Monday, April 23, 2012

A French General Finish

This quilt was made for a very dear friend of mine, so will always be a special one to me.

The French General fabrics are so beautiful. I came up with this pattern because I only had a small pile of fat quarters of these divine fabrics, plus yardage of the two red ones that I used for the middle stripe...

and for the backing...

The quilting was done using an oyster colour thread and straight line quilting on my sewing machine, as well as some lovely hand quilting in perle 8 in red and taupe (click on pic to see detail).

I am becoming a real fan of quilting using both machine and hand, the quilt still has the lovely look and feel of hand quilting, but the whole process is sped up because half of it is done on the machine.

The binding is done using a cotton linen blend in a putty colour. I haven't used a linen blend for binding before, but it worked very well.

My friend loves her new quilt. There is so much joy in giving quilts isn't there?! xo

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Sewing a Quilt Top Tute

I promised the girls at Treehouse Textiles that I would put together a quick tutorial about how to sew your square blocks into a quilt top. If you are new to quilting it is fun to research the different ways other quilters do things (via blogs, you tube, etc) and then work out which way best suits you. So this is the way I do it....

Now I am just showing how I put together a quilt top using same sized square blocks. At Treehouse we were making  Hugs and Kisses blocks, but here I have made up wonky star blocks. If you have triangle blocks or square blocks on point you would do it slightly differently.

Once you have your blocks all completed and ready to sew into a quilt top, you firstly need to lay them out on your design wall (I know, I am very lucky to have such a large design wall in my house!), or the floor or somewhere you can stand back and see your quilt design.

When you are happy with your quilt top layout, you need to number your rows, I generally do this from top to bottom on the left side of the quilt (see pic). I attach my numbers with a safety pin. (Click on any of these photo's to see more detail).

Now we need to get our blocks to our sewing machine to be able to sew them into rows. To do that, start with the bottom row, pick up the numbered block on the left, then pick up each block in turn until you have the whole row sitting in sewing order. Then I put that little pile on a plate. Repeat this process until you have all your rows sitting on a plate ready to be sewn. You do need to be a little careful at this point, if you trip over carrying this precious little plate of blocks, you will have to start the layout all over again!!!

Next I simply take my first little pile and sew each block together to form my first row. Once I have sewn all my rows together I like to lay them all out on my design wall again, to make doubly sure I have sewn them all  in the correct order. I usually lay them back onto my design wall, but I had fun pinning them to my back fence...

...they looked great when the wind made them dance!!!

Ok, back to business! Once all your rows are sewn and you are still happy with your layout, they need to be ironed. To make sewing your rows together very easy, iron your rows from left to right, and every second row from right to left, as in pic....

When ironed like this it is easy to sew the rows together, the seams nestle together nicely and just need one pin to hold them in place while you sew.

Sew your rows together making sure you are lining up the correct numbers. Once all the rows are sewn together your quilt top is done and you can simply iron these seams in once direction. Now lay your quilt out, stand back, and enjoy your creation.

I will be teaching how to turn your quilt top into a completed quilt (making your backing, basting, hand quilting and binding) at Treehouse Textiles in May and June. xo

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Bloggers Stitch Day at My House

Last November we had a stitch day at my house, it was so much fun I have decided to do it again.

Starting at 10am on Saturday 28th April, byo lunch, stitching and something for show and tell! Tea, coffee and morning tea will be provided.

The only stipulation is that you have a blog or a flickr page (so I can check you out!!!), or I already know you (hint hint Jenny and Sheryl)! I have room for about 12 of us, so first in best dressed as they say. Michelle (The Quilted Tortoise) and Kay (Shocking Hocking) should be there too.

Obviously you will need to live on or near the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria (or be visiting at the time, out of staters and international visitors welcome). If you would love to come, send me an email and I will send you the address.

See you there. xo

Saturday, April 7, 2012

I Heart Sea Glass...

OR...What to make for your Sister's Birthday when she probably has enough quilts already!!!

A Heart Mini Quilt in Sea Glass Colours, glued to a 5 x 7 inch fabric covered painters canvas!!

This was very easy to throw together, here's how... To get the canvas ready to glue the mini quilt to, I first glued on a rectangle of white paper to cover the writing that was on the back of the canvas. I then used some perle 8 threads to plait a little hanger string which I also glued onto the back of the canvas.

Next, I covered the front of the canvas with fabric, folded it over onto the back, glued it and used a thin masking tape on the edges for good measure. A little messy, but it works!

My inspiration for this mini quilt was two things....firstly I have always adored the sea glass we find on the beaches around here (though my efforts for collecting said sea glass are pathetic but these few pieces sit in my kitchen window so I can see them everyday!!)...

 ...the pattern was inspired by Keiko Goke's quilt on the front of her fabulous book All my Thanks and Love. This book is written in Japanese, but the pictures tell a wonderful story anyway!!

I made a rough drawing onto a piece of paper and that became my pattern!

I then transfered it to freezer paper, cut out the heart shapes, and glued them onto their background squares. (I use Roxanne's Glue-Baste-It for this, it holds the applique shapes onto the background beautifully without needing pins, and if you put it on in the wrong spot, it just washes out with a little water).

Once I had appliqued the hearts onto the squares using the needle turn method, the 9 squares were all sewn together.

Next step was to lay a piece of wadding behind the mini quilt and the backing fabric right side to right side on the front of the mini quilt and stitch around all four edges. Cut a hole in the backing fabric, turn it all right side out and poke those corners out (oops I chopped off the edges in this photo!!).

My embroidery skills are a little rusty, so I found a fabulous lady called Wendi on YouTube under the name of ShinyHappyWorld who showed me how to do this seed stitch and split stitch.

Signed and dated and ready to post.

Mmm, I quite like the Sea Glass Hearts sitting amongst my Burleighware jugs, perhaps I will have to make my sister something else!!! xo

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A Stripey General

I am waaay behind gift making this year and this quilt top should have been made and given to a gorgeous friend turning 60...back in January, oops! These beautiful French General fabrics have been sitting in my stash for a while and it was just the right colour range for my friend.

It turned into a stripey quilt because I only had a small stash of these fabrics (fat quarters), and only two larger yard pieces (the two long red stripes in the centre of the quilt. They will also make up the backing).

The French General fabric is gorgeous, even down to the stripe and dot feature along the selvedge. I made sure some of that got into the quilt too.

I now have a few days in front of me with not much happening, so you will find me attached to my sewing machine, quilting away! xo