Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Quilting Hearts Desire and other things

Hi Everyone,
It's WOW time again and I haven't posted for about six weeks as the weeks have just flown by.
Really I haven't had much to show as I have been quietly working away on quilting HD and in the beginning there isn't a lot to see especially with a black background.
My FMQ confidence is slowly growing with edge stitching all my applique plus I attended a beginners class and discovered the benefits of using quilting gloves, what a difference they have made to my thumbs and managing the fabric. Also have changed to a clear perspex foot on my stitch regulator foot which is great but caused me one problem, I broke the plastic casing on the BSR changing my foot while it was on the machine. Live and learn, luckily DH and super glue has made a lasting repair.

This foot is great for visibility especially when stitching on curves away from me, guides should be a real help for echo quilting but I'm not game to play on HD yet but have been practising.
Discovered that my BSR foot does not like black background fabric as it's sensor seems unable to pick up the fabric movement. I can use the foot without activating the regulator mode so this has been another learning experience, getting my stitch length right.
This is where I am at with my quilting

My Rose Window Center and Ties that Bind border.
Camera has turned my purple fabric blue.
Edge stitching complete and also in the center.

Sing me a Song.
Have outline stitched the birds wing and eye, used small stipple to fill the circle.

Love me tender.
Outline stitched my added butterfly and stippled the ring.

Flowers for Me
Outline stitching in the vase and on the flowers.

Corner Basket and outer border
Flower centers stitched and outer border stippled.
Binding is on as it will take me ages yet to finish quilting, it has removed excess fabric and  my edges won't fray.

Since these photo's I have stitched the center line on all the leaves and also around all the flower buds.
Have spent weeks trying to find a simple quilting design for my scallop borders finally finding one that I think gives the scallops the illusion of being trees.

Had to squash it down, stretch it out and play with the loop sizes to fit the scallops.
Thank goodness for freezer paper, my lovely even loops are the result of stitching around templates not merrily stitching away.

Candles in the Park
My name for this border  and I am very happy with how the scallops look.

A bit more playing gave me this design for around the corners.

yesterday I added a couple of rows of stitching to these hearts.
I want to do something on the outer part of the basket but am not sure what as yet.

With the arrival of spring like weather a couple of weeks ago it was time to attack the front garden as over winter it has been waterlogged most of the time.

The weeds are mainly a vine like groundcover that loves it under the tree and takes over during winter. pleased to find that when uncovered the winter roses were all healthy and in flower as were the poly's.

Inside, DH found the time to make some progress with our ongoing renovations. Our ensuite has been nearly finished for months waiting for the plumbing and drainage to be completed.

Finished and operational

The wonderful thing about the ensuite being finished is that we were able to finally finish the main bathroom. We enlarged it six years ago but it never got finished as is usual for us. Over time the shower wall liner has yellowed so we wanted to remove it and tile the walls instead. Taking it out also meant it was easier to finish the ceiling as we had taken walls out to enlarge the space then shifted the window when we added on my sewing room so there were always good reasons not to finish it until we had a second bathroom to use. 

What a difference completed tiling and wallpaper makes.
One problem, we had started the mosaic tiling a couple of years ago and done two walls, oops not enough tiles to finish and not in production any longer.
We had 3 sample tiles which are now a feature under the mirror .

The shell wallpaper makes a great backdrop for this carving made for an endagered species exhibition by Steve's ex Father in Law. It is of a Hector's dolphin caught in a fisherman's net and one of our most treasured possessions.

The newly tiled shower looks so different to the old one.
By the way this bathroom is now all mine and DH uses the ensuite.
Work has carried over into the hallway to my sewing room and we nearly have cupboards.

Double sliding doors at this end and an opening door at the other where we have made that space so it could be used as a wardrobe for the office/bedroom opposite.
I think I am meant to get sanding and painting so the shelves can go in and get out of my sewing room.

I have been working round them since I cleaned them about 3 weeks ago, haven't found a new home for my old ironing board either.

