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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time flys so fast…

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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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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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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A lesson learnt….

I don’t know about you, but I hate cutting out.  I notice that I have had to redo the some cutting due to it not being the right side.  I used the cutting board squares as a measure but found that these were not accurate, so now I use the ruler to measure my fabric.  The problem was that I couldn’t get the cut straight.  I was doing some exploring and found a device that sticks to your ruler to but against the fabric to ensure that the cut is straight.  I decided to use tape – I’m starting to learn that not only do nurses always have tape on them but that quilters will also have tape.  You place the tape on the end of the length that you want to cut.  The tape rests against your fabric and then you cut your fabric.  Amazing.  I am now cutting out the squares for my Berries and Bluebirds and have re-thought out the way I want to do some squares.

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I also not happy with the way my berries look, so I am redoing them to.  Basically, I intend to unpick them and redo them with my Perfect Circles.  The flowers look so much better now that I have started to redo them.

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Have you being watching the Winter Olympics in Soche.  Being in the Southern Hemisphere, they are live at night – so many a late night has been spent doing quilting.  I came across this picture from Colchester Mill Fabric’s photo on facebook.  This picture made me giggle about the combination of both quilting and the design fabric for the Soche games.

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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.