Monday, 27 February 2017

Discussing freezer paper applique techniques

For the first flower I thought I would try out a different technique... the next flowers are circular and need to be very precise.  Apparently some people use the freezer paper on the wrong side of the fabric, then use a washable glue stick to fold under the seam allowance. This is how I have attached the purple petals.

working out the first circular flower for Diamond Hill

I thought I would give it a try. First I glued under the vanilla background circle. Uh-oh. Had to remove it from the freezer paper to see through  the fabric for placement of the other (purple) pieces... and if I had left it in, I would've had to stitch right through the double thickness of freezer paper. No, that wouldn't be good for the needle or my finger or my stitches.

The purple petals were turned under using a Bostik washable glue stick (I've been using that brand for years for foundation piecing), then I used Burrows clear gum from Officeworks to baste the petals onto the vanilla circle.

How do I remove the freezer paper?

In the past when using a single layer of freezer paper, I have stitched around the freezer paper, leaving it in until fully stitched. Then I would cut a slit in the background fabric, and remove the freezer paper there. No freying ever occurs as the applique on top prevents exposure of the slit on the top, and once it's quilted nothing can be seen at the back.

back of Diamond Hill block 1, made using my usual needleturn technique

 Even when I have handled blocks for years (as in my Baltimore album blocks which literally took 10 or 15 years to make, and aren't even assembled into a quilt top yet, and Civil War Bride blocks), no damage has occurred by cutting a slit, and no glues were left in the fabric.

The edges on the purple petals above are turned under with glue, and stuck to the freezer paper. I think I will have to hand swish/wash the block to remove the glue before I can cut a slit and pull away the freezer paper without damaging my stitches.  Then, a yellow circle is to be appliqued over the centre of the petals.

Now I am looking at the next circular flower which is different again.

Last night I was thinking to cut a circular background again, and applique every second petal. This will make some of the applique pieces come forward, and some will recede. This is my favourite plan, not just for ease of stitching, but because I like a variety of depths, colours and prints in my work. (Even in jewellery I am not into matching, but prefer to co-ordinate earrings and necklace).

 If I made every petal individually and stitched them, I would have to cut the freezer paper slightly smaller than marked line to account for the thickness of the fabric in the turned under section, then try to line up the outside to make a circle.

Esther also has a tutorial on how to machine stitch those seams when making leaves, but I estimate it would be a bit frustrating for me on a circle where I want the outside to line up perfectly into a circle.

Esther has another tutorial on how to use Floriani fusible stitch n wash, but that still requires ironing over the seam with a starch product, not glueing. I am finding the ironing over to be a bit heavy on my arm, and not all the curved edges are as curved as I would like using the ironing over technique. Hence, why I wanted to try the glue.

There are two circular flowers in the pattern above. I am still wondering whether to use this technique: applique 4 parts onto a large piece of circle fabric, stitch, wash to remove glue, cut slits to remove freezer paper inserts, then iron on a large circle template onto the back, cut out, glue and applique, then wash again later to remove glue, then cut a slit to remove freezer paper. OR this technique: applique background circle first, wash, cut a slit to remove freezer paper, position petals, stitch, wash again.

Either way, with this many layers I see the block being washed at least twice. It's going to be a matter of getting all the flowers to a certain point, then washing to remove glue, cut a slit to remove freezer paper, then add second layer with a second washing at the very end.

I really don't want to wash the block more than twice.

The reason I am trying all these gluing things is to improve the placement of my applique, as without basteing, it seems to migrate all over the place while I sew.

Maybe I just need to try a different iron, and take more time. I have just seen the Petite Press Portable Mini Iron, which looks like you can apply pressure with a finger.

And I've just done a little bit of youtube research.. I think I'll buy the Roxanne glue baste, the Sewline glue stick and the Floriani fuse and wash papers. Giving it a go on this applique journey!

I welcome your ideas, and sharing of your experience with any of these techniques in the comments below.

Thank you.

Sunday, 26 February 2017

In the background

All it takes is a little bit of attention each day, and your projects keep moving forward.

