Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Stars and Stripes

It was a good weekend for the sewing machine. Two more stars have been made.

One more to go! 
It's actually nearly finished but my friend Rivka came over on Sunday with another quilt to make. She had been planning for months to make her brother a quilt but apart from buying the fabric it just never got off the ground. 
We spent a happy Sunday afternoon cutting, ironing and sewing up these stripy squares. I just kept going, even after she went home and used up as much of the fabric as I could. The best bit was that I didn't pin a thing until I put the final squares together. Rivka will have to put a border on it to get the size a bit bigger. It will be sent to the quilter and hopefully I will get to see it again to add the binding. 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Zigzags or Stars?

I bought some Denyse Schmidt fabric and then decided I didn't like it so much. I started making a zigzag quilt and used  grey that just made the colours die. My fault - bad choice.

Anyway the triangles have sat in a box for 4 months.
This weekend they came out. After playing for a little while with all sorts of patterns I decided to make a giant star out of the triangles.

I still don't like the grey but liked the star idea as a new project.
After sewing it up I realised that the giant corners were going to need filling.

Four mini stars are on the way. The squares are just over an inch so the star is so bumpy! I am still not sure what I will fill in the rest of the gant star with but I like the purple shot cotton I used on the little star.

Monday, March 14, 2011

I love Long Weekends

It's the Labour Day Weekend which means three whole days away from work. My first two days were just ordinary days doing the usual stuff but today has been Diamond Day.

I finished making all my diamonds from my Kaffe Fassett class last night. They lay arranged on my "design floor" all night so I could be sure that all the colours were where they were supposed to be. The trouble with doing that is that it is also the main thoroughfare in my house. My family is so used to my mess that everyone just tip toed around the diamonds with out even commenting. How good are they?
So today, day three of my long weekend I finally got to do some serious sewing and finished the quilt top.

I now know why I do not like diamonds. When you sew them together they defy the usual matching up of corners to create beautiful seams meeting. You have to offset them to one side so that they meet later, after ironing. This is a rather hit and miss thing and the first few I did had to be unpicked several times until I got the hang of it.

I have always secretly wished to make a Lone Star Quilt. I think I will do it via the cheat's way of sewing strips together and then cutting them into diamonds.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

So it's Like This....

I drove to the US store in Moorabin. It's a bit of a trek but not too bad. I searched everywhere in between all the US accented patrons who were there to capitalise on the 15% sale that seemed to be on. There were all kinds of interesting freezer bags but the place that said" Freezer Paper 75 mts $9.95" was empty. The storemen searched too but to no avail. At least I knew that it would be in eventually and I had found a source.
Not to waste a drive out to the outskirts of town I dropped into a sport store and bought some Asics from the sale table. I had been searching for bargain Asics for a while. My runners are a disaster and the holes in them were becoming slightly embarrassing.

You see, I always believe good things happen, even when you think they are bad.
So I have a new pair of runners to wear now, which I would not have found had I not gone looking for freezer paper.
Anyway, on the way home I dropped into Amitie - because it is so hard to resist the place.
You'll never guess what they sell there!
Yes, they sell freezer paper. It seems they always keep a supply. So whenever I went looking last time, they must have been out of it and I never bothered to ask them again. Silly me. Of course I paid a lot more proportionately but I don't think I would have managed to get through 75 mts in a life time. So with 2 mts for $2.60 I am a happy quilter.

So thanks so much for all your kind offers of advice and paper. I really was so overwhelmed by everyone's thoughts and generosity. I do love blogging!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Does anyone know about freezer paper?

I was looking at other blogs when I noticed that Liz listed freezer paper as one of her top 5 quilting tools. It got me thinking about freezer paper and why it is so hard to find in Australia. Maybe I am looking in the wrong places and also I have not bothered trying to find any lately but last time I did, no one knew what I was talking about. It just so happens I have used my last scraps of it and I was hoping someone could tell me where to get some in Australia.
This is what I have used my last bits of paper on and why I find it so useful.
I just made a quilt with lots of straight lines on the back as well as a square/rectangle pattern on the front.

So the question came as to how I was going to quilt it because if I stitched in straight lines the back would have all these stitches that didn't line up and I would be really unhappy with the mess and it would make the irregular shapes look even more irregular.
So I decided that I would hand stitch it with circle shapes because they wouldn't mess up the lines.
I used freezer paper to make my stencils. I traced lots of mugs and glasses from the kitchen to get a variety of circle sizes.
Then I ironed on a few of the circles to the quilt. They can peel off so I only did a couple at a time.

Sew around the edges.

Peel off the paper carefully because you can use it several times and there is your outline stitched onto your quilt. Easy.

You could make stencils for any shape so it's very versatile and saves using water soluble pens etc.

I have also used it instead of paper piecing and made this quilt.

It made the whole process much quicker and simpler and it's very accurate.

So if anyone knows where to find this wonderful paper in Melbourne please let me know so I can get some more!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Not bad for a 19 year old

My son just returned from Japan and look what he bought home for me!

The prices were pretty similar to what you can get online. I thought he would have been able to do better but it seems the online price is the list price or pretty close. I loved the Echino and Lecien fabric the best.