Saturday 31 May 2014

curvaceous charm

checking the layout

grey, grey or maybe grey!

a single curve
test block in progress.. it's ginormous!

a bit more #7
2 degrees one night last week
 & ice on my car windows
... time to put another quilt on the bed!

Sunday 25 May 2014

thinking while quilting

I've been thinking while quilting, as you do, yes?
On my retro flowers quilt I am doing straight line quilting -no surprises there!
Around each complete flower block & the borders. I have secured the centres of each block with tying, using perle thread. But it looked a bit sparse, you know, like there needed to be something more. So I am now attempting a gentle outline curve around each petal, which is taking a bit of time admitedly, but is a soothing & v. satisfying process.

However, I'm thinking it's time to try & tackle something else off my "things- to- do list"
... free motion quilting.
I did go to a class on FMQ some time ago, but was never happy enough with my results to actually do it on a quilt. Today I took a break from the bigger quilt, & gave it a go once again on some smaller, more manageable blocks. Initially, I selected a decorative stitch on my machine and simply quilted over the seam lines in a blending thread. It was certainly a v. quick, simple way to quilt, a change from straight lines, and does not have to be perfect to create beautiful texture. Then I tried free motion quilting a similar look down the length of the block, some control needed with hands & speed, but still enjoying playing at this point! And finally today, I tried a bit of stippling, but it really ain't easy!  

So what do you prefer to do, straight line or free motion?
How do others actually manage FMQ?
Any tips?

note to self - relax..breathe..drop shoulders
..and try again!

{Update - I have had fun attempting the FMQ. (And have now happily crossed it off my to-do-list!) Today I began with basic free form flowers, plenty of flexibility with that definition I thought! And stippling with straight lines (circuit board style), gotta work, yes? AND I tried to use my needle as a "pencil" ...
... but again, my stitching size was variable, it was difficult reducing irregularities- i.e. the mistakes- and overall, it really did feel like I'm not the one in control!
So now I'm thinking it's back to either hand quilting or straight line machine quilting for me, or getting it done professionally!} 

Linking up with WiP Wednesday later today. 
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

a bit more #6
did u see this?
 Fantastic Folded Quilting-Get It Done Fast!

Friday 23 May 2014

bits & pieces


{chain} piecing

a present to be packaged up & posted


oh, and a bit of purchasing
{cotton lawn}
Have a lovely weekend!


Tuesday 20 May 2014

{finally} a flower finish

piecing pic of one petal, I used pink thread to show sewing lines

All done and dusted  bordered!
Haven't made such a pretty quilt in a long time!
I did mix & match in the end
adding some of my old vintage fabrics
as I'm not a big fan of using just the one fabric collection!
{My daughter, of course, immediately recognised the sheets from the bach at the beach!}
Can you spot the 3 of them?
 Linking in later with WIP Wednesday

a bit more #5
Little Olive loves this book
... we read it 3 times in a row yesterday!

Monday 19 May 2014

retro flowers {update}

almost done!
I have made 9 retro flowers
not a very forgiving block I have to say!
still straightening the odd wavering seam as I spot it
{am so "over it" now!}
  and busy searching around for big enough pieces for 3 more borders  

a bit more #4
shopping shoes minus the glitter!

oh my, and fabric too?!?
VIP Fabric Wizard of Oz Dorothy's Red Slippers on Yellow Back (By 1/2 yd)

Friday 16 May 2014

ta daa!

co ordinating clothes sheer fluke that day 
{why does no one believe me?!?}
Mr D did show little Olive how the hand puppets worked ...
but she was very happy with her puppet feet!

Wednesday 14 May 2014

WIP Wednesday

a runaway quilt!

My WIP project this week is still all about getting my old hexi quilt clean! While I have admired old quilts & used them for inspiration, actually buying someone else's quilt hasn't been something I've been able to do until now. With hindsight thou', I think I should have maybe held off with putting the red binding on until after I had cleaned it! When you have made something yourself, you know how old the fabrics are that you are using, whether or not you prewashed, and you can identify what's on the back!!  I am a bit scared to wash it I must admit however, I do need to get it clean... somehow! Thanx for all the earlier advice, and if anyone else can add please do!  (see previous blog for pics of the quilt & more details)
Not too much time to dwell on it as I've been busy with looking after Little Olive this week.
And nope, no time at all for any patchwork sewing either. In a free moment inbetween picking up & dropping off, I thought about starting something new. BUT commonsense prevailed and I opted for the domestic trick instead, you know... grocery shopping / cleaning the bathroom / baking a cake!
The rest of the week, Olive & I are in the process of making sock puppets together!  Got sock-check, got feathers, felt, wool & wobbly button eyes-check, got a rough idea of pattern-check, got enthusiasm- bucketfuls! (+glue gun for Granny's use only!). Gosh what a wonderful place Spotlight is for all things crafty! Will update you with pics after my week with Olive. Linking up with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced.

a bit more #3
and talking of buttons, what about this wonderful pic
from Karen's travels @
Popping over to Melbourne in June
 will definitely be visiting her shop!  

Monday 12 May 2014

what a find!

A little while ago I purchased this quilt at a patchwork show. It had no binding on it, no batting, was somewhat marked in places on the back, but I fell in love with it!  It is a well constructed queen size hexagon quilt, hand pieced, using 30,40, 50's fabrics.
On the back there is what looks something like flanelette, it's soft & but thin. There is an occasional knot randomly placed across the top, like tying I guess to join the flanelette to the top. There are no worn areas on the top, no unravelling stitches, no holes. All I have done so far is to add the binding. 
All I know about it is that it was purchased previously in an antique shop 15yrs or more ago ... but where? I don't know! This is probably the oldest quilt I have had contact with!  I am now wondering about washing it, but am very unsure how to go about this. Any suggestions would be really appreciated! 

Sunday 11 May 2014

a bunch of flowers

another (small) bunch of flowers

Busy weekend, but I did manage to make one more retro flower block & I'm really enjoying the process. There is some cutting out prep to do first, then lots of curved piecing, and finally carefully joining everything up & ensuring that all seams butt together nicely. I'm focusing on improving my accuracy and I have to say the light backgrounds certainly do show up any wavering seams!  If I notice one that's "off course" I am unpicking & redoing it, so it's slow going!  However, each block turns out just that little bit better than the last one! And, including my trial one, I now have 3 completed flowers... enough for a bunch maybe, but certainly not enough for a quilt yet!
a bit more #2
next on my shopping list...
"52 Suburbs Around the World"
(including Auckland!) 
All about a 'year long slow stroll thru' 52 neighbourhoods of the world's most famous cities,
in search of beauty & interestingness, camera in one hand, daughter in the other'
 by Louise Hawson.

Friday 9 May 2014

just wanna have fun

As you can see I'm a multi tasker, & am having a bit of fun juggling a variety of balls in the air at present. And as I tend to only sew intermittently, once I get started I just keep going! I began making the Retro Flower blocks today, slowly slowy, one petal at a time! So glad I had that bit of fun practise last week nutting out the pattern. This next one still took a bit of time but went together alot easier. Then I crawled around the family room floor layering up & pinning my Triangle quilt ready for some home machine quilting, and lastly I put the binding onto the Flying Geese quilt, all ready for hand sewing the back of it down one evening this weekend.

a bit more #1
just finished reading
"On an Island with Consequences Dire"
by Kelly Ana Morey
Kiwi author, well written
but oh dear.. not a 'fun' ending!