Wednesday 30 September 2020

9 Patchalong Finished

I have been largely missing in action. Had some problems with my machine which put me a bit behind.
Have not kept up with Tuesdays either for the To Do List Linky or the the Longarm Learning Linky that I usually participate in.

Anyway, got sort of back on track and just made sure that I kept up with my blocks for Natalia Bonner's 9 Patchalong. Did some more work on it on the weekend and finished off the last block today.

These designs look so easy but some of them were quite challenging as my quilt had started to compact a fair bit and trying to align the ruler got just that little bit harder. Put piano keys around the border which I usually love doing but  when it was finished I thought that this was a bit of a fail. Looks all too uniform as my loops are also about half inch apart. Would have been better to insert an additional 1/8in of a line in between but now I am just not feeling it anymore and decided that this is finished. Will be a good reminder to pay some attention to this in the future.

This stitchalong was really good fun and I did enjoy having to stain my brain to follow the stitching paths for the blocks that Natalia demonstrated in her various videos. Felt in the end that I was getting better at this but I guarantee you that next time I will equally struggle to work out a stitch path. 
I decided to participate in Natalia's next quiltalong 'Let's stitch a year of stars which begins at the beginning of the new year. Purchased her piecing workbook, selected some fabric and now need to sit down and actually construct the blocks. This will take me a while, but hopefully I can knock this off over the next few months.

Linking up to Rebecca Grace Quilting to participate in the weekly Longarm Learning Party

Rebecca Grace Quilting

Also linking up to Free Motion Mavericks (hosted by Muv of Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing and Andree of Quilting and Learning - What a Combo) who celebrate their 300th Linky Party.


Tuesday 15 September 2020

To Do Tuesday #58 & Weekly Progress Update

So, what have I achieved for the week

1. Natalia Bonner’s 9 Patchalong.✅ 
Managed to keep up and even almost finished the border
Block 3 and 4 done

2. Make another few cat blocks ✅

3. Work on a new pattern ❌
4. Prepare fabric for piecing Natalia's Bonner's Star Sampler for the Let's Stitch a Year of Stars which is starting in January 2021✅

Not too bad, considering we had some major upheaval around our place this week with the construction of a major retaining wall.

For the week 15 September to 22 September, I am planning to:

1. Continue with Natalia Bonner's 9 Patchalong, i.e. Block 4 & 5 and maybe complete the border

2. Continue with piecing the cat blocks, maybe another 2 blocks

3. Start piecing at least one block of Natalia's Bonner's Star Sampler for the Let's Stitch a Year of Stars

4. Work on the new pattern, i.e. clean up design in EQ8 program

Linking up to To Do Tuesday #58 over at Home Sewn By Us


More 9 Patch Ruler Work

Block 3 and 4 of Natalia Bonner's 9 Patchalong
This one was a beauty...continuous line design, always looks great. Of course, mine was not entirely continuous as I got confused. I am certainly learning a lot in terms of thinking through your stitching path before you actually have a go. I made myself a little folder on the Ipad with these blocks and an accompanying stitching diagram, because no doubt, next time I look at it, I will have forgotten how it goes. 
My accuracy is definitely improving and I am finding the ruler work increasingly easier. The stitch regulator on the Capri is a big help as I can focus in on the stitching without having to worry about the stitch length. 

The next block was interesting
Lots of straight lines and again some concentration was needed to follow that stitching path to make it a continuous design. Easy to execute and looks also good when only stitched in one direction.

Today then I tackled the border. Followed Natalia's suggestion of stitching a loopy design above the scallops, however then encased this with a wiggly design (Natalia cut her border off past the loopy design which I did not want to do). I used the HQ Wiggle Wave ruler for this exercise
This ruler is fast becoming my favourite wave ruler. 

