MAM2024 – Community Quilt Project

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Hello!

Today I have the first update for the MAM2024 CQP.

Last weekend I went and collected the donations from Officeworks at West Gosford. The team there generously donated envelopes and stamps to get us started on shipping out the fabric squares along with a donation for printing for the instructions that are in the packs.

I bundled up the first batch of signups and they all went into the post on Wednesday. Mixed locations so envelopes should arrive within 5-10days.

This weekend was the first Zoom session. This session was to work out where people were at with their ideas, what methods they could use and what skill levels everyone is at. Future Zooms will be helping people step-by-step with different techniques and general help sessions.

We had a really good discussion about images we can use and talked about products that were suitable for those ideas. The key was visual impact – we need to explain our lived experience of migraine in relatable ways to those who don’t know what it’s like. Universal experience is the phrase I like to use – something that we all know what it feels like – like an exposed nerve in a tooth for example – to relate to a symptom or pain sensation of migraine.

Unfortunately, many of the images we discussed are violent in nature – things erupting, burning, and hitting us like icepicks. It’s not pleasant but it is what it is.

We also discussed copyrighted images, signing our work and the do’s and don’t for the blocks.

I’ve done a test block of my migraine pain. I’m going to tweak it a bit because I want to move the machine embroidery a bit higher but overall I am happy with how it turned out. I’m keeping my test block for myself – I want to have it on hand when I next see my neurologist and my GP. Like I said visual impact.

I hope you’re having a pain free day out there and can get some sewing done.

Stay tuned for more updates on this quilt process.

Marni x

Migraine Awareness Month – Community Quilt Project

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June is Migraine Awareness Month.

As many of you know migraine is a big part of my life. It has been for the past 14 years (and counting). I have spent a lot of time and a lot of money on managing my migraine. Trying to learn all I can about it, why my symptoms are the way they are and how medications can help or hinder as the case may be.

It’s not a fun process and there are more of us than you’d think.

In fact when you start to look at the stats it’s quite a daunting sight. Approximately 5 million Australians live with migraine and there is suspicion that there is far more than that estimate. Stigma, debilitating symptoms, struggling to advocate for yourself and being put through the wringer of medical situations all make you want to hide away from the world. I know I’ve had my low moments, and the frustration of trying to explain to someone who has no idea of what it’s like, and repeating yourself so many times over… It’s too much and not enough all at the same time.

This year I decided to take on a more active role in the migraine community and so I signed up as a volunteer with Migraine Australia and I became part of the Advisory Committee, a group that is made up of the sickest of the sick, the unusual (me) and at least one representative of each type of migraine. Along with that I am organising the Community Quilt Project, my favourite pastime rolled into volunteer work!

 

This is all kicking off on the 1st of June. I will be sending out a pack to everyone who signs up to make a block for the quilt – the only criteria is that you have migraine – you don’t have to be a member or volunteer. There are instructions in the pack along with your base fabric square. I’ll also be running some Zoom sessions for those who aren’t of the creative mindset, anyone who needs help and those who need step-by-step guidance. Dates for these to be advised. The packs will be sent out in batches as sign ups get to certain amounts to reduce my running back and forth to the post office.

Sign up here —-> https://form.jotform.com/241343616133852

We are asking anyone who makes a block to create what their migraine story is for them – imagery and symbolism, literal, abstract or emotive. We want to see what you feel, your perspective and once you’ve made your block – following the instructions in the pack, they’ll get sent back to me to assemble into a large quilt. Once it’s all done we will be organising a handover ceremony to present it to Canberra in an effort to draw attention to the needs of the migraine community.

Our theme is “Stronger Together” which is the most perfect tie in to quilting and the idea of a quilt being made up of smaller individual pieces. Quilting and sewing has saved my mental health many times over the years and I do not know where I’d be without it. Our hobbies are so valuable as an outlet but also as a distraction. I know when I’m in a bad way, pain and burning taking over my brain, that a monotonous task that I can do for a quilt project is the best at keeping my hands busy and my mind occupied when I just can’t be in bed any longer.

I will be documenting the process here on my blog along with all the MA socials so make sure you stay tuned to see what we get up to.

I’d loved to have you join us if you live with migraine, but if you don’t and you know someone else who does please share this initiative with them. Who knows you might just give them the gift of a new hobby and some new friends.

There are also lots of other exciting things happening this month to raise awareness – activities that are free to join in with on socials and if you feel so inclined places for you to donate to help us behind the scenes.

To read more: https://www.migraine.org.au/
To donate to the quilt project: https://www.migraine.org.au/community_quilt
To donate: https://www.migraine.org.au/donate

M x

2020 Christmas machine quilting schedule

Hello everyone!

