Welcome to my blog about my quilting journey! I started quilting in 2006 with a quilt of my own design which started as a cushion cover and ended up as a single bed sized quilt! Now I'm totally hooked. I'm not sure who else would be interested in reading my blog but here it is in any case!

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Rainbow Lattice - February UFO, tick!

Well here we are on the 17th February and I've finished this month's UFO already! Feeling pretty pleased with myself, although to be fair its not a massive quilt (60" square) and I had already stitched in the ditch between the blocks. Nevertheless a finish is a finish!

As a recap on how this quilt came about, I took part in a rainbow charm swap a couple of years ago and wanted a project to show off the rainbow.  I had a block in mind and knew I wanted to use black and grey so off I went to Spotlight and as luck would have it found this fabulous grey/black print. I could not have found a better fabric for what I had in mind.

After fiddling about for far too long picking just the right colours from the charms I had and then auditioning various layouts:

I settled on my final layout as I felt it let the rainbow squares be the stars of the show!
The finished top:
When it came to the quilting I stitched in the ditch between the blocks with grey and then decided to use these lovely threads which I won early last year in a Quilt Block Swap Australia giveaway. 
I matched the colour of the thread with the colour in the centre of the blocks and only quilted the grey side of each block.  The quilting was quite difficult to photograph as the fabric its on is quite busy! Hopefully you can see it well enough.

As for binding I toyed with the idea of having two sides black and two sides in the grey but didn't fancy having to deal with getting the corners right and so decided black was the way to go. The binding is all machine stitched and finished with a diamond shaped stitch in Aurifil Dove grey.

Here is the finished quilt, my Rainbow Lattice:
I do love this quilt and plan to write a tutorial for it. It will be my first tutorial so a landmark for me I guess!  Ooops, nearly forgot to show you the back, here it is:
The main fabric is a Sock Monkey fabric which looks knitted
 and the other is a sort of wavy rainbow.
One more photo for good measure!
Oh do you like the box I used to hold all my threads while I was quilting? Any idea what sort of a box it is?

Its a Ferrero Rocher box! The choccies were nice but I think it looks so pretty with all the coloured threads inside instead and it was a great way to keep all the threads I was using for this project together in one place. I just wish I could figure out how to get the label off without damaging the plastic so it looks better.
Are you like me and see any new container as potential quilting storage too?

Now my hubby and I are off to take my mother in law away for the last week in February for a holiday at the beach at Port Broughton.  Looking forward to a relaxing week away so I can come back all rested and ready to get cracking on March's UFO project.

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Another Month Bites the Dust!

Good grief, its February already! How did that happen?  Well at least I was able to tick off my UFO for January and I had some time left over to play with another project.  Although I did get the opportunity to start early on the next UFO as Marti let me know it would be Project No. 1 when I sent her photos of January's results, I chose to do a bit more on another UFO I have been tinkering with on and off during 2014, my Star Value blocks:

You can find the tutorial for these blocks over at Happy Quilting.

Early last year I went ahead and cut all the pieces I would need for these blocks ready for its turn last year but its number came up when I was in the middle of my brother's quilt and so I put it aside.  In December and January I have been pottering along joining bits and pieces together and have now managed to put together four more blocks and have also got chunks of the remaining segments done ready for when its number comes up this year.

These are the blocks I finished today:

A minor hiccup though when I laid them on the floor when I noticed the last block wasn't in quite the right order, so a quick session of reverse stitching and ..... ta dah! 

Here they are together:

and here are all the blocks I've made so far.

I love the secondary pattern that forms with the grey diamonds! I also love that almost all these pieces came from my scraps, other than the grey fabrics as it was a colour that I didn't have in my stash when I started these blocks so I've been adding some as I've found some that I like.  My only regret would be that I wish I had made the slightly larger size option of 16" blocks as there is a lot of pieces in each block and they do take a while to make. These are 12.5" blocks.

So that's me done for January. My UFO project for February is to finish quilting my rainbow quilt and also to write the pattern.

Its already sandwiched and stitched in the ditch around each block and I know what I want to do to finish it so hopefully it shouldn't take too long!

Thanks for visiting today,

Saturday, 24 January 2015

January UFO Complete!

