Tuesday 25 May 2021

Work in Progress

My blog posts are going to be all over the place for a little while as I am working on several things all at once. Bit of bad planning on my part...

I am doing two workshops at the moment...the Cassowary one with Sophie Standing online and then also an Elizabeth Hartman workshop in person at our local sewing shop.

The Elizabeth Hartman workshop started Monday and only has two sessions, one occurred  this week and another one next week. We are doing a wall hanging from the Fancy Forest pattern. Thought that this would be great practice to tackle the Fancy Forest quilt towards the end of the year.

I only managed to do two animals on Monday...

 The fox which I am familiar with and then the rabbit which was a tad more challenging. In fact I had to do some sections several times as I kept forgetting some pieces. Not used to working in a group setting.
I am making this wall hanging out of the leftover fabrics from the Shannon Brinkley fabric range. Should come out nice. I chose a dark chocolate brown as the background which I already had in my stash,  which is a bit lighter than the photo depicts.

Then today I continued on the Cassowary project. Almost had performance anxieties over this...never thread painted before and we started with the eye, of all things! So today, I just went for it, hoping for the best...

Not too bad...still have some fine tuning to do but managed to somehow make my way around the eye. Got completely lost under the eye and now have a rather dark patch sitting there...I am hoping that I can go over this with some blue meander to made that less obvious. Very interesting actually...I will have to watch this getting lost on your piece. I think it had to do with the tiny piece of fabric that I had sitting around the eye. As soon as that was covered with thread, I lost all orientation and the way it was drawn. Another completely new thing to me is stitching in a hoop. Very different from FMQ. In FMQ I have my fingers very close to where I am stitching and with the hoop I found that my hand forever wanted to go inside the hoop which then made moving around very awkward. Will have to work on that. Otherwise all good...I think I can make my way through this somehow. In general I think that my stitching might be a bit dense but as I have no experience to compare this with, I am just running with it.

Should all be very interesting!


Friday 21 May 2021

Cassowary Online Workshop with Sophie Standing

I have been busy...the Cassowary Workshop started on the 14 May. Many firsts for me in this one. I dyed my background fabric! Never ventured out into dyeing anything, so together with my daughter we had some fun getting some colour onto this background. Would have liked to experiment a bit more now that my interest has been sparked, but that would have taken another few weeks of researching and trying it out. There is always next time. Got lots of ideas from this workshop.

Also, correction from my last post - Sophie Standing lives in Kenya rather than S.Africa which I mentioned in my last post about the workshop. Not entirely sure where I got that from. Anyway, the workshop is run over a private FB group and we had an introductory live session with Sophie which was just lovely. Lots to learn and lots of opportunity to ask questions and support each other. 

I made a start this week and managed to get the bird down on the background (look at my fun background).
Next comes the thread painting...
I have never done thread painting before. While I can freemotion quilt, I am beginning to wonder whether I actually can do this. Have a general idea on how that works but feel a tad intimidated by the whole thing. No idea whether this will come naturally to me and am hoping for the best.

Planning to do some practicing over the weekend to get a bit of a feel for it. Luckily Sophie has included many enlarged still photos in the FB group which I find really helpful to see how she filled in particular sections. I am going to be a complete copycat and do exactly what she does...this is too new to me to start experimenting with. Maybe on the next project. I am hoping that once I get the hang of this it will become self-explanatory on how to move over the bird.

Challenge plus, but should be so worth it once it is finished.
Should also mention that this workshop has been brought to us by Lesley Mays from Patchwork & Craft Mildura. If you get a chance check them out - lots of very interesting workshops available through the shop.


Wednesday 12 May 2021

New Rulers

Updated my rulers. Easy enough you would think, but not so. I searched a very long time for decent rulers. There is just so much out there and rulers seem to be a very individual thing.

First I invested in a set of Bloc Loc rulers to cut my half square triangles to size with a bit more ease. I always seem to be doing a fair amount of half square triangles, so that seemed a good idea. They arrived a while back and trying them out, I am very impressed. Definitely gives you more accuracy. Then I started searching for just normal rulers...

Not so easy...lots of rulers have thicker lines which I definitely did not want as that means I forget where exactly I aligned my ruler from one minute to the next (I got one of those). Then there are rulers with numbers in thick coloured circles...also did not like that as it detracted from the measurements. Another requirement for me was 1/8in markings all the way through. For some reason I seem to be needing that.

Initially I was going to order overseas but then found an Australian shop at Pauline's Quilters World. Knew of the shop as the lady usually attends the quilt shows...she has a range of sashing tools for Quilt-As-You-Go projects but I had not seen her rulers. Well, she had a video of her rulers on her site as they had just added a range of rulers to their existing products. She highlighted a few things in her video which were just what I was looking for, so I ordered two of her rulers. Was a bit curious for them to arrive...

Here are my new tools...the Blocloc rulers and the two rulers from Pauline's Quilters World.

Bit hard to photograph because of the colour. Definitely does not glow in real life. I bought a 6in x 12in and a 9-1/2in square.

The rulers are a nice thickness (I had looked at our recent quilt show and the few different brands that I saw were definitely thinner) and like Pauline said her rulers have the lines engraved a bit deeper on the back so that they have added grip. In trying them out, I can confirm that they definitely grip better than my other rulers which is a huge plus.

Here is the 9-1/2in  one closer up. Realise not everyone will love all those markings but that is exactly what I was after!
I bought the 9-1/2in one so that I have a larger range to square up differently sized squares. If you look on the diagonal of the ruler you can see that it has extra lines to indicate 1/2in squares all the way down which I find particularly handy. The lines on the ruler are exquisitely thin which is just great. So, no excuse any more not to get my blocks to the right size.

Who would have thought that looking for new tools would become that involved. If you are in Australia and looking for new rulers I can highly recommend these...great rulers, postage was ok (they come from Queensland) and great service...they arrived in a couple of weeks.


Sunday 9 May 2021

New Pattern in ETSY Shop

Finished the write up of the table runner pattern for my Etsy shop. This is a variation of the traditional Maple Leaf block which gives the appearance of leaves gently falling to the ground. Turned out really nice in the autumn colours of Shannon Brinkley's Dryad fabric range.

The table runner measures 18-1/2in x 48-1/2in and is quilted with an overall woodgrain design. I used cotton battting so the quilting made it come out nice and flat, perfect for the dining table or as a wall hanging.

A few more pictures
Close up of the quilting

The backing was a perfect match for this project

I think I might do a few more table runners. They are so fun to make, take very little time and are a great little project to practice particular freemotion-quilting designs on.

If you are interested in the pattern, head over to my Etsy shop to see a bit more detail. And here is a bit of fun...I obviously got a bit bored when doing the photos for my listing and started playing around with various videos apps ending up with a 15 sec process slideshow. 


Monday 3 May 2021

Cassowary Online Workshop with Sofie Standing

Have received my kit for the Cassowary Online Workshop with Textile Artist Sofie Standing from South Africa (have a look at her FB profile HERE ...she does some amazing work).

Was going to do one of her courses last year. The course is offered through Lesley Mays Patchwork & Craft at Mildura, so this year I made the jump.

This is a thread painting project and I am highly intimidated by it. Cannot really imagine being able to produce this weird looking animal in fabric (look at those eyes!). Never done thread painting before and I literally have no idea what is involved. Sofie will be available for 3 months over a private FB group to teach us what to do. Very curious about how this will work and looking forward to it. The course is starting on 14th May with an introductory talk. So, still time to join if someone is interested.

Very excited!


Sunday 2 May 2021

A Year of Stars with Natalia Bonner - Morning Star/New Project Coming Up

Just a quick post to show you the quilted Morning Star Block for the month of April.

Loved doing this block. Particularly like the centre motif. Still have the sashings to do, but waiting for an opportunity to change the thread as I am quilting the pebbles in that dusty pink colour. Given that this is a year long quiltalong, there's plenty of time to pebble along. Have a few other things on the go at the moment.

Apart from this, we had our first Quilt Show after the isolation of 2020. Went the other day to have a bit of a look...it was brilliant, of course! Just nice to mix with like minded people and look at beautiful quilts and fabric. 

Found something very special

A fabric panel from Denise Burkitt called Fancy Free. How beautiful is that...sparked my creative juices straight away only hindered today by not having enough red fabric for a bit of a border to go around it  - otherwise I would have made a start on it. Just love the colours and the possibilities.

Planning to freemotion-quilt this with dense background fillers, outlining the flowers and filling in the spaces with different designs. A bit like the Big Dream Panel, except on a smaller scale and for the skinny petals obviously only following the outlines. Not sure yet, have not got a plan as yet, but itching to get going on that.


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