Monday, September 28, 2009

It's called QADD

I'm still hanging out with Kaffe Fassett fabrics but I've veered from my current projects. An all too common occurrence for me. Honestly I have no discipline. I blame Amy and my new book. I have Quilters Attention Deficit Disorder meaning I'm just not the sort of person who sticks to a few projects. I thought I could but I was deluding myself.

The quilt pattern is Pickle Dish from the cover of Quilt Romance. It was calling my name. Mr Quiltsalott told me to make it as soon as I showed it to him. That sealed the deal of course. I'll put a bit more colour in than the pattern and not put in as many dot fabrics. The scrappier the better.
The blocks remind me of this pile of beaded deliciousness.
I've been busy going around these circles, attaching them to the border of that other quilt so I have been good some of the time.
And just so I don't feel totally undisciplined, I am attending to my nine patch swap blocks even if they are a bit last minute.
I'm thinking I might cut my posts down in frequency. I feel a little stale and don't want to risk being too boring. I noticed there are some other blogs wanting to scale down a little bit, or take a break. I think it must be the blog bug going around. I think it might help me to get really stuck into my projects and that will be a good thing.
See you next time, happy sewing!

Friday, September 25, 2009

A winner and another block

The only downside of having a giveaway is all the lovely people who didn't win, it makes me sad but I'm happy for the one who wins and that is.......


Congratulations Juliann, this quilt will be winging it's way to you today! WOO HOOO!

Thanks to everyone who has added their name to my follower list and also to the wonderful comments left on my last two posts, I truly appreciate the time it takes and I feel quite humbled by all the lovely motivating words you leave me.

So this week there's been a few disruptions to my sewing time but I did manage to get this Mary Mannakee block done.
I don't know if it's helpful or not but I'll share anyway. When you have an applique pattern, it's assumed you'll have enough knowledge to know how to tackle the parts and in these blocks, sometimes you have to think about it.

I know the leaves are tucked under the stem so to keep it all lined up nicely, I tacked the stem on first through the middle so I could tuck the bottom of the leaves in.
This bloom had to be replaced because I sewed the wrong parts together but you'll get the idea. I stitched this one off the block as one unit. I left some seam allowance free at the tops for tucking in later. This way, I can trim out the seams at the bottom which would be bulky and sew the bottom as a smooth curve. Check out the finished block.

Two leaves have to fit across the bottom of this piece so to make sure I didn't have a ravelling skinny and unstable seam, I ticked it under and it makes putting the leaves on stress free.

I then finger pressed the leaves before placing both of them for stitching down. That way I can check that they meet just where I want them to.

I hope this is helpful to some of you, sometimes with applique, you have to analyse the sequence and methods and theres always more than one way to tackle needleturn but this is a peek into how I do it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The last block

I was so happy  when I finished the last of the four blocks in the Princess Feathers quilt, I'm sure I gave myself a headache from being so excited. I  just can't help it, this pattern and these fabrics are just so darn cheerful.

I feel like I've made some real progress after putting together the middle with the sashings.

I need to finish all the circles on the right hand border and now that I've added one corner square, I'll be able to make a start on prepping the applique for it.

I seem to be dividing myself between two projects at once, such contasts in fabrics. I've had a burst on prepping some more Mary Mannakee blocks.

I'm in a rhythym with prepping now, it goes something like this..........
  • Make an overlay.
  • Gather fabrics.
  • Make templates and lay them out on the pattern.
  • Select fabric to match up with templates.
  • Sew.
  • Enjoy.
It all takes time.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A new home

This quilt is going to a new home, where is that? Well I don't know yet but it could be at your place.

You can read about my header quilt here and here. I'd like to thank all my  visitors by giving you the chance to win this crib quilt, especially those of you who take the time to pop in and  leave me lovely comments. I have enjoyed my blogging journey since last December, passed my 100 posts and have a birthday coming up before the end of the year. This is my way of celebrating.

So all you have to do is leave me a comment. I won't reply this time because I'd like to get some sewing time in. I will read them all though. Isn't that easy?

You need to make sure you have an email address so I can get hold of you. Check your account and click on profile and see if you have your email link there otherwise email me privately. The address is in my profile.

Good luck and I'll announce a winner next Friday morning Australian time.
Thank you for the journey, the encouragement and the inspiration.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Wild with a dash of mild

I have to show you these awesome fun letters my DD made for little miss nearly four years old. She's learning her letters and I think some numbers may follow as well as a bag to hold them in. You can find the tutorial here. Great gift idea! They only took a day to do, even better.
I visited a new quilt shop last week and picked up a few brights and Kaffes, luscious colours.
They could come in handy for the Sue Ross bom I've joined from MO. I joined the pretty but I'm doing a second set in bright contemporary out of my own stash.
The instructions said to hand piece the last set in seams but I partial pieced the seam you can see below which made joining them a cinch.
This is the block 2, wild version. I think I might starch the fabrics for the mild block to make all those bias edges behave.
Block 1 and 2, wild.
OK, this block was looooong in the making, things weren't fitting. Never mind, we have the fudge factor and darn it, I was going to make it fit. I managed to get it all pinned up when I noticed spare parts, you know like putting furniture together and finding extra screws at the end.
See the spare parts on the right?
I had a good laugh over that one but all's well that ends well and I now have a not quite perfect but acceptable mild block.
This type of colour and fabric scheme is right out of my comfort zone but I did want to work with them as a way of learning how these fabrics look together.
Stay tuned for another bright post next time, it must be spring!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Mary Mannakee, another block

I'm really happy to have got another block done on the Mary Mannakee. I really love this one, even though it had a bit of fiddly reverse applique to do.
I knew I wanted to use this fabric but wasn't sure how it would look in those large blooms. I sometimes put the overlay over the fabric under the shape to see how it's going to look before I cut into the fabric.
If I want to fussy cut, I can do the same thing on the ironing board and slip the freezer paper template under the overlay to place it.

