Friday 31 August 2018

Bon Bon by Jen Kingwell

I made a new start last week.  Back in January I bought one of Jen Kingwell's Tempter block patterns when I was at the Amitie shop in Torquay, Australia.

The Tempters are a set of acrylic templates designed for hand piecing.  Each of the designs is very intricate and that's why Jen recommends hand piecing.

The blocks are 10" finished.  I'm only intending to make 5 and then turn them into a table runner for the top of the book case in my dining room.

The shapes are all irregular, and it's easy to get confused.  I now refer to the plan I drew out on paper and make sure I have the pieces round the right way before I sew them together.

I'm using Alison Glass fabrics, mixed in with some other fabrics I already had.  The end result might be a bit crazy, but it's better than the blue and green table runner currently on the book case.

I've made 2.5 blocks already and like how it's looking.

Blogger have finally fixed the comments problem - Yay! So I'm now back to getting sent your comments by email. 
However, many with Google+ profiles don't have visible email addresses.  That includes Sue from Raumati. So, sorry Sue - I couldn't email you directly.  I paid $40 in Wellington, but everyone charges differently so ask around.

Friday 24 August 2018

Cobweb Quilt update

Since our exhibition I've been busy working on some WIPs (plus making a very small new start that I'll talk about next time).

I started this quilt in a class at Nancy's Stitch Studio in April 2017, and I last posted about it back in March 2018.  You can read that previous post here because I'm not going to repeat where to get the pattern from etc.

Last week I finally sewed all the foundation paper pieced sections together.  Months ago I laid them all out in my hall way, then went upstairs and took a photo of the layout.  I bagged them up in rows so I wouldn't join the wrong sections together.

My new kitchen bench works so well as a quilting table!

Unfortunately now I've got the massive job of removing all the papers.  Many people on Instagram have told me that I should have removed the papers before I sewed it together, but the pattern designer (Chris Kenna) is a very experienced quilter and quilt judge, and she said we should leave them in.

Having the papers in certainly helped with aligning the sections when I joined the rows together.  There would have been a lot of stretch otherwise.

Anyway, I've been removing papers every day this week, and I'm half way done now.  I guess I might be finished by next weekend.

As for quilting - yes, I'm going to hand quilt it.  I'll work out how when it's basted.

Anyway, I'm in love with my Cobweb quilt and can't wait for the weekend.

Sunday 19 August 2018

Long arm basting for hand quilting

Some of you have asked for more information about getting quilts basted by a long armer for hand quilting. Here's what I do.

My long armer lets customers bring their own batting and backing, so I tend to do that.  The back needs to be quite a bit wider than the top, so they can attach it to the rails.  Ask your long armer about their requirements before you prepare your backing.

My long armer sews straight rows across the quilt approximately 3" apart.  She uses a big stitch length of 1.5", as shown in the photo above.  The cotton is just regular cotton - I don't even discuss the cotton, I just let them use whatever coloured cotton they like.

She also goes right around the very edge of the quilt so the stitches don't snag and unravel.

Here's another example I had basted on a long arm machine. Again, the rows are about 3" apart.

I love getting my quilts basted by a long armer.  It means that the quilt is centered on the backing fabric, and the tension is just right for hand quilting.

Basting row 3" apart

I hope that answers some of your questions.

Monday 13 August 2018

Best Hand Pieced award at Capital Quilters QUILTED Exhibition

Thank you for all the kind comments on my last post.  So many people said lovely things about my quilts over the weekend.  I'm all enthused to start something new now, but I'm also enthused to finish some of my WIPs - which is a very good thing.

The final quilt I won an award for at the Capital Quilters exhibition was la passacaglia.  I won the "Best Hand Pieced" award and was thrilled about that. 

If you'd like to read more about how I made this wonderful pattern by Willyne Hammerstein, you can click on the link at the top of blog (or here) and visit all my previous blog posts.  It is all English Paper Pieced and hand quilted by me!

Some of you will remember it from the QuiltNSW show last year, where I won the Bernina Amateur Encouragement Award. 

Like Vibrant Curiosities, this will be la passacaglia's last outing.  I'm going to enjoy using it, because my quilts are made to be used. 

My friend Debra who designed the layout of the show, put my la passacaglia next to another millefiori quilt, and they looked perfect together.

The Moncarapacho in the centre is one of Willyne Hammerstein's designs from Millefiori Quilts 3. This version was made by Amanda Evans and I just loved it - quite possibly because it's blue and green - my favourite colours.

I will write about how I get my quilts basted by a long armer in my next post. 

Sunday 12 August 2018

Best in Show at Capital Quilters QUILTED Exhibiton

Hello to visitors from Finish it Up Friday hosted by Crazy Mom Quilts.  If you've been struggling to find your favourite blogs while Amanda Jean took a break, I recommend you try out Bloglovin. This is not sponsored in any way - I'm just telling you what works for me.

