Sunday, August 31, 2014

Globetrotting Block of the Month #8

Well August is just about over and once again I am cutting it fine finishing my block Paris for our Globetrotting quilt. I have to admit I am working on a special project behind the scene which I plan to share later this month but that’s no excuse for keeping up with my blocks of the month project. So here is my block it is looking a bit green though there is no green involved in the block, so I think the chair under the block is influence the picture. 

The next block has been released it is Barcelona so I am glad I got Paris completed.

Until next time 
Keep Stitching

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Castle Wall Project

The Castle Wall block collection was released by Inklingo earlier this year and there has been a number of Inklingonists working on their Castle Wall projects out there. I had picked my fabrics out a few months ago but have been short of time to get going on it.

 I have played around with the block in EQ7 so I knew what my block would look like before I printed the shapes on the fabric as I imported my fabric choice into EQ7. It is a great resource. I am hand piecing these blocks as I am ready for a new hand piecing project for my lunch breaks now my Farmers Wife Sampler blocks are nearly completed.
Once I was happy with fabric placement I printed my fabric ready for cutting and sewing I did fussy cut the centre octagon as it would have been a waste not to.

I was surprised how quickly my first block came together when I sat down to sew it. Pressing was a trickly to start with but once I got going I was able to do it. 

If you haven't seen Inklingo before, Linda's blog is a great place to start your Inklingo journey
Until next time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wishes Quilt Along- August's Block

August’s block for the Wishes Quilt Along is completed. I can wait to piece these blocks together. It will be a decent size quilt when finished. A couple weeks ago I saved the border and finishing instructions for the quilt so I'm all set to finish it once I finish the last block. There is only 4 more blocks to go.  There is still two more block of the month to finish before the end of the month. Will I get them done? 

Let's see what happens. I have been piecing my Farmers Wife Sampler blocks into rows.  It has been 2 1/2 years in the making and I would love to finish it by the end of the year. Sounds like an excuse to me if I don't do my blocks of the month. So I better do them.
 No excuses please.
The first 3 rows done. 
Until next time
Keep Stitching

Monday, August 25, 2014

Building Blocks Quilt - FMQ Along #14

It has been a while since I have done a post on this project. Honestly I haven't been happy with my progress and the project has been sped up so I knew there was no way I could keep up. So it has been sitting there in it bag since the end of May I think. Over the last couple week I have been thinking about it I should at least keep going even if I can't keep up. I really want to improve my FMQ, so I pieced the next 2 blocks ready for quilting.
Finally I got to the 4 pinwheel blocks and after some warm up on my Celtic Solstice quilt doing the borders. I got them completed. So here they are.
My spirals are rubbish but I had a-ha moment with the pebbles I think I have them worked out but need to work on them in a larger size.
 This one is very interesting how it turned out.
 One of my favourites
My other favourite.
I am stilling having problems with some designs but there was a few designs I am now starting to enjoy like wiggly lines, zig zags and straight lines especially if I don't have to mark the blocks.  That is my major problem, marking the blocks I just can't see the marking clear enough to follow them and I think that is really putting me off. So these blocks I only marked the 8 inch square in the middle for guidance and went for it after watching Leah's And Josh's tutorials on each block.  I must admit there is improvement in my technique; thank goodness I was starting to think I wasn't going to get passed the basics. There is hope for all of us who think we are not good enough. 
Until next time
 Keep Free Motion Quilting 
We will get there in the end; it just may be the long way round.

Unexpected Visitors

Just working on the laptop printing some Inklingo shapes for my Castle Wall project which I have done very little on when I looked out the french doors next to me. I was surprised by the neighbours sheeps looking in my doors. The cheeky buggers think the grass is greener on our side of the fence. They are not the only ones that like our grass there is a rabbit who loves to visit when it is hungry.
I don't think Cisco was too happy with them. He was good, he didn't over reacted but you can see he is on guard.

Until next time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Road trip to Wellington

On Saturday we spend the day in Wellington South Australia with the ladies from the Murray Bridge Patches and Quilters. They were on their retreat in Wellington. It was a beautiful day for a drive with the sun out for most of the day and no rain. 
 My little corner.

We took a selection from the shop for the ladies. I think they liked what was on offer, especially the charm square pack special I had on offer, all sold out. The ladies did a great job looking us with lunch, tea, coffee and sweet treats. 

