Thursday, December 6, 2012

Craft Forum Advent Swap 2012

Well I didn't mean to quite leave it so long between posts...but here I am, here you are and it's now been almost a month since I last bored you to tears!

Some how, somewhere, I've managed to lose the following things, if you see them, please kick their butts and send them back to me please:
  1. My get up and up and went a few weeks ago, and hasn't come home since
  2. About 3 or 4 weeks of sewing time...few reasons this occurred, but now am soooo far behind it's just not funny
  3. My elusive lottery win....29th December is a good return date (Our next big lottery in Australia....would be so nice to win even a share, not greedy enough to want it all.....although...hmmmmm, no Naomi, greed is not good)
Thanks to anyone able to help me with any of the above......muchly appreciated if you can help me!

Moving along, I signed up for an Advent swap this year, my first one, so hopefully my swap partner isn't too disappointed with what I sent her....and I'll have to wait for a pic from her, because I sent mine late, and she had to play catch up yesterday of opening up the first 5 days....and as I wasn't feeling very well yesterday...I didn't actually start opening mine till today.  So, here's what was inside the Express Post bag she sent to me.

Now my dear Mum always used to tell me that if I guessed what one of my presents was, I wasn't allowed to have it....but with #25 from Kaz....all I'll say is, I believe we both had the same idea for that gift, just I had to re-think mine almost at the last minute, so didn't do one!  You'll have to wait for Christmas Day to find out what it was though as I'm a good girl (hey, don't knock it, or mock me, I'm usually evil!)

So, today I got to open not one, not two, but 6 packages....oh what fun I had trying to pace myself so I could stop and take pics of each one before unwrapping the next lol

Day 1. Coffee mug and an assortment of tea bags....yummmm

Day 2. A packet of Dark Choccy Tim Tams...oh oh, she said everything edible was healthy and good for me....although the Tim Tams are Dark Chocolate ones, but I think the healthy part is only if you eat one....who eats just one Tim Tam? lol

Day 3.  Reel of red ribbon

Day 4. A Cute Rabbit phone charm, bag dangle, nawww, it's soooo cute hey?

Day 5. Some trimmings and some Hersheys it sad that I never tried these when I went to USA, yet I knew what they were, straight away, without reading the little tags on them? lol

Day 6.  The last one I could legally open today.....A great Cross Stitch Book...there's heaps and heaps in here to stitch!

Thank you so much thus far Kaz., hope you like your gifts.

Come back tomorrow to see what Day 7 is.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Dear Santa...a Craft Fair outcome!

Dear Santa,

Yesterday I went to the Adelaide Craft Fair and fell in love, and was wondering if you could help me out?  It'll only cost about $25,000 all up, but think of how much fun I could have lol

Yes people, I saw and fell in love with this little's a LA Quilting machine (Long Arm) and even though I'd need another room on the house, that's just a small detail right??? lol

It's approx $14,000 for the machine and the quilting frame, and another $12,500 for the computerised bit (sorry, can't remember the technical term for it!) but with the add on computer, it becomes automated and you can load it up and it'll quilt whilst you start sewing the next quilt cool is that?  I think it's just what a girl could if anyone has a lazy $50,000 lying around the place and want it put to good use, please email me lol

Now, for what purchases found their way into my bag yesterday.  I shopped around and bought a few things here, and a few things there....handing out Aussie Hero Quilts business cards as I went.

A nice selection of fat quarters, some destined to become parts of Aussie Hero Quilts, some are for quilts I hope to sell and some are going to become Owl Softies.  I got some great Nurse themed fabric by Loralie Designs from this seller.  All their FQ's are $3.50 each and they had a fantastic array to choose from....and I thought to ask if they were show special prices or if they're the same price in store...and guess what peoples, that's the regular price....all their bolted fabrics are $14 a metre, and I think she said they had over 2,000 bolts to choose from...Quilters Nirvana huh?  They are situated on Canterbury Road, Bayswater VIC so if you're passing by, I recommend you drop in and have a look....feel free to buy me pressies lol

You didn't think I'd just bought fabric did you?  Ha ha, tricked you, I got other 'stuff' as well, some retractable tape measures, some tape measure ribbon, a 28mm rotary cutter with 3 blades, and some nifty little embroidery (very sharp and pointed) purple of course (1 pair is mine!), which you can see below

But wait, there's more, I also got 3 patterns.  Gotta love the Owl Parliament one hey?

