Sunday 29 March 2015

Furry Friend Blanket

Every cat needs a blanket...well, it's getting colder here and our cat is continually lying on the various quilts that adorn the house...

Used some of the nice fluffy wool batting that was left over from the baby quilt and used this piece as a bit of a practice run for the Start/Stop button of the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2.
What a hoot...somebody should have told me that you can stop by just tapping the foot control. You will have to set it to the lowest setting otherwise it is just too fast, I reckon. All in all though it works really well and you can just concentrate on moving your quilt around. I used the Sensormatic Freemotion Foot that just glides over the fabric when you are at a certain speed. This thing was finished in no time at all. Given the constant speed I found that you naturally make slightly bigger movement which results in a sort of mid scale allover pattern. This was handy...definitely will use this again. Also used the Overlock stitch for the first time to secure the edges...again with that Start/Stop button...very handy indeed as you can concentrate on keeping your edge nice and straight.


Wednesday 25 March 2015

Mucking Around

Acquired some new fabric...

Very excited about these solids. Have got a new design in mind and started playing around with the AccuQuilt GO cutter today using the triangles in square 4" die. Bought this a while ago to hopefully make a 54-40 star quilt one day.

Part of the design that I have in my head uses this block.
For those of you who also like the 54-40 block would know that this block uses tricky angles and would probably normally be foundation pieced.
Today I thought that I could use the Accuquilt triangle shape to make this block. I am always looking for easier ways to construct blocks and this seemed somewhat feasible. I thought that given the accurate triangle that the die would cut it would be relatively easy to just align it over a 4 1/2in block and sew it in place. Did all sorts of fancy Maths to work out the exact points they should align. Well, wrong...I think I did about 15 odd block and nearly gave up actually...trying to align them even though they were 100% accurate produced all sorts of variable measurements due to the odd angle and also the bias edge. In the end I was staring at it thinking that there must be an easy way to do this...really do not want to foundation piece this. Anyway, I think this finally worked for me (or maybe it was a fluke), got two chevron units that are accurate...did print out my EQ7 block to actually measure this and yes, they do seem precise.
Also did one of those star point units ...that worked great ...the only thing I had to do was to change my needle a bit over to get a precise seam allowance as those shapes are very accurate (and I am obviously not).

Will play a bit more to see whether I can get some consistent results as I will need a lot of those blocks and they will have to be accurate. Also will have to really have a think through about which of these methods will use more fabric...I might have to bite the bullet and foundation piece those chevron units and use the GO cutter for the star point units only.

 Until next time


Wednesday 18 March 2015

March 2015 FMQ Challenge

Finished my pillow for the FMQ Challenge run over at Quiltshopgal. This months' expert is Patsy Thompson and I think I fall under Option 3. I did check out Patsy's blog re her pillow samples and basically this month I am just going to be a bit of a copy cat. For me it is very important that this challenge is about learning new things and seeing Patsy's trapunto and background filler I thought it was time that I gave this a go. See my previous blog post FMQ Fun about the process of getting the trapunto design onto the square and stitching it out incorporating the hyperquilting that Patsy is so well known for. As mentioned previously I did get Patsy's DVD series on feathers some time ago and cannot recommend it highly enough...I learned so much from that and also got somewhat addicted to the hyperquilting.

Anyway, here is my completed pillow, done again using the orange shot cotton with Aurifil 50/2 thread. You cannot really see the in-lining very well in this picture but it is there, done in yellow thread. The interesting thing is that I did not consider the middle section that much and once trapuntoed, realized that without in-lining in the middle this puffed out more than the surrounding feathers...maybe I should have put some in-lining in there as well...not sure.

Close up of the wreath taken outside in the sun showing the trapunto effect...very prominent indeed. I used Wool batting to do the trapunto because this is what I had. I think Polyester would have been nicer as this turned out a little bit firmer than expected as there was a lot of puff in there.
Love the background filler as it adds a lot of texture to the overall piece without being overpowering and is very forgiving to stitch out. Probably need a bit more practice to get used to the way I stitch a bit of a rhythm going but frequently lost it again being a bit undecided where to go next but I think with a bit more practice this should become second nature.

Bit of an added feature...had this Fat Quarter forever and finally found a good use for it using it as a back for the pillow.
Also tried my luck on using a zipper closure again...word of your zipper before sewing the whole lot together! What a hassle, took me forever to pry this open to turn the pillow out.

Linking up to the March FMQ Challenge held by Darlene over at Quiltshopgal.

