Thursday, October 30, 2014

BOM 24 - Ribbons Aflutter

Don't the small floral fabrics used in this block remind you of the times as a child when you held some long ribbons in your hand as you ran around and they fluttered in the wind behind you?
The new BOM is uploaded on the second of November here and don't forget to use the BOM4me code if you want it for free.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Houston

OK well for the big news tomorrow is the opening day of the Houston Quilt Festival. It runs from 30th Nov to 2nd Nov and I have  been invited to display two quilts there, Turkish Delight and Raconteur. 

So to celebrate anyone who reads this post may have 30% of any item from my website. Simply write Houston in the coupon section when checking out. The code will be valid only while the show is on so don't loiter. If you are collecting the monthly featured collections why not pick up next month's with the extra bonus.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Mary Continues Hopping Along




 Well I have been active but unfortunately not always successful with the designs. I added my next border on deciding that the light one was the way to go. However as you can see the light coloured hexagons are just too stark and stand out. At this stage nothing goes together and all you can see is a blob in the middle followed by at dark border with white blobs in the outer border. Not happy.
So what was the solution? Well unpick the outer border...why not it only took me about a week to sew it on and not surprisingly it took almost as long to unpick. 
Next I decided to try a darker brown.
when I started it looked good and also in the sunlight ....but..


 in any other situation it looked just too dark so back to frog stitching. It would be lovely to say it gets faster as one goes but it doesn't. Although each seam is only 1/4in would you be surprised to learn there are three or four stitches on each of those. 
I'm glad this time I hadn't actually attached the border.


Friday, October 24, 2014

Finished? Not Yet but....


 Well never let it be said that Carol is a quitter. Look all of the blocks are now finished and all that remains to do is to add the frames, quilt them, join them... ok so 'all' probably isn't the right word but she is getting there.  Wait until she sees my next plan for her :)


Monday, October 20, 2014

Judi Walters & Valiant Frogs


I am very fortunate these days that Elaine the editor of Australian Patchwork and Quilting likes my designs and so regularly publishes them. 
I am also fortunate that sometimes people who make the quilts send me a photo of their finished quilt. 
A few days ago I received these photos from Judi Walters who decided to use Valiant Frogs from APQ Vol 19 No 12 to make this gorgeous quilt for her grandson's third birthday. Isn't he cute and I assume that is his big sister who is also enjoying the fruits of grandma's labor. Isn't it a great border?



Friday, October 17, 2014

So What Was I?

Well how successful were you? You must admit that Megan does have a sense of humour though. Are you going to show this to your quilting group? I'm saving it up for next year's retreat. Will have to find a suitably humorous prize for the person who guesses all of them.

Anyway for anyone who struggled here are the answers
1.  Rotary cutter...everyone should have been able to get that one

2. Fussy cut

3. Design wall..... wonder if Don could come around to my place. My flannel sheet could do with an upgrade.

4. Selvedge ... there are some fantastic quilts around made with these, check out this link for a few.

5. Batting . this one didn't make sense to me so I can't add extra explanation.

6. Quarter inch seam. I also usually go for the close enough is good enough school and have found that this only seems to have an impact on my miniatures... with a large quilt those few extra inches gained through the not quite right seam allowance actually make the quilt just that bit bigger that you needed.

7. Fat Quarter ... mind you it's not the potato salad that is the culprit here...chocolate leaves it for dead... I have been on a diet since yesterday and all was well except for the rocky road I ate while out doing some business this morning. Must admit diets are a killer. Where I can usually stretch a rocky road out over a few days when dieting the whole thing needs to be eaten in one go so that all evidence can be destroyed before returning home.

8. Quilt sandwich... you know the backing, batting and quilt top. These are all held together after basting with safety pins for several  years while you consider the best way to quilt it. After a timely delay, while waiting for the non eventuating lotto win, you need to finally bite the bullet.

9. Boy I am getting old I used to know this one in 2010 but today had no idea and so had to cheat and look up Sue's cheat sheet.... Electric Quilt

10. Squaring off. Can you please explain why when I square off one corner and carefully wormy way around the quilt edges the final corner is never square and that side is also a different length to the opposite one. I was once a maths teacher and by all of my calculations they are all the same. Perhaps, no definitely, it is the fault of the tools.

11. Applique - must say that adding appliqué in my mind is a fool's method of escape, it always creates more problems... what's wrong with changing to art quilt.. holes are allowed there.

12. HST aka halfsquare triangles... note the use of the word square is not quite right here  but the idea was there when you started this quick  project.

13. Flying Geese... although I enjoy this block I must again agree with Megan's opinion. Unless extra seam allowance has been added into the process there is no way that all of those points aren't going to be squared off. I suppose it's due to the geese flying rather than sitting.

14. Self-healing mat.... and have you been looking after your mat properly. Did you realise you are supposed to soak it regularly in a solution of 1c of vinegar to a bucket of water. If you have a huge mat then you can do as I do. I place a  solution soaked towel in the shower recess, place the mat on top of that and then place another solution soaked towel on top. this should be done regularly, which in most people's case I figure once a year is a lot more regular than previously so is a good starting point.

