Wednesday Wonder: Windflower Embroidery with Aurifil Lana

I love seeing projects that people have made using Aurifil threads, so it was a treat to have Janet Kerton call into the showroom today.

Janet is the owner of Windflower Embroidery, where she specialises in creating & teaching embroidery, particularly wool embroidery and applique.

Windflower-embroidery

This delightful folding book design can be used as an embroidery compendium, or as jewellery storage folder, and it is one of Janet’s current teaching projects.

The felted wool applique has been embroidered with Aurifil Lana, a wool blend thread that is ideal for hand embroidery, applique and embellishment.

A selection of the 180 colours available in the Aurifil Lana range

A selection of the 192 colours available in the Aurifil Lana range

With the wonderful colour range in the Lana wool blend there is plenty of choice for creating  beautiful projects.

Spools of Aurifil Lana, wool blend thread

Visit our online store to see the range in greater detail, or to purchase your own set of threads.

Kantha inspiration

In April a new issue of Down Under Quilts was published with an advertisement in it for Aurifil threads. This lovely Australian magazine also came with Issue 4 of “Collectors’ Series” of World Quilts. This time the chosen country was India. DUQ book I have always been interested in Kantha quilts after seeing one owned by a friend many years ago. The little book on Indian quilting got me thinking about using Aurifil thread (the Ne 12 weight – the heaviest in our range) to stitch a sample with. I do not own any Indian fabric, and wanted to use what I had at home. This fabric is cotton and probably comes from Indonesia.

fabric chosen I put the three layers together, and used a fine batting as I was stitching through each layer. It does take time to do, and it is difficult to ‘eye ball’ the rows. It doesn’t really matter if the lines aren’t accurate as the pattern covers the errors. I find it best to cut shorter lengths of thread as you are stitching closely across the fabric.

Kantha Stitching

Stitching across the fabric

The back of the stitching on the cream lining.

The back of the stitching on the cream lining.

I needed to complete the sample in time to write this blog and  decided to make a rotary cutter pouch. I cut the pattern from one I had bought at a local quilt show , as I thought it was a clever and unusual design. Luckily for me, everything worked well – always a risk when you try something out for the first time!

Threads used

Ooops – sorry about the stray thread I forgot to cut after hand stitching the binding down!

If you are interested in the ‘look’ of Kantha quilts, it may be worth your while trying the Ne 12 threads – as they do glide through the layers easily.

Finished pouch

Tuesday Treat-Another UFO in the 'Finished' Category

It is April 2014 and I made only 1 New Year’s Resolution on New year’s Day. I wanted to finish one UFO each month during 2014.

My finished UFO for April 2014 is the Aurifil 2012 Designer Block of the Month quilting.

Finally Quilted Aurifil 2012 BOM

Finally Quilted Aurifil 2012 BOM

It has taken me a while to actually do the quilting as the top was traveling with Jenny on several ‘guest speaker’ engagements and it also was displayed at the AQM last November.

Then…there was the dilemma of ‘how to quilt it’.

Jenny uses a lovely flower pattern when quilting using her Gammill Classic at Always Quilting. I practiced for days on my domestic machine until I was happy with the flow of the design.

I have quilted my free flowing flowers using Free Motion Quilting (FMQ). I think it complements the June block.

June BOM designed by Miss PamKitty Morning

June BOM designed by Miss PamKitty Morning

An Aurifil blogger, Lori Kennedy, has a wonderful site with many FMQ tutorials. I have used her pattern The Square Flower for the border blocks.

Lori Kennedy A Square Flower tutorial

Lori Kennedy The Square Flower tutorial

It is definitely a TREAT to finish another UFO. It is never too late to start your version of these embroidery blocks. They are still available from AURIbuzz ‘Meet the 2012 Aurifil Designers‘.

 

 

Round Robin Round Two

In 2014 the staff members at Always Quilting are challenging themselves by producing  Round Robin quilts. For some, (yours truly), this is very challenging and completely outside my comfort zone!

The parameters were set in January and include the size and symmetry of each block/border, the colours to be used, and the fact that all fabrics must be solid colours.  For full details see: http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2014/02/07/taking-the-round-robin-into-the-21st-century/

After some weeks of secretive activity and cryptic comments, we have now completed the centre block and first border.

 

RR_Block-1

Jenny’s centre block.

I received Jenny’s centre block made from yellow/green fabrics,  to which I had to add a border using colours from the blue section of the colour wheel.

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My task was to add an assymmetrical border to Jenny’s centre block, which is very geometrical and has straight lines and sharp corners.  I decided to add some curves  and designed my border to incorporate small ovals.

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In the photo above you can see how I used a piece of string to draft the curves.  I “fiddled” with this to obtain a design with which I was satisfied and drew this on the paper pattern, which in turn I transferred to the fabric.

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This photo shows the construction of the narrow bias.  In a previous post I explain how I do this using Deborah Kemball’s method which does not use bias bars. http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/making-bias-strips-without-bars/

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The completed bias curves.

 

Now I was ready to add the oval “beads” to the curves.  Initially I thought I would be able to make my oval templates by folding and cutting paper to draft the ovals, but after producing some shapes unrecognisable as ovals (!!), I realised that I needed some help.  I purchased a set of Karen Kay Buckley’s Perfect Ovals which were indeed perfect for the task. (Always Quilting stocks “Perfect Circles”, “Bigger Perfect Circles” and “Perfect Ovals”  http://www.alwaysquilting.com.au/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=171 )

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Tacking the fabric over the oval templates.

The finished border looks like this.

 

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This has now been passed on to ladybirdee for her contribution.  I wonder what she will add?

All will be revealed at our staff meeting in June so keep watching for further updates.

Fast, Fabulous, Fat Free Easter Eggs

I know that some people do, but I don’t usually make Easter decorations however the pretty egg ornaments designed by Gudrun Erla caught my eye this week.

I could see that, with a minor modification, I could make great fat free gifts for my stitching friends.

Fat-Free-eggsWhen I made my eggs I modified the instructions to leave a “pocket” into which I can pop a spool of thread ….. Aurifil of course, as a tasty treat for patchwork, quilting and embroidery enthusiasts.

The original instruction has the top edge of the pocket folded back, and stitched down to the egg, to make pretty trim.

Rather than do this on my “eggs”, I left the top edge open to form the pocket.

These really were fast & fabulous to make,  choosing the fabrics took more time than making the fabric eggs.

Fat-Free-Fabric

The eggs are stitched by putting right sides together and stitching around the outer edge.

Now I am not a fan of cutting the fabric to turn the fabrics right side out so I tested two methods:

  • Leaving a gap in the stitching and turning through the gap was tedious and is NOT recommended
  • Gudrun’s method of cutting a slit in the back fabric piece, and then sealing the cut edge, is definitely the way to go for this small project.

So get the pattern instructions and start making your own fabric eggs, either as ornaments or as pockets to hold a gift.

If you enjoy making special projects for Easter decorations you might like to pop over to our online store to purchase one of the last copies of Yvonne Skodt’s “Happy Easter” pattern book.

Happy-Easter-Yvonne-Skodt

PS: Our books are on Sale 

Save 30%

 

Globetrotting with Pat Sloan- Month 4

I have packed my bags again
Here we are in April ALREADY. Pat Sloan has stamped our passports as we arrive in fascinating San Juan, Puerto Rico.
I am enjoying the challenge of creating a new look with my blocks and still staying with my fabric pallet.

Block 1 Washington DC

Block 1 Washington DC

That rarely happens as several quilt shops in my area could attest to…if they weren’t sworn to silence.

Venice Block 2

Venice
Block 2

Chicago Block 3

Chicago Block 3

The fun part of a mystery is the surprise each month and April’s included the versatile HST (half square triangle).

Block 4

Block 4

Pat has such good instructions and photos that I didn’t have to ‘reverse sew’ once. Thanks Pat!
The Aurifil thread sinks into those seams and makes matching intersecting fabric a breeze.
Don’t forget to have a look at the Globetrotting Flickr group( The FQP 2014 Mystery BOM), the variety of fabrics used in these blocks are inspirational.

Cinderella Transformation at the Australasian Quilt Convention

The beautiful Melbourne Exhibition Building underwent a cinderella transformation yesterday as the quilts went up, the exhibitors stands were decorated and the classrooms were prepared for today.

Melbourne_exhibition_buildingSet up day was misting rain all day so I was pleased that I had loaded the Aurifil parcels into the van the day before, ready for an early delivery run into the city.

loading-car

Even so, by the time I arrived the merchant hall was well on the way to being well dressed.

needles-pins-2014

Orange fluouro vests were the standard dress for people, but the walls were looking much more appealing.

somerset-patchwork-2014

I love the way each exhibitor has stamped their own store personality on their display

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Yesterday was a rumble of trolleys, and ripping of boxes, as stock was unpacked and displayed but for the next four days the hall will be a buzz of excited chatter as visitors discover amazing treasures of “must have” items.

I can’t wait to see the transformation.

Make sure you visit the Aurifil retailers to take home some thread treasures for yourself:

Stand 43    Cherry Pie

Stand 45    Elm Grove Patchwork

Stand 21    Fifi’s Fabricology

Stand 181  Millrose Cottage Quilting & Gallery

Stand 44    Miss Sampson’s Drapery

Stand 23    Needles & Pins

Stand 58    Somerset Patchwork & Quilting

Stand 55    The Quilted Crow

Each retailer has chosen the threads that are particular to the fabrics, designs & techniques that they are featuring at the show so you may wish to visit each one to build your collection of Aurifil.

Happy Treasure Hunting!