Paired with a Japanese print that I bought from Purls Palace in Daylesford, fussy cut the centre of each block and surrounded them in the fabric pack scraps. I've been making "zoo" themed blocks for another baby quilt, this time a custom order.
The process of working with a fabric scrap pack is a little more archaic than I am used to. A bit more experimentation, un-stitching and knowing that you don't have any more of the orange or lime green fabric that you really like. But I like the way that the quilt is coming together. A bit different to what I usually do which is a lot more controlled. The blocks are smaller than I usually make. The middle section is 2 1/2 inches square and each border is cut as 1 1/4 inches.
Our new cat, Vladamir, has given the quilt a stamp of approval. Vlad is setting in very well into our household, restoring a balance in the cat population that we were missing. After this photo was taken he then proceeded to do a mega wash and then settled down to sleep. I am glad that I pre-wash my quilts before selling them!
I agree with one of my friends, that going to a craft fair is more enjoyable when you with a group of friends. You get to explore, mock and enjoy the experience more. We hit the fair early, did a circuit together and then split off for an hour (but of course kept on bumping into each other). In the afternoon we went back to my place to continue crafting with some of our stash.
I found the most gorgeous counted cross stitch kit. Now, I am a cross stitch virgin .. so I spent some time tonight with my Mother in Law going through the basics and completing a line of stitching to make sure that I have the tension and technique right. I love this image and it will look great in our Library room, but it might take me a while to complete.
Tomorrow I start Term 3 and probably the last "real" term for the Year 12 kids as Term 4 is taken up with exam preparation. I hit the ground running at 7am tomorrow morning and it is a full week for me, so 5 days of working ahead of me despite my part time status (*cough*).
So I spent yesterday doing some quilting with some colours that I have been collecting for a while.
I had picked up some fat quarters at GJ's a while back in a black, white, yellow theme and I thought that the bird print might make for a nice block.
So I played around with a block or two and liked the contrast.
Used some of the bird fabric for the sashing and I have to get some more of the black with dots for the last row of sashing, as I have run out of fabric. I had some left over yellow from my tetris adventures kicking around, only enough to border a few of them. Some blocks work better than others. Using more solid colours would have made the designs stand out a bit more.
I might have turned out differenly if I had sashed the blocks in a single colour, what do you think? Too busy? I seem to be getting more and more adventurous with patterns and colours at the moment.
A few friends have gotten the quilting bug lately .. the big question is what do I need to get started. At a very basic level, tailoring chalk and scissors. But if you are like me and you want to do things FAST you will need to invest in a few more pieces of equipment.
The good thing about rotary cutters is that you can cut fast, but you can also make mistakes fast. So until you master the art of using a rotary cutter and a ruler, take it slow.
Lots of different brands available. The cutter is only as good as the quality of the blade, but you might want some extra features:
easy nut to replace blade
Unfortunately, most of the rotary cutters are packaged away in tough one use plastic, so you can't hold them and see if they suit you. But if you head into a craft show, often they have models that you can handle and use. It took me a few go's to find a cutter I was comfortable with. I have an ergonomic handle and a quick lock to make the blade "inactive" if my daughter is in my sewing room. You are probably looking at paying around $40 for a decent rotary cutter.
Firstly, buy what you can afford. I started off with a small A3 cutting mat. It has been a faithful companion, and it is only now after quilting for a year that I have invested in an A1. Make sure you get a self healing mat and not one of those mats from the chinese shops.
I like the tandem idea of two rulers. One for cutting and one for measuring. I use a ruler with my left hand (small 5 1/2 inch square) to measure then secure the left hand one (4 inches by 14 inches) to cut the sash or strip.
I work in inches, because most of the quilting world works in inches. Jelly rolls are all 2 1/2 inches, so it is a bit easier if I work that way! I also profess that as I get older, the numbers are larger in inches!
What equipment do you find "essential" for machine quilting?
The lovely Nicole Jenkins from Circa Vintage on Gertrude Street who was one of the models for the day.
The workshop entailed all things vintage; makeup, hair and the importance of good foundation garments. Lots of tips and hints on how to get that desired "vintage" look. For me, I walked away with the knowledge of tools and equipment needed to get the look that I sometimes want. I definitely need to go shopping for some of that equipment next week.
It was wonderful to see a room full of 2010 looking women transported back to 1940s and looking very gorgeous and glamorous by the end of it all.
I would highly recommend attending one of their workshops when they come down to Melbourne again.
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