some longarm quilting

I recently quilted this lovely quilt for some new clients. This quilt obviously exhibited lots of care and attention in its creation. A group of ladies had collaborated to make a quilt for raffling. The quilt top was made with lots of crocheted doileys and lace, which the ladies wanted the quilting to highlight and not overwhelm.
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It took quite some time thinking and time to work out what would be best in the way of a quilting design. I had to take some factors into account which I hadn’t encountered before, such as a cohesive design which could make its way around the doileys without encroaching on them but also not leaving those areas entirely stitch free…
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I also had to be mindful of what the back would look like, and stitching with cream thread on cream fabric was also a little tricky..
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I couldn’t have some areas more heavily quilted than others and there were some blocks that had more free area to stitch in than others. I quilted a free-hand feather design in and around the embellishments in the wide borders, with smaller-scale feathers in the sashing and some back-ground stippling in the centre blocks.
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Just a little postscript: I hope this blog post is readable as I’m practising writing it on my 8″ tablet in preparation for when I’m travelling next month. I can’t easily edit the photos so they may be larger in size than normal. I hope to be able to still post while I’m away, especially when I visit the Houston Quilt Festival (I can’t wait!!!)

in the pink..

I’ve been catching up on a few different projects lately, and trying to cross off a few on my list that I want to get finished in the next couple of weeks. One of them was this little bag- its called the Sew Together Bag. The pattern is by ‘Sew Demented’ and you have no doubt seen many versions on the net or Instagram. I plan to use it for a little sewing bag- it is a handy size to take travelling…
I made mine with different fabrics for each of the parts, so that it would be easier to remember what each pocket held. The zips were all random colours…
I have seen so many different versions, with people experimenting with all manner of fabrics and embellishment on the outside of the bag. I can see how it can become addictive to make more than one, although the pattern takes a bit of studying to work it out in places.
I have also been working on this month’s colour challenge for the Gatton Quilters- pink. This was a little hard because while I don’t dislike pink, I didn’t want a 14″ square of just pink staring up at me! So my challenge was to devise something that was pink all over but that the ‘expanse’ of the colour was broken up in some way, or diluted, but so that the block was still pink to look at. This is the result:
I started with a background made up of pink scraps all sewn together. I then got an old sewing pattern tissue and tore it up into pieces and placed on top of that. I did think of painting the pattern tissue with some gel medium in the hope of making it more transparent but it didn’t really do that on the sample piece I tried. So instead I added some open weave raw silk on top which still let the colour show through.
Then I pinned it and got stuck into some all-over free motion quilting. After stitching it, I then used some water-colour pastels to colour in a few highlights, using darker shades of pink to give some dimension.
I stitched lots of dresses and bows, all connected together in a continuous line, using a variegated thread. There were some torn bits of paper and holes in the silk to let some pink show through. This is the back…
It’s not my favourite piece I’ve ever made, but it’s good enough!

triangles & weddings

I’m making a mini quilt for a mini quilt swap. The swap is one I found on Instagram, and thought I’d give it a go. It’s called the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap.
I’ve got a secret partner to make a mini quilt for; someone with tastes very much like mine. She likes bright colours and Kaffe fabric- someone matched us up well!
So I gathered up some fabric and decided to make a little quilt out of half-square triangle blocks.
I’m pairing warm colour triangles with cool colour triangles. I like the patterns you can create and the various arrangements to play around with. I put them up on the design wall and started with a diamond right in the middle, but then changed it to some off-centred diamonds and liked that better.
These haven’t been sewn together yet, so that’s the next step.
I just have to show you some photos from last weekend. We went to Byron Bay for the weekend for my niece’s wedding. The setting at the Harvest Cafe was lovely, the wedding was beautiful and we stayed in a very interesting place, with some visitors!
Just a few random photos without intruding on her privacy, but the wedding was just so lovely:
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.. and the bride made her own wedding cake, which tasted as good as it looked!

it’s a small world..

I’ve been working away on the ‘My Small World’ quilt (pattern by Jen Kingwell), also following the quiltalong hosted by Very Kerry Berry, among others. In Part 5, there is a lot of work in some paper piecing and applique. One section is a half-moon, or maybe half sun?- shape made up of hexagons. There are 30 little hexagons about 1/2 inch.
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I haven’t done much with hexagons in the past, so I was eager to try them out, especially as they would all be in colourful scraps and nothing matching- my favourite! Here they are joined together, along with the smallest foundation-pieced triangle arc below it.
I think some more hexies might be in my future! I love seeing them all pieced, especially using all different colours as I have, and they are quite quick to put together.
This pattern doesn’t give a lot of detailed instructions on the various sections, so you are open to using your own favourite methods for constructing the components. For the pieced arcs, template shapes for the triangles are given, with the intention being that you trace lots of little triangles and then piece them together. To me, these arcs looked like the arcs in a New York Beauty block, which is my most favourite block, so I decided to construct the arcs using foundation paper piecing. This is the picture from the pattern just to show what we are aiming at:

Jen Kingwell's My Small World Quilt

Jen Kingwell’s My Small World Quilt

I just had to work out the size of the arcs by looking at the pictures given on how many of the one-inch squares it covers. As you can see, the little hexie component partly covers one edge of the pieced arcs anyway, so it doesn’t matter if the final component isn’t the exact size that is in the original pattern. I drew them on graph paper first, then traced those onto paper to use for piecing.
From there it was just piecing the fabric scraps together as I would a NY Beauty arc, sewing along the lines and getting nice sharp points.
That’s the first arc, another few to go!