Thursday, 26 November 2009

Rib rib, rib rib!

Mini Purl Frog, originally uploaded by soja.

He's too mini to ribbet!

I made a couple of Purl bee frogs (see link on the right) a year or so ago and one of my students became a little obsessed with them.

Unfortunately moths got to them over the summer and they had to go. :-(
My student gave me an origami frog, so in return I ran up this little mini version - he's less than 5" long and stuffed with linseed with seed bead eyes.

The fabric in the background is an Amy Butler print I am planning to use to bind Mum's quilt. It is a little redder and less brown than I thought it would be, but I think it will be okay.

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Phew - cushion covers finished!

Phew - cushion covers finished!, originally uploaded by soja.

Um, tried to blur out the untidiness a little, unsuccessfully.... ;-)

I have loads of cushions, but nearly all of them are 14", I have one really stuffed 18" and one soft 17" so have used them.

I like the way these have turned out, but a bit worried I've taken a simple project and made it into a more complicated one, but I hope my partner likes them. I thought that someone who sews a lot might appreciate a little handsewing. I think the cathedral windows and pintucks add the 'texture' she mentioned, to me, linen is always a little 'earthy' and I think this print and the cathedral windows are electic? I've interfaced the linen as the patchwork panel was fairly heavy and I decided the linen needed the support.

The dimensions are taken from Bend The Rules Sewing by Amy Karol, as is the envelope finish. I usually have less of an overlap and use a button or tie, but thought I had better stick to the book for the swap.

Cathedral window blocks are hand sewn. Pintucks are 1/2" deep.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

WIP for BTRS Swap

WIP for BTRS Swap, originally uploaded by soja.

This is going to be a panel on a cushion cover for the Bend The Rules Sewing Swap. I really like it, I think it'll be hard to part with, and heavy to send - oops!

I sewed up the backing squares by machine, then the rest is hand sewn - these are 'cathedral window' blocks. The backing fabric is linen and the print is by Amy Butler.

My partners words were "earthy, eclectic and texture".

I think this fits that. The second cover will be the same fabric, but a different technique for the panel. I hope she likes it. I have been stalking her blog and flickr looking for hints as to what she likes.

I think maybe cushions are bigger in the states - an 18" square, the size we must make, is huge!!! The cushions on my sofa are more like 12". Bye bye favourite linen. :-)

Monday, 16 November 2009

Quilting done

Quilting done, originally uploaded by soja.

Meandering with a few hearts thrown in. Fairly hassle free after altering the tension.

Just waiting for the fabric to arrive for the binding - I hope it's a good combination when it gets here!

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Making progress

Making progress, originally uploaded by soja.

About half way through the quilting, on my fourth bobbin... I think I could have quilted less densely, but like the way it's looking.

I'm just sort of meandering, rounded zig-zagging with a few random hearts thrown in.

I love the variegated thread! It's just perfect colourwise. I went with the candy floss, I'm using a plain beige (finer) cotton for the bobbin. I'm not having much problem with the thread breaking. I'm using a size 12/80 schmetz embroidery needle. At first this didn't completely stop the problem, I switched to a top stitch needle (what a huge eye!) but still, no, didn't completely stop the problem.

In the end I was brave and adjusted the bobbin tension, I only needed to loosen it my less than half a turn of the screw. I routinely adjusted this on my old machine, but was really hesitant to do on this one, as the tension has been absolutely perfect on everything else, including quilts when not using this thread. But anyway, it worked.

I'm hoping to have all the quilting done this weekend, I think the material I ordered for the binding will arrive next week, fingers crossed. So will have the quilt finished in time to be a Xmas/late birthday present. :-)

And for Genie, this is a little bit of the new machine. It is a Janome 6260 QC (quilter's companion). She's top loading and computerised, so much much quieter than my basic mechanical side loading machine. It's actually relaxing to sew again now. :-) It came with an extension table for quilting, which gives a few more inches to rest the quilt on. Unlike some machines just made for quilting, the base is still removeable for free arm sewing. I think it has a good balance of features for quilting and garment sewing - so pretty much perfect for me.

Thursday, 12 November 2009

You've got to roll with it...

Rolled hem, originally uploaded by soja.

I'd never been able to get a decent rolled hem with my old machine, probably more to do with me than the machine. :-)

But I thought I'd give it a go with the new machine. I switched to fabric hankies over the summer, you know to stop filling up landfills with paper tissues, and because my dog always tried to eat the used tissues. nice.

So I got some fabric hankies, if I get a cold or flu I'll probably temporarily switch back to tissues. All was well, except my dog still managed to steal a couple and eat off a corner or two. So I needed to trim and re-hem them, ahem.

I sprayed and ironed the fabric with some starch which I think helped. And of course, my new machine can do no wrong. :-)

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Another quilt top!

Another quilt top!, originally uploaded by soja.

Made with one jelly roll! I haven't used one before and was curious to see what you could do with just one, so I odered this from Emerald City on Ebay.

The fabric is Soiree from Moda, I'd love to have some bigger pieces of some of these prints - I really love the botanical ones.

I wanted to make a Rail Fence pattern, so did a little maths to work out some possible designs, I thought of making blocks with three strips, but decided, as there were forty strips in the roll, I'd go for blocks made up of four strips.

I sewed groups of four strips together, arranging prints of similar colours, so that I had 10 wide strips. I should have been able to cut these into five 8.5" blocks, but my seams had been a little wider, so ended up cutting five blocks of 8". Fifty blocks in total. I thought of making a square quilt, 7x7, using 49 blocks, but ended up using 48, making a rectangular quilt, 6x8 blocks.

I was going to sew these into strips, but looking at other photos on flickr, I realised that it was more common to sew 4 blocks together, making bigger blocks. I think this helps to match the points, I'm pleased with my corners on this quilt anyway - I haven't unpicked anything!

Georgia helped me work out how to get the best from the Janome 1/4" patchwork foot. I found I got nice even seams - but just under 5/8". I think this was partly to do with the zigzag edges of the strips. She told me that she had sewed on some graph paper and adjusted the needle position. I hadn't thought of this as I have never used a machine where this could be adjusted. I drew some lines, I only had to move the needle to 4, from 3.5, just a tiny difference, but it seems to have done the trick.

The quilt top is 45x52"/115x132cm so far. I have no wadding and no backing fabric, so this is as far as I can get for a while.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Gift for a new baby boy!

Gift for a new baby boy!, originally uploaded by soja.

I hope my friend and her new babe like it! Little Oscar has arrived a couple of weeks early.

I had already made the bibs, so this little onesie was quick to whip up. I just used a little bondaweb to attach the fabric hearts and then used the blanket stitch on my machine to slowly sew around the heart. I didn't need to use any other stabiliser or ball point needle.

I love my new machine. :-)

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

I got a blister on my finger!

Triangles basted, originally uploaded by soja.

All the pins are on Mum's quilt, so it was back to needle basting this weekend to baste this quilt. With my two furry little helpers keen to give me their input.

The quilting is also finished now, I'll get a pic when I get some light, I finished sewing in the loose ends this lunchtime. I used my lovely new machine's fancy feather stitch for one lot of diagonal lines and to go around the inner border. Not one knot, loop or tension problem going over the seams - I think I'm in love with this machine!

I think I might have finished it too, but I haven't got anything to bind it with. Least nothing that seems to look right. I think it needs a pink or red, I had some green and blue I thought I would use, but I don't like it with the backing (the backing is beige with a little green floral type print).

This was made with a small charm pack (28 squares) - Moda's Sorbet collection designed by Sentimental Studios. I love the peacocks. :-) The beige cotton is from Ikea. I have used it before, and it washes up beautifully soft, so I was happy to use it again.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

WIP - Mum's quilt about to be basted

As of Friday night, all pin basted. The pin basting was definitely quicker and easier on the knees and fingers - no blisters! I like the overall look, I think the colours and patterns are quite balanced. The border (especially the one at the bottom of the photo) seem a bit wonky. :-( I think it maybe from where I've had it pegged up in my living room for the last fortnight. I should have re-ironed it again, but didn't notice until I was already at school.

I want to quilt this with the 30/2 wt variegated thread - I'm going with the candy floss colour, I ordered the tea colour too, it's lovely but a lot darker brown/yellow in real life. I have the thread, but am waiting for some bigger-eyed sewing machine needles before I start quilting, to avoid the thread snapping, hopefully.

I had originally planned to stipple/meander, then decided to use straight lines, but now. looking at how the blocks and borders line up, I'm not sure how even my piecing lines are - so think it'll be meandering after all!

And yes, the wadding is pale green - it's made from 13 recyled plastic bottles! The packaging assures me it is colourfast, it might not work with a white based quilt, but seems fine for this.