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.


Saturday 18 September 2021

Trialing A Cloud Design

Working on my next panel...Have it cut to size and was preparing a backing in order to baste this up but then discovered that my backing had tiny holes right across the middle in regular intervals right across the length of the entire piece. Only bought this yesterday, so it had not been lying around here. Looks like there was a label attached or something and that may have just been ripped off the bolt. Was not impressed.

So had to find another piece, wash it and was left with some time on my hands.

Decided to trial a cloud design with the Handiquilter Multi Clamshell ruler. Thought that this could look quite nice over a baby quilt. For this, I did mark a grid out as there is no way I can orient myself over two rows without having any reference points.

First tried the 3in clamshell. This comes out as 3in x 6in, so rather largish (the fabric is dark brown, however would  not photograph as dark brown as it is pretty overcast today and my sewing room is pretty dark...looks like I took a black and white photo)

...then tried the 2in clamshell
This is most likely the size that I will go with. Works well with the grid marked in and like the clamshell design... on a sitdown longarm or DSM, is a very forgiving design. Inaccuracies do creep in, but with the reference lines, I was able to do some fudging here and there and stay on track. 

Might give that a go on the next panel.


Wednesday 15 September 2021

The Cutest Panel

I am in clean up mode, trying to get rid of some of the panels that I have collected over time.

This particular panel I have had for some is called 'Jungle Friends' by Deborah Edwards for Northcott Fabrics. Finally cut this panel to size which is always a challenge as the material is never entirely straight, i.e. it is a bit tricky to get fabric and design perfectly straight, particularly if you are a stickler for detail like I am.

Decided to do another clamshell allover design...really like that for little baby quilts.
Here are the tools that I used...a simple circle, the Handiquilter Multi Clamshell tool and the little fluorescent green disk (which I need at times to hit the right spot).
I did not mark the design on the fabric as I am basically a bit lazy, however I did make some marks on the bottom to get the first row exact to be able to build on that.

After this I used the red circle to mark the center of the clamshell as I went along.
That was just to make sure that I hit the center point exactly and also served in subsequent rows to give me an idea whether the row underneath was slightly off.

I quilted the clamshells with the 4in HQ Multi Clamshell tool.
As you can see I have drawn a line with a permanent marker through the center. This is again to align it to the row underneath. Trying to just eye that out is just too difficult. 

So I went along pretty straight, however had some shifting again higher up in the quilt. I think I might have to replace my sticky grips on the ruler as I tended to slide over a bit. In the end I was out by about 1/8in and had to undo two of the rows to get back to a more accurate design. A hassle, but as this is a rather smallish quilt, it did stand out a bit and it would have bothered me if I had left it. 
This is by far the cutest panel. Was able to exactly match the orange border to the colour of the animals. Looks really pretty and feels wonderful with its wool batting inside. I will put a matching green binding on this to finish it off.

Already found a recipient for the quilt which was a bit of a surprise, but great...don't need another quilt lying around.

This was good fun and I am already planning for the next panel that needs to be finished.


Monday 13 September 2021

Love a Good Stipple

Finished another of the charity quilts for the Orange Tree Quilters group. In looking at this quilt I decided to just quickly finish it off with an overall meander design.

It's again a very eclectic mix of colours and fabrics. Did not feel like doing any stitch-in-the-ditch  and any quilting in the rectangles would have gone under, so it had to be an allover design.

Must say, even after all these years, I still love the stipple design. I know that many people find it incredibly boring but I just love the texture and feel it provides, particularly when you manage to quilt it in a slightly bigger scale. So I sat down on Sunday thinking that I will just meander along for some hours, but to my big surprise I was finished in just over an hour! Went really quite fast and seamlessly over the quilt, no holdups, no break in thread. Before I knew it, I was done.

Like how this turned out on this lap quilt...nice and soft, giving this quilt a wonderful feel.

The rest of the afternoon was spent on putting on the binding and a that took some hours. For the life of me, could not sew the label on straight and had to re-do this a couple of times.

Well, all done now...onto the next project!


Thursday 9 September 2021

Baptist Fan Quilt Finished

I finished one of the charity quilts for the Orange Tree Quilter group. Took me a bit longer than expected as I had other things popping up throughout the week.

Looks great! Quilted with Aurifil 40/2 cotton thread in a pale green colour.