Also popping over to  Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social to spread the word.


Monday 16 March 2015

FMQ Teaser

That's all I have been doing...FMQ

First time I have tried this background filler from Patsy Thompson...plumification plus. Looks a bit crinkled as I had just washed the piece. Don't know about you, but nowadays I rarely just practice  on practice pieces. Don't seem to put the effort in when I just stitch on a practice piece, so now I go onto the real thing straight away and hope for the best. That way I ensure that I am giving it a really good workout. The 2015 FMQ challenge over at Quiltshopgal is particularly good for this...making a pillow with FMQ designs is just a big enough task to get a real feel for a design but small enough to actually get it done. This design was interesting...initially could not quite get the feel or rhythm to it, then got it and then lost it somewhat again...was left with a bit of an awkward empty space in the end that I could not get to anymore. However, the design is very forgiving, so I just filled that bit in after...not noticeable at all.

Should have my pillow finished some time this week...yah!


Wednesday 11 March 2015


I have been working on the March FMQ Challenge hosted by Quiltshopgal. This months' expert is Patsy Thompson. I thought that I might post about my progress otherwise my link up post is just going to get too long at the end of the month.

I am an avid follower of Patsy Thompson and have talked about her DVDs previously. I acquired the feather series some time ago and have been hooked ever since, particularly on the hyperquilting. In trying to work out what to sew, I went on Patsy's blog and instantly was inspired to try her pillow design. It featured a beautiful trapunto wreath. Now here was a challenge...I have not done a lot of trapunto and thought this was a good opportunity to give it another crack. So basically I am just a bit of a copycat this month in terms of design.
Basically used what I had on hand and traced the design on my square. Had I considered this a bit more, I would have left out the middle section of the wreath...more on that later

Stitched out design

Batting and thin interfacing behind the wreath
I placed some wafer-thin interfacing behind the batting as just stitching through the batting was a bit tricky tension-wise...the interfacing fixed this. Trimmed the batting very carefully, basted it and got to work on outlining the wreath with invisible thread, following Patsy's instruction on her blog. All good, except that I now noticed that the inside plumes were puffing out like no tomorrow. This made sense, given that I had not done any in-lining in there...yep, something to think about beforehand.

As you may have noticed, I changed the pearls to a lighter colour...the red ones I had done before were just really sloppy. Tried to be quick and just sewn them in there, even though I knew they would look better if I did half circles first and then complete them on the second I did them properly second time around. The outlining of the plumes was interesting...used invisible thread as Patsy had done and realized that I would have to jump sections if I did not want to backtrack on the invisible thread. Bit of a hassle and my jumping turned out a bit untidy on the back and the fat plumes in the middle were a bit of a challenge! But the beast got tamed and it looks sort of alright.
Learned another thing doing outer circle from which the in-lining was done looks quite untidy (if you look closely) and I realized that I should have stitched slightly off the sewn circle...I think that might look better. Overall though a decent trapunto effort, judging by my previous attempts.
Anyway, finished this today with some echo lines around the circle and then tackled the corners. Used the walking foot for that and then tried something I had not done before...used one of my decorative stitches to put the row of pearls in. The Pfaff machine has a basic circle and with some minor adjustment I was able to make it a bit rounder and smaller to fit exactly into my 1/4in space. The machine backtracks over the circle, so it is quite a heavy stitch and FMQ circles do look a bit better, however just for the texture, this was perfect...finished this in no time at all and now can get back to FMQ the rest.

Linking up to Connie's Freemotion by the River, even though it's Wednesday today however have not linked up anywhere for a while and there is a bit of a Giveaway going on as well as lots to see.


Wednesday 4 March 2015

WIP: Stretched Star Quilt

I have been missing in action pretty sick as a dog (cold, blocked nose etc)! Flula would like this saying, I reckon. If you don't know who Flula is have a look  at one of his YouTube videos. Be warned, he swears a bit and some people may find this offensive. He is a young German in the US and his accent kills me...very funny.

Anyway this is what I had been working Stretched Star quilt
In the end I decided (and regretted it immediately) to stitch-in-the-ditch along all the seams. What a hassle. Have completed all the horizontal and vertical lines and was up to the diagonal...about half of the quilt to go. I am using 100% Legacy Wool batting which is nice and soft and fluffy. I ordered some stencils from the US, so once they arrive I will just put some motif in the white patches and it will be finished.

That's all from me today... until next time, hopefully with a finished quilt


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