Friday 30 December 2022

Best of 2022 Linky Party

My post will highlight my five most favourite finishes for the year.

#1 I started the year with an online class with Bethanne Nemesh - Breaking Boundaries. Fabulous!
It started with making a number of improvisational quilts - something I have never done before, so I was really nervous about it. Bethanne's teaching was really detailed and made this new learning experience real fun and easy. Highly recommended!

My favourite quilt top was the one with the Koi fish
It's not quilted yet...we made five improvisational quilts in that workshop! I am really proud of this quilt top...lots of firsts for me on that and it actually turned out great. Also special about this is that some of the fabrics are actually from Japan. My daughter brought me a little blue fabric pack from Japan when she went over there some years ago.

#2 Still related to the above workshop, I then started a background filler project...I should have used the quilt tops that we made in the workshop, however once again I got side tracked and chose something completely different. 
This is a panel from Australian fabric designer, Denise Burkitt

It was absolutely epic and I must say, probably the hardest project that I have attempted in the last few years. Nearly chucked it in half way through but knew that it would be years before I would pick it up again, so I persisted.

Here is the finished quilt at the local quilt show.

#3 Also finished off an UFO from 2020. I do love Elizabeth Hartman's designs and attended a workshop at our local sewing shop in 2020 and yes, it just ended up in the pile of UFOs despite all good intentions. So finally finished this little wall hanging this year.

#4 My next favourite project is a charming little charity quilt that I quilted in the last quarter of the year. I used this to practice freehand feather wreaths, i.e. just doing minimal markings and just going for it. After a few attempts on practice sandwiches and a more concentrated think through that worked really well and looked rather charming on this quilt.
This was a most valuable exercise...I sort of knew how to go about it but needed to fine tune this a bit and this little charity quilt just fitted the bill.

#5 Very special...I finally took that sheep drawing that my daughter did when she was small and turned it into a table runner. Together with my daughter we had a bit of fun with this and decided to give our sheep a Christmas hat to be able to put it up in the Etsy shop for Christmas. 

It turned out super cute!

There were of course lots of others but I had to choose. Linking up to Meadow Mist Designs for the annual Best of 2022 Linky Party.


Tuesday 27 December 2022

I have been busy!

Finished my little pink baby quilt

It came out at 31in x 40-1/8in (78.7cm x 101.9cm)

Looks are a few photos of my handiwork

Even had a suitable backing that I have been saving for 'I don't know what...' since the early 2000s. Suited this little quilt perfectly.

I have put it up in my Etsy shop so hopefully it will go at some stage soon. I am seriously running out of space over here.

I am linking up to Texas Quilt Girl who is hosting her last To Do Tuesday today. Thank you Linda for taking the time to host this...really appreciated!

My list for the week to come will be simple and smallish:
- cut out the fabric for a new pattern so that I can put this together without interruption. The fabric is washed and ready to go.
- have a look at and think about the Peter Rabbit Quilt that I have agreed on quilting for somebody else. Will show a photo of this next time.

That's it for me, need to build in some relaxing...


Thursday 22 December 2022

To Do Tuesday - 21/12/22

Last week was a whirlwind of Christmas shopping. Not very organised this year...went to the city about four times! Now there is only food shopping left which we will have to do later in the week. I am looking forward to just relaxing.

Last week's goals were small, but achievable
- stitch a simple charm square quilt together from fabric that has been sitting in my stash for many years. 
- make a start on a new pattern, i.e. get the cutting of the fabric done
- prepare for Christmas which of course we left to the last minute again!

Well, Christmas shopping done ✔

Made a start on that little Charm Square Quilt. Had the squares already ready to go and managed to baste it and start the quilting. 
So pink and very cute. Decided beforehand that I wanted to do one of those edge-to-edge designs over it and made a start on it.
Explained this elsewhere on the blog (see one of the posts HERE) how I do this on a sitdown longarm machine. In brief...I use Golden Threads paper for this where I trace the design on and then stitch over this. Time consuming...yes, but so rewarding in the end.
Chose the Daisy Dotz design from Urban Elementz again, even though I have a number of other flower designs on hand. Thought that the leaves had to be in there as the fabric has little ladybugs on there. Love doing relaxing.

