Saturday, 22 October 2022

Aurifil Artisan Challenge for October

 This month’s challenge was to create a piece using both hand and machine quilting.

I love to add a lot of hand quilting to my smaller projects.  I think it adds beautiful texture and colour to a piece.  Also, I love the rhythmic relaxation of sitting and hand stitching.

This time I combined simple straight lines quilted on the machine with the more intricate hand quilting around the details of the stitchery and the applique.  This is “Harriet’s Hexie Bag”.

My design incorporates a lovely stitchery flower surrounded by panels of gorgeous hexagons! I have hand quilted using 12 weight thread around the stitchery and inside every little hexagon.  The back pale green panels are simply machine quilted using gorgeous 50 weight cotton Aurifil thread.

I loved making this pretty bag using some of my favourite fabrics and the beauty of my Aurifil threads enhances my work, as always.

Wednesday, 24 August 2022

Progress on “Barton Park”

I have been making a major applique quilt for my “Jane Austen Quilt Collection” series every year for the past thirteen years.  Unfortunately Covid delayed the completion of my next quilt, to be called “Barton Park”.

Now I am able to get back to it and am excited to finish it soon.

Here is the centre of the quilt, an arrangement of pretty flowers around a circle.  Can you see my little bee?

My favourite applique technique is an English basted process, much like English paper piecing.  It is a turned edge technique which gives very accurate and reliable results.

Of course I always use my Aurifil threads, my thread weight of choice being 50 weight.  This fine but strong pure cotton thread comes in so many beautiful colours I can always match the thread colour to the fabric I am applying.  The fineness of the thread also makes it melt into the turned edge of the applique piece, making it practically invisible.

Here is a close up of my applique roses.  I use the same length of matching thread to gather my circles and then applique them.

Here are the next applique flower borders in progress.

Coffee time…

The next border is a series of large leaf-like shapes which form circles around a hexagon petal flower.

I am now designing the cornerstone blocks for these borders, then one more applique border to go.  I love my hand applique and the challenge of designing and stitching these large complex quilts, made easier using my favourite Aurifil threads.

Saturday, 30 July 2022

“Floriade” Mug Bag - Aurifil Artisan Challenge for July

My second challenge as an Aurifil Artisan was to make something suitable for stitching “on the go”. Was there ever a better challenge for me, with my love of hexagons? 

I always have some English Paper Piecing prepped and ready to stitch when I am out and waiting or visiting or a car passenger, anytime really.

With this challenge I decided to make a cute bag suitable to carry a mug to class or retreat.  The bag can also hold a portable fold up table lamp or mini-iron.

I started with some beautiful fabrics from the Laundry Basket range called “Lady Tulip” and covered and whip stitched 112 1/2” hexagons together.  This is my favourite “on the go” part of the process.  All you need is a little bag of hexagon templates, your fabric, scissors, needle and Aurifil thread.

I love to use my Aurifil 50 weight thread for thread basting the fabric to the hexagon paper shapes.  This stitching stays in place.

I also use 50 weight for joining the hexagons together.  I prefer to colour match my thread colour to the colour of the fabric I am stitching.  The 50 weight comes in all colours and is so fine it melts into the fabric and disappears!

The constructed hexagon fabric piece forms the outside of the bag.  A beautiful feature floral was used for the lining.

A lovely pink was selected for the sides and button loop and the green floral for the handle.  Once lined with fusible pellon, all these pieces were hand quilted using a pink Aurifil 12 thread.

All of the bag pieces were pinned and stitched on the machine  using a walking foot attachment.  The circumference of the bag was then bound to finish.

I hope you love my little bag as much as I do.  The pattern is available from my website as an instant download or in printed form, with or without the hexagon paper templates.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

Aurifil Artisan 2022: First Challenge

I am delighted to have been chosen as an Aurifil Artisan for 2022/23, one of forty creative people from around the world!

I have been using Aurifil’s beautiful threads for many years and now I have a chance to explore, experiment and educate about this fabulous product.

My first challenge was to create a project using some of the threads received in my welcome Artisan box.  My selection included two green spools (40 weight thread) in a stunning medium and dark blue.  Having recently purchased a colour graduated stack of blue fabrics that caught my eye, I was ready for the challenge.

A little blue ceramic coaster was my inspiration to play with a symmetrical design featuring floral elements and a hint of fleur-de-lis.  I chose to use fusible raw edge applique for this design as the pieces were two small and intricate for turned edge applique.

I traced each design element onto fusible webbing and cut outside the lines. Then each shape was fused to the wrong side of the chosen fabric.  Every shape was then cut out accurately on the drawn lines with a sharp pair of scissors.

The pattern sheet was placed under a square of off-white linen and all shapes were fused in place.

Now for the stitching.  I used the two spools of 40 weight cotton thread on most of the blue pieces, balancing the same thread weight and colour in the bobbin.  The colours were #1128 (Light blue violet) and #1158 (medium grey). I like to use a small single buttonhole stitch on my Bernina for this type of applique. It produces a very neat finish which does not overpower the design.  For the very light blue shapes, I used an Aurifil 50 weight that I had on hand, #2710 (light robins egg).

I also always use a light stabiliser behind my machine applique. It makes the stitching much more even and does not pucker or shrink the background fabric.

Once the applique was complete, I removed all the stabiliser, trimmed my block and added a row of blue squares around the applique centre.  Then a thin border of the linen was added to accentuate the blues.

I like to use medium weight fusible pellon behind my small projects and then the most relaxing part: hand quilting!  I used the #2021 (natural white) in the 12 weight thread from my pack to echo quilt around every shape and in the ditch of the squares border.  For the echo quilting inside the squares, I hand quilted using #2847 (bright grey blue). I love to use my quarter inch wide quilters masking tape to guide me in quilting straight lines.

Lastly, I backed the cushion in a gorgeous soft blue and cream floral with three large coconut shell buttons for the closure. A formal finish to the cushion was achieved by sewing a blue binding around the edge.

Very happy with how it turned out and looks great with my blue Hamptons lounge room decor.

The pattern for my “Wedgewood” Cushion is now available on my website here.

Thank you to Aurifil threads for the fun challenge.  Loving my threads and look forward to next month’s project.

Friday, 28 February 2020

Trip to Adelaide to Teach “Donwell Abbey”

I am recently back from three days of teaching in Adelaide for The Quilting Room.

We had a great retreat organised by Helen Campbell.  Lots of stitching, eating, talking, laughing and learning.

Everyone did a great job at starting their “Donwell” journey.  Lots of fussy cutting and playing with colour.  

Here are lots of the centre block mandalas under construction.

Lots of pot work on Day 2.

Fussy cutting of pie slices by Alice.

Pies by Andrea (she finished them at home, lol).

The show and tell of quilts finished from previous years was amazing!

“Pemberley” by Shirl.  Beautiful work!

A striking “Pemberley” by Andrea.

And an uncharacteristic pretty version of “Highbury” by Andrea.  It is absolutely lovely.

Here is a wonderful Christmas colour version of “Hartfield” by Danielle.
The outside blocks still to be added.

Love the striped zig zag border, very clever.

Thank you for a great weekend, ladies.  Happy stitching!