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I am so excited. I have decided to participate in a 'quilt-a-long' for the beautiful Midnight at the Oasis  by Jen Kingwell. The picture on the left is Jen's beautiful quilt. The pattern is available from Amitie Textiles. It is also published in Quiltmania magazine (issue 96).  It is being hosted by Jess of The Elven Garden and Sharon of Fabric and Flowers. 

I am loving looking at all the different versions of this quilt. All of them are gorgeous and colourful but very different. I have chosen orange as my background fabrics and a palette of greens, blues and yellows to go with it. I think this quilt would also look great in traditional, more subdued reproduction fabrics. Hmm. Maybe I will make a repro one next time but for now I will stick to my brights. 

Jess from The Elven Garden has written a great post on the different ways of doing the orange peel blocks. I tried a few different ways including needle turn applique like Jess (the Sarah Fielke method) and the freezer paper method. What I found worked best for me was heat proof mylar templates and spray starch. 
At first I tried using a thread to pull up the fabric up around the template but that was a bit hit and miss with the corners. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I then simply painted some spray starch along the outside edges and pressed one side over the template and then the other. Finally I folded the corners in. I really like how they turned out and it was so easy. I would recommend a dry iron as your fingers do NOT want steam anywhere near them (ask me how I know). The biggest tip I could give, is to make sure you cut the orange peels so that the sides are on the bias, it makes it much easier to get smooth curves. 
I am plodding along slowly with this. My hand stitching is slow, but it has been nice to have something portable and to be able to sit outside while my sons play or sit beside hubby in the evening. I am linking to the Midnight at the Oasis QAL. See the cute button on my side bar.
I thought I'd also link up to Gemma from Pretty Bobbins. She has some great tips on thread and tension issues. I thought I'd share somethings I have learnt. Like Gemma and Jess I use a Bernina 440QE. I don't often have tension issues but when they do happen, often all that is needed is to thread the machine again (with the foot up - thanks Gemma).  Sometimes, though when using a fine thread (Bottom line by Superior threads 60W) and doing tiny filler stitches, I find I need a tighter bobbin tension. The easiest way to do this on machine is to thread the bobbin thread through the little hole in the top of the hook on the bobbin case (see pics). 
I have been sewing lots lately, so should have some lovelies to share soon. Wishing Gemma all the best with her move.


Take care
Jo
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Comments

06/11/2013 11:08am

I love the brights, and nice play with the borders - looking forward to seeing your progress :)

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08/11/2013 7:16pm

Thank you so much. I am really enjoying myself with this quilt.

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Jess
06/11/2013 3:07pm

Thanks so much for the mini tute on how you are approaching the orange peels - I might have a play with your method this week. Good to know your a Bernina 440 lover as well :o)

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08/11/2013 7:18pm

You are welcome Jess. I am so glad you are doing the QAL. I am learning new skills and enjoying myself so much. I do love my 440QE!

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06/11/2013 11:01pm

I look forward to seeing your version of Midnight At The Oasis :) thanks for the tension tip! I do is when doing buttonholes and very occasionally when I've had tension trouble. It's a great tip! Thanks for linking up Jo xx

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08/11/2013 7:20pm

Thanks Gemma.

It is great to see the different ways people handle tension issues. Loving you linky party

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14/04/2014 9:14pm

Thank you for your amazing post!

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06/05/2014 10:13pm

I have also subscribed to your feed, and I plan to come back in the weekend to see more.

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30/10/2014 1:40am

Just wanted to say keep up the excellent job!

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04/11/2014 10:34pm

Hey that was great to read. Thanks for the great post .Loved every part of it.

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08/11/2014 6:28am

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