Thursday, 20 February 2020

Millefiori Quilts 4

I'm so excited! I now have a copy of Millefiori Quilts 4 by Willyne Hammerstein.



Millefiori Quilts 4 is Willyne's latest book for Quiltmania and it contains another 19 amazing quilt patterns.  

My Ballet with Kaffe quilt waiting to be hand quilted

As I've been good and finished the English Paper Piecing on my Ballet with Kaffe quilt from Book 2 (photo above), I rushed out and ordered some templates for two of the quilts in Book 4.  

I chose "Send Flowers to Your Loved Ones" and ordered the hand piecing acrylic templates for it.  Because as I've said before, I really want to move to hand piecing for my next Millefiori quilt.  by the way, I've added a new tab at the top of my blog so you can easily find the links to my YouTube videos on hand piecing.  Or you can click here to get to that page.  

It's great to see that www.paperpieces.com are now making hand piecing templates too.  Here's a link to all the templates and papers they have for Willyne Hammerstein's designs - https://www.paperpieces.com/designers/willyne-hammerstein



My mum (Joy) got hooked on English Paper Piecing shortly after I started my la Passacaglia.  Mum was staying at my house for a few days and couldn't resist making "just one" rosette to see how it all worked.  Well, that quickly grew into an obsession, and mum made a full la Passacaglia quilt too.

My mum, Joy Hill, and her la Passacaglia quilt

my la Passacaglia quilt

Both of our quilts in the New Zealand Quilter magazine in 2016

So, while I was ordering my templates for "Send Flowers to Your Loved Ones" for me, I ordered some paper pieces and acrylic templates for mum too.  I chose "Raindrops are Falling on my Head" for mum - after a bit of consultation via Facetime on our phones. Mum lives 750kms away in Auckland, and she doesn't have a copy of the book yet, but I'm confident that she will like this pattern.



The templates have backing paper on them when they are shipped.  We will peel the backing off before we use them.  They are actually see through so we can fussy cut if we want to.

So, that's something to keep us both busy during the year ahead.

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  Feel free to share a recent blog post below.




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Thursday, 13 February 2020

Cartwheel progress

I'm very nearly finished my Cartwheel quilt from Kaffe Fassett's Quilt Grandeur book, and I love it. I haven't put the binding on yet, but I wanted to get a photo after I finished the hand quilting.



The last stitches going in.

 I started this quilt on a rainy day in August 2018.  I remember it well, because I wasn't going to start anything new, but winter was getting me down, and the bright colours in this quilt looked so appealing. 



Foundation paper piecing the spokes in the cartwheels took a few months, but by November 2018 I was ready to start assembling the blocks. 

Rainbow ricrac is from Spotlight in New Zealand



By March 2019 I had the top together, but I didn't start hand quilting it until July 2019, and then I only did a few blocks before putting it away and moving on to other things.  I didn't like my original idea for the hand quilting, so I left it while I came up with a new plan. 



I quilted in the ditch on the spokes


I pulled this quilt out again a few weeks ago in mid January, and decided it was time to finish it now.  I stuck with it and now it's all quilted, and I just have to put the binding on. 

This quilt will be a lovely soft lap quilt for cold winter evenings because it's got wool batting - my favourite type of batting for hand quilting and warmth in winter. 



Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week?  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below:



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Friday, 7 February 2020

Hand Piecing 103 video - 8 pointed stars

Many people have asked me how I got the centre tight on the 8 pointed stars in my first video.  So, I've made a third video explaining how I did it. This video also includes more demonstrations of me stitching, and the tailors' knot.



I learnt this trick for the centres from Willyne Hammerstein when I attended her class at the Australasian Quilt Convention (AQC) in Melbourne in 2018. 


This is Willyne Hammerstein's Moncarapacho quilt that was on display at AQC.  Willyne hand pieced it all and hand quilted it too.  This is hand piecing at its finest!





Even if you've studied my videos really closely, I'd still encourage you to attend a class with a hand piecing tutor if you can.  I've attended 3 hand piecing classes, and I've learnt new tips from each of the tutors. There's nothing like sitting with an expert for a few hours or days.

The Lady Wigram quilt I hand pieced from the Bella Ruby pattern by Treehouse Textiles

There's one remaining area of hand piecing that I might cover yet - curved hand piecing.  Most of us loathe curved piecing on the sewing machine, so I will show you how easy it can be when it's done by hand.

If you missed my earlier links to my hand piecing videos, here they are:

Hand Piecing 101 shows quilters how to hand piece.  It also explains why we hand piece, the options for transferring the stitching lines onto fabric, and the needles, pins and threads required.

Hand Piecing 102 shows how to make hand piecing templates from template plastic.  It explains how to get straight edges on templates, which pens and scissors to use, and how to use the Simple Seam Wheel.

It's so encouraging to hear that many of you are giving hand piecing a go after watching my videos.  Thank you!



Thursday, 6 February 2020

Hand Piecing 102 video - making your own templates

Well, I never expected that my video on hand piecing would be so popular!  Thank you for all the positive feedback on my last post and my Hand Piecing 101 video.

I thought that most hand piecers purchased acrylic templates, but there clearly are a lot of people who make their own templates, and many of you wanted tips on how to make accurate templates.

So, my next video, Hand Piecing 102, is all about how to make your own hand piecing templates from template plastic.

You can watch it here:



Hand Piecing 102 explains how to get straight edges on templates, which pens and scissors to use, and how to use the Simple Seam Wheel by Jen Kingwell.

some hand piecing in progress - Jen Kingwell's Marshal Mystery quilt


the ring above turned into this - the purple centre isn't appliqued on yet.

Note that my block isn't perfect - there's a bit of extra fabric in there, but it will OK

As I mention in the video, my block doesn't sit perfectly flat, but it will be OK when I applique it onto the background.  It's hand made so there's bound to be some imperfections.  I can live with that and know for certain that it's better than I could have managed on my sewing machine.


Just like last time, if you have questions or comments, just leave a comment below or on the video, or send me an email via the box on the right hand side of my blog.  Thanks for watching!

And yes, my next video will be about 8 or 10 pointed stars.  I've got all the pieces ready and I just need to convince my cameraman that it's time to start filming!



Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  This is where you get to share what you've been working on lately.  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below:



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Thursday, 30 January 2020

Hand Piecing 101 video

Guess what! I made a video.


A number of people have asked me about hand piecing recently so I made a video.  It's just a little home movie - nothing flash - but I think it covers all you need to know.

It's interesting that when I grew up in the 1980's in New Zealand my mum taught me how to English Paper Piece with hexagons.  It was a relaxing way to hand sew fabrics together.

But when I met Willyne Hammerstein from the Netherlands, she said that people in Europe grew up hand piecing, and they didn't understand why we insisted on wrapping fabric around papers (English Paper Piecing).

Now more and more of us who grew up English Paper Piecing are wanting to try hand piecing.  We realise that English Paper Piecing large quilts is hard on our hands and we think hand piecing will be gentler.   I've certainly enjoyed hand piecing the three large quilts I've made to date:

Glitter - designed by Jen Kingwell of Amitie Textiles

Bella Ruby pattern by Emma Di Stefano of Tree House Textiles

Pieces of the Past designed by Wendy Whellum of Legend and Lace

So, my little video will show you how I hand piece.  The actual stitching starts at 10:30 if you want to jump ahead to the sewing part.

I hope you find it useful.  If you have comments or questions just leave a comment below or on the video, or send me an email via the box on the right hand side of my blog.









Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week?  I've been glued to the Australian Open tennis on TV, but I have been doing quilting while I've been watching.  Feel free to share a recent blog post below.





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Thursday, 23 January 2020

Sashiko table runner

The Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival is on this week, so it's probably a good time to show you my finished sashiko table runner.  

I would love to go the Tokyo Quilt Show one day.  In fact I think I'd rather go to the Tokyo show than the Houston show.  The Japanese women love their hand work, and so many of the quilts on display in the Tokyo show are hand pieced and hand quilted.  That's more my style than many of the heavily machine quilted quilts at Houston.  

Anyway, here's some photos of my sashiko table runner - or maybe it will become a wall hanging.  I need to freshen up my home office so I might pop a hanging sleeve on it and hang it in my office.



I did minimal machine quilting on this piece.  I used my walking foot and carefully outlined the circles.  I also stitched just beside the white stitching lines on the grid.  I only did enough quilting to hold the two layers together.  I didn't do any quilting in the open spaces. 









You'll see that I'm a rebel and mixed the colours up.  Purists might say that sashiko should all be done in white, but I love colour, and I wanted it to work well with my dining chairs. The backs of my dining chairs are pink, purple, and gold - as shown in the second photo. 



I was going to put a facing on my sashiko, but in the end I decided it was easier to just bind it and get it finished.  The binding is so close to the colour of the main fabric that it's not even noticeable. 

This panel is from Indigo Niche in Australia and the stitches were preprinted on it.  There are many companies making these types of panels if you're keen to give it a try.



Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  It's your chance to link up a recent blog post and show us what you've been working on. 

I did notice that the links to some people's blogs didn't work last week because they haven't changed their blogs to https yet. Note the "s" for secure on the end of https. 
If you're on Blogger you need to go to  Settings and then Basic.  The third option down in HTTPS.  Turn it on and your problems will be solved. 
If you have a link to your blog from your Instagram account, then you need to edit your profile and copy in the new https link from a browers on your phone or iPad. 


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Thursday, 16 January 2020

Gingerbread Retreat Cottage

My latest addition to my Gingerbread Village is finished - it's the Gingerbread Retreat Cottage. Isn't it cute?





I've wanted to make this cottage for a few years now, so I'm very pleased to finally have my own version of it to sit on my bookcase at Christmas.




I love the hardanger on the roof.  Thea's patterns are really good and explain how to do hardanger if you haven't done it before.  Don't be put off!


I added my name and the date to the base as I always do.


Even though the pattern didn't specify a base, I always make one to close up the cottages and keep them neat and square.


Unfortunately I didn't get a photo of all the cottages together before I put them away.  But this is my last group photo taken January 2019.



This time I documented all of my finishing tips and you can read them in my earlier blog post here .

Lacing the sides together neatly

Using a curved need to attach the porch roof.

In fact I have a whole page on my blog dedicated to helping people wanting to make their own Gingerbread Village using the patterns designed by Thea Dueck of The Victoria Sampler.  You can read all my tips and advice on the Gingerbread Village tab or by clicking here. 


Now I only have the Flower Shop left to do to catch up with all the cottages currently available.  I've got the pattern and all the supplies, but just need to start the Flower Shop.  It's going to be so cute!!!

Now it's time for the Peacock Party.  What have you been up to this week? Feel free to link up a recent blog post and tell us all what you've been up to.


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