This is what this looks like
I trace the design with a blue water soluble pen (you could also stitch through several pieces of papers without thread to avoid having to re-trace this over and over again). This ensures that I do not get accidental marks on my fabric. If anything it will be the blue residue of the marking which, of course, washes out.

Here are the first two rows
Love that design! As you can see I do take the paper out as I go along except for that little bit down the bottom...this is where the next two rows line up. Its got the last row stitched out and bitses of the next row drawn on, so you have two places to line up the next lot. Also check my stitching at this stage...tension, points and generally to get a bit of a look what that looks like. I do leave the basting in until I am totally finished and the pins on the bottom definitely will be removed when the next row is placed. I do attach the paper with removable glue dots (and the line of pins on the bottom and top) so that nothing moves too much as I go along.

Have several more rows to go since then and will finish this hopefully before Christmas.

Also made a start on a new pattern, however realised that my block sizes were wrong (like a nine patch that measured 10in???). As this is going to be a custom layout that meant painstakingly going in (EQ8) and changing every single element of the design to accommodate the change in block size. Got it done, however have not cut out my fabric as yet. That will have to wait for another day.

Linking up to Texas Quilt Gal for To Do Tuesday and wishing everybody a very Merry Christmas with lots of nice food, good company and hopefully some quiet time for a little bit of relaxed quilting.
Also linking up to Freemotion Mavericks at Quilting & Learning- What a Combo

Tuesday 13 December 2022

Last Mini Wholecloth Finished - To Do Tuesday 13/12/22

Well, I lost the plot again for a few weeks in terms of my weekly goals, however did manage to finish at least one thing from my list a few weeks ago.

Finished the last of the little wholecloth quilts for a workshop next year.

Have three examples of the same design now and plenty to talk about. The last one, the yellow wholecloth was a bit of an exploration of thread. I used Magnifico 40/3 wt thread from Superior for that for the main elements and 100 wt Invisafil for the background.

It looks lovely in that gold colour and the feathers in particular stand out more than in my other samples. Stitching the feathers with this weight though required a slightly different approach in stitching them. Rather than doing heirloom or bump-back feathers I had to stitch them as continuous feathers to make that look nice and tidy (meaning that all the backtracking was along the length of the feather rather than on top). Had not done this for a while and really enjoyed the slow stitching of that. So therapeutic.

For the background I used 100wt Invisafil in a tan colour. Would have been great if I had a more gold colour but that's what was on hand and I really wanted to try to see the effect. I stitched swirls in the outer surrounds, again to have a bit of a look at what that looked like. Very happy with how this turned out. I kept my swirls smaller...definitely something I learned from doing these Mini Wholecloth quilts, i.e. everything has to be a bit smaller to keep with the smallness of the project. I think the swirls would have been over-powering with a higher weight but with Invisafil they just blend in. Also used what Cindy Needham described as a scribble rather than a micro stipple in some areas which is a super small micro stipple with little regard to whether you go over some lines or not...really enjoyed that and it looks insanely dense and flat...just what I wanted for those areas. 
Overall great little exercise, but that is it now for this design. I am now working on some notes for the workshop and will have to do a few more drawings for my handout.

My goals for the coming week

- stitch a simple charm square quilt together from fabric that has been sitting in my stash for many years. Just needs to be gone
- make a start on a new pattern, i.e. get the cutting of the fabric done
- prepare for Christmas which of course we left to the last minute again!

Linking up to Linda's To Do Tuesday over at Texas Quilt Gal


Friday 2 December 2022

Another Charity Quilt and Other Stuff

Finished one of my charity quilts. This one was particularly cute...a house quilt. Love those.

Ideally I would have liked to quilt in the background of the houses and put a nice pattern on each roof, however that would have ended up over-quilted (as a charity quilt) and additionally would have taken a fair amount of time. So in the end I decided to do an allover loopy meander over it. Loved doing that as it flowed really nicely and I than could stitch out the meander a bit bigger. Gives this quilt a nice playful feel.

Last week I looked for a binding for my little mini wholecloth as I was sure I had a piece of dusty pink in my cupboard. For the life of me, could not find it and ended up putting a slightly lighter pink binding on. Following this I thought that I really needed to clean up my cupboard with all the fabric all over the place...did that this week and yes, you guessed it...found that dusty pink fabric neatly folded away between two pieces! Well, too late as I already finished putting the binding on that pink wholecloth.

While looking at all the fabric and supposedly cleaning up, finally also pulled some fabric out that I have had sitting there since 2006 (the little ladybug fabric)! No idea what I was waiting for...I pulled it out and decided to cut it up into charm squares and just put it together with some white and hot pink squares. Probably will offer that for sale in my Etsy shop...this just needs to go. Will put this together over Christmas and quilt a nice edge to edge design over it. Those little quilts always turn out really cute.
Will not bore you with all the other potential projects that were hidden away...really need to get going on making a dent in my stash and finish a bunch of projects.

Also made some progress on another Mini Wholecloth for my class next year, this time in eggshell yellow.
Will stitch this out with gold Superior Magnifico (40/3) thread for the main elements and then do the background with a tan 100wt Invisafil thread. This should be interesting. Not sure yet what I put in all the background, but I marked a grid behind the hearts just in case I want to use it (forgot this in my last wholecloth).  I am thinking to incorporate some swirls but need to think that through a bit more. Looking forward to this.
Also worked a bit on the content of my class so I feel it is all coming together.

Can't believe the year is coming to a close much to do still!


Sunday 27 November 2022

Another Mini Wholecloth Finished

Finished the second wholecloth from the same design that I did some weeks earlier. 

This time I stitched this out on a dusty pink fabric using a 'run-of-the-mill polyester thread. While this worked fine, I am not sure I would do this again...the thread was almost abrasive. No problem stitching with it, but a real hassle to pry it out of the fabric if you tried unpicking. However, as this wholecloth is for a class I am doing next year I thought that I give this a whirl as people will come with all sorts of thread.
I used different fillers this time and also made the frame around the heart a smidgen wider. Quite like this! The feathers are done a little bit more playful in this version and in the end I decided to put a grid in the surround. Not a bad idea, however I should have done my grid slightly smaller. This was done with a 3/4in grid. I put double lines in there which I thought would be enough to narrow this down a bit. In hindsight though I should have started off with the 1/2in grid and then did the double lines. By the time this became a bit obvious to me, it was too late...I was not going to take that out! Thought that this would be a good talking point in class in terms of thinking about size when choosing a background filler. Often you only see the effect of your quilting once you already have gone quite a distance. Definitely something to think about. While pretty, the grid in my mind detracts from the actual design...just too much going on here.  Very interesting exercise though.

I will probably do one more wholecloth from this design, this time focusing on the weight of the thread, i.e. using something like Aurifil 50/2 for the main design and then stitching the background down with 100wt Invisafil, again using slightly different fillers. Let's see what we can come up with.

This will give me three different versions of the same Mini Wholecloth to talk about in class. That should be enough to get started.


Friday 25 November 2022

New Listing in Etsy Shop

Finally finished my latest project and put it up in my Etsy shop. A bit on the late side, but better late than is the Quilted Christmas Table Runner/ Wall Hanging with the three applique sheep.

The runner measures 18-7/8in x 37-5/8in and looks also great on the wall as a bit of a Christmas decoration. In terms of quilting, I put a loop design in the background behind the sheep, then put a wavy line in the red sashing with a wave ruler. This took me the longest time to work out how the wave ruler would end up in the same spot in every corner but I eventually got there and the actual stitching took a mere 5 minutes. In the black border I just put straight lines as there is really nothing that would show particularly well. 

Also, again, had chosen a light backing which necessitated some fine tuning of the tension. I often read in the Bernina FB group about people's frustration with the pokies being shown either on the front or back. Must say that I have got little problem with truly is a matter of patience and fine tuning your tension and it is absolutely possible to stitch with two different colours. Mine was a tad more challenging as I did use a thin cotton/polyester batting for the table runner, however the back did look great.
You are looking at a sheep sideways here. The background was stitched with an Aurifil 50/2 thread  of grey on top and white in the bobbin. The sheep needed some darker colours for the applique, i.e. the hat was stitched down with a red colour and the face, ears and feet with a dark grey colour. I used Invisafil in the top for this and the Aurifil white in the bobbin. Worked absolutely fine, not one pokie in sight. I think people are afraid to play with the bobbin tension. I must say that I find this super easy on the Bernina Q20, just needed a little nudge here and there and we were ready to stitch...nothing too drastic.

