Friday, 31 May 2013

Kickback Friday -

Lazy week this week what with the Bank Holiday Monday so no Monday Class.  I have just chilled.

I have got on with the miniature quilt I am making for the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham in August.

It’s not an award contender –  just a simple mini quilt.

A number of us, I think around eight have been persuaded to enter a miniature by our  Miniature mad friend Judith.
She gave each of us some Sheep fabric. The only choice we had was Blue Sheep or Red Sheep.

I chose Red Sheep.
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So far I’ve ‘fussy cut’ the sheep. Possibly not as fussy cut as I should have actually.
Stitched a redish border around each sheep. Added sashing and borders. And machine quilted it in the ditch.

So far so blah – it needs something more.

I’ve been playing with some threads and wool. I’ve come up with some ideas but nothing that impresses me much.

In other words, at the moment I’m a bit stuck with this quilt – any ideas will be gratefully received.

Meanwhile I’m going to put it on the back burner for a few days and see if inspiration strikes.

Sometimes, well quite often in my case – you can overthink things. When maybe you need to just let them be for a while.
So that’s the plan then - Let it be and Help!  There's a Beatles theme there somewhere!

Other news:

I’ve used the Best Press Ironing Spray Startch that I bought from Lady Sew & Sew in Malvern Quilt Show.
And I am pleased to report it is wonderful. It simply glides away stubborn creases in cotton fabric.
I’m well impressed and would recommend it. 

I’ve also been re-reading the instructions on the Marbling4Fun Kit we bought for class in Malvern.
Next Monday is the allotted day when I’m supposed to try this out in Actual Monday Class.

Hopefully next week I'll be posting pictures of Monday Class Mabling.

Todays video in honour of my Miniature endeavours is
Castle & Beckett's Shania Twain - That Don't Impress Me Much
And remember, click on the pink links to find out more....
B.T.W. I'd never heard of Castle & Beckett - but I'm going to find out more now I've seen them.
I'll let you know how I get on.

Hope you enjoy,
and remember to send me any ideas you have to WOW up my miniature quilt,
Yours in Stitches, Joy 


Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Spotlight Wednesday - My Videos

Well Hello my Quilty Friends,

I hope you all had a good Bank Holiday weekend.
Or just a good weekend if there was no Bank Holiday in your patch of the world.

We did have some sunshine and I spent a lovely afternoon out the garden hand stitching.

But back to normal now. And this weeks spotlight is on My growing video collection.

I didn't intend making videos for my blog when I started.
But
I very quickly realized that it was far more effective to 'show' you what to do than to try and write it out.
And
as I routinely show or demonstrate techniques in 'Actual Monday Class',
It
Seemed natural for me to video myself showing you how I do things.

In fact, for me it feels just the same as being in Monday Class showing someone a patchwork or quilting technique. And although I'm on my own I feel as though I'm talking to some lovely friendly if not rather quite quilters.

And I have recently realized that I need to give you all access to the full list of videos I've made in one place. So you can dip in and out as needed.
Sew,
For future reference, I've just put a link to my Video Channel on Youtube onto my
Hints, Tips & My Videos page. 
So that will be a permanent and easy way to access my Videos.  
But,
As a quick short cut now, Click on this Pink Link to take you to my Video Channel on Youtube.

I'm loving the way my blog is evolving and growing. It's a bit like my quilts. I start off with an plan but along the way new ideas often appear and I'm never quite sure if they were mine or the quilts.
I usually go with the flow and have great fun playing with the new ideas to see if they will work.

And I just hope you are having fun and enjoying playing with me here on my blog.

Enjoy the videos,
Speak to you again on Kickback Friday,
Yours in Stitches, Joy


Friday, 24 May 2013

Kickback Friday

What have I been up to this week.
We went to visit Daisy earlier today.
Daisy five weeks  And I must admit, to the untrained eye this looks like last weeks picture of Daisy.
But she is definately 11 days older in this picture.
I’m sure she is looking a little wiser or is it grumpier than she did last week.

Anyway she is running around now. And was very interested in chewing my finger and trying to get into my handbag. But she’ll have to wait a few weeks yet before she can jump into my bag to come home.