I had to take a 2nd pic of this one, not just because it's owly, but because you couldn't see it because of flash glare in the top cool, and it's by an Aussie Designer from over on Kangaroo huh?  I've got to get me a roll or a few packages of Applique stuff (vliesofix or similar) and I want to make one of these.....maybe not in those colours, but you'll have to wait and see what colours I decide on.

My feet and back are still sore today, but I thoroughly enjoyed my day out, but might wait a couple of years before attending again (gotta use up some of what I've got, to make room for more right?).  Hope you're having a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sue's block from my tutorial

A few weeks ago, I popped up a tutorial for a Gothic Weathervane Block, and one of my bloggy friends, Sue Niven, successfully attempted it....and here's her block, didn't she do a great job????

Thanks for sending me a pic of your block Sue, sorry it took so long for me to pop it up on my blog (better late than never right?)  If you'd like to try the block out, you can click HERE or where the name of it is underlined above.

Sue does lots and lots of charity work, both knitting and sewing, and even obtains fabric and cuts it up and mails it off to quilters all over Australia.  A little birdie has even let me know that Sue is going to be showcased on Aussie Hero Quilts blog tonight, so be sure to go read more about Sue there, and maybe also take a look at what Aussie Hero Quilts & Laundry bags do, if you haven't my block of the month for instance (gotta love the subliminal plug for my BOM huh? lol)

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I've just linked up...will you be next?

I've just linked one of my recent posts up over at Designed by Dawn Nicole, will you be next to link up???

Leave me a comment if you link up too, so I know to go check yours out.


Belated Happy Halloween Humour

I know this is late, but I only just saw it on someone elses' blog and had to share it on my blog as it's so funny.  Pretty amazing cartoonist for back then hey?  Alot more skill than the computerised ones, as this would have been done with hours, and hours of drawing...blows me away...much like the owl at the beginning...hoot hoot

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Word Verification

I don't know about you, but I get mighty annoyed with the latest format of word verification on some blogs.....mainly Blogger ones.....I mean, how 'freaking' hard is leaving a comment supposed to be?

I'm thinking I'm not the only one, as I found the button I have over on the right sidebar (up the top) and had to share it.  If you want to read more about it, click on the button below and it will take you to the post by Lucy @ Charm About You and you can also grab your own button to put on your blog AFTER you've made sure word verification is off.

Charm About You

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Latest quilt for an Aussie Hero

I made a few of these JRR quilt tops a wee while ago, and wanted to get some made up into quilts, so tah-dah, here's #1.  I decided to make another quilt top for the backing, to make the quilt give the recipient a different look for his/her bunk.

This is the label, which makes up part of the D9P side of the quilt.

Here's the JRR side of the quilt.

Here's the D9P both sides are quite bright and scrappy time I'll make an extra couple of rows on the D9P so there's not so much 'black border' space happening....and maybe even adjust the size so no borders are required at all....what's the verdict????

How exciting, I've never linked any of my posts up (at least I don't remember doing it, apart for FNSI but that's a bit different) but I've linked this one up here.....TGIFF (Thank God It's Finished Friday)  I'm sure you've got a few minutes to spare, so take a couple of them and check out what everyone else has finished this week.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The nicest spots to see before your eyes!

