Tuesday, 15 April 2014

WIP: Almost There!

I'm far more of a night owl than an early bird so when Alan had a night out on Friday it was a great opportunity for me to sit and sew. I'd added some applique to one section of the backing fabric for my Star Trek quilt at sewing class on the Monday night and needed to blanket stitch around it. I don't really enjoy this bit as it's one of those tasks that seems to take a long time but you don't really see any progress with the quilt. So Friday evening, I got the kids to bed and sat down and forced myself to get on with it.

I hadn't used the blanket stitch on my quilting machine before so I did a bit of testing on some scrap fabric first. It's ended up slightly wider than I'd have liked but the only way to go narrower was to reduce the stitch length and it seemed to pull the fabric regardless of the tension setting.

I decided that while I had my machine out I might as well piece the back. Another job I dislike. One of the big selling points of jelly rolls for me is that it saves me from having to cut across the full width of fabric. Where I have to cut big bits of fabric I usually get Alan to help hold the ruler with me so it doesn't move while I'm cutting. I didn't really want to put off finishing the back as I'd always prefer to leave a project ready for doing a nice part so I'm keen to pick it up again so I managed without his help.

I also managed to get the quilt basted after climbing up into the alcove at almost 1am to find some wadding. I must remember not to baste quilts at that time of night (morning!) again as I managed to stick wadding to my slipper.

Yesterday I had to wait in for a courier. As the kids were playing really nicely I thought I'd make a start on the quilting. The hardest part was choosing thread, particularly with the really bright and very different colours in the quilt top. I ended up just following my original instinct and chose a variegated Gutermann Sulky. Despite using Gutermann thread for all my piecing and dressmaking, it's not one I really consider for quilting. The Sulky thread was part of a pack I got for Xmas with some fat quarters and 3 reels of thread. I'll definitely consider it in future as it was really nice to work with and I was really pleased with the outcome.

I didn't want to do really heavy quilting and wanted to stick to straight line quilting. I chose a wadding that could be quilted up to 10" apart. My blocks were slightly under this so I was able to quilt next to each line of sashing. Then I quilted around each rectangular picture to frame the image. The cushion was fairly similar.

I then cut out two bits of fabric to make an envelope back for the cushion. I used a decorative stitch for one of the hems to give it a nice finish. I stayed up until 1am making the binding and sewing it onto the front of the quilt. Today I've started hand sewing it to the back.

I'm hoping to get it finished this evening and I might get out at some point to get a cushion pad. And that will be two items ticked off the list of UFO's.

Hopefully some finished object pictures one day this week.

Monday, 7 April 2014

Making & Baking

I bought this Star Trek fabric ages ago (June 2013 apparently!) from Stitch Me Lane Fabrics.

I was a little worried about cutting into it. There's some very obvious rectangles to cut but of course you have to allow for seam allowances in some way - cut along the lines and lose a little picture or cut 1/4" outside the lines and lose a number of rectangles. I pretty much opted for the first of those. When it came down to cutting some of the lines were slightly out of line or not quite with the grain of the fabric. Still I ended up with 20 rectangles (4 were slightly smaller).

That gave me the opportunity to make a cushion cover using the 4 slightly smaller ones.

It still needs a border I think
Leaving 16 rectangles to make quilt blocks from. For a while now I've been wanting to make some blocks with a contrast fabric offset in the block and so I decided to do this with the picture rectangles.

I knew I'd need to add some sashing to make it a bit bigger and another thing I've wanted to try is putting squares in. I had some leftover fabric and managed to fussy cut 4 pictures. That still left me with 5 squares to make. I decided to add character names to them with my sewing machine (which does lettering).

I thought settling on a final layout might be tricky due to the limited colours (and their similarity) as I didn't want it to look too regular, but it was actually pretty quick.

I got most of this sewn together at Saturday's class. I just have one more line of sewing to do (isn't it always the way?!). Then I need to hunt down the backing fabrics I bought for this quilt. I think I bought enough for borders and backing but it was a few months ago now so I'll need to double check.

Speaking of Saturday, it was a busy day. As well as quilting class and a friend's party in the evening, Erin had a party in the morning. Alan took her while I looked after Orla and we did some baking. We did some little buns and a bigger victoria sandwich cake.