Saturday, 31 May 2014

Four sided Kaleidoscopes

Over the later part of this year I will running classes on four sided kaleidoscopes.

Buying fabric for this can be scary.  There is no right or wrong answer because at the end of the day - you have to love the fabric.  Fabric should have either a lot of colour interest and or interesting shapes. 
Here are some examples:
Border fabrics work well if there is a variety in the design.

This is pretty wild.  I'll post a picture of this quilt finished at a later date.
This fabric (from the Benedictus collection) has a lot of different shapes and colour
Using the picture above, I'll take you through my journey creating my four sided kaleidoscope.

Always buy the correct number of repeats.  For example - four sided kaleidoscope - four repeats, six sided kaleidoscope - six repeats etc.  I always buy either an additional repeat or 1/2 metre.  This extra fabric maybe included in borders or binding or I may sew into the backing as a reference. 
The fabric above has a very narrow repeat so I chose to purchase twice the quantity needed.  The smaller the repeat - the smaller the quilt so determine how big you want your quilt and buy the quantity of fabric accordingly.

Once you have determined your block size and sewn your blocks - next comes the laying out.  Its pretty exciting making each block as they become unique.  Its the final laying out that can be daunting.  The following photos were taking on my mobile so the quality isn't fantastic.  This quilt is a wall hanging so I was able to use a design wall to test my layouts.

Layout 1 - is ok - didn't give me the full wow factor I was looking for.

sorry - this one is pretty blurry - however you can see what's happening here.
I did like this - had a "Pacific" feel about it.
This layout was using my "random" method.  Stick each block up
and don't move it around.  I decided to insert thin black sashing strips between each block.
One of my friends suggested white. We seem so quick to use black enhance
our blocks.

This is "Benedictus Tiles" complete.

So where did I get the name Benedictus Tiles come from.  Recently I have started naming my quilts with some reference to the fabric or fabric designer.  After all, the designers have spent hours designing their fabric and I feel that by using their fabric name, is my way of acknowledging their cleverness.  Because without it I couldn't chop it up and create my own design.
This fabric is called Fuchsia Leaves from the Benedictus  collection of fabrics designed by Victoria and Albert museum.  I found it interesting that a museum has its own collections. 

So since my quilt is not square or a rectangle I have inserted a support rod so that when the quilt is hung by the hanging sleeve the sides will not curl.  In this case I had a piece of 2mm plastic cut as I didn't want to run the risk of wood bleeding marks into my quilt - especially since I have used so much white.
I made a casing and hand stitched it onto the back of my quilt

To give you and idea of size I have placed the plastic rod on top of my casing

The back of my quilt with the casing and rod inserted. 
I hope you have enjoyed reading through today's post.  Happy quilting.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Latest Japanese Meshwork Class

Check out these photos from yesterday's awesome class. 
Beautiful batiks.  We were surprised at how these two fabrics blended
so the coloured fabric in some places "was lost"
The red really makes these baby blocks stand out.

This photo doesn't do these blocks any justice.  Three distinct sides
to these baby blocks.

Checker board grid.  Bottom left - notice the light coloured strip sloping upwards?
I call this the smiley effect.  It is natural to push your strips upwards
to be butted against the strip above.  Always make sure they are straight to
prevent crooked lines.  There is meant to be a slight gap between strips.

This block is beautiful and elegant.  Unfortunately my photo doesn't do
this block justice. 

These blocks arrived to class in a "dream" box of batiks.
The hardest decision was which ones to use.

Everyone had the correct tools which made this class a "dream" to teach.

Continuing from an earlier post - Clover Soft Touch Thread Pic.  Finally got to use my new gadget.
  I have pulled a rouge thread through to the front of my quilt
ready to be plucked with my tweezers.

I bought this gadget in 1998.  Its used for closing safety pins
when basting your quilts.  I haven't seen these for sale
for quite a while however on of my "newbies" had
great success using a number 5 crotchet hook (10 ply)

Its freezing here at the moment.  I have had a request to make a draft stopper for our office.
Chat soon. 

Monday, 19 May 2014

Students email me their quilts

I think its really neat that students feel comfortable to show me their quilts.  If they can't bring them into the shop to show me, they email me photos.  With their permission I can show you their quilts.

Kiwiana quilts:
Kiwiana quilt for an American friend who had spent a year in NZ

Kiwiana quilt for her Dad in Scotland
The back - a great way to use up leftover
blocks and fabric.

Baby Quilts:

Same design with different fabrics


These two ladies have caught the quilting bug big time.  I do think a little more quilting is required in these quilts.  Remember the rule - no wider that four fingers apart.

happy quilting.

Sunday, 11 May 2014

French knitting

Yarn is Grignasco Strong print - 2ply
I have been having a bit of fun with French knitting.  Here are my first pieces.

Wendys Merino 4ply cowl

Awesome tool to quicken the French knitting process taking 1 hour and 10 minutes for this ball of wool
Felted brooch given to me from a friend holds my cowl together and adds interest.

I have used flower beads to help secure knitting tubes.

I didn't take into consideration my cowl reducing in size as I sewed the tubes together.  So if you are trying this method then add at least 2 inches (5 cm) when laying out.

19th May - I completed this item yesterday.  Montana yarn.  We have these French knitting makers in stock at Wellington Sewing Services.
I have remodelled my French knitted necklace into the above style today just for a change.
(16th August 2014). Sorry blog wont allow me to turn my photograph - but you get the idea.
Happy mothers day fellow crafters.

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Four Sided Kaleidoscopes

Last Saturday I held my first Four Sided Kaleidoscope Class for the year.  My camera skills weren't up to standard so I'm sorry about the quality of these pictures.

The beginnings of a new design


I look forward to seeing these quilts completed. 
Now one of these wonderful ladies emailed me a picture of her completed 6 sided kaleidoscope from one of my classes last year.  Sorry Mary, I couldn't get BlogSpot to  display your picture in the right direction.
Marys original fabric