Wednesday, 8 December 2021

Last Charity Quilt for the Year

I am in finishing mode...

Here is the last of the charity quilts for the Orange Tree Quilters Group.

Beautiful little quilt. Really like the colouring of this one. Decided to do an allover floral design by Christina Maraccini from her book 'Machine Quilting Solutions'.

Not too bad...the design was easy enough to execute, there is a lot of scope to just fill in spaces with either swirls or more leaves. Just had to watch the scale of things a bit and did go a bit more dense in one of the corners but then corrected myself again and continued pretty consistently.

Really suits it, I think.


Friday, 3 December 2021

Practicing and Learning

It has been a full on few weeks. I have literally been quilting non-stop, finishing some projects, quilting some charity quilts (one more to go) and doing the online workshop with Bethanne Nemesh.

Must say that Bethanne's workshop is fantastic...very structured and organised and very intense which I love, of course.

I have been practicing on and off as time allowed. Here are some of the things that I have stitched out over the last two weeks.

More of the curls

A couple of wreaths

Love this last one (no idea why the colour is's the same fabric taken at the same moment) and planning to do it again a bit more pronounced and neater around the outside.

And then today I stitched out an Amish feather spray which looks incredibly involved but was not too bad at all. My only issue was making my feathers a bit larger than usual to fill up the enormous space I had around me. Was really pleased with it though as this is stitched freehand and on a practice piece which I am always a bit more sloppy on. Would feel very comfortable stitching this out on a quilt.
This is only a small selection of the practice that I have done. I did practice a number of other things but that is just more of the same. So happy to be back to feather quilting and being able to straighten out some bad habits and learn some of the finer points of quilting feathers.

This month will be wholecloth quilting...I think there is a wall hanging we can do and then there is my design I finally and definitely want to stitch out. Given that Christmas is around the corner this will probably take me right through to January. Very exciting and very motivating...not sure how I will fit all this in as there are a number of other little things that need finishing.


Wednesday, 24 November 2021

The Heart Quilt

Finished another one of the charity quilts from the Orange Tree Quilters group. On this quilt I tried the new Amanda Murphy heart rulers. The rulers come in a pack of three, offering two size options. I went for the smaller set which has a 2.5in, 3.5in and 4.5in heart. Was determined to get all 3 sizes of hearts on the quilt.

Love the shape of these hearts and was keen to try this out.

First quilted some hearts in the middle with the 3.5in heart

Very easy to stitch out with just marking the center lines of the square. Beautifully shaped.

I then quilted a bit of a scallop around the center of the quilt and put a little heart in each corner. As I still had two borders left, I decided to quilt the biggest, 4.5in heart across the two borders placing them not in a column but next to each other. This was a bit more involved, but easy to do with these rulers...quilted one side first, then up the other side and backtracking across the top of the hearts. Like other rulers from the Amanda Murphy range, she has got lines on there where you can align your previous, just stitched shape on. This made backtracking over the lines a breeze and also ensured that you hit the right point on the bottom of the heart. This was truly an effortless stitch out and once I had worked out how many hearts I wanted in the border and looked at my available space the actual stitching of the hearts was very fast.

Design-wise one could have done much more with this of course, but I always have to be mindful not to over-quilt these charity quilts, so that they remain nice and soft. The corner did work out nicely by linking the corner heart with the heart on each side (more or less, had a bit of a gap, but on that patterned fabric that was negligible) 

Really enjoyed doing this little quilt which gave me a good workout on those heart rulers. The accuracy you can achieve with these is truly outstanding. I don't think think I once missed a backtrack or did not arrive at the point of the heart.


Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Feather Online Course with Bethanne Nemesh

The online course with Bethanne Nemesh has started. Had our first session and it was fabulous...very organised, structured and very intense. My head was somewhat spinning afterwards and I was thinking ...OMG, this is just the first lesson! The level of detail was outstanding and it was helpful for the beginner and more advanced quilter alike. Absolutely loved the detailed explanations, hints and tricks to improve my feathering. I did not watch the live session as that would have meant getting up in the middle of the night and to my delight when I watched in on FB the next day, it displayed quite alright. Bethanne also puts the session on another more stable platform where you can watch it in sections at your leisure. Had a look at that today and like it, as it breaks it up into manageable chunks, just right if you want to re-look at something in more detail.

