Thursday, December 31, 2015

350 Block Project - December's Report

This is the last post for the 350 Block Project:2015 and we will be counting up all our blocks for the year to see how well we have done. Up to the end of November I was up to 521 blocks.

This month total is 30 blocks.
For a change I got a good start to the month with my Random Ohio Star quilt. I finished sewing the last 3 rows together then all the rows joined together. Finally adding the 2 borders to complete the top for 11.
I also made 33 of these little blocks for a new project.

Plus I started a new quick quilt sample for the shop and made 15 of these framed blocks. Plus sashing strips and 2 borders of total of 22.

There was also a matching table runner for a total with it 2 borders for 2.

Another new design using the Harrington range of fabrics. 25  Four patch blocks and  8 half square triangle blocks for a total of 33 blocks.

Also there is a stack 30 of blue and neutral four Patch blocks made up.

Two borders on my Grand Illusion quilt so 2 more.

I have turned twelve block into 3 small quilts for 4 more for my total.

Plus I have made 20 of these little blocks for the same project as the above blue and cream four patch blocks.

So my total for December is 157.
 A good way to end the year. It helped that I started early and that I had the last 2 weeks off in December giving me extra sewing time.
The year's total is 678.
A very interesting exercise and one I would like to continue with in 2016.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

2015 To Do List Review.

2015 is coming to a close and it is time to see how I did with my 2015 To Do List. I know some have been completed, but some I haven't even touched and there is some new ones that will need to be added.
 2015 List
1. My Pies & Tarts quilt. I am 3/4 through hand quilting this one.

2.My Farmer's Wife Sampler quilt. I have finished the top in 2014 so it is ready for quilting. I just have to decide hand quilt it or machine quilt it. 

3. My Double Wedding Ring quilt which has become a bed runner. I have lots to go on this one. 

4. My Disappearing Hourglass quilt. I only have made 6 blocks so far.

5. My Wishes quilt. Ready for quilting.

6. My Pink Dahlia quilt. I need to find the templates so I can continue.
7. My Inklingo Castle Wall quilt. I am working on the 2nd pieced border.

8. My Inklingo star quilt. All printed and 2 blocks completed out of 12.

9. Grand Illusion Mystery quilt. I am currently working on the blocks.

My Lozenge scrap quilt. All ready for blocks to be assembled, if I don't change my mind and want to make it bigger.

11. My Aurifil Block of the Month quilt.  I am ready to arrange and piece the top ready for quilting.

12. My Crossroad Quilt. I am still working on the blocks, 12 done and 13 to go if I settle on 25 blocks. I am undecided about a border I may just make some more block to make it bigger.
New Projects started in 2015
Pat Sloan's Vacation Time Block of the month
About half way through this one.
Quiltmaker's New Year Mystery Quilt
Blocks are completed.
So Scrappy Rainbow Scrap Challenge 15
Halfway through the blocks. They will be re purposed. I will not waste them though I don't want to finish the original project.
Plus there was plenty of other ones started, some have been finished and others haven't. So they will end up on next year's list.
So out of the 12 projects that were key to finish, there is still three not completed. I am glad to get 9 completed but it will be interesting how many will end up on the new list as I can think of 7 to start with including the 3 left on this list. I know there is a few more to add that I have started.
I think I will have to join the Project Uninterrupted group to help sort my UFO list out.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

My Word for 2016

My word for 2015 was time. Make time to do the things I needed to do. Take time out with the important people in my life. Stop wasting time and so on. I did ok I think. I can see looking back I was able to achieve more than I did in 2014.
It has taken me a good week on deciding what 2016 word was going to be. there is a lot of good words to chose from. Some of the words I was looking at included Shine, Wow, Dazzle, Create, Learn. Really the first three words are the same and I will do them next year hopefully but the last two were more interesting. They cover two areas I know I will need to harness to continue to grow. I have learnt some much in the last two years that when I look back I can say two years ago I had no idea how to do that and I have mastered it especially when it comes to blogging, Facebook, websites, marketing, using online applications. The list goes on but with learning comes Create. I have created to need to learn all this stuff and there is more to learn so I can continue creating new designs, workshop, classes, ads and continue to evolve the Cynthia's Ark brand and grow my business so it becomes whole and I can give the other job away.

