Thursday, January 30, 2014

Block 1 Done.

Nearly forgot to show a picture of my completed Block 1.
This block was fairly quick and easy to do, large pieces, big block.
Waiting impatiently for the next block due out on Saturday.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Back Basteing.

I've found back basteing to be the easiest way to applique large pieces or extremely accurate pieces, as they just don't move at all whilst sewing them.
Firstly trace the pattern to the wrong side of the background fabric.  If your pattern is directional, you will need to reverse it.
Cut your fabric to be appliqued 1/2" larger than the applique pattern piece.
With a larger than normal needle- an embroidery size 8 or so, and contrasting thread, running stitch around the pattern pieces to be appliqued.  Notice I haven't stitched around the shapes that will be green in the centre.
Cut the fabric away just over 1/8" from the stitching line.
Applique shape down as usual.  I cut the basteing thread about 1" away from where I'm appliqueing so I can needle turn the hem.
When I've finished sewing the red, I did the same with the green.

Should have used a more contrasting thread I think!
The block has leaves and buds in the corners.  Because these are fairly small, straightforward shapes, I chose to trace the pattern and glue baste the fabrics. I'll just needle turn these as normal.
The centre is done, just need to stitch down the corner shapes.
Ready for the next block on 1st February.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Benjamin Biggs..

Have you noticed the button in the sidebar for the Benjamin Biggs Quilt?  A few weeks ago, the Just Takes 2 ladies announced that they were presenting another free BOM that would run for 2 years.  I must admit I was very intrigued.  I really need another project.  NOT!  LOL.
However, I did go and have a look at the quilt.  Oh my, such a gorgeous mid 18th century applique wedding quilt.

 Biggs_Quilt_adjusted_2_(1) (2)_2wtmk

(image from Just Takes 2)
I couldn't control myself,  before I knew it, background fabric was winging its way to me, and then I had to start.  The quilt is mostly red and green with a splash of blue.  Amazingly, I have enough of these colours in the stash to make the quilt.  (actually enough to make several quilts!).
So, here's the original block from the quilt.  (image from just takes 2)

Benjamin Biggs Block 1

My version will be useing very similar colours of fabric
Trying to decide between these reds.  At the moment, the left hand red is winning.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Celtic Solstice.

I'm back from fabulous Summer School, so I've been spending some time on my Celtic Solstice quilt.
I had all the components sewn and ready to go when I had to leave it all for a week of sewing happiness.

So, a little more sewing...

 And a lot more sewing...

And we have this.  So happy with this year's mystery quilt.  Of course, I'm always happy with Bonnie's designs, but she really did well this year.
There are 2 plain borders and a pieced border to go, shouldn't take too long!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Summer School.

Well, another year's Summer School has come and gone. The weather was perfect, the company wonderful and the quilts gorgeous.
"Something about Florence" is a quilt that was originally made by Florence Peto.
This is a reproduction by Susan Smith, she has used the same pink cherub fabric that was used in the original.  Such a cute fabric.

As usual, my class time was filled with chatting and eating fabulous food, bt I did manage to sew these 5 paper-pieced stars.
My other class was "The Chapman Coverlet"  a reproduction of a quilt that appeared in the V and A exhibition in Brisbane.

The pattern by Susan Smith was accompanied by 2 templates she had designed.  The cutout on the left is fantastic for tracing the curved part on to a 2" fabric square.  The easiest way to construct this small block is to applique the curved piece onto a 2 1/2" square, then stitch the squares together.  Rather than trace around a shape that may move, it's very easy to trace the curve on a larger template.
This is my little pile of blocks in various stages of completion.  So easy to get lots done when sitting on the couch at night.
A wonderful week away, and a couple of projects to be going on with.  I love handwork!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Busy work.

Although I'm away at a sewing week learning new skills and a couple of new patterns, I always take handwork with me to fill in stolen moments after the classes finish.  I usually keep sewing on the project from class, but heaven forbid that I might want something different and be without anything to sew!

So, just for something a little different, I'm taking my applique of wool on fabric.  Still working on this project from last winter, but it's a pleasure to work with the wool.
Unfortunately, it's very time consuming in its preparation.  Trace shapes onto fusible, cut out, iron onto wool, cut out, press to background, and finally stitch into place.  Whew!

Ready to iron into place.
I find that after fusing the shapes down, it doesn't take very long to actually blanket stitch them down, and doesn't take much concentration either!  Great after a long day.  Will have more blocks to show soon, nearly finished the applique blocks of this quilt.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

The Big Reveal.

It's just like Bonnie to post the last clue of Celtic Solstice a few days early and include the Big Reveal on New Year's Day.
What a great way to spend the day- sewing up a storm.
Unfortunately for me, I was headed away for the week to a Summer sewing School with friends.
So here sit my piles until I return.

Block 1 laid out.  Somehow I didn't make enough four patches- they need to wait until I return

Block 2- looking good if I do say so myself.

 And the blocks with part of the eventual border.
I really can't wait until I can sew this quilt together.  I love the colours, and the movement around the blocks in Bonnie's finished quilt.  Click the link above for a full view of her masterpiece.