Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Buick

I have been sooo looking forward to this cars arrival in the country. Isn't it too cool! I know I know this is a sewing blog but I'll get to that in a minute. This car is what my busy Husband went over to the USA to bring back for next years Beach hop. It will be all painted up and looking shiny and new ready to give away in March next year. Oh and in case your not like my husband and know every car's make and model on sight, it's a 'Buick', to be specific a '1963 Buick Le Sabre station wagon'. I can just imagine it with a couple of surfboards on the roof.
Now the other reason I was looking forward to the 'Buick' arriving was because it contained these books!!!! Weekend Sewing by Heather Ross AND Seams to me by Anna Maria Horner

......and these magazines plus a pad of Amy Butler double sided scrapbooking paper. Didn't he do well! The books are beautiful and full of beautiful projects I want to start NOW. They are also a great source of basic sewing info that I'm sure will come in useful not only to myself but as my daughters begin to sew more and more.

Another car photo I know but just wanted to show you what our small cul de sac looked like for a couple of hours this morning. Because of the huge earthquakes that occurred in Samoa this morning we were on high Tsunami alert this morning. We are lucky to be living high on a hill so are quite safe ourselves, it just means everybody else comes up here as well. I'm glad it was school holidays as our street is also where the area school evacuates to, although not our girls as they go to a little country school 10 minutes north of our town. The tsunami was eventually cancelled but other tsunami's are actually happening now all around the pacific islands and creating chaos.

New additions

I'm a little late in showing off these fabrics but these are what I purchased at the recent Hamilton Quilt and Craft Fair a couple of weeks ago. The 'Heather Bailey' print on the right was only $10NZ a metre so I HAD to have some. The 3 prints in the middle are for my next quilt that I have been pulling out fabrics for, and the ones on the left just spoke to me when I was in Spotlight after the show. They have that 30's look to them and I have no idea what I'm going to do with them. I was actually very restrained as ALL their quilting fabrics were on sale and I only bought 3 ft quarters!

I also wanted to send you to a giveaway on Lila Tueller's blog. She is very generously giving away a jelly roll, a layer cake and a couple of her patterns. All I can say is they are beautiful fabrics and you need to check them out NOW.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A bit Wonky?

Have completed 6 1/4 square log cabin blocks which I'm doing with the Old Red Barn Quilt Along on Flickr. Not sure which layout I'm going to go with just yet. I like them both. My daughter Amelia was keen to do some sewing the other day so I let her help me out with these blocks. Its quite an easy block to sew for a beginner and being 'wonky ' means its very forgiving of slight errors. She has done most of the sewing on 3 of the blocks and a little pressing and cutting with the rotary cutter. When I asked her what she liked doing the best I expected her to say something like "picking out the fabrics" but she replied " Just spending time with you Mum". It was nice spending some one on one time together as well as teaching her a valuable skill.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Prairie Point Tutorial

Okay here's my first tutorial. Hope it all makes sense.


For my prairie points on the zigzag quilt I just used the leftover 5" squares from making the 1/2 square triangles so they fitted around my quilt perfectly. If I had a quilt that measured say 48" x 60" I could either make 2", 3" or 6" squares depending on how big you want your prairie points. For 3" prairie points you would need to cut 72 squares or for 6" prairie points you would need to cut 36 squares.

Next fold each square in half to make a rectangle. Press fold. Then fold each corner from the folded side down to the centre to form a triangle as shown in above photo. Press again.

Your pressed triangle should look like this one (above).

Place triangles folded sides down on right side of quilt with raw edges even and points overlapping.

Sew in place making sure to keep the batting and backing clear of seam. I sewed this seam on the wrong side of the quilt top with the prairie points underneath to ensure the other layers were not in the way.

Next trim away the batting by approximately 1/4 to 1/2 " to reduce bulk for next step.

Fold backing seam allowance over and hand stitch in place. I like to use a ladder stitch
for this step.

Well I hope you can all understand these instructions! If you have any queries please feel free to email me and I will gladly try and help.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Zigzag revealed!

I'm really pleased with how this quilt has turned out and Caitlin loves it too. It's a throw size and because its machine quilted and far from perfect I am not as precious about it as I am with her other hand quilted one. As I was finishing the quilting on it I decided that I was going to use up the leftover squares and do prairie points instead of the usual binding. I have always wanted to put prairie points on a quilt and I think this quilt really lends itself to them. They were quite easy to do except that on the long sides the quilting goes all the way to the edges so I had to undo 1/2 an inch of those lines and re-sew them once I'd completed hand sewn the backing around the edge. No drama really just took longer than I'd anticipated. Next time I won't quilt all the way to the edge if I'm putting on prairie points. I thought in a later post I could do a tutorial on 'prairie points' so you don't have to go searching through books and magazines like I did to find out how to do them.

With the quilting I just followed the zigzag pattern and did 5 lines along each 'zigzag' and then an extra zigzag between every 2nd pieced zigzag which created the intersecting lines . I had no problems with puckering on the back only a little on the front which I can put up with. I can thoroughly recommend the use of basting spray although I also pinned it just to be on the safe side.

