Welcome! This is the blog of Wendy Whellum and Legend and Lace Designs

Welcome to the Blog of Wendy Whellum and Legend and Lace

To find out more about Legend and Lace please visit the website http://www.legendandlace.com/

Quilt Gallery

Saturday, December 28, 2013

A little fussy cutting and the back view

Why do you suppose we always want to look at the back of quilts?  Is it to see what kind of fabric was used, or how the quilting looks? Or is it to see how it was made?   In this case to see how it is made. 

When you do hand piecing, you do not stitch into the seam allowance, and when it comes time to press there is no real obvious way to do it.  I look at how the fabric and pieces want to go, and kind of follow the natural lay.  You will see there are some over and unders on the back here. 
 You need to cut off all the little tails of the pieces, and manipulate the points a bit so that they lay flat.
In a section, like this centre, you can pretty much press them so that they spiral around, all going in one direction.  You will find there is far less bulk with hand piecing than machine piecing.
 I have chosen the fabrics for my next block and starting in the centre with this repeat print fabric.  this is perfect to "fussy cut".  This just means that you pick out parts of the print, that will give you a pretty effect when sewn together.  With these perspex templates you can place them over the print, on the right side, and see the print through them.  Then draw around the template with a pen or pencil.  Does not have to be wash out quality, as you will be cutting off the line.
 These are my favourite tools for hand piecing - 2B pencil, and Artline green pen.  The green you can see on almost all fabrics.  Don;t use it on anything too light, that is what the pencil is for.  I use these instead of the ceramic pencils as they tend to rub off as your handle them.  Great for hand quilting, as you want these lines to go away as you work, but not for hand piecing as you want to see the lines.

The Karen Kay Buckley medium size 6" scissors are the perfect size for cutting out these small pieces of fabric.  They have a micro-serrated edge, which helps to minimise the fraying
I mark the sewing lines 1/4" in from the edge, and draw lines with the green pen.  All ready to stitch.

I have already chosen the setting for this quilt.  I drew this up on EQ7.  The hexagons represent the blocks, and I will need 20 of them.  18 full sized blocks, and 4 half blocks for the sides.  Then some kind of border.  I expect that by the time I get to that part, I will just take one of my border stash fabrics and use that.

If you want to do some hand piecing, and you live in the Adelaide area, or visiting, come to Hettie's Patch on the 1st Saturday of the month (not January).  Sit around the table and do some sewing.  I will show you the tricks to make it easy and fast.  Ring the shop to book your seat.(08) 8346 0548.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A new project for the New year

For a good few years I have started something new around the Christmas/New Year time.  After all the festivities are over, it is nice to sit around and do a little hand piecing.  Last year it was the Mrs Vigors, which became "Out of the Closet", and this year it is this hand piece block.  It does not have a name yet, but I will work on that.

Once again, it is out of my cupboard of reproduction fabrics.  Each block needs 6 different fabrics, which includes a background. I am using my scraps of shirting as background.  I had to use 2 different ones in this block, but that is fine with me.
 I cut out all the shapes using this little plastic template.  You can buy these at your quilting shop.  This one I bought at Hettie's Patch, which is the shop where I teach hand work once a month.  You could also buy pre-cut paper pieces for this block, and make it using English Paper Piecing.  With the template, I draw around the shape, then cut out on the line, and then make the 1/4" seam.  You can also use your rotary cutter, but I think that is a bit fiddly for these small pieces.

With the fabrics, I just chose these light and dark ones to get some contrast, also I love to use stripes.
 Once I cut them out, I just played around to make sure they looked good together, and I had enough.
 Some close ups of the fabrics.  Some nice old ones, and some newer.
I was hoping the centre might form a nice picture.
 One of the reasons I love to do hand work is that I can do it in my arm chair while (sort of) watching TV.  I set the pieces out on my lap.  This is my thigh/knee in the photo.  Pretty, eh?
 I use one pin, and pin through the 2 layers, in the very corner of the drawn line. At the other end I insert my needle into the corner, 2 back stitches, and a slip knot and off I go.  When I get to the point where the pin is, I take out the pin and do another 2 back stitches and a knot.  Do not sew into the seam allowance.  Cut off the thread.
 It now looks like this.  You have to insert the 3rd piece into the centre.
 Right sides together, put a pin in the centre where the two seams meet.  Start off as before, and sew along the line. When you get to the pin, do a back stitch, take out the pin, pivot
 and start stitching down the other side of the seam.  Do a back stitch, and a knot and cut off the thread.
You now have one of the units complete.  You will have to make a heap of these.
 You need 6 of the centre piece, 6 of the one with the dark point, and 12 of the outside pieces with the background.  I do not press these pieces as I make them, just finger press.  you can press the whole block when it is finished.
 Join the centre pieces and the pointed pieces, wide sides together, then put a background piece on either side.
 Here we are, all 6 pieces completed.  Does not take long.  I had them all finished before I went to bed last night.

