Saturday, 14 May 2022

Are We There Yet?

I have not posted that much in recent weeks because I am stuck on my background filler project. As usual the task is much bigger than expected and at the moment I am completing specific sections at snail pace!

This is what I am currently working on, i.e. the right side on the top. One little section in there took me ages to work out as I had to simultaneously think about the surrounding area and how this would all work out.

I must say, this project comes close to being a killer. Found some humour in it though when at various low points by thinking that I have finally managed to make quilting into an extreme sport. Thought this was too funny, took a bit of a break and have since continued on the right side with renewed energy. I am so close...once the right side is finished I literally only got two sections left on the left.
I reckon after this I will do another, more traditional wholecloth (we'll see ๐Ÿ˜†), something where I can just follow a pre-marked design.

So not much to report from here other than me being in a world of pain with the above project. Have managed though to baste my new pattern.
Love the look of this and while I did not want to spend that much time on quilting it, will likely do an edge to edge design (my new obsession). Definitely do not feel like stitching in the ditch and like the look of edge to edge designs.

Hopefully one of my next posts will be me having finished the background filler project and I can continue with the other projects that are slowly but surely accumulating (got five quilt tops from the Breaking Boundary class, a Snowman table runner and four charity quilt tops waiting to be done). 


Saturday, 30 April 2022

Another Little Quilt

Have to preserve my shoulder a bit at the moment from an excess of freemotionquilting, so worked on a new pattern instead hoping that the shoulder will calm down a bit.

This little quilt is made with a charm square pack from Elizabeth Hartmann called 'Terrarium'. I tend to pick up these charm square packs quite often and spontaneously and then I am often left wondering what to do with it. There are never enough pieces in it for an entire quilt or at least not for those quilts that require a repeat block design in a traditional layout. Either one pack gives you a relatively small quilt or you need to have two packs to make the blocks that you have in mind. This quilt was no exception. I needed 48, 5in pieces and of course had only 42 squares. Luckily, I had a coordinating border print and was able to cut a few more pieces from that and include a few more solid squares to make up the required number. 
Quite cute...there are little deer in some of the squares. Came out very green and now of course I do not have an appropriate backing in my stash as this was a somewhat unplanned in between project. Will have to wait until next week to be able to go down the shop to purchase some backing material. Would like a brownish backing but we'll see what they got.

The blocks are incredibly easy and fast to construct even though they have to be sewn using a partial seam, where you add other pieces until you complete the first seam at the end of the process. I have done this quilt before and had to think for a moment exactly how I constructed this, but once you work out the order of things it is an absolute breeze. You could easily complete this quilt top in a day. I think I might quilt an edge to edge design over it...lots of low volume prints on there so that show up nicely.

Pattern write up will have to wait for the moment as I am trying to get my Background filler quilt finished or at least close to finishing. As usual too many things on the go at once. 


Saturday, 16 April 2022

Still Working On Background Fills

Not much happening on this side of the globe.

Still working away on my background filler project. As usual, it is much bigger and time consuming than I had originally thought. However, I am getting a lot of practice in with some of the more unfamiliar shapes which is great.
I think that I now can do these little round flower shapes in my sleep. Also discovering which ones really flow for me and which ones to maybe leave for smaller areas. Definitely have overdone the pebbling a bit, I think, but have decided since then that this was meant to look like that...think forest floor or similar. We have had another lesson in the Breaking Boundaries class with Bethanne Nemesh since then, so there are even more fillers to explore. For now though I am going to keep it to some more floral motifs and possibly on the side some sort of straight line design before moving on to the second half of this piece. I have about the same area to fill in the second half and need to think that through for a bit.
Must say that this has been somewhat more challenging than I thought. I am using a wool batting which is giving me lots of nice puff, however it has also meant that I have to pay attention to in what order I quilt the various areas and has meant that I needed to break thread more often than I thought to cater for the compaction that is happening. I have found myself a couple of times in areas that had an alarming amount of puff which than needed to be quilted down and distributed evenly across. Definitely something I have to watch out for.
In other news, I have held my first freemotionquilting class the other day. That was very nice and very enjoyable. Had a lovely group of ladies who were keen to learn. It was actually very interesting to watch them quilt... some slow, some fast, a few ladies could freemotionquilt already a little bit while for some it was completely unfamiliar. I have freemotionquilted now for well over ten years and I was surprised at how much I could pick up just from watching them. We started with allover designs which are always a bit hard to do, especially if you are totally unfamiliar with the design. They all had a good go at it. The next class is background fillers which will be just a little bit more challenging as we will have to go more slowly and deliberately. Hopefully the ladies will throw in some practice in between. It will definitely test their patience and even more show how important sustained practice is. There is just no other way really of learning freemotionquilting unfortunately. Good fun ahead!


Monday, 4 April 2022

Background Texture

Currently doing Bethanne Nemesh' Breaking Boundaries class. It is as intensive as the Feather Fiesta class was that I have just finished with her. Very enjoyable and lots of learning and experimenting. She certainly packs a lot into those classes.

After a while I got a bit bored with my practice sandwiches and while I could have used the pre-prepared improvisational quilts, I decided to use a very colourful and interesting panel that I had in my stash. Yep, got majorly side tracked once again!

The panel is called Art Excursion by Denise Burkitt for Free Spirit Fabrics. 
It is very pretty with its vibrant colours and odd shapes. I was thinking that I may have finally bitten off more than I can chew. I started off with a loose plan to fill the wormy structures and then add backfill in the surrounding areas. Sounded easy enough but as I found out the transitioning is not that easy. As I go along I find that I start interpreting the fabric in different ideas emerge and the original plan has already been surpassed by impromptu decisions to do something completely different. Couple that with some unfamiliar background fillers plus stitching with 100wt Invisafil is making for an interesting journey. Bernina Q20 is behaving fabulously...I am using prewound decobobs in the bobbin and am stitching in manual.

Not entirely sure what this will look like when finished...I am hoping for an organic flowing picture over the surface that makes sense to me and the viewer (what exactly that picture is remains unclear at the moment) but I am also really aware that someone may look at it and see it as nothing more than colouring in a background. Very interesting exercise. So far I like the 'worms' best...seem to be able to do that for hours. The panel is quite large and I have heaps more to go with no firm plan anymore. Should be interesting to see how this develops. I am thinking that it could turn out to be a stunner or a complete and utter flop.
Linking up to Freemotion Mavericks at Lizzie Lenard Vintage Sewing


Thursday, 24 March 2022

Finished Owl Quilt

Finished my little owl quilt. 

The quilt comes to 36.5in x 48.5in and is quilted with an edge-to-edge allover design from Urban Elementz (see also last blog post). 

Very happy with how this turned's vibrant, cheerful and interesting to look at, despite its simplicity. Lots of fun to put together and I am happy to report that the owl fabric is finally all used up (not that that made any dent in the ever growing stash).
The quilt will shortly go into my Etsy shop for sale, just need to work on some photos and details for the listing.

For now, I am linking up with Quilt Fabrication for the Midweek Makers Linky Party #324


Tuesday, 15 March 2022

Edge To Edge Quilting On a Sit Down Longarm

Finished putting my little owl quilt together and was wondering about how to quilt it. Did not feel like stitching-in-the-ditch (never really feel like that ), but was also bored with my range of allover meandering designs. Thought about just stippling over it, but felt that this was too boring. While I can do other allover designs, did not feel like concentrating that hard to do one of those more complex designs.

Well, after a lot of to and fro, decided to do an edge to edge design over it. You have to wonder though because that meant a lot more work, but somehow that is exactly what I felt like. Something more interesting that would keep me amused for a few days.

