Round Robin Round Two

In 2014 the staff members at Always Quilting are challenging themselves by producing  Round Robin quilts. For some, (yours truly), this is very challenging and completely outside my comfort zone!

The parameters were set in January and include the size and symmetry of each block/border, the colours to be used, and the fact that all fabrics must be solid colours.  For full details see: http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/taking-the-round-robin-into-the-21st-century/

After some weeks of secretive activity and cryptic comments, we have now completed the centre block and first border.

 

RR_Block-1

Jenny’s centre block.

I received Jenny’s centre block made from yellow/green fabrics,  to which I had to add a border using colours from the blue section of the colour wheel.

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My task was to add an assymmetrical border to Jenny’s centre block, which is very geometrical and has straight lines and sharp corners.  I decided to add some curves  and designed my border to incorporate small ovals.

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In the photo above you can see how I used a piece of string to draft the curves.  I “fiddled” with this to obtain a design with which I was satisfied and drew this on the paper pattern, which in turn I transferred to the fabric.

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This photo shows the construction of the narrow bias.  In a previous post I explain how I do this using Deborah Kemball’s method which does not use bias bars. http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/making-bias-strips-without-bars/

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The completed bias curves.

 

Now I was ready to add the oval “beads” to the curves.  Initially I thought I would be able to make my oval templates by folding and cutting paper to draft the ovals, but after producing some shapes unrecognisable as ovals (!!), I realised that I needed some help.  I purchased a set of Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Ovals which were indeed perfect for the task. (Always Quilting stocks “Perfect Circles”, “Bigger Perfect Circles” and “Perfect Ovals”  http://www.alwaysquilting.com.au/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=171 )

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Tacking the fabric over the oval templates.

The finished border looks like this.

 

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This has now been passed on to ladybirdee for her contribution.  I wonder what she will add?

All will be revealed at our staff meeting in June so keep watching for further updates.

Fast, Fabulous, Fat Free Easter Eggs

I know that some people do, but I don’t usually make Easter decorations however the pretty egg ornaments designed by Gudrun Erla caught my eye this week.

I could see that, with a minor modification, I could make great fat free gifts for my stitching friends.

Fat-Free-eggsWhen I made my eggs I modified the instructions to leave a “pocket” into which I can pop a spool of thread ….. Aurifil of course, as a tasty treat for patchwork, quilting and embroidery enthusiasts.

The original instruction has the top edge of the pocket folded back, and stitched down to the egg, to make pretty trim.

Rather than do this on my “eggs”, I left the top edge open to form the pocket.

These really were fast & fabulous to make,  choosing the fabrics took more time than making the fabric eggs.

Fat-Free-Fabric

The eggs are stitched by putting right sides together and stitching around the outer edge.

Now I am not a fan of cutting the fabric to turn the fabrics right side out so I tested two methods:

  • Leaving a gap in the stitching and turning through the gap was tedious and is NOT recommended
  • Gudrun’s method of cutting a slit in the back fabric piece, and then sealing the cut edge, is definitely the way to go for this small project.

So get the pattern instructions and start making your own fabric eggs, either as ornaments or as pockets to hold a gift.

If you enjoy making special projects for Easter decorations you might like to pop over to our online store to purchase one of the last copies of Yvonne Skodt’s “Happy Easter” pattern book.

Happy-Easter-Yvonne-Skodt

PS: Our books are on Sale 

Save 30%

 

Globetrotting with Pat Sloan- Month 4

I have packed my bags again
Here we are in April ALREADY. Pat Sloan has stamped our passports as we arrive in fascinating San Juan, Puerto Rico.
I am enjoying the challenge of creating a new look with my blocks and still staying with my fabric pallet.

Block 1 Washington DC

Block 1 Washington DC

That rarely happens as several quilt shops in my area could attest to…if they weren’t sworn to silence.

Venice Block 2

Venice
Block 2

Chicago Block 3

Chicago Block 3

The fun part of a mystery is the surprise each month and April’s included the versatile HST (half square triangle).

Block 4

Block 4

Pat has such good instructions and photos that I didn’t have to ‘reverse sew’ once. Thanks Pat!
The Aurifil thread sinks into those seams and makes matching intersecting fabric a breeze.
Don’t forget to have a look at the Globetrotting Flickr group( The FQP 2014 Mystery BOM), the variety of fabrics used in these blocks are inspirational.

Cinderella Transformation at the Australasian Quilt Convention

The beautiful Melbourne Exhibition Building underwent a cinderella transformation yesterday as the quilts went up, the exhibitors stands were decorated and the classrooms were prepared for today.

Melbourne_exhibition_buildingSet up day was misting rain all day so I was pleased that I had loaded the Aurifil parcels into the van the day before, ready for an early delivery run into the city.

loading-car

Even so, by the time I arrived the merchant hall was well on the way to being well dressed.

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Orange fluouro vests were the standard dress for people, but the walls were looking much more appealing.

