Saturday, 23 August 2014

AWS mini-break

I've been away on an AWS mini-break for a couple of days.
There are four of us making Di Ford's Antique Wedding Sampler (re-visited) from the Primarily Patchwork book. 
Of course we started with Show and Tell. Judy had just picked up a couple of quilts that had been machine quilted.
Judy's own design using Bronwyn Hayes stitcheries given to her by friends.

Another of Judy's own designs (on commission!) using Fairy Flower panels 

 We stayed over a Sofie's beautiful home where her quilts and other handwork were featured.

Sofie's sampler, a Ballarat Patchwork pattern, loved and used every day over the years

Another oldie but a goodie - I remember being tempted to buy this pattern.
Sofie's stunning hand made Santas

Amazingly detailed hand bead work

Even on the back!
 We are endeavouring to meet about once a month and all have our own look through different fabric and colour choices for AWS. 
Antique Wedding Sampler re-visited by Di Ford
Lyn's blocks in various stages

Antique Wedding Sampler re-visited by Di Ford
I helped Sofie lay out some broderie perse
Antique Wedding Sampler re-visited by Di Ford
Sofie's block #6 in progress - check out the fussy cutting!
Judy worked on her secret Liberty & linen quilt & finished this block - there's an important timeline for this project
Antique Wedding Sampler re-visited by Di Ford
My AWS bock #14 - auditioning different fabrics for the centre circles
And what does one do when one gets home from a couple a days of sewing (and fabric shop hopping - more on that next time)?? More sewing of course!  

Antique Wedding Sampler re-visited by Di Ford
Marking out the circle line using the templates and the frixion pen -
we're all fans of this pen!

Antique Wedding Sampler re-visited by Di Ford

Thanks Sofie and family for hosting this month's AWS get together - great food, beautiful weather, hours of sewing fabulous fabrics and friendship!!! 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Push button binding

After being inspired by Hilda's recent posts on her beautiful Auntie Green I thought I would get mine out this weekend before it turns into a UFO. Before going any further I did as Hilda suggested and spent a bit of time marking out the bias borders, bit too late for some flowers and leaves - oops! Now, do I  move them, leave them and put the bias over them or either side of them? Decisions...oh well, just leaving them for now.

Last year I purchased this Simplicity bias machine at a quilt show specifically to make all the binding for AG.It looks a bit like something that Frankenstein was hooked up to :) My first attempts weren't so successful so I had put aside and it was gathering dust.
Before putting it on eBay I thought I would give it another try. I watched a couple of YouTube clips which gave me some handy hints. Armed with this information, I had more success.
The true test will come when I try and do some long lengths of different fabrics joined together for the borders so I'm keeping it for now. Getting the right width is crucial and I spray a little starch before putting it through the machine.
You do get a nice binding that sits flat on the fabric, more so than with the method I learnt from Di Ford. However, because you can get this same effect with a Clover bias maker I don't think I would recommend buying one of these machines unless you are going to make a LOT of binding.

I use my stone apples to weigh down the fabric on my light box.
I've also been working on Gossip in the Garden, including this EPP little Dresden, ready to be appliqued  down.
These fabrics always make me smile.
I hope you can find some sewing time this week. 

Friday, 8 August 2014

Another AWS block conquered

I'm happy to report that the rest of AWS Block #11 went together relatively smoothly.

Antique Wedding Sampler re-visited Block #11

Not quite all smooth sailing I'm afraid, one of the star points is too small and I ran out of the green stripe but I think the checked fabric adds a bit of interest.

Antique Wedding Sampler re-visited Block #11

I often forget that the blocks will be set on point so I probably should have fussy cut the centre differently but I'm not going to re-do anything on this block.

Looking at fabrics for the next block...

.... don't you just love it when you find the perfect fabric?

Cynthia by Mary Koval
I've also been doing some EPP for Gossip in the Garden. I'm not a huge fan of the glue method so I tried tacking without going through the papers.

I punched holes in the papers that came with the BOM to pin to the fabric when first cutting out.

Mini block for Part 6 - Gossip in the Garden
Hmmm, happy with the result, I quite liked this method. The papers were easy to take out and you don't have to remove the tacking stitches (they just lie underneath).

I have also been motivated by a recent blog post by Robyn at  a Dog Named Banjo on cleaning and oiling your machine. Luckily I checked my manual first as my Husqvarna shouldn't be oiled but I should definitely clean it more often.

Under the feed dogs

Around the bobbin case area.
You need to be careful to lift the dust out rather than push it down into the workings of the machine somewhere (that's also why you shouldn't try and blow out dust). If possible, you should also use the brush that came with your machine. 


I like the recommendation to do this once every 5 bobbin changes - hope I can remember! 

And yes, it would have been easier if I had removed the foot first :)
Hope you get some sewing time this weekend - and maybe even some sewing machine maintenance? Ok, I'll stop nagging now ;)


Saturday, 2 August 2014

This way or that?

I have finished block #23 for my CCCQ. I really like the effect from the striped fabric but which way should it go? This way...

Chester County Criswell Quilt Block 23

...or that?

Chester County Criswell Quilt Block 23

I think I like the stripes going horizontally, what do you think?
I really like this design and I agree with Sharon that the inner motifs look like the batman symbol.

Chester County Criswell Quilt Block 23

Talk of things going this way or that, I discovered (with some help from Maureen who emailed me) that Block #23 for AWS had an error. Yes just when I thought I had finally conquered that dreaded block there was an error in the way one section of the HSTs was going! Could I live with it?

In pieces - again :(
but now everything is going the right way.

Antique Wedding Sampler Revisited

Back to the sewing machine.

Antique Wedding Sampler Revisited

 I couldn't believe this, after the problems I'd had with the measurements I was following the diagram in the book very carefully. Turns out the diagram was wrong so I had to follow the photograph of the block.
Finally sorted...

Antique Wedding Sampler (re-visited) Block #23

If you ever make this block it's the middle set of HSTs that I had to fix.
After this I steeled myself to make Block #11. This had even more HSTs and crazy measurements - 1 5/16" - Yikes!
I decided to be very methodical, meticulously counting how many HSTs and the different colour combinations I needed, using the photo of the block in the book.

Antique Wedding Sampler Revisited

Judy and I worked out last week that it would be easiest to use a slightly larger Thangle (2") then trim down to the required  1 13/16"  (allowing for the seam allowance). I don't have a ruler with 1/16's so I marked off in purple between the eighths.

This proved handy as I trimmed off the dog ear at the same time.

Checking and re-checking, laying out two sets at a time.

Machine piecing and returning to the layout so those pesky HSTs remembered their place.

Pinning to a background as each square came together.

I love the diagonal swathe formed by the placement of light and dark fabric. I just need to add the stars - wish me luck!
That pesky block #23 is watching and tried to mock me all afternoon...

Antique Wedding Sampler Revisited

...which just made me more determined to get it right. 

Phew, I recently read somewhere that quilting helps prevent Alzheimers - my brain has certainly had a workout today as I am both mathematically and spatially challenged ;)