Monday, 25 July 2011

Yes, Still Quilting ...

Quilting the leaves:
I finally finished stitching veins on all the leaves last night

This morning I sketched my idea for quilting the border
And now all I have to do is actually quilt it.
Today is my deadline.
Wish me luck!

Friday, 22 July 2011

Quick Quilting Update

 The house is filled with the sounds of a busy machine.....

Not nearly there, but persevering...

This is my idea for the corner baskets,
I just sketch over the pattern and keep it in eye sight as I quilt

 Getting there...

And now I must get back...

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

WOW: Quilting Hearts Desire

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays

This WOW finds me Quilting Hearts Desire

I’m not going to let my enthusiasm wane, so although I have so much to do, I have decided to stop my new project and instead start quilting Hearts Desire so I can have it ‘finished’.

I managed to have Hearts Desire basted on Monday and this is a real hurdle out of the way. It’s such a treat to have a quilt ready to be quilted without tiring out my shoulders basting beforehand. Now it’s time to quilt! I always quilt freehand, so I have some rough sketches and I am improvising as I go along. I have opted for blended thread and have decided on just going with the flow, quilting wise.

Sometimes, you can’t really ‘see’ a quilt until you reach this stage of the quilt making process. I chose muted civil war style fabrics, so this is my traditional old style quilt. It’s the first of its kind on my quilt shelf –  I want to have a really diverse range of styles and colours in my collection. I always try to do something a little bit beyond my own version of ‘ordinary’.

I can also see this quilt done completely in brights, so I may run a repeat because I am sorely tempted to dive straight into making another one straight away. When will I find the time???

Ok, back to quilting!

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

What Is Flange?

A flange is 3 dimensional piping
and it is a technique which is used in Hearts Desire.

It’s not hard to do and the effect is striking – especially when you choose a contrasting fabric. If you haven’t made it before, see how effective it is for yourself.

When washed, the flange may wave or ripple slightly, so this is something to consider when assessing how you want your quilt to look overall. I wanted to show you what washed flange actually looks like on a finished quilt. When I mention waves and ripples – I don’t mean highly visible waves or ripples, but you may have bubbling or creases afterwards. Like this:
The flange is in gold and ripples towards the right hand side corner.
and you can see more rippling on the right hand side of this photo too. It's not noticeable unless you are looking for it - however as quilters, our eyes often are looking for things exactly like this, so you can always replace a flange with piping or flat 1/4 inch seam instead, if you wish. It's something to consider.

Back to Hearts Desire:
I do love how the blue flange stands out in this quilt,
and that's the beauty of flange - simple and effective.

To Create The Flange (from our patterns)

Join together all bias strips in a continuous length with diagonal seams. Press folded wrong sides together. This is our 3 dimensional piping which is called flange.

Attach the flange onto the outer edge of the quilt centre. Use Elmer’s glue or pin into place—take care not to stretch the edges– have a tape measure ready to check the size. My centre of the assembled blocks measures 54 inches plus seams. Please measure yours.

For those of you who have never made flange and would like a step by step How To Tutorial, visit Julia - she has kindly posted a flange tutorial and invites you to make use of it on her blog. Her button below will link you to her site. If her tutorial helps you, please remember to thank her.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Hearts Desire: A Mystery No More

Here we are, at Part 6: the final installment

This month you are finishing the quilt top. You will be adding a few finishing touches to the first centre block, embellishing your applique if you wish and joining the blocks together.
Hearts Desire was designed with 1 outlay, however my sample sewer put it together another way and I have offered this option to you as well. Once you have decided which ‘way’ suits your style, you will then be joining all the blocks together and adding the borders.

I have been guilty of growing this quilt – it is now 83” at it’s finished size. This is thanks to the borders I could not resist adding. I really felt, having looked at the finished quilt top for a few months, that the extra curvy pink border was needed. Of course, whether you add this border is completely up to you.

Really, I don’t feel I even need to say that anymore because when I see what has been created by you talented women, I just know you will make it your own and make it suit you. That is a real treat of the Yahoo Group – seeing the surprises and interpretations that come with each new listed photo.
I know this mystery was difficult for some of you at times (so many pieces, so much applique!!), time consuming all the time and being a mystery it was somewhat frustrating too.

It was quite difficult laying out the monthly schedule when I sat down to do so because this quilt could very easily be a 12 month mystery – but therein is another problem. With work of this intensity, there was too much potential to meander and then relegate to the WIP pile. I did feel that the best approach was intense diligence. This is mostly because of my own schedule – I’m already on other projects and am moving at a slighter faster pace than usual.
Many of you are still working through blocks in your own time, and interpreting blocks...and this is all wonderful and I do want to take a moment here to thank you for deciding to join me in the mystery. It takes a lot of trust to cut into beautiful fabrics and go along with someone else’s design, especially  when you can’t see the end or even be sure that you’re going to like it. I hope that it has been as rewarding for you as it has been for me.

In the next week or two, I will be posting updates as I work through quilting this quilt. So if you interested in how I take my quilt tops into finished quilted quilts, stay tuned. I will be domestic machine quilting Hearts Desire.

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

WOW: a little Hex

What’s so satisfying about a hex? I don’t know, but I do think they are somehow irresistible and charming. This WIP is part of a bigger WIP and is a small piece that needs to be completed so that the whole project can come together…

I’m beginning to feel that Wednesdays are my ‘drop by my blog’ days now, especially as I’m not managing to find the time to blog between WIPs… but it’s all for a good cause, I’m busy finishing old things and starting new things. I sit down in the morning and by the time I look up it’s dark outside. All this work will have to result in some projects…soon…

UPDATE: yes, I will be sharing this super easy puffy hex crochet pattern when I have completed the project. Stay tuned!

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

WOW: Tuscan Crochet Shawl

WOW = WIPs On Wednesdays
add your own WIP below!

I did say I wasn't going to do any new crochet projects this winter - well, not until I had my WIPs seriously under control. But then I found a crochet WIP (so that's an exception to the rule). I knitted it to be the same size in one hue stronger. When it was finished, just yesterday afternoon, I hung it alongside my favourite shawl in front of my Camellia bush. I simply worked rows of wide shells and narrow shells until I reached my desired length.

I blocked it last night. Now, I have differing thoughts on blocking. Sometimes it can deflate the natural 'loft' in the wool and you can end up with a (still beautiful) but flat work. My last afghan never 'bounced' back after blocking and whilst I still love it, I wouldn't block it again. I thought I might skip the blocking process here, especially because I quite like the 'texture' of natural wool.

Yesterday, I realised that I had to gently block it to stretch the pattern into shape. I simply pinned the shawl straight against a table edge (it was resting on felt, you can use a clean towel or blanket) and pinned the entire 'square' into position. Then I lightly misted with warm water. A blocking trick which has always worked for me, is adding a trusted starch to the warm water - just a little bit. By trusted, I mean a starch that you have used before and know does not flake or stain or chalk your fabric. I always use and can recommend Crisp Spray Starch or the quilter's brand Mary Ellen. What's a little? Well, a very light misting over the warm water misting. I have found that it lightly repels dirt, dust and staining and keeps it's loft and spring better - without feeling or behaving starched at all.

I left it overnight and as the house is warm inside, it set beautifully. This morning I unpinned it carefully and shook it out.  Here it is, folded and ready to wear!

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