Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A new Shop and an Open Day

I'm thrilled to be able to announce the opening of a new Quilt Shop in the heart of Mornington (Victoria, Australia)! Yesterday Treehouse Textiles opened their doors and began trading.

It was wonderful to walk into such a fresh, charmingly fitted out space which was warm (it was freezing in Mornington yesterday), friendly and filled with colour and inspiration!

The team that is Treehouse Textiles, Emma and her Mother Sarah, have put a lot of thought and creative touches into their beautiful new shop.

They will continue to run their fabulous quilting, crochet, knitting, etc classes, see their website for details here.

The girls will be having an open day this Saturday from 10am-2pm which will be a great time to pop in, experience their wonderful new space for yourself and say Hi. There will be bubbly and nibblies, I'm definitely going!!!

You can find Treehouse Textiles at 2B Empire Street, Mornington. See  you there. xo

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

A Mandala

Hubby and I have just returned from a lovely small holiday down to Phillip Island. It's nice to get away for a bit from the house, the phone and other day to day distractions. We didn't have any internet coverage either so we really had a break!! And while he surfed, I read and stitched (of course!). For a long time I've wanted to stitch up a Mandala, so I have started...

 The pattern for this is from this lovely book, Liesels Funfecke....

This book is written in German, however all I needed were the templates, and I was set.

Part of the Mandala is shown on the back cover.

I decided last minute to take this away with me, so I had about 10 minutes to grab some fabrics to play with. I had a few old repro fabrics, to which I added a few newer brighter fabrics. I threw them all in my roomy Bolga basket and I was ready to go!

I don't know if these fabrics are going to play well together, but I'm not sure I mind. I'm using the hand piecing method (rather than the english paper piecing as shown in the book) and it is so therapeutic just to sit down with a needle and thread and lovely fabrics. Next round done, now to get some stars made. xo

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Unpicking again!

The quick unpick, or seam ripper, and I are good mates! We go back a long way. Mr Unpicker and I have worked on many quilts together, for better or for worse!! Lately, Mr Unpicker has been helping me to perfect my kantha-like quilt... the Flower Garden!

Mr Unpicker is not fussy, he is happy to rip out both machine stitches as well as hand stitching. He was happy to be able to make quick work of these beautiful, handquilted perle 8 threads, he really enjoyed ripping them out!

The problem became apparent as I worked my way around the border of my quilt. I had been quilting every 1/4inch horizontally across the quilt, however when I came to the border I decided to do vertical stitching. I had finished two borders when I realised the change in direction was really pulling and puckering up the quilt. Alas, all that work had to come out!

So here I am beginning again on my borders, this time going back to the horizontal stitching! It's looking better already.

I've been using a crease marker (she is pretty good friends with Mr Unpicker, there might be a little romance going on in the sewing basket!!) to mark out my 1/4 inch lines before stitching. I tend to just mark out a section at a time.

I've been using six different coloured perle 8 threads to hand quilt this quilt.

I tend to stitch anywhere from 3-7 rows using the one colour before I change to the next (click on photo to see closer detail).

This quilt will be celebrating it's third birthday this September, I am hoping it will be finally completed for that date!! xo

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Improv Quilted

The final post of my mini tute improv quilt series...quilted and bound! (picture heavy post)

I quilted my improv quilt using the free motion quilting method on my domestic Janome sewing machine. The quirkiness of this improv quilt leant itself very well to using many varying fmq designs.

Because it is difficult to capture the fmq that I've done across the quilt, I have taken some close ups to show. Simply click on any of the photo's to take a closer look....

If you missed earlier posts (here, here, here, here, and here), this quilt is created using the beautiful Oakshott cottons impressions range, with a couple of Keiko Goke fabrics and some black and white text thrown in. The sashings are a white with a lovely grey dot.

I take this quilt to my Free Motion Quilting classes at Treehouse Textiles (next class in August) to give an example of how you can use many different fm quilting styles across the one quilt.

I would suggest to only quilt this heavily on a quilt you will be hanging on a wall, rather than sitting or snuggling up under. The heavy quilting does make the quilt rather stiff!!!

It's a lot of fun to let your imagination go and 'colour in' the different blocks with thread. The thread I used here was a variegated Signature thread. It stitched up beautifully.

I used a white Rasant thread in organic straight lines over all the white sashing strips.

The strip of fabric I front basted (see this post) barely stands out as an applique now...

For the back of the quilt I used an older classic Kaffe Fassett fabric, with a row of leftover fabrics from the front...

Overall I am thrilled with how my improv quilt turned out. I will definitely be creating another quilt using the improv method in the future.

Over the next few weeks I am going to pick a couple of my favourite fmq designs that I have used on this quilt and show a step by step process of how to quilt them, stay tuned!! xo