Thursday, September 30, 2010


As mentioned in my previous post, I have started a new quilt project using the reclaimed vintage bed linens featured in Sunday Stash #68.

My original plan was to cut these fat quarters into squares and arrange the blocks by alternating the direction of the stripes and therefore creating a woven design.  This seemed like a quick fix and perhaps a little too easy, so I got out may trusty triangle ruler (any 90 degree angle ruler with horizontal lines will do).

I have placed masking tape on the line that marks the outer edge of the block (which greatly assists placing the ruler accurately), and have then fussy cut four triangles that have the exact same repeat of stripes.  The four triangles are sewn back together to make one square block.

Numerous blocks have been completed and I soon discovered that ...

narrow stripes make you feel dizzy!  

Selecting a range of different stripe widths and colors helps negate this nauseating effect.  The blocks pieced with wider striped fabric gives the eye a place to rest.

The above pictured layout was arranged rather quickly  (without thought for placement as I was competing with the elements - wind, shadows, sun, dog) just to get an idea of what the quilt will look like. 

Although I have added some of my own striped fabrics to this mix, it is rather satisfying to be recycling these reclaimed bed linens. 

Happy stitching.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Parcel Day

When your day starts with the postman bringing not one but two parcels

and they are bursting at the seams with

gorgeous fabrics, you know it is going to be a good day.  A very good day indeed.

Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner available from  FabricWorm and HawthorneThreads.

No, I haven't cut into these fabrics as yet as I have already started a new project using the reclaimed vintage bed linens featured in Sunday Stash #68.  Progress pictures tomorrow.

I hope you've had a wonderful day too!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Finished Checkerboard Quilt

Today started by cutting and piecing the quilt binding.  It wasn't long after that the binding was attached to the quilt top and thereafter machine-stitched down at the back of the quilt (see here for a machine stitched binding tutorial).

The binding fabric of choice for this quilt is again a Kei Honeycomb dot in dusty pink.  I think it matches the soft pinks in the Dream On fabric collection really well and adds a spot to another wise spot-less fabric range (and I do love polka dots and spots).

Some of the details;
Quilt size:  60.5 inches  x 63 inches
Design:  Checkerboard layout with 600 squares each measuring 2.5 inches (finished)
Fabric collection:  Dream On by Urban Chiks (one layer cake only)
Solid Fabric:  Robert Kaufman - Kona Cotton in White

Sewing technique:  I was able to strip piece this quilt by cutting the layer cake pieces into three 3 inch strips and then sewing these pieces lengthwise to a 3 inch strip of Kona White fabric (Kona White strips were cut from selvage to selvage).  These units were then pressed (seams pressed towards the printed fabric) and cross-cut into 3 inch units.  These two-piece units were then sewn together into long rows after which the rows were sewn together.

The back of the quilt is pieced from several pieces of Kona Cotton the colors of which all compliment the quilt top.  I also managed to use up the very last pieces of my Dream On fabric stash.  The quilting grid has added a graphic dimension to the otherwise plain backing fabrics.

It is easier to see from the above picture that I have in fact quilted this quilt with more than just diagonal lines running through the solid white fabrics.  I wasn't happy with the large open and un-quilted spaces after the diagonal lines were quilted and have therefore outlined the horizontal seams of the quilt by stitches a very generous 1/4 inch on either side of the quilt seam lines.  It was a lot more work (48 lines and 4 hours of stitching), but worth the final result.

I don't feel as if I have yet finished with the Dream On fabric range by Urban Chiks and look forward to yardage being available later this year.  As such I don't feel too apprehensive about parting with this quilt. 

You can find the listing for this quilt in my Etsy Store.  SOLD

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Stash #70

A trip with my daughter to IKEA was called for this week.  I must admit that I am always looking for good storage solutions which surely can be found there, although this time I came home with the type of goods for which instead storage is required:

I enjoy browsing through the tea towels and bed linens and brought home this set of  100 percent cotton towels which may just find their way into a quilt project.

It is also mandatory to spend time in the Textiles department where I couldn't resist these two prints.

My daughter and I both had a successful IKEA trip and were pleasantly surprised to find that the most difficult part was exiting the over crowded car park. 

Enjoy Sunday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


Today is a quilting day - until I head off for work (the hourly rate of pay type of work, yep I do work!).

I am starting to feel a little more settled with the Bernina 820 and can now function it in the most basic of ways.   One of the features that I am really loving is the bobbin warning.  A warning light starts flashing when the bobbin is down to its last 20% of capacity, and slowly decreases.

This warning ensures I won't be running out of bobbin thread in the middle of a quilting an edge to edge straight line, thereby limiting time with the seam ripper.

Enjoy your weekend - by the way it is a huge weekend in Melbourne - the AFL Grand Final!  Football isn't really my thing, but if it is yours, I hope your team wins.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

And sew on

The Dream On Quilt top came together like a dream.  Phew!  If only all things were as simple as that, although it did take longer than anticipated resulting in another late night sewing session.

Fortunately it is school holidays which is, as always, marked by a lack of routine.  What's more, my 15 year old son is on a school trip to Ireland to play Gaelic Football.  It means one less hungry mouth to tend to but on the other hand my mind wanders frequently to Dublin time and his itinerary.   Ireland is a long long way from home.

This week there is also a touch of Spring in the air, with a promise of more beautiful weather on the weekend.  Today is overcast but not cold, the heater is off for the first time in quite a while.

With the quilt top finished I am ready to start working on the backing.

Thank you for stopping by,

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dream On

Having a new sewing machine has not come without its trials and tribulations (although I am not complaining!).  I feel like I am learning to sew all over again.  Of course I do have the advantage of knowing just what a 1/4 inch seam is supposed to look like and that seams lie flat, not wrinkly and bunched up.  Right?

Spending time reading the Manual has come in very handy.  Eventually.

I have decided to jump into the deep end with my new sewing machine, and have started another quilt project.  I have cut into a Dream On Layer Cake.  I am intrigued to see just how far I can stretch one layer cake.

I have cut up the entire layer cake.  Each 10 inch square has been cut into nine 3 inch squares, and then paired with a white square.

I have sewn the Dream On squares (alternating with a white Kona Cotton square) together into rows.   Hopefully the rows will sew together without too much difficulty.  There are many seams to match!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sunday Stash #69

Robert Kaufman - Kona Cotton Solids - Pretty in Pink

With thanks to The Fabric Shack for their patience in cutting 1/3 yards of each color.  A Pretty in Pink color chart here.


It is with a heavy heart that I am selling one of my much loved sewing machines.  The Janome Memory Craft 6600P was my second sewing machine, and was used for only several years before upgrading to the Bernina 440QE.   It is in excellent condition (although the needle threader is no longer accurate), and comes with Instruction Manual, all original accessories and a Walking Foot.
 Apparently having three sewing machines is excessive.  Who knew?

You can find the Ebay Listing here. SOLD

Friday, September 17, 2010

It's Finished - A Flea Market Fancy Quilt

With thanks again to Nettie (A Quilt is Nice) for the inspiration, the Flea Market Fancy Quilt is finished.

In brief some of the details:

Fabrics:  Flea Market Fancy by Denyse Schmidt

Cutting Instructions:  Cut 480 squares each 3.5 inches and arrange randomly.  Sew squares together into rows, then sew together the rows.
Finished Size: 60 inches x 72 inches

Backing: Kona Cotton Solid in Chatreuse and Laurie Wisbrun - Tufted Tweets

Binding:  Kona Cotton Solid in Cyan

Quilting:  I have outlined all of the seams, stitching just a quarter inch on either side of both the horizontal and vertical seams.  Of course I have tried out my new sewing machine, and it has quilted beautifully.

Unfortunately I don't have the heart to sell this quilt, these fabrics are just too precious! It is definitely a keeper.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Welcome Distraction

I regularly receive emails inquiring as to what sewing machine I use.  For the past 12 months I have used the Bernina 440QE for all of my sewing and quilting endeavors and I have truly loved getting to know it.  This machine is very capable of all of the things I have asked of it, quilting small and larger quilts made from light and heavier weight fabrics.   It is a sturdy machine, easy to use and makes general sewing effortless. Absolutely no regrets.

However countless hours of sewing and many thousands of stitches have meant I can afford to upgrade  my current sewing machine to the Bernina 820.  It is a dream come true.

The Bernina 820 is a large machine, with a 12 inch throat space as its main attraction for my use.  It will make quilting larger quilts easier to manage, and the quilting stitches more consistent.  This machine also features automatic needle threader, stitch regulator, separate bobbin winder, knee lift and did I mention the 12 inch extended arm?  There is a lot to learn and I am sure it will prove to be a challenge at times, but at the same time I feel very privileged to own this machine.  

It was with a sigh of relief that I managed to lower the new machine into my Horn Sewing Cabinet.  It was a tight squeeze, but it fits and is ready for action.  As you can see (pictured above) the Bernina 820 dwarfs the Bernina 440, however I am not ready to give up my "old" Bernina.

I am looking forward to spending many more happy hours sewing.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Flea Market Fancy Quilt in Progress

The Fancy Quilt top is complete and although it doesn't sound like a lot of work to sew the rows together, the quilt top wasn't finished until late into the evening.  A last minute decision was also made to add 2 extra rows to the length of the quilt top. 

I have absolutely no regrets about cutting into my FMF stash.  It's definitely all about the fabrics for this quilt.

Now as for the backing fabric ~ what to use?  More FMF?  Perhaps just a splash of color to tie in with the quilt top.

Enjoy the eye candy.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Fancy Quilt - Work in Progress

My new project has been a long time coming, and was spurred on entirely by Nettie's Market Quilt (A Quilt is Nice) as pictured:

Image from A Quilt is Nice by Nettie
Much time has been spent considering just how best to use my Flea Market Fancy stash; many different layouts were contemplated at length.  It has, once again, come back to keeping it simple

  It is time to Stitch It rather than Stash It.

I have spent oodles of time cutting individual squares to ensure a random layout of color and pattern.  More than 400 squares each cut as 3.5 inch squares. 

The process of sewing rows together has commenced and I am really enjoying working with the colors and prints.  I love watching the quilt top emerge from the patchwork pieces.  Although I already have a pretty good idea of how the quilt is going to look, I am still very excited about this project.

Working with precious Flea Market Fancy fabrics is a joy!