Tuesday 29 March 2011

Super Strip Workshop

Already 10 days have passed since my Workshop with Susan Briscoe. Time is really flying past for me at the moment as I have so much on...it doesn't always feel this hectic, thank goodness!
Now, I haven't done as much piecing work as I would like, usually applique always takes preference. So when the opportunity to do a Workshop with Susan who was visiting from the UK arose, well I jumped at the chance.

I have NO IDEA why Blogger is insisting to tilt this picture sideways. Oh well...

I wasn't convinced about a super strip quilt....but when you have as much fabric as I do, you have nothing to lose. Except maybe a bit of stash. I went for blues, because my range is quite good in the blues and the fabrics I had were 'old' and I knew I wouldn't be using them in any newish applique designs.

I cut strips as per the workshop requirements and managed, in the class, to complete the centre. We could have used a Jelly Roll, but I felt 2.5inch strips were too wide for me, so I made double work for myself and cut up my own strips at 1.5inch, which means that my centre is smaller but I like it.It also means it will take me longer to finisher, but oh well, what's another WIP?

I was really pleased with the results. I'm going to love this quilt. It's going to be an 'about the house' useful quilt. Which is just what we need. I am even thinking of making another in pinks as it is a great way to use fabrics that you love...but know deep down that you will probably never use. I'd rather see that kind of stash being put to use.

As for the piecing, it was nice to dust off this technique as I don't do enough in my quilting repertoire.

Thanks Susan for a wonderful workshop!

Just the centre

adding a few rows at home

Saturday 26 March 2011

23 x Red Delicious Quilts Exhibit in SA

Imagine sitting down for your daily coffee break and reading this in your in-box:

Dear Esther ,
I am sending a photo of some of the Red Delicious quilts that were displayed at the Pt Elliot Quilt Show on the 26 and 27th of February .There were 23 Reds on display, I was amazed to see that so many finished their quilts . We had so many compliments about our lovely display of Red Delicious and there was a few who didn't believe that they all started out from the same pattern as the range of colours was very diverse . We had a photo in the local paper ( Victor Harbor Times) with our President and Vice President standing in front of a Big Red…-snip-

I don’t know what you would do, but I’m still swooning….

Sometimes people ask me why I offer free BOMs.
This is why! What a honour that so many quilters
have chosen to make my pattern.

Look at them...all the same, all so different...

23 x Red Delicious Quilts in one show.
Is this a record?
My heart is beating fast and I am beside myself!

I have never seen 23 of one quilt in any show. As this show was in a different state, I had no idea it was happening and I am completely proud and delighted that quilters I have never met, have made my Red Delicious. Thank you !

Were you there?
Did you go?
Want to send me some pics?

Don’t be shy - I always want to know what my patterns are getting up to!

Thank you so much Mardi, for sending me these images…

Friday 25 March 2011

Japan: Every Quilter Can Do This

UPDATE: 28 March, 2011
Australia Post has decided not to assist quilters posting out donated quilts to Japan. This is a shame, but I guess there isn't enough publicity in it for them.

Looking through my quilt cupboard...

I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.    
C. S. Lewis

This is something practical every quilter can respond to, knowing that it will make a real difference. Let's look through our cupboards and finish those WIPs.

Remember: the need is great and any size quilt means that, whatever our quilt pile, we all have something we can contribute.

Naomi Ichikawa, editor of Patchwork Quilt Tsushin Magazine is asking for comfort quilts to be sent to Japan. She says:

It is still bad situation now in Japan. We are still nervous about shaking and radiation, but no way to escape. I start to announce to the quilters to send us comfort quilts for the people who are suffered. I would like to do it to the world quilters. We will deliver the comfort quilts to the people who are very difficult situation. Could you please help to announce it to the quilters in your country?
We accept any size of quilts (baby to adult). New or unused. The deadline would be the end of May or later.

★Send the quilts to:
(after the begining of May)

Naomi Ichikawa
Patchwork Tsushin Co.,Ltd
2-21-2,Yushima,Bunkyo-ku,Tokyo,Japan zip:113-0034
I will appreciate if you help me.

(Thanks to Glenda for passing these details on to me. Please pass these details on and list it on your own blog / website / group / forum / noticeboard / meeting hall / etc)

Wouldn't it be great if a postal provider offered to ship all our donated quilts to Japan for free?