Also solved my problem of having the black feet of the sheep shining through the white fabric. Used a thin fusible woven interfacing between the fabric and the fusible applique paper. Made all the difference!

Now I only have to write up the pattern which now will probably be postponed until after Christmas. That, of course, was not the idea, but so be it...I will put up the pattern for the sheep after Christmas ready for next year's Christmas!

Well, back to my little Mini Wholecloth No 2 now...


Friday 18 November 2022

Re-Surfaced After The Quilt Show

Back again. the quilt show has come and gone and I am still working on my Christmas Table Runner. Well, better late than never.

This is how far I got

All the sheep outlined, stitched down and background quilted. In two minds about putting something in the red sashing. Might leave it and stitch down the black border with some stars. However this will have to wait a minute as life is a bit busy at the moment.

My show quilt looked fabulous, however did not win anything. This was no big surprise as it was a bit unusual, but I was happy enough just seeing it there. Always a thrill.

I did two classes at the show. The first was with Canadian quilter Kathleen Riggins about combining designs. This was just a lecture, so nothing to show for it. It was quite enjoyable and there were a few more unorthodox ideas that I really liked, like quilting over an already quilted area with a different thread colour. Unusual, but very effective in the quilts that she showed us.

My second class was with Tasmanian quilter/embroiderer Helen Stubbings...colouring in your quilting to make it look like applique. She calls it Colourque or Faux Applique. Again very enjoyable...I sat there for hours colouring in but only got a very small section done.
On the right is the elements coloured in with pencil and that lone motif on the left has the textile medium on top of it. I thought that I would really like this and I did to some degree, however I did not rush home and continued on it as this is a huge amount of precision work to be done. The colouring does take forever and I can see this becoming a UFO. Also must say that my colour choices were a bit sus...all a bit too pastel for me, I think I would do better with stronger colours. So hopefully I will finish this over time.

Well, then came the shopping...fantastic!
Bought more rulers ๐Ÿ˜ make myself feel better about my lack of self control, I went through my rulers when I came home and decided that I will get rid of some. I bought the HQ set of the smaller swag templates. Had my eye on that for a while as I find the swags very useful in finishing off the borders on some of the smaller quilts. Then I passed the Bernina stand where they had a selection of Amanda Murphy's rulers and bought the Wave set...again, find waves useful for borders. Did I need them?...probably not! Apart from that stocked up on some blades and found the Invisafil thread box that had both red and grey in there which I needed for my Christmas sheep table runner. Interestingly I bought this Bohin marker which says (in English) it is a chalk marker however when I came home and inspected it a bit more closely the info on the packet states in German that it is a ceramic pencil, so I am actually unsure whether it is chalk or ceramik. I suspect it is ceramic, so now I got two ceramic pencils. 

So now back to the daily grind and finishing off that Christmas Table Runner.


Tuesday 8 November 2022

Progress on my X-mas Table Runner

Not much to report over here. 

Working on my Christmas Table Runner and got heaps more done than I thought. Got the runner finished and then had to hunt around for a suitable backing. Another trip to the fabric shop and I am ready to baste
That's probably all I am going to do this week as the quilt show (AMQF) is going to take up the rest of the week. This will be very exciting as I am booked into two classes. One with Kathleen Riggins about combining FMQ designs and another one with Helen Stubbings about colouring in your wholecloth. Very excited...will report back hopefully with some pictures of what we have done. And then, of course, there is shopping...and the Festival of Quilts. Lots to see and do, this will be so good.


Friday 4 November 2022

To Do Tuesday - 1/11/22

Here are my goals from last week:
๐Ÿ“Œprepare another Mini Wholecloth using a dusty pink fabric with a slightly stronger thread that will hopefully show up a bit more; this is for the workshop next year...I might change the fillers a bit from the original one to see what that looks like.
๐Ÿ“Œstart work on a new pattern; this pattern was supposed to be for Christmas and I will get it's just a bit on the late side, but so be it. Need to get this out of my system so I can start on something else.
๐Ÿ“ŒIf time allows, continue on my cat blocks.

Did manage to start another Mini Wholecloth
I changed the layout slightly, made the frame around the heart a smidgen wider and quilted the feathers in a more playful way. I forgot to mark a grid around the hearts, so I think I will just micro-stipple that. at the moment it is just sitting there as I am a bit undecided what to do next. Quite like the hearts 'fat' like that and am just pondering.

