Monday, July 30, 2012

Crochet - Gwen's Rainbow Square.

Gwen's Rainbow Square was designed by Gwen Leadbitter

This is a crochet square interwoven with one centre circle (white) then adding four half circles and the last step is to crochet the black square which forms the border.

The squares will be crochet into a rug.

 I still have a long way to go to complete this one. It's a work in progress. It's an easy pattern to follow and the pattern is free to download from Crochet Australia.


Saturday, July 21, 2012

Paper-Piecing Stars

A year ago I chose to use the paper-piecing method to construct a quilt for my grandson, Dylan (present for his 18th birthday 2013).  I have given myself another year to finish it -Yes, I know I am nuts LOL.  I chose the paper-piecing method for its convenient mobility. I have been working with one piece at a time, so I am able to pick it up and take it with me wherever I go and bring it out when I have a few spare moments in the evening watching TV or when we are away caravanning and camping.

I cut out and covered 432 cardboard Hexagons shapes with muslin, background fabric. I also cut 2,430 diamonds from cardboard. I chose cardboard not paper because I plan to re-use the cardboard 2 to 3 times more in other projects.
Each star block consists of 6 cardboard diamonds covered by fabric 1/4" larger than the cardboard and 2 hexagons covered by fabric 1/4" larger than the cardboard. I am using three Gutermann's threads Cream, Brown & Grey.  The light Cream thread 829 for the light value fabrics, medium Brown thread 1125 for the medium value fabrics and dark Grey thread 305 for the dark value fabrics.
Using whip-stitch I sew 3 diamonds together first, by placing 2 diamonds right sides together and whip-stitched along the edge, just catching the edge of the fabric and missing the cardboard, (as the cardboard will be removed later), then I whip-stitch the 3rd diamond to the others, this makes one halve of the star, then I repeat the process to the remaining 3 diamonds that are left, (second halve of star), then it’s a simple task to whip-stitch the two halves together in one straight line down the centre.
The next step is to whip stitch the 2 covered hexagons to the star (this completes one star block).

  I will need to make a total of 405 Stars blocks.

Once all the Star Blocks have been made I will need to join the star blocks into strips. The 1st rows will consist of 14 star blocks whip-stitched together and 2nd row will consist of 13 star blocks. I will need to repeat this step until all the star blocks are sewn together into strips.

It will be necessary to add a single diamond to both ends of each Row 2 to complete the design.

For the top and bottom of the quilt, a row of single hexagons joined by the pair of diamonds is needed to complete the design. This will form the quilt centre (main body of the quilt). 

Then I will need to cut 4 outside border strips from fabric (not sure what colour yet or how wide these border strips will be cut), but they will need to be cut wider than the finished width, as part of the border will go under the quilt centre.

The plan is to applique, using blind stitch, the quilt centre to these side borders leaving a portion at each corner unstitched to allow me access to join the corners by a mitre, then applique the unstitched section to the border.

It's a great opportunity to use some fabrics from my stash and try out different colour combinations and techniques to make the stars spin.
Until next time happy quilting


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Mermaid, Hearts & Pansies

 This single bed quilt was made for my granddaughter, Samantha (Sam) a few years ago. The design and layout was my own idea and I really enjoyed the whole process of using different techniques and trying to put this quilt together.

I started with the heart blocks using material cut from hand painted fabric the hearts were then pieced together by machine, the centre mermaid and pansies blocks (appliqued) were cut from fat quarters and my fabric stash, which was small at the time of making this quilt but has grown very large since then and still growing, the pansy and mermaid blocks were then hand appliqued using blanket stitch, sewing neatly around the edges with one strand of colour matched DMC embroidery thread to the mermaid or pansy petals colours not the background fabric.

I then joined four blocks together (consisting of 3 hearts and 1 pansy block) I made black bias binding using a ½" (2mm) Clover Bias Maker, 1" (25mm) black cotton strips (cut on the cross of the fabric) and ¼" (6mm) strips of Heat and Bond tape, I then added two borders (one blue fabric print and the other pink fabric print) to the two sides (right and bottom), after joining the borders to the block I squared up the 12 blocks, each block measured 15½" x15½".
With the centre panel I kept adding borders until the centre mermaid panel measured 30½" x 30½" 

 The mermaid was hand appliqued to the white panel using blanket stitch, using one strand of colour matching DMC embroidery thread.

I wanted to try the “Quilt as You Go”(QAYG) method so I sandwiched the batting and backing fabric to the 12 individual blocks and the mermaid panel.  Once this was done using my domestic machine with the open-toe foot (darning foot) attached, I  free-motion quilted in the ditch around each pansy and the mermaid shape. This time I used white thread to match the background fabric.  

The mermaid panel was diagonally quilted with lines of cross-hatching, as a guide I used 1" removable tape (packing tape) for my machine walking foot to follow, the pansy border fabric was quilted using free-motion open-toe foot (darning foot) following the print of the pansy fabric (this was good way to practice free-motion quilting and I gained a lot of confidence by doing this).

Then I changed to a walking foot and quilted each heart block by echoing ½" inside each heart matching threads to the hearts colour, then changing thread to white and  I stitched in the ditch around the outside of the each heart shapes.

The next step was to join 2 blocks together and joint the blocks to the right and left sides of the centre panel of the mermaid, I then joined 4 blocks to the top of the quilt and the 4 remainding blocks to the bottom of the quilt. I used the “Quilt as You Go”(QAYG) method here as well.

The quilt was returned to me after years of wear and tear for repair by my granddaughter, who had loved it to death, I replaced the original binding (which was pink) with a brighter pink binding, the original binding had worn away and was becoming thread bear in places. It was a simple repair job but with a bit of unpicking and sewing the quilt was made new again, it has been returned to my granddaughter for more loving.

Happy quilting

I have just finished reading an amazing book about my ancestors (direct descendent mother side of family) the book titled "On the Back of Two Sheep" is about my family history and how that line of my family came to Australia from England 196 years ago. For the crime of stealing two sheep, my ancestor George Solomon Webb, aged 26 was transported on the ship “Morley” to the penal settlement of New South Wales in December 1816. After marring and gaining his Certificate of Freedom, he and his family journeyed south and made their home west of the Murrumbidgee River the family branched out and became well known pioneering settlers on the Tidbinbilla and Urayarra Runs. Claire Lewis has made my ancestors and family names come to life from these pages, reading of their hardships I can only imagine how isolated they must have been in the bush trying to carve out a living from the land. Thanks Claire for putting pen to paper.

Copies of this book can be obtained from:
Claire Lewis 1 Dakin Place, Hackett, ACT 2602.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


Hi and welcome to my blog,
I am new to blogging, and this is my first blog - the photo I have posted was taken at xmas (2011) it is of my grandchildren.

Have a fun day quilting.

First post

Hi all,

This blog will be just for fun featuring quilts I have made and sharing information with quilter out  in blogland. I will try and load photos of some of my quilts and comment on how I made them.

Have a fun day quilting
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