Sunday, December 24, 2006

The Unfinished Frog

The Stained Glass Frog
This was started a long time ago and has been put on hold. In fact, I'm not even sure if this ever will be finished. It's not that I don't like the frog anymore, I still love it, but it's just too much work. I can't be bothered with it and my interest has moved on. I think I'll just stick to 'quilts' and not specialise in anything else until I master the basics. I'm surprised the frog actually got so far. I think it's just too advanced for me and I got bored with the challenge. One day, he might get finished. One day, maybe.

Cheetah Quilt

The Cheetah Fabric
Wow, I nearly haven't posted at all this month. I've been very slack. But I've still been busy quilting! I started a new mystery quilt out of Australian Patchwork & Quilting, and it uses the cheetah print above as it's feature fabric. As soon as I get the first few blocks done (I've only just cut it out) I'm going to post more pictures. I'm 30cms (1 foot) short of the feature fabric, so I've been needing to go back to the fabric store to buy more, as well as background fabric. I'd hate to run out. It's the stupid silly season though, where things are a bit messed up until after New Year's. Seeing as it's so close to Christmas, I'm going to have to put off my next quilt shopping trip. =/

Monday, November 20, 2006

The Charity Quilt

The Charity Quilt

This was made in a day at an Inspirational Quilts Quilting Bee that I went to last Saturday. The day was spent doing a quilt top, and the coordinater, Nancy Gheno, supplied everyone with a quilt kit that made a top to donate. Mum went to the quilting bee with me, and she didn't get her quilt top finished. We have another quilting bee on the 9th, so she has to have it finished by then!

The quilt top I made was a stack 'n whack. I'd never done one of these before, so it was good to learn something new. Also, mum took my machine and we left her one at home, but Nancy had organised for me to use an overlocker (yes, I made this quilt with an overlocker). I was working with Nancy's daugher Jasmine, who was making the same quilt as me, only in blue. The quilt blocks were quite large (17" square) so it all came together quickly. There wasn't much wastage either as the scraps were large offcuts, big enough to use in another quilt. I did get a lot of scraps from Nancy to make another quilt top to donate, which I might do one day this week with my friend Kate, depending on scheduling.

Hopefully on the 9th I can get another quilt top donated, as I'm on school holidays and I don't have a job, doing charity work makes my time kinda meaningful.

Inspirational Quilts' website:

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Simon & Cathy's Baby Quilt

Simon & Cathy's Baby Quilt Posted by Picasa

This quilt was made for a baby shower mum went to two weeks ago (I know, slack with the updating). I was meant to go but uni assignments were dragging me down. So I never got to see the reactions of everyone to this quilt. I didn't have that much part in it anyway, mum did most of it. I just cut everything out (she's afraid of the rotary cutter, for some reason) and I did the label. I chose the quilting design, but mum quilted it. The pattern is the 'Amish diamond'. We had to use neutral colours (as in, not 'girl' pinks or 'boy' blues) as we didn't know the sex of the baby. I hope they get good use out of this quilt though!

After seeing this quilt come together so quickly (we estimate that it took about less than 30 hours) mum's starting to think she wants a long-arm machine so she can quilt faster and we can get better and sell them. She's always wanted a long-arm, I'm sure when I move out my room will be used for that. She's loved quilting since we started, and it shows. Pretty good for only her third quilt! =)

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Trapunto Butterflies

Trapunto Butterflies Posted by Picasa

Just as I've been slack with my posting, I've been slack with my quilting homework. =P The trapunto butterflies were the monthly assignment two months ago for my monthly class.

For the butterflies, first I stitched the fabric to one layer of batting, then I cut out the 'flat' parts, and then sewed it again with another layer- doubling the fat parts and giving a single layer of batting to the thin parts. Then, I stippled over the thin parts so that the fat parts 'popped'. So far I think this is the prettiest block, and I'm contemplating making a whole cloth (maybe crib sized) quilt with just the butterflies in different sizes all over it.

