The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Sew Along Epidemic!

I admit it! I get very excited about patchwork and quilting. Sometimes I even finish some of the projects I begin with this unbridled enthusiasm.

My current passion is THE FARMER’S WIFE 1930’s SEW-ALONG. There is a ‘one stop page’ for all the information curated by GNOME ANGEL. (gnomeangel.com).

GnomeAngel.com

My book arrived last week and I am busily preparing my patterns and choosing my fabrics for the September 28th start date.

The Farmer's Wife 1930s Book and Fabrics

The Farmer’s Wife 1930s Book and Fabrics

I know I have promised some unique results from the 200g of scrap swap….

Scraps Become a 'new' fabric

Scraps Become a ‘new’ fabric

Half Square Triangles created with these great papers

Half Square Triangles created with these great papers from Quilters Barn

…and I will finish that project…
BUT, this is a SEW-ALONG and I have never done a SEW-ALONG like this before. The group has its own Facebook page and there are already over 2500 members. Can you picture the diversity and cleverness of all these Patchworkers sewing along? It quickens the pulse.
My bobbins are full and my needles are new.

Fabrics, Bobbin and Needles

Fabrics, Bobbin and Needles

Come on and join the world wide project that has developed a life of its own! You know you want to…think of it as using up lots of fabric you already have to make room for new fabric that hasn’t even been designed yet…..ooooo aaahhhhh.

Advertisements

Longbourne at Castlemaine

Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a class with Katrina Hadjimichael. http://katrinahadjimichael.blogspot.com.au/

The class was hosted by Corliss of Threadbear Patchwork and Quilting in Castlemaine. http://www.threadbear.com.au/

I have been an admirer of Katrina’s work for a number of years, so when I heard that she was to teach here in Victoria, I knew I had to be there! The quilt being taught was “Longbourne”,  number 3 in Katrina’s Jane Austen series, which currently numbers eight. It’s a feast of applique, fussy cutting and English Paper Piecing. Bliss!

Longbourne class 017-crop

Katrina and “Longbourne”.

Twenty eager ladies gathered in the light and cosy venue for a day filled with lots of learning, inspiration, friendship, laughter and delicious food (that I didn’t have to prepare!!)

When we arrived and found a spot to park our bags, belongings and bodies, we received a lovely little gift bag from Corliss, complete with chocolate sustenance and fabric treasures.

Longbourne class 018 edit

What’s inside?

Longbourne class 019 edit

Treasures!

Katrina also came armed with a gift: a copy of the recent Quilters Companion magazine which included a DVD featuring Katrina and her tips for Jelly Roll quilts.

Longbourne class 027 edit

Then to the real work of the day! Katrina is a very organised and meticulous teacher and led us through the various techniques and processes required to make our own version of Longbourne. All the extensive notes, beautifully drawn pattern sheets, and a collection of photos showing in detail various elements of the quilt, were presented in a display folder for each participant.

Longbourne class 020

Pattern sheets and detailed instructions in a display folder.

Most participants chose to use reproduction fabrics for their quilts as in Katrina’s original, but one other brave soul and yours truly ventured into the realm of brights. I have decided this presents an additional challenge: many of the fabrics in bright modern fabric ranges have larger scale designs on them. For some elements of the quilt, especially the centre panel, small scale designs are also necessary. I found I had to go shopping for some additional fabric. (Oh dear, such a hardship)

At the beginning of the class one lady asked Katrina what her secret is for such accurate and neat work? In short, the answer is attention to detail.  All applique components are tacked onto paper first. Katrina takes great care when tracing and cutting out her pattern pieces. No sloppy workmanship here!

Longbourne class 021-crop

Tacking onto cartridge paper for fussy cut components.

 

Longbourne class 024 edit

More tacking.

Here’s Katrina demonstrating how she makes tiny (3/8″) hexagons. And the thread of choice… Aurifil of course!! (Here she is using 50 weight).

Longbourne class 013-crop

And so, to sew. The bias stems come first.

Longbourne class 022 edit

Ready to applique the bias stems.

I have not done a great deal of actual sewing as yet, but I have done a little playing with various fabric combinations, and lots of thinking about my creation.

Longbourne class 026-crop

Playing and thinking.

And when Longbourne is finished, there may be another of Katina’s Jane Austen quilts calling me.

Longbourne class 003-crop

Lambton, the latest in Katrina’s Jane Austen collection.

Thank you Katrina and Corliss for a most enjoyable and inspirational day.

 

Hoopla!!

The staff at Always Quilting recently discussed using embroidery and quilting frames to display textile work. Embroidery and stitcheries, applique, pieced items and quilting, even a pretty piece of fabric can all be displayed this way. A quick internet search gives you lots of inspiration! Indeed, I was inspired and have since made a couple of items which are displayed in inexpensive embroidery hoops.

For my first piece, I decided to engage in some English paper piecing and fussy cutting and make a small companion piece for a mini quilt made last year and which I blogged about in a previous post. https://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2014/11/28/always-playing…-fussy-cutting/  You might recall that there was not much fabric left, but certainly sufficient for my purpose.

sewing- blog Nov 2014 058

Plenty of holes, but still enough fabric for my project!

I used 4x 2-inch clamshells and fussy-cut my fabric, with a small circle as the centre. There are many methods of preparing your English paper pieces, from tacking, to glue-basting, to fusible papers. I discuss one method here. https://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/english-paper-…agons-and-more/  When using clamshells, I prefer to tack the paper in place as this gives me greatest control over the curve, ensuring it is nice and smooth. When it is tacked into place I give it a good press.

Hoopla blog 015-crop

Tacking the fabric onto the clamshell paper.

Once I had made my clamshells I appliqued them onto my background fabric using Aurifil Cotton Mako 50. As you can see in the photo, I left plenty of fabric around the edges. I then took my little hoop, in this case 5 inches in diameter, and centred my design in it. When I was happy with its placement I tightened the screw so that the work was tensioned with no wrinkles.

 

Hoopla blog 004

Ensure the item is centred in the hoop.

I trimmed the background fabric to a border of about 1 1/2 inches.

Hoopla blog 005-crop

Trimming excess fabric to 1 1/2 inches.

I took a strong thread (Aurifil Cotton Mako 28) and ran a gathering stitch around the perimeter. To make this job easier I did not cut my thread off the spool, but used it directly from the spool. This way could adjust it as required, and I didn’t run the risk of miscalculating the length of cotton I needed, or of accidentally pulling the gathers out. When I had the gathers sitting as I wanted, I cut the threads leaving a tail, then tied them in a reef knot to secure them.

page

Gathering the background fabric behind the hoop.

To cover the back of the hoop I cut a circle of felt, using the hoop as a template for the circle. I wanted the felt to fit just to the edge of the blue background fabric, but inside hoop. Finally I stitched the felt in place again using a strong thread, Aurifil Cotton Mako 28. I used an overstitch going from the felt out towards the edge of the hoop as shown in the photo, and I ensured that each bite into the felt was about 3mm and went into the blue background fabric each time.

Hoopla blog 011-crop

Stitching the felt back into place.

And my little project is finished and ready to hang on the wall!

Hoopla blog 016-crop

My little hanging all ready to display on the wall.

In a future post, I will write about another project framed in this way.

 

Always Playing with Fussy Cutting

Recently I have made some miniature quilts, one of which is made from 1/2 inch hexagons.  I wanted to be able to engage in  some fussy cutting, so I deliberately chose a fabric which would give me plenty of opportunities to do this.

Spring 2014 026

Feature fabric for fussy cut hexagons.

I had great fun playing with the fabric to obtain 9 different little “flowers”.

 

Spring 2014 027

A little “flower” in the making.

 

Spring 2014 028

Another “flower”.

Once I had constructed 9 little flowers, I arranged them on the background fabric.  I decided to use a whole piece of fabric for the background, but I could also have pieced the background. I used Aurifil Cotton Mako Ne 50 (on the orange spool) to create ‘invisible” applique stitches.

 

sewing- blog Nov 2014 003

Arranging and appliqueing the flowers to the background.

When all the flowers were in place, I machine quilted in the ditch around each one, and also quilted a small hexagon, the same size as the components of the flower (i.e. 1/2  inch), in the spaces between them. For the quilting I used Aurifil Cotton Mako Ne 40 thread (on the green spool).

 

sewing- blog Nov 2014 006

Machine quilting the mini quilt.

Finally, I added some stripey binding and a rod pocket for hanging the quilt.

sewing- blog Nov 2014 009

Sewing on the binding.

I had purchased 40cm of feature fabric, which gave me enough to make the hexagons and back the quilt (which measures 13 inches square). There is not much left over, and what does remain is very holey!!

 

sewing- blog Nov 2014 058

Not much fabric left over.

 

sewing- blog Nov 2014 035

Small rod pocket for hanging the quilt.

 

Ta Da!  My miniature quilt is finished and ready to display.

 

sewing- blog Nov 2014 037

Completed miniature hexagon quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Excellent exhibitions

I have recently attended two quilt exhibitions, each one a treat.  The first was “Quilts in the Barn” and the second “Eastern Palliative Care Quilt Show”.  Each is held annually during spring in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, and each is a fund-raiser for very worthwhile causes, breast cancer research and Eastern Palliative  Care respectively.  In this post I will share some photos of Quilts In the Barn. (Permission given).

My friend and I arrived right on opening time which meant we avoided a  long queue. Before very long things became very busy, especially so later in the morning when a coach-load of eager ladies arrived!!

Spring 2014 006

Entrance to Quilts in the Barn.

This magnificent quilt was hanging in the entrance.  It is called “Homage to Sallie Anne” and was designed by Di Ford-Hall.  This version was made by Helen Hayes.  (Should I confess? …I too have a Sallie Anne lurking amongst my UFOs).

Spring 2014 007

“Homage to Sallie Anne”.

One of the guest tutors/ exhibitors was  Brenda Papadakis of Dear Jane fame. Understandably there were some Dear Jane style quilts.

Spring 2014 020

“Zutphen” made by Jenny Bear.

