Saturday, 29 December 2012

Fabric Stacks

Since I did not go to the annual Quilt Show this year (went to Machine Quilting Show earlier in the year instead and blew about $150 in about half an hour), I thought I treat myself...yes, got sucked in again by the Magazine subscription deals. Signed up for another 6 months of subscription and  (for a good price) got 6 more issues, Bamboo batting and two fabric stacks of 20  pieces at 6.5"each (two of each design).

Not your ordinary fabric though...could not resist. The fabric stacks are from Robert Kaufmann Fabrics by designer Leesa Chandler in the Passage to India and Dutch Cottage range. Two pieces of each design...Just beautiful! This will be great for table runners and smaller projects.

Here is a selection of the fabric



My favourite

Have already got a few ideas what to do with this fabric...

Karin

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Quilt Along #45 - My FMQ year

This is the last Quilt Along for the year. To start off with, a huge 'Thank you' to Leah from Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesday for organizing and running this weekly Quilt Along. It has been amazing.

Last year actually around this time, I decided that I wanted to concentrate on FMQ for the coming year. This arose out of  a realization that I needed to get a bit more serious about FMQ if I wanted to expand my skill levels. Up to then, I would produce quilt after quilt and every time it came to the quilting I felt I was starting all over again in terms of FMQ...this invariably meant that I would return to the same designs because I felt more comfortable doing them. At one of the quilt shows that year I was again admiring some FMQ and realized it was time I do something about this. While not overly confident, I was sure that this was something that could be learned with time.

These were the two designs that I would normally do on my quilts, some basic stippling and my trusted leaf design.


I went on Leah's blog to look at some designs to pick for some practice when I saw Leah talking about the Quilt Along. I initially hesitated when I realized I probably would need to set up a blog...but then thought 'what the heck'...this also became an adventure, but that is another story.

My FMQ year

We have done some amazing work over the year...I looked back over the posts recently and realized how extensive this was. Initially we did some basic FMQ...lines, in-the-ditch stitching, stippling. Then came the little Wholecloth...I remember taking one look, thinking 'I cannot do that'. Well, it turned out stunning! After that we did several different designs, and I discovered I was born to zipple. I could actually zipple myself out of the tightest spot and fill any space pretty consistent.

I think by then I had produced what I called my 'practice quilt'. Just squares with some sashings in between with a simple border. This was invaluable as it meant that I could just pull it out from week to week and practice the designs on there...a huge time saver. Lots of practice of stitching in-the-ditch and backtracking and most of all, practice in not being perfect. Also discovered that I really do better with fairly contrasting thread rather than the blend-in variety. And who would have thought but I started to use Polyester batting and Polyester thread and ...nothing happened!

The Wonky Block quilt...what an adventure. Never had FMQ an entire quilt before.



I have learned so much this year. I think what has stood out most for me is that I am now:

- not afraid to FMQ in-the-ditch...simply had to get over that
- can backtrack over my stitching in an orderly fashion (more or less)
- not so reluctant to try new and different designs (have a look at my recent post So Inspired)
- able to just sit down and usually FMQ without any major tension or thread issues (and if there are, I am not so clueless)
- able to produce some fairly consistent stitches and seem to know what speed I need to use with different designs, and

I am totally addicted to FMQ!

Practice certainly is the key to FMQ and the Quilt Along has helped in pushing me along. Along the way I have enjoyed the company of other quilters participating in the Quilt Along. Lots of interesting questions and lots of great stitching by everyone and very kind comments all along. I have enjoyed this Quilt Along and am looking forward to the new year.  Definitely will keep up the FMQ.

Until next time

Karin

Friday, 21 December 2012

Blockbase Sew Along #6


My block for the Blockbase Sew Along held over at the EQ blog 'Behind the Mouse':


This is #2354 of Barbara Brackmann's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Block Patterns and is called Crazy Pieces. Now I am not going to pretend...had some major hassles with the matching of the points and had to undo this a couple of times.

Here are all of my 6 blocks. I think I need to go a bit easy on the white background and build in a bit more variety in the next few blocks. Not sure whether the dark red in the Kaleidoscope block goes with all the rest of it...will have to wait and see, I still have some darker fabric to use up from my Moda Jelly roll.

