Friday, 12 September 2014

Doing, undoing, and doing again.....

Do you remember that I asked to make a quilt for my friend?  It was something I had not attempted before, and it gave me a chance to practice on my new machine.  The last time I showed you it was at this stage....
Its all in the planning.....

just look at it now...

Mapping out on the lounge floor
added the borders

The washing line comes in handy
and finally quilted.  I have to tell you this is my second attempt at quilting this.  I am not sure what went wrong, but I wasn't happy and after a nights sleep I decided to unpick.  I was a little worried that the stitches might mark the fabric, so I unpicked just a little to see how it looked and to my joy no needle holes could be seen.  YEAH!!!!!   

Thanks for the opportunity to make this quilt 

Note:  How do you unpick your machine stitching?  I use my quick unpick to break the thread on  every fifth or sixth bobbin stitch, then turn my work over and pull the top thread which should just unravel.  You are left with some small bits of thread coming through and all you have to do is brush them off your quilt.  A good tool for this job is a 'seam fix' seam ripper, and I have on good authority that Poppy Patch have them on order and expect them back in stock of my best buys.

The sewing mat for my machine is now completed and the pockets are full of those precious bits that I never put away 'properly', but always know which pocket to find them in.


I have also been playing with my machine, and spent many happy hours making samples of the stitches.  I did this with my old machine and find it a much better way of actually seeing the embroidery stitches.  I even worked on a label for the quilt which meant I had to use the machines memory Phew!!! Quite a challenge. 

Just a few of the 270 stitches 

I haven't done any more with my 'quilt as you go' quilt, but I have some ideas for the borders, and I am not sure I can wait until next Saturday when I should meet up with Jan for some instructions......  I will keep you posted....

Happy sewing  x x

Sunday, 31 August 2014

After Months......

I have decided to take the plunge and make up some of my small embroidery's that a few of us have been making at Higham Piecemakers.  I could say I am 'testing' how to 'make them', but to be honest I needed something, and it crossed my mind to use my embroideries.

Cathedral Windows here we come.  I have also used the fabric that came as an 'extra' from my last swap.....great isn't it!

Think this is what to do
Now to cut the embroidery and add them to the Cathedral windows

Mmmmm think I have enough
Have to admit that I didn't realise just how many embroidery's I would need, and I forgot that they should all be 'on point'.  Oh well, some flowers grow lopsided don't they?

Getting there
Can you guess yet what this is going to turn into?????  This is the front...

See the little baby Cathedrals......needed those extras
This is the back......didn't have enough embroidery for this.

I like this just as it is
Voilà!  done and dusted

Smart don't you think!
 I now need to make a mat for the machine.....note to self ....add to list of 'to do's'

I got the idea of putting embroidery into the windows from mybearpaw - isn't hers stunning?  I have to say mine has lots of mistakes, and the 'art' of getting the windows right is accurate cutting, sewing and getting those pesky corners matching.

To my friends that joined me in this project I hope you don't mind toooooo much that I have completed my first Cathedral Window item ------ but, I have learnt a lot that I can pass on to you .

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Couple of things 'ticked' off the list

I have been trying to use my new machine, and one of the things I wanted to do was to add some of the blocks that I have been 'quilting as you go' to the whole cloth that I quilted years ago.  I planned where I wanted the blocks and added the sashing.

This is the layout I chose

As the blocks are quite 'busy' I have mainly quilted 'in the ditch' so nothing special there, but I knew what I wanted to do in the sashings and my new machine had just the stitch I needed.  Unfortunately I didn't get a close up, but it is 'what I would call' a serpent stitch, and it does the trick of anchoring the thin strip of batting in the 1" sashing.  I think I am now planning on a plain cream boarder, then perhaps use the scraps of the brighter fabrics to finish it off.  I have to wait until the 20 September for the next class and for Jan to show me how she would add a wider border.......

Not such a good photo, but you get the idea
I went to a 'sit and sew' at my local quilt shop last Thursday, and I really couldn't get to grips with things.  I started a bag with the fabric my friend Dee gave me.  I have made the bag before, but I just wanted to alter the size of the pockets, but I really didn't get very far with it.  We had a long weekend and the weather wasn't great, so I sat and finished the bag and its now ready for my next sewing day.

Front sides and bottom of the bag ready for the other half

That's it done and dusted

I have also been working on that baby quilt,  and thoroughly enjoying it, but it has come to a bit of a halt as I have run out of thread.  Still its something I can show you next time.

