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.

Bits n Pieces

Pieces of my Valentine's Day Quilt. Posted by Picasa

These are the pieces cut and ready for sewing for the Valentine's Quilt. Mum and I did it quite unconventionally, we didn't have all straight seams, we had to deal with a corner. Blame it on poor design, but I designed the whole quilt myself. While mum didn't like the corners, she is happy with how the quilt is turning out.

Lots of updates!

Gosh it's been over a month since my last post...
I guess starting back at uni hasn't left me much time for quilting (there are times when I know I could have much better things to do...) but I'll try and update as best as I can.

If you couldn't have figured out, my Valentine's Day quilt is not yet finished. (We're up to adding the sashing and cornerstones to the completed blocks) We're working row by row on the quilt top, then I'll get some pretty dark pink thread and quilt the whole thing. It's a single bed quilt with a pillow tuck and lots of hang.

I started my first of 11 quilting classes last night. I picked a pretty pink tie dye with waves as the fabric and I'm quite fond of it. I've also discovered a love for variegated thread. Our first block (it's a machine quilting class) was a calla lily, and I'm sure if that wasn't my favourite flower then I would have been disappointed. At least it looks like a calla lily! Pretty good for a first try. Some ladies there were grovelling at themselves because they couldn't get it on the lines, but I heard a quilter say once "Accept all the compliments you get, because no one but the maker will know where the mistakes are." And, sure enough, when I got home to mum she was quite impressed, she couldn't tell where the mistakes were! They're a good group of girls in my quilting class, all considerably older but we share the same hobby. I think I act more mature because I hang out with my mum a lot.

Oh, and I got published in an e-Zine. I get an online newsletter sent to my email every few weeks, I wrote a letter to the editor and she liked it so much that she published it.

I'm getting a lot of compliments on the pillow I made, and that I should start making them to sell. We have a lot of craft markets around here, so I'd have to go check them out to see if that's worth venturing into for a bit of pocket money.

The next few posts are images on what I've described in this post. Hopefully I'll keep up with my posts and record my progression on my quilting class. I have too many ideas and not enough time to do them all!