July 20, 2019

Quilt 149: Mini Zipper Bag

Well... as you probably guessed, I haven't done any quilting in quite a while.  Yes... it's been a long dry spell.  But I made a little something today - a mini zipper bag to carry my Tarot cards in.

I found a great tutorial on YouTube for super-easy lined zipper bags:  Here's the Tutorial

At last April's quilt convention, I bought a couple of 1/4 yard strips of lovely brocade fabrics, with the intention of making Tarot bags/pouches - but never got around to doing anything until today.  I want my bags to be quilted, so I grabbed some scraps of homespun and scraps of batting - and quilted them together using a simple wavy-lines stitch pattern on the Bernina Q-Matic:
 I'm pleased that in the photo above you can see that the way the light hits that brocade, you get different colours and highlights of blue, turquoise and purple.

For the lining, I have a sheer purple fabric.  And below you can see the dimensions I'm using:
Zip zip zip!  The hardest part of this project was putting the zipper back together as the woman in the tutorial video shows.. but I finally got it and in a snap my bag was finished!
LOVE IT! There's just enough room for my cards and one of my small silk Tarot cloths.

I'm going to make a few more of these, maybe even sell them!

April 21, 2019

Happy Easter!

I haven't done much quilting in the last couple of weeks (suffering from withdrawal now...), as I've been a bit busy with this and that.

And today - Easter Sunday!

We celebrated happily in the city with slow-roasted lamb, buttermilk biscuits (to sop up the lamb gravy) and black bean salad.

The entree was Baba Ganoush with little tabs of Turkish bread.

Miss Laka, our companion bird (photo above) tasted everything and loved it all, especially the Baba Ganoush (which she's sampling in the photo above).

I hope your Easter was/is pleasant, too!  I've got quilt projects in the queue, hopefully will get back in the swing soon!

April 11, 2019

Quilt 148: African/Asian Animals 1 - Done!

Ah!  After so long, finally something to show you!

Way back... uh... (how long ago?)... YEARS ago... I visited my cousins in Florida and picked up a couple of African/Asian animal "layer cake" packs. 

I've been doing a lot of quilts for my favorite charity: Inspirational Quilts - but one of the benefits of blogging (from my perspective) is that I became aware of how many of my quilts are very feminine.  I need to do more masculine, or at least "unisex" quilts for the charity.

So here we are.. with these layer cake packs.  I decided to get on with it recently, and not be too fussy about what designs, so opted to just do layer cake squares cut into triangle wedges and joined with a coordinating solid.

So I cut out 10" squares of a sunset orange and then stitched each one (right faces together) to a charm square, then cut diagonally from corner to corner:
Then I flipped them, ironed them and formed them into a pinwheel - SIMPLE!

I framed the resulting blocks with a solid black lattice, and here's the happy result!
60" x 72" - quilted on the longarm - bamboo batting
 And here's a cloesup of a couple of the blocks:
The stitching pattern is one I selected from the Q-Matic library because I thought it resemble the shields used by Watusi warriors.  The backing (and binding) are simple gold-coloured homespun, with a gold-ish thread (not metallic...just plain thread of that colour).

So, OK.  What we've got here is suitable for a boy or a girl.  I started with 2 layer cake packs, and so have enough to make another quilt, but I'm not going to duplicate this one... going to do something different for the next one.. stay tuned!

April 10, 2019

Almost there...

At the start of 2019 I found myself with quite a problem.  I had a BOATLOAD of quilts I'd finished, and the once-a-week posts just really weren't frequent enough.  So I started doing twice a week.  But the past 6 weeks have been full of so many "non-quilting" interruptions that I simply got behind.

I do have a really lovely quilt that is in the binding stage - African/Asian wild animals is the theme.  I'll finish that one tonight and will post tomorrow.  And there's another one with a similar theme in the pipeline, but there's so much going on that I'm unlikely to have finished it by a week from to day.

So OK.  I'll keep the Wednesday posts up (and tomorrow will post about this latest quilt) and, of course, the Australasian Quilt Convention is happening, starting tomorrow (I plan to be there on Friday).  So I'll have some things to share.

Stay tuned!

April 3, 2019

2019 Australasian Quilt Convention

It's that time of year again!

Next week the Australasian Quilt Convention comes to Melbourne again at the Royal Exhibition Building in Carlton Gardens.  The dates are April 11-15, 10:30-4:30 daily.

I started going to the convention in 2015 and haven't missed once since then.  It's great fun to wander the hall checking out the goodies on offer, learn about the latest gadgets and, of course, look over the amazing quilts on display.  There's usually a bargain or two as well.

All good fun!

March 17, 2019

Taking a Break...

I've got a lot going on at the moment, and am a bit behind on quilting - so I'm going to take a 2-week break from blogging.

See you back here on April 3.

March 13, 2019

Quilt 147: Scrappy Charm Squares On Point - DONE!

One of my favorite designs for a crib-sized quilt is the one done with charm squares stitched together to form a 6x12 block rectangle, and then cut down and rotated to get the on-point effect.

Quilt 90 was the first one I made using the design (and on that post I showed how it's done - click here to see the post).  This is my fourth time making one of them.

This one is different in one respect:  It's made up entirely of charm squares that were left over from other projects!  Well, I love the economy of THAT!

And here it is:
48" x 48" - quilted on the Q-Matic (stitch design is "AJSPANTO15 Rose Blossom") - bamboo batting
 Not only are the squares leftovers, but the 2 borders on the top were made from leftovers.  Even the batting is made up of 2 offcuts from other projects, which I tacked together.

The stitching pattern I purchased from on the Urban Elementz website:
"AJSPANTO15 Rose Blossom"
Here's a closup of thetop, showing these gorgeous roses:
And here it is on the backing:
Another success!

March 10, 2019

Quilt 146: "Chain Link" with Gembrook Strips - DONE!

Last month I posted about a strip quilt I made using Australian-manufactured jelly roll with the name "Gembrook".  After making that quilt, I actually had quite a few strips left over, and after mixing in a few scraps from the bindings of other quilts, found I had enough to make a quilt using a block called "Chain Link".

Here's the first block I made - and you can pretty much tell exactly how it's done just by looking at it:

I used 2.5" strips for this - so the pieces in the block above include:
  • 2.5" x 2.5" (5 white squares, 8 colour squares)
  • 2.5" x 4.5" (4 colour)
  • 2.5" x 6.5" (4 colour)
  • 4.5" x 4.5" (white -for the corners)
I put the squares together and added a soft grey 4" border (and backing).  I used dove grey thread for the quilting - and here's the finished quilt!:
48" x 60" - quilted on the Q-Matic - Bamboo batting

Here's a closeup showing the quilting design - stippling and double hearts.  It's quite dense, but really compliments the overall design.
A while back, a friend of mine gave me a package of jelly roll strips - leftovers she didn't want.  Looking at what is there, there's almost enough to make another one of these, perhaps if I pick up a couple of fat quarters with the same bright white/pink/green colours.  I'm going shopping this week and hope to find what I need, and if I do... there'll be another one of these shortly!

March 6, 2019

Quilt 145: Tractor Factor - DONE!

This one is a simple one, but terribly cute.  It's just a large printed panel with a border of solid gold homespun on the outside.

48" x 52" - quilted on the Q-Matic - bamboo batting
I opted to use chocolate coloured thread for the quilting so that I could do edge-to-edge quilting without having the thread interfere with the images of the tractors.  as you can see, it worked pretty well.

Here's the quilt pattern I selected - it came with the Q-Matic
The backing fabric is the same as the outer border, and here's what the stitching looks like on the back.
Easy, simple, but very effective!  This one is going to the charity Inspirational Quilts - and I think some little boy is going to just love it!

March 3, 2019

Tips and Tricks: Looking Thru Rose Coloured Glasses

I love making simple block quilts with charm squares and pieced block quilts with different prints on them.  Deciding on the arrangement of the blocks in the top can be a little tricky, however, as I've found in the past that my quilts don't always have the balance between dark and light blocks that I'm aiming for.

For example, look at this quilt from last year:

I wouldn't call this a "total fail" - but you cansee that the dark pinks are clustered in the upper half, and the stripe blocks aren't quite as evenly distributed as they might be.  It's not like I just threw the blocks down willy-nilly; I did spend considerable time arranging them.  But when I'm sorting through and deciding how to arrange blocks like these, it isn't long before my eyes become a little fatigued.

Then I saw a product review for "Sew Red Glasses". And became intruiged.  I looked for an Australian source for them, but couldn't find one, so I decided to just buy a pair of cheap red-lense glasses on eBay - and here they are:

Here's a quilt I'm working on now.  There are only 12 blocks here, so not really a lot of options on where to put things.  Even so, when I put on the glasses, I'll see the blocks differently.
Here's the same block arrangement seen through the glasses. 
The red in the glasses makes the image more monochrome/greyscale, and so colour becomes less obvious and contrast between the lighter/darker prints more obvious, making it easier to check the balance.

I suspect that the Sew Red Glasses work much better than my cheapo eBay glasses do, but it's a step in the right direction!

February 27, 2019

Quilt 144: Oriental Purple Flowers - DONE!

I'm still working on using up the squares from the oriental layer cake sets I bought in America a couple of years ago.  I did a quilt with the teal/blue squares and one with the red/gold/black squares.  Now here's one with the lavender and purple squares (and a couple of gold/black and gold/cream ones thrown in):
52" x 64" - Quilted on the Q-Matic - bamboo batting
I've started working through my stash of batting scraps.  I have a tub for scrap bamboo batting and one for cotton.  As I have sizeable off-cuts after finishing a quilt, I've been tossing them into the tubs and have accumulated quite a lot.  There's no point in wasting it.  This quilt used four wide-but-short strips.  I just slipped them in between the top and backing as I advanced the quilt.  It was easy and you really can't tell where the batting scraps overlap slightly.

Here's a closeup of one of the blocks.  The fabric in these layer cake sets has metallic gold highlighting, which unfortunately doesn't show up in the photo.  But you can see the light lavender thread I used.
I chose the "China grove 2" stitch pattern for this quilt.

The backing looks terrific with this pattern, and is dense enough to hide the seam in the backing.
There are still a handful of layer cake blocks left, but not enough to make much of a quilt.  I'll have to give some thought about what to do with them.  They're certainly too beautiful to waste!

February 24, 2019

Quilt 143: Moda "Sonnet Collection" Charm Squares - DONE!

Another charm square quilt!  This one is done with Moda's "Sonnet Collection" charm squares.  I love the rich tones, the creams, deep peachy orange, turquoise, green and browns.
I know I make a lot of these, but I so enjoy tossing them together.  The outer borders are from my scrap stash - how cool is that?!?!
48" x 62" - quilted on the Q-Matic - bamboo batting
Here's a closeup of some of the squares:
The quilting is done with soft grey thread.  I'm surprised, really, at how often grey is such a great choice.  It disappears in the print squares but shows up beautifully in the solid borders.

The stitch pattern is "Leafarama2" - one of the patterns which came with the Q-Matic.
The stitching shows up much better on the backing.
So there you are - another classic "simple squares" quilt.

February 22, 2019

Ooops! Missed a post!

My quilting guru Pauline messaged me on Facebook last Wednesday, pointing out I didn't have a post.  Woops!  She was right. Unfortunately I just got side tracked and didn't find the time to organize it. 

But I do have a couple more quilts done, so will get myself back on track starting Sunday...

February 17, 2019

Quilt 142: Sunflowers of Provence Charm Square - DONE!

Here's another charm square quilt, this time with Moda's "Sunflowers of Provence" collection:
(doublclick any photo on this page to see a larger image)
It's bright, cheery and loaded with flowers.  I do have to laugh, however - as I didn't spend enough time arranging the squares, and do you see the goofs here?  I've got all the stripes on the left, the whites and reds aren't evenly distributed.
46" x 57" - quilted on the Q-Matic ("Leafarama2" stitch design) - bamboo batting
Even so, it's still a very pretty quilt.