Then came practice in my own time. Did a couple of hours yesterday and today, really taking my time and preserving my shoulder which has been playing up a bit again of late. Also taking this to practice my machine speed on the Bernina Q20, as I want to do another Whole Cloth over December. With all the quilting in the last few months (and actually since I have had this machine) I have spent little time on focussing on speed, as I was doing mainly ruler work or sweeping meandering which you do with a bit more speed. Over the last 2 days I found a really comfortable speed to work with and also decided not to do the feathers in regulation, but rather stay in manual. Found the rhythm and speed where I could just concentrate on getting some of the other elements right.

This is going to be very helpful, I am so glad that I enrolled in this as I got a few things to work on.

My practice so far...rows of feathers

  ...and branching out into more elaborate arrangements
You probably wonder what on earth does she need to focus on?...I am a self taught quilter and learned feathers over time. They do look alright but doing it the one way that I know how to also means I find it incredibly hard to deviate from it. For example I have never used the bump back feather very much but learnt to backtrack over the entire length of my feather with some precision (I have almost made this a sport). This is great, but not always the best feather to use. At times then I have mixed the two, sometimes doing my way and throwing in a bump back feather...not very satisfying as you get out of rhythm really bad and I am not that good at the bump back feathers. Muscle memory is a great thing, but can also work against you as I have found out over time. It is incredibly hard to force yourself to deviate from the way you have always done it. I definitely need to loosen up and challenge my muscle memory. This is going to be so interesting! Already when I was doing the practice I noticed that I did not enjoy the bump back feathers that much...seemed like an incredibly laborious soon as I switched over to my way, I was in my element, happy to continue and enjoying the stitching. There is that real unconscious sabotage going on. Today I did mainly the bump back feather and actually started to enjoy myself a flowed all a bit easier and looked quite good.
There is already some other detail I am noticing that I need to concentrate on...this is going to be so helpful and challenging and as it runs for the next 4 months I am sure it will iron out some of those issues that I have identified for myself and other things that I do not know yet.

Also, really happy to get back to the's been too long.


Sunday, 7 November 2021

A Favourite Design

Unpacking the charity quilts from the Orange Tree Quilters group, I came across one of my favouites - a string quilt.

Love the riot of colours and the different fabrics in this quilt top. The maker used a fabric based foundation which was interesting.
It made the quilt top incredibly heavy and once basted it was even heavier and I was glad about the big Koala table which supported the weight of this quilt.

The backing was also a surprise...almost psychedelic! 
It's called 'Matrix' and is produced by Studio E Fabrics.

This is going to be good fun...I am currently debating whether to use a slightly variegated dark blue thread on there or go with a more restrained lighter blue colour. I will just do a basic meander over it as I need to get ready for my online course with Bethanne Nemesh and I do want to knock this off before then.

Good fun!


Saturday, 6 November 2021

A Year of Stars with Natalia Bonner

I cannot believe how fast this year has gone.

This is the 11th block in Natalia Bonner's 'Let's Stitch a Year of Stars' Quiltalong - Brian's Star

To tell you the truth, I cannot remember doing this block, but looking at it now I quite like it, although I would probably never quilt  that heavily in a pieced quilt.

Only one block left and then I really need to do the binding on this quilt. While I enjoyed doing the quiltalong, I don't think I will do another year long quiltalong. I do get impatient and as it was in this case just continue on my own to finish things off which really defeats the purpose of a quiltalong. I reckon I did finish this quilt way before we even approached the half way mark. A year is just too long for me. However, having said that, these quiltalongs are brilliant if you are a bit slower and make use of the many videos that Natalia puts up for guidance and I do appreciate the many ideas you get for quilting a block.

I need to make sure that I put up a photo of the finished does look quite spectacular. Hopefully, next month...


