Friday, October 15, 2010

Sudoku Quilts

Last year I made a quilt really fast, 6 days for the piecing and quilting.  I neglected my family and my husband took on extra at home so I could make this quilt to enter a show. I decided on Friday night that yes I  would enter a quilt and the deadline for posting the entry form with photos was the following Friday.

None of my WIP (Works In Progress) fit the requirements so I had to start from the beginning.  A phone call to Mum produced the suggestion of a Sudoku quilt.  Sounded interesting and reasonably easy to make up.  I drafted a pattern and went shopping for fabric, that was a hardship - not!  I used a completed puzzle done by Jonathan for the fabric placement.

I had been the proud owner of my long arm machine for a month at this stage so I had a number of frustrating moments during quilting but the judges did not comment on this so I was happy.
Here's my quilt, 'Sudoku Blues'

I know you can't see all of it but the puzzle is correct.

Earlier this year an article was written in Australian Patchwork and Quilting magazine about the show I entered this quilt in to and a photo of this quilt was included. A lady in South Africa emailed me about my quilt and wished to make one, would I mind?  I was thrilled that someone was inspired to make a quilt because they really liked mine.  Linza has sent me some photos of her quilt and given me permission to post them on my blog.  Enjoy.

more blocks
one block
before quilting

Linza has made her quilt a bit larger and included some more fabric.  It looks great and I'm really pleased she enjoyed making it after seeing Sudoku Blues.  Congratulations Linza, a wonderful quilt!

Happy Sewing


Happy Birthday to Me!!

I know I said next post would have pictures of quilts but I have an amazing friend who rose to the challenge and made me the birthday cake I have always wanted.  I am late posting about this as my birthday was late last month but its been quite busy around here.

As you may have noticed I have 4 sons and so I make 4 special cakes each year, mostly from the Australian Women's Weekly Birthday Cake book. This cook book is well known in Australia with many ideas and instructions for making wonderful birthday cakes.  

I share my birthday with my 2nd son, he was born on my 28th birthday and so 'our' birthday is often spent with me preparing his cake.
This year the lovely Rebecca made my dream cake, I can only imagine the time it took and what she perhaps should have been doing.

The scales are made by rolling flat small coloured marshmallows I was presented with my cake at our monthly craft night so could share with the ladies there and the rest my family helped me to eat.

Thank you Rebecca !!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Country Women's Association

I joined a new branch of the CWA late last year and have been getting to know a number of ladies during this year.  Well as with the preschool that Matthew attends I have donated some time and made a quilt for our branch to raffle at the Spence Community Fair this coming weekend.  If you've read earlier posts you'll see the yellow and black quilt I made for the preschool, which incidentally raised over one thousand dollars, not bad really.  The winners were very happy.

Any way I used the same pattern for this quilt but very different fabric.

As with most sewers you can see my messy sewing/quilting area at the sides of the picture.

The daisy print is so bright and fresh I've called this quilt 'Welcome Spring'.

I am so pleased to be seeing some daffodils blooming and my fruit trees blossoming, Canberra winter seems quite long and we are pleased to know Spring is here, or soon will be. It didn't feel like it today

I used a pantograph to quilt the border of this quilt and then a small section to place the design in the nine patch blocks.

This did mean more stops and starts with the quilting but as there are only 16 blocks it worked out well.

How did she get the pattern on the blocks so neatly you may ask.  Here's my method for that;
I traced the portion of the design I wanted, then drew up an 8" square as per the block, trimmed my tracing to fit in the square and moved it around until it fit centrally, then taped it in place.

This is the panto pattern I traced from and used for the border, its called 'Shasta'.

Then I used the laser light on the machine to match up the points of the block with the points of the made up template, this way I can use the laser and know I'll stay within the block.

That reddish dot on the corner is my laser light matching a corner to the same corner on a block of the quilt top.

The template is placed on the table of my machine as I would for any pantograph pattern.

This is also a first for me, using just a portion of a pattern within a block.  I am enjoying testing out ideas like this to make sure they work.

I'll let you know how this quilt raffle goes as well.  Next post - some customer quilts!

Happy Quilting

Wow it's September

Welcome back,
I have finally transferred a whole heap of photos from the camera to the computer so I  can show you some things I have been working on.  The transfer seems to be the delay point for me despite now knowing where the Card reader is.
While I've been absent from the blog I have not been idle, although battling a long term cold took its toll and the family shared it back and forth a bit.

One of my recent quilting projects was a quilt from the lady who won Viewer's Choice at the Glenrose Patchwork Airing of the Quilts in July.  The quilt is quite simply pieced squares on point. The fabrics are a variety of rose prints in dusty shades. The interesting thing about this quilt is the edges, they've been left square so the edge becomes a zig-zag.

This does add a lot of interest to the quilt when its finished, however I do not envy the owner the job of binding this quilt.  This is the first 'non-straight edge' quilt I have quilted and though it might look like it would pose a challenge I'll let you know how I manage the edges of quilts when quilting.

As any sewer will tell you one of the most annoying things to do is unpicking stitches.  This is double for quilting as the machines stitch quite fast and do lots of stitches in a small space especially if you make a mistake. It doesn't take long to quilt but takes forever to unpick a small distance of quilting.

To avoid any folding over and stitching of the edge of a quilt which would then require unpicking, I set the machine to baste and baste the edges down.  This small investment of time saves any catching of edges and quilting them over.
You can see the cream thread in a long zig zag basting stitch.  These threads are cut when the quilt is trimmed for binding and will not show in the finished quilt.  So if you have a desire to make a non straight edge quilt, go for it.

The quilting pattern on this quilt is Tea Rose and it was a great match. See below

Happy Quilting


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Canberra Quilter's Exhibition

This is Kristine's  'Blue Path's' which won 1st in the Commercially quilted category of the recent Canberra Quilter's Exhibition.  

Here's a closeup. 

And here is Jodelyn's quilt for her grandson which won 2nd in the same category.

and here is a detail of the above
Why am I showing you these pictures?  Well I am proud to say I quilted these quilts.  Hence I am a little excited that they won and very pleased for them.
I now need to collect my quilts from the exhibition except the Challenge Quilt, with the theme Go Green.  I did not realise that it will now go on tour and I will get it back sometime next year.
See an earlier post for a picture of my challenge quilt.
That's my latest news,  Happy Sewing

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

And yet more from last month

Jonathan won!!!!.  I am a very proud Mum, Jonathan's quilt Aussie Animals won first prize in the Junior Section of the Glenrose Airing of the Quilts.  We were not aware there were prizes, just aiming to increase the junior section and it was a project fort Jonathan and I to spend time together.  Jonathan's prize included a certificate, a bundle of fabric and some prize money.  Not bad for an 11 year old boy.  Here's a pic...

The one on the right shows you the bright orange binding.

 Below are a couple of quilts completed recently.
 This is a 60th birthday gift quilted with the pantograph "Tea Rose" in a yellow and blue variegated thread which gave a lovely effect especially on the more solid pieces of fabric

and Ella's quilt, a bright kids print with coordinating fabric quilted with hearts and loops.
Here's a view of the back so you can see the quilting.

While I was quilting the 60th birthday quilt I ran out of thread and therefore needed
 to visit a patchwork shop, Oh dear! I had no cash and there is often a minimum to purchase by Eftpos, Oh dear! I had to buy something else, Oh no!  I found some great quilt labels, one of which will be perfect for the preschool raffle quilt and also a printed panel which will be great for doing some quilting detail on. So this is what I found.    
I'm trying to space them so they fit nicely but its not working and at this hour neither is my brain.
Happy Sewing

More of last month's happenings

As well as getting the raffle quilt on the machine I also had a few other deadlines, one of which was getting my Canberra Quilters Challenge quilt finished and ready to submit for the Canberra Quilter's Exhibition being held concurrently with the Craft Show at EPIC.  For those outside the ACT, EPIC stands for Exhibition Park In Canberra, a multi building exhibition grounds where numerous large events are held throughout the year.

This years challenge theme is "Going Green".  My thoughts turned to colours rather than the obvious reduce, reuse, recycle we are encouraged to adopt.  We do try to do all that in our home but I was trying to think laterally.  We'll see later this week how that went.  Anyway here is my answer to the theme "Going Green".
 I even pieced the binding so that it would keep with the colours of the quilt quite closely, something I have not done before.  I've not made an 'art' quilt before wither so this was definitely a challenge for me. Some  people who have seen the quilt have puzzled over the connection so I really hope you can see what my aim was. It seemed so simple to me but we all think differently.

The other quilt I have entered in the show is "Sudoku Blues"
This quilt was made and quilted in 6 days after I decided at the last minute to enter the AMQA Show last year.  It is based on a completed Sudoku puzzle, uses 9 blue fabrics to represent the numbers, and yes it is correct.

I will be at the Craft Show on Thursday helping at the Canberra Quilters Quilts For Others area. If you are in the Exhibition area come over and say 'Hi'.
The Craft Show is on from Thursday 5th to Sunday the 8th August in Canberra.

Happy Sewing

What can happen in a month!

Well I did locate the card reader and then needed to fend off my older children for a decent chance at the computer, school holidays during this time did not aid the situation. However I have uploaded all my new photos and have some interesting things to show. As my children are currently out of town with their grandparents I can post my news bit by bit.

These are the 2 quilts I made from the coordinating fabric,  the pre-school has chosen the brighter mostly yellow one.

I have been able to get it on the machine and start the quilting, seeing as its needed in a week or so, that's a good thing.
So if you are in Canberra and woulds like to purchase a ticket to win this quilt, visit the Evatt Primary School & Pre School Environmental Fair on August the 28th between 10am and 2pm. There will be lots of things happening besides this quilt being raffled.
Happy Sewing

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Preschool Raffle Quilts and OBW

Remember that pile of black and yellow fabric?  The bargain ones I bought earlier this year.

Here are a pile of blocks...

I must remember that it is not the sewing that always takes a long time, the cutting of pieces can be the longest.  This quilt went together quite quickly really, and it was good to use my domestic machine again.


Here is the centre part together, looking good so far.

When my husband gets home and I can locate the card reader I will put up the completed  quilt tops.

These 2 quilts were made by my Mum, Barbara.  They are both One Block Wonders and look fabulous.  The effect of this technique makes for truly individual quilts and some amazing results from the pattern repeats.

They were both quilted with a pantograph as the quilting in this case is mainly functional and the fabric is the star.

This OBW is made using Thimbleberries house and Garden range from 2007, and we were able to get a backing from Widebacks Australia in the same range to match.

This One Block Wonder was pieced by Ros, a friend of my Mums and whom you will also find at the Warwick Airing of the Quilts on the 16th and 17th of July, say Hi for me if you go.

Again the pattern repeats give a wonderful and varied result, you can see the original fabric used for the border.

Ros used a batik fabric for the backing, I believe her grandson has some groovy trousers to match.

Check back soon for an update on the raffle quilts.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

What Can Happen In A Week!

Well a busy week it has been in this house.  I have sent 4 parcels to my Mum for the Airing of the quilts, and then another one just last Friday with her hexagon quilt in it.

I've included a photo of the border quilting design,
I hope you like it, it was fun to do.

I have been busy doing Mum things like soccer training rounds and also finally cutting up fabric for a raffle quilt for Matthew's Pre-school.  I have a photo of the fabric that I am using and soon I will put up the photos of the blocks and finally the 2 quilts that have been made from this fabric.

I saw a photo of a quilt and thought that it was lovely and simple and required only 4 coordinating fabrics.
Lincraft near me had a sale earlier this year and I could not resist as their patchwork fabric was marked down to $5.00 per metre which is a bargain in Australia.  This is also a great price for a raffle quilt as it makes the overall cost much less. 

Now for a photo I am very proud of, my eldest son Jonathan with his first quilt, made entirley by him.  Rotary cutting, machine sewing, trimming, and then machine quilting on my long arm.  Well Done Jonathan!!
Now Mum just need to work out how to make the photo vertical but for now just tilt your head a little.

It has since been trimmed and now for the binding.
Jonathan is also displaying his quilt at the Airing in Warwick mid next month, please see the links at the top right of the page for Glenrose Patchwork or Jumpers and Jazz Festival.

More updates of the yellow and black quilt soon.

Happy Sewing


Friday, June 18, 2010

Ruler Handle

I was shopping for a few items in Aldi this week and I found this bath or shower safety handle. Having seen these in catalogues I thought I would try it on my quilting ruler and it appears to work quite well.  Have a look in your local store. 
Have Fun


Hexagon Quilt 2

It was a busy night for me quilting as I decided to use thread colours to match the plain fabric for each diamond so numerous thread changes were necessary. The quilting is a fairly simple design but I don't think it needs any more. Here is Mum's hexagon quilt with all the diamonds quilted.

Just the border to go now. You will be able to see this quilt in Queensland at the Airing of the Quilts on the 16th and 17th July 2010 in Warwick.

This is the second year for the Airing and profits go to Breast Cancer QLD. The Airing of the Quilts is during the Jumpers and Jazz in July Festival, 15th to 25th July 2010.  If you are going to be traveling that way I hope you have time to stop and have a look.  Say Hi to my Mum for me: ask for Barbara.

Happy Sewing

Hexagon Quilt

This hexagon quilt has been pieced by my Mum using fabric from many years of sewing. I have been thinking what I can quilt on it for a few weeks now as I wanted to use the diamond pattern to influence the quilting.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Welcome to my blog.
I will be learning to blog as I go along and adding new things as I learn about them. You can also find me on Facebook and my business website (

I will try to add photos of the quilts I do and any interesting features I find or stories to tell about them. There is a gallery on the website and also some photos on my fb page but here I can tell you more about the quilts.

Please leave a comment if you see anything you like or have a question.

Until next time