Sunday, 28 February 2010

Iced Chocolate

My Quilting Gallery winter quilt swap quilt is ready to mail tomorrow. I blogged some photos of it here, but today I photographed it properly.
I'm really pleased with the way it came out, and am satisfied it looks sufficiently wintry, although I'd never have chosen these colours if I hadn't read my recipient liked them!
Unlike the wintry quilt theme, it was a beautiful day in Adelaide today. Unfortunately, the problem with beautiful weather after weeks of heat is you don't realise your shoulders and neck and getting sunburnt. Mine are red-hot and somewhat uncomfortable now! If only I was at good at protecting myself as I am with James and Eleanor.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

DQS8 - Snow Dance

My DQS8 quilt is finished, apart from the label, and will be ready to send, along with a couple of other quilts on Monday. I added the binding after taking these photos.
I was really stumped for what to make for my recipient this time. I had several ideas, but they all seemed too similar to some of my other quilts, and despite knowing my recipient would love them, I wanted to make something original for her.
Finally, and rapidly running out of time, I drew some of these teardrop shapes in EQ and played with the wreathmaker function for this. Luckily one of the peeks has elicited a positive comment from a certain someone a long way away, so I know I'm on the right track!
I used Kellie's applique technique to sew the shapes on after sandwiching the quilt, as it gives the back much better definition, and I do like a nice quilt back! I chose embroidery threads for the applique, partly because they were the best colour matches. But these threads don't always FMQ well, and I ended up doing lots of the applique with the walking foot. I can't imagine how many times I rotated the quilt under the needle - lucky it's small!
Then it was just a matter of Emming the background in white bottomline. This is probably the best Emming I've done yet. I examined Leah's McTavishing closely to see why I liked hers so much, and realised I needed to make some of my wavy lines a little curvier and more S-shaped. I think it worked!
Have I overdone the photos yet? (Bear in mind, I haven't even photographed it with the binding yet!)
As you can see, I made most of this quilt with the Winter Olympics on behind the sewing machine, and this was the inspiration for the quilt's name. I tried anagrams of "Winter Olympics", but while I loved "Icily Snow", the remaining letters weren't much use!

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

DQS8 Peek

I ifnally settled on a designfor the quilt I'm making for my partner in the DQS8. Here it is last night with the pieces in place, but only a few sewn on; they're all sewn on now, and I'm considering what FMQ filler to use in the white background.

Monday, 22 February 2010

AJ's 'Sugar & Spice' quilt

Late last year I quilted this top for AJ. She's now finished the quilt with the perfect binding. I borrowed this photo from her blog:
It's lovely to see it finished!

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Filigree quilting

My winter swap quilt is ready to bind and label. I quilted in-the-ditch around the brown pinwheels and flange border, then got out the silver metallic thread. I made a special trip out to get the exact needles recommended for the thread, and it certainly paid-off.
The wavy silver tlines through the grey sections were done with the walking foot; I thought I'd minimise the amount of FMQing with the silver! And being a small quilt, turning it around umpteen times wasn't difficult. I think the quilting really lifts these parts. The grey print is actually dandelions, but has a bit of a snowball look to it.

Then I needed to increase the density of the quilting across the rest of the quilt to flatten it out, but I wanted to leave the white fairy frost as unquilted as possible, to keep the shimmery effect.
After quilting the pink and white squares heavily (again, with the walking-foot) I designed a filigree pattern for the white corners, then used elements of this in the outer border.
I did have a brief moment of horror when I realised that the steam from the iron wasn;'t removing the blue marking pen, because that's for the white pen, and the blue one comes out with water, and I worried I might have set the colour and ruined the quilt, but luckily water took it out easily!

Saturday, 20 February 2010


Here's a peek at the pink and brown winter quilt. I've just started quilting in-the-ditch around all the brown pinwheels and the 1/4in brown flange border. Then I'm going to add silver metallic to the grey sections. The darker pink and the white background are fairy frosts, and I want to leave them largely unquilted to keep the shimmery, snowy effect.

Tiny Fairies

Today was my niece's 3rd birthday, and I made her a doll's quilt (above) to match the bed quilt I made for her last year (below).
I used the same fabrics and some of the same block and strip designs, even the same backing fabric.

She loves it, and her parents seemed to as well.
The hearts were a big hit, but the fairies were the real stars.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010


Simon and I are lucky that our offices are quite close, and we meet for lunch quite often.
What doesn't happen so often is for him to greet me with flowers, which is one reason why these were so well-received. The other reason was that it was the 15th, not the 14th, of February, which we studiously avoid as being artificial.

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Matching teddy quilt

Firstly, thank you to everyone who took the timr to give me feedback on the winter quilt in my last post. I've decided to make it, but with one small modification.

Last night I put this quilt top together; it's a teddy quilt for my niece to match the bed quilt we gave her for her birthday last year. I hope to get it quilted tomorrow, and will blog photos of it and the quilt it's to go with once it's done.

Friday, 12 February 2010

Does this quilt say 'Winter' to you?

I'd like some opinions on this quilt design please. It's not made yet; I designed it for a winter swap I'm in. My partner has mentioned on her blog that she loves pink and brown together, which explains the odd combination for a wintry quilt! I think the design looks very snow-crystalesque, but I'm not sure in this colourway it looks sufficiently wintry - what do you all think? It's about 23in square.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Heart for Sale

Here are some more photos of Feathered Heart.
It's currently listed in my Etsy Shop
I'm really starting to enjoy feathering. I've got it worked out that I need the spine marked before I start, and I'm getting better at judging spaces - I used to do the swirls way too tight, leaving tiny, messy feathers at the top, now they're getting bigger, though I still think they're a little small. What I learned from this one is I should also mark a rough outline of where I want the feathers to reach, to get a nice outline shape. I don't know why I used to be so hesitant about marking quilt tops - it's not hard to do, and I have several options which all seem to come out easily and completely.
It seems to work better if the feathers plume from each other, rather than all coming from the edge; it gives the quilt more flow.
I also really like the effect of the double feathering, using a different colour. I think the extra line of hot pink inside the original pale pink feathers both helps the heart to stand out, and softens it a little.
I'd really like to get on with the snowflakes next, but only tronight got around to ordering the threads I'll need. I have a couple of swap quilts to make with looming deadlines, but although I have a design I love for one, I'm not motivated tos tart, which means I probably need to start again on the design.

Feathers and Fur

Feathers: I completed this quilt tonight, and tomorrow when I'm not quite so tired I will put it in my Etsy shop - and blog it properly.
Fur: We had another koala in or garden topday. James insistently pointed out the 'animal' as we were getting in the car this morning, and finally I spotted it - only the arm was visible from where we were. She (her pouch was clearly visible when she climbed up) was at eye-level and very friendly, and we put out a large bowl of water as it was a stinking hot day. She had a good sniff of my hand, and rather enjoyed a gentle pat. She was there still/again when we got home. I did take photos, but they're on my phone, and I've no idea how to do anything with them from there!

Monday, 8 February 2010

Wholehearted wholecloth

Never let it be said that I don't go into things wholeheartedly (as if you couldn't tell from my stash alone!). I loved making the last wholecloth quilt so much that I have several more on the go. I've spent a lot more time dithering over and refining designs, and finally realised I needed to get these quilts out of my system, so I can focus on what I really need to do.

Another snowflake, from the back. The front fabric is presenting quite a challenge to background quilt, and I think I need to order some more thread (mahogany Bottom Line). The place I get it from takes a while (even allowing for shipping from the US), and that my render this quilt useless for its original purpose - a swap for which it may be too late. So now I have yet another to make - I have a design already which I may use, but I'm not sure yet - it's in colours my recipient likes (brown and pink) but the colous do NOT go with the swap's wintry theme, although the pieced design has a wonderfully snowflakey feel.

This one is 'just because'. When I started drawing feathers to make another wholecloth, this heart happened. Nothing to do with anything in particular, and most certainly NOT the 14th of February! I'll probably put this in my Etsy shop when it's done. I ummed and ahhed for ages over the background quilting before realising it needed feathering. By marking just the spines a bit at a time, that's going well, and is about half done - I should finish the quilting tomorrow night. The picture is from the back (the heart is better fom the front). I'm undecided yet whether I'll add some more (darker) pink inner feathers, I'll wait until the background is done to decide.

And this one I just love. I used metallic silver thread which is perfect on this night sky fabric. I had to make it. It could end up a gift for Mummy, or I may have to hang on to it. I'll Emm the background in navy Bottom Line - which I also have to order. It's just as well I'll have to wait for threads to finish two of these, or I'd never get back to my priority list.

Oh, and I'll properly blog the first wholecloth snowflake shortly. It sold before it was finished! And it's incerdibly hard to photograph; it takes a while in photoshop to get the photos accurate!

Sunday, 7 February 2010

Nothing much to show

I've been busy quilting, but haven't much progress to show. I have a ton of designs underway, which took all of yesterday. I finished and posted off a quilt which I can't show yet. And I've done bits and pieces on several quilts which aren't much to look at yet. But I have been shopping again.

I keep stocking up on Farmer's Market, because it's becoming harder to find. And in this lot are also Meadowsweet (Sandi Henderson again), Flora & Fauna (Patty Young) and random fabrics from Heather Bailey, Paula Prass, Amy Butler, Tula Pink, and a couple of others.
I'm planning on using a selection of apple/lime, white, charcoal and raspberry based on Flora and Fauna(upper half of the top photo) for my second niece's bed quilt. I don't need to make it for a while (as in a year!), but am making her older sister a teddy quilt for her upcoming 3rd birthday to match the bed quilt I made her last year. I know how much little sisters like to copy their older siblings, so have decided to make her one for her 1st birthday in another month as well, and need to design the bed quilt first, so the teddy quilt can match. Rather convoluted, but it makes sense to me!

Now I'm heading back to another snowflake wholecloth, this time on a navy night sky fabric, using silver thread. It's not going too badly, but I don't have exactly the right needle, and I've had a few breakages (of both thread and needles!). I've nearly finished the metallic part, thank goodness!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Tree Pattern now Available!

I'm thrilled to announce that my Tree pattern is now available in my Etsy Shop! The packaging arrived this morning, and they're now ready to go. It's taken me a while to get the pattern written, edited and printed, but I'm pleased with the way it's come out.
The pattern focuses on Winter Harvest.
However, there are also instructions for how to change it for Spring, Autumn and even a Summer version which I haven't made yet because of other commitments - and the thought of how many leaves it will require!