Friday, October 24, 2014

Assembling your quilt - Shabby Roses Churn Dash!

Last week the final block in the Shabby Roses Churn Dash quilt was released, and this week I'm sharing the assembly instructions for bringing all twelve blocks into a quilt setting.

If you're visiting here for the first time you can still make this quilt!
All the information was shared in THIS blog post three months ago with a simple step by step tutorial for sewing the churn dash blocks.
There were 12 small Shabby Roses stitcheries that sit in the centre square of the churn dash blocks, and the patterns for each of them can be found HERE, but you could also omit the stitcheries and use the pattern for a regular pieced quilt. It's your choice...

To bring the 12 shabby roses churn dash blocks together in this quilt you will need:

Coral Tonal fabric -
* 7" x WOF (width of fabric: usually 42 - 43 inches after the selvedge has been removed)

Green Tonal fabric -
* 11" x WOF

Floral fabric -
12" x WOF

Cotton Quilt Wadding (Batting) -
34" x 42"

Backing fabric -
34" x 42"

From the Coral tonal fabric, cross-cut -
* Nine, 1.5" x 7.5" lengths
* Two, 1.5" x 31.5" lengths

Lay out your twelve blocks in four rows of three.
 Sew a 1.5" x 7.5" length of Coral tonal fabric along the bottom edge of the top nine blocks.
Sew together 3 vertical rows of 4 blocks each, the blocks without the Coral fabric trim will be at the bottom.
Join the 3 vertical rows together with the 1.5" x 31.5" lengths of Coral fabric.

From the Floral fabric, cross-cut -
* Two, 3" x 31.5" lengths
* Two, 2.5" x 28.5" lengths

Sew the 3" x 31.5" lengths down both sides of quilt, and the 2.5" x 28.5" lengths across the top and bottom.

Sandwich your quilt top with the wadding and backing fabric.
Quilt to your preference.
I have a tutorial HERE for an easy method of hand quilting circles around the centre stitcheries...

Make your quilt binding by cutting four, 2 1/2" x WOF lengths from the Green tonal fabric.
Attach the binding around the edge of the quilt, trim the excess wadding and backing, turn the binding to the back of the quilt and slip stitch in place.
If you have not made binding before I have a simple tutorial HERE.
All done!

I hope you enjoyed stitching these blocks. They are still available HERE as single $2 block purchases until November 7th. After that the blocks will become a complete 12-block set.

How would you like to see my friend Heather's finished version?
Heather decided to add extra churn dash blocks to the project and now has a large table runner.
It's gorgeous!

I'd love to see your photos too, so please email them to me and I can share your finished blocks or quilt on the blog.
My email address is HERE on my contact page.

I think today's blog post is long enough so I'll hold over sharing more of our mini-holiday photos until tomorrow. In the meantime, smile a lot and remember how very special you are!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

Afternoon/morning in Cairns...

As I shared yesterday, Mr E and I have just spent a few days north in Cairns. 
We arrived on Monday and left on Wednesday. but it was incredibly good to get away for a little while. When you work from home as we both do it can be hard to stop and step away, so neither of us took our laptops and apart from a few Instagrams and Facebook photos we were 'unhooked from the net'. It was fantastic!

God truly blessed us because when we arrived at out motel they had upgraded us to the top floor with views over the Marina and a much larger room that we'd planned on....
Mr E chilled out on the couch while I acquainted myself with the rooms...
 I love the little motel touches of fresh rolled towels, all in white...
...and lemongrass soaps that filled the bathroom with their fragrance.
 After unpacking we headed out for some dinner at our favourite Asian street cafe. Whenever we are visiting Cairns we always have a meal there - this time is was Korean Bulgogi...
After a walk along the Marina we were pretty tuckered out, but before sleep I took some night photos from the balcony...
 I noticed the sky filling with clouds and within twenty minutes the rain came down and we drifted off to sleep to raindrop melodies...
Next morning I woke before dawn and prepared breakfast to have on the balcony while the sun rose...

...and boy, was it worth it.
The sky was still overcast with more rain on the way, but these photos were gorgeous as the sun pushed it's way through to say 'good morning'...
Breakfast over and ready for the day ahead, we stopped by Gloria Jeans for coffee and headed 300 kilometres further north to Cooktown - but that will have to wait until tomorrow's blog post. 


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

I've been on a holiday...

It was just a 3 day holiday, but a holiday none the less!

This is day 3 and when you read this blog post Mr E and I shall be packing up to come home again - the long way, of course. 
After all, we have cameras and a tropical paradise all around us. Bliss.

We've spent a lot of time on the road these last two days, but I've still managed to carry on stitching a new design at night in the motel after lovely cool evening walks by the Marina...

Enjoy your day, everyone!
I'm fairly sure I'll enjoy mine too,

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Am I bird-brained?

This last couple of months I've had a veritable smorgasbord of birds visiting our palm trees or resting in their shade atop the front fence, many arriving just before dawn for a date with my camera. I wonder if they are telling their friends?

