Wednesday, 17 December 2014

No Reply Bloggers

Just a quick note re No Reply bloggers. I have had a few people email me over the last few months who were No Reply Bloggers.
Please check when you email that you don't fall in this category as there is absolutely no way I can email you back. This is always such a pity and I would hate to think that people think they are just dealing with a person who does not bother to answer. I have a link in my tutorial page on how to fix this, however if you look over the Internet there is heaps of info re this.

Anyway, today Heulwen ask re the new Open Toe Freemotion Spring Foot...hoping that you read this!
The new foot (821064096 J) is in Pfaff's updated accessories catalogue. The letter J behind the number is important as this is the one for the Pfaff Quilt Expression 4.2.

Please email me if you have any other questions and include a return email.


Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Things Are Taking Shape

Making some headway in planning out my projects for the new year.

Continued with my new design that will use up 2 packs of my Charm Squares
This block measures 10.5in and will show off those beautiful Moda  (A Field Guide) Charm squares.

Then I made a serious start on that baby quilt that has been sitting around mostly cut up and ready to go. It's really just a matter of putting this together.
Ran out of that particular white fabric and will have to substitute with some other white fabric from my stash. I am not buying new fabric.

Also, did some blissful cutting with the Accuquilt GO cutter one evening beginning to cut up some of the bigger leftovers.
This is the 4 1/4in (finished size) equilateral triangle. Purchased this at the last quilt show and only now got around to actually trying this out. I have a serious stash problem as I am somewhat a tad obsessive in keeping leftovers. Some are sorted into a shoe box full of strings (for another string quilt UFO) but there are also the bigger leftovers and it is becoming a little bit ridiculous to hold on to that. So I started cutting...this was a lot of fun and naturally goes quite quickly with the GO cutter...I have got about 100 triangles there to start off with...the die comes with these niffy little notches to line up the squares which will make it easier when sewing them together. I am planning a Thousand Pyramid quilt out of scraps...not sure about size, but I am thinking single bed size would be great although I dare say, I would have enough for a King size quilt).

Also have been Ebay shopping lately for some of the things that are not readily available around town.

Look what's arrived today

Hobbs Tuscany 100% Wool batting.
This is an end of bolt piece that I acquired at a reasonable price (even with postage) at Ozquilts in Victoria. The piece measures 66in x 48in...I have not had this batting before and I must say this is gorgeous...soft and luxurious...very excited to try this out.
Planning a Wholecloth quilt with this following Cindy Needham's Craftsy class on Wholecloth quilts. I am planning to mark the design onto the fabric over Christmas as this will be a fairly labour intensive process.

Anyway, that's all from me today.

Linking up to the last link-up of the year at Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch. Today's link-up is hosted by Allison at Babco Unlimited.
A big thank you to Marelize for holding the link up over the year. The link up will resume on Monday 5 January 2015. It has been a lot of fun to keep up with what people have been doing and to discover new blogs in the process.


Tuesday, 9 December 2014

New Design

Here is what I started working on.

I bought 2 Charm packs a while ago - A Field Guide by Janet Clare for Moda. Beautiful! Played with design for a while and settled on the above. I wanted something a bit different where the beautiful squares would take center stage. This ended up with a partial seam which is easy enough to do, just requires a bit of care when putting it together. These colours are a bit out of my comfort zone...all fairly pale, sandy type colours, so it should be interesting how I go with that.

Apart from that I keep missing all my usual link-ups as the busyness of the season has taken over. I am also spending a lot of time on the computer...planning, learning, looking for stuff...

Invested in some great Craftsy classes in line with my goals for next year which again center around FMQ. Bought Cindy Needham's classes in the recent sales, Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts and Design It, Quilt It, another FMQ class. If you never looked at an online class, I can highly recommend them. The classes are well structured, separated into lessons which last on average about 20-30 minutes. You can stop your class, repeat sections, jump around through different lessons. This works really well for me and while I can FMQ, there are so many tips that one picks from this whether it be the materials/threads used, resources or simply a particular way of doing a design. Very informative and easy to digest and best of all you can go back any time and re-visit a particular lesson. There are many great classes on there and during the sale I had to really restrain myself from buying more...these two will keep me busy for hours.

I am planning to do another Wholecloth, probably using the example that Cindy Needham used in her lesson. Already printed the main design out, bought some inexpensive white fabric and am waiting for a bit of downtime when I can mark the design on the fabric...can't wait, this will be great!

Apart from this will have to do some planning around my projects (and UFOs), as I have about five new quilts in my head and it is starting to get somewhat crowded in there...definitely need a bit of a plan of attack. Will sit down over X-mas to tackle this...don't know about you but I have got several projects already sitting there, all cut up ready to go...and still, here I am starting a new thing.

Belated link-up to Anything Goes Linky Party at Stitch by Stitch

...and also to Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story

Anyway, happy quilting


Monday, 1 December 2014

Pfaff Quilt expression 4.2: New Open-Toe Freemotion Spring Foot

Where have I been?

In a whole lot of pain...have been doing some re-organization of the house and spent the last three weeks cleaning. The sewing room was, is all that I can say...there was stuff everywhere!
Could not get into anything until I had cleaned up.

