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

Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Basting on a table

 I decided to get the Birdy quilt basted while I had some time on my hands, and before it got too hot.  I have an old wooden table in my family room that I use for basting.  It is not big enough to take the whole quilt in one go, but I do it in segments.  For me, it is far easier than doing it on the floor, and quicker than sending it to the machine quilter.

I lay out the 3 layers, and use large clips to attach to the edges of the table, with the centre on the table and the rest of the quilt falling over the edges.

Sometimes I pin baste if i am machine quilting, and sometimes I thread baste, especially if I am hand quilting.  I had to thread baste this one as all my pins are already used in another quilt.

For the tacking I use a large doll making needle and yarn used for crochet.  It is strong and flexible, and cheap!  I can usually pick it up at the charity shops or garage sales.
 I cut off lengths of thread that reach from one side of the quilt to the other.  I start tacking in the centre and go as far as I can, then take the needle off the thread and just let it hang loose over the edge of the table.  That will be finished off later.
 The stitches are really big, and about a hand's width apart.....for me, that is about 4 inches.
 I tack all the threads in one direction, then cross over the other direction, doing the centre again and letting the threads hand down the edges.
 Once all the centre of the quilt is completed, you can then unclip, and move the quilt to one side.  Reclip, after making sure it is all smooth, and start using those loose threads to finish off.
 Just keep tacking with the threads that are falling over the sides, unclipping, moving, and reclipping until it is all completed.
 I think it took me about 4 hours in total to do it.  I worked for 2 hours to start with, then left it on the table for the rest of the day, and did a few stitches for 5 or 10 minutes, as I walked by the table.  Finally finished it off in the morning, with about an hours work
On the back it looks like this.  It can stay like that until I get around to doing the quilting.  Really, I don't think it will be too long, as I really want to get this one finished now that I have rediscovered it.

What do you think of the backing fabric??  Pretty bright, eh?

Monday, December 28, 2015

 Finally I settled on the right fabrics for the borders of the birdy quilt.  It took me ages!  I think I took about 10 photos trying to get the right LOOK.  I think I was distracted by what the original quilt looked like, instead of focusing on what I thought looked good to me.

 The fabrics that I finally chose really work well with the colours, especially the reds, in the centre applique.

The black I love as it frames and contrast everything you put with it.
You will notice that I did not mitre the corners.  As I like my quilts to look like old quilts I do not mitre them.  People have pulled me up on this at different times. The quilt history people will tell you that the mitred corners became popular in the 1970's or 80's with the resurgence of quiltmaking.  I have lots of books on antique quilts, and it is very hard to find a mitred corner.

 A lot of these fabrics came from my friend Penny.  Penny has a online shop Pennylane Patchwork, and is getting ready to open a real shop in Victor Harbor in South Australia.  We did a little fabric swap.  I won some fabric pieces from a show I had entered into.  The fabrics were nice, and good quality, but not the types of prints I would normally use.  Both the black fabrics were part of the swap, and this print to the left I got from her once before.  The red wavy fabric was in my stash.  I love serpentine fabrics, and buy a bit when I see it.
 This is a little close up of what the fabrics look like all together.  I think they are a good match.

While I am in the mood, and before it gets too hot again (eek!) I think I will get this basted and ready to quilt.  My plan is to follow the idea of the original quilt, and do parallel diagonal lines in the borders, and echo quilt the inner part.

I am going to try a new batting.  For several years now I have been a huge fan of  Quilter's Dream cotton batting, and use it exclusively.  I buy it in from the distributors in the USA, to resell on my website.  With the price of shipping now, and the exchange rate, it is getting very expensive to get the big boxes in.  I am going to try 50% cotton and 50% bamboo batting called Legacy.  I just love the feel of it, and I think it will quilt nicely.  More on that as I progress.

 Just so you don't feel like you missed out......the following are the  "audition"photos

this was a favourite and nearly won


love this as well

I hand pieced the first border to make sure it was on the lines correctly

 Can't believe the top is finally finished!  It sat in the "To Do"box for about 4 years.  No need to rush these things, is there?

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

A little gift for you all

I have been trying to think of what I might be able to do next year as a gift to you all......a BOM, or similar to what we had last year.

I have come up with an applique block of the month.  There is no charge for the blocks, but you will have to get it quick.  I will put it up on the top RHS of this page, and it will be there, free of charge for one month.  After that time, it will be on my website, still as a digital pattern, but with a small charge.  Just click on the image, and it *should* take you to the drawing. 

