30 August 2012

totally groovy quilt along

my fabric for the totally groovy quilt along arrived today - I'm so excited to be able to finally start on this one.

I tried curves a few months ago with the New York Beauty blocks (which I must finish as well !) and I wasn't that confident but hopefully with a few of the curve tutorials Alyssa is having on her blog and with the help of the curve master foot I might just be able to do this pattern :)

Kona Solids - eggplant, cerise, petal, azalea, sprout

I'm really happy with the fabrics - the petal fabric is a little darker than I thought but with the other bright fabrics its probably just as well !

I love the azalea and sprout - they're just perfect ♥

I also received a few more fabrics for the hexy mf quilt along - I didn't quite have enough fabrics in the "cool sunrise" Lilly Belle fat quarter bundle that I won so I got some more Lilly Belle "warm sunset" fabrics that will put a bit of pink into the quilt - and you know how I love pink :)

I also bought some much needed glue stick refills - its amazing how much glue is needed for basting those hexies - and some perfect circles so I can finish the centres of my craftsy bom dresden plate blocks - I also have a dresden plate kit I purchased back in March that I still have to start so the circles will come in handy for the centres of those dresdens as well !

also in the mail today was a gorgeous little name tag from my ratz swap secret partner Karin who is from Sweden - how cute is that :)  Karin writes her blog in swedish (of course!) so I'll have to get the google translator working for that one !!

oh, and before I go - just wanted to let you know - I've had a glitch with my computer which is why I've done 10 days worth of posts in the past few days :)

28 August 2012

maybe a little leaves quilt ?

way too much time on my hands yesterday - I thought of yet another idea for the fab little quilt swap !

I saw a quilt in Elizabeth Hartman's Practical Guide to Patchwork book which had gorgeous little leaves and remembered my secret partner likes the idea of trees and leaves so I did up this little block.

then did some editing to see what it would kinda look like if I made four blocks into a little quilt - I really like it and the purple background but I wasn't sure so I put it up on flickr to see if my partner might like it.

again, my partner left a comment saying she loved the purple so that's really thrown a spanner in the works - what do I make - the diamond block - in either purples or aquas or this block ? 

I'm definitely holding myself to one of the three as I can't keep coming up with new things - I need to start making !!

its funny that I had a lot of comments saying the purple background was a bit too much and that maybe I should use a bit lighter colour - if it was for me I definitely would !

thank goodness that I've got the fabrics and quilt pattern for the down under doll quilt swap organised - its funny that I decided on the fabrics and the design for that within a few days of receiving my partner info and I haven't swayed once !

26 August 2012

more blogger's block of the month

this weekend I decided to get some more blogger's bom blocks done - april and may

the may block was a jewel box block which I haven't seen before and I think its really sweet.

I really love the colours in this one - those 1 inch squares might just look like little jewels :)

next time I'd definately make sure all of the 1 inch blocks contrasted more with the background !

and this is the april block - according to amy from mrs schmenkman quilts - its called triangle squares designed by grandma dexter and its block # 2041 in the encyclopedia of pieced quilt patterns !  I really like how this one turned out as well.

so that's my weekend sewing along with those slow poke hexies of course !

23 August 2012

blogger's block of the month

I was having sewing withdrawls tonight so I decided to head into the sewing room and catch up on some of my blogger's bom blocks.

I haven't done any of these blocks since February - jeepers - that's quite a bit of catching up to do !

so I did the march block which was a churn dash - I was pretty happy with the first two as you can see the churn dash pretty clearly ...

but then when I'd made the third one I had a hard time being able to see the pattern - it really looked more like a cross block !

so I just had to re-do it - I replaced the green rectangles with yellow and I can make out the churn dash pattern a bit better !

so that's march done - now to do the other months :)

21 August 2012

fab little quilt swap

I'm taking part in the fab little quilt swap over at flickr and I've been stalking my secret partner and thinking about what to make - the other day I saw a diamond block that I thought would make a great little quilt so yesterday I got the coloured pencils out and came up with this.

I'd put a bit of a fabric bundle together but its really hard to imagine these fabrics when the drawing is done in all solids !  my partner likes purples, blues and greens.

then tonight when I got home I thought about another colour scheme - one I like a bit more - as my partner said she has an aqua and white sewing room.

but this time I did the mock up in EQ7 - amazingly it didn't take me that long and a few of the fabrics in my bundle were in the stash CD that I have so I was able to use actual fabric samples as well - pretty happy with how this turned out - can't wait to learn more about this program.

I put these photos up on flickr and my partner left positive comments about both so that's made it even harder - decisions, decisions !

I'll have to actually decide and start soon as it needs to be sent off in mid September :)

so which one would you prefer ?

20 August 2012

new moon

when I was out in the back yard with pippi tonight the moon was pretty amazing - just a little sliver of light at the bottom so I just had to try and take a photo.

The sky was so black - not a star to be seen !

I took this first photo and the flash automatically cut in

when I took this second photo - the flash didn't engage and its amazing how the whole moon suddenly appeared !

I think I've mentioned before how happy I am that I bought my digital SLR - its certainly worth every cent !

19 August 2012

hexy mf quilt-along

so I finally made my first hexy today for the hexy MF (modern flair!) quilt-along

but I did practice my hexy making by sewing the hexies that were included in the Craftsy BOM - I did a hexy stripe block and also a hexy flower which I've finally finished


the hexy flower uses the same size hexies as Katy is using in her quilt-along so I'm pretty comfortable with sewing the hexys together and also appliqueing them to the background.

and I don't think the stitches show too much ...

but talk about time consuming - at this rate it will take me until Christmas to get the flowers done!  I watched my team play football on tv this afternoon and had everything set up to go but only managed to get the one flower done - and I've only done half the side seams ! (notice my new little needle book in action)

even the glue basting took quite a while and I've only got half of them basted - anyway, I'll eventually get them done :)

I took Pippi for a walk this morning - the first day that it hasn't rained all week - we even got snow on Friday and yesterday was freezing as well - I can't wait 'til summer arrives !

Pippi had heaps of fun in the park but I was a little concerned that she wanted to jump in the creek - it was flowing pretty fast for a little dog !  I must remember to take my camera with me when I go walking - the phone just isn't the same.

I also made a yummy date and walnut slice this afternoon - the only trouble is that Pippi loves it too !

and I've decided on my fabrics for the down under doll quilt swap - I'm going to do a mini stars quilt so I'm pretty organised - now just need to start looking at the fab little quilt swap - that's due in a month !

hope you had / having a great weekend too :)

15 August 2012

that christmas feeling !

it felt a lot like christmas here today as I received not one, not two, but three swap parcels - squeal !!

I received my purse from the in the frame purse swap from Deb who has a gorgeous blog at Simply Miss Luella.  I actually follow Deb's blog and I had no idea that she was my swap partner !

isn't it just gorgeous ...

and it is lined with pink polka dot fabric too !

Deb also sent me some great extras - a beautiful flower brooch - it is soooo cute

and also a key fob and some green polka dot scissors along with some gorgeous fabrics - I looooove the pink teacups on a lime green background - thank you so much Deb :)

next up is a needlebook from the ratz swap - this was made by Ellie and I was crossing my fingers when I first saw this simply adorable needlebook.  I also follow Ellie at Craft Sew Create - another fabulous blog :)

it has all of my favourite fabrics - pink, lime green, and orange with tiny hexies on the front surrounded by pink polka dots - Ellie has called it rainbow sherbet - yummy !

the back is made from hexies as well - just a fraction bigger.

Ellie also sent me a pair of pink polka dot scissors so now I have a pair - yippee.  I also received a beautiful card, some needles and my favourite sewing tool - a quick unpick !! well maybe not my favourite but one of my most used anyway :)  and on the inside of the needlebook were some very cute pins - thank you too Ellie :)

I also received a beautiful pillow made by Kris for the care @ do.good stitches members swap - Kris made the pillow using gorgeous vintage modern fabric that I love !

the pillow is so well made and it has four buttons on the back - Kris also sent the pillow insert so how cool is that !

I love it and it's already sitting on my couch.  thank you so much Kris - it is such a gorgeous pillow :)

I'm very happy to have received such beautiful gifts made by such generous girls - this is what makes all that stress about swaps worth every second :)

14 August 2012

book review - free-motion quilting

I've got a new book to review - this one is Free-Motion Quilting by Angela Walters.

As a novice quilter I was really excited to get Angela’s first book on free motion quilting and it didn’t disappoint.

Angela starts off the first section by explaining that getting started in free motion quilting is all about practice and she suggests drawing designs on paper first – that way you learn how to space your design and move around without getting stuck which is something I can relate to !!

The second section is about supplies with suggestions on threads, marking tools and other helpful notions.  I was interested to learn that Angela uses polyester thread in her quilting !

Then its straight into the designs  where Angela explains how to make swirls and circles, squares, lines and vines and arcs and points – Angela’s easy to follow directions make this a perfect starting point to learn free motion quilting.

Angela then shows how to use your practice designs in modern quilts which usually have a lot of negative space and she suggests designs to use in different styles of quilts - square in a square and log cabin, zigzags, wonky quilts and strip quilts.

In the final sections of the book, Angela looks at designs for modern quilts that contain different shapes and designs and makes suggestions for using more than one design on a quilt - she also takes you through her ideas and thought process for designs on modern quilts that she has quilted.

This is a fabulous book full of design ideas that work wonderfully on modern quilts.

so I thought I'd show you some of my quilting ... I've been practicing drawing as suggested by Angela ...

and after some hesitation I just started quilting...I tried to do some of the designs ... some wannabe swirls and pebbles shown here...

and some not too bad double loop swirls...

I'm doing ok when I'm moving to the right and looping but I seem to have trouble changing directions - I think that's why I can't seem to do stipple quilting !

but I'm pretty happy for my first attempt and the back is ok - no puckering or bird's nests that I've heard so much about ...

and it seems my tension is ok as well...but my pebble attempt (top left in the photo below) needs quite a bit of practice - again its the where to go next that I have issues with!

one thing I did notice is that quilting uses a lot of bobbin thread so next time I'll make sure I have a few bobbins wound in advance so I can practice for more than half an hour !

I'm also pretty happy with my 26 year old Elna that seemed to cope quite well with my very fast quilting even though I can't drop the feed dogs !

so now I just need to practice, practice, practice and then practice some more and one day I might even be able to quilt my own quilts :)