Having been given a jelly roll and a quilting book for Christmas 2010, there is no excuse not to get on with quiltmaking.

Here's what happened next...


Tuesday, 1 February 2011


I bought a reel of thread yesterday - cotton, 50wt.

'Normal' sewing thread seems to be 100wt, and poly/cotton, or polyester, but there are different weight & types of thread available for all manner of applications. I know this because the haberdashery dept in our House of Fraser has a particulary useful leaflet produced by Coates telling you all about the differences.

Of the range of about a dozen different types of thread, they only stocked two or three different sorts, so I got the best nearest to the 40wt (as recommended by the girls) in pink, to match the mats/runners.

So this evening I have completed quilting the first of the mats.

I went for super simple - quilting parallel lines across the existing seams to make squares, & well, blimey - that was difficult! Even with the the Gang of Four passing on the world's best advice.

Gems noted & acted on included 'to mark straight lines use masking tape....just plonk it on your fabric, sew next to the line and reposition it - doesn't leave any marks on the material'


'choose a fancy stitch, a simple one with a wave or extended zig zag works best. That way you're following the seams but not worrying about hiding the stitches in the ditch, and also if you wobble a little it's not obvious'

I am not telling you how many times those seams have been re-sewn, but I am now reasonably happy.

The idea is to quilt each mat in a slightly different way - & if each one is as bloody difficult to get right as this one has been, I think that by the end I will be able to say to say I have completed a good chunk of my quilting apprenticeship!


  1. You are being WAY too hard on yourself, that looks GREAT!

    Don't compare anything you are doing to my quilts or anyone else's, we've been doing this a week or two longer than you have {hug}

    and don't forget - this is meant to be fun, you are supposed to be enjoying yourself {grin}

  2. Sorry - yes - reading that back I do sound a bit grumpy, and I AM actually very pleased with how this one has (eventually!) turned out! (especially now I have a glass of something nice by my side as a reward!)

    Perhaps an hour-and-a-half's concentration at something a bit unfamiliar should be undertaken at the weekend, not after work, though.

    I'm sure that it's like any new endeavour - you just have to practise in order to improve, and I'm just putting in the graft!

    I know that it will pay off in spades in due course. :)

  3. Looking good Hazel! I have a quick way of unpicking, not sure if I'm going to be able to explain it though. Get a longish thread (2" say) at the beginning of the seam you want to unpick (you may have to get this first bit going with the unpicker). Get hold of it and yank it back in the direction of the seam until it snaps. Turn the work over and do the same on the other side. Keep alternating sides, each time you yank the thread back it frees a bit up on the other side. You may need to dampen your fingers to get a grip on the thread and it can be a bit hard on your fingers if you've got a particularly tough thread, but I find it's a quick way of unsewing with no risk of damage to your fabric from the unpicker. If you need a better demonstration, I can take a couple of photos, but don't have a video camera like Jayne, so no YouTubes I'm afraid :o).

  4. A very clear explaination, Ali, thank you - and although I wasn't sure if it would work (well, I thought that my fingers would snap before the thread) it does - brilliant!

    Annoyingly, not so good on the zig zag stitching. Boo.


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