Just popping in to let you know that Sally Bally is in the process of setting up a new home! In the new little while I will put a redirect on here (fingers crossed) that will take you to the new home of SallyBally!
In 2012 I had a chat with a couple of my fellow quilty friends and we decided to run a small group swap to make ourselves a little rainbow fabric – we needed 12 people to make that happen. Using the power of Facebook I set up a group and set about finding 11 like minded people. Today our little group has close to 400 members and we have run a multitude of swaps with people all over the country.
Part of what makes our group fun and interesting is the swaps – but a bigger part is the interesting, quirky and funny people you meet and the chats and support you get and give. If you are interested you can find our group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/149803875155388/
The swapping and chatting led to organising a bit of a get together. One of out members knew of an old monastery that was available for hire and thus was born the Rainbow Fabric Retreat! We had the first retreat in 2013 … and recently we had our second retreat!
So what happens on retreat? Well we sew, we talk, we EAT (OMG the food was divine), we drink and repeat! If we are lucky we gt some projects finished… if not .. then we get a few days away in the bush where we can relax, chat and be merry.
These are the lovely ladies from RFR 2014
The Monastery is an old mud brick place with about 14 bedrooms – a huge kitchen, a lounge room and a room that we made into a sweat-shop! The following pictures will give you a bit of a feel for the place… the photos are complements of Christie-Leigh – She can take a great picture AND see be brave enough to stay on even after the bumps in the night! What more could a girl want?
The Sweat shop.
Our rooms overlooked the bush surrounds
There is a hobbit house on the hill
With watchful eyes of owls… and possums, koalas, kangaroos and many other less cuddly looking creatures!
This is where our resident master chef Sarah worked her magic!
The halls to our rooms
And a shared bathroom.
It is such a nice thing to do .. it can be a bit daunting meeting new people and staying with them in the bush… but hell… we are quilters.. how bad can it be?!?
This trip our furthest visitor came from Adelaide.. Jenny was a delight to meet. She was always so smiley and happy I had to nick name her chuckles.. which I did not mean as the scary clown – rather as the lovely happy person she was. Fingers crossed she can come back to our next retreat.
Sue was our second distance traveler flying in from Melbourne. After seeing people so long online it was nice to meet them in the flesh.
I think I will leave it here. If the retreat attendees want to fill you in on any part of their adventure I invite them to leave their story in the comments section.
How to join your binding by machine to both sides of your quilt!
So now that you have made a nice long strip of fabric that is now pressed in half – and long enough to go all the way around your quilt plus some we can start to add the binding. again this is a picture heavy post – 🙂
My binding strip will look like this
I am going to start by attaching the binding strip to the BACK of my quilt. I am going to start joining my binging strip to the MIDDLE if one side of the quilt.
Leaving a 12″ tail (or there abouts) NOTE: this is a very small square that I am attaching binding to so go with the words – the pictures are as an example
Line your binding up with the edge of your quilt. I pin the binding on as I go – it makes the sewing part go nice and quick!
Now when I get to the corner I take binding all the way to the right … then I flip the fabric UP –
Making sure that a 45 degree angle is created – see the picture below
Then making sure that I keep the corner in place I flip the fabric down to line up with the next edge of the fabric.
This fabric flap will be created. This is what will make the mitered corner on the flip side.
Again, use your pins to make sure that your fabric stays in place. Keep the flap laying flat at this stage.
you do this for all four corners till they are all pinned. then you have two long ‘tag’ ends that we will join – in the same angle join that we did for the strips – once we have sewn the binding thus far.
Move your needle point to a right position to reduce the seam.
We start about 1/4 inch from the top edge. Note: I use my walking foot on both sides for my binding.
As you come to the end DON”T stitch down the corner flap. Flip the flap up and stop stitching about 1/4″ from the end.
Lay the flap back down to start the next side – again starting 1/4″ in.
Do this for each corner.
Now it is time to join the flaps.
Trim ONE end of the fabric – using the bit you have trimmed off – lay it on the other tail – you need to have an overlap the WIDTH of your binding. (I used the selvedge to show you in the image below)
without twisting your fabric – Open the fabric from the LEFT side and lay it right side up – with the fabric OPEN.
Then OPEN the fabric from the right – lay it right side DOWN at a 90 degree angle to the first strip – just as you did in joining your strips. This can be a little fiddly but it is VERY worth it. Pin these two together. You then stitch from the top left to the bottom right where the fabrics cross. You trim the corner off and press the seams open.
then fold back in half – and stitch.
Once stitched press the fabric away from the back
flip it all over
and press and pin
adjust your needle position to the far LEFT
Leave your needle down at the corners – lift your foot and pivot.
By moving your needle and sewing as accurately as you can – you will end up with a stitching line on the front close to the edge and it will be stitched onto the backing fabric not on the binding.
Sorry this post was so long and picture heavy – but maybe one day it will help a beginner out!
Yesterday I finished my first quilt that was made by someone else. It was also the FIRST quilt this person had ever made. No pressure… just don’t F%&* it up!
So fair is fair – the thought above is entirely mine. I know my friend Wendy would have been very understanding if I managed to completely destroyed her quilt…a bit shirty perhaps… but I am sure we would have stayed friends.
The quilt was a simple squares design made up of a great variety of colourful fabrics. An eclectic blend – and really quite pretty. Wendy is a free spirit kind of gal. Very kind and friendly and super sweet. As always I mounted the quilt on the frame and began contemplating the type of quilting that I would do.
It is autumn here at the moment and my quilt table looks out onto an ornamental pistachio tree that is currently doing the most amazing colour change … and dropping leaves is an extremely beautiful leafy kind of dance.
Inspiration – Check √
A bit of a drawing about how…
And as usual my drawing skills leave a bit to be desired… now onto the quilt
And thus it went with twirly leaves on the quilt as I watched leaves do their twisty twirly dance from the tree in my front yard.
Now I am not sure how the rest of you roll… but I am a machine binder. I sew on the back first then flip to the front and machine that down as well. I thought I would pop in a couple of pictures of that as well… perhaps another day I can do a post on how I do mine (I am sure it is no different from what others round the world do – but no harm in a repeat. I actually quite enjoy binding. Whilst not technically part of the quilting process for me – I know my friend Wendy was keen to have her quilt, and with the minus degrees due in a cold from this weekend I thought it would be nice to get it to her as soon as I could.. so I bound the quilt for her.
This is me attaching the binding to the front.
A needle down foot up pivot for the corner (I do all my binding with a walking foot).
This is the line it makes on the BACK of the quilt (note this picture was taken after I had washed the quilt and put it through a hot tumble dry – hence is a bit puffy and wrinkled)
And this is how it looks on the front (again post dryer)
This one is just to show the different fabrics that were used for the binding. And last but not least the quilt all folded waiting for Wendy to arrive!
I think Wendy was pretty happy with the whole experience. I am also pretty sure she is ready to start on her next quilting adventure.
My next project is to make 16 mug rugs – all different – for my mum who is hosting a mothers day morning tea for her garden group ladies. I had best get off the computer and back to stitching!
Thanks for reading.
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 ♥
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!
Well it has been a good while since I have posted anything – and have decided it is time to get back to it. So as a quick fill in I am just going to post pictures of a few random things I have been working on/doing.
My plan is to keep adding pictures of the things I have been up to… making clothes, knitting, gardening and of course quilting.
At the moment I am planning my first quilting class that I will be teaching and designing my first unique quilt! Stay tuned!