You can make an account, select all your favourite blogs, and then say how you'd like to be notified of new blog posts from those bloggers.  I get a daily email telling me if my favourite bloggers have blogged.  I see a little snippet of their post, and a photo, and click for more info if I'm interested.  It's a great way to follow blogs - especially now that Amanda Jean is only going to do Finish it Up Friday once a month.
Once you have a Bloglovin account you can just click the icon on people's blogs to add that blog to your list. I hope this helps some of you who may have been missing reading your favourite blogs.

Right - back to the real news:

I'm delighted to let you know that I won "Best in Show" at Capital Quilters' QUILTED exhibition for Vibrant Curiosities. It also won "Best Large Bed Quilt made by one person".

My quilt is all English Paper Pieced and hand quilted by me! It's great to know that a hand made quilt won the top prize.

I was so surprised to win Best in Show.  Our exhibition has 200 quilts, with a very wide variety of techniques and styles.

If you're on Facebook or Instagram (@capitalquilters) you can follow Capital Quilters and see the types of quilts our members make. Capital Quilters also has a blog - maintained by me.

The prize was $200 to spend on anything I like.

Some of you will recognise this quilt from our national Symposium in Christchurch last October:

 And from the QuiltNSW Sydney Quilt Show in June 2018 where it won Second Place in the "Pieced Quilt Large Amateur".

Our guild's show was its last outing.  It will now become a quilt to be used on our bed.  It's lovely and soft with the wool batting.

You can read more about how I made Vibrant Curiosities here.

Saturday 11 August 2018

Summer in Torquay

I'm thrilled to share my most recent finish, Summer in Torquay, and to let you know that it received a Merit award in the Churn it Up challenge at Capital Quilters exhibition.

It seems I won a few awards at our show! More details to come next week.

I started this Jen Kingwell design back in January because I wanted to enter our guild's Churn it Up challenge which is part of our exhibition.  The challenge was to include at least one Churn Dash block in a quilt.

Jen Kingwell's quilt at Amitie Textiles

I don't especially love the Churn Dash block, but I stumbled across this Flea Market Dash pattern in my Quilt Lovely book by Jen Kingwell, and I liked that it contained Churn Dashes, but they weren't too obvious.

For most of 2017 I belonged to a stash building club at Amitie Textiles (Jen Kingwell's shop).  They sent fat 16ths to members every six weeks or so.  I ended up with a lot of fat 16ths, but I wasn't sure what to do with them.  This Flea Market Dash pattern seemed the ideal opportunity to use a lot of the gorgeous fabrics I had collected.

I've called this quilt Summer in Torquay, because it does look summery, and Torquay, Australia is where Amitie Textiles is based now.  I was lucky enough to visit the shop twice in January (summer in Australia).  One of those days got to 42C (107F) so I won't forget that day in a hurry.

The batting is Quilters' Dream - Cotton Request, as recommeded by Jen Kingwell.  It's nice thin batting for a summer weight quilt, but I think I still prefer wool for the loft.

The backing is voile and I'm not sure I'd use that again either.  It has more stretch in it than cotton, and didn't work so well with basting on a long arm.

Time seemed to get away from me on this quilt, so I had to take it on my recent holiday to Auckland, and I even had to quilt a few blocks in the hotel in Taupo on the way back!

I hand quilted with Aurifil 28wt in a variety of colours inside the blocks, and used Aurifil 12wt on the shashing and filler triangles.

I'm very happy with the result, and thrilled to see it hanging in the exhibition.

Pattern: Flea Market Dash by Jen Kingwell (from her book Quilt Lovely)
Size: 64" x 80"

Thursday 2 August 2018

Open Wide bag

Well, I finished my quilt for Capital Quilters' exhibition and handed it in last Saturday.  It was a major relief to get it finished in time.  I can't show you a photo yet, but all will be revealed next weekend. 

If you live in NZ, then do try and make it along to our exhibition at the brand new Lower Hutt Events Centre 11-12 August.  It's going to be a great exhibition with 200 quilts, pop up shops, and a cafe!

So, after I'd finished hand quilting my exhibition quilt, I had a great feeling of freedom and knew I could sew anything I wanted to. 

I started by making a small bag from a pattern I'd purchased at the Sydney Quilt Show.  The pattern is called Open Wide, and it's byAnnie

I used Annie's Soft and Stable in it so it stands up nicely by itself.  Here's a hint - I sewed together small scraps of Soft and Stable, planning where the folds in the bag would occur. I put the seams on the folds and it works perfectly!

I also used a chunky zip because I've always liked chunky zips.  I skipped the internal pockets because I didn't think I'd use them.

This bag will hold my hand piecing or English paper piecing when I go travelling. I've securely attached my tiny travel scissors so they won't fall on the floor in a plane. 

I know some people run these bags up in an afternoon, but I'm fussy and I like everything to be neat, so I took a bit longer and hand sewed down my bindings.