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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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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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.

Sewing machine saga and hexies

I have sent my sewing machine back to be repaired.  I’m hoping to have it returned soon, ready and will to perform my quilts.  Currently I’m using my other machine which works ok but needs to have some fine tuning.

Is anyone doing Hugs ‘n’ Kisses’ Cornelian?  I’m currently doing it and have just started to put on the hexies on the first block.  Of course it is French General range of fabrics and it looks very nice. I got mine through Quilt Fabric Delights Creative and I love it. The kit uses the applique pre-cut paper which dissolve in water.  I’ve only just starting to do hexies, but this is really fun.  Again, I am a little behind and have to catch up but that is fine.  Since my studies have completed, I’ll be able to catch up with some of my quilt and get them finished.

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The sewing machine problems….

The lovely man from Singer Australia rang me to help me fix my problems with my Singer 160 Limited Edition Sewing Machine.  Apparently you need to make sure you have the thread firm and when you thread the machine it should have some tension on it.  Well, I rethreaded it and it is still not working.  I’ll contact him again and see if we can fix it.

I guess that brings to my next problem.  I recently purchased a BOM which stated that thread and fabric was included  for about $210.  In part they were correct – but the fabric was calico and there was no boarder or binding fabric as I thought there should.  This is second time this has happened to me.  My question, have you ever brought a quilt kit and it not been what you thought it should have been or did you have to wait for ever for the rest of product.  Or the value of the product sent doesn’t match the cost of payment.  And what do you do about it?

Well I’m going to continue to do some more hand quilting and hopefully more sewing machine will be fixed soon.