Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Winner and another GIVEAWAY!

Another giveaway?  Wow!  Actually I'm not the one having the giveaway but thought I'd let my readers know about a giveaway that my sister is having on her blog - she's giving away some of her organic Rosehip Oil. 

In other giveaway news, the winner of my recent DS Quilts Giveaway was ...
Comment number 22 - Sarah from Sarah Quilts.  Yay for Sarahs!  I was really pleased when Ms Random drew Sarah's comment because I have been so lucky to be a recipient of not one but TWO of her giveaways, so to be able to send a little mila+cuatro love her way made my day..

Don't be disheartened if you didn't win - I have two or three more giveaways planned between now and the end of the year to say thank you for reading and thanks for entering.

Have a fantastic Thursday whereever in the world you are!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Old Sheet - New Placemat

There is still time to enter my DS Quilts fabric giveaway - so check it out if you haven't alreadyThese placemats inspired me to try some wavy line quilting.  I don't think I'll ever quilt in a straight line again.

Does this count as FMQ even though I used a walking foot???  This is my favourite old sheet from my ridiculously large vintage bed linen collection.  This week's favourite anyway.  The back is another sheet from the collection, which I think (sadly) is a polycotton.

I'm partway through making another one to match, complete with contrasting wavy line quilting - using general purpose thread, as I don't have any special quilting thread (yet). I used three colours on the top but the bobbin thread stayed white.  You can see little blips of coloured thread on the back so I'll be cautious about mixing colours in the future.

Linking up to:
Sew Cute Tuesday now hosted by Blossom Heart Quilts
Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story
Thursday Threads at 627Handworks
I Quilt at Pretty Bobbins
Finish it Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts 

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Giveaway: Celebrating a Finish!


I've finished a quilt and I'm so pleased to have finished it I'm celebrating with a giveaway!  Here's what is up for grabs, 3 DS Quilts fat quarters - oldies but goodies.  All 3 fat quarters will go to one winner.

This giveaway is open to anyone who follows my blog, regardless of where you live.  Remember that I need a way to contact you, so if you're a no reply blogger please leave an email address in your comment.  To enter:

  • Leave me a comment here letting me know how you follow me (BlogLovin', Feedly, email, Google Friend Connect, etc).
  • For an optional extra entry, pin something from this blog to Pinterest, then leave me a comment here with a link to the pin.
The giveaway will stay open until around 5pm Thursday, 31 October 2013, NZ time.  Good luck!  Now go and day dream about what you'll do with this prize of DS Quilts loveliness.

On Nanny's Lap

My Winter's Lane quilt is finished, it is a lap quilt for my mum so I've called this 'On Nanny's Lap'.   Despite some quilting bloopers, I love how it turned out and it's perfect for mum to use on her lap while reading in her special chair.  It is sparsely quilted, with a quasi-random grid of rectangles and squares.

The design is my own (front and back).  I took a charm pack of Winter's Lane, came up with a block layout that I liked, framed each block in a beige-grey then used a cream homespun for sashing and borders. The binding is from Ro Gregg's Lady in Red collection.

This is my first person sized completed quilt (Ruby's quilt is waiting patiently for me to piece a back for it). Here's what I learnt with this quilt:

  • It's great having a wall big enough to layout out your design but Blu tack isn't the best option for sticking blocks on your wall - pulling the blocks off repeatedly pulled some of the patches out of shape.
  • When quilting, it's actually rather tricky to sew perfectly straight with a walking foot.  A nano-second of inattention leads to wonky stitching.  
  • Inspired by the success of my seam allowance guide, I used masking tape as my straight line quilting guide.  This worked fine so long as I didn't actually sew on the masking tape, because then it was tricky to remove all the bits that get left stuck under the stitching.
  • When quilting, guide all three layers of the quilt together, don't nudge just the top layer under the needle when trying to stay straight - otherwise this happens on the back of the quilt:

