Patchwork & Quilting Feed

Preparing classes for 2022

Yes, it is that time of year again, getting the proposed classes out there.  I am not going to do the number I would usually prepare, people are not out and about like they have been and this year I have cancelled most of my classes.  I could move them on-line, this is what my friend Teena keeps urging me to do, but, I like to meet people face to face.  Old fashioned I know.

So this year I will do Kogin, Exploring Stitches, Applique and the introduction to Embroidery.  Plus I have a few small half day classes in the works.  I am hanging out for my second vaccination jab and nothing will happen until then.  We are very lucky in Queensland to have held out so long, but the Delta variant is rampant in some of the other states and will breach the border eventually.

The class which is giving me the most trouble at the moment is my Applique Class.  I renew my designs every two years and it is time for a new design.  So, I am out there surfing, just to see what others are doing.  (I have to explain that here in Australia Applique is the American version not the U.K. one.)

Two of my favourite designers are Kathy Doughty and Sarah Flieke.  Their work is a bit different.  Kathy's book Organic Applique has lots of inspiration.  Do have a look at the 'inspiration' section of her website.  It is inspirational.

Screen Shot 2021-08-23 at 10.04.34 am

As is Sarah's new book and video, Growing Wild.  ( I see that Sarah has moved her business completely on-line.  Teena would approve.)

Screen Shot 2021-08-23 at 10.08.49 am

Although both books are great my problem is that I try to include at least 3 different applique techniques, needle turn, freezer paper and some form of attachment of the pieces using embroidery.  Not all designs will accommodate this.  So it is back to the drawing board.  Hopefully inspiration will strike.


Well as you can see from the last couple of posts I am drawing patterns for new embroideries.  I haven't been able to put my mind to this for ages but that Japanese fabric gave me so many ideas.  Then, I walk the dog twice a day and this takes me through the bush.  I never actually 'saw' some of the things that have now claimed my attention.  Amazing what one little thing can start.

So I am working on another small embroidery, this time of some gum leaves.  I was taken by the fact that the colours were the same as some thread that I had in my thread box, this is a Stef Francis thread.  The leaves are just gum leaves but the shapes and colours caught my attention.  It may not work out, but I will give it a try.

Screen Shot 2021-08-13 at 4.22.39 pm

My knitting is still here.  It has been unpulled and re- knitted a number of times but now I am up to the sleeves.  As the weather is on the turn I think this will be for next winter, so I have made it a little larger.

Screen Shot 2021-08-16 at 2.10.37 pm

And I'm still working on the backing for the quilt.   I have to use the left over fabric so it will be almost another quilt!

Screen Shot 2021-08-16 at 2.10.24 pm


Well, I have finished the quilt top, still the backing and the quilting to go. 

Screen Shot 2021-08-10 at 10.41.05 am

But I am so pleased with the result.  I added borders that make the quilt a perfect size for a single bed, with a decent over-hang.

Screen Shot 2021-08-10 at 10.41.31 am

I also love the fabric I found for the outer border. 

Screen Shot 2021-08-10 at 10.44.24 am

It is a Japanese print of an embroidered fabric.  I am going to draw up some of these motives and see what they look like when they are stitched out.

Screen Shot 2021-08-10 at 10.46.34 am

Screen Shot 2021-08-10 at 10.47.08 am

Screen Shot 2021-08-10 at 10.46.52 am

Now for the backing.


Looks like I'm going to be in lock down for another 7 weeks until I can get my second vaccination.  My little student will be unable to come here  and my life is going to be very contained.  Still, that's life in a pandemic. 

I am working on my quilt and it is slowly coming together.  All the vertical pieces are now in place and I will start on the horizontal ones tomorrow.

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 7.17.51 pm

But all those little 2" squares shed so many threads.  I seem to be covered with them so I have stopped to make myself a sewing apron.  I lost my original pattern so I had to start from scratch.  I now have it all cut out ready to begin.

Screen Shot 2021-08-03 at 7.21.36 pm

The kitchen island bench makes a great cutting table.  When I was teaching full time I always had access to drafting paper, not now.  I had a roll of paper I bought from IKEA for the grandchildren to paint on and I got creative with the sticky tape.  Does the job.  This time I am going to put the pattern where I can find it again.


I think I'm back

Three weeks it has taken to be able to function.  I have struggled to do things only to end up back in bed again.  My balance is still a bit precarious but I am pushing through.  Shame the universe is pushing back!  Now we have another lock down.  I went up to Toowoomba only having to turn around and drive back again.  My booking on the barge was on the next day and there was no room for me.  So, I locked everything in the car and parked and then carried as much as I could to get the barge home.  At the last minute they said "get your car we will get you on somehow."  So, now I am home.  With all my sewing stuff and my car and locked up for the next few days.  I had stopped overnight at our townhouse, which was right in the middle of the hot spot.  But, I had heard that there were positive cases of students so didn't go out.  I am so glad that I didn't.  I even skipped breakfast so I wouldn't have to go into any cafe. 

It was a lovely drive up the range and so nice to see my friends, even if I had to come home again.  I had set this weekend aside to work on my donation quilt for the Embroiderers' Guild so they can use it as a raffle.  I have selected 12 embroideries for the quilt and am auditioning the frames.  I think I will change some of these fabrics because I will use 2.5" sashing blocks around each frame.

Screen Shot 2021-08-01 at 10.29.33 am

As I have over 300 little squares too sew together I am just going to sit at the machine most of the time.

