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!

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Mariner's Compass Quilt - This Month's UFO

Now when I say UFO I really mean not started yet!  A couple of years ago (or maybe more) I bought The Folded 3-D Mariner's Compass set at the Quilt and Craft Fair here in Adelaide and haven't used it yet.  My brother is turning 60 in November (we share the same birth date but we're not twins, he's 8 years older than me!) and has always had an affinity with the sea so I thought I would make him a quilt using these blocks.

I have some fabric I've put together over the last few months but not sure if it will be enough! As I hadn't used the tool before, rather than use up my precious chosen fabrics I thought I'd better make a block with other fabric to try it out and I'm very glad I did. I do think the instructions could be worded better, particularly relating to fabric cutting instructions but the instructions for the method were great.

It came together very quickly and easily and my only issue was that I had planned on the dark purple fabric being at the back and the other darker patterned fabric at the front.  As it is now the purple kind of takes over rather than being a highlight as I had in mind. I have now written on my pattern to make things a bit clearer!

As it was dark by the time I finished, some of the fabric is a bit reflective in the flash photo but you get the idea at least!

I might use this block in a cushion or something!

Now I need to plan the quilt and see if I have anywhere near enough fabric for what I have in mind. If not I think I could make blocks in a couple of colour options and alternate them, we'll see.

Out with the graph paper and pencil I think!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Celestial Stars - Block 2!

Now that I have my July UFO projects out of the way I managed to find the time to put another of my Celestial Star blocks together.

I'm not sure whether I like this one as much but its not too bad.  Here it is laid out on the table waiting to be stitched together.  You can't see it in this photo but I managed to cut off the pointy end of one of the centre wedges when I was trimming them up. Who knows how I managed that but it didn't end up being a problem as it was just inside the seam allowance fortunately so I didn't need to redo it.

Here it is all put together:

Perhaps the reason I don't like this one as much is that there's not enough contrast in the outer ring with the blue and dark green.  Still when all the blocks go together it will probably work.
As a reminder this is the first star I made:

So two down and two to go!  If you'd like to join in the quiltalong too head over to this post at from Blank Pages.

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

July UFO Projects - Christmas in July

Well my lucky UFO project in the Twelve in Fourteen quiltalong for July was No. 12 which was to use my Christmas charms which I received as part of an online Facebook group quite a while ago.

Seems appropriate, Christmas in July!

I decided to use them to make a couple of table runners.  The first was very simple and involved joining the charms on the diagonal. I decided not to add any wadding when I quilted this one, just a layer of fabric in between the layers. My reason for that is that I want to use this one on our outside table (not forgetting we have hot Christmases here in Adelaide!) and I plan to lay a clear vinyl tablecloth over the top to protect it so didn't want it to have much bulk.

The top is on the left and the back is on the right, although i think it would work on either side!

That only used up one pack of charms though so I had to make something else.

I chose to make a couple more table runners for inside this time. One in the darker charms and one in the lighter, brighter colours.  I didn't do any fancy quilting on them, just basic quilting to hold everything together.

This is the darker one, front and back:

and this is the brighter coloured one, front and back.


The fabric on the back of this one is really nice in real life. The bells have glitter on them.

Finishing the binding on these took 3 times as long as it should as the green I used to quilt them would not play the game when I wanted to use it in a fancy stitch around the binding. I spent an hour and a half unpicking the first side after I had to give up on that thread. The second binding session only took me 15 minutes to top stitch.

Aside from a couple of odd charms leftover these runners used up the rest of the charms, so objective achieved!  Another UFO month successfully completed!

Thanks for visiting,

Monday, 28 July 2014

Celestial Star Quiltalong - My First Block!

Well I've managed to find the time to put together my first block in the Celestial Star Quiltalong being hosted by Dianne at From Blank Pages.

I made some new practice sketches as I wasn't entirely happy with my first ones here.

Then I cut out the templates to use for cutting the fabric pieces. I haven't done this before for paper piecing and it did seem to take the guess work out of it a bit. It also helps with fussy cutting pieces if you need to.
Then I got my individual pieces put together on the weekend.

I couldn't resist laying out the pieces to see if it was all going to work and I decided I like it!

Tonight I quickly jumped on the machine after work and despite multiple interruptions I managed to get my block put together!

I'm really happy with the black and white fabrics I've chosen for the background.  I felt the solid black I started out planning to use would be too harsh and I think these are a good compromise.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Some Swap Blocks and a WIP Update

Last month in our QBSA swap I was paired up with Jen in the USA and given the longer postage times our blocks swapped hands a little later than usual! This is the one I received from Jen a couple of weeks ago and finally got around to taking a photo of.

Can you see the little blue sparkly blocks? They add a nice little bit of pizzazz to the block I think!
You might remember I sent Jen this block:

This month I was teamed up with Carmen in Robinvale Victoria and she asked for a Twelve Triangles block in purples and blues. This is what I made.