I've sent an email to Australia Post in the hope that they might step in and assist us in donating our quilts to Japan for this Humanitarian Appeal. As there is only 1 drop off point in Japan, free shipping could easily be facilitated by providing quilters with a 'code' which we could apply to our parcels.

If you are an Australian quilter, please contact Australia Post and ask them to help us help others.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Floriani Applique Technique

Stitch and Wash Applique Technique: a great technique when you are working a lot of applique. I find it quick and easy. It's especially good if you have a lot of small pieces or like creating a 'production line' of shapes. I am using the Stitch and Wash Applique Technique with Floriani brand Stitch & Wash.
Basically, I refer to it as Floriani Applique.Which product do I use from the range? Floriani: Stitch & Wash Fusible - it's on a roll. The label says this:

"Floriani Embroidery
Sewing & quilting Products
Stitch N Wash
Fusible Water Soluble
Tearaway Stabilizer "

There are several brands of fusible water soluble tear away stabilizer. I have never had any trouble with Floriani so this is the brand I recommend. Of course, use any brand you prefer.

This technique is almost the same as the Applique by Freezer Paper Tutorial I demonstrated on a previous post. The only difference is that, instead of removing the freezer paper, you leave the stabilizer in place. This way, the process is a little quicker and you can work rather quickly.

My Freezer paper Applique Technique Tutorial is Here:

The process is the same - simply leave the floriani Stitch N Wash  Fusible Water Soluble Tearaway Stabilizer in place instead of removing it after the shape is created (as you do with the freezer paper).
Trace the shape:
iron it onto the wrong side of your fabric
Starch the seam allowance around the shape, then iron edges over:
the Stitch N Wash  Fusible Water Soluble Tearaway Stabilizer will help you create a neat edge all around. As you can see, I am using Best Press by Mary Ellen which a lot of quilters swear by. I also like Crisp spray starch. Use whichever starch you prefer.

Some quilters like to glue the seam allowance and stick it down .They find this works for them. You can see I do this at times with the freezer paper method. However, I don't do this when using Floriani because I don't like the feel of it. It's personal choice. Experiment and see what suits you.
Simply brush the seam allowance with starch, iron over the fusible webbing and once the shape is set, that's it. Leave the Stitch N Wash  Fusible Water Soluble Tearaway Stabilizer  in place.

Stitch N Wash  Fusible Water Soluble Tearaway Stabilizer softens when washed and doesn't bulk out your shape. If you haven't tried this technqiue because you are worried about leaving the Stitch N Wash  Fusible Water Soluble Tearaway Stabilizer  in place - there isnt any need to be worried. It shouldn't disintegrate or crumble.
Use whichever applique technique suits you best. If the freezer paper and / or Stitch N Wash  Fusible Water Soluble Tearaway Stabilizer applique technique doesn’t suit you, you may prefer raw edge applique. In that case, Stitch N Wash  Fusible Water Soluble Tearaway Stabilizer can help you achieve clean cutting lines, and you simply cut out your shapes without a seam allowance. The shape is then ready for decorative / finishing stitching such as blanket stitch or buttonhole stitch - if you so choose.

Just remember, the attention you pay to details as you go along with reward you twofold when you are putting the quilt top together at the end – so do whichever method you love. When you love the technique, getting it right becomes a pleasure.

My personal love is always the painstaking pleasure of needle turn applique, but that said – I am always looking for new ways to accomplish ideas as well, and I find that Stitch N Wash  Fusible Water Soluble Tearaway Stabilizer applique is a good compromise.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Hearts Desire Block 3: Love Entwined

This is a multiple block, make 3. Each Love Entwined block will be rotated around the center.
If you have directional background fabric, be sure to take this into account.

Hearts Desire Block 2: Sing Me A Song

I suggest you colour in your pattern sheet to get a feel for colour. I did...and I still could't decide. Luckily, when I think about alternatives, I only have to look through my Yahoo Group to see what fab ideas everyone else has had...and just enjoy it.

I really love this fabic, I decided to fussy cut it for the 1st Border
Please don't ask me details about this 'border'
I have no intention of telling you - it's a Mystery

Of course, the fussy cutting is completely optional!

This bird changed his feather's a few times...my DD demanded a pink one...then a blue one...then she wasn't keen on him!

