11 October 2014

Spring Cleaning

Well it's that time of year! You don't even relise you are doing it, but as Spring springs, the cleaning bug hits. So I've been ticking off lots to do:

  • Got the carpet in the sewing room cleaned. This required clearing it out completely (except for one surface). The plan is that nothing comes back in unless it really needs to be there. During the last clean up alot of stuff just got put into boxes. This time they will be sorted out before they can come back in.
  • Put the sewing machine in for a service (2-3 weeks - aahhhh!!)
  • Put the lawn mower in for a service
  • Handed two quilts in for the Guild exhibition this weekend.
  •  Sorted one box and one large bag of scraps. These are now all ironed, ready for processing tomorrow. They will all be cut down to useable sizes and put in the appropriate box.
  • Cut out more flowering snowball blocks. The ironed fabric had been sitting there as yet another pile of stuff to "be done".
  • Ironed the white fabric needed for the flowering snowball, will be cut out tomorrow.
Ironed scraps ready for processing.
  • Process scraps
  • clear off the side cupboard with various bits of crap on top.
  • resort the WIP boxes (a couple of projects are done so they can be reassigned).
So, getting a bit done. I'm using this machineless time to get a bit of sorting and organizing done. I also have a backup machine, which I will use to finish off some less important WIP's. I'm not starting anything new until I can knock some of those off. Although I am thinking of doing some cutting and prep work while I've got a nice clean workspace. That way the fussy stuff will be done and when I go back to work I can just sew and not pfaff about with the prep.

9 October 2014

Final Sunkissed Blocks

I've finished off the final blocks off my Sunkissed Granny Squares. I really enjoyed these blocks, they really work up so quickly. I ended up with alot of blocks. I have enough to make two quilts. The first one in progress can be seen at the bottom. I'm planning to put corner squares on between the sashing.

7 October 2014

Blocking Quilts - Old Fashioned Charm

I've slowly (over 15 YEARS) been working on this quilt. It is now nearly done. I plan on putting it into my Guild exhibition. However, it had a few issues. Firstly, it was only about the third quilt I made. Secondly, it is completely hand pieced, hand appliqued and hand quilted. As a result, it wasn't the most square quilt I've made. Also, as it's been made over such a long period of time, it was a bit smelly (mainly from sitting in my spare room which could get a bit musty over winter).

So before I could put it out in public, it needed a wash. I figured that since I was doing that, I'd take the opportunity to block the quilt. This had two benefits, it would let me square up the quilt and also reduce wrinkling. I know that some people like that look, but I don't. So this whole process solved a whole lot of problems.

So first off, I gave the quilt a good soak in the bath. First round in plain water. I'd used water soluble pen for marking the quilting. It's important to remove this with plain water before washing as some people have had the markings made permanent if washed with detergent before removing the pen lines. Then second round using liquid Napisan. Then a rinse in clean water. I then ran it through the spin cycle on gentle.

Then it's onto the blocking. I used two 6 foot tables with camping mats on top. This saves lots of bending or kneeling. The mats allow you something to pin the quilt to. I also put a layer of plastic drop sheets on top of the mats, to make sure no colour transferred to the quilt.

Then it's just a matter of laying the quilt down and pinning to the mats. The tables were just a little bit too small, so I pinned to the inner border, inside the HST border. I didn't go to the extent of measuring diagonals etc for perfect squaring but did it by eye. Remember to not over stretch the quilt at because it will shrink as it drys. You want it taught but not stretched.
You can see in the close up below how the wrinkling is reduced. It's not eliminated but it is alot less. This is after it was dried. I forgot to take a close up when it was wet. But it was pretty wrinkly but all the fabrics in this quilt had been pre-washed, so it wasn't too bad. 

So now all I need to do it trim and bind. Nearly there!!!

6 October 2014

Churn Dash Swap Finished

Well, the Churn Dash Swap is now finished!! I'm a little sad, it was fun seeing all those new blocks every month but I'm relieved I don't have to face another last minute panic every month to get my blocks done!!

So here are the final two groups:

And here in is the final pile:

And finally, here are ALL of them:

Don't they look pretty!! I think I probably have enough for two quilts here. My plan is to do one on point with shirting as alternating blocks. But I'm open to suggestions!!

16 September 2014

More Sunkissed Blocks

I have to say I love the Granny Squares, they work up so quickly.

This last one is the same as the top, but with added Hattie!!

12 September 2014

Churn Dash Swap Blocks - 5

Only one more set of swaps to go. I am still loving the blocks I'm getting. Can't wait to make these up. I have pretty much decided to set them on point with shirting in between. The big decision - do I pick one shirting to use for all the alternate blocks or do I use a variety to go for a super scrappy look?? Comments appreciated.

These were my blocks for this month.

5 September 2014

Basting At Guild Day

My Guild is pretty big and has four regular meetings per month. On the odd months where we have five Saturdays, we hold a special meeting. We don't get as many people to this one, and it's a good opportunity to work on projects that require a bit more room.

I had two quilts which needed to be basted, so I figured using the tables are Guild would be better than scramling around on the floor!!

So here is the quilt duct taped to the table. I needle and thread basted, I'd don't trust myself with pins!!

2 September 2014

Orange and Grey Scrappy Top Finished

I thought I'd finished this one but the more I looked at it, the more I wasn't happy with it. Because I'd changed the design slightly, to make the orange blocks asymetrical, it needed another vertical row of grey blocks on the left. And once I'd added that row, I needed to add a bottom and top border.

Now I've got to work out what to do with the backing. I want to do a pieced backing but trying to line up the orange blocks is a bit of a nightmare.

Sorry for the quality of the photo but it was blowing a gale and this was the best I could do.

12 August 2014

Sunkissed Granny Squares Restarted

I'm trying to get as many of my WIP's finished as possible. I only had eight of the granny squares done. Below I used my new block design boards to put together another twelve blocks ready to be sewn.

Rather than work with HST (with their biased edges) for the outer edges, I used full squares and then trimmed them down. There is a small bit of waste but allows for much better accuracy for the completed block.

 I now have another 12 blocks ready to sew. Once they are done I will be up to 30 blocks. And I still have enough squares to make a few more blocks as well.

4 August 2014

Batik Stars

I've never really used my Sizzix much for quilting, mainly because most of their quilt templates are for applique, though they are producing more piecing templates now.

Accucut have put out a whole range aimed at quilters. I can't really justify buying another machine, but one of the members of my Guild has one and let me borrow it. I was keen because there was one die I really wanted to use, Blazing Star.

I had to make it hard on myself by wanting to reverse the pattern, I wanted the dark on the left rather than the right of the pattern.

I decided to use the batiks I'd been collecting. I am really happy with how they turned out. I've got a heap of pieces cut out. I just need to sit down and decide on pairings.

For such a complicated looking block, it goes together really easily and without having to be super careful about accuracy. I can't wait to do some more.