Well, aren't they????  I know I'd love to see these spots in front of my eyes!  There's only about 24 more hours to go enter, so don't delay doing so.  Good Luck.....gets drawn about midnight Thursday 18th October 2012, US time.  In case me adding the link behind the photo doesn't work (click it and try that way first!) click here.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Why oh why????? A plea/shout out to any Aussie Fabric Designers

I was having my usual flit around on the net this evening, and stumbled across this lovely blog, with all sorts of eye candy on it....and back in September, she posted a pic of a quilt she made for her nephew, who is serving in the American Navy.....I won't share the pic of the front of the quilt, but I will share a pic of the back of it,

mainly because I want to know why there's no Aussie fabric like this?  Any Aussie Designers (preferably, but if a designer from another country would like to help out, I'm happy for that to occur) who think they could come up with something similar but saying Australian or Aussie Hero on it.....I know a WHOLE bunch of quilters who would probably snap it up before it even hit the Friends of AHQ all know you'd buy it don't you???? lol  I know I would, and I'm pretty sure Jan-Maree would....and we wouldn't be alone.

If I could afford it, and had the talent to design it, I'd be heading straight to Spoonflower to get some made up.  Oh why didn't I pay attention in art, or learn more about design, oh and I guess the most important one, why aren't I rich (apart from the fact that I have a fabric addiction to feed!)? lol

Sigh, guess I'll just have to hope that some clever person can do this on behalf of all the Aussie Heroes who are proudly serving our country overseas at the moment. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

After a couple of pit stops! Jelly Roll Race (JRR) quilt tutorial

Remember in my last post, that I was lamenting (yes I did have to ask what it meant!) about the calculations of the Jelly Roll Race quilt, and how to get it to be longer and narrower than the original?????  I sure hope you're sitting down to read this, but, by crikey, I think Sharina and I, after much hair pulling, have worked it out.

****Please note, anything written in BLUE TEXT shows the updated sections****

Seriously, we have lots of pieces of paper that look like the cast of NUMB3RS came for a visit, and Charlie was helping us work it out lol

Anyhoo, if for instance you want to make a Jelly Roll Race quilt that measure 72" long, you need to divide that by 2, which means you will 36 rows.....the finished strips end up being 2" finished, therefore 2 x 36 = 72, so there we get our correct length.

However, the original JRR quilt ends up being 32 rows or 64" long, no matter how many strips you start with, it'll just make it wider every time you add another strip to the here's what we worked out to correct that part of the race:

The normal Jelly Roll Race quilt presumes you're using a Jelly Roll, but if you wish to, you can cut your own strips (either with a rotary cutter and ruler, or like I did, using my GO BABY, or a similar Die cutting machine) from your own fabrics, a great way to chew into your 'collection' (sounds better than stash doesn't it?)

Once you have done ALL the caculations, you will need to make sure you cut an extra amount of strips, which I'll explain the reason for shortly.

When deciding on the length of the strips you require, you need to decide if you want to join them on the bias (just like you do when joining them for use as binding) or straight edges, using a 1/4" seam allowance.  If using the bias method, then you need to make sure your strips/calculations are 5" longer than this is the amount you will lose per strip when joining them (I even did a test sew to check that my guesstimations were correct on this!)   

I think an easier way of explaining this might be....if you wish to join your strips by either sewing them:

  • Using a straight 1/4" seam on the short ends - each 42" strip would then become a finished length of 41.5" {42" - 1/2" = 41.5"}
  • Using the Bias method - each 42" strip would end up a finished length of 37" { 42" - 5" = 37"}

Therefore, by joining them on the bias like I have below, you actually lose 5" off the length.

This time around, I actually used two x Splices which are imitation Jelly Rolls, and have 25 strips in each....and as I found out, not all are 42", some were shorter and some were longer!  I'll show you how to rectify this shortly.  The above pic, shows the pile of strips from both Splices, I then went through and selected 38 strips + 5 extra strips.  The extras are the ones that I'll add in after completion of row 3.  You can choose to select them at random, or pick and choose which ones make the cut or not!

Next we're going trim (if needed) each strip to make it measure 42".  Place the folded end of the jelly strip on the zero mark on your cutting mat.

Trim any part of the strip that extends over the 21" mark on your mat...and voila, you will have a 42" strip.  Some of the ones in the splice had very little to be trimmed and some had heaps, so I think it depends on the range/brand of Jelly Roll you use!

