31 July 2013

Not a Nine Patch Pizzaz

Maybe a Four Patch Frenzy or a Four Patch Fizz?  I'll let you decide.  I went to the Quarterjack Quilters Exhibition at Merley House, near Wimborne.  I bottled out of taking any photos and now think afterwards that I should have done as it was a lovely exhibition and the venue itself (which was new to the group) was really lovely.  The group had worked on several projects which looked really good. I had taken away with me one idea though as several members of the group did quilts called "Nine Patch Pizzaz", which I later Googled, was from a book of the same name written by Judy Sisneros.  This uses large scale prints as large blocks arranged with nine patch blocks.

Last year I took part in "Another Little Quilt Swap" organised by Kate North and had a lovely little quilt from Mary in California, who also enclosed a fat quarter of "Welcome to Hollywood" fabric and this fabric seemed ideal.  You can read about the Swap here.   Nine patches seemed the wrong scale for the fabric that I had so reduced down to four patches, which worked better with the fabric
I originally pulled out 5 different fabrics to use, but got that down to 3 which seemed to work well with the colours
I cut out 6.5" squares from the quarter and also a couple of 3.5" sqaures.  There are also 3 rectangles that are 6.5" x 3.5" (made to 3.5" with the addition of one of the three fabrics) in different orientations.  I then made four patch blocks from the mix of all four fabrics. 

This improv piecing on an improv design board (a piece of fleece clipped over a dressmaking cutting board), I then sewed the blocks together in groups, then it quickly became a whole quilt top.

That kept me quiet all afternoon!  I've ended up with a quilt top of 24" long x 15" inches wide.  Compare with the arrangement I had to remove the blue/yellow four patches on the right hand side and cut a 6" square in half lengthways on the right because the bottom half was wider than the top half.  The fabric quarter had Welcome to at the bottom of the fabric and Hollywood at the top, so now I've brought the two together.  I used as much as I could and apart from the trimmings this is all I have left of the fat quarter
Not bad is it? I did rescue one of the balloons which will be appliqued on later and the flowers in the square I had to trim will come in useful for the quilt label.  I even found the perfect sized backing too

26 July 2013

Quilt at the Museum

A few months back I made a quilt for a regional Quilters' Guild challenge called "Coast" .  I have just found out today that it will be making an appearance at Topsham Museum Exeter, from tomorrow until 1st September, so I hope we can manage a trip there to see it, along with 19 other quilts

I was sent a copy of the poster, unfortunately it's a pdf file, which Blogger doesn't like.  Managed to copy to a Word doc, but Blogger wasn't too keen on that either.

Here's the link to the Museum, which is also holding an exhibition about Vivien Leigh too, so a bit of an eclectic mix.

And here's my quilt

Have a good weekend

 An edit to this post

Thanks to Benta I have now been able to upload a jpeg file of the poster

24 July 2013

Still Playing

with the new machine.  I've tried the embroidery unit with patterns on the USB stick that comes with it.  This was the first one I tried on Sunday
Bit of a mishap with the thread (I hadn't threaded up properly so the first stitches ran without any thread!) and I couldn't figure out how the tack around the image so the fabric was puckered, mainly around the pink flower, but pleased that I managed it.

Later came this design.  This was one that Pauline (from whom I bought the machine) supplied on another USB stick.  By this time I figured out the tacking before doing the embroidery, a much better result.
Afterward I took the unit off and went for some general sewing on a sample that I made a few weeks back.  The Pfaff has this IDT system which means that a walking foot isn't needed for quilting.  If you think the block doesn't look square, it's not meant to.

It was good to try out the straight and fancy stitches on this to see how well it quilts.  Not bad.

Today is my day off and last week at work so decided to stay in and have more play

This was one of the Pfaff designs.  I've made this into a postcard holder.  Then I used the same pattern in purples and made it slightly larger by editing the size on the machine, so in this next pic it doesn't look any larger but then I have made a large item which has made the design look smaller.
Not sure what it'll be - maybe a cushion?  That was this mornings little effort.

