Sunday, 13 April 2014

A Finished Quilt...

Lately I have been gradually getting back into some regular sewing. This is good - if you had asked me a month ago I would have said it is likely I will never sew again.  A few minutes here and there and a clean space to work makes all the difference.

So finally, after three years of on again off again working on it - this quilt is finished. It is Bonnie Hunter's pattern called Roll Roll Cotton Boll. This was her annual mystery quilt in about 2010 (I think?). They are always great fun and you use up HEAPS of scraps - I did not buy a single piece of fabric for this quilt.

 Not a great pic, but it is cold and wet and rainy here so I can't hang it outside...sorry!

 I have come to LOVE hand quilting and this one is quilted by hand in a baptist fan design.

 This is what Baptist Fans looks like:
Photo compliments of
I bought this bucket of thread off a friend when she was having a cleanout - it was an absolute bargain at $10 - and this quilt was quilted using some of the reels. I think about 4 or 5 in total, starting with the reels with the smallest amount of thread. When one finished I just started another not caring if it was a slightly different shade. This doesn't bother me for two reasons.

  1. No-one is going to notice
  2. It is a scrap quilt - so scrappy threads fit with that. 


I have also started designing a new quilt. Designing is not something I have not done a lot of lately. Inspiration comes in funny places...this one came from a little stuffed toy belonging to a colleague, we have nicknamed him 'Q-Cat'. He is from the Oxfam shop and smells lovely as he is filled with Lavender. After weeks of looking at him, I decided he would be a good quilt block.

Fluffy getting acquainted with Q-Cat

The quilt block....I have not quite finished the detail on his face, so the picture shows the paper pattern sitting on the block. What do you think? Cute or what?

I have lots of cat fabric and will be making about 20 blocks - each one featuring a different cat fabric. I also need to add tails - but still deciding how to do that at this point. I am also not sure just yet what the quilt layout will be - but I have a few thoughts running around my brain.

For the pattern I literally just photocopied the stuffed cat! So easy and it was good enough as a base to draw the pattern from.  When I have a decent pattern, I will share with you all - if you would like it?

It is a cold and wet and rainy Sunday here, so I am off to find a new hand quilting project to move along toward finishing. Happy Sewing Everyone!

Bye for Now

Kylie xo

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Using up Cat Fabrics....

Hello All

I thought I would share with you a project I am working on...and have been for some time! I have no plans for the quilt at this stage, I am just making blocks and will decide on a layout and size later. I suspect I will make two quilts - and one will go to Little Paws Kitten Rescue here in Brisbane for their annual fundraising auction. They are an amazing charity here in Brisbane who rescue hundreds of cats and kittens each year.

First up - if you are new to my blog, why not subscribe? That way you will be sure to receive each post as they come out and you won't miss anything!

OK now the housekeeping is done, onto the sewing. My mission for this quilt was to use up all the smaller scraps of cat fabrics I have. Trust me there was HEAPS!

I also had a BIG pile of 8 1/2" squares of cat fabrics - so decided on QAYG (Quilt-As-You-Go) and rather than cutting the smaller bits into uniform size pieces I decided on some crumb piecing.

For some reason I also had (and still do sadly) a big pile of cat 'pictures' such as this, so I am using them as the centre of the blocks. They are about 3 inches square or a bit smaller - perfect!

First up - you will need 8 1/2" squares of whatever backing fabric you want to use, it could be one fabric or lots and lots of different ones - as mentioned previously I am using my cat fabric squares. You will also need 8 1/2" squares of wadding/batting - I prefer cotton (or predominantly cotton) for QAYG as you need to iron it.

How cute is that cat fabric on the right? One of my favourite of all time. I would love another couple of metres of it if anyone knows where you can get it? Love love love it. Here is a close up for you.

If you have lots of little pieces of batting you can join them - I do as money is tight in our household and I believe in recycling which means using everything I can.  Just butt the edges of the wadding and use the widest triple zig zag on your machine to stitch them together. This one I happened to sew with contrasting thread so you can see it clearly!

Now onto making blocks. Place one square (8 1/2") of batting on your board, put a small squirt of quilt basting spray in the middle only (you can get away without using it if you like) and place your backing fabric onto the wadding - wrong side of the fabric to the wadding of course.

Next you will need whatever pieces you are going to use for the centres of your block - could be all one colour, could be pictures as I have done or anything you like.  Don't bother cutting them to a uniform size - this is a quilt based on random size pieces. The more random the better.

Place one of the centre squares onto one of your prepared backing/wadding squares. I mixed up the placement of the centres onto the blocks - some I placed in the centre, some off centre, some a bit crooked, some straight. Again, it adds more interest to your blocks.

Now you are going to add strips around the centre square - again random widths is great! Start with your smallest scraps to use them up. The strips you will need will get longer as you work your way out. Use your walking foot for the seams - and use the edge of your foot for the seam width, no need for a 1/4".

Place your first strip right sides together, onto one side of the centre piece and pin in place. Stitch. You have a choice here - you can do a few stitches back and forward at each end to secure, however be aware it will show on the back of your quilt. My preference (and what I do) is to just stitch across, leaving thread tails at each end. I then pull the top thread to lift the bottom thread up to the top, tie the ends in a knot and snip. These knots will be hidden in your piecing and stay secure. I stitch a big pile, then tie the ends in front of the TV.

Iron the strip outward. You are now ready to add the next strip - you can work on opposite sides of the centre square OR work around it, a bit like a log cabin OR mix it up and do a bit of both!

Keep adding to the block in this manner until you have covered the backing and wadding square. Trim the blocks to a uniform size - I am trimming mine back to 8 1/4".

Random size strips and alignment look great!....

Nearly finished....

A couple of finished blocks - two down, about 90ish to go....

I also thought I would show you the back of the block - when making scrap quilts like this where you CANNOT get one colour thread to match all blocks, I use up all the odds and ends of my bobbins. So, as you will see, each block my have a few different colours.

You are now ready to design a layout and join your blocks...I have written a post on joining QAYG blocks which you can find by clicking here. As soon as I have decided on a layout and am up to joining blocks I will share that with you also. In the meantime - happy sewing!

This is basically what is referred to as a 'crumb quilt' - click here for a search on pinterest for crumb quilts - so many beautiful variations!

While surfing around, I also found this quilt - which is basically a crumb quilt that you could adapt to QAYG. Click here.  

Bye for Now

Kylie xo

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Knit One, Purl One.....

As the cooler weather sets in every year, out comes my knitting. This year it has been a little earlier than usual as I felt the need to knit an Afghan rug. Big wool, big needles and easy blocks means I have made good progress.

A friend asked me today what I was knitting - so Eileen from Touchwood Design, this post is for you! For everyone else..why not duck over to Eileen's blog after leaving here - she makes the most beautiful cushions.

I am using this wool from Spotlight....Kendra. Lucky it is on special cause it takes 3 balls per block - saving money is definitely NOT a reason to hand make things anymore.

I started with a pattern from Lion Brand - they have heaps of free patterns on their site. Click here to have a look!

Diagonal Rib....

These needles belonged to my Grammie, I have a lot of her treasures including knitting and crochet needles..and furniture.  They are missing the knob off one end  and the rubber band in its place is totally corroded...but they are still priceless to me!

Please excuse the carpet that desparately needs a shampoo.  This is the first strip done, it will eventually be 3 strips wide of four blocks - so 12 blocks in total. It is so snuggly buggly already, and I MIGHT even get it finished in time for winter.

Some close ups of the blocks....

Strip two is well under way, and it looks awesome beside the first strip.

Sorry about the really BAD photography in this post...but hope you get the idea!

Bye for Now

Kylie xo