Wednesday 30 June 2021

New Listing in Etsy Shop

Just listed another handmade quilt in my Etsy shop. The pattern for this rather colourful and bold quilt is already up in the shop, however I now decided to let the quilt go. I rather like this is so bold and cheerful and I think it would make an ideal playroom floor quilt or a 'drag along' comforter blanket for a baby or toddler. 

The quilt measures 36 1/2in x 45 1/2in. 
It is made off 100% tone-on-tone cotton prints, constructed with coordinating cotton thread and quilted in a variegated Superior Fantastico Polyester thread. The batting is a 80/20 Cotton/Polyester blend. The quilt is quilted with an edge-to-edge floral design for added durability.

It is hard to price these quilts. I always go by what the materials have cost me to make the quilt. I obviously cannot put a value on the hours I worked on it as that would drive the price up exponentially, so I try to keep it as affordable as I can without cutting myself completely short. In looking at my quilts, I do look at level of difficulty in putting it together, whether it is just straight piecing or some applique and then I also look at the degree of quilting as some more dense quilting obviously takes more time than straight in the ditch quilting. Postage of course is an absolute killer. I would love to offer free postage to people but that is just not feasible for overseas. I do offer it for Australia in the hope that I can just get rid of some of these quilts.

Anyway, I digress as per usual...if you are in need of a quilt I have got a few to look at in my Etsy shop.


Monday 28 June 2021

Quilting Away

On my third charity quilt for the Orange Tree Quilters group. Certainly getting a lot of practice for stitching in the ditch!

Now there is this one

This is giving me a bit of a headache in terms of how to quilt this. The brief is not to over-quilt...easier said than done. The quilt top itself is not entirely straight and bows in the middle so an allover design would have pushed all that to the sides and down which would then give me problems in stitching down those borders.

In the absence of any great ideas started to ditch this along the dark pink Drunkard Path shapes. This is working out nice and does exactly what I was hoping for. It lifts the dark pink fabric and puffs them up a bit which instantly makes this look much nicer than just the flat quilt top (and bonus, it eats up some of the bulky bits). Stitching in the ditch around the curved bits is actually a lot of fun. I am using my Handiquilter Versa tool for that aligning the longer curve around the Drunkard Path curves. While not an exact match it is relatively easy to massage this into place and go in a tidy manner around the curve.

What to do with this? I am thinking of putting a simple feather flower in the middle and then started looking at all the other white space. Feathers would go well in the white spaces but upon closer inspection I realised that this is put together in a very odd way. While I could frame the center with a feather running all around, the next white space would need a feather starting in the middle running out to both sides. Looking further ahead then, the next row of white would be incredibly awkward as it is just a portion of the previous row...putting feathers in there would just look weird. In fact, looking closely at this, I then realised that the maker put two borders of semi-circles around the center and that this was the reason I got so confused about what was going on with this design. 

Currently I am thinking of filling the white spaces with alternating feathers and some sort of loose filler, then repeat half the feather flower of the center in each of the white semi circles  next to the thin border.
Then do a simple wavy feather in the reddish border. Not sure whether this would be too much. Alternatively one could just leave it, but that then leaves a lot of blocks not stitched down.

Will need to do some more drawings to figure out what to do. Let me know if anyone out there has any great ideas. There probably is something I have not thought about yet.

Sunday 20 June 2021

Cassowary is Finished

Wow...I worked for most of last week on this to get him done and today I finished him.
I am just a little bit proud of this...nothing about this project came easy to me. Each section had its own challenging little things and some of them I did get right and some of them I did not.

In general, I think I thread painted a bit heavily in parts and some of the shading is a bit wonky, but I am more than happy with it. Actually cannot believe I managed to do this.

And here he is...the finished Cassowary done in an online workshop with Sophie Standing...must say I now know this bird intimately...looked at every little hair, every shading, the way the funny red tubular things run...

Can't tell you how impressed I am with my handiwork. Learned a lot about thread painting and how important tiny detail is (and how easy it is to get things wrong). 

Close up

Now it's back to quilting for me!


Sunday 13 June 2021

Enjoyable Afternoon

I have been super busy, but finally got around to start quilting one of the charity quilts I collected from the Orange Tree Quilters Group.

The Orange Tree Quilter's group is a charity quilting group that provides quilts and other associated craft products for people in need in the community. They are an incredibly busy and productive group.  They donated some 300 quilts last year to varies good causes and do need help to have the many quilt tops that they produce, quilted. I have been wanting to help out for a while but other things have always got in the way. I did finally venture out and visited the group on one of the days they meet. I picked up three quilts that had been selected for me, already pinned and ready to go. This was a number of weeks ago...

I love scrap quilts. I did quilt a quilt top for this group before some years ago..a scrappy happy little quilt. This time I got a quilt with some crazy blocks...

Started the ditching
As I was ditching I was looking around at the fabric. This quilt seems to have some very old fabric in there...maybe the blocks got I started to look a bit closer and found this...aunty acid😆
How funny is that? Can't imagine what that fabric line looked like. Maybe a fabric that had laundry tips? Acid?
Wow...I laughed at that.

Stitching in the ditch is always good practice and I am certainly finding it easier the more I do it. Once I had finished that I decided to put a simple line design in the solid blocks with the Pro Echo 8 ruler (yep, still my favourite curve rulers).

I was actually amazed at how much better I had become at doing this design. Still remember when I could not hit the centre point consistently and the curves looked all a bit inconsistent within a block. No problem with that anymore, it seems...went very smoothly and looks really quite nice. I am now wondering whether I need to do some ditch stitching in the crazy blocks. Maybe just the main seams...the fabric looks puffy and somewhat fragile. I think I prefer this stitched down a bit so that laundering this will not become a problem in the future.

Apart from this I might just do a simple line design in the border just to stitch that down. The brief is not to over-do the quilting.

Really enjoying this...two more to go after this, but for next week I will have to continue working on my Cassowary. Want to get that done to free up the sewing machine.


Thursday 3 June 2021

A Year of Stars with Natalia Bonner - Joyce's Star

This month star is Joyce's Star.

This star was a bit more involved so I did it in sections, slowly but surely. Very enjoyable if you don't do all the pebbles at once. Not sure about you but I quilt pebbles relatively slowly. I have to concentrate otherwise I do wonky shapes and loose my way, so I took my time with this one.

Again, really enjoyed this one, although I am not sure I would quilt something as densely as that. Makes the block fairly stiff...however looks great quilted out.


Wednesday 2 June 2021

Progress on WIPs

Had my second day of the Elizabeth Hartman workshop. Had not done any more work on the blocks other than cutting my pieces out for the owl block.

Well, the owl did take the whole session from 9.30am to 2.30pm. It had so many tiny pieces and was a bit challenging for my brain in terms of getting them oriented the right way around. Worked very slowly as I did not want to mess it up. I only need one owl for the wall hanging and I definitely did not want to do another one.

Here it is...the owl
Came out rather nice although I think I should have chosen more muted colours for the middle section. My colours just seem to blend together. Good to know though, will remember this if I have to do another one. Now I only got the thistles, hedgehog and another fox to go.

This will have to wait a bit though, as I am also doing the Cassowary project run by Sophie Standing in an online workshop and it is taking forever to advance from one section to the next. I think since last time I managed to complete the beak and chin and am now halfway up the horn. Well, I wanted a challenge and I must say, this is very challenging for me as I never done thread painting before.

So my thread painting looks much more like thread stitching tends to become very build up very quickly. Probably because I am making lots of mistakes so I always have to go over things again until I feel that I got it right. You have no idea of what this is like for a seasoned freemotion quilter with a healthy perfectionist streak. Looking at my scribbling it is almost torturous! Mind you there were a few moments when I thought that I was getting the hang of it, particularly when doing the chin area...that jelled really well with me for some reason and I am really proud of how that turned out with the yellow markings in it. Today I did the left half of the horn and I must say that was extraordinarily tricky...still not completely happy with it but sometimes it is easier to just step back for a while and try again another day.

Enjoying the challenge though, it's good to push yourself to do something completely out of your comfort zone once in a while.

One thing is for sure, this is going to take a while... 

Linking up to Midweek Makers over at Quilt Fabrication.


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