My, my what a busy time it has been

I have been very busy over the few months with family and work, but I have been able to find time to fit in a bit of craft work. Few months ago, I attended a workshop at Carolyn Konig’s Design featuring Katrina Hadjimichael. The quilt we did was the lovely Meryton – a Jane Austen inspired quilt measuring about 90 inches by 90 inches. I was very nervous doing this quilt but as I progress through the quilt, I am becoming very happy with the way it is turning out. I describe the fabric range as French provincial – consisting of browns and blues and birds and flowers throughout. And yes there is some of my favourite fabrics in it – French General. I have completed the centre piece and am underway to complete the border pieces followed by further blocks. I like how it is turning out and think it will look lovely when finally finished.

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I also completed a lovely quilt for a friend of mine that I visited in Sydney. The quilt was lovely and was well appreciated and was much needed in the cold winter experienced in Sydney.

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I have been slowly working on the quilts that are for birthday gifts and now have to add 2 baby quilts to my workload. At least I can space out the time it takes to do some of these quilts. I will keep you up-to-date with their process but I will show you what I have already done. On the Modern Moda Building Block quilt I am down to the 6 inch squares – not much more to do.

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Need to find more time….

With being busy at work and trying to do some quilting and all the other things that come along with a busy lifestyle, I have been a very neglectful of my blog of late. During this time, I have attempted to finished a number of quilt tops, which I was informed by someone (perhaps a family member), that had to be finished before starting any more quilts. So I finished about two and have almost finished another two tops. This only means that I can start work on a new quilt.

 

Last year, I had attended a workshop at WhateverWhereever, where I started on a quilt called Jugs and Broken Dishes. As I am so desperate to start another quilt, I set to work finishing the top of this quilt.  As with all quilts, I like to lay them on bed to make sure that I have them looking right. You know what I mean, so that same fabric isn’t next together or similar colours don’t sit next to each other. This can be a challenge for me, as I sometimes have unwanted help from my two dogs who just love laying on the quilt, whether it be finished or not.  This time it was not my two dogs helping but the friendly ginger cat.  The other advantage of laying the quilt out on bed it allows me to understand the finished size of the quilt. I grew up in a metric time and although I can convert metric to imperial measurements I do find it hard to picture the finished size of quilt.

Jugs and Broken Dishes

The next quilt I was determined to finish was a quilt that I was doing as a test project. That was my first and it turned out to be quit big. I added the two boarders and now I have another quilt top finished. The quilt was called Parade by The Aqua Umbrella. It has turned out very well and now just needs to be quilted and binded to finish it. I found the Dresden plate a challenge, especially trying to make it sit properly but once completed, it looked very nice.

Paradise Quilt

Oh, I don’t know if you remember the Jelly Roll Sampler quilt I was doing a while ago. I used Persimmon by Basic Grunge in the jelly roll and the pattern was from Pam Lintott. Just loved it and it now has a lime border and grey sash around it. Yes another top done.

Sampler Jelly Roll Quilt

I completed another quilt too, this for a friend who was having their first baby. I used a range called Meadow – which came in a pink and blue range. Perfect for a baby wouldn’t you say. I used two layer cakes which gave me enough for two baby quilts out of the fabric. The second quilt will go to colleague at work who is also having her first baby. I love making quilts and giving them to new mothers as they are appreciated and are continually used. Another friend I gave a baby quilt to said that her quilt comes up beautifully once it has been washed after her babies have played on it, ate on it or been sick on it. That makes me very happy to know that a quilt is loved and is being used.

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As I have gotten a number of quilts finished, I am therefore allowed to start another quilt. So what am I doing…..Yes I have decided to start on the Moda Modern Building Block. I have already completed block 1 and block 2. These are the very large blocks – measuring 36 inches square. I have invested in starch which I find helps me to keep the fabric flat and easy to cut.  The fabric range is from Bella Solids but I have seen some blocks done in other ranges and they look lovely

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I have also been very lucky this few weeks. I entered my one of my daughters into a competition and well we SHE won a quilt kit. I don’t know if you have seen this one before but it is by Minick and Simpson and it is called Austin Bluebird. It is very lovely. The quilt came in a kit and I must say it will be a lovely quilt when I start it.

