Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Take your time tuesday

Whoops, I nearly got caught out and forgot about Take Your Time Tuesday. I'm getting in by the skin of my teeth here but that's OK because Tuesday is just starting on the other side of the world.
Kristen over at So Happy set this idea up to celebrate all that is handmade with needle and thread and so that we can encourage and motivate each other.

This cute pincushion (or tree decoration) is made from a free tutorial over here. Once I got started, I went off on a tangent with my own changes. I haven't finished yet, I think I'll undo the bottom and put something inside to weigh it down a bit. It does stand up nicely but it topples easily being so light.
Instead of the felt circles on the top, I stitched french knots with different weights of Perle thread. It's a great size too, it's just a little smaller than my hand.
 I spent some time today making some Pomegranate jelly, also inspired by Kristen. Actually, I'd made some yesterday but it was a big fat fail. Not to be beaten and knowing that homemade and handmade is the best, I had another go with a different recipe.  Success people!
I'm not a big jam eater myself but I do like plum jam and this is a little like that, a bit tart. Besides, I couldn't resist the beautiful clear glow and colour of it plus the thought it would make a nice gift.
Pomegranates aren't in season and given that they would cost around four or more dollars each anyway, I found a recipe using Pom's 100% pure juice. If you make it, follow the recipe exactly. I did warm my sugar before adding it and I sterilised my jars so that I don't need to freeze it. I got the thumbs up from DH who is the jam lover in this house.

Today is the 15th of the month which means the next panel of the Trailing Vines quilt is available for download. Just click on the Trailing Vines page underneath my header. I'll try and get some more photos on Flickr in the next few days of this panel.

Monday, November 14, 2011

More applique and testing new marking pens

I've made some progress on my Coxcombs and Currants quilt and the more blocks that get added, the more I love this quilt.
I have had a couple of enquiries about making the block available but I've lost the emails so if you'd like a copy, please email me and I'll be happy to send it to you. My address is available in my profile on the side bar, just click "Janet" and put "coxcomb block" in the subject line and let me know.
I'm so mad keen to keep going that I decided to draw up the design for the hand quilting and trapunto planned for the plain squares.
I do have the fabric marked but it's hard to see in the photo above so I pinned the master pattern up for you to see.  
I decided to mark my quilting design as I go so it won't be such a tedious job later on. These are the new pens I'm using. They're quite safe to stay in the quilt long term and will wash out completely after the quilt is finished.
I wrote about the washable Berol pens here and was thrilled to see they've bought the coloured ones out. They're made in England and I purchased them on EBay for a great price and the postage was excellent too.
I test all my marking pens before using them and I thought you might like to see how.
The test piece on the right has been steam pressed with a really hot iron, and the one on the left has not.
I plunged the samples into cold water, left them for five minutes and you can see the colour coming out quite well except for the dark blue.
The photo below shows the samples after I plunged my fingertips in and swirled the water a few times. The ink has dissipated into the water. Except for that dark blue.
These are the samples after drying and pressing. It's hard to make out but every bit of ink has washed out except that dark blue which is very faint in both pieces. The blue is a fail. The fabric with the pin is the steam pressed one. As you can see, steam pressing made no difference to how the ink washed out.
I'm very confident about using these pens, I had more trouble with the red fabric bleeding on a couple of blocks so they're going to get another bath with some colour remover.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Good and bad, sweet and sour

What a week!  I disappeared of the blogosphere there for a bit to energise myself and spend time with family but at one stage I couldn't access my blog or anything associated with it due to a message from Google that I'd breached terms of service. What ... ..???
Don't panic if this happens to you, just follow the links from the message and reset your password.

I had a wonderful surprise which came in the mail last week, this sweet little doll quilt from Kathie over at Inspired By Antique Quilts. I'm so happy to have received a random act of kindness (RAK) after admiring it on her blog. Thanks so much Kathie, it's a special treat to have something from your heart and hands.
I love the all over clam shell quilting that her friend Lorre did and I'm still looking at all the fabrics so I can't hang it up just yet.

I've had a few lemons in my life this week too, it must be the law of opposites.
Thinking along those lines, I decided if life is giving me lemons, I'll make strawberries to balance things out. Even better, I made strawberry pincushions.
The pattern and kits are from Heather Bailey and are a lovely size to pop in the sewing bags I have all over the place. They're quick to make and great to look at and use. They're so addictive that I'm now thinking that they'd make great Christmas tree decorations.
If you're a hand quilter, have you linked up to Caron's celebrate hand quilting post yet? Lots of lovely quilts to visit there.
Another fabulous way to promote hand work and give each other motivation for those long slow burner's is to visit with Kristen over at So Happy to register your interest at having a place to show your progress and help each other along each week.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's that time to share again

I'm talking about Amy's blogger quilt festival. It's a good chance to see the quilts that may not necessarily be prize winners in a contest but are prizewinners in a personal sense.
I'm sharing the Licorice Allsorts quilt I made last year for one of my granddaughters. The pattern is from Kaffe Fassett's book Quilt Romance.  I have to use some older photos because this one doesn't live at my place. I do have visiting rights so I was happy to give it to a very special person.
The grandkiddos play musical quilts and swap them  around with each other because they're a sharing lot but this one doesn't get shared apparently.
I used Anchor variegated perle cotton to quilt it which didn't take long at all and Quilters Dream Orient batting. I used acrylic circle templates for all the quilting designs which was a breeze to mark.
The fabric on the back is one of my favourite Kaffes called big blooms.

Thanks to Amy for organising this inspiring event and also to the sponsors who offer prizes
Click on the logo below to go and be inspired.