Tuesday, 23 August 2011

A quilt for Leah... all FINISHED

Here it is...all finished. Thanks to Jennie for quilting it for me and Tracey for getting about 7m of binding sewn down....

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Things That Make (Quilting) Life Easier...

So ......I am sitting here stitching on some binding. Bondi Rescue is on the tele....and I am thinking. Right at this moment....about how much I used to HATE binding even the smallest project. I didn't like the way I joined the ends. The hand stitching part was hard work, on my hands, my back AND I never liked the way it looked once I was done.There was also the time factor...it seemed to take FOREVER. The last couple of years I have been on journey to discover what makes a perfect binding. I believe I have hit on the perfect formula...and today I have decided that I must share it with you....This is what works for me....and since I switched I have not been disappointed with the result, I have way less fatigue in my hands & back and most importantly it is FASTER!!!

1. I cut my binding 2 1/4 " wide. This is for cotton quilts, with a batting with a standard loft. If you are working with flannel or a thicker batting you will need to adjust this accordingly.

2. I ALWAYS use a bias join for joining the strips together and joining the last 2 ends. This is called a continuous binding and I have also switched to mitered corners. I managed to do this on my own, but it was awkward and clumsy....so I trolled around the interwebs and found the PERFECT tutorial. It is by Bailey's Quilting HeadQuarters......watch it....book mark it.... How To Attach a Continuous Quilt Binding

3. I have switched to a ladder stitch for the back. Once you get a rhythm you can go super fast and it is also invisible if you do it right. Here is a picture of how it looks....

4. and lastly I use binding clips....they are magical. They hold fast and most importantly they don't stick you as you work around your quilt.

SO now that I have shared 1 of the things that makes MY (Quilting) Life Easier....I am going back to my binding....LOL


Wednesday, 17 August 2011

New Plan

So I am taking a side step for this post...still working on the free motion and beading AND working on some samples for the Heathmont Baptist Quilt Show coming up....because of all of that and factors in my personal life I felt the need to introduce a New Plan for the day/week/month/forever maybe...LOL

My husband is away at the moment...working......for 3 months! I know...fun hey! In reality it is not the longest he has been away but I guess I know very well what it will be like...sigh. One of the tasks I must take over from him is running number 1 son to the station....at 5.45am! The first week I got up, took him and came home to bed. Because I was so awake it took ages to go back to sleep...so realistically I had to ask if it was worth it?? Well the way I felt all day suggested it was not. So a New Plan was put in place....get up at 5.30am and stay up!

Now I have always seen myself as a night owl...so not a morning person. I sat down and had a good hard look at myself and WHY I often end up working so late into the night. I have always felt I do my best work under pressure and really seem to need an impending deadline to motivate me: even if that deadline was bed time......LOL. I am also a ditherer...so is it a case of having learned to work under pressure because that is the corner I box myself into ALL THE TIME??? I have never really given myself the room to plan and organise to see if I actually get a better out come....not just in the practical things but emotionally & physically too....coz being under the pump is sure stressful!

So the New Plan was conceptualize and realised in the form of a spread sheet pretty much programming every min of the day from 5.30am to 10pm. I have acknowledged, work needs, family needs, social commitments, exercise and time for me to play at things I enjoy! Coz honestly when we get busy...isn't it the fun stuff that goes out the window but it is also the stuff that can help keep us sane!

So 3 days in....how is the Plan functioning...

Firstly I am getting through the things I have set for the day...that is good...I guess I have not gained myself more time in the day I am just shifting the hours that I am up and operational...LOL But the true key to the New Plan is going to bed early enough to make up for the early start....and it is where I am struggling...old habits are hard to break. Today I am sooky and feeling very hard done by. Yesterday I layed down to relax my back and fell asleep (surprise surprise) so that in turn made it difficult for me to sleep last night..Today I must resist the nap...I guess I just have to push through the first couple of weeks...so sorry if I am grumpy!! It will get better.....wont it??

Now I must get back to my stitching...my sashiko sampler will not stitch it's self!! New Plan in action......

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Free Motion Madness ...... Part 5

No picture tonight....coz there is not much visible progress. I was going to bead then remembered I need to finish the edges....D'oh! I have had 1 win....I have a tub into which I deposit all those odd bits of binding...some short, some long.....tonight I found a use for them!! Because I used them more like a facing, the colour did not matter....YAY!

