2013 and a new Quick Quilt blog

I now have a new blog with a name that coordinates with my website, facebook page, business name etc; please visit http://quickquilt.wordpress.com/ to see what we have planned for 2013. The 2010 quilts blog will no longer be updated.

Now the frantic rush of Christmas and New Year is past, it’s time to settle down and think about what we want to get working on in the coming year. I’m not usually one to make New years resolutions, but this year I’m leaning towards making an affort to get some of those dreaded UFO’s that have been lurking in the darkness finished. Are you laughing yet? I think this is every quilters resolution, but lets see how we go with that… The second resolution (yes I have two) is to blog and use facebook more often.

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A1 Horizon with Intelliquilter computerised system and working on my sisters quilt

In March Tracy Browning visited with us to deliver two days of intensive training on how to use my new A1 Horizon with Intelliquilter computerised system.  It was a whirlwind if information sharing combined with tips and techniques that was simply amazing to someone who was a self declared freehand quilter.  With the new digital system and the availablity of literally thousands of designs ready to download at the click of a mouse button, I must say it has been a very exciting few months.  I have neglected my blogging unfortunately, but  intend on picking up where I left off.  I seemed to have a good supply of charity quilts to practise on and that was such a bonus as I’m sure there will be some very happy recipients from my adventures with seemingly unlimited pattern choices.  The A1 has exceeded all my expectations.  I have also met another local longarmer (Liz) and we have fun “playdates” together when time allows, we exchanged ideas and experiences and it’s wonderful to find a kindred spirit to share the ups and downs of longarm quilting with.  Liz is meticulous in her design layouts, and is  always ready to provide support and humour when I most need it. 

My sister has arrived after an extensive wait, she has been battling breast cancer and is ready to have some quality time together finishing a quilt top she started late last year, so hope to be able to share some pictures of the progress of quilting her beautiful Butterfly Kisses.  So many girls I know have faced breast cancer, and it certainly makes us more aware to do the things we enjoy with people we love and care about, and of course quilting is such a nurturing journey to share together. 

The workshops continue, focusing on fun stuff like binding techniques and making gorgeous handbags with lots of bling, such fun to share with the girls, how much fun can you have in one day?

 

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My Mum takes Grand Champion with her first-ever quilt

What news!  My mother is a ‘beginner” quilter and has just won grand champion with her first quilt.  Does this mean she is no longer a beginner, LOL?  Her quilt is a simple scrappy 16 patch set on point and contrasting cornerstones with sashing and outside borders the same colour so the blocks appear to float. Such a simple layout, yet so very eye catching, the judge  loved it obviously.  I gave it simple quilting in the blocks and a hyper-quilted  freehand feather wreath going all the way around the border and into the setting triangles set it off beautifully.  Congratulations!!! and Mum; where’s the photo you promised?…..

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Domestic machine quilting workshop

I did promise pictures of what has been going on lately.  The domestic machine quilting workshops are underway.  Tiaro Craft Group members had a lot of fun during the crash test for the workshop to make sure that I didn’t forget any important details and I am disappointed that I did not take any pictures of their amazing finished sample blocks.  I did take some happy snaps of our most recent domestic machine quilting workshop, and I must say the girls did brilliantly.  There is always some anxiety before we get started that they will not be able to manage doing freeform quilting, however the results speak for themselves,  and they had fun while they worked on their projects.  Should I tell them that I have fun seeing them transform from uncertain to confident and adventurous quilters in just hours? 

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Desirees embroidered quilt

These photos don’t do this quilt justice.  The embroidery work is exquisitely detailed and vibrantly colourful.  Desiree obviously had some fun while she was working on this project, as it has a cheerful feel.  The quilting needed to be traditional, so half inch crosshatching in matching white thread was done behind the embroidery motifs and a simple curl design for the sashings and borders.

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Boys froggy quilt

This is a fun quilt!  It has frogs and puppies, and lots of interesting embroidery blocks to look at.  Kids quilt are going to get washed a lot of times, so the more threadwork I can give, the longer the life of the quilt. This was quilted with wiggly lines all over and in the borders, using a green variegated thread, which worked well with the froggy greens. I enjoyed working on it, thanks for letting me share it Barb.

