Patchwork & Quilting Feed

Last treatment

I had the last treatment for the infection I have been fighting yesterday, so I celebrated by buying a new book, "Quilts from Tilda's Studio".

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I have to say I am a fan of the Tilda range of fabrics and the quilts in this book are an inspiration, along with the toys that are pictured with them.

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The toys are not in the book but you can download the patterns for free from their blog.

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If you are into dolls have a look at "Tilda's Friends".  All free patterns again.

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I do like how they incorporate traditional Scandinavian Designs into their quilts and pillows.

Screen Shot 2020-08-13 at 4.18.02 pmAnd the quilting is doable on a domestic sewing machine.

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There are a number of pin cushions on this page as well.

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My friend Angela also sent me some images of pin cushions by Kelly Klien.  I will be making pincushions for ever.

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Kathy is finished

It only took another mornings stitching to finish Kathy.  Not a very 'extending' exercise.

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Now I have the VW campervans all drawn up and ready to stitch.

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I also had Cas Holmes workshop running around in my brain and that has got me thinking.  I had never done anything like this before so I am sure to be extended.  The trouble with doing new and unusual things (for me) is I have little or non of the materials on hand.  I have to source it all from scratch.  That means trips to the mainland, if even for only a few bits.

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I am having a wonderful time exploring her website and blog.   Here is a link to an on line exhibition of her work


Monique's Quilt - finished

Twenty years after it was started I have finally finished this quilt.  Monique hadn't even been born back then, but she decided it was the one she wanted.

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I am so glad she did.  I like this quilt, the colours and the design.  I think it was the first applique quilt I designed, even though I didn't have a button hole stitch on the machine I owned back then.

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The quilting is a simple repeat pattern but I think the flowers suit the design in the fabric.

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I have made it it's own bag, as I do with all my quilts.  This makes it so much easier to store and then find again at the end of summer.

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I see the border has the words "wandering mind wandering mind" printed near the border.  I think I will call the quilt "wandering".

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I have a couple more quilts on the go but those Stitch Club exercises are keeping me really busy.

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. 


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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.