Friday, October 30, 2009

More Stash

I can't show you the progress that I have made on the Amy Butler Love Quilt as the pictures that I have taken today just do not do justice to just how colorful and cheerful this quilt is due to the overcast and rainy conditions in Melbourne.  I will be quilting this quilt today and show an update as soon as weather permits.

What I can show you though is new fabric stash that arrived just yesterday.  Ordered online from Tennessee Quilts.  From left to right they are:
  1. Kaffe Fassett - GP106 Embroidered Shawl - Turqoise
  2. Kaffe Fassett - GP Peony - Gray
  3. Kaffe Fassett - Forget-me-not - Pastel
  4. Kaffe Fassett - GP15 - Bubbles
(the last three fabrics on this list are older prints - discontinued? - and difficult to source)

My fabric selection was inspired by this quilt made by Cathy from Cabbage Quilts.  It is gorgeous!  Be sure to check out her blog post to see more of this quilt.

I also re-stashed some of the basic Kaffe Fassett Spots  which I use regularly.  From left to right they are:

Kaffe Fassett - GP70 in Magenta, Slate, Gold and Purple.  I ordered my standard half yard of each.

What have you been stashing?  And re-stashing?

Thursday, October 29, 2009

What's Next? Amy Butler - Love

I have finished the binding on the Tessellations Quilt, choosing a  green Clown Stripe fabric by Michael Miller to frame this quilt rather brightly.

During the lengthy process of choosing the right binding fabric I managed to clean my fridge!  Talk about procrastinating!  But the end result was well worth the effort, a finished quilt and a clean fridge!

What's next?  This is:

My new Amy Butler Love fat quarter stash has been patiently waiting to be cut into.  Since the start of the weekend I have been cutting squares from each of the 26 different fabrics in the collection at every opportunity.  Last night I had the chance to sew the quilt top together.

I don't often make a quilt from just one fabric range, but this collection seems just right for it.  The colors and prints don't readily lend themselves to being mixed with my stash fabrics but on their own this collection makes for a bright and funky quilt top. 

More pictures tomorrow!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


Yesterday was spent procrastinating.  I really wanted to finish this quilt as I was "over it", but struggled to find the motivation.  Late in the afternoon I pieced the quilt backing, was still basting when two hungry cricketers arrived home at 8pm, and started quilting towards 9pm.  However, once I started quilting there was no stopping me.

Quilted with a simple cross-hatch of straight lines, edge to edge.  Needless to say, it was a very late evening, or maybe even an early morning.  Just the binding is needed to finish it off.  Hopefully today.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Aqua and Brown Baby Quilt

How easily I get distracted!

I so enjoyed working with the fabrics that Lara sent me for this month's Around the Block swap, that I was inspired to use the brown and blue fabrics to make a little baby quilt.

 Quilt measures:  31 inches x 24.5 inches

I used a similar layout to the Lunar Dust and Frog Pond quilt that I have previously made.  Both the front and the back of the quilt are pieced.

The fabrics used are mainly from the Katie Jump Rope collection by Denyse Schmidt, but also includes some Flea Market Fancy and  a print from Red Letter Day  by Lizzy House.

The binding fabric is a Kei Honeycomb print, an aqua dot on an off-white background. (Check out the new Kei Honeycomb Dots that will be coming out soon!).  The main fabric used for this quilt is Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in Ash.

This baby quilt or stroller blanket  is now available in my Etsy Store.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Around the Block - November

I am participating in the Around the Block Swap, which involves making patchwork blocks for a participant, from fabrics that they have sent to you.  For the month of November Lara (Thornberry) requested a12.5 inch block, using the following fabrics in the color palette chocolate, orange and blue:

Lara also requested a block inspired by whirligigs, pinwheels and stars. After much careful consideration, and bearing in mind that some of the large scale prints could detract from the overall impact of the block, I chose just five of the fabrics to work with (three was the minimum).

This block is called Blackford's Beauty.  It is not easy to piece, and even though I have previously practiced this block in a Block of the Month from Amitie, I  still managed to mess up cutting the pieces to the correct size.

Lara, this block is on its way!  Thank you for the challenge of the fabrics, the colors and the block.  I hope you like it.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sunday Stash #26

Today Sunday Stash is brought to you by "Grandmother's Flower Garden" by Lecien designed by Rosalie Quinlan.  Rosalie is an Australian pattern and fabric designer, and also teaches right around Australia.  The full range of fabrics can be seen here.

I purchased these fat quarters at the Craft Expo in Melbourne which was held 8 - 11 Oct, 2009.

