18 December 2013

Stupendous Stitching


The last class I did with Craftsy was Carol Ann Waugh's Stupendous stitching.  We all have those lovely decorative stitches on our sewing machines but when do we actually use them in our quilting.  Are you like me answering, "Well never".  In her class, Carol Ann shows how these stitches can be used in a very simple but very effective way to create something just a little different.  Here is the sample I made from watching her class.

Stupendous Stitching Sample

In this small sample I used different decorative stitches in a variety of colours as well as some hand embroidery using simple straight stitches and French Knots.

Hmm I then had the idea of using this method to make a new cover for the back of my hand mirror on my dressing table.  Hubs gave me this dressing table set probably 50+ years ago when I was still at school - wow imagine that - and all that is left of it is the hand mirror which I happen to use every single day even though the mirror was cracked across the top.  So I set to work cutting out a rough pattern the shape of the mirror and ironing on a piece of vilene which stabilizes the top fabric on which I will do the decorative stitching.

Then comes the embellishing and fancy stitching and finishing off with some hand embroidery.

I then added a piece of batting and quilted around the decorative stitching.

The next step was to pack the template behind the prepared piece and somehow come up with a way to keep its shape.  I crisscrossed some stitching at the back which seemed to do the trick!

I had a new piece of mirror cut to exactly the same shape as the metal frame but unfortunately the small glass factory in town in our local town could not bevel the edges.  What a disappointment as I then had to undo all the crisscross stitching at the back and cut the quilted top to exactly the same shape as the backing as the bulk of the mirror as well as my prized piece of stupendous stitching would not fit into the small groove of the mirror frame.  Oh well, it still worked after I glued the edge of the top onto the cardboard template which I then left intact and it fitted beautifully.

I polished up the very tarnished handle and frame, and wallah.....

My new hand mirror, well as good as new anyway!

Hand mirror and table topper to match!

So this was another use for some stupendous stitching and I'll surely come up with other things to make as well.

Thank you for stopping by and I wish all my followers a Blessed Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2014.

3 December 2013

Tyla's Dress for Wedding

So here is Tyla's dress all ready for her cousin's wedding on Saturday.  Not a complicated pattern but oh the material was a real sod to sew.  The netting with glued on sequins was my problem.  My needle kept on getting gummed up with the glue and I had to stop every few inches to clean the needle which was very frustrating to say the least.  Never again please Vicky!!!!   In the meantime here is the finished dress and I will post a pic with it on her at a later stage.

Now to get back to some quilting.........

26 November 2013

Another BOM Finish

Hello after a very long absence!   I have finally finished my interpretation of the 2013 Block of the Month which is given by Craftsy.  Laura Nownes was the instructor this year.  Overall I felt that this was a course more suited to the more advanced quilter as opposed to last year where the beginner coped without too much trouble.  It was great learning new techniques for traditional blocks and I felt that Laura put her classes across very well and in just enough detail.

I did not take photos along the way throughout the year as I sewed my blocks in little bits of spare time I had during the day amongst my other sewing projects!  Here is the finished quilt.

2013 Block of the Month Sampler

I used fabric from my stash as well as a few bought fat quarters.  I chose autumn colours this time as opposed to the "brights" I used last year.   Note to self:  Please concentrate next time on the orientation of half square triangles when used in a border!  I had to unpick 2 of the borders as I had the dark half on the wrong side.  Those of you who have used HSTs in a border will know what I'm talking about.  Grrr!

I have recently watched Angela Walters' class on Dot to Dot Quilting and decided that it would work quite well on this quilt for the quilting.  Straight lines were the order of the day here with a few figure eights in the narrower strips.  Mmm sewing straight lines took a bit of practice but I must say that towards the end it was a piece of cake.  Haha!  Here are a few close-ups.

The Fan Block
Flower Basket
LeMoyne Star
Economy Block

I used left-over fabric for the binding which I sewed on by machine and hemmed by hand onto the back.  This was a fun project but I'm not sure if I will do another sampler next year, if there is one.

Thank you for stopping by.  My next project is a dress for Tyla, my granddaughter who is going to a family wedding next month.  I will post pics if she is agreeable!

Happy quilting,

31 October 2013

Home from cruise!

Hello folks after no action on my blog for some time.  We are back from our fabulous cruise of the Greek Islands on board the Queen Elizabeth cruise ship.  While trying to get my feet back on the ground and see to "home" things, I have written a blog about our fantastic holiday.  You are welcome to read about it here

I have a border from our Round Robin to complete and the October BOM with Craftsy to do, so without further ado let me catch up with my quilting.  Can't wait to get back to my sewing machine!

14 September 2013

Time out from Quilting and Blogging.

Well I haven't dropped off the edge or disappeared without trace, just been busy with holiday planning for our cruise around the Greek Islands on board the Queen Elizabeth.  Filling in dozens of required forms, applying for Schengen Visas (that is another story) but in short we were informed that all rules and requirements had been changed and added to in June 2013 hence us being sent from pillar to post to photo copy shops to internet cafes and finally to the local police station for certification stamps - all in the city of Durban where we found two-way streets having been changed to one-way etc etc etc.  What a nightmare it was but a huge surprise when we were informed exactly a week later that we could fetch our approved and completed visas!  Actually I think the Greek Consulate in Johannesburg were so tired of our phone calls that they wanted us out of their hair!!!  And of course updating the wardrobe has required many trips to the larger town of Bethlehem and Pietermaritzburg and on coming back home to Harrismith, I found that I could have got most of what I needed right here on our doorstep!  Oh well there's always an excuse to see if the grass is greener on the other side!