In the meantime, my show quilt has finally been handed in. the quilt show is next week, so that should all be very exciting. Have not been to a quilt show in a very long time. Looking forward to the shopping mall (even though I really do not need anything...famous lat words!).

Also made a start on a new Christmas pattern which I am really a bit late for but it has to be done. This pattern is a bit special, as it is a drawing from my daughter when she was very young. Already then a clever little entrepreneur she did not give me that pattern for some the time I was writing patterns for magazines and that meant that you gave up the copyright to a pattern to the magazine. I did not mind that much as I was paid for the patterns, however my daughter did not want to lose the copyright to her little drawing. It took another few years before she granted the copyright to me when I started to sell patterns on the internet myself. This Christmas we were both looking at the pattern and thinking...would that not be cute if we gave it a Christmas theme and here it is...the Christmas sheep
Currently doing the applique and going around this with a zig-zag stitch. Bit out of practice but I am sure once I done it a couple of times it will be fine. Planning on 3-4 sheep for a table runner. Have a nice black Christmas print for the border, so the whole thing will just focus on the sheep. Very cute, however in terms of Etsy and their Christmas marketing way too late...I will probably finish this by the end of November, but it's can just sit there on the Etsy shop ready for next year.

๐Ÿ“ŒFor next week I will just concentrate on the sheep to get all the blocks ready to be put together. Realistically that is all that I am going to achieve

Linking up to Texas Quilt Gal for the weekly To Do Tuesday Linky Party and Midweek Makers over at Susan's blog 'Quilt Fabrication'


Wednesday 26 October 2022

To Do Tuesday - 25/10/22

I only set one task last week, i.e.

๐Ÿ“ŒBaste another charity quilt ready to be quilted.

Well, maybe I should do this more often. Actually basted and finished one charity quilt and am almost through the second one as well!

This is the first quilt
Must admit, did not like this quilt at all. The center is a panel with the most overwhelming colour has got those tiny flowers on white as a background. Most odd, it just feels too much. Really struggled to quilt this so I just outlined the star and ditched all the seams. I did a bit of ruler work in the Flying Geese but that was it, did not feel like doing any more on this. Really odd quilt, but hopefully somebody will like it.

Basted the second one and am almost through with the stitching in the ditch.
What a difference the colours make for the combination of purple and green. Very tasteful, gentle quilt. I am in two minds whether to do a bit of ruler work on this, but we shall see. Will have to drop off the charity quilts on Friday, so really want to have this done.

My goals for next week include:
๐Ÿ“Œprepare another Mini Wholecloth using a dusty pink fabric with a slightly stronger thread that will hopefully show up a bit more; this is for the workshop next year...I might change the fillers a bit from the original one to see what that looks like.
๐Ÿ“Œstart work on a new pattern; this pattern was supposed to be for Christmas and I will get it's just a bit on the late side, but so be it. Need to get this out of my system so I can start on something else.
๐Ÿ“ŒIf time allows, continue on my cat blocks.

Linking up to To Do Tuesday over at Texas Quilt Gal.


Thursday 20 October 2022

To Do Tuesday - 18/10/22

Belated link up for To Do Tuesday over at Texas Quilt Gal...

Well, this time I have got an excuse though...our cat ended up in vet hospital last week, which was very traumatic for all involved. She suddenly fell very ill last looked like a stroke actually, but when we took her to the vet they said that was uncommon for cats. Nevertheless they suspected a neurological problem, so she had to stay for a while. As the evening approached though, we had to go and transfer her to a 24/7 vet hospital. She was then put on a drip for the next 3 days and drugged to the eye ball. Initially it did not look good at all, so we were expecting the worst, however by Monday she made a surprising recovery...most of her neurological symptoms had disappeared and she responded well to the heavy pain relief they had given her. As it turned out this was a muscular issue somewhere around the neck which they likened to being hit by a car. The weird thing was though that nothing untowards had happened in the hours before she fell sick...everything was as per normal. So it has remained a mystery how she actually injured herself. All a bit weird...she was sent home having to have strict bed rest! Needless to say the cat was quite messed up from this ordeal and it took most of the week for her to get back to her normal self. She had a follow up the other day and all seems well. It's funny though...when she was so sick you tend to do a lot of reflecting. We have had her for 12 years by now and she is approximately 14 yrs old, so quite an old lady by now but the thought of  potentially losing her so soon had not crossed our minds up to then. Was all a bit of an emotional roller coaster.

But anyway, I did link up about two weeks ago and will just continue from there. My goals were as follows:
๐Ÿ“ŒMake a sleeve for the show quilt ✔
๐Ÿ“ŒFinish the feather quilting in the rose quilt above  ✔
๐Ÿ“ŒBaste another charity quilt
๐Ÿ“ŒDesign a Mini Wholecloth for another workshop or at the very least have started that process (have about 3 weeks to do this).  ✔

I am finishing the last bits for the show quilt to hand it over next week. This will be a relief. I am always happy when the quilt is gone and I do not have to think about it again until I see it at the show. This should be interesting. Our quilt show will be held as part of the Australian Machine Quilting Festival in November. Looking forward to this as I am also booked into a couple of classes.

Finished the Rose Charity quilt but did not get around basting another one. Too much going on.
In between I spent some time designing and quilting out a Mini Wholecloth in preparation for another workshop next year. Of course things did not go as planned. I was rushing and trying to cut some corners to finish this quickly which did not work. Messed up my border and had to unstitch the whole border...this took the longest time! Finished it yesterday and it looks a treat
It is basic but I had to think about what was achievable in a workshop setting and the varied skill level of participants. Was really thrilled with the design and how I managed to print that out on the home printer ready to be used. Actually quite like what I have come up with and would not mind making this bigger for myself with more frames and feathers around the outer edge. I found the small scale a bit limiting, definitely not used to that. I probably will stitch this out again over the Christmas period using maybe different fillers and a different border treatment just so people can choose what suits them better. Still a bit of work involved in thinking this through, doing a bit of a handout, but plenty of time for that still.

For next week, I will not put much on my list (given it is already Thursday) ...feel I need a bit of a break.
๐Ÿ“ŒBaste another charity quilt ready to be quilted

Linking up to To Do Tuesday over at Texas Quilt Gal.


Monday 10 October 2022


Radio silence from me again for a few days. I have been designing which always takes me some time to do. I have been asked to do another class next year doing a Mini Wholecloth class.

Initially I had no idea what to do, so several days were spent just thinking about how to approach this. I needed to come up with something that was achievable for the ladies without being too difficult to stitch out but also not to difficult to get down on fabric.  Up to now I have been designing using pen and paper which would take me ages as I would change things as I went along, then start over and over again until I got it right. When thinking about this class I realised that I needed a printed copy of my design and started to think about how to get my drawing into a digitized format. While I have drawing programs on my desktop I have never attempted to do a full blown design using a mouse, so the Ipad came to mind.

In the past I have used a very good App 'Graphics for Ipad' to do drawings on the Ipad, however I recently discovered that this App has stopped working properly possibly due to the many updates for the Ipad that have happened over time. I really liked this App as it allowed me to smooth out curves, add measurements etc. However, the layer tap does not work anymore and without that, it is useless.

When I had Covid earlier in the year I spent a lot of time just sitting around. In order to keep myself semi occupied I started to look at the Procreate program. I had purchased that App some time ago but never really got the hang of it, so I set out to learn it properly. Discovered that it is extremely useful to quickly draw out a draft of something, e.g. like this

Not that pretty and not what I am going for, but I was just playing around with ideas and to familiarise myself with the program again. Spent a lot of time searching for a way to make a shape to scale and finally figured it out. When you highlight a particular shape in the Procreate program it will show you the measurement in Pixels. Took me a while but with the help of Google I found a formula to convert pixels into inches. I wanted my heart shape to be about 2-1/4in, so that meant that I had to multiply this with the dpi which was 300 which made that 675 pixels and...voila...I was on my way (Actually just found a pixels converter on Google which does the calculation for you). Once I had this, I also discovered that I could set the grid behind my picture in inches, so I made my grid 1/4in small so I could see how I would fill in the space that I had given myself for this Mini Wholecloth.

The drawing itself was actually not too difficult, just had to adjust the brushes to make my strokes as even as possible. Good thing is that you only need to do one shape and then of course can copy and paste as your heart desires. Here is my frame
Does not look like much but that took a while. Spend some time getting that first stroke right. Once I had that, I just copied, flipped and pasted it into place, tidying up some pixels as I went. Reduced that shape then by 1/4in to make the distinct frame which comes out to 9in. Once I had that, I worked out the size of the heart motif and put that in the middle and I was on my way.

Still working on this so I can't show you the full picture but the printing of this comes out 100% to scale which I am extremely happy about as this means I can just print it out at the end of it and trace from there. 

If you have an Ipad it is well worth your while to invest some time into something like Procreate. Even if you don't design full blown wholecloth quilts, it does allow you to quickly and effectively just jot down a draft which I always find very helpful. Like that first picture above felt like a good idea and would have taken me ages to draw out on paper...on the I pad it maybe took an hour to get the base shapes on there and then copying and pasting, a bit of rough filling to get an idea of whether I liked it which in this case I did not (would need more work around the angle of my feathers somehow).


Sunday 2 October 2022

The Rose Charity Quilt

I made a concentrated effort to get that Rose Charity quilt finished, again focussing in on minimal marking and keeping the quilt nice and soft. For this quilt I literally just wanted some embellishment as the fabric itself is quite striking and very patterned. So I mainly quilted in the black parts and just did a few line designs in the other parts to stabilise the quilt. This is what I like about these charity quilts. Not only are they a real surprise every time I open the packets from the Orange Tree Quilters group, they are also a real challenge in terms of thinking through how to quilt them, i.e. what are they likely going to be used for. For this quilt I could imagine that some older person might appreciate the quilt as a knee rug, hence it had to be soft and still with a fair bit of puff.

As you may have seen in a previous post, I quilted some feathers in the main dark grey areas of the centre of the quilt. Now I only had the black sashing left. The sashing was only 2in which presented a bit of a challenge as I did want some feathers in there as well. My initial thought was to go around with just a single row of feathers, however that proved too messy as I would have had my 'imagined spine' on the high side of the ditch and with grey thread that was not going to look any good.

Came up with this other older, more playful design which I had done some years ago involving a wavy line on which you travel putting in some feathers as you go.

Something like this
Hard to see but I decided to use the Handiquilter Wiggly Wave ruler to put the wavy line in. Well, that took a bit longer as I had to work out the corners, i.e. first what sort of shaping did I want in there and how was I going to achieve that with the ruler. Good exercise in really getting to know your ruler. In the end I started drawing from the middle out, stopping 1-3/4in from each corner, shifting the ruler slightly over to achieve the same look on all four corners
I first stitched out my wavy line with the ruler all around the quilt and then started my feathering...
Why did I stitch out my wavy line first? I made a little diagram to show you the difference in stitching path doing a continuous feather.
I stitched according to the first picture moving over my stitched wavy path. The areas where I had to overstitch (backtrack) are highlighted in purple. In one wave I only have two spots were I need to go over a previously stitched line. While you may have some wobbles here and there, the overall impression is one of consistency as the wavy line, of course, is stitched out neatly with a ruler.

Comparing this to the picture No 2 where you would stitch the wavy line as you go. As you can see there is an enormous amount of going backwards and start off doing your first plume, then need to backtrack over that to do the second plume, then stitch backwards to make the wavy line and backtrack back over it to continue the wave. While this absolutely can be done this way, I felt that this was way too intensive with the backtracking. Even if I had used a 'bump back' feather there still would have been a fair amount of backtracking.

Happy with how this turned out.
I stitched one side at a time, breaking thread before each corner. While I could have stitched on over my corner to the next side, I decided not to do that as my corners looked surprisingly pristine, so I did not want to mess that up.

Well, here is the finished quilt

Finished the binding and label today and now it's on to the next one.


Wednesday 28 September 2022

To DoTuesday - 27/9/22: Minimal Marking - Feather Wreath

Here we are again...another week has gone!

My goals from last week were:
๐Ÿ“ŒMake a sleeve for the show quilt ✖
๐Ÿ“ŒFinish the feather quilting in the rose quilt above ✔
๐Ÿ“ŒBaste another charity quilt 
๐Ÿ“ŒDesign a Mini Wholecloth for another workshop or at the very least have started that process (have about 3 weeks to do this). 