Now what will I call this?

This would have to be one of the worst quilts I have ever made. 

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 12.24.09 pm

Not because the sewing is bad.  When it came time to square it, it was just fine,  (although there are some places where the bias fabric stretched and had to be put back in position), and because that was right the quilting worked well also. (I used my walking foot on the machine and just followed the squares.)

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 12.24.46 pm

As I have never used the narrow peak-a-boo borders before I didn't realise that I should have quilted the sections and then added the border.  I did end up quilting it in 3 sections making sure the points LOOKED as though they were all perfect.  The big problem was the insipid colours when I first but the fabrics together.

Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 4.58.58 pm

My solution?  To fudge it.  All those little red squares are appliqued in place.  And the addition of the blue borders brought it all together.  Just don't look too closely at it.  It is all made from scrap fabric and it does make a warm lap quilt.  Added to that I am giving it as a donation to be gifted to someone in a nursing home.  So all up it isn't a total disaster.

Screen Shot 2021-07-12 at 12.24.09 pm

Now should I call it the 2.5" strip quilt or the fudge quilt?


Time to start the new quilt

Well the time has come to start the new quilt which will incorporate all the embroideries that I did last year.  I had one false start when I thought that hexigons was the way to go but that just didn't look right.

This time I am going to use mainly yellows and blues and have come up with a simple design.  Problem is that I have and even number of blocks  (12) and I don't think that is what I want.  I think that 9 would have a bigger impact.  I am going to make the top 9 embroideries into the quilt and then audition it with the remaining 3.  It might work and it might not.

Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 4.21.48 pm

As this isn't a published design, just something I have in the back of my mind, as I had an extra block I decided to make up what I had in mind and include the extra embroidery I have.  I am quite pleased with how it looks but as I won't use it in the quilt I added a pipping border so I can use it as a cushion.

Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 4.27.43 pm

I am going to settle on 7 squares on each side.  I tried 6 colours on one side but I like the odd number again.  I have a whole lot of charm squares, 5" x 5", that I am going to use and will just juggle the sizes to suit.  I do see a problem with the embroideries however.  I included a light stabliser (non stick) on the back of each one and there is a slight wrinkling.  Not much, but I can see it.  I just hope it doesn't distract from the finished effect.  I thought the size would be too small for a cushion cover but I have an old one the same size so know it will work.

Screen Shot 2021-07-11 at 4.40.19 pm

The one the same size is really old.  I was into printing and learning to machine quilt back then.  I am still using this cushion.  A thought!  If I only use 9 blocks I could make cushions from the others? 



Firstly, the shawl is finished and blocked.  I changed the pattern slightly so achieve the fit I wanted.  I'm going to get a lot of wear out of this one.

Screen Shot 2021-07-06 at 9.34.51 am

Next, lots of reverse sewing. That disaster quilt just has to come undone and I have to be so careful unpicking it because all the seams are on the bias.

Screen Shot 2021-07-06 at 9.49.49 am

I have worked out how to save it, with the help of my friend Angela.  Lots of text messages later we agreed on this mock-up I came up with.

Screen Shot 2021-07-06 at 9.50.10 am

The extra squares in red on the body are appliqued in place and although the piping in the picture is actually masking tape I was able to get some fabric fairly near this colour.  I intend to bind it in this as well.

Screen Shot 2021-07-06 at 9.57.27 am

And whilst in the fabric shop I saw this display of Riley Blake fabrics.

Screen Shot 2021-07-06 at 9.57.09 am

I have just the quilt for it in my mind, I just have to draw it up and work out how much fabric I need.

More Tidying

I have been back into those messy draws again and came on a package of fabric for a quilt top. 

Screen Shot 2021-06-26 at 12.28.13 pm

I think I have worked out why it is still there.  The kit was supposed to have all the fabric but when I measured the fabrics included there was nothing for the binding or backing.  It must be over 10 years ago that I bought this so it is unlikely that I will find that fabric again.  But heavens, I have so much other fabric.  All except 1 draw in this lot.

Screen Shot 2021-06-26 at 12.32.58 pm

And about 1/3rd of these draws.  (The rest is embroidery and dressmaking supplies.)

Screen Shot 2021-06-26 at 12.33.15 pm

I'm sure I can find some fabric for the backing and binding.  Failing that there is always the quilt shop!!

This will make a nice donation quilt.  Another project to finish.



Ready to Knitt

As I am still waiting on that Scottish wool and as some of the Bendigo Woollen Mills wool has arrived I have decided to start on this new cardigan.  But you can't start unless everything is organised.  So, with that scrap fabric I made a new project bag.

Screen Shot 2021-06-24 at 3.25.40 pm

This time I cross hatched the quilting in a purple thread.  (So labour intensive!)

Screen Shot 2021-06-24 at 3.26.21 pm

I couldn't make sense of the instructions in the manual for my new sewing machine so spent a considerable amount of time looking at tutorials for the machine on U Tube.  Computerised machines are great IF you know all the commands for the computer.  All I wanted was to be able to move the needle over.  Two broken needles later I had it all worked out.  The breaking of the needles was partly caused because of the thickness of the quilted fabrics, all those seams joining the pieces together were just too much for the needles at times.

But, I'm pleased with the bag which holds 400g of wool, the pattern and needles.

Screen Shot 2021-06-24 at 3.25.59 pm

It is raining here so it looks like a wet weekend coming up. Perfect for knitting.