I just made him the way I wanted in the first place!

Hearts Desire Blocks 2 & 3 are launched

So, here we are. It’s the 15th again. And my, doesn’t time fly when you’re part of a Mystery BOM? This month I am releasing 2 blocks and this will cover 2 months.

Why? So the Mystery doesn’t disadvantage your fabric options. I’ve seen how hectic you’ve all been, busily making the most beautiful and varied blocks, I have really enjoyed seeing this mystery through your eyes via your created blocks. Thank you to everyone who has posted images up on the Yahoo Group – it’s such a treat to look through and see how you’re all doing.

And now it’s time for Block 2… and Block 3

Block 2: Sing Me a Song

& the 1st Border

Block 3: Love Entwined

This month caused a little dilemma for me. Ideally, I would have liked to release block 2 and then block 3 next month on April 15th, as would be expected. But I also had to take into consideration that you are making this quilt blindfolded, and it would be so unfair to unleash block 3 next month after you had made and finished Block 2.

For one thing, it would be impossible for you to select your fabrics and potentially run out of them and then have to select an alternative for Block 3. You will see what I mean from the photos. Although these are 2 independent blocks, they do join together to create one ‘set’. And this set fits around the center block. I'm not going to say anymore about it as it's a Mystery. But do remember- don't assemble your quilt top until all the blocks are completed...and that wont be until July 2011.

Please remember: you have 2 months to complete these 2 blocks.

Block 2 will be free until April 15th
Block 3 will be free until May 15th

This is boring but it comes up every BOM:
The pattern is a PDF document, and is set to print at 100% A4 for easy home printing
All printers are different and some printers like to re-set PDF pages to 95%

Please note:
Ensure that your printer is set to print to 100%
If your print preview shows you set to print at 95%, ensure that the default to “shrink to printable area” box is not checked. If it is, uncheck it.
Select: Page Scaling: none

Monday 14 March 2011

Sunday 13 March 2011

Grateful Sunday

Like many of you, I have been gripped by images coming out of Japan. Perhaps gripped is the wrong word, but these events really leave me at a loss for words. Natural disasters are devastating, but nuclear disasters are a whole new level of concern.

What can anyone say?

Over at Elizabeth Cat’s blog, she vividly remembers being drenched in Chernobyl rain as a young girl in a checked dress….and it’s these images, these insights, that remind me of how precious and fragile life is.
I feel so grateful today.

Friday 11 March 2011

Dream Fountain & Red Delicious Juried In

UPDATE: Thanks for all your kind comments!
It feels really great to be included in such a prestigious show !
I am very happy to announce that Dream Foundation and Red Delicious have been juried in to Paducah.

As with each year, just being present amongst so many creative quilters and ideas is the highlight for me. 

Tuesday 8 March 2011

Oh my goodness, I’ve got a lovely cushion

Ok Ok, obviously that’s just a bit of fun, but I do encourage you to launch into the upcoming block with abandon and see what happens. The worst case scenario is that you end up with a lovely cushion (Block 1)!
Now I know the upcoming block looks intense, but I assure you that it’s not intense and is completely do-able.

My sample quilter (only 2 years quilting part time around a job) gasped when she faced this block…but dove in and did brilliantly and quickly too – well before the month was up. She surprised herself and really it’s not that hard. Not at all.

In 5 month’s time we’ll be telling everyone, oh my goodness I’ve got a lovely quilt.

Monday 7 March 2011

Sneaky Peek

With just a week until the next block is launched,
 I thought it was time for a sneaky peak.

It is a mystery after all, so not too much info!

How is yours coming along? I know a mystery can be daunting...but that's half the fun, isn't it?
I have been really surprised at the diversity in Block 1s up on the Yahoo Group so far. I think it's great that so many different quilter's are making this BOM. It's going to be an interesting journey...

What's coming up?
Last month was just getting your hands warmed up.
It was an easy introduction.
Now it's time to take it up a notch ...but the results will be more than worth it...you'll see.

The next Block is released on the 15th March.
The 1st block will be removed on the 15th and no longer available for free. Download it now!

How is your Hearts Desire coming along?

Limitations unlimited

Thank you to everyone who passed on info regarding creating a button code to distribute amongst BOM followers.

