Happy Easter! Search for the truth behind the chocolate bunnies!

Happy Easter! It’s strange in these post-modern times that we still make a holiday of Easter! But I’m glad we do! I hope you are enjoying a break, maybe relaxing with family and friends. Before putting Easter behind us it really is worth examining the words and actions of Jesus himself. Not what school curriculums, the Church or Christians say about Him but actually what Jesus said and did. He made some extraordinary claims about himself, fulfilled prophecies made over a thousand years before he was born, frequently stunned his followers as well as his enemies into silence, never compromising the truth but always sharing it with compassion.

 

If you don’t have a Bible to hand then it’s easy to download a free app. Reading one of the four Gospel’s, such as John’s takes us straight back to eyewitness accounts of the words and actions of Jesus and those of the people who encountered Him – no one ignored Him, some followed Him, others plotted His death.

Happy Easter!

Allison

A catch up, with finishes and new ventures!

After an unscheduled break from writing blog posts I have a bit of catching up to do! So, without further ado, here we go:

The Beginners course ended successfully with my student finishing her lovely quilt. She’s looking suitably proud of her achievement in this photo!

I can share a finish too – the pretty, pretty version of my Trip Around the Stars quilt I made as the demo for the class is complete.

I added binding in the bright pink I’d used for the star points. I stitched the binding down by hand – not such a chore on a quilt that measures 38″ x 46″.

The lovely decoupage print extra wide backing is from Purple Stitches.

For the quilting I stitched one of my go-to favourites: a wavy line grid. I used a walking foot with a guide set at 1½ inches.

Thinking about what it’s like for absolute beginners trying to get their heads around patchwork quilting prompted me to rise to an online product challenge. I’ve produced the ‘Patchwork Quilting Equipment Guide: Best Buys for Beginners‘. My aim was to provide the information needed to make purchases that are fit for the job and will provide value, project by project, over many years. I’ve included sections on rotary cutting equipment, threads, needles, pins & scissors, fabric, wadding and sewing machines. Of course I got a bit carried away and added lots of extra information including how to care for the tools and even an explanation of all the weird cuts of fabrics us patchwork quilters talk about so blithely! The Guide is now ready to purchase as a pdf download.

My most recent project has been a ‘learn something new’ endeavour: the making of a little coin purse using a decorative purse frame. I have to say it was a bit fiddly and I’m not convinced about the practicality of this particular design. I find the opening of the 8.5cm/3¼” frame is a bit tight even for my small-medium sized hands. That, combined with the broad base style of the purse, makes it difficult to reach into the bottom corners.

As I’ve already prepared fabric with interfacing to make another nine purses I’m going to experiment with other pattern templates that have a smaller, more rounded shape. I only bought two of the small metal frames so I’ll move onto 10.5cm/4″ frames to find out if they are more practicable (hopefully the pieces of fabric I’ve prepared will be large enough!). The first pattern template I used was one that came free with a tutorial.  Next up, I’m going to try creating my own pattern template following the directions in this tutorial.

Linking with Wendy for the Peacock Party and Michelle for the Beauties Pageant. Wendy is making preparations as she is the guest exhibitor at the Taupo Quiltmakers show in June while Michelle is enjoying over-thinking a fabric pull for her next Plaid-ish quilt.

Happy Stitching! And, most importantly, Happy Easter!

Allison

 

Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (286)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Hope you can bring along a project or two and enjoy sharing inspiration, tips and ideas with members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. Use the links below to take a wander through the quilting neighbourhood, please do leave encouraging comments and ‘likes’ whenever you stop-by to take a closer look at something that takes your interest 🙂

Excuse the gratuitous photos of flowers. I can’t help myself! It’s been beautiful weather here all week and flowers and blossom have been opening in the warm sunshine.

Magnolia Stellata glowing in the sun and fluttering in the breeze.

We’ve been isolating for ten days as my husband keeps on testing Covid +ve. The unseasonal warm sunny weather has been a lovely silver lining as we’ve been enjoying coffee breaks and lunches in the garden. The Primulas are looking particularly good this year (well! the ones that haven’t been pecked to smithereens by the Woodpigeons and Sparrows ).

A few days I go I posted about spray basting a quilt after getting frustrated with the less than perfect quilting outcome of a previous quilt that I had pin basted. The spray basted quilt sandwich is awaiting it’s quilting test. I put it to one side for a few days in order to actually bring another quilt to a finish…

… I machine stitched the binding to the second quilt I’ve made using the Beginners Course version of my Trip Around the Stars pattern. I like the subtle colouring of this one. The quilt measures 38″ x 46″.

 

Thankfully our term of isolation ended yesterday so today I could go ahead with the second class of the Beginners Course. It was good to get my teaching hat on again and begin to feel like we are getting back to normal. My class version of the Beginners Trip Around the Stars quilt is in complete contrast to the one above! We added borders today so the flimsy is complete.

I think I may have overdone ‘pretty’ but those Lewis & Irene prints called to me!

Now I need to baste and quilt the pretty, pretty quilt ready for next Saturday’s class when we’ll be binding our quilts. I’m looking forward to seeing the quilts finished and the look on the face of the first time quilter as she celebrates the completion of her first quilt.

I also hope to find time in the week to quilt the spray basted quilt and complete my comparison of the effectiveness of spray basting as opposed to pin basting…. Look out for part 2 of ‘Spray Basting – Will it work for me?’.

Here are the links which will take you on a wander through the fascinating Worldwide Quilting Community:

An orphan block quilt that proves that any colour goes and making it up as you go along does work! I think Melva’s quilt top is proof that no block is lost, all can find a home!

