Friday 27 March 2020

Hanging Sleeve video

I've received such a lot of positive feedback about my hand piecing videos - thank you to everyone who has sent me messages of support.

Many of you asked for more videos on a range of topics, but I decided to cover hanging sleeves first.

Hanging sleeves aren't just for exhibition quilts - they allow you to hang quilts in your home too.

My Holiday Homies quilt hanging above the spare bed

I belong to Capital Quilters guild, and we have our exhibition coming up in August 2020.  I was going to give a little talk about hanging sleeves at our next guild meeting, but New Zealand is now in a 4 week lock down for Corona Virus, so that isn't going to happen.

So I made a video instead, and here it is:

I use Jacqui Geering's method for making 4" deep hanging sleeves, and that's the method I demonstrate in my video.   You can find the written instructions on Jaqui's blog here.

Some of the important things I cover in the video are:
- when and how to leave room for a hook in the centre of your quilt
- where to position the hanging sleeve on the back of the quilt
- how wide to cut the fabric for the sleeve (it's 8 1/2")

So I hope you find it useful.  My regular cameraman was away, so I had to train another one.  This video won't win any prizes, but apparently my audience prefer the rustic homemade style anyway!

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

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Friday 20 March 2020

Another quilt backing

This week I've been working on another quilt backing - although now I look at it, it could equally be another quilt top!

These blocks are cut 10.5" x 6.5", and I'll use 6.5" x 6.5" pieces to complete the rows.

My aim is to use up my least favourite pieces of fabric, and free up space in my storage containers for yummy new fabrics when the time is right.

It all looks a bit yellow and red above, but I still need four more rows and I intend to use a lot of green and blue in those rows.  I'll intersperse the new rows amongst the rows shown above.

Here's how my kitchen bench has looked this week as I've worked on this backing.

Our main library in Wellington has been closed for a year now due to earthquake risk.  However a brand new library has opened at Johnsonville, and they had some quite new craft books when I visited this week.

These will keep me busy.

(I know COVID-19 is affecting everyone, and it's reached New Zealand too, but I'm not going to talk about it on my blog if I can help it.  I want to keep this as a happy place where you can indulge in your hobby and get inspiration for whatever craft it is that you enjoy.)

So 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 13 March 2020

Kantha quilting

Have you heard of Kantha quilting?

 My online friend Shruti Dandekar says:

Kantha is one of the traditional styles of handwork popular in Eastern India - especially the state of West Bengal - and Bangladesh. It is used to either add embroidery to fabric or to quilt.

You can read more about it here in Wikipedia.

This month Aurifil have asked some of the Aurifil Artisans to experiment with Kantha quilting and Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

I've decided to use my variegated 12wt Aurifil threads on this fat quarter of Kaffe's fabric called Busy Lizzy.  I'm quilting the whole fat quarter with Kantha quilting, and then I'm going to turn it into a pouch - or maybe even two.

Kantha quilting is very relaxing.  You don't need to follow straight lines.  I use a hoop because that's how I quilt and I struggle to do it without a hoop.  It was just easier for me to pop it in a hoop.

I even decided to add a squiggle to mine, so I used a hera marker to mark the squiggle, but will then just stitch along side it with more free form lines.  You can see my marked squiggle very faintly in the photo below.

If you're wondering which needles I use (John James Chenille size 24), which thimble I use (Clover Open Sided), or anything else, you can find details of all my favourite hand quilting accessories at the bottom of this post here. 

I'm still undecided about which zip to use on my pouch.  You're probably thinking that I've got too many options, but I do love zips with round pullers.  They remind me of a ski jacket my mum made for me in about 1978.  I loved that ski jacket with it's white zip with chunky teeth and a round puller.  The pockets even had white zips with round pullers too!

Updated: I bought these zips from Studio Mio in Australia

So that's what I'm up to this week.  Oh, and trying to catch the sunrise because we're having some beauties at the moment.

What have you been up to this week?  Feel free to link up a blog post below.

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Friday 6 March 2020

Quilt backings (NOT the boring type)

It seems like I'm never at home at the moment.  I was in Dunedin on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, and by the time you read this, I will be in New Plymouth for a few days. 
While I was in Dunedin I caught up with my good friend Sue Lucas.  Sue took me home to her house and I got to see some of her amazing embroidery (plus quite a few unfinished quilts). I've got quite a few photos to share, but I'll save them for a future blog post.   

The view from Sue's house. 

Just one of the many embroidery WIPs at Sue's house

In between travelling I've managed to make a few quilt backs and progress three quilts to the next stage.

The fabric is by Tokyo Milk for Free Spirit Fabrics

First up is the backing for my Neptune and the Mermaid quilt shown here:

This quilt is off being basted at Busy Bee Quilt Shop at the moment.  I intend to hand quilt it myself, but I like to get it basted on a long arm machine so I can be sure that the top is centred on the backing.

Next up is the backing for my Ballet with Kaffe quilt by Willyne Hammerstein.  I was quite nervous about cutting this precious Cotton + Steel fabric.

I want to use some of the backing fabric on the borders too, so I had to be very careful with the cutting.  Here's a reminder of what my Ballet with Kaffe quilt looks like.

Then the third backing is for my Kaffe Fassett Green Diamonds quilt.

I'm making a pieced backing for this quilt because I bought a lot of red Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the Green Diamonds class, and I didn't use them all.  The class was two years ago, but I couldn't get enthused about finishing my top, so I've re purposed the diamonds into something else and I'll reveal that soon. Here's what I was aiming for:

And here's how much I sewed together:

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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