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....maybe obsessed is a better word for it.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Quilt Block a Day - Guest Tutor - Me!

I just had to share some exciting news - well, exciting to me!

You may not be aware of a Facebook group now being run by Marti (from 52quilts.com) called A Quilt Block A Day.  The idea is to make just one block a day so that you have all the blocks you need for a quilt in next to no time.

Each season Marti picks a new block and this time she chose my tutorial for my recent finish "Rainbow Lattice". How exciting to think that people all over the world might be making their own versions of my little quilt!

If you're interested in taking part, here is a link to Marti's post and also to the Facebook group.

Can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!

Thursday, 19 March 2015

What a week that was!

Phew, what a busy week! First it was a long weekend so no work on Monday - tough right? Back to work on Tuesday for me and as I was taking Friday off to head off to a sewing weekend, Tuesday was my whole working week (I have it so hard working three days a week!).  Downside of that is that I had to squeeze 3 days of work into one day but I got there.

Wednesday saw me zooming about tidying up, washing clothes etc and cleaning so the house would hopefully still look respectable when I came back from my weekend away (despite being inhabited by my hubby and two grown sons). Then I managed to fit in some sewing time trying to ditch stitch the sashings on my QBSA star quilt when things came to a screaming halt. One minute we're stitching along like best friends and the next my machine threw a hissy fit and started loopy sewing underneath - what happened? I tried everything to fix it - rethreaded, different thread, bobbin clean (even though it was clearly a top thread issue), change from walking foot to standard foot, check the feed dogs were still up and no improvement. Rats!  Clearly this machine did not care to go away for a weekend with 6 lovely ladies and a sea view - hard to please.
First thing the next  morning off I went to Homecraft on North East Road, Windsor Gardens and explained my issue. Turns out it definitely wasn't my blunder but a tension issue, as in there was none at all.  I left it with the lovely Frank who told me he might be able to get it fixed the same day so I could still take it away the next day. I could have kissed him!

Off to do the grocery shopping - get there and discover the list and my husband's prescriptions are back home, so back home I go.  Take two - back to the shops and groceries sorted, home to put away and eat lunch (at 2.30!). More washing and then off to the library and home again. Pack my clothes for the weekend and dither about wondering if I will have a machine so what will I take? Then, yay the phone call telling me my machine is all fixed and ready to go. Back in the car to pick her up and promise eternal devotion to Frank! Back home again to sort out what I will take now that I definitely have my machine again - wait a minute we haven't had tea yet or walked the dog - off to get takeaways and sorry Livvie, now its dark!

Friday dawns and its a gorgeous, perfect day to head to the seaside for a weekend of sewing, laughs, chit chat, food and fun and it was all those things! Here we have the lovely Doreen, Pauline and Kerrie (my sister-in-law) hard at work:

and Gaye (my other sister in law) making dolls clothes using a pattern (which she hates doing apparently):
We hadn't been in the place more than 5 minutes and this guy showed up. He turns up every time we come here and of course its the same seagull every time, we can tell!
My bestie and I made bags to hold our travelling irons which also open out to be pressing mats using this tutorial.  Mine is the blue one and Kerry's has the butterflies.

Then I put these blocks together. These came from my various swap partners in the Quilt Block Swaps Australia group and were made using this tutorial.  When its finished I plan to donate the quilt to Mary Potter Hospice here in Adelaide. 

This was a quilt Kerry was working on for her niece. Just needs to pop the border on and its ready to quilt:
Doreen was working on a quilt of all purple appliqued blocks using shapes she cut using her Accuquilt Go! cutter.
Doreen was also the chef for our Saturday lunch which was really brekkie but who's interested in labels? After a discussion about them last time we went away she made us some oatcakes along with a lovely warm tomato sauce and some crispy bacon and eggs, yum!
Sunset on Saturday:
Kerry and I had a crack at making fabric baskets but while they turned out well the instructions left a bit to be desired so we're going to make more but try a different method. Any suggestions for a user friendly tutorial/pattern? Here is mine:
and here is Kerry's:
Here's all my weekend's achievements. Some string blocks on the left (9 in all), one of my scrappy blocks, iron bag/pressing mat, fabric bag, fabric bowl, and quilt top. I did also make one crumb quilt block out of my tiny scrappy pieces but I can't find it for the life of me. I have no idea where it went but I'm sure I made one!
Kerry and I both felt we had a really productive weekend - can't wait to do it again, this time in late August.

And the icing on the cake was when I got home and a parcel of lovely Aurifil threads was waiting for me so now I'm ready to finish quilting my March project................after I recover from the week that was!

If you made it this far, thanks for reading my blog!

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

This Month's UFO and Other Bits and Bobs!

This month my UFO is to finish and quilt my quilt made from my Quilt Block Swap Australia star blocks. Some time ago (and without checking I'm not sure if it was last year or the one before!) I added some coloured sashing to each block and put them together on point with black sashing. I finished up with a quilt with the corners missing and I couldn't decide if I wanted to leave it that way or not and it got pushed to the side. Its number did come up last year but I was in the middle of finishing my brother's birthday quilt and so it got pushed to the side again.

No more excuses, a decision needed to be made!  Not exactly helped by my dog who insisted on parking herself on the quilt when I tried to spread it out for a look.  No quilt is complete without her input!
Okay so lets try that again but without the dog model! So as you can see no corners but I kind of like it that way. In the end I decided it was an awkward shape for a bed and this quilt is really a double bed size or a generous king single. 
I liked the way it worked at the foot of the bed (sorry I don't have a photo on the bed) but it didn't look right at the top so I decided to add black corners to the top only, a relatively easy fix. I plan to quilt some star shapes into the black to add interest as I had thought I might add half stars to the corners but I think adding interest in the quilting will be the way to go.
I managed to get it sandwiched and ready to quilt (having just exactly the right amount of wadding left from my last purchase), only to find I don't have any black quilting thread....sigh! I'm happy to get some colour happening on the stars but I do want to stabilise it by ditch stitching the black sashing so looks like I'll need to order some.
As luck would have it I received a lovely Aurifil colour chart in the mail last week which I ordered from Ms Midge

 I might have to try some of these lovely variegated threads!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Monday, 2 March 2015

My very first tutorial - Rainbow Lattice

Exciting news - well for me anyway!

I've written my first tutorial! And after much fiddling about I've finally figured out how to link it to my blog.

You might have noticed before that I have a separate page tab at the top for Tutorials however it has been empty since I put it there - but no longer!  My Rainbow Lattice quilt now has its very own tutorial.

I must thank the lovely Catherine who kindly tested my tutorial for me and made this great quilt top:

Didn't it turn out well?!

If you use my tutorial I'd love to see a photo of what you make and I welcome any feedback you may have.

Thanks for visiting and thanks again Catherine!

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,