Spring 2014 016

Another Di Ford-Hall design, this one made by Jenny Bear and called “Jane Austen in Texas”.

Here is a close up showing the fussy cut borders and quilting.

 

Spring 2014 018

Close up of “Jane Austen in Texas”.

There were quilts made from hexagons. This is Jenny Bear’s Jane’s and Vera’s Garden. Lots of fussy cutting here!

October 2014 015

This is a miniature hexagon quilt, stitched and quilted by hand by Marion Edwards.

October 2014 008

 

This antique quilt caught my eye.

Spring 2014 024

These quilts were made by Michelle Yeo.

Spring 2014 012

The Quilted Crow girls Leonie and Deirdre were there with their shop.

Spring 2014 008

The Quilted Crow shop.

Shoppers could see (and touch!) some of their latest offerings: their fabric range “Pomegranate Lane”, their wool range, “The Seasons”, and their hand-dyed velvets.  Aurifil Threads (Cotton Mako’ Ne 28 – on the grey spool) are available in two Quilted Crow Girl Collections which coordinate with their favourite colours.  Check out the collections at  http://thequiltedcrow.danemcoweb.com/shop/product/aurifil-threads/

They also had copies of their recently released second book.  This is one of the quilts which is featured in it.

Spring 2014 011

All this viewing and shopping  is thirsty work and the bevy of helpers in the cafe did a great job!

Spring 2014 023

Such exhibitions involve a great deal of preparation and work by many dedicated people, but provide a wonderful service and inspiration to us all. (Quilts in the Barn raised $16,000 this year). Well done!!

Another hexagon bag (or two)

I must confess a real weakness for bag patterns. When I buy them I am full of enthusiasm and good intentions, but I am not very good at actually making/completing the bags.  Last year I bought a pattern, “Mill Girls Tote”,  from Sewn and Quilted. http://sewnandquilted.com.au   It is designed by Vicki Bellino of Bloom Creek  http://www.bloomcreek.com

another hexagon bag 009

“Mill Girl Tote” pattern.

I purchased a lovely piece of border print fabric for the top and bottom borders.

another hexagon bag

Border print fabric “Pride and Purpose” by Kaye England for Wilmington.

I found some jazzy red handles which are perfect!!

another hexagon bag 010

The perfect handles.

I was able to utilise many fabrics from my stash to construct the hexagons for the centre feature. The hexagons are quite small, only 1/2 an inch.

Sewing bag 143

Fussy cutting some of the hexagons.

Sewing bag 144

The collection of hexagon “flowers” grows.

154 hexagons are required to make this panel.  I’m nearly there!

another hexagon bag 008

Hexagon panel progressing well.

While I was beavering away on this project, my friends in a friendship group decided to make a bag, using this pattern, for one of our members celebrating a “big O” birthday. A group of us shopped together to select fabric.  Our choice this time was quite different from the fabrics I’ve used.

hexagon bag

Hexagon panel taking shape.

Various members of the group completed different sections of the bag.

wedding and aqc 002

Bag outer constructed.

After much furtive activity and secret conversations, the birthday bag was completed and presented to our birthday girl.

another hexagon bag 005

The completed birthday bag.

As for my bag….well I did confess at the outset that I am not good at completing bags.  And the decision to make another hexagon panel for the bag back  (rather than using a plain panel as in the pattern) will slow me down.  However,  I’m now re-enthused and keen to add this to my list of completed projects for 2014!

Time to fussy cut some more hexagons…..

 

 

 

Reproduction Introduction

This week I had the pleasure of completing a quilt. Yay!! The majority of my projects are hand-sewn, so to reach the finishing line always feels good – to me, it’s a significant accomplishment!

My quilt is called “Reproduction Introduction” because it is the first quilt I’ve made (i.e. finished) using reproduction/reproduction style fabrics. Yes, it’s taken me a while to “catch on” to the pleasure derived from working with these fabrics.

I started with a piece of blue background and some contrasting “strawberry” fabrics.

May 2014 031

The best greens  were these poison greens.

May 2014 047

Marking the design and being able to see it on the background fabric was a considerable challenge, and eventually I made a design transfer overlay which worked very well and which I discussed  in a previous blog. https://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/09/13/design-transfer-dilemma/

I had fun, needle-turning to my heart’s content…..

May 2014 042

May 2014 040

…and engaged in some fussy cutting.

May 2014 039

May 2014 041

 

I even made a label featuring the centre design and its fussy cutting.

 

May 2014 038

And finally, the quilt was finished…May 2014 003

 

… and on the bed.

 

May 2014 043

And in case you are wondering, this lovely design is “Louisa” by Cherry Pie Designs. http://www.cherrypiedesigns.com/  I made a couple of small adjustments to the original.

For the needleturn applique I used Aurifil Cotton Mako 50 weight, and to machine the components together and complete the binding, Aurifil Cotton Mako 40 weight was my thread of choice.

My “Reproduction Introduction” is just that because already I have other reproduction quilts in progress or waiting in the wings.  You might say I’ve caught the bug!

 

 

 

%d bloggers like this: