Sunday, 30 October 2011

Dynamic views layout

Over the past couple of weeks I have been trying out the Dynamic Views layout. Mainly because I had feedback that my blog was hard to search. Unfortunately this layout only works on the latest systems and so many of my readers are not longer able to see my pictures I have chosen to switch back. Thank you everyone for your patience with the experiment.

When it works Dynamic views does make searching a blog like mine easy and fun as you are provided with a picture index. So at this time my comment is Dynamic views is  like "the little girl with the little curl right in the middle of her forehead , when it was good she is very very good and when it was bad she is horrid".

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Taiwanese batik panel quilt - Dream sailing

Stephanie, my Taiwanese daughter in law, found this lovely  hand made panel for me to make into a quilt. I was a bit concerned as the fabric was very stiff. Then I thought that as it was batik there could be still a lot of wax left in the fabric. So I washed it with lots of gentle (wool) detergent and it came out wonderfully soft and flexible.

Next I considered how to make it into a quilt. I did not want to add much to the picture as it is a very strong design, also I wished to respect the artistic integrity of the artist who made it.therefore i went for the simple picture frame approach. I also had the deep indigo fabric from Taiwan but that was too heavy immediately around the picture - hence the deep cream inner border.

The outer border was chosen to tone with  the red in the batik but I wanted to be careful that it was not brighter. So I ended up with  reddish brown outer border. Not a color combination I would have initially thought of but one I came upon after auditioning many other pieces in my stash. The outer border was necessary as my son is very tall and I wanted it to be big enough - I had used all the indigo fabric I had.

I have included a couple of close ups to show the quilting.

I am linking this post to the Quilt festival, if you click on the button it will take you over there where you can visit heaps and heaps of talented quilters and their lovely quilts.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Spontaneous medallions Instructions

My medallion quilts are not very formally planned rather I just make them up as I go along. Most of the sizes of strips and triangles are determined by the amount of the particular fabric that I have - not anything more significant ..... this is a stash busting pattern.
Finished flimsy - on a breezy day - it is actually square.
 However this time I will take you on the journey.

ALL MEASUREMENTS INCLUDE THE SEAM ALLOWANCE OF 1/4". This means the 1" strip  make a half inch piece in the final quilt.

Choose the center - in this case it is a panel.
Choose 1 or 2 fabrics to be the inner triangles after the switch from Diamond to square and visa versa.

I frame the picture with borders. 1" white, 2 1/2" marble green, 1 1/2" cream. This makes the central panel 28 1/2" square - which is less that half of the width or height of the finished quilt. the finished quilt will always be at least 2 times bigger. Note if the panel is not square adjust boarder widths to produce a square.

What I have learned through my various experiments is that it is important for the last row of border (before a change of direction) be distinct color or the whole thing looks messy.

To make into a diamond.

1. Check the existing panel is square.
2. Cut 4 triangles. In example: TWO 10" squares of yellow floral cut in half along diagonal.

3. Continue to built up the triangles until the diagonal is bigger than the edge of  the central panel. I prefer to add the strips to the triangle and then trim the 45 degree angle using the markings on my cutting board and ruler.  In this case I added 2 1/2"  light green , then 3" mid green, 2" dark green.

TIP: when adding a bias edge to an edge in the straight of grain sew with the bias up and the straight of grain against your machines feed dogs.

The following 3 steps are for the Y shaped join at the shares point (alternative join in next section)

4. Match the center of the triangle diagonal with the center of the side of the square the triangle will hang out over the ends. make sure the amount of over hang is even... Pin. Sew 1/4 inch seam -leaving the last 1/4 inch of square side un-stitched.
5. Do all 4 triangles

6. Fold center square along its diagonal. Match up the triangle over hangs at each end. (Hopefully they match up - if they don't do the best you can and trim the sides of the finished new square straight. ) Sew down to the edge so that the seam is at right angles with the outer edge. Check it sits flat. If it does not do not panic work out if it is too tight or loose unpick and restitch accordingly. trim off excess.
7. Straighten new diamond and add sashing . ( 2" yellow).