This is only one completed block, when I'm meant to complete two of everything. Soon I'll have the other block finished. Then I'll have to do last month's block, trapunto cording, and then this month's block, trapunto stuffed feathers. At least for those two blocks the 'quilting' is only cross hatching, which isn't so hard to do. It's the stippling that takes a while and hurts my foot. My course is nearly finished though, only one more set of twin blocks, and then the middle parts, borders, etc. and then I'll have a quilt, made with a whole lot of time and learned experience!

Dresden Flower Bag

Dresden Flower Bag Posted by Picasa

I know I've been very slack with my posts lately, as this bag was completed on the 14th of August, so I'm only updating it a month later. My apologies. =P

This bag, of which the flower was shown previously as it was after my class at the show, is now complete. It's not the best photo, as it wasn't laying flat due to the gussets, but it's so cute and little. It was started by me in a class on my 20th birthday, purchased as a kit with a class that cost $22, from Picklemouse Corner. The bag part was completed by mum.

My only regret with this project is that we didn't measure the precut bag components, the ruffles, the lining, the outside, etc. So that we could make a few more in different colours. I could always measure it and then add in the seam allowances. =) There's a way around everything, to get to the bright side of everything.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Valentine's Heart Quilt

The Valentine's Heart Quilt Posted by Picasa

Mum had this finished for me on the night of my party, so the day after my birthday I got to sleep under it. She hand quilted it twice, once on each side, because we used wool batting and she had trouble quilting through both sides. It still looks beautiful though. I pieced most of the sashing and part of the hearts, she finished off what I didn't do and quilted the whole thing. It was a better present than anything else I got, and I'm now wondering if I should let her help with the DJ quilt or leave it as a surprise. It's more fun for me to have it as a surprise! =)

The Needle Companions

The Needle Companions Posted by Picasa

This picture shows my needle companion open, and mum's closed. She has calico where I have green.

This was a quick little project that was fun and allowed us to work together. We used the last of the pellon from the pillowcase. It has two cute little pockets that button close and another little pouch. The felt part is for pins and needles. It was a learning experience, as everything is at this point, but it was lots of fun.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Second Day (Other Crafts)

Just a little update this time, no pictures. =)

On the second day of the show, I went with mum and her friend Di. Because my friends didn't get to meet me there, I spent a lot of time wandering around by myself. It was so much fun! I took three classes (none of which were quilting, but still fun.)

The first class was a twisted wire pearl bracelet. I won't go into too much detail because this is meant to be a quilting blog, but I can say that mum loved it so much she kept stealing it from me. So, we had to buy another kit later on that day.

The second class was a lace beading technique, making a Christmas star. I love this technique though I can't find good quality size 9 beads around. There's a craft show in September that I'll go to where the same shop that held the class should be there.

The third class was a Swarovski crystal slider bracelet. It was very cute and very easy. I'm glad I took those classes. Sometimes I need a distraction from quilting (but not for long!)

Lately I've been doing a lot of the lace beading, but my technique sucks and I find myself breaking beads or threads or undoing the knots and having to start again. I can use polyester cotton with those size 9 Olaf beads so I'm very fond of those, as that thread is stronger than beading thread. September isn't too far away though, I'll just put it aside until then.

I did manage to shop between classes- I found my Drunkard's Path template (and the lady remembered me from Thursday) and I bought a wire knitting kit with beads, though I have no idea how that will turn out and I'll probably just give it to mum to do. I also bought a 'easy decoupage' kit of a puppy that I'm really enjoying right now. I usually do that while mum's doing her mosaics. Chuck said it was nice that we still spend time together, even while doing other crafts.

