Patchwork & Quilting Feed


I had a rude shock when I went to my patchwork shop.  I am going through cutting blades at a terrible rate.  I was told it could be my cutting mat.  I did a quick reckoning and realised that the mat must be getting up to 20 years old, with lots of use over that time. 

Where did all those years go?

I came home and gave it a good wash and it is now drying but I think it is time to replace it.

All those little boxes have now been delivered to my Quilting friends, along with a chocolate bunny each.

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It is really good to know I achieved that goal and learnt lots of things along the way.  I must make one of those for myself.


Update time.

Well the knitting isn't progressing because it makes my shoulder too sore.  I have to put that aside for a little but I did get the fronts and back up to the arm hole before I stopped.

The cross stitch grows, very slowly.

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I have completed another 2 place-mats.  I am now expanding the quilting patterns I tried out on the 10" squares.

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And the big step forward is that I have now finished all 35 blocks of the Nautical Quilt.

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These are now ready to trim to size and start adding the sashing and borders.  I am hopeful that I will have this quilt top finished ready for quilting by next weeks update.

The box

That box has a quilt in progress in it.  Trying to remember what I was thinking back in June last year is a difficult process.  I see that I have changed the original pattern more than once.  (Why can't I just stick to the script?)  I added a border around the central block in red.  I have a horrible feeling that the red dye is going to bleed and I didn't wash the fabric first!!

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Then I added another line of pattern on the side of the block.  Not sure why I have done this.  The only thing that I can think of was that I was trying to make the quilt bigger so I would have an over hang.  I had finished the first 2 rows and have now got row No 3 complete.  There are 7 rows in all.   All the blocks have to be trimmed back to 12"square.

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But, I see that when I added that extra row it wasn't a good decision.  So now that I find that I have tons of backing fabric I have decided to add another sashing row, that will really increase the size.  But which fabric?

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I think I will choose the dark blue background.  There needs to be a centre square put at the intersection  of the sashing and the blocks as well.   I still have plenty left over for the backing in the other colours.  This isn't going to be finished tomorrow!


I found a box!

Looking under one of the desks I have found a box that looks to be full of fabric.

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Well the fabric on top gives me a clue.  This is the backing for a quilt that I put away because of the pain in my shoulder.

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Looks like I have 2 lots of backing fabric.

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I haven't got a clue how I was going to put it together!

But I have the first 2 rows sorted and have found my original block pattern.

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I have also found the pieces I was going to use for place-mats.  They need to join the others.

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Looks like I have a bit of machining to do.


Quilting Lessons update

Lots of exercises over the past few days.  I am still working on my 10” squares that I will use to make into boxes but they are the perfect surface to try out the patterns.  These are all stitched in straight stitch using the walking foot.  What I found interesting was that the instructions were to stitch towards the focal point and line up the points using masking tape.  It works a treat.


This next one I count as a fail.  I am still trying to work out the math on this.


I like this design.


And this one.


There are just endless ways you can draw lines.



There are many more of these and the next challenge is to scale them up for bigger projects.

Quilting lessons

I am continueing on with my "Quilting with your Walking Foot" lessons.  Once again I am amazed at how much I missed first time around. 

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This weeks lessons have been about using the fancy stitches on your machine for quilting.  Now, when I think of fancy stitches it was those flowers and leaves and fancy shapes that are there but the best ones to use are those that have a single line.  The old boring ones work best.  Like Serpentine.

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And a scallop stitch.

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I would not have thought to use these stitches for quilting but they give a great texture to the fabric.  I am going to have to come back to this concept and explore just what I can do with my machine.

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Being ill has slowed my mind and body and there have been some positives, such as paying attention to detail.  I wish I could wave a magic wand and be fully recovered but it just doesn't work that way.  One thing I am working hard on is recovering my fine motor skills in my hands.  I didn't loose them completely I just lost that edge I had.  I have had to practice sewing with a needle again.  It is coming back but is no longer automatic.  Hemming the binding on the place mats is a great exercise for this.  What I used to find boring is now an exercise in using my fingers and hands.  There is an upside to everything.

Practice, practice but still not perfect.

I am keeping up my machine skills practice and am improving but perfection still isn't there.  So, I will just have to keep trying.  I used the practice blocks to make place-mats and keep up the machine stitching.

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The little boxes have now grown to number 10, that means I am half way there.  I am going into the Guild tomorrow so I will be on the look out for buttons to finish this lot off.

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Nothing very exciting happening here at the moment, except the extreme heat.  I am keeping to the air conditioning.

A visit from a friend

My friend Angela came for an overnight stay.  It was great to see her and we hit the shops together.

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Of course nothing was plain sailing.  The builders were supposed to finish the new built in wardrobe in the guest bedroom.  No, the doors didn' t arrive.  Plus builders are so messy.  I spent a lot of time after they left, which was the night before her arrival, just cleaning up.  I do have nearly finished cupboards out on the rear patio but there is still work to be done here as well.  It has been 3 years since her last visit and this had to happen.  Talk about Murphy's Law.

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I only have a couple of patchwork shops in my area but both are good.  Bayside Stitchery is a great store.  Good stock, with a whole range of notions that leave other shops behind.  Only bought a couple of fabrics here.  Not sure how I will use them.

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Then onto the shop at Capalaba.  Angela, who is a long arm quilter found the supplier for extra parts for her machine and I found a whole lot of COTTON gingham.  I have been searching for pure cotton for so long and here I found it on special.  Had to have a metre of each.

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Now I have found it this will be used for a Chicken Scratch in children's class next year.

It wasn't a mistake

It wasn't a mistake to quilt and then bind the edges, it was very sensible. 

After finding a few fat eights I thought I would be smart and sew then into the squares that turned through. 

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Again, lovely job.  The sewing is improving.  Then I came to the quilting and found that over-sewing the beginning and end of the threads  was really unsightly.

Only solution, tie each pair of threads and sew them into the piece using a needle.  Just horrible! 

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I have decided that all the edges for the remainder will be bound.

On the learning to sew front, Monique has now sewn a draw string bag and a pillow cover.  She put a zipper opening in the pillow cover and neatened all her seams.  There were a few minor errors but a great start for an 8 year old.

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Achieving two things at once

I have been revisiting one of my Craftsy Classes, Quilting Using your Walking Foot.

Screen Shot 2019-03-09 at 3.31.19 pmThis is a great class.  I thought I had done everything there was to be done with this but I was wrong.  There is so much that I have missed or just thought I didn't need to know.  So for my little boxes that are based on a 10" square I have gone back and re-looked at everything again.  The size of the square is just right to sample each technique without having to stitch a whole quilt. 

There has been a problem however.  I got so carried away with having perfect quilting I invented another way of making the box.  I ended up with the quilted square before I had sewn the sides.  Lovely accurate sewing but  I have missed an important step.

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Solution, bind the edges.  A bit of extra work but it does give more body to the edges and the box sits better and my levels of concentration keep improving.  The next technique was cross hatching on the straight and the bias.  I continued with the bound edges and found that the extra quilting gave the fabric even more body.

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I then have started playing around with the size of the boxed corners to get different effects.


I need to make 20 of the boxes for Easter gifts.  I think there will be far more variation of quilting than that.  This class at first appeared so basic but there is just layers on layers within it.  The great thing is that I can go back and keep playing the lessons over again and again.  Really worth the money I paid for them.