Wednesday, 20 February 2013

A Burst of Colour - A Work in Progress

Before I broke my wrist, I had signed up for a Liberated Radial Piecing class with Elaine Quehl. I love her Solstice and couldn't wait to learn how she did it. I had no idea how I was going to participate on Saturday with my wrist, but I figured I could still learn something and have a good time.

I was pleasantly surprised at how much I could do because the techniques were very free-form. I can't apply enough pressure to cut anything accurately right now so this couldn't have been more perfect.

I chose to use solids because that was my best stash of the colours I wanted to pay with, although this technique also looks stunning with handdyes and batiks.

First half of outer circle
First half of inner circle
Ready to be assembled
Loving it so far!

Thanks for a fabulous class, Elaine! Here are some examples of my classmates' work. Isn't it cool to see it with different fabrics?

Right Click to Save ImageWIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

You Are The Best!

The pity party's over. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement and support. You have no idea how much they cheered me up!

I went to see the ortho on Thursday and the news is very good. It's a small distal radius fracture -- no resetting or surgery needed. Just a new cast, which freed up my thumb and fingers so I can move them freely. No ringette -- boo! -- but I can quilt a little -- yay! I don't think the doctor meant quilting quite as much as I have been since Saturday though...LOL! Freeing up my fingers and thumb means I can type easier too, which means I can start blogging again too. Woo hoo!

First order of business is to announce the winner of the My Memories digital scrapbooking software!

 22. JanaramaFebruary 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM
The Peace Out pack is groovy man.
Congrats, Janarama! I'll be sending you an email shortly. Thank you to My Memories for sponsoring this giveaway!

The other bit of news is that my 10 Years And Still Over The Rainbow and some of my Colour Your World pieces were featured at Quilt Inspiration. I'm so honoured that they featured me and am touched at the kind words!

While staying cozy on the couch, I've been taking advantage of my down time by watching a Craftsy class. Whoa! I'm totally hooked! If my Internet supplier and Craftsy would just give me unlimited Internet and classes, you might never see me again. I learned how to dye cloth with Jane Dunnewold. Now I'm taking a colour class with Joen Wolfrom. So cool! Alas, I used up almost all of our bandwidth for the month in two days so we needed to pause until today. Whoops!

So then I decided to play with Electric Quilt -- yes, I suck at resting, but I did take plenty of naps.  I'll give EQ this much, it's very one hand friendly. Um, that didn't come out quite right. ;) I doubt I'll ever make these quilt designs, but it was fun to play with the program this way.
Red and Yellow Crayons
Flying Geese Modern
Teal Chevron
Hope you are having a great Tuesday!

Thursday, 7 February 2013

One Handed Typing...

sucks! :( I broke my wrist yesterday, falling on the ice outside. Thankfully, it was my right wrist and I'm left-handed, but it still means no quilting. I'm really hoping that it will heal quickly and I'll be back quilting and blogging soon. :)

I was midway through this too...

If you missed the My Memories Giveaway post, you have until 8 p.m. EST tonight to enter!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Trapunto Tutorial - Something New Sampler

Today is my day for sharing a new technique for the Something New Sampler with Amy @ The Cute Life. If you're here for the first time, welcome! For everyone else, welcome back!

My block in the sampler features trapunto. Trapunto, which comes from the italian term "to embroider", is a stuffed quilting technique that gives great texture to quilts.

This trapunto technique used to intimidate me -- mostly because I'd see in in fabulous heirloom quilts and think that there's no way I could do that. Having done it a couple of times now, I can safely say that there is nothing to be afraid of and I'm going to show you how to do it so you can say the same.

Please read all the instructions of the tutorial before beginning.

Fabric for block
1 - 3.5" x 16" background colour (I chose white)
1 - 5.5" x 16" background colour (white)
Scraps of 1.5" wide fabric to create a 1.5" by 16" strip
Water soluble thread (I use YLI Wash-A-Way Water Soluble Thread)
Water soluble pen (I use Unique)
2 pieces of 4" x 13" batting
Batting and backing for your block/quilt


1. Sew your scrap centre strip together until it reaches 1.5" by 16" and lay out your block pieces as shown in the photo, with the 3.5" x 16" background piece on the left and the 5.5" x 16" background piece on the right of the coloured strip.

Block layout

2. Sew your block together and make sure the bottom is square to your coloured stripe.

3. We are now going to mark the squares for the trapunto. You can do a design of your choice -- just make sure that the motif is a closed one. For the purposes of this tutorial, I did three square frames. To make the square frames, place your ruler 1/2" to the left of your coloured stripe and, measuring from the bottom of the block, mark from 3" to 5",  7" to 9" and 11" to 13" with your water soluble marker.

4. Placing your ruler 1" to the left of your coloured stripe and measuring from the bottom, mark from 2.5" to 5.5", 6.5" to 9.5" and 10.5" to 13.5" using your water soluble marker.

5. Repeat the same markings for the right side of the coloured stripe.

So your block now looks like this.