So far this is looking pretty interesting.



Until next time

Karin

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Quilt Along #44- Starry Mess

This is Quilt Along #44 in Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays and the design for this week  is Starry Mess.

Starry Mess
I did mine on a smaller sample. I do not find doodling this star very easy at all, quite the contrary. I have to often stop and really think about this one and hence my stars turned out a bit on the smallish side.  I easily loose direction in this simple design, seems my brain cannot cope with the direction of the lines too well. Overall though turned out alright...I think that I would struggle making this on a larger scale and keeping the consistency of spacing in the design. However, quite like the random appearance of this.  This could also be quite effective in a border , to jazz things up a bit, I think.

Until next time

Karin

Monday, 17 December 2012

So Inspired - Part 2

Here it is...finished the quilting.



For the first time ever, went around the whole border with a feather design and connected it up so that the whole thing is one continuous feather design. I am super impressed with this. Was not as hard as I first imagined. First drew myself a line half way along the border all around. I then lightly drew the first few feathers in...and of I went with some trepidation.  Went nice and slow and apart from some little irregularities here and there, it turned out pretty ok. More attention in the corners would have been good but I was just really happy that I made it around the corners in an orderly fashion.

As I had watched Patsy Thompson's video over at SewCalGal's December tutorial, I thought that I give the hyper quilting a go as well. Outlined my motif and put some swirls in there, and then 'in-lined' the feathers around the outer border. This worked really well and also helped with making the feathers appear a bit slimmer because some of them turned out a bit 'fat' for my liking.  It also made the feathers pop out a bit more and given that I used a different colour, it makes the border look more interesting, I think. Love that thread build up (used my favourite again - Aurifil 50/2).

Each side of the border has about 50 individual feather shapes, so I would have done the same shape about 400 times. Absolutely can confirm that continued practice does commit a shape to muscle memory.

I really like how this turned out.  Not quite sure what I am now going to do with this...

Karin

Saturday, 15 December 2012

So Inspired/ Confront your Fears

I am so addicted to FMQ.

I would like to share something with you I have been working on over the last week or so. I have been following the Freemotion Quilting Challenge over at SewCalGal this year, visiting the tutorials every month and trying a few things here and there. Time wise I was unable to take up the challenge on a regular basis and given that I had also just started blogging, it all felt a bit overwhelming. Mind you just following along I picked up a few tips here and there...the tutorials were all very inspiring and I learned something from each and every one.

Then this month came along with the Patsy Thompson's tutorial...one look and I was hooked. And when I say hooked, I mean it. Her tutorial is about FMQ in borders, something that I have struggled with for a long time, reverting back to the same old designs I do most of the time because I know I can do them. I often get annoyed about this as I rarely try something different and when I do it is always a drama, requiring major marking or extraordinary math skills. I usually stand in front of my borders absolutely clueless and end up opting out of a more challenging design because I have convinced myself that I cannot do it.

I read through the challenge and decided to give this a go, even though I will not be participating obviously in the last month...but I thought I will do this just for me to confront some of those fears around borders. And what a challenge it was...tiny 1/2inch borders to start with. Would have never occurred to me to FMQ in such a small space, let alone do a design in it that I am not used to. I was so tense with concentration that my hands hurt after the first border...had to laugh at that and made a mental note telling myself that this was just practice and really did not matter how it turned out.

Took it easy after that, taking some time in doing the borders and also watched the video that Patsy Thompson included in her tutorial...very informative. A few future purchases (DVDs) coming up for me, I think. Have a look at her website Patsy Thompson Designs. Lots of very interesting things on there.

Anyway, here is my little project

SewCalGal Freemotion Quilting Challenge - Patsy Thompson tutorial

Not quite finished...have one more border to go and might practice a few more feathers in there as I am a bit wobbly with that in terms of making up my mind about what method of stitching I am using, i.e. backtracking along the length of the feather or over the top.  How beautiful is this! And I used the ugly brown fabric thinking this would just be practice...funny how things sometimes just work out.

The motif in the middle is done freehand, with having lightly marked the square with horizontal, vertical and diagonal registration lines and then just allowing the shapes to develop. I was very happy with the outcome and amazed how my FMQ skills have developed over the year. With that confidence I tackled the borders. None of this is perfect...far from it, but it looks really pretty and the flaws will only be noticed by seriously looking for them. The wavy feather border tested my drawing skills, however once I had the waves on there it was relatively easy to follow this. Absolutely love the effect of this.

A big thank you to SewCalGal for hosting these tutorials over the year and also Patsy Thompson for this excellent tutorial.


Karin

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Quilt Along #43 - Cat Hairball Filler

Hi...it is Quilt Along #43 on Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays. The design for this week is Cat Hairball Filler...had to laugh at the title of this design.

Sorry about the photo...did not have time to do it again...
Possibly one of the easiest designs to do. It is literally just doodling in e's of varying sizes across the area and for once being able to go over all the lines. Speed is of the essence here as Leah had pointed out in her video and she was not wrong. My machine was working overtime to do this design. The thing that I noticed though is that I could only do this design at a particular scale (1inch approximately)...somehow a larger version does not work that well for me.




Unfortunately this is super hard to see...did not think about this when I tried this pattern. Need to invest in some more solid type material.


Karin

Monday, 10 December 2012

UFO Sunday/WIP- Foundation Piecing

Continued with my 'Sweet Gumleaf' block.

Given I had some distortion with the last block I had sewn (which was probably due to the thin interfacing that I was using as a foundation ), I decided to do the block with paper as the foundation. I also increased the size to 7" as this will allow me a bit more space to quilt in the skinny star that develops when four blocks are placed together.


Well, what a laugh...the block turned out nice and straight and you probably will not realize what went wrong this time. Another one of those 'huh'!!??? moments. I produced a complete  mirror image of the block by obviously placing the fabric on the wrong side of the foundation when sewing it together. Good thing that I have got a lot of patience.

This is how it should look like:


I do spend a lot of time in the planning stages...given that I am going to work on this for a while, I like to make sure that these blocks come together without any major headaches. Once all those little annoying things are ironed out and I have a fair idea of how everything will come together it is then just a matter of doing it and I can then concentrate of speeding up the process by cutting the fabric at once, drawing up foundations in batches of 10 to 20 and so forth. I find that this works really well for me and I rarely have any complications develop during the process. On the other hand, when I sew something that developed  out of a more spontaneous idea the likelihood of it becoming an UFO increases exponentially.




Karin

Friday, 7 December 2012

Blockbase Sew Along #5

This is block #5 of the Blockbase Sew Along held over at the EQ blog 'Behind the Mouse'. This block is #1755 of Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and is called Prairie Flower.

My version:


My block is 8 "finished size. I paper pieced this, using the foundation paper that I recently ordered over the Internet. Very nice...it's a bit firmer to what I have been using before and comes out easy. I decided to combine some orange print with different shades of purple. Like the crisp look of this block (and actually looks great when you put it in the quilt layout just by itself).

Have a look at all the different blocks on the Blockbase Sew Along...I am finding this very interesting to look at all the different variations of the one block.


Karin

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Quilt Along #42 - Spiral Ornaments

This is another one of Leah Day's quilt busting designs - Spiral Ornaments.

I am happy to say that I don't have any quilts to complete at the moment, except for the binding on my 'Practice quilt'. This design would have been good for the sashing in that quilt.

I am glad I watched Leah's video...before this, I imagined that this would be stitched all in one hit  and I wondered how I would keep this consistent. Then discovered that Leah just stitched a line and did the spirals after. So simple.

This is a great design. I could imagine this also in a border...with the right quilt this could look really nice and it uses a lot of space in a very short time, so is a brilliant idea to finish off a section very quickly. I stitched mine on a little practice piece and tried two versions, as I had already forgotten how many times one was supposed to go around it...I like the first one where I went around it three times. It's very easy to stitch and is really relaxing.










Linking up to  Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays.


Until next time

Karin

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

UFO Sunday #15

FINISHED!!

Finally the Table Runner is done and dusted. Running a bit behind because I had to sew on the binding which always takes me a while as I slipstitch this in place by hand.