So the word for 2016 is CREATE. I want to spend more time creating new designs, new workshops, shop displays, newsletters, a new mailing list, a Cynthia's Ark Facebook group so we can all get together and Sew and Share what we are working on and that is the start of 2016 Big Year of Creating.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Allietare Mystery Quilt #5

We are up to Clue #5 and I am still a week behind. I know last week I was going to try and catch up but somehow it didn't happen. So with one more week off from my day job I am hoping to catch up this week. Here is Clue #4 there is still a few more sets to go but they are cut ready for sewing.
I have linked this post to Bonnie's linky party so pop over and have a look at what others are up to.
I love a good mystery and I can't wait for the big reveal.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

My Double Wedding Ring Bed Runner

This has been on my UFO list for a couple of years and I promise myself to finish it. Now I am up to the binding and I am not sure on bias binding as I have only done it once and it was early in my quilting life. I was going to look online for a tutorial and in my blog feed I found a good one from the Fat Quarter Shop.
It looked easy enough so I had a go. It didn't go as well as I would've liked. I did manage to get the binding done but I am sure I made a mistake cutting and ended up with some short pieces of binding.
Next to sew it on the bed runner. The outer curves were easy, the inner points were the hard bit. Some of mine aren't as neat as I would've liked but they are securely stitched. The join was the hardest part of the whole process because the tutorial was done by a right hand person and I am left handed. So when I re watched the final stage of joining my ends didn't match the end in the tutorial because I had cut my strips left handed, and boy it took me a few goes to get it right. In the end it was done, just the hand sewing of the binding to the back left to do.
Since I was in binding mode I made the scrappy binding for my Random Ohio Star quilt at the same time so I just have to quilt it and the binding can go straight on.

Even after the scrappy binding was complete there is still fabric left from this project. Only the outer border fabric was purchased (though for another project that didn't work out) the rest was left overs from my Farmer's Wife Sampler and my Wishes quilts.
Here is my Double Wedding Ring Bed Runner completed.

Until Next Time 
Keep Stitching

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Cynthia's Ark Vintage Sewing Machine Table Runner

Here is Cynthia's Ark Vintage Sewing Machine Table Runner tutorial as promise.

You can find the PDF version under the tutorial tab.


1 Thimble Pleasures Vintage Sewing Machine Panel                  20cm Shades Cream Fabric (1st border)                         30cm Thimble Pleasures Thimble fabric (2nd border)              20cm Thimble Pleasures Table Measure fabric (Binding)         120cm Thimble Pleasure Sewing Sayings Fabric (Backing Fabric)   60 x  130 cm Batting/ Wadding                                Sewing Machine and your sewing supplies

Cut your panel in half so you have a strip of 4 machines for your table runner and select which one you want to use, leaving the selvedges on for the moment. The other piece you could make a second table runner as a gift or they would make a lovely set of matching cushions.  (See Note at the bottom of this pattern before cutting your border strips.) Cut 3 x 1 ½’ strips from the cream fabric and sew a full strip to the top and bottom of your panel. Press to the panel. Trim off the selvedges now.  Cut 2 x 14’ strips from the last cream strip and sew them to the sides of your table runner. Press to the cream border.

Cut 3 x 3 ½’ from the thimble fabric and cut 2 x 14’ strips from one strip and sew on to the sides. Press outwards. Sew the rest of the first strip to the other strip lengthwise. I put the short piece in the middle of the 2 full strips and you should end up with a long 3 ½’ strip. Cut 2 x 49 ½’ and sew them to the top and bottom of your table runner. Press outwards.

Cut your backing fabric into half and sew the two pieces longwise. Press seam open. Lay your backing fabric out (wrong side up) then the batting goes on top followed by the quilt top (right side up). Make sure you smooth out any lumps and baste with safety pins or use your preferred method. Quilt your table runner as you like. I just stitched around each machine frame a couple times and in the ditch with Aurifil #2000 50wt.

To make the binding cut 3 x 2 ½’ strips from your binding fabric and join the strips end to end with a 45 degree mitred seam, press the seams open. Press the binding strip in half lengthwise with the wrong sides facing. Stitch the binding the front of the quilt, mitring the corners as you go and mitre the binding ends together to complete and sew in place. Trim the backing and batting to ½’ from your binding stitching line. Fold the binding over the edge to the back of the quilt and slip stitch it in place with a matching coloured thread. Don’t forget to finish your quilt with a label on the back.

Finished size: 20’ x 49’ (51 x 124cm)

NOTE: Before cutting any of the border strips measure through the middle of your table runner in the direction of the border strips you need to cut, to double check your cutting length as we are all sew a little differently and cut to your measurement if they don’t match mine.

This pattern can be used with other panels with coordinating fabrics. This makes an excellent weekend project.
All Fabrics and Aurifil threads are available from Cynthia’s Ark
Care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of this pattern. However the designer has no control over the choice of materials or procedures used, no responsibility will be taken or results guaranteed.
This quilt was designed by Cynthia Woodham for Cynthia’s Ark. This pattern is for personal use only, not to be copied in any form without the permission from the designer. Copyright © Cynthia’s Ark 2015

Project Uninterrupted

Project Uninterrupted starts on the 2nd January 2016 in store. On the first Saturday of the month except for April we are going to meet to work on a sewing project of your own choice. We never have enough time to work uninterrupted on our projects so I  have set a date and time to help you reach the final goal of completing some of your projects in 2016.
Project Uninterrupted is our Stitch and Chat sessions and will be on the first Saturday of each month except for April between 10am - 2pm.
There is no teacher so you need to know roughly what you are doing but I am sure between the group we will be able to help each other out if anyone gets stuck or need some input into a project.
The cost is $10 per session with tea, coffee and water included. You just need to bring your own lunch. We do have a take away shop next door if you need to purchase your lunch or what something else to drink.
Booking are essential as there is limited places for these sessions.  So phone me on 08 8527 2120 to book. Book early to guarantee your place.
Project Uninterrupted will be held at 7 Wasleys Rd Mallala South Australia 5502.

I have been working on this for a little while and thinking how we can involve our online followers who live too far away to attend these workshops and future workshops. So I was thinking of starting a Project Uninterrupted Facebook Group so our online customers and supporters can join in and share their current projects no matter where in the world they live and we can encourage each other in finishing projects, starting new ones, learning new things and so much more. What do you think? Are you interested in being part of a group like this? Share your thoughts and any ideas you have with me on this now so we can set the group up to suit our needs. What would you like to see in a group?
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Under the Pressure Foot #18

After spending a couple days of quilting and binding it is time to go back to piecing. I have two new quilts I am working on and I still have some on my 2015 list yet to be completed. It would be nice to complete a couple more off that list before the year is out. So I am going tackle a couple projects that are up to the border stage to see if I can complete them. One is my Vintage Sewing machine quilt (one of my new projects).

The other is last year's Grand Illusion mystery quilt.

The first one only needs the second border cut and added but Grand Illusions needs its inner border plus it's pieced second border added. A little more work. I hope I have enough of the blocks for the second border.
The Vintage Sewing Machine quilt borders went on not a problem and it was brought up to the stage for quilting easily and quickly.

My Grand Illusion quilt is a harder task The inner border is supposed to be yellow but I have changed it to pink. So I managed to get it done and a lot more happier with it.

The second border has turned in a bigger problem. First I couldn't find the blocks. It took me a good hour to locate them. (Note to myself put things where they belong.) Then secondly there isn't enough blocks. I really don't want to make make any more. I just want it finished so I can move on.. So this is what I came up with and I will finish each border with a neutral piece on each end of the borders.
Now I just have to measure and cut the neutral and sew them on the sew the borders on. There will be another quilt ready for quilting. I have 2 ready for quilting now so I may have to have another quilting session later in this week.
Until Next Time 
Keep Stitching

Friday, December 25, 2015

Merry Christmas Everyone

Merry Christmas from me to you and your families. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and a Wonderful New Year. There is is exciting things planned for Cynthia's Ark and I hope you can join us in creating lots of new projects in the new year.
. If you haven't sign up for my new newsletter please do ( top right hand side of the blog) so I can keep you updated on what is happening here.
Our Pre Christmas Sell out will continue until the 2nd of January 2016 and I have added some extra items at great prices as we continue to make room for more new stock.  Plus if you spend $30 you will receive half a metre of fabric in your order. So if you order some of my batik fabrics which there is some beautiful new ones in stock you will receive a piece of batik fabric in your order for free.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Thursday, December 24, 2015

A Quick Christmas Project.

I had to visit a fabric/ homewares discount shop yesterday for a couple of things and though I don't buy my quilting fabrics from them I always look in the remnant bin to see what is in there. Generally I am looking for pieces that will work for the soft toys I make. I have found some fur like pieces and felt pieces which suit animals. Anyway for some reason I picked this piece of red and white Christmas fabric, I couldn't really see the design but I could tell it had some red reindeer on it and it was only $4.00 for the 50 cm piece. What the hell I thought! I am sure I can do something with it. Let's see if I can create a quick and easy project.

When I got it home and open it up it screamed table runner.
So here is how I turn this piece of fabric into a quick table runner for a quick last minute gift or for your own table. As this piece was longer than the standard quilting fabric length I need an extra piece to length the backing fabric.
I cut the green into two pieces and sewed the striped fabric to them.
It was time for basting the two fabric with batting in between them and pin the layers together. You can use basting spray if you prefer. It was too hot to use it as I tend to use it outside due to the smell of it, which I don't like.

Some simply straight  quilting for this quick project. I used masking tape to help keep the lines fairly straight with white cotton.
Remind me to but a better brand of blue tape as they were nearly off by the time I finished my 6 lines of quilting or maybe it was just too hot, over 40 degrees again.
Then it was time for the binding and I went with red. I did consider the green I used on the back but I liked the red a little more.
There you go, a completed table runner. Of course this would work with any fabrics of any theme to make a quick table runner.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching