Saturday, April 30, 2011

Crescent Skirt - cutting time!

I have some exciting news relating to my crescent skirt (exciting to me anyway); my friend Laura is making one too, so we will be sewing the skirt up together! She's bought some beautiful fabric for her skirt, isn't it fun:

Laura's fabric - a lightweight cotton sateen (I think), from Lincraft

We got together for a few hours over the easter weekend to make up muslins. We only muslined the waistband to check the fit, and measured the skirt pieces to check the length. The fit was pretty good - I am pretty happy with the "out of the envelope" fit and didn't make any changes. We made a couple of alterations to Laura's waistband, and then reminded by Tasia in her sew along post went back and also made the same changes to the waistband facing.

My waistband pieces

Then the other night we got together for dinner and cut out our fabric pieces. I realised after cutting out my waistband pieces that I would have preferred to "block fuse" the interfacing to the fabric rather than cut the pieces out separately, so that's what I suggested Laura did instead.

Me cutting out the interfacing separately to the fabric

Because her cutting layout was a bit tight we couldn't do a proper block fuse, so instead I got her to cut out pieces of fabric about an inch bigger than the pattern pieces, and then cut the interfacing about the same size. After pressing the interfacing onto the fabric to fuse the layers she cut out the final pattern piece - which means she knows that the fused fabric+interfacing is exactly the shape of the pattern piece and hasn't become distorted when the two layers were joined.

Laura cutting out her pattern pieces after fusing the fabric to the interfacing

So now our fabric is cut out and ready to go for when the sewing steps of the sewalong are posted.

Lastly before I forget, I also bought some lining for my skirt, isn't it fun:

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Seasons and silver linings

I don't really like winter. I definitely prefer summer. I get cold easily and it takes me a long time to warm up again when I get cold. Maybe that's a subconscious reason why I like quilting, I don't know. Either way, no matter how many lovely Autumn days there are (like today), Autumn isn't a good time for me, as I know that winter is coming. However, I am trying to be more of a "glass half full" kind of person, so have decided to try and list some "silver linings" of winter (as silly and miniscule as they may be):

- My flanelette PJs can come back into rotation
- I can wear my amazing Hikaru jacket again once it's colder
- Winter gives me more excuses to make quilts
- Funky tights are lots of fun yet functional at the same time
- My new boots mean that I now have flat black boots again, which seriously boosts my winter wardrobe
- Hot water bottles are cosy
- The sun doesn't wake me up early in the morning
- I can cook yummy meals without worrying about heating up the house
- Roast dinners are definitely a winter meal, and I LOVE them

What about you? What's your favourite season? Can you think of any silver linings about your least favourite?

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Advice for Vicki?

Vicki has had a super productive Easter weekend working on her quilt that she bought fabric for last week and has cut out and sewn up 100 half square triangles. Now I can share with you her planned layout. She is going to have 5 zigzags each in a different colour going across the bed:

Around this panel she wants to have a thin border of a colour/print and then a wide border of plain white to bring the quilt to queen size (the zig-zag panel is about 1.5m across I think)

She now has some important decisions to make (which might affect each other). The first is what order to put the zigzags in, and the second is what colour to make the coloured border.

(just to remind you what the fabrics look like with slightly more colour accuracy)

So what would you do? What order would you put the colours and what kind of coloured border would you use?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Pin Cushion Swap - Sneak Peek

I took some time this weekend to make my pin-cushion for the MMQG pin cushion swap, here's a sneak-peek:

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Birthday Mum!!!

The embroidery supplies that I posted about a while back have since been transformed into the above cushion covers for my Mum for her Birthday.

I was inspired by these map quilts. However, I don't have the time (or the probably the skill) to make a quilt like that, but they inspired this idea.

I marked maps of some locations hopefully significant to my mum with a washable marker (not the transfer pencil in the above photo, as that doesn't come out again and I don't trust my drawing or stitching well enough). I then embroidered the outlines with a basic backstitch.

After all the maps were embroidered the fabric was cut to size and sewn into cushion covers with invisible zips down one side (something like these tutorials: 1, 2, 3):


Once again - Happy Birthday Mum - I hope you like them.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When there's a sale...

There's a 25% off sale on at GJs at the moment (until the 20th), so I took the opportunity to get the fabric for my pin cushion for the current MMQG swap:

I can't tell you anymore at the moment as I want it to be a surprise, but I know exactly what I'm going to do and I'm going to work on it over the Easter weekend so it's ready  before the 1st of May deadline. I hope my partner likes it.

I went up to GJs with Vicki, who has been scheming up her first full sized quilt - she's going for a queen sized quilt! She's come up with her design, which is going to be amazing and now she has these gorgeous fabrics. 10 pastel-y prints and white... you just know it's going to be fantastic when it's made up!

I wish I'd taken some photos of the huge stack of fabrics that she picked out as possibles before narrowing down to this 10. There's no need to worry that you won't find what you're looking for, there's so may beautiful fabrics. The ladies at GJs are so nice and friendly and didn't seem to mind at all having to put them all back for us, so thanks so much ladies for your patience and advice!

Monday, April 18, 2011

AQC - My Best in Show

This was my absolute favourite from the AQC. If I'd known how to get a little voting slip this would definitely have gotten my vote.

She was painted, appliquéd and densely quilted, and is soooo incredibly beautiful!


The combination of painting and amazingly skilled quilting even gave the background so much detail.


Look at how intricate the stitching is:

Incase you hadn't guessed, I'm still in awe of the skill in this quilt.

Sadly I didn't write down who made it, so sorry that I can't credit the incredibly talented creator properly.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

AQC - Some more favourites

As I couldn't pick a small enough number of my favourites from AQC on Thursday to fit into one post here are some more:

This one was definitely my second favourite quilt at the show:
Isn't it amazing how part of the landscape has been made up of squares and triangles?
It kind of feels like you're looking out of a window that is partly some kind of wonky glass

Some "Dear Jane" blocks on point, and the hand quilting was stunning

These two quilts really show that using different fabrics but the same pattern can make such a difference.

I just love this one, it keeps drawing your eye to different spots.

Hundreds of origami cranes on a quilt, so beautiful!
(Well I just counted, 104 cranes)

This one was 3D, so much fun to look at.

I can't pinpoint exactly what about this one I love, I just know I do.

I love the minimal design, and the quilting was amazing.

I'll be back tomorrow with one last AQC post - my favourite quilt in the show.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

AQC - Quilting Challenges

At ACQ there were two kinds of "challenges" that I saw in the show part. The first was making a quilt according to a particular theme, and the second was making a quilt that contained a particular fabric.

One of the themes this year was the 7 deadly sins, from which some gorgeous quilts were made. Here is my favourite of the sins themed quilts:

What skill to make such realistic looking faces just from thread and fabric!

The challenge that required the use of a particular fabric used this fabric:

And here are a few of my favourite quilts from this challenge:


Isn't it amazing what different people come up with from the same starting point?

Friday, April 15, 2011

AQC - Some favourites

Some gorgeous appliquéd gum leaves

Yesterday I visited the Australasian Quilt Convention with Kirsty, Marg and Esther. I missed out last year because I was over in Perth while it was on, so I've had it in my diary since this time last year to keep this weekend clear.

This set of quilts were all quilted so accurately with quilting patterns that really added to the simple designs.

There were heaps of stalls from different companies selling soooo much stuff, and I was well behaved - I stuck to my "fabric diet" and didn't buy any fabric. The only thing I bought was a pair of medium sized scissors which I've been meaning to get for a while, I can throw away the crappy ones I have now and stop using my shears to snip delicate little things.

An entire alphabet of so so so intricate flower fairies - amazing!

I know it's unfair to compare it to the Festival of Quilts that I went to last year, but it's hard not to, as that's the only quilt show I've really been to before this one. The show part of this one was much much much smaller, but there were still some AMAZING quilts on show.

I think it's the black and white background that draws me to this quilt the most, the flowers just stand out so much more.

I left the others mid-afternoon, but went back later in the afternoon to have another quick look around before it closed (well, the show is about 200m from my house and was on my way home, what can a girl do??!) and snapped some photos.

What Pomme doesn't love a good union jack quilt??

I forgot to take my camera so these are phone photos so apologies for the fuzziness. Smattered through this post are some of my favourite quilts from the show.

So many beautiful dresden plates, and hand quilting on top of that.
Do you see the detail of the dresdens overlapping with the corners of the borders? amazing!

If you're in or near Melbourne and free this weekend I highly recommend paying the show a visit.
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