 
Did not turn out exactly like I wanted it to...spent too much time thinking about this. However I am very pleased this is off my hands.
 
 

Karin

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Weekly Themed Quilt Contest

It's the Weekly Themed Quilt Contest over at the Quilting Gallery and this week's theme is Stars.

Weekly Themed Quilt Contests


My contribution is my 'Stars on Stripes' quilt, a simple design using a fairly bold floral print in combination with a more muted striped print.  I made this quilt in 2009 and it remains one of my favourites. The idea was to make a bed sized quilt but I ran out of steam half way through and decided to finish it off with some simple sashing in between. The colour of the sashing that I ended up choosing added a vibrant feel to this quilt and really tied it all together. The quilt measures 36"x 45". The star block is called Duck Tracks.



To have a look at all the quilts head over to the Quilting Gallery on Friday morning. Voting starts on Friday morning and will continue through to Monday morning.  

Karin

Quilt Along #41 - Practice Quilt Finish


I have finished my practice quilt...well, only the binding left to go. Can't believe it. A whole year of practice...this was so worth it.

I completed the vertical sashings with the Echo Shell design and threw in a few rows of swirls for good measure. This all took a bit longer than expected and involved heaps of stitching-in-the ditch and backtracking. Certainly was good practice....I also used Echo Shell in my Japanese Table Runner and noticed the difference. No hesitation to give this a go and less concern with getting it right. Quite liberating.

And here it is...unfortunately this is really hard to photograph and this is the best I could do (without increasing the image size to enormous proportions)...for those who have not seen the quilt as a whole. I like the border...looks all very organic.


Practice Quilt - FMQ Quilt Along with Leah Day
 
Close up of my handiwork. Lots of different designs in here ... all of the designs from Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays, some from the Freemotion Quilting Challenge over at SewCalGal, some from Angela Walters FMQ book and some of my own. Very eclectic.
 
 

What am I going to do now? I have been so used to just getting it out and having a bit of a play...well, might just have to do another one. This is very addictive...
 



Until next time

Karin

Sunday, 25 November 2012

UFO Sunday #14

It's UFO Sunday on Leah Day's Freemotion Quilting Project today.
I am nowhere near as productive as some people have been, however I have been steadily working away on my projects. I am back onto my Japanese Table Runner and decided to use the Echo Shell design that I saw on Leah Day's Craftsy class. Initially I was going to quilt that design into the second border ...however, then I decided that this, while nice, would hardly be seen given the busy pattern. Decided to KISS (Keep it Simple) and placed the Echo Shell design in the inner border instead, so it can be seen.

Echo Shell Design
Do you like this? Certainly adds a whole other dimension to this table runner. 


 I placed the shells facing inwards after trialling it the other way (see below)

Shells facing outwards
 Not sure whether you can see it properly but having them face outwards created a bit of a ridge across the top edge due to the seam allowance being literally encased in the last echo...did not like this and hence had all my shells facing the other way. Stitching the shells in one direction rather than at random was certainly a challenge, but once I had started, I was determined to get it done. Consistency wise it is not too bad and I like the pattern.

I used Aurifil thread (Mako 50/2) and must say, I absolutely love this thread...I used needle size 70/10 Sharp and it went like a dream. Also noticed (as I had before) that when I quilt at a slower speed where more accuracy is needed, I have to take my Machingers gloves off because I seem to need my finger tips to gently guide the material around. I have noticed this before when I am quilting motifs. As I am usually concentrating really hard (and it is summer here) my grip on the fabric is usually enough, i.e. sticky hands. However, for added grip, Diane Gaudynsky in her post about moving the quilt in a home machine, recommends Neutrogena handcream...it just leaves that little bit of sticky residue that will help with the grip.

Well, almost there with this table runner...

UFO Sunday has certainly helped me to get going on those projects that have been hanging around forever, i.e.
- the English Paper Piecing Project
- the Cat Wall hanging

In fact, I remember packing them up when we were moving house in the beginning of the year and with some guilt was reminded that they had been lying around for a very long time before that. I have almost reclaimed all of my basting pins again.

