Monday, 29 April 2013

Layering your Quilt Monday Group

Good Monday morning my Quilty Friends,
First I have a picture from last Monday’s class to share with you.
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This is Terry’s log cabin quilt.
Terry was not happy with the scrappy log cabin blocks she made.
But is much happier with the quilt top now that she has ‘pulled all the
blocks together’ with the blue sashing.
It looks lovely Terry.

This weeks video is on layering your quilt top with the wadding/batting and backing, ready for machine quilting.

Sew, how do you put you quilts together?
I use the table for small/medium sized quilts, and the floor for large ones.
Where do you put yours together?

 Today's video is brought to you with the help of
The Owl and the Pussycat
A.K.A.
William and Bagpuss.


I pin quilts that are going to be machine quilted.
And
Hand tack quilts that are going to be hand quilted.


Do you pin baste or tack?
Or
Do you use a tacking gun?
Or
Something completely different..
Or
 A mixture like myself?

Hope you enjoyed todays post,
I'm looking forward to finding out how you all put your quilts together.

Yours in Stitches, Joy

Friday, 26 April 2013

Kickback Friday

And time to take a deep breathe in and……relax.

So what have I been up to this week.
Well,
I have been given two lovely presents.

I mentioned last week that I was going to buy myself a little ‘teapot for one, which included a cup’. As I prefer my tea out of a pot.
My friend Sue said don’t buy one, I have one you can have.
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And true to her word brought me this.
Isn’t it just adorable. There is enough in the pot for one cup plus a top up of about half a cup.

Thank you Sue – I’m loving using it.

And, in an effort to get more involved with The Quilting Bloggers site, I promised myself I would enter  pictures of some of my quilts in a few of their weekly show and tells.

As the theme this week was Wall Hangings, I decided to enter a picture of my wall hanging, The Cockle Pickers.

This is a quilt I made many years ago at a workshop with Jean Griffiths, who then lived in Penclawdd where you could see the cockle pickers from her studio.

I decided it needed more quilting on it. So I spent Wednesday night and all Thursday morning working on it.
I was quite pleased with the results. BUT it did not photograph at all well. I took loads of pictures on all kinds of different settings, but not one picture did my quilt justice.
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See, it's ok but.....
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... but in close up this quilt looks heaps better.
I can't just enter a close up picture,

And so, not wanting to break the promise to myself, I took a picture of a very simple quilt I’d made of sheep.
There really was not much to this quilt at all – BUT it looked great in a photograph. So I have now entered my ‘Sheep’ wallhanging into the weekly show and tell on Quilting Bloggers. 

If you would like to see my ‘Sheep’ Quilt click on this link (the link is live now). You will need to scroll down the page a bit to see the quilts. I've just taken a look and voted - you can vote for up to six quilts! The lady in red was one of the ones that took my fancy. And it's a log cabin block too.

I have also joined a gym this week – yes you heard right.
It was Doctors orders.
I had to leave actual Monday class early to go to my hospital appointment.  The outcome of my visit was that the Dr. highly recommended I go swimming regularly to strengthen my back and hip muscles. Which in turn will help with pain and weakness.
Sew…….
On Tuesday I went swimming with my quilty friend Gaynor, and on Thursday I joined the Sebastian Coe Health Club. So the plan is to cycle or swim twice a week, to get fitter and loose a little - ok quite a bit of surplus weight.

Then, we shall be so fit we will have the energy to stitch more and faster - double bonus.

Well that’s the plan…..I’ll give you updates from time to time. Maybe even the odd picture. Maybe...

I have also been working on my logcabin quilt tops. Which are now almost complete.

We have been  busy plotting and planning our entries into The Festival of Quilts in Birmingham.
More on that over the next few weeks.

My second gift is called William.
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And as you can see he is already working hard in his new position as Chief Pin Cushion in my sewing room.

Jean bought William for me at the Quilters Guild A.G.M.
Sew, thank you Jean.
Aren’t I a lucky lady.

