We specialise in needlecrafts, patchwork, quilting, cross stitch, tapestry, felting and so much more. As we attend different events, launch new products, learn new techniques and who knows what else might takes our fancy, we will share our adventures with you.
Happy New Year to everyone. May 2015 be full of crafty delights.
This is where I am up to on my Wishes Quilt from the Fat Quarter Shop Wishes Quilt Along 2014. I had to work hard to complete the pieced final border before the end of the year. I knew there was no way I could complete the full quilt before the end but I aimed to complete the top. I am thinking I may have this one quilted for me so I can continue on other projects. It is a large quilt.
The final border was a checkerboard border so there was lots of chain piecing done to get all four side pieced and I had my fingers crossed I didn't make a mistake.
The top 2 piles are the side borders ready to go to the sewing machine.
So I was over the moon when the side borders went on perfectly. I did play around with the top and bottom border so at the corners I didn't have same colours touching in the corners. I just took 3 from the bottom of my pile and put them on top so they are slightly different at the begin and end of the strips. They went on beautifully too. I am so happy how this quilt top has turned out. Now for the quilting.
Do I take it to my long arm quilter or do I do it myself?
I have been working on getting my Globetrotting quilt finished before Pat Sloan's Vacation Time starts next month. I have picked out my Vacation Time fabrics minus the navy border fabric which I will have to keep my eyes peeled for it.
I have been working on Globetrotting when I can over the last week. I pieced my backing fabric and remembered to include a label. I tend to forget it, so this one is part of the backing.
This is just an idea for the label. When I write it I am sure it will not be this nice.
The next time I pressed everything and pinned it ready for quilting.
Then Sunday afternoon I was able to quilt it. I just got it done in time to prepare dinner, I wasn't stopping until I finished quilting it.
Monday morning was binding time. It will require some television time to turn the binding over and hand stitch it in place but I do enjoy that part. I know lots of people don't but for me I know my quilt is nearly finished and after this last job it will be done, ready for it to be enjoyed.
Here it is all completed. My last completed project for 2014.
2014 is coming to a close and it is time to see what I did complete on my list. I didn't get the list completed but that doesn't surprised me. I am so easily side tracked and there was a number of projects completed that won't on the list when the year started. Have a look at my Completed Projects page here on the blog.
1. My Pies & Tarts Quilt I am half way through hand quilting this one. Not finished but I am now 3/4 way through the hand quilting, It will have to go on next year's list. 2. My Batik Hexagon Quilt top ready for quilting and binding. Completed 3. My Batik Log Cabin Quilt I am nearly finished the blocks (4 blocks to go) Completed 4. My Farmers Wife Sampler quilt -only have 30 blocks to go then sashing and borders. The quilt top is completed but I can't decide if I should hand quilt it or machine quilt. 5. Bonnie Hunters Celtic Solstice Mystery Quilt the final layout was only released on 1st January 2014 I have 24 blocks completed. Completed 6. My Double Wedding Ring quilt I started at the end of October at a workshop. 3 rings completed only. I am up to 5 rings but this quilt is now going to be a bed runner. So I only need 14 rings. 7. Building Blocks Quilt. 2014 Free Motion Quilt Along created by Leah Day. This one is going to allow me to tackle 2 things on my list, improve my free motion quilting and have a go at the Quilt as you go technique. Stuck halfway through this one. Not sure what I am going to do with this one. 8.A new Cynthia's Ark design featuring our Mystery Batik Sampler Pack. All designed just have to sew, write the pattern and kit it. I have sewn 12 of these blocks and I need to finish the rest. 9.A new Cynthia's Ark design featuring hexagons using the Inklingo technique or EPP. This was my camellia quilt. Completed. 10.Quiltmaker magazine Black Tie Affair using Riley Blake Evening Blooms Not started. 10. Pat Sloan's Globtrotting BOM for freequiltpatterns.info (One block a month) Completed. 11. Fat Quarter Shop Wishes Quilt Along BOM (One block a month) The blocks are all together with the first border. I am halfway the last pieced border. 12. A Dahlia Quilt I have a pattern. I started this one but I have misplaced my templates I made for it. So I have only completed 4 rows. 13. My Aurifil Block of the Month quilt. I have made all the blocks I have to create a layout for the blocks. I have seen a couple layouts others have used.
So I have had some success and some disasters but lots did get done. The key is to keep it going into 2015. I did learn a lot in 2014, with new quilting techniques (my free motion quilting has improved 100% on what I could do before 2014) and piecing techniques, computer stuff like blogging, creating PDF files, patterns, tutorials, sharing posts with other bloggers and more.