I love edge to edge designs and if I had a longarm on a frame I would probably do this all the time. The range and variety of designs that you can get is just amazing and they do look really good. For this little quilt I bought a new design from Urban Elementz called Cloud Nine -Petite by Patricia E. Ritter...easy peasy, just pay up and then you can download the design to print on your home printer. The only thing you really have to worry about doing it on a sitdown machine is to choose a fairly simple design, so that removing the paper does not become too much of a hassle.

I have done edge to edge designs on a sitdown longarm before...fairly work intensive as you have to trace the design to be put on the quilt and then quilt over it being left with removing the paper. I use Golden Threads paper for this which makes that part fairly easy, however it is still a lot of work doing it row by row. I trace the design on the paper using a blue water soluble pen as I do not want any unwanted marks on the quilt from a pencil or similar.

Starting off...there is the row of the Cloud Nine design

This photo was taken after the first few still can see remnants of the yellow Golden Threads paper (the blue meander thread is my basting - I do baste all my quilts before quilting). I do take out the paper as I go, however leave the majority of the last row for alignment of the next row. This quilt made alignment a bit easy because of the seams which I could check against every now and then to keep the rows as straight as possible. I could have saved myself some time in just tracing one row and then stitching through layers of paper with no thread in the machine to create multiple copies, however I prefer to trace the rows. That way I get used to the thread path which makes the quilting easier. You probably wonder how I attach the paper to the quilt...some people spraybaste the paper onto the quilt, which means you have to wash your quilt upon completion. I found a better solution for myself. I use inexpensive sticky glue dots...they stick to the paper well and hold it in place. They come off the fabric easily (when you remove the paper they stick to the paper) without leaving any residue behind. I do attach the upper side of the paper with pins, however that is the only spot that I use pins, because it is very easy to overlook pins when overlapping the rows which means you could inadvertently stitch over a pin (yep, learned the hard way). 

This did not take that long at all. I did 8.5 rows in total and am seriously happy with how this turned out. Love the design which just flowed well and was very easy to stitch out. Made even better with the Bernina Q20 stitch regulator which gave me some beautifully uniform stitches and very nice points. In fact, quilting a row was done in a couple of minutes as I could go reasonably fast, not having to worry about stitch length or anything. 

Next photo is a bit dark and the design looks a bit busy this way. I used a shaded orange Aurifil 50/2wt thread with hues of orange, orange-yellow and a lighter colour. It blends in just beautifully and all you see is the texture of the design.

Thrilled with how this turned out. Really like this design, so easy to stitch out and gives the most beautiful texture.


Thursday, 10 March 2022

All About Colour

Working on a new pattern.

I had this owl print for a while. Liked the cute animal characters on there and also thought that it would be easy to match colours to it. Well, it was not...took me a while to work out what to do with this. Every now and then I took it out, thought about it, tried a few different things and put it away. Did not want this to come out too dark and too bold. The fabric proved rather difficult as you have the dark grey mixed with the pale coloured owls.

So I started with the pattern and decided to lighten it up with the pale yellow sashings around the owls. That was a winner. Then it was back to the drawing board of EQ8 trying different surrounding colours. In the end I decided on orange and grey, however did not have the right shades in my stash. In fact, was quite unsure about the shading. Had a lighter grey in my stash which looked positively awful in this arrangement. Again, put it away for a while...

Then one of these days I was at the fabric shop (without the owl fabric) and was just looking around and picked the orange on impulse. I knew I needed an orange that was not fully saturated but also not so light that it looked washed out. It needed to pop a bit to make this into a bright and cheerful quilt. In addition I felt I needed a lighter grey that matched the grey of one of the owls on the fabric to pull it all together, but had little hope of matching this without the fabric at hand. Bought the orange and grey anyway and was preparing myself for a mismatch.

Well, the planets did align that day and when I came home, it was absolutely perfect and the new pattern was ready to go.

Really like this colour combination and cannot believe how long it took to get there.

Have the quilt top finished, just need to baste and quilt, then it's onto writing the pattern up. This should look really nice. Still a bit undecided whether to add a border or not, but will sit on that for a moment or two.


Saturday, 5 March 2022

More Curvy Quilting

The Breaking Boundaries online class with Bethanne Nemesh has started. She did a review of the improvisational quilting and added another project to the list.

This little quilt was incredibly easy to put together and super fast. Took me about half a day. My blocks came out at 12in which makes this a nice size for a little wall hanging. I deliberately chose the brown fabric with the light and and yellowish addition to match our surroundings in the family room. This will look great.
My curves were a bit gentler than what they were supposed to be as this piece was to practice deeper curves. Somehow mine ended up pretty gentle but I just liked the look of that.

I think I will do another one with more dramatic curves to practice this a bit more. One thing I really like about the improvisational quilts so far is that it 'eats' up a lot of fabric as the blocks are bigger and your starting point is usually a larger size. The brown fabric in this project had been lying around for years, so this was a great little project to just use this up.

Looking forward to the quilting of all those curved quilt tops.


Thursday, 3 March 2022

New Listing in Etsy Shop

Finished another cute panel with an allover clamshell design. Absolutely love doing this and always comes out really nice. 

For this quilt I used a quality 60/40 wool/polyester blend wadding which gives this quilt just that little bit more loft. Feels nice and snuggly and given its make up will be good for frquent washing.

The quilt measures 30-3/4in x 40-1/4in, a lovely size for a drag along blanket or a playtime floor quilt.

My clamshells

I quilted the clamshells with light blue Aurifil 50/2 thread on top and a coordinating beige Aurifil thread in the bobbin. Looks great...very happy with it.

This was supposed to be the last panel for a while...however, have been to the fabric shop since then and ended up coming home with another two panels. Quite ridiculous really! To my defence, one of them made is one I recently sold and when I saw it there again, I thought that this would be great to just make it again, as I can then just copy most of the information already in existence from the previous listing. Time saver, I thought! However, then I saw another cute panel and took that as well. Hopeless, truly.


Saturday, 26 February 2022

Finishing Off and Starting Something New

It's been a while again...I tend to forget what I post and where, so some may already have seen pictures of some of these projects.

I finished my Koi wall hanging quilt top. Had to wait for some new applique foundation paper to arrive before I could continue. I had some Dupioni silk from my kit left and decided to make a second fish. This was somewhat nerve wrecking as there was not a lot of room for error. I had all these very small fins to make and turn the silk over so I was very careful not to stuff up as there was only just enough silk to make this one fish. Went very slowly and deliberate trying not to stress and it worked out fine.

Looks really nice, very pleased with it. The Breaking Boundaries class will start this weekend...should be great!

Also continued on my Nemeshing piece. As this is a lot of pebbles I did this over a couple of weeks, doing a little bit every now and then. It is hard to finish something when you know it has not turned out exactly how you had imagined it, however I thought it would be  good to finish this, so I would have a visual reminder of where I went wrong. 
I am calling this...'Pebbles with a Hint of Nemeshing' many of my smaller swirls have disappeared through the pebbling. Just did not make them fat enough and also thought that the double batting that I used was not the best idea. Live and learn! Will do some more feather practice in the blue border to finish this off.

