Thursday, September 15, 2016
I'm starting to get organised again gradually and all I can think of doing is making quilts. That's good, right? That's why I started this blog in the first place, a desire to share and journal my projects and I have missed doing that these last few years. I also miss writing things down. Life has gotten all a bit fast these days with all the avenues that social media has to offer, but blogging is slightly slower paced with an almost old school paper and pen feel about it. I'm laughing to myself as I write that as maybe that is stretching it just a bit.
I've slowed down a lot with my own projects over the last years, largely due the kids being just at that age where is a lot to do with them every day, but also because I was in the middle of taking on two businesses. I've been long arm quilting five years now and started up Polka Dot Tea three years ago with my friend Danielle. Now that has changed since Danielle went back to work full time. I had to decide what I wanted to do, continue quilting or take on the shop all on my own. I did have a long hard think about it and what I wanted to do as starting an online fabric shop was not necessarily something I had planned to do, but rather it evolved. In the end, I decided that I am just far too passionate about fabrics to not continue with it. So, onward Polka Dot Tea!
So, slowing down the long arm quilting will enable me to focus a bit more and make some clear decisions on what I would like to do with the shop. Also, I'm hoping to fit in some more time sewing with all the fabrics I now have access to! It's why I'm here, I like to make quilts. I like color and design and playing with fabric.
This photo is what is currently on my design wall and I'm getting close now to putting it all together. If you are not already familiar with it, it is a quilt designed by Elizabeth Hartman called Fancy Forest and rather deceptively is not made using the foundation paper piecing method but is all traditional cutting and sewing. I can also add that it is rather fun to make! Actually, extremely fun to make. I decided I liked the original quilt so much that I would just make mine as she made hers. I had the kits in the shop, so why not? I have the pattern in the shop here, if you are inspired to make one as well. I hope to update soon with the finished quilt!
Friday, June 3, 2016
I thought I would show you one of my quilt finishes this year. It's the Scrappy Trip Quilt first promoted by Bonnie K. Hunter which became a very popular Quilt Along a few years ago. The Scrappy Trip quilt is one that looks more labour intensive than it actually is and that is what is so addictive about this quilt! It is built by sewing strips together, not individual pieces. Bonnie has the free pattern (just click on her name as I have linked you directly to the pattern).
I made this particular Scrappy Trip quilt using all fabrics by Cotton and Steel, one of my favourite fabric manufacturers. I love the colours, the quality of the cottons as well as the wonderful whimsical prints that the designers create.
Ok, now that I think I have warmed myself with this blog post, I think I will be updating more often again!
Wednesday, September 17, 2014
I do admit that I struggled a bit with making them look random and scrappy. I really struggled to get the look that Jen Kingwell had with hers, but by the end it was happening almost as if by accident and I was pleased with the perfectly imperfect look of the quilt.
I quilted this on my Gammill Statler Stitcher using a pattern called "Water Drops" which I think suits this quilt very well. I had debated for a long while about whether to custom quilt this or not, but in the end I felt that custom quilting it would be too "fussy" and against what I was trying to achieve with this quilt. The quilting provides the movement that I was hoping to achieve. All in all, I'm now very pleased with this finish and am now inspired to finish work on my Midnight at the Oasis quilt.
Saturday, September 6, 2014
Red Letter Day quilt that she designed based on a traditional block. Mine is (as per usual) not exactly like the original, I made mine a bit larger in a 4 x 4 layout instead of a 3 x 3 layout. I also did not do the reverse block, but went for a rainbow layout instead.
I have to admit, I'm quite pleased with this quilt, I used all fabrics from our shop Polka Dot Tea, in particular the Japanese Kei florals and the Cotton Couture in Bright White. This quilt is the perfect way to welcome in Spring. I have to admit, I am probably one of the very few that is sad when winter comes to an end. Our winters here are short and sweet and I enjoy the cosy warm fires and the short days where my husband can't work the late hours in the dark. To be honest though, I love every season and whatever season I am in I usually think is the best. Sort of like the best quilt is the one just finished!
In case any one was wondering, the class with Camille Roskelley was great, she taught us a few tricks to sewing more efficiently and quicker and basically was just a lot of fun to be around. We had a good group and I would recommend a class with her.
Friday, July 11, 2014
Saturday, July 5, 2014
Happy Fourth of July everyone in the States! It's also the day we were married, but here in Australia it's tomorrow, so we celebrated yesterday. Did you follow that? I'm having a bit of a laugh as I write this because I'm always getting my celebration wishes, birthday, Christmas, anniversary, etc a day late since Australia's time zone is ahead of North America. :)
Friday, July 4, 2014
I finished this New York Beauty Circle of Flying Geese last night. I'm so pleased with the result. I was determined to practice a bit of my free motion skills on the machine with this piece, which I find fun but yet still intimidating. I think I just need to practice, which is hard to do when I'm loading quilts for clients everyday. I've decided to reserve the machine one day a week just for working on my own quilts so that I can get a bit of time to practice. I think the key to getting a handle on the free motion quilting is to learn a few quilting designs that are easy and that you are comfortable with and then gradually add from there.
Thursday, July 3, 2014
In the meantime I have finished this little mini, a New York Beauty Circle of Flying Geese. You can find the pattern by Better off Thread here. I had a lot of fun with this pattern, I used up the tiniest bits of scraps of Liberty that I had leftover from cutting hexies for another project and combined it with the Melange Yarn Dye fabric that I got from here. The Melange is beautiful to work with as it has the look of linen but is 100% cotton and sews beautifully without the fraying that occurs with linen. I adapted this pattern by appliqueing the centers instead of the four separate pieces.
Originally I had wanted to make this into a cushion cover as I've been told I make all of my projects too big and that it is ok if I do a few smaller ones once in a while. So, what happens? I try to make a small cushion cover and even that ends up too big! I have to laugh. Oh well. I hope to quilt this this afternoon once I decide how I will do it. This could be a bit of a challenge for me.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Polka Dot Tea. I wanted to make something simple that would showcase the lovely Yuwa and Kei fabrics. I couldn't help myself, I had to add in the Michael Miller Cotton Couture as well. Have you worked with Cotton Couture yet? It is sublime! It isn't your ordinary solid, the base fabric has a fine weave and it silky to the touch, the colors are rich and vibrant. Trust me, Danielle and I only sell what we think quilters like to use, in other words, we buy what we like to use!
I'm also moving towards using a lot more modern quilting designs for my long arm quilting business, I like all over texture with lots of geometry. I had used this Modern Waves pattern several times and decided I needed to have one of my own quilts done in this pattern as well.
If you like the look of these fabrics, come check our shop out. We are also having a 15% off with the coupon code HAPPYDAYS with $20 minimum purchase until Friday the 18th.
Saturday, April 5, 2014
I have to say, that though this quilt looks so deceivingly simple in design, there is actually quite a bit involved. I had it on the design wall for two weeks, cutting and adding to it, rearranging the layout nearly everyday before I was satisfied enough with the layout to sew it up. Perhaps I did get to the stage where I started to over think the process, but I feel like I learned a lot from making this quilt. I may try it again in a different colour combination to see if the process is easier the second time around. I also feel inspired to finish off some old Kaffe Fassett projects started years and years ago and possible start another one!