Wednesday 31 March 2010

Uttoxeter Quilt Group

Messy Maureen excelled herself. She sandwiched and quilted all 5 of her 17" blocks and then used her decorative stitches to embellish the borders. She was very quiet and smiling through the whole process, sporting her new glasses she was able to get really straight lines and didn't need to rip out anything all day!!! woooohoooo for the new glasses I say! he he he
AJ (Angela that's not me) added inner and outer borders, prepared the backing, made a sandwich and started the quilting on her rail fence table runner... she even decided that she likes it now!, thank goodness for that, I think it is wonderful.
This is Shirley Lerly's project. It's going to be a luxurious pillow on her guest bed. We added corner stones to the borders so that the stripes could all go in the same direction. Lerly would have started her quilting if I had remembered to take her batting/wadding... duh!
Gillian joined us after lunch, she has decided to use big stitch quilting on her log cabin quilt, it looks great with all those animal prints. The race is on though, this quilt has a deadline for delivery... sore fingers coming up!
Jenny came too, she was free motion quilting her mat bag, which is coming along nicely.
We meet again next Tuesday 6th April, it's another full meeting so no places left, sorry.... feel free to pop in to see what we are doing though, we're always happy to have visitors!

Tuesday 30 March 2010

Reminding You Again...

Quilts In The garden 2010
(this is a link that you can click on for more information)
Will be in UTTOXETER!!!! at the race course.
From Thursday April 8th to Sunday April 11th.
Tickets are £1 cheaper if you buy them in advance... did you know that?
That will give you extra pennies to spend on fabric and goodies.
Spread the news please, it is such a lovely exhibition and it needs your support!

Monday 29 March 2010

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

The biggest advantage of only two folk in a group has to be lots of table space... at this stage being able to lay out the blocks helps enormously. Ian is sewing on their very own Bernina baby now and Liz used one of mine.
Liz's blocks all laid out before stitching together.... she decided to piece them 'row-ley' as opposed to block-ley'... did I mention that I was thinking of writing my own dictionary? tee hee
Ian's quilt top, well the centre at least... he wasn't sure he had chosen good colours.. but now he is chuffed with the result... he has to make all the saw tooth blocks for the borders next.

We meet again in three weeks time on the 18th April.
Next week, 4th, is Easter Sunday and the following week 8th to 11th, is the Quilts In The Garden (Re-Named Quilts At The Races!) show at Uttoxeter... I hope you have plans to go?

Sunday 28 March 2010

Frankie's Funky Monkeys

Frankie's ready for the arrival of grand baby number 6. His quilt is finished, labelled and waiting. All beautifully hand quilted... Frankie says her finger tips are very sore and look like they are diseased, he he he.... every quilt is hand quilted and every time I suggest she try machine quilting... every time she says "maybe next time"
The back.. isn't it fabulous!! Look at all the quilting, no wonder her fingers are sore, she finished it in just over one month.

Saturday 27 March 2010

Forsbrook Quilt Group

Just three of us this week, I was expecting 5 but sometimes, life gets in the way. We still had a great day though. Brenda and Joan The Shop had loads of table space each, and they made sure to use every inch of it.
Brenda only needs to stitch down her binding and add a label to her Rail Fence quilt so she is able to start something new. Starting with patchwork cushions, here's the first block, Ohio Star, one of my favourites actually.
Joan The Shop made a huge sandwich with her hexagon quilt. We played around with quilting designs and made a firm decision.... you will get to see it soon, knowing how fast Joan works... that poor husband is living on quick salads!!!
This is another of Joan's quilt tops, she's going to add applique to the borders so it's not finished yet, have you heard of Peppa Pig? Apparently it's the 'Thing' these days for the little people.... very easy to applique shapes, this is for a special little grand daughter.

We meet again next Friday, April 2nd... APRIL!!!! where is this year going? Yes, I know it's Good Friday, a public Holiday, what better holiday treat than a quilty day with your chums?? You want to come too?

Friday 26 March 2010

Free Motion Quilting

I finished quilting it.... Scrappy Railfence, I used nine and a half bobbins, granted, the Cotty thread is a bit thicker so you don't get so much on a bobbin... which is another good reason for choosing lovely thin threads I suppose.
Hopefully this is the end of these particular scraps.... I still have a lot of scraps in my tubs, but they are different. From these colours I have made Chunky Churndash, Pineapple Blossom (pictures on right side bar), Bento Box , 2 Scrappy Bargello (one king size and one double size) and this one...

Thursday 25 March 2010

Free Motion Quilting

Hours and hours... really, lots of hours, I stopped to see how much more to go? I only had a quarter of the top filled!!! I quilted for another hour or so before bedtime, now I'm one third done. Thats 5 Bernina bobbins full of thread!
I wound 5 more bobbins with the Cotty thread, because it refuses to be playing on top and will only work in the bobbin, if you click on the picture to make it huge, you will see how fluffy it is. I know this is only 4 but there is one in the Aurora waiting to go!...
Aurifil polyester (!) thread for the top, love the colours but this spool of thread has broken on me 6 times already! very irritating, and YES I have changed the needle.
This is the Aurifil thread that I used in the pink baby quilt, beautiful colours, it didn't break once!

