Sunday, 23 February 2014

Squaring up

I got the first instalment finished but it did give me the heebie jeebies over cutting it wrong after all that work.It is straight but the only easy place to photo it was on the back of the sofa.

The finished size is 18" square so it had to be cut at eighteen and a half inches. I made a cross in the middle after folding it in half in both directions and held it to the light to make sure the swags were on top of each other. The largest square ruler I have is sixteen and a half inches so the middle of the ruler is eight and a quarter from each side. I marked centre that with a sharpie pen on the top side of the ruler. Then I twisted the big ruler in tiny increments until I was happy that it was as centred as possible.

This still wasn't on the cutting line but I had a plan. I have a one inch wide ruler. I still wasn't happy (or confident enough to cut it yet), so I drew round this line with a pen on what would be the cutting line.)

To get perfect borders I cut a template of freezer paper if the finished size and cut each border individually a quarter inch outside the template.
I used the edge of the border fabric lined up with my drawn line on the appliqué background and stitched it on the machine. And then I did something which might seem a step too far, I hand appliquéd the mitres down changing thread just like Di Ford does going across the colours of the stripes.  I shall go to quilt heaven!
Years ago I bought this mat for my sewing machine. It is a very thick flexible sheet with two functions. One, it stops the machine roaming away from you whilst stitching and two, it absorbs any vibration. It isn't big enough for my big Series 7 Bernina so if anyone out there know what it is called and who sells it, please let me know.
And I have started on border number three for the machine appliqué quilt.

It felt quite odd to sit on the sofa tonight without any hand work. I might go back to the low contrast quilt, but I am not feeling any love for this. Perhaps when I have one of my other quilts finished I shall quilt up what is done so far as a warm up exercise. 

Tuesday, 18 February 2014


Two borders done on my machine appliqué piece. It seems like ages since I have played with this one. Two borders to go.... do I go for another border after this one? I think I shall wait and see if it needs it.

And all this first block needs now is the borders I bought some more of the chintz from L'abre de Vie in France. They have the glazed version which is 60" wide. The print is very slightly larger. I washed the glazed chintz once and it still felt a little waxy from the glaze. I washed it again and it still feels a little waxy but less so. It is a pig to get the needle through as it is so tightly woven but on the upside, it doesn't fray.

Sunday, 16 February 2014

Fabrics, glorious fabrics

 I found myself irresistibly drawn to this slightly glazed chintz. I have no room for more fabric so some others have been culled. The thread is there to give you some idea of the scale of this.

And I found some more of the John Hewson prints. I think I have the full set of them now. I feel it a pity they added some fake lines of linen weave to the background but you cannot have it all......

Tuesday, 4 February 2014

Hexies and bookcases

 I have not done much in the way of piecing over papers. I started by going to my favourite way of almost everything and using a glue stick to fold the fabric over. This worked but on such tiny pieces the glue was right on the edge and not easy to stitch through. Plan B was to glue the hexagon in place and sew down the 1/4" seam allowance. This was too fiddly. Plan C was to iron the line for the fussy placement over. Glue the little paper in place and then I left the seam allowance quite large. I stitched each corner fold down one at a time stitching each corner twice. This is what worked for me. I printed off the papers from this site making sure I printed at 100% with half inch sides.
 I am quite happy with these.
 I have three double bookcases in the bedroom. In Toad Hall we had blue toile curtains (drapes) and I just placed some leftover toile behind the glass. Spines of books never go with my decorating schemes and quite honestly they are so disorderly I don't want to look at them from the bed.
 The new curtains will be a Kate Forman linen printed with roses. I couldn't use the linen like the toile as it stretches so much (and it is very expensive).  Laura Ashley had this wall paper which does the job beautifully.
I am only doing one door every day or so as stretching hurts after doing each one. Bloody fibromyalgia!