Category Archives: Patchwork Projects

‘Snowflake Fury’

UFO #1 for 2019 Finished!

This one was four large blocks left over from a quilt, just laying around waiting patiently for being put together and quilted.

Joining up the blocks was the easy bit.

What quilting to put on it was the hard bit. A dark thread wouldn’t show up on the black and a light thread wouldn’t show up on the red, and ditch quilting would make it very bland.

Which thread – a variegated grey on top and in the bobbin.

What to quilt became easy using the Westalee Ruler Foot  ‘Spin-e-fex Snowflake Templates 1 and 2, and the straight edge of the 12″ arc ruler,  to make the patterns.

So the block centres became the framed snowflake…

Block centre

The centre of the quilt became a smaller version, which also sat on the centre side edges …

Centre of the quilt

While a simpler version sat along the block joins, and the corners …

Block joins

When quilted and bound it became ‘Snowflake Fury’!

‘Snowflake Fury’ – 4 large block quilt.

Now to go and pick out the next UFO project!

RobynsPatch

 

Baste Away, Baste Away, Baste Away …

After having explored and had a go any the many ways a quilt can be basted, I seem to stick to my ‘go to’ favourite method – spray basting using ‘505’. It is quick, doesn’t add weight to the quilt, lays flat without wrinkles, stays basted for years, and doesn’t gum up the machine sewing needle. I do need a flat open space to prepare the quilt – a tad difficult in the never-ending house renovation cycle!

Basting back

Taping the backing down and stretching it tight to eliminate as many wrinkles as possible.

Basting wadding

Layering the wadding and the top over the backing, smoothing it out as it’s done. Then folding it back twice to half way – makes it easier to manage when starting the spray.

Basting top

Once the wadding is basted down, the process is repeated for the top. This time it’s necessary to check that none of the seams have shifted as it’s rolled back and smoothed down.

Basting done

Letting the basted quilt ‘rest’ to dry a bit – doesn’t take long – before ripping off the painter’s tape, a very satisfying feeling because that means it’s time to quilt!

And yes, it’s ‘fussy cut’ for horizontal layout of all those fabrics! The border fabric was a disappointment because it looked straight on the bolt but when it came to cutting it up into patches, the print was definitely not straight! Came out okay around the feature fabric (elephants), but in the longer border pieces it’s wonky – but I don’t think the baby will mind!

Cheers

Robyn

Deconstructing a Quilt

Have you ever looked at a picture of a simple quilt somewhere on the internet and thought you’d like to make it? Perhaps you took a screenshot, or bookmarked it for later or even tried to do the right thing by tracking down the maker only to find no trail or pattern? Presence on the internet fluctuates, people come and go, leaving a digital footprint – dipping in and out as life ‘happens’. These have legal, moral and ethical dilemmas that  legislation have yet to even start addressing – it’s a very large ‘elephant in the room’ getting bigger every day.

It’s easy to identify patterns from professional quilters due to their distinct style, or watermarked image, or in context of their blog, website or social media. These quilters make it easy to comply with the murky waters of copyright!

However, within the millions of shared patchwork images across cyberspace, are those that for a variety of reasons are very difficult for us to acknowledge either the pattern creator or the quilt maker. Most are traditional, or adapted quilts. The shapes themselves are not copyright as such, however written pattern instructions are. So after reasonable attempts to connect with a maker are difficult or fruitless, it comes down to deconstructing a quilt from an image in order to make your own version.

Here’s a snippet of one that caught my eye for an upcoming urgent baby quilt – and I can credit the original maker, Rita Norman ‘Campbell’s Quilt’ Feb 26, 2014. Do I take the time, effort and expense in getting the written instructions? Will the pattern be a digital download? My time also has value. As I have the skills, do I deconstruct the quilt and get on with making my version? Hence the dilemma.

IG Original

It is only a small percentage of patchwork quilting that is really ‘new’ – mainly in the art or textile category. Take a look through the myriad of magazines or books and you’ll be amazed at what talented stitchers have already created! It’s where a lot of current quilters get their inspiration for their own adaptations.

So, I’m confident that this image – which the maker has shared with millions – can be deconstructed. What’s involved in the process? Basically it comes down to a 3 step process.

1. Block research: how many blocks, are they the same size?; what are the block, and unit dimensions; is it a well known traditional block, can it be cross-referenced with either Barbara Brackman or Jinny Beyer’s encyclopaedic volumes?

2. Block drafting: can the block be drafted up on graph paper; can the resultant measurements be used to calculate fabric requirements?

3. Block construction: do I have the implied required level of expertise to make the block, and consequently the quilt?

Then comes the fun bits – colour schemes, fabric selection, and sewing!

My choices are these, and the sewing has begun…

Fabric Selection

Fabric Swatch

Top made

Next comes the basting and the quilting!

Fun! Fun! Fun!

Have you ever deconstructed a quilt?

Cheers

Robyn

Just in Time!

Finally got there!

The pattern came together quite easily – just time consuming, definitely not something to make in a weekend! Well the top yes, but a whole quilt – no.

Blocks together

I use 505 Spray Basting – quick, efficient, and easy, as long as there’s floor space!

Basted top

The decisions of what threads to use, the quilting pattern, and method of quilting also take time. With this one, it was two threads only, with some domestic machine ruler quilting in the large patches, and some free motion in the coloured patches.

Quilting Rulers & Thread

Curves to make a melon shape with the rulers, along with a straight edge for in the ditch, and spirals for free motion.

Quilting

At last, it was finished! An enjoyable process once the panic over ‘What will I make’ was over!

Finished!

Unbeknownst to me, Sarah has a jungle themed nursery, so it was a hit!

Oh Dear! Just heard there are two more coming up!

Decisions again …

Happy Quilting

Robyn