If you are not doing what you love, you are wasting your time-Billy Joel

Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Some pics to share

Sharon sent me some pics of her gorgeous quilts using my BOM patterns. She has completed the Giraffe and the Blackwork Birds quilts. The Blackwork Birds quilt is essentially scrappy but is all tied together with the blue background from the embroidery blocks.
Sharon's Giraffe Quilt

Sharon's Blackwork Birds Quilt
My plan for today is to get my cutting table cleared  so that I can sandwich the owl quilt together and then get it quilted. I need to get back into completing some projects.

Monday, 29 April 2013

Owl Quilt Progress and a Beautiful Aristocat quilt to look at

I have finally finished stitching out my owls and have put the quit together. I am still grappling with the fact that in retirement I do not have to go at warp speed to try and finish everything so have tried to slow down and take some time off to watch tv etc. whilst doing this quilt. I am feeling a little guilty that I need to do some more  Crazy quilt lessons as well as Block 4 in the Floral Sketches 2 BOM.

I am very pleased  with how this cot/lap sized quilt has turned  out. I have used stash fabric for the borders and the outer border has circles with brown specks that look very much like large owl eyes. I will bind the quilt in the blue fabric as well. I only had a metre of the outer fabric and used my favourite setting for making a  quilt with limited fabric. I also made the vertical border a little wider than the top and bottom borders to give the quilt more width. I hope this is not considered a crime by the "quilt police."
Just a reminder this quilt was made by using the machine embroidered Owl Tree designs by the Quiltery and adapting the machine applique quilt pattern to use as a base and layout.
 Hopefuly I will get this quilted over the  next day or so and will then send out the instructions to those who have signed up to receive these lessons.
Now I have this gorgeous Aristocat quilt to share with you. Rachel made this and it is just spectacular. I will be adding more of these intricate elements into our BOM's now that you all know how to make flying geese and half square triangles easily.
Rachel's Aristocat quilt
Be on the look out for a tutorial on starching, pressing and prepping fabric ready to embroider later on in the week.

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Freebie Roundup

I have quite a few bits and pieces for you today.

First up it is Week 3 of the San Francisco Stitch Co Yahoo group Spell Binder mystery. Make sure you go to the group and sign up if you wish to do this mystery project. Each instalment is only available for a week and if you miss one you can purchase it from their website for $1.49 . There are 2 designs this week and we are starting to see the project come together. I should be starting mine but I am going to wait a tad longer to see just what the finished project just might be.

Remember to hop on over to Ageless Embroidery to collect any letters from their freeSpringtime font that you may have forgotten to download.

Zundt Design have two new free designs of Gerberas. The project to go with them  has been designed by Tracey Sims and is in the current editon of the Australian Machine Embroidery and Textile Art Magazine  

Urban Threads have a lovely heart for another week or so.

Creative Machine Embroidery Magazine have lovely freebie projects on the following links. Once on each page follow the links to download the free design for each project.
Summer themed counting book
Pillow with the word MOM
Fruit designs for tea/dish towels etc
Teatime tablescape tablemat/cloth
Cross Stitch Carryall

Designs in Machine embroidery have the following three free designs.

In collaboration with Designs in Machine Embroidery there is also a free butterfly design to be picked up at MyEmbroideries. The design is a large one for a 13.8 x 11.4 inch hoop but does come in two parts so may be useful for those with Grand Dream hoops etc. You need to use the code  dimeapril2013  before April 30

Kreative Kiwi have a  set of 10 lovely RW Mother's Day designs. Just one of the designs is below
Also do not forgot to go to the Quiltery and collect the machine applique  kool Kat Ralph in their free BOM. Remember he is not a digitized  machine embroidery applique.

Saturday, 27 April 2013

Tips and Hints 5- Using Masking Tape/Painter's Tape in Hooping

Being short in stature I have always found it difficult to be high enough standing over any table to be able to assemble large hoops with fabric/stabilizer etc without having everything shift and move out of alignment. Very early on in my embroidering addiction journey I began using masking tape/painter's tape to help me do this.
I use masking tap on two of the the under sides of the inner hoop that sits on top of the fabric to be embroidered. I just tear off lengths of tape long enough to cover two of the sides, fold it in half and stick one side to the hoop as shown. 
When the hoop is flipped over the half side of tape not stuck to the hoop sticks to the fabric to be hooped and does not move as you insert the inner hoop into the outer hoop. I still use this method everytime I hoop with my larger hoops especially the ones that are larger than 8 inches in length.
 You can also stop the outer hoop from moving around by placing it against a solid board such as a chopping board. If you have a hoop that is completely rectangular or square without being rounded on the top and bottom you can tack some pieces of wooden beading onto a board base to stop the outer hoop from moving around.
 I know there are specialised accessories to help us hoop but I have always achieved fairly accurate success with my own home grown ideas. 

Friday, 26 April 2013

Suppliers for Micro Brushes

Some of my blog followers have emailed me to say that Amazon also sells the micro brushes/applicators that I talked about in my previous post. The Ebay seller that I use does not post to the US.

Tips and Hints 4- Cleaning Your Machine with Micro Applicators/Brushes

I am sure that you all know how to clean your sewing machines but we do not always have the most user friendly tools to do it with. I have been using these little bendable brushes called Micro Applicator/ Micro Brushes for a while now ( think I got a few from my dentist a few years ago) and thought I would share them with you. I remember seeing them at the dentist and thinking what a great little tool they would be to get into all of those little nooks and crannies that normal brushes, cotton buds etc just do not reach. If they get into your teeth they must be fine to get into our machines I thought.

Micro brush
 Was I surprised to see them in an Eleanor Burns webinar very recently. So what is special about these little brushes? They are bendable and that little tip on the end collects dust and loose threads like you would not believe and there is no fear of it coming off and lodging in parts of the machine.

Eleanor has them for sale in her Quilt in Day shop but I buy mine in lots of 100 from an Ebay seller who sells dental lab supplies. You can buy them for applying false eyelashes as well I think.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Owl Quilt Underway and Hints and Tips Page Tab

 I have added a tab for Hints and Tips on the top of my blog. Every time  I publish a new  hint, tip or tutorial I will update this page as well. There will be links to the individual blog posts from this page.
I have spent a couple of days dealing with an inflamed eye so I have been a bit slack with my sewing, blog posting and answering emails.

I have started work on the owl quilt using the designs from the Quiltery Embroidery Club. I am combining these embroidered designs with applique elements from the  pattern club owl set. I have applique stitched the branch onto the fabric and then machine embroidered the owls over the branches. I am cutting and stitching  each row in one section rather than making different squares and then stitching them together. I apologise that the colour in my photo is not that wonderful today. The designs are actually embroidered on white fabric but it looks blue in the photo.
Just a reminder that if you want to receive the projects I design and adapt from the  Quiltery Embroidery Designs and Pattern Clubs you can email me to be added to the list.

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Freebie Alert- Be Quick

Anne from Scotland alerted me that the sew4home  website is having Janome week and as part of that have a free placemat and napkin project with designs for download.  The page can be found HERE.

Great British Sewing Bee Final

The last episode in this series of the Great British Sewing Bee has aired in the UK and has been posted on You Tube . Here is a link to it.
If you have missed my Hints and Tips 3 from yesterday make sure to check them out for tips on marking the position of templates to line up on your machine.

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Hints and Tips 3 - Accurately Marking with Templates

One of the aspects of machine embroidery that a lot of people find difficult is to accurately transfer the marking for centre of their design to their fabric from templates especially if they multi hooping. We can all transfer the centre marks on our  the outer points of out templates to our fabric to be embroidered but it is that very centre point  where we want the needle to drop when we place the hoop on the machine that is crucial to success.  If we have that we can use the jog stitches on our machines to accurately ensure we drop the needle  in the centre of the design before pushing the button to start embroidering.
You can use an awl specifically for sewing or there are tools in the hardware shop you can use, in fact a sharp knitting needle or shish kebab stick will do the job. Whatever you choose it must make hole large enough for a marking pen to go through
Cut around the template if you ned to line it up accurately against another design etc. Using the awl put a hole in the very centre of the template you have printed out as well as each one the four points of the compass.
Using your wash away or fade away fabric marker mark all five points through the holes
Connect up the points if you wish to. Now you have a perfect placement hole to line up your needle with.


Monday, 22 April 2013

Hints and Tips 2- Quilting in The hoop

Many digitizers are selling ITH quilting designs and may or may not give tips and hints to ensure that you end up with a successful result that mirrors free motion machine quilting using a straight stitch. I am using a free sample from Kenny Kreations for this tutorial.

