New Skills

More than I thought

I was talking with a friend the other week, and she said it made her the happiest as a quilty-educator when she was in a position to watch people push themselves, and learn new skills. At the time, I grimaced with the thought that I’m not usually the best at getting outside my comfort zone.

But then I was thinking about it, and I realised that I’ve done quite a bit this year – and most of it involved learning new skills.

I’ve made my first ever piece of clothing.

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This skirt was a pretty big deal for me! I hadn’t really tackled anything beyond the standard straight-line before this. It includes a zipper and everything! I am so happy with how it turned out! And it has the perfect amount of fabric to be a great twirly-skirt 😀

I ran my first quilt class.

People actually came! And made quilts! That’s amazing to me!
I also ran some highschooler classes, and had a LOT of fun in the process!

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I have another two quilt classes lined up for October and November, and I’m SO keen.

I conquered curves and made a hoop quilt.

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Originally, I joined Gen X Quilter’s Hoop-quilt-along, which was meant to take about 4 weeks. I took about 2 months, and those drunkards path blocks were a significant factor in my procrastination! I also made bias binding for the first time in this project. I think it all turned out pretty well, though!

All of the fabric used in this hoop quilt is from Dapper by Luke for Moda and Moda Bella White

I made my first ever English Paper Pieced hexies.

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This is definitely an addiction… they are just SO pretty! But what to do with them all???

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I’ve learned how to Foundation Piece.

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I attended one of Marcelle’s skill-builder workshops, and I’m really glad I did. I made the above circle of flying geese during the class, and then got a bit adventurous and attempted a Scottie Dog (pattern from Love Patchowrk and Quilting Mag) the following week. I love it! Those accurate points just make it so worth it!

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So there you have it, apparently I really can push myself outside of my comfort zone! At least, I can where sewing is concerned 😉

What new skills have you learnt this year?

 

 

Quilts I've Made

Round Two!

I can’t believe that it’s been 3 weeks since my last post! It’s been hectic around here, and I still pretty much work fulltime, so my “spare time” slips by so swiftly!

I’m also suffering (yes, suffering) from equal parts frustration and excitement with a few plans in the works that I can’t talk about yet… I think my own emotional swings are giving my whiplash!

Having said that, one of the things I’ve been working on that I CAN talk about is making some sample quilts for my local quilt shop, Marcelle’s Patchwork Cottage. The goal is to both display some of the beautiful fabric they have in stock, as well as to hopefully teach the patterns as weekend classes.

The two quilts below are both patterns by Allison from Cluck Cluck Sew. I’ve been a fan of Allison’s blog ever since I committed to making and finishing my first quilt back in 2013.

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This one is called “Lucky”. It’s made with Tucker Prairie by One Canoe Two for Moda, with Moda linen (not sure on the exact shade, sorry!) for the background. You can see more about it on the shop’s blog here.

I’m not going to lie – I’m pretty stoked with how this one turned out…

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I’d never worked with linen before. I was surprised how much stretch it had, and because I’m an overly cautious person, I found myself painstaking cutting strip by strip – I wasn’t game to cross cut in case it all pulled out of shape. Is this normal for linen? Or is it just me?

Anyway, although it took longer, it was definitely worth it. The linen has a divine texture and drape to it, and it quilted up so beautifully. I’ll just endeavour to give myself a little more time to work with it, next time around!

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This quilt is called “Powwow”, and it makes me SO HAPPY. This is the second time I’ve made this quilt, and it’s really fun. I wanted to use a layer cake, so I had to get a little creative with the cutting, and it meant I had 42 finished blocks (placing it between the baby and throw sizes from the pattern). It amazed me how the variety in the fabric completely altered the look of this quilt, as compared to the versions that have fabric repetition. Don’t get me wrong, I like it both ways!

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This was the first time I’ve ever completely machine bound a quilt (normally I machine bind to the front and hand-stitch to the back). I think I pulled the binding further onto the front than I normally would have :-/ but that’s ok! It’s just a wider frame, right!? Again, if you’d like to see more pictures, check out the shop blog here. The fabric is Grand Canal by Kate Spain for Moda, and the backing is a sparkly green weave from Anna Maria Horner’s Loominous collection.

I currently have a third quilt underway (just needs the binding on!), which I hope to share soon. In the meantime, here’s a little taster of it strategically placed next to my Labrador, Westley.

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If only he was that well behaved ALL the time!!! He looks SO innocent…

I hope to report back with more grand plans soon! Until then!
-Nic

Uncategorized

We all begin somewhere

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for years… all the witty things I would say that would immediately endear me to the online quilting community. I thought about how I would ‘wow’ them with my beautiful photography of my masterfully pieced quilts!

Then I realised, I’m really not there yet. I’ve been sewing quilts for about 4 years, and in so many ways I would still call myself an amateur. My photography skills are improving, but still awkward at the best of times, and my piecing rarely ventures beyond straight lines. And let’s face it, it took me forever just to come up with a name for my site – don’t get me started on how long it takes me to write a pattern!

But, I’ve been blessed with some pretty exciting opportunities to expand my skills, and it’s time to dive in! I’ve started a business, I’m learning to long-arm quilt, and I’m thrilled to have a space to brag about my creations 😉

And so, I plan to use this blog to share my successes and blunders along the way!

Example A: Success – half-way decent quilty photography,not to mention a successfully finished quilt (pattern is Powwow by Cluck Cluck Sew, and fabric is Grand Canal by Kate Spain for Moda)

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Example B: Blunder – what happened this week when I was not paying attention while chain piecing (left: what the block is meant to look like; right: …oops…)

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I hope you enjoy reading the Tinker and Stitch chronicles. I apologise in advance for the steep learning curves ahead of me, but I also thank you in advance for bearing with me on the journey! 😉

I look forward to sharing my creations with you. While I’m getting things started, I’ll probably do some looking back at the quilts I’ve already made, as well as looking ahead as I begin new adventures.

Let’s do this! Here’s to new beginnings.

-Nic