15. Bias

16. Mitre... I didn't this one either and even though I checked the schedule of events at the Mardi Gras was unable to find it. The quilting fraternity in New Orleans is probably a bit like the Masons... a secret organisation that never tells of their plans.

17. Grain line.... yes you know that thing that is supposed to be straight but unfortunately often resembles that Jack Daniels line when buying the sixth or seventh round.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

What Am I? Clues

Ok so here is a list of Megan's answers if that helps

Applique
Backing
Batting
Bias
Design Wall
Electric Quilt
Fat Quarter
Flying Geese
Fussy Cut
Grain Line
Half Square Triangles
Mitre
Quarter Inch Seam Allowance
Rotary Cutter
Self-Healing Mat
Selvedge
Squaring Up

How many have you managed to get now..... answers provided tomorrow ... or perhaps day after as I have a lot on my plate tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

What am I?

Well I have been cleaning up my mailbox and came across this quiz from years ago and by years I do mean years.... yes I realise that we should trash unwanted rubbish and emails but you will be very pleased when you read this that I didn't trash it.

Now the original list came from a blog post in 2010 by Megan who by her own description is a bitchy stitcher, although personally she must have a fantastic sense of humour to go with it. Anyway so as to not aggravate that professed bitchiness if you go to this site you will actually find the answers to this quiz in a one page downloadable pdf. I will give you answers in a day or two for those of you who are unable to work out what quilting term each description is referring to.


1. An instrument with an extremely sharp, round blade used for dyeing fabric with blood spots. Be sure to have plenty of extra blades on hand as they tend to chip if they hit bone.


2. What results when you whine like a big baby because the fat quarter you got at the guild swap isn’t “quilt shop quality” and Tille Henderson pulls a switchblade


3. What Sheila has. You know—Sheila. Don’s wife. He made it for her. He, apparently, knows how to use the tools in his garage. I get to use an old flannel sheet that looks like the cat yakked on it.


4. The part of the fabric that they always say you can’t use, but which just gets hidden in the seam allowance so what’s the big deal?


5. What you do with your eyelashes when someone starts complaining about all the fabric you’ve been buying. Warning: may lead to unintended sexual obligations.


6. What quilt books and patterns are always harping on, like the world’s gonna end if your seam is a little off.


7. The section of New Orleans where the happy quilters live. Nobody tells them to lay off the potato salad. Also, the name of my future fabric shop/Cajun restaurant.


8. Yeah, lettuce and tomato. That’s hilarious. Would you please go somewhere else? Go ask Don to show you how to use a nailgun or something.


9. What you see after you eat the funny sugar cubes someone gave you at that last Grateful Dead show. Not that I would know.


9. The material used for the back of a quilt. If a friend is doing longarm quilting for you, it must be 2in bigger than quilt and batting on all sides. If done at a quilt shop, 8in


10. The process of making sure that a quilt block, or a quilt, has straight edges and right angles at every corner. Failure to do so will result in a hefty fine and/or jail time, as determined by the longarmer who is holding your quilt hostage.


11. A method of covering up mistakes. Not foolproof, however, as there is no method for covering up the mistakes made while appliqueing. Beer helps, though.


12. Triangles cut from a square of fabric which, when they are sewn together, miraculously form a trapezoid.


13. Quilt pattern comprised of repeating blocks made from three triangles. Also known as Completely Impossible and Are You Freaking Kidding Me?


14. What you sit on while you dial 000 after hacking off the end of your finger with the rotary cutter.


15. The irrational inclination to believe that holding down a job or cooking some food for once is a more productive use of time than quilting.


16. The cool hat you get to wear when you are elected Bishop of Quilters. No, really. There’s a ceremony every year in the Fat Quarter during Mardi Gras.


17. No, not what you stand in to get free Jack Daniels. You’re not funny, you know.


So leave a comment and tell me how many you are able to work out by yourself :)

Friday, October 10, 2014

Success for Carol

Earlier this year Carol entered this block into the Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks celebration edition which was to mark Issue 10 and 1000 new blocks. 
Well she has now heard that her block was selected and so another Aussie designer hits the international stage.
Well done Carol.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Khanam's Surprise

Well this quilt was started over four years ago. 
I designed the block for Volume 3 of Quiltmaker's 100 Blocks series and just loved it. I had just heard of a method for drawing the cutting and sewing lines onto the back of the fabric using my inkjet printer and thought this ws the perfect opportunity to try it. That worked out well and the fabric was marked and cut out in under a week if I remember correctly. 
I then took the project with me overseas and had a perfect take anywhere project while travelling around. It was that Xmas when airports all over Europe were closed due to lots of so now. My first and hopefully last white Xmas... the theory or idea is great... the actuality is cold, wet and slippery. Wonderful from inside beside a warm fire.
Anyway finished the quilt top fairly quickly, then basted it and there it has sat waiting for a l...o...n...g time. 
This year is my adventure with free motion quilting and after a few successes, with baby sized quilts it was now Khanam's Surprise's time. 
I have decide that I will stitch an octagon around each star and then free motion inside the octagon to highlight the star. Here is attempt number one..... I will keep you posted in my progress.