Friday, July 31, 2015

350 Blocks Project 2015- July's Report

I am starting to sound like a broken record. An impossible slow start to the month. Why can't I find any sewing time.
This month's total is 30 blocks.
So what did I get done.
I did some work on my Bitty Blocks May's Bear Paw blocks and making these blocks reminds me that one day I would like to make a Bear Paw quilt. May be I need to add this one to next year. All 18 Bear Paw blocks done. Now I better cut June's blocks.

I have done some work on my black and white hexagon quilt with the 3 large blocks now joined in a row.

My August block for our Batik Rainbow Fabric Club. No picture are the members haven't received their packs.

I started the Little Joys Quilt Along and I have completed 3 Christmas tree blocks and 3 wreath blocks.

Plus I started a new hand piecing project as my hexagon quilt is growing. This one is another Inklingo project but I am working with triangles, diamonds and octagons. A little different. 1 only so far.
We started the new Quiltville Leader and Ender Challenge to make a tumbler quilt. So far 2 rows completed.
I was making some Idaho Square dance blocks to fill in time before the new Leader and Ender Challenge started and there is  4 more completed I have been wondering what to do with these blocks and I think I have a place for them. It shouldn't take me long to put them together I just need another 9 blocks. Let's hope that will be enough. They are going to be one block wide runners to hide my plastic tubs when I do craft events.

July's Vacation Time The Hot Dog Stand is completed.

I had some playing with some fabric and created a table runner which has 5 blocks and 2 borders for a total of 7.

So the Grand Total for July is 40.
 You know what this means I need to do some serious sewing soon or I am going to be in big trouble with a couple of deadlines.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Little Joys Quilt Along #1

Over at the Fat Quarter Shop they have been running the Little Joys Quilt Along during July. I have been sewing along using Riley Blake Designs Home for the holidays fabrics as it is on special in my shop. I am a little behind as today they released the finishing instructions. I made block one - Christmas tree x 3 a couple of weeks ago. Here is my blocks.

I cut the fabric for block 2 and 3 last night and I managed to sew block 2 the Wreath tonight.  Here they are.

So that leaves block 3 the Present to complete tomorrow I am thinking if things go to plan.
                                      Until Next Time
                                      Keep Stitching

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Under the Pressure Foot #8

What have I been working on? Let me share it with you. If you saw my Playing with Fabric post featuring the Always the Season fabric you have seen the start of this project, if not here is the link to the post. I decided to continue with this project using the nine patch blocks and I ended up with 5 blocks for my table runner. I laid out the five blocks so I could make sure I had enough pieces before sewing. If I kit this up with the pattern I think I will add an extra 5cm to the stripe to get a few more blocks but this is why I am playing. I am amazed to get this variety  from 1 piece of fabric. All the blocks are simple nine patch blocks, no extra seams. The only thing you need to remember is some of the square have been cut on the bias so you need to take care with you handle them so you don't stretch them out of shape.
These are the 5 blocks completed.

At this point I added the cream hexagon print for the sashing and first border.

Then the paisley print for the second border.

I am going to use this floral for the backing and the smaller stripe for the binding but I need to quilt it first.

Last week I received a new quilting foot for my machine and quilting rulers that I ordered. So we are going to do some testing. If it all goes well, the plan is add these products to the shop. So tune in for the next post on this project.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Vacation Time Block of the Month #7

July is nearly over and I have only just finished July block for Vacation Time. How quickly is the year going? The last 3 months have flown by in a blink of an eye for me. There has been some highs and lows but that is life.   My July block The Hotdog Stand.

Here are all my blocks so far. This quilt has a lot of colour zing in it. I seem to be red a lot more this year.

Until Next Time
Keeping Stitching

Friday, July 24, 2015

Playing with Fabric #1

I love the 2 1/2' stripe that arrive from Always the Season range a few weeks ago and it seem you like it too, with it being the biggest seller out of 5 that arrived. This stripe is calling to be fussy cut. So I took a break and had a play, to see what blocks I could make just by the way I cut the stripe. I started by cutting some 2 1/2' strips diagonally to create some half square triangle blocks. A few skinny rectangle offcuts were left over, not sure if I can use them or not. We will see what happens, if they are still hanging around at the end of the project they may go in the bin.

