Wednesday, 27 June 2012

James basting

As well as me getting back to the quilting, James has been working on his latest, too. It had been sitting for a while just needing the borders adding, so we got that done, and here he is sandwiching it. I pin the edges, then let him to the centre.

We've started quilting it, too. We're working on the 820; he stands on a small chair in front of me, and I control the foot pedal. Sometimes his hands rest on mine, and sometimes mine are on top. He's getting a better feel for the loopy movement as we go.


So, it seems I'm back into the swing of quilting, but not blogging! Having finished quilting the last quilt (it just needs the binding had stitching down now), I've quickly pieced this green flannel quilt. I cut it last week while procrastinating on the quilting, and got most of the piecing done in a few hours one night. I think apart from the the spots (Amy Butler) and the white, the rest of the fabrics are by Valori Wells - though from several collections.

It's another baby quilt, and I've quilted it with my open meandering feather. I know I use it a lot, but I like it, so why not?! I'd hoped it would be quick, so I can jump right into a commissioned beach scene, but I'm having a lot of thread breakage issues again, and haven't figured out what's causing it yet.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012


I'm slowly adding the sparkle to this quilt:

All that dense stitching takes a while, as you need to go slowly with the holgraphic/metallic thread. I'm using a Sewline air-erasable marker to freehand mark the outline to the shape, and it's all filled freehand; so each one is slightly different. It's supposed to look a bit like a cut diamond, but the main aim was sparkle, and even in the photo you can see that, so I'm satisfied.

Monday, 18 June 2012

I'm back!

Every year or so I seem to go through a motivational slump, when I just can't seem to muster the enthusiasm or energy to quilt. Given how far I push myself with my quilting, it's probably not surprising! It lasts a week or so, then I get back on track - just rather behind. So instead of coasting along nicely, I'm now finding myself with some looming deadlines - but at least I'm working towards them again. My urgent to-do list includes a couple of quilting jobs, a magazine commission, two baby quilts, a large birthday present and several commissions. I've also got a stack more which I consider to be less urgent, but with deadlines in the next few months. Normal, really!

(background quilting; ditch quilting incomplete - from the back; backlit by the 820's powerful lights)

So the last few days I've been quilting my latest magazine contribution. The background and ditch quilting are all done, and I'm adding a considerable amount of sparkle with Superior 'Glitter', a holographic thread. This quilt's all about rubies, diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, so it has to sparkle, and this thread really does. It stitches out beautifully, but it does twist, so after each section, I gently remove the thread from the machine, allow it to untwist, and re-thread.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

DQS12 Received

The Flickr Doll Quilt Swap (DQS) is one of the biggest and best around. The swap mamas work very hard to make sure everyone fulfills their swap obligations, but on the odd occasion the a swapper can't complete their quilt, there is a small army of quilt angels who step in to ensure that no-one misses out. For some reason, my partner had to pull out this round, but Jen (better known on Flickr as 'Pinkbrain and Mr. Chicken'!) saw that I, like her, love Sandi Henderson's Henna Garden prints, and offered to make me an angel quilt.

This little beauty makes me glad my allocated partner dropped out, because I can't imagine a quilt I'd love more. Jen clearly investigated me thoroughly before making this quilt, and paid close attention to all my likes and dislikes. Not only has she featured a rainbow of Henna Garden, but she's used another range I love (Terrain) and a little AMH (which I never know how to use, because of its scale). She also used the New York Beauty block that I love, and her points are all nice and sharp. And she chose a blue for the required solid. Perfect!

Thank you so much Jen. This isn't just any old angel quilt. It's made just for me with care and attention to detail, and I couldn't be happier!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Skill sharing

Since the workshop, I've been collecting and ordering all sorts of goodies - fabric paints, stencils, foils, stamps-carving supplies, brushes.... and lots of plain white fabric (most from Dyed and Gone to Heaven). This afternoon Eleanor was keen to try it out, so I set up and prepared to use some of what I learned from Lisa Walton with her.

To start with she chose about 6 colours, but I limited her to a couple, and let her use 2 shades of each; we used Plum, Galah (pink), Wattle and Chamomile (deeper yellow).

For the second piece, we started by soaking up what was left on the plastic cloth from the previous piece, then used more of the plum, and finished off with the pink and yellows. To make most of the pattern, she painted the letters of her name randomly in different colours until it was all covered.

A peg on each corner helped keep them still on the lawn in the last patches of sunlight. It was pretty breezy outside - and we didn't start until late - so I've just brought them inside to finish drying; they're still damp so some of the print on the cloth shows through (the lower one is the piece she painted first):

Eleanor will be starting school next term (mid-July) and just as I did with James in the holidays before he started, Eleanor will start making her first quilt - and now she can incorporate some of her own fabrics!