Friday, 7 March 2014
Last week I did a bit of experimenting to see if I could start a free motion landscape. Once I had put in a couple of lines of quilting to represent a hedgerow, I realised I had done it upside down. The creamy yellow was supposed to be the background of the sky, and I had managed to end up with it at the bottom. I have to confess I was rather cheesed off about it.
So I turned the whole thing upside down and turned the first lines of stitching into reflections. What started out as a hedgerow has turned into the far shore of a lake. I haven't a clue what I am going to do next, but at least this week I have enjoyed myself. It feels like scribbling with a treadle, rather than quilting.
Linking up with Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
Wednesday, 5 March 2014
Here are the stems and leaves of the daffodil before I added the flower and bud. The leaves are worked in exactly the same way as the stems.
For the stems, I cut a bias strip half an inch from the fold and kept the width consistent all the way to the top. The tops of the stems can be left with raw edges because they are later covered by the flower or bud.
The leaves are slightly wider. They are three quarters of an inch at the base and taper gently to about half an inch at the top. The fun and games come when rounding the top of the leaves.
To do this I put in tiny gathering stitches with tacking thread at the top to set in a curve.
A teaspoon handle was just the right size for the next job, pulling the tacking thread to make the end of the leaf fold under in a gathered curved edge.
Once the raw edges were aimed in the right direction, I put a tiny drop of water at the end of the leaf and pulled the gathering thread again to tuck the edges underneath.
All it needed then was a good pressing with a hot iron from the back, and the folded edge of the leaf was ready to be hand sewn into place. The gathering threads don't need to be pulled out - they can be tucked out of sight underneath the leaf when it is stitched down.
Linking up today with Lee's blog Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday,
and Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.
Tuesday, 4 March 2014
Tonight I shall be watching the third instalment of The Great British Sewing Bee. Amongst other things, the contestants will be tackling the horrors of stretchy fabrics and making a pair of leggings. Not my cup of tea at all.
More to my taste is making a button loop, which was one of the tasks set in the first programme a fortnight ago. This endearingly tatty little item is the sample button and loop I sewed in about 1969 or 70 for needlework at school. It has been lurking in the button tin ever since.
On close inspection, the loop looks rather like a miniature bag handle.
To make sure I could still do it - I can't remember making another one in between times - I made another last week and have posted a video on Youtube. This time, instead of using about six strands of ordinary machine cotton, I decided to use stranded embroidery thread. I wanted to see the finished effect when using a variegated thread. It would look nice with a pretty cotton print so the colours would match. It doesn't look too bad with the ghastly shade of brown of the sample in the video. I have to use up that dreadful brown somehow. The dye runs, so samples are all it is fit for.
Sunday, 2 March 2014
This photo was taken in October 2012, after a ridiculously wet summer. The ground was totally saturated, the ditches were full and fields had large pools of standing water. This is one of my favourite walks. Then, as now, a walk was a squelchy trek in wellies through mud. The scene now is much the same, but the trees are still bare, and the oak in the distance has had a battering from the strong winds this winter. We have only had a couple of night frosts here all winter, just wind and rain instead. And rain. And yet more rain. For me, this picture isn't pretty.
Saturday, 1 March 2014
Finished (well, almost) in time for St. David's Day, the Welsh daffodil appliqué, a reworking of the daffodil panel on the Queen's Diamond Jubilee quilt. The leaf on the right is simpler, as planned, and the bud is a touch thinner and drooping a bit more than the original, which wasn't planned. The flower doesn't look totally right yet because the petals need to be outlined to show them radiating from the centre, but I will add that in as part of the quilting.
Also, the butterfly is missing. For the time being it will have to make do with a paper cutout. I am still debating exactly where to place it.
I had forgotten how little time these appliqués take. St. Patrick's Day is on the horizon. At this rate I should have the shamrock panel reworked by then... but I have totally run out of the right shade of green.
Hello to Josie, the latest follower - thank you for joining!
Friday, 28 February 2014
A free motion landscape is something I have wanted to try for ages. It was one of the items on my list of projects to do this year for the 2014 NewFO Challemge.
Today I have finally made a start. This is supposed to be the outline of a hedgerow. At first it looked far too much like seaweed. After I had put in another line of stitching it didn't look too bad, then I realised I had done it upside down - I meant to have the pale creamy yellow at the top, not the bottom.
So far, so bad.
Anyway, practice is practice, and if it only ends up as a test piece to see how the different coloured threads work with each other then it will have served some purpose.
Linking up today with Barbara's blog Cat Patches for February's NewFO
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Leah Day's blog for Free Motion Friday
Tuesday, 25 February 2014
Over the past few weeks, having done two little quilts in quick succession, I have hit on a method for sewing on the binding, using the seam guide to keep it all straight and neat. The mitred corners have been particularly trouble-free. On the front the stitching sits close to the edge of the binding, and on the back...
... it is clear of the binding, running parallel to it.
First, I stabilise the cut edge of the quilt with two lines of machine stitching. This makes the edge firm, so it lines up easily against the seam guide when attaching the binding, and if the quilting is widely spaced, it prevents the top layer from rumpling or pleating. It also keeps the corners nice and sharp, which makes mitring the corners easier
The seam guide keeps these first two lines of stitching straight. It has to be placed as far over to the left as possible, so it is right up against the side of the foot.
This places the needle approximately an eighth of an inch from the edge. Once the first line of stitching has gone all the way round the quilt, I remove the seam guide and put a second line of stitching between the first line and the edge of the quilt.
Next, I attach the binding. The binding is one and five eighths of an inch wide, with one side ironed over by about a quarter of an inch. The unironed edge is laid along the edge of the quilt on the back, and the seam guide set to approximately three eighths of an inch.
When the binding is folded over to the front, I place the needle through the work close to the edge of the binding, and then line up the seam guide with the edge of the work. Only then do I start stitching. The seam guide prevents the stitching veering off the edge of the binding.
Using the seam guide has helped me do my neatest binding and best corners ever. I don't know why it has never occurred to me to try this before.
Linking up today with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday
and Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday