Sunday 31 December 2023

New Year Sale in Etsy Shop

To welcome the New Year and hopefully clear out some of the quilts, I am having a sale in my Etsy shop starting on the 1/1/24 and lasting for 1 week.

In addition I am also offering a one-off 10% discount on all handmade quilts.

If you had your eye on one of my patterns or quilts, head over to the ETSY shop to take advantage of the offer.


Wednesday 27 December 2023

Best of 2023 Linky Party

It's the Best of 2023 Linky Party hosted by Meadow Mist Designs...seems to come around quicker and quicker every year.

I decided to focus in on my favourite finishes for the year. Really hard to choose only just a few!

1. Most favourite charity quilt that I quilted all year

I do some quilting for one of the local charity groups 'The Orange Tree Quilters'. While all the quilt tops are pretty nice, once in a while I do come across that 'special' quilt. Not sure what it was about this quilt but I absolutely fell in love with it. There was something so special about it...really weird. Loved the colouring and the simple arrangement of the blocks and went ahead and did a floral edge-to-edge design over it (not something I usually do for the charity quilts, but I felt that this quilt needed something a bit special). The photo really does not do it looked fantastic and I reluctantly gave it back to the group to gift to someone special.

2. Another Charity quilt
Also one of my favourites but for a different reason
Loved the kaleidoscope design and nearly went off and started a new project...however, restrained myself and concentrated on the quilting. Did an overall medium swirly design on it which turned out just right for this quilt.

3. In March my new Baptist Fan Ruler Set from Michael Quilts arrived...easy to use, fantastic fun and lots of the charity quilts got an allover fan design following this. Highly recommended!

4. My Organic Table Runner
Did this design for a class that I ran later in the year. Good fun and relatively easy to do once you break it all down into smaller more manageable parts. The participants of the workshop managed this well and were able to mostly finish it by the end of the class.

5. My Scrap Quilts

Half way through the year I got side tracked by the alarming accumulation of scrap fabrics and set out to tackle this. I made two scrap quilts out of strips in alternating arrangements.
These were supposed to be quick throw together projects...took me quite a while to finish this of as they got bigger and bigger as I went along. However I  was really pleased with my efforts as I only used scraps to complete the quilt tops and fabric from my stash to construct the backings. Even pieced together some wadding for one of them, so absolutely no money spent on these quilts.

6. My absolute, 100% favourite for the year...fresh off the press

I love Elizabeth Hartmann patterns and I had started this quilt some years ago, made a few blocks and then obviously moved on to something different. With the help of another linky ' To Do Tuesday' I was able to find the necessary discipline to continue this quilt and actually finish it off. It turned out super cute and was a lot of fun to complete and to quilt.

Linking up to Meadow Mist Designs for the Best of 2023 Linky Party


Wednesday 13 December 2023

To Do Tuesday #52

Looking for my list for this week I realised that I forgot to put up a new list up on my post last week. Well, never mind, I did work on finishing off my cat quilt.

For the cat quilt I decided to do an edge-to-edge design over it. I am doing this on a sitdown longarm machine and I have talked about this on my blog several times on how I do this (for example, HERE). I purchased the Ginger Paw design from Urban Elementz designed by Melonie J. Caldwell and Apricot Moon Designs and went to work. The design is 8-1/4in wide so first of all I had to reduce it a little bit as I was not sure how I would go with such a wide design. I made mine 7-3/4in, printed out multiple copies and sticky taped this together into one long row.