It's so much easier when others are also working on the same project. Online stitch alongs are like my quilt community at the moment, and I am so grateful. I am thankful for the opportunity to see everyone's fabric choices, and colour pallettes.

I am very surprised at the number of quilts being made with Fairy Frost. Yes, I am using it too, making a quilt for an older woman. Maybe it's more appealing to the older market with eyes that need the extra twinkle in the fabric for definition and contrast... or maybe it's because now that more shops have them in stock we can source them easily!

This is my first time using the Fairy Frost. I had no idea it was so popular. I bought a few little pieces of 20cm or 30cm to start a pallette for the two BOMs with Esther, with plans to use one of the shimmery vanilla ones in the border of Diamond Hill. I can see it twinkling already!

All of the tendrils and light coloured leaves are stitched on the second block of Diamond Hill now. Time to add some flowers I think. Although I find the more pieces I baste on, the stiffer the block is from the glue and the spray starch - it's the first time I've ever used this method of applique.

And in the background, mostly stitching in the car when I am occasionally chauffeured around by my sweetheart... is the ever growing Red Brolley redwork for the Christmas quilt.

Slowly, slowly, the redwork grows.

I really must get around to looking for the missing bolt of fabric to catch up on the Labyrinth quilt stitchalong. Eek!

Friday, 24 February 2017

Getting away from it all with our sewing...

Do you ever use your crafting to take you away from it all? Like, really go somewhere else for a while? It's definitely less harmful than substance abuse, but probably just as addictive.

There are busy times in our lives when we don't really have time for our sewing... funnily enough those are the times when out brain needs our crafts more than ever...

Even if there isn't time to actually stitch, I will try to think on the fabrics, and drool over possible combinations, think on future projects, browse online fabric shopping, and admire what others have done (mostly on blogs and social media).

It's been a crazy couple of days here preparing important documents and burning the candles both ends in a way I can't remember doing since I was completing big assessment tasks... except now I'm also juggling a balanced family life, and the assessment isn't just about getting a good grade, it feels like a major assignment for studies was nothing in comparison to this... and the intense relief of submitting the papers in time stands alone.

Here's what I did in snatched half hour sessions of "getting away from it" with my sewing. Prepared all the leaves and tendrils, and the stems for block 2 of Diamond Hill.

This time I've used 2 layers of freezer paper, then used Crisp spray starch to iron the seam allowance over.

And this is what I've got glue basted in place.

It doesn't look like much, but it really helped me to zone out for a while.

It's a funny thing. Some sewing projects are so emotional, I can look at the quilt and remember what I was watching on TV, or which music I was listening to, or even how I was feeling.... in kind of the same way that smell can trigger memories, I think my sewing triggers emotions and memories too.

I wonder if I will remember these last few days when I look at Diamond Hill when it is finished.

Enjoy where your sewing is taking you while we create memories. xo

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Wonderful Mystery Tour

Hurrah! The first block of Esther's Secret Garden BOM is stitched!

(and washed to remove Crisp spray starch, clear gum, and Artline green markers)...

I drew faces onto the flowers, but it was too much, so I just washed out the marker without stitching.

The fabric block feels wonderful. It's a big piece - approx 20in x 30in. It has weight. It's not too soft, and not too stiff.

I can feel myself handle it reverently as I move it to the ironing surface, then on a flat surface for photographing..

There's a LOT of work on this piece of fabric, and it contains so much joy!

Can you read the quote I've stitched on here?

I am staring at some hoarded fabrics wondering how to include the swirls and leaves and animals into more flower blocks... but what if they aren't flower blocks? We cannot know!! It's a wonderful, wonderful mystery!

And now, I feel confident I can start the next Diamond Hill block, and finish it fairly quickly... it's only a week until the next Secret Garden block, and the Alice in Wonderland theme I've chosen  will be consuming my active imagination.

I am linking up to Esther's Working on Wednesdays, and feeling on track!

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

A little bit of excitement

I was lucky enough to get to the local quilt shop on the first day of their Wideback sale! Yay!!

