Thursday, 7 May 2015

Back on Track - A Summer of practicing quilting skills

Starting Simple
Its nothing new to say that having children takes up time. Thus it has been with me since the birth of my lovely girl almost a year ago. Add to that me finishing off my masters and my poor sewing room has seen a lot of dust and my hands have lost that quilting touch. 

Having moved house again in September of last year I now have an entire room dedicated to me, my sewing room and my lovely stash of fabric. Yippee! But what good is it when this room sits idle with the door shut? I was lucky enough to have two weeks of no study last November and set about some quick panel quilts to get back in the grove. Some fast piecing and simple free motion quilting to whet my quilting appetite and help get ready for bigger, more important projects.

Check out my fun summer of skills development!

Rattle toys I will give away as gifts. The appliqué faces are cute and the kits were easy to make up. I LOVE the lion. Will have to wait for a special baby to give them to. 

This is another kit purchased at the Craft and Quilting Fair last year. I made it up for a friend who has two little boys. They travelled seven hours in the car to spend the weekend with us in Canberra and took this little beauty (when it was finished) home with them. This task helped me get back into Free Motion Quilting. I outlined the main shapes around the panel and then free handed some grass to liven up the green areas. I had a few tension issues which were very frustrating, but the finished mat came up nicely. 

Being married to a pilot, I bought this cockpit panel years ago at Patchwork By the Sea in Brighton, South Australia for about $10. Another pilot friend of ours is ready to have their second baby so I thought it was the right time to make it up. Amazingly, I had the perfect colours to add the border and quilted it with a nice stipple. I wasn't happy at all with the quilting on the cock-pit part. I tried to follow the lines of the image but it just didn't work. Given my time again, I would do some sort of pattern over the entire image - maybe even in nylon thread so as to not detract from the picture. 

I was then asked by my neighbour to make a Christmas stocking for her baby daughter. I don't like the shape or lack of detail on the stocking itself, but it was made to order. Best part of this little job was that she minded my 3 y/o while I worked on it! Winner! 

Finally - I made something for my children. It was supposed to be another quick panel quilt for them to have in the lounge room for watching TV etc, but it turned into a dragged out project thanks to husbands travelling overseas for work and me starting teaching again for the first time in almost three years. Never the less, I found time over the Easter weekend to finish it off and am happy with the results. The time consuming part was quilting around all the letters and their pictures. I just LOVE the accompanying fabrics too. I honestly can't remember where or when I bought the fabrics but they are all from the same collection and just came together so well. Something I did wrong on this quilt - I used as much of the panel as possible to have the biggest quilt possible at the end, but this just means that the alphabet squares on each end are disproportionately bigger! Silly! What I did well though was the border. I free handed various patterns all hodge podge around the edge and it just looks amazing. It really did get me in the groove for what will hopefully be a winter full of much creation in my wonderful sewing room. 

Please share what you like to work on when you need a quick project!

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