Sunday, November 12, 2017

Machine quilting with rulers plus a lovely win!

I have been lucky enough to have spent a few weeks this year working with Bernina at the Craft and Quilt Fairs demonstrating on the Bernina Q20 using rulers to achieve fun designs- some basic and some that look difficult but are surprisingly easy.

It looks tricky in the beginning, but the rulers can help the home quilter achieve fantastic designs with just a simple curved ruler. I use my Bernina 440 to demonstrate at the classes-  a machine with a smaller throat space, it works quite well, however at home I use my larger machine. Ruler work on the domestic machine can be a little cumbersome with a very large quilt, but is able to be done. 
My  advice is to break the quilt down into smaller ' quilt as you go' sections if you are struggling with a large quilt and want good accuracy.

Complicate looking yet simple designs can be achieved with a simple curved ruler, I have added some sample pictures below, 
basic markings are on the stitching line only
- not ruler placement -
 always remembering that the stitch line is always 1/4 inch away from the ruler edge.

I now use a small strip of non slip mat under my rulers, it is not stuck on- just sits under the ruler to stop slippage- if it gets dirty or I need a different size, I cut a new piece, - it comes on a roll and is really quite cheap.

Two simple block designs, no marking as I have used my seam intersections  for ruler placement guides. The rulers allow me to make the 'skeleton' of the design then fill with fun and individual fillers.

This is a simple border designs using a curved ruler, the a straight ruler for the
 piano key work.

  A skeleton waiting for filling, this is using a few simple curved rulers over a chalked grid.


I had a lovely treat this week, 2 wonderful ribbons from the Modern Quilt Show Australia that was held in Sydney last weekend. My quilt Shirts Refashioned was juried in and then won a Judges Commendation in the Improvisational category and a Judges Choice! 
I am pretty happy with that result!
These are some of my husbands old shirts, they are really soft and well worn, it seemed a shame to send them to Vinnies, so I cut them up and repurposed them.
The ribbons are particularly impressive too!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Queensland Quilters Quilt Show and NZ holiday

The past three weeks have been busy! 
It started with 5 days at the Brisbane Craft and Quilt Fair, working with Bernina as Ruler Guru! This was my last week working with this great team.
I have made many new friends, found old friends, and learnt a lot along the way!
Here are some of my ruler demo samples, I was using pieced blocks for some of the work as they are perfect to show how easy ruler work is on  a domestic machine, then my Cindy Needham Ultimate stencils to create a grid to make some fantastic designs.

A small treat at the Queensland Quilters Quilt Show as 2 of my quilts were awarded Highly Commended, in a strong field of entries I am really happy with this result.
Below are Sunset and Citrus Wedding

These are the only fabrics that I bought in NZ, a small reminder of a fun relaxing 

 The next few images are design inspiration and fun from our holiday!

 This is me at nearly the end of the holiday, lying on the pebbled beach at Russell, near Paihia on the Bay of Islands. 
Pure Bliss

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Farmers Wife blocks 80 and 81

Moving right along here, I am making slow progress. 
Two blocks this week, I am waiting till my holidays so I can do some serious sewing before a relaxing little holiday!
 Block 80
 Block 81

I have been trying to get this rather large quilt quilted this past few weeks, it is large and I have been busy with other things that had deadlines!

Today is a day to sit under the fan and stitch!
 I am not quite sure what possessed me to quilt this design, it is working but is quite tedious, perhaps an all over may have sufficed!

Another project underway, one to do when I have no energy for the others and that does not need much concentration, and I have so much red fabric!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Farmers Wife block 79- almost there!

Today is day 7 of 8 in a row working at paid employment
 I am tired
 stuff has happened
 I have had a migraine
 work has been busy- nothing like September in a maternity unit!

I have made one Farmers Wife block, the end is in sight.

I am also trying to get some competition quilts finished and some project quilts done. 

Life is busy.

Block 79 of 111

 One of my current projects, I am  really happy with the lessons learned at a class with Sophie Standing, and have been using some of those learned skills and ideas 
with this piece
 Some of my threads for  this project!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Birthday treats

I ran away to the beach at Burleigh Heads for a few days last week for my birthday.  A nice apartment with beach views, two days teaching rulers on a domestic machine classes, and a relaxing time.
The beach was wonderful, a little cool to swim just yet, but I did have a paddle.
The reason I went south was to teach the classes, but decided to take a midweek holiday and have a day off for my birthday in the middle.
The classes were such fun!  a steep learning curve for some, most of the quilters ended up with a fantastic portfolio of ideas and designs for further reference and many ideas to go home and expand on. 
Ruler work is a different mindset, and can allow the quilter to achieve consistent straight or curved lines with minimal marking. I have had a lot of fun with the rulers and am really looking forward to my next Bernina work at the Brisbane Craft Fair.

Only one Farmers Wife block this week. 
It was a bit fiddly and I was tired, so the points are not perfect.

 The view from my apartment. Perfect.

My group are working towards an exhibition of works inspired by Margaret Olley, this is the start of one of my larger pieces.
Its called "rainy day" as a working title. More to be explained later

 Another piece for the Margaret Olley inspired pieces. In an attempt to use up fabric that I have, I am appliqueing these flowers onto some satin for an installation.

Lastly, I gave myself a little treat, well my daughter is giving me the book, and I decided to get a template as well- just because! Super fast postage, I am happy. 
Now to get down to some serious sewing....

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Farmers Wife blocks 74-77

Moving right along with the Weekly Art Project and the 4 Farmers Wife blocks this week.
They have been fun to make. 
You may  wonder why red and white and why The Farmers Wife?

Red and White because I love red and have a reasonable collection of red fabrics collected over the years, also because my first patchwork teacher, after my granny, was Joy Pratt in Hobart. Joy loved and made several red and white quilts, so this is sort of a homage to her and the passion that she injected into my fledgling quilting life in 1983. 

The other reason is that my lovely son, Alec, bought me the Farmers Wife 1920's book a few years ago as a gift. He found it himself without prompting, I am really proud of him taking the time to find something that I love- a book- any book, but a patchwork book with some nice stories as well was a bonus.
I have added a little to my red and white fabric collection, and now have enough fabric for about 6 quilts!

 block 74
 block 75
block 76
 block 77 
I have also today handed in my Queensland Quilters quilt exhibition quilts. Made 2 new bags to present them in and covered the labels- what a job! but it is done and its all up to the judges and the wonderful quilt exhibition committee.

I am looking forward to the October Queensland Quilters yearly exhibition, partly to see the quilts, but also because it is my last show as Bernina ruler quilting "guru". 
I am still pinching myself at odd times just to see if it is really real! 
What an amazing opportunity I have been handed, to be able to share my joy of quilting and using the Bernina rulers with the quilting community - and to stitch all day!

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Stitching time this week

I got really excited and finished the baby quilt, and made I have had some good stitching time this week, starting work at 1045 pm gives me a nice time in the evenings when the house is quiet and I can concentrate. Its a bit annoying to go to paid work just when you are getting stuck into the work at home, but this is what pays the bills.

I made 6 farmers wife blocks, and started 2 challenge quilts.

Above is the block which I was not excited by, however I am determined to make every block in order in the book, so it is done.

 This little block has been restitched, I must have not looked carefully the first time.
 Some fun with spots! this might be the inspiration to start another improv piece, these blocks are fun and easy to make, and I have lots of scraps and small pieces, the pile does not go down much after sorting and using some though!

The baby quilt is done, good for a floor mat or a bed!
A before quilting shot and then after quilting, this was fun and easy to make, the arrow blocks are 10 inches.

.The lighting is not brilliant, but it does show up the quilting, spirals and hearts.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A new week and a new quilt

This week, 2 Farmers Wife  blocks, for the first time the next block left me uninspired- 
so I didn't make it, perhaps next week..
Blocks 66 and 67

I have also been busy with a family baby quilt, I am a little late, but am really happy with the design, my daughter, who has done little sewing, has been advising the design and layout.
It has come together quickly and I am quite happy with both the design and process. 
The blocks are 10 "

The finished quilt top below

This week is EKKA week in Queensland, the agricultural exhibition. I entered 3 quilts, no wins this year, but a few of my friends made some great quilts and embroideries and won some prizes! Below is one of my entries.

Fruit Salad
I did a day of "white glove" quilt hostess volunteer work, the crowds left me a little overwhelmed, so I spent a happy hour demonstrating on the Sweet Sixteen for our local dealer in the quilt display area.  This was quite a bit of fun, as it did draw a crowd, also gave me some well needed stitching time, which has been very infrequent this week.

Just a little fun machine quilting making up designs!