There were a lot of projects on the go. I love to see what other quilters are working on. After lunch there was a little workshop on a Christmas tree ornament which Judith asked me to join in on and helped me get started on my tree. I didn't get far as I was needed in the shop but I can see me making a few of these.
Before I knew it the day was gone and it was time to pack up and head home. The boxes were lighter going back into the car, which is a nice feeling. It was a real pleasure to spend the day with these ladies.

Until next time 
Keep Stitching 
PS I will share pictures of my christmas tree once I have unpack all the boxes.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Celtic Solstice #7

Here it is! My Celtic Solstice quilt completed. Just in time for a break before Bonnie Hunter's new mystery starts in October I think. It was a job and a half to quilt it but I am glad I did it myself- good practise free motion quilting especially in the border triangles,

 whereas in the middle I let the blocks create the pattern, I just followed the diamond shape created in the joining of the two blocks. I do a bit of free motion stitching in the ditch as I didn't outline each block. I don't think you can see it very well but I hope it gives you some idea where I stitched.

I have learnt some much from this mystery quilt that I can't believe how far I have come in 12 months, when it comes sharing my progress on Facebook, in my blog and link ups with Bonnie's posts and I have learnt a lot about scrap quilts. I have always being very controlling with the amount of fabrics I use in a project. Less is best has been my motto. Now I know it doesn't have to be that way. I plan to be freer with the next mystery quilt we do. Yes you heard it here! I am going to try to be scrappier in the next one. I have started on my scrap journey with the Leader & Ender Challenge lozenge blocks this year so we will see what happens. I may need a new motto.
My lozenge blocks so far, lots of different fabrics here.
 Do you like lots of fabrics in a project or are you like me Less is best? I would love to know what you think.
Until next time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Time to get Ready.

Today I am cutting fabric to top up my fabric boxes to take with me when I visit the Murray Bridge Quilters on the 23rd August. They have kindly invited me to bring a selection from the shop to the retreat they are having next weekend. 
Some of the reproduction fabrics I have cut to restock the boxes. Nearly all the reproduction fabrics in stock had to be topped up. They really must of been the big seller at the last event.
So I am busy cutting fabric and preparing some dazzling specials with a special treat for them.

A box of special goodies for the ladies. 
I love doing these type of events, just going somewhere different and meeting lots of fabric loving people makes for a great day out.

Now back to work
Keep Stitching
PS If I get this finished it will be time to head back to the sewing machine for some quilting on my Celtic Solstice quilt. It would be so good to get the quilting done. Then I will have to make the final decision of blue or red binding.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Quilting Time

I have 3 quilts ready for quilting and the plan was to pin and quilt them last weekend. As I write this post they all got pinned ready for quilting. I started with the smallest quilt, the fairy quilt which is for our latest arrival into the family (A new little cousin). I hope they like it. I got it quilted and bound.  

My Celtic Solstice was next, the largest out of the three. As I was pinning this quilt I could see quilting lines to follow so I started quilting it next. The diamond with the pin wheel centre is my quilt line. It gives a nice curvy circle effect. It is a big job and I ran out of day. I got middle quilted but I still have the borders to quilt. So that is my starting point when I get back to the machine. At least I have had a few days to think about how I am going to quilt it so I am already for some free motion quilting for the border.

Last to be quilted will be my UFO star quilt; I am not sure how I want to quilt this one. I wish I had some fabric to put a border around it but I still haven't found the rest of the fabric. You know I will find the fabric once I finish this quilt completely.  So the fabric I have left has to be for the binding. I want to see this quilt finished so I'm not going to try and find something for the border.

Until next time
Keep Stitching

Riley Blake Designs Fabric

From the left My Sunshine, Twice as Nice, A French Courtyard, Evening Blooms, Snips & Snails Collection & Lovey Dovey with four of my favourite Aurifil threads.
We have been stocking Riley Blake Designs fabrics for nearly a year now and I thought I should highlight some of the ranges we have in stock and there is more on the way. Currently in stock we have Evening Blooms, Zoofari, My Sunshine, Twice as Nice, A French Courtyard and the latest range to arrive is Unforgettable. Also we have used a couple of ranges in our Kids Strip Quilt Series they are Snips & Snails Collection and Lovey Dovey.  There is more on order so keep your eyes open for their arrival.