And just in case you think I’ve lost the plot – no I haven’t had a Daisy tatoo on my wrist – it’s a watermark on the picture.

Back on subject, well almost.
At Swansea Quilters last weekend my very clever Quilty Friend Cath, who has had her head turned by the ‘ hook’ and has been busy crocheting a quite splendid Patchwork throw.
We are not allowed to knit or crochet in Swansea Quilters – so we had to quickly take these pictures.  Although we had decided that if we were questioned we would say ‘Well it is Patchwork’.

DSCF1337   DSCF1338
Looking at these photos now, it looks to me like the one with Cath in is the cover of a book – in fact I’d buy that book.
Cath was more than happy for me to post these pictures on my blog but insisted I credit Attic 24.
Cath said she got her inspiration from there. And I'm more than happy to recommend Attic 24 as I also follow that blog AND it's where I got the pattern for my Wavy Crochet blanket from.


Well. I’ve been a good girl in that I haven’t started any new projects since going to Malvern last week.
As I am sure we all do. I promised myself I couldn’t start anything new until I had finished one of my U.F.O.’s
Although not much stitching has been done by me this week.

And mentioning U.F.O.’s reminds me .
Joy Richardson or New Zealand Joy as I like to call her sent me a list of Quilters acronyms,

I expect you knew
BOM = Block of the Month
I hadn’t heard this DSM before, 
DSM = Domestic Sewing Machine
And I derinately hadn’t heard a FART – so that’s what I went on last week when we went to Malvern!
FART = Fabric Acquisition Road Trip

Joy sent me a whole list of acronyms – I’ll reveal one or two each week here.

But if you can’t wait and want to read them all now click on this pink link which will take you to my FaceBook page where I have just posted the whole list.

This week I've driven my D.H.'s car quite a bit (it's really overdue a carwash Keith).
Anyways, he has a cd player in the boot that holds 12 cd's and they haven't been changed, well ever I don't think, and we have had the car 8 or 9 years now. It's been like a blast from the past listening to these cd's  (My car is mainly a Jack Johnson zone).

So my choice for this weeks youtube music video is, and I'm dedicating it to my two granddaughters Ashley and Alissa.
When they were little we used to drive around in that car playing this track full blast, we would be singing along and doing the actions the car would be shaking. Shalalalala, it was such fun.

However, when I just watched the video for it - I can't quite believe I let me two little granddaughters watch it. Well they seem to have survived it. So this week I give you:


The Vengaboys - Shalalalala
Warning, it's not for the fainthearted or men with a heart condition - I think. p.s. I love the 'fight' scene.

Well that's all from me this week folks!

No Monday Class next week
It's a Bank Holiday,
Speak to you all on Spotlight Wednesday,
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Spotlight Wednesday – Friskers Gadget

Today I’m going to show you my bargain buy from last weekend at Swansea Quilters.
We had a charity day and on Karen’s stall I found this little beauty.

SAM_1728
A strange little object made by Friskars and a bargain at 50p
SAM_1731
It houses a pull out tapemeasure and  little gadgets in each end.
SAM_1732
One end we have a dowel, a quick unpick, a knitting thing and a stuffing tool
SAM_1730
And in the other end is a needle threader, a tiny tweezers and a baby magnifying glass.
There is also a magnet and a safety pin.

I've just been doing a little research on-line and it's called
Friskars Sewing Multi Tool - 12 in one

It's sold as an Essential product for sewers and quilters!
And I was most amused by the descriptions of the tools.
It's worth clicking on the pink link above to read them.
For example a Quick unpick for removing unwanted stitches....duh..

It's selling for £14.99 so I had quite a bargain at .50p

Have any of you got any multi tool sewing gadgets you'd like to share with us?

Yours in Stitches, Joy

Monday, 20 May 2013

Monday Group – Machine Quilting & Embroidery Stitches

Well hello my Quilty Friends and welcome to this weeks Monday Group.
Today I’m going to show you how I sometimes use my machine’s embroidery stitches to quilt.
This first pictures shows the whole quilt top of my Half Logcabin Block Quilt.
SAM_1612  
The two pictures below show close-ups of the machine embroidery stitches I've used in the video below.
And all these pictures are the same quilt!
The colours look so different from the top one and the bottom two!
I'm not sure if it's because the pictures were taken on different days so different light.
Or if it's because I used two different cameras.
Anyway colours in the bottom two are most like the 'actual quilt'

DSCF1350
 I've used one of the cross stitch stitches on my machine - to great effect I think.
DSCF1346
Check out my video to see how I machine quilt like this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMDIDzsPGOQ
Sorry this link doesn't have a picture here.
For reasons I can't get to the bottom of at the moment
Blogger's not recognizing my videos on Youtube((((
Anyways, click on the pink link above to see me in action!
Yours in stitches, Joy 

Friday, 17 May 2013

Kickback Friday – Malvern Quilt Show, Daisy & a Space Quilter

Hello and welcome my Quilty Friends to this weeks Kickback Friday and a look back over my quilty week.
Firstly, to those of you who haven’t yet me her. Let me introduce you to Daisy.
Daisy
We went to see her for the first time last weekend.
She was just four weeks old then.
So I have to wait a little while before we can bring her home.
She’s going to be my new Quilting Apprentice. I don’t think I’ll  have to train her to ‘test’ the comfyness of my quilts.
But I’ll have to train her in her other quilting duties which will include keeping me company in my quilting room and listening to my ramblings.

The big quilty news this week was our trip to Malvern Quilt Show on Thursday.
We shopped,                                                      

SAM_1691










And shopped,

SAM_1692










Had a quick look at the quilts on display - sorry no pictures - I was so over excited all day that I forgot to take pictures of the quilts.

SAM_1695

We ended our day with a well deserved ice-cream before getting on the bus to come home.

And here are my purchases from Malvern
SAM_1722
I'll be telling you in detail more about my purchases (which included a marbling kit) over the next couple of weeks.


Also in the news this week First Quilter in space, click on the pink link to read more….
http://science.nbcnews.com/_news/2013/05/14/18254269-first-quilter-in-space-nasa-astronaut-plans-to-turn-orbital-rags-to-stitches?lite

Brave lady indeed.

Song for the week this week…Well - I couldn't resist it could I
Daisy Daisy.....Don't blink or you'll miss the crochet bicycle seat cover!
Well that's it from me this week,
Have a wonderful weekend,
Speak to you on Monday.
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

Spotlight Wednesday - Pulling up your bobbin thread

This weeks Spotlight Wednesday is about pulling up you bobbin thread to the top of your work.

It's not something we've need to use yet. But I thought I show it to you ready for when you do.

This is a little technique you can use whenever you want to start your machine stitching not at the edge of your work.

I learnt this when doing machine applique but it's just as useful for machine quilting.

Sew,
if I wanted to start my machine quilting on the beige strip of the logcabin below

This is what I would do
Click on this pink link to watch my video - pulling up your bobbin thread.

So now your work will 'always' be as tidy on the back as it is on the front.

I'm going to go and get my things ready for tomorrow now.

Goody list - money -  camera -  glasses -  sweets and drinks - painkillers - a bus full of quilty friends and a large dose of laughter at the ready.

My D.H. says that when us quilters get together we sound like a gaggle of geese!

We are going (a bus full so probably 50 of us) to the Quilt Show in Malvern - we'll be crossing the border into the English countryside and the land of free bags - you have to pay for grocery bags in Wales and we Welsh get a bit overexcited at the prospect of having our purchases put into free bags.

I'll be taking pictures, making notes, having more than my fair share of fun, and reporting back to you all on Kickback Friday.
Yours in Stitches, Joy


Monday, 13 May 2013

Monday Group – Machine Quilting in the Ditch

Good morning/afternoon/evening my Quilty Friends, today I’m going to explain and show you how I machine quilt in the ditch.

Sew, for the first time we are going to get machine stitching on our quilts.

Quilting in the ditch is a wonderful tool to have in your Quilter’s Toolbox.