There other things I could share but I have been at the computer most of the day so will finish and link to Esther's WOW.
Enjoy you Wednesday everyone. 
Cheers, Jenny

Wednesday, 3 August 2016

WOW 3rd Aug LE and other quilting

Hi Everyone,
Can't believe that July has gone and we are now in August. last three weeks have flown by and I'm not sure what I have really achieved, but it must be a lot because I have lived in my sewing whenever possible. last time I blogged Esther had just released her gorgeous Pomegranate Pattern, this sent me looking for mine as I made it a couple of years ago from pattern in APQ magazine,

It was a great design to make, my first and so far only predominately red quilt though I do have Esther's pattern for Red Delicious that keeps giving me a nudge everynow and then to make a start on.
Background for this is a drape fabric offcut and I just followed the design for my quilting.
Great to read that Esther has found the other vase patterns, hope they are released to us

Have started going to my favourite fabric shop CountryDawn on a Thursday for their morning sit and sew sessions which tend to last for most of the day. I try to take something little to work on such as prep for applique or the like, Took my Christmas baubles the other week as I needed border/binding material and I was surprised at the comments on my technique for joining my binding tails together.
I am sure many do it the same as me as it is video by a McCalls instructor I found on the Ginny Beyer website under tips and tutorials. This is how I join my tails.

open starting end of binding and cut at a 45 degree angle.

This is how it looks when cut
Leave approx 6-8 inch tail and stitch your binding to the quilt as usual.
Stop stitching leaving about a 12 inch gap to where you started sewing.
The bigger gap the easier it is,

Open out the tail and pin it in place along the quilt edge.

Lay the starting tail on top and mark the cut edge to half way.

Use you ruler to make sure your angle is 45 degrees and mark right across the tail.

Move your tail to the cutting mat and mark again a half inch towards the free end, the red line.
This half inch is vital as it is your seam allowance for both tails so don't cut on your first mark.
Video suggests making some cross marks on the first line as a reminder not to cut on it.
Make sure your tails aren't twisted then stitch together with a quarter inch seam

Check the fit along the gap, press seam open, refold and complete your stitching.
This method has made joing my bindings so easy.

Elegant Baubles finished and ready for Christmas.

Have been continuing with my quilting of LE. It was going to be so straight forward or so I thought when I started as I was only going to do what I could manage with my walking foot, However -
once I had done that LE wanted more, It was like she was saying to me, you are not done yet, just get on and make the attempt!!! 
Out came my BSR foot and I thought Oh well here goes and started edge stitching more of my center applique. I remembered what someone had once said to me about FMQ that your quilt is a puddle and you are sitting in the middle of it, it worked and although my stitching is by no means great it is far better than I expected it to be with the size of the puddle that is LE.
Here are some pics with all the applique edge stitched.

My compass has popped even more

I worried about stitching around those berries but it was fine.

Now have to stitch inside edges of my zig zags

Thought my simple zag in the border was enough but it needs more now as well.

Little vase now has definition, fun stitching either side of those tiny stems.

Corner blocks done as well.
I had done a single zig zag along the wider border but it was too open so I decided to add more stitching which has created smaller triangles and some crosshatching as well. 

Still have more to do on a couple of borders but when I look at what I have learnt and accomplished through making LE it is such an incredible journey, A long way to go before I can really call myself a quilter and not just a top maker but I am getting lots of practice and loving ever minute of it.

Linking now to Esther's Wow then back to my LE

Cheers everyone, Jenny

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Heart's Desire WOW 13th July

Hi Everyone,
Where have the last two weeks gone, I ran out of time to blog last week although have found time in the early mornings to visit most of the links to Esther's WOW, I really enjoy seeing what other quilters have been up to and reading about their quilting journeys.
On cold winter mornings my sewing room is the cosiest room in the house and I have been as usual spending most of my time there swopping between LE and Hearts Desire. Have nothing new to show of LE at present as I am still working my way around her borders. I did unpick the 2 rows of serpentine stitching on my mauve border as I had changed to a heavier thread and forgot to check my top tension, so ugly on the back as tension was far too loose. easy unpicking though as the bobbin thread just pulled out several inches at a time.
Have made good progress with Heart's Desire. My 70 something hearts were a nice size for stitching and the borders came together faster than I thought, again some unpicking as on my first border I stitched three facing in the wrong direction

First two borders.
I was so lucky to find a purple with gold splatter that is very similar to the fabric I used for my other purple hearts, Only needed 8 but my original fabric scrap would have only given me two at the most.
With borders on I am really pleased with how my "Ties that bind" vine has worked to finish my quilt top.

