Always Playing with Fussy Cutting

Recently I have made some miniature quilts, one of which is made from 1/2 inch hexagons.  I wanted to be able to engage in  some fussy cutting, so I deliberately chose a fabric which would give me plenty of opportunities to do this.

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Feature fabric for fussy cut hexagons.

I had great fun playing with the fabric to obtain 9 different little “flowers”.

 

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A little “flower” in the making.

 

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Another “flower”.

Once I had constructed 9 little flowers, I arranged them on the background fabric.  I decided to use a whole piece of fabric for the background, but I could also have pieced the background. I used Aurifil Cotton Mako Ne 50 (on the orange spool) to create ‘invisible” applique stitches.

 

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Arranging and appliqueing the flowers to the background.

When all the flowers were in place, I machine quilted in the ditch around each one, and also quilted a small hexagon, the same size as the components of the flower (i.e. 1/2  inch), in the spaces between them. For the quilting I used Aurifil Cotton Mako Ne 40 thread (on the green spool).

 

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Machine quilting the mini quilt.

Finally, I added some stripey binding and a rod pocket for hanging the quilt.

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Sewing on the binding.

I had purchased 40cm of feature fabric, which gave me enough to make the hexagons and back the quilt (which measures 13 inches square). There is not much left over, and what does remain is very holey!!

 

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Not much fabric left over.

 

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Small rod pocket for hanging the quilt.

 

Ta Da!  My miniature quilt is finished and ready to display.

 

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Completed miniature hexagon quilt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Aurifil and Cross-stitch.

In the 1980s and early 90s, before I was bitten by the patchwork bug, I did a lot of cross-stitch. Consequently, I have many cross-stitch patterns, and yes, a number of UFOs!!

Quite a high proportion of the patterns feature patchwork in some form…was this a portent of things to come? This is one of my completed projects from about 16 years ago. (The non-reflective glass makes the photo a bit hazy).

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Strawberries Forever by Told in a Garden Designs

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Close up of Strawberries Forever.

I still engage in some cross-stitch, but these days much of my stitching time is devoted to patchwork.

Recently however, I decided that one of the yet-to-make patterns would be ideal to hang in my new patchwork studio. It is called “Home of a Quilter”,  another pattern by Told in a Garden designs.

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Previously, all my cross-stitch work was done with stranded thread (before my enlightenment into the benefits and pleasures of working with Aurifil Threads).  For this new project however, I was keen to use Aurifil. I am stitching on 14 count Aida and I chose to work with Cotton Mako Ne 12, the thickest of the Aurifil cottons. (That’s the one on the red spool). I have done many stitchery projects with this weight thread and so felt very comfortable working with it. It glides through the fabric beautifully and yippee!  No more having to strip the individual strands of thread!

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Threads used in my current project.

 

Although my pattern does not require outline stitching, I will probably use Cotton Mako Ne 28 to highlight a few of the paler colours.

It is possible to use the finer Aurifil threads for cross-stitch too. Jenny has completed two little kit projects which use Cotton Mako Ne 28 (on the grey spool). The 28 weight thread gives a very crisp look to each stitch.

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Jenny’s “Spring”cross-stitch using 28 weight thread.

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Jenny’s “Autumn” cross-stitch, also using 28 weight thread.

These are from the Four Seasons Collection, and as the name implies, these are available in 4 different designs, one for each season. To view these in the Always Quilting online shop, go to http://www.alwaysquilting.com.au/index.php?act=viewCat&catId=231 These designs also utilise some of the variegated colours in the Aurifil range. Each kit contains 4 spools of thread and the pattern and is excellent value for money.

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Two of the “Seasons” collections: Spring (left) and Autumn (right).

If you have a pattern which lists stranded thread colours and you wish to convert them to Aurifil, you can visit http://www.brodibuta.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=49:conversion&catid=36:bonus&Itemid=49 or read Jenny’s blog post http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/03/12/how-can-you-substitute-aurifil-threads-to-use-for-all-your-embroidery-designs/

Not all stranded threads have a recommended Aurifil conversion colour, but with 270 colours in the current Aurifil range, there is sure to be something suitable.

I have been working on my current cross-stitch for just over 3 weeks and am about  a quarter of the way through it. This is the portion I have completed so far.

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Partially completed “Home of a Quilter”.

Hopefully I will have the stitching finished soon, so that this will be ready to hang in the new year…I’ll keep you posted!

 

Oh dear, it comes around again.

Yes, the shops are starting to fill up with Christmas decorations, the catalogues are full of gift suggestions, and my calendar is filling up with end of year celebrations. I know I should be very happy to get so many invitations out  and have people to buy gifts for – but IT HAS COME AROUND TOO QUICKLY!!!!!!
Looking in the Always Quilting shop I discovered some ideas for Kris Kringles or gift making. Re the latter – I had better get sewing quickly if I want to make a quilt! but some of the other ideas are done much quicker – or don’t involve any sewing at all.
My ideas list:

A “quick” cushion??

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Perhaps a table runner – or one table mat??
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A Christmas Stocking??IMG_0006
For those with more time on their hands than me, a lovely Christmas quilt
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Can always give a card (for someone else to make!)
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For a special friend, a collection of thread??IMG_0011
A quilt label??IMG_0013
And always appreciated – more Christmas fabric and some gorgeous Brillo thread!!IMG_0008

You can check out the Always Quilting online store for more ideas. I hope you can find something special for your gift buying.