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

In with the new.....farewell to the old

Oh goodness where have the days and weeks gone.  I did think I would have a lot to show you but.... there have been a few changes in my sewing room.  I have said a sad farewell to my beautiful Bernina sewing machine.

Still looks a smart machine doesn't it?

I bought the machine in Durban, South Africa, a number of years ago, and it has served me well but there is always the fear that if something goes wrong with it spare parts may become scarce so I have taken the plunge and bought a new Janome.

Need a new sewing mat now.
Its a pretty swish machine, so I will have to play and get to know all it can do for me.  My friend has been give a new pattern for a baby quilt (sold here) with very little time to make it, so I have offered to make it (using my new machine!).  There was a method in my madness, I get to practice on my machine.

cute pattern

I have never made one of these quilts before, and what a surprise it was to find it took days to trace all the bits to be appliquéd, but once traced it only left me the job of cutting it all out.....Phew! another day spent on the floor cutting and placing..

Just the beginning
 I am sure some of you clever folk know a quick way to do this, but I have spent the day on the floor with a pair of scissors, and spent happy hours (and hours) cutting out those tiny pieces and placing them on the correct pattern piece.  Think I am about ready to start sewing and giving my machine a bit of a work out...Yeah!!!

Some of the scraps.... don't think I will keep them 

Hope I have something to show you in the not to distant future.

Have a safe and happy holiday weekend.

Monday, 11 August 2014

Challenging Challenge done and dusted

Do you remember the Challenge with my friend 'L'?  I started to write about it in this post and I ended with this photo and wanted to shout from the roof tops that I thought I had finally cracked it.

Tah Dah!!

I started to piece the other six mini blocks together, but first had to get them in the right order..

Getting there
goodness they seemed to go together like a dream.....

Nearly  done ...

but I think I must have got carried away, because just after this photo I put all the blocks together only to find one rogue mini block had a problem...... to say the air was 'blue' would be an understatement.  I had to unpick once again....can you spot the (I would like to say deliberate, but I would be telling fibs) mistake.  Of course you can it sticks out a mile!

Removed from the main block ....

But finally I did get it together, sandwiched and quilted YEAH!!!!!!!  Isn't it a darling.

I love it, and if you look closely you will notice just how small we made it

'L' has almost finished hers and once she has recovered from 'The Festival of Quilts' show I am sure she will show you her completed challenge miniature quilt.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lots to tell..

I do have a lot to tell, but I might just 'show/tell' you one thing in this post, and the chosen one for today is my 'flickr' swap.  If you remember we know who we are swapping with, and this months theme was 'anything goes'.  My partner gave me 'carte blanch'  so I decided to make a miniature paper pieced 'Rain bonnet Sue'.

It started like this..

Yep! some tiny bits of paper.
then I made some of the 'big' hearts

This is one of the 'big' hearts
added them to the littlies...

Now to put them together...

and they looked like this...

See what I mean about 'Big' hearts 

Borders added, bound and quilted 

Now you can see just how small it is

I added a couple of 'extra's' and off in the post it went..

Scissor keeper, and a collapsible thread catcher

and Yeah! it arrived on Friday so I can now tell and show all. Best of all my partner loved it.  I am now stalking the postman until he delivers mine....

I will show you my challenge next time so keep popping in...

Friday, 25 July 2014

Challenge time.

Remember my post from the 15 July I told you my friend and I were embarking on a new challenge?  Well, the fun had begun.  Fun...did I say fun!!!! All of the half square triangles were cut and ready.

Remember these
 and I like a good girl I actually read the instructions that said it was best not to iron them just  finger press the half squares open. Now I have a lot of patience, but after spending a whole evening (about 4 hours) finger pressing and only getting about half the pile done I decided that was for " the birds", so next morning out came the iron'

Must change my ironing cloth it looks awful

Next I laid out how I thought my pattern would look best, and got ready to sew....

this is the plan..

I sat and sewed a row at a time and all seemed to be working well, then I got to the centre rows which should have been the quickest to make as it has a 2" square in the centre rather than another pinwheel ....famous last words....I cannot tell you how many times I unpicked the two blocks that were either side of that 2" block.  In the end I threw them over my shoulder and started again.

Banished to the floor 

Finally, got them right (or so I thought) and added the centre rows to the 'top and bottom' rows.......and it wasn't until I went to take this photo that I saw, to my horror, there was still a say the air was blue would be an understatement!

Yep! more to be unstitched 
This weekend is my time to get things right, so I hope next time I see you I will have at least one more block completed CORRECTLY .  

You may want to pop across to here to see how my friend is getting on.