point in each hexagon, then jazzing it up a notch and quilting a simple flower design in the black hexagons. No ideas re the outside borders as yet...really struggle with that each and every time.

Will I need to mark this?  Not sure yet, I am hoping that I can just eyeball this, but we shall see.

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

Until next time, hopefully with a completed quilt.


Friday 24 October 2014

Bloggers Quilt Festival

It's that time of year again...the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2014 held over at Amy's Creative Side.

This seems to have come around very quickly and I am relatively unprepared, so I have decided to enter my Dresden Plate runner in the MINI Quilt category. Always wanted to do a DP and a lot of leftover strips from my Jelly Roll inspired me to construct this variation. Initially I considered making a vertical split in the individual spokes but then thought, why not go for a horizontal split...I then did a few trial spokes and really liked the look of it. Ideal project for using up leftovers.


Quilt size: 21" x 46.5"
Fabrics used: Moda Jelly Roll-Chateau Rouge/French General (for DP) and coordinating background print.
Quilting: basic outline quilting on DSM

Head over to Amy's Creative Side to look at all the other quilts. It is always a great event to participate or just to browse through the various categories for inspiration.
The linky is open from today until October 31 when voting begins. You can find the Festival Main Page HERE


Wednesday 22 October 2014

The Challenge

My friend and I have been going to our Guild meetings over the last few months. Not entirely sure why I have never gone before - laziness comes to mind. Anyway, the meetings have been a lot of fun.

At the first meeting they had a presentation about batiks which was very interesting and informative. The shop that presented was the Whyte House Gallery which is located in Victor Habor. At the end of the talk the presenter handed out some samples for people who had never worked with batik to take away...just a few slithers of fabric. Each got about 3 - 4 pieces of approximately 4" x 6" of beautiful batik.

Looking at this fabric and talking about it, we decided to set ourselves a bit of a challenge, initially to do something small but then it became using those little pieces to produce something useful. I found a pattern for a little purse in one of the library books that I had borrowed from the Guild (Susan Briscoe - 21 terrific patchwork bags). Looked easy enough and small enough to just whip up...the purse was constructed via foundation piecing which was easy enough. It was then bound (first time I actually made my own bias binding- thoroughly enjoyed that) and folded and the zipper sewn in by hand, as was the lining. I think I enjoyed it up to the zipper part. Not being that cluey about zippers and bags in general, this was a bit of a struggle, however by then fierce competition had set in and I was determined to finish it.

Here it is...the Fan Purse in glorious batiks (about 9" in diameter)

The Fan Purse - pattern found in Susan Briscoe's book - 21 terrific patchwork bags

Black lining to match the binding

Hand-sewn zipper - I am so impressed!

Simple quilting lines- this could be embellished with some decorative stitching

Used up every little bit of fabric that I had from those batik samples. Pity that I did not take a picture of those is amazing what one get get out a few pieces.

I am going to use this as a pencil holder...just the right size. Might just have to do another one. I have got some fat quarters of beautiful Japanese type print.

Linking up to Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch and Let's Bee Social Linky Party.


Friday 17 October 2014


Went to my first Guild meeting in September and they had a talk on about Batik fabrics. I have never worked with Batiks so found this really interesting.

As it so happened my friend and colleague went off for a holiday in Bali and checked out some fabrics. I will not tell you how much fabric she came back with ...she can report this on her blog. Needless to say we are talking meters...

She gave me a heap of strips from the pre-cuts that she bought over there:

How pretty is this?

Not sure what I am going to do with this...currently I am thinking maybe a bag...

Anyway, I think I have to go to Bali

Linking up to Fort Worth Fabric Studio for Fabric Frenzy Friday


Saturday 11 October 2014

Pfaff Expression 4.2: Freemotion Modified Ankle

I first heard about the Freemotion Ankle from Kviltstina from Sweden. She directed me to Patsy Thompsons website for this video on the Pfaff Freemotion Modified Ankle.

Since then I have searched the internet for this, however could only locate it in the US. I was going to ask my local Pfaff dealer about this, but as luck has it, when I went to the Australian Machine Quilting Festival the other day, my Pfaff dealer had a stall and they already had them in stock.

Exciting plus...put it on the same day to finish off my meander on the Plus quilt. The shank of the Pfaff Machine looks like this:

This is the shank on the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 with the 6D Freemotion quilting foot. Visibility is greatly enhanced with the 6D foot but as you can see in the next picture there are some limitations when quilting with the shank obstructing some of the quilting behind the foot. Normally that requires you to look slightly on the side now and then to see where you have come from and need to go next.

This is the modified ankle:
Basically they cut off the bit where you would attach your normal sewing foot as this is not needed for FMQ

The visibility is greatly enhanced as you now do not have the lower piece obstructing your view while you FMQ .

The drawback is that you have to exchange the shank when you want to FMQ, of course...a bit fiddly but a small price to pay for the constant looking around your foot to see where you came from. I like it!


Wednesday 8 October 2014

Plus Quilt Finished

Decided on an overall meander

I have read some interesting points about the meander design lately. Many people find it quite boring and I have been a bit amazed to read that some people think it is difficult to achieve on a DSM. I reckon almost any design can be done on a DSM, depending how much practice and determination you want to put in. I agree that meandering or stippling is not a beginner design...far from it. You need to be able to speed up and slow down while at the same time concentrating on where you are going to produce a consistently visually pleasing design. Not a simple feat by any means, however with practice it can be done.

I like my overall meander at about 1/2" scale which requires some concentration as you have to keep your hands a little bit farther apart when quilting. As I have been FMQ for a while, I have no problems with the design...even if I loose concentration I usually can wiggle my way out of spots. Boring...yes, but I like the texture the stipple produces over an entire quilt. The quilt top, while quilted allover, still has that soft fluffy feel to it. And is a really fast design...I manage a good quarter of the quilt in one sitting, so when I just want to finish off a quilt this is my go to design.

The other point is that you have to look at the quilt top itself. I saw a Plus quilt at the Machine Quilting Festival the other day that had feathers quilted allover...while it looked nice and soft (as the feathers were big) you could not actually see the great feather work done due to the scrappy nature of the quilt. Similarly, I thought initially that I might do swirls allover, but again this would not really be seen due to the design, hence I opted for the meander which was ultimately faster to do.

Maybe if I do another one, I might try the swirl to see the difference in texture.

Anyway, here is a cute picture of the resident cat while I was trying to slip stitch the binding in place:

Fast asleep, so my binding had to wait...


Friday 3 October 2014

Australian Machine Quilting Festival 2014

The Australian Machine Quilting Festival has been in town from 1/10 - 6/10/14. Find the blog HERE.

Have been looking forward to this...spend the whole Saturday there looking at every little stall. Great fun! A lot of classes with great teachers were offered over the days that the festival was on however I decided to just enjoy the exhibit and look at the stalls.

Photographs were permitted for personal use only, so I will not be showing the photos I took of some very impressive quilts, however here are some shots of some of the quilting designs that caught my interest..

This is a filler design that I would love to be able to do

Impressive Plus!

Loved this

Great background

Very effective filler for the wreath
 Needless to say, I spend a lot of money on bits and pieces...bought some Aurifil thread, Golden Threads quilting paper, Accuquilt Go Cutter Dies (ouch!) and various other things.

They always have a very good book stall and I found Angela Walter's new book...yah!

I also have her first book 'Freemotion Quilting' and highly recommend her books. They are easy to follow and the instructions are very detailed and lend themselves to both traditional as well as modern quilts.
And as luck has it, there is a section on hexagons in the book which is handy as I still need to finish off my 99 hexagon quilt. While I had a design in mind, the book has just given me an extension of my idea...

However, the most exciting thing was that I found the Pfaff Freemotion Ankle. Now this was a surprise...I had been looking for this over the Internet for some time and was going to ask my local sewing shop about it. As it was, my sewing shop had a stall and they already had them in stock. But more on that in another post...

Until next time


Taking the plunge

Spring is in full swing
Happy to announce that I have finally taken the plunge to enter one of my quilts in the Annual Festival of Quilts Exhibition part of the Craft & Quilt Fair that runs here in November.

I have spent the last few weeks sewing up a sleeve for the quilt and going through that handbook trying to figure out all the different labels that I needed...must admit I did get very anxious looking at my quilt as I could see all those little faults but I was determined to make this happen. It's does not matter that it is a simple straightforward quilt and not one of my bestest pieces...this was one of those things that has been on my list for a very long time. The anxiety around that is really quite amazing.Have not been able to work on anything else.

Made a mental note not to use a quilt again that had a black border...spent days on going over that with a lint roller to make it as clean as possible. Did not help that I had some bearding happening as well. Anyway, handed it in yesterday at the monthly Guild meeting.

This should be interesting.

Now that this is out of the way I have several things that need finishing:
- the 99 Hexagon quilt: found a great backing piece and just need to put the three layers together

- the Plus quilt is ready for quilting: decided to do a simple meander over it. After much thought I came to the conclusion that that is the texture I want for this, even though it probably is a bit boring
- working on writing up a pattern for my Dresden table runner
- have a new design worked out but am still looking for some background fabric


Popular Posts