Karin

Friday, 23 November 2012

Blockbase Sew Along #4

Here is my block for the Blockbase Sew Along #4 held over at the EQ blog 'Behind the Mouse'. This block is #2049 of Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns and is called Independence Square.

My version:



I foundation pieced the block and was able to use up tiny leftovers of the darker blue material. Reading some of the comments I saw that one of the quilters removed their foundation paper before she stitched it together. I saw this recently also in one of the Craftsy BOM lessons.  I thought that all the paper had to be left in until the whole block was sewn together...have I been doing this wrong all this time?

Anyway, will head over to the Blockbase Sew Along to link up and have a look at all the other blocks.

Karin

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

Quilt Along #40 - Flower Power

Can't believe how quick this year has gone. This is Quilt Along #40 on Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays and this week's design is Flower Power.

Leah is using this design as a Quilt Buster, i.e. a design that is stitched on a larger scale to cover a huge amount of space on your quilt. My 'practice quilt' is pretty much used up and I had only one square left, so I watched the video on how to stitch this design on a smaller scale.


Flower Power
My flower turned out better than expected except I made some of the petals a tad larger than they should have been. However, it turned out pretty nice and I decided to disguise the unevenness of my flower with some echo quilting. I don't have a lot of experience in echo quilting, so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to have a go at it. A bit wonky, but considering that this is all freehand, I am very happy with the outcome. I think, if I was to do this again, I might draw myself a square around the flower, so I don't overshoot with the larger petals. Very pretty design.

Linking up to Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays.

Until next time

Karin

Sunday, 18 November 2012

UFO Sunday #13

It's UFO Sunday again on the Freemotion Quilting Project with Leah Day. I have been working on my 'practice quilt'. You might be thinking that I am swapping and changing projects, never staying on one thing at the time...and you are right. However, there is a very logical explanation for this.

I do not have two sewing machines, so when my machine is set up for FMQ I will keep on going with that set up for a while until I need it again for piecing or if I need to sew something with the walking foot. I did my 'homework' for the Wednesday Quilt Along yesterday and just kept on going with the FMQ on that quilt. I had started to watch the videos from Leah Day's Craftsy class that I recently purchased and the design 'Echo Shell' caught my attention. So, what better way then to have a go at it on the practice quilt. I know I have raved about the benefits of my practice quilt, but I cannot emphasize how useful this quilt has been. No, this will never be a show quilt, nor is it particularly pretty to look at, but it has been invaluable in just trying out things...none of the usual hesitations/fears/barriers are attached to this, as it is truly only a practice piece and I have been much more adventurous on this quilt than on any other piece I have worked on before.

Well, back to the Echo Shell design. In the video Leah stitched this both in a row and in a more random fashion. I chose the random fashion and trialled it in the sashing:


Yep, lots of stitching-in-the ditch again! I like this and will continue to put this in the remaining vertical sashings. This little exercise also served another purpose...I was thinking of putting that in the border of my Japanese Table Runner on a slightly bigger scale. I think that that would look great...

Anyway, then I continued on the border of the practice quilt...until I ran out of thread ( managed to get 3/4 of the border done). Decided after all to continue with the Flowing Lines design even though I did not incorporate going around the corners with this design. A bit more planning on my part would have been good.


I think this design suits the quilt and stitched it using my Sensormatic Echo Freemotion Quilting foot. This is so relaxing! The foot is interesting to use, as on slow speed it makes this clickety-clack noise going up and down, but when you gather speed it just starts gliding across the surface (with more of a humming noise) and you can cover a lot of ground very quickly while maintaining pretty consistent spacing.

Well, that's it for me today. Linking up to UFO Sunday a bit later on.

Karin

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Quilt Along #39- Matrix

Made some progress with my 'Practice Quilt'.

But first a bit about the design for this week's Quilt Along Wednesday with Leah Day. The design is called Matrix and is one of those designs that I have been admiring the first time I found the Freemotion Quilting Project on the web. While lines always look so easy I never tried this one because I did not think that I would be able to follow lines in a consistent manner.  I have done some grid quilting before with the walking foot but do not enjoy it...too much marking and there are just too many threads to sew in after.