I found this smashing print for the Diamond Hill basket and on point squares....  I even got enough for the binding.... it looks perfect....
And I thought I could add a little more to the collection for the two Esther quilts...

Two Tula Pink snail fabrics for fussy cutting leaves for Alice's garden...

A big rabbit print for the white rabbit with a watch....

A couple more fairy frosts and shimmers for Diamond Hill - yes... yellow and pink will be a welcome addition...

This whacky black and white print hurts the eyes to look at it, but it's going to be wild flowers in the Secret Garden, with so much movement, and a little bit more Fairy Frost in other colours..

because it just glows... and I think the more choice I have when stitching flowers, the easier it will be to choose the fabrics that make a zing.

I also found backings for these two quilts... such a great find! everything is coming together! Now all I have to do is sew!

Sunday, 19 February 2017

A Quilter's Diet

As I am hand stitching with silk thread onto this (very large) applique block from Esther's Secret Garden BOM, I have recently felt it is getting heavier and heavier.

I've never made an applique block this big before. (it's currently approximately 20in x 30in). Nor have I used this technique with Crisp spray starch, nor have I basted pieces onto the background with clear gum before. All of these things add a little bit of weight.

The weight in the block is increasing as I stitch... and I have been basting on more pieces as the stitching's not all the weight of the silk thread.

I think I've enjoyed handling the block most of the time in its skinny format (less pieces). It's only now that it's almost finished that it's really feeling quite heavy. Even then, I probably only really notice it's heavy when I'm folding it up to go into a plastic box to keep Bub's (possibly) sticky fingers off it.... he's into EVERYthing that is not his.  I'd definitely make my next blocks in the same way. Decide on some fabrics... prepare pieces... start stitching.... decide on some other fabrics while sewing....

I am wondering if I have a kitchen scale sensitive enough to weigh the block before it's washed, and again afterwards. (It will be hand washed to remove the green markings, the Crisp spray starch and the clear gum baste.) And how much do you think it would drop in weight? What if it became 10% or 20% lighter, just by giving it a good swish in water.

What a great quilting diet that would be. Swish me in the water to remove 10% or 20%.  Four showers today please. Hee hee.

Although it's a mystery, I know the finished quilt measures about 80in x 80in. The first block might be only a few grams lighter after a wash, but what about over the entire quilt? Hee hee. Half a kilogram? Well, who knows.... I guess it is a mystery quilt after all.

Some people probably prepared all the pieces before they started stitching. Wow. That's really not me. I'd be bored standing at the ironing board (or in my case kicking the cat off the freezer where I've put a towel to iron on) for hours on end. And then whole time they've stitched, holding a large piece of fabric with little pieces all over it in all directions! Besides that, this Mumma has to be a sneaky ninja using any scraps of time that come along. Sometimes it's for applique preparation, and sometimes it's a few moments sitting in the air conditioning hand stitching. *ahhhhhhhh*

When you're sewing in the outdoor kitchen in Far North Queensland Summer, you share that kitchen sewing space with toads, frogs and insects, 2 cats and a dog,  and sometimes 40 degree heat... Oh! and the family that prepare and eat meals there.... It's mostly the insects and the family that choose when I get to use the kitchen sewing space.

Just two or three pieces left to prepare and glue baste, and almost all of the stitching is done.

Then, it's time to embellish the block in my own way following my Alice in Wonderland theme.

photo from original Alice in Wonderland movie

Ooh! I hope I get to make bread-and-butter-flies somewhere in the quilt!

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Begin at the beginning

It's been a very exciting time putting together the first block for Esther's Secret Garden Mystery BOM.

So much is going through my head. I've been collecting quotes and pictures from Alice in Wonderland. I'd really like to watch the Tim Burton film again, although I found it quite strange at the time, I would look for different things this time around.

I've been on Etsy and bought more wild fabric (Tula Pink) for the leaves and flowers, and I've decided to stitch a quote from the book (or film) onto each block.

I think this first block will have the quote embroidered: "Begin at the beginning... and go on till you come to the end: then stop." 

I think it's particularly funny because it's the kind of quilt where I may need to be told to stop... hee hee. One can keep adding and adding sometimes.

This photo shows the auditioning of fabrics for the bow, key and basket outline.

I am liking the stripe at the bottom which pulls in the red flowers and the green stems. The spotty ribbon seems to be working, it is connecting the purple and pink in the leaves, and I have some Fairy Frost in purple for the keys to try out too.

The flowers are mostly red, but you can see where one white flower was being painted red (as in the book). The rose bud was painted red, and it burst open a bit more exposing the original white colour underneath.

Here is another picture from the original movie. The flowers are really very exciting.

Today at the Sunlit Blooms sit n sew morning I hand-stitched away. It doesn't feel like there is so much to do anymore.

Exciting day as Esther has released block number 2 of Diamond Hill. Go to her blog to download the free pattern, as it will come down when the next one goes up on the 15th of next month.

Ooh yes, it's a full time job keeping up with 2 large hand appliqued BOMs!! On another note, I've made a decision that it's been more than 2 weeks since my birthday and my sister hasn't even sent me a card yet (she lives 3,000km away, so fair enough for not visiting), but I think I'm going to keep the Christmas Redwork quilt for my family and give her something a bit less time consuming for her birthday.  Surely us quilters are allowed to keep some of the quilts we've made for ourselves? And, it means I don't have to finish it by mid May in order to get it to her in time. More time for my applique quilts. Yay!

Linking up to Esther's blog for WOW.

Monday, 13 February 2017

Friendly flowers

I've been working solidly on preparing the flowers for the first Secret Garden block.

I am so in love with the quilt! My head is dancing with ideas!

This picture from the Disney movie Alice in Wonderland has inspired me to look at where I could stitch faces onto my flowers.

Holding an iron solidly for a few hours I had a bit of a twinge in the wrist, which made me think it's time to do something else. There will be no flower preparation today.

None of the flowers are stitched on yet. The evening has been dedicated to the Red Brolley stitcheries.

This stitchery is complete. The block has two more stitcheries on it, and I am half way through the second one.

Today is the next reveal day for Project Quilting, so I will pop over there and get some inspiration.

Have a wonderful week everyone! Happy Monday!

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Oh Alice!

This morning it was my plan to prepare the flowers for the first block of the Secret Garden mystery BOM.

This process includes: tracing pattern onto freezer paper; cutting out freezer paper pieces, iron onto appropriate fabric; cut out fabric piece; brush starch onto seam allowance; fold around freezer paper and iron to set; remove freezer paper; glue baste turned under fabric pieces onto background.

And so... after this mammoth effort... I didn't like what I had done.

 Ack! The flower fabric was just too busy, and it wasn't clearly distinguished from the background fabric.

I felt a bit down for a while... because by the time I realised these fabrics were wrong, the three local shops I rang were already closed for the weekend, and the shop most likely  to have what I want re-opens Tuesday. *sigh*

I rang some quilty girlfriends, who were at a 10am-10pm quilting marathon (woah!), of course... and even though they were 3,000km away, it was lovely to hear about their projects, and hear their sympathy for the lost hours on the flowers this morning...

Rather than drown in puddles, I went off to do the grocery shopping, and afterwards just as the keto vegetarian lasagne was in the oven (now that cooking process is as detailed as the one I outlined above), it came to me that I might be able to try some fabrics from the Diamond Hill quilt stash. Ooh!

I am so grateful for the online quilting community. I posted the photo above onto Esther's BOM facebook page, and the comments were so encouraging. They loved the leaves, and could see the look I was going for.. and now... I have made this flower. Just one this time. Heh heh.

While I was glueing it down, it came to me that the leaves I've already used are very Alice in Wonderland... and I felt that these bright reds were like the white roses painted red in the story for the Queen of Hearts... now I am thinking of all the wacky plants and animals in that garden, and I am so excited to have Wonderland as my inspiration for this quilt! Who would have thought it would come to be while I was doing the first block? Ooh! That is a priceless discovery.

At least one of these flowers needs to be white, or partially painted red with the paint dripping. Perhaps some faces on the flowers too... eyes maybe...

And the thorns on the stems will be either red or cream in the fairy frost.

p.s. this is the Holy Tula fabric. Can you see where I cut the leaves out?

Friday, 10 February 2017

Leaf it with me

There are a lot more  leaves on the first block of Secret Garden than first glimpsed.

Everything shown on this block is now stitched down.

Because the block is so big, the  applique pieces look relatively easy. But once you start cutting, starching and glueing, there really are a lot of pieces!

By tonight, I am hoping to have all the leaves cut out and glued on so that I can play with flower fabric choices.

The next block of Diamond Hill is due to be released in about 5 days. I have a feeling that I am going to keep up with the preparation of the appliques of both quilts, even if I don't keep up with the monthly stitching every month. That's ok. Diamond Hill goes for 7 months, and some of that looks like machine piecing.

By the end of the year, I would love to have Diamond Hill completed, and a few of the quick kids quilts on my finished quilts list. I can totally see it happening!

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

How does your garden grow?

It's wonderful the way we can plan to make a block or quilt in a particular colourway, but as we are sewing, the fabrics speak to us, and take us in different directions. Especially when we are looking at the fabrics for so long, as we do when we are stitching by hand.

For instance, who could know that buying these pieces of Kaffe Collective and Tula Pink fabrics would take me in such a different direction to the original plan of orangey red flowers for the first block of the mystery quilt Secret Garden?

Oh! Tula! And this local fabric shop has ordered the whole range of Tabby Road. *happy sigh*
I see fussy cut applique in gorgeous bright colours.

I had decided to try a new (for me) technique of applique while making Esther's new BOM "Secret Garden".

I've been using the freezer paper method of needleturn successfully for about 15 years. It was my favourite. Then, after not sewing much in the last 2 years I just jumped in to Esther's free BOM "Diamond Hill" using the same technique... but I was out of practise.... and sometimes my leaf didn't even touch the stem after it was stitched down.... and sometimes my silk thread caught around the pins while I was sewing, which was annoying... and sometimes I didn't get the placement of the piece in just the right place.

The last of which, if I recall correctly, is why I didn't start her previous BOM full of very intricate cakes and sweet treats. My eyes goggled just looking at the first block.

There are tutorials on Esther's blog for freezer paper and Floriani stitch and wash fusible. They both looked sooo fiddly, I didn't want to try them before. But, I think while I am making a quilt to celebrate my 20 years of quilting anniversary (Secret Garden), I should try to do my best work.

And so, I took another look at the tutorials. I have soo much freezer paper already, and a whole roll of the Floriani stuff is probably about $40 (I might not even like the technique, what to do with $40 of product?), so I thought I would try the freezer paper with painted starch (I used Crisp from the supermarket), and baste the pieces onto the background with a washable glue (I bought the Burrows brand from Officeworks for $4).

Deciding to try out my new Tula fabrics for fussy cut leaves was not even questioned.

Part way through I started to trace the leaves with an indication of the directions of the leaf veins. It was much easier than an arrow to indicate the direction of the pattern.

Now the first stems and leaves are stitched on, I am happy to say I enjoyed the applique. It happened more quickly (obviously, as I wasn't turning and pinning and holding with 6 fingers while I sewed).

I am pretty happy with the way the 3 leaves met in the centre. Yes! Accurate placement!

Progress report on technique:

*Already discovered to place the glue only on the turned under seam, or the fabric is too hard (but it is fully washable glue).

*Still experimenting with how much starch to use. Started preparing more stems and leaves, and happy with the progress.

I am definitely not the kind of girl that bastes everything down, then stitches. I would be bored preparing for hours (and yes, it probably is hours) on end. For me this will be rolling sessions of preparation, basteing pieces and stitching.

I wonder what colour the flowers will be now.

This is soo fun!!

Linking up with Midweek Makers. Check out what everyone else is making.

Monday, 6 February 2017

I lost a bolt of fabric

Lost: 13 metre bolt of Vanilla quilter's muslin.

Yes. Somewhere in the small space I keep all my sewing stuff, I have misplaced an entire bolt of fabric. Hahahahahahaha!

I have no doubts it will turn up. As you can imagine, keeping all your stash and equipment in a small space means that it is haphazardly stacked. Perhaps there was a PIG (Projects in Grocery Sack) landslide, and the bolt was buried! It's too heavy for Master 16 months to have hidden somewhere... and that means, it will turn up.

It also means that I can give myself permission NOT to catch up on the three Goblin King stitcheries I haven't done yet (they need to be traced onto Vanilla muslin to match the others), before I start Esther's Secret Garden.


Because here is my perfectly imperfect first block for Diamond Hill.

It still needs the basket, but I think I will choose that fabric later.

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Just auditioning... no, really!!

Still resting my machine after oiling it (need to buy batting anyway), and so have been immersing myself in hand work. I am now working on two applique quilts, two stitchery quilts, and whatever else I want... hahahahha.. but really, right now I am keen to keep up with the four quilts (three of them are quilt-a-longs which really helps, and the other is for a 40th birthday present at the start of June.)

Definitely feeling motivated to keep up. There is only about 1 or 2 hours of hand sewing left on the first Diamond Hill applique block.... (keen to finish it, so that I can start on a different quilt) I do the fiddly applique in the evening when the children are in bed, so that I can really concentrate on it. Single colour stitchery can even be done when I am a passenger in the car (yes, busy Mummy's take any 10 minute chance they can), as they need less concentration than applique.

Today, continuing from last night, I was auditioning fabrics for the first block of Esther's Secret Garden.

It's not really enough to kind of hold the fabrics next to the background. I decided to cut some strips for the woven basket to see if I liked them... which led to making a couple of strips with the fusible bias maker.. which led to this!!!

This was the original fat quarter.

 Such pretty fabric.

An important rookie mistake for the first time bias strip weaver... keep your strips longer than you need them! By the time you weave them up and down you need a slightly longer piece than the one you already cut. D'oh!

I needed to use pins to hold the bias strips in place, then after a happy positioning, they can be ironed.

Finally, in order to really audition the strips, the basket was placed onto the background fabric... which required me to sticky tape the 8 A4 sheets together to make the pattern placement, then trace with green Artline fineliner onto the background fabric.

But, because I haven't finished the first block of Diamond Hill, I haven't actually started it. *wink wink*


Thank goodness I didn't use one of those new Pilot Frixion pens. With all the ironing I did getting the basket weaving on, all the tracing would have been ironed away.

Right! Next I need to trace the 3 Goblin King stitcheries that need to be caught up on! Eek!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Slow and steady

Well, it's been a busy week celebrating my birthday and with concentrated family time.

How am I going for the Project Quilting challenge reveal tomorrow? I think I have kind of given in to being late with this one. My sewing machine has been sewing a bit tenderly since it gave my son "Moving Soup". The bobbin case was jumping everywhere!

The seams were all loose on the bottom. I used a different bobbin, changed the tension, cleaned out the bobbin race, changed needles and re-threaded top and bottom numerous times. And frog stitched (rippit) quite a few seams...

Then I googled what it might be (it's only just had a blooming service!), and I didn't know I could oil my machine. In the manual it says not to. Well, this is a warm, humid climate. And so I oiled it, then let it soak in, and oiled it again.

Ok. I pieced the quilt top.

And the scraps are in a zip loc bag.

Uh-oh. Not enough batting. Between running to the shops on a Saturday afternoon with three children in tow, I just didn't fancy going out, then spending the next day and a half quilting a panel to death just for a challenge deadline. I prefer to spend more quality time with the children, and I think my machine needs a bit of nursing so that it doesn't start spilling the soup again.

And so, I have been making progress with the first applique block of Esther's Diamond Hill.

Only some flower receptacles left to go, and some circular knobs on the stems. I am not going to complete the baskets until later. I am not sure if we are meant to do that yet.

This has left me a little bit of time to dream about the first block of Esther's Secret Garden. While I was in the zone, I think I've come up with these colours and fabrics for the first block.