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I love the way each exhibitor has stamped their own store personality on their display

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Yesterday was a rumble of trolleys, and ripping of boxes, as stock was unpacked and displayed but for the next four days the hall will be a buzz of excited chatter as visitors discover amazing treasures of “must have” items.

I can’t wait to see the transformation.

Make sure you visit the Aurifil retailers to take home some thread treasures for yourself:

Stand 43    Cherry Pie

Stand 45    Elm Grove Patchwork

Stand 21    Fifi’s Fabricology

Stand 181  Millrose Cottage Quilting & Gallery

Stand 44    Miss Sampson’s Drapery

Stand 23    Needles & Pins

Stand 58    Somerset Patchwork & Quilting

Stand 55    The Quilted Crow

Each retailer has chosen the threads that are particular to the fabrics, designs & techniques that they are featuring at the show so you may wish to visit each one to build your collection of Aurifil.

Happy Treasure Hunting!

 

 

Round Robin Reporting

Our second staff “Round Robin” hand over happened at our staff meeting on Friday. …..

Round-Robin-part2

You may remember my earlier post about how challenging I was finding it to work with solid colours.

Well that is obviously not my only problem!

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This round was to add an asymmetrical border and I thought I was very clever creating a tilted border but ….. I didn’t think about the fact that it would NOT be asymmetrical if I added the same size triangles to all four sides.

Fortunately everyone else managed the round correctly.

RR_Block-1

And they have even added some interesting applique effects to their borders

RR_block-2 Despite everything I am quite enjoying watching the progress.

RR_block-4Oh dear I hope I can do better with the next round.

How can I go wrong … we only have to add an even border on all four sides.

Coming soon … more reports on how these borders were added and appliqued.

 

How to find Aurifil at the Australasian Quilt Convention

It is less than a week until the Australasian Quilt Convention opens so we have been madly packing threads for the various teachers, using Aurifil in their workshops, and the patchwork stores where it will be sold at the Expo.

Each exhibitor will stock the particular Aurifil thread weight that relates to their patchwork style and patterns, so take note of the retailer’s stand number, and the Aurifil product line, so that you will know where to find the thread weight that you wish to purchase.

The latest thread kit from the factory.... a set of 4 piecing colours in Cotton mako' 50

Cotton Mako’ 50 will be found at:

Stand No: 43      Cherry Pie Designs

Stand No: 23      Needles and Pins

 Aurifil-mako-parcel-blog

Cotton Mako’ 40 will be found at:

Stand No: 45       Elm Grove Patchwork

Stand No: 58       Somerset Patchwork & Quilting

Yummy flower colours for broderie perse

Cotton Mako’ 28 will be found at

Stand No: 21       Fifi’s Fabricology

Stand No: 55      The Quilted Crow

Aurifil Lana wool thread, in two spool sizes

Lana will be found at

Stand No: 181    Millrose Quilting & Gallery

Unfortunately none of the exhibitors will have the Cotton Mako’ 12 for sale this year, however you can always place a special order with us for collection at the Convention.

Cotton Mako' 12 is the thickest thread in the range

Cotton Mako’ 12 is the thickest thread in the range

PS:  Contact us before midday Tuesday 8th if you are wish to pre-order a particular thread weight or colour so that we have time to arrange for a collection point for your order.

 

A Quilt A Month – YES!!!

It seems as though the bloggers at “Always Quilting” are working with hexagons. I did not realise Judy was going to post about her hexagon quilt this month, so readers of our blog will get a double dose of working with hexagons!
I have put the final stitches into my mini quilt today – to stitch on the binding. I had given myself the challenge of completing three quilts in three months after being given three different Moda mini charm  packs. As well as having bragging rights in completing the quilts, I also had something to write about on this blog!!
This range of fabrics from Moda is called Three Sisters Lario, and is a much more gentle colour palette than what I would normally choose.  It is good to work outside your favourite colour preference, though having written that, I think I use quite a variety of colours and patterns in fabrics when quilting.

Paper Piecing
I needed to make the mini quilt a certain size (to fit on my wire quilt frame) and realised the squares, if made into hexagons would not be large enough to cover the area. So I appliqued them to a background fabric.

Fabric Background

Not, any background fabric, but one of my ‘sacred’, ‘never to be used’, ‘only to look at’, or for special occasions.  I had to be brave, and the fabric worked with the colours of the charm squares – and needed to be used up.
I had paper pieced the hexagons, using a Ne 40 weight (green spool) in cream. I know some people use the finer Ne 50 (orange spool) but I prefer the Ne 40.

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I quilted  with Ne 28 (grey spool) 5007 and ditch stitched around each hexagon, as I wanted them to stand out on the background fabric.


When trying to find a ‘location’ for a final photo, I realised that the colours in the quilt matched with a beautiful Gien French plate I own.

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Thanks Judy for my gift, and making me think about using some fabrics I would not have chosen for myself. I have enjoyed the challenge of making three completely different quilts in three months.

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