Show Case Friday 8

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Winnie the Pooh. Ah, that brings back memories of my childhood. Am I showing my age here?!

I was contacted a while ago by a very lovely lady a while who was the textile teacher at PLC in Croydon. As part of the textile curriculum they put together some quilts. These very thoughtful students had decided that they wanted to donate these quilts to Sew Generous to pass onto children with cancer rather than keeping the quilts for themselves.

It is wonderful to see such young students already embracing charity work for those going through a very hard time.

A lovely donation. Many thanks.

Let’s all be sew generous,

Suzanne

Show Case Friday 7

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I love blue, especially a denim blue and there is plenty of it in this fantastic quilt. I love the blue and red, they work so well together. This another wonderful example of strip quilting and off-centreing the strips.

This was a completed quilt donated to us from our wonderful donors in Wollongong. These ladies have been hard at work making quilts. Well done.

It is really nice to have ‘boys’ quilts in the mix. Effie and I have been talking and we really need to see if we can come up with more gender neutral or boy oriented quilts. It just seems easier to make girly quilts. Or maybe that is just me!

Let all be sew generous,

Suzanne

Show Case Friday 6

A charm square here and a charm square there, here a charm square  – well, you get the idea.

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Scrap charm squares are a wonderful thing, you can use up leftover fabric from a quilt you have already made, cut up fabrics you no longer think you will use, or cut up that fabric you just don’t like anymore and wondered why you bought it in the first place.

Any and every fabric fit together, there is no right or wrong, nothing is out of place and it is a great stash buster. I recommend having a stash busting session in your own quilting space on a regular basis.

I recently reorganised by quilting studio and pulled out any fabric from my stash that was smaller than a fat quarter, fabrics leftover from completed quilt tops and those fabrics that I don’t really like anymore and then cut them up into my scrap stash. I started with the biggest size I could fit on the fabric and worked my way down.

My scrap stash consists of 5″, 3 ½”, 2 ½ and 2″ squares. I also have scrap stash strips of 1½”, 2″ and 2 ½”. I find that these sizes are fairly versatile. One day soon I will post about my scrap stash system.

In the mean time enjoy this 5″ scrap stash quilt that came together so easily with all those squares already cut and ready to go.

Let’s all be sew generous,

Suzanne

Show Case Friday 5

Ladybugs are a little girls dream.

I love the turquoise and red colour combination on this beautiful completed quilt donated to us from a Wollongong quilting group. I just had to bring out my daughters ladybug to get a share of the photo action.

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This quilt is really soft and very cuddly, making it perfect as a snuggle. We love receiving completed quilts to pass onto the Children’s Hospital. Please feel free to send us any completed quilts – it really, really makes us happy as well as the kids who receive them.

Let’s all be sew generous,

Suzanne

Show Case Friday 4

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I SPY WITH MY LITTLE EYE..

Really, how cute is this quilt. These twelve beautiful I Spy blocks were  donated and Effie and I knew we had to do something cute with them. Effie does most of the piecing while I do the quilting and we draw straws for binding – no really, we do!!

Effie came up with this cute and simple quilt design that really shows of the wonky I Spy blocks. I think someone is going to have fun finding all the objects in each block.

Just recently both Effie and I have made our own design boards. What a difference it makes to the designing process. I have been putting orphan blocks up on the design and playing around with them until I get a design that looks good and piece it from the design board.

For my design board I used insulation foam board which I bought from Bunnings for $12.50 a sheet – I have three sheets at the moment and I have room for just one more. I covered them with a spare flannel sheet I had laying around and attached them to the wall with 3M Command Picture strips. Easy.

I have to say that I borrowed my neighbours recently painted black fence to show off the vibrant colours in this quilt.

Many thanks to our donors.

Let’s all be sew generous,

Suzanne

Different Types of Batting

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With so many types of batting (or wadding) out on the market today, choosing the right batting for your project can be overwhelming. However, picking a good batting for your quilt is very important as it affects your quilt’s appearance, loft, drape, softness, comfort, and washability. For those that are new to quilting I’m going to begin with some definitions:

Batting: is the middle layer of your quilt between the quilt top and the backing fabric.

Loft: the thickness of your batting, it can be thick (high loft) or thin (low loft) and this is dependent on the type of fibre you use.

Scrim: is a very very thin layer of polyester that is needle punched into the fibres and helps to better hold the fibres together. Generally, a 100% cotton batting allows quilting up to 4” apart whereas the same 100% cotton with scrim can be quilted 8” – 10” apart! Make sure you read the manufacturers information as this will tell you all you need to know.

Fibre: this is what your batting is made from. The main fibres are 100% cotton, Cotton/Polyester Blends (80/20 or 50/50), wool or wool blends, and bamboo. Others include silk, flannel and fusible batting. Each of these fibres have their own pro and cons which you will want to consider before deciding to use on your quilt.

Polyester – less expensive, lightweight, readily available and cannot be harmed by moths or mildew. It’s readily available. Because the fibre is synthetic it’s lacks breathability although is warmer that it’s cotton counterparts. It doesn’t need to be quilted as closely together. Although this can be used for machine quilting, it is better suited for hand quilting and comes in various lofts. High lofts are great for tied quilts.

100% Cotton – is a natural fibre so the batting breathes and is readily available. It resists fibre migration, however it may contain plant seeds that can release their oils and stain the quilt. Also it shrinks around 3-5% when washed. Allows for closer quilting up to 4”. This batting can give a puckered appearance when washed giving that vintage look, and is great if that is the look you’re after. It’s also good for hand or machine quilting.

Cotton/Poly Blend (80/20 or 50/50) – as it contains some natural fibres this batting also breathes and is readily available. It resists fibre migration and can have a small amount of shrinkage compared to 100%cotton. This batting is drapable and has low to medium loft and is generally warmer than the 100% cotton due to it’s poly content. Allows quilting 8-10” apart. This is good for machine quilting and appears to be a popular go-to for quilters.

Wool – is a natural insulator and hence is very warm. It’s usually pre-shrunk, pre-washed and on scrim and also comes in black. Although wool batting is expensive it has excellent drapability, is soft, enhances quilting stitches, and is suitable for hand and machine quilting.  Wool/poly blends tend to be the same.

100% Bamboo – It’s very soft, luxurious, silky and supple to the touch, with excellent loft. It dries three times as faster than cotton and does not allow mould or mildew to grow. Bamboo is the most environmentally friendly batting as it requires no fertilisation, irrigation, pesticides or intervention by man.

Batting can be purchased by the metre/yard, in pre-cut sizes (for example in crib, twin, queen or king sizes), or by the roll (in different widths and up to 50 metres in length). Of course buying by the roll is a very expensive option and assumes that you are not only familiar with the batting type but love to use it for all your quilting projects. Also keep in mind you need to find a large enough place to store it.

Suzanne and I basically use what we have on hand. We’ve used both 100% cotton and a Cotton/Poly (80/20) blend.

The biggest monetary cost for us is purchasing batting and backing fabrics. As you know batting is very expensive and we’ve had to purchase it by the 30-50m roll! As part of Sew Generous we have purchased several 30-50 m rolls and this has cost us thousands of dollars. We do not begrudge this as we love what we do as part of Sew Generous with you. But if anyone is able and could donate some batting or backing fabrics it would be greatly appreciated. Even large scrap pieces of batting would help as they are easily joined to make one large piece. Or if you know of somewhere that sells batting at a very good prices or even wholesale please let us know.

Let’s all be sew generous,

Effie

Show Case Friday 3

Todays quilt is a little bit stripy and a little bit buggy. One of our wonderful donors sent in a  jelly roll of 2 ½” strips with a bit of a bug theme happening on them and we decided that this would make a great strip quilt. The colours are vibrant and there are lots of little things for kids to find within each strip.

I love using striped fabric for borders, and on this quilt I just happen to have the perfect colour combination to make it work.

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I love piecing and quilting but find at times that binding can cause me a little bit of grief. I usually machine bind all my bindings but catching the binding on the back of the quilt consistantly can be a little tricky. With that in mind I bought the Clover Binder Clips hoping that might help make the binding process a little easier for the next batch of quilts I bind. I’ll let you know how it works out when I use them on my next quilt.

Anyone have any good advice on making binding easier? I would love to hear about it.

Let’s all be sew generous,

Suzanne

 

Bespoke Magazine

I was recently cleaning out my library when I found my issue of the Bespoke Magazine Issue 10, 2013 Winter/Spring Edition. I know this is going back a few years but Suzanne and I, or should I say Sew Generous was featured in this edition. We were approached by Bespoke wanting to interview and feature us in their magazine for the charity work that we do. At first Suzanne and I were pretty stunned as it was something we never expected would happen to us. But soon enough excitement kicked in and we went gun-ho.

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Here is a little about Bespoke Magazine:

“Bespoke Magazine is an Australian magazine all about HANDMADE! It is jam-packed full of articles and stories about Australian and New Zealand artisans, interviews with creatives, DIY craft projects tutorials, handmade products, creative and indie business tips and so much more with a strong emphasis on highlighting quality handmade products, talented crafty people, creative businesses doing amazing things, and reflecting on the art/craft/creative industry worldwide. Each issue is available as 1/1000 limited edition print magazines.”

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In case anyone was interested in reading the article I have taken photos of the spread below. The spine was too delicate otherwise I would have scanned the article. However, I have also included photos of the left and right page. Hopefully this will make reading a lot easier. Happy reading and enjoy!

Let’s all be sew generous

Effie

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Please note that the contact details have changed from when the article was written. Refer to our About page for correct details.

Show Case Friday 2

Todays quilt is a really cute one – who doesn’t love owls?! When they are this cute how can you not.

This completed quilt was donated to us by a quilting group in Wollongong. Thank you ladies, it is adorable.

I think there will someone very happy snuggling up to this quilt.

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Using strips to make quilts is so eye catching and fun. Off centred the strips really makes the quilt have a more modern feel to it.

I don’t know about you but I seem to have shifted from the more traditional quilt tops to more modern quilting. I just love the look of large negative spaces and off-centred blocks just appeal to me.

I have recently bought a book called Lucky Spools Essential Guide to Modern Quilt Making lucky-spool-s-essential-guide-to-modern-quilt-making

I have had a flip through it and it looks great. I can’t wait to actually sit down and really get stuck into it. I will let you know what I think after I have spent some time reading it.

Let’s all be sew generous,

Suzanne

Show Case Friday 1

On Tuesday we delivered all the our wonderful quilts to the hospital – twenty in total. That surpasses our goal of eight quilts a year by a long shot and we are still not finished with this year. Of course we could not have done it without the support of our donors.

These quilts are being show cased in the order that I photographed them and even then I didn’t really have a plan or order in mind. Please remember that I am not a professional photographer, I tried my best and decided to have a little fun with the camera – it’s not often I get to pull out my digital SLR,  a few props borrowed from my kids.

First up we have this charming little pinwheel quilt. From memory the pinwheels were donated as orphan blocks. Effie then used these blocks to come up with this little gem. I used one of my favourite pantograph designs called Plumbago and had fun quilting it.

The colours are just so soft and subtle. I just had to throw in one of my daughters Our Generation dolls and a Teddy pillow to show it off a little.

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Many thanks to our generous donors.

Let’s all be sew generous,

Suzanne