Here's the stitch pattern I selected:
I decided to be bold and opt for dark green thread, with a solid mustard backing.  I tend to go with light threads, but just wanted to see what it would look like with a bold dark colour.  It looks fine on the front - but the back is stunning!  Best of all, with the dense, dark quilting, the seam in the backing (a problem with solid backings that are pieced) pretty much fades from view.
What a great picnic quilt!

February 13, 2019

Quilt 141: Gembrook - DONE!

Last year Elle Blue Fabrics - an Australian fabric manufacturer - announced it was shutting down production.  My favorite quilt shop - Patchwork With Gail B - decided to have a special sale of their stock, focusing on Elle Blue line.  Of course I always love a bargain, so I picked up a few bits and pieces, including this jelly roll called "Gembrook".

Gembrook is very special to me because my lovely friend Sharon - who passed away from ovarian cancer a couple of years ago - lived in a small town called Gembrook.  I miss Sharon a lot - but whenever I hear her name, or the name "Gembrook", I always smile.

Here's what the jelly roll had in it:
All the strips are soft pastels with a dove-grey tint to them.  I happened to already have some dove grey solid fabric - sent to me as a gift from the Missouri Star Quilt company with a fairly large fabric order I placed last year.

And here's what I did with that jelly roll:
51" x 67" - quilted on the Bernina G-Matic ("Smoke 2" stitch design) - Bamboo Batting
It's based on a sample quilt I saw hanging in Gail B's shop the day I bought the jelly roll.  Their sample, however, had four bars of jelly rolls, where I have 3.

Very simple, but quite effective, visually.  I just sewed the strips together and then split the top three ways, inserting that solid dove grey between and around them.  I really like the effect - and will, I'm sure, do more of this design.

The backing and binding are done with a coordinating print from the same manufacturer (and also on sale at the time):

Here's the stitch design I used for the quilting:

And here's a closeup of the top showing the quilting (the sides of the strip bar look crooked in this photo, but they're not - it's just the way the quilt was laying when I took the picture):

February 10, 2019

Quilt 140: Flight 1 - DONE!

As part of my New Years' resolutions, I vowed to make more quilts for boys (for donation to the charity "Inspirational Quilts").  I'm working on that now.

I found this set of charm squares at Gail B's not long ago.  All airplanes, stripes and dots:
 I decided to just do a plain rows-and-columns quilt for this one, wanting to whip it up fairly quickly.  Here I've got the squares laid out, ready to pin and start sewing.
And here's the finished quilt:
47" x 67" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic - bamboo batting
Here's the quilt stitch pattern I used:
And a closeup of the top showing the airplane prints:
 The backing is a soft navy - and I used light grey thread, which shows up beautifully on the back:
I really like this one - and when I was finishing it, my quilting guru Pauline sent me a message to let me know Gail B. had a sale on - so I ran out and grabbed a couple more packs of the same print while they were on sale.  Now I'm deciding whether to do another like this one or something different... hm....

February 6, 2019

Quilt 139: Red/Black/Gold Oriental Layer Cake - DONE!

A couple of weeks ago, I told you about a quilt I made using the teal/blue/green squares from a layer cake collection I bought in the US a little over a year ago.  I pulled out the cool colours from the pack for that quilt - and for this one, I pulled out the reds, blacks and golds.  Here's the finished quilt:

(doubleclick any photos on this page to see a larger image)
56" x 65" - quilted on the Bernina Q-Matic (bamboo stitch pattern), bamboo batting
It's a very simple quilt, nothing much done other than stitching the squares together, but oh my...  ...it's stunning.

Here is a closeup of some of the panels:
 And here's another:
The lovely oriental designs are highlighted with flecks of metallic gold here and there.  It really gleams in the sunshine.

The previous quilt (the teal one) had patterned fabric for the backing, so the stitch pattern doesn't show up especially well.  On this one, however, I opted for solid magenta homespun for the back and binding - and the quilting (done with  gold-tone thread) really pops!

And here's the stitch pattern from the quilt software:

It's "Bamboo" from Urban Elementz.

I've got enough leftover layer cake squares to make one more quilt, but haven't decided yet if I'll do another simple one like this or go a little further afield with my choice of blocks...