It will print out as an 8"block if you set your printer to "actual size".  If you want it larger,  then you will need to adjust the configurations of your printer.  All printers are different, so you will need to sort this part out for yourselves.

This first block is called Clover and Spades.  It is a very traditional block, and all the blocks will be, and they will be of a similar style.

My plan is to have each new block ready for you on or about the 20th of the month as I have done in the past.

The name???  Red and Green Again!  of course.

Happy sewing everyone. 

Thanks for your support during the last year.  I love to hear from you and get your feedback.


Friday, December 18, 2015

The Birdy keeps flying

 Despite the heat in this part of the world, I have managed to get the centre of my latest project completed.  We usually do not get such hot weather until January, or February.  So far with have broken all the December records for the heat.  Today is 42c....which is about 110F.  HOT!

 The flowers are all appliqued by needle-turn.  I just cut the flower out, and left a small turn under.
 The original quilt was done using a blanket stitch
 I used 3 of the flowers all from the same piece of fabric.  Instead of appliquing stems for the flowers, I used Valdani perle 8 thread and did small chain stitch.

 Unfortunately, I ended up with a lot of wasted fabrics.  Hopefully I can find another project to use this on.

The photo of the original quilt is HERE.  Next job is sorting through the large assortment of borders to choose the right combination.  I am sure just the right ones are in the offering.

I have been going to swimming classes during November and December.  I did learn to swim as a child, like every other child in Australia, but needed an update.  Skylar and I go and swim laps together.  We have a fabulous indoor aquatic centre very close to us, so we are very lucky.  I have never been keen on the beach, and think that is mainly because of my fair skin, and aversion to being out in the hot sun.

So, now I have one week to get ready to Christmas.  It is going to be very hot again, so we will be having cold food, inside my cool house (I hope).

Friday, November 27, 2015

The birdy made me do it

Last week I resurrected an older project.  We all have this happen from time to time.  When we start we just love it to death, then something goes wrong, or you get side tracked, and it goes in the "too hard"basket for a while.  That is what happened with the bird.

I first saw the original of this quilt in the North Carolina Quilts book.  If you do not have this book, it is worth looking out for.  There are some stunning applique and pieced quilts.

 To me, there is something so elegant and peaceful about this bird in flight.  I loved it from the first sight of it.  I just knew I had some of that similar Column or Pillar type fabric, and my interest just grew from there.  It was made around 1830-50.  There is a story about the family in the book.  They are not actually sure which member of the  Brandon family made it.
In the book there is a close up if the bird in flight, and you can see the background quilting as well.  All the applique is done as blanket stitch, with very fine stitches.  You need a magnifying glass to see it in the photos.  I am doing mine as needle-turn.

The next challenge was to find suitable fabrics for the Broderie Perse floral motifs around the bird.  I have a box of BP type fabrics, but none were "just right" -  some were too big for the space, others had a dark background (which makes it hard to make the applique stitches invisible) some the wrong colour.  So......I had to buy some more fabric!

I ended up with this fabric.  it has small, medium and larger flowers, all that I can use, and isolate them to be cut out.  I already had this fabric with a blue background, but that would not do!  In case you want to find some for yourself it is Arabesque by Petra Prins and Nel Kooiman for Dutch Heritage.

The other really interesting part of this quilt is the array of borders.  There appear to be 4 borders in all.  I raided the stash for this!  I buy unique border fabrics whenever I see them.  Then they sit, for years sometimes, waiting for the right project.

I have no idea what I will be using on the borders yet, but just playing around. 

I am alternating between doing this applique, and quilting my Maltaville Album quilt.  Depends on the weather.  We are still getting some cool nights so, that is great weather for some quilting. 
You can not actually see the stitches, but I have quilted in the ditch next to the sashing, and now I have started going around the shapes........long way to go yet!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Towards the next finish

I was having a little tidy up in my sewing room this week (read that as trying to find space on the floor) and found my bag of Maltaville Album blocks.  I started making these blocks ages ago, from a pattern created by Margaret at Quiltstaion.  The original quilt is in the Smithsonian Museum.  I decided also that I was not going to make all the blocks, and stopped at 36,

I rifled through my stash of fabric, and found something for the sashing, and started cutting and sewing.

I have enough of the sashing material to use it on the cross length, then I can use a double width (two stripes) for the border.  I have never sashed an applique quilt before, but I have always loved the look of it.  The fabric  for the sashing was one I bought on sale *somewhere* and thought it would like nice in *something*.....well the time has come.