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‘.

 

 

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.

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
Venice

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.

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.

colour_wheel_pocket2

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!

Last But Not Least

Here we are at the end of our Block of the Month Journey.

A Modern Welcome Finished size 20x24

A Modern Welcome
Finished size 20×24

We chose our charm squares; cut and sewed; layered and quilted: and now it is time to complete the finishing touches and enjoy our creations.

Last month, after our quilting was finished, we trimmed the excess backing even with the top.

Binding cut and trimmed ready for pressing

Binding cut and trimmed ready for pressing

These pieces are carefully cut to 2 “widths and all 4 pieces (one from each side) are sewn together creating the binding. The 2” binding is pressed in half and applied in the normal way, creating a mitre at the corners. I stitch my binding down to the back of the piece by hand using Aurifil 40wt Cotton Mako. Jane Wickell has a great tutorial on making and applying bindings.

You will want to show off your new creation and a hanging sleeve can be made for easy display. Have a look at Susan Brubakers Knap’s instructions and Nancy Zieman demonstrates how to make a rod pocket for a show quilt.

The label is the last and most important item on your quilt.I have decided to use a pre-printed label.

Label for my BOM

Label for my BOM

We have some lovely quilt hangers in the shop and our labels come in many designs.

Each label has suggestions for the items to be included for future reference.

Information for a label

Information for a label

I hope you have enjoyed making your Modern Welcome BOM.

Tuesday Treats: Just Spooling Around with Aurifil

Following on from Ladybirdee’s market report we thought we would share the pattern for our “Spooling Around” quilt.

AQM-spool-quilt

All the slaves, I mean workers, at Always Quilting had a hand in the making of the spooling around quilt.

Judysew4th created the initial design in Electric Quilt in time for one of our staff meetings. We all, then had a say in modifying the blocks to end up with a quilt that is approximately 100cm x 100cm.

Once the  patterns were fine tuned, we each had the job of making a set of blocks (1 x large spool, 2 x medium size large spools & 8 x small spools) in time for the next staff meeting.

We decided we wanted a modern quilt look with the spools set in a bright white background, using the Aurifil spool colours for the bases (orange, green, grey & red) and as many “thread” colours as we fancied.

The layout for our "Spooling Around" quilt

The layout for our “Spooling Around” quilt

I got the job of  piecing the quit top and it was very satisfying to find that the blocks all fitted together perfectly …. our measurements worked!

We opted for a squarish “edge to edge” background quilting design around the four large spools, then quilted each of these separately using the thread weight that matched the spool.

After all it was a display piece for our Quilt Market stand.

The large spools have been quilted in the relevant thread weight.

The large spools have been quilted in the relevant thread weight. Cotton Mako’ 28 was used here for the spool with the grey base & spindle

Keep reading for instructions to make your own version of our quilt:

We used 4 large spool blocks, 8 medium size versions of the large spool & 32 small spool blocks for our quilt. You should make as many blocks as you need to create your own version.

Spooling Around Quilt Fabric Requirements:

Pieced with Cotton Mako’ 40
Quilted with Cotton Mako’ 40 (ditch stitching & background quilting) & Cotton Mako’ 50, Cotton Mako’ 40, Cotton Mako’ 28 & Cotton Mako’ 12 for the “thread” quilting on the spools

For one Large Spool:

Large Spool

Large Spool

Background fabric:

Cut 2 x A (2 1/2″ x 12 1/2″)
Cut 2 x B (2  1/4″ x 1 1/2″)
Cut 2 x E (1 1/2″ x 10″)

Spool Fabric:

Cut 1 x F  (2 1/2″  x 1  1/2″)
Cut 1 x D  (6″ x 1 1/2″)

Thread Fabric:

Cut 1 x C  (6″ x 10  1/2″)

For One Medium size Version of Large Spool:

Medium version of Large Spool Shape

Medium version of Large Spool Shape

Background Fabric:

Cut 2 x A (1 1/2″ x 7 1/2″)
Cut 2 x B (1 1/2″ x 1 1/2″)

Spool Fabric:

Cut 1 x B (1 1/2″ x 1 1/2′)
Cut 1 x D (3 1/2″ x 1 1/2″)

Thread Fabric:

Cut 1 x C (3 1/2″ x 5 1/2″)

For one Small Spool block:

small-spool

Background fabric:

Cut 2 x A  (4″ x 1 1/2″)
Cut 1 x B (1 1/2″ x 1″)

Spool Fabric:

Cut 2 x B (1  1/2″ x 1″)

Thread Fabric:

Cut 1 x C  (2 1/2″ x 1 1/2″)

Piecing Blocks Together:

 Two medium blocks are the same height as a single large block so the block layout is interchangeable.

These blocks can be set to the  left or right of each other

These blocks can be set to the left or right of each other

The small spools make a versatile sashing set.

Use the small spool blocks to make sashing sets

Use the small spool blocks to make sashing sets

Add borders to suit your preferred quilt size.

I hope you have fun making your own version of our Spooling Around with Aurifil quilt.

