Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Work on Wed 26th July

Hi Everyone,
Have had great couple of weeks in my sewing room as winter is really with us and days have been cold with plenty of rain so no better place to be.

D Hill went together perfectly. Think this is one of the reasons I love working with Esther's patterns, they are precise and if you follow her instructions they go together so well.

Had concerns whether my diamonds on the black border would stand out too much compared to those on the light background but I needn't have worried, they look fine and I am thrilled with how the quilt top looks now it is finished, or nearly as one border still to go so and that concerned me as well. Am using my diamond fabric for both the final border and my binding and although I know it is the right choice am unsure what it will look like (maybe too busy) only way to find out was go ahead and do it so once I got the measurements on it went.
Has to be the right choice has don't have enough of the dark fabric left and can't find any on line.

So far so good. Have cut my fabric two inches wide instead of one and a half as not sure how much fraying it will do while I am quilting it.

Not so sure now
  blends too much, too busy and looks out of balance.

But - it is wider than it will be finished and that may alter how it looks plus folded back to just binding width it looks really good so maybe that is all I am going to need. 

Leaving it how it is until quilting is done to protect the edges of the diamond border while quilting as for me quilting is a slow process.

Spent the weekend after this preparing foundations and cutting fabric for a quilt the group I belong to are making for Hospice to raffle as a fundraiser. Wanted a pattern that everyone could take part in and Esther has kindly allowed me to share Hexit with the group for this purpose.

We were going to go totally scrappy but while in Spotlight I found a good quality fabric on sale, very similar to what Glenda in Aust is using for her diamonds (little dots) so borrowed her idea for unifying the look. Thanks Glenda am also copying you and using the dots for all the points.
Had enough of a dark blue in my stash to cut strips to use for the first strips in each diamond.

Made up packs of ten diamonds plus a sample so everyone could see the look and also an untrimmed diamond so the ones new to foundation piecing could understand what they were to do and these went to our meeting last week. Next month we will trim and mix up the blocks ready to start sewing together. Can't wait to see how the diamonds look as so many different scraps will be used.

With this organised it was time to do more quilting on Hearts Desire as had one candle border to quilt and the backgrounds of all the blocks. With my beginners quilting expected this to take a couple of weeks but maybe it was the terrible weather down south with massive flooding through Canterbury and Otago spurring me on but it only took four days to complete.

Hearts Desire
Thankyou Esther for this pattern which let me express my feelings
Can only say that completing Hearts Desire gives me a real feeling of fulfilment. I always refer to HD as my Christchurch quilt and am not sure yet what name it will have. Two are in my mind at present, Remembrance and Ties that Bind as for me this quilt tells the story of Christchurch and the people who live there. A beautiful garden city destroyed by earthquake with 185 lives lost. So many broken and ruined homes and lives but also so much courage and bravery by so many people. This event has become the ties that bind the people of ChCh together during the ongoing rebuild of a beautiful city.

Linking now to Esther's WOW.

Cheers Jenny

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

5th July Diamond Hill and Secret Garden

Hi everyone,

Have had a great time since my last blog. Part 6 of Diamond Hill was the applique corners and I was ready and waiting with fabrics organised and Esther posted early so was able to do my prep for the first corner at sit and sew on the Thursday.

Mitred and joined my corners first then fused my stems and leaves in place. decided to use a mid olive thread which let me stitch both my stems and leaves at the same time, a huge time saver.
Used two different blanket / buttonhole stitches though to give more definition to the leaves.

Stems were my normal small stitch but changed to one that does a double stitch on the outer edge for the leaves and also used a larger setting.

Kept to my planned colours for the bell flower and the lavender was a $2 scrap that I had purchased on the Thurs, just the right shade. Rethought my orange flower as had changed the cornerstone colours on the last border and the bright orange just didn't work but this multi colour batik did.
Had trouble finding the right center until I tried this red and yellow combo which gave a real pop to it.

Tried out a candy coloured thread for the flower and it worked a treat, stitched with a double stitch and every stitch became a different shade, This is a Mettler thread and just love the short colour changes with their threads. In the center I did two rounds of stitching with the yellow thread and have got a feeling of texture to it.

Happy with my colours.

With the second corner made it was time to add them to the center. Thought about this for a bit and decided to add the corners first but only stitched each side as far down as the first flower then took the diamond panel and checked its positioning as crucial it lined up with the previous border. Diamond panel was cut to size but had left extra length on my applique panel for any adjustment necessary.
Didn't take a photo but used the same method as closing a binding, marking the position of the panel onto the border then cutting with a seam allowance and stitching together at both ends. Checked posotioning of the diamonds and then stitched the seam. 
Couldn't wait to see how it looked so added my vases and the next border.

It went together perfectly using a simiar method to the last border, matching and securing the center and the half square triangle ends before stitching. narrow strips of fusing for this rather than the glue I have seen Esther use on one of her tutorials, also how I did my final placement on the last border.

A quarter inch strip of fusible web pressed to the seam allowance

Seam allowance turned under and border fused into place
Did this for the center and both ends then pinned the rest of the border into place and stitched.

Before I added my border I had a decision to make as when I made my center I used purple triangles at the base of my vase, thought this emphasised the vase shape but as time has gone on it looked more like a mistake so decided to change it. 


Wasn't undoing everything so unpicked the applique stitching I had done from the seamlines and fused a new triangle in place and restitched the edges. Now happy with the center.
Only the last corner to finish stitching and then I can bring DH up to date ready for the 15th.

1st July woke early and went to see what Esther had given us for Part 6 of Secret Garden, not there and it was late afternoon before I finally received it. What a gorgeous block it is, SG is becoming more beautiful as the months go by. Printed out the pattern but no time that night to make a start and in the morning there is an update so very pleased I hadn't started. Printed out the update and made my first block and was so pleased with it.

Very happy with how delicate this looks

Background is a fabric I bought for the modern quilt I have just started, was having trouble finding the right fabric and a piece of this was on the bench and when I tried it just had to use it.

However, there was a niggle that stayed with me espcially after Esther asked on my group photo was I making my block smaller ?   am reducing the pattern but because of the update kept checking and rechecking and it seemed perfect. 4.30am the next morning it came to me, I hadn't used the templates but had traced from the pattern block, which pattern block though!!!
In future will bin incorrect pages immediately as had used the wrong pattern and my applique was a fraction small.

Not a large amount but you can see from the lines that the first block on the right is well inside the lines and the outside curve is a different shape. Not sure if it would really matter but it just might so my first block has been unpicked and remade as am not sure how much background fabric I have to spare.

Blocks added to design wall.
This is how I set up my wall before I started these blocks

Last night I unpicked the bow on block one and changed the colour as it blended in too much with my vase.

Bow is still very soft but has more definition

Would love to be able to keep on working on SG but as am up to date will have to be patient until next month, am linking now to Esther's WOW then will get out my DH corner and work on that.

Enjoy your week everyone,
Cheers Jenny