Wednesday, 28 April 2010

11 Days Without Broadband

And yes, I have been sewing!

Bits for Waif's quilt:

More blocks for Gman's log cabin (now have 25)

And of course, a few Morsbags - these are my faves:

Morsbags total is now up to 97, so I think I may have to sew three more pretty soon.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Twinkliest Star

I had a go at a liberated star to match my latest house, and I love it!  I have made stars before, in the conventional way, but this is much more fun and I think it looks better - it twinkles more :-)

Hand Quilting Experiments

Further to my previous post about hand quilting with pearl cottons, I bought me this yummy selection of pearl cotton no.5 size:

When I had finished drooling over them and stroking them, I set to work on hand quilting an orphan Jacob's Ladder block with them:

I didn't have a plan, but just kind of doodled and experimented.  As you can see, I wasn't lying when I said I don't "do" small and neat stitching (you don't even want to know what the back looks like)!!    I did discover that, although I fancy the idea of being spontaneous and unplanned, I actually got on much better when trying to follow a line eg on the black paisley triangle.  I think I overdid the amount of quilting because the overall effect is to make a kind of stiff quilt.  Still, Action Man doesn't seem to mind :-)

For my second experiment, I used pearl no. 8 thread, which I got off Ebay.  I decided to stencil a design first so I could practice following lines.  I grabbed a couple out of the kids art collection - a duck and some little hearts. I did discover that my purple disappearing marker isn't great for this purpose because (a) I can't see the lines on the darker fabrics, and (b) I am not quick enough to keep up with it, half the duck had faded by the time I got round the bend ;-)

I much  prefer the look and especially the feel of this little quilt.  Unfortunately, because I changed more than one factor at the time (thread, needle, wadding, design) I don't know why it feels so much nicer!  The wadding is 100% bamboo (the previous was a cotton/soy blend) but don't know if this is why it feels nicer, or if it is because the stitching is not as dense.  Would be interested to hear from more experienced quilters on this.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Wonky and proud

Well, you didn't think I would stay on the straight and narrow path did you?

Here's a couple of new house blocks I made.  The orange house I deliberately went for a wonky look (made by tipsy builders as Lazy Gal Tonya might have it!).  In fact, they were so tipsy that the roof doesn't even fit, but hey, who needs to worry about an ill-fitting roof when it's raining glitter?

Buoyed by the liberation of making wonky houses, I decided to have another go at dropping the feed dogs and experimenting with a bit of free motion embroidery.  My lovely sister-in-law got me this book for Christmas and I dug it out and had a go at a bit of stitching.  Here are the two fabric postcards I made as a result:

It wasn't as terrifying as I had thought, but actually pretty enjoyable!  And the fabrics were all from my scrap bag, so low risk.  D

I did learn that I need to cut my fabric background a bit bigger cos they have ended up at less than postcard size.  Who knew a bit of embroidery would make them shrink so much?

Hand Quilting vs Machine Quilting

As I mentioned previously, having machine quilted my Army Star quilt, I don't think I will physically be able to manage machine quilting the Jacob's Ladder quilt, so have been looking at advice on hand quilting.  I bought some "between" needles as suggested in the advice I found everywhere but they are very, very tiny and I don't really fancy my chances with them!  So I was intrigued by this post on Anna Maria Horner's website, where she talks about quilting with embroidery floss.  I think this might be much more up my street.  Mentioning this on the Liberated Quilters yahoo group, Dordogne Quilter Clare helpfully pointed me in the direction of this thread guide written by Lazy Gal Tonya.  Now my mind is surely made up!

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Back on the straight and narrow

Feeling guilty about neglecting Gman's quilt in favour of Waif's wonky houses, I knocked up half a dozen red and black log cabin blocks this weekend (precisely measured, rotary cut, accurate quarter inch seams, the lot!):


I would be lying if I said I enjoyed making them as much as the liberated houses, but I do like playing with them afterwards, trying out different layouts - as you can see from the pics :-)

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Well, I couldn't waste good fabric could I?

House made from strips of fabric left over from quilting my Army Star quilt.

I am a bit worried cos each house I make seems to be bigger than the one before it (see pic below).  How did that happen?  Think I might have to sew a few petite bungalows, as Waif has now requested a castle for the village (!), which has obviously got to be bigger than the houses.

[caption id="" align="alignnone" width="240" caption="big, bigger, biggest"][/caption]

Army Star - Quilted, Bound, Finished - Hoorah!

I finally finished a quilting project :-)

I machine quilted this, mainly in the ditch but with a few outlining lines thrown in.  Backed with tan swirly fabric (a bargain at £4 per metre from the Spring Quilt Festival :-)) then did lazy binding by bringing some of the backing to the front to bind.  I did have a minor mishap when I accidentally cut through part of the backing when trimming the wadding back :oops: but managed to rescue it without tooooo much trauma.

What I did learn from quilting this was that there is no way, with my current setup, that I am ever going to be able to machine quilt my Jacob's Ladder quilt - it is just too damned big!  This feeling was reinforced when I spent this afternoon sewing blackout lining into Gman's curtains (he has the lightest room in the house and the flimsiest curtains - doh) and I really struggled to manoeuvre the curtains.  So, looks like I might have to consider hand quilting after all.  Might get it finished before the end of the decade..!