Lets bring into the new year with some more stitching.
I finally got my last block from the Aurifil Block of the Month completed.
I have been dragging my feet on this one as I am not sure what to do about the layout for these blocks. I have seen a couple of post on what others have done with their blocks but what to do with mine. My blocks are scrappy and I am struggling with what to use to make this a quilt looks like it was meant to be. I think this is why I struggle with scrappy quilts, if you are using a colour theme or fabric from a range it is easier. What do you think?
I will use sashing between the blocks but what colour? I know I want to use a single colour for the sashing to tie the blocks together in a neutral colour or do I go dark for a different look? I ask this question because my photo was taken on my dark floor.
Then I am thinking of a scrappy border made from scraps (fabrics in the blocks, plus some extra) from the stash.
We are at clue #5 this week. I am about halfway through each of the clues except #2 which I am only about 1/3 away through those blocks but I will get there. I may redo some of them that I am not happy with, but we will see. This is what I have completed so far.
Now Clue #5 is a nice easy one and I can say I have completed all the blocks for Clue #5.
The only clue completed so far. My aim has been to get as close to the halfway point as possible before the next clue is released. With clue #5 completed I can go back to Clue #4 and continue with that one as I have a number of blocks ready to sew together then I will have to go back to cutting.
I got to sew the first border on my Inklingo Castle wall quilt today ready for the next pieced border to go on. Even with my quilt tester (Ponchee) doing a pretest for comfort and Is this my new quilt? I just got up to answer the door and this is what I found when I returned to the sewing machine.
I needed to get this border on so I had the right measurement for the pieced border. I only need 1 more wedge to go on the first wedge border strip to complete it and I have the other three to go.
It shouldn't take me long to finish the pieced border and then there is the last border to go on and this quilt will be ready for quilting.
In my free time I am attempting to quilt some projects that have been waiting to be finished. On Christmas Eve I found some time to start on this list of projects. I started with the small projects so I had some hand sewing for movie time and they won't take me too long to quilt. Two table runners and a lap quilt got quilted.
Stain Glass Quilt half way through finishing the binding.
So on Christmas Day when I was able to slip away I prepared the binding and stitched it to the table runner and quilt while I was cooking lunch. I just have to turn the binding over to the back and hand stitch it in place. I got my Jumpstart Sew along (EQ7 project) table runner completed and my Stain glass quilt from the Island Batik Mystery quilt along done.
Jumpstart Sew Along Table Runner completed.
My kaleidoscope star table runner will be next to bind but I might pin my Globetrotting quilt first as it is ready to go. It is a larger quilt so it will need a block of a few hours for quilting
That is right It is Sale Time at Cynthia's Ark. Pop over and get yourself some bargains. Fabric specials between $5.00-$14.00 a metre. Plus there is a lot of other specials like layer cakes, strip bundles, books and more. So pop over and get yourself some bargains without the hassles of parking. crowds and queues.
Don't forget our Batik Rainbow Fabric Club starts in January. If you are thinking of joining there is still time to sign up on the website and join the fun we are going to have.
I am sure some of you will recognize this block especially if you
follow Missouri Star Quilt Company. It is their Disappearing Hourglass #1
block. I have wanted to make this quilt since the first time I saw Jenny's
tutorial on it. I wanted to use our Multi coloured batik Layer Cake with some
neutral yardage to make the quilt up in.
But look what you can create with our Multi
coloured Batik Layer Cake which is on special at Cynthia's Ark for $35 and an extra 2.6
metres of cream marble which has just arrived in stock. Let's have some fun.
I am going to pay attention to the placements on these blocks. I can see me twisting these up and sewing them together wrong. Mind you it doesn't take much for me to do that even on the simple blocks I somehow manage to do it.
It helps that this clue is similar to clue 1 and we have made some of the half square triangles units. My Sunday afternoon is my Grand Illusion time slot at the moment. So I cut and sewed some of the blocks on Sunday afternoon and have a good pile of prepared pieces sitting by the machine ready to sew when I have time during the week. So I may complete the 80 blocks this week. Lol. 10 of each are completed.
I have spent some time cutting this week in preparation for
borders to go on a few projects. One just needs the borders add as they are
solid but the other two have pieced borders and the Wishes is one of them. So I
cut the sashing strips and the first set of borders strips ready to be added
and I got the blocks sewn into rows ready for the next lot of sashing to go in
Once I have the block rows sewn together
the 1st border is goes on.
Then there is some work to go in to sewing the pieced border together
before I will be able to join those borders to the quilt but I am getting
close. Time for a big cutting session.
