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...


Friday, 22 April 2011

Machine Quilting - Practising II

Ok, I will downgrade my assessment of free machine quilting from CLEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to VERY, VERY DIFFICULT.

The knack (which I do not pretent to have grasped) is being able to freely and consistantly move the quilt on the flatbed with your hands whilst maintaining a constant speed with the needle.

Bilbo has given me a couple of excellent pointers over the phone earlier today, and the sites that Joanna recommends are very useful indeed - thank you, girls.

Don't think for a moment that I am giving up with this, but the way forward for the Spring Garden Trellis quilt (which is all sandwiched together and stuck with spray-baste) is to follow my template with the normal 'foot' arrangement.

I should be able to follow the curves without too much difficulty (I hope!) - and I really don't want to have come this far just to cock up at the final hurdle.

I'll leave more ambitious free quilting for when I have (a) a proper free action foot which does not look to be expensive on Amazon and (b) more experience with needle control.

Machine Quilting - Practising

Are you lot all having me on?

Having had a go at so-called free machine quilting, I have come the the conclusion that this method is a fiction and cannot possibly exist as it is CLEARLY IMPOSSIBLE to move the quilt practise 'sandwich' smoothly round the plate whilst sewing to create even stitches and smooth lines.

I think that the quilting world is having a late 'April's fool' at my expense.

No, I'm not showing you what I've done.


Thursday, 21 April 2011

Project 3 - Quilting Musing II

I've gone from the back of an envelope quilting design to a paper template - it's amazing what you can do on an Excel spreadsheet!

Actually, given that I have the creative ability of your average plate of stew, I'm really rather pleased with this.

I have some thin translucent plastic sheets which I'll trace the design on to, then cut round, then I can centre the template on each block trace round with the air-pen and get machining.

Oh - except I've never done it before, so I guess I'd better have a practise first...

Friday, 15 April 2011

Project 3 - Quilting Musing

I think that Sue's got a good idea when she says, 'Something curvy, like a simple daisy-type motif in each block.'

Not sure about free-style quilting that Ali suggest - liberating, yes; but high risk of potential for almighty cock-ups, also yes.

I've sketched this out (literally, back of an envelope) and think that this sort of thing would do the job.

Except for the borders - not sure about them.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Project 3 - Top Finished!

And I am now faced with the trickiest decision of them all - how am I going to quilt this?

Project 3 - Backing Fabric Decisions!

I've only sewn on one of the fat blue borders to the Spring Garden Trellis quilt as yet, but my thoughts are turning to what I am going to use as backing fabric.

I had got this squirrelled away for the purpose (which started life as a 100% cotton single duvet cover, bought at one of the Walsall Hospice charity shops for the grand sum of £1.75)

But then today I happened to spot this (which started life as a pair of 100% cotton curtains, bought at one of the Birmingham Settlement shops for the grand sum of £5), which ties up with the Spring colours really well, and brings in a floral/impressionist splash to compliment the geometric design of the front.

Decisions, decisions...

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Project 3 - Skinny Border

I've decided on a skinny yellow & fat blue border for the Spring Garden Trellis quilt.

The moment of truth was measuring for the borders.

I was delighted to find that both the width & the height measured the same at each side (although, interestingly, the middle in each instance was 1/4" less - I think that despited my best efforts, there was a bit of yanking about to match the seams on the larger runs) but even so, I'm very happy indeed with that.

So it hasn't been too tricky at all to pin & sew the borders on - but now I've exhausted my levels of concentration for this evening!

I'll quit whilst I'm ahead!

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Project 3 - Border Decisions

So there are six ways to combine my co-ordinating three fabrics to make a thin & a fat border - I took some photos the other day, but so that I can compare all six colourways more easily, I'm putting them all together on here.

It was too nice a day not to be outside today, & this isn't a decision to rush - as Ali says, "This is where you realise how much the choice of border changes the finished piece and the overall colour of the quilt".

I think that I'm going to discount the fat cream border option for practical reasons. As Sue says, "One reason for having a darker border is that this is the area people handle most, so it gets marked very quickly." Too right, round here.
So I'll have a ponder then get measuring & cutting.

Any bets on how properly rectangular (or otherwise!) this will turn out to be...?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Christmas Quiltalong! April, pt5

And now there are 6 blocks!

This was either an easier-to-piece block, or I'm getting more accomplished - this all went together beautifully.

I haven't got any of the border on Spring Garden Trellis cut and on, but that will do for today, I think.

I'm going to have a leisurely stroll round to catch up with what everybody else is up to with a glass of jerusalem artichoke wine (yes, I do that sort of thing too), and a scatty star biscuit.

This has been tremendous fun again, I must say - thank you Cathi & Sue - and I'll see you all next month!

Christmas Quiltalong! April, pt4

This is all going pretty well so far.

I've cut the fabric and chain-pieced the half square triangles.

I've cut them in two, opened, pressed & trimmed the squares.

Now I'm going for my final piecing session - just as soon as I've had a look round at what everyone else has been up to.

Note to self: prep salad for future QAL days - tonight's pork casserole disintigrated into pork and potato soup. Not good.

Christmas Quiltalong! April, pt3

I find that my concentration levels are such that it is wise to take a break from quilting about every hour and a half - or I'm using the unpicker as much as the sewing machine!

But I wanted to keep the Christmas theme going, so I have baked my very own Scatty Stars...

So I'm just having a look at what everyone else is up to, and then the ol' pea brain will have recovered sufficiently for me to go into my next session.

Christmas Quiltalong! April, pt2

Now we're in business! Cathi has sent me this month's star pattern instruction sheet - it looks reasonably straightforward (famous last words!), so I'm about to get cutting.

The plan is (more famous last words!) to get these two stars cut and pieced, and I also hope to start on the border for the Spring Garden Trellis quilt (my project 3)...

Christmas Quiltalong! April, pt1

Well it is a very sunny and Spring-like April day here in the middle of England - but that counts for nothing when it is the Christmas Quiltalong Saturday!

So it's out with the cutting mat and the sewing machine, and I'm all ready for the instructions for the next pair of stars...

Monday, 4 April 2011

The Animals Came in...

...all together and had a big party!

There we go that's all the piecework done, and now over to the difficult decision of borders. I thought that a 2" border adjacent to the piecing, and then a fat 4" border.

I have cream, blue and a bright yellow which all go rather nicely.

I've played with a few combinations, but not made my mind up yet.

The Animals Came in...

... all holding hands in rows!

Thinking ahead to the borders, I think that a 2" cream inner border, and a 4" outer border would look the job, and a dark yellow binding, but that's still up for discussion!
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