For instance, the above pic shows that the top layer of this strip needed about and inch trimmed off and the bottom layer needed about 3/4" trimmed....yet some had less than 1/4" trimmed off and still had the selvedge dots in them, but most of those got erradicated when I joined on the bias, or would end up being trimmed off when the quilt is being squared up.  First connect the 5 extra strips together, and then set them aside.  Then you are going to cut one of the remaining 42" strips so that it measures 24", this, once it's attached at the end of your long string piece, will ensure that your joins don't line up in the quilt top.

If you know how to join on the bias, skip the next couple of pics, but for those of you who haven't tried this yet, here's the process I use (up until today I didn't have a process, but worked this method out whilst doing the tutorial pics!):

The pale pink strip was the one being added to the string (all the pieces joined together like a really long strip of fabric) so I layed it right side down, and laid my square ruler, with the diagonal line (45' angle if you're using a ruler as opposed to a square) aligning the corner of the square with the corner of the jelly strip.  Now grab some kind of marking device, I love the Frixxion pens, but pen, pencil, whichever works for you!  You'll be marking the 45' line above the ruler on the left of the pic.

Now you have created the sewing line.  Place the strip you're attaching this one to, with the loose end on the right, right side facing up and then you will put the strip you just marked face down over the corner, at a 90' angle as shown below.

Place pins either side of the drawn line (Sorry I didn't take a pic of that part of the process....bad me!) Then sew on the line. 

As it's a little hard to see the stitching on the top pic, I flipped it over to show what the stitching looks like on the reverse side.

Now you're going to trim the corner triangle off.

 Place the 1/4" line over your stitch line.
 Cut along the edge of the ruler.

Ta-dah, triangle of excess fabric removed, and a perfect 1/4" seam line remains!

Press all the seams open as shown above.  Do this to all of your strips ***remember you need to join 5 together for one string and the remaining strips will become the main quilt string.

The above pic shows all my main quilt string strips all nicely joined ready to start the actual race part of the JRR quilt.

Now you need to locate the start and finish of the string.

Even though it's a bit time consuming to do, try and have it so that the string doesn't have a twist in it.  Well done, now you've found them, you are going to lay the one on the left face or right side up, and the one on the right face or right side down directly on top of the other.

Make sure you line them up directly on top of each other, I left it slightly offset so you could see what I was doing.  Now you're going to sew along the right hand side of the strip, using a 1/4" seam width.  The next pic shows you the side you'll be sewing.  Make sure you check your bobbin before starting, best to start this row of stitching with a full bobbin, as it's quite a long seam - 1387.5" to be precise!

In the next pic, I've shown me sewing the string, part way down the length of it.
Next I'll show you what to do when you get to the loop at the bottom....

 Stop stitching approx 5" or so from the end, align the edges so you can smooth it down along your machine flat bed, and finger press a crease at the loop.  See below how I place my hand over the strip and gently smooth my hand along the fabric towards me.
 Keep going until your fingers have caused a crease on the fold.  It doesn't need to be really well pressed, just enough so you can see can sort of see mine in the pic below.  You might need to click on it to enlarge the pic though.
 Now get your scissors and cut on the crease to separate the two layers of fabric and make it like it was two pieces.
 Next you will lay the top piece down over the bottom piece, making sure the right hand side is aligned.
 Now continue sewing to the end of the strip as you would normally.

At this point, I highly recommend you check your bobbin and if you have heaps (and I mean heaps) left on there, you can keep going, as you can see from mine, which was almost full when I started, that there wasn't much left on it, so at this point, I put another bobbin in the machine.  I'll wait for you to organise the bobbin change over, or a pit stop.

 Ok, now you need to locate both ends of the now two strip wide string.
 Place them right sides together, aligning the right hand side edges.
 Sew the right hand side of the string as you did for the first row.
 I got near the end, and realised I had a loop (I was going to try and tell you I did it on purpose, but sadly, I'm not that clever!)

To get around it though, I just flattened it and finger creased the loop the best I could, and cut on the crease line as before.  But, as you can see, it ended up being slightly off won't make much difference to the finished quilt though, as it will be in the bit you would normally trim off after quilting to square it up....PHEW!  Sew to the end as before.