I quite liked this block, it would look very effective in a whole quilt I think. I haven't received my block from Carmen yet so I'll share that later.

As you may remember, I've been working on a long term hand made project for myself for a number of years now and its finally coming together slowly, allowing for my bad eyesight and lack of decent lighting in our lounge room combined with a fluctuating motivation!  Anyway I'm making some serious progress now and here it is so far:

It was hard to find a way to hang it to take a photo (some of it is around the corner of my cupboard!) but you get the idea. I do love that yellow fabric, that was such a lucky find as its the perfect colour to brighten up my muted blues! Given that it will be 11 rows by 11 rows and I have 10 rows down I think the next row will be the halfway point (if my slightly cold addled brain has figured that right!). I'm not even thinking about all the little circles which need to go in the centre of the Dresden blocks at this stage, I'll cross that bridge when I come to it!

So that's where I'm at this month. Stay tuned for some Christmas in July, which is my July UFO project. I've got 3 items on the go, just need to get them quilted before the end of July - luckily they're small!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Couldn't resist another Quiltalong!

Celestial Star QAL with from blank pages...

I had decided not to take part in any quiltalongs this year but this one caught my eye because the block is so versatile. You can make so many designs with the same block depending on how you place your fabrics.

Its the Celestial Star Quiltalong at From Blank Pages.

The pattern is available in a range of sizes and includes a border as well and is available at Craftsy.com.

This week is about choosing your colours and design as well as fabrics so we started by printing out colouring pages to play around with.  This is what I ended up with:

I didn't really have a plan with these, they were just me playing around but I think I have decided to keep the cross look to whatever blocks I make. I think I prefer the blocks on the right side but not necessarily the colours.

So then I went and had a bit of a wander through my stash pulling out fabrics that called to me and after a bit of adding and subtracting I ended up with this selection.

I've had them sitting on my couch for a couple of days and I know I'm pretty happy with them, other than the floral on the right. In theory it should work as the colours it contains are right but I'm not absolutely sure it will as its so different to the others and it has a cream base. I was planning to use white as a background so I think that could cause a problem. We shall see.

In the meantime I'm thinking I need to do some more colouring to see what else I come up with now that I have nailed most of my fabric choices. I also need to decide how many blocks I want to make I guess!

Friday, 18 July 2014

Fabric Hand Me Down!

Its strange that before you begin quilting you think that its not a very popular hobby but once you start you discover quilters lurking everywhere!

I really don't know how we got onto the subject but some months ago I got talking about quilting with the teller at the bank where I do the banking for my work.  Whenever I end up at that teller we always chat about what we're up to and one day she asked me if I could make use of some fabric from a project of hers which didn't quite work out.

After a bit more digging it turned out that she had started making a project from a jelly roll but after cutting all the pieces and joining the centres of the blocks she found that the pieces which were to form the outer border of each block were slightly undersized. I did suggest that she should simply trim up the centres but by that stage she was over it and wanted it gone. So not wanting fabric to go to waste I said I would certainly make use of it.  Next time I popped into the bank she gave me a little bag of goodies (no free samples of the Bank's money unfortunately though)!

I'm not sure of the name of the fabric range but this is what was inside:

There were four completed blocks and all the completed 4 patch centres, along with the cut pieces for the borders and some extra bits and pieces.

I went through and selected which outer pieces were going to go with the 4 patch centres and started whipping up the rest of the blocks. I have never shirked from a bit of trimming to size and so had the blocks put together by the end of the afternoon. While some sides have sections which are a little short, nothing is too small so I'm sure it will all go together easily enough.

Next of course was the placement of the blocks. This is what I ended up with (don't mind the blue blanket, I stuck the blocks onto a polar fleece blanket so that I could pick it up quickly when the dog woke up!)

The obvious flaw in this layout is the fact that I'm short two blocks!  I do have some more pieces already sewn together that I can make 4 patch centres from but I don't think I have enough for the outer edges, other than in one of the fabrics which really doesn't seem to go with the others (it has quite large text on it). I may make up a block using it just to see for sure but that will still leave me one block short. I still need to make sure as just after I took this photo our 10 month old puppy woke up and planted herself square in the middle of the blocks and so I quickly packed everything away for safety.

You can see her lurking in the background earlier when I was taking photos of the blocks as I took them out of the bag!  I think she may have been plotting her raid even then!

This fabric is outside of my usual colour/fabric style but I rather like them all together. My sister in law is turning 50 in September and I'm thinking this is much more her style so I think it will be her birthday present.

My lovely bank teller also included some batik fabrics she didn't want. Not lovely bright batiks which I like but mostly browns and maroons etc. They may make good quilt backing fabric but I'll see. If I don't use them I'll make sure they go to someone who will. Nothing goes to waste in my house!

Thanks for visiting my blog today,