Archive for the ‘Quilting’ Category

I’m trying something new. I’m taking photos during the week and then writing all my blog posts on the weekend when I have a little more time and scheduling them to post. I’m aiming for shorter more frequent updates rather than a massive occasional post.

Work continues on the hexagon quilt. The latest block.


Sewn into a row ready to be added to the bottom of the quilt top.


I went to prep some more blocks a few days ago and discovered that I’m out of two of the paper piecing shapes I use most. I will need to get this row sewn on and then spend some time removing paper from the back of the previous row for reuse.

There should be quilt top photos coming soon.


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When we were making our way to Papua New Guinea for the first time six years ago we called in to see my good friend Lisa and her family. We hadn’t seen them for a long time as we our families had been living in different states and then Gorgeous Man and I had moved to South Africa.

Lisa, through no fault of her own, had ended up with a lot of Very Hungry Caterpillar fabic and during that visit she cut me some pieces to take with me. I had a panel that I had bought in South Africa, but not the coordinates. About a year later I saw (for the first and last time) quilting quality fabric for sale in one of the stores here in Papua New Guinea and several metres of the white came home with me and I started cutting and sewing.

I’m a slow quilter and it’s taken me a few years, but it’s finally finished. Behold in all it’s glory.


The quilting was done by Quilting by Fiona. This is the second quilt she has done for me and did not disappoint. If you are in Australia I don’t hesitate to recommend her for quilting, she’s great to work with, reasonably priced and does an excellent job. I’ve dealt with her via mail and in person and both times went without a hitch.

You can see her lovely work. We selected a pantograph that had a mix of stippling and butterflies to match the theme of the quilt.

I’m so happy with how this turned out. I have another centre panel and some left-overs, so a small baby quilt may appear at some point in the future. Huge thank you to Lisa for her contribution (and her husband for buying the extra fabric that she found herself with)!

One final show and tell.


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It’s been a while since I’ve talked about the hexagon quilt. So I thought I might start sharing the blocks as I put them together rather than an update every few months when I add a row. I’ve been working on these on plane trips and trying to put in a few stitches one night a week. This is a long-term slow project.

Here are the latest blocks.


I’ve found the fabric on the left really hard to use. It came as part of the kit when I bought the templates, papers and fabric for this quilt. I found the orange spots in a fabric store in Cairns, Queensland and I think they work really well together, so I’m happy about this one.


I love this one. I fussy cut the centre. Not quite perfect, but effective.


The hexagon and the triangle fabric were part of the kit for this quilt. The diamond fabric is one I picked up when I was lucky enough to win a gift certificate to Little Crafty Shop on Red Pepper Quilts blog.

I’m really enjoying putting this quilt together. I hope you enjoyed a peek at my progress.

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I’ve been working on this quilt for a while. I think it’s nearly done. I want add one more white border around, but I’m avoiding the maths I need to do in order to work out if I have enough fabric to do that.


I have a break from teaching coming up (mid-semester break) so perhaps I’ll have the energy to try it one evening after work (I still have to be in the office although there are no teaching classes).

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I’m back from a whirlwind trip to the USA. A few days digging in some archives and then a conference presentation. It was a profitable trip. Once I get over the jetlag I’ve got some finishes and some works in progress to show you, but in the meantime, let’s talk about the Hand-pieced hexagon quilt.

It’s been a while since I posted about my hand-pieced hexagon quilt. This is a project in very slow progress. Recently I spread it out onto the bed to see how much more I had to do.


This is a queen sized bed. I’m thinking two or probably three more rows on either side to give it room to hang over the edge of the bed. There are a lot more rows to get to the right length.


I love the riot of colour in this.


Some of my favourite blocks. I’m getting better at fussy cutting the fabrics. I didn’t really have much clue when I started but Karen’s posts on her Faeries and Fibers blog are very educational and inspirational. Even if you don’t English paper piece you should head over there for the eye candy alone.

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The hexagon quilt has been sadly neglected this year. A few days ago I pulled it out and inspired by Faeries and Fibres decided to try a new (to me) way of adding the hexagons. You see I’ve been adding each hexagon individually and it’s been very slow. However, sewing a strip of hexagons and then adding that strip has significantly speeded up the process.

I now have a square top.

hexagon squared 1

This is going to be a queen-sized top, so there’s a long way to go.

hexagon squared 2

But I’m pleased with how it is coming together. It’s a riot of colour.

Gorgeous Man asked if I would be doing another one and I replied that I would. But I would use only one pattern for the quilt next time. Perhaps it’s my sewing, but each of the patterns make a slightly different sized hexagon which makes challenges putting them together.

I’m now putting this together so quickly that I need to prep some more pieced hexagons to add.

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On Sunday Gorgeous Girl wanted to do all the crafts. We started off by putting some dye in the dye pots. She then went and played outside while they simmered away.

We were pretty pleased with the result. All dyeing was done with food colouring.

dyed yarn group

The pink was done by pouring cochineal on one side of the pot and rose pink on the other. The red and yellow yarn was dyed in the cake. We squirted yellow into the centre of the cake and then filled the pot with water and red food colouring. The green was an attempt to do the same thing with yellow and blue, but some of the yellow spilled and we got this lovely green instead. The tiny bit of green and white was thrown in with the green as a ball of yarn to absorb some of the excess dye in the pot.

After that I got ready to cut more fabric so I could keep working on my quilt, but Gorgeous Girl asked if she could sew instead. We decided to call this top finished.

quilt top 2

Pieced and designed by Gorgeous Girl. My job is to piece together a batting and baste it together with a backing so that she can quilt it. I’m not sure how she’ll go. I’m going to put the walking foot on the machine and let her do the straight line quilting that is very trendy at the moment. I figure if I don’t tell her it’s supposed to be hard she won’t be intimidated. After I took this picture Gorgeous Girl borrowed my camera and did this:

quilt top

Craft blogger in the making? It was then time to start a new quilt top. Gorgeous Girl diligently ironed the fabric so that I could cut it for her (I’m not about to let a 6 year old loose with my rotary cutter).


She then gave me very strict instructions about what length and width to cut. It will be interesting to see where her design goes. Hopefully it won’t be another three months before the urge to sew grabs her.

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It’s been a while since I shared a photo of the hexagon quilt in progress. I’ve been working on this since March 2012. Since I’m making it queen-sized I’ve still got a way to go.


hexagon August 2

It’s now wider than a small single bed mattress, but not as long yet. I started piecing this by adding rings to a central hexagon. Now I’m working on squaring it up so that I can add rows to make it fit our bed. (Not that we need a quilt here in PNG, but I’m planning for the ‘one day’ when we live somewhere a bit cooler).

Here’s how much it’s grown since the last time I took a picture of it.heagon quilt

I love the riot of colours going on in this.

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It’s a long weekend here in Papua New Guinea and Gorgeous Girl also had the Friday off school as well (she gets a 4 day weekend). So we did a little more yarn dyeing together.

She asked for some blue and pink yarn for a hat. 3 packets of Kool Aid later.

pink and blue stripe yarn

While that was on the stove I took some handspun alpaca and popped it into a pot with some cherry kool aid. The original yarn was a dirty cream and I was never going to use it the way it was. I’m happy with how it turned out.

overdye alpaca

There are very subtle colour variations in the yarn.

overdye alpaca 2

I’ve also done some scrapbooking. I did look at the usual scrapbooking challenges that I follow, but none of them really appealed this month. A lot are too prescriptive when you don’t live near a scrapbooking store. I don’t have 50 co-ordinating embellishments or the right combination of papers to follow a colour challenge.  🙂

So a simple page of photos that have been waiting far too long to be put into the album.

feeding scrappage

Those brilliant blue eyes are now a hazel/green…

Yesterday I had the urge to sew. I laid out my current leaders and enders project on the design wall bed

leaders and enders

and pulled out my current piecing project. To my horror my sewing machine would not sew. All it did was pull long loops of thread to the back of the work. I did all the trouble shooting I could think of, I cleaned the bobbin case, changed the needle, rethreaded everything, but to no avail.

My machine is computerised, so there is no way to manually adjust the tension. I started researching sewing machine repair stores in the town in Australia where we will spend our winter holiday. I consulted the hive mind on facebook. One of my friends suggested that perhaps the heat and humidity were causing the machine to act up. It was an exceptionally hot day, even for here. So I stepped away from the machine for a few hours.

By late afternoon the temperature had dropped (slightly) and it was certainly less humid. In great fear and trepidation I turned on the machine and it sewed perfectly…

I managed to add another border to the Very Hungry Caterpillar quilt as well as piece a few blocks of the leaders and ender quilt together.

VHC 2 border

Next I’m going to add the pieced border to either end of the quilt and then I’ll add another pieced border on either side to make it wider. I’m really happy with how this is coming along.





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It’s been a bit of a busy time lately. I did manage to start putting a quilt top together.


This is my leader and enders project there’s all sorts of fabric and fabric scraps in this. A lot of this is from a scrap bag of fabric I was given (literally scraps) and vintage quilting fabric from a retiring quilter’s stash.

I made some cards recently. This one is going to a lovely couple who are expecting their first child very soon.

baby card

Colour is a bit washed out in the picture. Huge thanks to my friend Kerin for the circles punched from her stash/scraps.

This one is for a birthday boy/teen.

birthday card

This one is for Mother’s Day.

mother's day card

Finally, the orchids are flowering. Gorgeous Girl took this picture.

orchid 2

I love these curly orchids.

orchid 4

This orchid smells fantastic in the morning.

orchid 3

We are heading off next week. We’ll be dropping Gorgeous Girl in Australia to spend time with family while Gorgeous Man and I head to some conferences in Germany and Poland. I’ve started washing the cooler weather clothes and sorting out craft projects to take while I’m on the plane, and have some down time.

I’m hoping to have internet while we are away, but not sure how much spare time we’ll have. Expect me to inflict lots of photos on you on my return…

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