Ali Wilkinson

Quilting Butterfly Syndrome

Does this happen to you? You are mid way through a tidying frenzy and realise that in order to keep your chargers and cords tidy in stylised way that would make Martha Stewart jealous , you HAVE to immediately go pull fabric and sew up a basket. So you leave the half tidied area/drawer/room you were working in and start pulling fabric and finding the pattern for a basket that you have never made before but know that right now is the best time to do it.

On Sunday that’s where I found myself. You know, the day after I had posted about all the unfinished things I had and how I was on a mission to focus on the Wheel quilt. I think I am suffering from Quilting Butterfly Syndrome, where you jump from project to project so excited by the colours and possibilities and not finishing anything properly.

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I chose to use up some of the Cotton and Steel and Dashwood fabrics left over from the Indian Blanket, combined with the home decor weight Rashida Coleman-Hale clamshells/scallops that I picked up in Spotlight a few weeks ago. Luckily I had some fusible interfacing and fusible batting to hand ready to go.

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I think I have mentioned previously that I am not such an expert in 3D sewing. I have heard great things about this pattern online and I have to say I found it quite straightforward. The only times I was scratching my head were when I had missed instructions by not concentrating properly, like when I completely missed reading the bit about how to add both interfacing and batting to the exterior which I missed as it’s the first instruction in the section on external pockets, which are optional and I chose not to add on this first attempt.

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I used my trusty Clover Wonder Clips to hold the exterior and lining together before top stitching to join. Those clips really do come into their own for situations like this when pins struggle to cope with the thickness of the fabrics and/or distort the end result.

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Let’s not look too closely at the way those two top stitched lines are not parallel or even…. (something for me to work on in the next attempt!)

It came together very quickly – perhaps 2 1/2 hours in total. Which was quite a relief as then I could corral those cords and chargers into the two pockets and stash this basket back in the place I had allocated for it and continue with my tidying frenzy! Oh happy days!

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Ali Wilkinson

Improv Curves


This week in Curves Class we learned about improvisational curves and how to sew them. The project I chose was a simple table runner called Rainbow Road, though in my case it is more like Coral Cruising. I had been feeling quite daunted by this project and saved it until the last day of the week to do at a sewing social I was set to attend today. I think my theory was that in front of other sexists I would have to fake it till I made it! (also I knew that if I got into strife I could ask one of the more experienced ladies there to provide some assistance)

I used left over fabric from a previous quilt and sewed random strips into four long pieces before cutting the improv curves and sewing those four strips together. I squared it up, spray basted it to a piece of home decor weight backing and quilted it with zig zags across the width. I decided not to use batting at all as I don’t want this to be anything other than a decorative table centre, and I thought if it was padded visitors might assume that it’s a heat mat and I don’t want hot pots placed on top of it.

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The backing was a piece of Koi swimming by Rashida Coleman-Hale and the binding is Kona White.

Now all that remains is to hand stitch the bidding down – which I confess is the job I procrastinate over the most!

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This is a finish for Quarter 1 of the 2015 Finish Along. Hurrah!



Ali Wilkinson

Sunday Stash #2

Spotlight is the Antipodean equivalent of Jo-anns in the US or Hobbycraft in the UK. Fabric is at the mid to lower end of the scale and not the best quality for long lasting quilts. I also find that the designs are a bit twee or dated for my liking. (This is just my pickiness – I know lots of people who love their fabric!)

However, now and then there is a gem to be found and on a lunch break dash to the haberdashery department for some bias tape I passed by a stand filled with gems. I had to do a double take as I was initially sure they were cheaper imitations. Imagine my glee when I saw several designs by Rashida Coleman-Hale for Cloud 9 Designs. (Rashida is one of the talented designers behind the Cotton and Steel fabric house).

Thes fabrics are upholstery or home decor weight. That does limit their use as I am not a big maker of bags and I made so many ottomans and poufs last year that if I make any more Gary will think he has moved to Morocco…. However, in the next 12 months we are building a new house and I will get an outdoor swing under the verandah and that swing will be my little oasis and will need a squab and cushions, and so I think this fabric will be ideal for that.

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I had to limit myself to just these two designs – the Koi swimming and a clamshell design. I have already used half a metre of the Koi for a project to be revealed shortly.

The second part of my stash for this week are these three voiles. It’s been a hot summer so far and I have appreciated a couple of flimsy tops with thin straps I wear over a tube top, but they are quite pricey in the shops and so simple in style I thought I would be able to copy the style. It’s been a long time (read 20+ years) since I made any clothes, and even then it was all a bit improvised, so I think it’s about time I tried again!

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I ordered these three voiles and the pattern for the halter neck sundress by Amy Butler. The fabric n the centre is Anna Maria Horner from the Field Study collection, and the two either side are Amy Butler. I plan on making one or two tops and two of the dresses (with a slight modification on one to make the back like the front so without the halter), but as I am so nervous about making a mess with these not inexpensive fabrics, I made the most o being in Spotlight to grab some thin cotton at a third of the price of the voile which I will use for my trial run. More to be posted on that later when I finally pluck up the courage to take the plunge!

Linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash.