Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Very Cute

So I managed to finish off all my blocks...
...and today started to put this together. Have to concentrate and go slowly as my piecing is never accurate, hence have to straighten and adjust while I go along.

Managed two rows today and am very pleased with how it is going. This is going to look ultra cute!
Already thinking ahead of the quilting and thought that I might leave it at a minimum level, i.e. outline the birds, echo the sashing and echo the foot shapes of the block (hmmm...not sure about that as they are all different colours!) and then just put curves in the middle sections of the Fancy Foot block. Alternatively I could do an allover design in a light yellow colour. Decisions, decisions...!

Linking up to Sew Fresh Quilts for Let'sBee Social


Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Fancy Foot Block

Made a start on my blocks for the Funky Bird Quilt recently but was too busy to post about it and then forgot all about it.
This is the Fancy Foot block. It can be found in Maggie Malone's book '5500 Quilt Block Designs' (#2164). It is a simple four patch design that looks particularly striking in these bold colours.

I used the Accuquilt GO cutter to cut out the shapes which made this a relatively easy affair, particularly for the elongated triangles which were cut with the 4in triangles in square die (the die that you use for the Storm at Sea design). While you can cut this yourself, a die like this makes this very easy and quick. The pieces align perfectly and come together quickly. Helps of course, if you think about direction beforehand...I had a whole stack of triangles the other way around and needed to re-cut them to get them the right way around!

Have everything cut out and just need to find some spare time to chain-piece my little heart out and put it all together. My HQ Sweet 16 has gone in for a service, so there is no excuse not to finish this  up in the meantime.


Sunday, 9 June 2019

Progress on Funky Bird Quilt

Almost done all of the birds
Little bit left on the last three and then I can get to cutting out the fabric for the piecing...bit work intensive but it will be very cute. This is what I am planning

How cute is this!
The block is called Fancy Foot and I first came across it  on a site which show-cased antique quilting blocks. Unfortunately this website is now defunct, but I also found this block in Maggie Malone's 5500 Quilt Block Designs. I constructed this four patch before and thought that this was the perfect companion for the birds.

Apart from that I am still in cleaning and re-thinking mode to make my sewing set up a bit more user friendly. I have moved my cutting table over into the corner and created some space for a potential extension flap for the Sweet 16...will trial this for a moment to see whether this works for me with the table.
This re-thinking has been such a brain teaser...really want to make do with what I have and make it work somehow. Ideally, you could get a height adjustable table, looking a bit like this and create one seamless surface when you need it for the Sweet16 and put it up for when you working on cutting out a quilt. This would be great but those tables come with a fairly hefty price tag, so my extension flap for the Sweet 16 is the cheaper option. Some of the items on the table would then move over onto the extended bit and my table would be a bit more empty when working on it.

Anyway, back to those birds!


Wednesday, 5 June 2019

Re-Thinking The Sewing Room

I had a delay with my HQ Sweet 16 going for will now go in the middle of this month. Not sure whether this prompted me to re-think my sewing room, but that is what's happening at the moment. I have not been entirely happy with my set up.
This is how the Sweet 16 is situated
See the gap between the cutting table and the Sweet 16 table...initially I had this at the same height, which was brilliant for the Sweet 16 but unworkable for the cutting table. Was doing my back in as the table was too low. I am thinking about getting the right extension flap for the Sweet 16. Probably should have done this when I first got the machine, but thought I could save some money. If I get the right extension the whole wall will be taken up with Sweet 16 and cutting table, in fact the cutting table would have to go right into the corner and .the right edge would be somewhat less accessible... there is a shelf right next to it. All a bit messy and cramped but I need that shelf with all my stuff!
On the opposite wall is my Pfaff machine...I have a Horn sewing cabinet (Outback)
Fully assembled it looks like this
Outback MKII and Extension Table
Image from Horn Sewing Furniture
The dimension is approx. 165cmx120cm. This has been absolutely great for many years, however now that I am using the Sweet 16 for all my FMQ my time on the Pfaff is limited to sewing my piecing together. Having it in the room limited my floor space and the extensions to the back served mainly as a rubbish dump for all sorts of bitses and pieces...again, all very messy.

So on the weekend we took the extension off, but left the flap to the back which neatly folds down
If I need it, then all I have to do is pull the cabinet to the middle of the room and lift the flap.

Created heaps more floor space this way which I seem to need when I am putting a quilt together
Not finished with my re-think of the room, but it's a start. Really need to create more order and functionality. If I get the right extension for the Sweet 16 then it will only have to move over by about 20cm as the cutting table is not exactly in the corner. Good thing is that the extensions can be folded down, so I do not necessarily have to have it up on the left all the time, allowing plenty of room for window cleaning (πŸ˜‚ as if that is going to happen!).

Will have to think further on this as these extension flaps are not exactly cheap.


Sunday, 26 May 2019

Funky Bird Quilt

Made a start on the Funky Bird Quilt. This is also a project that I have listed in the second quarter of the 2019 Finish-A-Long.

I am not a great applique person, so finding this quite challenging...have done four of the nine birds so far. My admiration goes to those quilters who do those intricate applique designs. Seriously, I am finding these little birds quite labour intensive. The bird design 'Funky Bird' is from the applique section of the EQ8 program.
They are very cute...have another two alternate versions to go through. In order to not get confused I have a copy of the mirror image to trace from but then also have a copy of the original next to me. So far, so good...have not got mixed up as yet.

Also getting re-acquainted with my Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2 in terms of stitching around those birds. For the main body I chose my favourite stitch (no. 159 on this machine), one of the satin-like stitches of the machine.
That stitch is great for someone like me who does not do applique that it is uneven it hides all sort of things as you go along. Also had to read up on the tapering again, as in one of the red birds the top feather was in the way for the stitch (which starts with a wide swing out). Set the taper for 45 degree at the beginning of the stitch which made it possible to miss the adjacent element altogether. Was pretty impressed with that and also started to use the taper on the corners, so I would not get a huge thread build up. For the wings and feathers I used a simple blanket stitch and the eyes and beak were done with a simple zig-zag.

This is going to be a very cute quilt. You will have to wait and see possibly a number of weeks to find out what else I have planned for this.


Sunday, 19 May 2019

2019 Finish-A-Long: Second Finish for Second Quarter

My second finish for the 2019 Finish-A-Long: The Camden Bowl.

You can find my list of proposed finishes for the 2019 Finish-A-Long HERE.

Approx. 8 1/2in by 6in high
How cute is this! I constructed the bowl from leftovers from a jelly roll of French General fabric (and still got bitses and pieces left over!). The pattern for this bowl comes from Aunties Two, however I just loosely followed a YouTube video from Mom and Pop's Quilt Shop. Working on this, I realised that the bottom is done somewhat different in the original pattern...they insert some stiffening into the bottom which would have been better. While looking around, found some more helpful videos (see HERE and HERE) that explained the bottom and how to sew all this together. So this bowl has some flaws but still looks pretty great. Very enjoyable little weekend project.

Please visit Leanne's blog She Can Quilt for more information on the Finish-A-Long. You will find  detail on how this link up works and also find the list of bloggers who are hosting this great event. The Link up for the Second Quarter Quarter Finishes is on July1st.

What will I use this for?
Great  bowl for keeping your knitting handy.


Wednesday, 15 May 2019

2019 Finish-A-Long: Camden Bowl

I have been talking about the Camden Bowl in previous posts and finally made a start. The idea came from leftovers that I had from the Moda French General fabric range. I have been holding on to this fabric for years. Out of the original jelly roll, I made a bag, a Dresden Plate table runner and still had some strips leftover!

First I made the bottom...for this I used a piece that I am obviously also saving for ridiculous! Cut it up and used it. In order to make the centre nice and stiff I used this as a bit of a workout on the Sweet 16 with my circle rulers, then bound it and put it aside.

The sewing of the strips was good fun...
I used pre-cut batting strips (Mathilda's Rainbow batting 2"). This made the strips very solid and I am actually thinking that this would make an excellent bathroom mat, if I could find something that would make the bottom non-slip. In terms of process, you take your 2 1/2in strip, put the batting on and then fold it in on itself towards the middle. You then sew along the edge and when you have two of them, you sew them together with a zig-zag stitch, then add the next two and so forth. For Pfaff owners....this is where the Start/Stop button becomes very handy...
Just make sure that you set your speed to 'slow', otherwise the machine will take off like a rocket and give you a hell of a fright. At the slow speed this leaves your hands free to ensure that you zig-zag along the middle in a straight manner which is important in terms of not bowing your piece out of shape.

This is how far I got
Bottom done, panel done and binding prepared! I used 10 strips  rather than the 8 strips that the lady in the video had used. Felt that the whole thing should be a bit higher. As you can see the panel will overlap, once attached to the bottom and then will be adorned with some decorative buttons, ribbons or similar. 

The original pattern is from Aunties Two however I am just loosely following a YouTube video from Mom and Pop Quilt Shop. I did  get my daughter to get me the bag pattern (called Bali bag) from Aunties Two for Mother's Day though as there is no way I could just 'wing it' and construct a bag. Will have to closely follow the pattern. Looks like good fun though.

Linking up to Oh Scrap! 


Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Not Much Happening Over Here

I seem to have gone into hibernation mode! Really struggling at the moment and literally have to drag myself to do the simplest thing. Total creative standstill!

I have to prepare my quilt for the show and need to produce labels, cover up for the label, sleeve and so forth. You would think that this is a quick affair but I am always dragging my feet with that. Also discovered that I do not have any backing fabric left for the I went searching the internet, by now several times over, and yep, it is not being made anymore (at least over here in Australia). I will have to use calico which really annoys me, but there is nothing I can do about this.

Also was on my last sheet of Inkjet Printable Fabrics sheets, so today I carefully printed out the label ...progress! Really need to get this done in the next week or so. I will be glad when this quilt is off my hands and I will not see it again until the show which is in the beginning of July. I will post some pictures then...should look good.

Apart from this, I have been keeping up with my monthly HQ challenge quilt that we are doing with our local HQ group. This month's task finished!
There is a grid in there amongst this very black patch! 

My machine will go for service next week which I am a bit nervous about, giving that it is running so well. I have had the HQ Sweet 16 now for approx. 2 years and I have around 2700000 stitches on the clock. Yep, definitely is due for a service, but I am telling you it's running like a dream. Hopefully it will be running even better when it comes back, as I will be starting another wholecloth.

In the meantime I will do a bit of applique, I think...


Thursday, 25 April 2019

2019 Finish-A-Long: First Finish for Second Quarter

Completed my first finish for the second quarter of the 2019 Finish-A-Long. You can find my goal list HERE.

Admittedly, I was almost at the end of this, had just the binding to do, but a finish nevertheless.
This came together very quickly. I bought a packet of 6 1/2in strips of the baby blue fabric at our recent quilt show and just cut this into squares. To pretty it up a bit I put a few appliqued hearts on it and I was done. For the quilting I chose a simple allover clamshell design, done with the HQ Versa tool. 
Quilting the clamshell design
And that was it. Done!

The quilt measures 36 1/2 x 36 1/2in.
My next baby quilt will be a bit more involved, with applique and piecing...a fun and colourful design which I designed a while back. But first I will have a few other tasks to finish...


Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Friday, 12 April 2019

Clamshell Design

I started to quilt my little baby quilt with an allover clamshell design
The orange thread that you see running across the quilt is my basting stitch which will come out at the end. I did pin this quilt and then ran  over it with a large meander basting stitch taking most, but not all of the pins out in order to do the ruler work.

I am using the Handiquilter Versa tool for this which makes the clamshells 2in x 4in. If you want to be super precise you could mark your quilt up with a 2in grid for ease of alignment, however that would be quite a tedious task. Following the first row of clamshells I just drew a line across the top of the clamshells to keep my design straight and also did some vertical 'helper lines' to hit the centre of the clamshells on my way back (more or less precisely). 
The Versa tool has an alignment line at the bottom of the clamshell that I used to stay on my line across the quilt. After having done almost 3/4 of the quilt I remembered that Bethanne Nemesh draws on her rulers with a Sharpie pen. Ingenious...why did I not think about this before?
I drew some additional lines on the Versa tool
I extended the centre line of the clamshell so that I could better judge the halfway point of the clamshells underneath to make sure that they stayed approximately on top of each other. In addition, I also drew in additional horizontal lines which should sit (again approximately) on top of each of the clamshells rows underneath the row I was working on. 
This made alignment much easier and ensured consistency...should have thought of this earlier which would have avoided me drawing in lines all over the quilt! The Sharpie pen can be wiped off with alcohol, but I might leave them on there...might become handy for something else.

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

2019 Finish-A-Long Proposed List Q2

Cannot believe it...I missed the link up for the first quarter! I thought I was so organised...even made a tab at the top so I would find my posts quickly to link up. For some reason, I had the 10th April in my head and when I looked today I realised that that was the date for the proposed list for the second quarter. What a bugger...and I was so productive in the first quarter! I finished 4 projects of my list in the first quarter...if you are interested to see them go to the tab on the top of the page to view them.

Definitely need to make a note on the calendar for the next link up date! 
You can find the information about the Finish-A- Long on  Leanne's blog She Can Quilt. There you will find more detail on how this link up works and also find the list of bloggers who are hosting this great event.

My goal list for the second quarter will be small. I am in a bit of a lull at the moment, contemplating what to do next.

1. Another Baby Quilt
Currently quilting this with an overall clamshell design. This is unexpectedly quick, only got a few more rows left.

2. Wholecloth Quilt
This is leftover from the first quarter. I did do some work on the design, but stopped half way through to finish another Wholecloth UFO which was not on the list. Still in the designing stages
Got everything ready...the fabric, ordered some more binding fabric etc....however not 100% happy with my design, so will have to keep going on re-drawing it until I am happy with it. Over the years I have learned the hard way not to rush Wholecloth quilts...just too much work that goes into it, so you have to be absolutely happy with your design.

3. Scrappy Spiderweb quilt
Also a leftover from the first quarter. Made absolutely no progress on this.

4. Funky Bird Quilt
This is a project I would like to do...did a bit of a test block to see how work intensive this would be. Found that I was a bit rusty with my applique (put the bird the wrong way around), but thought overall that this would be fun.
However, I also got one of Elizabeth Hartmann's patterns recently (The Fox) and am a bit torn as to which one to make. Decisions, decisions!

5. The Camden Bowl
Having way too much fun over here... saw a video the other day which explained how to put this together, so I did a trial piece 
Definitely need to do one of those bowls...maybe I can then graduate towards a jelly roll rug. Would love to do that, but maybe not in this quarter πŸ˜ƒ

Linking up to the Proposed Finishes List over at She Can Quilt for the first quarter.


Wednesday, 3 April 2019

Another Baby Quilt!

This must be the year for babies...I am in need of another baby quilt! I only got baby girl quilts that are already finished, so I was looking for a very quick project that I could just throw together. Initially I was looking for a panel, but could not find anything that I really liked. When I was at a recent quilt show, I discovered a packet of fabric, already cut up into 6 1/2in strips. Bought that and cut it up into squares and just mixed some applique hearts with it. 

Very blue and cutesy.  Planning on doing a clamshell design over it that I can stitch out with the HQ Versa tool. Prepared everything ready for basting today, so this should be finished in the next 2 weeks. 
Apart from that, dragging my feet. Still have to put my quilt show entry in...currently sewing on the binding and will then get on to all the paper work. I have had some time off work, but now have gone back to my regular working hours. This was supposed to be leading into retirement, however as I have found out, I am just not ready. So, it's back to work for me for a while...not sure, how long, but I am confident I will know when it's time to quit for good.

Today I also got side tracked again...I am just so distractible. Have been searching the internet for a while for tutorials on jelly roll rugs and rugs that are made by braiding fabric strips. Today I came across a really nice You Tube video called 'Weekend Project - The Camden Bowl' by Mom and Pop Quilt Shop. I have seen this fabric bowl at my local sewing shop follows the same principles as the jelly roll rugs, so I started watching this. The woman in the video is hilarious...I laughed out loud a couple of times...very humorous and thoroughly enjoyable! She made it look quite easy and her casual way of putting things together really appealed to me, so I got straight into this and tried it out.

First attempt at just getting the method down...very enjoyable indeed!
yep, I got hooked straight away, so I will try this out in the next few weeks. Still have some leftover jelly roll from French General, so I will use those strips for this to make the bowl. Like the idea of using bits and pieces of leftover batting and fabric. Also have seen bags made out of this and will need to investigate this further as even this little piece that I constructed is unbelievably sturdy, hence really useful for bags. I am also thinking that I may not need a lining if I use this for a bag, but we shall see. 

Thursday, 21 March 2019

Just A Bit Of Freemotion Quilting

My wholecloth is finished! Now it's a matter of washing it, blocking it, then the binding and getting it ready for show (yes, decided to put it in the show after all this work). I will show you a picture when it is hanging up! As usual I am not sure what it looks like...after months of stitching I tend to loose all perspective.
At the moment I am struggling with a title...I really find it extraordinary hard to name my quilts...just cannot think of something other then 'frilly' or 'lots of thread' or 'simplicity'. This is going to be painful.

Took a break and watched the Handiquilter Live video with Jamie Wallen and Vicki Hoth. This was all about feathers and how Jamie fits them into a block, about 50 min. long. Really worthwhile watching as he explained the different types of feathers and how you can practice them and then he moved on to the blocks. Really enjoyed this video and today stitched out one of his designs. I think he called it a lotus flower in bloom. 
Really like the look of this, particularly the thread build up. Was actually not too difficult to stitch out. Like he suggested I drew it out first, but had to go back to his supplied PDF to remind myself how it was done...but once you done it a few times, it all makes sense. Very enjoyable little exercise.

Then I continued on my Challenge Quilt...already running 2 months behind. This time it was a grid with a cathedral window design inside which will be surrounded by some swirls (which I am yet to do). 
I regret getting the grey version of this kit as I am having lots of problems seeing my stitches on the black fabric (even with new glasses). Should have gone with my usual thread choice which would have called for contrast but everybody else is using blend-in colours so I thought I just go along with that. Well, all you can really see is the texture, so this is a great choice when you are trialling a new design because you won't see a thing!
Machine is working well...I have done about 2600000 stitches! Hard to believe...booked her in for the recommended service in May so will need to get some stitching done before that if I don't want to fall further behind.


Friday, 15 March 2019

Progress on Wholecloth

I get a bit obsessive from time to time πŸ˜†...I am used to it and know that I just have to run with it. If I don't, then I get stressed about not being able to follow my compulsions, bit of a vicious cycle really or, at least for me, the workings of the creative mind.

I have been stubbornly working away on my whole cloth border, beginning to doubt my own sanity. This was incredibly challenging and I was quite proud of myself to let many, many imperfections go. 

Here is the very last section to complete, pounced on and ready to go
Must admit that I was utterly amazed at this point that this actually had worked out, looking very pretty and frilly...just like I had imagined it.

So, onto the next slightly crazy idea...pebbles
Given that I had an unplanned 1/4in space I had decided earlier to fill that with pebbles and make it part of the overall plan. Turning out to be a bit of an additional challenge as I am quilting directly against the border which is pieced. So have to concentrate a fair bit to not go over the seam into the border...on the dark material that is very noticeable and distracting. 
Also, notice that space in the corner...still have not found a proper solution for this. The motif itself does not fit in the corner unless you cut it off half-way (how on earth did I not think of this beforehand!). Did not like the look of this and have tried to come up with an alternative which is proving to be a bit tricky. Have to still try out a few different ideas, however if they do not work,  then will just have to echo it. 

All in all though, very happy with my efforts...from UFO in my cupboard to completed vision, albeit slightly different. Will need to order some more of that charcoal fabric as I do not seem to have enough for the binding and then it will be done!

Will post some pictures of the completed quilt once it is washed (it's full of chalk) and bound and hopefully looking very pretty from at least 2m away. Still debating whether it should go into our local quilt show, but we shall see.


Wednesday, 6 March 2019

Vision Sort Of Accomplished!

I had a vision for this quilt and when this did not exactly go to plan I abandoned the project. Well, it has been resurrected and I have definitely been reminded why it became an UFO in the first place.

I have been working on the border for the last 1 1/2 weeks. What a hassle this was!

My initial thought of stitching this out using Golden Threads paper proved too difficult...the motif is just too frilly and to my horror I also had not taken into account that the borders were all slightly different, so it was back to the drawing board for me. The motif comes from EQ8 - Quiltmaker, Vol.8 and is called 'Curly Plume'.  Went back into the program and tried to adjust the sizing to my border. This proved very difficult indeed. While I could manage this on paper (and within the program obviously), getting this to fit my actual border was starting to become a nightmare because my measurements were a bit off to start with (due to compaction of the whole piece) and EQ8 is very precise. My border is 42 1/2in, give and take a little...after my first attempt to print out and glue together the whole border and it then not fitting my border, I started again, this time thinking this through a bit better. I sectioned the border into 4 equal parts, this time though making one of the motifs in one section a tad smaller in width (even though according to the program it should have fitted my border perfectly) to account for variation in my measurements (and to be able to have one section smaller to make necessary adjustments in the other borders).
Hard to see but I think you get the idea...painstakingly put together, section by section...allowing for adequate space at the bottom and top. Unfortunately for me this border relies on the correct placements of the motifs, particularly in the corners. Does not help that this is not a continuous border but individual motifs! You would think that this makes it easier but it did not as the beauty of the border relies on the correct placement of the motifs. After this I took one section at a time and made myself a stencil with Golden Threads paper, i.e. tracing it, then stitching it out without thread and then using it as a stencil with the chalk pounce.
Ready to stitch and hoping for the best

Bingo! See that white line on the left...I needed it exactly there, not close to it but exactly where it ended up. The first trial I did run into trouble on this very first line by being slightly over which made the placement of the next few sections too difficult, i.e. my other corner motif would have been misplaced.
So, I continued... and am happy to report it worked out.
Had some trepidation re the left corner but ended up in exactly the right spot with not a millimetre to spare. Writing this now, it sounds so very simple but I must say this nearly did my head in and the project was in danger of going back into the cupboard.

This truly must be the most crazy thing I have done for a long time and I definitely will not repeat this, just too labour intensive. But I had this vision of this quilt and it obviously needs to be completed. Not sure actually what exactly this will look like as I had a few issues. For example, the corner motif did not work out at all and I am now leaving that blank, probably just going to echo the space. Will have to wait and see. Also, there is a 1/4in space separating the border from the centre...that was also not part of the equation! Not sure whether I like the look of that, but it is what it is...will fill this with pebbles after I finished the border.
A word on the motif...very easy to stitch out but a hassle to keep consistent. You have to stitch this with some gusty to make it flowing and sometimes that works better than other times.
As I am not a machine and I am stitching on charcoal, you can see every little wobble and hesitation but I think , that is just too is, after all, done freehand, and this is as good as it gets.

Hopefully I am not running out of steam on this!


Tuesday, 5 March 2019

Just For Fun

Today I played around with the new 3in HQ Square ruler. Did not use it that much as yet as I had to wait to exchange the one I got in the Ruler Club. If you look at the bottom left side, mine was a bit mis-cut as if the cutting machine missed the corner. Since then I picked up the replacement.
I should really be doing something else today, but this is what I ended up with.
The lines were done with the 1/4in HQ Line Grid ruler and as I discovered the other day, it has a 1/8in line scored on it on either side of the gap. So, had to try how useful this would be, so set about doing 1/8in spacing. Worked really well for me other than the fact that I was doing it on white fabric and sometimes could not see my lines. Overall though, nice and straight and somewhat consistent. Useful when you have those spaces that are too large to do neatly freehand.
The 3in Square ruler was handy...I liked the way I could echo my box with the outside of the ruler while I was there and was happy with the look of the echoes. Either I am getting better at this or this ruler is particularly good. 

