Wednesday 29 July 2020

Lana Lemur Quilt Continued

Well, it's been a while again. After a somewhat rocky start on the quilt, I am now on my way
This is going to be much harder than I imagined. I am following Claudia Pfeil's demonstration in one of the classes that was shown on The Quilt Show. This class is available as a DVD called 'Claudia's (P)Fillers. In the class, Claudia is demonstrating how to create fillers effortlessly using her longarm machine, going from one to the other using pebbles, lines and other geometric fillers.

It looked so easy! When I finally started it, it was not quite that easy and I am breaking thread much more than I should, however I need time to think and just 'going for it' did not work that well for me. Claudia uses the Greek key pattern as one of her fillers. While I can do this, I had problems as soon as that shape hit another shape...just could not think that through and started to make very odd and ugly lines. In the end, I decided to use the echoed spiral filler. I can do this in my sleep and am more used to it hitting other shapes with that. So far, so good!

I think I will add another filler to the mix to loosen the whole thing up a bit otherwise I am going to get super bored with this and I also think this is going to get too dense. I was thinking that I will include areas of just meandering boxes which should be in nice contrast to the swirls and frilly work.

This is going to be interesting. I am not good at doing improvisational work and my lack of planning is giving me some kind of anxiety. Also including some ruler work in the circles which has been fun so far. Great learning for me! 

Really curious whether this will work out. If it does not I will have to make another Lemur quilt! Just too cute.


Tuesday 21 July 2020


Finished one of the Lemurs
This was the second go...I had the grid wrongly aligned first time around and some of the lines fell exactly on the seams around the eyes. Begrudgingly changed this and stitched the lines half inch away from the original marked in grid. I just could not help myself...this would have bothered me for years to come. This was easy to do with a straight ruler as I just shifted the ruler over. Luckily I marked those lines very carefully for a change so this turned out quite nice. I am using the Stitch Regulator of the Capri for this which is going really well...feel that I am stitching much faster with the regulator, so the whole thing is not that arduous to complete.
Only have half the other lemur left to finish. Looking forward to the FMQ in the background.


Sunday 19 July 2020

Progress Notes

Working on my next project, the Lana Lemur quilt, a design by Elizabeth Hartman
Finished the markings on the quilt to give me a bit of a FMQ roadmap to follow and basted the quilt the other day. Was unsure for a while what to do in the lemurs, but divided in the end to put a 1in grid over I marked this in as well.
Much to my horror, I started on the grid only to find out that I had marked this all wrong...some of the lines were falling onto the seams. The seams in this piece are pressed open so this presented a bit of an issue. Was quite annoyed, as I had spent a lot of time aligning this grid in the best position, or so I thought!
Initially I was going to leave it, but today did a fair bit of unstitching...just cannot let this go. Fixed up one of the lemurs and will tackle the second one slowly over next week. Looking forward to quilting all that background down.

Apart from this, I have been piecing together a backing for another quilt I need to finish...thoroughly enjoyable!

This is for the ‘House Quilt’ that I did earlier in the year which was made entirely from scraps, so I thought it fitting to also piece the backing together. Used mainly blue and smuggled a few unwanted fabric pieces into that. No big planning involved, just laid out the pieces as best as I could to make the length and width that I needed. Actually turned out a bit too wide, so I will cut a bit off on both satisfying!

That’s it from me...back to my unstitching...


Saturday 11 July 2020

Little Doilie Project Finished

This was a lot of fun to’s the first time I tried this and must say, I really enjoyed this. Got the doilie from the local Op shop for a dollar and placed it in place with spraybasting. Not quite round, but close enough.
I ran out of ideas for the delicate border of the doilie, so left that alone. If I had stitched that down I think it would have turned out too flat. Could not resist though and hyperquilted a little bit in the feathers, then decided that that was enough.
If you have read my previous posts, I used Bethanne Nemesh’ Lily Line ruler 3 for the frame around the doilie. The frame turned a bit into an overall background fill, but I like it. The ruler was an incredible time saver and the design was easy to execute (once I had decided on which parts of the ruler I was going to use). Fantastic tool!

Had a few issues with my tension for the pebbles on the new Capri. Lots of flatlining and cursing. I used Aurifil 50/2 for the quilting and similar to the Sweet 16, the thread behaved quite fiddly. I recently purchased the horizontal spool holder and ended up putting the almost empty spool on that, this time threading the thread straight down rather than looping the thread around the thread guide (as you are
supposed to do)...and to my utter surprise, no more tension issues! Have long suspected that the fiddliness of the aurifil thread has to do with the thread path rather than the tension setting. Will do some more testing around this...tried it the other day with a different colour thread, but with the spool on the ‘normal’ thread mast, again threading the thread straight down the thread guide and again had much better tension. Go figure...


Monday 6 July 2020

Process Stuff

I re-did my practice sample of  the Lily Line 3 ruler that I recently acquired from Bethanne Nemesh Lily Line series.
Came out much better second time around.

Still cannot tell you exactly how I shifted the ruler over to achieve the echo...a bit hard to describe. You carefully shift the ruler over to hit the stitching line while at the same time keeping the ruler against the sewing foot. A lot of looking and checking how you will stitch the echo and I was very surprised that it worked effortlessly the next time and looked identical. Then I also tried the curling feather again and it worked just as great as it did the first time.

Time to try this out on a real project. Our local Handiquilter group runs monthly challenges. This month we are supposed to stitch down a doilie, embellishing it, filling the spaces I decided to frame this with the Lily Line 3 ruler.

It is one thing to play around with this ruler and to actually apply it to a project. It is not difficult but I had to do a fair amount of planning and deciding how I wanted this to look like. As the ruler has so many options it took me a while to decide which section at what angle I wanted to use. Couple this with being the world's messiest marker, it became quite interesting. I decided to draw the first section in with one of those drawing disks to see what that would look like. Of course I changed my mind a couple of times and had to draw over it again and so it went, however I got there in the end.

In terms of marking, I again marked the ruler and the quilt where I wanted to start off and aligned it at a second point against the diagonal cross line, again making a tick on the ruler at that point. This gave me that heart-shaped arrangement. Then I used a different section of the ruler to branch out towards the outer center. I had a tick mark where I wanted this to stop so the curls would be identical on either side. In terms of alignment this was easy as I aligned it to the vertical crosshair line. The only problem I had was with the branching off. While I made a mark on the ruler, this did not always work for me and I ended up eye balling this point. In retrospect, I should have measured the point from the crosshair line if I wanted it to be a 100% correct.
As I did not want to stuff this up, I drew the first two sections with one of those drawing disks against the ruler as I did not feel like unpicking anything and wanted to get it right the first time.  As I went along, I was able to do it without prior drawing and felt confident enough to just rely on my marks on the ruler and the drawn crosshair lines. Worked like a dream!
Really like this frame and will fill it up with feathers as I do not feel like doing a lot of tiny background fill on this piece. Still have the middle section of the doilie to fill.
Not sure how this will turn out...might be too feathery. I am not used to stitching with coordinating thread...looks all a bit messy. Never mind, now I am committed and will continue with this and see what this looks like when finished. Almost think that the frame should have been further away maybe or the feathers maybe smaller.
Great learning though and a lot of fun to do!


Friday 3 July 2020

Noah's Ark Quilt Finished

I finally finished the Noah's Ark quilt

This was a lot of stitching but I really enjoyed doing this. So much so, I am thinking of doing my own applique quilt at some stage. This was just so relaxing, going around the shapes, filling in and highlighting certain sections. Lots of fun. It helped of course that this quilt particularly cute.

I was worried about the elephant section as the fabric bulged out a bit in that block, but funny enough that one went without a hitch. The giraffe on the other hand gave me a headache and a half. Really started to bulge out in all the wrong places...I ended up quilting a few more circles in that one to counteract this a bit. Did not get rid of all of it but it looks better than before.

Hopefully the owner will like it.

Well, onto the next project...our local Handiquilter group's task is to stitch a doilie down on some background. This should be fun 


Wednesday 1 July 2020

New Lily Line Ruler

The Lily Line 3 Ruler arrived yesterday. This is the third ruler in Bethanne Nemesh Lily Line series. There is another but that one looked a bit big to me so I held back.

Today I sat down and tried this one out for the first time. I had watched Bethanne Nemesh' FB videos (you can find them on her blog) about her rulers and was keen to put some of that into practice. This ruler is for smaller designs. From watching her video again the largest fits into a 6in border.

First I did one of my favourite designs in a 6in block (with the puffhead that is used for about 5in borders)
You can see that I struggled starting on the right upper quadrant. Bethanne makes it always looks so easy! So that was a bit of a fail in terms of moving the ruler over to get a bit of a channel happening. The next one underneath got too fat, however for the next two on the left I got it exactly right, i.e. at specific points about 1/4in away. This looks great! Writing about it now, I cannot remember how I exactly shifted the ruler to achieve this...will have to do it again and make myself a note. 
In terms of marking, I used the center and aligned the ruler 1/4in away from it and then placed the ruler with one of its precision holes directly on the diagonal line. For good measure I also placed a dot on the fabric exactly where the ruler sat, then measured it (7/8in) and placed the same dot in each quadrant. This is actually very cool and once you master this it is a very easy way to put a motif in an empty block. Without ruler I would have to trace this on.
Next I attempted the Amish Curl Feathers...let's just say, I managed. 
My pretend border was 4 1/2in and I used the medium puffhead for this one. I had made spaces in my border, approximately 5in apart, however had not really thought through how I would utilise this. My feather curl did not fill the space, so I just kept going which made it very confusing. Looking at it now, I also think that this curl is slightly too big for this space. I should have maybe made the curl smaller which would have given me more room around it. In any case, while stitching I got very confused as to how big I wanted my feathers and how long they should extend into the surrounding space. Not bad though for a first attempt. Definitely will need more practice on this and get a feel for how I like this to look. Again, the ruler was effortless...I aligned the precision hole on the center line which made it easy to repeat. Next time though, I also need to measure the distance from precision hole to curl (I think...might have to watch the video again to get my head straight on this). This is how this was aligned to stitch out the curls
As you can maybe see, I made heaps of marks with a black Sharpie on the ruler while I did my little exercises. Here is the ruler after...the marks come off with isopropyl alcohol...not a trace. However, I only mark the ruler on the top, not the bottom where the lines are etched in, as you could stain the etchings.
Well, this was fun...I am planning to do this again after watching parts of the video again today as there were a few things that I missed and I also want to try a few other things with this little beauty.


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