Patchwork & Quilting Feed


I found this hack via "with my hands - dream", which led me to the Ikea Hacks page.  Both pages have gone into my bookmarks.  On the first are lots of things Finnish and antique sewing.  The second has led to my new pressing station that I can position right next to the sewing machine.  Because of the injuries to my spine standing up and sitting down are painful.  Once I'm up I have no trouble walking, it's getting up and down that are the problem.  With foundation piecing you are up and down all the time pressing the pieces in place so this baby eliminates that.

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It was a struggle getting everything home on the barge and I'm sure my husband thinks I'm mad.  When I'm not using it it just sits underneath the regular ironing board.

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Bet those trays don't stay empty like that for long.

Just because I wanted to

I'm not quite sure why I bought all this fabric.  Because I really liked it, because I wanted it, because I can use it or because I could. 

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Or was it because of envy or even revenge?  My husband has come home twice this week saying he has bough new boats.  A new rowing skull, I don't know how he is going to get in and out of it.  It might just stay in the boat shed.  And then a new sailing boat that he can sail with the grandchildren.  Having always been careful where I spend maybe I am becoming a spendthift  in my old age?

This is the new Tilda range of fabrics called "Woodlands" which has just arrived in shops here.  The catalogue of this range can be viewed here.

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Oh dear.  I see they have yarn for making dolls hair.  I wonder who stocks that?

(They also have lots of free patterns you can download on their web site as well.)

On a whim

That is how I would describe how I came to start this paper piecing project, on a whim.  It is actually a very relaxing way to sew, once you get over using the wrong interfacing, but even that isn't a problem.  I think this will make a nice quilt and will make a good donation quilt as well.  Instead of the one block a week I think two will be better and probably quicker to put it together.

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I want to ask my neighbour if she will give me of a copy of foundation pieced block of a lorikeet she designed to put into this quilt.  Margaret was one of the founders of foundation piecing publishing a number of books.  I remember back in my classroom days buying a CD of patterns that she had published.  All the students sewed a block and put it into a piece of work we were doing.

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Another whim that has turned out well is my little dog, Bear.  He has become a firm part of the family and is a constant companion.  His fur still has a way to go but it is growing back after the RSPCA shaved him to get rid of a matted tangled coat.

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He had been keep in-doors I think for most of his life and had to be taught how to go outside to relieve himself when I first got him.  Now he runs off the lead on the beach everyday, has taken over ownership of the house and even insists on sleeping on my bed!

I was reading Kate Davies blog the other day and the role of Serendipity, which is a bit like a whim.  It has made me have a real re-think about the technology I use.  Setting up the computer for Monique's classes today saw me become very frustrated with Google and the roles that Twitter and Facebook play in our technological lives.  It would seem that we are being moulded by these Tech companies, mainly to sell us stuff.  I don't want to be force-fed by them and would much rather wander around the net and find my own information on a whim.


Keep your mind on the job!

I sat down to sew on the bindings to those couple of place-mats I made up the other day.  Firstly, I had to make the bias, so I cut up a whole piece of material and made heaps.

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Next I was sewing the binding in place and multi-tasking at the same time.  Thinking about what I had to do next, like, " start dinner."  Anyway, I got to the last 1cm and realised I had to stretch the fabric a little.  At the same time I remembered why I had those place-mats in the 'to do' box.  These were going to be for practicing my quilting using rulers.   (Light bulb moment!)  I was also thinking, "why am I using this old machine".  Answer: " I'm afraid something might happen to my new one again."  (Oh dear)

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Not having my full attention on the machining I put the needle straight through my finger.   I haven't done that in a while!!!  It was a fine needle and it shattered in the finger.  I got the pliers straight away and pulled all the pieces out.  Blood all over the place.  That meant a trip to the Doctor so get an injection.  Now, it could have happened a few minutes later when I was going to change the needle to a 'jeans needle'.  One of those of a really thick variety, so I count myself lucky.

Moral, keep your mind on the job at hand.


Paper Piecing

Paper piecing can be messy and a lot of people become frustrated with this method because of this fact.  But tracing or printing the pattern from your printer onto fine interfacing can overcome this problem.  What it won't over come is when some stupid person didn't check that the interfacing was without adhesive!!


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Ironing the piece on a piece of bake paper and then giving it a spray of water overcame this, thankfully.  I need to make a trip to the mainland to buy more interfacing.

