Friday, 28 December 2012

Another productive day...

Are you all tired of show and tell yet? There is not as much today!

This is a quilt top I finished last was started a number of years ago for a wedding gift, however I never finished it (long story). I have a 100% rate in that everyone I have made (or even started) a wedding quilt for is now divorced, including me! So NO MORE, that lets me out of ever making a wedding quilt again - WOOHOOO. Mine? It is now a recovery quilt, by the time it is finished I will be totally recovered from the sham that my marriage was.

Anyway, like my life...let's move onto brighter things. Here is the top. I love the cheddar and I love piano key borders. Not sure what I will do with this one, possibly sell it, possibly give it to the person it was intended for, possibly keep it.

Guess what was on my agenda for is a hint!

Yes! You guessed it - more basting! I thought while I am motivated and on a roll I would get out another quilt top, I have about 20 tops waiting to be quilted. First the backing, my favourite in red this time - Spot Minke again, so warm and cuddly. I LOVE it! (oops, did I tell you that last night?)
The standard argument with is my backing Fluffy, not yours!

Pretending you are asleep will NOT work either!
We even played TUG-O-WAR for it at one stage...but my hands were too full to get a pic of that! It did make me laugh though...he is such a beautiful cat and has been my companion through everything, without fail he is there to greet me with unconditional love at the end of every day.

I should also point out that he has his own pile of Minke offcuts to sleep on!

The front is made from my collection of underwater and scuba diving fabric and represents a good combination of two things I love to do - quilt and dive. This one will definitely be mine, although I suspect there is a 10 year old boy who may have other ideas, he wants every quilt I make which warms my heart.

Complete with a little diver on one block! 

The machine will be fired up tomorrow as I would love to get these two quilted by the end of the year. Failing that we have a 'ladies craft weekend' up in the mountains in January and my plan is to just sit and quilt.

I also did a bit of baking today...Banana Muffins using a recipe you can find here. They are YUM and so simple to make. They would be even better with cream cheese icing, however most of them are in the freezer so it is just not worth making a whole batch of it.
Have you done some crafty stuff today? It is good for the soul.

Bye for Now

Kylie xo

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

On a roll.....

I hate Christmas in a lot of ways....I don't see my son until 13 January, the commercialism and the roads to name a few.

However, I do LOVE the time out to just relax, shut myself in at home and just sew. All those projects I couldn't find time for during the year now get some attention.

I have an annual is summer here so I sew most of the night (often I will even watch the sunrise) then go to bed and get some sleep. That way I miss most of the heat of the day and am much more works well as I am a night person, mornings are BLERK!

Before I get into my show and tell..I am hosting a free mystery over the coming weekend, it is a really simple quilt (perfect for charity quilts) and is great to show off a feature fabric you LOVE. Read all about it by clicking here.

There is also a facebook group (Mystery Quilts by KK) if you would like to here to go there now.
So, what have I achieved this Christmas holiday??

This cushion was a panel from Prints Charming.....and is now a finished cushion for my bed. Simple running stitch with embroidery cotton highlighted the panel and was a nice cruisy fun thing to sit and do.
 And the back..don't you love this fabric?
Here is a close up of the embroidery when it was in progress...
I have also been playing catch up on Bonnie Hunters Mystery for 2012..called Easy Street. I am happy to report I am now all caught up and ready for Step 6 this week.


If you would like to join the Easy Street mystery the instructions can be found on the Quiltville BLOG by clicking here.

Today we had a cooler today, so I decided to move onto basting and quilting - this quilt has been in my 'must do' pile for a few months. Finally it will get finished in the next couple of days and is off to Bethany in Townsville....hope you like it Bethany!
I would much rather hand quilt - but sometimes you just have to succomb to quilting torture machine quilting!
My favourite quilt backing ever is Minke...including spot Minke! It is cuddly and warm and I find it easier to work with, particularly for machine quilting. Try it - you will love it.
So the back of this quilt is Hot Pink Spot Minke...YUMMO and perfect for a little girl!
Of course...I have help from Fluffy, today he spent the day testing the fabric for my mystery quilt for comfort..he thinks it passes but I suspect he may just do some retesting tomorrow. He did get very grumpy when I needed to sew the Minke and he could not sit on it - he sat at arms length, glared at me and thumped his tail. Aren't they funny?
I have the best cat in the world, he is always by my side.
I also had a play with ways to incorporate my quilts into my Project Life album (click here to read about PL) and came up with is sewn onto card and will slot into a photo pocket. I need to unpick and fix the journalling, buy a better pen or a label maker, but on the whole this concept will work well for each quilt I make...I will also add some photos of the quilt in progress and finished.
So, I have survived Christmas and am now on a ROLL with my UFOs and crafty stuff....and I have plenty more days left to spend just pottering!
Hope you are fitting in some crafty time over the holidays....everyone deserves it!
Bye for Now
Kylie xoxo


Monday, 3 December 2012

My First Quilt..sort of!

Hope you are all having a great day....11pm here and stinking hot still! YUKKY! Supposed to get worse tomorrow, nearly wishing I was at work in the air conditioning..but not quite.

I am sorting through hundreds of photos and trying to put them in some sort of order.....starting with my quilting ones. I came across one of the first bits of patchwork I made. I was about 16 or 17 and decorating my room for Christmas....

Stunning isn't it? ha ha ha. I still have it, I still put it on the spare bed every Christmas...and I still love it!

My mother was not so impressed, as I needed a backing so I got one of her brand new flannellette sheets from the cupboard....when she wasn't looking! Stitched it to each side, folded over the edges from the back to the front and stitched across the top and bottom, leaving a gap for the doona to go in!
I can't help but ponder how far my quilting has come since then...some 26 years and about 300 quilts later! One thing has not changed...I loved sewing then and I love sewing now.

Have a great day!

Kylie xoxo

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Quilt-As-You-Go Leftovers....

Wow, how hot is it here in Queensland?  Lucky I have had a couple of quiet days home to sew, sew and sew. I have done so much my sewing machine has had a meltdown and will not stitch properly. Off to the mechanic tomorrow...darn it!

So, here is what I have been working on today - a LEFTOVERS quilt. I make a lot of QAYG (Quilt As You Go) quilts as I find it easier then quilting a large quilt, once I have made the tops they often sit in my cupboard for a year or so before I get around to the quilting, so QAYG solves the problem.

Hand in hand with this goes leftover bits and pieces, I LOVE repurposing stuff so they all just get thrown in a bucket until I feel like joining them. (Sorry about the picture sideways..only way it will publish!).

In that bucket is bits of borders, spare 'test' blocks, orphan blocks which can be quilted and added and samples made for patterns. All can be finished into blocks and joined in - to me that is the true meaning of 'quilting', throwing in whatever you have to make a quilt.

I also keep all the leftover bits of binding and joining strips from my QAYG quilts (more on that later) and they go in a separate bucket. See that black and white stripe?? Lucky I like it cause I am sure it reproduces when I am not looking. It just never ends! (sideways again..least it is consistent)

 When making QAYG quilts I use joining strips in between the blocks. There are lots of ways to make QAYG quilts, however this is the method that works for me. When joining you need strips for the front and the back - I use the following:
1 1/2" strips for the front
2 1/2" strips for the back
3/8" seam
+ Blocks that have been layered with wadding and backing and quilted.
Blocks can either be sewn onto wadding and backing as you make them, or you can make the block and then layer it with wadding and backing and quilt. One block is much easier to handle then a whole quilt.

NOTE: I have done QAYG with narrower strips, using a 1/4" seam, however I found it hard to handle and at times it was hard to catch in the edges of the fabric - the slightly wider seam is much easier to work with, particularly as you join with your walking foot on.
 How to join your blocks:

Iron the back strip in half lengthwise, right sides out.
This pic shows the front strip, back strip and first block:


Place the 1 1/2" strip right sides together onto the top of the block with the edge level with the edge of the block. Leave a little tail top and bottom on the strip - you can trim it level with the block later.

Place the folded 2 1/2" strip onto the back of the block with the raw edges level with the edge of the block.
HINT: I suggest you pin to start with - I don't but that comes with practice!
The back looks like this:

 Using a 3/8" seam and your walking foot (if you have a PFAFF this is where your IDT makes this job a breeze!) stitch the strips onto the block.
 Trim the strips level with the edge of the block.

Iron the FRONT strip only over the seam and the edge of the block.
 And the back....please excuse the stitching on my machine, it is going for repair tomorrow!
Place the front strip right sides together with the second block (the one you are joining the initial block to). Stitch using a 3/8" seam.
And the back....

Lay the blocks out flat - if your seam allowance is accurate, the edges of the blocks should butt up together, they should not overlap AND there should be no gap between them.

NOTE: Make sure you get your seam allowance right before you proceed!

Iron the back strip over, covering the join where the edges of the blocks are. The folded edges should cover the stitching line from where the front strip was joined to the second block. Pin in place.

  Hand stitch the folded edge of the back strip down using a blind hem stitch - I use Hand Quilting Thread for this as you can pull it nice and tight making the stitches invisible.
Is that clear as mud? If you need help leave me a comment!
Join your blocks into rows...then join the rows using the same method. You can even quilt borders first, then join them onto the quilt using the strips again - much easier!
Here is my leftovers quilt, totally reversible and all from bits that would normally just get thrown, can you pick the joining strips now? The idea with QAYG is to make them a feature!

See that Orange and Navy Blue block?
That is a quilt I started about 1997 and never did anymore with - looks great in this quilt!

This is before today's additions!
I have lots of pics of QAYG quilts...but that will have to wait for another day!

Bye for Now

Kylie xo