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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Catching up….

It seems like ages since I’ve wrote to you all.  I feel at time I neglect you, but things always get in the way when I have good intentions of letting you know what I am up to.  I intend to make a hard effort of letting you know what I am update.

I have three people this year celebrating major milestone birthdays.  So what is one to do?  You make a quilt for each of them.  The first friend is having a jelly roll quilt made from the range called Fresh Air by American Jane using a pattern called Key to my heart.  This one includes some of her favourite colours and is basically for use as a lap blanket.  My daughter has also used this pattern in a quilt she made and it looks wonderful.

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The other blanket is by Emma Jean Jansen using her lovely range of the Line Cupboard.  The quilt is called The Daisy Quilt.  Emma is an Australian Designer and this range and quilt is just beautiful.  It uses linen and I was a bit worry about using linen as I had no idea how it would quilt but so far it is lovely.  I have currently completed the drunkard paths, which I have never done before, and they have turned out wonderfully.  The finished quilt will be 175 cm X 175 cm so it should be lovely on a bed.  I have already thought about how I will quilt it and am thinking about doing daisy chains over the sashes and just outline the drunkard pathways.  As I don’t have a longarm quilting machine, I will use a quilt as you go to complete this quilt.  I think it should look so lovely when completed.

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Finally, the last quilt is for my friend.  It is of course the Moda Modern Building Block.  I have currently done the large quilts and am now down to the 12 inch blocks followed by the 6 inch blocks.  As the blocks get smaller, they seem to be easier to do.  I have seen a number of this quilt completed and love the fact that it can be used with any fabric as opposed to sticking to the Bella Solid colours, but I love the Bella Solid colours and have 2 of these kits to do.  I have been offered to have a lady quilt it for me for nothing, who also knows my friend that is going to receive this quilt.  I will do that and I will do mine myself.  I like to try to do my own quilting.  I have only done 14 blocks and it covers my bed…OMG it is going to be a big one.

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What else have I been doing?  I have continued to try and finish quilts that need to be completed and am currently quilting done by big quilt.  I don’t know why I chose to do it the way I did but must continue to do so.  I have been attending quilting classes where I met some lovely ladies.  One of these ladies does quilts for Australian Soldiers overseas, I wonder if the same is done for other soldiers in other countries.  I think it is a very lovely way to send a hug as the quilt are made with love and must be greatly appreciated by those that receive them.

I have also been doing some family tree tracing. It has been interesting to uncover where I came from.  Sometimes you need to look back to move forward.  What have I discovered, well I had discovered that I have 4 family members who were in World War 1.  It has been interesting to find out their journey and I have discovered things that I did know about my family.  I hope to find more.

I have also been preparing to make a quilt or what is called a coverlet.  The one that I have discovered is called the 1718 Coverlet and it seems to have spread across the world.  I have gotten a copy of this lovely quilt and have some of the fabric I will use including strips.  I’m still undecided to follow the traditional method of English Paper Piecing or what the book refers to as Mosaic piecing (I don’t like this term really and prefer English Paper Piecing) or the modern method of appliqué and machining of pieces together.  I have also noticed that this pattern refers to the block size as the finished size which is very confusing.  After I read this, I got on to the internet and checked a few groups that are doing this quilt.  I find these groups helpful as you are able to discuss with other quilters who come from a variety of levels of experience.  I learnt that the finished size means that when finally sewn to the quilt and does not include the seam allowance.  I’m so glad that I don’t cut down my blocks (unless instructed to) as it could be an expensive mistake.

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Well, I’ll try to write to you more often and I leave you with this…

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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

Twelve blocks finished….

Over the last few weeks, I have been working on a Jelly Roll Sampler.  Many of you may have seen various books that show how to use pre-cut fabrics to make different quilts.  I have been using one type of these books by Pam and Nancy Lintott’s Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt.  I used the Classic Sampler and made 12 beautiful blocks. This is my first time of really doing a traditional type of block design.  It was made easy by using a Creative Grid 45/90 degree ruler which helped to make the triangles.  Most of the pattern involve using either squares, rectangles or triangles.  I’m very happy with the final result.  I used the Moda range by Basic Grey called Persimmon.  I just now need to the boarder and sashing which I have already gotten with lime for the boarder and white for the sashing.  It should look good when finished.

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On another note, my poor puppy has to have surgery on her knees and need to stay at the vets overnight.  As I know she will be anxious without me, I have made her a little quilt out of squares that were mistakes.  I must admit, both my dogs love lying on the quilts I make and have a particular liking for the ones with the French General fabric.  I have trialled the squares and believe it is big enough for her.  My youngest daughter decided that a blanket was need to be placed on top of the other squares…Can you spot the dog?

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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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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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