Sunday 28 February 2010

Totally Delighted!

The Quilt Show: is running a Table Runner Contest!
I have entered my own Tulip Delight and have been really delighted with the positive feedback.
There are some great table runners there, so if you'd like a look, stop by The Quilt Show site and check it out by double clicking on this post title or via my side bar. Log in and look under the"contests" tab at the top of the screen.
In other news, I'm working busily, very busily to get the next BOM launched (it has a mind and a will of its own) - I'm always struck by how determined a stash of fabrics can become - design wise.
More on that soon....

Monday 22 February 2010

Mess means progress

Guess which end of the table is mine?? It's been a hot weekend - exactly the kind of weather which deflates all my good ideas....but I toiled on regardless, sketching designs in front of the air con. Yes, I'm finally getting there.

Having a whole sewing room to myself isn’t enough, I branch out into the kitchen too. Well, I want to be where the action is.
I begged my DH for a bigger dining table. Both my DD’s vehemently protested – they knew it would turn into a work space. And it has. This means I’m busy. The messy half is mine. The clean half is where my family has to squeeze in to eat meals.

When my DD’s are really annoyed with my creativity nests, they swoop the whole lot into empty washing baskets and put them back into my studio. But these creative spaces are necessary; you never know when certainty will strike!

Meanwhile, my cat cooled off in a box beneath the air con. It's a bit cooler today which is good luck because we are cake baking my DH's birthday cake - which is tomorrow. My DD's now have a tradition of baking a Meringue / Pavlova for my DH's birthday every year, and every year its a different recipe. Hopefully this year's will end up being the best.

Sunday 21 February 2010

Freudian Slips

I have a journal for jotting down phrases that I want to hear again and again (I have a journal for everything) and just yesterday my DD was having a look through when she noticed this slip… have I been quilting too much or what???

Sew/ Sow, so what's the difference?

Pretty much any time is sew time in my household. I think I need to get some housework done.

Thursday 18 February 2010

Where's the new BOM?

(stitching, testing, re-cutting...and stitching again)

It's coming...soon! AND it's another Stash Buster!
I take my BOM's very seriously and am currently in the process of checking and double checking the design. Although there are many new great fabrics on the market I would love to get my hands on - I am again limiting myself to my stash - because I know that like many of you, new fabric is just another few inches taken on the shelf. If I dont like the colours - I will just have to live with it.

The next BOM is pieced and appliqued and is a bed quilt.
This time around I am making the BOM ahead of time (with Red Delicious I was making it step by step with you) and I think I would rather be waiting at the finish line. Sometimes the months just flit by or are too hectic and I didnt love the last minute sewing to get the next block out on time. So this time, I am going for organised! (also, my DD who types up the Adobe instructions demanded that it be this way as she wasnt keen on my last minute habits either!)
The next BOM is coming along nicely, and I cant wait to share it.

When I do, it will be announced on this blog.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Giving and Receiving: My Thoughts

Quilters worldwide really are the best of people. I’ve been thinking about this lately. I feel that I have an obligation to give, since I am such a great receiver. What do I mean?

If we would all share our time and knowledge freely with each other, how great a place would the world be? I know we all have to make a living, but if we all stopped and decided to give something (whatever we can – I believe we are all blessed in some way to benefit others) it would make life so much more rewarding.
I am not asking for people to give away their livelihood or something that they don’t have, just being generous with what they can afford to share – like time, information or a skill.

It might ‘only’ be a smile…or an apple (!) or a recipe (I have used many of those!) whatever it is, it makes a difference.

The other day I was taken aback by a stranger’s kindness. Then I was shocked that this deserved a comment. It seems that we are living in a consumerist – selfish- time where any act of kindness and generosity is so extraordinary that it feels like an exception rather than a daily reality. That’s a really sad place to be.
When I stated blogging I had no idea that there was such a rich community of givers out there – sharing their time, sharing their passion and freely allowing others into their inspirational space.
It is so wonderful to be able to glimpse into someone else’s kitchen, or studio or chooks or just appreciate another’s handwork. I feel like I know so many of you out there even though we have never met or maybe even communicated with each other.
Sharing the things that matter most to us really gives an insight into how different – and similar- our lives are, wherever we are in the world.
I am indeed lucky to be part of this world of friendship.

Monday 1 February 2010

Red Delicious Cushion...putting it together

The fronts are done and now its time to assemble your Red Delicious cushion. If you have a different way of sewing a cushion together, go ahead and use it.

This is how I like to construct my cushions. I prefer to sandwich the front applique piece as if it was a quilt. I add the backing of the cushion at the last stage - attaching it to the cushion with binding- just like a quilt. I do not 'bag out' my cushions.

Applique is in place. I've used zig zag stitch on all fused edges.

Blanket stitch is fine too.

(Yes, my old Elna - 1950's model- still makes the best satin stitch)

Once edges are stitched down, create a 'quilt sandwich' and baste

This is a snap of the basted quilt sandwich,

the pomegranate motif is stitched down

I started quilting by outlining all shapes with red thread

I wanted a modern feel for this quilt front. I quilted curve spheres - almost like repeating goblets and filled them with feathers. In between the curves, I filled the area with straight stitching. All the straight stitching area appears 'white' in the photo but actually every inch is quilted!

When quilting is finished, trim edges.

Cutting the back:

15 1/2 inches x 15 1/2 inches


15 1/2 x 6 inches

Select your zip: 15 inches

* Do measure the front of your cushion before you cut so that your measurements actually match your cushion front!

Attach zip to large square first. 1/2 inch from edge. On the photo you can see that I double turned the seam allowance and top stitched onto the zip.

On the small rectangle, fold lengthwise in half. Fold towards the zip - raw edge outside. Draw a line 1 1/2 inch away from fold and attach edge of the zip to the line you have drawn (I've drawn the line so that when you turn onto the right side, the line is straight.)

Stitch in place.

Right side. A fold of fabric is overlapping the zipper

so that the zip remains hidden

This is how the finished cushion back looks.

Trim edges to correct size to match cushion front.

Prepare binding. Cut 3 strips 2 1/4 inch wide WOF

Join with mitred seam and follow as you would bind a quilt

Stitch down the binding.

Turn towards back and hand finish.

Bad photo timing - daylight was fading but at least the quilting stands out!

The finished cushion.

I gave myself 2 hours to finish but ended up taking 3 hours

and by then daylight was fading fast.
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