21 August 2012

What I'm loving ...

Aldi's coffee pod machine makes great coffee!
The new Sally Hansen Manicure nail polish! It has a flat, broad brush and it is so easy to use!

17 August 2012

Gift Quilt #2 for August

This is the second quilt I have finished for birthday gifts in August. 
See the Finished Quilts page to see it unwrapped.

15 August 2012

Tutorial - sewing blocks together in onesys, twosys, foursys

Have you heard of onesys, twosys, foursys? This is the term where you sew blocks to together in groups, making ever larger blocks and avoiding numerous long seams.
This method helps you keep control over matching seams, and avoiding the blocks from becoming untrue.

It means that you sew multiples of shorter seams together, avoiding the longer ones until the very end. In this method I have worked at completing rows of seven in shorter seams then sewing them together across all seven.

When working on your own quilts, after laying out the blocks, assess where you should start with onesys, twosys and foursys first, then you may even sew eightsys ... it depends on the amount of blocks.Just keep working in building larger squares as long as possible.

After completing 63 x 8in blocks, I laid them out on the bed (my makeshift design wall.) Seven blocks across and nine down.
Then I sewed them together in onesys = one block to one block, working across the rows. The last block wont have a partner, yet.

Then they are sewn together in twosys = a set of two is sewn to a set of two. Match the seams at the intersection, and pin carefully. The last two end ones, of eight of the rows can now be sewn together.

As you complete each row lay them back down on the bed, or design wall, in the correct orientation.

Sewing the foursys ... 

Align the four sides as accurately as possible, and place a pin in the centre seam intersection on each side - this will assist keeping the block squared and true.

Then, along the edge to be sewn, add more pins, and sew the seam.

If, as you sew a bubble appears before the needle/foot .. like this ...

Gently pull the fabric towards you, and it will flatten and feed under the needle/foot correctly.

As I near the end of the seam i peak under to check the edges are correctly aligned still. I can see that the two previous seams, under my fingers, are still aligned, indicating the edges are also still correctly aligned. I could rely on the previously placed pins, but I like to make this extra check.

This is the sewn seam, see the perfect seam intersection at the centre of the blocks. 

Sew the end twosys onto the end of three of the foursys. This will give you three rows of two blocks completed.

To the last foursys, sew a twosy. Then stitch the 2 x foursys+ones together, then add the twosys to the end.
AT this point the longest seams you have had to sew are the three rows.

Lay all seven rows on the bed/design wall.

Pick up two rows, and carefully pin at each seam intersection across the row. You are effectively sewing seven blocks together across the row - this is the longest seam.

Sew all four 'rows' to each other across the seven blocks.

14 August 2012

What I know ...

Or, rather, what I should've remembered ...
I have long recognised that I, and all quilters, should support our local quilt shops. If we don't they will fail. We, in turn, will be left bereft of a local, knowledgeable, supply of all the lovelies we wish to buy.
Although, like many, I am attracted by the prospect of cheaper fabric for quilt backs.
Recently I purchased 3m for a backing from lincraft.
Today, after cutting and sewing, while ironing the prepared backing I noticed a hole! Omg, worse, it appears repeatedly! Huurrumph!
Back downstairs to stash - fortunately I had meterage of another suitable print, and the backing was completed.
Lesson - resist cheap fabric!!!!!
After all that work you don't want the back to let you down, support your local stores - they will have sales... You can buy good neutral backing fabrics on sale.
Save your quilts - save your local stores!

12 August 2012

Happy birthday Sami!

This is what her dad and I gave 25-yo for her birthday last Monday.
She is VERY excited.

10 August 2012

Made from my stash

This is the first time I have worked from my stash, rather than purpose buy fabrics. I am really happy with the result.
Oh, I did purpose buy the white AND that was the first time I have ever bought, or used white in a quilt!

08 August 2012

a busy quilter, magazine editor and mum

Phew, what a big few weeks, and it will be for at least two more! It's not all bad, just exhausting.

A few weeks ago I realised that I needed to make a quilt for besties 50th - which was last Saturday. So, from whoa to go it took me a couple of weeks. I made it a simple strippy style combining Moda Chez Moi fabrics and some gorgeous linen. Quick to cut and quick to piece. Then I machine quilted it (my third only machine quilted quilt!) on my new machine, Gonzales my PFAFF GrandQuilter.

I didn't see bestie on her actual birthday, I will see her tomorrow and give her her new quilt. I made a cot quilt for her youngest when he was a baby - he turns 14 today! - and a bed quilt for her then 5 year-old - soon to be 18yo son. It was about time I made one for her too!

I have also started piecing and almost finished a quilt top for a 40th birthday this coming Monday - hmmm, that may not make the deadline, but I am still trying.

I have a new (financial) year resolution to finish one UFO quilt a month, so far I have finished July's, a lap-size quilt top that I made six years ago - that has gone to grand-bubba Myles as his floor-quilt. August is looking pretty busy, but I have a small top that would be excellent to practice some 'feed dog down' quilting on Gonzales. There is no shortage of UFOs at my house ...

I have also been managing the design of the September issue of Down Under Quilts for the past week or so. Some issues go together very smoothly, this one, however, has been a pain. It just keeps going, and going, and every time I think we are almost done, another problem pops up. Arghhh, I am over this issue.
Tomorrow we will gain final approvals on ads, and I should have all the editorial finished too - then off to the printer.

Lastly, in my mum role I have been running kids around to basketball training, basketball games, swimming squad and sewing lessons. This week we had to get Mason to school early Monday for a school camp, and Eloise early today for a two-day excursion to the Blue Mountains - it was 3 degrees at the school at 7.40am this morning, brrrrrr. I suppose it will be even colder in Katoomba - stay rugged up kids!

Among all those fun, tiresome activities I have loads of birthdays to celebrate in August, including my own, here is the roll call ... happy birthday to one and all of my dear peoples ...

3 - Georgie
4 - Bestie Bec
6 - Sami (daughter)
7 - Maya
8 - Ally, Matilda and Jack Riley
10 - Zoe
13 - Nadja (and Me too)
15 - Matt