Friday 28 February 2020

Entering Quilt Shows

Today I entered two quilts in to the Sydney Quilt Show.

Although I live in New Zealand, I am a member of the QuiltNSW guild in Australia.  I joined that guild when I realised that I couldn't enter my la passacaglia quilt into any exhibitions in New Zealand.  Our national show (Symposium) says that all quilts have to be original design, although they appeared to be relenting on that at the Auckland Symposium.

Although I've know for weeks which quilts I'm going to enter, neither of them are finished yet, and neither of them had names yet! 

QuiltNSW are very generous and let people enter quilts that aren't finished yet.  The guild can do that because it's not a juried show - every member has the right to enter at least one quilt.  If there are too many quilts, they run a ballot and some people's second choices are declined entry.

Last year I ended up in a rush and was still hand quilting my Carnival quilt in May, and I vowed I wouldn't do that again this year.  But entries close in the first week of March, and it's too hot to hand quilt in February.  The good news is that this year's entries are much further along that last year's, and I could finish them both within the next two weeks if I had to. 

You can read more about Carnival here

As for the names - well that was difficult.  I like to give my quilts personalised names, rather than just calling them the name of the pattern.  That's not always easy - especially when I called last year's quilt Carnival and it would have been perfect for this year's quilt. 

But the good news is that I've settled on names for both of my entries and completed them now. 

This will be my fourth year entering the QuiltNSW show.  I love meeting all my online friends, and shopping at all the stalls at the show.  Making an annual pilgrimage to Kathy Doughty's shop, Material Obsession, is also a must.

What have you been up to this week? Feel free to link up a recent blog post below:
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Friday 21 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 are now making hand piecing templates too.  Here's a link to all the templates and papers they have for Willyne Hammerstein's designs -

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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Friday 14 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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Saturday 8 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!

Friday 7 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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