One Quilt In A Month

Well, that is my claim to fame this month.
I was determined to make another quilt in a month – shall I say – another small quilt this month. As I have said before, every quilt takes time – no matter the size. This time I used another set of tiny precut squares by Moda ( American Jane Patterns Sandy Klop) – these are called “Savonnerie” and remind me of the colours of southern France.
In my last blog post (January 31), I showed the chevron quilt I completed.  This time I wanted to try another half square triangle combination and  so I used the  pinwheel block.  I needed two of each colour set, which eliminated some of the squares.  Some of the gorgeous discarded ones are shown below – they will still be kept – maybe for another project or used on the quilt label

Discarded loveliesIn my stash, I had a pretty clear blue fabric (designer and maker unknown as the selvedge was not available to check) which worked well with the colours in the Savonnerie selection.
I stitched the seams with Ne 40 Aurifil (colour 2735) and used my first favourite variegated Ne 28  (3817) for easy peasy quilting. You can see by the well used thread on the spool  how much I love this colour and weight of thread . It just worked so well with the colours in the quilt.


So – “another one bites the dust” – another quilt completed this month.

Finished Quilt

Finished Quilt

Your Question Answered: Which stitch to use to piece a quilt backing?

Yesterday, at Always Quilting, we were preparing the backing for a patchwork top that  we will quilt this week so I introduced Judysewforth to my favourite “magic” stitch for this job.

My sewing machine set up ready to join fabric to make a quilt backing.

My sewing machine set up ready to join fabric to make a quilt backing.

Instead of using the usual straight machine stitch, I always join backing pieces together with a narrow zig zag stitch.

The seam stitched with a narrow zig zag stitch

The seam stitched with a narrow zig zag stitch

Quilt backings are large and, when they are made of several pieces of fabric, the seam line can be a point of tension.

  • The stitching line can be much tighter than the weave of the fabric
  • The fabric, itself, is often slightly off the straight grain so it stretches in different directions at varying tension

Using a zig zag stitch introduces a little flexibility into the seam line and allows the fabric to ease into place to make a flat backing.

The right side of the seam has been stretched to show the the stitch length

The right side of the seam has been stretched deliberately to show the stitch length

On my sewing machine I choose a standard zigzag stitch with both the width & length set at 1.5.

You will need to experiment on your own machine to find the best setting.

Once the seam is stitched I press it flat, and to one side, to prevent any batting migrating through the stitching

The seam  pressed into place, with the stitches relaxed, looks just like the usual straight stitched seam

The seam pressed into place, with the stitches relaxed, looks just like the usual straight stitched seam

From the right side of the backing it is very difficult to tell that the seam has been treated differently, that a zig zag rather than a standard straight stitch has been used.

I don’t remember who introduced me to this technique, but I know I have been using it for a long time and it has taken the stress out of making quilt backings for both me, and the fabric!

PS: And of course I always use my favourite piecing thread …. Aurifil Cotton Mako’ 40

For more ideas about making quilt backings:

A simple way to join meterage to make a quilt backing

Or you can simply purchase extra wide fabric that will not need to be joined together to make a quilt backing.

How easy is that!

Globe Trotting with Passionate Pat

Pat Sloan has a passion for all things patchwork and Aurifil thread. She has a radio show, patterns and books, her own line of fabric and her favourite Aurifil Thread boxed collection.  Her passion for quilty things is contagious! This year, Pat has offered her blog readers a Mystery BOM (block of the month). It is called, Globetrotting and she is making the quilt in 2 colour ways.

The first block ‘visits’ Washington, DC and since I grew up in this part of the world, I HAD to join in the fun.

Fabrics from my stash and Aurifil thread

Fabrics from my stash and Aurifil thread

I want to use only fabric from my stash for this project. The colours I have chosen can be added to easily as the quilt progresses. The neutral linen dot looks good with brown, aqua and purple. There is also a touch of grey and black in the centre print.

Block 1 Washington, D.C.

Block 1
Washington, D.C.

The second city we have ‘visited’ is Venice in Italy. Like Pat Sloan, I have never visited Venice but it is on my bucket list.

Block 2 Venice

Block 2

I look forward to my next destination during the first week of March. I have my passport (fabric stash) all ready.

What ignites your passion for a new project? We would love to know.

