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‘.

 

 

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Tuesday Treats: A Stunning doll for Christmas

One of the great treats that comes from being a guest speaker, taking the Aurifil thread products story  to Guild meetings, is the opportunity to see the members’ show & tell.

I love seeing the wide range of patchwork, and  textile talent, that the members share with each other at their meetings, and each guild is always different.

This incredible doll, made by Barbara Strickland, was a highlight at the show & tell at the  Point Nepean Patchwork Guild meeting in October.

Barbara-StricklandWhen Barbara gave me permission to share my photo she said that she made this doll, and all the clothes and accessories, at classes with Helen Pierce in Mornington (Victoria).

You can see that the St Nicholas doll is quite tall and his jacket, and the eggs, were beautifully beaded.

Just stunning! and a beautiful Christmas decoration.

Blue Christmas in July

I actually don’t like “Christmas in July” when it is offered as a theme or an occasion to celebrate Christmas.   I can see why it is popular in Australia – as July is mid winter and our Christmas is often celebrated when the temperatures are very hot. Memories come back to me of cooking (and eating) a roast dinner (Turkey with all the trimmings) when the day was 30 plus degrees! However, I digress —- I went to a weekend gathering of quilters where the theme was “Christmas in July”. This retreat was held in a very cold place and so the theme was appropriate. Luckily for me, and the women attending, the venue was toasty-warm and we only had to brave the cold outside temperatures rarely.
One of the challenges of the Retreat was to turn a Christmas card into a small A3 (16-1/2″ by 11-1/2″) wall quilt.

The card I was allocated

The card I was allocated

We were given a card when we registered for the Retreat in the early part of the year. As usual I work best under pressure —- in other words, at the last minute. I enjoyed making up the quilt, and it always makes me  use my design and patchwork skills. We were encouraged to use the card as the starting point for the completed work.

Snowflakes

Snowflakes

I cut out snowflakes of different sizes and two colours, and ironed them to the background fabric and stitched them down.  Then I quilted around all the snowflakes.  As well I  constructed  a three-dimensional snowflake to ‘hang’ over the end of the quilt.

3D Snowflake

I found some tulle with ‘snow’ on it in my stash of non patchwork fabrics and placed it across some of the quilt – ripping it in parts (yes, it was hard to do that part!).

Tulle "snow"

Tulle “snow”

The tulle was attached loosely to the top with hand sewing and some beading with  tiny glass beads.

Threads and Beads

I am happy with the end result – no prizes won, but I liked going into the challenge and looking at all the  entries to see what others did with their different cards.

Finished - just in time!

Finished – just in time!

Another Cushion

I am pleased to tell you (also pleased with myself!) that I have completed another cushion, this time to replace one I made about 15 years ago which has now become faded and needs to be retired.  For a while the new cushion “makings” resided in my patch work project pantry, which featured in an earlier post.  http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/03/16/do-you-have-a-ppp/ ‎

All my cushion "makings".

All my cushion “makings”.

The pattern I used is by Deborah Kemball http://deborahkemball.com    from her book  Beautiful Botanicals, and features many tiny applique components which I needle-turned in place.  It also uses some very narrow bias strips for the stems.  I previously  posted a tutorial on making bias strips without using bias bars as described in Deborah’s book.  If you missed this post you can find it at  http://alwaysquilting.wordpress.com/2012/04/13/making-bias-st…s-without-bars/ 

Unfortunately I don’t have a photo of the applique in process, but here is a close up of part of the cushion, showing  details of the applique, embroidery  and bugle beading on the ends of the stamen.  I used Aurifil Cotton Mako Ne 50 for the applique, Ne 40 for the machine piecing, and Ne 12 for the embroidery, and have on hand Ne 28 should I decide to add quilting.

Close up detail of applique.

Close up detail of applique.

To ensure a neat and firm closure I inserted a zip in the middle of the cushion back.  You can also make a button closure, use press-studs or Velcro, or simply have a large enough overlap with the back pieces, so that the opening doesn’t gape.  However, if you like to have a full type of filling (a fat cushion as opposed to the skinny variety), I have found that a zip  works well.  Don’t be tempted to make the opening too small, as this makes it difficult to fit in the cushion insert.

To finish the edges of my cushion, I used a binding, just as I would bind the edges of a quilt.  I have used this method before and found that it works well.  I used a double fold binding which I cut 2 inches wide, which resulted in a neat narrow finish.

Adding the binding.

Adding the binding.

The binding is machined to the cushion front with the corners  mitred in the usual manner. Then the binding is folded to the back and stitched down by hand.

The binding sewn into place.

The binding machined to the cushion front.

Since I used some embroidery in the cushion construction (in the stamen, tendrils and flower centres) and sewed through both the top and the batting, the cushion top and batting are satisfactorily sandwiched together, so from a construction point of view, there is no need to add additional quilting.  Quilting in this case would be for decorative purposes only, and I don’t think I will add any, as the top is already quite full and busy, but I will live with it in situ for a few days to see what I decide.

Embroidery acts as quilting.

Embroidery acts as quilting and sandwiches the components together.

Here is the finished cushion in place on its chair.

My new cushion in situ.

My new cushion in situ.

2012 Block of the Month and patience

I always smile to myself whenever anyone discovers I make patchwork quilts and they immediately say,” Oh, I could never do that. I don’t have the patience.”

When I am immersed in a project and I have ideas bubbling around in my head, I am ANYTHING but patient.

Even while I am stitching my blocks together I am auditioning design ideas, in my mind, considering colour combinations and border variations. When I completed the December block of my Aurifil 2012 BOM I just couldn’t wait to see how Pat Sloan was going to put the blocks together.

So, I have finished my Aurifil 2012 blocks using my soft rainbow palette as I still had fabric left over. I began to measure and cut and piece….

January

January

February

February

March

March

April

April

May

May

June

June

July

July

August

August

September

September

October

October

November

November

December

December

MY 2012 Aurifil Designer of the Month Completed top

MY 2012 Aurifil Designer of the Month Completed top

 Here is the finished top.

I like the result and I have ample space in my borders for quilting or more decorative embellishments with my Aurifil 12wt thread collection.

When it is quilted and bound I will share a picture later this year.

Want to see more finished quilts?

Sewzalot has finished her quilt and has shared some great images, and a pretty quilt layout

Many others have finished their quilts and shared them on the Aurifil Flickr page

Didn’t collect the patterns in 2012?

It is too late to enter the 2012 competition, but it is not too late to  download the patterns to make your own version of the quilt.

The Cotton Mako’ 12 threads can be purchased from Always Quilting

Don’t get left behind this year, start collecting the 2013 Aurifil Designer of the Month blocks now.

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We also have a BOM, “A Modern Welcome”, beginning here on our blog in the first week of March.

We hope you will join in the fun…..you just have to be patient.

Viva la difference!

The Aurifil Block of the Month, presented by Pat Sloan, is past the half-way point and I have finished the block for July; Summer is the contribution from  Sarah Fielke. I know we are in the middle of winter here in Australia, but I have enjoyed stitching beach umbrellas and thinking of the sand between my toes as I attached my golden, sandy coloured beads……I have employed the attitude…”Why make a French Knot when I can use a Bead”!

I loved using several variegated threads!

MY Summer colours

As a reminder…I began my Aurifil BOM with a collection of seductive fat quarters from Timeless Treasures.

Timeless Treasures

Choosing just the right fabric

I know Pat Sloan began with a different, luscious selection of fabrics. And Jenny is doing hers on wool with Aurifil’s fabulous Lana wool.

Here are a few snaps of my earlier blocks.

The Year Begins

Aurifil Cotton Mako 12wt….Variegated Bliss

I will indulge myself with a few days of feeling quite pleased with myself for being all caught up and waiting for the next installment …what new project can I start in the meantime???

How to have fun playing with variegated thread.

This month, our feature thread from the Aurifil range is not really a thread, more like a dyeing technique, as we are talking about variegated colours.  You will find a good variety of variegated threads in the Cotton Mako’, Lana & Aurilux ranges. 

A glorious collection of variegated threads form Aurifil

 There are some multi-colour variegations, but mostly the variegations consist of one colour that runs from light to dark, and back, along the strand of thread so even the Brillo threads could be mistaken for variegated colours as the metallic thread glitters light & dark.

The self variegated threads create beautiful water colour effects when used for thread painting, a topic that I will discuss later this month.

These Brillo threads could be mistaken for variegated colours as the metallic thread sparkles light & dark

 Late last year we featured our crochet projects using the Lana thread. When we did this it set me thinking about what would happen if we crocheted with the Cotton Mako’ 12, which is a similar thickness to the Lana thread.

 I had great fun crocheting these flowers with 2 & 3 strands of a variegated Cotton Mako’ 12  (colour 4647). I beaded them and stitched them to cord before combining them with tassels and a strand of beads to make a necklace (not my own idea, as I used a necklace that I had previously purchased as the inspiration)

I crocheted these flowers using a variegated colour in Cotton Mako' 12

I also turned one flower into a brooch by stitching it on to a large button back. Such simple projects, but they get compliments every time I wear them.

If you want to have fun making your own crochet flowers you will find our crochet instructions in the download box to the left of the screen and you can purchase Aurifil threads from our online store.