 From the other end of the piece of fabric I cut some plain 2 1/2' squares and some 21/2' square to create 2 rectangles.
All these block  are sewn together as four patch blocks or nine patch blocks, except for the flying geese block which is a six patch block. These blocks are all 2 1/2' squares, no extra seams in the piecing of any of the blocks. This reduce the bulk when seam meet, it can build up when you are using multiply fabrics. Here are the blocks so far, I am sure there is more.

As you can see I haven't sewn any of these blocks yet but I will create a table runner from this experiment once I decide which blocks I want to use. I am thinking of using the friendship star block as this is a Christmas range and you need stars at Christmas.
This stripe from Always the Season fabric range is available in my shop  here  in the fabric category with 4 other fabrics from this range if you are tempted to create your own blocks.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching 

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Under the Pressure Foot #7

I had some sewing time on Monday afternoon, which made my day. There is a number of projects that need my attention but no I decided to start a new one. Lucky it was only an hour and bit of work to complete the project from start to finish. I am glad I did it. At least if I don't complete anything else this month I have completed a lion friend for Larry, Piper the penguin which I must share with everyone Pete the penguin is half finished but I have misplaced his beak. I may just have to make a new one just so I can finish him.

Back to the project on hand. Early in June I watched a Riley Blake tutorial on making a Portable Design Wall/ Block holder using the Riley Blake Laminated fabrics. I have some on hand and thought this would be a great project to make and work with the laminated fabric for the first time. Here is the link to the tutorial if you are interested. My friend Maureen made one when we were on retreat at the end of June so I had seen the basics. I was a little worried how the laminated fabric would run through the machine but there was no need to worry. I was very pleased how well it sewed up on my Pfaff machine.  In the ended I was very pleased with the results I just need to remember to start at the opposite end of the project when sewing the binding on as my final join was almost on top of elastic for the closing mechanism. Now I just need to find those flower buttons I have.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Monday, July 20, 2015

The Adelaide Sewing, Stitching and Handicraft Show Round Up

Between 17th-19th July I was at the Adelaide Sewing, Stitching and Handicraft Show trading. These show are a lot of work and without my help I won't achieve what I do. So a big thank you to Ian, Maureen and Cathy for all their help over the 4 days.
We had some new friends join the Ark team for this event. There was Larry's friend Lionel, Piper the penguin, Raffe the Giraffe and our naughty dolphin friend Dee Dee who stayed home on Saturday. They were very well received and there will be a few more animals created in the future.

The big sellers for the weekend turned out to be the panels and the  Riley Blake 10" stacker pack (only a few left they are back on the webshop if you are interest) still at the special price and of course our pre-cut fabrics we cut from the shop stock.

It was the first time we have the Sue Daley English Paper Piecing products on the stand and they received a lot of attention. So much so I have a list of other shapes the customers want that I didn't have, so I will have to place a new order in the coming week so if you need something just ask and I can add it the order if I don't have it. Plus some testing homework of my own after talking to Christine on Friday.All very exciting if not a little scary. These product will also be add to the webshop shortly.

The other exciting thing about these events is seeing interest new products that have become available since the last event. It looks like we'll be seeing some new products in the very near future. So stay tuned to see what is new. Some I will be testing over the next few weeks so we will see how easy they are to use.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Under the Pressure Foot #6

Welcome to the next instalment of Under the Pressure Foot. I am happy to say this week there has been something under the pressure foot. I have been making another lion from the Funky Friends Factory Larry the Lion pattern( pattern and kits are available Here.) I know I have a sample already but I did not sew it and I have been asked to run a workshop on him and for me to do that, I am more confident doing that if I have made the item first. Plus I want to see what he would look like in Penny Rose Civil War Miniatures fabrics and then if he turns out I will add that version to the kit list.
Larry is not a beginner's project but with some basic knowledge he is not too hard to make. There was a few tight spots to sew together and a couple thick spots where you need to go slow so you catch the head mane and ears, but I got there with a couple of puckers unfortunately. As long I don't end up with any holes because I slip off a seam. Now ready for stuffing.

