Patchwork & Quilting Feed

That fabric in the stash

After using the cat panel in the back of the cat quilt I have got to and cut every panel up and labeled just how many of I have of each.

Large panels.

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And small.

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I hadn't realised that the cats would face each other until I got them on the wall.  I then found a large charm pack of fabric that matched the cat panels.  I never saw these fabrics together in the shop and remember buying the charm pack because it was black and white fabrics not because it matched the cats.  Now I find it also includes shades of grey and beige.  I also had a whole heap of fabric that I had dyed so I cut these up to make half square triangles.

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From this lot of dyeing I got some lovely colours and they have made great colour contrast to the neutral colours of the charm pack.

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Now I have to put it all together to make a quilt. 

A bit more work than I thought!

This quilt was a bit more complicated than I thought at first.  Not only had I pinned it but I had tacked it ready for quilting as well.  I took a day to get it apart and I think I will replace the batting.  The original isn't good enough.  Next came three days of sewing to complete the applique.  All those curves take time.

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I used a rayon thread for the red and green and the thread was a bit light, resulting in the bobbin thread appearing as pin pricks.  I will take my textile pens and just go over these so that the light colour doesn't show.

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I am very pleased with the button hole on my new machine.  I can adjust the width and length and the stitch is very even.  What I don't like about machine appliqueing is that to get it even you have to use a "tear away" paper stabliser.  It makes a horrible mess when you remove it.

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And I find that I can never get rid of it all.  I know it can't be seen but it is a messy detail.

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Looking through my notes I see that I started this in 2000.  Only 20 years to get it finished!!  The other thing I see in my notes is that it was inspired by a children's book I bought at that time.  "The Quiltmaker's Gift".  I still have the book on the shelf so that will go with the quilt and the book is still available. 

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The story goes 

"When a generous quiltmaker finally agrees to make a quilt for a greedy king, but only under certain conditions, she causes him to undergo a change of heart. Each page highlights a different quilt block pattern whose name relates to the unfolding story."

As to why I didn't finish the applique I see in my notes that I was waiting to purchase a new machine that had the buttonhole stitch.  The machine I had at that time wasn't able to do it and I would have had to do it all by hand.  Now I have to create the quilt sandwich again and quilt it.  I'm not quite sure what pattern I will choose.

(Just a note about the comments.  I am finding that there is a problem with the mail delivery subsystem.  I don't know if this is because there is so much traffic at this time or some other problem.  I will keep trying to resolve this one.)


Into that bottom draw

I found another one!

I have this all pinned up to quilt but I can see I need to stitch the applique first.  I think I can partially unpin this and machine applique the edge design.

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I must have started this some time after yesterdays quilt as those triangles are playing a major role in the design. I am going to use this to do the machine quilting from the Phillipa Naylor course.  I have no idea what fabric  I planned to edge this one with.  I might have to purchase something.    I vaguely remember designing this to use up some leftover fabric I had.  (The story of my life!)  Still, this will make Quilt No 4 of my donation quilts.  Yippee!!!

I know I have another unfinished quilt lurking somewhere, I just have to find it.

Finally Finished! (Well almost)

Back in the 1990s I did a needle turn applique class with Diane Johnson.  Back then I had never seen this kind of work and was really impressed with Diane's work, so when the opportunity arose to learn I jumped at it.

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Her flowers were just so perfect.  After I met her I found that she dyed all her own fabrics to get the colours she wanted.  I think I made a panel for a cushion and I remember that she was a strict teacher saying there was only one way to replicate her applique.  I've learnt differently since then but still this class gave me a good foundation.

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Then in the early 2000's I discovered traditional Baltimore quilts.  These were beautiful but I didn't want to make one.  Come 2003 and Alma Allen and Cherie Ralston published a book with patterns for another type of applique quilt.

Screen Shot 2020-04-27 at 2.09.54 pmMy local patchwork shop had a year of classes with Denise Lawson to make this quilt.  (Sadly soon after this Denise died from cancer.)  So I signed up for these and made the quilt.  I hadn't made many quilts at this time and that saw tooth border was a challenge. 


Scan 10
This quilt really taught me a lot about needle turn applique.  BUT, (there is always a but) I wanted to hand quilt it and I just couldn't find the time.  I had three children, was working full time, completing a Masters Degree and this was bottom of the list.

Years went by and every so often I would pull the quilt top out and then I decided I didn't like it and wouldn't use it.  There were other quilts I liked better, so it went back in the draw. 