I love the back as much as the front!! I used up some leftover 1/2 square triangles for a strip down the centre which I think goes really well with those prairie points. I also love the main backing fabric because it reminds me of a drawing set called 'Spirograph' that I had as a child and still have.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Quilt Eye Candy

On Friday my Mother and I went to the Hamilton Quilt and Craft Fair. We look forward to this annual event every year! There are lots of exhibitors showing the latest in crafting tools, techniques and of course supplies so for someone like myself it is a feast for the eyes. There are free mini workshops and craft circles plus there are displays from the local embroidery, cake icing, weaving/fibre artists, and quilting guilds. There was a beautiful display of quilts from Quilts Aotearoa 2009 hosted by the National Quilting Association of New Zealand which I've often thought of belonging to but for some reason never seem to join. This is a link to their website. I'm not sure why I haven't joined before. I used to belong to the local Quilting group but stopped going when my husband and I opened up a cafe at the same time as I fell pregnant with our eldest daughter 'Amelia'. As you can imagine things got a little busy in our house and I haven't been back since. Also most of the ladies that belonged to this group were all retired with a lot more time on their hands than I have but they did have a wealth of quilting knowledge and experience to share.

Anyhow let's get on with showing you some of the quilts that took my eye. I'm not sure what the etiquette is with regards to taking photos at these shows but there were no signs saying not to take photos and there were others taking photos so I took my cue from them.

I liked this quilt because of the beautiful rich fabrics used. The centre squares were made up of various 'oriental looking fabrics' and the 'leaves' and border from richly coloured batik fabrics. It reminded me of a quilt that is on my 'to do' list from a book called " More Quilts from "The Quiltmakers Gift".

I admired this quilts beautiful and intricate detailed machine quilting and embroidery. It must have taken hours or maybe weeks but was simply stunning.

The kaleidoscope quilt below caught my eye I think because of the simplicity of colours used. The quilting was simple but effective by enhancing the kaleidoscope effect.

This circle quilt was eye catching with the quilted circles sewn with a variety of machine embroidery stitches and again enhancing the pieced circles

This machine appliqued wall hanging was beautifully machine quilted and embroidered with the 3D flowers being fused with thin batting and hand embroidered and beaded.

There was also an exhibition put on by the "Creative Fibre Association". This rag rug was impressive with it use of very tiny scraps of fabric. Now I know what to do with all those tiny
scraps I have accumulated!

A beautifully crafted felt bowl and balls. Not sure what to call these felt spheres but they definitely caught my eye.

And last but not least this exquisite "felt/fibre sculpture of a lady and tree. I definitely could've bought her home!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

More felt hearts!

I have been slowly beavering away with these hearts most nights after the girls have gone to bed and have finally finished them. They were inspired from the heart ornament I made my friend "Jayne". I just jazzed them up a bit with some more simple embroidery and beading. They look quite Christmasy but I think they would also look nice all year round.

Have cut up my fabric into strips for the wonky log cabin quilt along and I'm now ready for the fun part of sewing. However I'm determined to finish quilting my zigzag quilt before I start another quilt. I'm over half way now so hopefully by the end of the week I'll have something to show for my hard work. I've had no puckering on the back of the quilt so I'm really pleased with how well the basting spray has worked.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Round 3 of quilt along

These are the fabrics I've selected to make a wonky log cabin quilt which is 'Round 3' of the Old Red Barn quilt along group on Flickr. I was itching to use some of my new fabrics but also wanted to do a bit of de-stashing of my quite significant fabric collection. So I compromised. Six of these fabrics are from the Hoffman Peacock range and were bought back from the States by my husband 2 years ago and most of the others have been in my stash for some time. I am lucky enough to have a neighbor who is a dressmaker and sometimes brings me over offcuts of pure cotton fabrics. So a couple of fabrics come from her. It feels good to use fabrics that I've had for a long time.

I decided to make another pillow for my parents lounge to go with the other ones I made a while back. I made it a few weeks ago but as my Mother doesn't know about it yet and reads this blog I couldn't put it up here until now. We are going over for lunch tomorrow for Fathers Day so will be able to finally surprise my Mum with it then.

It seems to be Giveaway time in blog land at the moment. If I had the time I could spend all day entering giveaways. I did find time for this giveaway though......just couldn't resist these fabrics.........Fig tree honey bun, jelly roll AND turnover. Click on this link to have a look for yourself.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A little bit of machine quilting

I have finally started to machine quilt the zigzag quilt. I'm just making it up as I go along. I got it basted last night using basting spray for the first time and also used safety pins to make sure the layers stayed together whilst quilting as I have had trouble in the past with puckering on the back but so far it all looks good. I'm hoping to get a lot done tomorrow as I have no work (hopefully as they often ring up at the last minute wanting me to come in) Not really complaining as its good to have that extra money but how's a girl meant to get any sewing done around here.
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