It is not a centre block, but a side block, which means I don't have to choose the main fabric themes with this first piece. I really like the "clashing" look, but it's still about balance. Some parts of the quilt are going to be more muted than others. But as there are 4 background blocks in this size, I think these appliques can all be bright.

The background is looking more grey here than it does in real life, where it's kind of a taupe/mauve.

Linking up to Friday Night With Friends.

Maybe you'd like to see what the others got up to?

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Getting organised, and organising a Trip.

I came across this idea of keeping scraps tidy from Lori Holt's blog.

source: beeinmybonnetco (click link above)

I used to keep my stash in colours, then in boxes of themes...but it became really messy...

 It's kind of funny. Once a fat quarter has a hole in it, even though it's meant to take up less space, it just doesn't fold up neatly enough or squash as much, and inevitably, fabric that has been cut into and is all wrinkled takes up more space.

After that I started to use up the themed fabrics on the back. Perhaps a bit of piecing with the colours and some large pieces..

Lori's picture above reminded me of the newer way I had been storing leftovers/scraps. I leave them in the themes and place them flat in a ziploc bag.

When I was making this 1950s dresses quilt, I bought a bag of someone else's scraps for the frames. They were tossed in all kinds of directions in the bag. After I added the frames I placed the leftover strips, pressed and neat into a ziploc bag.

The leftover strips just talked to me! I could see them through the clear plastic, and they were not ready to be lost in the boxes of scraps that naturally accumulate.

They just had to be made into this tablecentre.

I used a recycled bandana for the backing, and quilted it.

In the end there were only tiny, tiny scraps left of these fun fabrics.

With that in mind, I was thinking about processing some of my leftover bits to create strips. I would love to make one of these.

source: renegade quilter (click link above)

A scrappy Trip Around The World. I have some lovely fabrics to use, and so all I need is a tutorial.

Ooh, look at that. I found one.

Now, it's just a matter of choosing scale. Cut strips in 2.5in, 2in, or 1.5in?

Either way, it's just another way of getting organised.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

"Mummy, my soup is moving" and a to-do list

"Mummy, my soup is moving" says Master 6. Oh my. It's vegetarian pumpkin soup. Freshly made. It shouldn't be moving.

Oh wait! That's what happens when you are quilting in the kitchen! Hahahahaha. I was machine blanket stitching the black bars onto the Christmas panel while the children ate dinner. (It doesn't take me long to eat pumpkin soup). I siezed the moment and the machine was wobbling the table, and that wobbled the soup. Hee hee.

It took at least an hour of solid stitching to attach these few black bars. Thank goodness I chose to stitch by machine! I daydreamed while I watched bub in the high chair, and machined away on auto pilot.

Next job is to add borders, and baste the quilt, ready to texturise with feathers and berries.

Today was the first time I went to a sit and sew group at local shop Sunlit Blooms. I took the first Diamond Hill block for hand sewing (it turns out I could have been machine sewing there, instead of wobbling the soup).

Here is an update on the  Diamond Hill block. While at the shop I bought the 9mm fusible bias tape maker, ready to make the wider stems. There really isn't that much left to do on this block. And as the challenge item is going to be all machine, except for the binding, I should be able to finish it this week in the evenings.

Then, I need to catch up with The Goblin King. There will be 3 more stitchery blocks by the time this round of Project Quilting is over.

And... I have the first instructions for the first applique block for Esther's Secret Garden. I have decided to try a new (for me) applique technique using Elmer's glue, Roxanne's glue and Floriani stitch and wash.

Sunlit Blooms seems to stock a large range of accessories, including some stitch and wash products... the fusible web I like to use (yes!), but not the batting I like. I hope I have enough batting on hand for the basting tomorrow. Hmmm... will need to check.

And, as I was pottering around, I found some more fabrics to go with my Christmas Tree panel. Check it out! *happy dance*
the bottom two are new additions

I think they look smashing. And now, I know where I can buy more fabric later to make matching Christmas tree skirt and table runners. There is a  kind of theme developing for Christmas colours for different people in my family.

So  much to do! And I didn't even mention the Christmas redwork!