I had much more success this week with my quilting...I do not think I was in the right space for quilting last week's design. This week everything worked so much better. I even managed to stitch nicely in-the-ditch along the sides of the design. Almost got a bit suspicious...what is going on?...this is not usually that easy. Then a few needles broke and that was almost reassuring (yarn got caught up). I stitched the design in one of my remaining squares. I did not use my Freemotion Echo Quilting foot as I thought it was important to practice 'eyeballing ' the spaces between the lines. I have an open square FMQ foot and the judging of distances takes some practice.

Have a look...this turned out absolutely brilliant. I really like this and from now on this will be my grid of choice. So dynamic and interesting to look at. Should have tried this ages ago.

Matrix




I also liked the look of the half finished design even though it is just lines across the square...looks very effective, and yet so simple



As I was on a roll I continued on the sashings.  Used two of the designs I found in Angela Walters book 'Freemotion Quilting'.  Just some simple loops and a nice swirl scroll. They both work very well in the sashing (2 " wide).






















The way I am going I should get this quilt done by Xmas (only got one square left, the vertical sashings and part of the border). This quilt is interesting to look at with all the different designs and will be great to have around when looking for designs because you cannot only see the design but feel its texture and also have a good idea about the best size for the design.  At the moment I am thinking that I might do another one, as this really has been good fun to do.

Until next time

Karin

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Tag! You're It! A fun Little Blogging Game

I've been tagged!!! Pam from PBJ Quilt Sandwiches has become my latest follower and has tagged me to participate in this little blogging game.

The rules are:

- every tagged person has to tell 11 things about themselves
- the person who tagged you asked 11 questions, answer those questions
- ask 11 questions for the 11 blogs you are going to tag (the people you tag should have less than 200 followers)
- mention the blog that tagged you, but do not tag them back.

Here it goes, 11 things about me:

  1. I have been quilting since 2006 and am mainly self-taught; it all started with a tutorial about the basics of quilting that I found on the Internet.
  2. I work almost full-time as a social worker.
  3. My goal for this year was to concentrate on FMQ and that is what I have been mostly doing all year and yes, I can confirm...practice, practice, practice!
  4. I am interested in Pinterest however have not done anything about it as yet...unsure whether I like the concept or not.
  5. I am the gadget person...if there is a new gadget on the market, I'll find it.
  6. I am slightly embarrassed to say but I love Bollywood movies.
  7. I like to read when I have the time; I do not have favourite authors however one of the more memorable authors I read is Abigail Padgett.
  8. I like travelling and am hoping to go overseas next year.
  9. I would love to buy the Handi quilter 'Sweet Sixteen Machine' but that is never going to happen.
  10. This year is the first year that I did not attend the quilt show that comes to town for fear of buying yet more gadgets, more books or even more fabric; instead I went on the Internet and ordered some stuff.
  11. I have been lucky to have some of my quilts published in some of the quilting magazines over here and am hoping to put up some of my patterns on something like Craftsy or Etsy, however have been side tracked all year with other things.
 
11 questions I got asked:

1) What's your favourite sewing notion?
The Supreme Slider that you put at the bottom of your machine to make sliding the quilt around when FMQ easier - it's brilliant.
2) What's your favourite quilt shop?
Any shop that stores fabric or gadgets.
3) Where did you go on your last vacation?
We went for a week to Sydney, just sightseeing.
4) What's your favourite meal to make for guests?
That depends on the season...in the height of the summer it has to be a BBQ, however in Winter I like to make a roast
5) Do you subscribe to any quilting or sewing magazines?
Yes, I get the Australian Patchwork & Quilting and Creating Country Threads magazines
6) Have you ever been on a shop hop?
No
7) Toilet paper roll over or under?
Definitely over
8) How long have you been sewing/quilting?
Since 2006
9) What's your best sewing tip?
Before putting on the binding, sew around the edge of your quilt (approximately 1/8" from the edge) to secure the border , then attach the binding; I think it makes for a better finish.
10) Where is the farthest you've ever travelled?
I originate from Germany and now live in Australia
11) Do you collect anything?
Yes, fabric

11 questions for my tagged fellow bloggers:

  1. What is your favourite quilting book?
  2. What is your best sewing tip?
  3. What is your favourite quilt tutorial?
  4. How did you get into quilting?
  5. What styles of quilts do you like most?
  6. What is your favourite quilting gadget?
  7. Do you buy fabric when you need it for a project or do you buy fabric more spontaneously?
  8. Where do you get your inspiration for your quilt designs?
  9. Are you using Pinterest, Twitter or Facebook as well as running a blog?
  10. What sort of things do you enjoy when you are not quilting?
  11. Do you belong to a quilting group?
Tag! You are now it - blogs I have tagged to join in the fun:


Stitch by Stitch
Tales of Ineptitude
My Quilting Journey
The Little House on the Hill
Meine Kleine Welt
Passion Quilting
The Guilty Quilter
Fresh Off the Spool
annequiltingforfun
Katie's Quilting and Sewing
The Zodiac Quilter

Hope you participate...it takes about an hour to complete this. It's all good fun and helps us to explore new blogs.

Karin

Sunday, 11 November 2012

UFO Sunday #11 & 12

Spend some more time on my table runner. This is turning into one of those more agonizing projects because it has been lying around for quite some time and I think I am just a bit over it. Seriously considered not finishing it...

Anyway, I quilted some lines in the major triangles with the walking foot


...and then stopped again...I might just leave it like that, put some lines in the outer border and be done with it.

I am completely stuck on ''how do I quilt this?'. The spaces of the background fabric are relatively small, so do not lend themselves to some of the filler designs (I think). That is why I did the lines, however that just emphasizes its strong geometric shapes. I think it needs something else.

Maybe I should put some pebbles in the remaining spaces...last time I did this table runner, I microstippled in the smaller areas. Then there is the outer border...why is this so difficult ?

Any ideas would be welcome.

Karin

Friday, 9 November 2012

Blockbase Sew Along #3

This is the third block in the Blockbase Sew Along run by Jenny at the EQ blog 'Behind the Mouse'.
The block is called Pyramid and is #2448 in Barbara Brackmann's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns.

I actually thought that I still had another week or so to sew this and only realized on my day off from work this week that link up is this Friday. So this block was a bit rushed...




Well, the block certainly used up more fabric than I thought (I am using a Jelly Roll from Moda fabric, called 30s Playtime 'Chloe's Closet').  Had a really hard time to decide what colour arrangements to go for. It ended up pretty colourful...I am not usually this daring...still deciding whether I like the blue in the corners.

Overall, the block came together easily, however quite annoyingly, the matching of my intersections left a lot to be desired. Totally missed the mark on one intersection but funny enough, the block measures exactly 8.5 inches square. Usually I fall a bit shy of my finished block sizes, and as I am consistent in this, I don't worry much about it. I might do this block again over the Xmas period, a little bit slower and hopefully with a bit more precision.

Heading over to the Blockbase Sew Along to have a look at the other blocks. Very curious about what colour combinations people have used.

BlockBase Sew Along Blog Badge
 
Karin

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Quilt Along #38 - Lost Data

Continuing with Leah  Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays. This design follows on from Jagged lines from last week and is called Lost Data.

Time to share some 'not so great' stitching.


 



Had major issues with the design...tried it twice and cannot say that I got any better at it. The first trial was on the greenish looking Batik fabric. I don't think my machine liked this. Had some issues with the actual stitching as well as the design. Particularly going backwards seemed to create some wobbly stitches. Left it for a day and came back to it, however the Jagged Lines just did not work for me. I don't think I managed once to put a gap in my design in the middle. I think I have some sort of problem with the angles of the zig-zag lines. Maybe I am doing them too tight and that then leads to some awkward angles....no idea really,  but somehow I seem to always end up with really odd, hard to manage spaces, often veering completely to the side. Thoroughly enjoyed the Zippling though...

Might have to stick with Flowing Lines for the border of my practice quilt.

Linking up to Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays on the Freemotion Quilting Project.

Until next time

Karin

Sunday, 4 November 2012

More FMQ Practice

Done a bit more FMQ practice. The first design is from Angela Walter's Book 'Free- Motion Quilting' and is called Concentric Circles. My squares are 8 inches which is a bit limiting, however I decided to give it a go. The design is surprisingly easy to stitch and looks great...fairly dense but great texture. I think this is about the size of the circles that is manageable. Any bigger and I reckon one looses direction...at least that is what happened to me on the domestic machine.