The quilt measures 56.5in x 66.5in and I was unsure whether I could pull this off with using paper over the entire width of the quilt. Normally I do little baby quilts with this method which works really well, however they are usually not bigger than 36in. Was quite nervous about it, but if you never try, you'll never know. Took my time with aligning my row and used both pins and sticky dots to hold the paper on the quilt. This is what this looked like at the machine.
I have a Bernina Q20 with the very large Koala table, but still needed to crunch this up a fair bit so that it did not hang off the table. Starting it was a bit of a nightmare as I was struggling against the weight of the quilt. In addition, the weather over here was incredibly humid and I think that affected how easily my quilt was gliding around on the table. Sometimes I used gloves to hold it but sometimes I was doing better without gloves. It got easier after the first row, however then I started struggling with those little toe pads in the design. Funny enough the width of the design did not give me any problems and I found that I could do the long sweeping curves with ease and some tempo. However then doing the little paws with those pads was really quite difficult.
It got better as I moved along. I do trace every row...this helps me to familiarise myself with the design and cement that muscle memory of the design, however I can honestly say coming to the end of it I am utterly sick of tracing the same thing over and over again. I do take the paper out as I go along, only leaving the bottom bit in as it has part of the next row on it which is used for alignment. I do trace with the blue water erasable pen...this is to avoid getting any pencil marks or similar onto the quilt. Not that I ever tried to do it with a pencil, but I am just a bit paranoid.
Moving along
I did two rows per day and took my time both with the alignment and the stitching of the rows. I am not going to say this was easy-peasy. At this width (of the quilt and the design itself) it was actually quite hard to do and I definitely have a few wobbles here and there. I used a different thread this time...So Fine (50/3wt) in a brown tone (both in the top and bottom) and I was grateful that this blended in so nicely. Curiously enough, my curves are nice and sweeping, the wobbles usually occurred in the little cat paw, but with this thread this is not that noticeable.
And it's done! Happy to report that my rows were absolutely dead straight as I hit the bottom in line with the edge of my paper row.  Always relieved at that. Both sides are also nice and consistent in the way the design sits...on one or two rows maybe out by about 1/8in but that does not matter at all as the binding will take care of that.
Currently doing the binding. This quilt will go to my daughter who loves everything brown and she is already very excited to have this quilt on her bed. Can honestly say that this linky party is partly the reason for finally getting this quilt done. Putting it on your list week by week adds that subtle pressure to actually do it, so big 'thank you' to the linky UFO conquered!

So, for next week I will need to keep it simple as I there is Christmas planning and shopping to be done. However, I am planning to 
- finish the binding on the cat quilt.
- finish attaching the hanging sleeve to my background filler project.

Joining the To Do Tuesday #52 Linky Party over at Quilt Schmilt.


Wednesday 6 December 2023

To do Tuesday #51

My list was smallish for this week

- try to finish 6 cat blocks and cut out the sashing ready to go.✅
- sew on the hanging sleeve to my background filler project❌
- take some photos of my Christmas quilt. I think I will put that in my Etsy shop for sale even though it is a bit late now...well, there's always next year.✅

The last bit of the cat quilt went quicker as I could see the end. I chain pieced along saying the names of the individual cats as I was sewing along so I would not get confused. Must have been really focussed as I did not mix up their faces 😂

Ran into a bit of trouble as I thought I had oodles of background fabric. Well, as it turned out it was just enough. Had a mild suspicion when I started to cut out the sashings. I have a table which tells me how many pieces I can get out of one strip. for the sashing it was 4, 10-1/2in pieces per strip but as I was starting to cut I noticed that I was only yielding 3 pieces!
I then cut my outside borders as well of which I needed 8, 4in strips so that ate up a lot of fabric. In the end I had to cut some off some length from my border strips to make the sashings go the distance. A few anxious moments there and I thought that in the future I will put my background fabric away with the UFO. As years pass I do forget what I am working on or better said what I have stuffed away somewhere and it is just too easy to cut into your background fabric when you actually need it. Lesson learnt.

Here is the completed quilt top
It turned out so pretty, just like I had envisaged it. The quilt will measure about 57in x 66in. Had to go yesterday to look for some backing and batting and spent half a fortune acquiring it. Washed the backing and now just have to find some spare time to put it all together. Looking forward to quilting this.

Today then I finally put up my Christmas quilt in my Etsy shop. It is a bit late but what can you do. There is always next year.
Its a pretty little quilt. I used wool batting which makes this nicely soft and a little bit puffy. The quilt measures 32-5/8in x 47-1/2in, so a good size for a bit of a fun festive wall hanging to adorn the halls. Glad this is done so that I now can concentrate on other projects. Again, planning is the magic word rather than jumping around all over the place which I have been doing over the last few months. 

Linking up to To Do Tuesday #51 over at Quilt Schmilt.


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