Sometimes it’s all you need in a quilt. Particularly if the fabric and the blocks are the stars of the quilt you are making, and your quilting just needs to be functional.

This is Terry's logcabin quilt top.
This quilt would suit in the ditch quilting - I would quilt around the outer edge of each block.
What do you think? 


This is a close up of Terry's quilt top. Showing off the detail in the borders,
where Terry has used the scraps left from the logcabin blocks to great effect.


Sometimes it can be the ‘foundation’ of your quilting. Holding your quilt together unobtrusively and giving you plenty of opportunity to play with your machine or hand quilting in other areas of your quilt.
And that's what I'm doing with my half logcabin quilt - pictures next week.

This is Lyn's logcabin - we were auditioning borders.
We thought the thin dark inner border and the
wide outer border worked well together. 

Sorry this post is later than normal.
Sometimes the world conspires against you,
and over the last few days it didn't seem to want me to work on my blog!
And when I finally managed to get this post almost finished,
last piece in the jigsaw being uploading the actual video of quilting in the ditch
the computer says no.  Apparently it can't find my videos.

After repeated attempts and trying the tried and trusted turn the computer off and then back on to see if it will forget it had a problem, I've had to think of another way to post my video this week.
Not to be outwitted by a computer I'm posting my video
via this link - Sew click on the pink link to watch this weeks video lesson (hopefully)

Back on subject now....
This is just the first step on our machine quilting journey together.
And I am looking forward to building up on our quilting skills as we make more quilts.

That's it from me 'till Spotlight Wednesday,
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Friday, 10 May 2013

Kickback Friday - More Welsh Quilting

Hello my Quilty friends, Firstly I have to mention the weather.
I’m sat here looking out the window and I’m quite dis-heartened.

Now I know us Brits are renowned for talking about the weather – but – our weather is so unpredictable.

And I can feel a weather rant coming on…..

We had such a lovely weekend last weekend we really thought that Winter was finally over and we were going to miss Spring and jump straight into our Summer.

Wrong - in four days we have gone from Winter to Summer and now it feels like Autumn.

We put our gazebo up in our garden on Friday and took it down again Monday evening.
And good job too.
We knew we were in for some rain, fair enough.
But the wind today is horrendous. It feels more like autumn cold damp and very very windy.

 I’ve just driven back from me and Gaynor’s pool/gym/sauna session (still keeping to our twice weekly sessions) and crossing the bridge over the river Neath estuary was quite hair raising. My car was buffeted about like a little toy car in the wind, I was glad to get home safe and sound.
I've just been watching the news and the winds got up to 70 miles per hour today - and I can tell you it felt like it too.

It’s hard to believe just a couple of days ago I sat out in the garden, under the gazebo to shelter from the heat ‘till late evening sewing. Ah, this is the life I thought.

OK British weather rant over – Sew what have I been up to this week.

Well, remember my Welsh Quilt that had been to a local Quilters Guild exhibition. I’ve had it back now.
And when I went to see the exhibition I felt my quilt needed just a little more quilting.

See the leaf shapes, well at the time I felt the space inside those leaves was a good place to ‘rest your eyes’.
But when I saw it hanging those leaves were not a good place to rest your eyes – they were a place that ‘drew your eyes’ to the fact that there was no quilting in that space. So I’ve been itching to have the quilt back (I could quite happily have taken it down from the exhibition there and then to add the extra quilting).





Anyways. I’ve got it back and so that is what I was quilting out in the garden.
I've stitched some curly swirly shapes in the leaves now. That's better.


Well there was no actual Monday Class, it was a Bank Holiday.

We did have a sit and sew morning on Tuesday though.

Ros was asking for quilting advice for her Log Cabin quilt. She has machine stitched in the ditch around the blocks and wants to put some hand quilting on it now.

We are not afraid to mix hand and machine quilting on the same quilt in class. In fact that way you can often get the best of both worlds. It just depends what the quilt asks for, and of course what you prefer to do.
For Ros's quilt the machine quilting was the backbone and the hand quilting will be the icing on the cake.  Pictures soon.