See what I mean about the reverse applique?
These are quirky little jellybean shapes and the inner curves at the ends were going to be a bit fiddly. I decided to get out the glue stick and smear a little on the ends, turn them under and press with my thumb as I did it so they would stay in place until I got to them.
Since I'd used basting glue and a blue washout pen on the block, it was getting a wash so it didn't matter to me.

The four blocks together.
I probably wouldn't be doing this quilt if Kathie hadn't started talking about making it but I'm so glad she did because sharing the progress with someone else is very motivating. It's so enjoyable to see each others progress and to be able to compare notes on fabrics and methods.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Building blocks

Looky here, I jumped on the MO Sue Ross bom bandwagon! I tried to resist but temptation got the better of me. I had a hard time choosing between pretty or contemporary and decided on the pretty fabric choice, I want to stretch myself a little and learn how to put these fabrics together. I wasn't wanting the light pink, I thought the points might get lost so I will substitute it for the one on the left of it. There's no reason I can't do some contemporary brighter blocks and I may yet do that.
I have mentioned this Nexcare tape before and here's the perfect use for it on the back of the templates to prevent the fabrics slipping.
The other parcel that arrived was some more fabrics, mostly from the 19th century red line. Big contrast to the previous fabrics.

While I was away look what sprouted next door. We're calling it the Taj Mahal since it takes the whole section and is five bedroom's, they only have two kids. We are now going to have two neighbours either side of us and one at the back of the property in the lane. I want to move, I feel claustrophobic. Actually, I wouldn't mind if the neighbours were all quilters, that'd be great.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Back to the applique

I'm back home after five weeks away and I'm rearing to go on my applique again. I did manage to get the feathers done on my last princess feather block while I was away. This time I decided to make use of the blue washout pen to mark the background for the rest of the pieces so I don't have to wrestle with the large overlay. I'll wash the block when it's done to get those marks out. I really had so much fun prepping the pieces and handling the cheerful Kaffes again.
I really should downsize on my fabric collection because I have run out of places to stash it all. Do you have that problem?
I thought I would show you my Kaffes which are in plastic drawers and now they're full and still I want more. Is that greedy of me? The great thing about his fabrics are that the same colours are used from one collection to another so they all work together. I do have several quilts on the go using these. Just saying.
I can't even throw the scraps out, these do got tipped on the floor to use for applique pieces.
The pattern is so large for the blocks and borders of the quilt that I thought I'd share with you how I tape around the edges with masking tape. This way, the pattern doesn't tear easily and it helps to keep it in good condition. Not that I think I would make another quilt the same!
I mentioned in my last post that there were quite a few parcels waiting for me after doing a bit of online retail therapy.
Another lot of pieces for the pies and tarts bom I'm in. I am behind now, never mind.
These fabrics are mainly for the Mary Mannakee blocks so mainly red and greens. Luscious!
I've already prepped the next block using some of these. I don't enjoy the washing and ironing part but at least it's done.
And two new books, This one is actually used but is in new condition. I love it but since it's been out of print for awhile I did have to pay a premium price for it.
You might be surprised by this purchase but I've seen this French cross stitch letters book around and decided to grab it. It's mainly alphabets and it's a great resource book for something I have in mind in the future.
I'm still waiting on a few more parcels to come, another book, more fabric and another bom. No need to worry about me, my buying only comes in waves usually and then I'll come to my senses. I must be like a squirrel, stashing for the future.
Good to be back but I did have to assure GD #2 that my plane wouldn't fall in the water and therefore the crocodiles wouldn't get me, lol.
Now I'll have more time to catch up with some blog reading. I have two new blogs on my list that I'm enjoying keeping up with, go pay a visit if you haven't already.

Friday, September 4, 2009

The last of the holiday

I'm flying back home to Australia today so here's my last post from New Zealand.
This tepee was very kindly made for my new grandson by a quilting friend. We just need to find some cap ends to put on the bottom of the PVC pipes so we can stretch it out. For those of you who have been asking, my GS now has a name and it's Noah. I have only been to two shops to look at fabric. I have to confess there are some parcels waiting for me at home from shopping online. I think it will be like Christmas as DH says there are nine parcels. Couldn't hide those!
I found some nice green wool felt to do some strawberry pincushion tops, pretty pinks for a quilt in progress and I picked the browns up at a good price for stems.Apart from some embroidery, I have been catching up on some reading and got three novels. I like to read but I love to sew more. On holidays, I try to catch up. I enjoyed The Bonesetter's Daughter by Amy Tan but didn't really think a lot of the Jodi Picoult book.

The book in the middle is one of the best books I have read in a very long time and I highly recommend it. Ugly by Constance Briscoe. It is an autobiography but written beautifully. It's message is one of triumph over adversity and is thought provoking, disturbing and will leave you never again wanting to complain about things that don't matter.
Spring has arrived and these ducks have been visiting the house much to the delight of the girls. I'm looking forward to the warmer weather but I do hear that South of us in Aussie, a fire has been raging for a few days, It was a very dry winter.