Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Making Progress

Two days ago I had my first child-free Monday in six and a half years! My youngest is in Reception and has had two weeks of "settling in sessions" and is now in full-time. I'll admit that I always find the first couple of weeks back after the long summer holidays a little odd. The day feels a bit rushed and I know I watch the clock quite a lot. Yet actually it's quite a lot of free-time. Allowing for the walk to & from school I basically get 6 hours free. I've been working on a bit of sewing as it helps me to relax into the time I have. Soon though it'll be put to one side so I can focus on revision for my October exam.

I've finally taken the plunge and started free motion quilting on my robot quilt top. I did the straight lines around each block at home with the walking foot so that I was ready to start at this month's quilting class. It was really quite scary to start, there's always that slight worry that I might ruin this lovely top I've made. After sitting relaxing, breathing and generally trying to decide to press the foot pedal for about 5 minutes I started with the grass in the robot block. I figured it's meant to look like grass - wiggly lines, doesn't matter if they cross, or go a bit high or low - so would be the easiest one to practice with!

I discovered it's a little easier to do on a proper quilt top than on little sample pieces of plain cotton because the areas are better defined. There's less need to think about where you are going because you know how you want it to look.

Next I tackled some bricks

Again, this was much easier on the actual quilt than when I tried a sample. It was easier to decide on the sizing and keep it fairly similar because you could see what area you were trying to fill.

Finally I started filling around the pink 'orange peel' block, which I think of as more like a flower than orange peel!

I finished off the green at home and moved onto the pale blue with this block

It's hard to see all the quilting I've done on this one - there's lines on the green and perpendicular lines on the grey/blue rectangles and diagonal lines on the grey/blue triangles. My diagonal lines need work!

I then went on to try some circles/bubbles. These were a little trickier as you do have to think more about where to move next to fill the area. I also found it was hard to see where I'd been; a combination of the thread being similar to the fabric and my foot blocking my view somewhat. I don't have the best foot for this work - it's a clear plastic (free motion) one but I find it impossible to see through it and it's a closed toe one so a pain with the threads. I'm hoping to get an open toe metal foot at some point.

You can maybe see that when I started out I went over my lines a couple of times as I was trying to work out where I needed to go but later on I had got the hang of it a bit more so didn't need to go over bits as much.

I've also managed to do some work on the advent calendars. I took them to sewing class to work on doing the (machine) blanket stitch around the letters and finished that off yesterday at home. Today I finished the first one by adding the ribbon, sewing lines down to attach the ribbon and divide into 24 sections and add hanging loops. I decided I would do them by stitching the back to the front and turning through rather than quilting and binding, mainly because they're not huge and I couldn't decide what fabric to use for binding!

1 down, 3 to go!

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