 Evening Blooms
 Twice as Nice
My Sunshine

Until the end of August we are going to go some Riley Blake fabric away when you place a $25+ order at Cynthia's Ark you will receive a 30cm x WOF piece from one the Riley Blake ranges in stock.  
Stay tuned to my blog to see the start of  a new Inklingo project used one of these Riley Blake ranges.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Friday, August 8, 2014

English Piece Piecing happening here

I have been playing with some English Paper Piecing shapes this week in my evening sewing time. I can't believe I have been piecing 1/2 inch hexagons. I always thought they are too small for me to be bothered with but here I am creating some table mats and coasters. The 1 inch hexagons are a lot better to handle. I found gluing them was easy enough rather than tacking them, it will be interesting when I try to remove the papers. Here are some pictures of what I am working on. 
 A couple of 1/2" hexagon drink coasters.
 This one will become a table mat will a few more rows added.
A couple of 1" hexagon flowers.

What is the smallest size you have worked with?  I don't think I would have bother with the 1/2" hexagons if I hadn't used the Accuquilt die to cut the papers and fabric I think it would have been too fiddling to do for me. I was impressed with the Accuquilt dies for the English Paper piecing.
Until next time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Layer Cake Sampler Quilt #7

After getting my Layer Cake Sampler quilt back from Valerie after she quilted it, I was ready for the binding to go on. Now that should be easy right, especially since I had the fabric picked out for it. Well it was not that easy. I was going to use the same fabric as the border but as I laid the fabric next to the border I realised with the sweeping curve in the fabric it would not look even around the edge. So out with the other options from the left over fabrics and the only one I was happy with was the fabric I used for the sashing but there wasn't enough.  I stopped in at A Quilter's Odyssey hoping Kate still had some.  It was all gone. Just my luck! I picked a different fabric which just happened to be from the same range the sashing fabric came from. So I brought what I needed thinking the problem was sorted. Boy was I wrong. When I put this fabric against the border fabric I didn't like it, it was the wrong blue. Grrrrr!
 So after all this fussing I finally went back to my first choice, the left over sashing fabric and after remeasuring the fabric I could get the right amount of strips I needed if I cut the strips 2 1/4 inches instead of 2 1/2 inches. So that is what I did and now I am happy because I got to use the fabric I wanted and I have another completed quilt.

Now I had 2 squares left over from the quilt. So I thought with all the extra block layouts Amanda 's blog offered I would make a matching cushion with them. I wish I had thought of that while I was doing the blocks because I ended up with 2 brown squares, oh well. This is how I made the cushion. I made the block up and measured the completed block (16 1/2 inch) 

and then cut 2 x 16 1/2 x 11" rectangles from the brown floral. Then I folded and pressed a scant 1/4" along one 16 1/2 inch side on each rectangle, then fold and press again. This gives you a neat finished edge with no raw edges. Sew it in place. Then laid the block on the table right side up 

and laid the 2 rectangles on top right sides facing down with the overlap of fabric in the middle of your cushion.
 Pin it well 

and sew around the outside of the cushion with a 1/4" seam.

 Finally you turn the cushion right side out and insert a cushion insert and you have finished a quick easy matching cushion. 

Until next time
Keep Stitching

Friday, August 1, 2014

Some Crafting Time

On Friday afternoon I had a lovely afternoon with my friend Mandy. We went out for lunch, did some shopping and headed back to Mandy's place for some crafting. We do catch up with each other for coffee but we rarely have the chance to spend an afternoon together. I had the chance to play with Mandy collection of Accuquilt Dies as she has a lovely selection. I was particularly interested in her English Paper Piecing hexagon dies as I am  doing some demo of this technique at the Barossa Craft Fair at the end  of November (Details of this event is on our event page at the top of the blog). 
 Half inch Hexagons look how small they are.
One inch Hexagons they are a little better.
I have a few little projects in mind I want to kit up and am thinking I could pre-cut the kits using these dies I might have to get a larger one though as Mandy only has the 1 inch and 1/2 inch hexagon dies.  I haven't use hexagon this small before so if anyone has any tips please share in the comment and help me out. The smallest I have used is 1 1/2 inch.
The squares and half square triangles I cut were just for fun. I am going to play with them and see what happens I will share it with you all as it happens, good or bad. 

 I was impressed and if the right side dies are available I may set myself up.
Stay tuned for an update soon Mandy set me a deadline of Monday for progress.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching