Washing, Ironing and Cutting

After washing all of your fabrics, iron and starch them.

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This is how much fraying and threads that happened when we washed these homespuns, we lost just under 3/4in on this green fabric and the others lost about the same but none more than an inch. This is why I urge you to consider buying extra fabric to save you the grief and hassle of going back and buying more fabric.

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Watch this video for using starch.

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Fold your fabrics in half with wrong sides together, selvedges aligned. You may need to allow the fabric to dictate to you where the fold is, which may pull the selvedges out of line but they will be cut off so don’t worry too much. Your selvedges will not match up – in the photo below you can see the teal fabric selvedges are way off – this is due to two things, washing and grain line. When we washed our fabrics they have shrunk, we removed the sizing that was keeping them nice for the shelves in the shop and the grain line has been ‘relaxed’. By adjusting the position of the selvedge when folding your fabric in half for cutting you will get a much better and more natural grain line and it will be straighter.

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Trim off the frayed edge to straighten up the fabric. If you are left-handed you can continue cutting as the fabric is laid out in the right position for you. Right-handers turn the fabric’s newly straight edge to the left-hand side of your board and then continue cutting.

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From your five fabrics (50cm pieces of homespun in the materials list) cut three 2 1/2in strips.

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Note: the remaining fabric will be used to piece the backing for Mum’s quilt, you can choose to do the same if you wish.

Set up your sewing machine with the neutral thread for piecing, the 1/4in foot and a straight stitch that is the average for your machine – check your manual for tips on this. My Janome likes a stitch width of 5.5 and a length of 2.

Piece the strips together in the sequence of your choice. This is the sequence we have chosen for mum. There is reason behind it, it’s not just random. If you paint put your mind into that way of thinking, but I will explain.

1. Green is on this end because it has a yellow base colour and is essentially the odd one out in this range of colours.

2. Teal is next because it is made up of blue and green so it can sit nicely next to green to help tie it into the block.

3. The blue is in the middle as it is the darkest fabric and will draw the eye in, but it is also there because it is blue – the teal has blue in it so they can sit next to each other, and the blue also is used in making the colour for the next strip so it is tying the two sides of this block together.

4. Purple has a red base (mix red and blue together to make purple) and so this is why it’s next to the blue.

5. Brown is often classed as a red based colour so it belongs next to the purple for this reason. It is also technically an odd one out so it is also balancing the green’s oddness on the other side.

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Piecing

Start with the green strip and place it on top of the teal strip. Pin if you feel you need to hold the strips together.

Note: I like to sew my strips together so that as they are being joined so that they are off to the left side of the machine – this keeps them out of the way and doesn’t clutter up the throat of the machine. I am right-handed, as is mum. Left-handers may like to try both ways and see what suits you better. Like all my other notes these are just suggestions of things that I find easier and have discovered over many years of quilting, it’s not gospel and you don’t have to treat it as such. Find what is comfortable for you and your machine.

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Continuing adding your strips, keeping them in order and making sure that you are sewing so that the seams are all on the same side. Always start from the same edge.

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Once you have joined the 5 strips, press the seams in one direction.

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You may notice that the strips are not all the same length.

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This is fairly common and is a manufacturing issue and a washing issue. It’s not something that can be fixed. But if you always start from the same edge when joining strips you will reduce the waste of fabric.

Trim the selvedges off the edge that you started piecing on.

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Then cut your pieced unit into four 10 1/2in blocks.

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Repeat for your other sets of strips and you have made all of your blocks.

In the next blog post we will be cutting the focal piece, adding a small border, assembling the quilt top and preparing for quilting.

Totes mah Goats

Part of a blogger’s duty to her readers is to occasionally divulge a bit of information about her life. I’ve done that with things like what happened with Dad, birthdays and a few other bits and pieces but I feel like you should know ‘me’, know odd little things about Marni. I like to think that I am friends with my customers – whatever varying degree of friendship that may be, we are all different and that’s a good thing but we don’t have to be everybody’s BFFs and live in each others pockets.

So what I’d like to do is open up the comments below this post to you – ask me something that you’d like to know (keep it reasonable, but I will reserve the right to not answer some things), I am pretty open about most topics.

So here is a little confession of one of my many, many quirks…

I love goats. I’ve always wanted a pet goat. They just appeal to me for some unexplainable reason that seems to baffle and bemuse my friends and just quietly I think it stresses out my mother…

I am a Capricorn which may explain the initial attraction as I dabbled with all of that astrology stuff throughout high school. I love the glorious drawings and artworks that people create, showing the mystery and fairytale nature of our birth signs. So I guess I was going to head towards a goat from the start.

I even have a pinterest board dedicated to them and their cuteness.

I love their cute faces, weird eyes and cheeky nature. If I had room (read farm) I’d have a whole bunch of them along with every other animal I’ve ever wanted to own (Clydesdales, ducks, a heap of cats and maybe an Alpaca or two). People think I’m nuts because it isn’t a normal pet to own, but I don’t care.

I’ve even started to collect a few goat knick knacks.

Below is Greycliffe. I used to work at Craft Depot at Pennant Hills and one day I was taking the mail orders over to the Post Office. While I was waiting in the queue I glanced over at the sale bin they kept near the front and it was full of toys. Reached out to see what the quality was like and as I lifted the top toy off the pile, there he was. His little beardy face staring up at me and I knew he’d be coming home with me. The poor lady at the counter thought I was a bit odd as there were much cuter more normal (there’s that word again) toys in the bin and why would I want a goat one?

He now lives in my bedroom along with Koala who is my childhood toy – one given to me by my brother when my sister was born so I didn’t feel left out. I think that was the start of my koala obsession. 🙂

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Then I have Gilly who lives on my craft room desk.

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Gilly is the tiniest ceramic goat I ever did lay eyes upon. She was purchased for me by my friend Ellie while we were away on our annual Stitch & Bitch Brigade’s Stitchmas in July holiday. We traveled to Blackheath for a weekend away. The group of us (9) rented a house for the weekend, ate, drank and crafted. We went into town and shopped, lunched at cafes and then stopped at the tea house where Gilly was to be discovered.

I love these weekends away with the girls – they are a mix of friends  – Susan is my oldest and dearest friend from kindergarden, Fi, Alison, Dimity, Nicola, Jocelyn and Camille are friends of Susan’s that I’ve appropriated and Ellie was my plus one. There are more of us in the S&B Brigade (53 in total) but we don’t all go away together. I am not a part of a guild or quilting group. I’ve always been a bit of a crafting loner, the lone wolf really… I don’t crave social interaction while I’m crafting like many quilters do, it’s just not in my nature.

Anyways, along with Gilly I also purchased a small grey and white cat because… well… cats…

The last piece in my goat collection is this stamp.

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I picked this up from the craft show last year at Darling Harbour. Cecile from Unique Stitching had these in a sale bin on her stall and there just was NO way I was walking past this goat. I was only buying felt from her (lovely luscious felt) as she stocks bamboo felt which is great for me because when I want to make felties I want to use good felt. I’m allergic to wool so can’t use the really good stuff and the acrylic sheets pill and fluff up too much for a good finish on a feltie. But now that I’ve tried the bamboo that’s all I will use. It’s perfect in every way except for 2 small things – it costs a little more, but so worth it and that it doesn’t come in the large selection of colours that the acrylics do. But time will fix both of those things and I will be using it regardless.

I’d like to collect more goat things but for now these are enough. My mission at the moment is de-cluttering my life. We are drowning in stuff on this planet and it’s just not practical.

 

So ask below, what you would like to know about me, as I am the person you trust for fabrics and other quilting paraphernalia and you have the right to know who I am and what I’m all about. 🙂

Marni x 

 

Surrounded by Sparklies

Okay, okay… I know I’ve been reaaaallllly quiet the past 2 weeks.

My bad. 🙁

I’ve actually been very busy and have had very little time to sit and write a decent post for you all.

I managed to claim some time back tonight as I’ve gotten some of the work out of the way. I have tomorrow off (gasp!) and everything is ready for the Handmade Craft Market on Sunday.

So, I’ve made a cup of tea, popped my slippers on and put my lap quilt over my knees and am sitting here typing this riveting post for you. 🙂

Catch up of what’s been happening…

The 5th and 6th of May was the Wyong Quilt Show – Janette runs an excellent show, running around organising EVERYTHING including jam and scones for brekky for the stallholders each morning. We had a fabulous 2 days at the show. On one side Hans was demonstrating the Nolting and selling haberdashery and other goodies and on the other side was Down Under Quilts magazine. Deb was there selling back issues and sewing a very pretty quilt for a special little girl. There was a definite thrum of activity in that room at the show – we had demos and machines going, lots of chatter and excitement.

The following weekend (12th and 13th) I was at Hornsby Westfield for the Handmade Craft Market’s pop up market. I had a fun couple of days in the centre – I spent quite a bit of time doing quick demos of the Flip la K templates and madly stitching blocks for a display for Darling Harbour. Which at that stage was 4 weeks away…..

And so to this week – it has been cold and a bit quiet in the shop but you’ve all kept me busy with mail orders (no-one wants to go outside to shop hey? :))

But…

This week I have been busy with the sparkly goodness that is beading.

Next week we go into design for our August issue and I have been editing projects, counting beads, measuring and writing. I love doing a beading mag as it is completely different to my shop stuff. I get to sit down and plan the mag from cover to cover, adjusting things as needed, write articles about things that I find interesting, educational or important, learning more about my contributors and seeing what new and exciting products are available. It all works at a slower pace than the shop and is my mental time away from fabric….as much as I <3 fabric.

I’ve also been busy with a bit of freelance writing – click here to read the online article. The other article will be out in print later on.

We are now 24 days away from set-up for Darling Harbour. I can tell you I am a tad FREAKED out that I’m not ready with my display stuff and that I have 4 quilts to cut, sew, quilt and bind before then… but I’m cool, it’ll get done.

{cue hysterical laughter}

If anyone would like a custom made quilt – please come and see me after the 25th of June – I will be back to normal by then and have some time to give your quilt the attention it deserves. 🙂

New classes will be listed at the end of June – these will be for the second half of the year and include night classes.

This coming week after the market this Sunday I’ll be finishing off a couple of projects for the magazines – I was asked to participate in Australian Patchwork & Quilting‘s birthday challenge. Some gorgeous fabric and I’m going out on a massive limb with my project but I hope you all love it. The other project is for APQ as well but it’s using their new range of fabrics. Not my usual cup of tea but my quilt is a bit modern using this more traditional colours… you’ll see 😉

I’m catching up with the girls next week for our most favourite of foods – YUM CHA!!

 

Then I’ll be sewing madly for a week until my sister and I go to Quarantine Station for a ghost tour… my sister bought me tickets for my birthday 🙂

and then…

{drum rollllllllllll}

DARLING HARBOUR!

 

So – I’m off to make some jewellery tonight.

I’ll try to post a bit more regularly but … no promises 🙂

Night,

Marni

 

 

 

 

May…be…

I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by. We are past the 6 month mark for the shop, we’re into market and show season and the weather is turning particularly chilly.

Housekeeping….

The shop is no longer open on Saturdays. There is a sign on the door at the shop, I’ve changed the details, here and on Facebook and I’ve made several status updates announcing as such.

We are at the Wyong Quilt Show this weekend – come along and say hi.

In the latest copy of Patchwork & Stitching Magazine my Punk Princess quilt is published. I have 5 kits left of it for sale and will have them with me tomorrow at the show. $85 for the fabrics just to make the quilt top and the binding or $120 if you want backing as well. You’ll also need 2m of Vliesofix which is sold separately.

 

I’m also about to release the pattern for In Flight. It will be available as a pattern, will be taught as a class from the end of June and also comes as a tailored kit.

The tailored kits are where I work with you to create a kit to your liking, we liaise via email with photos and colour swatches to create a unique quilt for you. I can only do a limited number of these as they take more time to compile so if you are interested please send me an email frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com

There’s lots of other things happening over the next few weeks. I’ll have to keep you updated after the weekend.

 

Hope you all have a great weekend!

Marni 🙂

Rain

I can hear some of you thinking that this post will be a whinge about the rain… well I hate to disappoint but it will be nothing of the sort… see I LIKE rain…  except when I have washing to do or have to catch public transport.

I love the smell, the sound and the look of it. I love the way it makes me want to curl up with a hot chocolate and a good book under my favourite quilt. How it makes my cat snuggly. How it makes the fog and mist hang around the tree tops at the end of the street behind my house and how I always feel like I get a good nights sleep when I can hear it falling outside.

I also like BIG storms – with lots of lightning and thunder. I love the energy of a storm and I always feel like this recharges me and that my creative impulses are renewed and revitalised….

You might have realised that I am a bit weird.

No worries….

The rain today seemed to bring out a lot of customers. In fact it felt like the busiest day since we opened. That was fantastic! But was it the rain? What made you all come out today on such a miserable, soggy day? You all had to traispe inside from your cars, dashing across the sodden grass to get to the door. I was pleased to see you all regardless of the weather and I thank you for making today a good day. 🙂

Onto other things…still rain related….

Rainy weather is the perfect weather to get some sewing done. And the rain today was a perfect start to my sewing to do list….

– commissioned lap quilt for customer (needs border, quilting and binding)

– lap quilt for magazine project (which will then be my winter quilt) needs quilting and binding

– finish binding on a playmat, table runner and one single bed quilt (playmat and table runner will go up for sale)

– double bed quilt top (finish piecing, then quilt and bind) then will be up for sale

– quilt top for magazine project (quilting and binding)

– girls lap quilt – fairy themed (border, quilting and binding)

– 2 x single bed UFO quilt tops (currently sitting in box in blocks and borders…. but when done will be up for sale)

– single bed made from fat quarters (finish appliqués, quilt and bind)

– start on competition quilt

– 1x boys, and 1 x girls single bed quilts for Darling Harbour (possible kits)

 

If I can get a lot of these things out of the way this week I will be a happy woman and can sort out the other odd things I need to get done. I’m starting to get very, very, VERY excited for Darling Harbour. I have sooooo many ideas and things that I want to showcase but I need to sit down and nut it all out properly. I have some surprises and some interesting things planned, so you’ll need to mark it down in your diary to come and see me.

Anyways, its still raining so I’m off to get into bed with my book and a hot water bottle.

Night,

 

Marni

 

 

April Catchup…

So we’re into April and I’ve got just a bit of housekeeping.

After a chocolate overloaded long weekend we are back at the shop and there’s a new look around HQ. Make sure you pop in and have a look.

Custom orders are still open – I’m making quilts, jewellery and will take on any quilting jobs you may need doing before the cold weather sets in.

Upcoming events –

May 5 & 6 – Wyong Quilt Show

May 12 & 13 – HCM Pop Up Market at Hornsby Westfield

May 19 – HCM Terrigal

I’m working on a competition quilt. Not going to reveal anything just yet but it is my very first attempt at entering a competition so I’m a little nervous. 🙁

May and June are going to be very busy with markets and shows – make sure you mark the dates down for everything thats coming up.

 

Night,

Marni