Wednesday, 4 May 2016


I did participate in Quiltshopgal's March Bee Creative - A #StitchAlong #FMQAlong, #DoodleAlong Linky Party and won 2 prizes!

THANK YOU QUILTSHOPGALfor hosting this Charity Fundraiser Event

First, and to my utter amazement I won another Aurifil box which arrived the other day
The box is called 'Small Wonders' and the colours have been put together by Mary Fons. As you can see a selection of basic colours ...very, very happy with that.


My second prize was  two patterns from the Wooden Bear. 
Basically one is for making this really cool little pouch where you print a saying (I chose 'Quilting keeps me stitching' onto a printable fabric sheet to use for constructing your pouch...

...and the other one is from their Applique Epatterns...I chose a snowman and son image. These patterns were emailed to me and now I only have to find the time to use them. I think I want to start with the pouch.

THANK YOU KELLY from Wooden Bear

By the way, as I was looking around at the Wooden Bear web site, I discovered that they have really cute Free Downloads under their Popular Links tab. Actually they have some really lovely products on their web site in general. Well worth checking out.


Sunday, 1 May 2016

WIP: Wholecloth - Grid work

Well, I don't think I am going to get much done for the June FAL 2016. Had a long list of things, but the Wholecloth is taking a long time. That is the problem with don't seem to be able to produce a lot of quilts if you are immersed in this level of detail. Always struggle with that...however, I have a plan for the next two month which should see me finish this project and the Mandala Mini quilt that I had planned.

Anyway...finally got to the stage of filling the grids...was really looking forward to this.

Stitched out the Cathedral Window design. Love this relaxing!
Stitched this over a couple of nights using Aurifil 50/2 (#2000) thread. Really like the texture this has produced.

Next I tackled the diamonds. Here I am using a repetitive line design and a bit of a loop to get from one spot to the next.
You would think that this is enough to drive you around the bend, however I did not mind it too much as there was a fair bit of variation, i.e. the lines change direction in every triangle. Bit of concentration needed for that one and by no means all perfect. Lots of wonky lines and 'close enough is good enough' which I am really happy about...I think I am finally at a point where I can just let that go... (to an extent, of course!). If you are ever looking for a design that really flattens the surrounds, this is certainly a good one for that.

Looking at the whole piece I am realising that I had not thought the grid work through that well
I now have the tight and flattening design in the right corner next to the twisted clams grid. If I now do more repetitive lines in the Twisted Clams grid, I will have the whole bottom part really tight and flat. In comparison, on top in the left corner I have the Cathedral Window which looks relatively open...then there is the Twisted Grid in the top right corner...not really sure what to fill that with...
Decisions, decisions!

Anyway, on with the show...I have got so much more to fill!


Saturday, 23 April 2016

WIP: Wholecloth - Texture, texture...texture

I am so disorganised! I was stitching away on the center of the wholecloth when I realised that I really should put in my feather border before I have any more compaction. My planning is again really ad hoc.

The texture this is producing is really lovely.
Sprayed it again today to remove some of the marking. Given this piece was heavily marked overall, I have the blue markings re-appear in spots. This definitely needs a good wash when finished (which could be many moons away!)
So I started on the feather border and you would think that I learn as I go along...the marking was again a major issue around the corner treatment. I do get impatient, mark it, then correct the sloppiness with more marking to the point of unrecognizable lines...only to 'wing' it in the end. What is that?...I used a gently meandering stencil for the feathers which I have used before and I think I had some problem with that last time...because the stencil is not how I would stitch feathers in terms of angle and curvature, I could not get the flow right for me, so in the end stitched one side out first and then the other. Would have actually been better to put my own feathers in there...that would have been easier (could have even used Cindy Needham's Twisted Grid stencil for that!). Then I decided to echo the feather border which took ages to complete...only went around once and may still go around a second time. This project is getting more time consuming by the minute! I probably will also in-line the feathers with the grey thread to balance out the grey that will surround the central motif.