I completed the block earlier on today.  I plan to make about 15 of these blocks, in lots of different fabrics, and join them like you would a hexagon quilt - all butting in together.

Wonder how long it will take me?  If I do one a week, then they will be done in no time at all.  Wish me luck!

Edit - pressing!  Sandy asked me about how I press the blocks, open, flat, to the dark?  Mostly I let them fall where they want, and press them flat.  You need to manipulate the joins though.  I will take a few photos of the back, and add these later today.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas cooking

My Christmas cooking this year got way behind schedule.  I usually start making my cake and puddings months in advance.  This week we had the hottest December days on record, so I suppose that must mean it is time to cook!

This years pudding is a steamed one instead of the traditional boiled puddings I made back HERE  2011
and HERE 2010
All these ingredients go in the pan together :-
500g mixed dried fruit, 120g raisins, 120g chopped dates, 1 cup of water, 1/2 cup each of brown sugar and white sugar, 125g butter.
cook them together, until it all melts, and then boil for 8 minutes.  Take it off the heat.
Add one teaspoon of carb soda and it all froths up!  Let it cool.
Add 2 eggs, 1 cup plain flour, and 1 cup SR flour, 1 teaspoon mixed spice, and 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of rum or brandy.  Mix it all together.

pour it all into a greased pudding bowl.  I put it into this metal one, but later transfered to an earthen ware bowl, as this one was too big.
 Cover with cooking paper and foil, tie it down with string

and lower it into a pan of water.  The water needs to come about 1/2 way up the bowl.  Put the lit on the pan, and boil for 5 hours.  Top up the water if it starts to evaporate.
 Now the best part - once the 5 hours are up, take it out of the water, untie the strings, let in cool.  Does it not not look wonderful?  And, you should smell it!

Then turn out onto a plate.  Voila!  You can now eat it with custard or cream, or wrap in plastic and keep in the fridge..  You can reheat in the microwave for around 10-12 minutes.

We had a huge storm here last night.  We are all ok, but my daughter has no power, and huge tree has landed in her backyard and smashed the trampoline.  They are at least 12 hours without power.  I have no mobile phone coverage, but that is minor compared to many.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Hand Piecing - a little help

All my little baskets I have made by hand.  I think they are easier that way.  You can follow these simple ideas if you think that it might be hard to do.  I will not show you the whole basket as I would like to maintain "a little mystery" until it is actually posted - in a few weeks.

I start with my drawing, and trace the designs onto template plastic.  I use a very fine pen so as not to distort the size, and my craft scissors.  I draw on the line, and cut off the line
 These are my favourite marking tools - 2B pencils, nice and sharp and a black and a green Artline 200 fine 0.4 available from the stationery shop.  They wash out, but do not rub out as you work.  The black I use for the templates, and the green you can see on most colours, but I do not use on white.  That is what the pencil is for.
you can see the 2B pencil well.  The Staedler is nice and soft and does not drag the fabric
 Cut all the pieces out, adding a 1/4" seam allowance.  I "eyeball" my seam allowance, but if you are new, you might like to measure the seam.  Does not matter if it is over or under, you can trim it later if you want.  I lay all the pieces out into the design.
See where my scissors are pointing? that is where I plan to start sewing.  I will sew all the sway down in a zig zag fashion, then around the corner, and up the other side. Run your fingers along to see how many pieces you can join at once.  Starting at that point, you can stitchdown one side, add in the little triangles, around the corner, up the other side, then add the larger triangle.
 pick up the first 2 pieces, and put your needle and thread into the corner where the line is drawn.  Do not sew into the seam allowance.  Do 2 little back stitches and a reef knot/figure 8 knot.  Do not put a knot in the end of your thread.  When you get to the end, there is a pin, do another backstitch.  Do not cut off thread!! add another piece of the basket.
Keep adding pieces until you run out of thread.  At this point (above) you move around the corner.  Keep adding in pieces. Until all are included.
 You will now be able to add the centre triangle.  Stitch on the side where all the seams are, threading your needle under the seams, and not catching them in.  All this before I knotted off and changed my thread.
Here I pivot - threading the needle through and out the other side, so I can pick up the other side of the triangle.
 All done now.  you can give it a little press, but I do not really press until the whole thing is completed.  It took me less than an hour.  You could not do this on your machine any faster.  By the time you cut out, stitched all the triangles into squares, checked the size, trimmed where necessary, assembled into strips and stitched again.

The back looks neat as well.  Press all the seams flat.  you can now add in the side pieces all in one go, using the same method, and then the top.

I use a size 10 milliners needle - you can get more stitches on the long ones.  I also use only cotton, but strong fine cotton.  You don;t want it breaking.  Generally, you will need only one or two pins to make something like this.

This basket has an appliqued top.  I will do that later, then join along the top, and lock in the loose ends of the applique.

Any questions?  Ask me wendy@legendandlace.com

Monday, December 16, 2013

Digital Patterns - how they work

Block 2 of the Pom Pom Tree quilt is now on the website.  This is how you get any of the digital patterns - including the free ones.

You go to www.legendandlace.com, and click on the pattern you want, and add it to your shopping cart by clicking "add to basket".  Then on the LHS click "view basket". Next page Click on "Continue".  There are 2 more pages where you can change your address, or make alterations, just keep clicking "Continue" .  FINALLY you get to the payment page, or if it is one of the free patterns it says "completed".

At this stage please ensure your registered email address is correct, or you will get nothing! Also, make sure that it is not in your Spam or Junk email folder.

You will get an email which contains a link.  That link allows you to download the pattern.  You get 3 days to do that, so it is a good idea to download it and save it to a file.

If you pay by Pay Pal it happens straight away.  If you pay by credit card I have to process the payment, and then I send the link to you.

Thank you all for the great support, and your patience with answering questions.  I got out of bed this morning to see my emails full of pattern requests, and queries.  I hope I have answered them all correctly.

Wendy  xx

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Part 2

I decided to get this out before breakfast today.  My granddaughter, Skylar, on the phone last night told me (not asked!) that she was coming to stay for a week.  Oh, really?  School holidays started yesterday, and she is bored already?  I figured it would probably last for a few days, not a week, but decided to get this part 2 of the Tulip quilt done this morning.  The first part was available at the beginning of the month, and as we probably get a bit a free stitching time coming up, you might like to start early.  From here on it will be around the 15th of the month with all my other blocks.

You can now go to the Legend and Lace website and get the block here.

As always, please let me know if there are any problems with the download, or the quality of the tempates, or instructions.  I will fix or replace what I can.

I made a few more of the Rolling Stone blocks and I really like them.  The colours are going to be "in your face" .  I like the way they form another pattern when you put them all together.  Funny me, but I like to time things when I start something new.  How long will it take me to make this quilt?  It takes about 30 minutes to make one block.  Not long, and that includes cutting and ironing.  This is going to be my Monday project.  I find Mondays are days that I generally have no commitments, and can get a bit of "me time" in.

Also started another "Bit Stitch" quilting project.  This is a quilt I made a short time back, and I thought about machine quilting.  It is going to a magazine, so I can not show too much, but I do love this stitching.  It works so quickly.  I am using Valdani perle cotton, and a Clover Sashiko needle.
I am going to do some stitches in the darker areas as well, so you might be able to see that better when I get it done.

Ok, breakfast time, and get ready for the visit.

Monday, December 9, 2013

One for me...Rolling Stones

 No, not the "Rolling Stones" (I wish!), but  a very simple nine patch block.  This is what you can do with pretty fabrics, placed in the right spots.

I spend a lot of my sewing time making samples for classes, commissions for magazines, patterns for my website etc, and sometimes.......I make something for me.

When I was in Toowoomba in September, with Penny, we went to see Gail Chalker at Sew Creative in Gatton, and I came home with some lovely fabrics.  They have been sitting waiting for inspiration.  Also, I got the lovely fabrics last month in Melbourne at the Quilt Market.

 I wanted to make something fast, but pretty.   Here it is - a Rolling Stone, a 15" block.  Yes, big!

Make the little corner pieces first - 3 side are shirting and one side is the fabric that goes around the centre.
Next sew the side strips together - they are 5 1/2" when pieced.  The same with the corner pieces above.

Join the centre strip, and side strips.  I chose a large print for the centre (not amongst my new fabrics, but it worked)   It reflects all the colours.
Press the centre seams and the side seams in opposite directions, so they butt in nicely when you join them

Finished!  All in about 30 minutes.  You could make the blocks smaller, and use really modern fabrics.  Isn't it nice to see one of the old style blocks?  When you join these all together, you get a secondary pattern.  I did that on EQ, and you get a look like a Album Cross block.