To make back into a square.

1. Check the existing diamond is square.
2. Cut 4 triangles. In example: TWO 12 1/2" squares yellow fabric.and then cut them in half along their diagonal.
3. Continue to built up the triangles until the diagonal is bigger than the edge of  the central panel. I prefer to add the strips to the triangle and then trim the 45 degree angle using the markings on my cutting board and ruler.  In this case I added  3 1/2"  light green , 4" mid green (I needed 5 width of fabric(WOF) strips and had to join to get the required lengths),  then 4" dark green (Probably easiest made from 8 (WOF) strips - I would have cut 5" strips but did not have enough fabric)

The following steps are for the diagonal join at the tip of the diamond. (Alternative Y shaped join see previous section)
 4. Match the center of the triangle diagonal with the center of the side of the square the triangle will hang out over the ends. make sure the amount of over hang is even... Pin. Sew 1/4 inch seam to the end of the diamond.
5.Sew on the other triangles sewing right out to the edge of any triangles already added.

7. Straighten new square and add sashing. (4 1/2" very dark green)

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

In all Seasons quilt

This quilt is designed for a friend who loves tartans especially blue/green tartans. Now I did not have any tartan fabric in my stash - so I decided to make it with deep blue and green squares. Then I had to choose something to go in the center. Initially I found a panel (in my stash) but that was the wrong type of green being far more lime greens  than the squares. Fortunately I also had these season panels which did blend and I was able to make use of the yellow and red so that the over all effect was neither boring or dark.

Yes the dog wanted to know what i was doing standing on a chair.

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Simple Turkey Soup and Pie recipes

Just thought that I would share a couple of our family favorites for all my American friends who might have Turkey left overs soon.

Turkey Soup - based on a Chinese congee recipe - gluten free

Turkey bones, skin etc
Left over vegtables
Water to cover

I prefer to simmer these in a slow cooker over night - but you could simmer slowly in a regular pot.
Pour off stock though sieve, if fat rises to surface remove.
If there any nice pieces of meat - add to stock. Discard bones etc.

Rice ( 1 cup of rice to 8 cups of liquid)
Finely chopped onions
Finely chopped other vegetables according to family preference (capsicum, tomato, carrot, etc)

Simmer overnight in slow cooker. The rice should now have thickened the soup.

Nice served with crunchy fried bacon pieces.

Turkey pie

2 cups of chopped turkey meat
2 onions - finely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons of flour
1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
1 can corn drained
1 liter milk
10 sheets filo pastry.

Fry onions in butter, remove onions and add to turkey meat. Add flour and mustard to melted butter (off heat). Slowly add milk stirring to prevent lumps. Return to heat, add turkey onions and corn, stir until thickened.

Place layers of filo pastry in dish. Place turkey mixture across the the center and fold sides over the top.
Bake in a moderateoven until light brown.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

Ironing errors ... Completed panels

Before quilting this panel I ironed it and thought that I had removed the crease in the center where it had been folded in storage. However when I photographed in bright light outside (after quilting) the crease reappeared.

I know you are not supposed to iron quilts but the crease was really obvious when hanging. So firstly I steamed the crease. This softened it a bit but it was still obvious. So I  wet the area and ironed it - much better.

I must add i use Nu-wool wadding that is 60% wool and 40%polyester. I am not sure that this would work with other types of wadding.

Friday, 21 October 2011

Eucalyptus (gum) leaf and nut quilting - free motion pattern

I have just finished a child's quilt based around some small pieces of koala fabric/ So when I came to quilt it I chose eucalyptus leaves as that is what koalas eat. I added the seed pods (called gum nuts) to fill in spaces in an over all quilting pattern.

The picture on the left is of the back of the quilt where it is easier to see the overall pattern. The drawing below is of the leaves and nuts and the stages of quilting them.

Tie Dye Batik Art Text Link: Tie Dye Batik Art Image Link:

Progress report 4: 50 quilts from stash challenge - Final

Well I have finished it - I have made 50 quilts from my original stash. However I fell off the wagon with the no buy part after number 32.

The reason this happened was a couple of special projects that I did not have the right fabrics for,   this meant that I went to fabric shops....... however I have not counted quilts containing those fabrics in my total of Fifty.

This quilt was made with some orphan blocks in the center - the visual tension between the formal outer borders and the informal inner blocks I find challenging - what do you think?

Having a challenge has been really good for me to keep moving on projects so I am trying to think of what next years will be..... I think that every quilt that is already promised to some one has to be finished.  I have 25 of those and usually the reasons they have stalled is:
 1.for some reason they got put away
2. I cant remember why
3. The people getting them are important to me and I want it to be my best work...

So I think I will call it the Promised Quilts Challenge

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Squares and bricks - 2 more simple free motion patterns

Top pattern squares , Bottom pattern bricks.
Here are 2 more simple free motion patterns - drawn on pater so you can see how they are done.
I have included the squares as in is the method I use to avoid backtracking.
The rows are drawing alternating colors to make them clear. I prefer to start the rows at opposite ends as it reduces the possibility of distortion.

Tuesday, 18 October 2011

Quilting a panel.

As part of getting accustomed to my new quilting machine I have been quilting up some panels for church. This has got me thinking about where quilting has developed over the past 25 years.

When I was new to quilting I was firmly informed "that not quilting its embroidery because you have used more than one color of thread". 

Well in the latest panel I used light blue, variegated green, green/black, grey. I changed color  according to the area of the panel because i did not want to add more colors to the picture only texture. I have done some work with transparent thread but I find it a bit temperamental and inclined to stretch and snap.

 The panel on the left is before quilting.

The panel on the right is after quilting in late after noon sun light to show up quilting lines.

The panel below is the panel in normal light.

Sunday, 16 October 2011

Water in the Desert quilt

This quilt began with a color experiment with the central block. I was not very confident in using such a bright green. I was really pleased with the combination of the green with the strong Aboriginal print and decided to work the entire quilt around these 2 prints.

The quilt is being held by my daughter and a friend as it is breezy here today and it was flapping around.

Monday, 10 October 2011

"Right angles" - another free motion quilting pattern

Because of the level of interest I have been getting in my simple free motion patterns here is another of my favorites that I call "Right Angles" I find that this is a great pattern for a man's quilt if her does not like curves and anything flowery. It also looks great on the wonky square quilt design.

This is a simple pattern to do once you are used to the idea of sharp corners. I have drawn the stitching line in blue and the direction in the red arrows..... I love being able to do large areas with out having to stop ans start in this design.

As I mention before trying out a new quilting design with a pen and paper until you are comfortable with it  saves a lot of unpicking.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Swirls and curls free motion quilting pattern

I have been asked how I do my swirls and curls quilting- so here it is......
 I have drawn this on paper alternating the row color to show how I do this more clearly. I adjust the placement of the swirls etc according to the quilt I am working on. I prefer to do the rows beginning at alternate ends as this gives a more even result.

Tip: When I am learning a new quilting pattern I spend a lot of time drawing it on paper (an old newspaper is great) Until the idea becomes more automatic.

Irish chain with red embroideries.

It is another limited fabric quilt I used 3 deep reds, a mid tone print and cream.

The quilting around the embroideries is minimal - stitch in the ditch around the edge. The remaining quilting is a free form pattern that I love and call swirls and curves.

This quilt is actually a gift for people moving away from the town who are members of our church. Therefore the back has a panel for people to sign.  I have included a photo because I thought that someone might find it useful to see how I constructed it. originally I intended just to have the central area red border and floral outside. However this would have been too small. I added the cream border to make it bigger - - but not on the edge. I find it is much easier to have the widest border on the outside as a narrow border really displays any irregularity of placement between the front and back.

Saturday, 8 October 2011

Aussie rules football - kids playing applique.

I have just drawn up an applique pattern for kids playing Aussie rules. the green and purple lines are for the skin tone fabrics which form a base the red line is a tab on the shorts which goes under the jumper. Colour according to your team.......