Well I opted to take it a bit easy for January's UFO and finally get around to practicing quilting feathers. They were on my list of things to try last year but I never got to them so this time I promoted them to my actual UFO list and now I've done it!

In October I went to the Australian Machine Quilting Festival held here in Adelaide every two years and was lucky enough to do some classes with the fabulously talented Judi Madsen. They were only demonstration classes not hands on but I still learned plenty let me tell you!  Judi was absolutely lovely and very helpful and open in sharing her techniques.

Luckily I took plenty of notes as it took my four months to get around to actually trying to put some of what I learned into action.  I posted last week about my initial attempts which turned out pretty well.  As a reminder here are a couple of photos, along with my initial sketches for practice!  Please excuse the attractive combination (not!) of pink fabric with lime green thread, I wanted to be able to clearly see what I was stitching.

 I had some trouble keeping things even in long row of feathers!
Quite liked these feathers, might have to use them in something soon!

This week I tried to do some feather motifs inside squares and also more practice on quilting feathers around a border (which I have to say without Judi's class I would have never figured out on my own!).  I've decided I quite like doing border feathers!

 Here is the pencil sketch I started with!
and the quilted version:

Not sure I'm a fan of this particular design of Judi's but it looks great when she does it. Mine? Not so much!

I struggle with getting this one right, it turned out better than it felt when I was doing it but still not loving it. More practice necessary I think.

This one I took one of Judi's triangular shapes and made it into a square. I found it easier to quilt and I quite like the effect of it.
A close up of my border. Getting better at this, definitely going to use this on a quilt soon!

My constant companion at the sewing machine (and anywhere else I go, even to the loo!) had to be there helping too, if only for moral support! She's not as excited by the whole quilting thing, unless I happen to put some fabric or a quilt on the floor and then she's all over it!

Anyway, that's January's UFO ticked off! I have managed to do a little work on one of my others at the same time but no photos to share of that one as yet. Its turn will come this year!

Thanks for joining me today,

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

A Couple of New Toys and Some UFO Action

In November I went to the Quilt & Craft Fair here in Adelaide and one of the goodies I bought was a little light with a flexible neck to light up my quilting space.  I haven't done any quilting since then so haven't used it but as this month my UFO is to finally try quilting feathers I dug it out and gave it a go.
It uses one AAA battery which gives you up to 9 hours apparently. It was nice to have light where I need it without having to put my portable Ottlite in between me and the machine (as you can see in this photo).

 I can't count the number of times I've nearly knocked it over on to the floor!   Its not too bad and doesn't get in the way like my other light. It comes with two bases so you can use it on more than one machine too which is handy (if you have two machines which I don't!). Here is the packaging of the new light in case you're interested.

My other new toy is not related to quilting but is already one of my favourites! Now I'm not a great one for housework and tend to do the minimum I can get away with but when I do it I like it done properly. I've had a vacuum that has been driving me mad at its poor design and lack of real suction or ability to suck up golden retriever hair. To put the icing on the cake its wheels fell apart as well and it was a real pain to empty, putting dust all over me. After a bit of research and saving up I bought this little baby:

Never would I have said I enjoyed vacuuming before but now I do! The joy of using an efficient, well designed product and the horror of how much dirt is coming out of my carpets! Its the first time since we've had our dog that I can look at the lounge carpet and not see a dog hair anywhere except on the dog! I've always had problems with stooping over with my other cleaners but this one is the perfect height for me so my back loves it as well.

Anyway, back to quilting!  As I said above, my UFO project this month (No. 2 over at Marti's 52 Quilts) is to practice quilting feathers. I did a feathers class with Judi Madsen in October at the Australia Machine Quilting Festival here in Adelaide and have yet to put what I learned into use.  So I dug out my notes, my sketchpad, made some sandwiches (of the quilty type!), put some contrasting thread in the machine and had a crack at it.  I'll share my full practice photos at the end of the month but so far I'm pretty happy with my progress.  Here's a couple of shots so far:

Today I'm trying feathers in squares which is not going quite as well but with practice I'm sure it will improve. Still I think if I was stitching in white thread on white it would look much better than bright green on pale pink so I'm pretty happy. Might be ready to do some on a real quilt soon, although I don't think any of the tops I have ready to quilt are quite right for feathers.

Thanks for visiting today!