There was also a discussion about tying quilts. It seems tying is a bit like marmite – you either love it or hate it.
I fall into the love it camp. Not that I use that technique very often, but occasionally it’s what the quilt calls for.

In Spotlight Wednesday this week I asked for comments about Joyofquilting.

So far I’ve had one comment – thank you Chris.
I know you don’t all get the time to catch  up everyday – but I’d really appreciate it if some more of you would comment.
It will help me plan the future of Joyofquilting. And get an insight on what I’m doing right or wrong.

Isn’t it strange. I sat down this afternoon not knowing what I was going to write about, but once I started I was away – in fact I’m thinking now shut up Joy your just prattling on.

Mostly I plan ahead and know what I want to say, particularly for Monday Group.
And other times - usually on Kickback Friday I struggle to start looking back over the week, but then I get started and - shut up Joy your prattling on again.

Anyway, I enjoy both. The former because I’m so excited to be sharing something I can’t wait to start typing and the latter because who knows where we will end up.

Right that’s more than enough from me today. I’m off now to find you a nice piece of music for you to listen to.
It’s Jack Johnson – Pictures of People.
From his To The Sea album - I listen to this a lot in the car because I love my cameras and I like to take 'pictures of people taking pictures of people, taking pictures of people taking pictures.'

I must say I particularly liked the picture taken from the reflection in someones sunglasses. I'm going to try that - oh and the Toad - nice Toad.


Yours in Stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Spotlight Wednesday - Over to You

Welcome my Quilty friends, today I'm going to turn the 'spotlight' around.

I have lots of plans and ideas for my blog. And it's going to take a while to implement them.
And in a way my plans and ideas should be never ending, otherwise what will I have to blog about.

I often I wish I were a year down the blogworld  line where I'd already have lots of my blog plans in place.
But perhaps the most exciting part should be the planning and the posting, and the comments and the learning. The whole dam journey in fact.


I'm always telling my quilty friends that there is no rush, no prize for the first to finish a project.
This is a hobby (usually) and as such should be enjoyed.

I'm not the fastest sewer. In fact in workshops I've realized I'm pretty slow.
BUT I thoroughly enjoy each step along the way.
I enjoy the learning, the friendship, the camaraderie, the fabric, the colours, the tea and cake.
AND
I also enjoy the meditative state of stitching on my own - enjoying the peace and quiet lost in my own thoughts, which may be about everything or nothing at all. Bliss.

Sew,
today I want to turn the spotlight on you.

When I'm writing a post, I'm thinking about you. I've built up a kind of blogworld quilter and she is a mixture of all the quilters I've ever known.
She has a warm, kind, friendly face. And depending what I'm writing about at the time - she changes. Sometimes she's a beginner. Sometimes she knows more than me.
She's a very flexible lady my blogland quilting lady.
(Sorry guys - it's nothing personal and I'd love to hear from a quilter guy. Just think I could invent a blogworld quilt guy. But my quilting experience to date has only been with quilty ladies).

Anyways, I digress:
My dear blogworld quilty friends (now that you've learnt how to comment)
Can you please tell me,

What are your thoughts?
What do you like about Joyofquilt? (I'll know to do more of that then)
What would you like to see/hear more of?

In other words, how am I doing for you?

Answers on a postcard please - just kidding, please comment below.

Thanks, yours in Stitches, Joy

Monday, 6 May 2013

Monday Group – Machine Quilting

Good Monday morning quilty friends.
Today I’m going to talk about machine quilting using your Walking Foot.

Last week I put together my Half Logcabin quilt top, and now it’s time to quilt it.

Sew, let’s talk about quilting.

As I said, I’m machine quilting this quilt. I’ll be using straight line quilting, some what I call ‘three step zig-zag stitch quilting’ and just a little machine decorative stitch quilting.

Let’s take a look at some examples:

This first one is machine quilted in the ditch. You can’t really notice the quilting.
SAM_1633
This second logcabin block is machine quilted using a zig zag stitch – so the quilting stands out.
SAM_1640SAM_1638
   This flower is straight line quilted diagonally.

Below, I’ve used straight line quilting either side of the ‘free motion’ quilted leaves.
SAM_1642 SAM_1644 And finally this block has been ‘crosshatch’ quilted with additional vertical lines.

Now don’t worry if I’ve used some quilting terms your not familiar with. I’ll be showing you each one in more detail over the next few weeks.

I just wanted to give you a taster of what you can do with ‘straight line’ machine quilting.

And now for something completely (well slightly) different.
In todays video I’ll show you how I get ready for straight line machine quilting.
Hope you enjoy,
That's all from me today folks,
Remember you can click on the pink links to find out more
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Friday, 3 May 2013

Kickback Friday

Not such a productive week for me this week.
I’m exhausted with me and Gaynor’s new keep fit routine.

Going swimming twice a week and using the exercise bike (very short bursts) feels good at the time, but my eyes are closing very early in the evenings, and there’s not much go in me in the afternoons either.

Never mind onward and upward as my D.H. would say.

I had pre-ordered, months ago, a new book ‘Quilting on the go’ which arrived this week.


I’ve been busy reading that and as instructed in the book have put myself together a small tin. (which will easily fit inside my handbag).
With everything I need inside to turn any wasted few minutes into a stitching opportunity.

A kind of quilty version of a quick-draw cowboy/gunslinger.
Possibilities are popping into my head of quilt-offs where quilters try to outstitch each other – by managing to quilt something while in the checkout line or queuing to use the loo.
 
As I write this it’s just dawning on my how my quick quilting tins could be mis-interprited.
Hang on there – I’m just going to take a couple of pictures for you to see what I mean.

 SAM_1623 (1280x720) SAM_1622 SAM_1624 (1280x720)
I neither drink Graham’s port nor have I ever smoked cigars. But it could look a little suspicious when I whip out my port tin and my cigar tin while in the Doctors waiting room.

I don’t think I’ve thought this through properly, BUT my name is Joy Morgan and I have a compultion to collect/save any useful looking containers - you just never know when they will come in handy.

It seemed like such a good idea at the time to ask my brother for the cigar tin he was about to throw in the bin, (I  could see even then that it would make a very nice home for needles).
And I think the Grahams port tin was a Christmas present my husband got years ago, which has been waiting patiently in my sewing room to find it’s new purpose in life.

In the book she suggests using a tin pencil case for this purpose – that would have been the sensible thing to do.
But I had these tins sitting in my sewing room……just waiting to be used.
And to be fair to them they do fit the bill perfectly.
 
Other than that, I have also managed to start quilting my half log cabin quilt – but more of that on Monday.

I’m off now to have a glass of port and a cigar – at least that’s how it’s gonna feel when I take my stitching opportunities while out and about.

Have a wonderful Bank Holiday Weekend
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Spotlight Wednesday - No Comment

Welcome my fellow quilters, today I’m going slightly off topic. But it will help us all eventually I think.
It’s about how to make comments.

In actual Monday class this week one member said she wanted to tell me she was really enjoying my videos and had tried to make a comment on the blog. But couldn’t seem to work out how to do it.

There followed a chorus of people saying me too….
I said I wished I could be in their homes to see what it was they were doing so I could help them – and it’s been  worrying me ever since.

Sew, I thought next best thing – perhaps I could show them how to make comments.
I hope that those of you who have no problem with this don’t mind me being a bit off topic.
AND you may even be able to make suggestions which will help.

Perhaps you comment in a different way or on a different operating system.

Just having a different point of view from mine could make all the difference to someone who is stuck - commentless.

So hopefully between us we can get more of our quilty friends commenting – which will be brilliant for us all.

Here’s the video please watch and more importantly MAKE COMMENTS (nice/constructive ones would be most welcome – but even an Hello would be a breakthrough!)

And, I just had a thought. If people are having problems making comments - have they worked out how to read the comments that are there? Anyway, watching the video will show you how to view the comments too.

Sew, you mission today my quilty friends - should you choose to accept it.
It to attempt to make a comment on this post.


Fingers crossed that this helps my commentless friends X
But please don't spend hours on this and beat yourself up if this doesn't work for you.

Yours in Stitches, Joy

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