Make a test sample and stitch that out before starting on a full project. You can make adjustments to that without running the risk of messing up a project you have spent many precious hours creating.
Before you start make some adjustments on your machine.
·   Slow your machine speed down
·   Turn the trimming option OFF

·   If you have an option that stops after the first stitch turn that on

·    Do not hoop all three layers if you are quilting using a high loft batting. I like to use a low loft bamboo or polyester batting and I am usually able to hoop all three layers. If you are not going to hoop all three layers you may choose to hoop the backing fabric and then machine baste the batting and top fabric. The problem of hooping a pre assembled quilt can be addressed by hooping water soluble stabilizer and then basting the quilt to that. If you are quilting a large object make sure that it is well supported. If you have folding tables etc use them to help provide support.
·      Make sure that you use good quality thread and not bobbin thread in the bobbin. You may need to adjust the top tension to achieve satisfactory results. Also using a larger machine needle such as a Size14 will improve results.
·       Once you begin stitching only take one stitch and stop the machine. Use that feature on your machine if you have it.
·       Tug on the thread and pull the bobbin thread completely through to the top. Hold the threads in your fingers and stitch a few more stitches of the design until you think you have access to be able to end of the threads.
·       Take both threads and tie a knot. Thread the tails through a needle with a large eye and bury a few inches away from where you tied the knot. As you pull the threads through make sure the knot gets pulled down into the fabric. Trim the threads.
·       A curved needle might help here if you have one. Quite often they come in a mixed selection of needles.
·       Continue stitching the design and if you have the cutter turned off it will not cut the threads at the end of the design.
·       Take the hoop off the machine and clip the threads leaving about a 6 inch tail top and bottom.
·       Once again tug on the top thread until the bottom (bobbin) thread is pulled to the top. Repeat the process of tying the knot and burying the threads.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Crazy Quilt Block 15

I have just sent out Crazy Block 15 in the Crazy quilt BOM. I was waiting for the colder moths to do most of these blocks especially the embellishing of them and the colder months certainly appear to have arrived here in Tasmania.
Crazy Quilt Block 15

I have done very little sewing over the last few days. I have spent 2 days taking down the 6 floor length  curtains in the lounge room and washing and pressing them along with the valances for each window.
 I have also been revising some of my university maths as a former student is wanting a bit of help with his maths for his university engineering course. Some of this maths I have not had to use or remember for 35 years so it is a bit of a challenge.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Freebie Round Up

There are quite a few freebie bits and pieces that I want to alert you to this morning.
First up Embroidery Library have 3 lovely vintage border designs which could be used on may projects. They are available until April 21 US time. They would look wonderful around the bottom of an apron or perhaps the end of  a pillowcase.

Week 2 of the San Francisco Stitch Co Yahoo group Spell Binder mystery is also available from the group files. Make sure you go to the group and sign up if you wish to do this mystery project. Each instalment is only available for a week and if you miss one you can purchase it from their website  for $1.49

Flair magazine have posted some freebies for their latest magazine . You can find the freebies to download on the right hand side of their home page. One of them is a cute little needlecase.

Urban threads have a lovely free design until April 22nd. The Earth Tree has each of the contrinents as the leaves. Tasmania is right over in the lower right hand side of the tree. It is just hanging in there by the skin of its teeth.

The Quiltery have their latest cat Zelda in the Kool Kats quilt BOM available. This is a traditionally sewn applique design not an embroidered applique design. However, they also have Maynard as an embroidery freebie.

The Quiltery are also  having a sale. For $100 you can have access to all of the design sets in their embroidery club and also the coordinating quilt patterns in their pattern club. Each pattern has a corresponding embroidery design set in most cases so you can choose an element from the quilt pattern and combine it with the embroidered design rather than an applique element. You actually get all of the designs and quilt projects in each of those sets. Click on each set in both the embroidery club designs and the pattern club designs to what is actually available. 
I am going to sign up for both and will be making some projects combining sections from both clubs down the track. If you would like to join my mailing group where we make projects with these  designs and patterns please email me HERE
Missouri Star Quilt Co also have another great new video on how to easily cut and stitch the old favourite Hourglass block. Of course you do not have to buy layer cakes to make this quilt. You can cut 10 inch squares from your stash. In fact you can make this quilt with any size squares.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Bits and Pieces roundup

I started off this week with lots of plans but when you are retired life just seems to fly by.
I have finally emailed the instructions for Block 3 in the Floral Sketches 2 BOM. This time I have the same block for both the 5x7 design size quilt and also the larger 6x8.
Floral Sketches 2 BOM Block 3
I also had a lovely surprise during the week that made my day. Pat sent me a thank you gift of these gorgeous fabrics. You can tell she has picked up on my love of black and white fabrics. I was so excited when these came in the mail

Pat also sent me a pic of her cat blocks in progress.Someone is going to be very happy when they receive this.
Anita sent me pic of her Aristocat quilt top. I just love the colours with the black.