Friday, 30 September 2011

Hamptons fabric wanted

I'm looking for some of this out-of-print fabric. It's from 'The Hamptons' range by Minick and Simpson for Moda, and would be 3-6 years old.

Im looking for anything from half a metre (yard) up to 2 metres (yards), and am willing to pay a decent price for it. It's print #14564 and is a rich, deep navy. I also have some in a denim blue colour, but that's not the one I'm looking for. The boats are between 6 and 8 inches long.

We're about to head away for the long weekend, and I'm taking several beach designs to work on.

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Party Girl

Eleanor all ready for a birthday party last weekend:

What do you think?

I'm after some opinions; I've got this special quilt to this stage, but am not sure where to go next with it. I'd rather hoped that it would speak to me once I'd added the borders, but it's been silent so far. The main problem is that the tree doesn't stand out enough with everything else (so I don't want to further overpower it) although I will be adding a few small mauve birds to it.

So, what should I do in the big open areas? I was thinking of some sort of feather design - symmetrical in the large area at the bottom, then freeform in the rest. Or does in need applique? What sort of shapes/colours?

And how can I make the tree stand out more? I wiull outline quilt it in a slightly darker thread, but I doubt that'll make a huge difference. HELP!

Monday, 19 September 2011


This is what was on my sewing table in the lovely spring afternoon sun today. Perfect weather for this quilt, and I had the doors and widows open, enjoying the fresh air while I quilted.

Friday, 16 September 2011

Interlinked blocks

The quilt top is complete and ready to sandwich, here's another peek:

It's too late and I'm too tired to write more!

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Secret Garden meets Henna Garden

My first delivery of Sandi Henderson's new range Secret Garden arrived yesterday, and I couldn't wait to get stuck into it, so started designing. As it turned out, the design I loved uses several Henna Garden prints, and only two from Secret Garden (one not shown in this block). There's also another print from Farmer's Market. The only fabric that isn't by Sandi is the ash snowflake background.

The blocks are all made and ready to be joined tomorrow evening. It's come together very quickly (though admittedly I've done nothing else!) and because the design is self-bordered, once the 25 blocks are joined, it will be ready to sandwich.

Monday, 12 September 2011

In reflection

I've thought and thought about this post. I've spent the evening sewing the binding onto a quilt, watching television.

Ten years ago, Simon and I were watching the late news, when some breaking news came through. We spent the rest of the evening glued to our television, trying to absorb the news ourselves, as the newsreader had to come to grips with it publicly.

Tonight, as I heard the many names read out, and the moving tributes, the thing which hit me most was one name. I didn't catch the man's last name; I was too busy mulling over his given names; James Edward.

It occurred to me as I was sewing the last few stitches of my quilt, that I was using fabric sent to me by the designer, Kate Spain, who's from New York. As I spread it out in front of me to run my hands over it, it also occured to me that the design reflected some aspects of the site. I had been planning to name the quilt Stepping Stones, but perhaps Reflection might be more appropriate. I'll think about it.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Published again!

A while back I proposed an article about labelling quilts, and sent it off to Australian patchwork & Quilting. I knew it was to be published, but had no idea when, so it was a lovely surprise to receive my copy of Vol 20 No 9 today and find my name and article mentioned on the cover. Even better, James was the one who got it out of the letterbox, and he was able to read it (the title, not the whole article) for himself!

My article explains why you should label quilts, lists some of the information that can be included, and discusses ways to design a printed label, with plenty of my own examples (both James and Eleanor were rather pleased to see their own faces in the examples!)

And in a nice tie-in, the staff challenge in this issue is about designing labels!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Pinning technique

I was asked about the unusual pinning technique shown in my last post, so here's an explanation.

I'm fusing 3/8in bias-cut strips to form wavy borders on my quilt top. The first one (above) is pale mauve and is in the middle of a very wide light cream border, which I designed then marked using a template and a blue clover pen. The second (below) is darker mauve, and divides the pale cream inner border from the darker cream outer border. I mentioned this before; I pieced the outer border, separate from the quilt centre, fused 2in of Steam-a-seam2 all round the inside of the new border, then marked my pattern on the paper on the back of the fused Steam-a-seam2, cut along the line, then carefully positioned it over the centre and fused it in place. The dark mauve covers the raw edge.

To get a nice smooth curve, I need lot of pins - most places the pins are about 3/4in apart, but get as close as 1/4in apart on the tightest curves. Pinning vertically (I do this straight on the ironing board) has a few advantages. First, it's much easier to just poke it straight down! Second there's no distortion or movement caused by tipping it and pushing the pins back up. Third, I can get lots of pins nice and close, to get a smooth curve. And fourth, it's much easier to pull out the pins as the tip of the iron touches them (no burned finger-tips or melted pin heads!).

I pin a section of about 12in at a time, then slowly work the iron along, only removing the pins as the tip of the iron actually touches them. Pinning ahead gives me a chance to see it's a nice even curve (or fix it if not) before fusing. The tighter the curve, the fiddlier it is - even though I've bias-cut the strips - and the strips need to be pressed into submission to avoid any puckers on the inside edges. Although I'm using Lite Steam-a-seam2, which can be temporarily finger-pressed into position until fusing, on these curves it doesn't hold well enough.

The two applique borders are now fused in place, and as soon as I finsh quilting the Terrain scraps quilt, I'll start appliqueing them.

Friday, 2 September 2011


No-one chould be puttign chocolate cupcakes in the oven at 4.15 am. But that's what I've done, and this is what I've been doing while I'm waiting for them to finish cooking - positioning, pinning, fusing... Then I'm going to bed. I will definitely be having a nap when Eleanor does this afternoon!