Tuesday 28 January 2020

Let's Do Some Rulerwork #1

For the first of our Ruler Linky Party I would like to draw your attention to a class I was made aware of by Quiltshopgal some time before Christmas. It's Patsy Thompson's 'Beginning Free Motion Quilting with Rulers' offered through the Missouri Star Quilt Company. As the title suggests it is a class for beginners, however as it was relatively inexpensive and I absolutely love Patsy Thompson's teaching style I jumped on the opportunity. I figured that there are always hints and tips that I can pick up from watching her videos.
The class covers basic stuff about ruler quilting including information about measuring/marking, ruler feet, how to stitch with a ruler and alignment, and some information about rulers. In the class Patsy is making a basic table runner using a straight line design, arcs and curves. I was particularly interested in the marking of the designs and producing accurate channels, so I followed along making a slight variation of this table runner.

So I did some straight line design, curve design and arched swags. I used my Pro Echo 7 and 12 for the curves and arcs. Should have probably chosen some more contrasting fabric and thread as this was very hard to photograph.

...and then I did some filling in to just practice different designs
Gone a bit overboard practicing some crosshatching with the Pro Echo12 ruler (still find that very challenging) and also some more piano keys with the HQ Line Grid ruler. And...as you can see...stuffed the curves up a bit by filling them with a darker thread which makes the filler design stand out more than the curves. Live and learn (I think Patsy did mention this, but I was just so bored with the coordinating thread). What did I learn?
- measuring your border (for each design) down to 1/8in was absolutely essential
- marking your center lines correctly (and, if need be, correcting them slightly after your first pass) is important to have all the points align on the same line (easier said than done!)
- alignment of your ruler to hit that little tick mark each time is crucial
- picked up a neat little hint on judging the alignment when doing arcs, using this little tool (which I had floating around in my sewing box)...just holding the little 1/4in notch against your ruler to double-check that you are actually 1/4in away from your tick mark...this was very helpful when wanting to be precise.
Great class!

Now its your turn to share what you have been making with rulers.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
Click here to enter


Sunday 26 January 2020

Quilt Photography

How hard is it to photograph quilts!
Usually I  photograph my projects on our garden bench, however of late it has just been too sunny, so I had to come up with something different. First I had to wait for a day that was a bit overcast...not that easy in the Australian summer! To avoid the shadowing that I was getting on our garden bench, I went for a walk to use the bush setting around our area as a back drop
Nice, but not that clear

Garden bench?
Hmm...I might have to do another photo session


Friday 24 January 2020

Ruler Work Linky Party Coming Soon!

 Let's Do Some Ruler work Linky Party Starting Next Week!

Let's Do Some Rulerwork is a linky party to show and share your ruler quilting. It does not matter whether it is done on a Domestic Sewing Machine, longarm or sitdown longarm machine. If you are like me, you have delved into the world of ruler quilting and accumulated a fair few rulers in the last few years. The aim is to:

- actually put those rulers to use and share our progress
- share ideas on designs we tried/or practised, and
- learn from sharing resources and inspiration about all things 'rulerquilting'.

This linky party is meant to be a supportive environment, so if you are just starting out and using straight rulers for simple line designs, that is perfectly fine. There are some amazing line designs that can be done with just a straight ruler. Similarly, if you are more advanced and are creating more complex and involved designs, it would be lovely to see that and learn from it. I am hoping to create a space where we can showcase our work, be inspired by what we see and learn from each other as we go along (as well as having some fun and exploring new blogs).

The rules are fairly simple:

1. Link up with a recent post that features a project where you used some ruler quilting. The project can be a WIP, finished project or just something you tried out with a ruler that you have (it does not have to be pretty...my first attempts with some rulers are definitely not pretty!).
2. When linking up make sure that you link to your post and not your home page (if using Instagram please use the hashtag #thequiltyarn).
3. Visit at least 2 other links and leave some comments. Following my blog is not required.
3. Please include the 'Let's Do Some Rulerwork' button somewhere on your blog or include a text link in your post.
4. The link-up will remain open for a week.

The linky party starts on Tuesday, 28th January 2020 and will run on a fortnightly basis.

Grab the Linky Party Button
grab button for The Quilt Yarn
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Tuesday 21 January 2020

Easy Baby Quilt Revisited

I am up to making the cute hedgehog blocks: I will need 24 of those blocks

Observing the direction of your feature print fabric,  sew a 2 1/2in x 4 1/2in red tone-on-tone rectangle to the right side of a 4 1/2in feature print square. Press the seams to the red tone-on-tone fabric. Join a strip set C, 2 1/2in x 6 1/2in segment to the top of the unit as shown in the block diagram and press the seam towards the feature print fabric. Make 12 blocks this way.

Make another 12 blocks as above, however join the 2 1/2in x 4 1/2in red tone-on tone rectangle to the left side of your feature fabric and join the strip set C  segment to the bottom of the unit to make the block.

Why is the direction important? You can just make 24 of those blocks and turn them in the direction they need to be placed if you have non-directional fabric. However, if you have directional fabric, 12 of your blocks will be upside down...I found this out the hard way when I made my zebra baby quilt.

Just something to be aware of...obviously with my hedgehogs it is not such an issue as they appear to be going all over the place.

That's it, after this it is just a matter of sewing this all together and my little baby quilt top is done!


Saturday 18 January 2020

Short and Sweet

I have been following along Helen Godden's Short and Sweet videos over on the Handiquilter site. They basically cover all things 'freemotionquilting'. Love watching them as they are short and to the point (before Christmas Helen Godden also ran a little Quilt-A-Long which I saw on FB, however as I was working I did not participate in that).

When I had a bit of time after Christmas I remembered the Short and Sweet series and particularly the one about Microquilting where Helen whipped up a kangaroo in no time at all. So, I went over to her website and got that outline of a kangaroo and stitched my little heart out.
Seems somewhat bittersweet with what's going on in Australia at the moment...apart from all the destruction of property and devastation of environment, so many animals lost...

I did not really follow Helen's instructions as I only watched the video again once I was already half way through. This was a lot of fun to stitch out as there was absolutely no pressure to do anything overly correctly. Even managed to try out Helen's 'Dancing Men' design...very cool. Anyway, when I finished it I thought that I try something new...to attach the binding with the Sweet 16!

Had never done this before, but seen it somewhere, so I thought this little piece was the perfect project to practice on. Used the Versa tool for that as it is nice and wide to hold the edge in place

Process of slowly going along the edge, no pinning, no fuss

...went really well, even in the corners!

Actually thought that I had sewn the binding on much straighter than I usually do with the sewing machine.

The finished project

Turned out really well...it's about as big as a placemat.


Wednesday 15 January 2020

Easy Baby Quilt Revisited

Continued onto the next section of my Easy Baby Quilt pattern (you can find the free pattern under the tab 'Free Patterns' above).

This is a slightly altered version of my Easy Baby Quilt

My finished block size will be 6 1/2in

(using the colourway of this altered quilt)

Cut all strips across the width of fabric.

9, 2 1/2in white background print strips
6, 2 1/2in blue tone-on-tone fabric strips
3, 4 1/2in red tone-on-tone strips
3, 2 1/2in red tone-on-tone fabric strips and crosscut into 24, 2 1/2in x 4 1/2in rectangles
3, 4 1/2in feature fabric strips (my hedgehogs!) and crosscut into 24, 4 1/2in squares
5, 2 1/2in blue tone-on-tone fabric strips for the binding

As I am changing the quilt ever so slightly, I also cut
4, 2 1/2in orange tone-on-tone fabric strips

I like to cut out the entire quilt before I start piecing unless its a block arrangement I have never done before and need to do some test blocks beforehand. This quilt uses the strip sets, hence lots of chain piecing coming up and it is easier to have all the fabric ready to go,

So, let's do the first two strip sets

Strip set A
Stitch a 2 1/2in blue tone-on-tone fabric strip to either side of a 2 1/2in white background strip. Press the seams towards the darker fabric. Crosscut into 2 1/2in segments. Make 24 units this way.

Strip set B
Stitch a 2 1/2in white fabric strip to one side of a 2 1/2in blue tone-on-tone fabric strip. Press the seam towards the darker fabric. As I am changing my quilt up a bit, I now need to stitch an orange strip to the other side of the white strip. Once that is done, crosscut each strip set into 2 1/2in segments. Make  24 units this way.

Strip set C
Sew a 4 1/2in red tone-on-tone strip and a 2 1/2in white background strip together, pressing the seams towards the red print. Crosscut into 2 1/2in x 6 1/2 in rectangles. Make 48 units this way.

Block 1
Join a 2 1/2in strip set A and a 2 1/2in strip set B segment, abutting the seams and joining the intersections, pressing the seams outwards. Sew a 2 1/2in strip set C segment to the bottom of the unit, completing the block. Press the seams downwards towards the red fabric. The block should measure 6 1/2in square.

And the first block is done! I am glad I am doing this again...forgot how very easy this comes together. Perfect quilt when you need something in a hurry and do not want to spend a lot of time on piecing. I will now go ahead and make 24 of Block 1. I usually do this via chain-piecing, i.e. stitch all the same units at the same time, feeding them continuously through the machine, ending up with a long strip of joined pieces. Then I snip them apart and start with the next lot of units. This saves a lot of time and thread and is one of my favourite piecing method.


Tuesday 14 January 2020

Let's Do Some Ruler Work Linky Party Coming Soon

Exciting news.

I am going to run a ruler-quilting linky party.

I love linky parties and have been thinking for a while to set one up. Ruler quilting is the obvious subject for me
Part of the collection (slightly embarrassing!)...I still got a few more put away in another box!

Given the amount of new rulers coming out all the time it made sense to me to focus in on that, as I am certainly addicted to it and I am pretty sure that I am not alone in that. Quilters seem to be collectors and like with many things, sometimes we buy these items and then don't use them. I am hoping that a linky party might encourage people to get out their rulers and give it a go and hopefully get some inspiration on what can be achieved with some very simple designs.

For example, my recent baby quilt
Not much ruler work really, but it certainly made this quilt pop.

...or the Bird quilt

...that went from  a fairly simple block to quite spectacular.

The linky party will begin on Tuesday 28th January and run for a week. At this stage I am thinking of hosting this on a fortnightly basis.

The rules will be basic...join in if you are using rulers on your DSM or longarm, make sure to visit other blogs and leave some comments and enjoy the inspiration. I will set up a page closer to the date.

Please grab the button (which took me over a week to get right 😅) and spread the word. Hope to see you at the party!

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Sunday 12 January 2020

Follow-Up on Half Carat Diamond Ruler

Just a quick follow up on the Handiquilter Half Carat Diamond Ruler, the second ruler of the Ruler of the Month Club 5. You can view all the ruler in the series HERE.

Last week I tried the ruler out on creating simple sashings or border designs, just using the shape or parts thereof to create interesting designs. You can read about in this post.

For this follow up I used the ruler to create various star designs...
Again, I did not pre-prepare this or go particularly careful around the ruler. This was just to see what I could create with this ruler and to get a sense of how the alignment on this ruler worked. The bigger stars are 8in in size and I was actually amazed at the ease of stitching this out. Very easy to do and comes out beautifully on the first go (I had the crosshairs lines drawn in for that). I particularly like the big star in the right hand corner. I then used only parts of the ruler to make smaller stars...lots of options and lots of sizes you can try. This is really only limited by your imagination.

Overall, I was impressed with this ruler as I can use it for many different things, i.e. sashings and borders as well as block motifs in various sizes. Good value! Looking at the big star now, I also realised that I have not even tried the echo feet with that. If I was to put, say the 1/2in echo foot on, I could stitch this out at 7in or with the 3/4in echo foot at 6 1/2in...lots of options.

Linking up to Freemotion Mavericks over at Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing


Thursday 9 January 2020

Free Pattern

I am in clean up mode. Found another pattern on my computer that can be put to good use. I do not have the quilt anymore, but for some reason did a complete write up for this pattern .
It's a lovely quilt and it has gone to an elderly Greek lady. With all the sunflowers on it I thought that was a lovely fit.

Anyway, if you are in need of a simple pattern please feel free to grab this from the above tab 'Free Patterns'


Handiquilter Ruler of the Month Club 5

Picked up the next ruler (we are running a bit behind over here, so this is only the second ruler)

The Half Carat Diamond Ruler
I gave it a whirl, fresh out of the package...I am putting up my not-so-perfect attempts here to show that ruler quilting is like freemotionquilting...it takes a moment to get the hang of it and I am no exception to this. Every ruler is different and it takes me a few goes to get used to the different rulers, i.e. work out the alignment, figure out what one can do with a ruler (in addition to the obvious) and get a handle on how to best hold it. So, here it goes...not that pretty.

Also had some bearding going on on this little practice piece 😼

The diamonds come out at 4in and were relatively easy to do...again I was amazed at the accuracy of the template. Took me a little while to work out how to make another smaller diamond inside (in fact had to look at the Handiquilter ROMC page to watch that video again and it was embarrassingly simple). Then I played around with the  longer pointed triangle and stitched out simple triangles. Switching the ruler around I was then able to use the flatter triangle of the top of the diamond to put a channel in there. Really liked this...would look good in a smaller border (of a table runner for example) and can be done entirely without any marking. My kind of ruler! Lots of things that you can do with this ruler. I ran out of room to try the block motifs...will leave this for another day.

Linking up to Andree over at Freemotion Mavericks a bit belatedly, but I got got confused with the dates

Wednesday 8 January 2020

Easy Baby Quilt Revisited

I decided to make my Easy Baby Quilt again. I have made this quilt twice already, but both times given it away. I have this gorgeous hedgehog fabric and thought it might be fun to stitch this up again.

I originally designed this to showcase cute fabric that was just too cute to cut up into smaller bitses. If you are interested in the pattern you can download this on the tab above under Free Patterns or you can follow along as I construct this myself. The pattern has been around now for a long time and has enjoyed some popularity. While this is not a formal Quilt-A-Long, I thought people might enjoy seeing me putting this together. Maybe you like to follow along...it's really very easy and comes together very quickly. If you got that cute, bright fabric this might be just the pattern for it.
Materials needed:
70 cm (3/4 yd) of white background fabric 
80 cm (7/8 yd) of blue dotty fabric for the blocks and binding  
70 cm (3/4 yd) of orange tone-on-tone fabric 
40 cm (1/2 yd) of feature fabric 
113cm x 143.5cm (44 1/2in x 56 1/2in) Backing fabric 
113cm x 143.5cm (44 1/2inx 56 1/2in) Batting 
Neutral Cotton thread for piecing 
Coordinating Cotton thread (e.g. Aurifil 50/2) for freemotion-quilting 
Rotary cutter, quilting ruler and mat 
General sewing supplies 
So, here is my selection of fabrics
How cute is that hedgehog fabric? I just got enough...it is 'Woodland Pals' by Ann Kelle for Robert Kaufman Fabrics. I wash all my fabrics and except for the white fabric this is ready to go. You might think that this is unnecessary, however I have had fabric bleed when washing quilts and I think it is just not worth it. I will also wash the white fabric to have a consistent feel to all of the fabric. Sometimes I starch my fabric...this really depends on what quality of fabric I am working with. If it is flimsy, I will starch it a bit to make it easier to work with.

After I done this I usually go onto my trusted EQ8 program to see what the potential quilt could look like. For this I  photographed the Woodland fabric (the other tone-on-tone fabrics can easily be matched by some of the thousands of fabric that comes with the program). The new EQ8 has an improved image worktable that allows you to import an image of  your fabric and then scale it to size. This makes importing fabric very easy (the only problem I had today was a slightly blueish tint-must be the light). I find the EQ8 program invaluable for just trying out different colour arrangements...find it really hard to visualise an entire quilt and the picture helps in just quickly seeing whether something works.

So, here is what this could look like
Hmm...that may need some developing...not quite 'there' for me.
Like this actually a little bit better with the orange spots in it...changes the pattern a bit and makes it look quite busy, but it goes with the 'busy' hedgehogs and in my mind pulls it all together. So the pattern needs to be changed up a bit. No stress...I will need less of the white background (of which I have got a fair bit) and some orange strips. If I count the orange squares above, it gives me 24 squares. A strip of 2 1/2in orange print cut across the width of fabric will give me 16, 2 1/2in squares (I know this as I got a table where I can look this up), hence I will only need 2, 2 1/2in orange strips. I think I have got a Fat Quarter, so that will make it 3, 2 1/2in strips across a Fat Quarter (in reality I probably need 4 strips to have some insurance for mis-cutting).

So, all set...this will become my Wednesday project!

Linking up to Midweek Makers over at Quilt Fabrication


Tuesday 7 January 2020

Third Finish for the 2019 Finish-A-Long - 4th Quarter

Just in the nick of time...

Managed to finish a third quilt with 1 more day to go for the link-up. Very happy with myself! Actually I am a bit chuffed. This year I was managed to 'play' along for the entire year...maybe not as productive as some, but still finishing off a number of projects and linking up! I really like the finish-A-Long for the focus that it gives me in planning and organizing my projects. Some projects just continue to be on the list, but that does not matter...I'll get around to making/completing them at some stage.

You can find the information about the 2019 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. The link up for this quarter closes on 8th January 2020.

You can find my Goal list for the fourth quarter HERE

Well, here it is...the HQ challenge quilt...and what a challenge it was! I laboured away on this all year, slightly cursing myself for choosing the grey colourway as I could hardly see my stitches on the black fabric. This was very work intensive, stitched over the whole year. In the end I did get a bit sloppy because this monster just had to be done.

Some close ups

...and another one
That's it...done!

Linking up to Studio Sew Of Course for the final quarter of the 2019 Finish-A-Long. Thanks Ladies for hosting this event. It certainly helped me to keep on track.

finishalong logo 125px


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