As I posted a few days ago my castle wall project is well on its
way. Inklingo released a new block collection Judy Martin's Waltzing Matilda just
recently and I had to get it for my collection. So now it is in my collection
my thoughts has turned to the Inklingo 9 inch star which is my next project
after the castle wall quilt.
Look what happens. I start playing around
with Inklingo and I got carried away and started the printing my 9"
star project after I printed my octagon wedges for my castle wall quilt.
I am going to do 12 blocks this time and I
thought I would share my way of working with Inklingo. There is some important
steps I always take when I print my fabrics to make my life easier and for the
process to run smoothly. That doesn't mean I print perfectly every time but
this way I have the least amount of trouble and generally if I am having
trouble it is because I am hurrying or because I have skipped a step thinking I
can get by this time. Well guess what. I am not perfect and we all have bad
days. So I hope this helps you work through the printing stage.
1.Choose the collection you want to work
with and purchase it from the Inklingo website if you haven't done so already.
Then decide how many blocks you will need to print.
I know some quilters who have purchased the
collection they like and haven't taken the next step. We might have to do some
Inklingo workshops in the New Year to encourage them to take the next step.
2. Prepare your fabric selection, by
choosing your fabric, washing and pressing the fabric while still just damp.
Fabric I have selected for my star quilt
3. Print out Monkey's Cheat Sheet so you
can record your projects printing details. That way if you need to print more
you have all the details and you can just print rather than having to work out
Half filled in Cheat sheet.
4. Cut a small piece off each fabric to
print your test page so you can work out which ink will be suitable for each
fabric. Iron it a piece of freezer paper and follow the Inklingo instructions
on printing your test page.
Cynthia's Tip #1I keep all my test page fabric samples in my
Inklingo folder as a reference guide. This is if I want to print on small
pieces or there is a chance I may not have enough fabric for the whole project
and want to skip the test page printing. I look through my samples for a
similar fabric weight and colour and use that to select the ink colour I need
and I always go one shade lighter to be safe.
You can just make out the little squares.
5. Once selected look at how many pieces
you need to print and choose the layout
you need and the custom sizing to work out your page size, so you can work out how many
sheets you need to print. Then print on the custom setting you need on to a
piece of paper first. This is to check you have all the lines and the print
direction is correct. Adjust if needed. This avoids wasting fabric.
6. Cut 1 piece of your fabric and freezer
paper to size. Iron together and print.
Cynthia's Tip #2 I always cut my freezer
paper slightly larger than my fabric. Then press the fabric to one end of the
freezer paper so I have an edge of just freezer paper that is the edge that
goes into my printer first. I have found this works the best for me; it reduces
the amount of times the fabric gets jammed in the printer. So if you are having
trouble it may help.
7. Check the first print on your
fabric and once you are happy cut the rest of your fabric and freezer paper you
need and print the remaining sheets and fill in all the details onto your Cheat
sheet for future reference.
Cynthia's Tip #3 Depending on how many
sheets I am printing depends on how many sheets of freezer paper I cut as you
can use the freezer paper a few times before you have to replace it. If I am
only printing 2-3 sheets I only cut the 1 piece of freezer paper and reuse it.
If I am print 4- 8 sheets I will cut 2 sheets and so on for more sheets. If the
freezer paper gets a little bit linty as it will with some fabrics I run the
shiny side of the freezer paper along the edge of my iron board then use a lint
brush or roller to clean the iron board edge. This helps keep the freezer paper
clean and your fabric will stick better to the freezer paper and you are less
likely to get printer jams.
8. Repeat with all your fabrics for your
All printed ready to be cut. I hope you can see some of the lines.
9. Cut your shapes out using your rotary
cutter or scissors what way works the best for the shapes you have printed.
Linda has a great tutorial on the Inklingo blog on cutting.
Then you are ready to sew by hand or by machine.
I am affiliate with Inklingo so when you purchase something from
Inklingo don’t forget to highlight Cynthia’s Ark when you get to the where do
you hear about Inklingo question and help me learn and experiment with Inklingo
so I can help you.
How quickly time goes by. We are up to Clue 3 already I haven't finished Clue #1 or #2 yet but there is time later for that. I haven't decided if I am making all the blocks and ending with a smaller quilt or going the full distance. This week's clue stands out to be the easiest clue so far for me. So off I went to get my fabrics sorted and I got the cutting done in no time. I was off sewing my strip set together using my clue #2 pieces as leaders and enders so technically I was working on two clues at the same time. Now that is being productive. I did manage one mistake some how I messed one strip set up and I ended up with a neutral strip next to the black. It is suppose to be green.
