Wednesday, 29 August 2012

He's a cutie!

Well, I think so anyway ....

12 Days Christmas quilt

I have finished the '6 geese are laying' block for my 12 Days of Christmas quilt.

12 Days Christmas quilt

 Last weekend hubby and I went to Bairnsdale for a friend's 50th birthday. On the way I manged to visit a couple of quilt shops. At Lily Lane Patchwork in Rosedale I spied some potential backing fabric - 'Acorn' by Hoffmann Fabrics, that I think would look good for this quilt.

 I also visited Candleberry Country in Yarragon where I was delighted to see Natalie's (the store owner) version of the 12 Days quilt in lovely soft colours. Because I had purchased the pattern (Viv's creations) she let me take some photos. Seeing her beautiful quilt has inspired me to complete all the stitched borders as I was considering simplifying it down to something easier...

12 Days Christmas quilt

12 Days Christmas quilt

12 Days Christmas quilt

...what was I thinking?

I really like the quilting that has been done down the vertical lines where the blocks meet, simple but very effective.

12 Days Christmas quilt

Thanks Natalie and Viv for letting me share these pics.
If you want to see more of the blocks I have completed go here.

Saturday, 18 August 2012

1st Chester County Criswell Block

I've finished the 1st block - yay! I wanted to get this finished before I return to work next week. The red fabric is Colonies Reserve (#29408) by Windham and the background is white homespun. I am aiming for a fresh look and I am thinking of using blue or blue/green for the leaves etc.

Chester County Criswell quilt

I thought I would trawl around blogland to help brush up on my needle turn before I started and this is how I prepared the block....
I finger pressed the background in half, and half again and then tacked along these lines.

I then folded a piece of freezer paper in 4 and traced over the pattern...

Then cut it out like a primary school snowflake...

Then ironed onto the right side of the fabric...

Chester County Criswell quilt

I then traced around the freezer paper template with a silver Hybrid Gel Grip marker (this washes out, but please test for yourself). I like using this pen as the silver glint catches the light and it is easy to see on all colours. I put a rubber mat underneath (made in Japan) to stabilise the fabric...

After tracing I remove the freezer paper and tack the fabric to the background. I try to tack around the shapes to assist with the cutting away which I do just a few centimetres in advance as I 'm going along. I use Daruma silk thread and a Clover self threading needle.

I would like to thank the following for their on-line tutorials:

If anyone would like my freezer paper template for this block and a silver gel marker (unused!) let me know in a comment or email  - 'first in best dressed'. 

I'm looking forward to seeing photos of Jane Wilson's block from other people on Sharon's Chester County Criswell blog.

nb see post below for a Christmas give-away closing midnight tonight. 


Saturday, 11 August 2012

12 Days of Christmas quilt + Free Giveaway!

Today I decided to work on one of my ongoing projects, the "12 Days of Christmas" by Viv's Creations. This project combines hand and machine embroidery and raw edge machine applique. The last two techniques I haven't done much of. With the applique I started off shabby but now I'm aiming to have more of a neat look, a la Kellie Wulfsohn.  I have refined my technique over the first few blocks and find the following is working for me for the machine applique: place the pieces with Visoflex; thin iron-on pellon on the back; matching Gutterman cotton threads on top and a light grey in the bobbin; a fine Schmetz needle - 60/8; and a  small straight stitch (2.0 on my Husqvarna). This seems to work well particularly when the top colour thread matches the fabric, not so great when it doesn't - I guess this is stating the obvious! I'm still learning and would love to hear what works for you.
I have completed the first 5 blocks:
12 Days of Christmas quilt partridge pear tree



12 Days of Christmas quilt

Hens... these ladies still need some pearls around their necks...

12 Days of Christmas quilt


12 Days of Christmas quilt

Rings...I used 1 strand of DMC metallic gold with one strand of DMC yellow/gold for the rings. 
I had to check out YouTube to work out how to make the suffolk puffs...

12 Days of Christmas quilt

Now working on Geese, applique pieces in place...

Quilting gloves help to manoeuvre the block. 
Now that I look at this photo I realise I could try using a transparent foot.

Machine embroidering the nest seemed to take ages. I think I need to do a bit more on the right hand's amazing what you can learn from the pictures of your own work!
I think the spotted goose egg looks quite cute.

Now ready for the hand embroidery to be completed on the bus 
(or whilst watching the Olympics). 
I love using the clear plastic packaging you get when you buy pillowcases, they're the perfect size & because it's clear it's easy to see what you've got and refer to the pattern  - very handy for on the bus!

I originally bought the 12 Days of Christmas as a BOM at an AQC exhibition but then by the time I started making it the store 'disappeared' after the first 2 months. I then spotted the whole set in a shop and decided to just buy the whole lot. Therefore I have doubles of the first two months, Partridge & Doves, which I am going to give away. I don't know if the rest of the patterns are still available but you could use these 2 for bags, cushions etc.
Just leave me a comment about what you might do with these patterns or with a machine applique tip & I'll draw a winner next weekend. Good luck!!

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Hello, I'm new!

I have created my first blog & and have named it 'Wheels on the Warrandyte Bus' as I have managed to teach myself to sew on the bus whilst commuting from Warrandyte into the city each workday.  I have used a photo of wattle in my header as it is currently in bloom and I haven't yet worked out how to do a photo collage of some of my projects. This won't be a gardening blog, it will all be about the sewing. I have been inspired by Sharon who has started a new blog for her Chester County Criswell quilt of which I am about to commence. I have a number of projects on the go but this one sounded so interesting and I was really taken by Sharon's honest approach. 

I have been thinking about fabrics for this quilt & found some left over white homespun...

And some red civil war fabrics that I have from my Sarah Morrell quilt (that's another story!)...

Don't know if I will strictly keep to any particular fabric theme....?

I have downloaded & printed out the first free pattern from Two Bits Patches & put it into a display book.

So I'm ready to prep the 1st block!