Thursday, 30 October 2014

Blogger's Quilt Festival ~ Mini Quilt Entry

I'm really excited to be entering Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival for the first time! If you're visiting for the first time, welcome to my blog! I've been around on Flickr and IG for a while and two months ago I started blogging. My name is Rachel, I live in New Zealand and I'm mad about quilting.

My Quilter's Palette mini quilt was inspired by this photo on IG of a water colour paint palette.  I'm not a painter but I love those little circles of colour. To turn the idea into a quilt, I applied my favourite quilt formula, bright, scrappy fabrics on a low volume background.  I used my Marti Mitchell drunkard's path acrylic templates to cut the pieces. Each drunkards path block is 3" finished. The finished quilt went to Paula (Flickr link) in Bermuda as part of a summer themed swap.

This is my favourite photo of the quilt, there must have been some sunlight on the day I took this photo.

Quilter's palette WIP

I quilted in straight lines using my walking foot. The lines were about 1/4" apart. Rather than marking all the lines, I used my walking foot as a guide (so much easier!).

Quilting with the winter sun on my back, bliss! #warmwishesswap

The week I finished the quilt and posted it off was wet and grey (dreary winter's weather) and the photos are not so bright! The binding is from Tsuru by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud9 fabrics.

Quilter's Palette

Have you checked out the Festival yet? I've had a few quick peeks, I can't wait to have a proper look around!

Finished Quilt Size; 18" square

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Holiday Pillow Swap 2014 ~ WIP

Pillows are, almost definitely, my most favourite thing to make. Last year I took part in my first holiday pillow swap, and I loved it.  But I really needed more than one Christmas pillow, so it was an easy decision to sign up for the holiday/winter pillow swap on Flickr again this year. I pulled these fabrics for my partner with a vague idea of a wintery theme...

I was thinking over a few design options when I spotted a beautiful Denyse Schmidt fabric in this progress shot by Nicolette (the fabric on the bottom left). It looked so pretty I grabbed my Super Tote to see if I could find it in there, and yay, there it was... (Awesome Super Tote made by Marci - Flickr, it's my own DS fabric catalogue).
That's the fabric I was looking for in the centre of this pic.

The fabric looks pretty cute in red, pink and green too.

How fun are those little on-point squares. I thought they'd make a great quilt block so I made a few test blocks. These blocks are 4 1/2" finished and those centre squares are only 1/2".
Making a start {GPF Swap}

This afternoon I made a few more blocks. I still need to play with the arrangement but I'm really happy with how they turned out. While I was cutting I may have cut enough pieces to make several more blocks, you know, in case I decide to make a quilt of them!

Friday, 10 October 2014

Baggy Bottom ~ A favourite sewing tip

My Swedish Bloom quilt has been on hold for the last few weeks. Partly because it's the school holidays but mainly because I had to do some unpicking and I get quilter's block when it comes to unpicking.

I did my usual lazy technique for sewing the rows together, but this time it didn't work out! My lazy technique is not to measure any of the rows, but to make the sashing longer than it needs to be and trim it back after sewing. The problem with sashing is that you don't notice when your blocks start getting out of alignment. On one row I ended up with a 1/2" difference between the flower blocks on either side of the sashing. It's pretty hard to hide a 1/2" overhang, although I did consider my options for a while, anything to avoid the dreaded unpicking! I wasn't actually planning on advertising my mistake ( I don't have any photographic evidence) but I decided to keep it real and maybe someone might benefit from my sewing tip!

With the unpicking finally done, I spent some time this afternoon ironing, pinning and sewing the row back together, applying my baggy bottom sewing tip. I used heaps of pins, I didn't want any overhang this time!

The after shot, perfectly aligned rows!!

Hooray, quilter's block over, back to finishing this top!

Here's my baggy bottom sewing tip, I learnt it from a local quilter and I use it all the time... when sewing blocks or rows together, if one side is longer than the other, put the longer (baggy) side on the bottom, next to the feed dogs. I used this technique today and it worked a treat, I just made sure that I lined the two rows up and used plenty of pins. I'm guessing this technique works because of the way the two layers of fabric move between the foot and the feed dogs. Do you know this technique? If you don't, give it a try!!

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

A Drawstring Bag

It's school holidays here so there's not a lot of sewing going on but I did make a drawstring bag just for me today. The Joel Dewberry fabric is one I purchased on a whim while on holiday earlier this year, I love the colours and the large design makes it perfect for a bag. I used the lined drawstring bag tutorial by Jeni Baker. I love how this pattern can be made from fat quarters as I have plenty of those!

If you're wondering about the books, they're all on loan to me and I haven't read any of them yet. It's exciting to have such a big pile of books to read.

I might not be getting any sewing done but I am plotting a future quilt. Bonnie from pinkxstitches has organised a Donut Quiltalong on Instagram (#donutqal). I've put together this pile of possible fabrics, I chose fabrics that made me think of chocolate, berries and sprinkles. Of course, I may yet change my mind completely.
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