March 28, 2018

AQC 2018 - Don't Miss It!

Several years ago, I discovered the Australasian Quilt Convention - which is held here in Melbourne every April. It's a great show - loads of fabulous quilts, vendor stalls, lots of new products to learn about and just generally a lot of fun to walk around and enjoy the vibe.

The next convention starts a week from tomorrow!

Last year there was a vendor there selling longarm thread.  I bought a couple of cones and came home wishing I'd bought more - especially as they had some colours that I use a lot of.  I won't make the same mistake this year - if you see a woman with a forklift full of thread cones ... that'll be me.

Check it out, if you can!

Here's a link to the AQC page on this years Melbourne Exhibition.

March 21, 2018

Free-motion "Nested C" Quilting Stitch

My long-time friend and quilting buddy Jen recently sent me a link to an interesting video she saw on YouTube.  In this video, quilter Laura Ann Coia demonstrates an interesting free-motion stitch (click here to see her video).

Up to now, I've not done a lot of free-motion quilting.  I've done some "loop-d-loop" quilts, and these two quilts:

This quilt has a panel in the center with fairies and butterflies
I did free-motion outlining around the fairies, butterflies and flowers in the panel.
On this quilt I wanted quilting that would standout, but would complement the theme.
I used free-motion radio-wave stitches around the outer border - very effective.
In her video, Ms Coia is stitching on a sit-down machine.  She made the "C" pattern look pretty easy, so I decided to give it a try on the longarm using some scrap material.

Here's the result:
I'm delighted!  This was really pretty easy to do and VERY fast.  The results remind me of my "Blustery Breeze" groovy board pattern:

I love that groovy board pattern - but it is a bit "busy" for some quilts.  This new free-motion design will work well for quilts wshere I want a similar style, but less dense quilting. 

I've just finished a "jelly roll race" quilt top - and I'll try this new "nested C" stitch pattern on it.  Stay tuned!

March 14, 2018

Quilt 20: Christmas Charm Squares - DONE! (FINALLY!)

"Wait!" you say, "How did we get from quilt 103 to quilt 20?"

Well - yeah.  I started this one back in 2013 - a queen-sized bedspread of Christmas charm squares. Originally I'd planned to hand-quilt it, but then the longarm came along and I was swept up by the absolute bliss of being able to complete my projects at lightning speed.  I decided I wanted to quilt this by machine, but the longarm I had then was on an 8-foot frame - not wide enough to accommodate this project.  So the top (photographed below way back then) was folded up and slipped into a pillowcase to wait for the day when I'd have a longarm with a frame wide enough to hold it.

That day came on July 21, 2017, when I happily welcomed my new longarm machine - "Bernie" - which has a 12' frame.
92" x 112" - quilted on the longarm ("Simply Stippling" groovy boards), cotton batting
 Here's a closeup of some of the squares;:
The background fabric is a soft white and gold floral/feathers print.  It's not exactly a Christmas print, but it's soft enough that you don't really notice and, well, it's the back of a bedspread, so won't be seen much anyway.
So it took me about 4 years to do this one... but it's DONE!  YAY!

March 7, 2018

Quilt 103 - Fiona's Quilt - DONE!

Fiona is a lovely woman who lives in Ireland.  She saw the quilt I made for my friend Julie-Anne (who passed away last June) and just raved about it.  She wanted something similar, but didn't want the exact same design; she wanted something slightly different.  I've made several quilts like Julie-Anne's (my best-selling design) and so unlocking myself mentally and trying to come  up with something different was a bit challenging. 

Here's a photo of Julie-Anne's quilt with my original design:

Julie-Ann's quilt

Then it finally occurred to me to just got with simple borders - nothing fancy - and instead of playing up the purple in the center panel, to pull out the turquoise instead.  I also opted not to cut off the "gold gilting" at the top and bottom of the panel

Here's the result and I have to say I really love it!

52" x 71" - quilted on the longarm (Blustery Breeze groovy boards) - cotton batting
The print border is a coordinating fabric that goes with the panel.  The other borders are solid.
(doubleclick the photo to see a larger image)
I backed it with a magenta/purple solid and used purple/blue variegated thread for the quilting, then used the coordinating print for the binding.

This design is just so much simpler - and although you don't really see it in the photos, that turquoise really makes the purples in the panel jump!  I think I like this design better than my original one!