Thursday 20 August 2015

Heart for Burundi

A friend of mine has a Ball coming up at the end of this month. But it's not just a ball with a meal and dancing and fun to be had, it's to raise funds for a cause called: Villages of Life. Her brother is involved with an orphanage in Burundi and since I can't attend the ball, I went with making a quilt for the silent auction. That will be a challenge - seeing how much people think the quilt is worth, I'll let you know once I find out.

When I saw Sandra's quilt [] I knew I had found the quilt to do - (thanks Sandra for the encouragement) especially when my friend had given me some 10" squares of shades of pink through to red that weren't really my choice of colour. This seemed to be a great use for them.

So I cut out some of her squares down to 5" by 51/2" and then added some other choices of blue/green/teal types. I liked the overall layout, then had a thought about using the leftovers for a pieced backing. The first shot here is just the pieces prior to them being sewn together.

I have worked pretty hard the last few days to get this finished!
I learned quite a lot from quilting this little piece (it finished at 58" square):
  • First of all a pieced backing is fine if you're using a reasonably thick wadding. Lately I've been using bamboo, but I went with cotton because its lighter and I thought manoeuvring through my Janome would be easier. It was easier, but I knew when I came across a seam in the backing. 

  • Secondly, quilting straight lines which create a 'frame' and then doing figure 8s, or capital S or maybe a musical clef type type shapes within that frame, works really well to highlight the centre of the quilt - and it's good fun. 

This is a shot of the body or centre of the heart with a paisley (?) type pattern that I experimented with as well, mostly sticking to one direction but occasionally going off on a tangent - maybe I should have done that more often, not sure. 

  • Thirdly, the scrolls - they take a lot of practise!! I think I improved and I'm grateful that those at the Ball and auction hopefully won't be quilting experts, so they'll think it looks OK. I used Superior Thread, Bottom Line which was very smooth, apart from the times when the machine just chose randomly to snap the thread. I did all the right things: new needle, full bobbin, quality thread and much patience, to get to the end. 

And finally one shot outside, that I managed to grab inbetween the showers here - it is Winter in the Southern Hemisphere after all! This shows much more clearly that the borders really are white and not cream as they appear indoors. 
Feel pretty satisfied with this quilt and I learned a lot which is always a good thing. I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced; Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Free-Motion by the River. 
Until next time,

Thursday 6 August 2015

Square Garden

A friend of mine has a 60th birthday coming up at the end of this month and I am so pleased with myself that I have her gift all but finished (the all but is the binding which will be sewn on tonight and the all important label, which going on past record, will be attached the day I give it to her!).

It began with some left over fabric in small triangles that I just couldn't bear to throw away. So I joined them to make a square and added borders around that. Then I came across some alternate squares that I know she will really appreciate and that helped to make the central panel.

That made it quite busy, so when it came to quilting it needed something quite simple.
Orange peel seemed to fit the bill. You can see it quite clearly here on the back which was pieced in a simple print with the same cream as on the front as well.

The border though, in particular the cream, was crying out for some feathers.  So I obliged and had fun doing them too. They may not be as beautiful as others who may also have a long arm, but my Janome QC 1600P does a good job. I'm pretty sure the recipient will be happy with it and that's the main thing really.

I'm also making another quilt for the same deadline, so it's on to that one now. 
Until next time, 
I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced and Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

Tuesday 4 August 2015

Teaching Sampler

A friend and I recently talked about beginning a new patchwork group for Mums at our local school who may be in need of a creative outlet and some new friendships. So to start the group off, we thought we'd begin with a sampler - not an original idea, but a great way to teach new skills for people.
Of course we needed to choose the blocks and write some instructions - that fell to me.

So here is the flimsy of the sampler. I decided to do it in quite strongly contrasting colours so that things would stand out obviously for people. I thought I'd also use it as an excuse to plan for a baby quilt - we have a number of those expected in our community.
I enjoyed the process, found it a challenge to make sure that I had all the measurements correct so that we would create raw 12 1/2" blocks, then add sashing. Anyway quite happy with the use of the fat quarter of owls as my feature print - that worked well.

We had our first class, beginning with a rail fence block, on Friday just gone. It was wonderful to see people grasping the joy of putting fabrics together. I didn't realise how much skills that I use almost daily, including using a cutter and ruler, can take a little while to grasp. The newcomers gradually got the hang of it though and so begins the wonderful adventure and journey!

This isn't one of my current working list (eight works in progress) but I have made some progress on one I hope to share later this week so I am making some gradual progress and I'm happy with that.

Until next time,
Linking up with Val's Quilting studio and other Linky parties.