Just over a month has gone since my last entry to my blog. The challenge of balance work, family and pets, and my hobbies can be a challenge. I have been busy buying fabric – mostly pre-cuts as well as some quilt books. My daughter has recently started to raid my stash and commenced making some of her own creations. Not only has she made some quilts for her friends but also some for herself.

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I have been trying to finish my own quilts. I still have another board to go on one quilt; I’ve nearly finished the stitchery on another; and of course I’ve started another quilt….or two.  As you can see, I’ve stated on my Christmas decorations – Sweet Christmas wall hanging.  I’m still trying to finish the quilt I was doing last time – bit hard when some-one decides to use my sewing machine.

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I have been able to come across some bargains though I’ve brought myself a light box – A3 size and its’ very nice and light weight. I’ve also found some rulers and more fabric too.

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Having so many pre-cuts, I have found the need to find patterns that I could use these pre-cut fabric. I have stated on one of them which is a sampler quilt. I have already done 4 of the blocks and they are very quick and easy to do. The creative 45/90 degree ruler was used in this quilt and I found it was very easy. I brought it from Splendid Stitches for a very reasonable price. I love the fact that the ruler grips the fabric and doesn’t seem to move which is so reassuring when the pattern you are using does not give room for cutting mistakes.  I have been using the pattern by Pam and Nicky Lintott and I am very happy with final results of the blocks that I have done so far.

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World cup and a few quilts

Wow how time flies when you’re on holidays. I took four weeks off due to wanting to watch the World Cup in Brasil. The matches have been interesting and the shocks of teams dropping out are made for good watching. Plus while watching the World Cup I’ve had a good reason to try to complete some quilts.

I have just completed all the blocks for Berries and Bluebirds and I am slowly (no true words have been said) doing the boards. I have one border done and I need to now cut and sew on this border. I’m very happy with the way it turned out. I actually even got to show Gail Pan and I think she was very happy.

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As it is that time of the year to do Christmas celebrations, I attended Christmas in July run in Albury with Gail Pan by the Christmas Beetle. We were given to items to complete – one a stitchery and the other was an appliqué – all with at Christmas theme. On the Friday, Gail put on a trunk show where we got to see her new fabric range and the story behind it. Oh the range was so lovely. I also brought her new book and had it signed. Hmmm….which designs to do first I wonder.

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Michele (from The Christmas Beetle) out did herself again. We all received a lovely made bag containing lots of goods in it – scissors, buttons, cotton thread, and a mini candy by moda. We had lovely soup for lunch and the sweets were delightful. I did have to control myself with spending too much money on fabric.

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Also, on the same weekend, was Craft Alive. I went to look and get some ideas and to look at the new products. I came home with a quilting Halo and some fabric. I also had a lesson on how to quilt using a home sewing machine. The tips I got were:-
• Tilt your sewing machine – using door blocks will help with this;
• Relax your hand – it takes the tension out of the shoulders and reduces pain;
• Have the sewing machine foot on your right side – it allows for easy control of the speed of the machine (something I never knew);
• Use a sliding sheet on your machine as it assist with the gliding of the fabric.
• Don’t pull the fabric – let it glide on your glide sheet. This reduces breaking needles.
The end result was an almost finished quilt – just a few more rows to complete. Then add the binding and one quilt finished.

My aim for over this period was to have 2 quilts completed and I have almost done it. I have completed my daughter’s blanket and now need to complete my son’s.

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Oh have you seen Lynette Anderson’s new design Sweet Christmas Ornament. It is twelve Christmas ornaments but you can make them into a wall hanging. I’ve decided to do the wall hanging. It looks like a very quick little design done in red thread. Maybe it will be completed by Christmas.

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To the darkside….

Ok winter is starting to set in and it is getting very cold. I’ve started putting the wood heater on earlier (…or the children are putting it on before I get home) and my little supply of quilts are being used to keep us warm. I have still to finish a few quilts and have some quilt tops completed on the view to complete them. I have just completed another quilt. I had a lovely range of Surrounded by Love by Deb Strain. It is very lovely range with pinks, reds, and whites and as a the name suggests, has a love theme. I looked around for a lovely quilt pattern using a layer cake pattern, and I found one on the Moda Bake Shop. The pattern I used is called The Dark Side…or Not Layer Cake Quilt and uses as you have guessed Layer Cakes.  It was basically designing Half Triangles and arranging them in a lovely pattern.

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Sometimes I think we see a pattern with all good intention to do the pattern but it is a lovely to see a final product finished.  I now need to find some backing material and decide on the pattern I want to put on the quilt.  I have a few left-over layer cake pieces that I will use on the back of the quilt.  I found the Clover Fork Pin were very useful in helping with the joins.  I’m so happy with this quilt…..what do you think?

