Round Robin

About 3 years ago the Thursday quilt group decided they need to make me a “Round Robin” quilt.

First, a general description of a traditional “round robin” quilts for those who may not have heard of them. It’s a quilt that is made by a group of quilters and it’s a variation of doing friendship blocks. To start, everyone makes a block for the centre. There can be all kinds of rules for size, colour, theme, etc. The blocks are passed to someone else in the group. They add the first border. Then the next quilter adds the second. This usually continues until each member in the group has added a border. The quilter who made the centre block then gets the quilt top back to keep and finish. The basic lay out of the quilt is a “medallion”.

My Round robin had 7 makers including myself, made up as follows the centre was – 14½”, 1st – 2”, 2nd – 3½”, 3rd – 6”, 4th – 3½”, 5th – 2”, 6th – 6”. Finished size of the quilt is 60” x 60”. My centre block was inspired by Becky Goldsmith and Linda Jenkins from Piece O’ Cake Way, The New Appliqué Sampler. I provided all the fabric I wanted to be used in the quilt.

Now I am the proud owner of this wonderful quilt. I have started with the quilting. After pinning the 3 layers together I “stitched in the ditch” and free motion outlined all the appliqué areas. I’m now busy hand quilting the centre piece using DMC Perle 8 thread using a number 9 quilting needle. It’s a bit of a bugger as the needle eye is a bit small!

Hope to quilt a bit this Easter weekend!

Happy Easter to you all!



The last 3 weeks my hand project for traveling and lounging around, has been a Sri Lankan, appliqué inspired, Duck pillow cover!

Looking around the net I couldn’t find any history regarding the technique or method. I found a lot of pictures of made articles!

Well this is what I know! It’s an appliqué technique using a base fabric and smaller colourful fabrics to recreate a design. The shapes overlap each other, the design is then tacked down using a needle and thread. The raw edges of the fabric are covered with a piece of rick rack, bias strip, rope etc, this is attached using various embroidery stitches. Apparently, in traditional Sri Lankan appliqué one of your fabrics had to be a Bali or batiks piece of fabric!

I traced my design onto the background fabric using a pencil. I then cut up my design into sections to use as fabric templates. Checking my design and placement, certain pieces I had to add a seam allowance. I didn’t tack my design down I used my sewing machine, sewing the design down using a loose, ¼ wide satin stitch or zig zag. Now I covered each seam with a piece of rick rack, bias strip or rope of different colours that complemented my design. I placed a piece of cotton batting on the wrong side of my design and then secured it down using different embroidery stitches.

My Civil War Quilt is quilted!

Now for the binding!

Catch up!

Since we last chatted I have been quilting the Civil War Quilt that I shared with you in this post!

I have to admit I’m a lazy quilter and will always try and find the easiest way out when quilting! That said, I have decided that the long arm route is not for me! Why, would you say! Well for one, space and secondly I still like the idea of the more hands on way! Don’t get me wrong I love quilts quilted on a long arm machine!
So my normal route when it comes to quilting a big quilt will be the following, after I have pinned the 3 layers together I will -

• Stitch in the ditch.

• Do some free motion quilting, most of the time this will happen in the border area as I don’t have to fight with the bulk of the quilt. I find free motion quilting quite tiring!

• Then comes the lazy part! I love using my embroidery machine. Using the jumbo hoop I then embroider a quilting design in the blocks!

As you all know every action has an opposite reaction and when it comes to using the embroidery machine the bad part is that you can’t leave the machine! You have to sit and watch it like a hawk! Well to overcome the boredom of staring at the machine I then find a hand project, in this case I decided to finish knitting my Dr Who Scarf and started tying and sewing in the ends, which I shared with you in this post.

I hope to reveal both the finished projects with you soon.


Buzy Day in March 2014

Look what I found!

A few days ago I had to remove a few boxes so that a new AC could be installed in my work room.  Look what I found!

This is a civil war quilt I started in 2011! I could not believe it! Barbara Brackman, a bestselling author and quilt historian started a Civil War Quilt blog in January 2011. Every Saturday you get a block with the history and the cutting instructions and it runs to the end of the year.  A new quilt has been started every year since then!  Thank goodness I only did the 2011 one!  So if you would like to start one go to Barbara Brackman”s Civil War Quilt blog, you are only 8 blocks behind, you can still catch up!

Well, when I found my “little treasure” I had made 27, 8″ blocks and needed to make another 22 blocks! To my horror I  discovered I didn’t keep up with the printing of the blocks after August 2011!  Well all was not lost! They had printed a book and I had it, “Barbara Brackman’s Civil War Sampler 50 Quilt Blocks with Stories from History”

So the journey began again! Lucky I had kept all the fabrics and the few pages I had printed in the box with the blocks and with the book I was A for away!  As I opened the book I fell in love with the setting of the quilt on the cover, this quilt was made by Becky Brown, of Montpelier, Virginia and machine quilted by Deb Jacobs in 2011.

