Sunday, August 21, 2016

A Rainbow Finish!

As mentioned in my last post I finished this quilt recently.
It ended up measuring 45 x 50 inches.

I'm really happy with the machine quilting despite going in an anti clockwise direction...

And it ended up with a first in the local Ag Show in the Jelly Roll Quilt category. Should I mention that it was the ONLY quilt to be entered in that category?!

Here are my quilting specs for next time:

Pressure dial on the back of the machine - 1. Upper thread tension - 4.
Stitch width - 2. Stitch length - 3. Top thread - Aurifil 50.
Bottom thread - Aurifil 50. Direction of quilting - Anti clockwise spiral.

Friday, July 08, 2016

Nailing the Spiral Quilting!

Well I finished the rainbow jelly roll quilt and it's at the Ag Show as I type. Made the deadline, yahh. If only I was that conscience with baby due dates! So not to let the sewing machine think its on holidays, I trimmed these mod mosaic blocks down to 13 inches, sashed the internal borders with 1.5 inches and the outer borders with 6.5 inches. Laid it out on the floor and sandwiched it. Just like that. No folding it up for a year and moving onto the next project, lets sandwich it now!

I learnt my lesson from the last quilt. Clockwise this time Helen, clockwise. Also lowered my foot pressure from 2 down to 1. Both have made a huge improvement in the movement of the fabric. Above is after two bobbins have been use, look at the outer rim of the spiral, hardly any puckering at all. I'm using exactly the same thread as from the rainbow jelly roll quilt in the last post, a pale grey of Aurifil. Its quilting like a dream, I think I have nailed the giant spiral quilting technique!

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

WIP Wednesday #10 - Rainbow Spiral Quilting

The local Ag Show is coming up this weekend and I would really like to win a first prize in the Patchwork Quilt category. I've won second prize a few times, I've won first prize in the "Patchwork - Other Article" category and also "Appliqued Wall Hanging" but I would really like to take home the certificate saying first prize Patchwork Quilt. Saying that though, there is a new category, "Jelly Roll Quilt" this year. Not exactly the Patchwork Quilt category but getting close. So I pulled out this quilt top which has been sitting on the shelf unfinished since the Quilting Retreat in March last year.

The plan was to put it up and see if I could turn it into a few quick table runners. But when I spread it out on the floor, I thought hmmmm, this is actually not too bad. So I put together some rainbow spotty fabric for the backing and had it taped to the floor before you could say "lets watch another episode of Downton Abbey" as Grace and I got through a few seasons in the time Daz and Milly were away! We started back at the beginning and cried all over again when Sybil and Matthew died.

I ended up going a big spiral. I misread my notes though and went in an anti clockwise direction so by the end it was getting bulky through the neck of the machine. Above is how far I got after one bobbin change.

This is after three bobbin changes. Look how much movement there is around the edges. Fortunately there was no puckering underneath. Lucky!

And despite all that movement my lines of white are straight. This is after the fourth bobbin change. I'm going to keep on going and get the quilting down and the binding on tonight! Nothing like a deadline to get you going!

Sunday, July 03, 2016

First Finish for the School Holidays!

I love school holidays as it means I can sew! We aren't going anywhere for the next two weeks which makes a change, I guess we can't go to Vegas every school holidays! Daz is going off on a few shirt (opps! short!!) fishing trips but I put forward my case of I want to stay home and do some sewing to see if I can enter a few quilts in the upcoming Ag Show. I quickly sandwiched this quilt, quilted it, squared it up and put the binding on.

Its all ready for its new home. It ended up measuring 46 x 38 inches,

The quilting was just up and down, Simple but effective.

Just after I took these shots of the quilt laying on the grass in the backyard, I stepped on a dead cane toad/ Well it had the legs of a cane toad but the body was long like a blue tongue lizard. It was bloated and freaked me out. When Daz got home I said something is dead on the back lawn, I trod on it, can you put it in the bin? Being the dutiful husband he is, he went out to remove the dead thing, only to come back inside minutes later laughing as I had stepped on a toy from the neighbors that had somehow been thrown over the back fence!

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

WIP Wednesday #9 - Rays of Sunshine

I sewed this on the weekend.The squares are from a layer cake I purchased in Vegas. The strips are from my stash. I needed a quick baby quilt for a lovely lady. I've decided to call this one "Rays of Sunshine". Since I took these photos on the weekend I have sandwiched it and am half way through quilting it. Hope she likes orange!

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Nine Mod Mosaic Blocks

I have finished nine Mod Mosaic quilt blocks for Jack's quilt.
For some reason I had in my head they were cathedral window blocks. Something about the white looking like the lead light in a stain glass window maybe?
Anyway, I was wrong!
Next step is to trim them and sash them with 2 inch white,
A very productive Sunday. Do I have to go back to work tomorrow?

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WIP Wednesday #8 - Blue Cathedral Windows - No make that Mod Mosaic Blocks!

A lot of blue happening around the sewing machine lately. Jacks quilt is slowly progressing.

I have four blocks done. These will trim down to 13.5inches. Not sure yet if it will be 9 blocks, 3x3 or 16 blocks, 4x4. I get to babysit him tomorrow afternoon, that should inspire me to work faster!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Vegas Baby!

I have just come back from 7 nights in Las Vegas. My best girlfriend turned 40 in early April and it has been her dream to go to Las Vegas for her 40th. Back in December we booked and finally the day came on the 10th. It was a whirlwind girls trip, there was 5 of us in total. Lots of cocktails, dancing, shopping. Saw some shows - Elton John!! - went to the Grand Canyon via helicopter, just amazing. Before we left though I did some research into quilt shops of the area and was pleasantly suprised to find a lady who actually runs a quilt shop tour! So she picked me up from my hotel in her mini van with a quilt painted on the side, went to another hotel to pick up another quilter and then drove us to Quiltique. OMG, such a beautiful shop. I exercised the credit card there!

This is just a handful of what I purchased there. I mainly went for charm squares but did get a few yards of blues and two layer cakes and some magazines as well. Then after that we went to the Christmas Goose quilt shop. Going from their website I didn't think I would find anything there I liked, bit to brown for me. But I was wrong..... Came out with quite a few fat quarter bundles.

This was all my haul! Now to start sewing!

Saturday, April 02, 2016

Catching up for Easter

I hope everyone had a lovely Easter break. We did although it didn't involve a stitch of sewing! We drove up to Darwin and spent four nights at this amazing apartment overlooking the harbor. This was my view from the balcony. I spent every morning sitting out there having a coffee reading and every afternoon having a champers! It was a great place to watch afternoon storms come in as well. We did pop into Spotlight but that particular store is in the process of moving and there was junk everywhere, no real bargains, Milly and I walked out after purchasing a guitar shaped bottle opener for her music teachers Christmas present! So not what we went in for and Christmas is miles away but we saw it and it was so him, so we couldn't not purchase it.

So now we are back in town and its the weekend, time for some sewing. I have cut and ironed a whole pile of blue. Some are scraps, but most is cut from the stash. It has all been random, oh that blue is nice, lets cut a few rectangles and squares, that should be enough... how about this blue now? And then I cut lots of white 1 inch strips.

Then it was a matter of just starting to sew everything together. Its a bit like a jig saw, matching pieces in with other pieces. I've decided to make each block 13.5 inches, its addictive..... 

Thursday, March 17, 2016

WIP Wednesday #7 - A Disappearing 9 Patch

This tutorial here on how to make a Disappearing 9 Patch is my most viewed post in this blog. Over 16,000 views. I look at the tutorial made back in 2009 and it doesn't really tell you that much. So I decided on the weekend to sew up some D9P blocks and redo the tutorial and at the same take make another table runner before I throw myself into the next blue baby quilt.

Friday, March 04, 2016

WIP Wednesday #6 - The Quilt that Jack Inspired

Well now I have finished William's quilt. it is time to start Jack's quilt. He is 2 months old today, aim for his first birthday Helen? His Mum has always said to me that she couldn't wait to have a baby because then I would make her a quilt. She really loves this Cathedral Windows one I recently made. Can't do a baby boy quilt in pink and purples though so I got out the blue coloring in pencils to play around with some layouts.

At first I thought all blue prints and solids. Not the same cathedral window block, each one would be different. Then a splash of orange just for interest....

Or what about a whole middle square patch of orange?

Or what about a checkerboard orange and blue effect? I'm leaning towards the middle design. I'm going to see Jack and his Mum on Tuesday and will show her and get her thoughts. I don't really like to "sew to order" but I would like a guide from her so I can make her something she will love.

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

William's Quilt All Finished!

I have finished William's Blue Squares baby quilt.
It ended up measuring 53 inches square.

I'm really pleased with how this one has turned out.
What I am really pleased with is how flat it lays. Seems the Quilting Gods were smiling on me the day I squared this one up.

No pucking woes to be seen now...

Grace and William on the label. Fitting that they are both wearing blue as well.

The arty over the fence shot.

Here are my quilting specs for next time:
Pressure dial on the back of the machine -1.
Upper thread tension - 4.0.
Stitch width - 2.0.
Stitch length - 3.0.
Top thread - Aurifil 50.
Bottom thread - Aurifil 50.
Direction of quilting - Clockwise, always clockwise.

Sunday, February 28, 2016


I'm scrolling through all the photos on my phone trying to find a photo of the "baby" (I say baby in quotes as it was supposed to be his welcome to the world newborn baby quilt but the baby in question is now 14 months old!) to put on the label of the blue squares quilt I have been blogging about recently. I finished it last night and now all I have to do is the label! I want to put a photo of the baby who will be receiving the quilt, but while scrolling I found this photo taken a a few months ago. I made this quilt for his sister and here it is being used! Spread on the grass! Allowed to get dirty! Allowed to have a rusk smudged into it!! It's loved. I love that. Love it.

Now back to my label.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

WIP Wednesday #5 - Binding, binding, binding!

This is my view from the couch..... Binding, binding, binding!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Another Scrappy Table Runner Finished!

Nothing like the husband going on a 10 hour fishing trip to get some sewing done! I finished this runner today. Just had the binding to sew on then down. It ended up measuring 18 x 33 inches. We are going out to breakfast tomorrow morning to farewell the lady it is for, finished just in time,

Here are my quilting specs for next time:
Pressure dial on the back of the machine -1.
Upper thread tension - 4.0.
Stitch width - 3.5.
Stitch length - 3.
Top thread - Aurifil 50.
Bottom thread - Aurifil 50.
Direction of quilting - Down, pivot 180 then back up.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

WIP Wednesday #4 - Binding Perfection!

I couldn't have done this if I tried! Look at that corner, the chevron points in the corners match up perfectly, I couldn't believe it when I flipped it over after sewing the binding on. So I have the binding on ready to hand sew down. Instead of doing that though, I decided to sandwich a table runner top and quilt it for a work colleague who is leaving town next week. Two projects on the go at once? Crazy stuff!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

WIP Wednesday #3 - Squaring Up

Well I'm still crossing things off my list. Still not quite blogging on a Wednesday! Oh well, finally sorted out the puckering on the back of this quilt and have re quilted the effected areas. Ends all tucked in between the layers, now for my least favorite part of quilting, squaring up.... Nearly at the end though! Already thinking about the next project. Whats your least favorite part of making a quilt?

Saturday, February 06, 2016

WIP Wednesday #2 - You have to have a list!

I took these photos on Wednesday but am blogging a WIP Wednesday post on a Saturday, does it matter? suppose not, I am still aiming to blog. I have a paper, write in with a pen diary. I have an iphone too like half the world but I can't get the hang of entering all my stuff in the calendar on there, so I carry around an A5 sized diary to write things in. I like it because I then get the satisfaction of crossing things out when I have completed them! I am writing in go to the gym and quilting so I will actually do it. So far it is working but I get much more done in the holiday rather than this week when we all went back to school. I have managed to unpick all the puckered areas of the quilt, now to just carefully quilt those areas again. Hopefully next weeks WIP will be an actual finished quilt!

Friday, January 29, 2016

WIP Wednesday #1 - Puckering Woes

In an attempt to get my sewing and quilting mojo back for 2016 I am going to start doing WIP Wednesday again. This was my WIP for this Wednesday even though I am posting it a few days later, Not a great start Helen! However I have finished doing the spiral quilting for this quilt. During bobbin changes and every now and again I would have a look underneath to check that the above wasn't happening.... Despite that checking it still did! I have three instances where this has happened, It's only small patches, two to four rows of quilting. The person to receive it would most likely not even notice it, especially with this chevron print. But I know its there!! So now I have the task of unpicking those sections, hiding the threads in the quilt, resewing the offending puckering, hoping I can pull it out as I go then hiding those threads in the quilt. Fun, fun, fun!

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Getting Old.

Meet my new best friend when it comes to quilting. My new glasses. My new reading glasses. My new computer usage glasses. My glasses that when I wear everything becomes super crystal clear. I found out when I was 16 that I needed to wear glasses. I went for my drivers license only to fail the eye test because I couldn't read the eye chart! So I then realized that it was not normal to see a bury black board and I was short sighted. I have worn glasses to drive and watch tv ever since. My job last year changed a bit and I now find I am on the computer for a large portion of the day, after a few months of me looking over or under my current glasses I went and got my eyes retested and sure enough the optometrist recommended some reading glasses. He actually recommended bifocals but I don't think I am ready for that, So I have been wearing these while reading and every time I put them on I'm like WOW! I have started quilting this blue squares quilt and my new best friend is making it a breeze.