Tuesday Treats: Folded Star Christmas Decoration

I had my hair cut last week …. not really a noteworthy event except that, as I booked the next appointment, my hairdresser & I were struck by how close it is to Christmas.

I know that it is mid November, but some how I hadn’t transferred that thought to the reality that Christmas is less than six weeks away ….  and it is time to start decorating the shop.

One of my favourite decorations is the folded star that I hang on the front door.

xmas-folded-star

This is an easy, almost “no sew”, project that can be put together in an evening.

They make great Christmas decorations or, with a little more time taken to securely stitch the points into position, they can be used as a place mat or trivet.

I made mine many years ago from a pattern in a magazine, so I had to do a google search to find some patterns online for you.

A quick gift that doesn't require a lot of fabric or stitching

A quick gift that doesn’t require a lot of fabric or stitching

Check out the instruction that I have found, grab a needle & thread, some fat quarters, backing fabric, batting & a foundation fabric and get started on making your own version of a folded star for Christmas.

This Folded Star Prairie Point Trivet pattern on the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association website only needs a loop added to the back to convert it into a door hanging.  (You might also like some of the other patterns on this website)

Also check out these instructions, with step by step photos,  written by Lisa & Sarah of  A spoonful of Sugar Designs. This pattern is a little different to the one on the Santa Clara Valley Quilt Association website as the prairie points are made from circles, which may make the positioning of the fabrics easier.

The pattern that I used  “way back when” had a combination of circles & squares to make the prairie points.

If you find it easy to follow a spoken instruction this YouTube video, by Rose Smith, for making a folded star for the centre of her Somerset Patchwork cushion may help you work out the placement of the prairie points:

Each instruction has achieved the folded star in a slightly different manner, so choose the method that appeals to you.

In all case, remember that the best effect is achieved by having a good contrast, in each round of points, to show up the design.

Have fun creating your own version of the folded star door hanger

A Modern Welcome is Ready for Quilting

Your quilt top is finished and ready for quilting. All the extra fabric pieces remaining in your charm pack and the pieces left from making your blocks were used to create your backing piece.

Make sure you allow at least 2 ½ inches of your backing to extend on all sides of the quilt top.

I have used a 80%cotton20%polyester wadding in this project.

Lay the backing down first, wrong side up; then the wadding; then the top.

The backing and batting extends on all sides of the patchwork top

The backing and batting extends at least 2 1/2″ on all sides of the patchwork top

The three layers may be basted with thread or the layers may be pinned together with large safety pins.Once you’ve done that, you are ready to quilt.

I am quilting on my domestic machine and I have used a walking foot for the straight line quilting

and Aurifil 28wt Cotton Mako thread on the top and Aurifil 40wt Cotton Mako in the bobbin.

Aurifil 28wt for top thread and Aurifil 40wt for bobbin thread

Aurifil 28wt for top thread and Aurifil 40wt for bobbin thread

To make a neat start, with the presser foot raised, bring the bobbin thread to the surface of the quilt. Lower the foot and take a few stitches. Then backstitch for one or two stitches to secure your threads.

Begin by pulling bobbin thread to the top

Begin by pulling bobbin thread to the top

Anchor both thread with a few backstitches

Anchor both thread with a few backstitches

Walking foot is an excellent guide for straight quilting  lines

Walking foot is an excellent guide for straight quilting lines

A darning foot was used to free motion quilt the pebbles in the appliqué block background.

Aurifil 28wt for fun free motion pebbles

Aurifil 28wt for fun free motion pebbles

The Modern Welcome Quilt is the perfect size to try free motion quilting and experiment with some of your machine’s built in stitches for a unique quilted effect.

When your quilting is finished, carefully trim the backing even with the quilt top. The excess backing will be used next month to create your binding.

For more information about Machine Quilting for Beginners check out Cheryl Fall for more tips and tricks.

A Modern Welcome BOM-Creating the Backing Fabric

 I hope your Modern Welcome BOM quilt top is nearing completion.

Many quilts have a whole piece of fabric for the backs of their quilts.  Our Modern Welcome quilt has a pieced back.

If you remember at the start of our BOM, the entire project only needed 1/2 metre of background fabric and a charm pack of 5″ blocks.

My Charm Pack by Malka Dubrawsky A STITCH IN COLOR

My Charm Pack by Malka Dubrawsky
A STITCH IN COLOR

Gather any charm squares and pieces set aside from the construction of your pieced blocks.

Left over blocks and fabric pieces

Left over blocks and fabric pieces

This month you will be constructing the backing for your quilt.

Using your quilt top’s measurements as your guide,

sew pieces together into a rectangular shape at least 2 1/2″ larger than the quilt top on each side.

I use Aurifil Cotton Mako 40wt thread for my machine piecing.

Cotton Mako' 40 is the best choice for piecing patchwork blocks

Cotton Mako’ 40 is the best choice for piecing patchwork blocks

Create an arrangement that pleases you.

Left over pieces make a Modern Backing Fabric

Left over pieces make a Modern Backing Fabric

Next month….the quilting begins.