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visible threads and how to remove them from your quilt

Visible threads are the downside of a longarm quilters life.  No matter how carefully the maker presses and trims their quilt and how carefully we mount the top, backing and batting on our machines, there are always some threads that end up showing in places they shouldn’t.  I inherited my grandmas knitting and crochet tools, and in there is a really fine crochet hook, fine enough to be inserted carefully between the fabric threads and able to pull out the dreaded visible stray dark thread.  When the “bad” threads have been removed, you can stroke the thread fibres closed over the hole that you pulled them through and no-one would notice any unusual marks or ladders in the fabric.  I hope this helps as even when there is dense stitching, those threads can still be removed leaving no marks, just beautiful quilting results.

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Quilted notebook workshop

After the workshop:  The notebook workshop was fun (of course) and really interesting to see everyones colour choices for their projects.  The Tiaro Country Crafters again helped with the important job of crash testing the instructions, and we invited three guests to share in the fun.  With the quilted notebook covers, we really only need to measure our bindings accurately, as we need this finishing touch to be consistently even, as for the construction of the design, we check the fit of the notebook to the cover many times along the way as we make it to fit, and don’t use traditional template methods.  For some, not making templates or using specific pre planned measurements was confusing, with the comment “we aren’t used to not measuring”.  As quilters, we train as architects and engineers to get the finished results exact, and can overwork an idea to the extent that we cast it aside and return to our “safe zone” of traditional pre planning of every move.  There was a muntiny on the horizon at one point, bless their honesty, then they relaxed and enjoyed themselves,  at next workshop I will tell them that we are not measuring before we start work.  I did have my camera, but forgot to take pictures, so are going to have to pay more attention to that in future, as sharing is the best part.

Before the workshop:  I make quilted notebooks, they are so handy to pop in your purse, and if you are a person that forgets everything like I am, they are really helpful.  I made some for my family last Christmas and they were greatfully received, which encouraged me to make more.  All quilters tend to work in series, they have the prototype #1, then a succession of upgraded models as the techniques get refined.  Notebook covers are a great small project that you can get back to when you have a few spare minutes, or you can make the entire thing in one session and they aren’t a tiring project that takes all day, although my first ones certainly did as I was feeling my way along the pathway of discovery.  I’m sure we can all relate to the feeling of making a new discovery of quilting skills. 

After the first few notebook covers, I found that different sizes worked better than others.  I use a diary and like it close by, but it’s a bit big/heavy and of course we all need an address book, these come in lots of sizes, so that ends up in the handbag too, I am going to put my bag on scales and weigh it one day just for cusiosity, I try to keep it organised but I’m really not a very organised-purse-person. 

I love sharing ideas and new ways of doing things.  This inspires me to get together with a bunch of girls and it’s just amazing what we learn from each other, we all have slightly different ways of doing the same thing, and that is what I love most about quilting, we all readily share information and pitch in when learning new stuff.  After seeing the inspiring fabric choices the Tiaro girls chose for their quilted handbags (I call them bucket bags as you can toss everything into them) I am really looking forward to seeing what choices they make for their quilted notebooks.   These girls crash test my instructions, requirements list and discussion notes, and the notebook workshop is another test to see if we need to make any changes in the way I present the information.  Proof-reading and practical testing is an important job, and for the bucket bag, we found that the lining was bigger than the outside, so that was a re-write on that step.  I think/hope I have everything covered for the notebook workshop, fingers crossed, and will post pictures of the day, so stay tuned…..

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2011 Fraser Coast show quilts

 

It has been a long time between blogs, so hope to make up for lost time over the next few weeks. 

For those that followed the creation of the double wedding ring quilt, I entered it in the Fraser Coast show after deciding at the last minute that it needed rhinestones….lots of them.  It had been safely stashed in a bag in the bottom of the wardrobe for 3 months, and I took it out to check for loose threads a week before the show, only to decide that the white trapunto was a bit lost on the white background.  The rhinestones definitely helped define the trapunto feather designs, and after a hard slog of 26 hours spread over 5 nights, burned fingers and about 4500 rhinestones, the quilt was finally ready.

I will need to edit the pictures  of the other of each class before I load them, so stay tuned for those, although I have to warn you I am the worlds worst photographer.

My DWR got 1st place in it’s class and reserve champion to an art quilt entry that was spectacular, see below.

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purple and green quilt as you go

My favourite colour combination just has to be purple and green; lime and royal purple.  I love this small quilt,  using the quilt-as-you-go technique made by Elaine.  I also love scrap quilts, and this one is a “planned” scrappy, the best of two techniques.  She certainly has an eye for colour combinations.  Quilts like this are definately worth sharing, so thanks Elaine, I love your quilts.

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