Still thinking about the ruler situation. I quilted this with three of Amanda Murphy's circle rulers and two of the Handiquilter rather largish Circle rings. While this was do-able, I did not manage to keep this consistent from row to row. Was pretty happy with my vertical alignments, but horizontally I seemed to struggle and it was different somewhat from row to row, i.e. while the fans did align with the one underneath in width most of the times, the individual lines are often in slightly different places. I think at times I was ever so slightly just sliding over (to the right mainly). Not that you can see that without knowing where exactly to look. You can see it in the last row...I reckon that I slid over by a good 1/4in. Never mind, this is why I love this pattern for scrappy quilts. Just looks great, no matter how you managed to get it on your quilt and for a smaller quilt well worth the effort.

Linking up to Midweek Makers Linky Party over at Susan's blog 'Quilt Fabrication'. Have been rather slack in the last few months and not linked up anywhere and definitely feel I am missing out on lots of creative goodness. So much talent out there!


Monday 6 September 2021

A Year of Stars with Natalia Bonner

The star for this month was the Large Star.

I was really looking forward to this the simplicity of just quilting an inside echo, although I do think it looks better on Natalia's quilt as she is using a panel so you don't have the piecing seams.

Need to actually dig out this quilt as I still got the binding to do. It's all cut out, I just have been preoccupied with other things.

Did you see that Natalia is running a second 9 Patchalong? I think it starts this month. While I will not participate this time, I can highly recommend it. Good fun and the 9 patch quilt comes together much easier than the 'Year of Stars' did, so it is quite easy to participate. You can access information about the quiltalong on Facebook


Saturday 4 September 2021

The Cat

Non-quilty post.
We have had quite a week. The cat had to have surgery for a growth on her eye lid. Was not looking forward to this as cats are such delicate creatures and this one is a real princess.

Must say though, our old lady behaved like a trooper. While she was out of sorts and very likely sore, she managed to stay quite calm once back at home. I think the most upsetting thing was for her to have spent the day at the vet and the fact that she was missing some fur on the leg where they would have had a drip. She looked most freaked out when I picked her up.

A few days have passed by now and this is what this looks like
The stitching looks alarmingly large for what was not such a huge growth. I am glad we attended to it as it would have gotten bigger and bigger and surgery would have been more difficult as there is only so much skin to go around. Once this is healed up and the fur grows back, I don't think it will be noticeable. Apparently the growth was an out of control sweat gland which would have just kept growing.

There is always something...


Friday 3 September 2021

Baptist Fan Rulers

I am continuing on my Baptist Fan quilt. Struggling a bit with the rulers I have but as this is a smaller quilt, I am almost at the end.

Looking good, although several fans have shifted over a little bit so accuracy is not that great. However, I do love the pattern and its texture as it is so forgiving. Unless you go on it with a measuring tape, those inaccuracies are not noticeable at all. I did use a combination of rulers for this...3 of Amanda Murphy's Circle rulers and 2 of Handiquilters Circle rings. Have most of the issues with the HQ Circle rulers. The bigger ones are just too awkward to hold.

Since then I have explored the internet for other options. Looked at the Westalee Circle template, but did not like the idea of having a pin going through the fabric and taking it in and out as I go along. You want to make this as user friendly as possible. I thought that I prefer half circle shapes to hold.

Came across Michael Davison from QuarterSquaredQuilts when trolling through Etsy. He sells Machine Quilting Rulers and quilting fabric on Etsy. Nice little shop. There also is a You Tube video on him demonstrating his Baptist Fan Set of 5 rulers. ( I will not post a photo as I would have to copy one of his photos and I am always reluctant to do that) Those rulers are exactly what I am looking for...(sigh!). The rulers are simply but cleverly marked in a green colouring. The markings on the rulers allow him to align the starting point for each fan exactly while at the same time also aligning to the fans underneath. Doing my quilt at the moment I can see how useful this would be... (double sigh!). I am currently almost going blind on my quilt, just aligning it as best as I can. While that works, the right tools would be great.

Unfortunately or fortunate for US buyers the man is from Texas and posting charges are preventing me from getting these rulers. Not that they are too high, I reckon given the weight and how they have to be posted, the charges are what they is just a bugger that I am so far away. Maybe I should convince the man to export to Australia, he's got quite a range of nice rulers in his Etsy shop.

If you are looking for Baptist Fan rulers check out Michael's shop. He also recently brought out a new version of the set which allows for different spacing when used in conjunction with the original set. Very cool.


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