Wednesday 29 September 2010

Remember the bright fabric?

Well this is how it looked when I started cutting away the top fabric.
And here it is with nearly all the cutting away finished. (I'm tempted to leave those big circles).

Recently I bought some old American Quilter's. In one of them was an article about reverse machine applique. It involved having a picture of the work on the back, stitching through each area of applique with very small stitches, then cutting away the excess. I liked the idea of the method, but the work was finished with satin stitch. I know I shouldn't have any prejudices, but I do and satin stitch applique is it. I am not enamoured however well it is executed, to me it's an ugly finish.
So I have an idea that's good and a finish which isn't. I have also been toying with different ways of creating circles, variations of double wedding rings and the like. I thought this method would look good with thirties fabric and blanket stitch applique, you could even do each ellipse a different colour. Then I remembered the Kaffe Fasset fabrics I bought at the FOQ. One on top, one underneath and one for the borders. This should be quite quick  (though the cutting away is taking 10 times as long as I had thought it would).
I'm hoping to get the quilting on the wholecloth finished tomorrow or Friday. This is one quilt which has turned out so much quicker than I thought, so little background and so many feathers. (I must remember that).

Monday 27 September 2010

Am I the only one who does this?

I KNOW I don't need any more Christmas decorations. This one could not be left behind. She's about 8" high.
And she is about 6". She also came home.
As did three of these little cushion decorations. There are still some new decorations downstairs which never made it up into the loft last year. I will try so hard not to even look in any other shops. After all it's only September and my resolution is fading.
 And now I'm trying out a new idea. Can you guess what I'm doing? All will be revealed whether it works or not. If you click on the photo you will just see some feint markings which might give you a clue.

Thursday 23 September 2010

I have been doing some quilting!

Firstly I quilted this little top which will be the raffle quilt at a coffee morning organised by one of the members of a local quilt group. I used YLI fine gold metalic thread and was delighted at how it behaved itself. It's only about 40" square.
Then I quilted the feathers on the wholecloth I designed a little while back. I'm trying to decide whether or not to quilt it down between the feathers. If I do, I shall do it with white silk thread to make the background quilting as unobtrusive as possible. The feathers have been quilted with a vareigated blue to almost white Aurifil thread. I haven't washed out the markings yet so I can't see the full effect. I might have to do a little sample piece before I decide.
The back looks quite cool. I need to spend this evening burying the threads.
Meanwhile, I bought some old American Quilter magazines (the AQS ones) and found an article of reverse machine applique (I think the writer named it something different). She used the technique to make pictures. I'm doing something completely different.... Wait and see.
As always, click on the photos to get a good look.

Thursday 9 September 2010

My experience using the new basting method

It worked very well on the quilt in the foreground. This quilt is only about 40" square and I used Hobbs Wool batting. I used pins instead of hand stitching and was just as happy as I would have been had I done it on the floor.

On the larger quilt in the background, it did not work out as well. This quilt is larger, though not huge. It's about 60" wide and 70" long. I used Quilters Dream Poly ( Microfibers and which cling like cotton batting. This is a good thing as there is less risk of movement between the layers). It started out well but when it came to uncurl the backing, the batting was stopping it big time. I had to bring the batting over from the back unroll the backing fabric, then readjust the batting and then unroll the top fabric. By the time I had done this, the two planks of wood had lost all alignment. As I worked my way through the quilt it did get easier as there was less batting to deal with. All of this would have been much easier with another pair of hands.

I did have to get down on the floor to cut the backing fabric and batting to size. This stage didn't take long but a few months ago whilst I could get down on the floor, I couldn't get back up again.

Would I do it again? Oh yes, but I would have someone around to help. And if I were doing it again, I would not starch the backing fabric, or if I did, I would  do it very gently. 

Friday 3 September 2010

I really should take notes

Last year I watched Sharon Schamber's youtube video about how she bastes a quilt. I still like pins, I know thread works for her and who am I to argue but I'm sticking with pins. Her method should work with either. Last Christmas DH bought me two 6 foot banquet tables and two long lengths of wood so I could copy the method. This quilt is only 60" width so one table shall do the job. I went out yesterday to buy the lengths of wood. I was certain they should be 6" wide. Nope they are 3". Hey ho, I expect it will still work. Or it would if I hadn't hurt my back getting the table up.....
See her video here

There is a part 2 to the method which you can find on the same Youtube page.

 I'm so proud of these! I planted a grape vine last year to shade the bricks of the house. This was not a special vine, just one for decorative purposes, but we have sweet grapes. I didn't even know we could grow desert grapes in England. If I had I might have done the thing where you remove half the bunches a month or so back so they grow larger.
In comparison to the imported ones, they are tiny, more like currants. But I am very proud of my crop!