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Oh well must be off and do a bit more quilting now

Donna

Goodbye 2014 and Hello 2015

Wow what a year I’ve had. I have attending classes, meet lovely people, shared ideas, gained knowledge and shared my creations. I only hope that 2015 will be just as fulfilling.

 

In December I put my sewing machine away and replace it with the Christmas decorations and tree. Presents are shared not only to people that I know but to strangers. This year I was involved in an #aussiechristmasswap on instragram. This was my first swap and I was very nervous. The rules were something made, something brought and something baked. I gave a hexagon bag, a wall hanging, a quilted Christmas ball, chocolate coated licories, Christmas rock candy and homemade shortbread biscuits. In return, I received chocolates, a table runner pot holder and a quilted Christmas decoration. It was so fun that I hope it will happen again next year.

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My Christmas gift

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The Christmas gift I sent

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The Christmas gift I sent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year I have achieved a number of things:-

  • Completed my son’s jelly roll race quilt;
  • Learnt how to free motion quilt and completed it successfully;
  • Completed a baby’s quilt;
  • Completed 2 hexagon bags;
  • Created a number of quilted Christmas balls;
  • Created and completed a Christmas wall hanging.
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Christmas Ball

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Baby blanket featuring Meadow Friends – boy and girl sides showed

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Son’s Jelly Roll Race Blanket – with two helpers

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the making of the Christmas present for the #aussiechristmasswap

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Parade quilt testing for the aqua umbrella

As like other quilters, I have projects to finish, and so I have started to get them organised. I have pinned two quilts and hope will have them completed next year. I have a number of quilts that I’m itching to start and complete. I hope to share them with you during the year. I’d also like share some of the tricks that I’ve learnt and I hope you share yours with me.

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pinning down a quilt with a little help

I hope your bobbins remain full, your needles are sharp, and your creations bring to others the happiness that you wish them to have. Please have a happy new year.

 

another month goes by…

It has been over a month since I have spoken to you.  I’ve been busy with work but have found sometime to do quilting.  I have been working on some projects and been doing some pattern testing.  I have never tested a pattern before and I found it very challenging.  It made me release how much work is put into designing a pattern.  The pattern was lovely and I  was very happy with what I have done so far.  The range I used was Fancy and consisted of pineapples and a Dresden Plate.  It took me several goes to get the Dresden plate right.  The pattern was Parade by Valarie Rigney.

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It seems to be the time to also pull out the baby patterns and make some more baby quilts.   My youngest has started to make a baby’s quilt for a friend and I have 2 that need to be done.  This is again another one which is a boy colour on one side and a girl colour on the other side.  The range is Storytime Rhyme, and the design is again Through the looking glass.

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2 baby blankets and a few blocks

Again I’ve been busy not only with work but completing quilt.  Two lovely ladies I know were having babies – one was having twins and both were having their first babies.  What do you give them….well a baby quilt of course.  The problem with giving a baby quilt is that you feel you have to give each child a quilt which can be challenging and time consuming.  I made a decision that I would make my baby blanket as double sided blankets – one side for  a girl and the other side for a boy.  Thus I have made a family  baby blanket.  I originally brought this quilt called Through The Looking Glass Little P Quilt patterns by It’s So Emma.  When finished it measured 38.5″ x 42.5″ which I think is a good size for a baby blanket.   I’ve done one quilt with pastel colours and the other done in bright colours.  I love the fact that you can get a range of fabric which can be used for either a boy or girl and you can use it in one quilt.  The range I used for the bottom one was Celebration which has a girl and boy range.