Enough playing for now and back to my designing nightmare! (Struggling at the moment with my resurrected UFO and have been reminded that there was a reason why it became a UFO)


Friday, 1 March 2019

2019 Finish-A-Long: Fourth Finish

The word for this year is 'Focus' and so far I am doing really well, going through my list one by one.

My fourth finish for this quarter is the Ruler Practice Quilt which I started when I joined the Handiquilter Ruler of the Month Club 3. You can find my list of proposed finishes for the 2019 Finish-A-Long HERE.
Please visit Leanne's blog She Can Quilt for more information on the Finish-A-Long. You will find  detail on how this link up works and also find the list of bloggers who are hosting this great event. The Link up for the First Quarter Finishes is on April 10th.

I had a packet of Bali Snaps that I did get in one of the Fat Quarter Shops Flash sales, so I used them up for this, just setting them in an irregular sashings setting.
The quilt measures 37in x 44in and there are a lot of weird and wonderful examples of ruler work on this. I did a fair few grids to practice them a bit more and liked using the Petal Pusher ruler which just gave you a simple floral motif which I thought was perfect for using with charm packs. In the end though I ended up trying all sorts of other rulers on this to practice particular designs. Did a lot of arcs with the newly acquired Pro Echo curves from Lisa Calle...absolutely love using them!
In addition, I used one of Cindy Needham's Border designs from her Border Stencil Collection. Love the way this turned out! The zigzag design was easy to mark onto the quilt as her stencils have registration dots and stretching the zigzags out a bit to make them fit worked really well.

I only used a single line of zigzags and put some pebbles in could, of course extend this and add a 1/4in echo to make the border even more prominent. Lots of options!


Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Moving Onto The Wholecloth

I am on a roll...finished off my Ruler Practice Quilt! My Pfaff machine was in for a Spa treatment and so I had nothing else to do.

I was really feeling like some FMQ, but did not feel like just doodling and ended up pulling out another UFO.
Had not looked at this for some time and really felt like some stitching, so I began to continue on that. This has ended up as an UFO as there are some design issues in there which seemed just too huge to continue with it. On the other hand, looking at it now I thought that this was a's a decent piece of fabric (Kona Solids) and a fair amount of stitching. It would look amazing finished, I think, even with all those 'mistakes'. Anyway, really felt in the mood for it and just continued stitching...
Did a little bit every day as you have to concentrate quite a bit on this one and made some progress. Will need to do some unstitching in some areas and also just come across another corner motif needs to be altered! What a hassle. If this ever gets finished this will be an amazing feast in improvisation!
Also started the design process of my other project, another wholecloth, that I drew up in Cindy Needham's class last year using a lot of her wonderful stencils that she had brought along.
It's nice but does need some work.
Started off with Cindy Needham's Ultimate Stencils. Normally you would use the transparencies that Cindy has provided for her stencils to draw up your design roughly. I usually start with drawing on paper, using the blue washable markers. Somehow I got used to that as I did not originally have the transparencies and I must say, this helps me to think the process through in every minute detail. As I am drawing I take note of the measurements and how my designs are going to fit into the spaces that I created as well as looking at how the quilting would show up, i.e. which area will 'puff out' and which one will recede. 
And here comes the somewhat intense part...I will do the same drawing over and over again, until I am happy with it and I am sure that everything fits.
This is number 2
...and so it goes on. Already have a number 3 going, but forgot to photograph it, but I think you get the idea. The above drawing was used to trial different sizes and different arrangements. Also have Cindy's Border Stencils and played around with that as well. While I am drawing this I get a sense of were problematic areas arise as 'if I cannot draw it with ease, I cannot stitch it either' and that gives me the hint that I need to do a bit more work on that. Undecided also about the size of the middle section...maybe make it a tad bigger? Before I had the Sweet 16 I did stitch everything freehand from my drawing. Now things are getting a bit more complicated as I have got rulers, so my design needs to be matched to particular rulers if I am going to make use of the rulers.
If you are interested in the wholecloth design process, I did write a number of posts about it last year, starting HERE.

Getting back to drawing...this could take a while!


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