Round Robin centre blocks

Possum magic

Last time, I share my centre block with you for my first Round Robin called “Possum Magic”. Now that everyone has finished and blogged about their blocks, it’s time to share them all. We have so many talents in the team, it is so exciting!!

You can click on the images to know the full stories behind each block:

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Possum Magic cast (from top to bottom, left to right):

  1. Carla from Granny Maud’s Girl
  2. Serena from Sew Giving
  3. Wendy from Wendy’s Quilts and More
  4. Jane from Where Jane Creates
  5. Rebecca from One Wee Bird
  6. Jo from Riddle and Whimsy
  7. Sharon from Motherdragon’s Musings
  8. Me

Now, everyone is sending their block to the next person who will add borders and so on. I can’t wait to create the first few borders of Rebecca’s block! Stay tuned for the next stage.

Starting Free Motion Quilting

I recently bought an embroidery foot to start free-motion quilting. I was surprised that it is actually not that expensive, so I jumped in as I wanted to try FMQ for a long time.

Luckily for me, Craftsy classes were on sale when I was looking to start FMQ. I joined the “Start free-motion quilting” classes with Elizabeth Dackson (she has a lovely blog here by the way).

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I was so excited to start. I prepared few quilt sandwiches with solid fabric to be able to see the stitching clearly.

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As soon as I started, I had two main issues: slip stitches and thread breakage.

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Elizabeth covers these two issues in her “trouble shooting” session (very helpful session). It appears that these two issues are due to the type of needle you are using. As the thread in FMQ needs to travel faster than normal sewing, the eye of the needle needs to be bigger. I had no clue of needle sizes before, so it was very interesting to listen to the differences and the reason why. All my IG pals recommended a 90/14 quilting or top stitch needle. I went to buy new needles at my local sewing shop and it made all the difference! Whouhou.

Here is the second practice sandwich with different stitches:

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I still need to practice a lot but I already had fun making this. What I find the harder at the moment is choosing the correct speed, keeping a consistent speed and combining the speed of the machine with your hand movements. I first started sewing slowly to be more precise but I think FMQ is better when you go full speed with your machine.

I then wanted to try on a quilt block. I had a log cabin block lying around in my fabric stash who was dying for some action.

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Log cabin is a very convenient block to practice FMQ, I changed stitches at every strip.

IMG_7832IMG_7835IMG_7837The class is well structured with nine different lessons. Each lesson covers a new stich (apart lesson 1:Introduction). Elizabeth also covers a specific topic on each lesson (i.e needle sizes, marking tools, quilting gloves, threads, etc). I first found it a bit odd that she pauses in each lesson to talk about these topics as you will need to watch the entire class before starting your own FMQ. I prefer classes who “set the scene” with all the tools and then go through each lesson. I can place my iPad in front of my machine and I listen while I try.

However, this is not a major put off for me and I still enjoyed the class very much. I can’t wait to practice more. Maybe one day I will be good enough to quilt my quilts!

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Family soft toys for Nina

When we arrived in NZ, we were welcomed by friend’s of friends. They were so sweet, they welcomed us in their home for a couple of weeks and we stayed home-sitting their place during Christmas while they were away visiting family. We just had to take care of their (fat) cat. It helped us a great deal, so I wanted to created a little thank you gift.

Mum just sent me some of my embroidery floss and I had the idea to portray the family. I’m not so good at drawing but I wanted the little characters to look like the real ones. I transferred my drawing to a calico piece and chose a blue/green colour palette to coordinate everyone’s attire.

I sew around each character to create a small pocket and added some polyester fill in each family member. I love the 3D effect it gave.

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Here is the entire family:

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Of course, I had to create their house. The house actually works as a small pouch where the family can hide. The little pouch is quilted with simple straight lines to mimic the wooden panels.

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I really enjoyed making this gift and it gave me so many ideas to create more soft toys.

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Snowflake (WIP)

One of my friend recently announced that she was pregnant. I was so excited for her and, immediately, my brain start buzzing with quilting ideas for her little one. My friend grew up in Savoie, a French mountain region. I met her at uni in Lyon and she always misses her mountains. I can’t blame her, the region is splendid.

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So, I had a mountain theme in mind for her. I went to the library and borrowed a Swedish knighting book. I picked a lovely star snowflake pattern. The colours were easy to pick, she wanted the gender to remain secret and mountain is all about red and white. I bought 5 fat quarters at my local fabric shop and started cutting mini squares (2′).

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I must admit that my enthusiasm faded away as my first few blocks were not matching and I confused myself with the colours-coding so many times. So, I put the project on the back burner. I had in mind that my friend was due in September, so I had plenty of time to deal with it.

I received an email two weeks ago saying that baby Léonie was born. I was so excited to see the little girl in picture and so in shock that I got the date so wrong. This is what happens when you live so far away from your friends.

So, I tried to organised myself and continue the project but realised the task was not realistic (I needed more than 800 squares!) given my time frame.

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I opted for a simpler version of a snowflake (found here). Thanks to a sewing date with follow local Wellingtonians quilters, I found my mojo back.

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What was key for me was to cut the design in sections, arrange each section and snap a picture before starting to sew. I was easily confused with the colours order so referred to the picture all the time.

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I chained piecing two squares by two squares, then four by four and pressed seams this way:

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Slowly, I managed to sew all my sections and the design magically appeared:

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I decided to add a border as I had extra red squares ready to sew.

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And here is my top:

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It is now at my local long arm quilter. I can’t wait to see the final result and send it to my friend.

Linking this top to Link Tuesday, Show and Tell Tuesday and WIP Wednesday

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Happy scrappy corners quilt

I am amazed by the massive welcome I received from you guys and the Blog Hop, thank you so much. I received so many comments, I’m still powering through their answers.

Today, I am so excited to share my Happy scrappy corners quilt with you. It is my most expensive quilt to date. Quite ironic when you think that it started with fabric scraps. Oh, well, I love the result, so it’s all worth it. If you miss the work in progress post, it’s over here.

I went to my local long arm quilter and picked two different designs: one for the center squares and one for the border. I actually had two borders but decided on not quilting the last one and transformed it into a binding.

To make the quilting design more visual, I picked a pink thread. I’m not disappointed with that choice, the texture looks amazing. You just want to run your hand and feel it.

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I am just in love! What do you think?

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It has rained non stop the past two days and I wasn’t able to take an outdoor picture. Luckily today was a splendid day, so I ran to the nearest beach and snap this picture. I’m feeling so lucky to live in Wellington, this beach is less than 15 mins walk from our place. Magic!

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I was thinking I should sell this quilt. As much as I love it, I’m up to date with my baby/toddler gifts and I don’t have baby myself. My future kiddos already have so many quilts (it better be girls as I have many pinks). As much as it will pinch my heart to let it go, I would be more than happy that it found a good home. Drop me a line if you are interested. SOLD

Linking up with TGIFF, Crazy Mom Quilts and Show off Saturday:

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Quilt details:
Finished Size: approx 39′ x 44′
Fabric: Mix scraps, calico, solid pink
Backing: floral pink
Binding: floral yellow and pink
Pieced by: Me
Quilted by: Professional long armer quilter