It's no secret that my computer prowess is lacking. Frankly, it's non existent.

After many hours, and after reading many tutorials and browsing google and suffering much computer limitation related stress, I have decided to pick my battles...and leave the computing stuff alone.

For those of you who would like to put a Hearts Desire button up on your blogs, feel free to save this image below and use it in a gadget "add a picture" application.
Select "shrink to fit" and then add the link code below.

The code you will need to "link" to is:


Thursday 3 March 2011

How to unravel

I was really surprised to be asked recently, how do I roll my yarn?

I was asked this because I was seen to be pulling the yarn from it’s middle, without snags, and the quilter asking me had never seen this. No it isn’t a special type of yarn manufacturing process; it’s how I unravel my yarn. It’s my preferred method. Why? Because it’s so easy. I assume that everyone does it this way when they want to save time…but for the benefit of those who don’t, this post is for you.

Yes, I know, ideally I would unravel and roll my yarn into balls…but I’m rather impatient I must admit. I used to enlist my DD to roll my yarn for me and now that I have to do it myself, I have gone the road of least resistance (and time).

Here’s how:

Pick a side and attempt to pull out it's middle. If it resists, try to other side, you will find one side more willing than the other - pull from the easier side.

Pull out this middle

 It may appear tangled but is not

 Pull out the middle of the middle using the same method, just lightly pull out the centre clump...

Repeat. Depending on the yarn manufacturer you will end up here: this ball had 4 middles.
With the last and smallest middle, dig in for the 'beginning of the line' and start working.
It will unravel from this point snag free.

Now, I easily go through this amount (below) of yarn in a single sitting, but if you dont. leave your yarn on a flat surface until you work up to the main body of yarn. It looks more than it actually is.
If you can't bare that, wind it up loosely and work from this 'ball' until you reach the body of the yarn.

And here it is: you will reach the yarn body and keep puling the yarn line and it is free and easy to use without having to 'jump' the ball. This is great if you carry your yarn around for social knitting, crocheting etc. The first ball is untouched. The second ball has been unwound in this way, and as you can see it's 'deflating'

That's it...

Tuesday 1 March 2011

Another Crochet Garden

Nice... but dull
I took my eye off my yarn stash and it’s been growing again. I am now on a yarn stash busting diet.
I am committed to using up the yarns I already have before purchasing any more.

It doesn't zing!

There are lots of lovely new colours being released so this is going to be difficult. Another problem with stash busting is that last season’s hues are now no longer for sale, so it won’t be possible to buy extra and make up any shortage.

This is problematic as I had my eye on a pink granny afghan for my DD, but don’t have enough and the new pinks are completely different to what I already have.

Because my hands still remember the motif, and because I love it, I have decided to work another Primose Patch crochet afghan.

I really wish I could share it with you but it’s not mine and is copyrighted.

Honestly I don’t think you can have too many of these afghans around. I still intend to work it in a single colour at some point in the future, so I’m going to have at least three in my home.

If you would like to make it yourself, you will need to buy “A Crocheter’s Garden of Afghans”

With crochet, I usually just follow my hands and don’t work from patterns, so getting a handle on this pattern was tricky (there are no diagrams) and

I think I unintentionally made some changes…(mine looks different to the book)...but now it’s ‘remembered’ and making it this time around is a pleasure. I’m also going to join as I go this time, last time I left it all to the end…and that was very boring!

That just leaves the problem of colour. Problem? Looking at my yarn stash, my hues are all over the place. And I love them all…separately…so, how to stash bust this afghan?
I mostly crochet at night, or on gloomy days (like today) so colours can look quite different in the morning. This morning I was not impressed with last night’s efforts. I followed my gut feeling with the yarn last night and this morning it looked ‘muddy’. I like it, but I don’t love it.

And if you're going to spend 90 hours doing something - well, you should love it!

I have consulted a colour wheel today and working from my existing stash only, have grouped the colours into complimentary, triadic and analogous.

Interestingly, I am missing red and navy blue – which is much needed to link into lots of harmonies.

How did I manage to buy so much non matching yarn?? Anyway, things look a little clearer now.

I have decided on a violet complimentary and violet double contrast with green throughout as the motif back.

Thank goodness I’m better at quilting than crocheting!

Ok, my nightly yarning looks much more promising....
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