Then I started another Baby Panel quilt. Discovered that I have done this panel before but when I bought it obviously did not remember this. Had to laugh, as the whole time I was thinking that I really liked this little wonder, bought it before because I liked it then! The Panel is called 'Jungle Fever' designed by Rebecca Jones for Clothworks Fabrics.
Did my favourite design over it again the other day...clamshells with the HQ Multi Clamshell Ruler. Love doing this on baby panels/quilts.
I do not mark the entire quilt top to do this. What I usually do is mark the first 2 rows, in this case two lines across the width of the quilt top 2in apart. The largest clamshell of the HQ Multi Clamshell tool is 2in x 4in, I then quilt the first row and mark a little tick half way on top of each clamshell. Then comes the second row, making sure I hit that little tick mark as I go along. After that I do not mark the horizontal lines anymore as my first two rows should have laid the foundation for being pretty much straight. I do however, continue to make little tick marks on top of each clamshell as I go along to just double-check that my clamshell are centred correctly. 
As you go over an entire quilt there are inaccuracies that creep in which I think is unavoidable. A slight shift in the ruler can make your clamshell slightly smaller or a bit of sliding and you are a bit off centre. I do make small adjustments as I go along like lengthening or shorten some clamshells however do have an eye on whether they are remaining straight and centred on each other. It is always a bit of a surprise to come to a space in the quilt, like a seam or similar where you then can see how accurate you have been. In a panel though there is not much you can go by and the real test came right at the end with this quilt top when I hit the first border. You can see that the top of my clams (the added lines in there is my basting) are approximately half an inch away from the first border. Not every single one was exactly the same but overall this was looking pretty good. There is no way that you are going to perceive little inconsistencies when looking at the finished quilt. Happy with that...this will be a cute little quilt for my Etsy shop.
Now onto the binding and then I will concentrate on the Breaking Boundaries class.


Thursday, 17 February 2022

The Koi Wall Hanging

Bethanne Nemesh' Breaking Boundaries online workshop is starting this weekend. I have been working on the koi wall hanging which is the 5th project in the pre-recorded workshop in preparation for this class.

It looked fairly straightforward just looking at it, but as I watched the video I realised that there was a bit more to it. Nothing too difficult but it demanded a fair amount of concentration and thinking things through. I followed Bethanne's basic layout...this is how I learn best just following along thinking the steps described through. There are of course a million different ways of doing this but I just did not trust myself to pull off my own design. Even the fabric selection was challenging...

This was not easy as I had something a bit special in mind for this. My youngest daughter who is a potter had brought me fabric from Japan when she did a residency there about 2 years ago. No surprises, she chose some blues but also that oddly earth coloured fabric which just looks like the clay she uses at times. I really did think about what I wanted to portray for this wall hanging and thought about a murky pond at dusk with that odd light that you get just before darkness sets in. Like in Bethanne's wall hanging I put the sun (which is Shibori silk that came with the kit from Bethanne) on the side shining over a little bit to the other side and then put the darker pieces around it. The Japanese fabric was different. It was only 15in wide and I did only have a fairly limited amount so had to think this through carefully. Probably the first time I used the carpet as my design wall...
The individual curves were easy to do, particularly now as I have done that many of it. What was new was the curves continuing from one border into the adjacent one. Watched that video intently and promptly cut my sun to smitheeriens...did not match at all. No idea how that had happened, so with the last piece of Shibori silk I cut a new curve and hoped for the best. Was relieved when that worked and encountered no other problem with that. After the first border was done, the second border then matched some of the seams of the first border. Oh, what fun on a curve! As I had done this before for one of my other pieces I felt slightly confident with that.
Then came the koi...Bethanne uses needleturn applique which is machine stitched to the background. Never had done this before, so gave that a go. The first fin of the fish that I tried was a complete disaster and unusable (the Dupioni silk, also from the kit, frayed like crazy and I did not manage the points at all). Again, only had a limited amount of the silk as well as the fusible paper product that came with the kit. Made a few more mistakes but managed to get one koi done.

 Apart from one bulky area I did very well on this, mind you, took me ages as I was going super slow on everything for fear of stuffing it up. Very impressed with my efforts and must say I quite like the look of needleturn applique. Gives you a very fine finish. 
I now have a little bit of silk left and have ordered more fusible paper product in the hope of finishing another koi. We shall see...overall really happy with how this turned out. There are a few things that turned out a bit different than I had imagined but that was to be expected.

What a great learning experience this was...while I was doing this and following along the video I was already thinking about how I could use this method for a project of my own. I have this digital fabric lying around that would make a very interesting background. Need to think some more on this. Apparently Bethanne has another project up her sleeve which we will hear about on Saturday. Can't wait!


Monday, 7 February 2022

Not Everything Works Out Every Time

We arrived at Nemeshing in our Feather Fiesta class. So I prepared that little pre-printed panel that came with the kit and made a start on it with some gusto.

Really thought I 'got' this...shapes flowed easily and gracefully over the area. I have extended my panel to make more room for practice and was slightly overwhelmed with all the space, however managed to fill it in  rather nicely.

Then I started the pebbling...

Can you see what's happening! My shapes are just not wide enough and I am losing some of the smaller shapes in the pebbling. Bugger, really thought I had this worked out but probably spent too much time concentrating on making the feather sprays (which was also a bit challenging as I tend to do them smaller being on the sitdown machine...every time I thought I was making them really long, I maybe moved 1.5in at the most). 

On the plus side...I am stitching with 100 wt Invisafil (Wonderfil) and love it. Not sure why I have never used that before for back filling. Usually use it for stitch-in-the ditch and it is brilliant for that, literally blends in anywhere. It is absolutely perfect for back filling and doing those pebbles.

Will finish this off despite the slight mishap...will just look like a lot of pebbling and will be a good reminder for next time. Might have to do a bit more practice around this to challenge my muscle memory as it is clearly working against me here. Have surrounded this with a blue border which I might use to do more feather variations as practice really is the key to master new concepts and executing a new design. 


Friday, 4 February 2022

A New Look at the Traditional Pinwheel Block

Always surprising what I come up with. A few weeks ago I sat down to tidy up a new pattern on the EQ8 and as is so me...started playing around with various other blocks. Before I knew it, I had another pattern which spoke to reminds me of Propellers and I just had to make it.

So, here is the new listing in my Etsy shop...The Modern Pinwheel Baby Quilt pattern. Very easy to do and comes together very quickly as you can chain piece the units as you go along.
While I called it Propeller Quilt, I put it up under the general heading of Pinwheel quilt, as there is a quilt block that is called the Propeller block which looks entirely different.

In the absence of any other good ideas I just called my block a pinwheel variation. For some reason though it reminds me of blades and I could imagine this to be an excellent quilt in darker colours for a little boy.

Had some fun designing with this, e.g. look at it in just one colour with a different block mixed in

Quite liked this but restrained myself from doing this one, as I decided to use my leftover tone-on-tone scraps for the new quilt pattern. That way I could justify to start yet another thing when I originally wanted to do an entirely different pattern.

My little quilt measures 36-1/2in x 45-1/2in and I deliberately did not use an overall quilting design on it. I liked the clean crisp look of the wheels and thought that texture would distract. Maybe I could have done some ruler work on it, but decided that I had too many other things on the go. So, I just stitched in the ditch around all seams which did not take long at all. I may put that quilt up for sale in the next few weeks as I cannot continue to hoard these quilts.

Back to FMQ for me now as I have to finish a little panel with Nemeshing which should be great fun and then I will go back to the pattern that I was originally going to do.


Tuesday, 25 January 2022

Bird on the Wire Wall Hanging

Running behind in my blog. Here is a quick shot of the finished wall hanging.

Still have the binding and hanging sleeve to do. Turned out nice however I would have liked my batting with a bit more loft. It is just too flat and the heavy background quilting just about obliterates some of the feathering. Obviously did not think that through well enough. I had used a heavier thread to do the feathers and thought that that would be enough. Did not really think too much about the loft. Well, live and learn.

Here is the wall hanging that I did some years ago.

I thought that it would give me a bit of a comparison of 'then and now'...but not really. They are both quite nice, but different, as I got a bit carried away in the current one with all those feather variations, so cannot really compare the two.