P.S.  it seems that every time that I take a photo of a quilt one or both of my babies jump in to be part of the photo.  The dog in this picture is Gabby and she is a Cairn Terrier and she loves her quilts.  I’m starting to think it is a requirement to have a pet in the photo of your finished quilt or quilt top.

Another 2 blocks completed

Don’t you just feel a sense of achievement when you have completed a block on a quilt you are working on.  I have been working on Berries and Blue Birds for a while and am slowly finishing the blocks.  I now have 4 blocks completed and am slowly working through the other blocks and completing them.  The challenge I find is deciding what colours to use when laying out the border pieces.  I like the fact that some quilt uses a fabric range, which makes it easy to match the fabrics as you know they are designed to compliment each one.  The range used for this quilt is Wingin’ It by Buggy Barn and they work very well together.  I had started to redo some of the leaves and berries that I was not happy with and I think it turned out better.

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I have just discovered half-triangles.  I found a range called Surrounded by Love by Deb Stain for Moda.  and used the Moda Bake Shop  and found a lovely quilt called The Dark Side…or Not Layer Cake Quilt.  It is coming along very quickly.  I just need to sew the last row and I have then completed half of the quilt.  The challenge I find is trying to get the corners to join nicely.  I recently discovered a Clover product called Fork Pins and I have been using them to join corners.  I have found them very helpful.

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A weekend treat….

I have been very neglectful of late, but we tend to have busy lives and forget to pay attention to somethings.   So I need to make it up.

I have finished another block in the Gail Pan Berries and Bluebirds.  I’m very happy with it.  Redoing some of the berries has made the blocks look much better and I’m more happy with it.

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I spent sometime finishing a quilt as you go quilt that I hadn’t finished.  I was very happy with it and it now is on my bed.  My puppies love this new quilt and when I can’t find them, I am sure to find them on the bed.  I notice that a lot of animals tend to love quilts too.

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I have also been doing another quilt.  Isn’t funny how when you use a pattern and make the quilt, you really don’t know how big it is until you put it on your bed.  This quilt was to be 80″ by 94″ and it looks very big.  I used the moda range Chantilly by Lauren and Jessica Jung with a royal blue used as a contrast colour. It was done using mainly a jelly roll and layer cake with very little scraps.  I have made it my son’s friend – hope they like it when it is finished.

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I also attended a day class with Helen Stubbing from Hugs ‘n’ Kisses and Rosaline Quinlan for their Stitching, through Sew Bright Alpine, at the Maze located at the Wandiligong Maze Café, located just 6kms from Bright.  Lots of fun and a great day.  The sponge cake was huge.  I also got a little look at Helen’s new book which looked very nice.

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Well I shall sign off for now and promise that I will keep you up to date with my going ons.

 

 

One block completed….another seven to go

Just a quick update to let you know about my progress with Gail Pan’s Berries and Bluebirds BOM.  I know I have been doing it for a while but I have finished this block – I think it is number 8, and I am very happy with the results.  The range used was called Wingin’ It by Buggy Barn and they are very bright colours.  I am very happy with what I’m seeing at the moment.  I still have one and half blocks to finish but I have started to sew the small squares together and the hearts and flowers.  Hopefully I’ll be able to have it finished by….lets say June or at least before I attend Christmas in July with Gail Pan through The Christmas Beetle.

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I have also been working on Hatched and Patched kit called Easter Egg Hunt.  Looks very pretty and am just starting to sew the pockets on.  Its a great little advent calendar for Easter.

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Trying something new

Well I have to now start to quilt some of my quilt tops.  I have never done this before, so I went and checked out some websites.  I discovered one called The Inbox Jaunt which is all about free motioning quilting.  It is Lori Kennedy’s blog and gives  examples of free motioning quilting and examples.  It really inspired me so I decided I would give it a try.  I brought a free motion foot for my sewing machine – most sewing machines tend to have this attachment available.  I fitted mine and this is the result of my work.

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I used the pattern called squiggles which is just free motion of the quilt.  You move the quilt what ever the way you want creating a doddle like pattern which looks very nice.  There’s a couple mistakes in it but I’m happy with it.  I found the hard bit moving the fabric so it would glide across the machine.  I don’t know if I should have put the dog feet down or just leave them up.  I changed the stitch size thinking that it would help but I put it back to the default stitching length.  I just need to play with this a little bit to improve my technique but overall I am happy with what I have done.

The top of the quilt is a jelly roll which was I used in a jelly roll race.  The rows in it made it easy to use them to as a guide for the free hand designs.  Hopefully my son will like the finished results of this quilt.