Well if the week treats me well I will be machine quilting my quilt this week!

From a happy quilter!

Till next week




In last week’s post I mentioned that this time of the year all the quilting guilds I belong to give you challenges or tacks! Well this week’s post is no different! For this quilt guild I have to make rosettes for the Royal Show winners, in the quilting section, this is normally held towards the end of May of each year, each of us have to make 4 rosettes. The norm is to make traditional rosettes using the crazy patchwork method. But last year I decided I don’t like the crazy patch idea and started making rosettes inspired by Laura Wasilowski’s book “Fanciful Stitches Colorful Quilts”! The ladies loved these rosettes so much I decided to do the same this year!

I will give you a quick rundown on how I do it! You will need:

5” square piece of background fabric, mark off the 4” square on the inside, this is your finished size.

Various pieces of about 5” square fabric with appliqué paper/fusible web ironed on to the back, follow the instructions on packaging. Laura Wasilowski suggests you use paper backed Wonder Under #805, Bondaweb or Soft Fuse. Use Hand-dyed, silk and batik fabrics, they work best for this as the colour runs to the back/wrong side, printed fabrics normally have a white back/wrong side and this shows up on raw edge appliqué.

20” x 1¼” length of fabric, same colour as the main colour with appliqué paper/fusible) web ironed onto the back. Trim the one long end down with pinking shears, or a rotary pinking blade, now cut into 4 x 4” lengths, this will form the binding for the rosette.

5” square piece of backing fabric in main colour (I used silk).
6” square piece of cotton batting.
4” square piece of light cardboard (I just used a cereal box).

Various ribbons, in width an in colour, I used 5 different colours of which the main colour of the rosette was the widest and the next four varied in colour and in size, about a yard/meter of each and a narrow 2”/5cm in length in the main colour for the hanger.

Various colours of embroidery thread.
Your will also need a sharp little fabric scissors, make sure that when you cut an piece of fabric it cuts from the back right up to the tip!

Rotary cutter with a straight blade and 2 or 3 blades that cut various waves or just a pinking blade, glue stick, steam iron and your basic sewing supplies.

Tip: When you plan your design remember the finished size is 4” including the binding! Most of my designs I didn’t use a template I just free-cut them as the creative juice took me! The only one I did draw onto the fabric before cutting was the bird.

Now you can start playing!

Remember your square/design must be placed on the diagonal/on point!

Now use all the various 5” square fabric (with appliqué paper/fusible web paper ironed on to the back) and scissors/waved/pinking blades plan and cut out different shape house or birds and place onto your 5” square piece of background fabric, within your 4” square. When you are happy with the design and the placement, steam set for 10 seconds.

Place onto your 6” batting and pin into place, using basic embroidery stitch to decorate your design. When you are happy with the final product steam set for 10 seconds on the batting side of the design and square off to a 4” square.

Now iron on the 4” binding to the top and bottom then the left and right side. Remember the pinking cut side overlaps onto the right side just over a ¼”.

Cut, trim and glue the ribbons into the order you would like them to be, glue them onto the back of the rosette, fold the narrow 5” piece of ribbon in half and glue it into place on the top.

Place the 4” cardboard square onto the wrong side of the 5” piece of backing fabric, trim corners. Glue down the overlapping fabric onto the back of the cardboard, glue this into place onto the back of rosette front, wrong sides facing. Top stitch the layers together using sewing machine or using an hand embroidery running stitch, the hand embroidery running stitch is not easy if your card is thick.

These rosettes are pretty easy to make and look amazing!

Till next week!


The wheels on the bus go round and …

This time of the year I always find myself making quilts or quilting projects  that I get given from the quilt groups I belong to!  So today I will share with you one of the fabric challenges I was given from one of these guilds!

I was given a fat quarter of blue fabric with green flowers on it, and was told to make a quilt or quilted article.  All of the fabric had to be used, what I didn’t use in the quilt I used in the binding!  Having all these friends and family with babies my first thought was a baby quilt!

I love books! Sorry, quilting books and have a good selection of them, a few years ago my new year’s resolution was to buy at least one new book a month!  Well according to my friend, if she had to sell all my books she would be able to have enough money to go overseas!  Hehe!

I love Kim Schaefer and the first book I pull out is her book on “quilts! bibs! blankies… oh my! flipping through the book my eye falls on page 17, “cars! buses! trucks and trains crib quilt”.

Looking and briefly reading the instructions I decided this quilt will be perfect for my project!  As usual I read the instructions wrong, I cut all my blocks too small and thus I have a 6 x 6 block quilt.  The original quilt has 5 x 5 blocks.  All worked out well!

Oh the quilt is going to a one year old little man!  Needless to say he loves cars thus the name!  Alex’s wheels!.

Hope the weather is getting better on your side of the world?!

Happy quilting!





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