This much anticipated fabric range is sure to be arriving at a store near you soon.

Friday, October 23, 2009


"A tessellated pattern is one that interlocks, creating identical positive and negative spaces that can go on indefinitely", quoted from the book Tessellation Quilts: Sensational Designs From Interlocking Patterns.

I have enjoyed piecing the Magical Maze pattern from this book.  I have adapted it to according to my own color preferences and measurements.

The great thing about this quilt is that it is extremely simple, and you need only a very little amount of each fabric.  Another great scrap buster project. This tessellation is made from a very simple rectangle.  There are many shapes that tessellate and the patterns created can look like a quilting impossibility.

There is limited opportunity for chain or strip piecing for this quilt.  Each and every rectangle is pieced with a different fabric.  This means the quilt top spent a fair amount of time on the design floor, which is not ideal.  Nevertheless, I enjoyed playing with pattern and color.

I am contemplating adding  borders to this quilt, maybe even just along the top and bottom, and hope to be able to spent some time on the weekend finishing this quilt top.

I hope you enjoy the weekend and that you get to spend some time doing what you enjoy most, whatever that may be.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Tools of the Trade

There are so many great quilting tools, notions and gadgets out there, and I love discovering new and useful ones.  I am often asked about my quilting technique and I am happy to share with you just some of the notions and gadgets that I like to use.

 Walking Foot and Quilting Guide

If you are keen to try straight line machine quilting, investing in a walking foot for your machine will make for a much better quilting experience.  A walking foot is an attachment for your sewing machine that helps, together with your built-in feed dogs, grip and feed through the layers of the quilt evenly, thereby avoiding puckers.  A walking foot is available for most sewing machines. More information on why a walking foot is a quilter's best friend can be found here. 

I also use a quilting guide that attaches to the walking foot.  A quilting guide is a bar that acts as a guide to set precise distances between one quilting line and the next (by measuring distance from the needle) and therefore ideal for quilting parallel lines.

When quilting parallel lines I start quilting in the center of the quilt. I use a Hera Marking tool (made by Clover) to mark the first straight line on my quilt.  This nifty little tool is great for marking lines directly on to fabric, and is often used for creasing sharp lines on applique.  Thanks to Lurline for pointing me in the direction of this tool.  I will then continue to use the quilting guide for the next few parallel lines, but will use the Hera Marker to mark a quilting line every now and again just to ensure the lines are still running nice and straight.

I have also been known to use a Chaco Liner (Clover) which is a pen style powered marker, that does leave a light chalky residue on the quilt.  I have had great success with the white marker, leaving no noticeable marks on the quilt.  

 My new ruler - (Note to self:  Don't stand on it!)

There are a number of different size rulers that I use when rotary cutting or marking lines on quilts.  All have one thing in common though.  I am left-handed and use left-handed rulers.  They are the same as a standard right hand ruler, however, the numbers on the ruler go for left to right which is just so much less frustrating for me.  Most of the ruler manufacturers do take into account the needs of both left and right handed quilters, you just need to know that these products do exist.

I use only 100% cotton thread when quilting, and have tried out both Gutermann and Aurfill thread.  Both are strong, durable, and come a huge range of colors.  However I often use a neutral thread for quilting, such as a beige, light gray, or white, which blends in well with the wide variety of fabric colors that I use in my quilts.

I hope this information is useful and that you too will have a go at quilting your own quilts on a domestic sewing machine.
I am leaving you today with a snippet of what is on my design floor.  Have a great day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Sunburst Baby Quilt

I have just finished a baby quilt that I started on Friday evening, played with it on the weekend (when not at paid work), and finished it over the last few days.  I know you wonder just how I get so much done, in so little time.

Well, I do actually spend a lot of time sewing, usually in big blocks when the teens are at school, or late into the evening.  Sometimes in short burst whilst being domestic diva and running errands.

I don't have a sewing room, but wish I did.  My sewing machine and fabric stash live in the open plan living area of our home.  It means that area of the house is pretty untidy, and often covered in threads.  But it does also mean that I am always ready to sew.

This baby quilt features some of my favorite fabrics (I have many favorites!), including Amy Butler Prints - Wallflower in Pink and Coriander in Pink both are from the Belle range, and Kaffe Fassett's Bubble Flower in Summer. 

Both the binding and the featured bird fabric on the back of the quilt are from Joel Dewberry's Aviary collection.  For more details or to purchase this baby quilt please visit my Etsy Store, or feel free to email me.

Monday, October 19, 2009


As promised I have prepared a tutorial for the Pieced Scrap Border Quilt that I started working on last week.

Not for one moment would I suggest that this is my original design. This quilt is made from two square blocks that alternate.  One block is a pieced block and the other is a solid blocks.  The pieced block is no more than a square center that has been given a pieced border.  Pieced borders made from small squares, such as in this design, have been added to quilts for many many years, the only difference here is that the pieced border has been added to each alternate block rather than the finished quilt.  My inspiration for this pieced border block came from the border in  this flickr image.

What follows is a step by step tutorial to make your own Pieced Border Scrap Quilt , a great scrap buster quilt and a fabulous way to celebrate the October Scrap Buster Contest at Sew, Mama Sew!


From cotton scrap fabric rotary cut pieces measuring 1 1/2 inches wide by 5 1/2 inches long.  For a great overall scrappy look I would suggest you might need 20 plus different fabrics in a range of bright colors.  You will need a total of 224 strips.

Using a 1/4 inch foot, sew together strips into sets of 3 and 5 strip blocks as shown above.  Mix colors/fabrics together at random.  You will need 28 sets of each strips set.  That is 28  5-strip and 28 3-strip sets.  Press seams to one side.  The only seams that are important in terms of direction are the outer seams of the 5 strip set - press in towards the center of the block.  This will become obvious when sewing the block together.


Cross-cut each strip set at 1 1/2 inch intervals. Discard the remainder.  You should easily be able to cross-cut in to three separate pieced strips.   You will now have a total of 84  strips of each pieced strip.


Cut a 3 1/2 inch center square from a solid fabric*.  I have used Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in white.

Sew two of the small strips to each side of the center square as shown in this picture.  Easy!  Press seams out towards the printed fabrics.

Sew the longer (5 pieced strips) to the remaining sides of the center square.  Press seams out towards the colored fabrics once again.  This ensures that no seams are visible in the white solid center square of the block.  And your pieced scrap border block is finished.  The finished block should now measure 5 1/2 inches, which includes your seam allowances.

You will have enough strips to complete 41 pieced blocks.

Once you have pieced 41 blocks you will need to cut  40 squares from a solid fabric each measuring 5 1/2 inches. A total of 81 blocks are required to make this quilt as pictured. 41 pieced blocks and 40 solid blocks.

Lay out your blocks according to the finished quilt as above.  I ensured that each outer corner of the quilt had a pieced block rather than a solid white block. Sew blocks in each row together.  Then sew rows together.  The finished quilt top will measure 45.5  inches x 45.5  inches.

I prepared my backing using two pieces of Kaffe Fassett fabric. They are Silhouette Rose and  Kirman which complement each other beautifully.

It is quilted it with my favorite and preferred style of straight line quilting.  I  first outlined all the blocks by stitching just 1/4 of an inch on either side of the block seams.  I then cross-hatched through all of the blocks.

And added binding using one of my favorite binding fabrics by Marcus Brothers.  This is Aunt Grace - Polka Dots in blue by Judi Rothermel. 

And of course, just in case you think it would be easier to get someone else to make a quilt just like this for you, my quilt is for sale in my Etsy Store.  SOLD.  Feel free to ask any question regarding the tutorial or  quilt by leaving a comment or email me.

*You will need a total of 1.5 yards of solid fabric to make the number of blocks required for this quilt. 

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Sunday Stash #25

Some fabrics are like that.  They end up in a storage container marked with What was I Thinking?

Now and again I will be hunting through my fabric stash for that certain something when:  "Oh my!  Look what we've got here!" and "I forgot I had that!"  Does that happen to you?

These three fabrics are by American Jane for Moda and are part of a fabric range called Peas and Carrots.  They have now joined my Favorite Fabric stash and have settled in well.  Ready for use.

Friday, October 16, 2009


My copy of the book Quilt Romance by Kaffe Fassett arrived yesterday, and was a huge distraction!  This book is overflowing with creativity.  The quilts are really gorgeous, and certainly an eye-opener for use of the much loved fabrics by Kaffe Fassett. 

Spring Log Cabin by Liza Prior Lucy

I have what I (and most quilters) would call a significant stash of Kaffe's fabrics which I just adore.  At times I find myself struggling to use some of these fabrics, to blend them with the rest of my fabric stash, but this book certainly is full of inspiration and guidance on how to successfully use Kaffe's fabrics and how to mix them together to make the most stunning quilts.

I did manage to also baste the quilt that I have been working on this week and have started quilting it.  Many  readers have asked for some of the details and I will endeavour to prepare a tutorial for the pieced block next week.

The solid fabric is Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton in White, purchased from The Fabric Shack.