Here's a few recent avian friends who dropped by to say hello!

Torresion Imperial Pigeon...
Long Tailed Cuckoo (also known as the Common Koel)...
Metallic Starling...
Rainbow Lorikeets...
It's no wonder I draw so many birds in my designs - they are always at my door, inspiring me with their beauty!

If you like stitching pretty birds there's a number of designs available in my shop as instant pdf patterns.
"Sparrow" is a free design you can download, and the others are in the shop ready to purchase...


...and don't forget the 26 pattern set of the Rosedaisy Alphabet...

...or for a larger project, my "Under The Apple Tree" quilt!

Now, what do you think I'm stitching at the moment???
Birds, did you say 'birds'??

ha ha....well, yeh, of course...


Monday, October 20, 2014

TUTORIAL - Rosedaisy project number 5

This month's Rosedaisy Designs stitchery to feature in a tutorial is 
"Love Your Life"...

I really, really, love this design - it was a joy to create and stitch, but as I only had a very small amount of that sweet Tanya Whelan fabric to use, the project to display "Love Your Life" had to be small.
So I gave it some thought and decided no matter how small the finished project was going to be, it could still look fantastic if I used a couple of techniques that allowed both the sitchery and the fabric to shine!

So this is what I made...

 For those who would like to use the same "Love Your Life" stitchery design as I have in this wall hanging it's HERE as a single pattern in my shop, or included in the full 'Rosedaisy Designs' set of ten stitcheries HERE.

Let's begin!

Trim the "Love Your Life" block to 6" x 8½".
(alternatively, use a stitchery block you already have)

Cut two pieces of favourite fabric, 4½" x 8½"....

I only had a 10" wide piece of this floral fabric, but was able to fussy cut from one 4½" wide length the two pieces of border fabric I needed. By fussy cutting I balanced the design on both sides of the stitchery. See how the rose posy is in the middle?

I measured out 2¼" each way from the centre of a posy before cutting my 4½" wide pieces.
I also measured equal distances between the top and bottom edges of the posy...

Machine sew the two lengths of border fabric down the left and right side of the embroidery block. Press the seams open...

Make a quilt sandwich by basting some scrap wadding (batting) behind the block, then the backing fabric behind the wadding. I use spray baste, but you may like to use safety pins through all layers.
I cut my wadding and backing fabric about 1 or 2 inches larger than the quilt top.
You may prefer to use fusible Pellon but I have a fair amount of small cotton quilt wadding offcuts and hand quilting them is so easy that I tend to use them...

Now to the hand quilting. I wanted something that stood out!
Last year I purchased a set of round quilting rulers from Lori Holt and just *love* them.
The smallest has a 2½" diameter and was perfect for a mini quilt like this...

You can use THIS method for tracing shapes which I shared in a recent tutorial for quilting larger circles, but as my fingers have some issues with small fiddly things (result of a botched finger operation in 2010) I chose to trace them this time.
I tested a Collins Air Erase fabric marker (here) on some scrap fabric and it washed out immediately, so I proceeded to draw random purple circles across the top of the wall hanging...

The directions for this pen told me that it could be washed out, or leave it and the lines would disappear on their own within 48 hours. 
I hand quilted the circles with white Perle #12 thread, and put the project aside. The purple lines were gone in just 24 hours and the result was lovely...

Next step was to cut two 5" squares of fabric and fold them diagonally to make two triangles.
I cut two 2½" wide lengths of floral fabric from the small amount still remaining and made a length of quilt binding (I have a tutorial for making and attaching binding HERE).

After stitching the triangles to the top corners of the back of the small quilt, attach your binding around the front edge with a " seam and trim away the excess wadding and backing.
Turn the binding over to the back and slip stitch in place.
All done!

Use a pencil or thin piece of dowel to hang your completed mini quilt...

I also have a tutorial HERE to show more detail on making the corner hanging sleeves, but without adding binding afterwards. It's so easy and effective!

I'd love to see photos if you use this tutorial, so if you finish the project using quilted circles or the "Love Your Life" block please send them to me at my email address HERE.

Just in case you're wondering why I didn't use a Frixion pen to trace the circles...

I won't use them. Yes, they disappear with heat, but they do not disappear permanently. In fact, low temperatures will cause them to re-appear.
Another reason I won't use them anymore is because on some fabrics they actually leave a permanent 'light' line that never goes away, and I ruined a quilted bag using the Frixion pen. It was awful - no matter which way you looked at it you could see those lines. :-(
 Even the manufacturer does not promote using these pens on fabric because they were not designed for that purpose.

But ladies, it's YOUR choice. If you're happy using a Frixion pen, then bless you! 
I'm only sharing my thoughts because of some questions I received last week on Facebook and Instagram. :-)

Block 20 of the Lord's Prayer Quilt is HERE in the shop now as a free download.
We are so close to finishing this quilt! How many blocks have you stitched so far?
If you haven't seen this free Block of the Week before, you can learn all about it HERE.

Bless you heaps!