Saturday, November 29, 2014

How to Spend a Saturday ...

...  quilting with friends, of course.

Today my daughter and I spent the day, across the harbour, taking a quilting class learning how to sew skinny lines and circles.  What was so special about the class was the company - my Wednesday stitching group and our tutor Fyvie.  

Fyvie's method for the circles was super easy and worked every time.  Everyone produced great results.

view from the end of the driveway
Being at a friend's house meant the food through out the day was also pretty special as was the BBQ afterwards.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tote Bag

My quilting bag that I use to cart my quilting/stitching stuff around is rather tatty and definitely needs replacing.  The problem was finding just the right pattern that had all the features I thought I required.  

I regularly follow Adrianne's blog (, she's had a few posts about making Tote bags.  Finally I thought I'd just do it and make a tote using her tutorial (here). 

Adrianne uses Soft and Stable in her bags instead of batting or interfacing. I happened to be in Stitchbird one Saturday (see here about why I'm often in Kilbirnie on a Saturday) and bought some Soft and Stable.  The fabric is also from Stitchbird. 

Her instructions are excellent and include a number of very good tips.  I added an inside pocket - next time it'll be bigger and maybe with a zip closure.  As I didn't have any tape for the handles I covered the off cuts of the Soft and Stable with some of the bag material.

Using the Soft and Stable was easy, one of the great things about it is the bag is mostly free-standing.  Also, it doesn't need to be quilted although I did.

I already have an order for a second one.  My daughter has chosen the fabric and wants a slightly smaller one - which is fine as I have a smaller piece of soft and stable left over.  Now to convince her that she could sew it or at least some of it!

Finally, for those in Wellington do go and visit Stitchbird's new shop - just a hop and a skip (not even a jump) across the driveway from their old shop.

Friday, November 21, 2014

A glimpse

I've been busy quilting the quilt that I started earlier in the year. (here, here, here and here).

The deadline is scarily close and at ~2m square this is the largest quilt I've ever quilted!  

I'm doing straight stitching - so no free motion fancywork on this! Sewing one line and then restarting on the same side instead of attempting to turn the whole quilt around.  While this is using more thread it is making it more managable.  

As I'm not quilting (yet) into the border, it also means a few threads to thread in.  

Using two King Tut threads, one in each direction.
What I'm little bit proud of are my DIY skills to construct the frame I used for basting the quilt - more on this another time.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Pieced Star in Stars

I've finally pieced the star in star blocks that I won at a Guild meeting several months ago (see here and here). 
For awhile I played with the idea of adding white or black/grey strips and then cutting the block on an angle so the stars became 'wonky' (see below).  This was to get around the problem that quite a few of the blocks were different sizes! 

I couldn't decided between using white or a grey, so the blocks rested while I worked on other projects.  Recently I revisited them, randomly adding black or grey strips.  Then cutting the blocks to a uniform size before joining them.  I did ponder (briefly) about adding half stars in the outside spaces.

The piece will now rest some more as I go back to working on other projects.  Also I don't have anyone in mind for this quilt let alone how to quilt it.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Through our Hands - Issue 3

The third issue of the free online magazine 'Through our Hands' is now available.  The magazine is put together by Laura Kemshall, Annabel Rainbow and Linda Kemshall and as with the earlier issues features interesting articles and heaps of eye candy. 

There are articles by Maggie Grey, Sue Benner, Dijanne Cevaal, Jane La Fazio and others.

Click here to read the first issue or here for the second issue.