Thursday, May 30, 2013

McKenna Ryan Fuchsias

I started this a while back - I am guessing at around 2008 - and I did the tracing and the vliesofixing.  Then I think I did the raw edge machine appliqueing at a retreat.  Then it sat...and got boxed up as a UFO.  Then it became a Project for 2013 - and then it got a turn this month. (Thanks to Aunt Marti's Challenge of 13 Projects in 2013)

The pattern is by McKenna Ryan from her In Full Bloom pattern.  I had thought I would do all the blocks - maybe I will - maybe one day...but I always intended to have the fuchsias as a wall hanging.

I decided to experiment with some machine embroidery for the quilting - the butterflies - and then decided to do a few lace butterflies as well.  And a few beads...

I used Susie's Magic Binding method for attaching the binding - its really very easy and I think it gives a nice finish.

My adventures with this quilt:
I have no confidence at all when it comes to free motion quilting - I am quite surprised when I look at the raw edge sewing on this and wonder if it was really me who did that part... but I have recently acquired a "Free Motion Quilting" foot for my Janome 6600.  I did have a plastic pogo foot - no idea what its proper name is - it came with the machine I think...I once saw a demo of someone trying this other foot and I thought "Oh yeah - they can FMQ anyway and are just trying to sell more gadgets" and promptly forgot about it...then someone else - who had no sales target to meet - encouraged me to give it a try - I did - it  made FMQ so much easier - the old foot jumps (duh-it IS a pogo foot!!!) but this foot stays at the same level and 'glides' over the quilt.
I am still no expert - but on this quilt I was brave enough to even try straight lines - I never would have with the old foot.  I will be trying more FMQ....

My other adventure on this quilt has been some machine embroidery...Because I don't like FMQ, I tried some quilting using redwork embroidery designs.  I found a few butterflies and flowers and even a free little "doodle" (that is shown in the picture of the binding - I think it was from Jenny Haskins).  Hooping it was a bit of a challenge as the applique layers make the quilt a bit thicker in some places, but I had fun doing it....And I will be doing more of it.

One of the butterflies:

 a free standing butterfly

 some beads:
  the crocheted basket hanger:
I've had a lot of fun - and more learning experiences - with this quilt.....
What project for June??????

Friday, May 24, 2013

Mad Quilters Gathering

I went along to the Mad Quilters Gathering today and caught up with a few bloggy people at lunchtime.

I made a few purchases:
(A charm pack for my I Spy/Novelty and Funky disappearing 9 patch, a few fat quarters, a panel and pattern for a bag, 2 "London" fabrics, a cute little tin and a set of 3 sewing machine buttons - I gave one of them to my bestie.)
Tatyana came along to the blog meet last weekend and today she brought along some purple scissor fobs for me to choose one - I chose this one for these purple scissors:

Thanks Tatyana - all of them were so lovely - it was hard to chose just one...She sells off her blog if you want to have a look  go here!

Its only a little show - but its good to see a lot of local Brisbane shops - some I had never heard of before - and a lot less crowd than the big October/April shows - and not loads of beading/scrapbooking.  mmm only little but you still spend...

PS: if you are going - the food is very limited - a sandwich is about the limit of the "lunch" type food.  Coffee was good though.  Here is a link to see who is there.

PPS:  I have had so many "Anonymous" comments on this post I am stopping any more comments.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Brisbane Blog Meet

Another lovely day spent chatting sewing, laughing and generally having a fun time.

I took more photos this time - here is the room full of industrious workers:

and the Show & Tell:
Anyone who knows Helen will know she is always the quiet one! - here she is modelling her enormous pincushion - well maybe its really just an ornament???

and a close up - its was lovely.
Lynda & Noela with their Bon Noel wall hangings
Noela with her Sweetwater bag

 De with her Anni Downs bag for Stitch-a-Long
 Sandy with her two Christmas mats
 Tatyana with her bunny & bag

 and a gorgeous pincushion.

A big thanks again to Maree for "Chief Coordinator" and "Morning/Afternoon tea provider".

See everyone in 6 weeks!!

Time for Friday Night Sew In

I signed up for  Friday Night Sew In - but it happened on Saturday NIght!

The TV was occupied by some footy (AFL) fans so I stayed in my Sewing Space - doing what I like best.

I was able to finish off a bag - ready for show & tell today at the Brisbane Blog Meet.

If you want to see what other people did - pop over here.

I'm outta here - ladies to meet - coffee to drink!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Quilters Favourites

Geta of Geta's Quilting Studio is hosting a Quilters Favourites Linky party and she has asked us to share some tips tricks and other useful info:
Geta does the most amazing quilts - but her quilting is more than amazing - pop on over and have a good look through her blog.

Here is her cute button:

So, onto Quilters Favourites - 
Geta prompted us with a load of topics that we could share information about - I picked a few - I am no expert so I will leave the rest to the others.

Any advice for a successful colour scheme of a quilt ?I think if you don't feel confident about colour - ask - either at your quilt shop or other quilting friends whose work you like.  or search online and copy the tones/colours of quilts you like.
Alternately - pick one fabric you like and add coordinating colours/fabrics.  If you think you need extra - find a colour on the opposite side of the colour wheel and add a small amount.

If you enjoy other quilt techniques than patchwork, could you share some tips with us ? 
I love doing stitcheries, not intricate embroidery - just back stitch, stem stitch satin stitch etc - and turning them into quilts.  I love the handwork - I find it very relaxing to be able to do that at the end of the day when I get home from work.  I don't like tracing - so I really love pre-printed patterns or iron transfers.
I also love variegated threads - and I love having a lot of threads to choose from.  Unfortunately I have a weakness for "collections" - once I buy a few threads of a range I feel the need to collect them all. (yes, I have all the DMCs and a few other brands as well)

Machine quilting tips  - Practice and patience.  New needle & remember to change it.  A Needle plate with a single hole (ie doesn't cater for zig zag stitches). I don't do it much - at this stage I am happy to pay for it.  (Got to keep working to support my habits!!)

Hand quilting tips  - Don't  !!!  (same as for machine quilting...)

Do you have free tutorials on your blog?I have a mini "How to" on how to finish off a small quilt/wall hanging if you don't want or need to do binding - using a "pillow case" or "envelope" style and it saves that annoying problem of trying to join the gap and make it look like it wasn't there.

Go here for that.

The sewing machine - share a few things you love at your sewing machine; what makes it special? What features do you think are the most important to a sewing machine used for quilting? I have a machine that includes a lot of decorative stitches.  When I bought it,  I thought "Oh yes, they are pretty - will probably never use them..."  But I have been doing a class for an appliqued quilt using all decorative stitches to applique the pieces to the backgrounds (not just the normal blanket stitch).  I am loving it - I have used it on other projects too and I am starting to use some of them for machine quilting some projects.
You can see some of my blocks here and here.

Tips for organizing the sewing tools, the fabrics, the sewing studio? 
Cyber space is full of ideas on organising your sewing area, so I  won't go there.  But a couple of things I find handy are:
(1)  a basket or two to put things in when you don't have time to put it all away but want to tidy up.  and
(2) - I have a normal stationery type of ruler that I like to keep in my sewing drawer.  (30cm long about 1.5" wide - the type you may have used in school)  BUT it is always falling into the bottom of the drawer and then I cant find it.  The inside of my drawer has a narrow "shelf" like bit - very hard to describe this - and I have put a blob of Blu Tac there and I stick my ruler to it when I put it back in the drawer.  Then its always where I can find it.

(Blu Tac - in case its called something else where you are) is like a slightly sticky piece of putty - a bit like chewing gum that you can use to stick posters etc onto a wall)

I took a picture in case...
(yes I have a lint roller too Geta!) 

(3) -My machine sits on top of a desk - it doesn't drop down - but I find it really handy to put my machine on a felt pad (2 thicknesses  - I can put pins in it as I sew and I can slide the machine out of the way when I want to use the desk for other things.

Would you like to share one of your favourite quilts, made by you ? 
I love this quilt - designed by Amy Bradley called The Quilt Diva.  I made it in 2008 and won a prize for it in a local quilt show.

I love most of my quilts - for different reasons.

Do you have a favourite quilt, made by other quilter ?  
Maybe one day I will make  a Sylvia's Bridal Sampler, but I love a lot of different types of quilts - generally not things in Country Colours and whilst I admire pretty and romantic - or shabby chic - its not me

Don't Do Like Me! (Geta said:We all feel sometimes uninspired, or may have ideas which are not the best, and they may result in a lot of work for projects which we finally hate; or we may imagine shortcuts that finally give us only headaches instead of making our work easier. 
If this happened to you, please share your failure lessons to encourage the rest of us that we're not alone and quilting is worth the hard lessons along the way).

I have come to the point in my life where - if I don't like something now - I probably wont like it later and that I have so many more projects I want to do - it's better to stop now and not use up more time.  Sometimes, you can pass the project along to someone who you know will finish t, otherwise it may as well go out - maybe a charity shop will find it a new home.

Well that is a bit of maybe useful / maybe useless information - a little bit about me & my hobby - which I am sure saves me from being a regular at a mental home!!!

PS: Sorry for the mixture of type styles - I might quilt but blogger and formatting is not on my agenda for now!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

FNWF Followup

Well I should have done a follow up on what I sewed last night - but I have been out all day - sewing!!

And I am sewing tonight - well I was - but someone has another idea:

So, I might just stop for a bit - I'm sure I have some cutting to do!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Had to have a break

I stopped at the Cheesecake shop on the way home to get a box of macaroons - Teresa had mentioned that they were now available there.
Couldn't wait any long for my cup of tea and treat . . 

Better get back to the sewing!!!

FNWF and...

I'll be joining in tonight with a lot of quilty friends all over the place for FNWF.

And I am relieved to hear that my Colour Swap parcel arrived intact at Cheryl's.
I know I shouldn't have doubted that it would get there but ...waiting is difficult at times.

Happy Sewing everyone!