I haven't entirely ignored my sewing room though.  It is not quilt related but I have redone a little Dolly Varden dressing table which my Dad made for my elder daughter Kim when she was a little girl - dare I say about 35 years ago!!  I then redecorated it for my younger daughter Heather when Kim outgrew it and now it's had a new makeover for my youngest granddaughter Tyla for her sixth birthday on 9/11.  The only instruction was that it had to be pink!

So there we go.  Also 2 completed fabric postcards for September and October, both of which are in the post for recipients given to us for a postcard swap that I've been in this year.  Sorry can't show pics as they have not yet reached their destination in the USA!

Now back to planning our itinerary.  I will post a link to our cruise blog just before we leave on 2 October 2013 for those who might be interested in following our long awaited and exciting Mediterranean Cruise.  Thank you for stopping by for a brief update.

Happy quilting dear friends,

21 August 2013

Little Sawtooth Stars

You might remember that in May I blogged about our guild project which we are to have completed by the November meeting.  You can read about it here to see the instructions which we were given.  We will be overseas on our exciting and long awaited cruise on the Queen Elizabeth in October, arriving home mid October so I thought I had better get my piece done as it might be a tad difficult to get into it as soon as we arrive home!

I chose to do these little Sawtooth Stars with the tiny pieces cut between 1¼ and 2 inches square and then pieced together to form the star pattern in colours that would tone with our given border fabric.

Sawtooth Stars

I think the colours blend quite well and the finished piece measures 22 inches (56cm) square.  There was not enough border fabric over to do the binding so I chose one of the fabrics from one of the stars.

I quilted it in an all over feather pattern perhaps better seen from the back.

This is my first project with the Golden Gate Quilters Guild, so now back to planning our itinerary....
Thank you for visiting!

Happy quilting,

30 July 2013

Winter seeds Tabletopper

Another small project completed.  Actually I'm really enjoying the smaller projects at the moment, it's a change from the larger quilts, which I really love making, but with hectic days planning our overseas trip, it's nice to start a project that doesn't take too much time and concentration while waiting for emails to arrive with questions answered re flight enquiries, insurances required etc etc.

I was needing something for our round dining room table and just never found a pattern that appealed to me.  Then along came this cute pattern from Julie at thecraftyquilter.com for a winter table topper which I could make with fabric on hand without having to make a trip to buy fabric.  So without further ado....

Winter Seeds Table Topper

I just did a whole lot of straight line and echo quilting which I feel emphasises the shape of the "seeds".  Julie has a very good tip on how to stitch the binding on the inside curves.  A quick link back to her blog is here.
And here it is in situ....

Thank you for visiting my blog for a brief update.  Now back to planning......

I am linking up with Marelize at Anything goes linky party.

Happy quilting,

8 July 2013

Quilt Festival - Bloemfontein, South Africa

Hubby and I spent a wonderful day at the Bloemfontein Quilt Festival wandering around looking at the exhibition of 270 beautifully made quilts submitted in various categories.

The category I chose for mine was "Traditional - Large" being over 150cm square.  It is my Chocolat et Créme which you have probably seen before on my blog.  I pieced it in a design which left me with a lot of negative space allowing me to express my passion in free motion quilting.  I know that it was not perfect as there were one or two areas where I found that I had too much fabric over which to quilt, therefore forming a crease.  But I've learned my lesson  - stitch in the ditch ESS - EVERY STINKING SEAM; Peggy Martin's advice in a tutorial I did on Craftsy.  Had I done that, my mishap would never have happened!  But anyway I was really thrilled with the Judges' comments and through looking at what everyone else had done, I don't think I had done too badly!

Moi with my quilt

Judges' comments

There were some very impressive quilts exhibited and here are a few that really caught my eye.

 Chocolat et Créme in situ.

The theme was "Kaleidoscope" beautifully depicted in these three all of which won a ribbon.

This one was similar to mine.  There were little flowers embroidered which made it very interesting as well as the border detail.
Here is a close up of some detail in the quilt


Beautiful applique

An old singer with a beautiful piece of lace appliqued under the needle.  Can you see the tiny bit of thread hanging loose from the needle!

Lots of different faces appliqued.

This quilt won a "first" in it's category.

A ribbon in this category which unfortunately I can't remember but the colours were magnificient.

This "game reserve" quilt was expertly appliqued with the elephant in the foreground and various animals and birds hidden in the foliage.  Can you see the leopard lying on a branch just above center?

This was a scene looking through a window with a door and handle to the left.  In the front on the window ledge were a few items appliqued with a little cloth hanging over the edge.

This cute little quilt depicted a dolls  house with the front of the building on one side and on the back was appliqued the various rooms in the house.  The detail was incredible. 
Can you see the little spider and spider web at the top of the first and third rooms?

The gradations of colour shading in this quilt with it's various ribbons was really expertly done!
The Coetzee family in the Anglo-Boer War

Oh my word!  This quilt was definitely something special.  It measured 6.38m by 3.34m and was completed in 3 months.  The 15 "windows" once completed were sent to people who had the necessary equipment required to join the blocks together and quilt them.  It has been donated to the War Museum in Bloemfontein as part of the Centenary celebrations of the "Vrouemonument".  (Monument to the women).  

This quilt won 2nd in the WORLD in Paducha, USA and was on display.  Excuisite does not adequately describe this needle-turned appliqued quilt.  Some of my USA followers may have seen this quilt before.

Hand appliqued quilt winning 2 ribbons.

Orange Peel pattern - here again the colouring was beautifully done.
Best on Show - hand appliqued.

There were many classes given by experienced local and overseas teachers during the course of the week, but unfortunately one day did not allow me to take part in any of them.  Perhaps next time, but I did make use of the Vendor's Hall!

I enjoyed sharing part of this lovely exhibition with you.  Thank you for visiting.  Please call back again soon as I will be showing a cute little baby quilt that I have made and a tutorial as well.