The ruler makes it very easy to fit your waves into the border. All I did was measure my border and determined how many repeats I will fit into the border. On the long side I was out by half the repeat. If you look on the ruler, half of the length would have ended me up on a high point in the corner which I did not want, as I started on a low point. In order to end on a low point and make the corners look the same, I then needed to reduce my waves by 3/4in across the length of the border. I normally struggle with this when drawing out a border, but with this ruler I find it is quite easy as long as you keep track of what you are doing. So, as I am stitching along the wave and stop in the valley or a  high point, I shift the ruler by about 1/4in to elongate the curve, 3 times before the center and 3 times after the center. Without fail this works a treat and I arrived smack bang at a low point in the corner, making my corners appear identical. The only marking I did was an approximate position of the repeats so I knew I was on track as I was stitching along. I could, of course, have chosen a different starting point for the corner, however I thought it was safer to start at the beginning of the repeat as I get easily confused with these things. Maybe next time I try a differently shaped corner by starting on a high point or somewhere in between.
 Anyway, more ruler work coming up in the border. I am thinking of going around it one more time with a piano key design...not sure yet what width though or maybe a pinstripe arrangement. We'll see.

Thoroughly enjoying this quilt along.


Tuesday 8 September 2020

To Do Tuesday#57

First time participating in the To-do-Tuesday Linky Party over at Home Sewn By Us. Have been wanting to do this for a few weeks but keep missing Tuesdays all the time. Seems to come along too quickly.

For the week 7th September to 14 September I would like to work on:

1. Natalia Bonner’s 9 Patchalong. 
She is releasing two videos per week and I need to be on the ball to keep up. This week I stitched 2 of the blocks, but have heaps more to go...need to finish the filling of the sashings and the borders as I go along. This is good fun and I am learning heaps, particularly as I am stitching along on my new HQ Capri with the stitch regulator.

Block 2

2. Make another few cat blocks
Started spontaneously on another project...the 'Kitten' quilt from Elizabeth Hartman. Got super excited as I am making a brownish type quilt with fabrics that I have had in my stash for a while, always looking for that right project. The project is all cut out, its just a matter of getting going on the piecing.
This quilt will feature our two cats, Abby and Pixie (Abby featured above) 
So, for this week I would like to at least get a Pixie block done

3. Work on a new pattern
Have designed a new pattern for my pattern shop. This has been sitting on my computer for at least the last 6 months. Need to actually do it! Maybe this week I could finalise the design on EQ8 and select the fabric (let’s keep it real, there is no way I am actually going to make a start on piecing this).

4. Prepare fabric for piecing Natalia's Bonner's Star Sampler for the Let's Stitch a Year of Stars which is starting in January 2021

I think this is enough for just one week. Hopefully this will give me a structure to work to and get me a bit more structured throughout the week.

Linking up with Home Sewn By Us for the To Do Tuesday Linky #57


Friday 4 September 2020

9 Patchalong with Natalia Bonner - Block 1 & 2

The 9 Patchalong with Natalia Bonner has started with two blocks this week.

Block 1

Simple curves, love the look and often use this for my baby quilts.  Quilted with the Pro Echo 7 ruler in one continuous pass.

Block 2

This block was hilarious. I was watching the video and following the stitch path, however 2 sec. later I forgotten which way to go. Had to watch and re-watch 2 squares at a time to follow that. Only got the logic of the stitch path for the last 3 squares using the Pro Echo 8 ruler (felt better as it is longer). I knew I was challenged by spatial things but I had no idea it was that bad. Anyway, again stitched in one path. Really like this, looks great on the solids. My focus on accuracy is working fine, spending a moment to get my alignment right and taking my time. Also trialling my new stitch regulator which is behaving very nicely...really like stitching with it, just need to develop a bit of a better rhythm for that.
Also made a start on filling in some of the sashing today. Great fun...with this I am practising shifting my straight ruler along as I am quilting out those straight lines. 
As you can see the vertical sashing is filled in only every alternate diamond, but in the horizontal sashing Natalia did every single shape. Followed this, although I like every single shape stitched out better as it gives that lovely texture. Will be a good visual when looking for designs.

I am really enjoying this and am currently playing with the idea of participating in Natalia’s ‘Let’s Stitch a Year of Stars’ which is to start in January 2021. Again she is using a panel which you can purchase, however that is not an option for me here given the enormous postage costs. So I would have to piece that sampler...not sure about that as I am not that much into piecing and the blocks look tedious. On the other hand, we are still months away and I am always up for a project that is a bit more involved. Will ponder on this for a while.
Linking up to Cheeky Cognoscenti for her Longarm Learning Party#6

Thursday 3 September 2020

One Monthly Goal At Elm Street Quilts

In an effort to keep me a bit more focussed this month I am going to link up at Elm Street quilts for their September OMG Link -Up.

The quilt I would like to be working on is Elizabeth Hartman’s Kitten quilt. I started this inexplicably while doing another project and it is already in danger of falling by the wayside (as, of course, I am already working on something else!)

So my goal for September is to do at least 10 cat blocks which should be achievable if I do 2-3 per week. The fabric is already cut and ready to go
The inspiration for this came from our quite excited about being able to match the fabric to the cat’s fur. This stack of fabric has been sitting in my stash forever waiting for that special project to come along.
This should be fun! 

Linking up to the September OMG Link-Up over at Elm Street Quilts. Hopefully I can show off my 10 cats by 24th September for the finish-up party


Wednesday 2 September 2020

9 Patchalong with Natalia Bonner

So I made a start on the quilting of the 9 patch quilt that we are going to use  for Natalia's 9 Patchalong.

As I am quilting on a sitdown machine I thought it best to put in the frame of the sashing design (this will still be filled in later) and the border scallop before we get to quilt the blocks. This is to avoid the compaction that occurs when quilting...I did not want my sashings to bulge out which would make ruler work more difficult. The design looked easy enough and I thought that I would get this done in no time at all. The aim of the game was to focus in on accuracy!

Well, let's just say I was challenged...I forgot how hard I find curves at times, particularly when dealing with an unruly quilt.
The scallops were an absolute breeze, the sashings not so much! I am participating along using my own rulers rather than Natalia's series of rulers.  I knew this quiltalong would be a great learning opportunity. I had to look at my curves and decide which ones to use. This was really quite interesting...I have the small set of Pro Echo rulers (plus the Pro Echo 8 and 12) from Lisa Calle. 

Really like these rulers and have used them on a quilt before. However, now I had to decide which one fits best into the spaces that I had and I found myself really inspecting them and thinking about which ruler would be most suitable for what, looking at the markings and how this would align. Ended up with the Pro Echo 6 and 4 for the scallops, the Pro Echo 7 for the blocks and the Pro Echo 8 (not part of the set) for the sashings. 

After I completed all of this I started on the bonus blocks at the bottom.

 Again, looks simple enough but some concentration was needed when travelling around the block in the ditch. I am using Rasant thread in a light gray colour. Discovered that I need the ditch in front of me or on the side if I wanted to keep the ditch quilting neat. Also, exploring my new stitch regulation on the Capri. I found that I need to increase my tension for the stitch regulator...don't really understand why that is but it definitely featured. If I leave the tension where I have it set in Manual and switch over to the regulator with the ruler, I would have a little bit of flat lining on the back. Not too bad, but enough to notice. So, I did a lot of tension testing throughout

Maybe my tension is not set correctly for either? Will have to ask about this in our local HQ group...thinking that it may have to do with the speed as I normally quilt quite slowly (in Manual) however when I use the regulator I do quilt a bit faster.

Tuesday 1 September 2020

Favourite Finish

Quick post of the finished Lana Lemur Quilt to link up to Meadow Mist Designs to participate in the Favourite Finish Monthly Link Up - August 2020

This is an Elizabeth Hartman pattern and initially I was going to do an entire Lemur quilt. That quickly changed and I stopped at just two lemurs. Not that they were particularly difficult, however piecing one lemur together did take some time and I rather fancied the idea of having all the background space to fill in, so stopped at the two to get onto the freemotionquilting.

For the background I decided to follow Claudia Pfeil's (P)Filler design DVD of dividing the space with large circles strewn across the quilt and then going from one to the next connecting them with lines, pebbles and stacked swirls . Again, slight underestimation of how long this would take, however it did get done in the end.

Here is a close-up of the quilting
I had no particular plan for this and initially found it quite difficult to be spontaneous, however this did get easier as I went along and came rather natural in terms of what to quilt next.

The quilt measures 36in x44in. Love the colours and how it turned out. 

Linking up to the Favourite Finish Monthly Link up at Meadow Mist Designs


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