Friday, 29 March 2013

Kickback Friday

It's been another busy week for me. I'm learning all the time about blogging and followers and networks and circles. Still finding it all a bit confusing. Just when I think I fully understand one thing another crops up. Never mind it's all good fun. But if any of you are having problems with anything on the blog. Please let me know. Because I might be blissfully unaware.

I'd love to see any logcabin blocks/quilts you may have started work on. You can post pictures now on my Joyofquilting facebook page. Click the link on the right hand side or even the red bit of writing here to take you to my facebook page.

It's Easter this weekend. I have given my hubby a hint of what egg I'd like and even where to buy it, so fingers crossed. Mind you it doesn't feel like Easter - it's still freezing here in Wales. And all the spring flowers are still hiding underground from the frost.

I have also picked up my wavy crocheting this week. I don't think I've touched it since before Christmas. I did one row last night, and it certainly keeps you warm while your crocheting.          

What do you think - do you like.
When it grows up it's going to be a blanket.
I was inspired to get this piece of crocheting back out when I saw Dorien's fabulous work on her blog. Click on this link to visit Dorien's blog  

And this is this link to Attic 24 where you will find the pattern for this wavy blanket
and see lots of fabulous crochet work

Well, I've finished my 24 half log cabin blocks and I've been playing around with the placement.

Not sure which one I will make up. Does anyone have any favorites?
Well that's about it from me for today. Have a wonderful Easter, hope you find lots of eggs. And I'll talk to you all again on Monday. With my 'factory or chain piecing' video.
Yours in stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Spotlight Wednesday

Today we are going to put the spotlight on one of the Quilters Fab Four Feet. And this weeks one is proper little workhorse.
Today we are looking at the humble quarter inch foot.
This foot is a real must have for patchwork. Yes you can manage without it.
You could use a piece of tape to mark the quarter inch.
You could use the measurements on the base plate of your machine,
or you could move your needle across to quarter inch.
And all of these ideas will work to a degree. And indeed when you first start piecing your patchwork blocks these ideas will help you get started. But once you know you are going to be a patchworker then your really need to consider investing in a quarter inch foot.
Luckily it is one of the least expensive feet to buy. It's only small. But boy will it make a huge difference to the accuracy of your piecing.
When I first began patchwork and quilting an experienced quilter told me the most important two things about piecing where accurate cutting and accurate piecing - that's stitching quarter inch seams. And it has proven to be the most valuable patchwork advice I have ever been given.

So to re-cap that's accurate cutting which means learning to use a rotary cutter.
And accurate quarter inch seams and that mean getting a quarter inch foot.
And when you consider it, it makes perfect sense. When making a patchwork block if you have just four seams, and your cutting is out by just an eighth of an inch and your piecing is out by just an eighth of an inch in a 12" block you would be out by an 1".
Mind you if you are in the market to buy a new sewing machine for patchwork and quilting. You will find many 'quilters' models come with the 'Fab Four Quilters Feet'

So, the first picture is of me stitching my half log cabin blocks 'factory piecing' or 'chain piecing' style - and that's a bit of a sneek preview because factory or chain piecing is what next Mondays video will show you. But in this picture you can see I'm using  my quarter inch foot. You can also see the piece of tape I have put on the stitch plate just to show you what that would look like.

 And these two pictures (above and below) show it in close up. Each machine manufacturer produces it's own version of the quarter inch foot. This one is Bernina's. It's rather unique in that it has notches (the little v shapes you can see three on either side of the foot) Each of these v's is a quarter of an inch. Which means you can easily see where a quarter of an inch is in all directions from your needle. Useful if you need to stop quarter of an inch from the end or in from the beginning.

The picture below is of Janome's quarter inch foot on the left and the Bernina one on the right.  The black arm on the side of the Janome foot acts as a guide and can be useful although sometimes gets in the way. And I have been know to push a piece of paper in the side of the arm to hold it out of the way.

Anyways, now you know how useful a quarter inch foot is please consider getting one - and if you have one and don't use it please give this little foot a try.
Yours in stitches, Joy

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

Facebook test

This is a test post to see if my follow me on facebook link is working now that I've hopefully ticked the right boxes. Let me know Chris if you see this on facebook


Hello and welcome Chris so brave of you to join us.

Monday, 25 March 2013

How to make a Half Logcabin Block

Welcome to this weeks Monday Quilt Group, post.
Work is coming along well on our Logcabin blocks.  We have covered Basic, Courthouse steps, and this week my video is on the Half logcabin block.
I'm just one step ahead of you on the Half logcabin block. The sample block was my first half logcabin block!
And I loved making it. So much so that I have cut lots of strips and started making 24 half logcabin blocks. Pics below.

The pictures show a step by step example, but you need to Click on the video link below to watch me making a Half logcabin block sample.

I'm really enjoying making them up. Maybe by Kickback Friday I'll be playing with the placement of my half logcabins.

My Joyofquilting Facebook page is now up and running and I'm still awaiting the first brave persons to upload a photo - go on give it a go.  Someones got to be first - and I can't be me.
Yours in Stitches, Joy

Friday, 22 March 2013

Kickback Friday.

Ahhhh...and relax.  I just got back in after battling through wind and rain and roadworks to get home. The weather outside is horrendous. I think this has been the longest winter - certainly since my records began;).  One good think - it's perfect stitching weather.

Looking back over the last week I had a wonderful start. Last Saturday Ros, one of our 'actual group' members showed me a copy of April's British Patchwork & Quilting magazine. I was surprised and delighted to see that Ros had nominated me as their 'Threaducation Star of the Month'.  Thank you so much Ros, I am quite thrilled that you felt the need to publicly thank me. And for doing what I love. As an added bonus, both Ros and I should soon receive a box of Mettler sewing threads.

Monday I took a few pictures in class of some of our Logcabin Quilts
First we have Peggy's Barn Raising Logcabin Quilt top. I'll have to get a close up next week. Because this picture doesn't show up the beautiful purply/lavender silk Peggy has put in this quilt. It give her quilt a wonderful opulent feel.

 Then Joan's Wavy Log Cabin. I've put in the close-up picture to show you the quilting. Joan is in the middle of hand quilting her Wavy Log Cabin. And soon we will be looking at ideas for quilting your Logcabins. So I thought this would whett your appetite.
Then on Tuesday I went to a 'sit and sew' day. Where I started making more logcabin blocks.

Remember my wonky logcabin blocks? Well I have stitched them together to make a quilt top. And I have decided to use a second jelly roll to make another logcabin top. My plan is to have a double sided logcabin quilt. Pictures soon.

On Monday I will show you the last of our Logcabin blocks. A Half Logcabin block.  Meanwhile enjoy your weekend wherever you are. And for those of us in the U.K. best you batten down the hatches and quilt through the wind and rain.
Yours in Stitches, Joy  

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Spotlight Wednesday

Help - my machine isn't stitching right!

Just a quick run down of the most likely causes.

Coming in a number 1 is:
Your bobbin has been put in the wrong way around.
Your machine will still galliently try and stitch for you - but your stitches won't be right.
Check with your machine hand book on 'how to insert the bobbin'.

At number 2 is:
Top thread has either jumped out of a stage in the threading sequence or you have not threaded it correctly. Again refer to your instruction manual on 'threading your machine.'

At number 3 is:
Your needle needs changing. It could be bent, blunt, or simply the wrong needle for the cotton/fabric you are using.

I'll talk to you in more detail about these three points another time.
But for now, checking these three points should help you out of the most common stitch issues.

Like a little puppy dog your machine loves you and wants to please you. And if you are having any problems with your machine, it very rare that the machine 'has it in for you'. Much more likely you need to understand each other and learn what your machine needs to stitch happily. So lets start bonding with our machines. And ask not what your machine can do for you. But what you can do for your machine.

Once you begin to understand each other your machine will become your best stitching friend.

More on 'Bonding with your machine' next Wednesday.

Yours in Stitches, Joy x

Monday, 18 March 2013

Monday Quilt Group

Good morning, today we are going to make a Courthouse Steps Logcabin sample block. We are building on what we learnt with the basic Logcabin block last week.
I find when people actually make a small sample they not only get to grips with the technique more easily, but when they decided to use that technique hours/days/weeks/months/years later. Although they may have difficulty remembering just how to do it, their actual sample seems to get the old grey cells working again.
So if your new to logcabin I do recommend you make up the sample blocks. Please let me know if you need any help - I'll try my best to help you.

Beginners I haven't forgotten about you either. I want this to be a reflection of 'actual Monday Group' and in actual class we have all different levels of quilters and we try to help everyone as best we can, changing gears to suit each persons stitching abilities. And the beauty of that is that members also help and encourage each other. And also it's a joy for me to see people progressing on their stitching journey.
So, If you are 'just looking' or think you might like to have a go at this patchwork/quilting malaky.  Join in with our little group and let me know if you need any help or advice and I'll do my best to help and encourage you.  Actually the new Facebook link I've added should work well for that purpose as others could also make comments and suggestions there.
I'm thinking of adding a beginners page too - what do you think?

So, here is this weeks video A Courthouse Steps Logcabin sample block, enjoy.

Yours in stitches, Joy 

Friday, 15 March 2013

Kickback Friday

I'm sitting down, feet up, cup of tea at the ready. I hope you have had a good stitching week.  And sometimes a good stitching week is a plotting and planning week rather than actual stitching week. I know I spend a considerable amount of time thinking about and planning projects. It's all part of the fun.
Have you had a chance to watch  this weeks Video Lesson on making up a basic logcabin sample block?
If you are quite new to logcabin it's worthwhile watching my first two videos. Rotary Cutting and making a Basic Logcabin sample block. It doesn't take long to make up and will serve as a visual reminder to you whenever you want to make logcabin blocks.
A little heads up here, cut a few extra strips. They will come in handy over the next few weeks as we make Courthouse Steps and Half Square Logcabin samples.
While you have been busy learning about logcabin. I have been busy learning the ins and outs of blogging.  Today I have been reading about having a Facebook page for my blog. I'm going to do a bit more research but it seems like a good idea.
I know from your comments that some of you are confused (don't feel alone in that. I've been confused many times over the last week trying to understand the finer details of blogging. But the more I read the more the fog begins to lift.) Anyway I digress - I know that some of you are confused as to how to find my blog for future visits. Clicking on the follow my blog link is a good start. But as many of you are on facebook - a facebook page for JoyofQuilting may be helpful, so I'm looking into that.

OK enough babbling from me. Let's focus. I promised you that today I would talk about the different effects you can achieve in a quilt just using the basic Logcabin Block.

If you made 36 basic logcabin blocks like this.

                                                                           By playing around with the placement of your 36 blocks you could make.....this design

Or this design....or keep playing...

This design....keep moving those blocks  around and.....

You could choose this design...or even

This rather splendid design...the possibilities are endless - well there's lot's of possibilities.  

I think your getting the idea now.
And that's just a few examples with just one type of logcabin block!
I hope this has whetted your appetite and your fingers are itching to get stitching.
I have used Quilt-Pro Version 5 (Quilt design software) to show these quilt designs.
My next post will be on Monday when I will show you how to make a Courthouse Steps Logcabin Block.....meanwhile, yours in stitches, Joy

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Spotlight Wednesday

 Welcome everyone. Today we are going to look at a few different Logcabin Blocks.

First, we have your Basic Log Cabin Block. The one I think most of us are familiar with. This is the type of block we have been making a sample of in our Monday Group Video.                      

And this Kickback Friday I will be showing you how by just playing with the positioning of this one block in a quilt can give you many different looks.

This is a Half Log Cabin block. This block is put together by stitching strips to just two sides of your centre square.  I may make a little video of this method too. Because I know it's easier to understand these things when you can see them actually being made up.

