Tag Archives: Old Macdonald

Blue Dogs, Green Birds, Pink Rabbits and a Game of I-Spy.

3 Aug

I have finished two more UFO’s this week. If I am not careful I might run out. I am getting the hang of the quilt frame now although I have decided that there is not really any scope for imaginative quilting. The space available is too small. I need to come into some money to buy a long-arm setup but as I have no rich relatives ready to leave me their worldly wealth I guess it won’t happen. That being the case I am getting to be a bit of an expert at meandering. I don’t have too many problem stitches these days but I have also discovered that washing the finished quilt evens up the stitching in the antiqueing effect. It also makes sure that all the years sitting in the UFO pile in various dusty locations are washed away leaving a clean fresh quilt. It has the added advantage that you know how it will look when it is washed.

The first was originally a BOM by Kookaburra Cottage. This link will take you to the BOM page on their site and lots of lovely examples of their particular style of design. I have loved them since the first one I saw. They are a bit pricey as a pattern which explains why I make more than one from each.

Little Macca’s Farm

Someone once told me I should label my quilts. Nothing looked right but then I got an embroidery machine and I have never looked back. Just give me an excuse and I will make a label.

The other quilt is an alphabet quilt. I wanted to use up all the charm squares of children’s fabric I had accumulated. Looking at it again after all these years I see that I made it into an I-Spy quilt of sorts too.

In case you are wondering how I achieved the ‘wonky’ effect, wonder no longer. Starting with the top of the centre square attach a strip of fabric to the edge. Attach another strip down the right side onto the new shape. Then the bottom, then the left side. You now have an ordinary upright  block bigger than you need. Make a template the size you want the finished block then place it onto your straight block at any angle desired and cut off the surplus with a rotary cutter. Easy Peasy.

Mustn’t forget the label.

The monkeys are from Oregon Patchworks on this link. There are lots of variations on the monkey embroidery. This one is an applique but there are some straight forward embroideries on the same theme.

Let me leave you with another set of views from where I live.

View Towards the Beach

The Beach

The Outer Harbour

Stop Press – UFO Numbers Diminish Over Cornwall.

28 Jan

I am going great guns here. Finished Five  UFOs and counting. I am also getting to grips with the ‘evil machine’, the combination of quilting frame and sewing machine. I traced a couple of problems to design faults probably made worse by my refusing to upgrade the carriage I had on the frame as it was perfectly servicable. Having already laid out nearly the original price of the whole frame on a stitch regulator I didn’t really see why I had to pay out even more for a new carriage when the equipment fits the original one. The only problem is that the wire is a bit short and I think was causing the sensor to be pulled away from the wheel and therefore stop controlling the stitch length. It also restricted the amount of travel available and that is serious on a none longarm setup. The Big Cheese came to the rescue (the engineering degree wasn’t wasted then) and a with a bit of judicious rearrangement of control boxes and wiring I think we have cracked it. The proof of the pudding, as they say will however be in the eating . I am forcing myself to finish each quilt completely before quilting the next so I am only now rolling the new one onto the bars. If I didn’t finish each one I would just end up with a pile of UFOs in a slightly more finished state. They would still constitute UFOs.

I shall be keeping my fingers crossed that the fix has worked although that could make working the carriage a bit difficult.

The one I have just finished is an Old Macdonald theme from a pattern by one of my favourite Australian pattern companies, Kookaburra Cottage. I just love a lot of their BOM projects although they do work out rather expensive if you just buy the patterns. I get over this by doing lots of each. This one is ideal for a beginning applique as the pieces are all nice and big so no fiddly corners to negotiate. The original pattern has buttons for eyes too.

I present ‘Little Macca’s Farm’

I fancied a pastel version for a change.

A few close ups.

The Farm












I didn’t want to do stitch in the ditch after I had finished but I like to define the blocks. I tried doing some meandering as I went along to get over this.

Meander over the ditch

I also did a label to match on my embroidery machine.

The Label

I  haven’t reached the standard I would like to but I continue to  experiment and I  still have a huge pile of UFOs on which to practice. Lets hope the little green men don’t arrive before I’ve finished.

Old Macdonald Had A Farm

14 Nov

You will be glad to know that my printer is printing and my hands are still clean. In fact I feel so uncomfortably clean that I decided I needed a wallow in the farmyard. I was looking through some old photographs and found some of a quilt I made for a raffle. It was when I still used polyfilament for quilting. I was never happy with it but it was almost invisible. It was also all I had and with no shops I used what I had. I do not use it now, I don’t like its shiny unnatural look. Being invisible it is also very easy to leave bits of it attched to the quilt. Not a good look.  I am aware I am not in the majority though so I will say no more.

The pattern is entitled ‘Little Maccas Farm’ and was a block of the month from Kookaburra Cottage some time ago. I just bought the patterns so the scrappy look is my interpretation using what I had.

It is great fun to make, the pieces are large for stitching and it can use up lots of odd fabrics.

As you can see the stitching is not wonderful. This was one of the first ones I did. I was teaching myself and it was a bit of a learning curve. It still went down ok though. They would have made lots of money except they ran out of raffle tickets. I have to confess I was a bit upset about that. I had spent hours and lots of money making it and nobody bothered to check they had enough raffle tickets. Still – water under the bridge.

I no longer use buttons for the eyes  as most of the quilts I make are meant to be used, not hang on the wall. However, in those days I followed patterns.

A bit of handstitching on the whiskers there. I don’t often do that any more either. I have perfected doing the stitching on the machine which makes it a bit sturdier. A least that is my excuse, if the truth were known it’s probably sheer laziness.

More handstitching.

I love the simple but effective shape of this chicken.

I finally used up that fruit fabric.

I think the dog is one of my favourites.

If you like the pattern I believe it is still available. Being an ex-BOM it is a little expensive but then it depends how much you want it.

Doing a bit of a house move this week so postings may be a bit intermittent. Don’t be put off by lack of new material  come back and hear how we went on. I am sure there will be a few amusing anecdotes. The most amusing may be how we fit the furniture from a large three bedroom house into a small two bedroom flat. The words ‘quart’ and ‘pint pot’ come to mind.