Friday, 12 August 2011

Free motion madness...... Part 4

Tonight I just went for it....not sure if it was sensible....LOL I am very very tired...I have just stopped sewing and now I feel quite sick. You know sick and tired....was woken at 4.15am by a text from the alarm company saying the power was off. (We have this weird intermittent tendency for the safety switch to go off, usually in the wee hours, when we are not actually using much power??? We can't pinpoint what is causing it...it has been happening for years?? )Anyway it means they think back at the base that someone has turned the power off to break in...SOOOOOo they text me and if I don't get up and make it right...they ring...and If I didn't answer they would probably call the police...LOL So outside with the torch at 4.15am flicking the switch, then up again at 5.30am to run #1 son to the station, then back to bed till 7:30am up, showered and dressed...took the youngest to school then was waiting with #2 son at the hospital to see the Surgeon for a Post Op checkup by 8:45am......it had been a long day by then already..... and it is now 11pm on the same day......yup....so right now Sick & TIRED!

Anyhow this was supposed to be being quilted to become a beading sample....but the quilting sort of took over. LOL Oh well the quilting was fun and now I shall set about cover it up with Lisa's lovely beads...It has been an awesome learning experience and has proven to me that I CAN freemotion quilt. If this is what I can do with just a couple of hours work....it will get better with more practice...and practice I will.

This has been a lovely week....doing something I wanted to do, and putting aside some of those HAVE to do things...back to the grind on Monday... after a spot of cleaning tomorrow I plan to face/bind this piece then try some beading...be back with progress of that little adventure....

Night night

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Free motion madness...... Part 3

TODAY has been a real turning point!! Last night I stumbled across Leah Day of Day Style Design. She has an AMAZING catalogue of free motion designs and most importantly tutorials!!! So much excitement.......is that sad?? I have purchased and downloaded the book of her Free Motion Quilting Project and have decided to work my way through and learn some of the designs....every day if I can. The more I read the more it becomes clear that I need to practice practice PRACTICE. I want to be good at it NOW and I guess that is one of the reasons why I tried a few years ago...then gave up. Here are the 2 designs I have learnt today.

Shadow Waves

MatrixHere is the whole piece so far...as you can see I am just working my way through filling in the foundation lines I stitched yesterday. I am beyond excited this is a true milestone for me.....can stitch straight lines to the cows come home.....I guess it was what was trained into to me for years and years so there has been an element of unlearning to be done. YAY for the unlearning!!

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Free motion madness...... Part 2

I TOOK THE PLUNGE......I got bored of the calico and I felt like I had a good flow going... I am very happy with the lines, the bubbles....well I don't hate them.!! Still improvement to be made but I am happy with this first little step. I started with some lines across the piece to section it up...that left me with some less daunting spaces to fill. I will practice some new designs then fill a space with that......but now bed!

Free motion madness....

So I am burning through the thread...not sure that I have much worth showing you yet...LOL I am still working on calico...not being brave enough to move onto my purple piece. I have learned one thing though...KEEP BREATHING!!!!! I find I hold it...especially when I am coming up to an edge and I panic coz I don't know where to go.... I guess the most useful thing I have discovered is the alarm that sounds if I move the fabric too fast. Consistent steady movement of the fabric is the key, to nice even stitches and a good design. SO back I go to practice some bubbles...LOL

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

A Slight Departure.....

So I have gone on a bit of an adventure. For my birthday I bought myself a 6 week online Beading Course with Lisa Walton of Dyed and Gone to Heaven. I have been working so far on small sample pieces, but now I want a slightly larger ( but still relativity small) quilted piece to put my new skills to the test. I am starting with this (10" x 17")....
BUT before I get to the beading (which is a challenge) ....I need to conquer this.............One of the reasons I bought this machine was because it has the BSR foot. I have fiddled but never mastered....so it is now or never! I plan on showing you the results unless it is horrid.

A quilt for Leah... Part 2

Was so relieved to get the top finished for Thursday night...it is now in the hands of the very capable Jennie R who is going to quilt it with a simple edge to edge meander... THEN Tracey R will bind it for me....Then to hand it over to Leah's mother Belinda....Me...VERY Happy!!

Monday, 1 August 2011

A quilt for Leah...

I am in the middle of a moment of madness.....a few months back I promised a quilt for a fund raising event...the smart thing would have been to start on it then hey??!! Did I??!! hhhmmmm NOPE! So of course the deadline is closing and now it MUST be done...I spent an interesting and exhusting 4 days at the Quilt & Craft fair so was in the perfect spot to find inspiration! I purchased a "Giddy" by Sandy Gervais for Moda Layer Cake, and have devised a simple but effective design. I got it cut this morning and have started piecing when I returned from my afternoon engagement. Here is how it is looking at the moment....and here is one block up close

I hope to get a good portion of it together this evening....but I MUST have an early night. SO it is an oven dinner tonight...ie turn the oven on, open a packet and heat it up...LOL Kids are fine with that and husband is out working so.....away we go......