Thursday, 28 June 2007

Another WIP !

I quite like hand-quilting and I usually have a project on the go for when I feel like doing some. One day I would love to own my own long arm quilter but for now it is not an option !! Space and finances are holding me back ! So it's either hand quilting or machine quilting on my domestic sewing machine. For big quilts it's usually hand quilting as wrestling a large quilt through my Janome drives me mad and gives me aches in places I never knew I had !!!

My current hand quilting project is this one. I must admit Ilove scrappy quilts more than anything and this one was made purely to use up some of my scrap drawer ! It's been a WIP for a while - thats why it's fairly creased. It's been folded up on my shelves patiently waiting for some attention ! Soon -I promise.

I told Wendy of I would post a picture as she has just made a quilt top in the same design. She was unsure of the blocks name and I think with some help discovered it was Arbor Window. That's what as I believed it was called as it was named in EQ5.

I am quilting this very simply - a quarter inch from the seam lines and I like how it's looking.. I am using wool batting for the first time with this and am very impressed. It's really smooth to quilt through and is lovely and snuggly. I have given loads of my quilts away but I think I will keep this one.

Talking of UFO's and WIP's have you heard of this one ? - - a PHD - stands for Project Half Done - lol ! This came to me courtesy of a friend of a friend. I think it's a good one personally. Sounds good to tell people you are busy working on a PHD - that will get them thinking !!!!

Monday, 25 June 2007

Bucket Bag Tote - Part 4. Last one !

The lining is made in much the same way. Take 2 pieces of lining fabric and place them like this -

Sew along the pinned edge. Stitch the other 2 pieces in the same way.

Place them as follows and stitch about 2 inches each end with a gap in the middle. This is for turning the bag through >

Then turn up the sides like you did for the outside of the bag and join the seams.

Do the same for the other 3 edges. You will now have this

Not much to do now. Position the handles on the right side of the bag at the tip of the pointy bits. Make sure the contrast fabric is facing the right way ( 2 right sides together ) I did this wrong on the first bag I made and had to undo it - aarrgh !

Place the bag inside the lining case making sure the handles are enclosed.

You can cut the small triangular bits of spare fabric off to make it easier when you stitch.

Pin around top edge matching seams and stitch.

Turn bag through gap in the lining. Get your edges nice and even and topstitch all around this edge. Slip stitch gap in lining fabric and thats it - you're done !!!

If anyone has a go at this I would love to see a photo. One of the nice things about this bag is that it is really easy to make it in different sizes. Just cut your squares bigger or smaller ! Hope this was clear enough !!

Bucket Bag Tote - part 3

This is where it gets interesting -lol.

Take 2 of your quilted panels and place them together like this -

Sew along the pinned edge matching seams. When folded back it should look like this-

Sew the other 2 panels in exactly the same way.

Sew these 2 pieces together so they look like this -

Now fold up one piece matching seams again - and sew along this edge. The top edges will not meet - one piece will be longer than the other by 2 squares.

Stitch the other 3 edges the same way !

You should now have this -

One more extra thing you can do at this point is using a small sharp scissors is trim the wadding from the seam allowances.

This will help the bag keep it's shape. I also give it a little press with the steam iron where the panels have been joined together.

Sunday, 24 June 2007

Bucket Bag Tote - part 2

Next I will show you how I made the handles. I'm sure you all have different methods but this one was a new one to me and is quite nice to do.

First decide how long you want your handles - I like mine fairly long. Cut 2 strips of wadding 1.25 inches wide by the length you want - mine are 35 inches long.

Next choose 2 fabrics that contrast well. Cut one 1.25 by 35 inches and the other 2.5 by 35 inches.( or the length of your handles )

Lay your wadding strip down and place the smaller strip on top - right side up. Next lay the wider strip on top - right side facing down - level with one edge of wadding and smaller strip.

Sew along this edge - bottom edge in photo.

Now you will need something to pull handle through to right side when it is sewn. I use a strip of the selvedge. Make sure it is quite a bit longer than the handle length. Fold back the smaller strip from the edge you have sewn and lay this pulling through strip along the length. You can also use ribbon or piping cord.