Just popping in to say whew! What a year!

Christmas is right around the corner and because of what Covid-19 has done to gatherings this year if you want to ensure you have that special quilty present for family you can’t visit then please let me know ASAP. Quilt bookings are filling up fast, but as I’ve changed my work schedule some spaces have now opened up.

Please have the following information ready when you book:

  • Name
  • Phone number
  • Size of quilt top in inches
  • If you have backing/need backing
  • If you have wadding/need wadding
  • What type of wadding you have – please NO WOOL
  • Date you need the quilt back
  • Thread colour if you have an idea of what you would like
  • Design ideas if you have a preference for a theme/style
  • If you want it trimmed back
  • If you want me to bind it for you/fabric for binding

To book:

Ring or text: 0416 023 637

Email: frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com

You can send me photos if you need to show me specific things/designs etc.

I can’t wait to see what you’ve all been up to.

Marni x

 

 

Spring Sale!

Hello lovely people!

Just a quick note to say there’s a SALE on in the webstore. Click the store button and shop till your hearts content. All fabric is reduced and pretty much everything else as well. I decided a big spring clean was in order to make the most of the end of the year and streamline things as well as give you all some excellent bargains.

Any queries please don’t hesitate to ask.

Machine quilting is available from October until the 9th of December (last drop off date). Please contact me for a quote, lay-by options and to book.

I’ll be adding a few other things to the webstore in coming months – patterns, pre-made quilts and vouchers for both machine quilting and regular gift vouchers. These are mainly digital items so will need more work to get them uploaded.

In the meantime, happy shopping!

Marni x

Welcome to 2019

Welcome to 2019 at Frankenstein’s Fabrics HQ!

This year has a lot already going on. Things that have been in the pipeline for a while and are finally coming together.

Classes:
I’m teaching a few different things this year including machine embroidery. It’s a specific project based on learning techniques and I will have more info on dates, prices etc towards the end of the month. To sign up for the mailing list click here.

Patterns:
Those of you who follow news in the crafting world may have seen the shake up that was announced by Craftsy a couple of weeks ago. Basically they decided to streamline their pattern platform and culled a lot of designers. I was one of them. To be honest it didn’t bother me because I had other avenues in place for selling and I was planning on moving away from Craftsy anyway. Many designers didn’t and they short notice has left many adrift.

So new to the website is a pattern only store. It’s a dropdown from the store button, under the header and will include free and paid for patterns. I am slowly transferring my designs there. They are all digital downloads. If you would like to purchase a hardcopy pattern please email me frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com with your address and what pattern you would like. Payment and post will be arranged. 

Website:
I will be tweaking the website throughout January, not only doing the pattern store but also getting rid of, changing and adding new things. I will be trying to blog more this year as well as now that some things have settled down I can focus again. The product store will change too, details to be advised.

Machine Quilting:
Machine quilting in 2018 was hectic. So in order for things to not get so crazy in 2019 I cannot stress enough that you book in your quilts with at least 6 weeks notice before you need it finished. Deposits are $50 – no exceptions. Bookings are welcome at any time of the year. Spaces do fill up so even if you haven’t finished the quilt yet please get in touch and secure a slot. Any questions please email me frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com or ring 0416 023 637.

My other job:
I am still working with the team at the Gosford Sewing Machine Centre. I am there Tuesday 10-3, Wednesday and Friday 10-4:30 and Saturday 9:30-12:30. If you need to see me in person this is the best way to do so. Please ring if you’re not sure I’ll be there. Frankenstein’s Fabrics stock is located in the shop as well.

Special Events:
This year there are a few special events that will be happening. Shows, charity days, one-off teaching days etc. If you would like to be kept in the loop for these notifications please sign up to the newsletter here.

Magazines:
As many of you know Express Publications shut down its remaining magazines in June last year. I had been a project contributor since 2007. It was sad to see it go this way after so many years, but things change and we must move forward. At this point in time I have no plans to contribute to magazines again. Mainly because when Express stopped publishing I was in the middle of some health issues and had decided to slow things down a little for myself. I am still working on my health and don’t necessarily wish to add that type of deadline stress back into my schedule just yet. I would consider it if asked and it would depend on the project.

January Special:
January is my birthday month so I decided that I shouldn’t be the only one getting a present! Stay tuned for a surprise a little later in the month.

That’s about all for now, so I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and New Year and that 2019 brings us all the things we wish for, especially some sewing time!