There is a great video tutorial demonstrating how to paper piece on You Tube by Angela Walters   



The list for 2021

So, the list of "To Do's" is ready for the coming year.  Last year saw me take the opportunity to finish many outstanding projects.  This year, although that list has been reduced, I haven't added all the things I could have.  I know that with Home Schooling my time is going to be limited so no use setting goals that will be impossible.  I might find time to do some of them but then again I may not.  No need to set impossible expectations.  I have left lots of spaces to add extras.

(Oh dear, I forgot the charity quilt! I will have to add that.)

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The "Stitching Faces" class with Sue Stone and the book "Faces of Friendship" are linked.  Those are the faces of my quilting friends and the friendship blocks they gave me all those years ago.  It just so happens that the classes facilitate my portraits of friends.  The first section was of those friends who have died.

Screen Shot 2021-01-03 at 8.25.09 amIn the next section the portraits will be more detailed.  These will be of members of the group who have moved away but whom I still count as friends.

That Graffitti Quilt requires just one more applique to the main section.  I was going to add a border but now I'm not so sure.


I am way behind on the 'Stitch Club' classes.  I'm not sure that I want to stitch all of them so I will 'cherry pick' the ones I find interesting.  I will keep my subscription for the year to these classes and then review where I am going.  Those quilting gifts for Easter are well on the way to being finished so I will keep these for my weekends when I visit Toowoomba, then again it might be better to just 'get in' and get then done.

I did decide to make my Charity donation knitted animals this year.  I have nearly finished the first one.  Just her dress to go.  These are really relaxing to work on at night listening to music or a podcast.  (I have to re-do the mouth.  I didn't have any tapestry wool.)

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But high on the list is my teaching sample for "Exploring More Stitches".  That is now drawn up and needs to be finished by the end of the month.

The Kogin stitched bags will be for Xmas gifts at the end of the year and they are my indulgence.

Now I just need fate to step in and blow it all out of the water!!!

The finishing touches

So a little time to hand while homeschooling to finish my mug bag.  So, all the lining is in place and stitched but I need to do something with the knots on the ends of the drawstrings.

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I decided to cover them with the little tulips that my friend Tomiko showed me how to make.  I started with 2 x 5" squares of  fabric that I joined into 2 tubes and then ironed a hem on either end.

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You then fold this end to end and run a line of gathering stitches through all layers of the fabric.

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Insert to knotted end of the cord into this tube with the gathered edge closest to the knot and pull up the gathering so that the tube fits firmly above the knot.

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Then fold the tube back over the knot.


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Join the two sides of tube in the middle with a small stitch.

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Divide the fabric in the other direction and take another small stitch.

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Finished.  A lot better than just knots.

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The present I made for myself

I have just about finished the items I made for myself from the Mother's Day fabrics.  They are not completely finished because my beautiful, very expensive, new sewing machine has broken down.  The least said about that the better.  I am just so disappointed in this purchase and up until now it has been wonderful.  I don't expect to get it back till after the Xmas New Year holidays, which just makes things worse. But, I have an old machine that I can use so this has been pressed into service.

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Because of the virus our meetings at the Embroiderers' Guild have been rather different.  We have to socially distance, do not have use of the kitchen, have to clean the area in which we work before and after use.  We can not sign in, have to tell the convenor in advance we are attending and place any money for attendance and purchases into special containers.  Now, I am not complaining, I know these measures are necessary but they are different.  One outcome of this is that we need to bring our own morning tea or lunch in our own containers, use our own utensils and bring our tea or coffee in a themos. ( I was surprised to find that my cold water bottle also kept drinks hot.  I only realised this when I saw all the other members using theirs.)

So to make my work area more personalised, I made a lunch mat,

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and a new mug and themos holder/protector from the fabrics given to me. I didn't have a pattern just made it up as I went along.

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I used one of the embroideries from the "Love & Hugs" free patterns I embroidered that I didn't think would suit the quilt I am making.

I can see myself using these even after all restriction are lifted.  I must make a little label to go on these to remind me of 2020.

Second Attempt

This is my second attempt at this block.  I have another completed 'somewhere safe'.  Heavens know where that is.  It is a friendship block for one of my patchwork friends.  She must think that I have forgotten her.

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I swung those dots around.  I think it looks OK but too late now.  She can unpick it and do it again if she doesn't like it.  BUT I just can't stand it!!!!!  So I unpicked it and did again.

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That's better.  I didn't have anymore fabric so I'm glad it worked this time.