Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Warning - Picture & Scrap Heavy Posting

You may know that I love scrappy quilts ... they are the quintessential quilt to me ... anyway ... a little while ago I got some scraps of Civil War Repros (from Christine - thankyou Christine) and my friend Helen (having nothing of her own to do - not!) made this quilt for me.  All I had to do was supply the 2m of beautiful cream 1seeded quilters muslin that I got from "The Quilt Patch" in Launceston along with the scraps
I had from Christine.   So this beautiful quilt turned up miraculously in a week or so ... Thank you Helen...Helen also made me a cushion from the left overs - I am so lucky

This quilt is from Bonnie Hunter's book "Adventures with Leaders & Enders" and the pattern is called "Sisters Nine Patch"

 The mail came yesterday with Bonnie's new book "Scraps & Shirttails II"  ... I love the patterns in this book ... very nice ... my brain is ticking over at a terrific rate, going through all the fabrics I have, what scraps, lights and darks and what I can use for backgrounds ...mmmmm
 I love this pattern ... I need to make this quilt!
 And not so long ago I went to The Quilt Patch in Launceston (having not been there for many months) and spied this book ... look at that delicious quilt on the front cover ...

Why would you not want to make this quilt ... even the cat likes it!

So there lies my problem ... spoilt for choice.

I have been quilting for eight years now ... so have accumulated fabrics that I will never use as a whole piece in a quilt, lots of scraps, lots of partial fat quarters that no one in their right mind would have even purchased in the first place (had they known anything about quilting 8 years ago - lol)

So over the past little while I have been tidying up my scraps ... I have started a scrap bin system as recommended by Bonnie Hunter ... it works - I am amazed at how much you can salvage from fabric you would consider almost useless ...  look at these bins ... these are the strips in 1.5, 2, 2.5 and 3.5 inches wide.

See the little red mouse ... Merlin left him there for me this morning ... good little toy mouse catcher that he is!
 Then I have culled my bins of bigger bits of fabric ... found these plaids and more neutral toned fabrics ... all that I have used in past quilts ... so do I cut them up or just keep them ready to use as setting blocks or sashings in scrappy quilts .. have to ponder that some more.
 A whole heap of beautiful plaids in yellow/green/oranges ... I got these when a local quilt shop closed down and I couldn't resist the bargain ...  they would look fantastic in a Bonnie Hunter style scrap quilt ... wouldn't you use them??
 Then there is this bin ... full of stuff that I probably wouldn't use in a co-ordinated quilt ... but some bits that I couldn't bear to part with either ... yep cut 'em up and put them in a scrappy quilt or 10.
Oh but wait ... there is more ... left over from quilts I have made ... see the chicken wire fabric - I made some really nice naive applique chook quilts back in 2004 ... but am I going to use this fabric anywhere else ... nope, cut it up and put it in a scrap quilt.

So you see where I am going with this ... I feel like I am obsessed ... I have spent my whole lunch hour today writing this posting and thinking about scrap quilts ... Do you do that??   Obsess over an idea and can't get it out of your head until you at least make something of a start towards that quilt ... In the past week I have sorted and put together three UFO's ...all in their little boxes ready to be sewn ... at least I will be ready for retreat this year!

Okay back to the quilting machine now ... I am catching up with my backlog after two months without a working machine ... Thank you everyone for your patience.    And if you got this far through reading my post, thank you ... I hope I have inspired you to get out your scraps and make something useful like a Scrappy Utility Quilt ...Happy quilting for now ... Jane x

Friday, 11 February 2011

Zentangle & Fabric

 A week or so ago I quilted this .... a long table runner (or piece of wall art) ... Fabric is beautiful white Cotton Sateen and I have used Superior Gold Metallic Thread ... it has a little bit of stretch and I had absolutely no breakage.  Always use this thread as it is a great metallic.

So here are a few close ups...

 And this is the whole piece ... I can't get it all in the lense of the camera without being too far away.

 The other end ... do you like the border?
 And some plain white thread on Cotton Sateen ...  these are the pieces that I use to teach my Zentangle for Quilters Class ... see more information on my classes here ... janemonkstudio.com

If you would like to book a workshop for a group or just a few...give me a call.  My contact details are on my web site www.janemonkstudio.com 

And these little darlings are why it is a good thing not to cut your lawn ... they eat the seeds from the tall grasses, amongst other things.   I took this photo from my quilting room through the glass ... so I didn't disturb them.  I have never seen so many in my yard at the same time ... there were about 12.

Okay ... have fun quilting up a storm.   Jane x

Tuesday, 8 February 2011

A sneak peek

I thought I would show you a little sneaky peek at a project that I have underway.   I have come up with an easy method of not wasting fabric when making circles and squares from 10inch Layer Cake - and you can make a whole quilt from one pack, plus a little border fabric.

I would like to use this quilt/pattern to raise money for the Victorian Floods ... as you probably all know, pretty much every State in Australia has been affected by either rain or fire with devestation to a lot of property and people affected. 

More on this later this week.     Happy Quilting for now .... Jane x

Sunday, 6 February 2011

600 or so half square triangles

 I couldn't rest until I had done something with at least one UFO ... I had this box of 600 or so half square triangles in shades of blue.   I was going to make an Ocean Waves quilt but changed my mind and then left the little blocks just sitting there.   Cleaning up my quilting room I found I had lots of UFO's.

So ... yesterday I pieced those little blocks all together into this 57 x 57 inch quilt, put the borders on today and quilted it with the pattern Waterworld using a nice varigated blue King Tut cotton thread ... and put the binding on.  I will be able to stitch the binding down tonight.

 A close up ... you will see that there isn't quite enough constrast between the lights and darks to make the pinwheels really noticeable ... but I like the overall effect.
The backing fabric ... I used a pale blue thread on the back so it blended.

Happy Quilting for now ... Jane x

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Finally Quilting Again

 Many of you may know that I have been unable to quilt for a couple of months now due to mechanical failure with my quilting machine.   Luckily for me, the tech services in the United States provide a good service and are very helpful in determining what the problem may be.  After three sets of parts, I am becoming quite an accomplished electronic installer - although it may really be their good instructions.   However, the machine still could not be fixed so they sent me another machine that has not been in active service.   My DH and I set it up this week and I have been putting it through it's paces.

I pieced this quilt a few years ago and have never gotten around to quilting it -  you know customers come first!   Anyway I put an Edge 2 Edge (Pantograph) pattern on it ... I am very happy indeed with how it turned out.   I even sat watching the news on QLD unfold last night and put the binding on.   One UFO finished.
 A close up of the blocks ... I loved this fabric and am so so happy I made this quilt with it.
 I used strips of every fabric in the quilt to make the binding - I just love the look.
 The beautiful backing from Widebacks - fabulous quality as usual and beautiful to quilt.
 This little baby was quilted quite awhile ago and I hadn't gotten around to putting the binding on ... it is also finished now.  It is only a lap quilt - I think I will put this one in the car for the longer trips - I always get cold when I am a passenger on a long trip.
 That beautiful backing again.    This time I used an all over pattern (pantograph) of Anne Bright's design.
 This is the naughty machine ... all packed up ready to be sent back to the USA ... I hope they can whip it into working order again ... sniff sniff I will miss my little Millie.   At least I have a new Millie that works well.  

I have been doing some custom quilted blocks to test it out some more ... but white on white doesn't photograph very well ... I'll see what I can do when I have finished them. 

So next week I am back quilting customer quilts ... I have  a few to catch up on but am taking orders.

Happy Quilting for now ... Jane x