Thursday, 4 November 2021

And Another Christmas Table Runner

Finished my second Christmas table runner displayed here as a festive wall hanging (easier to photograph that way).
Had some fun with this...tried out Aurifil Monofilament thread to do all the outlining and ditching for this one. Worked well, but I must say that I find Aurifil Monofilament thread slightly more finicky than the Superior Monopoly thread. It's just so fine and very hard to see. A couple of times I felt as if I was stitching literally completely blind.
Looks very nice though as it is literally invisible.

Also did a pieced backing for this one as I had some coordinating fabric left. That's where the fun started...I had to align it so perfectly to frame the main winter scene on both sides...I cannot believe that that actually worked. The stars must have been aligned! If I had just made the center a fraction smaller I would have had it 100% perfect, however I was just really happy that it was nice and straight.
This one is also up in my Etsy shop for sale if you want to see more detailed photos of that.

That's it for me with the Christmas table runners. Just have to finish mine now and then there are three snowmen left, but I will leave that for a bit of a side project for next year to use up all of that panel.


Monday, 1 November 2021

Snowmen Table Runners

Still doing my Snowmen Table Runners.

One of them is finished and up in my Etsy shop and has to be one of my favourite finishes for this month.

I advertised this as a table runner or wall hanging. I quite like it as a wall hanging actually...the snowmen blocks are from a panel from Sharla Fults for Studio E Fabrics. The panel is particularly cute and called 'Snow Place Like Home'. I painstakingly cut those snowmen out and then just set them in a simple sashing. I kept the quilting to a minimum as I wanted that uncluttered look. Apart from outlining the snowmen, I just echoed around the sashing and inner border and putting some green lines through the dotted border to stabilise the runner.

I also did one for myself, however that one is still in production as I started to try different designs in the sashing and inner border on that one. Did not like it at all and will have to un-stitch that to finish it off.

Currently working on a second one with a red sashing. Again did not really think that through. As I have some lighter backing fabric any stitching in the sashing had to be done with a red thread on top and white in the bottom. Never a good choice and you would have thought that I learned that by now. However I approached this with some patience and was happy to manage to get the tension to a point where it was just right. Was actually surprised that this worked so well as the batting is a flat 60/40 Cotton/Poly mix, so not a lot of room to hide any tension issues.

Have a look at the back

Bit chuffed with that as it is not easily achieved normally. I decided to just go with the echoing again even though I would have liked to put some Ribbon Candy in there. However, any loopy type quilting showed the red dots a bit more and as this is also going in the Etsy shop did not really want that.

Just the binding left on this one
So darn cute!

Linking up to Favorite Finish Monthly Link Up at Meadow Mist Designs


Wednesday, 27 October 2021

Excited Plus!

I am getting a bit excited over here. I have enrolled in Bethanne Nemesh' online Freehand Feather Fiesta class which will start on 6th of November.

I have done one of Bethanne's classes in person some years ago - Feather Faster and completed this wall hanging after the class. The class was a drawing class and the wall hanging was suggested as a follow up. Still hanging proudly in our family room.
Apart from this I stitched out a sample of the various feathers she talked about...

...and that was it! From then on I continued on my familiar way of doing feathers, maybe incorporating tiny elements here and there but not really applying what I had learned at all. I found it extraordinarily difficult to loosen up my more formal feathers.

The current online class will go until March 2022 and is promising to be jam-packed. There will be some repetition for me as the Feather Faster concepts are incorporated in the class but I thought that this is a bonus in terms of cementing what I am learning. I will do that Birds on the Wire wall hanging again (she posted some lovely hand-dyed fabric) and have a look how my feathering is changing (hopefully).

Very excited about this as Bethanne is an excellent teacher. I am still using one of the hints she gave me in the drawing class to prevent my feathers from 'falling over'...very simple but so effective. Also have watched several of her FB videos that you can find on her web site. Always full of very useful tips and information.

As I have been mainly writing patterns and quilting away to get some quilts done, I sat down to do a bit of a feather doodle the other day. Wanted to empty a bobbin and also resurrect my somewhat rusty feather skills.

