Sewing, craft and other musings

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

The quilt is finished... The big reveal!

So... It has finally been done...

And what a journey it has been...

Once all the panels were finished I stitched them all together to make the complete front of the quilt.

I then cleared my living room to make enough space to lay down the backing, wadding and front panel on the floor.

And then the grand pinning project began...

Once pinned it was on through the sewing machine...

The weather has been extremely hot in Yorkshire which, I have found, is not conducive to sewing quilts in a windowless room shared with a smelly tortoise... Endurance didn't cover it! There must be an easier way too to get a quilt through a machine like mine... Though I am surprised how well it coped. There is nothing worse than stuffing a half made quilt through a machine when most of it starts on your lap, you are pricked to death by pins and the weather is 30o outside!

Since I last wrote I have recieved the walking foot for my sewing machine. And what a god send it has been. As readers of my blog will know that when I did my last quilt I broke a stack load of needles while using a regular foot and it was a complete nightmare. My life has now been transformed with this foot. I haven't puckered the fabric once and it worked like a dream... The link for the one I bought is below!

I then carefully pinned the re-ironed bias binding to the outside edge (while trimming the excess fabric along the way!)

That was then sewn... I don't know about anyone else but I love this part as you know you are on the home stretch... And it seems to go a lot quicker than the quilting bit... But it is not as hot either!

And then it was a quick trim or two and TA-dah! The quilt was finished. I am pleased that it is finally done as it was a long time in the conception and the actual practice but all a labour of love. I will be travelling down to my parents at the weekend to give it to them and can't wait to see their faces when they see it...

Ladies and gentlemen... The anniversary quilt!


Friday, 18 July 2014

A Guard Dinosaur of my very own!

My husband has been sewing again... Something he always does by hand as he doesn't trust my sewing machine... Not that he can get to it at the moment due to the large quilt that is currently being pushed through it!

I bought some fat quarters of fabric for the bow tie project a couple of months back and in amongst that material was some fabric with dinosaurs on it. To him, this was fabric Mecca and thought that he was his duty to use it.

So he designed a dinosaur that, once finished, would sit on my side of the bed during the day and 'guard me' during the night...

The whole idea of 'guard dinosaurs' is one that has been around many years - in fact, since me and my husband moved to Yorkshire. I bought him a dinosaur when he was unemployed to cheer him up (he never grew out of loving dinosaurs!) and as a bit of a joke he said it would guard the bed and him at night as it would make sure I wouldn't steal the duvet... And so the Guard dinosaur was born...

Even my 10 month old daughter has a Guard Dinosaur (who is apparently called Terry) whom she plays with in her cot when she awakens at some unearthly hour... Something which is all too frequent at the moment!

So, 'Eric' my Guard Dinosaur was made. He is made of two contrasting fabrics (easily purchased from Hobbycraft) and drew the outline of the dinosaur on the wrong side of the fabric.

He then sewed the two main body pieces together with the wrong sides facing leaving a quarter inch seam allowance. He then added the contrasting fabric pieces and then turned it inside out.

He stuffed the dinosaur with off cuts of wadding and toy stuffing which I had in my scrap boxes (something I am grateful for as I MANY off cuts from quilting projects!)

The rest of the dinosaur was then sewn together.

My husband then chose some buttons for the eyes and added some google eyes onto the buttons.

And there you have it... I introduce to you: Eric!

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Quilting against the clock... Part vi

The last couple of days have been manic in quilting terms...

I spent most of Friday cutting out, bondaweb-ing and sewing the remaining squares for my parents quilt. I have also been appliquéing as if my life depended on it!

The weekend was taken up by my daughter (10 months old and on the move!) so it meant that I could only do the finishing touches in the evenings after she had gone to bed.

I have also been hindered in terms of equipment. I have recently ordered a walking foot for my singers sewing machine as I hope I won't snap as many needles as I did when I last made a quilt! I am still awaiting its arrival! ... That and another foot which has a quarter inch setting which will be perfect for the edge of the quilt... I will let you know how/ if they work!

However, in more positive terms I have bought the remaining fabric, the backing, the wadding and the bias binding which means it is just the finishing touches to pin and cut...

But, I am now excited as I can feel how close I am to finishing... And within my deadline too... But I must be patient as I don't want to trip at the last hurdle...

I hope that my next post will show the finished product... As long as I don't get distracted as I am already looking to my next project...

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Quilting against the clock ... Part v

After the success of the peacock a few squares ago (and managing to not stick too many pieces to the iron which happens far too often when I have very small pieces to work with!) I thought I would tackle what seemed to be the most complicated square (and I hope I have judged it right!)

While looking for pictures that would be suitable to transfer to a quilt I loved that I found a map of the USA with a Stars and Stripes on it which encompassed my parents trip there a good couple of years ago.

I have found the best method is to bondaweb the material first and then cut out the shape... It helps to battle against fraying on the slightly thinner fabrics.

I have also discovered that it is useful to put a couple of tea towels under the fabric as well as having a few pieces of calico handy to place on top of the square too... I saves from burning anything... I hope!

I use a little travel iron for all my quilting needs... It heats up super quick, cools down ok and is perfect for doing smaller stuff!

I had to take a photo of the original picture before I cut it up and I am sooooo glad that I did! There is nothing more scary than being faced with a pile of fabric strips and not knowing the order of them...

This square isn't quite finished though... I realised I could bust a gut doing the stars on the blue background but realised I certainly didn't have the time (or possibly the patience) to cut out all the stars individually out of the white fabric (which frayed around the edges which was not ideal)... So, I have cheated and bought a square of it off ebay...

I am currently awaiting the square so I can finish this panel... One more 'country' square to go... Three letters and five 'project' ones to go too...

Oh... And 18 days to complete it? This is going to tight...

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Feels like summer...

I am now on my summer holidays (I am a teacher in my normal guise in a six day a week school!) so have finally been able to get around to finishing some jobs I have wanted to do and also been able to spend a bit more time on some projects that I have had for a while too...

I took a leisurely stroll around my local supermarket and saw they had an accessory sale so I had to have a look through them... And another fascinator was born!

This particular specimen started its life as a necklace, a hair clip and a hairband with some feathers...

And with a bit of silicone glue and imagination it has turned into this!

I'm undecided whether to sell this one or wear it to my next occasion... I think it has a nice summery feel so might look good at the races or a BBQ... But then again, I don't need much if an excuse to wear a fascinator!

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Quilting against the clock... Part iv

Well, it has been a few days since I lasted posted... Work got in the way meaning that time I could have spent doing the project was spent behind a follow spot at a school concert!

I couldn't wait to get started on this next square... The kiwi for my parents very recent trip to New Zealand...

I couldn't find any brown fabric that I liked so I got some brown felt as I thought this would look okay.

The picture was another cartoon I found and it was easy to cut into blocks... A lot easier than the previous ones!

The biggest challenge for this was the felt as the bondaweb didn't particularly like being stuck to it so I did have to use a few more pins than previous squares.

This was an easy appliqué job too... So it was quite satisfying to complete it in a shorter time than usual!