To do or not to do… pre-washing fabric.

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Do you pre-wash your fabric before you cut it up, sew it all together again and call it a quilt?

I used to be quite stubborn about NOT pre-washing my fabric.  I really do like that straight-from-the-shop crispness.  I’m also impatient and lazy.

But days like today prove to me, over and over again, that pre-washing should be on the top of your priority list.

I wash my quilts.  I wash the bejeezus out of them.  Every year they get washed once or twice due to cat hair, dust, living in the city, and the sheer amount of pollen and allergens that blow in on the breeze.  This quilt, Very Berry, is several years old and has been washed at least four times in the past.  Probably much more if I think about it.

very berry

The fabric dye still runs.  A lot.  The fabrics are good quality, from some of the leading US fabric manufacturers, so they aren’t cheap nasties.

The wash water, though hard to see in this piccy, was the colour of Port Wine.  I use Soak to wash my quilts.

washing water

The dye catcher/s were dark plum when they came out of the water.

dye catcher

The rinse water (I always rinse thoroughly even if the detergent says I don’t have to) was still stained.

rinse water

Thank goodness (again) that it didn’t run into the white fabric.  The pink as well as the brown is still giving off colour.

You might think that it’s only deep colours than run, but I’ve had cream run yellow, green run yellow and blue etc.  I’m not going to preach pre-washing but it’s worth checking (thoroughly) the colour fastness of the fabric you are using.

On a side note, I received a lovely parcel from Nanette before Easter with my Easter swap goodies.  Mmmmm chocolate bullets.  My favourite.  They lasted about 20 seconds and I had to put in extra time on the treadmill to fit my jeans!  LOL  Thank you.

swap parcel liquorice bullets

I’d better get back to sewing my back-log of blocks…  I wish I had some chocolate bullets left to help me on my way LOL  See you tomorrow everyone, toni xx

 

 

 

 

Secrets from the Vaults…

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I was a baton twirling majorette!    Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeek!

from the vaults

You may have guessed I’m behind with the Come Block with Me block this week?  I will upload as soon as I can.  Won’t be long.

Have you got anything planned for the Easter weekend?  We are going to soak up the glorious autumn sun, eat chocolate bunnies, plan out the painting of the house, clean up, daydream about winning the lotto and moving house, and probably wash the sheets LOL  And we desperately need to go to the rubbish tip!  Somehow, over the years, we have inherited everyone’s old furniture and junk.  I have no idea why it is still clogging up our house so it is going out!

You can find a load of specials on the website this week.

citrus blossom 840pxls

[Photo: Citrus Blossoms]

Flower Power Friday.  All floral themed PDF patterns are $4 each.  There are 18 in total.

woodstock

[Photo: Woodstock Revisited]

You can also find various bunny/Easter themed PDF patterns on the website for $4 too.

bunnies

[Photo: The Rabbits at Hyde Park with Red Cat Blue Cat peaking from underneath]

Have a great weekend everyone, stay safe.  I will upload that block pattern tomorrow sometime.

toni xx

 

 

Flower Power Friday

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Hullo everyone!

It’s FLOWER POWER FRIDAY this week!

All floral themed PDF patterns are $4 each!

This means that there are 18 patterns on sale for $4 each!

You can find them listed on the Four Dollar Friday tab on the website here.

bohemian-rhapsody-framed

All of the patterns on sale this week will remain on sale until Easter Sunday next week.

I’m taking the Easter weekend off so I can spend some time with my lovely family.

All PRINTED patterns are 25% off this week too.  Simply use the code Printed25 at the checkout to receive 25% off your printed pattern order. 

We offer free postage on printed patterns worldwide.

ruby

The “Come Block with Me” quilt block will be uploaded to the website sometime this weekend.  I’m a little behind with the instructions due to this shoulder injury.   Actually right now the pain is so bad I feel like throwing up :0<

Daisy-Constellation

Have a lovely weekend everyone, it’s our daughter’s 24th birthday today and it’s time for birthday dinner and cake!  yum!

kteclr

toni xx

Remember to pop on over to the website to sign up for the Birthday Club.

 

Tuesday Catchups… Pandas, Cats, Easter Swaps etc.

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I’m not entirely sure how it got to be Tuesday.  I’m sure I’m in some sort of time slip…  maybe I just need to take a step to the right???

frank

Sunday was spent trying to get a decent piccy of the Panda Party quilt for Down Under Quilts magazine.  They are running an article on animal quilts and are going to include Panda Party in the story.  Have I told you (probably repeatedly) how much I dislike taking photos of quilts?  I loathe taking photos of quilts.  Loathe.  It’s Tuesday and I still haven’t got a decent shot.  Grrrr!

Panda-Party

Monday was a bit of a dream.  I’m sure it happened, but I can’t remember much of it.  I blame the allergy tablet I took at 9am… which turned me into a sleepy, drooling mess that no amount of caffeine could kick start back to life. The allergy season this year has been long and nasty.  Roll on winter and the lack of tropical grass seeds, mould and pollen!

Today I’ve put together my swap gifties for Julie’s Easter Swap.  They are all parcelled up and ready to go.  I thought Easter was this weekend, but I’m told I’ve got another week’s grace before I have to do an emergency clean up…  phew!  The house isn’t worthy to accommodate pigs.

That spotty fabric by the way, is the backing on the panda quilt.  It’s a Riley Blake 108in backing.  The quality is good, the prints are bright and I don’t need to join it!  I got mine from the US but plenty of stores in Australia (including Brisbane) stock it.

easter swap

It really looks great on the back of the quilt.  Ps. the panda softie is a (failed) prototype.

riley blake backing fabric

I also needed to take a quick piccy of the Red Cat Blue Cat quilt for FB today.  I gave up trying to get a ‘styled shot’, threw it on the grass, and snapped the piccy two seconds before it started pelting down with rain.  The flash has given it a bit of a surreal look but it will have to do for today.  The clothes on the clothesline got wet but by golly I took that photo ROFLOL.

red cat blue cat

And now as the day is coming to an end, I’m lost.  There is so much to do.  From cleaning the loo to finishing some quilty projects.  It’s almost overwhelming.  I think I might put all the jobs I need to do into a hat and pull them out one at a time.  And maybe I can convince hubby to clean the loo tomorrow?

Happy Tuesday everyone, toni xx

Oh, I just remembered something.  Apparently a pattern of mine (published under the name Sweet Alice) is in a magazine called “Traditional Crafts”.  I’ve never heard of the magazine and obviously the publishing company concerned has on-sold or republished the pattern in that magazine.  I only found out because of an email I received today.  There is a mistake in the pattern (only in the magazine).  I remember this one, because I had an argument with the original technical editor over it (some years ago now).

The instructions for the sashing strips is wrong.  They are not 2 1/2in x 8 1/2in.  They measure

2 1/2in x 10 1/2in.  I’m sorry that this has happened but I can’t do anything about it.  I didn’t know about the magazine publishing the pattern, my original correction was ignored and now it’s been republished with the error.

It’s enough to make a girl take to the couch for the rest of the week…

kitty cat

 

 

 

The sillies…

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I was laying awake at 2am this morning, thinking.  This is when our kitten gets sooky and decides that my hair reminds him of his mum.

Anyway, I was thinking.  This week there has been a kerfuffle on the blogs about designers and pattern writers.  Some downright nasty stuff has been going about and I promised myself that I would ignore it.  It takes an awful lot to get me angry and then I’m ashamed to say I Hulk Up.  Yep that big, green, angry… er… hulk is me when my temper finally breaks. It’s not something I’m proud of.  Peace loving hippie one minute, angry green monster the next.

But at 2am this morning I realised something.  You can’t please everybody all of the time.  And that is a personality failing of mine.  I want to make everybody happy, even if it makes me unhappy.

I also came to the conclusion that the majority of quilters, crafters, artisans, and designers are amazing people.  Nice people with normal human reactions and foibles.

These other women are just silly.  Silly.  With a capital S.  And I behaved in a silly manner getting angry with them.  And I started laughing.  At 2am in the morning.  And I felt at peace and knew my place in the industry.

I am me.  I make quilts because I enjoy the process.  I make quilts because I like to share the designs with the amazing people who think I have something to offer.  Some days I don’t want to sew and hate what I do; but that’s okay too.  Some days I make mistakes, because I’m human, and pattern writing is a complex and involved process.

I won’t worry about the sillies anymore.  The Hulk will be confined to politicians and the 6 o’clock news.

toni xx

Special Introductory Offer – Panda Party PDF Quilt Pattern

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Hey everyone,

I got it finished! yay!  It’s the worst, tacked on binding ever achieved in the history of quilting though!  ROFLOL

Pop on over to the website to get your copy for $5… yep five bucks.  But only for the next 24 hours.  Exactly 24 hours from now the pattern will be full priced again.

panda-party

You will also find A Quintet of Pandas softie pattern on sale for $3.  These guys are super-easy to make, and they are also about to retire.  The pattern will be retired at the end of this coming week, to be replaced with a new group of patterns that will compliment the Panda Party quilt.

I worked like the devil today to get the new projects finished for tonight, but my shoulder gave out before I did.  The quilt-police (my family) stepped in and told me to stop being stupid.  So I did *grin*.  They were mean *smile*.

Pandas 560

I’ve used Kona Cottons, a selection of fabrics from the Michael Miller group, and fabric from Riley Blake in the quilt.  You can find all of these fabrics at your bigger quilt stores.  The black and white stripe is a Michael Miller fabric.

Have a great night everyone!  toni xx

 

Four Dollar Friday

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Hi everyone,

It’s Four Dollar Friday again and this week’s patterns are the Catnip Kitties softies and the Catnip quilt patterns.  They are $4 each on the website.  Pop on over to get your copy.

catnip-kitties-560pxls Catnip-840pxls

This week’s block is the Crossroads block.  The instructions are up on the website.  The piccies are awful, sorry, it’s dark and gloomy in my sewing room tonight.  I will update them tomorrow when the light is better.

finished block brighter

Hubby has just walked in with my panda quilt, fresh from the Post Office this afternoon.  The lovely Fiona has done a marvellous, wonderful and fantastic job.  I will be able to bind and photograph it tomorrow and the pattern will be uploaded to the website tomorrow night.  I think I will be very, very nice to you all and put it up at a special introductory price!  Come back and check it out tomorrow.

panda party

I’m machine stitching the robots.  Mmmm, I’m not too happy with it.  I’ve been told to cut out hand-stitching for a few months to let my rotten shoulder heal some more.  If I want to continue to sew I have to use the machine a lot more.  Do you have any suggestions for machine-stitching around applique?  I find that machine blanket stitching is scratchy and a bit harsh.  Help!

robots two

machine two

I’m going to grab a cup of coffee, it’s been a long day and I’ve not felt the best this week.  A slight cold earlier in the week and a mild reaction to my flu shot left me a drooling, sleepy mess.  There are a few things happening in blogland that I would love to talk to you about, but not tonight.  So have a great weekend everyone, see you tomorrow night with the panda quilt pattern.  Love to all, toni xx

 

Oh. ps.  Linda from Salmon Arm, BC, Canada is this month’s winner of the Birthday Club giveaway.  I sent the details out in the newsletter and forgot to mention it here.  I’ll be in touch tomorrow Linda.  xx