My quilting thoughts and inspirations sprinkled with a glimpse of life down on the farm

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Cushion Challenge

Tonight I'm linking up with quiltshopgal to join in with this month's fmq challenge.
An expert each month shares a tutorial or similar and we need to complete a cushion/pillow showcasing what we have learnt.
This month' s tutor was Patsy Thompson and there were several different options for the cushion - I chose to make mine using techniques from her Craftsy class, Ultimate Free-Motion Quilting' which I already had in my library (keep an eye out for the Craftsy specials!).  A fun, inspiring class where Patsy shares techniques for hyperquilting, feathers, trapunto and more. Very visual techniques that really show off your quilting........
Ahem... a challenge right from the start for me who likes to quilt in fine matching thread so that those 'not quite up to scratch' stitches remained relatively hidden! Uh-oh!

I decided I wanted to applique something on the cushion, rather than do it whole cloth style. This helped give a starting point for the quilting, I don't think I would have known where to start otherwise. I drew up the sloping teardrop design in EQ7, appliqued it then started panicking!!
I used another piece of the main fabric as a practise sandwich, experimenting with the threads I'd collected which I had thought might be suitable... in the end I really only used 2 of them, in the photo below you can barely see my first thread - I thought a green on the beige would show up more but it didn't.
The hyperquilting involves stitching out a design, then going back with another
colour and adding more detail... then more detail, etc.
This piece has 3 passes, green, light pink, dark pink.
I'm pleased I had the play on this piece as it helped me decide what to do on the main piece.
The flower in the centre is trapuntoed with two layers of batting - the first was
too flat - now it sticks out a mile!
Only ended up using 2 coloured threads but I enjoyed the playing.
This is how I finished the border. Just straight lines and something a little fancy
in the corners.
And this is the finished cushion.
I used 60/40 wool/poly mix batting which really does give a nice puff.
I used the practise piece as the backing. Leeanne shared the idea with me recently and I love how it snazzes up the back, and you only need a bit of binding on the edges.
My practise piece was large so I had a big overlap...may - or may not- come
back to it with a button or two.
I've just realised this is my fourth year of sewcalgal (now quiltshopgal) challenges!! I love them, they always stretch me.
Visit the blog *here* to see what amazing creations others came up with. (You need to scroll down a little bit to get to the mr linky section.). There will be another challenge next month, feel free to join in as anyone can take part.
And while I am here in blogland, I thought I'd quickly share this stitchery I completed last night. It was sitting in a basket of traced stitcheries and at the moment I'm not sure where it is from... I have a suspicion it's from one of Gail Pan's Christmas books. I'll find out for next time I post it, when I've added the borders!
See you next time, happy creating, and thanks for visiting, 
...and Happy Easter!...

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Yellow scraps and a finish!

Last month I seriously doubted that I would be able to find enough yellow scraps to make this month's blocks for the Rainbow Scrap Challenge, hosted by Angela *here*.
But I did manage to scratch enough together to make them and here they are —
Yellow Great Granny block.
Notice here I use the monthly colour as a guide only!
My first three Great Granny blocks.
I'm really happy with how these ones are coming together.
The 'Sampler' Star block in yellow.

One thing I realised after deciding to do the sampler blocks all with the same centre is that I was ending up with seams all meeting at the same point resulting in a bulky I'm having to remember to press seams apart. It's lying a lot flatter now.
My two yellow cat blocks.
(From the 2103 Oh Franson! Cat quiltalong)
 Last week I shared my current car journey project - this baby blanket. Another trip this weekend (to the polling booth for the bye-election) saw more progress and then another session this morning finished it! It's not huge but by some fluke turned out exactly square! (Considering I used different weight wool than the pattern said, and that I randomly decided 4 skeins of it would be a good number!!)
This is a pattern from Ravelry, found *here*.
There were problems accessing the pattern but the link appears to be working now.
While I was making the green blanket I got thinking about one I had made years ago when I was expecting my first baby. I've pulled it out and given it a wash and a freshen up and I'm happy it has survived the years in a box in the shed!
What's different about this one is that it is Hairpin Crochet.
You can see the lacy effect of the Hairpin lace better here.
 Here is the Hairpin I used; you use it in conjunction with a crochet hook.
Once I remember how this technique goes, I'm keen to make something else with it!
As you can see, I've always enjoyed playing  :-)

I still haven't decided on my next travel project, only a few more days till I hop on the plane so I really must make a decision!

See you next time, happy creating and thank you for visiting,

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Winging it

Last year  I was happy to pattern test for Juliet of Tartankiwi (it was some of the top secret sewing I alluded to from time to time). Juliet was preparing for 'In Flight Quilt along 2015' which is now up and running. I've been a little slow to blog about the blocks and each time she does a link-up for the latest pattern I have good intentions but......
In Flight is a series of foundation pieced bird blocks. They range in size and difficulty, Juliet started the quiltalong with the easier ones so sewers can practice the technique and build up to the trickier ones.  I've sewn/tested her designs before and always enjoy the way she interprets her subjects.
The current block; Block 6, the Swallow.
I decided these would become a quilt for YD, so asked her to pick the fabrics for me - I was quite surprised, but quite happy, when she chose French General style fabrics/colouring and this shade of blue. (Both these photos use the same blue  - the colour is more like the top one, perhaps not quite so dark!).
This was Block 2; the Swift.
To find out more about the Quiltalong, click *here*.

Also winging it have been these postcards in February.  Eglea and I were swap partners in Sheila's Valentines postcard swap. I was warned that mail to and from Brazil could be a little slow so wasn't surprised when Valentines Day had been and gone and neither of us had received our cards. What was funny though was that they both arrived on the same day!!
To me from Egléa.
Isn't it pretty - and look at the beautiful thread painting for the grass.
Do visit Egléa's blog, she is very creative and does beautiful work.
And here is the card I sent to Egléa.
Sheila has regular swaps throughout the year (I've just made another one which I posted yesterday) so if you think it may be a fun little way to play keep an eye on her blog so you can sign up. And here is the link to Sheila's Flickr page showing more postcards.

And books have been winging their way to my letterbox as I've been extremely lucky to win TWO recently.
Firstly Wendy of Inky Threads hosted a giveaway - and I was the lucky winner of this book by Jennifer Chiaverini —
Then Lara, of Buzzinbumble had a giveaway for this book on free motion quilting by Christina Cameli. I have taken a class of her's on Craftsy and really enjoyed her knowledge and teaching style - so I'm doubly happy to have won this book.
Both have special spots on my (growing) bookshelves so thank you very much, ladies .
(I always believe that what goes around, comes around so maybe it's time for me to have a little this space...)

I'm getting excited as next week I'll be off to Brisbane to spend Easter with my son and his wife. I'll have finished my small baby blanket by then so will have to come up with another crochet project for the plane :-) They live at Ipswich and I have a day to kill on Thursday while they are both at work. Do any of you who know Brisbane or the general area have any suggestions of somewhere for me to visit that day - maybe crafty or quilty places? (I think I'll have the use of a car.) Thanking you in advance :-)

See you next time, happy creating and thanks for visiting,