By the end of my sewing session I had 40 blocks made. That is the most of all the blocks so far. We will see if we get any sewing time in during the week. Being the week before Christmas it looks like it could be busy. I left everything at the sewing machine so if I can slip away for 10 minute I will.
Here is the link to our link up so you can have a look where everyone is up to.
I wonder what Clue #4 is going to be.
I have been slowly joining my blocks together and I am starting to
wonder if I need more blocks. I thought there was quite a large pile but once I
started to piece them together in blocks of four I am not sure any more.
have more cut so it wouldn't be hard to make more but I want to work on so many other projects that are getting close to been finished. I just can't
decide which one to work on. I have pencilled in a few quilting days during the
Christmas break but there are some tops that are close to completion that I
could add to the list. What to do?
This is where I am up to. I need to make at least 2 more blocks to finish the top row but do I need to add another full row or 2?
I am coming to the end of my 9 castle wall blocks; the last one is
half done. I picked 9 blocks and then I thought I will put 2 borders around to
make a nice size lap quilt. Then the other day I was thinking is 9 enough or
should I have done 12 blocks.
Not enough fabric to do more blocks and then borders. I
know I should stick to the original plan so I can start my next Inklingo
project (I have a couple I want to do) but I am not quite sold on a 1"
inner border followed by a 5" outer border. I am thinking I might want to
piece 1 of the borders using Inklingo of course. I might join all my blocks
together and then decide what shape to use. There are a few possible options in
the castle wall collection I could use; there is a square, diamond, triangle or
the octagon wedge in 9" collection. I wonder if the wedge could work.
I am thinking a 1 inch red border followed by the wedge border using all the fabrics and then may be the multi coloured floral paisley print for a 4 inch border. What do you think?
Yes 13 days of Christmas not 12 days of Christmas. This year I
have added an extra day to our gift giving giveaway. I love giving presents and
I know I love receiving presents too. So place an order at
www.cynthiasark.com.au between the 12th-24th December 2014 and you will receive
a Christmas present from us.
Don't forget to check in regularly
for our Hot Deal of the Day and we still have spots available for our 2015
Batik Rainbow Fabric Club so check it out here. It is going to be great fun with fabric, block pattern with a suggested quilt layout each month.
Here we are at Clue 2 already. I have pieced some of clue 1, not
as many as I would have liked due to no sewing during the week but I can do
some more later. Like Bonnie said do as much as you can, you can always go back
and finish them later. So I am diving in to clue 2. This block looks a bit more
challenging for me I will have to take a little extra care cutting these, being
left handed I sometime have trouble (generally due to right handed
instructions) and end up with my diamonds pointing the wrong way. At least
Bonnie has thought of that and included some instructions for left handers.
I started with a couple of test blocks
just to make sure I was doing it right before I took the plunge and got the
production cutting and sewing going. I am trying to avoid too much unstitching.
Lol There will be unstitching I am sure of that.
Look what happened I still stuffed the cutting up after the test blocks. Luck I checked after the first pair so no real harm done, into the scrap bin for them.
Now the chain piecing is going after a good cutting section.
To see how the rest of the gang are doing
on their GI projects here is the link to this week's link up. Quiltville
In October I mention my Inklingo Kaleidoscope stars that I have
been playing with. I did finally choose a background for my stars.
Unfortunately it is a dark fabric I wanted to use, so it is not printer
friendly but fortunately Linda has a way around this using the Inklingo template method for dark fabrics and other situations. If I had my dark fabric when I printed my diamond for the stars I could of easily laid the dark fabric under the uncut diamonds and cut both out at the same time then I won't of needed to use the template method. This happens when you are just playing with a block with no final project in mind.
Not the best picture it is more blue than black.
I haven't tried it so this would be
the perfect time to try it. So far I have been very selective when picking
fabrics for my Inklingo projects, that way I could always print directly on to
My next problem was layout- how did I want
to lay this table runner out?
At first I thought I would applique the
stars onto the blue fabric, why I don't know I'm not very good at
Then I was thinking of putting hexagons in
between the stars. That would work.
A few days of pondering this and I thought
why not use the diamond to turn the stars into hexagon blocks and I was sold on
the idea. I may have a hexagon addiction. So this is where I am up to.
What do you think about this layout?
to make some half stars to fill in the spaces but I think it will work. The
next question is do I have enough blue to finish and bind it as I did not take
binding in to consideration when I bought the fabric. I may need to make a return
trip to get some more. (I hope they still have some. If they do I better get
extra for the backing.)