How has your cutting been going? It’s certainly a marathon, isn’t it?
Today, I’m going to introduce you to the centre Medallion. Out of the eight diamond shapes, there was only one that I didn’t have to unpick at least once. It’s a tricky little thing, but SOOO rewarding. Rachel from The Dove Nest is showcasing her version and I’m really looking forward to you meeting her through her blog post, and my interview with her.
Don’t forget our schedule; as well as the lovely bloggers I introduced, I’m very pleased to let you know that on 20 October, Annabel will be Instagramming her version of the Medallion Pillow over on Instagram. Here’s the schedule:
27 October – Border One – Half Square Triangles – Me! Here!
15 December – Wrap up – Me! Here!
15 January – Link up your entries for the QAL competition – Here!
Let’s meet Rachel from The Dove Nest
1. Tell us a bit about you?
Hi! I’m a stay at home mother of four little people ranging between the ages of one and eight. Being creative is my sanity break – even if it is only five minutes stolen here and there as they craft alongside me, or a bit of something snuck in after they are all in bed and all my chores are done for the day! I am a self-diagnosed sufferer of Craft ADHD, which means I love to try allll the crafts, and have been known to dump a WIP mid-project when my next brilliant idea strikes!
2. When did you start quilting?
I have been quilting since I was a child, having made my first quilt somewhere around the age of 11? I have been quilting on and off since then.
3. Tells us about your first quilt?
My first quilt was an “oh, I like these fabrics” kind of thing, on school holidays. We bought a small amount of each of the five prints, and a couple of coordinating solids, and went home and got busy cutting it all up into triangles to make myself a sweet little lap-size quilt that my mum has since passed on to me – at which point it was immediately adopted by my daughter and has been well-loved to the point of needing some minor running repairs.
4. What’s your favourite part of the quilt-making process?
Almost all of it! The daydreaming and planning. The choosing and buying of fabric. The cutting, not so much, but the piles of pretty fabric cut and stacked neatly ready to sew? Yeah, I like that. I love watching it all come together. I enjoy designing and executing the quilting. If I never had to hand-stitch another inch of binding, though, I would be a very happy quilter. (Though, paradoxically, I am a sucker for the look of hand-bound. Sigh.)
5. What project are you currently working on?
My Aviatrix of course! As well as a Dear Jane quilt, I also have a couple of non-quilting projects on-going, such as my Project Life album and a ‘block of the month’ cross stitch.
6. When did you start blogging?
I started my blog way back in 2007, but have only become “serous” with it in the last couple of years, though 2013 ended up being a bit of a non-event on the blog due to morning sickness and then a new baby.
7. What do you love about blogging?
I love connecting with other creators. My blog is quite, um, “ecclectic”, shall we say, but it is fun because I have ended up meeting some fabulous people in the varying areas I’m interested in and blog about, and we end up finding we have more in common than the single thing that we connected with in the first place.
8. What’s next for you – where do you see yourself in two/five/ten years’ time?
Oh gosh, I would love to have my little Etsy shop rolling along nicely. In each of those time frames I would have all the children off at school or preschool, so hopefully I will be doing more crafting and blogging! And I have just started teaching classes, so I would like to do more of that as the children get bigger and I end up with more time to myself.
9. Where can we find you?
My blog is http://.thedovenest.com.au and well, I do like a bit of social media! You can find me on:
So, jump across to Rachel’s blog and check out her brilliant centre medallion.
I had a lot of fun with the centre block. It was a big challenge and the one thing I would recommend is take it slowly. As I mentioned earlier, there was a lot of unpicking, predominantly because I wanted to do it too quickly.
I fussy cut a lot of the diamonds with the left overs – take a look at the cute little geckos!
I dispensed with my ¼” foot, and instead used my clear ‘normal’ presser foot. This was so that I could see exactly where the needle was going. I followed Elizabeth’s instructions to mark the dots, and I pinned. I found this make my piecing far more accurate. I didn’t do this for the first diamond and had to unpick a number of times. So, with the clear foot, I could see exactly where the dots were, and unpinned as I went.
I also used a 50wt thread. I started with my usual Rasant but because of the size of the diamonds, I found it was too think. So, go as fine as you can (and use a new, sharp needle).
Also, do press the seams open and clip all the tails as you go.It is sooo much neater and easier to handle. I tried nesting but it was very tricky and I think that also contributed to the great unpicking. Every time you unlick, you’re stretching the fabric a little and because you’re working on the bias, that’s bad news. Go slow, concentrate and your diamonds will thank you for it.
Once again, starch is your friend. I starched everything, all the time! As I said above,you’re working on the bias and starch will help you keep the bias edges in check and keep the shape.
Oh, and have I mentioned that I pinned everything? I really did pin every single thing.
So, here’s my finished version. You’ll see that one of the white diamonds is a little bunchy; that’s the first diamond I did and that’s what happens when you have to undo it a gazillion times and it gets stretchy. I’m OK with it. It’s not perfect but when I quilt it, I’ll work around it and it will be beautiful.
My backing fabric is from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architexture’s range and the white fabric is the most beautiful gumnut print.
And, just because, here is a stained glass shot because I love it.
Please join us back here on 27 October for the first border; it’s an easy one.
(Gah! Formatting – why is half of it on a white background? I don’t know. I retyped it twice and it stayed that way.)