The Quilt Hanging

Congratulations to Judy, my friend and workmate on winning the Whimsical Woolly competition  from “Dyed and Gone to Heaven” with the gorgeous pincushion she made.
Just in case the followers on the blog thought I didn’t complete my entry (see post on 3 April ) I will tell you the saga of my entry!!!

After much consideration and musing over what I would do, I started it on a Monday after visiting a well known ‘hardware’ store for architectural pieces eg padded wire garden ties, glue and duct tape!   Then on the Tuesday I found I simply couldn’t walk after something happening to my knee  (too many ‘step ups’ and exercise suggested the doctor) and so for the next week I was forced to rest it in bed.   Consequently I had to try to finish the entry while lying down  and it was certainly a challenge – in more ways than one!!!   It was fun ‘ordering’ the family to find my sewing requirements from another room in the house (as I couldn’t walk very far).

I managed to get the whimsical entry done, asked the kind MOTH (Man of the House) to post it for me. It felt good that I had finished what I had promised to do and it was on time to be ‘judged’.
 
I enjoyed using the wool pieces as they are surprisingly strong  and they needed to be as I had to wrap them around the wire to make the tree shape. The fabrics also didn’t fray – another definite advantage.    The little quilt was easy to embroider and the Lana wool worked well.

Here’s the finished product!!

The finished "Quilt Hanging"

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Yes, thread size does matter.

Last week I had several interesting conversations about how the size of threads, & pins, can make a significant difference to the easy of stitching, and the accuracy of the finished work, especially when you are working with the small shapes often found in applique & miniature  quilt blocks.

This miniature Square in a Square block makes a neat brooch

 One customer even went as far as to say that she has been so happy with her stitching when using Cotton Mako’ Ne 50 for her applique that she tested it on a hexagon quilt that she is making. She is now planning to unpick her half finished hexagon quilt because it was started using a different brand of thread, and she wants to re-do ALL the stitching with Cotton Mako’ Ne 50.
 
We then had a long discussion about why she got such neat accurate results, with stitches that disappeared into the fabric, when she stitched with the Cotton Mako’ Ne 50.
 
Our conclusions were that it is a thinner, more flexible thread than others on the market so it takes up less space in the seam line & melds with the weave of the fabric. When it comes to hand stitching, it is the strong, smooth nature of the thread that allows it to pull through the fabric with ease, putting less stress on the hands and it is equally as good when used for machine piecing.
 
This fits perfectly with my thoughts about why Cotton Mako’ Ne 50 is the best choice for all forms of miniature piecing, whether it is simple blocks such as log cabin, or square in a square, or the complex blocks in a quilt such as the Dear Jane design.

Miniature blocks such as these "Log Cabin" coasters will stitch up very accurately with Cotton Mako' Ne 50

 Handy Hint:  
This same customer pointed out that the use of very fine pins to mark the seam intersections makes it much easier to get a sharp point on triangles and an accurate interlocking match of pieces in a block.

Join the “Amazing Easter Egg Hunt” for prizes to tempt the textile lover.

Aurifil, AccuQuilt & The Quilt Show have joined together to sponsor an egg-citing competition on Facebook with some great prizes to be won by three lucky entrants. 

All you need to do is visit each sponsor’s Facebook site to find the Easter Egg, follow the instructions to collect the competition codes and then enter them on the competition entry page.

Visit the Competition Sponsor’s Facebook pages:

      Aurifil                        AccuQuilt             The Quilt Show

Join in the fun for a chance to win one of three egg-citing prize!

Calorie Free Fast Eggs

Another idea for Easter stitching (and a quick project) using the fine Aurifil Ne 50 is to applique some oval ‘egg’ shapes  onto a special piece of fabric.

In my version, I have used two gorgeous Kaffe Fasset fabrics. I often choose NOT to have fabrics of the same designer in a patchwork project, as I like to use various prints and patterns from different sources, but I thought these two worked beautifully together (and this is meant to be a project that can be done in a couple of hours).

Freezer paper template for the egg shape

I didn’t need to do any additional embroidery on the ‘eggs’ as the patterned fabric cleverly gives the impression. If I had time I could always add some fine beads if I wanted some dimension to the eggs.

Freeezer paper shapes ironed on the back of the "eggs" ready for pining and stitching

I used a freezer paper template shape to applique around – ensuring the smoothness of the oval. I nearly forgot to pull out the  freezer paper shape before the last applique stitches went in!!!

I intend making this simple design into a little Easter bag (optimistically hoping someone may put some real chocolate eggs in it!). However it could be used as a cushion – with some additional borders or put into a frame for an Easter wall decoration.

Happy Easter – and I hope you have time to do some stitching.

Aurifil 50wt.Thread is just ‘Fine’ for Foundation Piecing

When school holidays roll around, our house usually becomes a hub of activity with visiting friends and family. This year I have decorated a special guest towel for the powder room.

This is a very quick and easy project that can be modified for any holiday or special occasion. I am using an Easter theme for a quick foundation pieced Easter Basket.

I auditioned different fabrics and trims and choose a coordinating thread colour.

Audition Fabrics for your project

The Aurifil 50wt. thread just sinks into the towelling.

Aurifil 50wt. Thread in the perfect Easter colour

The small but sturdy stitches made the paper removal easy.

Using Aurifil 50wt. thread makes removing foundation paper easy

I know the visitors will get a kick out of my special bunny fabric when drying their hands.

Quick and Easy Guest Towel

Use a design of your choice and make an everyday handtowel special.  Don’t forget to tell us about your projects.

Wonderful whimsical woolly works with Lana

The alliteration had to stop somewhere, but I do hope that you think our entries for the “Dyed & Gone to Heaven” whimsical woolly competition are wonderful.

Our "Thread Whimsy" & "Playtime Pincushion" made with the felted wool from Dyed & Gone to Heaven and embroidered & decorated with Aurifil Lana wool thread

Judy & I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and loved the way the fabric and the Lana wool threads worked so well together. It was so easy to work with the fabric that we both said we had to make ourselves stop adding more & more decorations to our pieces.

We used every square centimetre of the fabric, supplied in the challenge kit, making our respective projects and are a little disappointed that we don’t have any of that lovely felted wool left for more tactile play but of course we still have plenty of the lovely Lana threads left in our personal collections and in the shop.

Some of the Lana thread that we used in our whimsical woolly projects

Judy drew up her own original applique design for the pincushion. She fused the wool fabrics together with a heat fusible web to create the basic shapes,  then added the Lana embroidery and  beading surface decorations.

I designed a small wallet to carry around my threads and included a pocket on the back, for a pair of scissors & a packet of needles. The wallet opens out flat to give access to 7 spools of thread so it will be the perfect companion for an individual project bag. I blanket stitched the wallet edges with Lana  and also used it to crochet my fantasy flower decorations.

We are in the process of writing up instructions for our creations so check back to the blog over the next few weeks to find the downloadable patterns in the Freebies Box on the left hand side of the page.

Also, don’t forget to keep coming back throughout April to see what we do with Cotton Mako’ Ne 50,  our feature thread for this month.

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