Pauline had suggested using Embird software for embroidery designs and that could be installed on the Mac using a programme called Parallels.  David ordered this last week and he picked it up from the sorting office today.  So after installing Parallels I'm now trying out a trial version of Embird and see how I get on.  I did, however, find on the Secrets of Embroidery website (from where I downloaded the software) a free coaster pattern by Artistic Designs which I added to the USB stick and it was sewn this afternoon.
I've still got quite a way to go with this machine embroidery malarky, but enjoying the experience so far.

17 July 2013

Been Too Busy to Blog

I have been doing things and going places, but my attention at the moment is taken with this
A new (to me) machine.  It's a Pfaff Creative 2, a sewing and embroidery machine.  The embroidery bit is new territory for me.
I haven't tackled this lot on my own yet, that is still to come.  I spent this afternoon getting to know the stitches and the feel of the machine.  It was too hot (shouldn't complain) to go outside and practiced on the dining room table because it was too hot in my room and my Janome is still in the Horn cabinet.
 Some of it on calico with stabiliser backing, look I even programmed my name on the machine

I liked the variety of quilting stitches too. A lot bigger variety than I've had before

I bought the machine second hand from Pauline who advertised it on BQL Swap site a couple of weeks ago and last weekend, when David and I went to Peterborough (to see trains), we visited her in Nottinghamshire, where she very kindly demonstrated the machine and embroidery unit and supplied a lovely lunch.  And gave me a gorgeous little square bag for the bits and pieces
Its really lovely!

Next task is to get to grips with software and using the embroidery unit.  It has a little USB stick with some designs but a lot of it is Windows orientated and we have Macs,  but David is working on it....

But so far I'm really liking this sewing machine, I think we'll get on well.

09 July 2013

Ribbon and Lace Postcards

Remember the swap that I took part in June?  I made these postcards in what seemed like ages ago, here they are again

All but one, the bottom one, were sent out.  That one may become one of the birthday swap cards.

And these are what I received by the end of last month

From (the top, clockwise) Alice, Pauline and Jacquie.  All such gorgeous cards.

My tickets came for the Festival of Quilts last week.  Wasn't too sure I could make it due to circumstances and didn't want to miss as I didn't go last year but now I can

  So, tickets ready, hotel booked for a couple of nights and I'm going!!! YAY!!
I also had a couple of workshops booked too (to break the days up).  Only just over 3 weeks away.

03 July 2013

Sewing Wednesday

For now, Wednesdays have been my regular day off, until my contract ends at the end of this month.  After then who knows what I will be working, but making the most of my day off.  Having done the Tesco shop this morning I used this afternoon to do some sewing.  Last week I bought Molly Makes Magazine and had to have a go at the Betty doll featured on the front cover.  Here's mine.

Although it was a job to turn through the skinny arms and legs and stuffing the upper part of her body, she was fun to make and deciding that she needed some 'jewellery'  - well she had to be properly dressed! So sewed on a sequin 'earrings', put on a little pearl necklace and sewed a little ribbon flower.

I've also got around to making a new bag for my camera and in red, the right colour to go with my little red Samsung.  I've made do with a bag that's been too big.  The pattern for this came from an issue of the Quilter magazine which took just an hour to make, why I hadn't done this before I don't know.

I also went to a sewing Saturday (last Saturday) and made another bookwrap to add to this growing collection.

Last of all here's a pic of the new bathroom suite, quite a change from the old.

That was Wednesday, back to work tomorrow.

01 July 2013

Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet

As it's 1st July it's Fresh Sewing Day at Lily's Quilts, so welcome if you've come by to visit from her blog.
Lily's Quilts

Lily's Quilts

In June I didn't think that I got much sewing done.  Last month included a trip to York to the Quilters' Guild, a family gathering and also work to our small bathroom (looks very smart now, I will share a pic soon).  I have managed some small things though, having had a go at some techniques from Sarah Fielke's Craftsy class here

Had a go at Anya Townrow's pattern (as I couldn't go to her workshop)
Made a few bookwraps for the Festival of Quilts tombola

(and made another since then). I've quite enjoyed making those.

So managed more than I thought.