Borders Complete
Not as big as LE thank goodness but still the only place to hang it.
Had to trim my corner hearts by 1/4 inch to get them to fit my corners, now have four lovely outline hearts to keep safe for another project.

It was only when I was sewing my borders on I realised I had never checked how my corners would meet up or where my last vine hearts needed to be placed to allow for the mitre. Two corners my vine matched perfectly and the other two were slightly off so I definately needed my corner hearts. Only had to unpick and move one vine heart to get the room I needed.
Have most of my ditch stitching done and now ready to start quilting the blocks.
Have needed an easy project for when I just don't feel like pushing quilts through the machine so have used some of the excess backing fabric fom HD as background for a little christmas wall hanging.

Elegant Christmas Baubles designed by Ngaire Williams.
Just need some Christmas Red fabric now for a narrow border and binding.

That's all for this week, thanks for stopping by.
Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

LE and Hearts Desire

Hi everyone, happy you have stopped by.
Wed morn and I haven't written a thing yet, normally I write my blog like a diary adding photo's and comments throughout the week but this week although I did take some photo's never found the time to sit down and write.
I have had company in my sewing room this week, not the cat which we haven't got, or the dog which we do have, she would literally eat every fabric she could get her paws on but my DH who has decided it is time for some sewing of his own.

While I am at my machine Steve is set up on the cutting bench under the window with his trusty old machine and not so trustworthy overlocker. It has been fun to have company.

Not a lot to show with my LE, I have been quilting some of each day working my way through the borders, and from the right side there is little to see as I am only edge stitching the main elements.
Yesterday I put LE on our bed to see how it looked and was amazed that it was the perfect size.

Have to say it looked good

Even looks good this side up.
A few ripples in the backing fabric but no tucks or pleats which I am so happy about.
My method of just pinning each border at a time has worked for me.
Still have more to do as I am stitching whichever border takes my fancy at the time just making sure I do all four sides before moving on.

While stitching my mind kept straying to Hearts Desire, the first BOM I made after joining Esther's at that time yahoo group. This year is the fifth anniversary of the devasting Christchurch earthquake which killed 185 people and I have decided it is time for my remembrance quilt to be finished.
Five years ago I had fundraising plans for this quilt but for several reasons they did not eventuate and it has been sitting waiting to be finished.

Christchurch - My Hearts Desire in 2011
I love this pattern and although I changed a couple of the center elements it is still very much Esther's pattern and is still available on her website.
Looking at it now I decided it needs the "candles" in my outer border to be lit and that it did need another border but not the one in the pattern. How lucky it is that I tidied my sewing room a few weeks ago, I went straight to my neatly sorted bags of scraps and found what I needed.

The yellow for my flames and enough of the patterned red from my center for four corner hearts in the next border. Doesn't pay to throw any scraps out.

Esther has little circles either side of the bud by the leaves but for me my oval tops work as everlasting flames and I think of this border as "Candles in the Park"
I had also found the length of black fabric put aside for the binding. It was wide enough to cut four 
3 1/4 inch border strips from. This was a blessing as my background is such a black black that I had looked for ages to get a match when I had needed more fabric .

Start of my final border.
I played with Esther's border pattern for ages and it just wouldn't gel for me in the context of my quilt then looking at my ties that bind border I put around the center it all fell into place. Drafted a new curved stem and will replicate my inner border. Have counted up and only need to stitch 72 hearts, after the zigzags on LE that should be a breeze.

So that is where my week has taken me, now linking with Esther's Work on Wednesday and back to my sewing room, it is pouring down outside afterall.
Cheers Jenny