Tuesday, 28 January 2014

I've Started!

Sometimes the hardest part of quilting something is starting the quilting. I think it's that fear of spoiling the quilt top or going wrong. This time though it was more that I hadn't had much time to get my machine out and sew. I've been doing some hand sewing lately as it's been so much quicker to just grab a needle and thread.

I've sewn a few more flowers together!
I have managed to start quilting the binary quilt today. It's quite hard going because it's black thread on black fabric (which isn't very exciting to sew with!) and the quilting has to be very dense. My foot doesn't help AT ALL with this so I'm practically sewing blind in places!

Ignore my threads, I've not sewn them in yet!
I've started in the middle of the quilt with some of the zeros. I've been filling their centres. The next step will be to fill some of the fabric between the zeros and ones in the centre and work my way outwards. Eventually all those grid lines and the pink number outlines will be washed out and I'll hopefully be left with a black quilt with the binary standing out from the densely quilted background.

Friday, 17 January 2014

Pom Poms

A while ago I made some pom poms, crocheted a long thin length and tied the pom poms on at regular intervals. I used this garland to decorate the stairs. I made the pom poms by wrapping yarn around a meat fork. Since then, I've seen a few blog posts mentioning the Clover Pom Pom Makers and they recently featured on a Kirstie Allsop program.

I admit I was intrigued, mainly because the pom poms looked so neat and nicely dense too. I did look at buying some just after Christmas but with the tv programme most places were out of stock. A few places were selling them at ridiculously inflated prices so I decided to wait. It didn't take long for them to come back in stock and I ordered mine from Cotton Patch this week.

I bought two packs. The large pack and the small pack. I figured I might as well get both when I'm paying for postage. I was glad I did.I tried the smallest one first and then the smaller of the large pack. I expect these are the sizes I'd use most often.

It was really easy to use and the pom poms are a lovely shape, only needing minimal trimming. I expect they'll be easy enough for the kids to use (with some help to tie the knot around the middle).

I expect my house may end up covered in pom pom garlands!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

WIP Weds: Free Motion NOT Quilting

Quite some time ago now, the start of 2012 if the date on Sarah's blog post is anything to go by, I was able to see her morse code quilt being made for an exhibition at Bletchley Park (go on, check out the link!). After enjoying the quilting on my robot quilt so much I decided that I wanted to make something that was a 'quilting project' rather than a 'patchwork and quilting project'. I've seen quite a number of quilts at shows over the last couple of years that have been made purely from quilting but I have to admit that I cannot draw! So I've decided to make something similar to Sarah's morse code quilt.

Her quilt combined morse code with camouflage but I've kept mine a bit simpler by not copying the camouflage. I'm using binary rather than morse code and will be free motion quilting around the 1's and 0's using black thread on black fabric.

So last week I made these to draw round:

I had a bit of a stupid moment when I planned out the spacing. I had a limited amount of fabric and worked out that I could have a 3/4" space around each character...except that I had only measured the width and not noticed that they are taller than they are wide (duh!).

This only left 1/4" between the characters height-wise. I redrew the templates above taking 1/4" out of the height (this was pretty simple to do and didn't affect the shape too much) and after experimenting decided to use the shorter templates.

The 1/4" spacing wasn't quite enough!
I finished marking the quilt top in Saturday's class and got it basted too. I was really hoping to be able to show an in progress photo of the free motion quilting but alas, this happened:

Yes, one poorly child. Out of the window go sewing and studying plans for this week. Fingers crossed the older one doesn't get it too!

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a lovely New Year's Eve and that you don't have too bad a hangover. Definitely no hangover for me, we tend to celebrate New Year by getting a takeaway and watching a film if we're not visiting family.

Onto the resolutions. Do you make any? I seem to make very similar ones each year and I guess a lot of crafters out there will have similar ones.

Firstly, I want to try and use up some of the fabric I already have. I have a few projects in mind with various bits of fabric I bought last year so I shall try to schedule those in to quilting & sewing classes. That leads me nicely onto another aim; I want to try and get out of my quilting obsession a little. I have realised that I tend to take quilting projects to Monday's sewing class (which is more of a general sewing class) because I usually have them ready to go and I want to make more effort to do some dressmaking/bag making. I'm hoping to make one skirt and one bag this year.

As always I want to finish off the UFO's. I'm losing my cutting table because we've bought a new sofa (after almost 9 years we are finally replacing the Ikea Klippan cheapy sofa we bought for the part-furnished flat we lived in before we bought this house!!!). The new sofa will be going in the living room (as you'd expect) and we decided we'd keep the Klippan and put it in the conservatory, which meant my cutting table had to go. Why am I rambling about this?? Well, all my UFO's lived under the cutting table so part of the preparation for moving the furniture was me sorting through them. I got rid of some items I knew would never be finished and sorted the remainder into a 'dressmaking' bag, a 'quilting bag' and an 'other' bag. Hopefully this will help me work through them.

I want to continue working on my free motion quilting. I was really pleased with my robot quilt and I want to do more. When I was following some of the curves on the Christmas panel wall hangings with the walking foot I thought how much I prefer the free motion quilting. My first quilting project for 2014 is already planned and might make this an easy resolution to keep ;-)

In the none craft-related resolutions I have the usual one to go to the gym more and to eat better. I also want to read more. I'm now the proud owner of a shiny Kindle Paperwhite and I've managed to read 2 books in the last week! My aim is for 12 books this year and I've managed to finish the first one today. No doubt I shall have much less time to read when I start having study deadlines, exams, school holidays, etc. It's going to be a busy year, which is why I've set the target at one book per month.