6. Connect your lines so you are making three square frames.

7. Now you are ready to do the trapunto. Layer your two 4" by 13" pieces of batting behind the squares (no backing yet) and baste.  

8. With the water soluble thread as your top thread and regular thread in the bottom, sew along your marked lines. NB: Using water soluble thread gives a cleaner final product, but if you don't mind thread build up and can sew well on top of another thread, you can use regular thread, if you like. 

Water soluble thread on the top
Regular thread (white/off-white on the back to blend in with the batting)

9. Once you've sewed all the squares, carefully trim away the excess batting from around the squares. I remove one layer of batting at a time. It is easy to nick the front of your block, so take your time with this step.

10. Next, carefully pull the centre batting away from the block top and cut away the batting from the centre of the squares, leaving a frame.

At this point, you could trim up your block to 7.5" by 14.5" and attach it to your remaining sampler blocks. However, this is not the end of the trapunto process.

I've finished the block to show you how to finish the trapunto. Because I've finished my block, I'll be doing my sampler quilt as quilt-as-you-go instead, which is an option for you as well, but it means you need to quilt all of your sampler blocks before attaching them.

11. If you are doing quilt-as-you-go, layer the top of your untrimmed block on your batting and backing and baste. The quilting will shrink the block so you want to wait until you have finished the trapunto process before trimming. If you've sewed your trimmed block into your quilt top, layer your quilt top on your batting/backing and baste.

12. Using the quilting thread of your choice (not the water soluble!), sew over the water soluble thread to secure the extra batting between your block top and batting/backing.

13. The trapunto looks best if the quilting around it is quite tight or dense. Quilt the rest of your block/quilt as you wish. Here are some options I sketched out using trial quilting sheets

My quilted block, using Aurifil 2021 (40wt):
Quilted Block - Back

14. Once your block/quilt is quilted, it's time to removed the water soluble thread and marker. Soak in water and lay flat to dry on a towel.

15. When your block/quilt is dry, trim or square it up to 7.5" by 14.5". Voilà -- you've made a trapunto block! Not so scary, eh?
Finished trapunto block
Detail of the trapunto
If you have decided to do this as a quilt-as-you-go quilt, you can follow my tutorial or Leah Day's tutorial to attach it to the other quilted blocks of your quilt. If you are working with a full quilt at this point, then just bind as usual.

If you have any questions about this tutorial, you can post them here or in the Flickr discussion thread.
Don't forget to post a photo of your block to the Flickr group so we can see what you've done. Also, be sure to check out Heidi @ Fabric Mutt's block this week too -- she's showing you how to do cathedral windows!

something new sampler header

Saturday, 2 February 2013

My Memories Giveaway

I have a giveaway for you today! Nice way to kick off the weekend, eh? The nice folks at My Memories asked me to review and give away a copy of their software. Sure! I've seen it on a few other bloggers' sites and was curious to try it.

Using this software, you can create digital scrapbooks, photobooks, cards, calendars and gifts without having to buy expensive and complicated software programs. Thumbs up! My Memories Suite is also rated #1 by Amazon and TopTen Reviews.

I used to do scrapbooking by hand until I discovered photo books with Shutterfly. Since then my scrapbooking materials have largely made their way into the kids craft space. LOL! The online photo books programs have their limits though.

I was curious what a scrapbooking software program could do and whether it could do more of the stuff I like to do with my blog, like buttons, headers, etc. The first thing I tried was my Scrap Bin Mission button above. It was easy and straightforward to create and insert the picture. Thumbs up! I couldn't figure out how to change the size small enough for my blog though so I finally exported it and cut it to size in Gimp. I can't fault the software for this though, as I'm still a newbie at it.

Next up, I thought I'd try some scrapbook page layouts. I don't share many photos of my kids online for privacy reasons, so I put in some pictures of my quilts for this review. There are a lot of great page designs that could be used for photos with the kids though.

I had fun making these pages...great layout designs, eh? There are plenty of really nice free ones included in the software, but you can also buy supplemental designs. A funky Frank Lloyd Wright-ish/Mondrian-ish design, available in four palettes...

An Accounts-style page -- couldn't you just imagine photos of quilts made with Architextures on this page?

You can add text and embellishments, change colours, add photos to the layouts -- and I'm sure I barely scratched the surface. 

Before I started my blog, I used to keep a journal of my quilts with information about the size, materials, techniques, etc. I could definitely see using this software for this too -- and it would be much prettier than my printer paper! 

If you'd like to win a copy of this software, you have up to three chances:
1) Leave a comment on this post. If you are a no-reply blogger, please leave your email address!
2) Visit, choose your favorite digital paper pack or layout, and then leave a comment here letting me know which one it is.
3) Followers get a third chance -- just leave me another comment. 

You have until Thursday, February 7th at 8 p.m. EST to enter. I'll pick a winner via Ms. Random Number Generator Thursday night and announce the winner next Friday. Good luck! 

If you’d like to learn more about My Memories, you can also visit their blog, Facebook and Twitter feeds. 
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