This past week I worked on just one thing on and off, i.e. finishing the Rose charity quilt. The busyness really has not slowed down at all, so I am fitting the quilting in where I can.
When I first saw it, I thought that this would be perfect to practice quilting a feather wreath or similar freehand. I did an online feather class with Bethanne Nemesh earlier in the year and that was one of the first things we did. While I could do it, the beginning and ending of the wreath were always a bit of a hit and miss situation freehand, so I undertook to look a bit closer at how I could build in some sort of scaffolding to make that appear more consistent as the wreath on this quilt would be centre stage.

So I starting practising a bit...amazing what I found in my sewing room. I once bought a Westalee Design kit at a quilt show many years ago consisting of a wad of design grids out of paper and an acrylic square with the crosshair lines marked in. Have looked at this over the years and actually almost threw it out some time ago. Well, this became incredibly handy for this task.

Placed the acrylic square over the grid paper, lining up the crosshair lines with the paper underneath and just started drawing with a whiteboard marker on the acrylic square.

First one: did not like the inside and decided to make that circle guideline larger
...another one: better, but odd shapes on the inside

...and another one (and several others after that)

Tried to achieve some sort of consistency where I could use some of the lines as guidelines when quilting. This one above was actually not too bad and I could have oriented myself on the red lines, i.e. drawn those lines in in addition to the crosshairs and aimed for 4 plumes per section. However, comparing this to how I actually quilt my feathers showed a marked difference. I have quilted feathers for quite a long time and like with everything you develop your particular way of stitching feathers, i.e. I will stitch them at a particular angle and height/width in a mostly consistent manner. When I placed the picture above over a practice wreath I had stitched out earlier you could see the difference, i.e. my plumes were a little bit smaller in width, hence my nicely worked out picture above would likely not be replicated on the quilt. I likely would start quilting and not be able to keep to the guidelines set and end up with the last feather being weirdly squished in. If I was doing a quilt with several wreaths or where they were maybe not as prominent (i.e. matching thread) I would not have worried about it as much. In this quilt however, with the one wreath in contrasting thread, that is really the first thing you see, so it had to be somewhat consistent.
So, I needed to think of some additional scaffolding that I needed to build in. Had a look at my feathers again and saw that the rounded top corresponded to an approximate 5 cent piece, so put that into my drawing and that seemed to do the trick in terms of avoiding that awkward odd shape that you get at the end when closing your wreath. So I tried that with just the normal crosshair lines and the rounded tops marked in (a little bit of fudging here and there to fit them neatly in the space was needed but nothing too drastic). Marked my starting point which was on the 45 degree line on the right and off I went...
Tada...that worked well

Now it was time to go onto the quilt...fearless and confident! It's amazing how nervous one gets even after all those years. But I really did not want to do this several times, so one go it was!

Happy with that...maybe ever so slightly longer on one side (I swear I kept to my outside guideline!). Could also be the photo or maybe my angle in the plumes was slightly different as I went around.... but in any case I am not a computer and it is looking consistent enough.

Then came the setting triangles. Again, did not want to fuss too long around this and chose a very simple design which needed a curve (did this with one of Bethanne Nemesh' Lily Line rulers) and the eight shape marked in. For the markings on this quilt I used a Bohin pencil...I find that the chalk comes out just brush it off and it's gone.
This is how that turned out
And finally, the center of the quilt all done
None of this is exact or absolutely consistent for that matter, but overall it reads consistent which is what I was aiming for. Very simple, clean look about it. In terms of time, this took me one afternoon to complete. Once I had my scaffolding worked out, it was rather easy going, just following my markings on the wreath and in the triangles I was aiming for the same amount of feathers on the curve which was not that difficult as I quilt them the same over and over again. Overall really happy with my efforts and keen to try other things that we learned in that online class.

So what's on my goal list for next week...pretty much everything that was on my list the week before๐Ÿ˜„

๐Ÿ“ŒMake a sleeve for the show quilt
๐Ÿ“ŒFinish the charity rose quilt above (thinking of just putting some small feather border in the black space, attach the binding and it's done)
๐Ÿ“ŒBaste another charity quilt
๐Ÿ“ŒDo some work on designing a Mini Wholecloth for another workshop  (have about 3 weeks to do this).


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