Now onto the next Bethanne Nemesh Feather Fiesta class we are up to her signature backfill 'Nemeshing'. Had a bit of a play already and must say that it is just great...flows...comes relatively easy and just looks great. Bit of a messy practice piece, but have a look at the border about half way down. Stitched that out without any marks and relatively quickly in one go. Perfect organic border treatment. Loved doing that.
Will stitch out a small printed panel next with this backfill. Should be interesting.


Tuesday, 18 January 2022

Multi-tasking and New Pattern

I am still multi-tasking. In fact, I have added things to my list...๐Ÿ™€

Finished the third quilt top for Bethanne Nemesh February online workshop 'Breaking Boundaries'. No problem at all after all those borders I did. Fabric selection maybe a bit odd, but I do need to make some space in my 'fabric cabinet'. I reckon this fabric is a good 10 years old and with the binding cut out it will all be gone. 

Then I continued on the feathering. The class on variations was 3 hours long...a marathon of online watching. I could not do it in one hit and spread it over a few days. Given that I had started on the 'Bird on the Wire wall hanging, I thought I might as well give some of those variations a try. Also did start on some of the backfilling today but forgot to take a photo.
Close ups
That was good fun...tried all sorts of weird and wonderful things on that. Some of them worked great and some maybe not that well, but all good practice. I am stitching the feathers with Superior Fantastico variegated thread. I am using Bottomline in the bobbin and while it is better on the Q20 I still feel that I am struggling with that thread...this time it was pulling the bobbin thread up a fair bit (and actually just as I am writing this I realise that I should probably have tightened my bobbin more). I was following the settings that were given on the Superior web site, but maybe I just need to run my bobbin thread tighter. Mind you, I am also using a fairly thin batting of 60/40 Cotton/Poly blend of average quality which may have also played into this. Anyway, I managed to get a decent quality out of the thread for most of the time, so I did not worry too much about it.
I was really happy about how my curves turned out. In general I can do them better if I have feather variations in there. Not sure why that is happening.
This is stitched following Bethanne Nemesh' method of spineless feather quilting, i.e. you do not pre-stitch your spine, but stitch the feathers and spine all in one go. I deliberately chose the variegated thread to see how well that would work for me and I must say, you cannot really see any difference unless you look really closely trying to follow the feather path. Happy with my efforts.

Also sold a little quilt in my Etsy shop this week...great! That of course got me thinking that I need to get going on continuing to fill my inventory, hence sat down to do a new pattern (and another little quilt).

Here is a stylised shot

Nothing too drastic...a variation on the good old pinwheel. I have a lot of bright tone-on-tone prints left over. Not strips, but also not enough to make an entire quilt out of the colours that are left. So I gathered the bitses and pieces and decided to use them up for this idea. This will be colourful and again fairly bold. Still need to decide on placement and also I am eyeing off those cut off triangles to maybe incorporate them as well...we shall see. Love those quilts. While I was at it, also cut another panel to size to use for another round of clamshell quilting.

So, fairly busy over here and I don't think it will be letting up as I keep adding to my list of tasks.


Monday, 10 January 2022

It Worked!

Still doing the curved piecing. I cannot tell you how many of those curved borders I have done by now...feels like dozens.

Was fairly nervous about putting a mitred frame around my finished quilt tops but there was only one way of finding out how that would work for me and that was obviously doing it. 

However, decided to bite the bullet and frame the two quilt tops
This went smoothly. I took my time and went very, very slowly and to my big surprise this turned out great. A few hiccups here and there like my glue not holding my fold in place and also being unable to see the foldline clearly on the white fabric, but we got there in the end. This is a smallish quilt so the so this made it easier.

I then looked at my improvisational little quilt. My sides needed longer border strips, so I had to piece them. When it came to putting the curvy bits together, I realised that I would have to match the seams of each pieced border fabric on the curve. This took a few attempts but eventually (with a pin every 1/4in) I managed to match the seam much so, you hardly can see it. Next issue was that I now had a very long strip of curved fabric that needed trimming. The strip went beyond my cutting table and was slightly bowed.  My longest ruler is about 18-1/2in, so even folded in half I was struggling. I started trimming this in 1/8in increments from each side as I was paranoid of stuffing this up until I finally arrived at the desired width. This was time consuming but I definitely did not want to construct additional borders so I took my time with this and taking that little bit longer definitely paid of. My strips ended up dead straight. Attaching them was just as easy going as the first quilt. I laid it all out on the ironing board and prepared two corners at the time to sew. 
I can honestly say that I would now feel very comfortable doing mitred borders on any quilt.