Now place the unsewn edge of the wider strip level with the unsewn edge of the smaller strip and wadding and pin - making sure the pulling through cord is not in the way. Sew along this edge. Make sure the pulling through cord sticks out of both ends.

Stitch along one of the top edges with a small stitch enclosing the end of the pulling through cord.

Now pull through using the cord to the right side !

Roll the edges a little to get them nice and even. You could sew a line of stitching along each seam if you want or lightly press with a bit of steam to make them flat.

Clear as mud ? I hope not ! Will try to get a bit more done later or tomorrow.

Saturday, 23 June 2007

Bucket Tote Bag -Tutorial

Right then - here we go. I will do my best to explain how this is made but please feel free to ask any questions along the way.

1- choose your fabrics. The outside of the bag is completely composed of 3inch squares. The basic bag is made from 7 different fabrics but less can be used if you double up. i think once the method becomes clear you will see lots of possibilities. Completely scrappy would be good or maybe 2 colours. Anyway here are my fabrics.

From your chosen colours ( from top left moving across ) cut 3 inch squares in the following quantities.
20 squares of first colour - this will be the main colour.

4 squares of next one and then 8 squares of the other 5 fabrics.

Sew them together with usual quarter inch seam in the following order -

Then make three more identical panels. I find the easiest way to do this is to make one complete section first and then chain piece the rest - keeping an eye on the one that is done to make sure the order is correct.

Cut 4 pieces of wadding ( batting ) 6inches by 21 inches and place each panel on top of a piece of wadding. For my first bag I used a nice fairly stiff wadding and this worked great. I had no more of this left so for this bag I also placed a piece of cotton curtain lining fabric in between the wadding and the panel for a little extra support. Using your walking or even feed foot quilt in the seams on each panel. To make it easier and instead of stopping and starting sew further than the seams and move to the next one. These pieces will be trimmed anyway. Here is a picture to show what I mean.

Now trim the edges of wadding level with the panel. Each piece should measure 5.5 inches by 20.5 inches. Cut four pieces of fabric for lining the same size as your panels.

Any questions please ask - more later !

Thursday, 21 June 2007

What a dump !

OK - I will go ahead and make the bag and hope I don't totally confuse anyone too much bearing in mind I've never done this before !. I've been thinking about fabrics to make another of these bags. I've had a rummage through my stash and picked out some fabrics so sometime during the next couple of days I will get started. I have some beautiful batiks which would look stunning but you know what - I just can't cut them ! Pitiful I know ! I just took them out, gave them a stroke and had a little play re-folding and such and then put them back...No hope for me !

Before I cut out my squares I think I have a little tidying up to do ! My poor desk doesn't always look this bad - sometimes it's far worse - lol !

Wednesday, 20 June 2007

Quilters love bags !

Not an awful lot to show today ! I've made a few more DJ blocks and been altering some clothes for my mum. I also started the English paper pieced quilt from Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine that I showed a picture of a few posts ago. Will show pictures when I've got a bit more done. Just spent an hour cutting out the papers. I think theres 4 different shapes that all slot together. I use freezer paper for my shapes and just lightly iron it onto my fabric. I find it's so much easier when tacking round the edges as the fabric doesn't slide about. I've picked my fabrics - mainly fat quarters and also found a lovely fabric for the background. I am always on the look-out for good background fabrics !

A local quilting group had an exhibition yesterday so off I went to have a nosey ! I didn't take my camera as it was held in a church and I wasn't sure if photography was allowed. We have a lady who has her own fabric business and she was trading there. She doesn't have a shop but attends local guilds and area days and such like.. I found a great fabric but she only had half a yard with her. She explained that she had more at home but didn't have it for sale as a lot of her customers were making quilts with this fabric and she didn't want to run out before their quilts were done. Then she smiled and said that seeing as I was such a good customer of hers she would let me have some - yippee !! I went back today and she had a nice little 4 yard cut ready for me.. I've just washed it along with the other stuff I bought and I will iron it tomorrow.

As it turns out I could have taken my camera and I really wish I had as I fell in love with a wall-hanging on display there. I'm sure lots of you have heard of Dilys Fronks - she's written several books - mainly applique and her work is wonderful !! She only lives a few miles from me and was stewarding at the show. This wall-hanging of hers was superb - absolutely stunning ! The show is on for a couple more days so if I get the chance I may nip back armed with my camera this time.

I'm showing this photo of a bag I made a couple of weeks ago... I love this bag - it is so cleverly made - all from squares which you join together in a funny kind of way. It's really easy to make but looks more difficult than it is. It doesn't use an awful lot of fabric. I've seen it done in lots of colourways and they were all great. I want to make another of these and am thinking I may do it step by step on my blog and anyone who wants to can make one too. I wonder if anyone is interested ??

Friday, 15 June 2007

A big thankyou !

Just a quickie to say thankyou for all the lovely comments I've received so far. It's so encouraging to know that people are actually finding my page. My family think I'm getting addicted to blogging - don't know what give them that idea !!! Will try and get some more photos taken at the weekend of my older stuff ! Still got a lot to learn about blogging but having such fun so far ! Brilliant !

Thursday, 14 June 2007

Tulip Tango !

I have had a week where my time is not my own - I'm sure you know how it is ! My dh is currently waiting to start a new job after his last employer ceased trading so is - unfortunately under my feet all the time. He keeps insisting I will miss him when he returns to work in the next week or so but I know differently- lol ! Anyway today was a free day and I needed to sew !!

Earlier this year I did a signature block swap on the Dear Jane list that I'm on. It was the first time I'd participated as I joined the list too late last year. It was great fun and the blocks I got back were amazing..It was like christmas and my birthday rolled into one when I received my pack of blocks. Anyway some of the ladies on the list made one block different from the others and that was called their " special siggie ". I was so excited when fondling my blocks to discover some-ones special block. The lady was from Oregon and she sent me something really lovely. She said she had searched for something that represented Oregon and the gift was 4 fat eigths and a pattern. All I needed was to add a background fabric.

I decided to use a black fabric with a tiny pink flower as it matched nicely with the hot pink and orange fabrics.

So after doing the bare minimum - and resolutely ignoring the dust I set to. I was determined to finish this today. I gave my family their evening meal early so I could get it quilted and bound. In fact they ate so early they'll be rooting through the cupboards anytime now for snacks but ha - I'm not bothered. All I have to do it slip stitch the binding on the back - I absolutely LOVE binding and I'm done. Just have to find an uncluttered place to put it !! Could be easier said than done..

Sunday, 10 June 2007

Dear Jane 1930's fabrics

OK - I dug out the Dear Jane quilt top and here it is. I think I am borderly challenged as I seem to get stuck as to what to do with the tops when it comes to borders. I have loads of 1930's fabrics left but am dithering where to go from here. I think maybe an applique border would set this off a treat but to be honest I haven't done a lot of applique and this would be a lot of work.. I have done a bit of machine applique and quite enjoyed it but I really love the look of needle-turned work. I have a bit of 1930's plain fabric in blue and green left over from another quilt ( which is still awaiting quilting !! ). I am really tempted to do a vine and leafy border on this.
This is why I really don't need to start any new quilts yet - I have loads to be getting on with...
I also have several others in various stages of completion including a wheel of fortune quilt in really gorgeous colours, A twisted sister quilt in black, white and red that was supposed to be a Christmas present for a friend last year......I'm sure there's other stuff lurking about - Oh yes and a rail fence quilt with a nine-patch on point border. Now that will be lovely when it's finished ! Is that when or if ???

Saturday, 9 June 2007

Dear Jane blocks

Here are the DJ blocks I have made so far for my second DJ quilt.. I dug out the 1930's DJ I was talking about in my other post but it is badly in need of pressing as it's been folded up for a while. Cannot be bothered getting out my iron now as I'm only just cooling down after a very hot busy day !! I know many people will consider me a killjoy but I hate summer !! I know - most people think I'm mad but I really cannot bear being hot....Roll on the dark nights and frosty mornings - thats my idea of good weather. I love autumn !!

The close-up of the single block is the one I finished about an hour ago...I was so pleased with it until I came to tick it off on my list. I am doing each "round" in a different fabric as you see in the other picture. You guessed it - it's not on my list... I bought the DJ software a couple of weeks ago and printed out some blocks for paper-piecing.. Must have printed out the wrong one for this colourway...It doesn't matter so much - I will just swap it for it's next door neighbour. Doubt anyone will notice but me anyway. This "round" has 24 blocks so I'm almost halfway there. Then will decide on next colour ! I think I'm enjoying working this way. On my last DJ I took so long picking a colour for each block trying to spread out the colours evenly it drove me crackers - lol !

Here also is a photo of one of the sisters choice quilts I've made using Bonnies pattern at Quiltville. I made this one to be raffled by our local cat rescue centre. I sent a photo to Bonnie and she published it on her site... I was chuffed - as we say round here. (delighted).

Thursday, 7 June 2007

I'm a Stashbuster !

Just got confirmation that I've been accepted as a member of Stashbusters !! Thanks to Swooze - Sorry don't know how to do links yet ! Looking forward to getting to know everyone properly ! This is seriously addictive. While I'm on I'll post a picture of another of my little babies. This one is Kasper and he is such a little bundle of fluff. He will be 2 years old next month..

Dear Jane Quilt !

About April last year I bought the Dear Jane book and decided to dive right in. After a lot of thought I chose to do it in 1930's reproduction fabrics and then went on a buying spree to get as many different fabrics as I could. They were quite hard to find as we don't have a brilliant selection of these in our quilt shops. I bought some from ebay, had some shipped from USA, bought some at a show and a lovely lady on the Dear Jane list sent me some pieces she had gotten from a swap. I started off and although the pieces were small I really enjoyed making them. In between other projects I would go back to it. I always knew this was a long term project. After a while though I couldn't seem to muster up any enthusiasm for making any more blocks. It took me a while to realise that the reason I had stopped working on them was because deep down I was wishing I had chosen a different colour scheme. The blocks I had made were really pretty and fresh looking - I had seen pictures of DJ quilts made from similar fabrics and they were stunning. BUT I wasn't happy !!

I think I had made just over 6o blocks and so decided to cut my losses and not exactly abandon the quilt but to use the completed blocks to make a smaller quilt. I made hour glass blocks with some of the 30's fabrics and set them alternately with the DJ blocks. Thats as far as I've got. I need to get borders on it and that is one of the things I will try and get done soon. I will post a picture of it tomorrow .

And by the way - I have started my new DJ quilt. I have done 8 blocks so far.. I really wanted to do this one in a trip around the world setting as the original quilt does so thats what I'm doing. Each "round" will be in the same 2 fabrics - quite dark subtle colours. I like it so far !

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Busy, busy -no quilting !!

Busy weekend but no quilting done. Will try to put that right this week. My nephew turned 18 years old at the weekend and my sister roped me in to make a huge birthday cake, prepare food and supervise at his party. It was good fun - I even had a sing at the karaoke - the fact that I cannot sing a note in tune did not deter me.....I could hardly refuse the request from the birthday boy to join him in a duet...It was a laugh !! I have also been dressmaking - not for myself. My sons school is having a historical day - namely the Tudor period and Iwas asked to make one of the teachers a Tudor costume...It's nearly done and I can't wait to get back to my quilting.

Now I love my sewing machines but like many quilters I like to have some hand work on the go. I have nearly finished this apple core quilt top - all pieced by hand. I would like to have it finished soon because I have a new project lined up.

I was trying to be good and get shut of a few quilting magazines which are breeding like mad and making my shelves buckle... However after only putting 3 in the "dispose of" pile with about 53 in the to" keep" pile my brain is working overtime with loads of ideas for potential new quilts. As I said previously I really want to finish some UFO's before i start anything else but the urge is overwhelming- lol.. I have promised myself that if I finish the apple core I will be allowed to start this next one... Its from Australian Patchwork and Quilting which is one of my favourite mags... This quilt is done by English paper piecing which I have dabbled with. I have a half ( or is it a quarter ) finished hexagon quilt somewhere that I completely lost interest with. Maybe someday it will get done.

Oops - just realised my toes are in one photo - lol !