Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Indulge me whilst I play.

We bought our daughter a camera for Christmas. She was very specific on what her dream camera was, but as it seemed hugely expensive for such a small thing we hesitated. And then we bought it. When it arrived I charged it up (as there is nothing worse than getting something wonderful on Christmas morning and having to wait for it to charge). And I had a tiny little play with it. I shouldn't have been jealous but I coveted her camera.  And then I realised there was another model even more hugely expensive with a view finder. I dreamed, but dismissed it.
 The moon tonight, no editing (I should have used a tripod or at least leaned against something)

And no one was more surprised than I when I found my husband had bought me the very camera. With my fibromyalgia I find carrying my camera even in my bag is getting more painful, so I have given up taking it places, even quilt shows. I have resorted to using my phone outside the house.

The old and the new, to show the size.

Yesterday we went to Symonds Yat on the Wye. These photos have not been edited. They were taken in the most harsh conditions for a camera. Bright bright sun low in the sky and the opposite bank in deep deep shade. Normally this causes either everything in the light gets bleached out or everything in the dark gets blacked out. Not with this baby, I am so happy with it!

That isn't snow over the river, just very thick frost. Those houses must be in the shade all day in winter.

And if you are tempted my new camera is the Sony RX100 M3 and my daughter has the Mark2.

This photo of the village was taken with hers on Boxing Day morning.
 Did I mention it has a wide angle lens so I will be able to take full shots of quilts with them really close? I am very lucky.

Have a very happy 2015 every one of you!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Tutorial on Dog Tooth Border Applique.

One of my friends in an online group has completed her Baltimore Album Quilt, doing all the blocks by hand with incredible skill, it is a real beauty. Shehas blogged her progress on her blog here.

However having put all this work in, the border that came with the pattern will leave her with a quilt too big for her bed.  The original design had a border 12 or 15".

There is an 1850s quilt on this blog post with a double dog tooth border. This seems a good solution (and a lovely running feather quilted up between them would look fabulous).  Scroll down until you see the Old Otterbein Quilt.

There are a few ways of stitching a dogtooth border. Paper foundation piecing is the most obvious but this quilt is entirely appliqued by hand, this would be the wrong solution for this particular quilt. So here is my preferred way of appliqueing it.

Start by drawing it out on paper and cut a dog tooth border. This is to see that the scale is right.

Then see how you will handle the corners. In this case I think a half square red triangle on the diagonal will do nicely.

Of course on the inner border the teeth will point the other way.

For Linda's quilt the teeth are one inch high and one inch wide at the base.

So I cut a strip one and a half inches wide and pressed the top over one quarter of an inch.

I stitched it down half way between the edge and the seam line. (I would cut the background fabric with at least 1/2" preferably a whole inch all round to trim down later as it is bound to fray on such a long straight edge.) This will hold the applique in place all along the border and stop you stretching or shrinking it (most people do one or the other).

Mark your dog tooth applique every half inch along the top and every inch along the outer edge. Use whatever marking method your prefer. If you end up with a half inch too little, then add 1/16" to the last every other 8 marks, if it is half an inch too big then reduce it by the same. Just adjust it by however many 1/16ths of an inch you need. It will NOT show.

Imagine a line on the diagonal between the mark on the inner edge of the tooth and the outer edge. Then cut about 3/16ths of an inch outside that line.

Fold it under and stitch right to the point. Make the last stitch catch the very end of it. I have used thick black thread and big stitches so you can see what I am doing.

Then move along to the next mark along the top and cut down to within two or three threads of the seam line. Be brave or do a little sample piece to get the hang of it.

Applique down this side of the tooth, making 3 or 4 deeper stitches in the extreme point of the V to strengthen it.

Then applique up to the top again and so on until it is finished.

This way of doing it ensures the tips of the teeth are all the same height (and a difference in height shows up far more than a difference in width).

If you are appliqueing by machine you can cut each tooth and glue it down, then stitch the row in one go. Just make sure you have a stitch at the top and reduce you stitch length and increase you width of stitch at the bottom between each tooth.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

I didn't get away with it completely

I decided what to do with those corners.
I suppose in my heart of hearts I always knew it was going to be feathers...
I did these slightly differently as the placing was not quite as crucial.
*then not than... sigh
I thought the quilt top had survived the long hot wash without mishap but there are a few signs of damage
 I slid the tips of the scissors so you can see where the applique thread has failed.
 This one will take a little more fixing. I imagine I have to unpick the stem and the red petal it goes underneath and then move the stem over to the left. I fixed four problems last night but we were in our sitting room and I shall need particularly good lighting to sort this out. Or replace the whole leaf but that involves the red flower to the left as well. I am feeling murdrous thoughts to the printer of that red fabric which ran. It has been so long since I finished a large piece of work, I just want to get on with it.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

I should explain my absence.

I had got back into the swing of regularly blogging, then things went dreadfully wrong with the appliqué quilt.
I marked the feathers between the pots and then realised I hadn't removed the papers from the outer border. Removing the papers involves soaking the piece. I soaked it, removed the papers, dried it. I then decided I should wash it to remove all the glue..... Why I decided to do this, I don't really know. Normally I leave all the washing until the quilt is finished. At this point I discovered that red in the outer border had run. Why this red ran, I cannot fathom. It had been prewashed without running, it had been soaked to remove the papers without running..... I suppose if it was going to do it at any time, it was better than when the quilt was finished.
It was much worse in real life. And all the way round.
Ferret came to the rescue saying she used Dylon SOS Colour Run. To use this stuff it suggests you wash at 60C  (140F). I feel an appliqué quilt top is quite fragile until it is quilted to support the stitching but really I had no choice. I folded it into four and stitched all round inside the borders. I put it in the machine for a 2 hour cycle. I waited with much gnashing of teeth. It seemed a very long 2 hours. But it is FINE!

So to get back to marking the quilt. First trace your master copy onto freezer paper and iron it to the back of the work.

 Then flip it over
My lightbox is an Ikea glass table top with a lamp on the floor below. It helps if I turn off the lights in the room.

Sorry it hasn't been ironed and beautifully flat. I have yet to decide what I shall put above the dark red appliqué flowers but I like the flower shapes between them. I will probably trapunto them and the appliqués. And I need to come up with an idea for the centre.

I have continued the motif of the flowers out into the border.

I have found I cannot trace for more than 2 or 3 hours a day as my neck starts to get very painful. I hope it doesn't hurt this much once I start quilting.

We have had a warm September and October but this doesn't explain this clematis in flower at the beginning of December.