And in the meantime, I haven't finished my butterfly trapunto blocks for my class, and this month's block is especially hard! Silly trapunto cording... And I'm told we have to do it again for 'feathers' next month. Argh! I'm getting mum to help me on this one... =/

Friday, July 28, 2006

My Paper Pieced Bag

My Paper Piecing Posted by Picasa

Here, in it's very early stages, is the result of my class yesterday on paper piecing. I've never really done any kind of hand piecing before, but I didn't think about it and I think because I wasn't thinking negatively, I learnt how to do it. And damn it's easy! I'm in love with this technique. The paper-pieced flower is appliqued on to a very simply made bag, and then the whole piece is done. We only had three in the class so I managed to get a lot done- I finished three of the 'petals' in class, then the rest of the round at home last night on a chair with mum sewing binding next to me and Middy asleep in my lap. I loved it! It's so easy. For once I can do something that doesn't require a machine. Now I understand why Grandmother's Flower Garden is a good 'take along' project.

Matilda's Own Templates

Matilda's Own Templates Posted by Picasa

I love seeing Scissorman at shows. They have heaps of cutters, scissors and Matilda's Own Templates. In January I bought a set of templates that I've used to death and I'm in love with them so I bought more. As mum's favourite quilting pattern is the Dresden Plate, I bought a dresden wedge for us to use. The little shapes are all 1 inch templates. I like how all of them can be interchanged as they all finish to 1" sides. The hexagon is my favourite. There was also a Drunkard's Path template that I'll probably get on Sunday when I go back to the show with my friends (yes, one day just wasn't enough!) I'm not too sure if I'm ready for the double wedding ring template, as I can't see myself making one of those anytime soon. Maybe when my brother gets married, but that will be a while off and there'll be plenty more quilt shows. =)

It's like Christmas came early...

Like Christmas came early Posted by Picasa

Here you will see the majority of what mum and I bought yesterday at the show (of course, minus the game of Life). We both had a blast! I bought some kits, a Christmas felt applique one and a needle companion, and a little bag. The bag kit was part of a paper piecing class I took yesterday by myself, as mum was taking a mosaic class. It's something she wanted to try and I'm glad that she did. There's more 'Matilda's Own' templates, some quilting magazine back issues that we got cheap, and a nice 'showbag' from Better Homes and Gardens that was full of stuff. It was so much fun, and the best thing was that I got to do something I enjoy on my birthday. Thank you mum!

Show, oh glorious show...

The Retro Needle Companion Posted by Picasa

Yesterday was my birthday and I spent the day doing what I love most- quilt supplies shopping. This is only one of the many things that mum and I bought- I bought a retro one to match my retro bag I'm going to make 'any day now' and mum bought a cute 'Quilting Bee' one. It has little bumble bees on it and honeycombs. We're going to make them together. At the moment mum's using an ice cream container to hold her hand quilting stuff and she keeps dropping it on the floor due to the quilt knocking it off the armrest. So we figured that this will help her, and it's something we can do together. We bought it from a store called 'Blue Willow Cottage' and I've mentioned them before because that's where I got my matching retro (in purples and greens) bag. Looks like a cute little project and kit though. Should be fun.

The Trellis Block

Last Month's Block Posted by Picasa

I know I'm very late posting this photo, because it's last month's block. In actual fact, I have my quilting class next week and I haven't even finished one of my blocks for this month (hence why there'll be no pics of them yet)- I'm not even a quarter done! I have some work to do- I've just been so damn busy. More updates to come. =)

Friday, July 14, 2006

Patchwork Shop Hopping

Today mum and I went to a patchwork store not too far away, Patchwork on Central Park. It's a sweet little store, which was where I bough my DJ book. I managed to pick up 4 meters of Amy Butler clearance fabric for $20. And 2 FQ's for $4. I'm not sure what I'll do with it yet, but it's a large print that can be used for large blocks. Maybe I'll make a throw to keep in my car. Also, we found 2 block books. Both had 200 rotary cut blocks, so I'm itching to go through those. I might find a nice block for my Amy Butler fabrics. And mum bought Alex Anderson's Baby Quilt book, as we know a few expectant mummies. It was a good shop, usually empty, but today was pretty busy. Worth the drive for the wonderful designer fabrics in bright retro colours and heaps of 30's prints that I can't find at my local quilt shop (they have mostly florals and palettes). Worth the drive just for my type of fabric, I will definitely be going back again.

Update on Chuck's project: It's all fused and basted, just needs to be stitched and bound and labelled and it's done. =)

Friday, July 07, 2006

The Hello Kitty Quilt Top

Hello Kitty in Shoo Fly, made by me and my friend Janelle.

It only took us one day (from 11-9) to piece the entire top. I think it was a good effort and looks pretty effective. The shoo fly block was 15" square, finished. There are 12 blocks total in the whole quilt. All Janelle has to do now is quilt it, then bind it. She's good with a machine so I think she can handle it. And she thought a quilt takes a year! Not on a machine. ='>

I'll post my butterfly class blocks, and last month's class blocks, very soon. The butterfly block has heaps of stippling that I'm still afraid of!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Updation LOL =)

I haven't posted anything in a while because I haven't done anything for a while. I've been slack. My last two posts about mum's work are only to distract from the fact I haven't done much myself. =P

Mum's been hand quilting the hearts on the Valentine's Quilt. It's coming along, very slowly. In the mean time, I've been working on my 'homework' for my quilting class which is in a weeks time (and I haven't even finished one block!) but pictures of those blocks should be posted soon.

A few days ago I also bought the 'Dear Jane' book, with the intention of making mum a DJ quilt for her 50th birthday. If you know mum and you read this please keep it quiet! It's going to be a surprise! My Dear Jane quilt (Mum's Jane) has it's own blog, and a link is located in the side bar. I'm buying background fabric in cream to match mum's room for it today or tomorrow so I can get started. =)

As soon as I finish my 'homework' blocks, you'll hear from me again. =D

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Mum's Finished Hand Quilting

Mum's Finished Hand Quilting Posted by Picasa

It's not the best photo, I know, but the feather design is visible. I'm proud of her. Hopefully one day she'll accomplish a whole cloth quilt! =)

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Mum's Hand Quilting

Mum's Hand Quilting Posted by Picasa

I just had to post this picture because I'm so proud of mum's first attempt at hand quilting. (Actually when I took this picture this was her second or third attempt, she'd unpicked it so many times that I had to record one of the earlier attempts!) She took a class yesterday to learn the ThimbleLady's way of quilting, which is pain-free supposedly, so she won't wreck her hands anymore. I think she's doing well, she's getting the stitches at the back, and she's sewing 7 stitches per inch after only one day of learning. I think that at the quilt show she might actually buy a silver thimble custom fit for her. =)

Monday, June 05, 2006

The Second Class Block

Second Class Block Posted by Picasa

This is a really small picture of the second block for my monthly class. I still need to finish one more (everything is made in pairs) but all I have to do on that one is the stippling. The circles were made with twin needles and a walking foot, then cross-hatched an inch apart. There's stippling everywhere else.

I've found that I'm nearly afraid of stippling, I tense up and my shoulders get tight and everything aches after a while because I'm so tense. I know I need to relax more but it's hard! I've only stippled a few times and I know that I can't be perfect at it from the start but for a beginner that's pretty darn good! Once I'd finished though, I went and showed mum and she was impressed. She even told me I'm a better machine-quilter than her! But I'm the one taking the class, so I should be!

I've reasoned with myself that stippling is artistic scribble with thread, it's not meant to be perfect. I was looking through an Australian Patchwork & Quilting magazine and I noticed the mistakes I made with stippling were the same mistakes on one of the project quilts. When I showed mum, I tried to point out the mistakes I made (overlapping stitches, pointy bits, etc) but when I tried to find them I really couldn't. Not because there was so few or many mistakes, but because the stippling blended with the fabric and wasn't obvious enough to stand out. She was impressed and I do like impressing her. Anyone else who sees it is usually impressed too (or being nice) so I can't complain.

