Sunday, August 31, 2014

HQ Sweet Sixteen Sunday - How to Baste a full size quilt without pins!

You know the feeling, your totally elated because you just finished your quilt top, but then you remember you now have to baste it and the thought of all those pins and sore aching fingers make you put your beautiful quilt top away for 'later'.

That was exactly what happen with this quilt top. I made it probably 2 ½ years ago. This was made so long ago that my style of quilt making has totally changed! Even my husband looked at it and said... "Thats a bit old fashioned for you isn't it!" From someone who has absolutely no interest in quilts I took that as a sign that I really should have finished this quilt a loooong time ago. hehehe

Ohh well, it was meant to be, because now I have a quilt that I have no emotional attachment too. This means I can play and practice different quilting techniques without worrying about the result having to be just right!

As always when I'm stuck for ideas on how to quilt a project, I pull out a few simple tools and start playing. I had the best night last night! I grabbed some paper and a pencil and just one template. I feel like having a pile of templates gets me distracted and I jump from template to template without pushing myself to come up with different designs that work.

Last night I chose the HQ oval template and started drawing some 6 inch squares (actually they were a bit smaller so I could fit 2 on a page). I started by drawing the oval in the middle of the block and then tried to fill up the block.

 First I filled the square up with regular feathers.
Then I tried changing the top of the feathers to an almost heart shape...
Then I tried using the full oval shape and just kept adding more and more ovals. This was looking quite messy until I started filling some of the areas with fills. I love how this one turned out!

My sister saw the 'heart' shaped feathers and thought they kind of looked like hibiscus flower petals. She challenged me to draw a hibiscus flower design.
I drew the first one on the left looking at flowers on google images and then I went to town just playing with my own imagination. I love how the echo and background fill made such a huge difference!

Anyway I got distracted, back to basting :)

I used to hate, and I mean really 'Hate' basting. I was told I had to stick my backing to a table (or floor or wall), lay the batting on top and then pin all the layers together. There's many reasons that I disliked doing this. First of all, I usually needed help or my fingers would be so sore I wouldn't be able to quilt my quilt for a week after!

I have a bad knee which meant I couldn't get down on the floor, so I had to work on my dining table and I kept scratching my table top with all those pins.

Another reason is all those pins made my quilt top so heavy that the drag was terrible! It's hard enough quilting a quilt on a small sewing machine, add in all the extra weight of 2000 pins and it just makes everything harder.

The main reason though is when you pin baste a quilt you are only holding together the layers where there is a pin! Sounds silly, but unless you put a pin in every single inch, there is just no way I could get a quilt pin basted that eliminated all the shifting. 

Then I discovered Basting spray! (can you hear the angels singing!) ;)

I just want to start by saying, not all basting sprays are great, some are pretty awful, but I have found that the 101 quilt basting spray by Helmers is awesome! You only need a small amount and it sticks all the layers together over the entire quilt surface (not just where the pins are) and pretty much eliminates the shifting.

This week for HQ Sweet Sixteen sunday I wanted to create a video that shows you how I baste a full size quilt. I use this technique for all my quilts, even king size quilts can be basted on an ironing board!! Grab a cuppa and I hope you find this video helpful.

Hugs Paula
Tools used include:
Helmar 101 Basting Spray
Matilda's own Wool/cotton/polyester batting
HQ Sweet Sixteen Basting feature

Sunday, August 24, 2014

HQ Sweet Sixteen Sunday - My Set Up

I've been a bit under the weather this week, so I wasn't up to do a full video. I thought though I could share a little bit about how I have my Sweet 16 set up.

The Sweet is in my lounge room. I was a bit worried about it to be honest because I thought this would really annoy my family while they watch TV.

I was honestly very surprised though because it is really pretty quiet and even hubby doesn't complain about the noise! (thats a minor miracle)

See you next week with the start of a new series of videos where I will be working on a full size quilt!

Hugs Paula

Sunday, August 17, 2014

HQ Sweet Sixteen Sunday - Using the straight ruler to Quilt as you go

This week for Sweet Sixteen Sunday I wanted to show you how to use the 'HQ Straight edge ruler' but I didn't want to work on just another practice piece.

So this week I will show you how to make these cute little placemats.
 My kids Love these placemats! They are super quick and easy to make and even have little pockets to store your cutlery.
 These are perfect for everyday or for a special picnic. What I love most about these though is I made them entirely on my HQ Sweet Sixteen! 
They're made from one of my gorgeous friends Tammie Greens fabric collections! I love Tammies fabrics, check out Buddies Corner and Studio T Green for more of her collections :)
Grab a cuppa and I hope you enjoy this weeks HQ Sweet Sixteen Sunday Post :)
Have a Sweet Sunday!

Hugs Paula

Sunday, August 10, 2014

HQ Sweet Sixteen Sunday - Inspiration

This weeks Sweet Sixteen Sunday post is a bit different, I wanted to mix things up a little and share with you some of the inspiring videos that I watch over and over when I'm lacking in motivation.

First up is a very talented long arm quilter Lyn Durbin. Lyn has a huge amount of videos on her YouTube channel, click here to see them all. This has to be my favourite though, the Loopy Clams design.

This next video is just crazy good!! This is Karleen Porter quilting on her Sweet Sixteen. The designs she comes up with are just so inspiring!

Here is her other Sweet Speed Quilting video. Can you believe that these are all done free hand!

I couldn't have an 'Inspiration' post without including my favourite quilter of all time! Angela Walters is an incredible quilter and I am so inspired by her. I have bought all her books and taken all her Craftsy classes. I just can't get enough of her techniques and teaching style.

Click here to visit Angela's YouTube Chanel.

If you want to see more from Angela Walters, head over to Craftsy. I highly recommend her Feathers class and her Small Changes, Big Variety Class.

Full disclosure: I do receive a small commission if you sign up to one of these classes, however I have paid with my own money to take these and many more Craftsy classes and I would never recommend something I don't truly believe in!

I hope you find these videos as inspiring as I do!

Until next week, Happy Stitching!
Hugs Paula

Sunday, August 3, 2014

HQ Sweet Sixteen Sunday - Free motion quilting with Metallic threads

This week Sweet Sixteen Sunday is a little different, I decided I just wanted to play and practice my free motion quilting. I also wanted to test out some new metallic threads that I bought for a special project.

This is what I'm making in this weeks video:
There are 14 different free motion designs in this project. To be honest I had no idea what I was going to quilt from one section to the next, but I knew I wanted to do a different design in each section and I kind of just went with the flow.

I decided to quilt angular (straight line) designs in one section and then swirly designs in the next. It was just so much fun!

I also show you how I transfer the name onto my quilt using a print out from my computer.

I hope you have a 'Sweet Sunday' :)

Hugs Paula