Its moving rather slowly (a bit too slow for my son’s liking) but I thought I would share where I am up to on the Naruto quilt. As I have been making it up as I go along, I haven’t quite decided how much bigger to make it but I think it will need another couple of borders so I will try and get enthused again so hopefully ready in time for his birthday in March (hmmm i guess that’s not too far away is it?)
A couple of months ago (well ok maybe 6)!! I asked my youngest son if he would like me to make him a quilt and to my surprise, he said ‘yes’. I say surprise because as a big lanky sixteen year old, I thought he might think it a little lame to have a quilt made for him. So as he ran up the stairs two at a time, I shouted after him – “what do you want on it?” to which he yelled back: “Pokemon”!!
Now I don’t know about you but I haven’t seen an enormous amount of Pokemon fabric in my local patchwork shops, not to mention the fact that I thought sixteen might be a little old to be getting a Pokemon quilt. However, I did get a bit excited about the challenge and started looking on Spoonflower for something suitable. Five minutes later, just when I’m getting my head around the whole Pokemon thing, back down stairs he trots on the way to the fridge (of course) he tells me “actually, I think I’d prefer a Naruto quilt”…..hunhh?
Naruto (just in case you had the same reaction I did) is a Japanese anime series and that picture at the start of this post is the symbol from Naruto. So yes I did succeed in finding some Naruto fabric (on Spoonflower, where else)? and I am now working on the design, so will show you it as it starts to take shape.
I am seriously hoping that mine will be the first Naruto quilt in the world!!
Anybody else seen any weird quilt ideas? – I think I will be keeping a special look out for them from now on.
I am feeling a bit guilty for being away from the blog for so long! It’s a bit like when you haven’t phoned a friend for a long time and you know you should have done and the longer it goes, the harder it gets.
I got this fabric a few months ago when a local patchwork shop was closing down and I just couldn’t resist it. Well the baby I started making it for is too big for it now… but luckily another baby boy has come along in the mean time so he will now be getting this one!
I decided to keep it really simple and make it out of six blocks.
I am just waiting for it to come back from my quilting lady, Natalie who will be quilting a kite design in pale aqua all over it – can’t wait to see it and I will show you how it turns out.
I wanted to share some photos from a recent retreat I went on down at sunny Portsea on the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. It is an old school camp that was set up in the 1940’s for under-priveleged children so that they could have a sea-side holiday and various health checks from doctors and dentists while they were there. These days it is hired out to various groups and although accommodation is somewhat basic, it is a great opportunity for crafty ladies to get together and create (with the added advantage of not having to cook or wash up all weekend!! Yay).
While I was there I had the chance to set up a mini-shop and and the Bali Pop (jelly rolls) were selling like hot cakes!
A couple of ladies were so keen to put the purchases to good use that they made up there jelly rolls and had a quilt top within a couple of hours!
I came across a great tutorial the other day on youtube by Misouri Quilters and thought I would give it a whirl as I have had a Kaffe Fassett jelly roll sitting there looking at me for far too long! The thing I like about this method is that you only have to sew two long seams and then because of the way you cut it, you have a variety of different effects you can create.
First of all you take two strips from your jelly roll and then sew them together, length ways (right sides facing).
Make sure you iron the seam flat (towards the darker fabric).
Now you need another piece of fabric that is the same width of the two jelly roll pieces sewn together ie. 4.5″ x width of bolt. I had some batik fabrics left over from another project and so decided to try that out.
Now for the tube part:
Lay your 4.5″ strip of fabric on top of the other two strips (right sides facing)
Then sew a quarter inch seam down both lengths of the fabric – thus creating your tube!
Now you need a large square ruler (I used a 12.5″) with a 45 deg angle marked on it and you need to place the line of the 45 deg angle on top of your seam line as in the picture below:
Keep going in this way until you get to the other end.
I showed you my garden blocks a few weeks ago which I made as part of our friendship group’s 20ll theme and here they are again finally made into a quilt top with a couple of additions.
I decided to make a larger central block using my Go Baby shape cutter for the flower motifs and then machine zig-zagged around them. I was pretty happy with how they turned out and thought I would embroider the names of the group members on the central block to remind me of who contributed to the various block designs.
It meant of course that I had to do a little bit of a calculation to work out how to incorporate the the squares on either side of the middle block (math is not my strong point)! but in the end I was quite happy adding the floral strips to the two squares and putting a couple of narrow blocks that I could embroider on to.
The other pleasing thing for me was the sashing fabric which I bought about 5 years ago from a closing down sale for a bargain price. There it was just waiting for the right opportunity to present itself and now I can feel satisfied that it has been put to good use … at last! The other blocks too were all made from fabric already in my stash so no new fabric purchased – Yay!
Here is the finished quilt top, hope you like it.
If you want to see a close up of the blocks take a look here
These blocks I’m showing you are actually from our 2010 friendship group quilt. We chose the theme of “Garden” at the beginning of the year so that it would be nice and easy for people to come up with ideas and then we each had to come up with a design for a block which we would present when it was our turn for the monthly get together. The design could be either applique or stitchery as long as it had some connection to the garden theme.
Try to ignore the loose threads hanging (some of the blocks have been hanging about for a while)!
Some of the group had a lot going on in their lives so ended up not making all the blocks; they will probably use whatever they’ve got to make cushions out of. As you can see, this is not a high pressure group (thank goodness)!
The next one was probably my favourite block as I liked the combination of stitches and buttons:
The last block was my contribution although not my own design as I had it in an old magazine and thought it would fit perfectly with the theme:
I hope you like them and I am now planning how I am going to put them all together in one quilt top. I have been playing around with a large centre block and will hopefully be able to show you that soon.
I love to hear how other friendship groups work and if you decide on a yearly theme or just work on individual projects. Let me know as we are always looking for ideas and I will show you some of the other things we have made in future posts.
I hope you are all well and have enjoyed a wonderful Christmas with your loved ones.
Our Melbourne Christmas was a fairly relaxed and quiet affair but enjoyable all the same.
We have a street BBQ every Christmas morning and this year it was our turn to host it so there we were at 8.30am cooking up sausages outside our house waiting for neighbours to arrive. Its always a great way to catch up with neighbours you generally only wave at throughout the year and a nice way to welcome and get to know new residents.
We even have a trophy lego house that gets awarded each year to the house with the most noticeable improvements! You then get the honour of keeping the ‘trophy’ (its supposed to take pride of place on the mantle piece) all year and awarding it to whoever you feel most deserving the next Christmas!! Just a bit of fun really but it always creates a lot of laughter.
The rest of the day was spent with friends – eating (way too much), laughing and generally relaxing.
When we got home in the evening (ready to drop) it was time to phone family on the other side of the world and it always feels strange that just as we are coming to the end of our Christmas celebrations, they are just starting theirs. When I first came to Australia this was particularly difficult for me but I have to say that as we have gradually developed our own ‘traditions’ over the years and our children are now teens, it no longer upsets me – so thats a good thing!
What else have I been doing over the last week …. well I managed to finish the small lap quilt I showed off last time – the one I made with the tumbler blocks, cut from the Go Baby, fabric cutter.
I had a go at quilting this one myself as it was quite small and decided just to do wavy lines vertically and horizontally with a variagated pink thread.
I carried on the wavy line quilting in the borders and for the first time had a go at completely machine binding a quilt – sewing onto the reverse of the quilt and then folding it over to the front and machine blanket stitching on the front. One major thing I learned was, always cut your binding strips at least 2″ wide and not 1 3/4″ like I did (it was a struggle to say the least)!
As I mentioned in my last post I didn’t really have a purpose for this quilt when I started it but then of course the tragic events in Connecticut and the comment left on my Mad Cows Day Out post on December 12th by sowninpeace meant this quilt did have a purpose after all. I hope it gets to its destination safely and helps in some small way.
Wishing you all love and happiness for the holiday season.
Don’t you just love getting a new toy to play with? I do and its not even Christmas yet! Anyway here it is – the Go Baby fabric cutter by Accuquilt.
There is a bigger version too but this one is just fine for my needs. I wanted to test out how quickly I could put a small quilt top together so this is what happened:
I have used a small tumbler die for this quilt (3.5″) and being me, I started cutting at 10pm and cut out 154 tumbler shapes – this took me exactly 1 hour.
Then I sewed the rows together (this is where those little labels come in handy).
A bit more ironing and then I put a 3.5″ border on and ……..
This really was a whizz to put together – even though I was doing an hour here and there – It still only took me a couple of days so really good if you had a cot quilt or lap quilt you wanted to put together quickly for a present.
I didn’t have any real plans for this quilt and then its purpose became clear but I’ll tell you about that later.
There’s nothing like a fun day out with the girls and that’s exactly what we did last Saturday even though it was a bit on the hot side (about 38C which is probably well up in the 90’s in Fahrenheit). There were 10 of us in two cars and we were making our way up to Ballarat which is about 2 hours north from our part of Melbourne. Our first stop was in Ballan which is a great spot and really worth a visit if you get the chance. Mill Rose Quilting and Gallery was just beautifully laid out and we really enjoyed looking at all their gorgeous fabric and patterns.
I hear rumour that they are starting a bed and breakfast so will definitely be keeping that one in mind for a weekend retreat!
We also dropped into the farmers market in Ballan and enjoyed looking at all the lovely produce and couldn’t resist buying some of their crusty bread, of which we were given many tastings. We were a bit tempted by the cheese too but I think we quickly realised it would be a big and smelly mistake on such a hot day!
After Ballan, we took off up to Ballarat and visited Eureka Patchwork and Ballarat Patchwork and stopped at a wonderful place for lunch (we were ready to chew an arm off by this stage)! Its called Wen and Ware and is a fabulous gift shop and delicious lunch stop. Even managed to do a bit of Christmas shopping – for me!! All in all a very successful day and quite ready to collapse in a heap when I got home. Luckily himself had got the new pizza oven fired up and we had our very first wood-fired pizzas – YUM!