Friday 31 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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Friday 24 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. 

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!
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Friday 17 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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Friday 10 January 2020

My quilting priorities for 2020 (and the Peacock Party)

It's the start of a new year, so it's time to think about what I'd like to make in 2020.

I have two main quilting goals for 2020:
1.  to move away from English Paper Piecing to hand piecing with a running stitch
2.  to find a method of applique that suits me.

I'll be keeping those goals in mind as I work on these quilts below in 2020.

Here are the quilts I've already started and really want to finish in the first half of 2020:

1.  Ballet with Kaffe Fassett by Willyne Hammerstein from Millefiori Quilts 2.
See the tab at the top of my blog for all the details on this quilt (or click here).  I started this quilt in June 2017.  I'm going to finish it by hand quilting it in 2020.

2.  Glitter by Jen Kingwell
Another long term project, but again, it will be finished in 2020.  I started this quilt in a class with Jen Kingwell at the Christchurch Quilt Symposium in October 2017 so it contains lots of happy memories.  I hand pieced my blocks, and I'm now hand quilting it.  I'll share a full photo when it's finished.

3.  Cartwheel by Liza Prior Lucy for Kaffe Fassett Collective Quilt Grandeur book.  
I've started hand quilting this quilt (click here to see), but stitching along all those black lines it taking forever!! I know it's worth it though, so I'll keep going.

I've also started these quilts, but they aren't quite so high on the finishing list:

4.  Green Diamonds
This is my own way to use up some of the diamonds we cut at the Kaffe Fassett class in January 2018.  I need to baste this lap quilt and then I can quilt it.

5.  Neptune and the Mermaid - pattern is Pieces of the Past by Wendy Whellum
This was so much fun to make (click here to read more).  Now I just need to get it basted and then I will hand quilt it.

6.   Cross Country by Anna Maria Horner
I started this quilt in a class with Anna Maria Horner  just a few weeks ago in November 2019 (click here to read more).  However, I'm now on the look out for a perfect fabric for the big triangles on the sides.  I've seen some online, but they don't get released until mid 2020, so this quilt will be on hold for a while.

I've made a few changes to my plan since I left the class - I couldn't get a balance of colours that I was happy with, so I started again.

What I left the class with

What it looks like now

These are new quilts that I'd like to start in 2020:

7.  Don't Leaf Me by Wendy Williams
I have the kit, and have made a tiny start, but I would like to do more on this quilt in 2020. 

8.  Endless Summer by Anna Maria Horner
I got this kit for Christmas because I love the framed drawings by Monika Forsberg.  I'll love making this quilt.

9.  Stars Upon Stars by Edyta Sitar
I know, I say it every year. but 2020 is the year I will start this quilt.  Now I've got rubber stamps and I'm going to hand piece my quilt just like the Dutch ladies do.

10.  Something new from Millefiori Quilts 4
I can't wait to get my own copy of Willyne Hammerstein's new book.  This time I'm going to hand piece rather than English Paper Piece so that will be fun.

I tried to restrict my list to 10 things, but I really must include

11. Marshal by Jen Kingwell - the Quiltmania mystery quilt. 
I'm not going to let these pieces languish in the cupboard.  I have a plan in mind, and I want to finish this quilt in 2020.

12.  And the wedding quilt I have promised to make for some friends getting married in October.

So that's my list for 2020.  I don't expect to get them all finished in 2020, but these are the quilts that I will be working on.

What have you been up to lately?  Feel free to link up a recent blog post below and join in the Peacock Party.

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Friday 3 January 2020

Ballet with Kaffe top is finished (and the Peacock Party)

I'm thrilled to say that I finished piecing my Ballet with Kaffe quilt on New Year's Day.

It still needs borders, but I was so happy to finally finish the English Paper Piecing. My inspiration fabric will certainly feature in the borders, and I do hope that I've got enough to use it as the backing too.

Inspiration fabric is on the right.

In the final few days I had to swap out some rosettes that I'd previously sewed in.  I hate doing that, but when the colours are wrong, they are just wrong and those rosettes just have to go. 

I didn't like the colour of the star circled in the picture below.  It looked too similar to the 10 pointed stars circling the big rosette on the right.

So I unpicked it and replaced it with the star shown below in the centre of the photo.  This new fabric hints at the mustard colour used in the big rosette on the right, but isn't as dominant as the aqua was.

I've surprised myself with how far I've come since I pulled this quilt out on 8 December.  In three and a half weeks I finished something that has sat in the cupboard for the last 10 months.  Why didn't I do it sooner?

as at 9 December 2019

I do think the motivation of seeing Millefiori Quilts Book 4 has certainly helped.  I still don't know of any copies of Willyne Hammerstein's new book for sale in New Zealand, but it will get here eventually.

If you'd like to know more about Ballet with Kaffe, you can read ALL my posts on the tab at the top of my blog, or by clicking here.

What have you been up to lately? Have you been sewing up a storm over the Christmas / New Year period?  Feel free to link up below and show us all what you've been doing - holidays or sewing.

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