The center is almost complete
Put pebbles in the center and discovered that I am not that good at Pebbles...I went around each twice which actually looks quite untidy when you look close up. Initially I was going to microstipple the central flower but after doing one petal discovered that that does not work that well (i.e the motif starts to disappear), so I took it out again...I reckon I will leave the center as puffy as that. More planning around this would have been good...I reckon the center would have looked nice with a bit of trapunto in there...
The grid was overstitched with a cathedral windows design...absolutely love doing this. In fact, I blame Cindy Needham for my newly found obsession with grids...I remember not liking doing grids at all when I started quilting, but now I really enjoy doing them for the surprises that you get in the texture when filling them with different designs.

Started yesterday evening (finally!) on the triangle/diamond grid.
Bit hard to see...basically using a repetitive line design in the hexagon shape using the little loop design to travel from one to the next. This idea comes from Charlotte Warr Anderson's book 'One Line at a Time'...she called this the Hex Doodle Weave. Her lines are different... more open and just a bit of a loose doodle to get to the next triangle, however I liked the idea and stitched the more tighter repetitive lines. Was initially a bit apprehensive about the tedious nature of those lines, however found that I quite enjoyed doing it as you need a fair amount of concentration as the direction changes in every triangle. The flattening effect of this design is out of this world and I can't wait to see what that looks like finished.

In fact, I am getting more and more curious about this project as it keeps changing and evolving by the minute with me adding and extending bitses and pieces as I go this rate this will not be finished for a very long time!

Linking up to
A Quilted Passion


Wednesday, 13 April 2016

WIP: Wholecloth - Skeleton Complete

Completed the major stitching on my Wholecloth (except for one little line that is missing which has gone completely unnoticed).

Did some major stitching this morning to finish this off as my machine is due for a service and if I don't do it now I will never get around to it).
This was a lot of work, however I thoroughly enjoyed myself...very relaxing process if you take it easy and just go bit by bit. You cannot see it very well but I made a right old mess out of the marking and I was keen to give my Wholecloth an initial spray with water to get rid of it. I don't like leaving the markings in for too long...don't quite trust it, even though I have not had any major disasters with it. For this piece though, I did make a few mistakes and had several markings on this top, one in blue and the other one in purple to distinguish where I wanted to go. I had to wait with the rinsing as I needed to stitch in the spine for some feathers on the outside...first marking was nice except I had it all the wrong way around which mucked up the corner, so today I went over that drawing with my purple marker to complete the spine. All looked pretty messy, so I was keen to get rid of that.

Nice day today, so here it is on the washing line, drying
Now you can see that I am using two different Aurifil colours...grey and light beige.

Also discovered a fair number of little flaws...some sloppiness on my part in burying the threads and some marks that I did not see before. Not too bothered with it, as it still will go for a wash when it is finished and the flaws...well, can't be helped. Looking forward to start the FMQ on some of the areas that still need filling. Also will do some more work on the grids...the fun is just starting...

This is my Wholecloth quilt version from Cindy Needham's class ' Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts'. I can't recommend this highly enough...the class is very good and I am learning a lot...also, how good is it that you can ask questions! You literally have expert advice at your finger tips. I did have a question and posted it on the discussion pane and Cindy answered virtually straight away. I have used this feature before in other classes and this is just so helpful and actually quite being in a class room. If you never taken a class, or are to busy to attend classes physically, I can really recommend this.

Linking up to Let's Bee Social #120 over at Sew Fresh Quilts


Saturday, 9 April 2016

2016 Finish Along - Second Quarter Goal List

The first quarter of the 2016 FAL was certainly a lot of fun and gave me the much needed motivation to get cracking on some projects. I finished my first list on time and even managed to start my Wholecloth project that I had been talking about in the first goal list. Bonus!

Here is my list of goals for the second quarter

#1 Wholecloth Grid Sampler - currently working on this. Very slow going due to the gridwork. Just finished stitching down the skeleton.

#2 Mandala Quilt for SA Guild Challenge - So far have the general rough structure of the design. Need to fine-tune this and get stitching! This needs to be finished by July
 #3 WIP: A Field Guide - has come to a dead stop as I have run out of thread, however this can be finished with an ever so slightly different shade of the same colour. I think I just used this as an excuse to start something new.
 #4 WIP: Oriental Robert Kaufmann Fabric Quilt-No Name Yet!
Has additional border already attached. 'Just' needs basting and quilting.
 #5 UFO from 2012 - can't believe I have not finished this, just needs the binding.
This is the quilt that I used to participate in Leah Day's QAL in of the best QAL I ever participated in...learned heaps, 'met' a lot of interesting people and above all, cemented my love for FMQ.
 #5 WIP: Thousands Pyramids Quilt - ambitious maybe, but let's put it down. I have about a hundred more units to go...

 Linking up to Eleven Garden Quilts for the FAL Quarter 2 Link Up


Wednesday, 6 April 2016

WIP: Wholecloth - Gridwork

I have been working away on my Wholecloth from Cindy Needham's Craftsy class 'Machine Quilting Wholecloth Quilts'.

This has been somewhat of an adventure with certain new revelations, i.e. I am a very messy marker and I also tend to mark/stitch first - think later. Several mishaps happened with the marking which meant I had to dampen some areas to get rid of some lines and yes, of course, that wiped some of my other lines...the whole thing looks fairly messy. However, I am doing this project just for fun and to further try out Cindy's  Ultimate Background Stencil Collection that I purchased for Christmas.

I did baste the way Cindy suggested by stitching a loose grid over the whole area and that worked great, however I will have to remember to stitch that in a different colour. As I was quilting along at times, I took some of the basting stitches out in order not to stitch over them and later discovered that I had also hacked into some of my gridlines by accident, hence had to re-stitch several lines!

Anyway, today I want to illustrate how easy it is to get something wrong. I was wanting to put a 1/2in grid into the central flower shape and marked this out nicely before basting. I thought I had paid attention to marking this grid on a 45 degree angle, however discovered a few days ago that I did exactly the opposite...I aligned the grid on the horizontal lines...

I even stitched this out before noticing...looking at it, I thought...wait a minute, this does not look right. Yep, sure enough...nice and horizontal. I think Cindy remarked in her class that this just does not look that good and looking at this, I could really see the difference this makes...
Lucky for me this was a small and defined area, so I went over my blue lines with the purple Air Erasable marker to put the grid on a 45 degree angle
Have a look at the difference
Looks much better.

At the moment I am working hard on being able to give this a once over spray with water...however I can only do that if all the major elements are stitched down. I did extend this Wholecloth and added a feather border...haha!...only to realise after basting that I had put my stencil the other way around which did not work that great with the corner motif.  So again I will use my Air Erasable marker and go over that to mark the spine in the right way, stitch it out and then finally spray this thing to get rid of the bulk of the blue markings as the general mess of the blue (and purple) lines is very distracting.

Remains to be seen how this will turn out

Linking up to Let's Bee Social over at Lorna's blog Sew Fresh Quilts.


Wednesday, 30 March 2016

Big Thank You To Aurifil and Fabri-Quilt

Had to wait for the fabric to arrive before posting about this. I was the winner of the Dryad Blog Hop Giveaway in February!

Won the Dryad Thread box and some fabric designed by Shannon Brinkley to go with it.
Woke up to the email on Valentine's Day and could not believe it. Entered this at a bit of a whim  thinking ...'well, you have to be in it, to win it'.  This was such a lovely surprise. The fabric from Fabri-Quilt arrived is absolutely gorgeous!

I did say in my comment that I would use it to make an owl quilt with the new Accuquilt die that I got for Xmas, however seeing that they are 2.5in strips that probably won't work. Need to think of something else a bit special...this will keep me awake at night!

A humongous Thank You to both Aurifil and Fabri-quilt for their generosity. Very much appreciated and definitely made my day. Why not head to to see more of this beautiful fabric or maybe join their Ocean Sunrise Blog Hop. You never know!