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I have also been trying to complete Berries and Bluebirds by Gail Pan.  I’m not very happy with my leaves or my berries.  I intend to unpick the berries and redo them so they look more rounder.  But it is slowly coming together.  I did find doing the ric rac challenging but do like the way it to

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Oh and my sewing machine did come back and was fully repair and working well.  I have attached a walking foot to it and I did not know what I would do without it.  I plan to do some machine quilting having just got some chalk and templates to decorate some of my quilts.  I didn’t know that you needed to quilt through the fabrics to stop the layers moving.  I guess I learn from mistakes and through looking at how to do things differently.

Well it’s going to be another hot day with our temperatures here in Australia being up to 41°C and I have to wait a few weeks to get the fan fixed on my car.  I hope it is cooler where you are.

A belated Merry Christmas and a happy new year

I have been a little bit busy as have many other people I dare say.  Well, my sewing machine has arrived back but due to the high temperatures (around 37°C and 42°C) I haven’t used it yet.  The lovely people at the sewing machine centre told me it was a motor problem and it was replaced at no cost for me as the sewing machine was under warranty (a whole 5 years warranty!!!!).

Although I have not done any machine sewing, I have been doing some hand sewing.  I decided that I need to finish some items that I have, well lets just say it, put aside when something new came along.  I am currently up to block 4 of Berries and Birds by Gail Pan Designs.  I decided to do something different.  I have only done the applique blocks only with the intention of going back and complete each block completely.  By photocopying out the patterns and laminating them, I have quickly developed my templates allowing for easy tracing and cutting out.

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I have also been doing a stitchery which is preprinted.  Its been a bit of a challenge due to the mistake in it.  I am trying to incorporate a way to hide the fault in it.  I think I have achieved it.  The quilt is called The Street by Smee Designs. What do you think so far???

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I am still doing Cornelian by Hugs ‘n’ Kisses and have already brought more material to make a second one.  The quilt that I keep in my work bag is called Christmas Magic by Gail Pan Designs and I am just completing the stitchery before I do the sewing up part.

Since my sewing machine is back, and I have a few days off, I have no excuse but to get my machine out and start finishing the baby quilts…

Well, I hope you all had a very happy Christmas and a Safe New Years….

Been busy and sewing machine trouble

Well I have been busy. I have been trying to finish off my scrappy quilt. I found that placing the pieces out and taking a photo of them helped to remind me how it was set out.
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While sewing it together, I found that I really needed to buy a walking foot.  I looked everywhere for a singer walking foot and eventually I got a walking foot for my singer sewing machine off ebay.

I have also been busy making other quilts.  I have attended a couple of classes making quilts at Whatever Whereever.  I learnt how to make hexagons and turn them into stars and how to applique jugs.  I enjoyed doing these.
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I have also discovered that a friend was having a baby.  What’s a quilter to do…you guessed it make a baby’s quilt, but what color when you don’t know the sex of the baby.  Thankfully, I discovered a range called Celebrations which came in boy and girl colors.  So the challenge was on…do I make 2 quilt or one.  I found the pattern called “Through the looking glass” by Sarah Price and brought 2 kits – one boy one and one girl one.  I cut them out and sewed them up and decided to sandwich them both together.  I discovered that by starching the tops they sat nicely.  What I do is use a lot of starch, allow to dry then iron and the tops look great.

Through the looking glass

I used three pieces of wooden curtain rods and rolled each of my pieces up with them and slowly pinned them together.  Once done, I trialled my new walking foot.  Was a bit of a challenge getting the walking foot onto the sewing machine but the effort was worth it.  I commenced sewing with a fancy stitch,  almost finished and got new bobbin  in then my sewing machine decided to tell me C4 error.  I am trying to fix it but I’m not getting there fast.

Through the looking glassThrough the looking glass  Through the looking glass Through the looking glass

Now I have to try and fix it or send it away.  And I was so close to finishing this baby quilt…