Sunday, November 10, 2013

Well, color me surprised ...

The last four days I have been at the Festival of Quilts in South Australia.  Tuesday afternoon I received a phone call telling me that I had won an award for my Flower Garden quilt that I had entered. Needless to say I was very excited and couldn't wait until Thursday night for Guild meeting, I went to the show on Thursday to visit with my quilt and see exactly where I was placed in the Predominantly Applique section.

I was lucky enough to get a red ribbon for second place, it was uncanny that thel three quilts that ribboned all had Garden in their quilt names and the first placed quilt also used Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

The quilting turned out better that I could have hoped even though it was a long job.  If I were to quilt an applique quilt again, I think I would take the extra step of doing a trapunto layer of batting, stitch around it  clip/trim it all back then put another layer of batting on and then quilt, I think that would take care of the baggin on the larger pieces.  The other extra step I could have done, would have been to block it, but a quilt this large requires a good sized area to block it on and time to dry as well.  I had the area but didn't really have the time, maybe next time.

My prize for second place was nice package of Karen Kay Buckley products, some of which I currently use but these ones will have special meaning for me when I use them in the future.

I have to thank Sheila for pushing me along on this quilt, I don't think I would have finished it otherwise :) and I would also like to thank Kim for designing such a lovely quilt, it had many lovely comments at the show, and also thanks to everyone who comments on the blog, it really makes a difference, knowing that others are following the progress.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Nearly done ...

It's been a long time since I (or anyone) last posted, I have been quilting away madly on my Flower Garden and I am pleased to say that the quilting is almost completed.

 It took me ages to decide how to quilt this, I don't have much free motion quilting experience so it was easier for me to do a sort of flowery stipple/meander over the background fabric.  I used Wonderfil Decobob for the top thread and The Bottom Line by Superior Threads for the bobbin, both are quite fine so any thread buildup wasn't too noticeable.

 After reading this blog post on Sandra Leichner's blog I thought that her method might work with this quilt, even though there are a lot of large appliqued pieces in this quilt,  and it has worked quite well although some of the larger pieces have a bit of "bagginess" in them.  If I were to do this again I would put an extra layer of batting under the larger shapes so I could do some cutaway trapunto, that would take care of the bagginess I think.

The binding is on but still needs stitching to the back, I do a little bit on that at the end of each day.  I'm currently doing all the outline stitching around each applique piece, I have 16 days left before the quilt must be finished for our guild quilt show.

Friday, July 19, 2013

The flimsy is finished ....

now to spend a bit of time trimming threads,
 removing cat hair etc etc, then onto the quilting.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Right side border

As promised, here are the photos of the Right side border.  I started this border from the bottom and then worked my way up, adding in the bias stem as I went.

I think the longest piece of bias for the stem was about 12" long

I found it better to select all the fabrics for the flowers and leaves over one or two days,

it seems as if the brain switches on after an hour or so 
as the selecting of fabric becomes much faster and it seems easy

to pick the right fabric for each flower and leaf, it also
 helps if the fabric is spread out all over the sewing room floor :)

Friday, June 14, 2013


Both of these borders are now complete and I am working on the Left Hand side one now, the finish line is getting closer now, tomorrow I'll post photos of the Right Hand side border.

top border

 top border

 top border

 top border

 top border

 I found a photo of another Flower Garden quilt  here, you will need to scroll down a bit before you see it.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Top border

I've been working very hard recently, this quilt has to be finished by end of October (and by finished I mean quilted as well)

It has taken me at least twelve hours to do the applique on this part of the top border, not including the preparation of the pieces.  When I started this quilt I tried out a few different applique techniques, I found that I didn't like traditional needleturn and preferred to use the front basting method (as described here) although I hand baste the fabric in place as I find it easier to unpick hand stitching than machine stitching.

Of late though, I have been using turned edge, whole unit hand applique over a semi-soluble fusible (Floriani Stitch and Wash)  and am finding this much kinder on my hands. Regardless of which method I use there is still a lot of preparation involved and I find it easier to spend a day or so choosing fabrics and getting the pieces ready and then a couple of days on the applique, and repeat, sometimes it feels like Groundhog Day :)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

One down, three to go

I finished the bottom border a week or so ago, it seemed to take me an age to finish it off, all those circles ...

it is also a lot more difficult to take a photo of the border as it is quite long and barely fits in the camera frame..

 I think there are over 70 circles in the bottom border, I thought I had made plenty but some were a tad small, so it was more slaving over the ironing board making circles, all in a good cause though as I should be able to use some of them in the top border.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Circle work

I'm not too far off finishing the bottom border, I have finished stitching down the birds and the cat, I think there are a few wings on the birds and a couple of flowers that I still have to do,

and the circles, oh the circles, I spent the best part of a day making them.  There are 80 or so circles for the required for the bottom border, and I will be spending another day making circles for the rest of the quilt. A couple of weeks ago I bought a Frosted Donut a couple of weeks ago, I think it was a good buy as there are 36 different coloured bobbins to choose from and I have already used quite a few of them.

Last weekend the Australasian Quilt Convention was held in Melbourne, Sheila's Flower Garden quilt (Kaffe, and Kim and Me) was on display there as part of the Best of the Best display.

photo by Melissa Gottliebsen

there are a couple more photos of Sheila's quilt on Melissa's blog, just scroll down a bit.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Final block is finished

This afternoon I put the final stitch into the last block for the Flower Garden quilt, when I took it out and showed it to The Mister, his response was "that's a beauty".

I almost can't believe that I've finished all 24 of the blocks, it's taken me quite a while.  So where to now?  Well I'm almost a third of the way through the bottom border, I will finish that then tackle the top border, according to Sheila, the side borders are quite easy compared with the other two.

My Easter plan is to trim the blocks to size (making very sure not to cut them too small) then add the sashing and hopefully by the end of the very long weekend have that part of the quilt all finished, waiting for the borders.

I've just realised that I haven't put the circle on the block so it isn't quite finished yet :(     that will be the first thing I do tomorrow I think.

Friday, March 22, 2013


As the border progresses it is getting harder to get a full photo of it, I finished another tree this afternoon, which leaves me with one tree left on this border.  I'm hoping to make a start on the tree this weekend as well as completing the last block.

I finished this block late yesterday afternoon, can't believe there is just the one block left to make.  With Easter coming up soon it will be a good opportunity to finish putting all the blocks together and get a better idea of how they all lok.

Friday, March 8, 2013


slowly getting there, two trees completed, and now I'm adding all the various components to them, it is quite fun selecting all the different fabrics although some days it does seem to take a long time to find just the right piece.

 During my blog watching today I saw this Flower Garden quilt on Stephanie Newman's blog A Quiltmaker's Quarters (you need to scroll down a bit) The quilt won Champion entry at the Dalgety Agricultural show.  The quilt looks quite lovely, and it is interesting to see that Holly has personalised the quilt in her own way. I also found this quilting detail picture of the same Flower Garden quilt on Facebook.  (I'm not sure if this link will work for non-FB users)

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Two more blocks completed

I had hoped to complete all the blocks before the end of 2012, but it didn't eventuate.  I'm hoping to make the last three blocks by the end of February, then it will be time to start work on the bottom border again, the coral tree is partially done, the fountain is complete and I think one other tree as well.

There are some new Kaffe fabrics out so of course I have bought some to use in my quilt, despite my best efforts I still end up buying fabrics in the blue and purple colourways, must try harder to purchase other colours.  (or perhaps must try harder not to buy fabric)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Inspired by The Frederica Josephson Quilt

I began this around the middle of last year. It was inspired initially by this blog post here

A little while later i saw  The Frederica Josephson Quilt in Annette Gero's book: The Fabric of Society, which i borrowed from my local library after seeing a copy that Pip had also borrowed.  Kim McLean had made a replica of the quilt, and the pattern was in the book.  See Pips version here  

I  drew up a design on hexi graph paper from here and started to play with a set of Marti Michell templates (set H: large hexagons)

I got a little carried away with the geometry of the hexagon blocks  and lost sight of my original plan to build on a large central star, and just played with the shapes. I think i counted over 25 combinations of shapes making up the 3inch hexagons that went into my quilt and found several more once i had called it quits. There was a lot of opportunity for fussy cutting and using directional prints to enhance the block design's.
Although i initially wanted to make this using bright fabrics that would work with my left over Kaffe's, the eventual colour scheme was governed by my impatience to begin.  An existing scrap stash of green, pink and lemon fabrics left from a previous quilt was resurrected. Needles to say I added so much extra fabric that i could probably make another.

I marked the seam allowance and stitched all the blocks and border strips by hand, point to point, using bottom line thread and a tiny running stitch. The borders were attached by machine as i wasn't sure i could stitch a straight line for 60 inches.

I am pretty sure there will be another version of this in my future and i will try and stick closer to Kim's circular medallion version.

Detail of bottom left corner, it is really straight.

I tried several times throughout the day to get a picture without shadows. I think i need to get up earlier. 

                             As usual I am now waiting for inspiration to how to quilt it.