  • When using a walking foot, there seems to be an optimum speed - its neither too fast nor too slow but probably closer to too slow.  Annoying, the right speed for you and your machine is something you'll just have to figure out.
  • Some quilters trim the back and batting before sewing the binding on, and some trim it after sewing the first side of the binding on.  Presumably there's pros and cons of each.
  • Joining the start and end of your binding using a diagonal seam is soooo much trickier than tutorials make it out to be, especially if it's past your bedtime when you are trying to do it.  I unpicked it 6 times and just could not figure out how on earth my binding kept ended up twisted once joined.  So pleased with myself when I got it right on the 7th try - the photo I've pinned here was the key to getting it right, so thank you so much Red Pepper Quilts!
  • While I was piecing the back I had a vision for how to quilt it - so when I was basting it I kept that vision in mind.  Turns out that vision was really just a billboard highlighting my inexperience because it would have meant turning the quilt 90 degrees many, many, many times.  So I unpicked a whole lot of quilting, while surreptitiously glancing over my shoulder worried the quilting police were heading my way - I mean, is that the done thing?  Do people unpick their quilting?  My vision also presented many questions for which I didn't know the answers, and was too lazy far too busy to bother surfing the net to find.  Questions such as - how do you stop and start quilting if you're not just going from one side to the other?  Do I backstitch?  I still don't know the answers to those questions.
Thanks for reading if you're still with me after all those bullet points!

Linking up to:
Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation
Thursday Threads at 627Handworks
Finish it up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts
Bloggers Quilt Festival at Amy's Creative Side
TGIFF hosted this week at Quilter in the Closet

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

WIP Wednesday: Quilting Bloopers

I've been quilting the Winter's Lane quilt I mentioned a few weeks ago.  After the problems I had with the brown bag doll's quilt, Lorna suggested using a fresh needle or a bigger needle - I did both those things it definitely made a difference but I've still experienced some bloopers.  Can anyone suggest why I have the problems below, I'm guessing some of it is down to me, and some of it down to my machine/equipment.

1. Loop-da-loop - where did this loop come from?

2. Inconsistent stitch length - it's like my walking foot is encountering some resistance and decides to take baby steps, I moved my desk away from the wall so that the quit didn't bunch up behind the sewing machine but it still happened.  I also think this happens when I go too fast, so I tried hard to slow down and sew at an even pace. It mostly seemed to happen I was quilting the middle of the quilt, and so there was a lot of bulk sitting in the arm of the machine.

In the photo below, the horizontal line is the correct stitch length, and the vertical line (obviously) is the problem baby steps.

An update on sewing with Ruby, she loves using my measuring tape, so we made her one of her own out of a plain selvedge on which I wrote 1 - 20 in a range of colours, she loves using it.

Ruby also has asked to make another doll's quilt with the brown bag, awesome!  I wasn't ready at the moment she asked but I've been putting specific scraps into a brown bag so that we can sew another doll's quilt together soon.

I hope you're all having a great week!

Linking up with:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
I Quilt at Pretty Bobbins

PS - if you'd like to see the finished quilt it is now up on the blog here!  Also, I'm having a giveaway to celebrate finishing the quilt, you can find the giveaway here.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

A quick-quilt WiP and other random tidbits

I got hold of a charm pack of Kate & Birdie Paper Co Winter's Lane, played around to make some smallish blocks and am now working on a layout - this will be a quick-quilt with lots of negative space, I'm all about things that come together quickly at the moment.

I'm paying particular attention to an accurate 1/4 inch seam allowance, and have come up with this easy, albeit crude seam guide:

After sewing each seam I then check it against my rotary cutter ruler, I've been pleased with the results.  My new machine will have a 1/4 inch foot, but until then I'll be 'sticking' with this.

I needed a grocery bag holder; I have a ridiculous amount of vintage sheets - I put the two together and made this, which looked lovely sitting next to this retro coffee pot I thrifted recently.

My sister wanted a headband, so I rummaged around in my stash and made these - the thinner, pink one looks great on Pepper-Mae.

Finally, yesterday afternoon my brother dropped off a surprise (to us all) gift for the girls - twin orphan lambs, only 3 days old.  Ruby wants to name her lamb Ruby.  I suggested that perhaps this could get a bit confusing, how would I know which Ruby to take to kindergarten?

Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Op Shop Show Off at Blackbird has Spoken 
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