Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Fabric, fabric

I received my belated birthday gift : fabric! (and I still can't believe I turned 33!!)
I ordered these beauties a couple of weeks ago from Craftsy's year end sale and they finally arrived yesterday.

This one is from Robert Kaufman, Kona fat quarter bundle, top 20 colours. Love it!
This one is "A is for" from Windham Fabrics. There are 15 fat quarters in the bundle. I fell in love with the small prints and their colours. The top two fabrics are also so lovely; teaching the alphabet :)
This bundle has 20 fat quarters too. It is "Power Pop" from Jenean Morrison for Westminster Fabrics.
I like every single print in this bundle but aren't those bow ties adorable?

And this one is from the classics; Small Dots layer cake from Riley Blake. I love love polka dots :-)

Now all I can think of is quilting and I have already chosen a project to start with.
Happy sewing!

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas...

 This little ornament is so special because my son made it at his childcare centre.

 And this Christmas tree is a gift from my beautiful friend Tash, hi Tash! She cut the felt into a tree shape, also cut out the ornaments from a fabric panel. Kuzey and I placed them on to the tree- fabric sticks to felt very easily. It is a very nice Christmas activity which you can do with your child and is so much fun.

Have a lovely Christmas.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Tutorial: Christmas Tree Block

Finally, I have some time to write this tutorial. I put together this tree last night so the photos are a little dark. Here we go. 

What you will need:
A selection of 2.5 inch wide fabrics. Jelly rolls are excellent for this project.
A 25 inch x width of fabric (normally 42 inches) white fabric for background and the borders.

Starting from the bottom of the tree, cut:
1- 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch square (colourful dots on brown background)
1- 8.5 inch x 2.5 inch strip (red on teal)
1- 6.5 inch x 2.5 inch strip (colourful dots on white background)
1- 4.5 inch x 2.5 inch strip (red)

From the white, cut:
4- 4.5 inch x 2.5 inch strips
2- 3.5 inch x 2.5 inch strips
2- 5.5 inch x 2.5 inch strips

When you lay them out, it will look like this.

The next step is sewing the pieces together to create the rows. 
Starting from the bottom of the tree, sew two of your 4.5 inch x 2.5 inch strips to the opposite sides of your 2.5 inch x 2.5 inch square piece. Use 0.25 (1/4) inch seam allowance, press the seams either open or towards the white or the coloured fabric. I normally press them towards the coloured fabric so that the seam fold doesn't show behind the white fabric. I don't know why I did the opposite this time. Must be a late night sewing thing!

This is the tree trunk
Have you noticed the upside down cutting mat?

Next one is the base of the tree. 
Take your 8.5 inch x 2.5 inch strip, lay it on your mat, place a 3.5 inch x 2.5 inch white strip on either side perpendicular to the 8.5 inch strip. Draw a 45-degree line from corner to corner. You can use a pencil or a disappearing ink pen.
The line will be from the top left corner to the bottom right corner when adding the white piece to the right.

And from the top right corner to the bottom left corner when adding the white piece to the left. This is the exact same process when making binding for your quilt.
And it will look like this

Now sew tiny bit to the right of the line. This will make the white piece and the coloured piece aligned when you press the white piece back. I think this is called a scant quarter stitch. Anyways, lets continue. 

Now, measure about a 1/4 inch from the seam with your ruler and cut the excess off. Press the white pieces back. (I am sorry, I forgot to take a photo of this part but you will understand what I mean in the following photos.)

Repeat the exact same process for the other two rows; the middle and the top part of the tree. When sewing the top of the tree, first sew one white piece, cut the excess off, press it back, and then place and sew the other white piece like this:

So that you don't end up with this- which I did

When you finish sewing the pieces, your tree will look like this:

Now we will put together the rows.
Starting from the top of the tree, take your first row (the red triangle) and turn it down on to the second row (colourful dots on white).

Continue adding the rows by carefully centering each row with the one below. When your tree is formed, trim your block to have even edges or even trim it down to a size you want.
My finished block was 10.25 inch x 8.5 inch and I trimmed it down to 9.5 inch x 8.5 inch to be able to add borders and make it the size I wanted.

For the borders, I cut 2.5 inch strips from my white fabric which were at least 9 inch long and sewed them on to the 8.5 inch sides of my block. Pressed the seams back. I then sewed a 14 inch long strip to the 10.25 inch sides- I have been a little generous, just in case. Pressed the seams back. I then trimmed it down one more time to 10.5 inch x 10.5 inch and pressed it  for a final, crisp look.
And there you go, a very cute Christmas tree!!

This is my very first tutorial. I tried to be as clear as possible and hope I made it easy to understand. Please don't forget to leave a comment and let me know what you think about this tutorial. I appreciate your feedback. Thank you!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Patchwork of stones

I know this is a quilting blog and I know this post is not about quilting. More than anything, I am aware that I was supposed to post a tutorial long time ago on how to make the Christmas tree block in my previous post. However, I just wanted to show you all what's been keeping me busy and stealing the time that I should have been sewing.

The Wall

We moved into our own house almost four and a half months ago. Since then, our front yard has been waiting for some attention from us. Being so good at procrastinating, we finally moved our bums only 20 days before the deadline to finish this big job: building a 12 metre long stone wall and completing the whole landscaping of the front yard. The deadline is by the ACT Government and we have only a week left! Thank God, the wall is almost finished and the rest shouldn't take long-wishful thinking...

I can't tell you how much physical effort this wall demanded.

Putting the stones together, making them fit and match and making precise calculations are very much like designing and making a quilt. I must say that I enjoyed the whole process a lot even though it has been so bloody tiring. I am also very happy and proud that hubby and I are pretty handy people :-)

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Christmas Tree Block

I could finally turn my Christmas Tree pattern in to a block...which required wasting some fabric and really forcing my brain to work out how to put the pieces together to make the block. All this trial and error resulted in this cute looking tree. 

Since I had very little white fabric, I had to use different pieces and even sew some scraps together to make the size I wanted. It is ok because this is a trial block. I also had to make some adjustments to the size of the pattern I drew to be able to make each row doable and look nicer. I haven't sewn borders around this block but I think a border makes it look even nicer. The block measures 10.5" x 8.5" like this.

I will be posting a tutorial some time next week and this time I will make sure I have enough fabric :-)