Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Snowflake splendour One Block Wonder quilt based on a panel – The End

Hubby was on a business trip out of town today and even though I do exactly what I would every other day somehow I just feel as if I have more time on hand.

I didn’t have to cook dinner for us but I cooked up a mean pot of beef stew with carrots and spinach (camouflaged in beef stock) for the dogs.  Took my quilt outside and did the back binding by hand, fed the birds, caught up on a recorded documentary and finally I can show my very first One Block Wonder.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Birthday fabric One Block Wonder – 1

I actually set out this weekend to do the free motion quilting on my Snowflake Splendour panel One Block Wonder but I can only free motion this much before I need a distraction.

While at the Port Elizabeth festival I fell in love with a piece of fabric, thinking Stack a Whack or Kaleidoscope and while seriously looking at the fabric, quilting friend Karin, entered the room and when I asked for 6 repeats of the fabric, she paid for it as my birthday present.  What a gift!
In between doing the free motion quilting I tackled this, one step at a time and pretty soon I had my triangles cut and can now start sewing my hexagons.

These go so fast and are so easy that I often wonder why we don’t start off with this as a beginner quilt.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Snowflake splendour OBW quilt based on a panel – 2

Once I had the top and bottom section of the panel measured through the width, I had to cut my panel back to fit, trimmed the top and bottom straight and added these to the panel and finally the side panels/strips could be added.
I don’t really care for wall hangings or table runners but prefer my quilts to fit on a bed, any bed, be it a cot or King Size extra length bed.  Therefor most of my quilts need borders and here I’ve completed the top with the borders. Again due to the lack of distance I get when taking a photo on the design wall, this had to be taken at an angle.
I then decided to add some applique just for the fun of it.
Finally the quilt top was done and now to start quilting.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

A world of knowledge out there

Occasionally ….. just occasionally I chastise myself for all the time spend on the computer reading up on quilting but really there are just so much knowledge, so much to take in and so much to learn from.  So I will keep reading until I’ve taken in all my little brain can handle.

Sometimes however I read something seemingly “simply said” and a light bulb would go off in my head.  We have a lovely 2 x 2 meter marble table basically two steps from my kitchen door.  The only time we don’t sit there is during winter as it is simply too cold, otherwise I’d be at and use this table DAILY. 
When I however need to baste a quilt, I went through so much trouble, either on my knees on a floor or setting up metal tables in our garage, meaning the cars had to be pulled out and the tables in storage, cleaned.  Then I read THIS blog post describing how this quilter uses an outside table to baste her quilts.

Voila….. the light bulb worked, why I never thought of using this table for basting, heaven only knows.  Quick-quick I had everything needed to start.
So I got going and not two ticks later, my quilt was layered and after spray basting a little I used Pinmoors to secure all, should I not get to quilting immediately.
Now this too turned out to be a good lesson learnt on the internet.  I bought my Pinmoors years ago from LeahDay.com and thought these were rather pricey but blamed it to the pathetic performance of our currency against the Dollar and Euro.

However I read that quilters from the States and Canada also complained about the price and one quilter said she used Baxter’s Rod (if I remember correctly) used in plumbing and waterproofing.  So off I went to the hardware store but everyone just stared at me when I asked for Baxter’s Rod, no-one had a clue what I referred to no matter how hard I tried to explain until I lost it and said okay just leave me I’ll do my own searching through your shop.  Isles and isles later, another light bulb…. Not quite round but it serves the same purpose, I found this..
And this is how I use it (exactly the same as Pinmoors) at a fraction of the price.

Someone else on the WWW asked what quilters do with their off cuts batting and backing after basting and got a myriad of answers.  Mine is I keep the batt and back glue basted together add a scrap as the top whenever I need to do a practise free motion stitching.  So no waste here.

Now my last tip I think I simply experimented by myself after the WURTH representative visited our shop one day showing what they have on offer and I saw this.
I use any and every thread to quilt with, I have even used embroidery and metallic thread and I only make bed quilts washed in a washing machine and can really not report major problems with any of the thread ever used (apart from ONE INCIDENT where I pieced with wash-away thread).  

However I do occasionally struggle with frequent thread breakage and Sewer’s Aid is not only hard to come by in darkest Africa but also rather pricey, so I figured silicon is silicon be it aerosol or liquid, if one works, the other should too, so ever since I’ve been using this WURTH brand and I am as chuffed as can be.

Now I seriously have to try and bake a Savoury biltong (jerked beef or jerky) cake for my son’s birthday.  Although I enjoy cooking, baking is a real struggle …… should I try WURTH silicon spray or Sealing strip, I wonder?  This is what the cake should look like, whether I’d post my photo will have to be seen.

A wonderful weekend to all and on Monday my newest EQ course starts!  So looking forward to this.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

And then I got side-tracked OR Snowflake splendour OBW quilt based on a panel – 1

As busy as my life occasionally gets (this includes socialising with friends and family) I somehow always think I have time for yet another adventure or project and after finishing my EQ course “Catch the Waves”, I’ve enrolled for another course starting 21 August with daily lessons and homework for 6 weeks, I received my Westalee ruler quilting starter pack and would love to try it out and I’ve started THIS new quilt!

A while ago I asked our local Pfaff dealer to order me 7 repeats of this panel fabric and she always goes the extra mile when I need something.
I kept one panel intact, layered the other six, cut these stacked panels into strips and the strips into 60ยบ triangles.

Then the fun of sewing the half hexagons started, trying to find the “nicest” combination from the 3 options I have.  Once done I sorted according to most obvious colour just to make the arrangement on the design wall easier.
Deciding on the layout was the hardest part for me.  The packing, stepping back to stare, changing and repeating the process several times almost got to me. Then the disappointment when I started sewing the strips together to see how much the total top actually shrunk after stitching. It meant I would have to cut away from my centre panel way more than I wanted to.
Well at least I am trying things on my own, struggling more than I would have liked to but I had no manual, guide or rule book to go by and I think with all the little mishaps, I am doing good.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

All stacked up – 4

I attended a hilarious but very motivational Woman’s Day talk along with fellow quilter, Wilna, DIL and one of her friends this morning and had a way too big slice of chocolate cake, which now just made me lazy.

I got home and finished the last lesson of the current EQ course I did and can report that I have 5 rows of my All stacked up quilt sewn together and I am really proud as I had heaps of interruptions and little quilting time.
Just before I stitched the last of the 5 rows together, I noticed a wee bit of a mistake and for a moment there I pondered whether I should not just leave it as is and afterwards claim that it was the Amish way of deliberately making a mistake.  Knowing myself though, I thought I better fix this as should I make another mistake; my Amish story will sound somewhat far-fetched!
On the cleaning front I can also proudly say that I am still keeping my sewing room in impeccable condition, tidying it up before heading to bed at night.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

All stacked up – 3

We had the big kids over for supper on Friday and granddaughter slept over.  Our pets enjoy the family activity being in one room where they can be present too.
After granddaughter left on Saturday we were invited by Karin and her hubby for snacks, drinks and watching rugby on TV and they even gave us “take-aways” so that I didn’t have to cook on Sunday while the men played golf. 

I am doing an Electric Quilt course via internet presented by Kari Schell and boy, is this interesting?  After having had EQ for years I realised I actually knew nothing.  After work I sit at this computer waiting for my new lesson to arrive via e-mail and then I do my homework, so work on the actual sewing side has been really SLOW…..
I however made a little progress and started from the centre and sewn the two centre rows together, the layout still confuses me terribly and I frequently call hubby to see if what I do is according to the quilt layout I printed with EQ. Two down and 14 more rows to go but long before that I still need to finish a whole lot of blocks!