Yep, still good and ready to go...just reading through some of the class material has given me a few new and very exciting ideas about wholecloth quilts that I would like to try. Plan is to start a wholecloth in December (one that has been sitting around for a few years as a design waiting to be stitched out) and hopefully producing another more elaborate one in the new year. Can't wait!


Friday, 22 October 2021

Gingerbread House Table Runner

Finally finished my Christmas table runner listing for my Etsy shop. 

The table runner measures 16-1/2in x 34-1/2in with just three stars, but I have also given the option of making it with four stars. Was easy to make and comes together very quickly. Took me a weekend to construct and another few days to quilt in the ditch around the seams. The hold up was writing it up and deciding to include another size. It got done though and now I am back to finishing off my snowman table runners.

Also a bit of bragging which does not come naturally to me

For this month I am a star seller on Etsy. It's a new program which has received a fair amount of criticism as it is very hard to achieve for some of the shops on there, me included. If you sell mainly digital items you are missing out on the benchmark of delivering on time as you do not actually ship a physical item. In addition you have to maintain around 10 orders (around (300 USD) in sales, which of course is a bit difficult if you are selling cheaper items and don't have the numbers of people buying that larger shops have.

Also with digital products you very rarely get messages from buyers as they will receive their item immediately...all in all very difficult and the concern amongst Etsy sellers is that it will be incorporated in their search algorithm with time.

I did achieve the badge for this month as I have had  some messages and lovely reviews (which was great) and also did happen to sell a quilt. I think I will keep the badge for another few months (3 month evaluation period) but then I will probably loose it, so I thought I do need to celebrate this a bit. 

It was exactly October last year that I did look at my Etsy shop and thought...either do something with it or close it! I have done an enormous amount of work on there, some days just living and breezing Etsy, researching, learning and increasing my inventory. It has been quite work intensive and along the way I have learnt quite a bit and have been able to increase my sales to the moderate amount that I was aiming for. Really happy how it is all going and at the moment very chuffed that I got that badge even though it is controversial and probably does not mean much for the people who are looking at items on Etsy. To me it almost felt like a bit of a personal reward for all the work that I did put in over the last year.

I will not be too concerned loosing it again as it would be incredibly difficult to maintain with just digital pattern sales...I can always look back at this blog post and have a bit  of a smile on my face seeing that star badge on here.


Monday, 18 October 2021

Patience Corner Quilt Finished

This quilt is from the Orange Tree Quilters group. Initially I was actually a bit shocked by the loud pink squares, but after closer inspection, I must say that whoever put this together did an amazing job. If you look closely, the colour arrangement mirrors itself on the diagonal with the darker batik fabric running through the center. That looks so effective.

For some reason I have always associated the Patience Corner block with garden beds and thought it would be fun to put something a bit flowery in the squares. I quilted this with a deep maroon Rasant (40wt) thread visualizing that the center would look somewhat unquilted as the thread just blends in and in the "garden beds" on the sides I would have some flowers in it. Well, that is exactly how this turned out. Love it!

The quilting was done with a 5in Pro Echo ruler for the bigger squares and a 3in Pro Echo ruler for the black squares. It is quilted on the diagonal, i.e. quilting half the motif, moving over the black squares doing half the curves etc. from one side of the quilt to the next and then back again to finish off the curves and motifs. This way I could move over the quilt in a continuous manner which was much quicker than doing it block by block.

Some close ups


Really glad I tried this out, worked really well and was a very efficient way of quilting this. Many of Natalia Bonner's designs for her 9 Patch Quiltalong would be suitable for this quilt, depending on what fabric is used of course and how much time you would want to spend on this (many of her designs need some backtracking in the ditch around the block).

Linking up to Freemotion Maveriks at Quilting & Learning-What a Combo


Thursday, 14 October 2021


You have to laugh...I have been ditching away for the last two days on another charity quilt from the Orange Tree Quilters. I was going to try out my new Natalia Bonner Mini 4n1 ruler on an actual quilt but things never go to plan.