Now, before I go – here is this weeks ‘Share a Track’ link.
And in honor of me and Gaynor's swimming antics today I give you...
An Incy Wincy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikinee.
It involves stitching, so look out for ideas and brings back memories of 50/60's style holiday camps.

Sew, click on the pink link above and enjoy.
Let me know what you think.
And to put your minds at rest,
 you won't be seeing pictures of me and Gaynor swimming in any of these. 

Yours in Stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Pressing Matters

Full sized or travel? That is my question.

I enjoy pressing my fabrics, my blocks, my quilts. I find it most relaxing and rewarding.

What are your thoughts on patchwork pressing?

If you have been watching my videos you will have noticed that I press each piece as I go along.

Stitch, trim, press, stitch, trim, press.

I think because I trim and press at each stage my work always looks neat, and almost finished. Which somehow gives me a sense of pride in each stage of my work.

Let’s take a look at some pressing (I know, I’m sad – but I want to encourage you all to press as you go).
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This is the back of the Courthouse steps block we made a few weeks ago.
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And here is the half log cabin from the back.
How sad am I – I find these pictures give me a great sense of satisfaction.
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And this is the front of a series of a Half log cabin block at each step in it’s creation.
All lovingly stitched, trimmed and then pressed as each ‘log’ strip is added.

So to get back to my question. Travel or full sized?

Well, I’m a travel girl myself. I find my travel patchworkers pressing machine is the perfect size to handle quarter inch seams.  And as I press my work at each stage. I am never trying to press a whole quilt.
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Here is my travel size Patchworkers pressing machine.

You may have noticed my quilty friends that I have managed to write this post without using the term that would be used to describle what I am taking about in a ‘housework’ context. No, no, no – don’t say it…..I know your thinking it, but lovingly pressing your work is nothing like that at all.

Sew, what are your thoughts on this pressing matter?

Yours in Stitches, Joy

Monday, 22 April 2013

Monday Group – Adding quilt borders

Good Monday morning my quilty friends. Today I’m going to show you how I add borders to my quilts.
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Now that I have put together my blocks and added the sashing the time has come to add my borders.
There are some basics to understand in putting on borders – and I’ll show you these in the video.
I hope you are enjoying the videos. I am certainly enjoying making them. I just wish I could spend more time with you all.
But I am very aware of time with them. I’m trying to keep them as short as possible. Two reasons:
One – not to lose anyones attention (bore you).
Two – I am restricted to a maximum of ten minutes (you-tube).
It’s strange but when I finish making each video it feels as if a friend I have been talking to has just left.
It feels quite lonely in my sewing room after you have all gone.
Sew, here is this weeks video.
Yours in stitches, Joy

Friday, 19 April 2013

Kickback Friday -

Good morning Quilty Friends.
Time to sit down for ten minutes with your favorite tipple, (mines a cup of tea, milk and no sugar) relax, and check out what I have been up to this week.

Continuing on my quest to become a blogging ninja, I have been trying to master the art of watermarking my photos.
And I have to say a big thank you to Helen who has been my watermark mentor this week.
She also explained to me how to blog from my own computer programmes. In my case Windows live writer. So this post is coming to you via that (hopefully).

I know you may not give a hoot how it’s done. But I’ve spent a lot of my time this week learning the magic of Windows live writer. And I know I’m sad, but I’ve been thrilled with what I have found out and learnt. And of course you will all benefit in the long run, if I know what I’m doing here in blogland – and yes, I can hear the sound of your laughter;).  But I'm learning all the time.

As for my logcabin quilt, I’m in the same position as Helen at the moment. We have both finished making up our logcabin blocks. And I am in the process of adding the outer sashing. (Video on outer borders in next Monday Group).
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I hope you are suitably impressed by the watermarks (Joyofquilting)

I’ve also started a new crochet project. Here is a picture. I’m on row 13 of I think 23 rows. If all works well it’s going to be someones Christmas pressie.  At the moment it’s going through it’s Starfish phase.
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And in Actual Monday Class this week Jean brought in the lovely house quilt she made at a workshop with Laura Wasilowski while at the Quilters Guild of the British Isles A.G.M.  at the beginning of the month.
Looking good Jean – both you and the quilt.
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And finally one of our members, Chris, brought me in some books on The Amish as she knows I love reading about the Amish culture and their quilts.
Below is a picture snip-it from one of the books.  Amish Portrait by Walt Mauer.  Thank you Chris, I shall enjoy reading these books.
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Well, I think your ten minutes are up now. Especially if you clicked on any of the pink links.

But wait, I've just had another idea. I love music and this track was just played on the radio as I'm writing this. And I wanted to share it with you.

It's Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars - click on this link to watch/listen to it - remember you can skip the adds at the begining.

I think I'd like to 'share a track link' with you every Friday.
Don't worry it won't be playing in the background.

You choose if you want to click and watch the kind of music I listen to while sewing.

So off you go back to work, stitching. I’ll speak to you all again on Monday.

Yours in Stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Spotlight Wednesday – Walking Foot

Today I’m going to show you how to attach a Bernina walking foot and a Janome walking foot to you machines.
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Above is a picture of a walking foot. I talked about the walking foot in last weeks Spotlight Wednesday.  And I was asked to show you how to attach these feet to your machine.

 As it’s much easier to show you in a video – a video is what you get today. Well actually, two videos, as these two feet attach quite differently.

The first video shows how to attach a Janome walking foot and the second shows how to attach a Bernina walking foot.

How to attach your Janome walking foot
(click on the little square on bottom right of video to view full screen)

And how to attach your Bernina walking foot.

Hope these videos helped demisify the 'Walking Foot'

I'll catch up with you all on Kickback Friday,

Yours in Stitches, Joy


Monday, 15 April 2013

Monday Class - Adding Sashing to blocks

Hello and Welcome Quilty Friends,

In this weeks Monday Class we'll be covering adding sashing strips to your blocks.

But first I'd like to share with you some pictures Helen has posted on my Joyofquilting Face Book page of her logcabin blocks.


No prizes for guessing where Helen lives!

Helen has posted two further blocks on my F.B. page click here to take a look at them.
Thank you Helen for joining in and making these blocks up. I'm looking forward to watching what will feature on you centre squares next.

And if any of you fancy a look around Helen's blog, (and I highly recommend you do) click on this link Aunty Hennys.
Helen and I have only recently met, but we have discovered we have lots in common and have decided we must be Quilting Sisters!

OK, now onto today's subject.
Stitching blocks/rows together with sashing

 And
Stitching blocks/rows together with inserts and sashing.



I think because the blocks and the sashing are both pretty busy 
the little brown inserts just calm it all down.


And now onto todays video(s) - yes not one but two videos today.

The first one is 'how to add sashing to your blocks and rows'




And the second is 'how to add inserts/flaps to you sashing on blocks and rows'.

One tip - use your walking foot for adding inserts to ensure that all four layers move along equally.



I hope you enjoyed watching the videos, taking a look at my Facebook page and wondering around Helen's wonderful blog.

'Till Wednesday,
Yours in Stitches, Joy

p.s. remember is you need any help let me know and I'll do my best to help you.



Friday, 12 April 2013

Kickback Friday - Doughty's Fabrics

Well hello there my Quilty Friends. What have I been up to this week?
Well, actual Monday class was good. Peggy started putting her logcabin quilt together. It's looking rather stunning and the backing she has chosen is such a perfect match. I didn't think to take a picture of the back but trust me it's lovely.
Here is Peggy tacking her logcabin quilt in class on Monday.


On Wednesday, we went to Ystradowen where Doughty's fabrics were holding their road show. They have a shop in Hereford, but they also go around the country holding one day events where they set up 'shop' on a village hall or similar.

We arrived at about 11.00am and had difficulty parking. It was so busy. And of course being a hall full of quilters there was tea, home made cakes and plenty of catching up to do with other Quilty Friends.  We spent a very happy hour or two perusing the fabrics.

I had meant to take pictures, but got so over excited and involved with the fabric and other quilters that I quite forgot about my camera. I would have loved to have shown you a picture of all the quilters milling about - most of them clutching a block or piece fabric that they were trying to match up.
And of course I couldn't help myself - I had to try and help my fellow quilters on their fabric quests.
Eventually, I bought some bamboo wadding and a metre of this fabric to use as the sashing in my wonky logcabin quilt.

 Remember I showed you the 'wonky' logcabin blocks I made from a jelly roll I had. Well I decided to use a second jelly roll - which I had won in a raffle to make the back of the quilt.
So it will be a double sided or twofaced quilt. That's the plan anyway. So I've been making the blocks for the second side.

Here you can see I've started stitching the sashing on.

I've made 16 blocks so it'll be four down and four across - sounds a bit like a crossword!
This is my first row of four blocks stitched together with sashing.

The eagle eyed amongst you may have noticed the thin strips of brown fabric each side
of the sashing. This is a little 'insert' I've put in because I felt it needed just a touch of
a solid colour to calm down the clash of patterns between the blocks and the sashing.

I had originally planned to use the solid brown as the sashing, but  when I laid it up against a few of the blocks, I felt it was too heavy. It brought the quilt down - and made it look, well a bit depressed. And nobody wants a depressed quilt do they?  So now it just has a touch of brown or depression, which I think works well. 

So that's me up to date with you all at the moment. How are your logcabin blocks coming along? Have you started them? Are you happy with them? Do you need any help with them?

And remember, there are many different ways to do everything including making logcabin blocks.
I show you they way I do things. But if you do things differently that's fine too. You can still join in  with us. You'll still be making a logcabin quilt.

In next Monday's Class I'll be showing you how to do the above, (that's stitching sashing onto your blocks and rows). So best I go upstairs, upstairs and get on with it.
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Your Walking Foot

Today, I'm going to talk to you about the second of the 'Fab Four' quilting feet -
The Walking Foot.
Some makes of machine use what they call a 'Dual Feed System' and this works in a very similar way to the Walking Food.

So here goes:
You know on your sewing machine there are little teeth (the feed dogs) that move your sewing along as you stitch.
Well they works fine on two layers of fabric. Which lets face it is what most people will be stitching together most of the time - two pieces of fabric.

Now us quilters go and add a third layer (the wadding/batting) in between the two layers of fabric. And of course the wadding/batting is also much thicker than the fabric we are using. And so now your poor feed dogs are trying to move along three layers. And what tends to happen here is the feed dogs find it difficult to move all three layers equally and so the top layer gets ever so slightly pushed along by the foot you are using. Result is a little bump or pleat of top fabric left when you get to the end of your line of quilting.
Not good.

But wait, Dah dah dah....here comes Super Walking Foot to the rescue.
This wonderful foot has a set of teeth or similar that move/'walk' along on the top fabric working in tandem (I love that word it conjures up images of a happy couple cycling along the prom on a warm summers day in the 1930's - sorry back on subject) with the bottom feed dogs. Thus ensuring that the top and bottom fabrics are being moved along at the same rate. Result - no more little bumps/pleats of 'spare' top fabric at the end of you quilting line.
And here is one of the little beauties - May I present one of my walking feet.

Now these feet usually come with a wonderful little stick thingy called a stitch or quilt guide.
And I'll explain how to use this another time. It's enough today that you understand why you should use a walking foot. I know if I'm given too much information at one time it starts to fall out of my ears! And equally if I try and explain too much at one time my brain gets jumbled up. So for both our sakes, I'll stop the information bit now.


OK, this will probably be the most expensive foot you will buy for your sewing machine - so if you can get a machine with this one thrown in, brilliant.
It's one of the biggest feet and also more complex than most others - hence the expense. But for us quilters who like to use our sewing machines it's one of our 'basic' must have tools.

