Tag Archives: quilt

Quilting for a change!

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No yarn WIP photos this week. They are boring me, and are not progressing much. Instead, TA DA!

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I made a small quilt. I was given the choice of some Christmas panels at work and of course I chose the non-traditional one with my favourite colours in it. It comes with a range of coordinating fabrics which I love, so I kept it simple by cutting out the centre design and surrounding it with squares. I did have to trim some to make them fit. There is a thin line of pink around the centre, which is just a folded strip of fabric that’s incorporated into the seam.

I didn’t do any quilting on this, just tied the layers together using some pink yarn, and added a few snowflake buttons.

The back is two other sections of the panel plus another fabric from the same range.

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I then had two pieces of panel left, which went into a project bag along with some of the other fabrics left over from the quilt. The spotty buttons from my stash fit well with the colour scheme.

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And the second side…

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I sort of followed a video tutorial though I had to change the measurements a bit as my pre-printed squares were a little narrower than the instructions said to cut, and as they were also deeper than her patchwork section I shortened the top and bottom pieces. It would look better wider, but I had to go with what I had. I added batting in between the layers, so a bit of stitching and button sewing hold it in place. I managed to fit 6 hanks of yarn in there for the photo, so it’s quite roomy.

These items will have to go on display at the store, probably right up til Christmas.

I have been creating other small items as part of the Christmas cracker swap that I’m in. I think I have everything ready to pack up now. A few small crocheted things, some beading, tea, and of course a cheesy joke. The sooner I send it the better as my swap partner is in the UK. I have taken photos but probably shouldn’t show anything yet just in case.

Happy Hump Day! Hope your week is awesome.

Crazy wonky hippie scooby log cabin quilt

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It’s done! I have never been so glad to see a quilt finished. I really hope you have a better screen than I do. The photo was taken outside on my deck last night as the light was waning, and it looked pretty clear on my iPad, but now I’m looking at it on my laptop screen it’s a bit fuzzy.

To recap a little, the piecing went swimmingly. I collected up my fabrics, decided which ones I wanted to feature in the centre of the blocks, loosely decided which ones were “lights” and which ones were “darks” and got started. I used a white broadcloth (poly cotton blend) as the foundation for the blocks and used the stitch and flip method to add pieces from the centre out, sewing through both the cotton on top and the broadcloth behind. You end up with a messy looking block that miraculously looks neat and tidy once you trim the overflowing bits to the size of the broadcloth.

The quilt grew organically. I didn’t have much of a plan, didn’t know how big I was going to make it, or how I would arrange the blocks when they were done. In the end, I stopped at 25, bought some black cotton fabric for the sashing and binding, and arranged them so that the similar ones created a diagonal line. The Pink Panther ones were my main feature, I felt, so once I’d laid them down to form the main diagonal I added the camper vans, the Scooby Doo blocks, the crazy cats etc.

Separating the wildly coloured blocks with black sashing calms it all down a bit and makes the colours pop. After I had sewn the centre part of the top together, I noticed I had been careless and not lined things up very well in places. Hence the appliques using one of the fabrics that had cool cars, camper vans and scooters on it.

The border was easy as I had just the right amount of one of the coordinating fabrics to cut strips along the lines of the print. And then it was time to sandwich and quilt. I used a thin polyester batting. I’ve always used cotton before, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money. And the backing is pieced from large chunks of the fabrics left over from the top.

All (mostly) well so far, right!

It’s been a long time since I made a quilt. I made a big swatch to practise my free motion quilting. I was rusty but I thought it would be ok. I started right in the centre of the quilt, and used the prints on the fabrics to lead my quilting. In one 1.5 hour session, I heavily quilted five of the blocks and used an entire bobbin of thread. I hated it. It was messy. SO messy. I mentally kicked myself. And then I unpicked every damn stitch. It took a couple of weeks, on and off. It wasn’t so bad where the black stitching was on a light background, but black on black just doesn’t agree with my eyes any more.