Tuesday Treats: Marg Low, a pattern designer worthy of a mention

Over the years we have put together a selection of  Cotton Mako’ 12 thread packs for Marg Low to stitch her delightful embroidery patterns.

Marg Low Designs can be found at many of the craft shows around Australia

Marg Low Designs can be found at many of the craft shows around Australia

She is well known for her love of red …. fabrics and threads

You may have guessed that Marg loves to work with red and white

You may have guessed that Marg loves to work with red and white

But she does mix it up with other colours

The Country Garden pattern and thread set. Click on the photo to go to Marg Low's online store

The Country Garden pattern and thread set. Available from Marg Low Designs

It is well worth a visit to Marg’s blog to read more about her designs, and who can resist a visit to her online store when the patterns are so irresistible.

Happy Valentine to You

Today we collected some of our favourite heart things from work, & home, to share with you

Don't you just love our Aurifil heart?

Don’t you just love the heart that we made up with spools of Aurifil?

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Knitsnquilts made this sweet little wallhanging in 2003 using a pattern,  “Life’s a Journey”,  designed by Jackie Nicholls of House on the Hill Design Company (New Zealand).

Ladybirdee has a heart wall quilt too, one of the first patchwork projects she sewed.


Have you been tempted to make your own heart quilt?


These books are available online, at a special discount this month.


What about a country decorator heart for you, or someone special?

Blog hearts 021Applique heart shapes always look good when used to grow a fabric garden

love-heartJudysewforth found this Love fabric in her stash.

multiple-heartsWe were surprised to see how many things in the store fitted into our Valentine’s Day photo gallery theme.

Heart from antique quilt
Ladybirdee has a heart made from an antique quilt.

T-shirt-sloganAnd of course, our last words had to be “I love Aurifil”

Tuesday Treats: Romantic French Hearts

In the run up to Valentine’s Day the team at Always Quilting recently discussed quilts and crafty items that feature hearts.  Later that same day, while browsing Homespun Magazine edition 127, I came across a heart pattern that said, “Make me.”  You understand of course, that when this happens it’s a command, not a request!

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I gathered some “makings” which I had in my cupboard and let the creativity happen.

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The “makings” for my heart.

I had fun choosing the embellishments I would use.  I added rick rack to the heart with Aurifil Ne 12 for extra effect.

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Adding rick rack with Aurifil Ne 12.

When I filled the heart with hobby fill I also added some dried lavender which makes the heart smell beautiful.   I used Aurifil Ne 40 to sew the heart together. And the completed heart looks like this.

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The completed heart.

I enjoyed myself so much I made a second one.

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“Makings” for the second heart.

This time I used Aurifil Ne 12 to embellish the braid with French knots.

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Adding French knots.

I also added a row of cross-stitch along the fabric join (again with Aurifil Ne 12).

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Partially completed heart.

A little key charm, some dimensional applique and voila!

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The second heart completed too.

I now have a pair of hearts to hang in my walk in robe…..but I have the sneaking suspicion that others may be added to the family!!

Taking the Round Robin into the 21st Century

At the start of each year we set ourselves a group challenge and this year it is a little “Round Robin” with a twist …..

In fact it was a double challenge before we even got started ….. we are only allowed to use solid colours and we had to start with a 6″ block.

The centre block for the round robin was only 6"

The centre block for the round robin was only 6″

Add to this, the colour for each progressive round, as we pass the quilt to the next person, has already been designated.

It must be a tint, tone or shade of the colour  three rotations to the right, on the colour wheel, from the last colour used.


We drew straws for our starter colour and, would you believe, three of us drew colours from the green family.  The fourth member chose violet.

Our Rules are simple:

Round One:

Make a starter block,  6” block of your choice in your designated colour

Round Two:

Add an asymmetrical border on four sides, to be no wider than 3”

Round Three:

Add even size border on four sides to be no wider than 3”

Round Four:

Add borders to two sides of your choice to be no wider than 3”

Round Five:

Returned to starting point to be embellished &/or quilted

As you can see, apart from the colour specifications, we will have a free hand to create borders of any style of piecing or applique.

We will swap our quilts every 60 days and be able to watch each quilt grow, no secrets in this challenge, so we will keep you posted.

You are welcome to join in the fun by making your own version of the 21st Century Round Robin.

We’d love to see your photos if you do!