Rinse and repeat so to speak....following the same method as before, find the two ends, try and make sure there's no twists in the string, lay then on top of each other, right sides together, and sew down the right hand side (so you don't get confused as to which way you need to fold the quilt up and sew, when you're piecing the quilt, all the stips need to be vertically stripped....does that make sense? I hope so), when you get to near the loop, stop sewing, but leave the work under the needle and presser foot....finger crease a fold and cut along this crease, continue sewing to the end of the row.

At this point, your work will now measure 8 strips now need to attach the extra 5 strips, so I'll listen to the music I have playing in the background while you go grab that piece.

Repeat the process until you've done it 5 times....CONGRATULATIONS, you've now completed a JRR quilt top that should measure somewhere in the vicinity of 43" x 72", pat yourself on the back, call your neighbours over for a party, do cartwheels, or just grab the camera, take a pic and email it to me as I'd love to see the quilts you create from this tutorial.

Are all your strips cut and ready to sew now???  Good, lets start....grab your strips at random (this is supposed to be a liberated method, so don't put too much thought into it) and join them together, using whichever of the two methods I've mentioned.

Once you have sewn the required amount of strips together, to make your original long string, you now need to join your extra set of strip together (using the same joining method) separately.  Once this is done, make sure you have checked your bobbin thread amount, to make sure you're not going to run out....ask me how I know this lol  It's no biggie if you do, but it's just quicker if you can sew the full length of the seam, without stopping to add the new bobbin in the machine.

Now you are going to take each end of the long string, making sure it's not twisted anywhere* (see below) and place on top of each other right sides together.

When you reach the loop at the end, usually about 4-5" or so from the end, stop sewing, but leave the needle and presser foot down, leave the strip in the machine, but flatten the end out, so it puts like a finger crease in the middle of the loop....take your scissors and open out the loop and cut on the crease line.  THEN, continue to sew along to the end of the row.

Remove your work from the machine and take a deep breath, the longest part of the sewing is now done lol

Now grab each end of the 2 row strip, and repeat the lay them one on top of the other, right sides together, and sew down the long side until you get to the loop again.  Cut in the same manner as the first row, and then continue sewing to the end of the row.

"Rinse and repeat" so to speak, but at the end of this row, you will have 8 rows/strips to your work, and this is where you will sew on the extra row, just make sure when you add it, that none of the seams line up too close to each other.  The loop will start getting harder to cut straight, but take your time and make sure your left hand fabric edge lines up when the crease is formed, and you should be fairly 'squared up'.

Now you do the same thing again, grab each end of the work and sew down the long will do this a total of two more times after adding your extra strip (s) in.  So in my example, I went from having 9 rows/strips, to 18, and then 36, the proverbial magical carrot, dangling in front of me, finally landed where I could reach it!

After cutting the final loop and finishing sewing to the end of the row, rush to measure your quilt top, and if my math is correct, you should now have a quilt top (at flimsy stage) that measures 43.36" x 72" and you should be proud of Sharina and I for working it out for you.....we will try and work out different sizes if you need help with them, but hopefully I've explained it all well enough for you to be able to print off the pdf and calculate it all out for yourself.

*Trust me, after making a few of these recently, this tip is'll make a straighter cut when you get to the loop at the end.

Just to maybe better show you how the math works out, here's the calculation workings for the 42" x 72" quilt:

  1. Start your engines at 1387.50" strip ÷ 2 (first row completed) = 693.75"
  2. 693.75 ÷ 2 = 346.875"
  3. 346.875 ÷ 2 = 173.44"  **add your extra strip now, which won't alter these dimensions, just the amount of rows**
  4. 173.43 ÷ 2 = 86.72"
  5. 86.72 ÷ 2 = 43.36" You've just raced past the finish line.
Lastly, I shall take pics when I put our math to the final test, so the pdf link here, won't become live until the pics have been added ok?

EDITED ON 13th October 2012 to add pics to explain the tutorial.