Fast forward to this lock down.  Going through that bottom draw again I found that quilt top and decided this would be the perfect time to finish it.  (There was 10 metres of hand stitching in that binding.) I couldn't face hand quilting it, so just settled on a large stipple pattern.  And here it is.

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The almost finished bit refers to the quilt bag which I still have to make.  But, looking through my stash look what I found?

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I have been keeping this fabric all this time just for this purpose.  I have some other unfinished work in this draw that I either have to finish or dispose of.

Some reflection

I read somewhere that self isolating has seen how people revert to their basic personality type.  If that is so I am basically a solitary person.  I know I shouldn't admit this, but I am loving every minute of this lock down.  I love being in my own bubble and doing the things I like to do, like stitching.  I don't have to apolgise when I sit and stitch or knit or read.  I don't have time to watch Netflix or partake of many of the other entertainments out there, I have so much stitching , reading  and listening to music, or playing music that I want to do.

I think I have always known I was a solitary kind of person.  I deliberately joined some groups and became involved in some organisations because I believed it wasn't good for my own mental health to be isolated.  But now I can indulge myself.  I will have to watch that this doesn't become 'the new normal'.  I know I have to make an effort to rejoin the world again.  But, just at the moment it is "bliss".  I have to add that I live in a beautiful place to do all this.  Being on an island gives me so many advantages, like sitting on the beach or walking in the bush.  I'm not sure how I would go if I was sitting in my townhouse up in the city stuck indoors.

What have I been stitching?  Well all those blocks from the Facebook group.  They are simple designs but they have given me so much enjoyment.  The latest one is by Gail Pan Designs.  I have used Stef Francis thread and selected 2 strands of Fine Perle  to do the stitching.

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Without thinking about it I found myself selecting some other stitches than those recommended.  Like the leaves and the French knots in the centre of the flower.

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Another thing I am learning is there are lot of ways to stitch flowers.  I knew that but didn't really appreciate it.  Opps! maybe that shows I have been on my own too long?

Not what I thought at all!

This is not the kind of embroidery I like normally but you know I did enjoy stitching Block two of this quilt.

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Again, it took a lot longer than I thought it would even though the stitches used were basic.  But, with basic stitching you still have to take care. The eyes are just satin stitch but they are probably the most important part of each bear.  They are the part that show their character.  The other thing is the children just love these bears so what does it matter that I think they are basic?  This may turn out to be the block that the children enjoy the most.

Donation Quilt No 2 - the Faries.

The binding is now all finished and I just have the quilt bag to make.  For a quilt made from scraps out of the bottom draw I am pleased with the result.

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It is bigger than I thought and I little heavier due to the backing I put in each block.

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I love the quilting, which is butter-flys and dragon-flys.  I decided against the applique as the quilting shows up nicely here.

You can see it even better on the reverse side.

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Half way to my goal of four quilts for this project and it is only April.


A few days lost

I lost a few days there over Easter. 

I ate something that made me really ill, probably pepper or some spice that I am allergic to.  Plus I have been grappling with a bad cough that I have had since November, no one can tell me what that is, but the drugs given to me by the Doctor have caused internal bleeding, so now they are in the bin.  Then he had reduced my thyroid medication and it is too low and I didn't get my Vit B12 shot, so I have pernicious anemia again.  But, I am still able to walk and I bought some B12 vitamins to get me through until I can see the Doctor again.  They are like a magic potion.  Take one and I switch on again, just like a robot.

The other thing the lack of thyroxine has on the body is that your brain slows down.  I should have realised what was happening because I was stitching that first block from Love and Hugs from Australia stitch-a-long, but was so slow.  It has taken me 4 days to do what I could normally complete in a morning and I should have put a backing piece on it to give the fabric some weight. 

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Thought of that later.  I think I will just add the backing when I assemble to blocks.

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The other thing I thought of, after I had started, was that I needed to make a 'halo' so that I could keep the piece in my hoop and return to it.  Now that the halo is constructed I can reuse it for each embroidery as they are all the same size.

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So one down 15 to go.

Donation Quilt No 3

I had been pondering just what I will do for quilt No 3 when up pops a 'free stitch along' on Facebook.  It is as though the universe is saying, "well you did ask!".

So, Quilt No 3 is going to be "Loves & Hugs from Australia".

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You have to join the group to gain access to the free patterns.

It was the first pattern by Natalie Bird that peaked my interest, although it has taken a few days for me to decide that I would stitch it.  It was the little saying that caught my attention and in this time of the virus I think it says it all.

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I still have to keep to my guideline of using fabric from my stash but I think this will make a great kids quilt whilst being a reminder of this time.