When I unpacked the quilts I picked up the other day, I saw that I got another Patience Corners quilt. Last time I did an overall Baptist fan which looked nice, but this time I wanted to do something different. Given I wanted to try out the ruler, I patiently ditched along all the seams...not my favourite thing, but I thought I may as well practice my stops and starts. After all these years, I am still burying my threads rather than just cutting them off like longarmers do.

The quilt is loud and very pink, but I was surprised how different it looked when I had most of it ditched. It really made those pink squares stand out. Very cool!
My practice of starting and stopping was really needed. The Bernina Q20 has a tie off function which I really like when starting off. You can set it so that the machine makes 4 - 5 stitches on the spot and then stops. It makes the most invisible and tidy tie off, however so far I have always buried the threads even with the tie off. This time I double secured my thread with some added tiny stitches and soon found that I was was able to just cut the thread off at the beginning. Stopping was a different matter...I approached this in reverse...tiny stitches, tie off and then had a look what that looked like. Somehow I could not get that right for half the quilt...when tugging on the thread, I felt that there was too much give and I often ended up burying them again. However, I finally got it and was able to just cut my threads off...looked fabulous on the back for most of it and given that I had the tiny stitches beforehand absolutely nothing became loose. This was a great help, otherwise it would have taken me double the time to complete, if not more. I really need to get used to doing this, saves so much time.

Then, finally I was ready to go on the quilt with a ruler only to realise my 4n1 Mini ruler (the smaller curve) was not big enough to get me to the center of the block. Doing my design with the bigger curve ended up too skinny. The square is over 4in...obviously did not try this out beforehand in my planning.

So back to the good old ProEcho rulers from Lisa Calle. Used the 5in Pro Echo curve ruler to give me the curve that I wanted and used a smaller one to do the curves in the black squares. I had to use the purple thread as the backing is a deep purple. Tried a hot pink thread with the purple in the bobbin but the pokies you inevitably get here and there were just annoying me. I don't usually stitch with darkish thread so this is also a bit of an experiment.
Might look a bit too floral, but will try this...could look interesting because it will go under in some of the squares and only stand out in the light ones. That could be a cool effect. Had looked at other designs but wanted something that is continuous as I don't want to backtrack or do the squares individually as that would take me too long. This way I can can travel along on the diagonal over the entire quilt.
Hmm...this could either look really good or be a bit much for the eyes. We shall see...


Thursday, 7 October 2021

Natalia Bonner's 4n1 Ruler

I gave my new 4n1 Mini ruler (top ruler) another whirl the other day.
Really like this is a bit chunky but I have found this to be quite an advantage. Lies really good in your hand feeling very solid and stable. If you are still looking for a good allrounder, this is a good ruler to go for as it has curves of different sizes plus the straight edge all on the same ruler. Lots of things you can do with that.

Stitched out some of the designs from Natalia's 9 Patch Quiltalong 2.0 that I have seen popping up over the last few weeks on the internet.
Very enjoyable little exercise. Particularly like the simple star design in the second row. Definitely something I will use in a quilt. Find this ruler particularly uncomplicated, as there are a lot of lines that you can align to your seams for reference and like how you can quickly flick this from the straight edge to the curved edges doing a block in just one go. The size of this ruler is a real advantage in that it carries you easily across a 4in block in all directions. Nothing worse than when you ruler falls short of the distance and you have to slide it over...that hardly ever works out neatly for me.

I think this ruler will become a favourite in no time at all.


Monday, 4 October 2021

A Year of Stars with Natalia Bonner

Here is the October 9 patch star block
Loved doing this one and was easy to fill in. My only issue was to do the swirl in the light purple triangles. It's a biggish space to fill freehand and I think I got one of my swirls the wrong way around. Natalia uses this swirl quite often to fill a space...I have to really think hard about that one...does not come naturally to me and promptly turned it in the right top corner. It's not really that obvious, so I just left it in there.

Can't believe it's already October...only two more stars to go. I better get my binding on to that quilt! I think Natalia is planning a Year of Blocks out for her announcements on FB and on her web site.


Sunday, 3 October 2021

When Your Good Idea Does Not Come To Fruition

I made a start on some Christmas table runners. Thought that I had a good idea...found this really cute panel and proceeded to cut out the snowmen to use in a table runner.
Chose a funky green sashing to surround the pictures and then added a black and white dotted border. The thinking was to make it look like applique without actually being applique. Set out to surround all the snowmen. Ended up surrounding them with an off white thread (had tried a tan colour but that looked plain awful). 
That part already did not work out as imagined. I used Warm & Natural as a batting but, must say, I am finding this too flat. It absolutely did not give me any definition of the snowmen.

Then I tackled the border...could not resist and put some stars in there...yep, looking absolutely awful. Don't like it at all...
I stitched that out in a grey colour (white was too much), but I do not like the look at all. Maybe should have stitched them in black but that would be very difficult to see. The template is small and the black colour is hard to see, even with good lighting. On top of that, the star template gave me trouble and you can see every little wobble...a fail, so much so, I have not continued on it at all. I will finish it and use it this Christmas, but am not overly impressed with it.

I have more of those snowmen and will do another one. I think I will just ditch that and outline the snowmen and then leave the rest. It's a cleaner look.  Might also use slightly loftier batting for a more defined look. Somehow I do not like the quilting on the dotted fabric, just too distracting.
Lucky I bought enough of that green sashing to make another one. Really like the look of it. 

Also working on a pieced Christmas table runner. Also did not work...used some leftover white fabric from my stash which burnt when pressed...can you believe it? Done my test block and did not see it while putting it together, only after, when I took a photo on a white background. I chucked the white fabric out now, so I am not using it accidentally for another project. Just too much hassle.

So, let's hope that next week is better...


Monday, 27 September 2021

Quilted Nursery Panel Baby Quilt In ETSY shop

New listing in my Etsy shop:

Cute little nursery panel quilt that I quilted the other day with an allover cloud design.

The nursery panel used in this quilt is a cute jungle themed panel from the 'World of Susybee' for Hamil Textiles. It makes an ideal baby shower gift that can be used as a small 'drag along' blanket, playtime floor mat or as nursery wall decor.

The quilt measures 33-5/8in x 39 -3/4in and has a nice soft consistency due to its 100% wool batting.

Have one more panel to go in my efforts to clean up my stash of all things fabric...let's just hope I do not see any other cute panels in the near future. This is fast becoming an addiction.


Thursday, 23 September 2021


This time I am innocent...I won a $50 gift voucher at the Great International Craft Show that was run here online from 16-19/9, so I had to spent it...

Had a choice where I wanted to spent it, so I chose Constantine Quilts, a local business that supplies a range of products for machine quilting. 

Bought two new rulers
On top, the Natalia Bonner 4n1 Mini ruler and underneath a 90 degree angle ruler made by Constantine Quilts. So, I gave them a whirl today...

Was really curious about the Natalia Bonner ruler as I have heard a lot of good things about it. It is quite large at a width of 4.75in and length of 7in which worried me a bit in terms of being able to hold it steady.

My efforts for today

Natalia's ruler was used for the top two rows. Must say, I like it...the squares are 4in and the size of the ruler makes going over it a breeze, even on the diagonal. I had a good grip on the ruler, initially a bit awkward due to its chunkiness, but I got used to it rather quickly and can see why Natalia developed this. It is so easy to quickly flick this in all directions working the straights and the curves all in one go. I particularly liked the lines with the measurements on it...saved me getting a ruler out to mark my dots of where I wanted to go. That was a bit handy in terms of quickly marking the center of a block.

The 90 degree ruler is Constantine Quilts' own ruler line. Good value at an affordable price. I have wanted to get a 90 degree ruler for a while for simple line work. Stitched out the chevron border with ease...the 'legs' of the ruler are 6in, so it is a good size to use for medium borders, quickly and simply putting in the zig-zag. Also tried it out for piano keys and really liked using it for that as I could just slide it along, aligning it at a right angle to the 'bottom' of the quilt. It was very accurate. Then I did some pretend echos you might do in a block...again, very easy as it stops you in the right spot. After all this I was just mucking around trying to finish off my bobbin...tried Natalia's smallest curves on the right side of the ruler. That actually did not work that well for me. Found the alignment tricky and hard to judge, probably not a part that I would be using a lot. Maybe for really small squares...

Good fun, happy with my purchase.

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Quilting In The Ditch

I am a bit out of practice with my stitch-in-the-ditch quilting, however decided for the last charity quilt to just quilt it in the ditch.

This took me a moment
Was in two minds about this one as I could also have done some ruler work, however, I am a bit busy at the moment and the next meeting is coming up at the beginning of next month, so I thought I would just ditch away on this. 

My favourite ruler for ditching is the Handiquilter Ditch Ruler (on the right in the photo) I started with that. After a while and many missed ditches (I think I actually need to replace the grippy tape on the does wear a bit with time), I switched over to a fairly new ruler from Bethanne Nemesh.
Bethanne's ruler is much thinner and I found it easier to massage the ruler into the right position as I went along. Some of the seams did not match up or were a little bit bowed, so I had to continually shift the ruler a little bit as I was stitching with a tan cotton which was quite visible in places. Bethanne's ruler was nice to hold and easy to manage...a good ruler if you need to concentrate on where you are going or doing some really detailed work. For this quilt, this was the better ruler to use. While it is a bit shorter this was handy as there was a fair amount of unevenness and I needed to stop and start frequently.

Onto the binding now...have two quilts to bind and about three quilts to hand sew the binding into place.


Sunday, 19 September 2021

Another Nursery Panel Done

This panel has been most interesting. I decided to again use my Handiquilter Multi Clamshell tool, however expanded on the clamshell design and made a 'cloud' pattern. 

For this little exercise I did mark a grid onto the panel though as I was not confident that I would be able to keep the design straight otherwise.

The finished product

So, how did I go about this...first I decided on the grid size, i.e. 2in x 4in and marked this with a blue water erasable marker onto the panel. As I am a very sloppy marker, I half expected that my lines may not be entirely straight all the way up. However, look at the top of the quilt...could not believe it but ended up dead straight. Was a bit impressed with that. I did notice during the quilting that my horizontal lines appeared to be straight, however my vertical lines left a bit to be desired in parts.

The quilting was straightforward
Start with half a clamshell, i.e. eyeballing to stop the needle at the half way mark of the ruler, then continue up with a 2in clamshell and down again with half a clamshell. I marked some alignment points in purple in the diagram. With the Multi Clamshell ruler I was able to align the ruler's lines with the points underneath. For example, point 1 of one row aligns with point 3 of the row really pays to get to know your ruler and make as much use of all those alignment lines on it as you can see, in this case I used the vertical as well as the horizontal lines.
Having said this I should also mention though that you will get some compaction as you go along and some of the points do not appear to line up any more with the row underneath. As I have done this a few times by now I was aware of this and concentrated on filling my grid, still checking the alignment as I went along and having an eye on keeping my curves as straight (tilting the ruler ever so slightly can give you problems with the clamshells coming out at different heights) as I could as well as staying in my prescribed grid set up. What I often found was that some points aligned while others appeared somewhat was a somewhat fluid arrangement, but as long as those deviations were approximately similar I did not worry about it as I already knew that this most likely had to do with the slight compaction that you get when quilting. Also, my last 5 - 6 rows of my grid were out by 1/8in...again, no hassle, I just made sure that my clamshells were straight, i.e. all 1/8in underneath that blue line.

For this design, I definitely needed the grid because as soon as you do the full clamshell on top of the half circle you tend to loose all orientation and the grid helps to keep you on track.

Some close ups

I like the look of the back. Looks absolutely precise which of course it is not, but again this is a very forgiving design as you can do a fair bit of fudging when quilting the half circles, i.e. lengthen or shorten them to hit the point on the grid exactly.

While the preparation for this little quilt took a bit longer, the quilting did not take that long and the only hassle was that I had to turn the quilt once I had quilted past the middle as I had too much quilt in front of me. Took a moment to get my brain used to doing the design upside down.

I wonder what I can come up with next.


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