Uttoxeter Quilt Class

One of Messy Maureen's blocks, she's made all 5 of them with a different design, we just added borders to bring them all up to the size we need for the bean bag cube, 17" each. Next time these will be sandwiched and quilted individually before joining them. It will be a good opportunity for Maureen to try out the Janome walking foot as her first 2 projects were made on a Bernina Aurora baby, he he he.
Lizzie continued making her mat and ruler bag using my very own design,... which is still evolving..., when I'm completely happy with it, I'lll share it with you! Here she is making the 24" ruler pocket using the 'quilt as you go' method. She made both handles too and her bag was almost finished...
Messy Maureen opted to buy the orange one I made instead... he he he (MUM, I sold something!!!)

Jenni took a break from her log cabin quilt, she's in the process of quilting it and she can do that at home. So, a mat bag it is.... After completing the 'quilt as you go' pocket she plumbed in the Bernina BSR, carefully listened to my instructions and set off.... she did it very well after only a few minutes. The gloves were removed eventually as Jenni found it easier without them, perhaps they just weren't chic enough! So next week, maybe, Jenni will bring in the front and the back of the bag all beautifully free motion quilted?
Shirley joined us after lunch, she has her inner borders sewn onto the rail fence quilt and she cut the outer border with corner stones ready for next time.
Angela, who will be known as AJ because I am forever spinning my head at the sound of my name, took delivery of her brand new sewing machine, she chose a Janome 4900 QC, I bet she doesn't do any housework for a few days... nothing like a new baby to take up your cleaning time eh!!! ha ha ha

Tuesday Uttoxeter class in full at the moment. Woooohooooo, I am happy to say that, can you tell? If you are considering joining us, I will start another quilty day... never can have too many quilty days!.. anyway, you can email me if you are interested.. (Birte, it's too far for you so don't you bother emailing!! he he he)

Tuesday 23 March 2010

Free Motion Quilting

I started this quilt when we came back to the UK... once the top was finished all progress stopped and it became a PHD because we decided to move my sewing room to my new Quilty Quarters.... My Sunday quilt class for this week was cancelled, so I decided to treat myself to some quilty time... I had to move furniture out of our living room so that I could make my sandwich on the floor (oh I miss my Quilt Cave...) I had to re-arange my Quilty Quarters to get this extra table in to take the weight and size of the quilt... not big really it is only 84" x 60"... all eventually ready so......
I cracked on... I am using Aurifil again... lovely to quilt with. Only just noticed that it is 100% polyester though... how times have changed, once upon a time the quilt police would have shot me for quilting with polyester thread... not that I have ever listened to the quilt police! he he he

Alton Quilters

Last time we met we decided to start a 'Round Robin', just like the one we did as a group in Portugal. We were supposed to bring in a 4 1/2" block, in a brown envelope, each. One lady found a block she already had made in the past, three of us made our blocks at the last minute, that very morning, two ladies completely forgot and one lady didn't come to the meeting. Only one of us had a brown envelope.... Not looking good... So we have postponed the first swap, which is just as well because I had made only a 4" block, not big enough!! duh!
This is a terrible picture, I got the setting wrong on my camera, with that I mean that I had knocked it from the automatic setting... he he he, anyway, I'm posting it only to show you how good the light is on a Bernina Aurora baby. This is Jenny who spent the entire two hour meeting perfecting her free motion quilting. She really struggled at the last meeting but this week, something clicked... she was drawing flowers, leaves, rainbows... practice really makes perfect!

Saturday 20 March 2010

Binding Basics

I hope you are going to understand this? These "How To's" are a little complicated to explain in pictures. I am a visual learner , but I need it in real life! he he he.
Here goes...
Usually... I will cut my binding strips 2 1/2" wide. For some wall hangings I use 2 1/4" wide, makes a much thinner binding, which looks better on a much smaller project... in my opinion, which I am allowed to have, right?
If I want to, I make a wider binding, like, I confess now, when my backing is too short after quilting, I can have a thin border showing on the front and a good, wide border on the back to cover any errors... and yes , this still makes a lovely mitre on the corner.

Joining strips....
Place two binding strips like so, one horizontal and one vertical, with right sides together... place your ruler a tiny bit shy of the diagonal so that when you draw your pencil line it sits exactly on the 45 degree angle, you see it?
pin either side of your pencil line to stop any shifting of fabric....
sew exactly on the line, like so.... then take out the pins and open out the strip....
if the top and bottom of the strip run straight, like this one (if they don't make a straight line take out the seam and do it again, please)....
you can cut off the extra bits 1/4" from the line,using ruler and rotary or a pair of sharp scissors (save the triangles in your 'little scraps' tub!)
then press the seams to one side, like this, all good and neat... you'll need to join enough strips together for the whole thing to go all the way round your quilt and some 8"+ extra.
press the whole strip in half length ways, mind you don't burn your fingers!
This is the most basic way to do binding. It works and it is very very easy for beginners, I know there are 'better' ways. Fold over 1/4" seam and finger press it, only at the start end though. Pin it onto the side of your quilt then check that you can get round the quilt without having a join fall on a corner.. this makes the mitre very bulky, if the joins do hit a corner adjust the start position, check all 4 corners before you start to sew.
Stitch about 1 inch on only one layer of the binding, just to hold the start point in the right place....
fold the binding back down and start stitching all the layers to the quilt, I always start a few inches further down, you will see why... stitch all the way round, look how to do mitred corners my way here....
when you get back to your starting point, open up the start binding slot in the end and trim off any extra inches, cutting on the diagonal will reduce the bulk, BE CAREFUL to leave enough to reach the beginning though
fold over the top of the binding strip, you might need to fiddle a bit to get it perfect...
hold it in place and continue stitching
you should find yourself back where you started, joining up the two lines of stitching.

then your pretty much done... fold the binding over to the back ready to hand stitch down, again you might need to fiddle a little to get it perfect...
this is the other side, it's neat and very easy.
I've found tutorials for other, possibly better but more fiddly, ways of doing binding, which I tend to use, so I don't have to make another "How To", I will put links to them once I ask for permission.
In my classes I teach this method only to beginners for their first project, their second project we do a mitred binding, and for the third project... binding with no visible join.

I'm Sorry Lizzie!

Well, how very forgetful I am! Lizzie is very proud of her Log Cabin quilt, her husband took this picture especially to show me how good it looks... but that was a few weeks ago. I wanted to make a special post about it, so I saved the picture... oh dear... 'out of sight out of mind!' I forgot all about posting it for you to see.... Making good today though... As I was thinking about which ladies will be in our group on Tuesday, I remembered it's a Lizzie week and that jogged my terrible memory! Didn't she do a great job with it!

Forsbrook Quilt Group

Joan The Shop, Brenda, Dotty Maureen, a new lady, Shirley Lerley and yours truly! A little visit from Christine, who will join us once a month, hand piecing and hand quilting. Five ladies for lunch, we will need a bigger table soon, wooohooo!
Joan The Shop trimmed her quilt, made the binding and stitched it on. She is very impressed with my method of turning corners.... did any of you try it yet? I would really like to know if you found it helpful... Joan also learned how to use sticky stuff (Under Wonder Under? Steam-a-Seam? Fast2fuse?... whatever... tis all sticky stuff to me!).. she's got a bit of surprise applique planned.
This is Shirley Lerley, our new addict (wooops) I mean new quilter.... having fun on a Bernina Aurora baby, she did bring her own machine but was missing a bit for the top, so, taa daaaaa...I came to the rescue!!! That's the strip sets ready for the Railfence... she sews really good straight lines, which helps a lot, don't you think?
Dotty Maureen's project is a secret! I know it looks like she is making 'cummerbund'... She even tried it on and it fit!... but that is not what it is, she assures us....
This is what's left of the mini bargello that she was working on at my Uttoxeter group on Tuesday, as Rolf would say.... "Do you know what it is yet?".... say it with an Australian accent for full effect! ha ha ha

We meet again in Forsbrook next Friday, 26th March 10am - 3pm

Friday 19 March 2010

A Little Reminder....

Quilts In The garden 2010
(this is a link that you can click on for more information)
Is now going to be in UTTOXETER!!!! at the race course.
Tickets are £1 cheaper if you buy them in advance... did you know that?
That will give you extra pennies to spend on fabric and goodies.
Spread the news please, it is such a lovely exhibition and it needs your support!

Thursday 18 March 2010

Quilty Quarters Production

I finished the binding on this wall hanging and added some more quilting in the applique parts. I think I used the stronger steam-a-seam by accident so the flowers are very firm... good job it is not for cuddling up to eh....

The ladies in my groups struggle with carrying their supplies so I have been 'inventing' a bag to carry the cutting mat, 24" ruler and NOTHING ELSE. The mats need to be looked after as they can warp and the ruler corners are easy to 'bash', so I have made the padded/quilted pocket, with scraps, of course. The ladies can learn 'free motion quilting', walking foot quilting (not stitch in the ditch) and 'quilt as you go' along with a few other tricks....It's very tempting to put fabrics and other supplies in the same bag so I have made the pattern exactly to fit so there's no room for over loading. I promised this bag to Messy Maureen already.

I made a sandwich with this Rail Fence baby quilt then I stopped playing in my Quilty Quarters, you know... to do all the things I should have been doing during the day.... but , but, but, I was soooooooo in the mood to do a little more stitching...

so I returned.... he he he, 5 hours later, when it had gone dark and my tummy was growling at me for sustenance, my throat was wondering where all the cups of tea were.... and Molly was rolling round on my feet to go out for a walk.....

I finished it... I covered it with very liberated daisies, this is the backing fabric... you see... what other design could I do, yes, it is another Brazilian fabric... I still have loads more in my stash too. Can you guess what I will be doing for the rest of today?... chores, double chores in fact!