Finally, I was done and came up with a simpler quilting idea. Use the walking foot, NOT the darning foot, and quilt it with a straight line design. I worked out that a five pointed star would be ideal, as I could quilt it in an unbroken line and then stitch in the ditch around the edge of the block. I did that 25 times. It took a couple of sessions and looked much better than my original effort. Of course there was a lot of turning of the quilt which has its challenges when using a basic sewing machine with only a small area to work in. But it worked. I added a line of stitching on the outside edge of the black border strip and decided that would do.

I had JUST the right amount of black fabric left to cut strips for the binding (my math was good) but by this time my walking foot was driving me nuts. The screw holding it onto the shaft kept loosening, so it didn’t want to stay in place for long. The foot components themselves seemed to be too loose so I tightened the little screws either side of it and that caused it to shorten my stitch length and not feed the fabric layers through properly. So I had to unpick more stitches as I started to sew on the binding.

Eventually it was attached, and I decided to hand sew the binding on the back. But I didn’t make my life easier then, did I! What I SHOULD have done is trim the seam allowances a bit so that when I folded the binding over it was easy to sew it down. But my seam allowances were just a little wide and I struggled with it instead. Good grief!

So yeah, it’s finished. And the result is something I can live with, even though it’s not perfect. Let me tell you, it has not encouraged me to make another quilt any time soon.

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Two steps forward and one step back

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The backing for the wonky log cabin quilt came together quickly, as I used chunks of the fabrics left over from the top. I bought a polyester batting from work – the cheapest thinnest stuff you ever did see – and pinned the layers together.

And then I quilted some of it…and hated it…and am now unpicking the stitches from the back with a seam ripper. It was too much quilting, too messily done, and it ruined it. I had quilted five squares out of the 25, used a full bobbin of thread on it over 1.5 hours, and it will take ages to pull out. However I will be happier with it in the long run if I suck it up and just do it.

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More happily, I have an FO! A pompom beanie crocheted with a cake of Caron Chunky Cupcakes in Jelly Bean. The pattern was on the ballband but it’s also available for free on the Yarnspirations website. Details on my Ravelry project page. It’s constructed using a sideways ‘ribbed’ brim, then you join into a loop and work along the side for the body of the hat. The main part is moss stitch, which in crochet is (sc, ch1) around, working into the chain spaces on the next round. It makes a nice fabric, and alternating both ends of the yarn cake gives you a variation in colour as you go. The pompom comes attached to the yarn, which is why it coordinates so well.

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a cosy Cowboy Fog

 

I’ve been mostly staying off Facebook lately, preferring just to post an occasional photo to Instagram. I spend at most a few minutes a day on Instagram so have more time to do better things! The above photo is from one of my visits to my favourite local tea shop. This book is from the library and I’m really enjoying the read, and identifying what is cosy for me. Certainly, one of my cosiest things to do is sit in Chai Baba and drink their awesome teas and either crochet, read or talk to the friends we bump into there.

Another cosy thing I like to do is take my breakfast outside to the deck. It’s cool and quiet and I can look at the sky, enjoy my breakfast, maybe wrap myself in a blanket or quilt if I feel a little chilly, and look out for birds and squirrels in the trees.

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morning muesli

It’s my birthday tomorrow and I feel like the celebrations are happening not just for one day but for half a week! Last night I went out to dinner with friends and we had a lot of fun. We’re all Brits so have the same sense of humour. Tomorrow I am working, but there is a potluck at my house in the evening with a different set of friends who we always have a laugh with. We usually play Mexican Train Dominoes, and there is lots of digressing and wordplay and puns. And Sunday morning we are off to brunch at another vegan cafe with a couple of our sons. I am totally making the most of turning 57!

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So while I was procrastinating on the quilt unpicking, I made these tote bags with some old stash fabrics. I made 12 in all but took the photo before I made the last one. I decided that as I have to work on my birthday, I will practice Random Acts of Kindness and give a bag out now and then throughout the day to customers who need one. It will save them taking a plastic bag and hopefully it will remind them to always carry a cloth bag with them when they shop in future.

And then I spotted the stash of old jeans on the top shelf of the sewing room closet, and this came together.

It’s a fun little bag made from upcycled denim. I sewed a little flower where there was a hole at the corner of the pocket, which inspired me to make the strap out of the same fabric and also applique another patch on the back. I loved it so much that I immediately started another, but it got to 4pm and I had to start cooking dinner. I could have carried on for hours!

Have you seen this nifty gadget? It was very useful today, for sewing over bulky seams and the parts where the tote bag straps joined to the top of the bags. It basically helps the machine to handle the thick seams without skipping stitches or getting stuck. Definitely a good investment.

Well, I really must get to bed. It’s been a busy day (including a 9am Cardio Barre class and a half hour weights session tonight) and I have to be up early in the morning, Have a great weekend!

WIP: Wonky groovy hippie 60’s inspired log cabin quilt

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I had to enlist the help of one of my tall boys tonight to get a photo of the finished quilt top. I dragged him out to the deck and got a few shots, but it was pretty windy and my phone isn’t great. However, I think you get the picture. The appliqued vehicles at the intersections of the sashing are (I hope) disguising the fact that some of my blocks are not particularly well lined up vertically. I used Heat ‘n Bond Light on them and will anchor them down properly when I do the quilting.

This project is huge – about 65 inches square – and I am currently in the process of piecing the backing from the leftover fabrics. I’m nearly there, but there’s no rush (although I always feel like I want to get my projects done fast) and I can do more tomorrow.

Getting up early is great, because I can get completely ready for work and then have time to sew as well.

I may have to buy batting. I think I only have a small number of bits and pieces in my stash, so I’ll have to check out prices when I go to work on Monday. I still don’t know how much quilting I’ll actually do on this.  It’s been so long since I did any quilting and I may even try out a spray basting method this time, rather than safety pins. Then perhaps I’ll quilt large flower shapes on it using free motion quilting with my darning foot.

Quite the adventure!

Crochet and fabric play

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She is done, my Mimic shawl. She had a bath and a lie-down on the blocking mats, and  a bit of steam, and she grew to 16.5 inches by 87.5 inches. Yup, pretty long, but lovely with it.

This used 260 grams of Lion Brand Mandala in the Troll colourway, so about one and two-thirds of the 150 gram cakes.

My stashbusting has been epic this month. Two shawls, a blanket and a hat completed and I also cleared out a bit of undesirable yarn from my stash. That’s a total of 2320 grams of yarn OUT! And none in.

The other small project I finished was this Walking Hat, so named because I crocheted it on my walks around the neighbourhood. I used up the last of my Caron Big Cakes in Shadowberry. I wouldn’t buy this yarn again. It’s not the nicest acrylic, in my opinion. It took three and a half walks to make. I probably got some second glances as I carried my yarn and hook around with me this week!

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In the grand scheme of checks and balances, I should be picking up  my paycheque today, which will include some extra hours and overtime. However, when I was at a coffee shop with a friend yesterday, my car was parked outside on the street, and during that time someone swiped it with their vehicle and took the paint off. Grrrr! I am claiming off my insurance, of course, but there is still a $500 deductible to pay. I had to spend some time on the phone to the insurers yesterday and book my poor car in for an estimate at the body shop.

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So what else is new? Ah yes, my quilting. I have been itching to make a quilt again. I started back in 1998, when I was expecting son #3, and took a class to learn how make a large quilt. It was definitely worth it and from then on I quilted like a crazy person for six years, until I got back into yarn crafts. I haven’t really felt the pull since, even though I now work in a fabric store, but that doesn’t stop me from bringing home pretty cotton fabric remnants now and then. If I really like something, I’ll buy a metre.

Anyway, I’ve recently been watching The Midnight Quilt Show on YouTube and have been enjoying watching Angela piece and machine quilt like the pro she is and it’s inspired me to get going again. I also have a pile of quilting books from the library. This week I pulled out a bunch of fabrics and decided on a theme. I am fussy-cutting squares from Pink Panther, Scooby Doo, camper vans, Vespas and colourful cats and using a backing of broadcloth to stitch-and-flip crazy log cabin blocks. I have six so far.

It’s a lot of fun and deliberately cutting the pieces a little wonky with scissors means no need for precision.

I have no plan as to the number of blocks to make or how it’s all going to come together. I’ll scratch this itch and see where it takes me.

Have a great weekend! (I’ll be working, and I’ll still do my best to have a great weekend.)