Here is the result
Like the look of this...corners match perfectly and I managed to keep the borders as straight as possible. This will look fantastic all filled in with FMQ.

Also made a start on Quilt 3 for the Breaking Boundaries class (Bethanne Nemesh Online Workshop starting in February)

More curvy borders, this time block size. Promptly miscut my border material and will have to do it again, so it matches the size of the other border strips that I did. Does not matter though as I can use this to practice on once the workshop gets going. 

Definitely learning a lot.


Monday, 3 January 2022

Happy New Year

Wishing everybody a Happy and Healthy New Year!

I have been plugging away at my curvy piecing over Christmas in readiness for Bethanne Nemesh' 'Breaking Boundaries' class which begins in February.

Finished this one in screaming colours

...and then made a start on this one
Love the colours of this one, particularly the Aboriginal fabric. The fabric is made from a painting by Warlukurlangu artist Pauline Napangardi. When I saw it in the shop I straight away knew that this was the perfect fabric for this project.
Well, this piece is supposed to have also borders with curves in it. So I made this too, however stuffed it up when trying to cut them to size as they were slightly bowed out. The more I tried, the more width I lost, so in the end I decided to make new borders rather than continue to muck around with it. 
This is still in the process of happening...

In the meantime, I started another one...just because! I now had four wonky borders left, a test block and a number of pieces of cut offs from the blocks above as well as one strip of the fabulous designer fabric. So, as usual, stopped halfway through the project above and did some improvisational piecing of my own. First, I spent about a whole afternoon straightening those wonky borders. I 'borrowed' a brand new 90 degree tool from my husband's workshop and used that to straighten one end and once I had at least one straight edge, I carefully started to straighten out the other edge. Also, starched the borders before this adventure to have a bit more control over the curvy borders. This took absolute ages to do but I really wanted to see whether I could pull this off. Once I done this I then used the Aboriginal designer fabric as a curvy center strip working with the tiniest of margins when cutting it. I really wanted to use this up and strangely enough this did work out. I then attached the bitses and pieces that were left over and tada...

Love how this turned out. Maybe it could have used a bit more planning but I don't know, that seems to defeat the purpose of improvisational piecing a bit. This sort of just evolved, the longer I stayed with it, the more of an image formed...I did change the sides a bit from the way I had originally attached them, shortening some so I had enough white fabric left on each side. Did not think that through beforehand, as I needed to shorten the whole center section a bit. Throughout the process of putting this together, I almost treated this like some fragile commodity (just about everything was wavy and the success or failure depended on how well I would keep this straight)...starching it as I went along, checking continually for straightness and in general being super careful not to stretch this inadvertently out of shape. Happy to say that my little quilt center (it's about 25 x 36in) is perfectly straight down to 1/16 of an inch. Initially I was just going to attach an orange border and be done with it and use it for additional FMQ practice for the class in February, but I trialed the wavy borders around this one and that would look truly spectacular, so for the moment I am sitting on the fence. That would mean making more wavy borders (I have done 8 so far) and I am not sure how I will go with mitering them in the corners.

Decided to go back to the second project to finish the borders with their mitre in the corner and see how I go with that. If I manage that alright, I might make another set of wavy borders for my improvisational piece. This is all going to be filled with FMQ fillers...can't wait, this will be great!
But here we go...the year has just started and I am already doing what I always do, i.e. getting side tracked and just starting something else (when I still have to finish another two of Bethanne quilts on top of all the other things that are on the list).


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