I inserted the eyes I think next time I will measure and mark the spots before inserting the eyes and then I just had to finish his face off.  Do you like him made from the range? I know I do.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Friday, July 10, 2015

Under the Pressure Foot #5

What is under the pressure foot this week. Nothing I'm afraid. There is at least 1 quilt that I should of quilted but it is sitting there still waiting to be pinned, I haven't even prepared the backing fabric. Plus all the little projects waiting to be done. So what have I been working on!
There has been some hand piecing of hexagons going on, at least some sewing is being done among the computer work, orders, new fabric arriving, advertising and ordering more stock. You should see my list of orders that I have got hopefully arriving over the second half of the year. There is new batiks coming, English paper piecing supplies, Riley Blake fabrics, Penny Rose Fabric, more Kaffe Fassett and Tula Pink fabrics, reproduction fabrics and lots more. Looking at all these fabrics has my head spinning with ideas. I have been writing them down, I hope I can develop them into upcoming projects.
Here are my hexagons blocks, it won't be long before I get to joining the blocks together. I'm working on the bottom block, I just need to sew a ring of white hexagons.
Until Next Time
Keeping Stitching

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Friend for Oliver and Larry.

It is time to make Oliver and Larry some friends. We can't have an ark with only two animals. Also it give me the chance to do some pattern testing. I like to make a project or two from the patterns I stock. It help me help the customers make their choices when they are buy patterns and it give me confidence in selling the patterns. If I can follow the pattern and the project turns out like it is suppose to, I am happy to stock the designers patterns.
Now I have 2 more Melly & Me in my sights, I want to try Dee Dee the dolphin and Piper & Pete the penguin's. I made Oliver (Melly & Me pattern) in a workshop with Melanie and was blown away that I was able to make him with some help. So now I wanted to do these guys by myself. The ultimate test for me. I prepared the fabrics for both projects before I went away on retreat, so I could make them while I was away.
I started with Dee Dee the dolphin first. I used fabric from Tula Pink's Elizabeth range and I will put together some kits using these fabrics and make them available at shortly. This project took me a couple of hours to make on Saturday night. She was easy to put together, the hardest part was stitching neatly around the eyes for me. Which really wasn't that hard.

The pieces aren't too small, making it easy to cut out and handle when pinning the pieces together for sewing and the pattern was clear and easy to follow. 4 big ticks for this project.  Here she is completed.

Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Monday, July 6, 2015

A Finish and a Start

That is right. Great news I have finished my Lozenge quilt just in time to start Bonnie's new Leader & Ender Challenge. I made up a scrappy binding to complete my lozenge quilt and looking in the binding bag there is still plenty to use. Not as much as my scrap box but I am thinking I might iron the fold out of some of the binding scraps and put them in the scrap box to be used in other ways.

The new project is a tumbler quilt. This is a block I have wanted to play with. So now I have to work out what size blocks and if I want to do it completing scrappy or controlled scrappy (pick a colour family and work through the scrap box choosing only from that family). Next I have to choose how I am cutting these blocks- a ruler or do I have a look a  die for my Accuquilt cutter. Have I got that back to front?
Should I decide on how I am cutting the block first because depending on what I use will govern the size I will be able to make. Here is the link to Bonnie post on  the new challenge.
 Maybe I will have a look at what size scraps I have lots of in the meantime while I make my decision of how I am cutting these blocks.
Until Next Time
Keep Stitching

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

350 Block Project 2015- June's Report

This month's total is 30 blocks.
What Have I achieved this month, with a little sewing time in the middle of the month it has allowed me to stitch a few more blocks making my total better than last month.
 I started with my Vacation time block.

Finally got back to my Bitty Blocks from April way behind on this project and completed April's 12 blocks. Now I can start on May's Bear paws blocks, all are cut ready to go.

4 More Idaho Square Dance blocks.

2 test blocks for an upcoming project, sorry no picture at the moment.

My Double Wedding ring bed runner got 6 more blocks.

8 large Ohio Star block finally got done. Now onto the small ones they are cut ready for sewing.

Borders on my Half Square Triangle Quilt were completed for a total of 12 for the 3 borders.

45 is this month's total.
Still not as many as I would like but that's life.
Until Next Month
Keep stitching