Thick & Thin Log Cabin Block.                                            
This one does what it says on the tin.  It's  stitched together the same way as the basic Log Cabin block. Working around a centre square with thick strips on one half (two sides) and thin strips on the other half (two sides).

And finally we come to Courthouse Steps Log Cabin Block. This block is put together a little differently and I will be posting a video lesson on how to make this block next Monday (18th March 2013)

There are other variations on Log Cabin Blocks. But I think we have enough samples to be starting with here.  Looking forward to chatting with you all again on Kickback Friday. Yours, in Stitches,                            Joy

Monday, 11 March 2013

Monday Group

Welcome everyone.  Today I have uploaded the second video for logcabin blocks. Today's video follows on from last week's rotary cutting video where I showed you how to cut strips ready to make a sample logcabin block.  And today I'll be showing you how to stitch the strips together.
Just click on the arrow to start the video.

Also today we have some pictures of ongoing logcabin quilts from group members.
Below is Joan's 'wavy logcabin' quilt top.

And above is Win's 'wonky logcabin' quilt top.

They look so different don't they.
I'll be explaining/looking at different types of logcabin blocks in Spotlight Wednesday.

Meanwhile have fun watching/making your own logcabin sample block.
                                                            Yours in stitches, Joy x

Friday, 8 March 2013

Kickback Friday

Kickback Fridays are going to be posts looking back over the week and  chatting about whatever takes my fancy. I'm going to sit down with a cup of tea and just chill with you all.

This last week has been incredible for me. My revamping of this blog has really hit the ground running.  I've learnt so much in the last seven days. And I am thrilled that my followers have reached double figures. I've gone from one to ten followers this week. Although I must confess one of those followers is me. I still don't know how I did that - it's a mystery to me how I managed to follow myself.

Anyway, I really appreciate all your support. And please keep on making comments I really do want to know what you think and how your getting on with your projects, especially so if your making a logcabin quilt at the moment.

I've been making next Monday's logcabin sample video today. I'm so enjoying sharing with you all. And although the video is to help beginners, or those of you who haven't tried log cabin. I am hoping that those of you who are more experienced will still join in and share whatever logcabin blocks you decide to make. That way it's more of a group experience and we can also bounce of each other.

Monday class log cabins are coming along nicely.

These block are mine. I'm making a 'wonky' Log Cabin. The blocks are straight at the moment but will soon be cut 'wonky'

This is Gaynor's log cabin laid out with large corner triangles  ready to stitch on.
Well that's it from me at the moment. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. My next blog will be Monday's group when I'll show you how to put together a basic log cabin sample block. 
                 Yours in stitches, Joy x

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Spotlight Wednesday

My first Spotlight Wednesday is tied in with Monday class. I am going to attempt to upload a's How to rotary cut strips for a basic log cabin block. I think it's so much easier to learn how to do these things when someone actually shows you how. AND it sticks even better once you attempt a sample piece. So, today I'm showing you how to cut the strips and next Monday class I'll show you how to make up a basic log cabin sample block using the said rotary cut strips.

For today you will need three fabrics, one light, one dark and one for the centre block.

Tip for video - to watch it full screen click on the little square at the bottom right of the video once it starts playing.

And yes, I know this 'Wednesday' blog has been posted late on Tuesday evening, but I was so excited and wanted to make sure it would work:)

Monday, 4 March 2013

Monday Group

OK - Big deep breath. This is a bit scary for me. But every journey must start with the first step - so here we go my first Virtual Monday Group meeting.

Welcome one and all. Firstly let me tell you a bit about Monday Group.
There is an actual Monday Group/class.  We met, obviously, on a Monday.  We welcome all new members no matter where they are on their quilting journey.

We usually have a project on the go in class. We help and encourage members to work at a pace that suits them as we try and help them develop their stitching skills. Also if any members need help or advice on their own projects we do our best to help them.

We also drink tea/coffee and eat cake/biscuits, show each other what we are working on, and plan trips and visits to quilty things. Oh, I almost forgot something very important. We laugh. A lot. After all this is a hobby, we are supposed to be having fun! I find the last sentence goes down very well, especially when someone is un-ripping a seam - a very long seam - for the second time.

 In our 'Virtual Group'  I'll  be able to share words, pictures and maybe some video of our work and trips but feel free to actually join in with the laughter, and the drinking of tea/coffee and the eating of cake/biscuits - us quilters have to keep our strength up.

I have had this blog for some time now. But felt it lacked a focus.  Although my blog has always been about patchwork/quilting. I knew I needed to hone in on some aspect of the craft. And then it hit me. Although I love patchwork and quilting my passion is sharing my knowledge and helping and encouraging others. So I thought what if I transferred my Monday group passion onto my blog.  So there we  have it - a 'Virtual Monday Group'.
I'm going to run this group alongside the actual group. We'll be following the same projects and I'll be sharing  Actual Monday's with  Virtual Monday's and visa versa!

I hope you are as excited as I am about this - ok, well I hope your a little bit as excited as I am about this.
Just think about it.  It doesn't matter where you live, what age you are, whether you are a beginner or not, if you already belong to a group, can't leave the house, or even if you can't make Mondays.  As long as you have an internet connection, your in.

I have so many plans for you all. And I hope some of you will feel happy to comment and share with the rest of the group.

So today marks our first Monday meeting. At the moment we are working on Logcabin blocks.
But let's not run before we can walk. This weeks assignment is to do a little research  on logcabin blocks. Don't panic I just want you to look at some different logcabin blocks (click on the logcabin blocks link to see some logcabin images). And next week I'll show you how to put together a basic logcabin block, which you will then be able to make up yourself as a practice/sample block.
                                                                                                               Yours in stitches, Joy x                          

Next blog update will be on 'Spotlight Wednesday'                                            

Friday, 1 March 2013


I think St. David's day has been a very good day to start my blog's revamp. I've completed some background work today. But over the next few days/weeks I hope to make lots of changes as I update the focus of my blog. So I hope all my readers and my one, much loved, follower will bear with me as I attempt to make these changes.
It's a big learning curve for me and a bit scary - So fingers crossed that JoyofQuilting will morph into my dream blog, learning, sharing, stitching, caring. I'll let you know more about my dream soon.  Meanwhile, keep stitching, Joy.

'If you build it, they will come' Field of Dreams

I know it's an 'oldie' but I just had to share this with you all. It's a cushion I made using an old photo of my daughter and her twin cousins taken on St. David's Day about 30 years ago.
St. David's day is on March 1st and St. David is the patron Saint of Wales. And on this day here in Wales, all the little girls dress up in National Welsh Costume and the boys tend to wear Welsh Rugby Shirts. The girls wear a daffodil which is our National Flower and is usually in bloom by 1st March. The boys wear a leak often in competition with each other over who has the largest leak! This picture was taken after they had been to school that day. You can just make out the yellow of the daffodil on my daughter (centre) but it looks like the twins daffs didn't survive school that day.

The cushion itself is made using fabrics that would be in a typical Welsh Costume. The paisley fabric was typically the shawl. The black and white check the apron and the red, or a red and black check the skirt.  This would make a wonderful 'upcycled' gift, using an outgrown Welsh costume to make the wearer a 'memory cushion'.

I'd like to thank Deb O'hare who issued the challenge a few years ago to make a Welsh Babe item. Mind you I wasn't too thankful at the time as I ended up making five of these cushion.  You know how it starts. I was going to make one. Then I though I'd make one each for my daughter and the twins - three not too bad.  Then I though, well, I'd like one, so four ok I can do that. Then guilt kicked in. If I was making one each for the girls and one for myself the only one left out was the twins mother (my sister) so the final number was five. But if the other four cushions are loved and get anywhere near the attention, ohhhs and ahhhs that mine gets it was well worth the effort.
Happy St. David's Day to you all!
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