Would you like to join QAYG mystery quilt-along?

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I’m making a Quilt As You Go 48″ square quilt. I’ve designed it and I’ve started the first section. If you want to join me, I’d be delighted. Please be aware this is a totally amateur project so don’t commit your most favourite fabrics to it. {All care no responsibility :)} I’m calling it the Emperor’s Jewels. I’m using saturated reds from purple to pink, through reds to orangey browns and blacks. It’ll be scrappy. I’ll give you the fabric requirements for each block as we go.

Hand or machine – your choice

I’m choosing to hand-piece, hand-applique and hand-quilt this quilt but feel free to do any or all of it by machine.

Here’s block 1

You’ll need five 4.5″ pieces of fabric for backgrounds and five 4″ pieces to make the circles.

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I used a 3.25″ diameter Perfect Circle using the starch and foil method here to make my circle. However I left the plastic in and stuck it to the centre of the fabric square using Elmer’s Schoolhouse Glue, setting it with an iron from the back.

Then I appliquéd the circle to the centre of the block. Then I flipped it over and cut a small hole in the back and  cut around .25″ from the stitching, pulled out the circle of background fabric and the plastic and pressed it.

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Then I stitched the five blocks together.

To make the quilt sandwich you’ll need a piece of backing fabric and a piece of batting 21.25″ x 5.5″. I used spray baste to baste the sandwich but you can use pins if you prefer. Then I drew a couple of concentric circles around the medallions with a pencil. I also drew in the 1/4″ seam allowance. Then I used 12wt thread to quilt the circles.

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Don’t cut any of the excess backing and batting yet just leave it as is and I’ll see you at the next block.

Show me your blocks

I though what I’d do is post a picture of my completed block in a post titled with the block number on the Sewjournal FaceBook page. Then you can just upload your block photos in the comments section underneath and we can see them all in one place. What do you think? Are you in?

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How to make a RFID-blocking card sleeve

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A while ago I made this RFID blocking card sleeve. The new credit cards with chips transmit info to the card reader in a “contactless manner”. Research has shown that although they are not supposed to transmit more than 10cm (4″) away, they actually can be picked up a metre away. Though Sophos security seems to doubt the efficacy of RFID blocking sleeves, I have tried using my card at a “tap and go terminal” inside the sleeve and it blocked it completely so I’m quite happy with it. I thought you might like to make your own too.image

What you’ll need

Two pieces of fabric (preferably batik), some Wonder Under (or similar), some Aluminium foil (the strongest you can buy) and some credit cards (the number you plan to store in the wallet).

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Step One

Cut your two fabrics and your Aluminium foil to 5″ x 51/2″, and your Wonder Under to 5″ x 11″.

Step Two

Fold your Wonder Under in half, with the glue side inwards and slide your foil in between and iron both the back and the front so that the foil is sandwiched and fused completely.

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Step Three

Peel the paper backing off the foil on one side.

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Step Four

After removing the paper from one side, lie one of your pieces of fabric onto the glue side of the foil and press with an iron (no steam).

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Step Five

Then remove the paper from the other side and lay the second piece of fabric on top and press with a hot iron.

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Step Six

Grab the number of credit cards you are planing to put in the wallet. Fold the wallet in half, lay the cards inside and then with an “add a quarter” ruler place the centre line on the edge of the card and then draw a line at the quarter inch mark.

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Step Six

Remove the cards and sew along the marked seam lines.

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Step Seven

Trim the side seams and then place a card onto the wallet and fold the wallet top over to desired height. Because we used batiks there is no fraying so we don’t need a top seam. Then trim off the excess along the fold and reinforce the top of the seams by sewing back and forth a couple of times.

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Step Eight

Turn the wallet inside out. Pushing the corners out with your fingers. (Don’t use any sharp tools or you may tear the foil.) Then press the wallet flat and pop in the cards!

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As you can see I haven’t used credit cards here and these cards don’t have chips so don’t need the RFID wallet. This is just for illustration purposes.

I’d love to hear how you go if you decide to make your own.

Want to win a pattern?

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The Sewjournal Facebook page has reached 500 likes. To celebrate I’m giving away a pattern or two. If you’d like to be in the draw then just visit the page here, like it and leave me a comment telling me what quilt style is your favourite on the appropriate post.

Good luck!

I forgot to blog my progress…

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I have been so busy decluttering – kitchen, office, lounge, bathroom and, yes, even the sewing room – that I forgot to give you a look at my finished quilt top (Running Out of Steam, Punk). I’m busy piecing the back at the moment and hope to baste it next week. Not a great photo I’m afraid, just courtesy of the iPad.

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Essential supplies

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A visit to Camden isn’t complete without a visit to the Stitcher’s Cupboard. I went to pick up some fabrics to complete the Steam Punk-ish quilt. I’ve changed my mind on layout, yet again. I’ll show you when I’ve made some progress.

I also stocked up on my favourite Sue Daley milliner’s needles – size 11, 12 and 15! I haven’t tried the 15s before so I’ll let you know how they go but I’m thinking they’ll be fabulous for appliqué.

Have a lovely weekend everyone.

Do you EPP?

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I like English Paper Piecing and I’ve recently been playing around with fancy hexagon/diamond patterns. There’s a great Craftsy course that shows you how to sew fabrics together and then piece the hexagon. It’s called Pieced Hexies: Beyond English Paper Piecing by Mickey Depre and it’s well worth a look.
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Today I received a book I ordered, called the New Hexagon by Katja Marek, which does similar things but uses different paper shapes to make up the hexagon. It looks like a lot of fun but I have to get back to sewing my steam punks together first…

Tawny Frogmouths

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The last couple of days on my walk to the shops through a small urban park I’ve noticed a couple of Tawny Frogmouths. At least that’s what I think they are. However, yesterday on that same walk there was only one. I do hope the other one is all right. They are not usually flying around during the day as they are nocturnal.

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Steam Punk decision, well sort of.

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Thank you for all your comments on the steam punk quilt. I think I’ve come up with a decision. I had made 29 blocks so I decided to make one more to round it up to 30. See below.

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My plan is to intersperse these blocks with the improv blocks I showed on my Facebook page a while back. You can see them in photo below.

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I’m not planning the same layout however, as they are only 6″ finished size whereas the steam punks are 9″ finished. So I plan to add borders made of the same mixed fabrics that I used as the backgrounds for the steam punk blocks. What do you think?

A Splendiferous Sydney Saturday

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The weather yesterday was perfect. It was around 20degC, with a light breeze and a cloudless blue sky. So we decided to go and check out Sydney’s latest park/walkway at Barangaroo. This is one of the oldest parts of Sydney and is in the Rocks area close to the bridge. If you get a chance to visit this park then take it. It’s been beautifully landscaped with native flora and has two pathways. One is crushed sandstone which echoes the beautiful sandstone structures everywhere and the other Tarmac which is great for bikes and the like. Here are some photos I took.

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After walking through the park and enjoying the sunshine we strolled around Walsh Bay and found a host of interesting restaurants and cafes I didn’t even know we’re there. Naturally, we had to stop for lunch and it was just so relaxing sitting there in the dappled sunshine looking out over the water.

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Now here’s a place I’d love to live. It feels like a village yet is in the heart of Sydney, minutes walk away from just about everything. So, just in case any of you has a few million stashed away that you could live without, I’m accepting donations for my “living the life” fund. 🙂