Anyway, Pfaff has brought out this new Open-Toe Freemotion Spring foot. Was curious about this and got one on the weekend. I spoke about the different FMQ feet and modes to use in a previous post. Find the link HERE

Curious looking thing
 Easy enough to put on after you take the shank off and the visibility was great all around.

and off I went...this foot is used with the Spring FMQ mode of the machine and an Aurifil 50/2 thread in both the top and the bobbin.

I liked it, however you would be hardpressed to find a difference in stitching. I use the Dynamic 6D foot without a problem, and also my old Springloaded foot (although that has given me some hassles on the new machine). This new foot seems to have ironed out some adjustment issues and performed fine. Now I have to say that I did learn FMQ on a Springloaded foot and I do prefer a Springloaded foot for stitching feathers. I feel that it provides more control when stitching...however this also might be my imagination or simply a comfort thing. As soon as I started off there was that familiar sound and rhythm of the machine. The Dynamic 6D foot feels slightly different and stitching a lot by listening (if that makes sense)  I feel it sounds slightly different. I prefer that foot for faster work.

So while playing around I stitched out the motif of the stencil that I recently bought as I am intending to use it for a Wholecloth quilt (only in my head at the moment). Had some issues with the stencil, i.e. could not work out the stitch path and ended up going over some lines at least three times. Tried to stitch each section following a different path, but reckon I need to study it a bit closer. In the end I thought that it had to be stitched in sections rather than as one continuous line...will need to work on this. Then I started trying different fillers and the end result is really an example of what not to do... I literally stitched my motif away. Probably should be called ...wild and wonderful!

I reckon this motif needs Trapunto and the filled-in areas should probably be in the same colour as the background. I lost the middle somewhat by microstippling it and then having the Pebbles close by

...but gee, I had some fun with this.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Craft and Quilt Fair

Who said one could not spent the whole day at the annual Craft and Quilt Show?

Fun, fun, and more fun...had a great time, however was absolutely exhausted by 5.30pm.

Here is the quilt that I entered in the show

Looked absolutely fabulous and was a buzz seeing it there. Very glad that I finally managed to follow through with my good intentions, even though this is a fairly ordinary quilt.

Won't be showing any of the quilts on the internet as this would be classed as publishing another quilter's work. The quilts this year were of a really high standard and I did a couple of hours White Glove duty and had a really good chance inspecting them very closely. Really enjoyed this...amazing talent out there.

Then I went shopping...tried restraint this year because I really do not need a lot of things.

However, found (and bought) some Full Line stencils and a blue Pounce Pad for marking designs on light fabric

One of the stencils

Should have probably taken it out of its shiny packet for photographing...anyway, gave it a really good workout. These stencils do not have a true opening so you will need to use chalk powder to use them. The chalk powder goes through the screen mesh as you wipe over them. I put this stencil over a fair amount of fabric and yes, they will get very dusty. You can then just use your iron and the chalk dust will disappear or if you are like me I just rinsed it off. Works very well. The stencil is flexible and feels a bit like can crunch it up, fold it...bit different to what I am used to.
Then got carried away and did some last attempt was a bit woeful, I must say. Have acquired a different water soluble thread since then and tried again. This time used bobbin fill in the bobbin and that worked fine. Also used 2 layers of cotton batting this time to make it worth my while. This turned out much better, almost a bit too puffed up and for me. I reckon Polyester batting would probably have been better for a softer feel. Need much more practice on this but am getting there.

Bought another two stencils, one rope/braid one and a wineglass filler. You can find these stencils at Sewing Buddies Australia. They have a fairly good range and these stencils are not too expensive. Postage should be super cheap as they are light like feathers.

All in all, a very productive day


99 Hexagon Quilt Finish

The 99 hexagon quilt is finally finished. It's getting a bit boring now as it is the same quilt over and over again, but one can't hurry these things and life has been extraordinary hectic around here lately.

Here it is

The quilt turned out approximately 41" x 45". I must say it has grown on me over time and I quite like it, even though it is a bit bright and full on. I absolutely agonized over the border quilting and in the end ended up with putting simple lines in it. I did think this through and had to concede that any other more detailed quilting would not be seen. For a moment I thought about outlining the flowers but decided against it as the scale is quite smallish and did not go with the more geometric nature of the rest of the quilting. So, lines it was...

Linking up to Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday hosted by What a Hoot Quilts for this Friday


Wednesday, 12 November 2014

WIP: 99 Hexagons

Completed the main quilting and just have the outer border left

Quite like how this turned out. Initially I thought that this would look a bit bla...however I stuck with the initial decision to do some dot-to-dot quilting and as I went along it grew on me. The flower design in the black hexagons just gives it that little bit extra without being over-powering, I think (idea from Angela Walter's new book Shape by Shape). I used my favourite thread, Aurifil 50/2 in a ever so slightly variegated yellow (No 3920) from Sheena Norquay's Autumn collection. This was just the right thread, adding a bit of interest through the black hexagons and in the inner border.

Bit stuck now as I am not sure how to do the outer flower border. I could go around some of the flowers but there are too many and I can just see how confused I would be getting in selecting some of them. Just stippling maybe, given that this is very bright and colourful fabric and the quilting will not really be seen anyway. Very undecided about this one, but would like to try something a bit different to what I usually do. Will continue to look at will come to me eventually.

Linking up to Linky Tuesday with Connie at Freemotion By The River and Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story.