Sunday, 27 July 2014

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Wheatfield


The opposite end of this field here,  taken at the same spot as this photo taken in May last year showing rapeseed in flower, and this photo taken at the beginning of this year, when this crop was just beginning to sprout. The weather has been hot and dry since early June, so I expect the combine harvesters will be here very soon.

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Making Another Summer Top


My old gardening shirt  has been transformed into a pattern, and this pretty cotton print was the best choice of all the lengths I had stashed away in my cupboard.

For the decorative double rows of stitching I am using a variegated quilting thread which goes perfectly with the colours of the design.  I don't know why I have never used a variegated thread before.

Welcome to Carol Webster, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 8 - Black Bryony


This is as far as I got today.  Treadling in a temperature of 80 degrees, wearing fetching pink gloves, I ended up absolutely blinking baking, so I was quite glad that the bobbin thread ran out - the last of the colour I needed.  It was time for a tea break anyway.



The design is based on black bryony.  The inspiration came a couple of days ago when I was hacking brambles out of the hedge and I pulled out a yard of black bryony that had been tangled up in the branches.  The berries turn bright red in the autumn, but at the moment they are bright green. In real life the berries are clustered around the main stem, looking like necklaces festooned in the hedgerow, but I have had to take a botanical liberty and put them on sprigs so I can fill the space.  



The leaves are heart shaped and a beautiful deep glossy green.

It is a shame I didn't have my camera with me when I was hacking about in the hedge, but it's nice putting links to a couple of blogs with photos of black bryony at different times of the year. 



When I was taking these photos today I remembered that I keep meaning to devise a design based on the leaves and flowers on the faceplate of the machine.

Many thanks to Jessim, Vicki, Gina, Hilary, Gwyned, Kathi and Cynthia who all linked up last week, showing a great variety of projects.

So here goes for week 8...

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  .
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far bloggers from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany and Holland have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week!

Linking up with Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

A Dress for Meg - 7 - Attaching the Collar


Having prepared the collar, it is time to attach it to the bodice.  This isn't a half hour job.

Before putting the collar on, the fold of the front overlap for the buttons and buttonholes has to be folded over inside out.  The overlap needs to be double the width of the buttons.  The buttons are half an inch wide, so the overlap is an inch.  To add a layer of thickness I have inserted a strip of calico. The raw cut edge of the dress fabric is machine tacked in place down the side of the calico - I shall replace the machine tacking with machine stitching in a matching colour later.




The end of the collar needs to be placed an inch from the corner between the folded layers. 
The pin is holding the collar in position. 




Now the collar is pinned all the way round, to the outside of the bodice.




The pins need to be replaced with hand stitched tacking...




...and then the collar machine stitched round the neckline.




The raw edges have to be enclosed, so I have cut a bias strip from the dress fabric.  It is one inch wide, with one edge folded under by a quarter of an inch.  This crease has been ironed down, keeping the strip straight.




However, this strip is going to be sewn around a curve, so I make sure it is curved to fit.  To do this, I dampen the folded edge with a few drops of water, pull that edge only, stretching it, and then iron the stretched edge while damp.  




I do this a couple of inches at a time, working along the strip, until the whole strip holds a curve.




The strip of binding is now pinned and hand tacked along the neck edge.




The pins go in to show where the first line of machining is, so when I do the second line of machining it should end up directly next to the first line which attaches the collar.




The seam now has four layers of fabric, so to reduce bulk I have done some graded trimming.




I have used the tip of the iron to iron the seam towards the inside of the bodice, so that the binding can be pinned down ready for hand stitched tacking.




The last line of machining will be fairly easy to do if the binding has been ironed again once it has been tacked down by hand.




Now the two ends, which have been folded inside out, can be folded the right way round and pressed, and the two ends of the collar are an inch apart where the two sides of the bodice overlap.

The collar looks a bit untidy for the moment.  It needs a good pressing.

Welcome to Pacobini, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Linking up with Connie's blog Freemotion by the River for Linky Tuesday

Sunday, 20 July 2014

A Pretty Picture for Sunday - Postbox in a Niche


I often see postboxes set in stone walls, but this is the only one I can think of that is set into a dressed stone niche.

Saturday, 19 July 2014

My Old Gardening Shirt


It used to be a smart long sleeved shirt blouse, and I wore it until the collar and cuffs frayed. Then I cut off the collar and sleeves and used it as a gardening shirt.



The other day I noticed that it had worn so thin that it might disintegrate next time I wore it, which could be embarrassing.



What I particularly like about the shirt is that none of the seams gave out - they lasted longer than the actual fabric.  The side seams are French seams...



... and the yoke is double layered, and held firm with a double row of stitching.



This is why it has lasted so long and was so comfortable to wear.  It was made in India of 100% cotton, using straight stitch machines.  In the1970s, 80s and early 90s I always used to look for cotton blouses and shirts made in India because I knew that they would last.  This shirt is roughly the same age as my son, who is 25.

For the past few weeks I have been thinking of making another pattern for a sleeveless summer shirt. I intended doing some serious pattern drafting and making a toile in muslin.  Then I realised that I had been wearing the ideal toile - this old shirt, which I know is a comfortable fit. This afternoon I have cut it up to make another home made pattern

Welcome to Kathi of Run n Stitch, the latest follower - thank you for joining!

Thursday, 17 July 2014

Free Motion Mavericks - Week 7 - Barefoot Treadling



For the first time for ages I have done a bit of work towards the free motion sampler quilt.  I am using up some of my mini stash of Oakshott cottons.  Each block is made up of two main colours, separated by a narrow strip made up of little oddments.  The first step is to quilt the central strip, then do something interesting on either side.

Some of the panels have turned out better than others.  Today I decided to try out a fancy leaf based on 18th century silk designs.  My birthday treat was a visit to the Fashion Museum in Bath, where there is a fantastic exhibition of Georgian costumes.  I spent ages with my nose glued to the glass, staring at the gorgeous colours and designs, and came home with a book of photographs of Spitalfields silks in the collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum

A bit of extra fun today was making this video.

video

The video is a bit fuzzy, I know, but you get the general idea - hot day, treadling barefoot and working up a raging thirst for tea.



Here is an individual leaf.  First I quilt the veins of the leaf, then go round it in a simple leaf shape, and then round again in a serrated leaf shape.

So here goes again with Free Motion Mavericks...

A very cosy, select party last week.  Many thanks to Gina, Hilary, Gwyned and Dora for taking part.

If you love free motion quilting, whether you are a beginner just taking the plunge, or you have reached the stage where you can do ostrich feathers with your eyes shut and still achieve perfect symmetry, then please link up.

Remember, FMQ is FMQ, whether your machine was made last week, or it is older than your granny.

Here are the very easy and slightly elastic rules:-

1.  Link up with any recent post, ideally from the last week but within the last month, which features a free motion quilting project.

2.  Link back to this post in your own post and/or grab the linky button for your blog's sidebar.
  .
3.  Visit as many of the other participants as possible and say hello in the comments box.

4.  The link up will remain open for four days, from midnight to midnight GMT for the long weekend, Friday to Monday.

So far bloggers from USA, England, Wales, Australia, Canada, Germany and Holland have taken part.  The first participant from each new country will get a special mention the following week!

Linking up to Kelly's blog My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday
and Sarah's blog Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Whoop Whoop Friday
and Nina Marie's blog Creations... Quilts, Art... Whatever for Off the Wall Friday






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