What I've outlined here are the basics. I didn't want to bore you with too much information - but if you have any queries, questions or problems using your walking foot, please ask in the comment section below.  And I'll do my very best to help you.
Yours in Stitches, Joy




Monday, 8 April 2013

Monday Group

Good morning everyone, it's the start of a new week and I think winter is finally leaving the U.K. Spring hasn't quite fully arrived but it's edging it's way in. We still have the heating on all day but my jumpers are getting a bit thinner.
I have been busy stitching together my logcabin blocks into rows.
And in this weeks video I show you how to stitch the blocks into rows and then how to stitch the rows together. It's simple enough if you follow a few basic  tips which help ensure the seams meet.
So here it is,
Hope you enjoy and it gives you the confidence to have a go. It's not the end of the world if all your seams don't match - but if you can match some/most of them you'll feel you've achieved something.
With there being lots of seams to match in each log cabin block I've used more pins than I normally would. And although people in class tend to think my works is very accurate - I am no where near perfect. And the point is none of us needs to be 'perfect'.
We just need to do the best we can at the time.
And I stitch as a hobby, for fun. So, do your best, have fun and above all enjoy the journey.
Yours in Stitches, Joy
p.s. I love it some of you could post pics of your locabin quilts on my joyofquilting FaceBook Page 
   

Friday, 5 April 2013

Kickback Friday

This week I've been thinking about which way to quilt my logcabin quilts. Hand quilting or Machine quilting - or even a bit of both. I have no problem mixed the two together when I feel it's appropriate.  Below is a picture of Joan's 'Wavy' Log cabin quilt, which she has handquilted beautifully. And we'll look at the quilting in more detail in a few weeks. I just want you all to start thinking about quilting. Because - A quilt is not a quilt until it's quilted! But also I don't want you to panic about quilting if it's new to you. We'll take it a step at a time once we've put our log cabin quilts together in a few weeks. We may even look at tyeing a quilt.


I also visited Aberdare Museum where one of my Welsh quilts and some of my friends quilts are in a display put on  by Region 12 of The Quilters Guild of the British Isles
 This is, from left to right. My Welsh Quilt, my D.H. Keith and my friend Gaynor's Welsh Quilt.
Having seen my quilt in the exhibition I feel I need to do just a little more quilting on my Welsh Quilt inside the large leaf designs - I think I'll do a big curly S. So I'm looking forward to getting my hands on it again soon.
 
And below is my friend Jean's 3D flower quilt.
in the same exhibition.  
 Jean's 3D flowers quilt is the one that she had packed very carefully to protect her 3D flowers and I walked into (can I just add a completely empty room at the time) class and plonked my heavy bag down on top of her precious  3D package.
It survived as you can see and looks quite majestic.
I even think that maybe the little bit of flower pounding I did actuall enhanced it somewhat! 
 
 And being in a museum I couldn't help taking pictures of a couple of things that jogged my memory.
Yes people my memories now belong in a museum.
Firstly the co-op bike - I can remember running up to our local Co-op saying my mum's divi number over and over in my head.
 
And below. Well isn't it surprising the things you had forgotten all about.
I remember my mum having these. The curlers were on metal spikes and you had to wait until the red dot at the top of each curler turned a very dark colour before the curlers were hot enough to use.
 


I've just finished next Monday Group's video. Where I show you how to stitch together blocks into rows and then stitch the said rows together. And then we can start putting the quilt together and start the quilting!
 
Looking forward to speaking to you all on Monday,
Yours in Stitches, Joy


Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Spotlight Wednesday

Todays Spotlight was going to be on Visiting Quilt Exhibitions but due to my quilting friends confusion on 'tinternet,
Today I'm putting the spotlight on trying to explain  the difference between
my Joyofquilting Blog
and my
Joyofquilting Facebook page

In an attempt to untangle the confusion that seems to have arrisen amongst some of my followers.

As some of you are quite new to the world of blogging and facebook. It's understandable that there has been some confusion.

Firstly let me explain to you what a blog is. I did a search on google and this came up as the definition of a blog:

Noun
A Web site on which an individual or group of users record opinions, information, etc. on a regular basis.

OK that's simple enough.
In my case, my blog 'joyofquilting' is written by an individual - me - Joy Morgan.

As my blog is an individual blog only I can make posts (this artlice is a post) and only I can post (put) pictures onto my blog.

You, the reader can make comments on my posts (articles). And comments appear at the bottom of each post. (article)

When you are reading this - you are doing so on my blog 'joyofquilting'. You'll see towards the top left hand side of your computer screen something like this:
http://joy-quilting.blogspot.co.uk/

Note is says blogspot, or blogger this shows you you are on my blog.


OK that's my blog explained - next facebook definition.

Facebook is a popular free social networking website that allows registered users to create profiles, upload photos and video, send messages and keep in touch ...

I created a Facebook fan page to compliment my blog.

The reasons I created a facebook page for my Joyofquilting  blog are:

I want my blog to be like a virtual quilt group where my followers can feel part of a group.
I want my blog to be interactive with my followers and  to give people a place where they could upload their own photos of their quilting work.
And that place is facebook.  So you can post your own pictures on my joyofquilting Facebook page.

Now,

When you are on joyofquilting Facebook page you will see Joyofquilting plus:

facebook

towards the top left hand corner of your computer screen, obviously that tells you you are on facebook.

Phew....still with me.....

OK just a little bit more information for you.

You can jump back and forth between my blog and my facebook page.

From my blog - simply click the Facebook link on the right hand side to take you to my facebook page.
AND
From my facebook page - click on any of the links in MY facebook posts named
Monday Group, Spotlight Wednesday or Kickback Friday. To take you to my blog.

And finally.....

You don't need to be my friend on Facebook to view my joyofquilting facebook page. I've made it open to the public - but you do need to have a facebook account to view it.

I hope this helps my confused friends understand where they are. I only wish I could reach out through the screen to sit beside you to walk you through it.

I off out now, my d.h. has a week off so we are going our for a run (in the car) I'm taking my camera so hopefully you'll get to see pictures on Kickback Friday. 
Yours in Stitches, Joy     

 

Monday, 1 April 2013

Monday Group

Hope you are all enjoying your Easter Monday and have had your fill of chocolate.
My hubby took my hint and I got the egg I wanted plus a box of chocolates on the side because he didn't think the egg was big enough;) So I'm rather full of chocolate today.

Anyway, today I'm going to show you how to 'factory' or 'chain' piece your Logcabin blocks.
If you have been watching my previous videos numbers one to four showed you how to, (Rotary cut your Strips), make a (Basic Logcabin sample block), make a (Courthouse Steps Logcabin sample block), and finally a (Half Logcabin sample block). If you missed any of these or simply want to catch up. Just click on the relevant link inside the Red brackets above to see the videos again.

Now I showed you how to make a sample of each of the above Logcabin Blocks. But in real life you would most probably be making lots of these logcabin blocks in order to make a log cabin quilt.
And Factory or Chain piecing makes stitching together lots of logcabin blocks much quicker than making them up one at a time.
Instead of constantly stopping to cut and press each strip this method means you stop to cut and press only once for each set of strips you stitch on. Is that clear as mud to you, yes. Just watch the video below and hopefully all will become clear.
Now for todays video number five.


If you have any questions about any of the videos, or anything on my blog please ask and I'll try my best to help you. Sometimes it's only when someone asks a question that I realise I'm not making myself clear.
I just watched this again and I talk about one and a half inch strips and two and a half inch squares.
I was just a tad confused. I should have said one and a half inch strips and one and a half inch squares.
Next week I'll show you how to stitch your blocks together in rows and how to stitch rows together so the seams all match up.
Yours in Stitches, Joy
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