I can't wait to show the girls when we have our next class this Wednesday. Last month they were ready to kill me for my blocks, this time I hope they'll be just as envious! =)

Completed Valentine's Top

Valentine's Top Posted by Picasa

This is a (very dodgy) photo of my completed Valentine's Day top (which mum mostly finished). A friend said it'd be more special that way because we both worked on the top together (it sounds nice in theory but I think mum did most of it!) Mum wants to hand quilt it, after realising how hard it is to machine quilt my grandmother's quilt. We thought about sending it out to a professional machine quilter but not only are they too expensive, mum made the very good argument that if we sent it out, we wouldn't have done it all ourselves. Mum agreed with this, I think she's looking forward to hand-quilting it.

Lately she's been interested in the Thimblelady's way of pain-free hand quilting (because mum has carpel tunnel syndrome and can't work with her hands much) and I'm not going to stand in her way. I think it's really good that she wants to learn new things. =) She's hanging out for the quilt show in July, we're going to be like children in a candy store. =D

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

The Second Quilting Show

Last weekend mum and I tackled our second quilting show. It was small and showcased all the local craft businesses, which are few, but still quality. Mum dragged along my grandmother, because we figure that she's bored so we'd try to get her to do something. Unfortunately, she didn't see anything that inspired her and she thought that quilt making was too hard. =/ She used to do so much but now she does so little, she's gotten lazy.

Because the craft show was little we managed to tackle it all in a few hours. But, it was still big enough for us to buy stuff. I finally got my little Clover iron for $20 cheaper than the recommended price. And I got a cute little bag kit for $45 from Blue Willow Cottage. They had so many kits priced so reasonably! And so many cute little Christmas kits! They're having a birthday sale on the 8th of July so mum and I are going to drive there and see what we can get. I'm going to start working on the bag during my school break. Then I'll be able to take it to class with me at uni. =)

I also saw my quilt teacher at the show because she owns a local quilt shop. She was happy to see me and said I was one of her best students (when she was talking to mum). That made me very happy. And even though it was a small show, mum was quite happy with what we found there. There was a stall for a little company called Inspirational Quilts, and they make charity quilts for children affected by Cystic Fibrosis. Mum has forever wanted to do something charitable and while she believes that she's not good enough to make charity quilts I convinced her to put her name down for a 'Quilting Bee' so she can spend a whole day making quilts, which is what she wanted to do. =)

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

My Grandmother's Quilt

My Grandmother's Mother's Day Quilt Posted by Picasa

This is the quilt that mum and I decided to make for my grandmother. We tried a 'lightening bolt' pattern, which kinda made itself unique. We used dark greens and browns because we figure that my grandmother's in a nursing home and she's going to get it dirty. It was the first lap quilt we've ever made (and when I say 'we' I mean mum, I only cut the triangles and borders out, mum sewed pretty much everything) and mum did the binding. I was only there to tell her what to do because she didn't know. =)

The only downside that Mother's Day was Sunday, and it's Tuesday now. Mum's visiting her today to give her the quilt.

I've started working on the Frog. Today I used the living room window as a lightbox to trace the pattern on to fabric. Next I have to trace the fusible webbing and cut out the pieces. I'm just getting confused as to which way to use the pattern, if it's mirrored or normal. But I'll figure it out. =)

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Just Checking In...

I usually have a quilting magazine or two with me at uni, not if I get bored in class but if I have a spare half hour between so I can flip through pages, I don't have any tolerance for those trashy gossip magazines, but while I was flipping through an old magazine at uni I saw the most beautiful quilt that I knew I had to make, and I decided that I would. We'll call it... 'the Frog'.

So, I'm going to go do that, on top of the heart bed quilt, the quilt class, and everything else. I think I'm an over-achiever.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Completed Calla Lily Block

The Echo-Quilted Calla Lily Posted by Picasa

It's just under a week until my next quilting class, and I've only finished one of my lilies. I'm meant to make two of each block. I'm astounded with the results, it looks so pretty. I love the fabric and the design, I just wasn't sure what to do with the scrappy string ends of the thread. Each block (currently at 14" square) gets cut back to 12.5" square, so even if I tied in all the ends some of them would be cut off. I figured I'd just leave it and ask the teacher about it next week. I have to finish off the echo-quilting of my second lily sometime this week while working on my uni assignments. I love the look of echo-quilting but I'm pretty sure it won't be a common technique for me, unless the quilt absolutely calls for it. It's far too time consuming!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

A third complete!

A third complete! Posted by Picasa

This is the Valentine's Day quilt with a third of the piecing complete. We've done 4 out of the 12 rows. It's not a very good photo because it's draped over a chair but at least it's starting to take shape. Even at this point we're still unsure how we're going to 'quilt' it, but I'm sure we'll figure it out when it's nearly done. I'm having a bit of trouble with the pressing though, but I'm sure that I'll finish it off properly when we press the final quilt top before basting it for quilting.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Ben's Present

Ben's Birthday Pillow Posted by Picasa

This was made from a few sessions with my friend Kate. While we made a great personal gift for Ben and had lots of girlie time together, I think I was the luckiest one by doing this in that I was successful in teaching Kate enough about quilting so much that she wants to go ahead and make her own pillows for her family.

The pillow was made from fabric that Kate and I bought from a store together, and I threw in the blue and white fabric from my ever growing stash. (The blue in the inner squares is from my first pillow case.)

We used the block called 'Geometry', purely because of the fact that Ben loves maths so much. Kate and I were both very happy with the result. (And I noticed the secondary pattern that looks like a pinwheel emerging from the colours chosen.) The Dolphin in the middle, the 'center piece' was a little tapestry that Kate did. It was her first one, and I thought she did a really good job on it. The colours around the dolphin really suit the whole pillow.

Before we gave it to Ben we wrote a little message, a label if you will, on the inside of the pillow slip. I'm getting into the habit of labelling my work, but for the items I'm keeping at home I think filling out a quilting journal that I keep in my sewing desk is good enough.

I like creating pillow cases, they're like little minature quilts that can be completed in a short amount of time, while still being practical. (Mum doesn't tend to like the idea of hanging quilts on the walls- I'll have to change her mind with a memory quilt for her 50th in 5 years time.)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

My Sewing Room

My sewing room. Posted by Picasa

I've taken over the lounge room. We were talking about the best place in the house to have a sewing room. I'm lucky that dad likes me quilting so he was willing to give me the lounge room.

My Valentine's Block

The Heart block without sashing or corner stones. Posted by Picasa

This is one of my heart blocks, without the border. I've put a 1" white and pink corner stone and hashing around each block so that they show seperately instead of blending. I came up with the design by myself. I love how a block pattern can be used so many different ways to get different effects.

One day I'm going to use my "501 Quilt Blocks" book to make nearly all of them (the compatible ones) into a big double bed quilt. That's the best thing about quilting, there's so much creativity and personal expression and I really enjoy it even though I've just dabbled my feet in it. I have many years of this ahead of me, I just know it.

The First Row

A row of the blocks for my Valentine's Quilt. Posted by Picasa

This is how each block looks with the borders. We're sewing each row and block as we go, so that we don't mess up the order of the quilt top.

Valentine's Layout

The layout of my Valentine Quilt. Posted by Picasa

This was so much fun. Mum and I used the front entrance of the house to spread out the blocks to make sure no similar colours were together. Then we stacked them up into rows and started sewing the sashing and corner stones, then the strips. I think it looks really good. Each heart is 5" square, to give you an idea of how big the quilt is.

My Calla Lily

The Calla Lily machine quilting block. Posted by Picasa

Can you tell that this is my first attempt at quilting off a tracing-paper pattern? It was hard to follow the lines with my free-motion foot, but for a first attempt I thought it was pretty well done. Lilies are my favourite flower. The block isn't finished, I have to echo quilt right to the edge. It should look really good when it's all finished and as the class continues.