Friday, 19 June 2015

How to Alter Colour of Black and White Handprints

One of my most precious momentos from our time with Mila are her hand and footprints, I have created a variety of things using her handprints, such as these ornaments, but I really wanted to be able to have colour versions of her handprints.

This tutorial uses wiidely available basic software and is intended as a guide for those who do not have the relevant experience to use Photoshop, Illustrator or similar software.  There are no doubt many other ways of altering the colour of your child’s black and white handprint, if you know someone who is a graphic designer they may be able to help you do this in a different way.  I use Firefox as my browser, and Windows operating system; this uses the website StencilGram (version as at 18 June 2015).

Follow these simple steps to alter the colour of your child's handprint ...

Friday, 22 May 2015

Learn Foundation Paper Piecing with the Tartan Kiwi!

*** THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL - If you want to be added to the waitlist please send us an email ***

Want to learn Foundation Paper Piecing from an expert?  Juliet (the Tartan Kiwi) is coming to my place (in Geraldine, South Canterbury) to teach a Foundation Paper Piecing workshop, on Sunday 28 June 2015, from 10am to 3pm, the cost will be $50.

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

The Morpheus Quilt

My brother, a deer farmer, recently got married.  This is the first family wedding since I started quilting so I was itching to make a quilt to give as a wedding gift.  I asked my brother who his all-time favourite stag was (Morpheus) and then designed the quilt based on a photo of that (now dead) stag.

Spot the flying geese

This is no generic, stylised stag's head.  This is a representation of an actual stag, one with a world record breaking set of antlers.  I wanted it to look like a stencil, and created a stencil based on a photograph.

Applique detail - ear and tag
The background is mostly 4" squares, with three points of interest provided by a plus block, some flying geese and a friendship star.  I wanted the background to be random, with no identifiable pattern.

When the quilt is on the bed the stag's head lies towards the foot of the bed.  It is quilted with horizontal wavy lines in the same manner as this and this.  The quilting caused me a lot of grief, with the amount of shifting that occurred.  I spent a considerable amount of time ripping out quilting, and then got to the point where I decided I'd spent enough time unpicking and that it was going to be gifted with more imperfections than I would have liked.

It was very well received and looks great in their bedroom.

Quilt Stats
Finished Size: approx 97" by 97"
Pattern:  Original design - raw edge machine applique stag's head on a low volume background
Fabric: Many, many different low volume prints (no solids), three red prints used for the applique. 
Binding: Mini Confetti dot in Scarlet by Dear Stella
Backing: Doe Wideback - Crisscross wideback in Graphite
Pieced and quilted by: me, on my domestic sewing machine.

This was my first time using 108" wide backing fabric, and I have to say I was disappointed.  I felt the fabric was very thin - is that normal for a backing fabric?  I had expected it to be the same quality as Kona, but it is much thinner.  Someone I follow on Instagram called it "lovely and soft", and I agree it is soft but for me that softness stems from the thinness of the fabric. Have you used 108" wide backing fabric before?  How did you find it?

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Sunday, 1 February 2015

Playing with Curves

Just when my husband had given up asking if I was ever going to finish a quilt for our bed ...

The main pieced section of this quilt is based on Brenda Gael Smith's Topsy Turvy quilt featured on the cover of the June/July 2014 Quilters Companion.  I used the pattern as a guide - I wanted to use only what I had in my stash so instead of using 1/2 yard of 8 fabrics, I used a 13 x 17" rectangle of about 16 different fabrics and followed the stack technique described in the article to make 16 blocks which were trimmed to 11" square (finished).  The smaller rectangular pieced section was made using the add-on technique.

Cover of June/July 2014 Quilter's Companion - source

The layout of the quilt is inspired by Rachel Singh's Wonky Cross quilt.

I quilted it in horizontal wavy lines, in the same way that I quilted my Princess and the Pea quilt, in an attempt to echo the improv curves of the piecing.

The binding was a compromise - this is a reversible quilt, and the other side has a totally different colour scheme, I had purchased a yellow Michael Miller Ta Dot to use as the binding when I finished the other side of the quilt so stuck with that in an effort to use what I already have.

Although I love asymmetrical compositions in quilts, I have come to the conclusion that I like symmetry on the bed, so the next quilt I make for our bed will feature a symmetrical design of some sort.

Quilt Stats
Finished Size: approx 85" by 80"
Pattern:  Combination of Topsy Turvy pattern and improv pieced  
Fabric: All solids - Kona Silver for the background, and a combination of orange/blue/white/grey from my stash.
Binding: Michael Miller Ta Dot in yellow
Pieced and quilted by: me, on my domestic sewing machine.

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