Marni x

Problem solving #1

I asked on my FB page a few days weeks ago for followers/customers to let me know what patchwork/quilting problems they’ve been having or would just like to know more about. There were a few requests that I’ll work my way through and if you have anymore ideas to add please let me know in the comments or email me – frankensteinsfabrics@hotmail.com

This blog post is aimed at one question –

“How to arrange a quilt top and backing when both are pieced? To centre both when there’s wadding in the middle and keep them in place while basting.”

Firstly we need to separate your randomly pieced backings from those that have a feature. Also you will need a flat surface to work on, plenty of room, safety pins, thread snips, ventilation if you use spray glues and some patience.

Randomly pieced backings can simply be centred by folding in half and marking the folds top and bottom. Fold in half in the other direction and mark the side folds. Repeat this process with your quilt front and when basting match up the marks. You can make extra marks if you choose – thirds for example – to make sure your matching up is as straight as it can be. Marks can be made by marking pens/pencils or safety pins. I find pins to be better as you can feel them and it just makes it that much easier to locate them underneath the fabric and wadding.

For a backing with a feature you can use the same process but you will also need to mark the centre of the quilt. You can use the folding technique as described above but you should also check the centre mark by measuring from the edges of the quilt into the centre point.

I have helped students baste quilts like this – pieced back and front for reversible quilts – and the easiest option for basting is to use a spray basting glue like 505 (we sell this at Gosford Sewing Machine Centre for $17 per can, it’s unable to be posted). The reason it is easier is that you can spread the quilt and the backing out and spray baste in sections allowing the matching up of marking points as you go. You can always peel back a section that has been basted and re-lay it to realign and match marks.


Alternatively if you want to take matching marks to a whole new level you can use a fabric marking pen and mark grids on your wadding. I have done this a couple of times but only on small projects in a similar way to marking up grids for pixel images. It is more fiddly because marking pens don’t always work well on wadding so it does take longer to draw out the marks you need.

If you are sending your quilt away to be quilted you will need to discuss with your long-armer what you want to achieve with your centred backing and ensure that there is sufficient allowance around all sides of the backing and wadding to accommodate any adjustments.

If you are quilting your quilt on your machine at home you may need to quilt in small sections and then take the quilt off the machine and lay it out again to ensure that there hasn’t been any shifting of the backing/wadding/quilt top. It does mean spending extra time preparing and working on a quilt but in the long run it will be better for it. Take it slowly and don’t rush.

If you have any questions about this post please ask in the comments and I’ll get back to you.

Happy quilting!

Marni x

 

2017 My Modern Round Robin

Late last year I signed up for a round robin being run by @cedacanthus on Instagram.
I’ve never participated in a round robin before and I jumped at the chance to tick this off my quilting bucket list.

We had to make our own centre – designing something that we loved and would help the group add to it. We are in groups of 7 quilters, and each of us will add a border of our choosing to 6 centres. Each centre that we receive will mean we add a different border on at each stage – meaning so far I have added a first border and a second border.

My centre, as usual Halloween related –

We posted off our centres at the start of the year. We’ve received the first person’s centre and attached the first border, then posted it to the next quilter in the queue. And at the beginning of March we received the second centre which is currently being worked on and is due to be shipped on the 1st of May. We get two months to receive, design, and sew before the next shipping deadline.

This is @red_flossy’s hot air balloon centre that I added a polaroid block border and continued her request for the film strip edge –

I’m currently working on an appliqué border for the next one. But I’m keeping it under wraps until I’m ready to send. 🙂

This year has brought me some different opportunities and I’ve taken them because life is just too damned short. Last year reinforced that lesson and this year I’m making changes. I’ll be sharing these exciting things with you this year, on this blog, now that I feel like writing again.

Marni x

Why hello there, 2016!

As we waved goodbye to 2015 last night, like all new years celebrations before it, many of us turned introspective. Minds turning towards the potential of the new year, whether it be personal or for business.

This year things are changing here at FF HQ. In fact they started changing a little while ago but the big jump into the new things is happening NOW.

Firstly – many of you know I am teaching. You might have been to a class or spoken with me about coming to one when you’re ready. This year is chock-a-block FULL of classes. Click here to sign up for class news. I’m running basic blocks for those who want to get started, project classes where we tackle specific quilts or designs, colour theory for those who are struggling with choosing fabrics and one-on-one classes for those who are determined to get to the bottom of the UFO box.

I am also in the process of designing a new range of quilts and unlike many of my previous designs these will not be headed to the magazines. These will only be able to be purchased through my online store. I’m returning to my designing and writing roots this year because that’s what makes me happy.

This year Dawn Lewis from DawnLewisImagery and I will be utilising a new video style platform in order to bring tutorials and unprecedented access to us in an interactive online session. This will enable you to sit in on a Skype-style video call and talk to us live online and with other customers. If you don’t want to be ‘seen’ on the video call then you are also able to jump in the question section and ask us anything you like. All you need to get started is a Twitter account! I have a session scheduled on the 20th of January at 10:30am if you’d like to join us  and see what it’s like. For those who aren’t quite ready for it you can watch online but you won’t be able to ask questions or join in live.

I’m also working on a batch of videos – reworking basic skills and techniques and getting a good bank of videos we can all refer back too whenever we need a refresher or if you want to encourage a friend to join in on this hobby. If there’s something specific you’d like help with please let me know.

I am still contributing to the magazines this year as well – you will continue to see my projects in Handmade and Patchwork & Stitching magazines as well as a few other projects elsewhere, that you’ll see later on in the year.

I’m re-working the shopping cart on this site as I am no longer selling fabrics online, most of the products will be digital and instant download (no shipping!!) as well as copies of Mollie Makes and hard copies of vouchers if people need them sent out.

Machine quilting bookings are filling up. January is full, February – April have some spaces available. Please book ASAP to ensure you get the slot needed for your quilt. I will be introducing a loyalty card system for machine quilting (retrospectively adding quilt jobs), with discounts and incentives for customers.

Currently though I’m having a bit of downtime as January is full of some crazy things that are happening. My birthday, a few health things I need to take care of and my cat requires some surgery so I will be around but if you  miss me I’ll get back to you all when I can. I am working at The Gosford Sewing Machine Centre – usually Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays but if you need to see me specifically please give me a call.

I hope everyone has had a lovely festive season and is now ready for bigger and brighter things in 2016. I also hope that you join me this year and continue to support Frankenstein’s Fabrics and the new direction that we are headed in.

Happy Quilting!
Marni x

2015-11-07 21.03.41

Have you ever…?

I am a habitual collector of random images from the internet… usually cat memes and things that tickle my dark sense of humour but I also collect images that inspire and make me feel something. Especially if they ignite that flicker of an idea, slightly intangible at the time but one that moves more and more into a solid idea for a quilt.

I have an external hard drive that is fit to bursting with images, notes for quilts, drafts for book chapters, all my phone and laptop backups and pretty much every picture I’ve ever taken with a digital device. This poor hard drive holds some of that idea intangibility but even though I rarely look at whats actually stored on there I know what’s there. It’s the promise of a design, the pattern potential and the seed of creativity that makes what I do worth getting up in the morning.

BUT…

Occasionally an idea will stall. It will sit there and be a bit stubborn and doesn’t want to play.

I’ve had an idea for a quilt (more a wall hanging originally but it’s scale isn’t really important in this tale) that incorporates something that I’ve long believed in, practice and aim to improve within myself. It’s not religious although there is spirituality involved and the symbols I’d like to replicate in some way, are meaningful to the belief system. I’ve been looking at these images for months and nothing has jumped out at me to give me the clarification I need.

I have the colours and the fabrics in mind already, I have the designs and the pattern – what eludes me is what technique to use to create them.

Which might sound a little odd considering everything else is ready to go but I assure you that’s usually the stumbling block that most people find they come up against. This is me every now and then – usually when something is important or is laden with some kind of obligation (usually a gift).

So as I imagine my finished piece in all sorts of ways I ask you  –

Have you ever been stuck like this before? How did you get unstuck?

Pop your comments below. 🙂

Marni x

Some days…

I made this quilt (currently named ‘Matchsticks’) about 6 months ago. It was an experiment in staggering my measurements, the piecing was all vertical and it was fairly straightforward to graph it out.

10347792_593859640711822_5879110520642892352_n copy

The thing that’s driving me batty with this quilt is what design to quilt it with…

Do I go full custom? Geometric? Swirls? Find a pantograph that has elephants on it?

The backing is a chocolate brown with baby pink spot and the binding is a multi-coloured stripe (pink, blue, brown and white).

If you have any thoughts on what I might quilt on it please pop them in the comments below.

Do you want to win?

If you would like the chance to win a $20 gift voucher to use in the web-store please comment below with your suggestion for a name for this quilt. I will choose the winner at 5pm AEDST on the 22nd of February 2015.

Rules:

Gift voucher will be valid from 6 months from the date of winner announcement. This prize is a one off and the voucher cannot be redeemed for cash. This voucher cannot be used towards machine quilting costs (if you need a machine quilting voucher they are available for purchase). Your information, submitted for this competition will not be used for any other purpose except this competition and will not be passed onto any third parties.

To ensure that you are able to be contacted in the case of you winning please make sure you comment with a profile/avatar that has an email address.

If in case of the winner not responding within 24hours of the announcement a second winner shall be chosen.