Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Fall 2016 Edition

Can't believe it...it's that time of year again. Amy's Creative Side is again hosting the Bloggers Quilt Festival. I missed the Spring edition for some reason so was not going to miss this event. The Bloggers Quilt Festival is always great fun and looking through the entries is very inspiring. So much talent out there, it's actually quite amazing.

I am entering a favourite of mine, loosely called the Baby Quilt, into the Mini Quilt Category



Absolutely loved the fabric and just had to do the Tumbling Block design for this. You can read a bit about the Y-Seams construction HERE, and HERE . Not the easiest to construct but so worth it in the end.


Details of the quilt:

Size: 41in x 53in
Fabric: Main fabric is an Ann Kelle design (Urban Zoologie) for Robert Kaufmann fabrics
Threads used: Gutermann for construction and straight line quilting; Clear Monofilament thread for SID; Aurifil 50/2 for other FMQ designs
Finish: straight line quilting across the cubes with loop design in the feature fabric; continuous heart design in the inner border and more loops in the outer border.
Binding: Left over strips of fabric used which gives the whole quilt a bit of a lift

Head over to Amy's Creative Side to have a bit of a look. There are 11 categories, so plenty to look at.  The linky is open for another 3 days after which voting will start.


Karin

Friday, 16 September 2016

WIP coming along

Have been stitching away on my WIP: No Name As Yet - The fabric came from a stack of Robert Kaufmann fabrics by designer Leesa Chandler in the Passage to India range. I designed this quilt a while ago and finally got around to continuing on this.
Currently stitching-in-the-ditch around all of the blocks and also around those little strips of dark colour. This is taking me for ages...not my favourite task, I must say, so I am spreading it out a bit which makes the whole process just that little bit more painful. It is actually holding me up!

I am using Invisafil from Wonderfil thread. This is a 2 ply 100wt soft polyester thread I discovered last year when participating in the FMQ Challenge run by Quiltshopgal. I was using it then to FMQ a feather design on some Dupioni Silk. That worked really well and I did try it a bit later for stitching- in-the-ditch as an alternative to the clear Monofilament thread that I often use for multi-coloured projects.

I had some tan coloured Invisafil and thought that was the perfect choice for this project as my seams alternate between dark and light, so needed a colour that blends into both.
I have never liked the clear Monofilament thread that much...I do not like its shine and also find that the machine does not like it all that much either...no major problem but a few hiccups every now and then with the thread becoming entangled when coming off the spool, tie offs not working properly and the hassle of actually finding the thread to bury all those threads into the fabric. In addition, I do not like the feel of the thread once quilted. However it does the job and I have been using it for some years by now.
When I tried Invisafil first I used a Bottomline thread in the bobbin, but at a recent quilt show I asked someone at the Wonderfil thread stall re this and they advised that you also put the Invisafil in the bobbin for quilting-in-the-ditch, so I did. Had no issues with this and given that the thread is so fine, one bobbin lasted me for over half the quilt.
I used Needle size 60/8 with a tension of 4.0 (tension of stitch no 52 used for quilting)














I like the feel of this...the quilt feels much softer, the stitches are hardly visible, except where I stuffed up and overall, I had hassle free stitching. Also, as I am somewhat impatient I have been using the tie off stitch both at the beginning and end of the seams which is working very well. This has sped up the process immensely given that I am going around all those little dark strips. Only got a few more of those squares left and then I can switch over to FMQ which will be a welcomed relief.

If you have not tried this thread, maybe give it go. I think this is a really good alternative for the clear Monofilament thread and the thread is so fine, you really can hardly see it which makes for a very nice finish.

Karin

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Designing away

Still learning the updates on my drawing program (Draw Plus 8) but have made some steady progress on designing the next little Wholecloth. While inspired by the workshop with Claudia Pfeil that I went to recently, I  changed things around a  bit to make this a little bit more interesting for me. The idea for me is not to draw out the whole Wholecloth in all its detail (although you probably could if you are really keen), rather to just get a bit of an idea of proportions, where to put borders, how much empty space will I have etc. and what one could do with this.

This is how I started out. Circle in the middle, like in the class and then mirroring shapes, filling etc.
Needless to say, this took me ages...but I am learning, so it's all good. Particularly impressed that I was able to construct my own Pebbles vector fill (and put it in the library to be re-used!). So this is the middle and then I started really playing around moving from the center out.
Loved this idea using the arc shape (the fill area will be reduced as I might put more shapes around the circle), so went with it and developed what I call a very loose little 'concept drawing' (Haha...) from this.

Does not really show you that much, but has got all the bits I need. I mucked around with scaling which did work fine, except that my other measurements left a bit to be desired. Was obviously not that accurate at times (and forgot to put things on layers which made things shift here and there etc.). But that does not really matter. I was working from a 30in size and was able to get approximates of the other sizes which gives me a good idea of how big I should make the main elements. The feathers on top  may or may not eventuate...was just practising getting some feathers on the screen with the Replicate tool (very neat feature). This drawing is for a little Wholecloth that I would like to stitch on silk...I am aiming for about 30 in and will follow some of the ideas that we discussed in Claudia Pfeil's class. So obviously all those empty areas will be filled with something. This was really useful and hopefully I get a bit better with the whole scaling function (or maybe the computer could stop being so dammed accurate).
Then I finally tackled a motif that I had drawn some 4 years ago...the drawing was ok, but to really use it, I would have had to re-do it and then muck around with lots of photocopies so it was left.
So here is my new improved version

This took a little while...the tracing of the original image was much easier with the new B-Spline tool and I spent additional time on smoothing out some curves that were wonky on my actual drawing. Definitely getting the hang of this. This was  quite easy and I now have my motif on the computer ready to be grouped, flipped, mirrored, scaled, rotated and the like...this is good fun. Also re-drew my little image from the other day using the programs spiral tool.

As you can see this is working very well for me...so well worth the money I spend on upgrading my program.

Am I actually doing any quilting?  Yes, I am in the process of finishing off my yet to be named Robert Kaufmann squares quilt. Doing some very boring quilting in the ditch at the moment...Using Invisafil! More about that another day...


Karin

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Great class with Bethanne Nemesh

I did a lovely class with Bethanne Nemesh at the Australian Machine Quilting Festival called 'Feather Faster'.
This was 'only' a drawing class demonstrating the no backtracking, no marking, fast way of creating beautiful feathers for your quilt.
Some of my drawings
I stitched this out when I came home in the evening which was really fun to do.

Particularly liked the lacy feather above...this was almost like stitching against your grain, after having learned to backtrack neatly and obsessively on your stitched line, you just stitch over your previous stitching...felt really weird, but to my surprise I really liked that look.

Bethanne spent a bit of time talking about the various ways of drawing/stitching feathers and I did pick up a few tips on how to prevent certain pitfalls like the feathers almost falling over or coming too close to the spine...very helpful. She is a really great teacher and spent a bit of time paying attention to individual quilters in the class who had particular questions or just struggled with the drawings and there was a lot of information packed into this 2 hr class. Highly recommended!
We also got a pattern for a little wall hanging that will showcase the different feathers...I think I will do this next to have a sample of all the different ideas to put up on the wall in my sewing room.

As for my other quilts, particularly with the approaching FAL2016...I think for this quarter I have failed miserably...only finished one project!

Karin