27/04/2013: Almost May already! This year is going so fast!
02/04/2013: Happy Easter. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend.
01/01/2013: Happy New Year!!
24/12/2012: Merry Christmas!!
13/11/2012: Getting hand-made presents ready for Christmas!!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tricia's Discount Fabrics

Note: I've posted an update on 25th March 2012!

Home Cooking Fabric
Cooking Fabric (click to enlarge!!)

I took a drive to the other side of town today specifically to check out a highly recommended fabric store... and trust me when I say this is not a store you want to visit with an empty wallet!

Trisha's Discount Fabrics is a wall to wall quilters delight, which also caters for dancers and theatre groups. They have the most impressive range of cotton and flannel print sorted by colour for your convenience, and the store owner is absolutely lovely and helpful. Happily they are also moving to a bigger premises just after Christmas, so that will be well worth a look as well.

Their current location (until 26th Dec, 2009) is 23B Furness Ave, Edwardstown in South Australia which is just off South Road near Castle Plaza. The price range of most fabrics were between $12-20/m, but all were high quality quilters cottons including a great range of imported brands. They also had too many fat quarters to count all for $2.50 each.

Chocolate Fabric
Chocolate print (click to enlarge!!)

Their new location is just around the corner which should be open early January and I was told they plan on getting in even more gorgeous fabrics when they're settled into the new store near the end of January. If you are in South Australia you should definately check them out at 11-13 Price St, Melrose Park, South Australia.

Their trading hours are 9am-5pm Monday to Friday, 9am-3pm on Saturday and 11am-2pm on Sunday. Check out their gorgeous range of novelty prints. That is the section where I found the two beautiful examples that I just couldn't leave without.

The Chocolate print above is actually going to be used as the border of a skirt. The blue and green cooking pattern is probably going to turn into something quilted... I got the last of that bolt! I don't think the photos actually do them justice. They are such beautiful fabrics in person!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Swatch Book

Swatch Book
Swatch Book

On Thursday I was hunting around Spotlight for one more green fabric that would match my stash scraps for a super cheap project and I was stopped by a lovely lady. She had noticed me holding up my little swatch book to every green I could find and exclaimed "OH! That is such a great idea! Do you mind if I copy it?" We then had a chat about the frustration of matching fabrics.

After my first quilt I had a few small strips and off-cuts left over. The smallest I cut into 3" x 1" rectangle and put aside as a keepsake. The rest I either kept or turned into 3" squares depending on their sizes. Then I grabbed a beautiful journal which had been waiting for the perfect use as it was "too good to use" and had been a gift. Initially my idea was to turn it into a quilt journal with photos and swatches from each quilt, but I found myself taking the thing along to fabric stores and its purpose evolved.

So what I have started to do is every time I use a fabric, I keept a little piece and stick it into my book. Every piece is the same size so it is absolutely beautiful to have a look through the pages as well as a fantastic resource for the fabric store.

The only question in my head is whether I should have set it up by colour, or just stick them in as I get them. I think I will continue sticking them in as I get and use fabrics because of the way fabric trends change and if I write down dates perhaps it will be a great history of quilt fabric that I have used one day too.

As one lady thought it was such a great idea I thought I would share it here incase anyone else can use this too. I know I can never remember the exact tone I am looking for so I don't think I'll be without this when colour matching now.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hexagon Skirt

Moulin Rouge - skirt
Hexagon Patchwork

A blast from the past! I could consider this one of my first attempts at patchwork. It was back in 2004 when I was working on a replica costume from Moulin Rouge when I needed to create this piece for the skirt.

One thing I don't like is the techique of creating hexagons with the seam down the middle. It was surprisingly easy to join each hexagon together side by side. I began in the centre and worked each row outwards but choosing my colours for the entire row and then sewing and pressing.

Hexagons are surprisingly forgiving, and with experience of other designs I would say that you do not need to be as precise as you would with a square design as you do not notice as much if a seam is off by an 8th of an inch.

I would love to work some smaller hexagons just like the beautiful bag from Story Quilt which inspired the background of this blog.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Amazing Art from Story Quilt

Patchwork Bag by Story Quilt

Here is something I have been meaning to get around to sharing. It is no secret that the background to this blog is not from a piece that I stitched myself. It is derived from a hand sewn project by a very talented lady known to the internet as Story Quilt. I have been meaning to mention this for some time and I am happily reminded of her work every time I write in this blog. Please have a look at her amazing artwork. She was one of my main inspirations for wanting to try patchwork and quilting.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Binding Clips

Binding Clips

I remembered that I'd purchased "binding clips" which are basically large hair clips and thought I would try them out. They are a lot easier on the fingers and fabric than pinning the binding. This is one extra tool that I happily saw benefits from and will use again.

Basically after machine sewing one side of the binding. I folded over the edge and used the clip to hold it in place while I hand sewed it to the back.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Baby Boys Quilt

Quilt Front
Quilt Top

Quilt Back
Quilt Back

The owl quilt is finished! And not a moment too soon. Tomorrow it is going to a baby shower to be handed on to its new owner. It is simple square piecing on the front, with a improvised strip on the back and diagonally quilted.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Diagonal Quilting

Halfway Through Quilting

I just love these "in progress" photos, and it is also a great excuse to take a quick break from the machine. I am doing a simple diagonal quilt, which apparently isn't as easy as it looks. I am now eye-balling the lines which is accurate enough for my liking.

I started off with the blue painters tape as we had some in the shed left over from renovations and I have read it is a good way to aid sewing nice straight lines. However after laying it out and sticking on a couple of guide lines I was already tired of that method. To be honest I wasn't any more accurate with the tape either.

Have you quilted diagonally across squares like this? How did you obtain nice straight lines?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Cotton Sheeting

Boys Quilt back
Quilt Back

I created a strip out of all the little offcuts that I had left over after creating the front. I had quite few long strips, but nothing that was wide enough to make more squares, so I used some inspiration from Crazy Mom Quilts (Fancy Flea Market back) and created a patchwork of strips and bits.

After the strip was done I realised that the cream fabric I bought was going to be nowhere near enough to do the borders on my cat quilt as well as the backing for this. It is only 110cm wide so it was looking at being an expensive quilt back. I remembered Spotlight has wider fabric for quilt backs in nice colours so I thought I should be able to find something cheaper.

Cotton Sheeting comes in big rolls and is 250cm wide! My local Spotlight sells it for just under $10/m. I bought enough cream to do the back of this quilt and I think I now have enough cream to last a lifetime!

Last night I also ironed and laid everything out then pin basted the entire thing ready for quilting. The ironing was a real pain as the cotton sheeting was so creased. I used a spray bottle of water and a steam iron to try and get those creases out. I don't like using spray starch too much as I am concerned about sensitive skin with new products (mine and the baby who will get this quilt)