Wednesday, 30 September 2009


I'm working on another quilt, this time a baby's play quilt. Here are some of the trimmings:
Here you can see where I'm up to with the quilting, I really love this FMQ pattern!
When I'm quilting I wear gloves, so I like to take my rings off. I found a great little hidey-hole for them while I sew:

Bear in the Woods

This has been a UFO for at least 5 years. I made the top while we were in Canberra, and we've been back in Adelaide 5 full years as of last weekend.
I decided it was time I finished it off, and it really didn't take long. I only had to embroider the bear's eye, and sandwich, quilt and bind it.
The bear is a Margaret Rolfe foundation-pieced pattern.
I really enjoyed quilting the trees.
Here it is at home in the 'woods'; the photo below shows the background quilting texture well.
I've put this aside to go with the seasonal trees into my Etsy shop when I open it - hopefully in a few weeks.

Monday, 28 September 2009

A bit pleased with my quilting

I've completed the quilting on this and am in the process of attaching the binding. Just quietly, I'm more than a bit pleased with how it went. As usual, click on any of the photos for a closer look.
I feathered the white border either side of the ribbon. It's all completely freehand. As I mentioned the other day, the 1/8in gap between the feathers really works for me - but with more practice I hope to be able to drop the gap eventually.
The background quilting is a design I came up with in my doodling.
Although I used white cotton for the feathers and in the white hearts, the background swirls are actually in a pale pink embroidery thread with a lovely sheen. It's the thread I initially chose for the pink hearts.
And here's some of the quiting from the back.
Initially I did over a quarter of the outer border in big loops, but wasn't happy with the result, so I unpicked it this morning and redid it to match the background - the way I should have in the first place!
I'm kind of regretting putting the purple squares on the back - while it looks ok, it detracts from what is probably my best quilting yet.
The centre:
Once it's finished I'll take it outside for some better photos; it's still lovely and wet here, and these were taken on the sewing table, which gets a lot of natural afternoon light, even in wet weather.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Blogger's Quilt Festival is on again!

The very same talented Amy who made my wonderful DQS7 quilt is hosting the second Blogger's Quilt Festival from October 9th-16th to coincide with Houston Quilt Market.

I'm already thinking about which quilt I'm going to enter, are you? Click on her name above or the button on the right to go over to her blog. I'm guessing there'll be signups again closer to the time.

Oh, and block out a huge amount of time to participate! It's not just looking through all the quilts that takes so long (although that alone takes a while with so many; last time there were nearly 600) but all the additional blog-browsing it prompts.

Saturday, 26 September 2009

Doodling with Intent

I've always doodled during meetings. If I'm not actually doing something, I'll more than likely fall asleep, regardless of my level of interest and even whether or not I'm actually tired. It was only natural that ym doodles would move towards quilt patterns and quiting designs, but since comng across this 365 Days of Free Motion Fillers blog by Leah Day (also a young mother), my doodling has taken on real intent.
(As usual, click for a closer look)
Here is some of what I've produced over the last week or so. Some are mindless, some are trying out Leah's designs, and others are working towards new patterns.

And feathers as usual, because I need as much practice as I can get! I'm actually using some in the borders of my current quilt, and they seem to be going quite well so far. I've planned them so that they flow the way which is most natural for me, rather than purely based on design. It still looks good, plus the execution is passable! I've also found that having the individual feathers about 1/8in apart makes it easier for me to keep them looking consistent, and again, actually looks ok!
Stay tuned for some real quilting tomorrow. And don't forget to check out Leah's blog. I've added a permanent link to her website in the sidebar as well.

Friday, 25 September 2009

Quilting success

Finally I seem to have cracked it! After a long evening of quilting in the ditch, I got to the FMQ stage which I've been looking forward to. And I managed this entire section with no thread breakages and no skipped stitches. I'm putting that down to the full combination of Aurifil 50wt thread, topstitch needle (which I've been using all along) and the spring-foot unstead of the sensor one. But as much as I want to continue, it's 2.30am, and James and Eleanor have swimming at 9.30 tomorrow, so I'd better get to bed!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Thread stash

I'm building up quite a stash of threads. Mostly they're cottons for piecing and quilting, but I've recently added a whole heap of QA polyester embroidery threads. They were recommended by a professional quilter, and came in packs of 14 x 1000m spools for under $20 - bargain! Although it's not the best for finding and reaching what I want, my threads are now in (and have filled!) this 20L tub.
My favourites are King Tut, but unfortunately most of their threads (including the variegated threads I really love) are 40wt, and my machine clearly prefers 50wt for FMQing. So I'm trying the King Tut 50wt and a selectio of Aurifil as well. I also have a stack of Guterman; mostly black white and a few creams/neutrals for piecing. But that's 50wt, and I'm going through oodles of the white to do the McTavishing. Just one of the tree wallhangings used about 500m of thread in the quilting!

Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Finally, a start

Finally, after much procrastination due to indecision over fabric selection (I couldn't find exactly what I wanted, especially for the purples) I have started this next quilt. It's the girl's quilt I'm making for James' and Eleanor's child care centre to raffle, which I first blogged here.

All 25 blocks are completed and joined, and I've started adding the borders; just one to go, then the applique in the main white border.
I drafted both heart blocks myself:
I love the pink fabric with the gold swirls, I'll be using it for the applique, too.

Hanging Sleeve

After a question about hanging EBDQS3 quilts today, I thought I'd show some photos of the hanging sleeve I usually use. I might try and take some in-progress photos next time and make a quick tutorial.

I use a 4in-wide strip cut about an inch shorter than the width of the quilt. I double-fold a 1/4in hem at either end, then fold it in half along the length with wrong sides facing. I machine the binding to the front all the way around, then centre the folded sleeve on the back of the quilt along the top the quilt and pin it in place. I machine it in place about 1mm inside the seam attaching the binding, just to be sure it's hidden, and reinforce either end. Then I hand-sew the binding down using an almost invisible ladder stitch, including across the hanging sleeve. Once that's done, I sew down the bottom of the hanging sleeve using the same stitch.

The first few photos below show where I stitch, about 1/4in back under the actual edge. I just guesstimate, fold and pin.
This allows the sleeve to form a D shape:
About 1/4in:
Here is the finished sleeve:
And here it is with a length of dowel for hanging:
I use tiny cup hooks to hang the quilt on the wall and cut the dowel so that it stops just inside the binding and is invisible.
(And yes, I went with the zingy binding!)

Monday, 21 September 2009

Royal Adelaide Show 2009

A bit late, but here are the photos from our day at The Show:

An alpaca just for Adds:

When I was little, there used to be lots of tractors to climb on. We could only find 3, and they were huge - but not to be climbed on:
The Firies had a great stand. James tried the 'stop, drop & roll' and when it came to donning a hat and a real (miniature) jacket, they did every child a short video of them sitting in the fire engine!

James and Eleanor on the 'elephanat' ride:

What else could James request but a pink butterfly?!

And our little fairy:

Holding and patting chicks in the Ag Learning Centre; always a favourite:

Meeting an enthusiatic kid:

Earning his tractor licence:

On the ferris wheel:

Beautiful colours as night fell:

An unusually quiet sideshow alley and show rides:

The children's rides:

Straight after our ride, just before dinner:

And after dinner: