Wednesday, 18 June 2014

(Trouble) shooting triangles

I bought some lovely fat quarters late last year when Craftsy was offering some great discount. Ten or so days ago, I chose twelve of them and cut them into triangles to make-this time for myself-a nice lap size quilt.
According to my quilty math, which I did for the first time!, these 230 triangles were going to make a 60"x72" quilt. But,,,my perfect quilty math didn't calculate the shrinkage once they were sewn!! Arrrghh, so annoyed!!
I had to turn it into-sort of-a square to be able to make a sensible size because it was going to be a long and very skinny quilt if I went ahead with a rectangular layout.
It shrinks a lot once they are sewn!
Anyways, I started sewing them. The pointy ends in the first three rows matched beautifully but- don't know what I did differently-the following two rows just don't match and it is driving me insane!
No stretching, they were all cut the same size, same seam allowance...Why oh why don't you guys just behave???
These not matching points and the size-44"x58"-really put me off finishing this quilt.

What should I do guys? Should I sew all the triangles into rows, then undo the ones that don't play nicely and adjust the seam allowances? Even the idea of undoing the stitches has gotten me tired!
Hit me with your best suggestions!

Before I forget, I want to thank you all who stopped by to leave a comment to my blog hop post. I also want to welcome all my new followers. Your support encourages me to continue harassing my husband to let me buy more fabric. Love you all!
Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced:

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Let's get acquainted!

Hi there all!
Last year, when I was hopping from blog to blog, I came across Plum and June’s Blog Hop. I didn’t have my blog back then but I said to myself “hey, this is a great way to put your name out there, meet lots of new people, and find some amazing but hidden quilters!” Now I am so excited to say that I am participating in Plum and June’s “The 2014 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop”!!
Let me tell you a little about myself.
My name is Nurdan and I am from Turkey. I am married to an Aussie man and we have a gorgeous two year old son. My husband and I met in Turkey while he was working for the Australian government there. After dating a couple of years, we got married and moved to Australia four and a half years ago; so I am still a fresh chick in this country :) I have a BA degree in English language teaching but currently I am not working as a teacher; I am the Executive Manager of one of the Learned Academies in Australia.
I had no idea about what a quilt was when I came to Australia until we visited one of my husband’s friends.  I saw all those gorgeous wall hangings and beautiful throws on the sofas. The lady of the house told me that she made all those QUILTS. I have always been a crafty person; I did antique painting, knitting, crocheting, silk painting, cross stitching…but I developed an immediate love for quilts and that love has grown more with the first quilt I made for my baby.

Since then, I have been trying to make time to make quilts and I learn and grow with each one of them.When I look at my first quilt, I remember the days I made it. I pick up so many mistakes but they make me smile because, as a self-taught quilter, I see how far I have come with my quilting.
I only started blogging in November last year. It has been such a short time since then but I have learnt some things about blogging along the way.
The best tip I can give is: Don’t stress when writing up a blog post. Finding your voice is –I think- the hardest thing. I am still struggling with this. When I feel like I am stuck, I start writing like I am talking to a friend.

This t-shirt quilt required lots of relaxing!
The same tip applies when quilting. Relaxing before starting a new project or starting quilting your quilt makes a huge difference. Having a clear mind, knowing what you will be doing and cutting your fabric with that vision in mind make everything easier. (I still have some cut up fabric which make no sense since they were cut either without much thinking or out of rush.)  
What things do you find relaxing/motivating before/during a new project? Sketching the design? Doing some quilty maths? Listening to music? Or maybe dreaming of the finished project?
I would love to hear your thoughts!
I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far. Tune in to Plum and June and check out all these wonderful bloggers! This week we have:

Chelsea @ Patch The Giraffe (

Daisy @ Ants To Sugar

Rachael @ The Floral Suitcase 

Elizabeth @ And Pins

Jennifer @ Never Just Jennifer 

Alice @ Blossom Quilts

Stephanie @ Late Night Quilter

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Tutorial: Pinwheel pincushion

A few followers requested a tutorial for my pinwheel pincushions. Here you go.

What you need:
2-2.5''x2.5'' squares from white (solid) fabric
2-2.5''x2.5'' squares from printed fabric
2-1.5''x3.5'' strips for borders
2-5.5''x5.5'' strips for borders
1-5''x5'' square for the back
*You will use a 1/4 inch seam allowance. The finished size is approximately 4.5" x 4.5"/11.5cm x 11.5cm.
I used white for this pincushion because I had small scraps available in white. You can use any colour you like. In fact, choosing a contrasting colour for borders makes it look even cuter. You can have a look at the previous ones I made for an idea.

How to make it:
First, lay your white squares on your cutting mat and draw a line with a disappearing ink or water soluble ink pen as shown in the photo.
I lay my squares so that the corners line up with one of the lines on my cutting mat. This makes the drawing much easier.
Lay your white square on the printed fabric square as shown in the photo below, pin them together. By using your foot as a guide, start sewing on one side along the line. When finished; lift the foot up, pivot your squares and sew along the other side the same way. Repeat this for the other pair.
Give your squares a press and take them to your cutting table. Now, cut them in half on the line you drew.
Don't worry if the squares/triangles didn't turn up exactly aligned. We will trim the whole thing later so this won't matter.
Now, press your triangle pieces open, trim the little ears and lay them to form a pinwheel like this.
As the next step, we will sew the pieces in two groups- top and bottom. Now, flip your right pieces on to the left pieces, pin and sew them. Make sure that the pointy ends and the sewing lines overlap.
Press your seams first and press the pieces open.
Flip the top piece down on to the bottom piece. Pin carefully to make sure the pointy ends meet and the sewing lines in the centre overlap.
Sew them together. Give it a press and iron it open. Now it is time to trim it down to 3''-its final size before the borders are added. This is how I trim:
Lay your pinwheel on your cutting mat. Because the trimmed size will be 3'', you need to lay your ruler's 1.5'' line on to your square's sewing line in the middle and cut the excess fabric.
You need to repeat this until all the sides are trimmed. You will end up with a 3'' square like this:
Adding the borders:
Now get one of your 1.5''x3.5'' strips, pin it to your pinwheel as shown in the photo and sew them together. Using a slightly longer piece for borders ensures you that the border doesn't end up too short due to shifting of fabrics when sewing. Iron it open and repeat it for the opposite side.
Take your block to the cutting mat, align your ruler as shown in the photo and trim the excess fabric.
Now we will sew the 1.5''x5.5'' borders and trim our block by repeating the same process.
Give it a good press and your block is finished! Your square should measure 5''x5''.
Now, get your 5'' square you cut for the back of the pincushion and lay it on to your block-or visa versa. You will need to leave a 2.5'' opening to turn it inside out; so, start sewing close to a corner, back stitch at the start and the end.
I need to practise my stitching on Photoshop!
Turn the pincushion inside out, fold the seam allowance of the opening inside, press it; you are ready to fill it!
Fill it with polyester filling; pay attention to the corners. Make it really puffy. You can use a chopstick for the corners or something else that wouldn't pierce through the fabric. Hand stitch or machine stitch the opening. I machine stitched mine.
To do this, push all the filling away from the opening as much as you can and sew the opening. Once you finish sewing, give it a shake, pat it, wiggle the filling around and your pincushion is ready!

May it keep all your pins in one place!

Please let me know if you have any questions.
Happy sewing!