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 1Β½ 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/3ΒΌ” 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.Β  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 (270)

Welcome to Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. Bring along your project(s) and enjoying the sharing going on in our Worldwide Quilting Community. If you visit any of the blog sites in the links below don’t forget to join in the conversations by leaving an encouraging comment or useful tip for others to read πŸ™‚

It’s the end of a much calmer week for me. There’s been time to potter and enjoy hearing the sound of rain hammering down on our roof and the road outside. The drumming of rain always reminds me of happy but wet childhood holidays in our family caravan!

And I’m getting used to being home alone as my husband and son have both very recently moved from home-working to going out to their work places. I have to laugh at myself: as soon as the front door closes behind my husband I begin talking to myself – out loud! Just a running commentary on the little decisions I’m making, reminding myself to empty the washing machine, feed the garden birds or add an item to my to-do list.

Of course, the chat continues in my sewing room πŸ˜‰ This week I spent more time than I’d bargained for preparing for the second session of the Beginners Course I’m teaching. Anyhow, I think the preparation paid off, I certainly enjoyed the class on Saturday – hopefully the students did too! In the evening I unpacked my workshop bag, made the final two blocks of my sixth version of the Dashing Stars quilt we are making in the class and stuck all the blocks to my design wall. I carefully pinned identifying numbers to each block before taking them down to sew into rows.

I’d like to get the Dashing Stars rows stitched together so I can clear the design wall and my attention, changing my focus to the I-Spy Shadow quilt I’m making. I whizzed through piecing the I-Spy blocks on Friday afternoon, there’s a little video on my Facebook page if you’d like to watch me chain piecing πŸ™‚

Before I left Purple Stitches on Saturday I chose some extra-wide backing fabric for the I-Spy quilt. The print is a street map so the back of the quilt will be a playmat. A dual purpose, reversible quilt!

In the coming week there’ll be less time to potter around the house and more time spent in social situations. I feel more prepared to be out and about now after the initial shock of being involved in so many in-person social events.

Here are this weeks links into the World of Patchwork Quilting:

Ever got in a muddle trying to get a directional print to flow in a patchwork block? Yvonne has created a blog tutorial with a video to talk us through how to keep a print orientated in the same direction whilst making Half Square Triangles using either the stitch and flip or the two at a time methods. Definitely worth keeping a link to this post! I’ll be pinning it to a couple of my Pinterest boards πŸ™‚

Also from Yvonne: Intricate straight-line quilting and an interesting explanation of thread and design choices.

On the other hand, Michelle has fallen out of love with straight line quilting. Struggles with puckering have led her to change her walking foot for a free motion foot. She received some encouraging and helpful comments including one from Yvonne πŸ™‚

Cynthia has used pre-cuts and a free pattern from the Fat Quarter Shop to make a simple but effective quilt. Depending on the fabrics it could be a design to reflect any season of the year. Cynthia’s is all about soft Autumn colour.

Nancy shared an ‘out and about’ noticing things type of post that might just get us all looking out for the quirky and odd in our neighbourhoods.

Happy Stitching!

Allison

Salmon Pink Blues

I’ve given myself a bit of colour bother! I went for a pick-n-mix tour of my local quilt store. I picked a fabric from the ‘Fantasy’ collection by Sally Kelly. I chose to mix it with a print from the Wildflower collection by Kelly Ventura.

The Fantasy fabric has a variety of dusky colour shades on a dusky lavender/grey background – I tried to find a colour match on a Kona colour card but can’t find one – something between Kona Lavender and Slate. The fantastical flowers and foliage are coloured in shades amongst others, of salmon, orange and pink. Three colours I have difficulty putting together despite them being adjacent to one another on

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Saturday Quilting Bring and Share (254)

Welcome to a late issue of Saturday Quilting Bring & Share. I think a day out at the seaside on Friday has sent me into holiday mode! There’s still a bit of time to bring along our projects and share in the quilty goodness posted by members of our Worldwide Quilting Community. If you visit any of the links do take time to join in the sharing by leaving your ideas in the comments boxes πŸ™‚

On Friday I shared a finished quilt, Summer Mist. Since then I’ve been busy quilting and binding a rainbow version of Sew Fresh Quilts pattern, Giraffes in a Row, for a client. I took on finishing the quilt after the lady walked into Purple Stitches with her partially pieced quilt top asking if we knew anyone who would finish it for her. She’d found patchwork piecing was not her ‘thing’ and she’d much rather continue with dressmaking. Last week we finally got to meet in the shop to choose the backing and wadding. We agreed the binding should be a scrappy rainbow using fabrics left over from piecing the giraffes.

The horizontal wavy lines were stitched using an Aurifil rainbow variegated thread.

Projects to push on with this week include the English Country Garden Quilt Along – I have a bit of a race on to complete the April block…

To be fair Alison aka Hexadoodle Quilts is very clear that this QAL is not a race so I’m imposing the monthly deadlines on myself out of concern that if I should slip behind with this QAL it could quickly become another UFO.

And maybe I’ll tackle quilting the large Rainbow Scrap Challenge quilt…

Here are some links to start you on your wanderings through the generous and inspiring information shared by the Worldwide Quilting Community:

Project bags are a simple way to keep all the bits and pieces together and so useful if a project is portable. Heide has tried several project bag patterns and shares her favourite quick make in her blog post.

Jayne has a love of Churn Dash quilts. She’s just finished one. Simple colours, blocks turned on point, the quilt looks wonderful. I can feel a Churn Dash quilt coming on…

These days I generally finish quilts by using my sewing machine to attach binding to the back and then to the front of the quilt. I’m always looking to improve my skills and found this video tutorial by Melanie Ham contained some useful tips. I was particularly looking for tips on how to keep the stitching straight once the binding is flipped round to the front – that part of the process begins about 10 minutes into the tutorial. I’m not so sure about using an ‘edge foot’ but I found the tips around using a standard foot very helpful. On the same subject I also found this helpful blog post by Julie ‘ The Crafty Quilter’.

It wouldn’t be a Saturday Quilting Bring & Share without a link to a scrappy quilt πŸ˜‰ This week Christina Cameli shares her latest finish, a ‘Scrappy Quarter Cabins’ quilt which stopped me in my tracks as I was scrolling through Instagram. Here’s the link to Christina’s quilt on IG and there’s a tutorial in her blog archive .

I guess there’s space for another scrap quilt link? Cynthia has made a colourful Postage Stamp quilt making use of different solids and scraps of sometimes difficult to use prints. Her placement of the finished blocks gives a lovely cohesive look to a super-scrappy quilt.

Wendy shares a wonderful gallery of her favourites from the recent Kapiti Quilt Show, New Zealand. So much to admire and so much inspiration πŸ™‚

Happy Stitching!

Allison