I admire Jayne’s perseverance and determination to finish a quilt. She has been steadily improving her long arm quilting skills whilst working through a large fabric stash and a very long list of ‘wanna make’ quilts. In this post she shares how perseverance and determination got her through a needle-stick incident and a maths mis-calculation to a finished quilt!

Patty has been making patchwork blocks in support of the people of Ukraine. She gives links to the block designs (which can be downloaded with the intention that a donation is made to a charity/organisation providing aid to those affected by the invasion). And there are further links provided by readers who have left comments at the end of Patty’s blog post.

Woah! Gretchen’s finished patchwork flimsy is beautiful and HUGE! The spring fresh colouring of blue, yellow and white combined with the repeated patchwork pattern gives the quilt top a very homely retro look. Gretchen is a talented quilter so I’m looking forward to seeing how she decides to stitch this BIG top into a quilt.

Cynthia has a way with scraps and project left overs. She’s made a baby quilt using the triangles left from strip blocks. The layout and the background fabrics give the impression it was all carefully planned!

If you are handy with hammer and nails (or know someone who is!) then a custom made quilter’s pressing table could be within your reach. Rebecca Grace is very happy with her rectangular, mobile pressing unit that fits a full width of fabric.

Allison

 

Trying Out Spray Basting

 

I’m on another quilty mission! This time I’m trying out spray basting as an alternative to my usual pin basting method. I’ve chosen to ‘mash up’ the spray basting techniques used by two successful quilt designer/tutors, Christa Watson of Christa Quilts and Emily Dennis of Quilty Love.

I own to having been reluctant to go down the spray basting route: 1. Using aerosols of any kind is becoming less acceptable as we try to do our individual bit to save the planet; 2. Spraying sticky, potentially toxic stuff in my home isn’t very appealing; 3. Spray baste is more expensive than pins and can’t be reused; 4 There could be issues such as the glue affecting stitch quality by gumming up needles; 5. The finished quilt will need to be washed to remove the glue.  BUT despite all these objections to spray basting and despite my best efforts to perfect the pin basting technique – I nearly always have some issues with fabric ‘bubbling’ and/or puckering – I find myself about to embark on a spray basting mission of discovery!

Here are links to the spray basting blog and video tutorials by both Christa Watson and Emily Dennis.

Christa Watson – Spray Basting Tutorial Using a Table – outdoors on blog.

Chrsita Watson – Spray Basting Video Tutorial Using a Design Wall – You Tube. Christa also talks through the table basting method in this video.

Emily Denis – go to her blog to read her ‘How to spray baste a quilt’ tutorial and to find the link to her video tutorial of the same.

Both Christa and Emily recommend using Odif 505 Temporary Adhesive for fabric. I’ve invested in the small, 250ml, can for this spray basting trial.

My Spray Basting Mash-Up:

Step 1: Cut backing and wadding 3″ larger all round than finished quilt top. Press quilt top and backing.

Step 2: Set up a table outdoors. Cover with an old sheet to protect the table and surrounding area from spray. There was a moderate breeze blowing on the day I spray basted, I used clothes pegs to keep the old sheet in place. As well as protecting the table from the sticky spray the secured sheet helped to keep the quilt top and backing in place despite the breeze.

Step 3: Spray baste the wrong side of the quilt backing. Emily’s post has photos giving a clear indication of how much spray to use.

Quilt backing right side down on the protective sheet.

Step 4: Take the quilt backing indoors and spread flat on a hard floor. Use masking tape to secure the backing to the floor.

Step 5: Fold the wadding in half width ways. Position the folded wadding across the centre of the backing, covering one half of the backing. Line up edges before carefully smoothing out wrinkles from the centre to the edges. Unfold the wadding to cover the other half of the backing. Continue smoothing the wadding from the centre outwards. I used my hands to do this but I’m sure Christa’s technique of using the edge of a ruler could be employed at this stage.

Step 6: Lay the quilt top face down on the outside table. Spray baste the back of the quilt top.

Step 7: Fold the quilt top in half width ways and use the same method as in Step 5 to adhere the quilt top to the wadding. I used quilting rulers to check the edges and corners stayed square and were not pushed out of shape.

Step 8: Take the basted quilt sandwich to your ironing board/pressing table. Use a hot, dry iron to press the backing – working from the centre to the outside edges of each section. Turn the sandwich over to press the quilt top using the same technique, pressing from the centre to the edges. Pressing did not leave my sandwich completely flat however it did gather small amounts of excess fabric that could be pushed by the iron to the edge of the fabric and flattened.

So that’s how I’ve basted my latest quilt sandwich. Now the proof is in the pudding (I suppose a sweet jam sandwich could be a sort of pudding?) – will the fabrics bubble and pucker when I quilt them together or will spray basting stop the layers shifting over each other more effectively than basting with pins? I will report back shortly in #2 of ‘Spray Basting: Will it work for me?’

In the meantime, if you have a preference for either pin basting or spray basting or have any quilt basting tips and techniques please do share in the comments box below. Thank you!

Allison

My apologies for the lack of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share posts – normal service will be resumed this week. Two weeks ago we weighed up the risks and decided to go to a conference. Despite everyone testing negative for Covid before attending, the virus was present and we brought it home with us 🙄 Thankfully the vaccines have spared us any serious symptoms. Now we are recovering from the illness but choosing to follow the guidelines means we are stuck in our own socially distancing lockdown. Thank goodness for the arrival of unseasonal warm Spring sunshine to give us the bonus of being able to step outside whenever we want to.