 And here is Circuit Board, a design that we have been doing earlier on Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays. I like the design but had not yet done it on the practice quilt. Bit of avoidance behaviour on my part, because I basically suck at it. Funny though, the design continues to look good even if you stitched it a bit wonky.




Karin

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Quilt Along #37- Jagged Lines

It's Quilt Along #37 on Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays. The task for this week was another edge-to-edge design called Jagged Lines.

I went into the sashing of my 'practice quilt' for that. Again I struggled with quilting-in-the-ditch on top and on the bottom, but overall it turned out alright. I just have to accept, it is white thread and I will not have perfection here.




It was very late but I really felt like doing some Flowing Lines and tackled the border. This was also an exercise in using my new Freemotion Sensormatic Echo Quilting foot for the machine ...I posted about it here...if you are curious about what that looks like. Amazing contraption.

This time I paid much more attention to how I was stitching the lines (had some pretty odd shapes when I first tried it). As the border is bigger it was much easier to execute as I could do more sweeping type movements. Also realised that the fabric itself has some flowing lines on it which I actually had not realised before. I did not fill the gaps...this is purely due to how the 'practice quilt' is starting to feel  in terms of its density. Somehow I decided that Flowing Lines in itself would be the right match for the rest of the quilting (and I was right...it feels exactly right).



White thread on dark blue...would not have done this a year ago.


I am very happy with this. The lines look great and the Echo Quilting foot helped with making them pretty consistent. I left bigger gaps to keep the border from becoming too dense.


I did not turn the corners, but went straight across as I am not sure what else I am going to do with the borders. Must say, I really like the look of this.

Questions:

- (apologies if this was addressed before) I started quilting the border from the middle out to the right, facing the border and having all the bulk behind the machine. That, of course, meant that I then had to turn the quilt to complete the other side, this time with the bulk of the quilt in my lap. This was very awkward and created a few hassles with just having to manage the bulk. What is the best way to go about this?
I thought about sewing it side ways but thought better of it as I have a fair bit of compaction going on on the quilt and I thought that this could lead to some distortion in the border.

- starting to get a bit worried about the compaction...at the moment I am quilting wherever I fancy as the quilt is secured by quilting in-the-ditch, however after I had done the top border, I wondered whether I now should continue with the side borders rather than doing the bottom border first (I was thinking of doing Jagged Lines in the bottom to match the top a bit). The quilt itself is pulling in the batting and the border is starting to crinkle (as is the sashing).


Time to link up to Leah Day's Quilt Along Wednesdays

Until next time

Karin

Sunday, 28 October 2012

UFO Sunday #10

Had a bit of a break ...felt quite pleased with myself as I had finished my cat wall hanging and completed the Blockbase Sew Along block.  The Blockbase block was a challenge and took me several days to complete...if you missed it, find the link to the post Here

Went back to my 'Sweet Gumleaf ' block. This is block # 3289 from the Blockbase collection based on Barbara Brackman's Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns. Not a difficult block to construct but played a bit with the size and also still looking at different design options via the EQ7 program.

Sweet Gumleaf
The biggest issue for me are the bulk of the seams. Went ahead and did another block (6 ").  I am not using paper for my foundation piecing but a very thin interfacing that I will leave in the block for added stability. This has always worked for me in the past, but with this block I encountered a problem. When I was squaring it off from the back the block turned out uneven even though I had followed my foundation...after the initial 'huh'...!!?, it dawned on me that the interfacing had slightly  drawn up the rest of the fabric possibly due to the three points meeting or the finger pressing that I was doing at that stage (rather than going and pressing each seam with the iron).  So, I reckon, I will have to square up the block from the front, ignoring the foundation lines, as they will not be essential to put it all together. Don't really want to use paper as I then will have to remove all the paper when it is done and that is a big job.

Anyway, I think I have gone somewhere in between UFO and WIP...still need to complete the other table runner.

Linking up to UFO Sunday on the Freemotion Quilting Project.

Karin