Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Sewing Circles

Thank you to everyone for such a great response to my Liberated Medallion!! 

I've had a couple of questions about how I sew my circles. 

My technique is nothing new, just the good old Freezer Paper method, but here's how I go about it...

Get a piece of freezer paper. (I just have to say 3 Cheers for whoever thought of using freezer paper with sewing- absolute genius!!) To draw a circle you could use a template from a particular pattern you are making, a compass or I like using some of my pretty saucers. 

Draw and cut out a circle of the size you would like your finished circle to be.

Iron the freezer paper circle, waxy side down onto the wrong side of the fabric. Cut out the circle with a quarter inch seam. 

Using your friendly iron press the quarter inch seam inwards over the edge of the freezer paper circle. Press it really, really well!! 

Go around the circle a few times to get a nice crisp edge. 

Nice crispy edges!! 

Leave the freezer in and pin your circle to the back ground fabric. You'll have to tuck the fabric under a bit as you go to keep those crispy edges.

To stitch, after making a knot, bring the needle up through the backing fabric and through the edge of the applique fabric catching just a few threads and then insert the needle back into the backing fabric and then repeat about every1/8th inch.

I got carried away and didn't take a photo of the next step but here's what you do -When you still have an inch or so to go reach in, loosen the freezer paper and pull it out. The rest of the circle edge will still hold it's shape from the good ironing you gave it. Continue sewing it down until the circle is completed. 

If you get carried away and sew the circle all the way around before removing the paper you can make a small cut behind the circle and pull the paper out. 

Press it with the iron and there you go - 
Hello Circle!!

Here's one of my early quilts, Summer Bubbles, that demonstrates my love for circles. 

The funny part was I'd finished the quilt top and while I was admiring it an idea popped into my head. Maybe I should have stuffed the circles. 
Now I mentioned the top was finished so I really tried to ignore the idea. 
But I couldn't ...
So I cut a cross behind each circle and stuffed in a circle of batting then sewed it up again.
It was a bit of work but so worth it to have puffy circles. 

I even hand quilted lots of circles on this quilt!

Just goes to show circles are good to have a-round - :0

Sunday, July 21, 2013

My Liberated Medallion...

I've really got to come up with a more imaginative name for this quilt top.

Anyway, here's where I was up to the last time I shared the liberated medallion that I began in class with Gwen Marston.

For the next border I couldn't decide between triangles or circles so I did both.

And then a patchy pieced blue border to finish it off. 

I'll take more photos when I've got better light but just had to point out the little lady in the blue circle...

and her gentleman friend is looking for her on the other side of the quilt. 

Maybe they'll meet in the garden.

The finished top is 80 inches square and my plan is to quilt it myself. I'll stitch in the ditch around the borders then add some colourful perle stitches by hand. 

but first I have to tidy up my sewing room... gosh I make a mess when I'm sewing. Am I the only one who pulls out a hundred fabrics before deciding which one to use?

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Making Little Swoon Houses

Well, here we go , a tutorial of sorts on how to make a Sunny Day in Swoon Town quilt. A big thanks to Pat Sloan and all the lovely people who have said such wonderful things about my little quilt. 

My little quilt is based on the fabulous Swoon quilt designed by Camille Roskelley. It is not my pattern so I can't show you how to make the whole block but I can share how I made the little houses and incorporated them into the block. I did change the block slightly to fit the houses in but if you wanted to make the proper Swoon blocks Camille's way is much easier and better!

I should add the Swoon pattern lends itslf to all styles of fabrics and colours. There's a zillion great examples in Swoon along at flickr. All in all it's just one of those great patterns. 

There are probably a zillion ways to sew half triangles onto squares and make Flying Geese blocks and they're all probably better than my methods but this is how I went about making my little houses,  I'm just showing the way I went about it.

Lets start with the corner houses...

Pick out 1x house square (6.5in)  and 1xgreen (3.5in) green shrub square. 

Draw a line diagonally across the green shrub square on the wrong side of the fabric

Place the green shrub square onto the house square 

 and sew right next to the line on the side closest to the corner. Sewing next to the line will compensate for the tiny bit of fabric that will get lost when the fabric is folded over.

Fold the green shrub square over to create a triangle corner on the square. 

Cut away the excess at the back to reduce bulk.

and do the same thing on the opposite side.

 Attach a roof square in the same way.

Cut out little squares and rectangle door shapes. I simply placed them in position to create a cute house look. Make sure the door rectangle is placed a little lower so it get sewn into the seam when sewing the bottom fabric on. 

Theses pieces are so small I didn't use glue or fusible webbing. I simply popped them on and sewed in a sketchy way close to the edge of the shapes. If you wanted a neater look you could zig zag stitch around the shapes or even piece the windows and door in the house square. I went for a quick easy option and I like the look. 

Now you can sew the bottom square on. 

Next up are the rectangle houses.

Grab a rectangle (6.5 x 3.5in) and some window squares and a door

And make them look like your dream house.

For the roof make a flying geese block that finishes at 6.5in. This is how I made mine...
Get 1 rectangle roof fabric (6.5in) and a cloud square (3.5in) and attach by sewing diagonally across the cloud fabric.

Fold over and trim.

and repeat on the other side.

 Sew the roof to the house and now you have a happy home.

The green shrubs in between the houses are finished off with half square triangles.

Assemble the bits...

...and voila! Sunny Day in Swoon Town!!

I like this one even better than my first one but it's silly having two so give me a couple of weeks to get this one quilted and bound and then I'll have a giveaway. I'm sure this little Swoon Town would brighten up someone's wall. 

Here are some handy links:-
Thanks Pat for putting my little quilt in the spotlight :)

PS. If you make a Swoon Town , please send me a photo or a link to a photo, I would really love to see it!! Truly I would. Plus it's good encouragement for me to keep sharing my ideas.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Holiday In Narrabeen

Indulge me while I share some holiday snaps of where Gbf and I stayed while I attended the Gwen Marston workshops. While I was running around in the sand dunes I realised it had been more than 2 years since I'd last seen the ocean. It's chilly winter time here in Oz but we sure had a great time watching the waves roll in, feeling the sand beneath our feet, and breathing in the salt air. 

If you make it to the end of the photos you'll see where I'm up to with my liberated medallion...

 Here it is -
 my Liberated Medallion so far ... stay tuned for the next exciting border, I'm not quite sure but it could involve some applique and circles... 


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