Thursday, April 30, 2009

Machine Applique

One of my very dear friends Leigh, has just brought herself a new machine (lucky girl!!) and wanted some tips on the machine applique stitch, so I thought Id share them here in case it helps out anyone else as well.
The blanket stitch on my Pfaff, has 2 spacing stitches and then it makes the blanket stitch. Once you know the rhythm of the stitch you will know when to turn your work as you applique.
I mainly use matching colour threads for applique. I do have a small stash of embroidery cottons which I use but I also use my quilting cottons because they have a lovely sheen to them and are so easy to work with.
Make sure you set your machine to the "needle down" if you have this function. It acts like an extra pair of hands, I love it (and Leigh I know you have this). Begin with the needle down, right next to the edge of the piece your appliquing but not on the applique, on the background piece.
Work your way around the shape slowly. Do not turn your work whilst it is stitching the blanket stitch. Only turn when it is making the spacing stitches.
I actually stop with needle down, lift the lever and move it into position. When you reach a corner like the petal above, try and make your last stitch the blanket stitch to secure the corner before moving onto the next petal.

And then hopefully you will end up with lovely even blanket stitching all the way around your piece. And dont be afraid of the smaller pieces, they are done exactly the same just sew slower and remember to turn only during the spacing stitches. Hope that helps!!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dresden Plates

When I think of pretty blocks I think of the old favorites, Grandmas Fan, Flower Garden, Double Wedding Ring and of course the Dresden Plate. So I had to incorporate the Dresden Plate Block in my quilt for our new bed!
I have always used freezer paper to construct the blades and then handsewn them all together but then Anne Ida wrote up a tutorial to show me her method of maching piecing and its so quick and easy and not a piece of freezer paper in sight (yess!!!). She has posted the tutorial here and I will add it to my sidebar for anyone who might like to try this later on!!
The plates are designed for a 6" block but Im using a 9" block so that I have a nice wide space to quilt around.......hopefully with some free motion patterns! Between the blocks Im using a Jacobs Ladder variation:
These will frame the Dresdens nicely. Im really loving these fabrics!!
Im also still stitching the new BOM and its coming along well. Heres another peek at one of the blocks:
Cant wait to finally reveal this quilt and the story behind it (yesss there is a story!! lol)
Finally, I always love to see how others have made up one of my designs and yesterday I went out to Calico Crossroads with Jules and I saw Paulines version of my Picnic Quilt (excuse the photo, all I had was my phone):

It really is lovely, although the colours arent accurate in this pic. I just love it!!
Have a lovely ANZAC weekend!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Some Much Needed Motivation

Ive been in a bit of a slump lately, my mind flowing with ideas but I have yet to actually sew anything!! Our new arrival has given me some much needed motivation:


Our new bed has finally arrived!! I love the country look of timber, theres so much warmth and character......a great contrast to our old brass bed! So Im thinking a new quilt, as much as I love the Double Delight, Id like something soft and pretty.


A new tablerunner or tablecloth for the blanket box.


And maybe some new cushions, an assortment of sizes......Oh Les is gunna love having to take them off every nite!! lol

I have a stack of April Cornells "Natures Chorus" which is just so pretty and soft. I think Ill use these for inspiration.


Look out studio, here I come!!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Winners and Mail

Im a bit late drawing my giveaway, life has been hectic this week.......the winners of my 2 new patterns are Lulu and SarahVee. Could you both please email me your snail mail details and I will send your patterns off for you!! Thanks to everyone who entered and left such wonderful comments!
Just want to share some mail with you. The lovely Isabella sent me some gorgeous silk embroidery threads:
Arent they gorgeous!! The colours are beautiful. They remind me of threads my Nan used to have. Dont think Ill use them, Ill keep them with all my antique sewing notions!! Thanks sweetie, you know I love them!!!
Then today I found a parcel in the mailbox from Fiona:
She is such a sweetheart, a wonderful surprise gift!! Look at all those yummy buttons.......(for those who know me well they can guess I just played with them all afternoon lol) and that lovely polka dot fabric (which Im hiding from Maddi) but have a look at the gorgeous little brooch. It is sooooo sweet. I love the dove!! Im going to put this brooch on my stitchery bag. Thanks so much Fiona, I feel special!!
Just want to wish everyone a safe and Happy Easter!!!!

(chicken courtesy of Cohen....and yes the eye fell off in the car somewhere but we love him just the same!!!!)
I hope to get some sewing done over the Easter break, but I think the kids have other plans!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Pack Your Backpack!

I have a couple of pattern releases to share with you. The first is Pack Your Backpack. I designed this pattern with Maddi in mind. Her Grade 9 trip this year is 6 days in Queensland and I thought this might be practical for her as carry on luggage and also for keeping her hands free as they explore the theme parks etc.
She loves the bright colours of Arrin Turnmires Pack Your Bags fabric and mixed with some scraps of denim gives it that teenage look. Hopefully with a nice bright backpack she'll be easily spotted and wont get lost while she is so far away from us!!!! lol
It was the first time I have made a backpack so it was fun watching it all come together.........even putting in those metal eyelets for the cord!!!
The second pattern release is the Sleep Tight Cushion which appeared in Australian Country Threads last October!
If you missed that issue then patterns are now available, so you can make an early start on your Xmas sewing!!
Just leave a comment on this post and early next week I will draw 2 names who will both receive a copy of each pattern! Please remember to include your email address if you are a "no reply" commentor, so I can contact you!!
And just as a tease:

Im still stitching my new BOM! Can you guess the theme yet? I having heaps of fun designing the blocks, cant wait to share it all!!
Hope you have a great weekend!

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