Archive | April 2014

The I-spy Alphabet.

Gee – ‘two posts in one week’ I hear you say… this is getting out of control!

I have to admit I am currently on Holidays- along with most of the country – what with Easter and Anzac day falling in such a way that mean one only had to take a couple of days off to get a decent sized holiday. Even better for me is my two fellas were away having holidays of their own… leaving me to the JOY of getting to know my Juki and frame.

So today I thought I would share with you a quilt that has been in the works for some time. It is one of the tops that I had made many many moons ago, that sat in a box … waiting for the day I could get around to quilting it on my domestic machine (my least favorite thing about making quilts). Luckily for me those things are now a thing of the past – with my new quilt frame and machine.

I made this quilt for a lovely little girl as a ‘find a letter quilt’ (as in has the whole alphabet but they are in a random order – an i-spy of the alphabet if you will). It is a basic quilt made out of nice bright, happy colours.

My first decision was what backing to use. In the recent past I had finished a quilt for someone very dear to me and used a nice blue backing – thinking of the connection between that person and the person this quilt was made for – I pulled out the left over fabric from the previous quilt and was delighted to discover there was the perfect amount of fabric left to work on this quilt… almost like it was meant to be… which is highly possible.


Now that the backing was sorted I had to consider what design I was going to quilt on it… the patchwork top fabrics had curls and swirls, bright colours and leaves and flowers. hmmmm


A quick tangent

Before I picked up my new quilting machine.. I had a few weeks to dream… some of the blogs and YouTube clips I had watched suggested drawing your designs first.. so that is where I started. I put a few of the ones I liked up on the wall… 

I have found I am better at guiding the machine than I am at the drawing 😉


Back to it…

So I decided to go with the pattern I have called ‘Pea Sprouts’ because they remind me of the snow pea shoots I have coming up in the garden… Rather than make it go along the line as is in this drawing I went for a more rambling type stitch, but you get the idea.



I tried to get a picture that showed the stitching better – but it is dark and I am impatient so we get poor quality pictures…  The image below shows a close up of the backing in an attempt to show come of the stitching a bit better…



And this is it… on the day bed that is in my sewing room – to give a bit of an idea of the overall project. It is a smallish floor quilt for a toddler. A bit of an interactive playing type quilt. Perfect for picnics and cubby houses!




So now I need to think if a binding – trim it back and get it finished! That will have to wait a little while – Tomorrow I am planning to put a quilt for a friend on the frame… That is a bit nerve wracking as it is her first ever quit… I have it out – trying to get inspired about which pattern to go with… Anyway that is all for now



♥ RJN ♥ CRG ♥


My New Adventure.

Well HELLO there!

Again I have proven myself to be amongst the slackest bloggers…. I almost feel the need to start each post with … Hello Internet, please forgive me it has been 178 days since my last confession post. (For the record I am not the type of girl to go to confession – but whatevs).

Ok so now that my begging for forgiveness is done – lets move on to some much more exciting content. What is my new adventure I hear you ask… well lets get there…

When I first began quilting (about 10 years ago – way to make myself feel old) I would never never never have thought that I would get so into it that I would spend thousands of dollars and many, many more hours of time cutting up perfectly good fabric and sewing little bits back together. I would also have never dreamed of dedicating a whole room in my house to the pursuit of said cutting and sewing. I would never have thought that I would have multiple sewing machines (though I know many more who have MANY more machines than me) and I would never have thought that I would do a 13 hour round trip drive to pick up a new sewing machine – but that is indeed what has transpired.

So here is what happened… a while back a wonderful woman I know had the pleasure of getting herself a Gammill. Said friend was super kind and allowed me to quilt a few quilts on her Gammill… it was, I would suggest, equivalent to getting ones first taste of some wonderful drug (and by wonderful – I mean super addictive). I thought patchwork was fun.. but holding the machine gun style handles of that awesome machine was SUPER fun. And here the seed had been planted… To enable myself to get a fix when I needed it I had to source a machine for myself. The problem was, because these machines are such awesome fun they don’t often pop up second hand and it was more pennys than I was willing to part with to buy a new one. So I trawled the internet.

Then one day the familiar ding ding of a Facebook notification popped up on my phone – I think I was in a meeting at the time – but I made a note to check it out once I got home. Now this post wasn’t about a Gammill – it was about a John Watts frame and a Juki Machine… I had never heard of these.. but I was keen.. Google (ever my bestie) and I did a bit of looking about. The frame was designed to hold a domestic machine and roll a quilt – all good – the machine was a home professional domestic machine that could work as a sewing machine or on the quilting frame. Things were getting interesting.

Debi (the seller of the machine) was upgrading and offloading her old rig at an AWESOME price. I calculated that it would take about 13 hours for the return trip. I emailed Debi and she sent me back a video of the machine in action – that was all I needed to get hubby on board. What was even better was Easter was coming up… I needed to get that machine!

On good Friday Hubby and I woke before sun up and headed off on our journey. By 10pm we were home and I have a new toy! The next morning I set the machine up. By lunch time Hubby had headed out of town for a much deserved man-cation (off to the beach to hang with his and my brothers) and I had 5 days alone with my quilting machine.

So there it is … I have been holed up in my quilting room – I have eaten mostly fruit and take-away dinners… the images below show the type of thing I am doing. I know there is a LONG way to go – but it is fun, REALLY fun.

Next month my local quilt shop is hosting a quilts for cancer drive. Lots f people are donating tops – I am donating my time and machine to quilting them – but that will be a later blog entry! Now for some pictures of my work stuff so far.


I started by loading calico and using a water soluble marker to get a feel for the machine.



You can see in the image below my drawing lines were less regular than my stitching lines.


Feeling a bit more relaxed, I tried a feather wave.



And some leaves.




Hitting my stride I started to get a ‘feel’ for the machine and developed a ‘pea shoot’ form.


Next it was time to load an actual quilt.. This Wonky Rainbow Star is actually the first quilting class I taught.




So there you have it. My new adventure. It is all very exciting for me. It will be great to finish off some of those tops that have been hanging around.. not quite worth sending off to be quilted, but too good to bin -they now form the basis of my practice bundle. A few friends have even offered to let me practice on some of their quilts (looking at you Amy!).

For now I am off to load a new quilt.. wish me luck!

With a bit of planning (and luck) I will venture back into making a few more regular posts!




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